Stellar Performances at the 2009 Golf & Tennis Challenge

The Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge is one of the most popular Labor Day gatherings for several reasons–one of them is the nightly entertainment. Well, I’m pleased to let you know that the 2009 Challenge at the J.W. Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida, Sept. 3-7, will not disappoint.

Renowned Grammy Award-winning musician, entertainer, and philanthropist Wyclef will be giving an exclusive performance to Golf & Tennis attendees this year. Having started out as a founding member of the hip-hop trio The Fugees, Wyclef’s music has crossed cultural, generational, and geographic boundaries. A 15-year veteran of the music industry, he has produced and collaborated with a wide variety of artists including Carlos Santana, Whitney Houston, and Bono of U2 fame, all while expanding his own repertoire and cultivating his boundless creativity.

When he isn’t in the studio making his mark on the charts, he’s making his mark in the world as a social activist and philanthropist. Wyclef founded Yéle Haiti in 2005, a nonprofit foundation that initiates and supports programs relating to hunger, education, and other rehabilitative services in his native country.

Soulful chanteuse Chrisette Michele will also be in the building this Labor Day weekend. With two releases in heavy rotation at the time of this article–”Epiphany” and “Blame it On Me”–this two-time Grammy-nominated songstress has two albums under her belt. Chrisette first grabbed our attention as a solo artist with her debut album I Am, which featured the romantic ballads “If I Have My Way” and “Love is You,” and the mid-tempo “Be OK,” about recovering from a lost love. I AM went gold, and along with her Grammys, Chrisette was nominated for a BET Award for Best New Artist.

Chrisette upped the creative ante on her current album, Epiphany, working with talented producers Ne-Yo and Rodney Jerkins among others. Signed to Def Jam just two years ago when she personally auditioned for Def Jam Chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid (he said he got goose bumps the first time he heard her sing), Chrisette loves to perform in front of live audiences and has toured with Musiq, Raheem DeVaughn, and Solange Knowles. She’s also part of a major ad campaign by Nivea Crème Skin Company and has appeared on television sitcoms.

R&B crooner Joe will treat attendees to an exclusive performance on Sunday evening. This gold- and platinum-selling artist recently released another album, Signature, and his first single, “Majic,” is already climbing the charts. Known for his songwriting prowess, powerful vocals, and seductive ballads, don’t be surprised if you find yourself humming his songs long after the show. With more than 10 years in the music industry, Joe released eight albums prior to Signature, including a collection of greatest hits, and has collaborated on numerous hits with other artists including Mariah Carey and Big Pun. He’s also written and produced for Tina Turner and the late, great Barry White, Ideal, and Deja Groove.

The son of two preachers, Joe grew up in Georgia and Alabama playing and singing gospel music. After high school, he eventually moved to New Jersey and met producer Vincent Herbert. He was signed to his first label, Polygram/Mercury, and released his first album, Everything, in 1993. After more than a decade with Jive Records, Joe is now with 563 Entertainment/Kedar Entertainment Group where he’s a label partner and executive as well as an artist.

He first came on the scene in 1986 with a self-titled debut and followed up with an album in 1988. He rose to fame with 1997’s Long Time No See, and released two more albums; in 1999 and 2003. Now, after a five-year hiatus, the unforgettable Chico DeBarge is back with a new CD, Addiction, also on the Kedar Entertainment label. His first single, “Oh no,” gives the listener some of the same smooth, laid back R&B many have come to know and appreciate him for.

Part of the musically talented DeBarge family who, both collectively and solo, put out a string of pop and R&B hits from the late 1970s to the late 1980s, Chico’s music is distinguished by the honest, heartfelt lyrics with which he talks about love, relationships, and his own personal struggles. His debut album gave us the hit “Talk to Me,” but Chico is probably best known for his hits “Iggin Me” and “No Guarantee.” Called “a musical screenplay,” Addiction‘s 15 tracks tell not just his story buy the stories of everyday people. Hence his enduring appeal. Even after a long break.

And did we mention that DJ Biz Markie will be on the turntables Saturday night? A veteran of the hip-hop generation, Biz Markie had hits in the late 80s/early 90s with “Make the Music with Your Mouth Biz,” “Just a Friend,” and “Vapors.” He even had a dance named after himself–The Biz Mark. One of the early beat box artists, Biz has established himself as an artist as well as an accomplished DJ with a reported record collection that numbers into the tens of thousands.

It’s easy to think you’re at a sold-out concert hall event during a night at the Golf & Tennis Challenge. Register today so you don’t miss out on the experience.