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SC: Beth Griffith-Manley hosts listening party

Chuck Bennett

Beth Griffith-Manley hosts listening at party at Bert’s Warehouse for ‘Free’

The ever-glam chanteuse Beth Griffith-Manley hosted a listening party on Monday, previewing music from her debut album, “Free,” slated for release late this summer. Just back from Cuba performing with Kem, Beth, decked out in a black leather off-the-shoulder motorcycle jacket, skinny jeans and gladiator inspired block heels, sat on the stage in the Motown Room at Bert’s Warehouse in front of about 100 guests. “I’m so excited about this project,” she says. “I had the opportunity to work with a number of Grammy nominated/winning producers, including Cordell Walton, Marcus Devine, Erik “Blu2th” Griggs, and Michael J. Powell, who has worked with Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and Nancy Wilson.”

The crowd jumped to their feet after hearing Beth’s remake of “I Just Want to Be Yours,” a hit from back in the day (1979) by Chapter 8, featuring Powell and Baker on vocals. “I didn’t want to do that song at first,” she recalls. “Michael, who wrote and produced it, convinced me I could do it. It took me about a year to get it together to the point I felt good about it. Big thanks to my vocal coach, Curtiss Boone. I’m a better singer now because of Michael. I’ll be forever grateful to him, entrusting me to deliver such a classic R&B song on my debut album.”

At the end of the evening, Beth performed “Pillow Talk,” with Joe Foster accompanying her on acoustic guitar. “Pillow Talk” will also be on the album, but is currently available as a single on all digital outlets.

Night of Hope Gala raises about $400,000

More than 1,100 people filed into the Palazzo Grande Banquet Center in Shelby Township on Saturday for the annual Night of Hope Gala supporting Angels of Hope Family Cancer Foundation. Hosted by Jay Towers of Fox 2 News and WNIC, guests were treated to dinner (a massive buffet), entertainment (NuClassica and Priceless Live) and opportunities to win raffle and auction items. One supporter donated boxing gloves to the silent auction that once belonged to Tommy “Hitman” Hearns. Little did the donor know that “The Hitman” himself would be in the house as a guest. There was also a Facebook Live dedication to loved ones with cancer that reached more than 200,000 people. Tickets to the event were $200 per person, and approximately $400,000 was raised to support Michigan kids and families battling cancer.

Singer Jody Watley bringing new group to Grand Prix Sunday in June

It was just announced that Grammy Award-winning artist Jody Watley is scheduled to shake things up at Belle Isle on Grand Prix June 4. Along with her new group, Shalamar Reloaded, Watley, who gained fame as a popular dance artist of the ’80s and ’90s, will perform her feel-good music on the MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage during a matinee performance prior to the final Detroit Grand Prix race. All fans attending the Grand Prix on Sunday are welcome to attend the concert at no extra cost.

Chuck Bennett is the creator of TheSocialMetro.com and is the Fox 2 News Style Ambassador.