It’s been a long time since we’ve heard any new music from R&B crooner Bobby Brown. But make no mistake; he can still make the ladies croon.
Brown’s surprise appearance was among one of the highlights at the Miami leg of the Hennessy Artistry concert tour, held Saturday, Sept. 25 at the Ice Palace. The free show also included crowd-pleasing performances by Q-Tip, The Roots, Eve, Kat De Luna and Daniel Merriweather.
Fans that were lucky enough to get inside (tixs to the intimate concert were handed out in a random giveaway) were not disappointed.
As fans sipped free Henny drinks, Q-Tip and The Roots (Black Thought and Questlove) got the crowd moving with their own renditions of hip-hop favorites “Straight Outta Compton”, “Mona Lisa” and “Because I Got It Like That”.
Backstage, Questlove couldn’t wait to play – even with just a little shut eye.
“In the last four days, I’ve probably had only four hours of sleep," he said.
But he’s not complaining.
“Yesterday I did a movie with Spike Lee, played with Ron Wood and ate some Cuban food at midnight. It’s been a productive day.’’
So how does Jimmy Fallon feel about his Late Night television show house band leaving town?
“We make it work.’’
Besides, Questlove didn’t want to disappoint his pal Q-Tip, who wowed the crowd with hits “Bonita Applebaum”, “Let’s Ride”, and “Electric Relaxation”.
Keeping busy these days, the Tribe Called Quest front man is producing Kanye West’s new album and releasing a book, Industry Rules.
Q-Tip said he’ll soon star in his first play, a biography about Miles Davis, one of his heroes.
“It’s definitely something new for me.’’
The most enthusiastic fan award of the night belongs to rapper Eve. The Ruff Ryder giggled like a school girl when she spoke of Brown.
“I sang along to all his songs during his rehearsal. He made some of the best records!’’
Next year, the Philly native is slated to release her fourth album entitled, Lip Lock. “It’s fun and flirty.’’
Her time on stage was well spent. She joined The Roots and Daniel Merriweather onstage for an awesome version of “You Got Me” and performed hits “Who’s That Girl”, “Tambourine”, “Let Me Blow Your Mind” and “What Y’all Want”.
As Eve left the stage, The Roots’ Black Thought introduced Brown, who he called “King of R&B’’. Fans cheered and whipped out their cell phones to capture the moment as he belted out “Every Little Step I Take”, “Roni” and “My Prerogative”. A happy looking Q-Tip did a little dance number with Brown, which brought the crowd back to the ‘80s.
“When I perform, it’s about enjoying the energy from the people,” Brown said. “That’s what I do best. I give it right back.’’
It seems he has left his bad boy days behind.
“I’m starting a big chapter in my life and I’m really happy right now. I’m engaged [to fiancée Alicia Etheridge], I’m working on new album and a TV show,’’ Brown said. “I try to stay as busy as possible. God has given me a new lease on life and I’m going to take it.’’
Q-Tip and The Roots perform at the Hennessey Artistry concert at the Ice Palace. Photo: Justin Namon / WorldRedEye.com