Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

Jenee Darden speaking at Creative Mornings I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book  and building my speaking career!  You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up.  You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in

When I Grow Up, I Want to Be Like En Vogue

Last night I heard REAL music. No auto tone or lip-synching. I'm talking about some real "sangin'." En Vogue lit the stage last night at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. Cindy Herron, Dawn Robinson, Maxine Jones and Terry Ellis still got it. Young girls take note: butt and breasts out don't equal sexy. The women of En Vogue are in their 40s and they can still give some of these half-talented, half-naked 20-somethings a run for their money. That aside, they sang all of their hits like: "Never Gonna Get It," "Giving Him Something He Can Feel," "Don't Let Go," "Free Your Mind" and "Hold On." The Funky Divas were pure fire. The audience couldn't stop dancing. My soror turned to me and jokingly said, "I want to be En Vogue when I grow up." I thought the exact same thing. The ladies were fierce and beautiful, just like I remembered them as a pre-teen. Dawn made me want to buy a pair of fishnet stockings and a leather strapless dress after I saw her outfit. I love it!

En Vogue are like the Supremes of my generation. I grew up during the height of Destiny's Child also, but the Funky Divas had a different effect on me. When my fellow Oaktown sistas debuted 20 years ago ( Can you believe it's been that long?), the city was hyped over the group. All the boys in my 5th grade class wanted to marry them. En Vogue were a refreshing representation of Oakland and black women. They illuminated sophistication and sexiness. Add their heavenly voices topped off with flawless style-- and this black girl from East Oakland wanted to be just like them. I couldn't wait to be "grown" so I could witness their fierceness live in concert. By the time I was old enough, girl-group drama arose. Dawn left because the group was underpaid and had a bad contract (she explains in a revealing interview). They were down to three members. New girls filled in but it wasn't the same. Then family stuff--Cindy's son became terribly ill and Maxine took a break to spend more time with her children. Before I knew it they were off the map.

My girlhood dream finally came true when I won tickets for the show. I sang and danced last night like back in the day when I watched En Vogue videos on BET's Video Soul. I even caught myself using my fist as a fake microphone last night. Sorry, in my head I'm the fifth member. I've read on the internet they're working on another album. They didn't mention anything about an album last night. I hope they put out new material. If they do, I'll be standing in front of my computer, watching their videos on YouTube and singing off key into my reporter's mic.

Check for En Vogue and Ginuwine on tour near you.

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What' s you're favorite En Vogue joint? Here's mine:


  1. LOVE it Jenee!!! What I loved most about En Vogue was it was one of the few girl groups where EVERYONE sang lead. A group put together based on talent and not just looks (although they looked great, at the end of the day they were all strong singers who could hold their own). My favorite song . . . tie between "Don't Go" off the first album and their acapella version of "Yesterday."

  2. Thanks Jam! I forgot about "Don't Go" until someone reminded me. The guy with the nappy chest hair in the video was hot. That was when people made music videos without vixens.


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