Blaque

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Blaque
Also known asBlaque Ivory
OriginAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
GenresR&B, pop
Years active1996–2004
2004–2009
2012–present
LabelsColumbia (1996-2002)
Elektra (2003-2004)
MembersShamari Fears
Brandi Williams
Past membersErica Pullins (2004)
Natina Reed (deceased)
 
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Blaque
Also known asBlaque Ivory
OriginAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
GenresR&B, pop
Years active1996–2004
2004–2009
2012–present
LabelsColumbia (1996-2002)
Elektra (2003-2004)
MembersShamari Fears
Brandi Williams
Past membersErica Pullins (2004)
Natina Reed (deceased)

Blaque is an American girl group that had a string of hits in the late 1990s. The group's name stands for Believing, Life, Achieving, Quest, Unity, Everything. Their debut album sold more than 1.5 million copies and was certified Platinum. The group's debut included the gold selling single “808”, the international hit “Bring It All to Me”, and a third single, “I Do”. The group went on hiatus from 2002 until 2007, releasing only three unsuccessful singles, “Can’t Get It Back”, “Ugly”, and the international single from the film Honey, “I’m Good”.

In 1999, Billboard named Blaque the 4th Best New Artist of 1999, with "Bring It All to Me" landing at #30 on the 2000 Year End Chart.[1]

Discovery[edit]

Natina Reed and Shamari Fears both moved to Atlanta, Georgia and met while in high school. Reed formed Blaque while Fears formed another group called Intrigue. Intrigue won a recording contract with Elektra Records, and Fears met up with Brandi Williams at a talent show while a member of that group. Fears left Intrigue to join up with Reed in Blaque and Williams joined the group shortly thereafter. Reed met Ronald Lopes while singing jingles to earn extra cash and he introduced her to his sister Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of TLC. Lisa Lopes signed the group to her production company, Left Eye Productions.

Music career[edit]

1997–2000: Rise to Fame and Debut album[edit]

In 1997, the group made a cameo appearance in the video Lil' Kim's "Not Tonight (Remix)."

Their self-titled debut debuted at number 23 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart, and at number 53 on the official Billboard 200 and was certified platinum by RIAA. The album's lead single "808" was a success in the U.S. reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and Gold certification. The follow-up single "Bring It All To Me" which featured JC Chasez, was a hit making #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The last single "I Do" wasn't a success like the previous singles with only reaching #73 on the R&B/Hip-Hop single chart. Their single "I Do" was nominated for a MTV Video Music Award for Best Editing. Blaque was also one of the opening acts for TLC's FanMail Tour.

In 2000, the group was in talks of promoting their Japanese-released, "Adore Me", with an accompanying Hawaiian themed music video; however due to undisclosed reasons both the official releases of the single and video were shelved. The group also went to the studio and recorded their next single "As If" for the soundtrack Bring It On in late January 2000.

They later made their film debut in Bring It On in August 2000.

2001–2002: Death of Lisa Lopes and Blaque Out[edit]

While their self-titled debut album went platinum, the second album called Blaque Out, which was set for release in 2001, went unreleased as the group was dropped from Columbia Records. The video for the first single "Can't Get It Back" was never released. The album was soon leaked on the Internet. After Lopes's death in a car crash in Honduras on April 25, 2002, they signed with Elektra Records and after Reed gave birth to her son Tren Brown, they began work on their third album. An alternate version of the shelved album was released to iTunes on May 22, 2007, but was later on taken down. December 2011, Blaque Out was released back onto iTunes.

2003—2004: Torch[edit]

Their third album featured a number of A-list music industry figures including Missy Elliott, songwriter Linda Perry, and producer Rodney Jerkins. The buzz single was "No Ganksta" which was an answer song to 50 Cent's song "Wanksta.However, because radio did not pick up the song, it was decided that "I'm Good" would be released instead.

"I'm Good" also appeared on the soundtrack for the film Honey as well as themselves.

Due to the poor success "I'm Good" achieved, the release date for was pushed back. Finally, news came up their next single would be "Hopeless" - a man-bashing, Darkchild produced song; however, it failed to be released. Torch was scheduled to be released exclusively to iTunes in 2008, nearly 5 years after its completion by Music World Entertainment, but was later canceled for a second time. It has been confirmed that Mathew Knowles owns the rights to the album "Torch" and "Blaque Out".

Temporary split[edit]

The late Natina Reed went into ministry in early 2004. She was soon replaced by singer/rapper Erica Pullins who performed with them overseas. They recorded some new songs and re-recorded old ones with Pullins, but the album failed to be released and Blaque disbanded.

Shamari was signed to Darkchild Records in 2005. Brandi also signed a new record deal and started working on a solo album. She also provided vocals on the hook of Nelly's first single from his 2005 greatest hits album Sweatsuit, "Grillz".

2004–present: Reunion, new album, and death of Natina Reed[edit]

In 2004, Shamari, Brandi, and Natina reformed Blaque without Erica. They performed on several occasions in Germany and other countries. During that time, Erica Pullins kept fans up to date via the internet. She stated she is currently working on a solo record.

In 2005, Blaque began work on their long awaited fourth studio album Private Show (originally titled Beauty). They recorded the album from 2005-2009. Blaque agreed to film a show Blaque In the House for airing in the summer of 2008; however, the show was never picked up, so the album remained unreleased. Blaque released four songs on YouTube: "Cut You Off", "All Nighter", "Blue Jeans" and "High Definition" before they decided to disband and go their separate ways.

In 2007, a song named "It Is What It Is" was rumored to be released as the lead single, but this was confirmed to be false, and was denied to be part of the album.

On July 28, 2012, Blaque reunited for the Left Eye Music Festival in Decatur, Georgia. At the event, Blaque performed their single "808" and did an exclusive interview for The Industry where they announced their return as a group. Shortly after, the group teamed with another protege of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Manager Inga "Nandi" Willis, and immediately began working on their comeback album and a reality television show.

Tragically, in the midst of creating the new album, on October 26, 2012, Reed died two days before her 32nd birthday after being hit by a car near Atlanta, Georgia.[2]

On October 28, 2012, a previously unreleased song ("Cut You Off") intended for the trio's album, Private Show, leaked via the internet.[3]

On November 20, 2012, Blaque member Shamari DeVoe announced a tribute album to Natina on her official Facebook page.[4]

In

Other media[edit]

In addition to their recording work, Reed, Fears, and Williams appeared in the 2000 film Bring It On as members of the East Compton Clovers cheerleading squad fronted by Gabrielle Union. Williams also had a small role (playing herself) in the 2001 movie On the Line. Blaque also appears on Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes's 2001 solo debut album, Supernova, on the track titled "Head to the Sky", which was only released internationally. In 2005, two clips of Shamari's solo songs titled "The One" (covered & released by Megan Rochell in 2006) and "NJ2" were leaked onto the Internet. The girls were also set to do a song with Bahamian Artist T Jay but had to back out.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Compilations[edit]

Discography[edit]

Album/Soundtrack appearances[edit]

YearTitleAlbum
2000"As If" (featuring Joey Fatone, Jr. of *NSYNC)Bring It On
"You Can Always Go" with (Jagged Edge)Big Momma's House
2001"Head To The Sky" with (Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes)Supernova
"What's Going On?" (with Artists Against AIDS Worldwide)What's Going On: All-Star Tribute
"Can't Trust Myself"On the Line
2003"I'm Good"Honey

Tours[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

MTV Video Music Awards

YearResultCategory
2000NominatedBest Editing In A Video
For: "I Do"

BET Awards

YearResultCategory
2001NominatedBest Female Group
For: "Blaque"

Soul Train Lady Of Soul Awards

YearResultCategory
1999NominatedBest R&B/Soul Or Rap New Artist
For: "808"
2000NominatedR&B/Soul Album Of The Year, Group, Band Or Duo
For: "Blaque"

Billboard Video Awards

YearResultCategory
2000WonBest New Artist-R&B
For: "Bring It All To Me"

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

References[edit]

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Official-Blaque/153846834815002