SummerStage: WBLS 5th Annual R&B Fest Featuring: Raheem Devaughn, Erica Campbell, Avant, Donell Jones, Lyfe Jennings, Dj Dee Wiz

raheem_devaughnSunday, August 3, 2013, 3:00 PM

Central Park, New York, NY


Singer and songwriter Raheem DeVaughn has quickly burst onto the music scene. His debut album, The Love Experience, was released in 2005 to much critical acclaim. While reviewing The Love Experience, Allmusic said DeVaughn “is remarkably creative and talented and should be watched.” The album reached #46 on the Billboard Album chart. DeVaughn’s single “Woman” has been featured as iTunes’ single of the week and received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. This summer, DeVaughn plans to release his newest album: A Place Called Loveland.

Ever since Erica Campbell, one half of the of Gospel duo Mary Mary, broke through in 2000 with the pioneering crossover hit “Shackles (Praise You),” the chart-topping sister act has never wavered from defying convention to fulfill its mission: sending uplifting messages through music and words that are relatable to everyone. An amazing thirteen years later, having earned 3 GRAMMY Awards, 2 American Music Awards, an NAACP Image Award and a BET Award, Erica Campbell has released a solo single, entitled “I Need Just a Little More Jesus.”

Chicago native Donell Jones is a known R&B force and has also delved into writing and producing. He got his big break with his debut album My Heart. He was recognized as a force in R&B after his sophomore album, Where I Wanna Be, went platinum with the singles “Shorty (Got Her Eyes on Me)” and “U Know What’s Up” featuring Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of TLC. The success continued with his chart-topping albums, Life Goes On and Journey of a Gemini. Jones’ latest album Lyrics harkens back to the traditional jazzy sound of R&B, while his legato voice connects each note over smooth rhythm.

With his authentic, soulful voice and innovative lyrical style Lyfe Jennings has been deemed a “socially minded R&B singer” by The New York Times. Jennings transformed the music world in 2004 after the release of his critically acclaimed debut Lyfe 268-192. Hailed as gritty and raw, the album created devoted fans everywhere and sold over a million copies. Jennings captured an even broader audience in 2006 with his sophomore effort, The Phoenix, which expanded on his life story, taking listeners through different phases of a man. While reviewing The Phoenix, USA Today said: “The R&B crooner’s knack for talk about everyday issues gives him a unique voice and makes for value-added listening.” The platinum selling soul singer/songwriter/producer is poised for success with his anticipated album Lyfe Change, which is set to be released this summer.