Are we lucky or what? Philadelphia has always been a city of song, from the days when the Founding Fathers hoisted mugs in its taverns to today, when local lass Taylor Swift is at the top of the pop charts—though not on this list. Because to be on this list, you have to have one of the finest singing voices ever to have let freedom ring in this town. Here, in ascending order, are the 13 best singers who’ve called Philly home.
In December, Philly-born singer Jill Scott took to Twitter to defend Bill Cosby, saying that “media/society is attempting to destroy a magnificent legacy … who has done more for the image of brown people than almost anyone.” But after it was revealed this week that Cosby admitted to buying Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to women he wanted to have sex with, the soul singer is changing her tune. Once again, she used Twitter to share her newfound thoughts:
Philly-bred singer/actress Jill Scott took to Twitter yesterday to defend Bill Cosby following a string of sexual assault allegations against him that have been resurfacing recently. It all started when a fan tweeted that she heard Scott was taking sides with Cosby.
@JasBaileyTweets sides with Mr. Cosby? No. I side with substantiated proof when media/society is attempting to destroy a magnificent Legacy
— ⭐Jill Scott⭐ (@missjillscott) December 1, 2014
And it continued …
(h/t The Root)
Philly’s Jill Scott goes by many names — neo-soul queen, poet, actress — but today she will receive a new title from Temple University, when she is presented an honorary doctorate from her alma mater. The certificate will anoint her Doctor of Humane Letters. More from Essence:
Temple University President Neil D. Theobald said Scott’s “values and achievements embody the mission and ideas of the university.”
Besides her award-winning music career, Scott is also the founder of the Blues Babe Foundation which helps underserved students in the Delaware Valley with their postsecondary educational goals through financial assistance and mentorship. The foundation is named after her grandmother.
On Thursday First Lady Michelle Obama will host a “Women of Soul” concert at the White House, and she’s invited Philly’s Patti LaBelle and Jill Scott to perform.
Other featured singers: Aretha Franklin, Melissa Etheridge, Janelle Monae, Ariana Grande and The Voice winner Tessanne Chin.
The best news is that we can all see it, because it’s streaming live Thursday, March 6th on the White House website, and will be televised April 7th.
For the first time in its 85-year history, the Academy Awards is putting on a concert to showcase the five original scores and four songs nominated for Oscars this year, and Philly’s Jill Scott is among the performers.
Extra reports that Usher has chosen North Philly-raised neo-soul queen Jill Scott to be a guest mentor on the upcoming sixth season of The Voice. In the interview, he calls Scott his secret weapon. “[She’s] incredible, as a writer, as a musician, as an actress,” he says. “All those elements really help to prepare artists.”
You can catch her on The Voice when the show kicks off on Feb. 24.
The 157th Anniversary Concert and Ball, Philadelphia’s annual white-tie gala, celebrated the Academy of Music’s 157th birthday on Saturday, January 25th.
Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra along with host stars the Bacon Brothers and special guest artist Jill Scott entertained attendees during the concert. Nézet-Séguin told the audience that he had been a long-time fan of Scott’s and when he found himself in his dream job of conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra, he just had to perform with the home-town girl. He called it a dream come true.
The night began with an open house reception before the anniversary concert at the Academy of Music where guests dined on delights by chef Jose Garces. During the concert portion, newly installed Adele Schaeffer, chair of the board of trustees of the Academy of Music, told the audience that the evening’s funds would be used to restore the building’s HVAC system, which dates back to 1966. After the concert, guests made the annual trek up Broad Street to the Hyatt at the Bellevue Hotel. The ball included dinner and dancing to the music of six bands, including The Eddie Bruce Band, in the Grand Ballroom.
Each January, the who’s who of Philadelphia pays big bucks to attend the Philadelphia Orchestra’s annual Academy Ball and Concert at the Academy of Music. There are glorious gowns and fine jewels. There’s lots of society gossip. And there’s always a special guest performer, with past rosters showcasing everyone from Rod Stewart and Billy Joel to Yo-Yo Ma and Lang Lang. But this year, for the 157th edition of the grand fete, the Orchestra has chosen a much more local talent: North Philadelphia-born-and-raised Jill Scott.
Now, if you’re wondering Where the hell has Jill Scott been?, it’s not an unfair question. After a long series of Grammy- nominated songs and albums and her own 2009 show on HBO (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency), Scott more or less went underground—but not without good cause. In 2009 she had a baby boy, and one year later, she was sued by her longtime record label for millions of dollars for breach of contract, tying up her life and career. That suit has since been settled.