Today’s Burning Up doesn’t focus on controversy or sexuality as was the case with our Frank Ocean segment. Rather, this installment showcases the unique talent of a singer who is no stranger to the media spotlight – former ‘American Idol’ contestant Leah LaBelle.
If you’re wondering why you can’t remember LaBelle’s days on ‘Idol’ then think a bit harder. She was that girl was finished in 12th position during the show’s third season, which was famous for powerhouse singers Fantasia and Jennifer Hudson. Of course, LaBelle is quite talented in her own right.
Teaming with producer Jermaine Dupri, LaBelle will release her Epic Records debut album in the fall. The LP is preceded by the lead single, ‘Sexify’. Watch the song’s accompanying video, which includes cameo appearances by JoJo and Pharrell, below:
They key to LaBelle’s appeal is the rich, husky tone of her voice. She actually sounds similar to a more mature version of JoJo and her vocals easy adapt to R&B music without seeming forced. However, there is one major issue challenging LaBelle – the production of her songs.
While Dupri should be applauded for his understanding of LaBelle’s voice, there is an undeniably dated quality to the music that they’ve put together, thus far. With R&B in such a state of disarray in 2012, they will have to think outside the proverbial box if they hope to make a large impact on the charts or else remain relevant only on Vh1 Soul.
Listen to five songs from LaBelle’s upcoming debut album and decide if she has what it takes to be a major success below: