Tyrese Gibson brings his love for R&B to the Fox Theatre
Tyrese Gibson has a very flirtatious relationship with the ladies of Detroit. The actor and Grammy-nominated R&B singer says it is a courtship he’s been enjoying for years with no end in sight.
“Detroit energy is always crazy, and I look forward to getting onstage and doing what I do,” said Gibson, 37, the headliner behind the Easter Fashion Affair concert Sunday at the Fox Theatre, during a recent phone interview. The lineup also features Monica and Tank.
“I just want to say to all the ladies, if you’re in a relationship and your boyfriend doesn’t like you to have fun, leave him at home. Bring all your girls to the show and scream and feel comfortable being who you are.”
Gibson adds that there is no room for haters at the Fox.
“It pisses me off sometimes when ladies come to my show with their boyfriends and they’re just sitting there acting like they’re not interested,” said the actor, whose screen credits include the “Fast & Furious” and “Transformers” franchises. “They don’t want to get up and scream too much so they don’t upset their boyfriends. It’s the weirdest thing ever. I see everything.”
Gibson can also see why fans might’ve thought that he has a beef with singer Tank. Although the future of TGT — Gibson and Tank’s group with fellow R&B singer Ginuwine — changes from day to day, Gibson says he has nothing but brotherly love for Tank. Gibson also told his 6.3 million Instagram followers recently that the group is still together and sometimes “you just have to do a few things to get your loved ones talkin.” This includes trash talking.
“It’s just a friendly competition,” Gibson says of his opening act, who is known for songs like “Sex Music” and “Emergency.” “Good luck out there, Tank. Do your thing man.”
As for singer Monica, Gibson said he loves and admires her and fondly recalls appearing in the 2009 music video for her hit song “Angel of Mine.”
“I was supposed to be in ‘The Boy Is Mine’ video (1998), but they went with the other dude,” Gibson said in mock anger that actor Mekhi Phifer was cast instead. “It’s not right. What’s his name? Mekhi took my job. That was my gig.”
But don’t feel too sorry for Gibson. His popular single “Shame” topped Billboard’s R&B charts for 16 weeks last year and received two Grammy nominations: best traditional R&B performance and best R&B song.
Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington produced the song’s music video, which starred Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson. Paul Hunter directed the video. Although the video is a 23-minute film short, most fans have seen the more widely distributed seven-minute version.
Now, Gibson is in talks with three television networks to turn “Shame” into a 13-episode miniseries.
“People know the difference when somebody is just singing a song versus when they mean it,” said Gibson, a divorced father. “I went through it. I did some things I’m ashamed of. We’ve all done things we’re ashamed of. It strikes a nerve. When you sing from the heart, it affects hearts. People love it so much we’re trying to figure out what else we can do with it.”
Gibson’s career has benefited from expansion and sequels. He is set to star in an eighth “Fast & Furious,” slated for 2017.
“We’re a family first,” he said of the cast, which includes Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson. “I’m happy that it’s still going. It’s nothing like working on something that people just wait for, you know? The whole world has seen this movie franchise and embraced it, and we’re going to deliver.”
His next mission: Making sure the music he loves stays vibrant.
“R&B music is under attack,” he said. “There are people painting a picture that it’s not as successful, but the ‘Black Rose’ album is. I feel like it’s kind of making a statement, and that’s what my goal is.
“All of my successes are connected to shedding more light on the genre. I have been championing for the culture. I love it. I believe in it.”
Mekeisha Madden Toby is a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer.
‘Easter Fashion Affair Starring Tyrese and Monica’
7 p.m. Sun.
2211 Woodward, Detroit
Tickets: $59.50, $99.50 and $125 at Ticketmaster.com, or by phone (800) 745-3000.
Passing the torch
Tyrese Gibson got his big break singing in a Coca-Cola commercial 22 years ago. So it’s only fitting that the iconic soft drink company and singer/movie star would team up again to give another singer a big break — Gabi Wilson, an 18-year-old musical prodigy.
Gibson isn’t stopping with Wilson. His Pay It Forward college fund with Coca-Cola is offering $5,000 scholarships to teens, ages 13-18. “Everything I’m doing with Coke is to help pass the torch,” he said.
Visit Coke.com/PayItForward for more information.