Chrisette Michele…what happened? One day I was singing along to another fly track from a Chrisette Michele song, then the next day…what happened?
Chrisette Michele: A Timeline
Known professonally as Chrisette Michele, 36-year-old Chrisette Michele Payne should be on top of the world. The multi-talented, Grammy award winning 36-year-old R&B and Soul Singer-Songwriter started a very successful career in the music business. But then, something went wrong.
During High School in New York, Michele led gospel choirs, then later graduated from Five Towns College in Dix Hills, New York with a degree in vocal performance.
Bursting on the music scene as a guest on other hip hop acts projects, Chrisette Michele worked with The Game, Jay Z, Nas and Ghostface Killa, according to Wikipedia.
Released in the summer of 2007, Michele’s debut album, I am, producing 4 singles, “If I Have My Way”, “Best of Me”, “Be O.K.” and “Love is You.”
Adding to her guest appearances, Michele appeared on The Roots’ Rising Up track. Tapped by Tyler Perry for a song for House of Payne, Michele penned “I’ve Got A Love Jones.”
Not only guesting with others, but having her own first album out, Michele added acting to her resume, appearing in CW’s Girlfriends as herself.
Then she co-headlined her very first tour, with Raheem DeVaughn from May to July 2008 title The Art of Love Tour. Belting out two tunes, Michele honored Ms. Patti Labelle at Evening of stars: A Tribute to Patti Labelle in September.
Completing her sophomore album, Epiphany, Michele released her first single “Epiphany (I’m Leaving)” in 2009, marking her first entry in Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart. Releasing the album in May, her album, Epiphany debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard 200. “Blame It On Me” came out a week after Epiphany.
Chrisette Michele worked on other songs with Ne-Yo, Rick Ross and Drake.
Dropping her third album, Let Freedom Reign was released in November of 2010, including singles, “I’m a Star” and “Goodbye Game.” Later adding a mixtape to her contributions to music, Love Thy Neighbor was released.
During 2010, Michele went on her second tour, titled The Epiphany Tour.
“Charades,” the first single from her 4th album, Better came out in January 2013 with collaborations with rappers such as 2 Chainz and Wale. Followed by “A Couple of Forevers” in February which was accompanied by a video the next month. Debuting at #12 on the Billboard 200 chart, Better was nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Album.
Supporting other acts on the road, Michele did performances on tour with Keyshia Cole, Mary J. Blige and Jaheim, all in 2013.
Adding another acting gig, Michele joined the cast of reality show, R&B Divas LA for it’s second season.
New music came out in November of 2014 when Chrisette Michele dropped The Lyricist’s Opus EP, by digital download, along with 2 music videos.
Reconciling a rocky relationship with a past love, Chrisette became engaged to Doug “Biggs” Ellison in 2015.
Touring for the third time as a headliner, Michele did The Milestone Tour. Scheduled to be released in June 2016, “Steady” was a single on Michele’s 5th studio album, “Milestone” via her own label, Rich Hipster.
O.K., Here’s Where Things Get A Bit Tricky
O.K. Here’s where things get a bit tricky. See, what had happened was…
Announced in January, 2017, Michele would perform at the Inauguration of Donald Trump. Backlash ensued on Social Media. Black folks were left confused and angry about her decision, and they weren’t shy about letting her know exactly how they felt.
So there it is. Based on a single announcement, my girl, Chrisette Michele may have derailed all the momentum in her successful music career, let’s see what happened after that decision was made.
In an open letter on Twitter, Chrisette Michele tried to defend her decision stating the she intended her performance to serve as a bridge between Trump supporters and opponents. Needless to say, it didn’t go over so well, no one was buying what the girl was selling. Many answered her letter with disappointment, calling her a cop-out.
Not that it made a difference, but Michele was originally scheduled to perform at the Make America Great Again Welcome! Celebration the day before the inauguration, but instead she performed at one of the inaugural balls the following day.
What’s Chrisette Michele Been Up To Since The Inauguration?
Once a favorite musician of many, Michele has been through a lot since the Inauguration.
Because she performed for Donald Trump, Spike Lee removed “Black Girl Magic” a song by Michele, from his Netflix Series, She’s Gotta Have It.
Also in 2017, Motown dropped Chrisette from it’s label, and she announced that she would continue to release music through her own label, Rich Hipster. After the performance, she announced she would be releasing her poetry album, No Political Genius.
Once a favorite musician of many, Michele has been through a lot since the Inauguration. She got married to Doug Ellison, for which she became engaged in 2015, well before this debacle. Blaming it on the stress of what she went through regarding the Inauguration, Michele suffered a miscarriage.
And now she’s in the news, for divorcing her husband.
In Chriette Michele’s Own Words –
As reported by Madamenoire, here’s an excerpt of what the Chrisette Michele had to say in a recent blog post about her marriage/divorce –
“…I’m in LA, a small-time millionaire, Grammy award winning, and happily dating “grown ups” but… I’m a child. A very successful… kid. Aaaaand, it literally never occurred to me that I’d missed a step until… Wedding Bells in Vegas (circa: 2016-2018). I walked down the aisle to “Love You Like A Love Song”, a techno club record TOTALLY meant for high heeled, couch dancing at LIV in Miami (or maybe Lavo in Vegas). Childish.
I’m divorced now. I think I got married to try adulting on for size. Didn’t fit. My ex had latched onto the idea that adulting was a “thing”, and I’d never gotten the memo. Sure I brought home fairly large slabs of bacon, made up the bed and opened a few businesses but… it wasn’t until after we divorced that I realized he had the intentions of living in the same city, raising small opinionated beasts who would grow IN MY STOMACH, and eating at the same restaurant every Sunday. Apparently this soul quelling idea is called … “settling down.” Eeek… I just threw up in my mouth a little.
Though I still secretly jam to her music, I’m not sure how long, if at all, it will take for the black community to get over what happened. Will the music of this very talented lady ever make it back to the mainstream? Only time will tell.
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