Remember This “Juicy Fruit” Singer? She’s Loving What She Now Does For A Living
Remember when Tawatha Agee was part of the ’80s R&B group, Mtume? She, along with the group’s founder, James Mtume, and the rest of the group had us jammin’ off of their hits, “Juicy Fruit” and “You, Me and He,” back in the day. Well, we found her and guess what? She NEVER left the music scene.
She’s Still Living Her Musical Dream
Tawatha has worked with everyone from Michael Jackson, to Gerald Levert, Mary J. Blige, Al Green, Al Jarreau, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Sting, The O’Jays, R. Kelly and the list goes on and on. She and the trio, ‘Lovely Ladies,’ often tour as background singers for the multi-platinum selling Dave Matthews Band and she also sang background on Lenny Kravitz’s album a few years ago.
The “Juicy” singer has also been making a great living singing TV and radio commercial jingles. She is living her dream and we love it! Read what she revealed about herself in a prior interview with Bentley Funk…
The songstress got her first voice lesson from Whitney Houston’s Mom, Cissy Houston, while in elementary school at Bragaw Avenue School in Newark:
Tawatha Agee: “She’s [Cissy Houston] the godmother because she’s one of the pioneers. She helped pave the way for us all with dignity and grace.”
Tawatha was singing with the late, great Luther Vandross up until his last days:
TA: “I’ve sung on every single Luther album since “Never Too Much”. The only one I didn’t sing on was one that he was working on when “Juicy Fruit” came out and we were on tour and I couldn’t get back to do it. But I sang on every single Luther album, and I’ve had the privilege of working with him onstage. As time went along and I was doing other things, Luther would use me as a sub’ when one of his girls couldn’t make it. This was in the later years, because I was doing jingles and television commercials, and it was more lucrative for me to do that, than to travel on the road. …
He was such a consummate teacher and performer, that it was like going to school all over again, but it was just fun. He knew exactly what he wanted at all times and he knew how to pull out the best from each singer that he used.”
On working with the Dave Matthews Band:
TA: “We [the three background singers] became what Dave Matthews called the ‘Lovely Ladies’– that’s what he called the group that sang with him. The level of musicianship in that band was so amazing…and the singers just enhanced what they already had.
Each one is good in its own way, but Dave Matthews totally blew me away because of the musicianship and the crowd. College kids, 30,000 people, and that was like the smallest stadium they ever played. … We put a different spin on what they were doing, because we had a very ethnic look and he loved it.”
The many jingles she sang on:
TA: “Burger King, KFC, Vagisil, airline commercials. There was a Crest thing! Soulful Crest (laughs). It’s a lot of fun, and you can do very well doing television commercials.”
Today at 66 years young, Tawatha Agee is just as vibrant as ever, has remained true to herself, and is continuing to build her legacy. Keep doing your thing queen, we see you!
Interview excerpts courtesy of BentleyFunk