|Also known as||Blaque Ivory|
|Origin||Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|Genres||R&B, hip hop|
|Natina Reed (1999-2003,
Shamari Fears (1999-present)
Brandi Williams (1999-present)
|Erica Pullins (2003-2004)|
Blaque is an American R&B/Pop vocal trio. Blaque stands for Believing in Life and Achieving a Quest for Unity in Everything. The group was originally known as Blaque Ivory and is still known by that name outside the United States. The current line-up and original members Natina Reed, Shamari Fears and Brandi Williams. Blaque is a very similar group to TLC because Lopes and Reed are rappers and Fears, Williams, Thomas, and Watkins are all singers
Reed and Fears both moved to Atlanta, Georgia and met while in high school. Reed formed Blaque Ivory while Fears formed another group called Intrigue. Intrigue won a recording contract with Elektra Records, and Fears met up with Williams at a talent show while a member of that group. Fears left Intrigue to join up with Reed in Blaque Ivory and Williams joined the group shortly thereafter. Reed met Ronald Lopes while singing jingles to earn extra cash and he introduced her to his sister Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of TLC. Lisa Lopes signed the group to her "Left Eye Productions" and then to Columbia Records.
In 1997, the group made a cameo appearance in the video Lil' Kim's "Not Tonight (Remix)."
Their self-titled debut Blaque debuted at number 23 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart, and at number 53 on the official Billboard 200 and was certification platinum by RIAA. The album's lead single "808" was a success in the U.S. reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and Gold certification. The follow up single "Bring It All to Me" which featured JC Chasez, was a hit making #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The last single "I Do" wasn't a success like the previous singles with only reaching #73 on the R&B/Hip-Hop single chart. The album also featured a cover version of "Time after Time" originally recorded by Cyndi Lauper. Their single "I Do" was nominated for a MTV Video Music Award for Best Editing. Blaque was also one of the opening acts for TLC's FanMail Tour.
They later made their film debut in Bring It On in 2000.
While their self-titled album went platinum, their second album Blaque Out was set for release in 2001, but the group was dropped from Columbia Records for unknown reasons. Their video for the first "Blaque Out" single; "Can't Get It Back" was never released. The album was soon leaked on the Internet. When their mentor Lisa Lopes died in a car crash on April 25, 2002 in Honduras they signed with Elektra Records and began work on their 3rd album. An alternate version of the shelved album was released to iTunes on May 22, 2007
Their third album Torch featured a number of A-list music industry figures including Missy Elliott, songwriter Linda Perry, and producer Rodney Jerkins. The buzz single was "No Ganksta" which was an answerback song to 50 Cent's song "Wanksta". Missy Elliott produced the intended first single "Ugly". However, because radio did not pick up the song, it was decided to release "I'm Good" instead.
"I'm Good" also appeared on the soundtrack for the film Honey as well as themselves.
Due to the poor success "I'm Good" achieved, the release date for Torch was pushed back. Finally, news came up their next single would be "Hopeless" - a man bashing, Darkchild produced song. But it failed to be released. In 2004, Natina left the group to go into ministry. She was soon replaced by singer/rapper Erica Pullins who performed with them overseas. They recorded some new songs and re-recorded old ones with new member, but the album failed to be released and Blaque disbanded.
Torch was scheduled to be released exclusively to iTunes in 2008, nearly 5 years after its completion by Music World Entertainment, but was later canceled for a second time, plans of releasing material from the album were confirmed still in the works.
Shamari was signed to Darkchild Records in 2005. Brandi managed to get a record deal and started working on a solo album. She also appeared on Nelly's first single, from his 2005 album "Sweatsuit," "Grillz". Grillz features Nelly, Paul Wall, Ali & Gipp as well as Brandi Williams although she is not credited, promo wise. There is no information regarding Erica.
In 2004, Shamari Fears, Brandi Williams & Natina Reed reformed Blaque. They performed on several occasions in Germany and other countries. During that time, Erica Pullins kept fans up to date via the internet. She stated she is currently working on a solo record.
In 2005, Blaque began work on there long awaited fourth studio album Private Show (originally titled Beauty).
In 2007, a song "It Is What It Is" was slated to be released as the lead single, but was confirmed false, and was heavily denied to be part of the album.
In 2008, "Blue Jeans" was leaked on to the internet, and served as a buzz single for the trio's album. Although the song was well received by critics, it was never officially released due to the group being unsigned to a label at the time.
A reality show was planned to promote the album, however the idea was scrapped, due to each Blaque member focusing on solo work and retooling Private Show. Natina is under TwisTed Management (production team known for producing Danity Kane), Shamari recording for a solo album, and Brandi writing for upcoming artists, as well as working on a solo album as well.
In addition to their recording work, Reed, Fears, and Williams appeared in the 2000 film Bring It On as members of the East Compton Clovers cheerleading squad fronted by Gabrielle Union. Williams also had a small role (playing herself) in the 2001 movie On the Line. Blaque also appears on Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes's 2001 solo debut album, "Supernova", on the track titled "Head to the Sky", which was only released internationally. In 2005, two clips of Shamari's solo songs titled "The One" (Covered & released by Megan Rochell in 2006) and "NJ2" were leaked onto the internet. The girls were also set to do a song with Bahamian Artist T Jay but had to back out.
Recently in November 2007, it has been reported that the group is in the post-production stages of filming a TV reality show called “Blaque in the House,” which will include the members living under the roof of TLC's Tionne Watkins. It is said that the show will highlight the group's past separation and the predicted success of their highly anticipated 2009 CD release. The reality show's trailer was released via YouTube in March 2008. Unfortunately, because of scheduling conflicts causing interference with the girls' solo work, plans for the show was scrapped.
|Year||Song||U.S. Hot 100||U.S. R&B||UK singles||Album|
|2000||"Bring It All to Me"||4||15||37|
|2002||"Can't Get It Back"||—||91||—||Blaque Out|
|2000||"As If"||Bring It On|
|2001||"Head To The Sky" with (Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes)||Supernova|
|2001||"Can't Trust Myself"||On The Line|
|2000||Nominated||Best Editing In A Video
For: "I Do"
|2001||Nominated||Best Female Group
Soul Train Lady Of Soul Awards
|1999||Nominated||Best R&B/Soul Or Rap New Artist
|2000||Nominated||R&B/Soul Album Of The Year, Group, Band Or
Billboard Video Awards
|2000||Won||Best New Artist-R&B
For: "Bring It All To Me"