Once again it was another spectacular week as celebrities from the music and movie industries descended upon the City of Angles to celebrate and support the 4th Annual Essence Black Women in Music in partnership with Black is Beautiful and Lincoln and their new MKZ mid-size luxury sedan. The red carpet (actually it was purple) gathering was consistently flowing with familiar faces in attendance to support honorees Lianne La Havas and Solange Knowles.
Lincoln has partnered with Essence Magazine from the inception of Black Women in Music and utilized this year’s red-carpet Grammy event to showcase their very own new rising star in the form of the 2013 MKZ. Not only did the vehicle shine within LA’s glamorous lights, the MXZ also escorted La Havas and Knowles to the redesigned Greystone Manor. The sports, luxury sedan also garnered attention from Verdine White of the legendary Earth, Wind & Fire; Grammy Award winner Estelle; actor Jessie Williams; Keke Palmer; Grammy nominated singer Tank; actress Amber Riley; and Morgan Kibby of M83 as each posed poignantly with the American four-door.
“Lincoln is honored to be the exclusive automotive sponsor of the Essence Black Women in Music event for the fourth consecutive year,” says Shawn Thompson, Lincoln manager of Multicultural Marketing. “Our involvement allows us to give our target customers and influential buyers a hands-on experience with our great new products like the 2013 MKS and MKZ in hopes that they will consider us for purchase in the future.”
Both Lianne La Havas, a British folk and soul singer and Solange Knowles performed live sets to an energetic audience including the likes of Jill Scott, Andra Day, Bridget Kelly, LisaRaye McCoy, Nene Leakes, Amber Riley, Bilal, Dawn Richardson and many more. Havas played the guitar while singing tracks from her hit album “Is Your Love Big Enough.” Both riveting and compelling, the 22-year-old from South London moved the crowd with soft emotion and heighted vocals. By the way, her music is so incredible that I immediately downloaded the album on iTunes as soon as I entered my room at the Sofitel. My favorite tune is “Lost & Found” where she sings intensely about the rollercoaster ride her ex-boyfriend took on her on. La Havas also wrote all 12 songs except “Elusive” and performs a duet with Willy Mason on “No Room For Doubt.” With blessings embellishing the young singer from all angles, the self-taught guitarist has already opened up for Alicia Keys on several occasions and made fans out of Prince and Stevie Wonder.
Knowles’ performance was more dramatic with a disco/funk tempo and cameo by Verdine White. Her afro and colorful attire was reminiscent of 70’s dance music, while her voice pumped up the crowd to another degree. Knowles’ career in the music industry began as a teen when she began writing songs for Destiny’s Child. Shortly after she followed up with the debut album “Solo Star” at age 14. “Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams” was her second album and included “I Decided,” which went to No. 1 on the Billboard.
Earlier in the day La Havas arrived in the MKX to host the Black Women In Music Lincoln Lux Luncheon with a cadre of media and Lincoln and Essence team members. She was cheery and upbeat while dining on a succulent 7-course meal and wine at Ago West Hollywood. It was good times for all in attendance.
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will air February 10 on CBS.