“What I work hard at doing is staying on a path of being kind and showing and proving that I’m a good person to society. That’s hard. The talent, that’s a gift. I just came here like that.” – Erykah Badu
Just off a riveting performance for the Freedom Hill White Party, where she shared the stage and performed with mega superstars KEM and Marsha Ambrosius, the artist know as Beth surprised audience members with a show-stopping performance of her latest release “Free,” from the album of the same name.
Having been a background singer for the soulful balladeer for four years, and working and touring with Anita Baker for half a decade prior to joining up with KEM, Beth is no novice to the music industry. The artist shared the stage at the “Tribute to Motown” show at Carnegie Hall, alongside Dionne Warwick, Anita Baker, Martha Reeves, Melba Moore, Boyz II Men, Dennis Edwards, Bebe Winans, and Paul Shaffer as a featured lead and background vocalist.
However, this Motown chanteuse’s talents span the gamut from singing to acting, with a peppering of behind the scenes performances; including television commercials and voice overs, there are few undertakings she’s not willing to tackle. Earlier this year, Beth won the lead role of Mary in the gripping film, Patience, A Twisted Love Story and appeared as herself in the 2015 production of Davi Davenport Live, an introspective on the lives of celebrities and personalities around the country.
Beth is quick to talk about her most cherished acting gig, where she performed with the iconic Whitney Houston — whom she refers to as her idol — in the hit movie Sparkle. She cheerfully reports that she relishes the time she spent on the set of Sparkle. After all, being selected for the rare opportunity to work with one of the greatest musical legends of all time, and holding her own as the star’s stand-in, is no small feat and adds heft to a performer’s portfolio. “There was a scene where you didn’t see my face, you saw the back of me,” Beth explained, adding, “but I did get the chance to wear her clothes … and that was cool,” she confides girlishly, which by the way is one of her most endearing qualities. She is a genuinely kind and considerate woman, a rare bird in the some-times cutthroat and vicious arena of artists. But don’t think for a moment or confuse her generous spirit with naïveté. This girl is no new comer to the exclusive club of celebrated performers.
This statuesque ingénue hails from music royalty. Beth is a seasoned singer, songwriter and actress, and a real life prodigy. Having started her singing career as a child, Beth is the daughter of a of the legendary and Multi-Grammy® Award-winning pianist and keyboardist, Johnny Griffith.
Griffith was one of the few classically trained member of Motown’s in-house studio band that created the famous ‘Motown Sound.’ The late musical geniuses’ achievements include performances on a wealth of Motown hits from playing for The Supremes, “Stop in the Name of Love,” to the Temptations “Ain’t to Proud to Beg,” to the Four Tops “I Can’t Help Myself,” along with hundreds more Motown classics. “There was always music in the house,” explains the dazzling young star. “My dad was Johnny Griffith, one of the original Funk Brothers. So, I grew up with the Funk Brothers being at the house and making music … I was really young, and I didn’t fully realize what I was in the midst of, but I knew this was something I wanted to do. … [singing] is like breathing to me.”
Beth admits that although her famous father was opposed to her pursuing a musical career, she naturally migrated to it and began her studies while she was in school. Which is when she discovered she suffered from paralyzing stage fright. “It was to the point where I would get sick and pass out,” she recalls. But like every other challenge she’s been confronted with, Beth soldiered in to overcome her fear and has since performed for presidents Obama and Trump, and is now a featured solo artist. With the release of her new album “Free,” Beth is climbing the charts and moving into another class of distinguished performers.
Critics are calling Beth’s latest volley of vocal masterpieces “visionary” and the best work she’s done to date. Her sound is effortless, uplifting and inspiring. Beth doesn’t shy from taking chances and giving her vocal chords a real work out when the song or the audience calls for it.
Beth’s next highly anticipated performances are in Los Angeles where she’ll appear on Sept. 23 at the Hard Rock Café, and the following day, Sept. 24 at the HAL Awards “Legends of Soul Concert” at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
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