ABC Radio2015 was a good year for R&B fans. ABC Radio caught up with Angie Stone, who spoke candidly about the return of great R&B music with the release of projects from the likes of Janet Jackson, D’Angelo and Jill Scott.
Stone begins by breaking down Janet’s return to music with the album Unbreakable. “Well, I was happy because Janet had already made the statement that she would never do another album, and she said that after Tyler Perry, she was really, really back into her acting bug; but then when you go marry one of the richest people in the world, you can kind of do what you want to,” Angie says referring to Janet’s marriage to Wissam Al Mana. “So that tells me that her heart was not where her head was when she made that statement, her heart was still into music. But maybe she got to a place where I was at and wanted to just do her passion and that was music, so I’m very happy about that.”
Stone also spoke on her ex-boyfriend, D’Angelo, who she feels triumphed this year with Black Messiah, actually released in December of 2014. “D’Angelo, in my opinion, the resurrection for him was that of a leader. He never wanted to follow in his own footsteps,” Angie says. “Having to follow everybody that followed you was a place that he didn’t want to be. I was so happy that he was happy with what he had created with Black Messiah and watching him reclaim his position as someone to be reckoned with.” She adds, “I think there is still even greater in [store for] D’Angelo.”
Stone was also please with Jill’s Woman, even though she doesn’t believe Jilly from Philly’s effort should be considered a comeback since she never really left. “You know what, Jill Scott has never, in my opinion, left the forefront. I think that Jill Scott made transitions, but I think that Jill transitioned into an actor that, in my opinion, is superb. I think she’s an awesome actor,” Angie says of Jill, who will star opposite Common in an upcoming film, Coco, next year. “Resurrection? Not. I think she never left. I think that people respect her and they look up to her, because she did it quietly.”
As for the success of her own seventh studio album, Dream, Stone concludes that she’s proud of her first independent project, which she says is deserving to be mentioned alongside the work of her R&B peers.
“I think the Dream album cascades right with the three people that were before me — the D’Angelos, Jill Scotts and Janet Jacksons, I think Angie Stone is right at the helm of all of it,” she says. “I think that being a pioneer of hip-hop, being an artist from 1979, who had the opportunity to work very closely with Jill Scott and D’Angelo — I hadn’t gotten the opportunity to really work with Janet, but Janet adores Angie and I adore Janet.”
Angie adds that her longevity can’t be denied. “I think having the experience of almost 40 years, and still making strides along with the generations before me or after me is something to be appreciated and applauded. If nobody else claps, I have to clap for myself because I’ve seen it all,” she says before adding: “I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly, and fortunately, I’ve seen inside of some of their careers.”
Next year will see Angie kicking off a tour to support the follow-up to 2012’s Rich Girl.
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