Nothing will motivate a man to move forward faster than knowing what's behind Him.

Jimmy Rushing

1. Jimmy Rushing, Blues shouter and swing jazz singer from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, best known as the featured vocalist of Count Basie’s Orchestra from 1935 to 1948.  Rushing was known as “Mr. Five by Five” and was the subject of an eponymous 1942 popular song that was a hit for Harry James and others. He joined Walter Page’s Blue Devils in 1927, then joined Bennie Moten’s band in 1929.   He stayed with the successor Count Basie band when Moten died in 1935.

Valerie Simpson

2. Valerie Simpson, Songstress/Song Writer/Composer, the female half of soul duo Ashford and Simpson.  Initially a writing and production team, the two went on to be popular performers in their own right in the 70s. They are probably most well-remembered for their 1984 single Solid.

Brandford Marsalis

3. Branford Marsalis, Jazz saxophonist, composer and bandleader. While primarily known for his work in jazz as the leader of the Branford Marsalis Quartet, he also performs frequently as a soloist with classical ensembles and has led the group Buckshot LeFonque.

Keke Palmer1

4.Lauren KeyanaKekePalmer, Actress and singer, Barber Shop II, Madea’s Family Reunion, Akeelah And The Bee.  She currently stars as the title character in the Nickelodeon sitcom True Jackson, VP.  She cites Brandy and Aaliyah as her musical inspiration.

Evan Ross

5. Evan Ross (Evan Olav Næss), Actor and musician. He is the son of entertainer Diana Ross and Norwegianbusinessman and mountaineer, Arne Næss, Jr.. He is the brother of actresses Rhonda Ross Kendrick and Tracee Ellis Ross, and of singerLeona Naess. He began acting in the late 2000s, appearing in the films ATL and Pride. Evan released his first single in February 2011, called “Yes Me”.

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