* “It’s a song that touches my heart,” said the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Joan Belgrave about her single from her new EP “ooooo boy” – the title track. “The song is out right now. I wanted to get the last song out right away…to say that when you lose someone, you don’t lose them, they stay with you.”
This is Joan’s sixth solo project. The title track features vocals from Miracles frontman Mark Scott and comes with a video shot at the Berry Gordy Mansion in Detroit. It was produced by Grammy Award winner Sanchez Harley (Yolanda Adams, Shirley Caesar). Belgrave is dealing with a physical illness and wanted her children to know through her music that she is I’m not going anywhere – one of the singles on the EP.
“I was trying to get it done so my kids could have it,” she said gravely.
The singer lived a glamorous life as a vocalist for the Motown Legends Gospel Choir; for herself on “Excitable” (Blue River Records) in 2009, “Hey Love” in 2013, “Merry Christmas Baby” in 2014, “Please Send Me Someone to Love” (Blue Note Records) and “Where Am I” ( Tribes) in 2009; she then experienced a loving marriage to legendary jazz trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, who was 19 years her senior, and duetted with him and collaborated with saxophonist Charlie Gabriel on “You Don’t Know Me” A Tribute to New Orleans’, ‘…Tribute to Ray Charles’, ‘Great Ladies of Song’ and ‘Marcus, Charlie and Joan…One More Time’. At 65, she still looks good, vibrant and motivated to keep singing. She began singing in church as a child in Michigan, and her popularity grew to include sold-out shows. She moved to Hollywood to work with classical vocalist Dr. Willis Patterson, but the death of her father brought her back home, and it was singing at his funeral that sparked her desire to sing again. Joan released “Emotions Blue” in 1998, her tribute to Billie Holiday and “Variations” in 2005. Her rise as a singer led to the end of her 16-year marriage to the father of her three children. As a result, he returned to Detroit and that’s when he met Marcus Belgrave.
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“Marcus was never jealous and insecure,” Joan explained when we talked about marriages in general. “I met Marcus at a jam session. He brought me the two CDs. I was producing gigs at the time and I said, ‘I’m doing a show … and putting a band together – I hired him (to open the show). Because of my divorce, I wasn’t interested…but I got married. I was in Los Angeles for 15 years… I was there to sing… and then I came back to Michigan and met Marcus. My late husband was a Funk Brother who sang on “Distant Lover” and “Dancing in the Streets”.
Her ‘Oooo Boy’ EP is a labor of love and a testament to her resilience. While dealing with her serious illness, she is working on a documentary about the life of her late husband, Marcus Belgrave. In addition to “Oooo Boy” and “I’m Not Going Anywhere”, there is also “Dreaming of You” on the EP. Joan Belgrave also launched the Belgrave Scholarship Fund for Young Musicians and the Marcus Belgrave Legacy Ensemble.
“Music helps me focus on something other than what’s going on,” she said. “I have some stuff (songs) with Marcus and me. I’ll call it “Unfinished Business.” www.JoanBelgrave.com
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Dr. Eunice Moseley has an estimated weekly readership of over one million cu The pulse of entertainment. She is also a Public Relations and Business Management Strategist and Consultant at Freelance Associates and is Director of Promotions (at large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” entertainment conference. (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is in its 24th year. The following events follow Baltimore via Zoom Saturday April 15, 2023, and Los Angeles via Zoom Saturday, November 11, 2023. The ULMII event is a free entertainment conference that offers a Industry Professional Panel Q&A SessionA Presentation of professional talents and National Talent Contest (Vocal, Songwriting, Dance and Acting) where aspiring artists stand a chance to receive over $17,500 worth of prizes/products/services. Log on to www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to RSVP via Zoom Access email [email protected]