Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blaque

Blaque was a female R&B group from the late 90s\early 2000s that consisted of members Natina Reed (born on October 28, 1979 in New York City, New York), Shamari Fears (born on February 22, 1980 in Detroit, Michigan), and Brandi Williams (born on October 5, 1982 in Detroit, Michigan). The group's name stood for "Believing, Life, Achieving, Quest, Unity, Everything."

Shamari and Natina both moved to Atlanta, Georgia and met during high school. Reed formed Blaque while Shamari formed another music group called Intrigue.

Intrigue won a record contract with Elektra Records and Shamari met Brandi at a talent show while a member of Intrigue. Shamari left Intrigue to join up with Natina in Blaque and shortly after, Brandi joined Blaque as well.

Natina met Ronald Lopes while singing jingles to earn extra money and he introduced her to his sister, the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of R&B group TLC. Lisa signed the girls to her production company, Left Eye Productions.

In 1997, Blaque made a cameo appearance in Lil Kim's music video for her remixed version of her song, "Not Tonight."
In 1999, Blaque released their self-titled debut album on Columbia Records, which peaked at #53 on the Billboard 200 chart and #23 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The first single from the album, "808" became a hit, peaking at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 & #4 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles & Tracks chart, staying on the chart for 27 weeks, #33 on Billboard's Top 40 Tracks chart, and #4 on Billboard's Rhythmic Top 40 chart.

The song benefited heavily from airplay of its remix which samples LL Cool J's song "Going Back to Cali." The song was certified Gold by the RIAA and the music video has a cameo of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes.

The second single from the album, "Bring It All To Me" featuring former *NSYNC member, J.C. Chasez, peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January of 2000, #15 on Billboard's Hot R&B\Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, staying on the chart for 27 weeks, #6 on Billboard's Top 40 Mainstream chart & Top 40 Tracks chart, and topped Billboard's Rhythmic Top 40 chart.

The song also charted moderately in New Zealand, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
The last single from the album, "I Do" missed the Billboard Hot 100, but managed to peak at #73 on Billboard's Hot R&B\Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, staying on the chart for 8 weeks. It also peaked at #39 on Billboard's Top 40 Mainstream and Rhythmic Top 40 charts.

The song was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for "Best Editing" and was also the opening act for TLC's "FanMail" tour.
In August of that same year, Blaque made their film debut in the cheerleading flick, "Bring it On" as cheerleaders for the East Compton Clovers. They appeared on the soundtrack with the song, "As If" which was released as a single, but didn't make the charts.
Blaque's sophomore album, "Blaque Out" was scheduled for release in 2001, but it was shelved after the group was dropped from their record label. It was later released in Japan a year later.

In May of 2007, an alternate version of the shelved album was released on iTunes, but later taken down. The album was released back on iTunes in December of 2011.
The lead single from the album,  "Can't Get it Back" which peaked at #91 on Billboard's Hot R&B\Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, staying on the chart for only a week. A music video for the song was unreleased and their soon-to-be second album was later leaked on the web.

After Left Eye's tragic death in a car accident in Honduras in April of 2002, Blaque signed with Elektra Records.

After the birth of Natina's son, Tren Brown, the group began working on their third album. In 2003, Blaque released a buzz single entitled "No Ganksta" which was an answer song to 50 Cent's song, "Wanksta."

The intended first single from their third album, "Torch" was supposed to be "Ugly" which was produced by Missy Elliot, but it wasn't picked up by radio because it was decided that another song, "I'm Good" would be released as the lead single instead.
"I'm Good" peaked at #95 on Billboard's Hot R&B\Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, staying on the chart for 4 weeks. It also managed to peak at #27 on Billboard's Rhythmic Top 40 chart. The song was featured on the soundtrack for the movie, "Honey" where the group appeared as themselves in the film.

Due to the failure of "I'm Good," the release date for Blaque's third album was pushed back. News later revealed that their next single would be "Hopeless," but it was never released.

"Torch" was scheduled to be released exclusively on iTunes in 2008 by Music World Entertainment, but was canceled again and the album was never released.

After that, Blaque took a temporary hiatus. Natina went into ministry in 2004 and was replaced by singer\rapper, Erica Pullins who performed with Blaque overseas. The group recorded some new songs and re-recorded old ones with Erica, but the album was never released and they later broke up.

During that same year, Blaque later reunited with original members Shamari, Brandi, and Natina. They began working on their fourth album, "Private Show" in 2005 and recorded the album until 2009.

In 2008, Blaque released four songs on YouTube: "Cut You Off," "All Nighter," "Blue Jeans," and "High Definition" before disbanding once again.

Shamari was signed to Darkchild Records in 2005 and was working on an album scheduled for release in 2006, but it's unknown how or if it was ever released at all. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia and is married to Ronnie DeVoe of New Edition & Bell Biv DeVoe.

Brandi founded a production company called Tune Town Prodcutions. She had an uncredited vocal appearance on Nelly's song "Grillz." She is currently working on her debut solo album scheduled for release in 2012 and in 2011, she released her first single, "Love It."

In the summer of 2012, Blaque reunited for the Left Eye music festival. In the fall of 2012, Blaque officially reunited and were in the process of working on a new album and reality show.

Sadly on October 26, 2012, Natina Reed was killed in a hit and run accident outside of Atlanta. She was only 32 years old.

To follow Shamari on Twitter, go to:
http://twitter.com/ShamariDevoe

To follow Brandi on Twitter, go to:
https://fr.twitter.com/TheBrandiD

To see the music video for "808," go to:

To see the music video for "Bring it All to Me," go to:

To see the music video for "I Do," go to:

To see the music video for "As If," go to:

To see a fan-made video for "Can't Get it Back," go to:

To see a fan-made video for "Ugly," go to:

To see the music video for "I'm Good," go to:

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