Friday, September 23, 2011
R&B singer Vesta Williams was found dead in her Hotel room in Los Angeles, she was 53. Cops are still investigating the cause of death.
I had the pleasure to work with the singer Vesta Williams aka simply as VESTA, during my years of working for Polygram Group Distribution in San Francisco. At the time she was a recording artist for A&M records. When I first met her she was a PISTOL bubbly, funny, charasmatic and VERY driven. She could brighten any room.
The entertainment industry is a hard pill to digest, The highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Vesta started out singing background for various big name singers like Chaka Khan,Stevie Wonder and on Sting's (We'll Be Together). She signed on to Herb Albert's A&M imprint. Her debut album entitled 'Vesta' featured the single 'Once Bitten Twice Shy' it wet our palate for the tasty '4 U' followup CD which spawn four top ten r&b singles including her signature song 'Congratulations' which went all the way to #1. Unfortunately her follow up recordings did not meet with similar fate. Pop radio wasn't open to another full figured r&b igenue trying to cross over. Vesta was not one to take no for an answer, she lost over 100 pounds in hopes that the industry would let her talent and new weight size speak and seal her rightful place in history books, but to no avail.
If you ever wanted to hear a singer who could wail like Chaka Khan she was it, if you every watched the Oprah Winfrey produced miniseries on ABC called 'The Women Of Brewster Place' it was her voice heavily featured throughout the movie. Her talent never wavered even when the gigs were few and far between. She never gave up hope on her talent and unique gift. To this day I've yet to understand how the entertainment industry would choose gimmick over true talent.
In recent years Vesta was recording new material and poised to give it another shot, that wasn't to be, which is such a hard pill to swallow for this artists legion of fans.
For anyone who would like to know more about this talented artist, you can tune into TVOne's series 'Unsung' which will feature a hour long segment on Vesta Williams that she recorded a few weeks ago, that will air in mid-October.
You can also revisit her catalog, some of her highlight songs were 'Tell Me', Over and Over, 'All In Your Mind','Sweet Sweet Love', 'Suddenly Its Magic', 'Make It With You', 'Don't You Blow A Good Thing', 'Hunger' and 'Ill Fly Away' are just some of the many standouts in this songbirds illustrious 20+year career.
R.I.P. Vesta Williams ..... Heaven has just recruited another songbird to its Choir.