14 Beats: Damn, That Girl Can Sing

Hey there, Chicago! Welcome to 14 Beats, a weekly playlist curated by lil’ ol’ me! The moon is in Cancer right now and I’m feeling ALL of the dramatic love songs. I’m talking long belts, runs and all that. This week’s playlist is dedicated to all of the divas who are loud and dramatic, but especially to my fellow Pittsburgh girl, Phyllis Hyman, whose sorrow was too heavy for this world. Without any more delay: Damn, That Girl Can Sing.

  • First is Phyllis Hyman’s lovelorn ballad “Living All Alone”
  • Second is Vesta Williams’ powerful “Congratulations,” one of my shower karaoke standards.
  • Teena Marie’s jazzy “Cassanova Brown” pops into the third spot this week.
  • Angela Bofill’s “I Try” is in the fourth spot. Check out the Will Downing cover afterwards for an extra dose of beautiful music.
  • The Patti LaBelle classic “Somebody Loves You Baby” marks the middle spot.
  • Minnie Riperton and Peabo Bryson’s classic duet “Here We Go” switches us into an uptempo vibe for the back end on this week’s playlist.
  • After that is Miki Howard’s bop “Come Share My Love”
  • Then we’ve got Anita Baker’s masterful song “Sweet Love,” another shower karaoke standard and a beautiful jazz rendition.
  • Next is Chaka Khan’s “I Feel For You,” a cover of a Prince song with an assist from Melle Mel and a Stevie Wonder Harmonica solo.
  • The penultimate song on this week’s playlist is Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” which was recorded in one take.
  • We end with Mariah Carey’s “Emotions,” an upbeat and happy love song.

As we mourn the devastating loss of Ma’Khia Bryant to police violence in Columbus, I want to remind Black people: please take care of yourselves. This link is to a directory of Black therapists in Chicago who provide services for under $75, also linked in our newsletter. Here’s seven virtual mental health resources supporting Black people right now, including Chicago-based community organization Sista Afya’s support groups. Hold your babies and tell your people that you love them. Black lives will always be important, powerful and worth keeping alive. Join me next week for 14 Beats: Down South Classics.


Header illustration by Jake Runnion