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Jody Watley Gets Real About Her Legacy, Message and New Music


(L-R) Rosero McCoy, Jody Watley, Nate Allen Smith; Viktoria PaschutaJody Watley is getting real about her legacy and reminding fans that her message is still relevant today.

The Grammy-Award winning singer, who has been described as a trendsetting pioneer in music, video, fashion and style, is back with Shalamar Reloaded, a new iteration of her former group.  She’s hitting the road with new band mates Nate Allen Smith and Rosero McCoy for a worldwide tour. And the singer, whose last record was the Paradise EP in 2014, promises a new project soon.

“Shalamar Reloaded and I are working on a full-length [album] and it is titled Bridges,” Watley tells ABC Radio. “It’s a great metaphor for new pathways and connections to the next destination — and that’s what we are and represent — and [for] connectivity in a positive way.”

To Watley, the message of being true to yourself is needed today. She addresses those who criticize her evolution in Shalamar Reloaded’s new single, “”

“The bigger picture of ‘Original’ is we encourage [listeners] to just be yourselves,” she explains. “And don’t worry about what people have to say about you or if they acknowledge you.”  

Watley is no stranger to the controversy. After her departure from Shalamar in 1983, Watley has been vocal about her former band’s alleged beef. According to Jody, there is none.

“I continue to wish everyone well. When we’ve tried to do things, and we have done things, but no one mentions them and they kind of, like I said, try to keep the drama going, when there is none,” she says.

Instead, she would rather people focus on her legacy.

“Have that type of impact on pop culture that is ongoing as time goes by…I feel, very, very proud of that, in knowing that I’ve always been myself,” she says. 

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