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 FLASHBACK: Regina Belle (songstress)

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Geyla Queen
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PostSubject: FLASHBACK: Regina Belle (songstress)   Sun May 25, 2008 11:30 pm

Regina Belle: In the Spirit
The songstress returns with a debut gospel album



In the late nineties, the soulful timbre of Regina Belle slowly became a part of the conscience of many R&B lovers. Who can deny the impact of the endearing, poetic classics such as "Baby, Come To Me," which embraced the power of her feminity with prose such as "'Cause the moon above/is a friend of mine/and she'll make you burn"?

No one can because that's what you call good music. This month, the vocal powerhouse returns to deliver what she does best. One listen to her gospel debut Love Forever Shines and this is hardly a comeback. Instead it's a celebration of Bell's rebirth of the mind, body, soul and spirit.

She might have changed her tune, but she continues to spread inspirational messages of hope, love, forgiveness, mercy and grace. Essence.com spoke candidly with Ms. Belle about making the transition from secular to gospel music, self- preservation and her alleged rivalry with singer Vesta.

L-Village: Congrats on your debut gospel album, Love Forever Shines. Itís a beautiful album. What is the song that is your personal testimonial?

Regina Belle: It would have to be the last song, 'Iíll Never Leave you Alone.' I remember I was in a Detroit hotel in a situation and I was feeling like He had forgotten me. And Iím like, 'dumb-dumb' he hasnít forgotten you. He just wasnít hearing it I was crying out and I was praying and going through when a small voice said, 'Iíll never leave you alone' and I started writing the song. It was like my head and thoughts were moving quicker than what I could write. And that was eight years ago so to be able to come back to a place and see peopleís reaction to this song, well, thatís monumental.

L-Village: What were you going through?

R.B.: (Laughs) None of your business. I have to leave something for Jesus now, I canít tell it all. But I will say it was pretty intense and that I was in a place where I was like just feeling alone. Now, check this out, to give you an idea of how dumb my thinking was at that time, I was carrying on saying, 'God youíre not with me!Ē but I was in Detroit shooting my first movie, Brewster Place. Iím like, 'Dumb, dumb! He ainít leaving you, He is blessing you.

L-Village: Wow thatís truly a blessing to have that self-discovery. There have been many artists who have made the transition from secular to gospel. What inspired you?

R.B.: For me, the transition was a spiritual one and not so much about going from secular to gospel. The simple fact that some of the places I performed then and now like the theaters and arenas, I have to return to those places and spread The Word. And that word is that there is a savior out there and I believe in Christ. My fans know whatís up because at any given moment I could be shouting praises. The only newness to it all is that I have an entire album dedicated to spreading The Word.

L-Village: Were you worried about acceptance from your peers and loyalists?

R.B.: You have to put The Word out thereóthatís your stamp of approval youíre your experiences are what make it hallmark. The bible says we overcome to talk and share our stories and minister to strangers so that it helps them because it freed me first. We need to live in freedom and sing about it and learn to get past some stuff. Often itís too painful for us to deal with ourselves and if you can turn that finger around toward yourself you would be bulletproof against some things. Once youíre strong and firm enough to make the necessary corrections in your life to deal with the foolishness without getting yourself twisted about some B.S. then youíll be okay and be able to move forward in your life.

L-Village: This is so true. What has been the most challenging in your walk as a Christian?

R.B.: Acting as a mouthpiece for the Lord. You constantly have to check yourself. For me, itís nerves. I get nervous because I donít ever want to be before Godís people and be jacked up in my life and stop the mission because I have some issues. You have to first say, ďThis too shall pass.Ē At the same token, you have to learn to trust God yourself before you tell anyone else. If youíre fussing about how youíre going to pay your next bill and then turn around and minister to the next person that he needs to learn to trust God then chances are you need a bigger does of your own advice. So I am talking in of knowing that youíre victorious and remembering to always minister to myself first before I do it for someone else because it starts with me first.


L-Village: And what has been the easiest to adopt as a Christian?

R.B.: Well, I never had an issue with drugs and have always been able to resist temptations so I thank God for that. I also never had a problem with gossip because I was too focused on other things in my life. In high school I played softball, basketball and ran track. Then I had my music and had to end up getting rid of some of my activities once I began playing the tuba and joined the jazz, marching and concert bands. When someone would say, 'Ooh you heard about so-and-so.' Not because I was beyond that but my focus was on so many other things.

L-Village: Itís great to hear that you donít get caught up in the Matrix of drama. I remember when the singer Vesta (who sang 'Congratulations') made a comment on BET back in the early 90s and said you sound like a drunken Billy Holiday.

R.B.: No, she said that I sounded like Billy Holiday on crack. I remember I went on Donnie Simpsonís show after that and he kept asking me not to bring it up. But just as we were about to go to a commercial break I addressed the comment Vesta made about me. What I said in response to her comment was that I didnít care what anyone thought about my talent, but to speak of an icon such as Billy Holiday who paved the way for all of us to be doing what we do and walk through many front doors and perform was negative and disrespectful.

L-Village: Wow have you ever had an opportunity to do speak with Vesta?

R.B.: Yes, years later. She was on tour with Will Downing and he invited me on stage and I sang. She was performing with him and I was getting ready to leave the stage and she said, 'Hey Regina.' And I spoke to her very coldly. Now, I know that wasnít right of me because I was still holding a grudge nearly eight years later, but what she said stung because itís bad enough to endure criticism as an artist in general but to catch it from another Black women is even harder. So I started walking away and she came and apologized to me and explained that she was at a bad time in her life when she made those comments. She said (something like), 'The person that made those comments back then, thatís not who I am anymore. Iím okay now, I sat on somebodyís couch because I was crazy back then but now Iím saved.' The Bible says to forgive and I did. But I tell you itís hard being a Christian. You really want to tell some people some stuff and I wasnít the person then that I am now. Had I met up with her sooner than then I probably would have said a few things because back then the deal was: if you hurt me, I hurt you back. Vesta is crazy and I love her. It takes a big woman to admit her wrongs years later.

L-Village: What is the most memorable experience you had on the road?

R.B.: I was on tour with Frankie Beverly, Toni, Tone, Tone, Patti LaBelle and somebody else who I canít remember right now in Denver, Colorado back in the 90s and my bra top fell down but I caught it before I mooned the audience with my chest.

L-Village: Ohmigoodness you're a multi-tasker. Speaking of which, as a mother of five how do you balance your personal and family life?

R.B.: Really I just take it one day at a time. I have four girls and a boy. Thereís my eldest daughter Winter, 29, who is married with 2 children; Tiy, 18, whoís headed to college this fall; my son Jayln, 16, who is every bit his age and finally there is Sydni, 13, who sings and Nyla, 11, who plays basketball and sings.

L-Village: Wow, who knew you were a grandmother of two?

R.B.: A nana! Watch yourself (laughs).

L-Village: Yes, maíam. What do you hope people will learn from this album?
R.B.: That Jesus covered everything when he was on the cross and he didnít forget to die for anything. There are some people who think Iím the worst person and I can only come to Christ when I get my act together and thatís just not true. My thing is that there is nothing new under the sun. If we look at it from that standpoint then all we owe him is to know and practice His word.


Last edited by Geyla Queen on Sat Jul 12, 2008 3:30 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: FLASHBACK: Regina Belle (songstress)   Sun May 25, 2008 11:32 pm



A striking Regina Belle in 1990.


Last edited by Geyla Queen on Sun May 25, 2008 11:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: FLASHBACK: Regina Belle (songstress)   Sun May 25, 2008 11:32 pm



Belle enjoys using her talents to promote God's gospel.

"There are some people who think Iím the worst person and I can only come to Christ when I get my act together and thatís just not true," she says. "My thing is that there is nothing new under the sun. If we look at it from that standpoint then all we owe him is to know and practice His word."

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PostSubject: Re: FLASHBACK: Regina Belle (songstress)   Sun May 25, 2008 11:33 pm


"My fans know whatís up because at any given moment I could be shouting praises. The only newness to it all is that I have an entire album dedicated to spreading The Word," Belle says.

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PostSubject: Re: FLASHBACK: Regina Belle (songstress)   Sun May 25, 2008 11:34 pm


"We need to live in freedom and sing about it and learn to get past some stuff," Belle says. "Once youíre strong and firm enough to make the necessary corrections in your life to deal with the foolishness without getting yourself twisted about some B.S. then youíll be okay and be able to move forward in your life."

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PostSubject: Re: FLASHBACK: Regina Belle (songstress)   Wed May 28, 2008 7:26 pm

love her songs-my favourite: after the love has lost its shine. smile_approve
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PostSubject: Re: FLASHBACK: Regina Belle (songstress)   Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:35 am

just got it yesterday, it's good.......... good!
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PostSubject: Re: FLASHBACK: Regina Belle (songstress)   Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:45 am

I used to like her songs, along with yvonne chaka chaka...
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