Blaque

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Blaque
Origin Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Genres R&B, pop[1]
Years active 1996–2005,
2012-present
Labels Columbia (1996-2002)
Elektra (2003-2004)
Members Shamari Fears
Brandi Williams
Past members Erica Pullins
Natina Reed

Blaque is an American girl group that charted in 1999–2000. Their debut album Blaque 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 the year, with "Bring It All to Me" landing at number 30 on the 2000 Year End Chart.[2] Blaque worked on two albums in the mid-to-late 2000s but did not release them. Blaque attempted a comeback in 2012 but this effort came to an end with the death of Natina Reed.

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.

Blaque has said that their name means "Believing in Life and Achieving a Quest for Unity in Everything".[1]

Music career[edit]

1997–2000: Debut[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 number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The last single "I Do" was not a success like the previous singles, reaching number 73 on the R&B/Hip-Hop single chart. The single "I Do" was nominated for a MTV Video Music Award for Best Editing.

In mid-1999, Blaque toured as one of the opening acts for boy band 'N Sync.[3] Blaque also performed as one of the opening acts for TLC's FanMail Tour later that year.

In 2000, the group went to the studio and recorded the Shelly Peiken and Guy Roche song "As If" for the soundtrack to the film Bring It On in late January 2000. A remixed version of the Blaque song "Bring It All To Me" appeared in the film, with added rapping by 50 Cent. The girls also appeared as cheerleaders in the film, released in August 2000.

2001–02: Blaque Out[edit]

While their self-titled debut album went platinum, the second album called Blaque Out, which was set for release in 2001, was shelved 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 a son, 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.

2003–04: Torch, change in lineup[edit]

Blaque's intended third album, Torch, featured Missy Elliott, songwriter Linda Perry, and producer Rodney Jerkins. The intended 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.[citation needed]

"I'm Good" appeared on the soundtrack for the film Honey. Torch was not released.

The album was scheduled to be released exclusively to iTunes in 2008, nearly five years after its completion by Music World Entertainment, but this was canceled. It has been confirmed that Mathew Knowles owns the rights to the album Torch and Blaque Out.[citation needed]

Reed went into ministry in early 2004. She was soon replaced by singer/rapper Erica Pullins who performed with Blaque overseas. They recorded some new songs and re-recorded old ones with Pullins, but the album failed to be released. Fears, Williams, and Reed performed on several occasions in Germany and other countries. The group disbanded.

2005–present: Reunion, death of Reed[edit]

Fears was signed to Darkchild Records in 2005. Williams 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 "Grillz".

In 2005, Blaque came back together to record their fourth studio album Private Show (originally titled Beauty). They worked on the album sporadically from 2005 to 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, and the album went unreleased. Blaque released four songs on YouTube: "Cut You Off", "All Nighter", "Blue Jeans" and "High Definition" before they decided to disband.

On July 28, 2012, Blaque reunited for the Left Eye Music Festival in Decatur, Georgia. At the event, Blaque performed their single "808". Shortly after, the group contracted with artist manager Inga "Nandi" Willis, and started working on an album and a reality television show.

On October 26, 2012, Reed died after being hit by a car near Atlanta, Georgia.[4] Two days later, "Cut You Off", a song intended for the album, leaked via the internet.[5]

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 Fears's solo songs titled "The One" and "NJ2" were leaked onto the internet.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
US US R&B
Blaque 53 23
Blaque Out
  • Released:January 29, 2002
  • Label: Columbia
  • Format: CD, digital download, LP
Torch
List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions, showing album name
Year Song Peak chart positions[7][8][9] Album
U.S. U.S. R&B U.S. Pop CAN UK
1999 "808" 8 4 33 31 Blaque
"Bring It All to Me" 4 15 6 7
"I Do" (featuring Lisa Lopes) 73 39
2001 "Can't Get It Back" 91 Blaque Out
2003 "I'm Good" 95 Torch

Compilations[edit]

Discography[edit]

Album/Soundtrack appearances[edit]

Year Title Album
2000 "As If" 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

Year Result Category
2000 Nominated Best Editing In A Video
For: "I Do"

BET Awards

Year Result Category
2001 Nominated Best Female Group
For: "Blaque"

Soul Train Lady Of Soul Awards

Year Result Category
1999 Nominated Best R&B/Soul Or Rap New Artist
For: "808"
2000 Nominated R&B/Soul Album Of The Year, Group, Band Or Duo
For: "Blaque"

Billboard Video Awards

Year Result Category
2000 Won Best New Artist-R&B
For: "Bring It All To Me"

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]