jILL SCOTT

Jill Scott was born in the north Philly neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA on April 4, 1972. She is an artists that is classified as a soul, neosoul and jazz artist, however she began her career as a performance poet. Discovered by Amir “Questlove” Thompson from The Roots, he invited her to begin recording in studios which ultimately resulted in the hit from 1999, “You Got Me”. From this experience, she began collaborating with artists like Will Smith, Eric Bennet, Lupe Fiasco, and Common which allowed her to broaden her performance experience by touring in Canada in the Broadway musical, Rent. 

After signing to Steve McKeever’s newly formed label he called Hidden Beach Recordings, she was able to release her debut album, “Who Is Jill Scott: Words and Sounds Vol 1” in July 2000. After the success of her first album, in the following summer she released “Experience:Jill Scott 826+”. She continued to gain recognition, eventually gaining a Grammy nomination in early 2003 f0r Best Female Vocal Performance for her hit single “A Long Walk”. She also won at the 2005 Grammy awards for Best R&B Solo Vocal Performance, Male or Female. Her fame carried her on stage as she got to perform with Aretha Franklin. She was even the recipient of the Aretha Franklin Award for Entertainer of the Year at the Lady of Soul Awards. 

It is important to note that Jill Scott is never limited to music. She is a true multimedia brand across books, clothing, TV and film. She starred alongside Janet Jackson in the #1 national movie series, Why Did I Get Married? (Part 1 and 2), Baggage Claim, Steel Magnolias and many more. As stated before, she was a writer at heart so it was no surprise that she penned The Moments, The Minutes, The Hours which are a collection of poems that instantly became a New York Times bestseller. 

Scott released her fifth album titled WOMAN in July, 24 2015. It opened on the music charts at #1 which gave Scott her second consecutive number one album. Although she is no longer with the label, Hidden Beach, the history of the label can not be told without referencing Jill Scott who was with the label from the beginning. 

TOP 10 HITS of JILL SCOTT

10. RUN, RUN, RUN 
9. BLESSED
8. YOU DON’T KNOW
7. CROSS MY MIND
6. HE LOVES ME
5. FOOLS GOLD
4. GETTIN’ IN THE WAY
3. BACK TOGETHER
2. SO IN LOVE
1. A LONG WALK 

 

SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS

Jill Scott has become the latest celebrity that has defended the actions of Bill Cosby who was convicted of multiple sexual assault charges dating from the last several decades. Scott received an award from Cosby at Temple and following she took to social media and defended Cosby, saying “I’m respecting a man who has done more for the image of Brown people that almost anyone EVER. From Fat Albert to the Huxtables,” she tweeted at one follower who questioned her defense of an alleged sex offender.”Her defense of the sexual predator put her on the outs with many people who feel, especially as a woman, she should be more sensitive to sexual assault matters.  Following his conviction, she did release an apology in which she admitted it was wrong to support him, however, even some of her fans can not forgive her. To this day, her comments follow her, but people have been more forgiving as time goes on. She is no longer at the center of media attention for her comments. 

PHILANTHROPY

Scott’s philanthropy include establishing the Blues Babe Foundation, which is a program founded to help young minority students pay for university expenses. The foundation offers financial assistance to students between 16 and 21. Because of Scott’s roots, it is targeted toward students residing in the Philadelphia and Camden areas. Scott donated $100,000 to begin the foundation and named it after her grandmother who was known as “Blue Babe”. 

At the Essence Music Festival in 2006, Jill Scott spoke out for women of color who are portrayed negatively in hip hop songs and music videos. She criticized the content for being “dirty, inappropriate, unhealthy and polluted”. Her speech brought a lot of attention to the matter and inspired people to speak out about the issue. 

BY: TAYLOR JENKINS