SOUL RECKLESS 08: Mary J, Jodeci ‘Trouble Down Under’

Trouble Down Under: Do Australians Still Have Love For R&B ? While we love our friends “down under (a popular phrase for Australia),” after 2008 they may not have much love for several R&B singers who either canceled dates, fell out on stage or just gave a real bad show. It all started during the spring with the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige. According to Australian news sources, the Queen (don’t tell Aretha..) was coming for several dates in June and everyone was excited, seeing as it would be Mary’s first tour in the country. Unfortunately for them Mary came down with “weariness from an overwhelming tour schedule” and canceled the dates less than a month prior to hitting the coast. Thinking it’s just one of those ‘Rainy Dayz’ MJB fans held on to their tickets and hoped that the Queen would return as she promised. As promised the Queen delivered but again canceled – this time scratching the tour entirely. For Mary’s sake lets hope that Australians have forgiven her, if not Mary says she’s sorry: “Postponing these shows has been an extremely difficult decision for me and I am sincerely sorry that I will not be able to fulfill my tour commitments.” What happened with Mary J. was a cake walk compared to what would ensue a few months later when R&B veterans Jodeci were due to hit the coast. This time the show took place, but what happened at the show panned out for the entire world’s viewing pleasure or dismay. On a hot afternoon in August, hundreds of fans descended upon the Enmore Theatre in Sydney. Anticipating a reunion show, which was to feature three members of Jodeci including K-Ci and Jojo, fans grabbed their drinks, assorted snacks and whatever else you grab down there and prepped for the night. Unfortunately for them it would turn out to be a hot mess of a show. Arriving with one less member, K-Ci and Jojo were forced to take the stage without Dalvin DeGrate, who pulled out at the last minute. Already angry about that, fans started to boo the brothers who reportedly stumbled over lyrics and even sat down for extended periods while performing songs. According to fans in attendance, all kinds of hell broke loose when K-Ci and Jojo performed a sloppy rendition of “All My Life”. Half way through the song Jojo passed out and fell to the stage (all captured on video) while his brother took one look at him and kept it pushing. Amazingly a security guard emerged, walked up the fallen singer and took his microphone. Eventually, without the aid of his still singing brother K-Ci, JoJo stood up and was helped off the stage. (Video Below) K-Ci later explained why he kept singing during the show: “My brother is epileptic and he has seizures. It’s part of the show where we do the song “Crazy” where Jojo lays on the ground and acts like he’s crazy. When I looked at him I realized this was for real, this wasn’t part of the act.” According to K-Ci the fans calmed down after they saw the paramedics coming. (Click Here to hear what else he had to say after being accused of being high on drugs) I think Australians can forgive K-Ci and JoJo for that one and probably the same for Rihanna. Rihanna surprised the world when news broke that she had fainted at an Australian venue in November. Performing with Chris Brown, Rihanna reportedly ran off the stage, collapsed and was rumored to have been rushed to the hospital. While reps for the singer have since said Rihanna was checked backstage after getting too hot from a corset, fans at the venue said the singer was taken to the hospital. Regardless of whose statement is accurate Rihanna turned out to be okay within hours. Teaming with Brown for the rest of the tour, the duo caused a ticket buying frenzy when extra dates were added to fill demand for their set. So do Australian’s still have love for R&B….I hope so.


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