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Jeffrey Osborne, L.J. Reynolds and Lenny Williams, Seventies soul hitmakers, are all pushing to reach new listeners on the airwaves
As the lead singer of L.T.D. in the second half of the Seventies and then a solo act with more than a dozen R&B hits, Jeffrey Osborne has enjoyed his fair share of commercial glory.
But pop music tends to reward youth, so like many older singers — Osborne is now 70 — the former L.T.D. frontman has trouble keeping his new music in the public consciousness. “People come up to us and say, ‘You know, you haven’t had a record in years,'” Osborne explains. “I’m like, ‘Dude, I’ve got a record out now.’ That happens to all of us. It’s just that we don’t get any airplay now. The airplay we get is ‘Jamming Oldies.'”
This year, however, Osborne managed to transcend Jamming Oldies: For a time, his single “Worth It All” was reaching around two million listeners a week thanks to the support of the radio format known as Urban Adult Contemporary or Adult R&B.
And Osborne is not the only singer in his age group enjoying moderate success in this space, which caters primarily to black listeners between the ages of 25 and 54. Adult R&B has also been playing “Fine,” a stepping-ready single by Lenny Williams, a 73-year-old veteran of Tower of Power, “You and Me Together, Forever,” a romantic ballad from L.J. Reynolds, the 66-year-old singer who once led the vocal group the Dramatics, and “Love Like Yours and Mine,” a comeback single from the 67-year-old Peabo Bryson.
“The one common denominator is that even if you had a big song 20, 30 years ago, until you have that next hit, that song that is radio friendly and accepted by radio and the public, that is when you are welcomed back,” says Jesus Garber, a longtime radio promotions veteran who campaigned on behalf of Osborne’s new single. “But as far as the artist is concerned, they never went away.”
Osborne’s last major hit was “Only Human,” a big-old-we-all-make-mistakes ballad that reached Number Three on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in 1991. But for the last decade plus, the singer has not been releasing new songs. “I’ve had a couple of albums where I covered some R&B songs and then I covered some jazz, but this is the first time I’ve done some original material in 13 years,” he says.
R&B has changed a lot just during that period, and it’s wildly different than it was when “Only Human” was on the charts. “You don’t see many songs that have a bridge and a hook today,” Osborne points out. “Everything’s written off the verse and they just change the vocal melody [during the chorus] — musically it doesn’t go anywhere. When I was recording, things were dry. Today, everything is just wet, full of echo.”
Garber came up with a plan to help Osborne fit into the “wet” modern world. “I knew the radio people in America that their batting average is very high, so I asked them to put an ear to [the new album],” Garber says. The high-powered focus group narrowed the choice of single down to “Worth It All,” but, “they said it needed to be remixed and updated so that it would be the sound of 2018.”
Osborne’s team enlisted Gregg Pagani — who co-wrote massive Urban AC hits like Charlie Wilson’s “There Goes My Baby” and Johnny Gill’s “This One’s For Me and You” — to tweak the original. The primary change is in the drums: The album version of “Worth It All” is beat-less, but Pagani’s version ticks and rattles like everything on the radio.
This had exactly the intended effect: “Worth It All” rose to Number 12 on the chart. “Radio people basically make an opinion in the first ten seconds,” Garber says. “If you come to them and say, ‘remember that song that I played for you six months ago? I just did a remix,’ the problem is they’ve already formulated an opinion. And, if that opinion was not favorable, it’s still hard to get over that first impression.”
By: Elias Leight
When people think of Jeffrey Osborne, they probably immediately think of “On the Wings of Love,” which was a monster hit in 1982. Or maybe they think of his years with LTD, which placed three songs in the Top 40 (12 in the R & B top 40, including 3 at Number One). Or just maybe they think of the incredible concerts that he’s been doing for decades.
Now, Osborne will bring his electrifying show to Thornton Winery on Saturday night as part of the 2018 Champagne Jazz Concert Series. At the same time, he’s bringing a new album, “Worth it All,” one that has been in the works for more than 13 years.
“It gets harder for us to find companies that want to issue your records,” he said. “I spent the last 13 years working on original stuff. I was going to record a classic jazz album, so I sat down to write and as I worked on it, it got more R & B and more old school. I went to the label and said, ‘I am feeling it more old school R &B and not jazz’ and they said, ‘Do it.”
And he sees the styles of music intertwined anyway.
“In truth, smooth jazz is R & B anyway,” he said. “That’s why they approved the direction of the album.”
As with many artists, his childhood laid a foundation for his love of music.
“Oh, I was hearing jazz from my family,” he said. “I’m the youngest of 12 so I was hearing it, and then I was the last in line into the Motown era. I got a chance to hear real music.”
His father was in the business as well.
“My dad was a musician, so I got to hear a lot of classic singers like Sarah Vaughan, Wes Montgomery and Duke Ellington,” he said.
He also got a chance to sing it pretty early on, singing songs by Curtis Mayfield, The Impressions and doo wop on the street corner. He opened for groups like The Coasters and The Drifters and saw that the singer is more than just the vocals.
“Listen to real singers and you will find that the singer is a fourth instrument,” he said. “That’s what I heard and that’s how I am now with music. Listen to guys like Little Willie John, Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye. You can hear it.”
When it comes to his own songs, songwriting is a collection of thoughts.
“I think a writer is influenced by everything,” he said. “I know I am by what I’ve heard before or what I’ve recorded before. It starts with the writing. I may think, ‘This sounds too much like an earlier song.’ I want it to have that familiar sound, but I don’t want to just copy it.”
Then again, he feels his listeners will make they own connections.
“People hear a song and say that it reminds them of something,” he said. “I want a song to grasp and take the listener to some place.”
He is a big fan of strings and horns, something that he has learned to use during production.
“As I am recording, I hear orchestration,” he said. “I’ll start with drums and then keyboard and melody. I realize I should layer this and add a string line. You hear it.”
Part of his success he attributes to others.
“Being around people like George Duke was incredible,” he said. “Even when I was with LTD I had horns in the group. Strings and horns reinforces the sound. It falls in lune with the simplicity of the music. A key is not to overdo it as a producer.”
Naturally with a new album, and a huge collection of solo work, LTD songs and other great standards in the jazz and R & B world, getting a show together and picking songs can be tricky.
“It’s hard to decide,” he said. “I try to see the audience and determine what to do from that. I have new songs of course, but I do think the worst thing to do is to go out and do 9 songs from a new record and leave out so much that fans are dying to hear. Of course, the record company wants you to do the whole album!”
And the stage is some place that is right where Osborne has always liked to be.
“I owe it to my mom because when I was three years old, she used to have me sing for her friends,” he said. “I’ve never been shy and never gotten butterflies.”
When he is on stage, all that matters to him is the audience.
“I want to be able to touch people,” he said. “It’s beautiful to go out and get entertained and hear their personalities. That’s what I want to bring to my fans and the people who come and see me.”
By Jim Dail
“Feeling good is part of why I’m still out here, why I’m still performing and writing, and why I still have the energy I have.” It’s an assertive declaration courtesy of veteran singer-songwriter Jeffrey Osborne, who continues to achieve career milestones and attribute his success to practicing great health and wellness.
Osborne, 70, recently released his first album of original material in 13 years, Worth It All, on the jazz imprint Mack Avenue Records. The Grammy-nominated baritone wrote and produced the entire 12-track collection of uptempo funk (“Just Can’t Stand It,” “Can’t Help Myself”), tender ballads (title track, “Say My Love”) and midtempo numbers (“Greatest Night,” “Stay The Way You Are”). Saxophonist Gerald Albright, trumpeter Rick Braun and DJ Kid Capri each make cameo appearances on Osborne’s return to his original element. For the first time in his career, Osborne collaborated with his son, Jeffrey Jr., on co-writing “Work It.” “I thought it should’ve been the first single,” a chuckling Osborne says, “but you don’t want to force anything.”
Worth It All was originally slated to be a smooth jazz LP. By the time Osborne started writing the bulk of the material, the vocalist behind timeless, crossover pop/R&B and power ballads like “Stay With Me Tonight,” “On the Wings of Love,” “I Just Wanna Be Your Friend,” “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song),” “Love Power” (featuring Dionne Warwick), “She’s On the Left,” “Only Human,” “We’re Going All the Way” and “Don’t You Get So Mad” thought it was best to make an album of grown folks music for his core audience.
“It’s been a minute for me,” Osborne reflects. “As veteran artists, we don’t get that many opportunities. My writing was taking me back to my old school stuff. I didn’t want to try and sound like what was going on today. They didn’t have anything like that on the label.”
Creating Worth It All, Osborne adds, provided him the space and nostalgia to revisit the same passion he delivered in his pre-solo recordings with funk/R&B outfit L.T.D, an acronym standing for Love, Togetherness and Devotion. As the band’s original drummer-turned-lead vocalist, Osborne’s full-bodied vocal performances on cuts such as “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again,” “Love Ballad,” “Holding On (When Love is Gone),” “Never Got Enough of Your Love,” “Concentrate on You” and “Shine On” made the band dancefloor and radio favorites. The common denominator for Osborne’s music spanning five decades, he believes, is keeping love at the core of the music’s subject matter.
“I think I’ve seen every phase of love and lived it all,” the self-proclaimed romanticist said, sharing he’s been married for 36 years. “Lyrically, I’m basically gonna write about what I’ve written about all of my life, which is something I think is missing in a lot of today’s music. The world is connected to love, and I’d like to see the world get more in tune with love.”
A few lifestyle changes combined with a good health regimen encouraged Osborne to focus on consistently delivering solid performances in the studio and on stage. Osborne runs two miles per day, a routine he’s taken seriously since he was 17 years old. He normally works out in the gym four or five times a week. Taking pride in his health and wellness stems from Osborne visiting a throat doctor at the height of his tenure with L.T.D.
Performing four shows a night seven days a week at the time, his throat doctor advised him to sing from his diaphragm and run because it would open up his chest cavity. The singer believes more performers should run because it enhances their vocal technique. “It was a lot of work,” the musician born the youngest of 12 children in Providence, Rhode Island confides. “I run every day still, and it’s amazing what it’s done for me in terms of learning the proper way to sing. It does open you up and cleans you out every day.”
Reiterating how he’s always been in shape, Osborne also traded in his undying taste for seafood and steak last year for veganism. He doesn’t take any medications nor does he have any wild cravings. Osborne confirms that Jeffrey, Jr. actually introduced his entire family to the benefits of adapting to a vegan diet. The first month was tough for Osborne, but he eventually embraced the change. “If I can preserve a few more years of life, then it was worth diving into this vegan diet,” Osborne said. “I feel better now than I’ve ever felt; I have way more energy, less aches and pains. If you feel good, you perform good.”
Osborne believes he’s setting a great example for black recording artists who may or may not take their health seriously. Outliving his musician peers like George Duke, Al Jarreau, Whitney Houston and Dennis Edwards, he thinks the black music community should speak more openly about physical health. “It takes people like myself who have actually changed their diet and can testify to it,” he insists. “I’m completely straight up healthy. I don’t need anything. It’s about eating to live, not living to eat.”
Keeping Osborne in good spirits outside of music and performing is his humanitarian work with his nonprofit organization, The Jeffrey Osborne Foundation. His programming primarily supports music and art programs for kids and families. For the last seven years, the legend has hosted a golf tournament: his efforts have morphed into a comedy show and bowling tournament.
Osborne has donated over $1 million to six charities based in his hometown. The benevolent acts make Osborne proud to share his longevity with the community he comes from. “That’s the greatest feeling I’ve had in a very long time,” Osborne explains. “This is one thing I like for people to know I’m doing. A lot of people don’t know that I’m doing it.”
Osborne is still in-demand onstage, performing well over 100 shows a year. The music industry has changed drastically since Osborne’s heyday thanks to digital music and streaming services. Still, Osborne is confident his core audience will continue to support his music and performances. He admits to not being fully aware of all of the streaming platforms, but prefers that listeners autonomously access and curate music from his catalog.
“I wondered how people were going to get Worth It All,” Osborne said. “I understand now people have the ability to get what they want off the record. They don’t have to download the whole record. In that respect, it’s better for the people because they can pick what they like.”
By : Christopher A. Daniel
Septuagenarian singer Jeffrey Osborne shares his secrets to good health.
Last year, Jeffrey Osborne performed at the “Life: Boomers and Seniors” Expo at the Twin Rivers Casino in his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. The event catered to baby boomers (individuals born between 1945 and 1965) with a focus on health and wellness as well as fitness. As the singer interacted with the men and women on the casino floor, who joined him in song, he shared a message with these music lovers: Watch what you eat and take care of your health.
“It’s hard for me to do these concerts and watch people walking in with canes who can hardly move,” says the 70-year-old singer. “People don’t realize that’s a result of their diet.”
Osborne grew up the youngest of 12 children—six sisters and five brothers. As his siblings became older, he watched them succumb to different illnesses. “I have only one sister left,” he says. “I have three brothers still living; the others either died from cancer or suffered from clogged arteries.”
In the mid-’70s, when Osborne was still part of the funk/soul group LTD, he temporarily became a vegan. “But it wasn’t cool then, and there wasn’t as much research at that time or great products like there are now,” he says.
Years passed before Osborne tried going vegan again. In August 2017, on his 28-year-old son’s recommendation, Osborne sat down with other family members to watch an exposé about the meat industry. The controversial documentary—titled What the Health— profoundly affected Osborne. “I did not know half of the things going on with the beef and poultry industries, and that just opened my eyes to so much, and that’s what started me. After watching the film, Osborne and his whole family decided to go vegan, which meant giving up meat and dairy and fish—even though Osborne grew up in a coastal city and loved seafood.
Now he and his family follow a strict plant-based diet. “It’s been incredible,” he says. “I feel so much better and have more energy, and I feel good. My bones and joints— everything—feels so good.”
According to a report about vegetarianism and health published by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, numerous studies show that those who follow diets rich in veggies enjoy better health than folks who regularly eat meat. These inquiries have shown that, specifically, vegetarian diets contain nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals, that can help to prevent cancer and heart disease, prevent and reverse diabetes, lower blood pressure, reduce one’s chances of developing kidney stones, gallstones and osteoporosis, and decrease the frequency and severity of asthma attacks and the need for medications among asthma sufferers.
The report states that consumers aware of veganism and the negative effects of meat consumption associate ethical and sustainable lifestyles with well-being and wellness and want more meat-free products and substitutes for animal flesh.
Another report, “Top Trends in Prepared Foods 2017,” notes that 6 percent of consumers in the United States today claim to be vegan, which reflects a jump from 1 percent in 2014.
Osborne, who celebrated his 70th birthday in March, credits being fit and feeling fabulous to his adherence to a vegan lifestyle. In addition, he’s an avid proponent of drinking alkaline water, which is H2O with a pH above 7. (Most tap water has a pH of 7, while a pH of 8 to 14 makes water alkaline.)
“I drink one to two gallons each day,” Osborne says. “Before I start my day and head to the gym, I drink 32 ounces of alkaline water; plus, I take some with me.” Despite some anecdotal evidence supporting claims about the health benefits of alkaline water, many nutrition experts caution consumers that there isn’t yet any solid scientific proof about its advantages.
But Osborne is a believer. He switched to alkaline water about five or six years ago and even outfitted his home with an alkaline water machine. And when he travels, he packs a portable version of the device in a wheeled suitcase.
The singer, who says he has run every day since he was 18 years old, certainly looks healthy. “I work out five days each week. I’m up at 6:30 in the morning every day, and I’m in the gym for an hour and a half to two hours,” Osborne says. “I’ve always stayed in shape.”
Recently, he released his first R&B album in a decade, featuring all original songs. The self-produced LP is titled Worth It All and follows Osborne’s previous albums consisting of covers of jazz standards and R&B songs. But what the R&B crooner, who is currently on a national tour, loves best is the excitement of performing in front of live audiences, which is why Osborne continues to play more than 100 shows each year.
In addition to staying active, a key component of Osborne’s personal health plan is to spend quality time with his loved ones. A number of findings show that positive interactions with family and friends can help relieve stress and support heart health and improve psychological well-being and reduce wear and tear on the body and brain.
“Now I’m out on weekends and back home during the week,” Osborne says. “That works well for me because I can still enjoy my family life, and I can go out and work when I want to. I just really love that.”
By Kate Ferguson-Watson
Real Health Magazine
VOCAL LEGEND JEFFREY OSBORNE | NEW SINGLE “WORTH IT ALL” | HEADING TO THE TOP OF THE CHARTS
#30 Billboard Urban Adult Contemporary
(Los Angeles, CA – June 14, 2018): Vocal legend Jeffrey Osborne remains as vital as ever with the release of his new single, “Worth It All” heading up the charts at #30 on the Billboard Urban Adult Contemporary chart, in just 2 weeks. The legendary vocalist known for his trademark R&B ballads that he has so indelibly inscribed as his signature mark makes a triumphant return with his most personal album, his first collection of original, self-produced R&B songs in 13 years, also entitled WORTH IT ALL.
Singer, songwriter, producer Osborne’s single “Worth It All” was delivered to radio on May 25th and is already at the top of the national Billboard Urban Adult Contemporary chart, featured on 5 different SiriusXM stations and on radio stations nationwide, including WBLS-New York, KJMS-Memphis and WYLD- New Orleans. “The Gregg Pagani remix of “Worth It All” is a hit song, Jeffrey is back in a big way!”said Steve Crumbley, veteran radio programmer and now Operations Manager of WXST in Charleston, South Carolina. Stated Pagani, “Jeffrey is a legendary artist and it’s an honor to be involved with this project.”
Releasing Friday, June 15th , “Jeffrey Osborne – Worth It All- The Remix EP” is just in time for summer. The 4-song compilation is infused with the Gregg Pagani remix of “Worth It All” (Charlie Wilson, Johnny Gill, Will Smith) and the Stokley Williams (Mint Condition) remix of “Let A Brotha Know.” Mack Avenue
Records A&R guru Will Wakefield adds his flair on the remixes of “Just Can’t Stand It,” and dance rhythm to “The Greatest Night of All.” “I’m so honored to be a part of this project. I am standing on the shoulders of Mr. Jeffrey Osborne and all the work that he’s done thus far. Whether it be with LTD or solo, he’s always been a gold standard for me. I’m just overjoyed! Thank u for your gift!” expressed Stokley on having the opportunity to work beside Osborne.
WORTH IT ALL is a vibrant and thoughtfully romantic collection of songs in which Osborne reflects on his 35-plus years of marriage and sets said thoughts to a richly robust and diversified palate of sumptuous soul music. The album features special guestsGerald Albright on saxophone,Rick Braun on trumpet and includes a sexy, rainy night scenario song entitled“Work It,” co-written by son, Jeffrey Osborne Jr. “Originally instead of this album, I was going to do a Smooth Jazz record. Then I realized the songs I was writing were Old School R&B and I went back to what I do best. I figured it was time for me to get back to R&B. I wanted to do a grown folks record.”
“WORTH IT ALL is also a double entendre meaning it was worth it all for me to do my first R&B album in thirteen years,” says Jeffrey. “I still believe that there’s an audience for what my generation has to offer. As artists, we must maintain the integrity of our music.”
The album is dotted with delights ranging from edgy up-tempos such as“Let a Brotha Know,” “Just Can’t Stand It” and“Stay the Way You Are” as well as signature ballads such as“The Greatest Night”and“Your Lover” – all written by Osborne. The centerpiece of the album is its tutorial title track and first single,“Worth it All,” a song that speaks to the challenges of weathering the storms of a long-term relationship to reach the sweeter rewards once the clouds have been chased away. Sung to electric piano accompaniment only, this is an instant classic that compels all who hear it to stop whatever they are doing and listen. “I believe people actually become closer working through trials and tribulations,”Jeffrey muses. “It’s about communication and not allowing that fire to slip away. Love is worth going
through the little fires you have to put out from time to time.
Jeffrey Osborne has proven a master at longevity through a career that began as lead singer of the band L.T.D. with which he recorded the `70s Soul classics “Love Ballad,” “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again,” “Holding On (When Love is Gone),” “We Both Deserve Each Other’s Love” and “Shine On.” Going solo in the `80s, Osborne soared anew with enduring gemstones such as “I Really Don’t Need No Light” “On the Wings of Love,” “Stay With Me Tonight,” “We’re Going All The Way,” “Love Power” (a duet with Dionne Warwick), “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song)” (his biggest solo popcharter) and “Only Human,” and earned four Grammy Award nominations as a solo artist. Jeffrey was also the lyricist of the Whitney Houston classic “All at Once.”
Now following on the heels of his 2013 Jazz album, A Time for Love (the final production of the late, great George Duke), Osborne continues to deliver viable music. A strict vegan and in the best shape of his life, Jeffrey still performs over 100 shows a year. Some of his recent stops included concerts in Huntsville (AL), Seattle (WA), and San Francisco (CA), with upcoming dates in various cities across the country. For additional tour information visit www.jeffreyosborne.com.
SiriusXM Real Jazz
Catch Jeffrey Osborne on SiriusXM Real Jazz Friday June 8th at 5pm EST. They will be airing a nice piece with Jeffrey paying homage to his mentor and friend George Duke. There will also be an encore at Midnight EST.
13 Years In The Making, But New Album Is Classic Jeffrey Osborne
It’s been 13 years since the R&B world has had a taste of the musical stylings of Jeffrey Osborne. Now, after a brief trek into the genre of Jazz, Osborne is back with his trademark ballads.
“Four years ago I did a jazz standards album. I always wanted to do a jazz album,” Osborne told Parlé magazine in a recent interview. That album was 2013’s A Time for Loveand it was the final production of late jazz legend George Duke. “I was the youngest of 12 and I had to listen to what my siblings wanted to listen to before I could listen to what I wanted, so I was exposed to the jazz greats all the time,” shares Osborne. “Originally instead of this album, I was going to do a Smooth Jazz record. Then I realized the songs I was writing were Old School R&B and I went back to what I do best. I figured it was time for me to get back to R&B. I wanted to do a grown folks record.”
What he did was come with a 12-song album, Worth It All, which drops May 25, 2018, via Artistry Music. On the album, Jeffrey Osborne, 70, uses the music to reflect his 35-plus years of marriage. For the project, Osborne, who penned all the tracks, tapped such special guests as Gerald Albright on saxophone and Rick Braun on trumpet. There’s also a rainy night scenario song entitled “Work It,” co-written by his son, Jeffrey Osborne, Jr. But this new collection isn’t just Osborne trademark love ballads, there are some edgy up-tempos such as “Let a Brotha Know,” “Just Can’t Stand It” and “Stay the Way You Are.”
“I wanted this to be a real heartfelt album. My strength is singing R&B ballads; I am known for ballads, so it kind of took on that flavor, but I wanted to explore different relationships,” says Osborne. And of course, as not to disappoint, there are the signature ballads such as “The Greatest Night” and “Your Lover.”
One standout track is the title track, “Worth it All,” which takes on the challenges of going through the ups and downs of a long-term relationship. “Love is worth putting out a few fires every now and then,” says Osborne. “This is what that song is about.”
With his latest collection, the singer/songwriter/producer continues his legacy of creating classics such as “I Really Don’t Need No Light” “On the Wings of Love,” “Stay With Me Tonight,” “We’re Going All The Way,” “Love Power” (a duet with Dionne Warwick), “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song)” [his biggest solo pop charter) and “Only Human.”
While this is Jeffrey Osborne’s first R&B CD in 13 years, he has steadily performed. In fact, he does more than 100 shows a year.
For Osborne, giving back is also important. In 2012 he founded The Jeffrey Osborne Foundation and the Jeffrey Osborne Celebrity Classic. The primary mission is to benefit non-profit organizations who support a continued push for music and arts to children and their families, as well as those who provide a safe haven for families in need. In the past six years through his Celebrity Golf Tournament, the Jeffrey Osborne Foundation has donated over $750,000 to various charities in Rhode Island, Osborne’s native state.
Be sure to check out the Jeffrey Osborne album, Worth It All, available on all digital platforms on May 25th.
By: Ann Brown
After more than five decades in the music industry, award-winning R&B singer and recording artist, Jeffrey Osborne, is still one of the premier vocalists on the planet. And, for the first-time in about 13 years, the living legend is set to release a new R&B album of original songs, entitled, Worth It All. The album is available this Friday, May 25.
According to Osborne, the album contains 12 songs, all of which feature his vocal styling. Osborne wrote all the tunes, with the exception of “Work It,” which he co-wrote with his son, who works with him as a sound engineer. Jeffrey, Jr. also demonstrates other skills by rapping on “Work It,” which gives his father’s music a different vibe
“My son is 28, but this is one of the oldest sounding songs on the album,” Osborne told EUR’s Lee Bailey during a recent interview. “He came up with the track, and I did the melody and lyrics. He went old school on me! It was fun working with him. It was something that I never thought would happen.”
While the rap, intertwined with Osborne’s voice is still strikingly old school, there are several other songs on the new album that bring the veteran crooner home to his R&B roots, including the title song, “Worth It All.” It’s also the album’s first single
nterestingly, Osborne’s new album is released by Metro Detroit-based Mack Avenue Records, which traditionally has been a jazz-oriented label. Yet, the record company, when presented a chance to sign the R&B legendary singer, could not pass on the opportunity. The company signed him with the promise that his R&B/old school style of singing was welcomed. Mack Avenue Records’ commitment to Osborne was music to his ears.
“I really wanted to get back to doing one of those good old ‘Grown Folks’ records,” Osborne said. “I approached it thinking about songs I listened to in the past that influenced me, and then I wrote my versions of them.”
If his classic songs of the past have greatly influenced Osborne, it’s a good bet his national and international fans will be ecstatic about the new songs. After all, Osborne’s portfolio of R&B hit songs include, “I Really Don’t Need No Light,” “On the Wings of Love,” “Stay With Me Tonight,” “We’re Going All The Way,” “Don’t You Get So Mad,” “Plane Love,” “Only Human,” “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song),” among many others.
Want more of our exclusive chat with Jeffrey Osborne? No problem. We’ll have part 2 for you this Friday, May 25, the day his new album, “Worth It All” releases.
By: Don Saint James
Lee Bailey's EURWEB.COM
Electronic Urban Report
By: Kevin Fleming
I started this project on Mack Avenue (Records). I had just done a Jazz record. They asked about another Jazz album, but my writing was going back to my R&B days,” said Grammy nominated Jeffrey Osborne.
The result is the May 25, 2018 release of Jeffrey Osborne’s “Worth It All” (Artistry Music/Mack Avenue) album featuring Gerald Albright (sax) and Rick Braun (trumpet). The R&B days he is referring to is from when he was a drummer and support vocalist for the band LTD (formerly known as Love Men Ltd), with his brother Billy (keyboards, lead vocals) in 1970. The LTD (Love, Togetherness, and Devotion) bands’ hits include “Back in Love Again” which has the lead vocals of Jeffrey. Jeffrey coming from behind the drums in 1977 to sing lead solidified his signature vocal style and sound. He left the band in the late 1980s with his brother to pursue solo careers.
“I always wanted to be a singer first,” Osborne said when I asked about his love for the drum compared to his love for vocals. “I learned how to play the drums…it got me into LTD. (However) My first job was with The O’Jays playing drums (age 15). It introduced me to the world I wanted to be in.”
That world also included songwriting. Jeffrey Osborne wrote Whitney Houston’s hit “All at Once.” Music is in his blood. His father, Clarence Osborne, was a trumpet player and worked for Count Bassie, Lionel Hampton and Duke Ellington and of course his brother Billy is a vocalist, organ/keyboardist and drummer.
“That’s how I started, I wrote a lot of songs,” he said. “I always wanted to sing a Jazz record… and got with my friend George Duke.”
The “Worth It All” album also features his son, a rapper, Jeffrey Osborne, Jr.
“He is 28 years-old and is very much into music,” Jeffrey informed me. “My son is on ‘Work It’. That’s his passion, rapping. He also sings and is an incredible sound engineer. He tours with me. I told him to write and I was shocked because it felt like an old R&B song.”
Jeffrey Osborne, Jr. co-wrote the “Work It” single on the “Worth It All” project.
“It was something I never dreamt,” Osborne continued about discovering the depth of his son’s musical talents. “He was a late bloomer. He didn’t get into music until after college.”
Hit singles from Jeffrey Osborne’s solo career include the very popular “On the Wings of Love” (1982) and “You Should Be Mine” (1985). The living legend is 70 years-old but does not look or sound like it.
“It’s been 13 years since my last release of original material. Three or four years ago I released an album of Jazz Standards. Before that it was an album of R&B Standards,” he said.
Jeffrey Osborne has garnered five Gold and Platinum albums and a hit single with Dionne Warwick titled “Love Power.” He has also garnered four Grammy nominations.
“It’s all entertainment,” Jeffrey said when I pointed out that event though he wanted to be a singer he went through the first door to the music industry that opened for him – that as a songwriter and drummer. “If you can get into the entertainment field no matter how, you can branch out. Just be ready when the door opens.”
Jeffrey Osborne is always on tour performing his hit songs. He has performances coming up that start the day after his “Worth It All” album is released on May 26th in Huntsville, AL at the Huntsville Drag Way; the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles July 20th; Atlanta, GA at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre September 2nd; Las Vegas, NV at the Aliante Casino September 15th, and Orlando, Florida at Disney World on September 30th. For the complete list of tour dates, or to download the “Worth It All” new album or to buy Jeffrey Osborne merchandise you can log onto www.JeffreyOsborne.com.
By: Eunice Moseley
Lee Bailey's EURWEB.COM
Electronic Urban Report
It took Beethoven at least two years to compose his 9th symphony. If he was around today, he could probably sit down in front of his Mac, pull up Logic Pro X and whip out a creation in a few hours. Technology has entered into almost every aspect of our lives, and it has undeniably revolutionized society. But when it comes to the arts, most participants say while technology has opened up new revenue avenues, it has taken away the spirit of creatively, particularly in music.
Tony Dofat has been in the music business for nearly 25 years, having produced such award-winning recording artists as Will Smith, Queen Latifah, Tina Turner and Notorious B.I.G. and many, many more. And he feels that the impact technology has had on music creation has been detrimental.
The producer, composer, mix engineer, and now associate professor and author, who made his bones working alongside Sean “Diddy” Combs at Bad Boy Records in the early 2000s as a member of the in-house production team Diddy called The Hitmen and contributed to more than 40 million records sold, told me, “The state of music has drastically declined and a lot has to do with technology. It's made music easier for anyone to do, which has its downsides. It has allowed anyone to buy a digital kit and to download beats—and they all sound the same. You can download kits to make music like Drake, or some other established artist." He explains that the result is that there is no originality. Dofat believes that there is little creative effort applied and that the same software such as autotune and 808s are used by every artist. "I have been in the business for a long time," explains Dofat, "and even as a producer I get confused about who’s who when I hear a song—that is how bad it has gotten.”
Yet, technology has changed the music industry for the better for artists, especially independent artists, who were once locked out of major recording deals. Now, anyone with dreams of getting their music out to the world, can do so via the Internet and have democratized the ability to reach fans with one's music.
And many other opportunities are on the horizon. In fact, during the recent Tribeca Film Festival, a particular panel on the intersection of music and AI explored the future benefits of emerging technology platforms for everything from revenue generation to facilitating talent discovery.
So is there a happy medium when it comes to music and technology? Veteran R&B singer and hitmaker Jeffrey Osborne, who is about to release his first album in 13 years, Worth It All, sees both sides of the digital music coin. “I think technology has moved so rapidly that you can get your music out to the people and make money, but it has also caused music to go down in quality. You used to be able to go into the studio and as a singer vibe with live music in a session. Now it’s all done with buttons, music now has less soul. It’s ironic that the thing that has improved the state of music in so many ways has also caused its death.”
By: Lauren Coleman
Worth It All
For his first album in 13 years in the realm of Soul Music for which he has so indelibly inscribed his mark, singer/songwriter/producer Jeffrey Osborne is making a most triumphant return via his 12-song album, Worth It All. Bowing May 25, 2018 on Artistry Music Worth It All is a vibrant and thoughtfully romantic project in which Osborne (70) reflects on his 35-plus years of marriage and sets said thoughts to a richly robust and diversified palate of sumptuous soul music. The album features special guests Gerald Albright on saxophone, Rick Braun on trumpet and includes a sexy, rainy night scenario song entitled “Work It,” co-written by son, Jeffrey Osborne Jr.
While the album is dotted with delights ranging from edgy up-tempos such as “Let a Brotha Know,” “Just Can’t Stand It” and “Stay the Way You Are” as well as signature ballads such as “The Greatest Night” and “Your Lover” – all written by Osborne. The centerpiece of the album is its tutorial title track, “Worth it All,” a song that speaks to the challenges of weathering the storms of a long-term relationship to reach the sweeter rewards once the clouds have been chased away. Sung to electric piano accompaniment only, this is an instant classic that compels all who hear it to stop whatever they are doing and listen. “I believe people actually become closer working through trials and tribulations,” Jeffrey muses. “It’s about communication and not allowing that fire to slip away. Love is worth going through the little fires you have to put out from time to time.”
Jeffrey Osborne has proven a master at longevity through a career that began as lead singer of the band L.T.D. with which he recorded the `70s Soul classics “Love Ballad,” “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again,” “Holding On (When Love is Gone),” “We Both Deserve Each Other’s Love” and “Shine On.” Going solo in the `80s, Osborne soared anew with enduring gemstones such as “I Really Don’t Need No Light” “On the Wings of Love,” “Stay With Me Tonight,” “We’re Going All The Way,” “Love Power” (a duet with Dionne Warwick), “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song)” [his biggest solo pop charter) and “Only Human,” and earned four Grammy Award nominations as a solo artist. Jeffrey was also the lyricist of the Whitney Houston classic “All at Once.”
Now following on the heels of his 2013 Jazz album, A Time for Love (the final production of the late, great George Duke), Osborne remains as vital as ever.
A strict vegan and in the best shape of his life, Jeffrey still performs over 100 shows a year with three generations of fans, with contemporary singers such as Trey Songs, Rick Ross and Young Buck having sampled his work.
“Worth it All, is also a double entendre meaning it was worth it all for me to do my first R&B album in thirteen years,” Jeffrey concludes. “I still believe that there’s an audience for what my generation has to offer. As artists, we must maintain the integrity of our music.”
Juanita Stephens - JS Media Relations
70 is the new 50!
Happy Birthday to legendary singer and our good friend Jeffrey Osborne. He’s got a new album “Worth It All” coming in May!
By: Kevin Fleming
The Jeffrey Osborne Foundation teamed up with East Commerce Solutions to hand out turkeys to families in need today in Rhode Island. Over 1,000 turkeys and dinners were handed out that will feed 5,000 people this Thanksgiving! Osborne flew in from his show in Cleveland to help hand out the turkeys to various charities in Rhode Island including two that benefit from his Celebrity Golf Tournament, The Amos House and The Boys & Girls Club.
Tis the season for giving!
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Tickets Now On Sale
Tickets for the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas on 3.23.18 are now on sale. Please click here to purchase tickets.
New Merchandise Coming October
If you have been to a Jeffrey Osborne show recently you know all about the famous tag line "Old School is the Sh*t". Well, we listened to the amazing fans and will have lots of items for you to purchase to show how much you truly love OLD SCHOOL! Subscribe to receive a special offer on your first purchase.