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Janelle Monae rocked the mic last night for the final night of the “HBO Bessie 81 Tour” in front of a crowd that included John Singleton and AJ Calloway. See pics inside and get the deets on Prince’s upcoming single.

“Yoga” songstress Janelle Monae hit the stage and did the downward dog last night at Stephan Weiss Studio for the HBO Bessie 81 Tour. This was the final leg of the NY portion of HBO’s Bessie 81 Theatre Tour, a 3-day takeover comprised of an artist workshop (with Bryan Michael Cox and Stacy Barthe), a showcase with local artists and a surprise concert performance by Janelle Monae, all to honor the legacy of Bessie Smith.

Record Producer Bryan-Michael Cox (“Be Without You” Mary J. Blige; “Burn”, “Confessions” and “U Got It Bad” Usher) hosted a workshop for musicians and artists.

Singer Stacy Barthe showcased her vocals talents to attendees interested in breaking into the business.

As we stated earlier, the event was in honor of Bessie Smith and music industry executive Sylvia Rhone posed with Bessie director Dee Rees and Bessie producer Shelby Stone.

In the audience, we spotted tv personality AJ Calloway chatting it up with famed director John Singleton.

Before (and after) Janelle took the stage, DJ D-Nice kept the party moving.

Attendees were treated to a 30-minute set from Janelle, which included her hits “Tightrope” and her signature song “Electric Lady”.

HBO will commence the LA portion of the Bessie 81 Theatre Tour on May 12th, with a different surprise headliner for the West Coast. And you catch Queen Latifah and Mo’Nique in HBO’s Bessie on May 16th.

Watch Janelle hit the stage:

Anyone else doing #yoga this morning? @janellemonae moved into the crowd for the encore of her stellar set at @HBO’s #Bessie81Tour event last night. #Bessie airs 5/16 on HBO. #flex #wondaland #janellemonae (vid: @caligreenink)

A video posted by @okayplayer on May 1, 2015 at 7:08am PDT

Electric Lady! @janellemonae was tonight’s special surprise guest at @HBO’s #Bessie81Tour event and she most definitely made sure everyone got down. #Bessie airs 5/16 on HBO. (vid: @caligreenink)

A video posted by @okayplayer on Apr 30, 2015 at 8:49pm PDT

Coming soon…

Earlier today, we received news that six Baltimore police officers have been charged with the death of Freddie Gray and now one very popular recording artist is writing a song about the unrest in Baltimore.

Reps from Paisley Park released a statement today, revealing that Prince has just recorded a new song that addresses the unrest in Baltimore and the socio/political issues around the country. The single is touted as a tribute to all of the people of the city of Baltimore. So far…….Prince’s rep have not announced when the song when be released and made available to the public.


1. Ben E. King, best-known for “Stand By Me,” died of natural causes on Thursday at the age of 76. Story.

Photos via Getty/Dorothy Hong

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