I turned 16 years old during the summer of 1987. It was the summer Stephanie Mills released the classic album If You Were My Woman. I know this because my mama bought the album on vinyl and played it for days on end. She seemed to gain power from it, and to be honest, me and my cousins learned and loved all the songs too, so it didn’t bother us much.
I belted out “I Feel Good All Over” and “[You’re Puttin’] A Rush On Me” quite often, and will still belt them out to this day if I hear them.
It feels like the music of Stephanie Mills has been with me since I was a young child, from the songs she recorded as the star of the stage rendition of The Wiz, to her banging duets with Teddy Pendergrass, to the hits she put out in the late 80s and early 90s, her musc is an indelible part of my lifetime soundtrack.
So given the opportunity to interview her, you know I immediately said yes, and I did not try to hide how big of a fan I am.
She told Auntie Unfiltered that she loves that the fans have never left her, and that she appreciates all the love she receives from everyone.
She has a new single debuting on Saturday June 19, Juneteenth, and she said she wanted to record it for “our people.” I felt that.
The song, titled “Let’s Do the Right Thing,” pairs her powerful vocals with an uplifting message that is timely considering the current state of racial affairs in the U.S.
Mills will perform the song during the Juneteenth Celebration in New York City at the historic Riverside Church and Middle Collegiate Church.
You can find it on all streaming platforms on Saturday, June 19. The single and the accompanying video will also be available on the same day at her website.
As always, Auntie Unfiltered wants to hear from you. If you have questions, comments, concerns; if you need advice, or if you have a topic you think I should discuss, please hit me up at AuntieSubmissions@TheRoot.com.