SNEAK PEEK: R&B legend, James Mtume on ‘Unsung’
TV One is readying the premiere of its latest Unsung episode that features the legendary James Mtune and we can’t wait to hear what revelations the iconic musician delivers on Sunday night.
The 71-year-old, Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and producer is responsible for some of the greatest songs of all time and his legacy is far from over.
The activist’s catalogue includes his own hits like 1983’s “Juicy Fruit”, “You, Me, and He””, and “Breathless” by his band, Mtume as well as some of the best songs from other artists like Stephanie Mills‘ Grammy-winning single, “Never Knew Love Like This” as well as Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway‘s hit “The Closer I Get to You.”
The legendary performer got his start in the seventies after attending Pasadena City College on a swimming scholarship. He worked with the likes of Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, and Lonnie Liston Smith before penning hits for greats like Duke Ellington, Teddy Pendergrass, and Mary J. Blige, among others.
“While I was out in California, I decided to pursue my musical interests and I ended up coming back to the East Coast to help in the election of the first Black mayor of Newark, [N.J.], Ken Gibson. After the campaign, I began to work with all the jazz cats: Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard. Of course, I get that call one day from this guy called Miles Davis, and the rest is history,” he told The Philly Tribune.
His work has been sampled by artists across all genres including hip-hop with a particularly successful sample coming from The Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 hit, “Juicy.”
We’re waiting to see what fascinating facts and life lessons the accomplished musician will share on Unsung, but considering his outspoken reputation, we’re sure he’ll deliver several gems.
He’s currently touring with his band, Mtume, and working on new music for Tawatha Agee.
According to reports, TvOne has been trying to get Mtume to sit down for an episode of Unsung for eight years and he finally agreed this year.
Check out the sneak peek of Sunday’s season premiere of Unsung, below:
Unsung airs Sunday, May 20 at 9/8c on TVOne.