Music Week Sleeper Pick: Whatcha know about Lalah Hathaway?

Lalah Hathaway (daughter of the late, great Donny) is one of the most slept on artists of our time. She has a sultry alto/contralto voice that when paired with her meaningful lyrics and artful arrangements set a mood and tone that should not be missed. Her music is a blend of old school soul, neo-soul and jazzy R&B. Recently asked about why she is not more of a powerhouse in the music industry, Lalah replied that she doesn't want to fit into the music industry's current standards. Lalah stated, "I don't necessarily want to fit into what's happening now, but I want to stand with it, doing my own thing. I would really love it if people need the record. I put a lot of myself into this album, so I hope people can hear me and understand who I am."

Her debut album, Lalah Hathaway, (singles Baby Don't Cry, Somethin' and Heaven Knows) came out in 1990. Her fifth studio album Self Portrait came out in 2008. In between she has done some amazing work, a few of my favorites being Love Like This (with Grover Washington, Jr), Forever, For Always, For Love (from the Luther Vandross Tribute album for which she was nominated for a Grammy) and a deep hard to find cut Summertime (with Marcus Miller). She has made over 25 featured appearances on other artists' albums and her voice is a distinctive jewel that rides a melody. If you get a chance to see her live, do not miss the opportunity. Her live performances are always extended cuts of her album versions in a way that less talented performers cannot pull off. Here she is performing Forever, For Always, For Love live (deepest darkest regrets and apologies for the BET Mo'Nique show, I couldn't find clearer video), enjoy: