From reader Eric Floyd…
The world of music and entertainment has just suffered the loss of truly one of the most vibrant and vivacious vocalists of all time, MISS VESTA WILLIAMS! Tragically gone far too soon, we who knew and loved her consider ourselves blessed to have basked in the blessed assurance of her passion, artistry, madcap humor, humanity & love!
With a packed house @ The West Angeles Church Of God In Christ on Crenshaw Blvd., there were only (2) two things in short supply at the memorial service, and that was (1) a dry eye and (2) an empty seat, as the capacity crowd swelled with both pride & sorrow during the 2 hour service, which was presided over by Bishop Charles E. Blake & reflections made by Jesus Garber, Iris Perkins & songwriter Tena Clark, who shared a particularly poignant story of how Vesta (who she had done commercial jingles with as a session singer) insisted that Tena be allowed produce three tracks on her album, much to A&M Records chagrin. This blatant act of loyalty, Tena maintains was directly responsible for her current multi-platinum career as a Producer / Songwriter; especially as the results of their collective labor gave Vesta her biggest hit & signature song; “CONGRATULATIONS”!
Sister Martae’ Collins spoke about how her big Sister always had her back and protected her, including one time when they were kids and a female bully had chased her home terrified, prompting Vesta (who had not yet put on her make up) to come out with a baseball bat in her hand to confront the girl. Tapping the bat on the ground, distracting the bully, Vesta would cold clock the girl in her face with her free hand; repeating this move at least another 3/4 times, Martae comically recanted how the poor girl could not quite figure out that the bat was never the threat, but it was Vesta’s free hand that bared watching & ducking from. When the girl eventually returned with the police, Vesta was in full make up and a positive I.D. could never be made.
Probably, THE most moving part of the tribute was actually listening & watching Vesta herself singing an uptempo gospel number at the very church that her remains were now laid out in. Surreal to say the least… In attendance in the star studded crowd included the likes of Peggi Blu, Wanda Dee, Freda Payne, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine, Kellita Smith, Norwood Young, Michael Collier, Miki Howard, Kiki Shepard, Jackee’, Luenell & the legendary Blues singer, Linda Hopkins.
The “UNSUNG” crew was there to film the ceremonies in correlation to the upcoming episode dedicated to Vesta, which she was a proactive participant of on up until her untimely death.
A private soiree was organized masterfully by Soul / Gospel Crooner, Norwood Young @ palatial estate home by private invitation only for just Vesta’s showbiz friends, who were all told to bring a pot luck dish and NOT to bring any “plus one’s” with us. Starting @ 5:30pm and ending around midnight… we ate, drank, joked / clowned, shared Vesta stories, sang collectively and were treated to song selections that were too outstanding for words; including Loretta Devine’s rendition of “CONGRATULATIONS” that kicked it all off. All in all Norwood should be commended for opening both his heart and home to all of us fortunate enough to attend this impromptu event; the evening, just like Vesta, is a priceless memory that none of us will soon readily forget!
ERIC FLOYD & WANDA DEE each take a turn @ hugging up close to the ageless MISS FREDA PAYNE
The ever elegant MISS PEGGI BLU, The Goddess WANDA DEE, FREDA PAYNE & ERIC FLOYD outside
PEGGI BLU, WANDA DEE & LORETTA DEVINE share a tender reflective moment together
Surrounding Norwood Young in his kitchen are a bevy of some of Hollywood’s finest, inclusive of Loretta Devine, Kellita Smith, Jackee’, Luenell, Peggi Blu, Miki Howard & Robi Reed.
Kellita Smith played ‘Wanda’ on THE BERNIE MAC SHOW & Wanda Dee, well… has been WANDA DEE her whole life…TWO SEXY LADIES SHARE SOME CHEEK TO CHEEK LOVE!
Peggi Blu is joined by her Showbiz Mom, Linda Hopkins, while Eric Floyd is joined by his showbiz Mom, Peggi Blu & Wanda joins them all, for a truly priceless moment between them all… can you say ‘showbiz royalty’!?
PEGGI, NORWOOD, WANDA & ERIC hold down for the pose down… and because it was close to midnight of a very long day, and this photo was taking a wee bit too long for the photographer (who shall remain nameless) to take over and over and over again; Wanda, Norwood & Eric expressed their dismay through smiling clenched teeth, but as you can see by the photo on the left, Peggi expressed hers quite effectively with just one look.. that’s all it took… JUST ONE LOOK! LOL! And it worked, the photo on the right, was alright @ the end of night!
VESTA sharing some laughs with ROGER GREEN & Dance Queen, SHANON @ Eric Floyd’s OLD SCHOOL PARTY @ The Las Vegas Hilton
VESTA joined by ANITA “Ring My Bell” WARD, SHANNON
(“Let The Music Play”) and KATHY “We Are Family” SLEDGE
down in the green room before going on for the finale’
R&B Diva, VESTA & international Pop/Dance Diva, WANDA DEE share health & beauty tips together backstage in Wanda’s dressing room. Vesta had lost some 100+pounds and kept it off for over a decade now, while Wanda has maintained her reputation as one of the sexiest hard bodies in the music industry… they laughed most over the fact that they thought that theylooked like sisters both in FACE, SPIRIT & BODY!
The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published at The Huffington Post and EURWEB.com. For the most recent posts of Mr. Mo’Kelly, visit http://mrmokelly.com. Mr. Mo’Kelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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