Click to view more about each event:
SMOOTH CRUISE: Regina Belle - Spirit of New York, Pier 61/Chelsea Piers
TICKETS - $55 thru day of show
OR BY CALLING 866-211-3812
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 6:30PM
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 9:30PM
New York’s Premier Summer Jazz Series Returns…
Join us Wednesday, August 29th for the final Smooth Cruise of the summer season with Regina Belle at 6:30pm or 9:30pm aboard the Spirit of New York.
Celebrate the Smooth Cruises’ 15th year on the Hudson, aboard The Spirit of New York, located at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers (23rd St & West Side Hwy). Experience this one-of-a-kind LIVE JAZZ concert series as you cruise down the river enjoying stellar views of the Statue of Liberty and the breathtaking Manhattan skyline.
The Smooth Cruises sell out quickly, so get your tickets today!
While four-time Grammy award winning R&B/Pop songstress and New Jersey native Regina Belle rode high on the urban charts in the ‘80s and ‘90s with such classics as “Baby Come to Me,” “Make It Like It Was” and “What Goes Around,” faith, churchgoing, and gospel music remained at the very core of her life in the spotlight. Today, Belle is a “reverse crossover” artist with gospel now in her repertoire. She is also a pastor’s wife and minister of music at New Shield of Faith Ministries in Atlanta, where her husband, John S. Battle III, is senior pastor.
Regina launched her music career when, as an 8-year-old, she performed her first church solo — a take-no-prisoners rendition of the gospel standard “Don’t Drive Your Mama Away,” originally by Shirley Caesar, one of Belle’s early influences. Such was the youngster’s talent that, by age 12, she had her first professional gig, and, come high school, she received a full scholarship to attend the Manhattan School of Music.
Her stint at the school was instrumental in laying the groundwork for her future endeavors. Unlike her musically inclined schoolmates, Belle actually had to work hard to bring out the best in her. “When I came into the school, I never really thought I was going to make it,” she says. While she cherishes the lessons learned there, something was amiss: the school’s rigid music-only curriculum left her wanting a better grasp of who she was and “a better of understanding of how the world works.” That desire to expand her horizons drove her to Rutgers University, where she majored in history and accounting, two careers she complemented with music courses at what is now the state college’s famed Mason Gross School of the Arts.
Twelve credits shy of her college graduation, she got the break of her lifetime when she received a call to audition for the Manhattans. They soon asked her to record a duet with them and be their opening act. “At that moment, it was like, goodbye school,” says Belle. “What I wanted to do was handed to me on a platter. All I had to do was walk through that door. I had to grow up real quick. That was my real training. The life work started to happen.”
It wasn’t long until Regina signed with Columbia Records, a successful partnership that yielded the albums “All By Myself,” “Stay With Me,” “Passion” and “Reaching Back.” “Stay With Me” went Gold (as did “Passion”) and catapulted Belle to #1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, a feat driven in part by two chart-topping singles, “Baby Come to Me” and “Make It Like It Was.” The industry also took notice and during her lengthy career, Regina has appeared in concert with many other performers, including Ray Charles, Boney James, Paul Taylor, The Rippingtons, Gerald Albright, Will Downing, Maze, Frankie Beverly, Phil Perry, Al Jarreau, and Stephanie Mills.
The whirlwind of activity, accolades, and media attention eventually got the best of the singer, to the point that her gospel foundation was put on the backburner. Now, with her religious identity firmly in place, Belle’s 2008 “Love Forever Shines,” showcases her soulful voice set to the two styles that make up her musical persona: contemporary R&B and gospel music. On the album she easily goes from an early ‘90s quiet-storm number like the title track to switching gears to deliver a fiery, Sunday morning delight like the hand-clapper “Can’t Nobody.” The album landed at #15 on the 2008 Billboard R&B charts and at #3 on the Gospel charts.
Catch the dynamic Regina Belle and celebrate the close of the summer Smooth Cruise season with us on Wednesday, August 29th.