Centric proclaims itself as “the first network designed for black women.” One of their original shows is “Being,” where they sit down with 8 strong and powerful women who decide to share their story with viewers. This past Sunday, they recently wrapped up the last episode of their 6th season, where they sat down with women like Remy Ma, Naturi Naughton, and Fantasia.
Kelly Price, a Queens, New York, native got her start in music with George Michael. She later went on to sing with major superstars like Mariah Carey, The Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, and Brian McKnight. In 1998, she released her first album Soul of a Woman. In her career, Price has released 7 albums since 1998 and is a 7-time Grammy nominated performer.
In her episode of “Being”, Price goes on to discuss the struggles of being a plus size singer in the 90s as well as how she uses music and her voice to cope.
Another New York native, Tweet hails from Rochester. She started out singing in church alongside her family. Tweet started off her official career in a female group called Sugah. This group opened the door for her to meet Timbaland and Missy Elliott. After the group Sugah disbanded, Tweet got a call from Missy to do background vocals for her album. This opportunity opened many doors for Tweet which then allowed her to finally release her debut album, which featured possibly her biggest single, “Oops (Oh My).”
In her appearance on “Being,” Tweet opens up about how after the disbandment of Sugah, she battled depression and suicidal thoughts before Missy Elliott asked her to sing backup vocals on her new album. She also sheds light on why she left music and why she’s returned.
Sheryl Lee Ralph
While most might recognize Sheryl Lee Ralph from her role as Dee Mitchell from “Moesha,” this Rutgers University graduate got her start when she starred as Deena Jones in Dreamgirls on Broadway in 1981. Ralph has a long list of appearances, some including the TV shows Smash, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, and Criminal Minds. Ralph has also appeared in 7 on stage plays and released the album “In the Evening” in 1984.
Sheryl takes to “Being” to describe that although “Dreamgirls” was a massive success, no one speaks about how AIDS massively effected the time and their production company in that 1/3 of them were lost to the disease. She also describes the hate she received from people who didn’t approve of how she spent her time and the people she chose to do it with.
A Bronx native, Remy Ma first began her rap career by writing poetry. When word reached Big Pun about this young MC, he soon took her under his wing. After the death of Pun, Fat Joe made Remy a member of his label and his rap group, Terror Squad. From her first album, she dropped two of her hottest records, “Whuteva” and “Conceited.” In 2008 Remy Ma was jailed for 6 years until her recent release in 2014.
In her episode of “Being,” Remy Ma talks about how her childhood living conditions sparked a rage in her that can often times be heard in her music. She also goes on to explain her relationship with Fat Joe and her hopes for the future after her prison release.
Naturi Naughton was most known for her role as a member of the group 3LW. This New Jersey native first joined the group at 15 years old and their first album, which was released in 2000, went platinum. In 2002, she announced that that the group and its management forced her out. After 3LW, Naughton went on to record for the Fame film soundtrack as well starring in Hairspray on Broadway. Since then, Naturi went on to play Lil’ Kim in the biopic Notorious as well as starring in the Starz drama Power.
Naturi goes on to explain in her episode how race played a role in her being kicked out of 3LW and how she has embraced this and her struggles to allow her to be successful in her future.
Fantasia Barrino got her rise to fame when she appeared on the 3rd season of American Idol. On the show, Barrino shared her story of having a child at 17 years old and how she was illiterate, often unable to read any documents that she was given as a part of her career. Fantasia went on to win the season and her debut single made it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Since then, she had released 5 albums, won 2 Billboard Music Awards in 2004, and won her first Grammy Award in 2011.
In her episode of “Being,” Fantasia talks about her struggles of being pregnant at 17 and how she was finally able to take control of her music from her management. Barrino goes on to describe her transition into a role model for black women.
Bern Nadette Stanis
Although the name might not originally stand out, you might recognize Bern Nadette Stanis from her role as Thelma on Good Times. Not only has this Julliard graduate appeared in Good Times, but you might’ve also seen her appear on shows like What’s Happening Now!!, The Cosby Show, and The Wayan Bros.
In her episode, she talks about how it was being the first black teenager to appear on television and how she overcame the struggle of being labeled as “Thelma” for all the Hollywood roles she tried out for while battling with her mom’s debilitating disease of Alzheimer’s.
Lisa Nicole Carson
Another New York native, Lisa Nicole Carson started off her career in small appearances on Law & Order and The Cosby Show. When she branched out into bigger films, she was starring in Love Jones and Eve’s Bayou. Even after these performances, she became renowned for her role in ER for 6 years and her role in Ally McBeal from 1997-2002.
In the season finale, Carson talks about her diagnosis with Bipolar Disorder and how this caused her to step away from the big screen. Lisa Nicole Carson goes on to discuss how she stepped back into the spotlight in 2012 after a 10-year hiatus.
Every season, “Being” captures and retells the story of strong and powerful black women. This season was filled with singers, actresses, and rappers who were all able to overcome the setbacks and disappointments of their lives and persevere.
Be sure to tune into the next season of “Being,” only on Centric.