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Don't Expect To See Stephanie Mills On TV One's Popular "Unsung" Series Anytime Soon...

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 29, 2012 3:12 PM
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S Mills

I think most will agree that TV One's hour-long music series, Unsung, has been one of the network's treasured shows, earning his highest-rated, most successful season ever, this year.

Just don't tell that to Stephanie Mills, because she doesn't care for the program, and has absolutely zero interest in being on it, so if you're one of those who's been hoping Mills featured in an episode, it's not happening, despite the fact that her journey is one that's seen as great fodder for an episode in the serie, as noted by HuffPo notes:

... rubbed shoulders with the likes of Michael Jackson and Pendergrass after acclaimed stints on Broadway in "The Wiz" and "Maggie Flynn," three failed marriages and is the single mother of a child with special needs...

Producers of the series have apparently been chasing Mills for an episode, but the reclusive, Grammy Award-winning songstress has been all but elusive, stating, in a nutshell, that she'd prefer to keep her personal life (past and present) private.

"I don't like that show... They have approached me quite a few times, but I [won't] do that show... I've always been very private and at 55 I don't want to open up my life to that... They've done Angela Winbush and they even wanted me to say something about her on that show, and I love Angela, we're sisters. But I had to tell her, 'I don't want to do that.' ... I'm not that girl... I don't want to get on these shows and open my life up; I don't think it's anyone's business... Let me sing, let me do my concerts, let me do music."

And speaking directly to the show's title, Unsung, suggesting careers that weren't as celebrated and praised as they should have been, Mills added:

"I don't feel unsung... I feel like I've had a wonderful career. I've done wonderful things and met some many wonderful different people. So I don't feel like I'm unsung at all... They even called my agent and tried to offer me some kind of tour if I did the show, and I was like, 'I can't do it'... It [goes against] everything that I believe in."

So there ya go; can't really argue with that.

As for those acts who will be featured in the upcoming season of Unsung, expect to see episodes on Angela Bofill, Kool Moe Dee, The Marvelletts and the late Gerald Levert

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  • TheGooseBeats | November 6, 2012 11:58 PMReply

    Ms. Mills is one of my all-time favorite artist and yes (whether she'll admit it or not) she is Unsung why? About 95% or more of this countries teenaged and young adult citizens can't even tell you who she is or any of her songs, now if that ain't the definition of unsung then what is. She needs to get off of which ever "high horse" she's on and get out of denial (which isn't a river in Egypt).
    This show was created to praise our beautiful artist while tactfully informing us there fans of some of the challenges and pitfalls of being black in a industry that still doesn't give them all the full credit(s) they've earned or deserved. She should feel honored that someone hell anyone would want to shower upon her any type of accolades. If she didn't want her business plastered across the airwaves then she should've become a school teacher or maybe a nun where she could only wish to be admired and honored....

  • renee | June 7, 2012 12:16 PMReply

    i've watched a few ep's here and there... and its an ok show.. but if she doesnt want to do it... more power to her..its not that big a deal... why are people wanting to make something out of it...

  • @ArmyOfMe1981 | June 5, 2012 9:20 AMReply

    I love Miss Mills, but I think she's getting a little combative with this. She obviously has something against the show.

  • Ava | June 3, 2012 5:45 PMReply

    I think I interpreted her words differently than some. I thought of the word that as referring to that type of confessional show where you're life is on parade. She may not be singling out Unsung at all, she might also be inferring about shows like E! True Hollywood Story and Behind The Music as well. She appears to want to live a quiet life and keep it strictly about her singing...hey I can respect that.

  • Drew | May 30, 2012 6:37 PMReply

    All she had to do was say it wasn't for her. She didn't have to denigrate the show because it's done very well. I understand everybody doesn't want their business out there and that's fine but Stephanie Mills has a nasty attitude. It's not even that serious.

  • Darkan | June 3, 2012 3:06 PM

    She said and I quote..."I don't like that show... They have approached me quite a few times, but I [won't] do that show..."
    The emphasis on THAT show.

  • lilkunta | June 3, 2012 2:54 PM

    drew: Where did she denigrate the show? She said she wanted to keep her private life private which is understood. She said she doesnt feel 'unsung' as she is still performing.

    ..and honestly when I think of The Wiz I think of Shanice. Had no idea Stephanie Mills was in it.

  • Darkan | May 29, 2012 11:59 PMReply

    Some of the people the show has covered are legends in their own right. Unfortunately the generations of hip hop and current music know nothing of them or could care less. Their music has been sampled and remade and most people think that the artist they love today (Rhianna and R&B singers and rappers) was the writer and have never heard the original hit which is better than the one they know. I like unsung and I think more people of today's entertainment world need to watch it so that maybe they can avoid the problems that some of these singers have gone through. I also like knowing what happened to my favorite artists I grew up listening to and where they are now. The special on Shelia E was the best ever. Especially when she came clean on what the words of Erotic City really are in the hook! Btw, so that there's clarity...
    Definition of UNSUNG
    1: not sung
    2: not celebrated or praised (as in song or verse)

  • anna limontas-salisbury | June 3, 2012 4:35 PM

    Stephanie Mills was in the original Broadway version of The Wiz, in 1974 0r 1975. It was my first Broadway show ever and I've never forgotten her performance. She is part of Broadway history. When was Shanice in The Wiz? And just to be clear, this isn't a dig at the person who didn't know Stephanie Mills was in the original musical of The Wiz, I'm just curious about when Shanice performed in the production.

  • Yalanda at DryerBuzz | May 29, 2012 11:38 PMReply

    Unsung is a class act. Not tabloid'ish at all. While some of the stories have been surprising, TV One has handle storytelling very well. For someone who doesn't want to be the subject of conversation, Mills has definitely peaked more interest than there might have been in the first place.

  • Richard Woodland | June 4, 2012 10:36 PM

    Correct - she was the original Dorothy - she was a child and she was wonderful.

  • Miles Ellison | May 29, 2012 10:51 PMReply

    If only more celebrities had Mills' attitude.

  • JMac | May 29, 2012 10:10 PMReply

    If it were any other show I'd completely agree with Stephanie but Unsung handles talent very gingerly and seems like they don't have to go into anything they don't want to or go too deep. They leave a lot of the "sordid" details out. I respect her wishes though. Also agree they are confused as to what "unsung" means although I guess they're just following what the audience wants to see. And they need better hair and makeup people - sometimes they just let people walk up in there looking like something the cat threw up.

  • byrd | May 29, 2012 7:58 PMReply

    sometimes, your fans just want to feel like they know you.

  • mark | May 29, 2012 8:49 PM

    Sometimes fans need to show the object of their affection respect and courtesy. Would you like your whole life analyzed for millions of strangers? Why should Mills be any different?

  • sosgemini | May 29, 2012 7:14 PMReply

    That show is one hot mess with horrible reporting and production. Thank Jehovah somebody finally had the nerve to refuse their sophomore attempts at telling what could be wonderful stories. Ughh!! I can't stand that we black folk just sit there and except this crap. Pisses me off!!!

  • Ebony | June 2, 2012 4:27 PM

    LOL, but you probably watch the basketball wives huh?

  • A Bitch | June 1, 2012 3:03 AM

    I can't stand that you just ranted about black people and then could decipher between accept and except. Pisses me OFF!

  • happybrowngirl | May 29, 2012 7:05 PMReply

    Now if only they would get to working on The Jets...

  • JMac | May 29, 2012 10:14 PM

    Loved The Jets but they weren't unsung. Wouldn't mind seeing a Behind the Music on them though. And some sourpuss will say they aren't black so why waste a show on them.

  • JP | May 29, 2012 4:38 PMReply

    There have been a few artists on Unsung that I don't feel are "Unsung". Like Teddy Pendergrass and Freddie Jackson.

  • Ivory Jeff Clinton | May 29, 2012 8:33 PM

    I've always felt the same way. The O'Jays were far from Unsung too. And Freddie Jackson had 10 #1 R&B hits in Billboard. Many would kill to be so "unsung." TV One plays fast and loose with that word, but I LOVE the show. Maybe they just mean stories not well know or that VH1's Behind the Music hasn't done. As for Stephanie Mills, I'm a fan and would really like to see some chronicle of her musical and personal story. BTM should get on that if she's willing. Actually, I think she's worthy of a profile on the Biography Channel.

  • Shanea | May 29, 2012 4:24 PMReply

    Wow. And here I was hoping she'd be on the next season. Guess that won't be happening. I totally respect she wants to keep her life private. But I think Unsung is one of the best shows on TV. You definitely get to see what really happened in the lives of some musicians who never had the kind of success they desired or deserved.

  • sosgemini | May 29, 2012 7:50 PM

    What the heck? Hell no it's not!!! Jody Watley is out for blood for how they botched the Shalamar episode. It's like the producers of the show do a wiki search and that's it. :shakeshead:

  • Chris | May 29, 2012 4:12 PMReply

    But is Gerald Levert really unsung though.....

  • Anton | May 29, 2012 4:15 PM

    I guess compared to a contemporary like Luther Vandross, yes. He never reached the pop success like Vandross.

  • Nicole | May 29, 2012 3:28 PMReply

    Ok. Stephanie. We get it. No Unsung for you.

  • Lamar | March 4, 2013 5:34 PM

    "Unsung" has transitioned into being a TV One verison of the VH1 series "Behind the Music." It really isn't just about unsung performers anymore. I understand why she wouldn't want to be featured on a show called "Unsung." Her career hasn't been low profile. She's had great success on the music charts and on stage, but the show now just celebrates the achievements of singers or singing groups. I love the show and love Stephanie Mills. I think should she consider where the show is now, many performers featured are hardly "unsung." They should probably change the name of the show, considering how far from the "unsung" aspect it's become but TV One has built the brand with that name.

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