April 25, 2011

Steve Harvey and Frank Ski Help Launch Essence and Pebbles "Making of an R&B Star"

ESSENCE presents a once-in-lifetime opportunity to hit the stage for a featured performance during the 2011 Essence Music Festival July 1st-3rd in New Orleans

The ESSENCE and Pebbles talent search for the next rising star of R&B music has swept the country, drawing hundreds of contestants to live auditions in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta as well as to the essence.com site for online submissions. Crowds of aspiring artists lined the streets and waited for hours for their chance to become the first winner of the ESSENCE + Pebbles Present: R&B Star search.

Pebbles, host and executive producer of the competition, is also a platinum, Grammy nominated recording artist who was the driving force behind TLC, one of the most successful female R&B groups in music history. She has a proven track record for identifying raw talent and turning artists into stars. Pebbles enlisted a panel of celebrity judges for the auditions that included Grammy award winning producers Bryan Michael-Cox, Chuck Harmony, successful R&B recording artists Kelly Price, Chilli of TLC, Q Parker formerly of 112, and leading radio personalities Cherry Martinez, New York City’s Power 105 FM and Tammi Mac, KJLH FM in Los Angeles. Following the audition process, the judges will narrow down the contestants to six finalists who will then embark on a first-class boot camp training in Atlanta.

See video interviews below after the jump...

“The judges and I saw many talented and gifted R&B vocalists during the auditions,” says Pebbles. “We believe that the chosen contestants have promising potential, and I look forward to further developing them during my artist development boot camp in Atlanta, Georgia."

Essence.com readers can watch it all unfold in a series of upcoming webisodes that will feature behind the scenes footage from the auditions and artist boot camp, as well as outtakes and exclusive celebrity interviews. The first webisode, Pebbles Promise captures heartfelt sentiments from celebs including Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed, Steve Harvey, Chilli, actress Terri Vaughn, celebrity stylist Tameka Raymond and Pebbles’ children Aaron and Ashley Reid – all giving ESSENCE + Pebbles Present: R&B Star unwavering support. Music fans will not want to miss a single webisode!

The ultimate winner will receive a one-year artist management contract with music industry veteran Kevin Liles' KWL Enterprises, a recording contract, a feature in an upcoming issue of ESSENCE and a once-in-lifetime opportunity to hit the stage for a featured performance during the 2011 Essence Music Festival (July 1st-3rd in New Orleans).

For updates on the contest, visit Essence.com/RBStar. Sign up for the ESSENCE Music Festival newsletter, follow us on Twitter @essencemusic , re-tweet us #essencerbstar or on Facebook at Essence Music Festival.

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