R. Kelly takes the stage at Planet Hollywood May 25, during Memorial Day Weekend. Also to perform with Kelly is R&B artist Ashanti and rap artist, 2 Chainz. Kelly is considered one of the most successful R&B male artists of all time, selling more than 38.5 million records in the United States and more than 54 million worldwide. To date, the award-winning artist released 10 studio albums.
Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, NV
Sat, May 25, 2013 07:00 PM
Details: R. Kelly, 2 Chainz, Ashanti
GOLDEN CIRCLE SEATING $181.90
ORCHESTRA SEATING $91.00 – $125.20
MEZZANINE SEATING $125.20
BALCONY SEATING $91.00
R. Kelly Bio
In an era of declining songwriting skills and auto tune crooning R. Kelly embodies the best traditions of American music as a vocalist, songwriter and producer. He uses classic materials to create music as contemporary as Siri’s iPhone voice. Despite selling millions of recordings and writing classic songs for himself and many others, this Chicago based singer-songwriter continues to push his art forward with Write Me Back, a dynamic twelve song collection that is part of his extraordinary 2012 — The Year of the R.
Along with his remarkable new album, R. Kelly is publishing his first memoir, Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me, and signed with the IFC Channel to add chapters to his innovative hip hop opera Trapped in the Closet, which was an early 21st century cultural phenomenon.
Write Me Back continues the homage to classic soul/R&B that distinguished 2010’s critically acclaimed Love Letter. But where that album celebrates the music of the ‘50s and ‘60s, this has a wider collection of musical inspirations, going to sounds that echo Ray Charles, while evoking the passionate magic of Teddy Pendergrass, Barry White and Michael Jackson among many others. The content and the title of this new recording were definitely inspired by the triumph of the previous album.
The songs on Write Me Back do not simply pay homage to older styles, but evoke a myriad of influences at the same time and in the process create something pleasing and new. “I have many directions I still wanna go in musically,” he says of where he is creatively. “This just happened to be a direction I choose for now because the first album did so well people started asking me if I was gonna be doing any other songs like that.. Through those questions I found a second wind of inspiration in the area of doing the classic R&B type of songs.”
The tasty array of musical influences R. Kelly transforms and reinvents ranges through the history of classic soul. “Love Is,” “Share My Love” and “Lady Sunday” evoke the lush, danceable sound of Philadelphia. “Feeling Single” and “Believe That It’s So” effortlessly mash up echoes of Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder. “All Rounds On Me” has a blues feel that Ray Charles would envy, while “Fool For You” has that classic Motown Sound. “Green Light” will make fans of the Isley Brothers happy, while “Party Jumpin’” captures the seriously fun late night spirit of a live Sam Cooke show. Both “When A Man Lies” and “Believe In Me” are powerhouse songs poised to join the canon of R. Kelly standards.
In an era where hip hop has overshadowed R&B as mainstream music R. Kelly has reinforced his credentials as “the R in R&B.” He speaks candidly about the state of that venerable music culture and his role as a keeper of the flame. “I don’t mean to sound bold but I speak the truth, especially when I speak about R&B music,” he says humbly. “R&B has, in some ways been abandoned and it’s being used in areas when people see fit to maybe put a hook on a rap song to blow up a rap song. Now, I don’t knock that hustle, but if we’re gonna respect R&B when it comes to rap, then it deserves to stand on its own as well.”
Alongside his new album, R. Kelly explores yet another outlet for his creative hand with the release of his memoir Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me published by SmileyBooks, an imprint owned by noted broadcaster and publisher Tavis Smiley. R’s first book has allowed the singer-songwriter to define himself and dig deep into his life story.
“When you become a celebrity and a legend in the field that you’re in, everybody thinks they know you and people form opinions about you without really knowing who you are,” he observes. “Nobody really knows you until they know the things you’ve been through. The only way to do that was to tell my story. In life there are two sides to every story, but unfortunately in my case there are about forty different sides to the story.”
The singer makes a big distinction between R. Kelly the star and Robert Kelly the human being. “They already know who R. Kelly is. They know R. Kelly performs and they know he’s written and produced hit songs for himself and other people. But I felt it was time they met Robert, the mama’s boy, Robert the brother, Robert the father and most of all Robert the person.” Between Write Me Back and Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me, the stage has been set for the expression of new and unexpected dimensions of R. Kelly’s intimate, compelling, and soul-filled artistry.
Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas (born October 13, 1980) is an American recording artist, record producer and actress who rose to fame in the early 2000s. Ashanti is most famous for her eponymous debut album, which featured the hit song “Foolish”, and sold over 503,000 copies in its first week of release throughout the U.S. in April 2002. The album set a Soundscan record as the biggest opening week sales for a new female artist, outselling debuts by Alicia Keys and Lauryn Hill. In the same week, she became the first female performer to simultaneously hold the top two places on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with “Foolish”, and “What’s Luv?” (with Fat Joe). Ashanti broke records again by having three top ten songs, “Foolish,” “What’s Luv?” and “Always on Time”, on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the same week, being the first woman to accomplish this feat and being second only to the Beatles. In 2003, the self-titled debut album won Ashanti her first Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B album. As of 2008, she has sold more than 27 million albums worldwide. Ashanti ended the decade (2000–09) as the third top new R&B artist behind Alicia Keys and Beyonce Knowles. She also ended the decade at number 38 on the Top Artist of the Decade list. As of 2010, Ashanti is listed in the 20 Best Selling Music Singles Since 1990 in History. She ranked #17, with Foolish selling more than 7.4 million copies in the U.S.
Ashanti sang background vocals for Jennifer Lopez on “I’m Real (Murder Remix)” and wrote and sang background on the song “Ain’t It Funny (Murder Remix)” sung by Jennifer Lopez, both reaching number one on Billboard Hot 100 , which was also in the top 10 charts at the same time as “Foolish”, “Always on Time” (with Ja Rule), and “What’s Luv” (with Fat Joe). Later that year, she was acclaimed as the “Princess Of Hip-Hop & R&B” by her label and capped off her successful debut by winning eight Billboard awards and two American Music Awards. Within seven years of Ashanti’s career, she has scored 16 top 40 hits on the Hot 100. Ashanti has endorsed numerous products including Gap, Herbal Essences and Mudd Jeans.
Ashanti cites Janet Jackson, Prince, Madonna, Tupac Shakur, Tamia, Mary J. Blige, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Yolanda Adams, Toni Braxton, Luther Vandross, The Beatles, The Clark Sisters, Smokey Robinson, Donna Summer, and Blue Magic as her musical influences. Praised as a gifted songwriter by her peers and critics alike, Ashanti has written/co-written the bulk of all her music. She is currently working on her own publishing company entitled Written Entertainment. She released her fourth studio album entitled The Declaration on June 3, 2008 and is currently in the studio working on her fifth. She also performed the charity tune “Just Stand Up” alongside 14 other female singers for the “Stand Up to Cancer” live television special which helped raise $100 million dollars for cancer research.
2 Chainz Bio
With a reputation for one-upping the competition by arriving via helicopter at rooftop listening parties for his own T.R.U. (The Real University) imprint, and the kind of grandiose ambition that a rapper from southside Atlanta needs to chase down the American Dream, 2Chainz officially launches his solo career as the newest signing to Def Jam Recordings. 2Chainz was brought to the label through Sha Money XL, Senior Vice President of A&R, Island Def Jam Music Group.
“We are proud to welcome 2 Chainz to the Def Jam tradition and family of artists,” said Island Def Jam President & COO Steve Bartels. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for the incredible buzz 2 Chainz has built, and it’s our job to nurture and protect that. 2 Chainz has a credibility and flavor that is uniquely suited to the Def Jam lifestyle and brand. We look forward to great success together.”
The signing was celebrated with a performance at downtown New York hotspot S.O.B.’s, billed as 2Chainz’ first N.Y. concert. “2Chainz is a veteran who chooses being catchy over being cool,” raved the New York Times the next morning. “He’s an inadvertent humorist, and awe and wonderment often sneak into his verses, as if he’s still surprised by every blessing his new success affords him. You hear it on his recent work with Rick Ross (‘Party Heart’) and Young Jeezy (‘SupaFreak’), among others.”
Currently mining digital downloads in the millions for T.R.U. REALigion, his latest indie mixtape sensation (released November 2011), 2Chainz is winning new fans every hour. His ‘hit’ tracks – signatures that include “Riot,” “Boo” featuring Yo Gotti, and the Drumma Boy-produced smash single “Spend It,” have helped establish a new sphere of influence for the lanky, outspoken rapper.
“I think the world is catching up to me,” he reflects in a rare moment of calm, in an otherwise hectic life. “I’ve always been confident in what I do and had the respect of the people.”
2Chainz is a product of the competitive Atlanta scene that spawned his first group, the duo Playaz Circle (in which he was known as Tity Boi). They made their mark back in ’07 with the rap-R&B-pop crossover hit “Duffle Bag Boy” featuring Lil’ Wayne on the hook, on the DTP (Disturbing Tha Peace)/Def Jam label. College Park native Tity Boi was a lifelong friend of Chris Bridges, aka DTP CEO/Def Jam recording artist Ludacris. But the time would come when 2Chainz would fly from the DTP nest to make it on his own.
His first step toward independence was the 2007 mixtape, Me Against The World. Proving that he could stand on his own, he vowed to “turn up” in 2009. He did exactly that with the double-disc mixtape All Ice On Me, followed by his two-part Trapavelli series. Both had cameos from the likes of fellow underground kings Bun B and Gucci Mane, as well as his 2009 street hit “Stupid” and the surprise 2010 radio smash “Boo.”
Proving that he could write street anthems with crossover appeal, he capitalized on his notoriety with the back-to-back mixtape releases of Codeine Withdrawal in 2010, and Codeine Cowboy in 2011. (The graphic 25-minute Codeine Cowboy documentary film has logged over 276,000 YouTube views to date: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3Lvc9eYMOE). By now, the 2Chainz buzz had reached a fever pitch with the likes of Busta Rhymes, Young Jeezy and Pusha T jumping at the chance to join what he likes to call his “campaign.”
“It’s The Real University, Two Gun Gang, Street Executives,” 2Chainz recently told XXL. “It’s not DTP no more. I’m actually behind [Ludacris], he’s still my homie. I just took another route as far as running my own company and bossing up. But on the other hand, I’m still working with him. He has an album coming out this year, as well. Matter of fact, we are label mates, now, which is crazy. So, yeah, that’ll be cool. I’m looking forward to that.”