Career Altering Events

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    380pxVanessa-Williams

    A wise person once said that you should never give up because the break you are looking for could be right around the corner. Maybe had you waited, that ship would have come in the next day, or perhaps even that same day.

    Blessings have no connection to calendars, clocks or our sense of time.

    A famous actress with a firm grasp on reality said if a person is easily discouraged, they will never succeed.

    In some cases, there has already been a substantial amount of success, but then a setback changes everything, and a new blessing is needed, an event to alter a career.

    JANET JACKSON, before 1986, was known primarily as Michael Jackson’s cute little sister and the youngest sibling in the first family of popular music. This was true despite her having had a few hit records, including “Young Love” and “Come Give Your Love to Me,” and having been a regular on two sitcoms.

    But in 1986 something in her mind clicked and Janet knew that it was time to take “control,” and she did just that. The second step was hooking up with the right producers and writers.

    Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, formerly of the Time, were perfect. They saw her enormous potential and knew exactly where she wanted to go.

    “Control,” a hard-hitting, exciting, direction-defining album, took the music industry and the public by storm. The hits, well-produced by Jam/Lewis and sung by a confident Janet Jackson, exploded one after the other from that album, including “Nasty,” “When I Think of You,” “Control,” “Let’s Wait Awhile” and “What Have You Done For Me Lately?”

    After that, the sky was the limit.

    EARTHA KITT, the legendary singer, actress and dancer who was like no other, obviously had nerves of steel. In 1942 at a very early age, with a now-or-maybe-never attitude and without the benefit of formal dance training, she dared to audition for the famed Katherine Dunham Company.

    The ambitious young lady, who had been born Eartha Mae Keith in South Carolina, impressed Ms. Dunham enough to be hired. She remained with the celebrated dance troupe for six years.

    The exotic performer, who sang in English and French, went on to become an icon. People will forever treasure her memory, including her two signature songs, “C’est Si Bon” and “Santa Baby.”


    JAMES INGRAM
    learned in the most positive sense that you never know who might be listening. He had been a much-in-demand session singer and also was used on demo recordings, meaning he would be the vocalist on a recording that was being shopped to a producer, record company, etc. It’s the song, not the artist, that is being promoted.

    None other than Quincy Jones heard one of his demos and was fascinated by the singer’s voice, delivery and technique. After tracking him down, Jones went right into the studio with Ingram and featured him prominently on his album “The Dude.” Two songs from it, “Just Once” and “One Hundred Ways,” became major hits, R&B and pop.

    Ingram was on his way, and his successful work included the popular duets with Patti Austin, “Baby Come to Me” and “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?”

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