Photos by Tito Garcia (@gotit_lens)
Tweet embodies the infamous Notorious B.I.G. lyric “To all the ladies in the place with style and grace….”
The legendary songstress has to be one the sauciest soul singers I’ve ever witnessed dressed in a bucket hat, aviator shades, and leather bell bottoms. Twenty years later, she still captivates audiences with her unique tone and vocal ability.
“I’m in shock but truly honored to have put out a body of work that people want to hear 20 years later. To have the opportunity to travel on what has become an anniversary tour of my debut album is priceless,” stated Tweet, the soulful singer-songwriter whose career began in the 1990s.
A Southern Hummingbird Takes Flight in Chicago
She recently had back-to-back sold-out shows at City Winery Chicago in celebration of the 20th Anniversary Tour of her “Southern Hummingbird” album.
In an interview with the Chicago Defender, Tweet gushed that Chicago holds a special place in her heart and is her favorite city to perform in.
At the intimate Fulton Market venue, Tweet reminded everyone of the reason she has remained in the game so long.
In true Chi-town style, the music lovers gathered to cheer on the iconic songstress who opened her show with an up-tempo hit, “Make Ur Move,” from her legendary debut album.
Tweet’s music is nostalgic for many. One fan at the show shared, “Tweet got me through so many moments, especially in college.”
The singer took us through a musical journey of her career onstage, engaging with her audience by asking if any singers in the house wanted to come up and sing on popular duet hits.
“As I look back on my career. I credit being authentic and humble as the ultimate sustainer in this business. By keeping God first and not allowing myself to get swept by this industry, I am blessed to have been able to stay consistent with who I am,” she said.
Southern Hummingbird Allowed Us to ‘Fly Free’
With a spirit as sweet as her sound, when asked if she could choose her favorite song to perform from the debut album, she said, “That’s like asking a parent to choose her favorite child. I like them all, and I enjoy learning that my audience wants to hear me perform them all 20 years later.”
Tweet shares that the “Southern Hummingbird” album comes from pages in her diary. With such an intimate body of work, she felt she needed to share it with the world then (2002). “I felt that I needed to put out some music that could touch people. For me, writing music is therapeutic, so I felt the urgency to put out music that could help others as it helped me,” she said.
As a certified soul singer whose music leaves all audiences with a lingering feeling of depth and emotion, Tweet shares that she is a layered person in real life.
“This is all-natural for me. I grew up in the church, so all I know is feeling. The intentionality that I put in my music will always make you want to go to church, dance, or for some, look inward and make necessary changes,” she said.
Tweet emerged in an era that has been undeniable in its contribution to black music. Many essentially recognize June as Black Music Month.
“Black music means everything to me. Black music is healing but, above all, is timeless. We are the creators, and I am so happy to have contributed to this space where people will remember what I added to the conversation as a black artist,” added the singer.
The early 2000s was a time for many black female artists such as Tweet, India Arie, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and more to express themselves in unique ways, allowing listeners to fly free by simply being themselves.
It is because of this authenticity that many female artists today are just able to be.
For Black Music Month, the Chicago Defender highlights notable Black musicians — local, national and in-between — who are from Chicago or have some connection to our great city.