TV One’s award-winning series Unsung returns with an all-new season of hit-makers and game changers starting Wednesday, June 3rd at 8 p.m. ET. This season is filled with trailblazing artists who dominated the charts, pushed the boundaries of their genre, and inspired legions of fans with their legendary sound. Viewers will be able to reflect on the lives of innovative, soul-stirring singers of the ’60s and ’70s, including Ike Turner, Otis Redding, and the Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown, as well as return to hip-hop’s golden age with Kid ‘n Play, DJ Quik, and Xscape. In a special episode, Unsung Revisited, viewers will receive an update on artists, including Full Force, Zapp & Roger, Sylvester, and Miki Howard, who following their features on the series, have experienced profound changes to their lives and legacy.
Wednesday, June 3, 8PM ET – Ike Turner
Ike Turner was the controversial musical genius credited with recording the first rock and roll song, as well as the creation of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, a show like no other. They catapulted to fame with hits like “A Fool in Love,” “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine,” and their classic re-creation of “Proud Mary,” all while showcasing Tina Turner’s astonishing stage presence and unique tone. However, Ike was haunted by emotional traumas from his childhood, and his obsession to control ultimately destroyed his band, his marriage, his reputation, and his life.
Wednesday, June 10, 8PM ET – Otis Redding
From Georgia farm boy to singing legend, Otis Redding changed the face of soul music and left the world with one of the most popular songs in modern music, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.” Before that, he recorded and co-wrote over twenty top ten hits, including “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” “Can’t Turn You Loose,” and the anthem that ultimately became Aretha Franklin’s own signature song, “Respect.” His electrifying performances altered the entire trajectory of ’60s music. Then at the age of 26, Otis died in a plane crash while en route to a performance.
Wednesday, June 17, 8PM ET – DJ Quik
DJ Quik became one of hip-hop’s most legendary rapper/producers of the ’90s, with classics like “Tonite” and “Born and Raised in Compton,” which continue to get airplay today. This prolific producer has crafted hits for artists as varied as Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Shaquille O’Neal, and Tony!Toni!Tone!. DJ Quik rose to great success despite surviving a life filled with hardships, including his days growing up in the notorious streets of Compton, to battling depression, serving jail time, and even putting his equipment on sale to retire from the hip-hop game. Today, the self-proclaimed “Americaz Most Complete Artist” continues to thrive on and off the stage.
Wednesday, June 24, 8PM ET – Chuck Brown and the Story of Go-Go
The undisputed Godfather of Go-Go music is the renowned Chuck Brown. Growing up in the impoverished nation’s capital, Brown found himself in prison for eight years after a murder conviction. He turned his life around and emerged as a guitarist and singer who helped craft a genre that blended the sounds of funk, blues, salsa, gospel, and soul into “the beat,” which is now known as Go-Go. Early pioneers like The Young Senators, Black Heat, and Trouble Funk developed a signature style that reflected Washington, D.C.’s African-American culture, while inspiring second generation bands like The Junk Yard Band, Rare Essence, and Experience Unlimited (aka E.U.).
Wednesday, July 1, 8PM ET – Unsung Revisited
In this unique episode, Unsung revisits four artists – Full Force, Zapp & Roger, Sylvester, and Miki Howard – to uncover how their lives have been affected by the award-winning series. The story of Sylvester, the legendary singer who died in 1988, was resurrected on Broadway thanks to a producer – alongside Sheryl Lee Ralph – who was moved by his Unsung profile. The Troutman family reveals how their dynamic changed after discussing the tragic deaths of Roger and Larry Troutman. Miki Howard depicts her new life as a jazz and R&B singer after her career was revitalized by her episode. And the George brothers, Lou, B-Fine, and Paul Anthony, discuss the latest chapter in Paul’s courageous fight against the disease that nearly cost him his life, and the joyful album it inspired.
Wednesday, July 8, 8PM ET – Xscape
In 1993, Xscape rose to the top of the charts with three platinum albums that included number one hits “Just Kickin’ It,” “Understanding,” and “Who Can I Run To?” Composed of sisters LaTocha and Tamika Scott and classmates Kandi Burruss and Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, they formed a sisterhood as strong as their sound. As a group, Xscape frequently struggled for respect, as their raw talent took a backseat to the music industry’s emphasis on looks and glamour. By their third album, their sisterhood had imploded. Since their breakup in 1998, attempts to reunite the group have failed, with lingering bitterness and deep seeded anger playing out on public forums.
Wednesday, July 15, 8PM ET – Kid ‘n Play
Kid ‘n Play exploded on the rap scene in the late ’80s and redefined the game with their fun-loving party anthems like “2 Hype” and “Rolling with Kid ‘n Play.” Additionally, they established a look and style that crossed age and color lines. After starring in the cult classic hit film House Party, they became media sensations, appearing in TV commercials and their own Saturday morning cartoon. When their squeaky clean image lost favor to emerging hard-core rap artists, they found themselves on the outside of the business. The rise and fall of fame carried a sobering cost for their personal lives as well. Recently, the lifelong friends decided to reunite and bring the fun back to the party.
Unsung is narrated by actor Gary Anthony Williams and is executive produced by Arthur Smith, Kent Weed, and Frank Sinton of A. Smith & Co. Productions for TV One. Mark Rowland is Co-Executive Producer. Lamar Chase is Producer and Jubba Seyyid is Executive in Charge of Production for TV One. D’Angela Proctor is Head of Original Programming and Production for the network.
More information about current and past seasons of Unsung is at TV One.