American RnB superstar singer Karyn White is in South Africa and is set to perform live at the Grand Arena in Cape Town on Friday (26 August 2022) and the SunBet Arena in Pretoria on Sunday (28 August 2022).
Speaking on Breakfast with Bongani Bingwa on 702, Karyn said Wednesday: “I have felt like people have forgotten me, but little did I know that here in South Africa you embraced my last album”.
The 56-year-old is best known for hit singles including Superwoman, Secret Rendezvous, and The Way You Love Me.
Karyn was highly popular during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The question is: Could her South Africa tour be the revival of her career and the RnB genre?
Time will certainly tell.
During an interview on 702 Karyn said that the RnB genre is not doing well, especially in the US.
“We are trying to find it back, especially in the states and legends are having tough times with radio where Hip Hop is dominating.
The Soul legend added: “I have felt like people have forgotten me, but little did I know that here in South Africa you embraced my last album.”
“It is just an honour and being back in music and just having South Africans embracing me and also being honoured in the US.”
Her hit singles include “Superwoman” (1988), “Secret Rendezvous” (1989), “The Way You Love Me” (1988), and the US Hot 100 No.1 single “Romantic” (1991).
Karyn was born in Los Angeles to Vivian and Clarence White.
She is the youngest of five children.
Karyn sang in a church choir and worked as a backing singer, then sang on Jeff Lorber’s 1986 Private Passion single “Facts of Love“, “True Confessions” and “Back in Love” before signing to Warner Bros. Records.
White’s self-titled debut album Karyn White was released in 1988. It was produced by L.A. Reid and Babyface and achieved platinum status in the US.
The album contained the Hot 100 hit singles “The Way You Love Me“, “Secret Rendezvous“, and “Superwoman” as well as the No. 1 RnB hit “Love Saw It“, a duet with Babyface himself.
White was nominated in the Best R&B/Urban Contemporary New Artist category for the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards, which was won by Al B. Sure.
She also received nominations for two Grammy Awards.
Karyn became the first female artist to have the first three solo releases from their debut album hit No. 1 on the R&B charts.
Her follow-up album was Ritual of Love in 1991.
It had songs produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and featured the hit single “Romantic“, which hit number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Other singles from the album include “The Way I Feel About You” (US#12), “Walkin’ the Dog”, and “Do Unto Me” (the last two did not chart).
The photographer and director Matthew Rolston directed the video for the hit single “Romantic“. Michael Walls, who was credited as a stylist on Ritual of Love, worked with Karyn on the look for the album sleeve, and three of the music videos released for the album.
Walls had the idea for the Chanel-inspired pearls and black dress used on the album cover, the French maid look, and multiple wardrobe changes for the video of “The Way I Feel About You“, and the “Walkin’ the Dog” video, which was based on a scene from the film Sweet Charity.
Karyn’s next album was Make Him Do Right in 1994.
The album did not sell well, although she did chart with the singles “Hungah” and the Babyface-penned “Can I Stay With You“, which became her final U.S. RnB Top 10 hit in early 1995.
“I’d Rather Be Alone“, her last chart single to date, peaked at No. 50 on the same chart later that year.
And in 1995, Karyn appeared with Mary J. Blige, Monica, and others for the single “Freedom (Theme from Panther)” for the soundtrack to the Melvin Van Peebles film of the same name.
Karyn left Warner Bros. Records in 1999 and dropped out of the music public eye for many years to start a family.
But in 2006, she recorded a new album, titled Sista Sista; which was slated for release in 2006 but was shelved.
Two tracks, “All I Do” and “Disconnected“, were later released on the best of compilation album, Superwoman: The Best of Karyn White.
Karyn was also slated to appear on the Soul Train Music Awards in 2009 as a tribute to Babyface Edmonds.
However, this performance was cancelled when Edmonds and Reid withdrew from the Soul Train ceremony, declining the honor.
In 2011, Karyn was slated to have shot a pilot for a reality series with R&B singers Shanice and Debelah Morgan.
Karyn released her first album after a seventeen-year break, Carpe Diem, in March 2012. The album featured the singles “Sista, Sista” and “Unbreakable,” both of which received music videos.
In 2017, Karyn landed a recurring role on the BET Centric television series Beauty and the Baller as trophy wife Kym Banks.
She also returned with new music and her first feature film role, in Gale and the Storm directed by Derrick Muhammad.
The soundtrack for the film was released on September 4 and included her latest single “Blind Man Walking“.
The film made its premiere on October 12, 2017.
She earned a 2017 UB Honours nomination for the Gale and the Storm soundtrack in the “Best Independent RnB Album Release” category.
In July 2018, Karyn released her single “Lame Excuses“.
Karyn married Terry Lewis in 1992 and together they had a daughter, Ashley Nicole, and adopted their son Brandon. Lewis had brought to the marriage his children Trey and Chloe.
The couple eventually divorced in 1999.
Karyn was later married to producer/musician Bobby G from 2007 – 09.
She was in a relationship with musician Al B. Sure! in 2012.
Karyn resides in California and runs a successful interior design and real estate business.