Burning Up: Leah LaBelle


    Leah LaBelle promo TheLavaLizard
    Leah LaBelle stars in her ‘Sexify’ video.

    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 producerĀ Jermaine Dupri, LaBelle will release herĀ 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:


    • DOMOdotSCORE

      Sexify and So Hot are my jams. I think that if she had the right promo, she could go far. Although the production is a bit dated, it’s really different in this dance music climate. A lot of people are becoming jaded with dance so any sound, dated or not, is a breath of fresh air. Epic needs to promote her more because people are looking for a new mainstream artist who isn’t on that dance bandwagon.

    • darnell

      Damn! She fine as hell!

    • Ci’Yonce

      She’s a dope artist. I started checking her music. I think she will be able to keep up with the music today because I saw in an interview she stated that she’ll have that retro sound but more up to date in competing with what’s out today. I’ll see what’s in store for her. =)

    • She sounds more like alicia Keys than JoJo to me

    • Hayet

      Exactly!!! More Alicia than Jojo

    • monica

      She doesn’t sound anything like Jojo. I guess you wanted to compare them because they are white girls who can do R&B. This girls sounds like Alicia.

    • lawrence

      remember JD tried to push Dondria in a DATED R&B direction? remember how that ended? no?….my point.

      Leah has potential. Sexify is a grower. I slept on it at first….literally. But it grew on me. But she has a song that she performs on youtube called Box Chevy and that song is a BANGER. if she only released that as a single and her music went into that direction she could be successful.

    • Jeweley girl

      I like the way they mix the genre of music.Sexify is on the
      Katie Perry type of style and Make me get up, and What
      have we got to loose are R&B songs. If she is promoted
      right she will do good. This is what people want to hear
      from artist something a little different in every song.

    • sam

      You should do one of Jessica Betts. Amazing vocalists! Listen to her sing I Will Always Love You. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3mAO057mwE

    • larry

      wooow her tone is so fresh and new and raw! But yes her music sounds boring, something for background music not club or driving music! But potential is mad!!!

    • I agree w/ all the commenters who heard Alicia Keys. I would add an Alicia Keys with greater ability to stay on key and avoid being pitchy. Think she has potential for sure.