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R&B songbird Stephanie Mills joins Groovin' line-up

Published:Wednesday | June 7, 2017 | 12:00 AMDave Rodney
Stephanie Mills
Tarrus Riley
Busy Signal
Ken Boothe
American R&B superstar R. Kelly

Another R&B icon, Stephanie Mills, has just been added to the line-up of New York's premier reggae/rhythm and blues summer concert, Groovin' In The Park.

The sensational songbird has been a huge all-time favourite for New Yorkers and a staple on classic soul radio stations there. She is a native of Brooklyn and she has enjoyed a dazzling career that has spanned several decades.

Her career began as a child prodigy in Brooklyn's Cornerstone Baptist Church, were she riveted congregations from age nine. After winning Amateur Night at the Apollo Theatre for six consecutive weeks, she went on to open for the Isley Brothers. She was eventually signed by Motown Records. But her chart-topping recording success came in the late 1970s and beyond with a catalogue of smash singles that were released by MCA Records.

Her number one chart-topper, Home, from the Broadway musical The Wiz, kicked off what appeared to be a barrage of unending hits. Her hit singles include, Good All Over, (You're Putting) A Rush On Me, Sweet Sensation, Something In The Way (You Make Me Feel), and one of her warmest love songs, Never Knew Love Like This Before, which won her a Grammy in 1980 for best R&B vocal performance. But Mills' vocal perfection also took her on journeys in the realm of club music with dance classics like Put Your Body In It.

"Groovin' In The Park has an enviable track record of bringing to New Yorkers the best available and the most exciting talent each year, and this year we are continuing in that fine tradition with the addition of the astonishing vocal range of Grammy winner Stephanie Mills", Groovin' CEO and founder Christopher Roberts told The Gleaner.

Mills will join the already impressive Groovin' In The Park cast that will also feature R&B hit machine R Kelly, dancehall marvel Busy Signal in his first performance on US, soil, rocksteady Musgrave Medal winner Freddie McGregor, alongside co-legends Ken Boothe, Leroy Sibbles, U-Roy, Lloyd Parks and We The People Band, accompanied by a mass choir. Another New York favourite, Tarrus Riley, will also be electrifying the Groovin' stage. The outdoor one-day concert at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY, takes place on Sunday, June 25.