For this week's episode of Get Sweaty, we went down to Dallas to visit the one and only queen of soul, Erykah Badu. While there we visited the Lone Star Circus school, which Badu recently joined after her daughter, Puma, inspired her to get involved. It wasn't your average workout by any means, and it involved a lot of flailing and falling, though we eventually got the hang of it and landed some pretty impressive moves. While trying not to die, we spoke with Erykah about everything including her high-alkaline diet, hosting this year's Soul Train Awards, and her upcoming EP with recent collaborator D.R.A.M.
ew.com: Like a true artist, Erykah Badu already has the components to make her final moments iconic.
On the latest episode of Entertainment Weekly: The Show, Badu joined senior editor Kevin O’Donnell to discuss her upcoming returning hosting gig of the Soul Train Awards, her greatest musical influences, and what the end of her career would look like.
In a round of rapid fire questions chronicling the artist’s career, O’Donnell dives into what Badu’s final moments would look and feel like. “How about the music that would play at your funeral?” he asks.
The singer-songwriter thinks for a moment, but says she has to describe the funeral itself before the song choice would make sense. “I want to be butt naked. I want my arms to be glued to my chest like this,” explains Badu, motioning with her arms crossed across her chest. Badu clarifies the body wouldn’t actually be there, just a wax figure that would represent her. Read more.
Erykah Badu in a Midtown Manhattan hotel on Tuesday. Her jewelry includes a gold string hanging from her mouth, which she calls her “floss,” made by the jewelry designer Bijules. Credit Andre D. Wagner for The New York Times
nytimes.com: “Sometimes you think you are at the end, and you are just further deep in. Like a relationship,” Erykah Badu said while untangling a pile of gold and beaded necklaces on a recent cold night in New York City. “And when you finally come to an end, you feel bad about it.”
It was a night in for Ms. Badu, 45, a singer who also assumes any of the following names or in some cases personas: She Ill, Badoula Oblongata, Sara Bellum, Manuela Maria Mexico, Annie the EL, Mary Magnum, Automatic Slim, Butchy Knife Betty, Analog Girl in a Digital World, Lowdown Loretta Brown.
When asked, she can rattle off all of these melodically, without missing a beat. “You will come to realize my sense of humor is morbid and dry,” she said, laughing. Before her first album, when she was about 24, Ms. Badu worked at Steve Harvey’s comedy club, starting as a waitress, making it to the writer’s room where she wrote a few jokes that he used.
“This is my typical night,” she said from a Midtown Manhattan hotel room that seemed meditation-ready with strawberry and sandalwood incense burning and “Feel Better, World! ... Love, Ms. Badu,” a mixtape that she uploaded to Mixcloud about a year ago, playing from her laptop. Read more.
people.com: It was all about love, light and delicious fare at Erykah Badu’s Soul Food Vegan Dinner Party on Monday night. Held at New York City’s popular private dining space The Kitchen Table, the Grammy-award winning singer celebrated her hosting gig on the upcoming Soul Train Awards with a savory seven-course meal created by friend and popular Oakland-based vegan chef Bryant Terry. To quote another soulful star, Solange, PEOPLE was happy to have a seat at the table! Read more.
usatoday.com: She may be the conductor for the 2016 Soul Train Music Awards, but that’s not the only thing Erykah Badu's got rolling.
Ahead of the annual awards ceremony, the godmother of soul made our wishes come true and updated us on the status of upcoming projects, the list of which seems to go On & On.
"D.R.A.M. and I are working on an EP together," Badu says, referencing her WiFi collaborator. "He did Broccoli with Lil Yachty so that’s what people know him for, but this kid is actually a singer. He can sing. He’s the love child of D’Angelo and Ol’ Dirty Bastard."
In addition to their joint record, Badu shares: "I’m working on my own album, always working on that. I’m not in a rush to do that; whenever it happens, it happens. I’m a music supervisor for (Comedy Central's) Legends of Chamberlain Heights, so I’m coming back for a second season to do that and I’m working on post-production with the Soul Train Awards." Read more.
okayplayer.com: This Sunday, November 27th, Erykah Badu will return to host BET’s Soul Train Awards for a second straight year. But before she takes to the stage, Miss E. Badu has graced the good folks at The New York Times with an impromptu live and direct set alongside keyboardist Cory Henry and longtime collaborator Rashad Smith manning the MPC.
They began with a smooth-as-butter take of “On & On,” followed by a brief outing with “Time’s A Wastin’,” before diving into some crowd-sourced inquiries pertaining to the soul sage’s creative process, as well as the buried meanings behind some of her more cryptic wordplay. It’s a short one, no doubt, but there’s no timeframe too slim for a proper dose of heart-mending melodies from the one and only Erykah Badu. Tune in for a little lunchtime lilt down below and hold tight for Badu’s second go-round as the host of The Soul Train Awards this Sunday at 8pm.
In other Badu-related news, the vocalist’s trap-inflected 2015 release, But You Caint Use My Phone, is slated to arrive on vinyl this winter, just in time for the holidays as a Record Store Day exclusive. Hold tight for the official purchase link in the days ahead.
theboombox.com: Erykah Badu is an artist of many talents. We are all familiar with her belly-dancing skills but did you know that she is also an aerialist?
This past weekend, Ms. Badu performed for the Lone Star Circus’ 10th Anniversary celebration and fundraising event in Dallas, Texas. In the video above, you can see the “On and On” singer showing off her acrobatic skills on the the aerial ring.
Prior to the event, Badu had been training on the lyra at the Lone Star Circus School. At 45 years young, it’s good to see that Badu is still flexible and strong as ever. But no, she hasn’t join the circus. But anything could happened if this music thing doesn’t work out for her (*wink*).
There’s no word if Badu performed any aerial tricks at the 2016 Soul Train Awards, as she is the host for this year’s ceremony. The awards show will air on Sunday at 8PM ET on BET. Artists Ma$e, Anderson .Paak and D.R.A.M. are scheduled to perform.
Meanwhile, Erykah Badu’s fun mixtape, But You Cain’t Use My Phone will get a vinyl release on Record Store Day on Black Friday (Nov. 25). This would be the perfect gift for the ultimate E. Badu fan in your life.