Friday, July 18, 2008

Pebbles

Pebbles (born Perri Arnette McKissack on November 6, 1966 in Oakland, California) was a female R&B singer from the late '80s\early '90s.

She got the nickname "Pebbles" at the age of 10 for her resemblance of  Fred & Wilma Flintstone's daughter, Pebbles from "The Flintstones." She is the cousin of R&B singer, Cherrelle.

At a young age, Pebbles entered talent shows & put together dance troupes. She studied classical opera and ballet and started singing during her high school years.

In the early 80s, she got her first start in the music business as a backup singer for band leader\percussionist Bill Summers and the funk music band Con Funk Shun. She even co-wrote one of Con Funk Shun's hit songs, "Body Lovers" when she was only 16 years old.

At the age of 18, Pebbles gave birth to her daughter Ashley and was told that she had ruined her chances of becoming anything in life because of her pregnancy at a young age. Then, she married Ashley's father, George L. Smith (who was 20 years her senior).

Pebbles and George started their own management company, Pacific Cal. As she was working on her demo, she sang background vocals for artists such as Sister Sledge and Bill Summers.
In 1986, Pebbles signed to MCA Records. Her first single "Love\Hate" (was featured on the "Beverly Hills Cop II" movie soundtrack) peaked at #34 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.
On November 16, 1987, Pebbles released her self-titled debut album which peaked at #14 on the Billboard 200 and #5 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.

Her second single "Girlfriend" became a hit, peaking at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, #24 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, and topped Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart for 2 weeks, staying on the chart for 21 weeks.
The third single from the album "Mercedes Boy" became Pebbles' biggest hit to date, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, #2 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and topped Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart for a week, staying on the chart for 18 weeks.

The song even charted in the U.K., peaking at #42 on the U.K. Singles chart. "Mercedes Boy" was performed on "Soul Train" where it was correctly predicted to become a Top 10 hit.
The fourth single from the album "Take Your Time" peaked at #41 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart & #3 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 15 weeks.
The last single released from the album "Do Me Right" peaked at #67 on Billboard's Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for only 6 weeks.

Pebbles promoted her album with appearances on television such as "American Bandstand" and "Soul Train." During that time, she divorced from George L. Smith. In 1989, Pebbles remarried to music producer, L.A. Reid and in November of that same year, she gave birth to her son, Aaron.

Pebbles formed the Atlanta-based production company, entitled Pebbitone, which discovered R&B trio, TLC.
On September 11, 1990,  Pebbles released her second album "Always" which peaked at #37 on the Billboard 200 and #12 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The first single from the album "Giving You the Benefit" which peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, #10 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, #5 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and topped Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart for 3 weeks and staying on the chart for 16 weeks.

The second single "Love Makes Things Happen" featuring Babyface, peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, #24 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, and topped Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart for 2 weeks, staying on the chart for 22 weeks.
The third single "Backyard" featuring Salt-N-Pepa, peaked at #73 on the Billboard Hot 100, #30 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #4 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 16 weeks. The music video also featured TLC.
The title song peaked at #13 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 16 weeks. The song featured background vocals from Johnny Gill & cousin Cherrelle.

During the time of the success of Pebbles' second album, Pebbles became friends with late R&B singer Whitney Houston who joined her to help promote her second album. They also appeared on "The Arsenio Hall Show" and "Friday Night Videos." Pebbles was even a bridesmaid at Whitney's wedding to Bobby Brown in 1992.

Pebbles started to work behind the scenes of the music biz. She helped develop music acts such as Toni Braxton & Damian Dame. As she took TLC under her wing by becoming their manager, they became one of the most hottest, popular music acts of the 90s.

By 1995, tensions arose between Pebbles and TLC causing TLC to end up filing for bankruptcy because of claims that Pebbles was mismanaging their money, but she has denied these claims. She and TLC eventually went their separate ways.

According to L.A. Reid, the dispute was one of the breaking points of their marriage. In 1996, they divorced.
On September 12, 1995, Pebbles released her third album "Straight From My Heart" which peaked at #43 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart. She dedicated the album to her deceased cousin who committed suicide. Despite working with producers Sean "Puffy" Combs & Mario Winans, the album was unsuccessful.
The only single to chart from the album was "Are You Ready?" which peaked at #38 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 14 weeks.

She also started a relationship with Mario Winans and helped him get a record deal with Motown Records. Later on, Pebbles signed with A&M Records under hit producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.

When Jam and Lewis left the label, she was offered a label deal where she started the record label, Savvy Records (which was distributed by MCA Records). Despite signing musical acts such as Parental Advisory, she shut down Savvy Records in 1997.

Due to the troubles she faced, Pebbles went into a severe depression, but recovered with help & support from her friends and family. In 1997, she underwent a religious conversion and under the name, Sister Perri, she founded Women of God Changing Lives Through Christ (or W.O.G.C.L.) a year later.

In 2000, Pebbles remarried once again to former baseball player, Otis Nixon, but they divorced in 2004.
In 2008, Pebbles released her fourth album, "Prophetic Flows Vol I and II" which peaked at #12 on Billboard's Gospel Album chart.

In February of 2011, she was named the host/executive producer of Essence magazine's national R&B search. She has also released her first Prophetic Prayer Proclamation book & CD, "Child of the Breakthrough."

These days, Pebbles currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

To see Sister Perri's official website, go to:
http://sisterperri.com/

To see the website for Women of God Changing Lives, go to:
http://wogcl.org/

To see the music video for "Girlfriend," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Avtj8tdpr5Y

To see the music video for "Giving You the Benefit," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChvLHqmX27o

To see the music video for "Love Makes Things Happen," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5egURt6AKPk

To see the music video for "Mercedes Boy," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM3ssoWjwY0

To see the music video for "Backyard," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xt83lTwTF0

To see a fan-made video for "Always," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91z8GRcbKC0

To see a fan-made video for the 12-inch extended remix version of "Take Your Time," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TstpGrn8Vk

To see the music video for "Do Me Right," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-VEd5NBopg

To see the music video for "Are You Ready?," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g2e_qkXrAs

To see the music video for the slow version of "Are You Ready?," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP33Ge0Tbi0

To see a fan-made video for "Why Do I Believe" (from her "Always" album), go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLi0hPbzUEE

[updated on 02/21/13]

2 comments:

Lina said...

Her third album, "Straight From My Heart" was her best CD. It was not provided any airplay.

Felicitina Gao said...

Her 3rd album was absolutely horrible and lost every ounce of magic that Laface had bestowed upon her. The whole album is unlistenable.