Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
May 22, 2015

#SayHerName

Courtesy of The African American Policy Forum
Why Black Women And Girls Matter, Too

Philadelphia Congregations Lead in the Struggle for Social Justice

Philadelphia has a long history as an incubator for social justice activism, from the abolition of slavery to the Black Power movement. Moreover, with its high unemployment and poverty, low wages, and high incarceration rate, the city could become another Baltimore.

This School Is Taking A 'Proactive' But Controversial Approach To Tackling Racism

Black Student
Compassionate Eye Foundation/Chris Ryan via Getty Images

Poet Confronts Police Brutality Against Black Women

Aja Monet
Aja Monet

Kanye Makes Record Donation To Chicago-Based Youth Program

Kanye West
Kevin Winter via Getty Images

Donna Brazile Urges Black Women To Become Leaders At Spelman College Graduation

Donna
Spelman College

Officer Shoots Two Unarmed Black Men Who Allegedly Tried To Steal Beer

Shooting
Q13 Fox

This Striking Image Shows A Different Side Of America's Racist History

Tyler Shields
Tyler Shields

Police Reform Advocates Call Bratton's Remarks On Filming Officers 'Outrageous' And 'Disgraceful'

Bratton
Andrew Burton via Getty Images

Ray Rice's Domestic Violence Charges Have Been Dismissed

Ray Rice
Andrew Burton via Getty Images

Model Sues Bill Cosby For Defamation Over Rape Claims

Janice Dickinson
Charley Gallay via Getty Images

Suicide Among Elementary-Aged Black Children Is On The Rise

Preschool
Shutterstock / Marko Poplasen

Cop Accused Of Falsifying Reports After Assaults

Michael Brown Is Getting A Permanent Memorial In Ferguson

Mike Brown Memorial
ASSOCIATED PRESS

New Video Of Freddie Gray's Arrest Emerges

Gray

Forest Whitaker Tells Grads: 'Life Is An Active, Not A Passive, Journey'

Whitaker
CSUDH

'Justice For Tony': Protesters Storm Wisconsin Capital

Officer Matt Kenny
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Family Of Rosa Parks Reflect On Memorabilia At Library Of Congress

Rosa Parks
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Arkansas Family Receives Pizza With Racial Slurs Inside Box

Pizza Box
THV11

5 Things You Should Know About Head Start On The Program's 50th Anniversary

Preschool
Getty Images

Cop Didn't Ask If Mercedes 'Was Stolen': Mom's Post About Trooper Goes Viral

Trooper
Facebook: Nada Owusu
Global Black Voices
 

Akon Launches Academy To Provide Electricity To 600 Million In Africa

Akon
Star Max/IPx

Allen Iverson On The Justice System: 'It Gets Better And Then It Gets Worse'

Iverson
Jon Strauss

No Charges For White Off-Duty Officer Who Shot, Killed Black Teen

Vonderrit Myers
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Harry Belafonte On What's Really Being Said With 'Thug'

Harry Belafonte
Michael Loccisano via Getty Images

Policing For Profit Nets Mississippi Cops A New Police Station And A Fresh Fleet Of Police Cruisers

America's Oldest Park Ranger, 93, Is A Fierce Advocate For Young Women Of Color Everywhere

Betty Reid Soskin
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Muslim Women's Hip-Hop Collective Confronts Stereotypes And Breaks Up The Boys' Club

Alia Who Ready
Alia Sharrief/YouTube

Shonda Rhimes Nails How Much Easier It Is To Be A Man, In One Flawless Speech

Shonda Rhimes
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Los Angeles Votes To Raise Minimum Wage To $15

If You Type 'N---- House' Into Google Maps, It Will Take You To The White House

White House
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

Obama's New Twitter Account Just Broke A World Record

Obama Twitter
White House

Duke University Professor Stands By Racist Comments

Duke University
ASSOCIATED PRESS

NYC Police Commissioner Bill Bratton Mulls Pardoning 1.2 Million Low-Level Offenders

Bill Bratton
Andrew Burton via Getty Images

Missouri Bus Driver Fired For Telling Little Girl She's Gay, Will Burn In Hell

Sadgirlhell
Fox4KC

'I Can't Breathe': Soldier's Final Minutes Captured In GRAPHIC Jail VIdeo

Brown
KFOX

How Mindfulness Can Defeat Racial Bias

Racial Tension
Andrew Burton via Getty Images

Jay-Z And Beyonce Bailed Out Ferguson And Baltimore Protesters, Dream Hampton Says

Jay Z Beyonce
Mike Coppola via Getty Images

61 Years After Brown v. Board Of Education, Many Schools Remain Separate And Unequal

Brown V Board Of Education
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Logo Of School Named For Black Congressman Raises Objections

Locker
Getty Images/Tetra images RF

August Alsina Reveals Loss Of Vision, Undergoes Eye Surgery

August Alsina Blind
Instagram

'Empire' Teaches Lessons On How To Tackle Mental Health On TV

Andre
Fox

FOLLOW HUFFPOST

    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    3. View all RSS feeds

Diddy: 'We Are Committing Genocide On Ourselves'

Diddy
Invision for REVOLT

Flavor Flav Arrested For Multiple Charges Including DUI, Possession Of Marijuana

Flavor Flav
JOHN GURZINSKI via Getty Images

Marvin Gaye's Ex-Wife Shares The Story Behind The 'Blurred Lines' Lawsuit

Jan Gaye
HuffPost Live

Shaquille O'Neal Kissed A Fan On The Cheek And She Absolutely Lost It

Shaquille
YouTube

Drake's New Song Featuring Beyoncé May Have Just Leaked

Beyonce
John Shearer/Invision/AP

Young, Gifted & Black: Damien Sneed, Multifaceted Music Maestro

Damien Sneed
Michael Rubenstein

Mariah Carey's Label Boss Says It's Not 'Realistic' To Expect Another Number One Hit

Mariah Carey La Reid
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Exclusive: Vivica A. Fox Talks 'Independence Day 2'

Vivica A Fox
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Whoopi Returns To 'The View' After Brother's Death

Whoopi Goldberg The View
Bryan Bedder via Getty Images

21 Photos That Show What Real Full Lips Look Like

Full Lips Nokyliejennerchallenge
Instagram/NnesCorner

Jamie Foxx's Impressions Just Took Over 'The Tonight Show'

Jamie
NBC

Azealia Banks Slams 'Bogus' BET Awards, And Nicki Minaj

Azealia Banks
C Flanigan via Getty Images

Kanye West Says He Was 'Over-Censored' At Billboard Awards

Kanye West
Kevin Winter/BMA2015 via Getty Images

See '90s TV Stars Then & Now

Tamera Mowry
Brenda Chase via Getty Images

21 Books From The Last 5 Years That Every Woman Should Read

Books Every Woman
Amazon

Baseball Great Darryl Strawberry Opens Up About His Big Regret

Darryl Strawberry
Keith Torrie/NY Daily News Archive via Getty

UNCF Announces New Michael Jackson And Ray Charles Scholarships

Michael Jackson
TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images

Allen Iverson On Why He Respects NBA Coaches So Much

Iverson
Jon Strauss

Kelly Price Accuses L.A. Pharmacy Of Racism

Kelly Price
Charley Gallay via Getty Images

33 Messy Braid Hairstyles That Prove Perfection Is Overrated

Messy Braid
Getty Images

Maya Rudolph Ends Commencement Speech With Beyonce-Inspired National Anthem

Maya
YouTube

Nicki Minaj And Beyoncé Have An Awesome Summer Party In 'Feeling Myself' Video

Feeling Myself
Tidal/YouTube

Jaden Smith Goes To Prom As A Superhero

Batman
Instagram

Remembering B.B. King: 7 Of Our Favorite Live Performances

Bb King
Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP

Jay Z Blasts YouTube, Spotify, Google And Apple In Freestyle At Tidal Show

Jay Z
Theo Wargo via Getty Images

Gay College Basketball Player Says He Encountered 'Blatant Homophobia'

Derrick Gordon
Streeter Lecka via Getty Images

'Empire' Cast Reunites For Performance At Billboard Music Awards

Empire
ABC

Mariah Carey Sings 'Vision Of Love' And 'Infinity' At The Billboard Music Awards

Mariah Carey
Jason Merritt via Getty Images

All The Red Carpet Looks From The 2015 Billboard Music Awards

Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet
Jason Merritt via Getty Images

Rapper Chinx Drugz Dead In Queens Shooting

Chinx
Brad Barket via Getty Images

Louis C.K. Compares Child Molesting To Eating Candy Bars On 'SNL'

Louis
NBC

Bill Cosby Responds To Rape Allegations In Near Gibberish

Bill Cosby
Twitter/ ABC

Get Ready For A New Janet Jackson Album And Tour

Janet Jackson
George Pimentel via Getty Images

Tweet

BlackVoices.com talked to Marsha about her current critical acclaim, any possibility for a Floetry reunion and her thoughts on the passing of Teena Marie and her old friend Michael Jackson.

Here's 20 Questions with Marsha Ambrosius.

BlackVoices.com: Congratulations on being number one this week. How did you feel when you heard the news?
Marsha Ambrosius:
I screamed and then I realized that I have a whole tour coming up, so I had to kind of repress it. So, I've been doing this weird squeal thing. I've been smiling all day. I've got a headache because I've been grinning from ear to ear.

BV: Originally, your solo debut was supposed to come out with [Dr. Dre's] Aftermath Records. Did the wait to get the music out frustrate you?
MA:
Well, in 2006 when Natalie left the group to pursue solo endeavors, I ended up at Geffen/Interscope, and Dr. Dre came in because he saw me in a Floetry show and signed me as a solo artist. I always rolled with the punches and said, "Okay, this is the next opportunity; I will see where it takes me." But I realized that people really make up who they think you are as a person and I thought, "Wow, I was sitting up there singing the whole time, but no one really knows me." I said, "Let me work on that." In doing so much writing with everyone, J Records approached me to sign with them, and they were completely aware of what I wanted to do as an artist. I ran with that and here we are at #1 and #2.

BV: Was it difficult to brand yourself as a solo artist coming off of Floetry and being in this successful group?
MA:
I'm so thankful for Facebook and Twitter because people can access you directly. These are real people and not journalists fishing for a story. These are people who have lived with your music for a long time. So, in doing so, I've been able to reach the people and not do a tabloid story or a VH1 reality series based around what could've been a whole bunch of unnecessary drama. I'm so thankful to those mediums for allowing me direct contact with people who value your work.

BV: Was the Floetry breakup natural because you wanted to do solo projects?
MA:
No. Natalie left the group in 2006 to pursue personal endeavors and looking back at it, being that we were three albums in, by right, you'd want to explore who you are and what you want to do, but it wasn't my choice. It was something that was done. So, everything in between that time, with her leaving and now, was me trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and it resulted in this.

BV: Are you two still in touch or have you discussed a reunion? She just released her solo album last year.
MA:
We haven't spoken since, I think, the summer of 2007. I haven't [heard her album]. We're just two completely different people. I've just been concentrating on making me happy and have moved on to the next.

BV: Did you feel any pressure to revamp your image after Floetry or lose weight?
MA:
No, not really. Image has never been something that has driven the music. I've always been about the music first. I was a basketball player prior to music, so I know when I'm being unhealthy, so I changed for me and I wanted to be comfortable when I am on stage. I got my life back together for me with no pressure. I had to get off the couch and stop watching reality TV and the Food Network and use the Nintendo Wii and work out.

BV: When did you make the decision to lose weight?
MA:
I lost my grandmother in 2003 and that took a toll on me completely. She was my best friend, and I miss her dearly. I started Weight Watchers with my mother the end of that year. The point system was great and by the 'Flo'Ology' album I had gotten a lot smaller in comparison to the first album anyway. I had dropped like 30 pounds. I always applied that Weight Watchers diet and implemented the calorie and point system into my diet.

BV: The first song people took to was 'Hope She Cheats on You With a Basketball Player'; what was the inspiration for that track?
MA:
Being that I was a basketball player, I think it's kind of funny that the first thing that I do is about basketball players. A friend of mine went through a really bad breakup and I wanted to make light of that whole situation, instead of a corny record. I wanted to use the perspective people overlook when you are pissed. I lashed out a little bit and had fun a little bit. I was doing things to amuse myself, but I wanted them to get to know me and say, "Marsha is kind of off the chain. She's human. She's funny. Ha."

BV: 'Far Away' is your record and video against bullying people because of their sexuality. The video is beautifully shot and very poignant. Why did you feel you needed to make this song and video?
MA:
I wrote the song in 2008 at the time a friend of mine had attempted suicide. When I heard the piece of music, I knew that was where I wanted to take the record lyrically as the best friend of someone who couldn't help themselves in that situation. The fact that I couldn't help that person hurt me more than you could imagine. I didn't want to take the easy way out and make it solely about my relationship. I wanted to tell the story that no one else wouldn't otherwise. Why wouldn't I do those visuals? My manager suggested that's how we go about it creatively. Through the Website, farawaydedications.com, I've asked people to send their dedications, and it's been an overwhelming response from all angles. Everyone has said it's wrong what is being done. I'm thankful people have opened their hearts and their lives to me because they have connected with this record. It's a good thing.

BV: You cowrote a song with Alicia Keys on this album. How was that experience?
MA:
Right. It's called 'With You.' It was intended for her project on the 'As I Am' album, and I had already written a song called 'Go Head,' which she used and that was one of the records that was passed up on. So I think a month later after that album came out, I said, "Hey, Alicia. What are you doing with that record because I would love it back." I was so shocked she was going to use it, but she didn't again and it was a month after her album was going to be released and I signed with J Records, and I said, "We're label mates. Let's do this," and that's how it happened.

BV: You have been very vocal about your love for Lauryn Hill. You covered 'Killing Me Softly' at this year's Grammy hip hop event and also covered her song 'Lose Myself' on your album. Why do you love L Boogie so much?
MA:
She's genuinely one of the best to ever do it. One of the best females to come out and give her opinion and that song 'Lose Myself' has been grand, and I always used to sing that record. I was just blown away when they said, "Cool. You Got it." She's one of my heroes. When the Grammy Foundation told me I could sing "Killing Me Softly," I think I won a karaoke competition for singing it.

BV: People really enjoyed your 'Sextape' mixtape series. Why did you do that?
MA:
I was looking and searching for love songs I could relate to and compiling records for my DJ to play during my show and thought, "If this was a mixtape back in the day, it would be insane." I wanted to put my stamp on it as well and that I am on the way. Remember this old Stevie Wonder record, Teddy P record, Prince seals the deal at the end - it was one of those things that came along creatively because I had ample time to do it. People were really feeling it so I decided to do a four-part series and this is volume one. Come next album, I will definitely do volume 2.

BV: You paid homage to Teena Marie recently at BET Honors, singing her staple 'Portuguese Love.' What are your thoughts on that experience?
MA:
With Miss Teena Marie, Lady T. I tried to be like her when I was younger. I tried and failed miserably. She's the blueprint to everything that I ever wanted to be: songwriter, producer and artist. She did it all. To lose her so early is tragic and unfortunate. The fact that BET wanted me to honor her in that way, I was floored as I've always looked up to her. When she heard the cover I did for 'Yes, Indeed' - Dr. Dre produced that - and she sang 'Say Yes' and that was such an honor and surreal moment in my career. One of my idols singing my record at their show. I felt it was only right to honor her because she blessed me with so much. She will surely be missed.

BV: Have you ever thought about doing a cover album?
MA: Possibly. It will be abstract and I will be particular in why I choose those records, but possibly. With the Teena Marie cover, I'm just thankful I got the blessing to do so.

BV: It's impossible to talk to you without mentioning Michael Jackson and your working with him on 'Butterflies'; how did his death touch you?
MA:
It's still surreal. I remember getting phone calls from friends and associates asking if it was true. The fact that I was one of the few people on earth to find it out, it hit me hard. There will be no other like [Michael Jackson]. Writing 'Butterflies' and having my album #1 and #2 comes after being in the studio with him in New York. It's bittersweet and melancholy. The legend that is Michael Jackson will never be forgotten.

BV: What did Michael teach you in your time working together?
MA:
He's a practical joker. We had fun. He told me, "This is the beginning of your career. Imagine where you are ready to go." If I wasn't right in my spirit right now, I could have sat down and quit after. But, he said, "This is the beginning." Some people are like that, "I don't need to do nothing [after writing for MJ]." He hadn't heard of me before, but his manager signed Floetry, but I had to thank him for that opportunity.

BV: Were you approached by or did you think about participating in one of the posthumous MJ albums?
MA:
Not really. I think I was approached one time, but it's not that I'd be opposed, but I just felt like my work has been done. Even with my album now, this song on there, 'I Want You to Stay,' was intended for him, but we didn't get to finish it. Touching untouched work that is not intended to be released is always a touchy feeling - whether you're passed or living. Michael Jackson's work is just sacred; I would feel ridiculous just trying, but given the opportunity, I would do my best.

BV: There's a black British singer invasion going on right now with you and Estelle, Leona Lewis and so many others. How does if feel to be a part of that?
MA:
For me, I just took the opportunity and it was able to work out. I have built a core fanbase since early 2000 until now, which is insane - an 11-year career in the U.S. I do go home and they love me there, but it is a dream to come to the U.S. and be able to make some kind of noise. I'm blessed to be among the names of all of those that paved the way. I would love to do an entire British invasion tour. I think that would kill in the summertime.

BV: What are your thoughts on R&B music today and the future of R&B?
MA:
I think it's great where it is and where it's going. There's still room for those to come. I'm just thankful the success of the first week and where I'm taking my album shows it does work. Creating good music for R&B and hip hop - it works.

BV: Will you act in the near future?
MA:
I plan to act a fool for the most part (laughs). I love movies. I love film. My next venture is to possibly score. Whether I will be acting in them? No. That's not my field. I won't even take it that far. It's serious business, and I'd want to take that seriously.

Marsha Ambrosius' solo debut, 'Late Nights & Early Mornings,' is in stores now. She will kick off the BET Music Matters tour with Melanie Fiona on March 16 in Dallas, Texas.

Tagged as: Aftermath, Dr. Dre, Dr.Dre, Far Away video, FarAwayVideo, Floetry, how+did+marsha+ambrosius+lose+weight, how+much+weight+did+marsha+ambrosius+lose, howdidmarshaambrosiusloseweight, howmuchweightdidmarshaambrosiuslose, is+marsha+ambrosius+allowed+to+perform+floetry+songs, ismarshaambrosiusallowedtoperformfloetrysongs, Marsha Ambrosius, marsha+ambrosius+2011+weight, MarshaAmbrosius, marshaambrosius2011weight, michael jackson, MichaelJackson, Natalie Stewart, NatalieStewart, songs+on+marsha+ambrosius+solo+album, songsonmarshaambrosiussoloalbum, Teena Marie, TeenaMarie, what+is+marsha+ambrosius+real+twitter, whatismarshaambrosiusrealtwitter
Email This

Comments: (6)

Add a comment

Page 1 of 1

Add a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed but they are required to confirm your comments. When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password."

More on Black Voices

Follow Us

Most Commented Articles

Daily Drama

The Best Clips From TV's Hottest Shows


More Daily Drama >>

Bossip

feed

The Urban Daily

feed
Around the Web