Daytime soaps have long been guilty pleasures. Today, R&B artists including Rihanna and Mary J. Blige are redefining the dynamics of the ‘traditional’ soap opera. Rihanna and Blige, noted for hits including “Rehab” and “Work That,” have each taken on the fictional towns of ‘Pine Valley’ and ‘Llanview’ via ABC’s ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Live To Live’ via exclusive performances and guest appearances. More than just a venue and way to promote a new album or single, Daytime soaps like ‘All My Children’ are opening doors and eyes. “Somebody might think of Mary J. Blige as a hip-hop artist and then they hear a song on our show that has more of a laid-back R&B feel with emotion in it and it’s tied into a couple of characters. All of a sudden, it (the music) is very accessible to them. It’s the same thing with Nelly Furtado. She runs the gamut of styles, from hip-hop all the way to laid-back R&B and traditional ballads. I want everyone to enjoy it. We’re always trying to balance style,” says Supervising Music Director Paul Glass. Like Rihanna, who debuted on ‘All My Children’ early in her career to perform the single “S.O.S.,” veteran Queen of Hip Hop Soul Mary J. Blige has been welcomed with open arms. In fact, Blige has been welcomed twice on ABC Soaps and may take a trip to the set of ‘One Live To Live’ a third time. According to Glass, Blige’s first performance on the show a few years ago set records and has since created a sort of dialogue between Soaps, record labels and recording artists including Keri Hilson, Timbaland, Snoop Dogg and Ne-Yo. Ne-Yo, performing on ‘All My Children’ in 2008, called the experience a “great look”. “I think it’s a great look for me too. People that frequently watch that show… may not really know me yet and I’m trying to get a hold of everybody,” he confirmed after his mother reportedly “lost her mind” over the fact that her son was performing on her favorite soap ‘All My Children’. For more on Daytime Television, particularly Soaps, and their connection to R&B, Hip Hop and other music, click here for Singersroom’s look at the history of daytime and its transition (featuring Usher, B5, Lil Kim, Lauryn Hill, Keri Hilson and Dionne Warwick).
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