Afrobella of the Week: Chrisette Michele

I’ll tell you, in recent weeks it’s been getting harder to come up with an Afrobella of the Week.

While there are still some obvious choices coming up in the not-too-distant future, so many women I could have sworn would be all-natural forever have switched it up and gone all weavey or straight on me. Jill Scott, Marsha Ambrosius from Floetry, even Erykah Badu have strayed from their natural styles. I’m looking for suggestions, y’all. In general the Afrobella of the Week should be a woman who proudly wears her natural hairstyle and doesn’t undergo any chemical hair processes. But this week, I honestly don’t know. I’m just gonna go for it and hope for the best.
Bellas, I present to you Chrisette Michele, an afrobella in the midst of a hairstyle transition.

I’ve had my eye on her since I first heard Lost Ones from a early bootleg download.

Her voice caught my attention first — how could it not? She’s got such a distinctive sound, so jazzy and retro but simulataneously fresh. And when I visited her website to investigate this warbling diva-to-be, I was thrilled to discover a gorgeous natural afrobella smiling back at me.
Chrisette Michele positively glows. Click here to watch her sing live at the NationWide Unsigned Hype show. Oh, I wish I could embed that video so, so much. She sounds great, and I am feeling the lyrics of that song. But unfortunately it’s only available on her website, so do yourselves a favor; click and listen.
The song feels like gospel music washing over your soul. Which makes sense, because Chrisette is apparently a spiritual kind of chick.

I was all set to name her Afrobella of the Week, then I saw the Nas video for Can’t Forget About You. The song is an instant classic, if you ask me. Her voice is as unforgettable as the sample. But at first, I wasn’t even sure it was the same person! Her style was straight, dark, and Forties chic. For a brief minute I had to wonder — are we having a Martha Wash moment on our hands? But the eyes told me otherwise. Then I saw the on the set photos on Concrete Loop and my suspicions were confirmed. Apparently Chrisette is apparently in the midst of a natural hair transition, and she’s definitely gotten the uber glam Hollywood makeover. Her makeup is flawless. Both her and Jill Scott wear that retro sexy look incredibly well.

Natural hair or no, Chrisette can sing. And she looks so fly and sounds so fresh performing live here on Letterman, I can’t even diss her hustle. She’s gorgeous and I have the feeling that she’s going places big time. Duetting with Jay-Z and Nas on big hits is just the beginning for her.

Truthfully, I think it’s probably pretty difficult to start out in the game with a natural hairstyle. I sincerely hope she someday returns to her roots, so to speak… but I’m already a fan.

Here she is being introduced to the Def Jam executives by none other than Mr. L.A Reid. She’s utterly amazing.

Congrats, Chrisette! You’re Afrobella of the Week!

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Comments

  1. Neosoulbeauty says:

    Her voice is beautiful! She needs to be given the credibility she deserves.

  2. Ooooooh, chills! Chills are what I got when I first heard Chrisette Michels’s vocal prowess. Thank you, Afrobella for introducing me to this beautiful and soon-to-be phenomenon. Any idea when a CD will drop or is there one out alrady? Thanks, and keep up the excellent work.

  3. Yeah I really loved her voice when I heard it on
    Jay-z song “Lost one” I actually think the part were she singing is the best piece of that song .I hope we will see and her a lot more about her .

  4. Thanks Bella for putting me on tomore new music! As a fellow music lover, I am always excited to learn about new artisits who are doing their thing in a very real way.. keep it comin’, love!

  5. I too had to do a double take when I saw her in the Nas video! I had been to her MySpace page once I heard her on the hook of Jay-Z’s song and had to know who she was. I thought she was so cute with her natural and couldn’t believe when I saw her with straight hair in the Nas video. She is really amazing and love her with natural or straight hair, I just hope it was her choice and not something she was forced to do for the music industry.

  6. Might I suggest Amel Larrieux as an Afrobella of the Week? She’s as natural as they come, she releases her music on her independent label Blisslife, she posts blogs on her website and she’s an amazing singer. Morning, her latest album is as great as her first solo release Infinite Possibilities.

    Good looking out on Chrisette Michelle. She’s got such a beautiful, and most importantly, memorable voice and look. Even with the wavy/weavey ‘do, she stands out from pretty much everyone else in mainstream R&B.

  7. Hey Dani! Amel is among that list of choices that are coming up… her, Macy Gray, Goapele, Rachelle Ferrell… I’m working on them. But the undiscovered afrobellas always intrigue me the most. Good call!

  8. I am really diggin this chic!! I want the song Golden, I am really trying to find it and download. i love her voice. i think her hair fits her any way she rocks it. She looked wonderful in the Nas video. Also dare I suggest me for the undiscovered bella, because I am on the rise and kickin it au naturel 10 years and then some.

  9. I love Chrisette Michelle’s voice! It’s so soothing, like she just relaxes me when she sings.

    And, I know that your focus is on natural hair, but one of the beauties of black hair is variety of it. What’s natural on one woman may be a huge fro, another woman’s natural hair may soft and straight. What about women who are proudly who they are regardless of what style they’re currently wearing?

  10. Ms. New Beauty, I feel where you’re coming from. But this is called afrobella for a reason, and I strive to celebrate the kind of natural beauty that I don’t see regularly represented in the media. I know natural hair comes in all textures, but by and large natural afro-textured hair is springy and coily and curly.

    I think Chrisette is hot either way, but I identified with her much more when I saw a proud beauty with hair that looked like my own rather than Catherine Zeta Jones’s.

  11. May I recommend Meshell Ndegeocello for afrobella of the week?! She is awesome!!

  12. ooooh or you can do Rebecca Walker, Alice Walker’s daughter. she is one of my heroes and a big inspiration for women all over the world.

  13. Chrisette’s voice is amazing. Could she be the young woman who started a bidding war between the major record labels awhile back?

  14. Love Chrisette’s voice — I saw her on Letterman and cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I was not to be able to find a CD of her own work.

    Second the nomination of Meshell Ndegeocello — she is a singular artist whose work never fails to move me.

    Also nominating Gigi — she is an Ethiopian Bella working more in the World Music category with Bill Laswell as her produced and killer musicians from the jazz, R&B, rock scenes supporting her. Fabulous voice.

  15. Other fabulous natural Afrobellas:

    Lizz Wright
    Cassandra Wilson
    Toni Morrison
    Suzan-Lori Parks
    Tracy Chapman
    Alice Walker

  16. I’d love to see Cassandra Wilson, Karen Briggs, or Regina Carter as afrobellas. They’re all jazz performers, natural sisters, and over 40!!! Being in my 40s, it would be nice to see some of the older sistahs represented.

  17. I see that someone recommened alice walker for bella of the week, I recommended her daughter Rebecca. Maybe you could do a mother daughter thing bella. I also saw that someone else recommended Meshell Ndegeocello for bella of the week. she is a great muscian and was also in a long term relationship with Rebecca Walker.

  18. Sometimes a girl just needs a break from the naps…I’m not mad at Chrisette for switching up her style. I’ve been flat ironing my natural hair for the last couple of years and I don’t consider myself any less natural than when I choose to rock a twist-out or braids..versatility is what makes natural hair so great.

  19. Carla suggested Suzan-Lori Parks, YES!!! I LOVE her work.

  20. May I suggest:
    Deecoily – founder of http://www.nappturality.com or Pookeylou – CEO of http://www.loccorg.com/index.htm or Motown Girl – CEO of motowngirl.com

    I’m not really up on celebrities so these ladies were the first that sprung to mind for me.

  21. GREAT suggestions, bellas! Anita — I’ve named Motown Girl already, but I’ve been considering more businesswomen/beauty blogger types. Thank you all!

  22. chrisette says:

    hello ladies. i thank you all dearly for supporting me as an afrobella! im honored. although my roots are currently straightened i respect all kinds of beautiful african american, latina, asian etc. hair. as a fan of culture and beauty alike i’d love to let you all know that i am a combination of nationalities…irish, cuban, native american, southern african american, and jamiacan. i am happy with my current style of choice for the past 2 years as the photo you all see is about three years old. and with my colorful array of beauty choices to choose from i hope you will still support me as i continue to grow. you can find my cd this june 19th. i hope to make many new friends and fans with its release. god bless each one of you and thank you again for your support.
    with love,
    -chrisette michele

  23. @ chrissette’s comment above^^:
    how hot is that bella! glad she came by =)

  24. Go to http://www.dxstyle.net for a complete story on Chrisette Michele.

  25. Chrisette’s voice is reminiscent of the root of soul itself – and ladies, I have found a website that helps us to make a difference as to this “music” that gets released by record labels. I first heard Chrisette when I was rating her new album on Promosquad.com and let me tell you girls – mmmm mmmm I was hooked immediatly and I bought her debut on June 19th. Sistahs, join me at the forefront of new soul music at Promosquad.com :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The other song that I discovered through The Loop was Chrisette Michele’s Good Girl. I’ve been bumping that for a solid week now. I can’t get enough of that song! Angel La was also lucky enough to interview Chrisette, and she came correct with the questions. Great job, Angel La! I always feel intimidated when it comes time to ask famous people a controversial question, so I appreciate the way she handled the situation. And I LOVED Chrisette’s realness at the end, when she responded to a previous comment, where someone dared to say that she needed to lose weight to become more marketable. Chrisette got all kinds of sassy.”I just want to let that person know that I’m very very excited about being my size in this industry. Because the average woman size in America is a 14. So at this particular moment, I am an average woman. And if you don’t know what an average woman looks like, you need to open your eyes and look again. That’s all. Whoever said that really played they self. I was like, I bet your girl was my size!” Ha haaaaa! Go ‘head, Chrisette! And I do know for a fact that she reads the comments about her, because she came right here on Afrobella and left a comment in response to her Afrobella of the Week post, too! Click and scroll all the way down to read it. [...]

  2. [...] My appetite for new music is as insatiable as my appetite for makeup and hair products. Which is to say, I’m always on the lookout for the next big thing. I especially love female singers with spunk and sass and undisputable talent. Personality counts for a lot, and I admire a musician with style. But the kind of singers that steal my heart and become my instant new faves are more than just fresh and fly; they also radiate soul to the max. So in the vein of previous Afrobellas of the Week Chrisette Michele, Conya Doss, Janelle Monae, and the criminally slept-on Alice Smith, I present to you the enchanting pixie that is Ayo. She’s glowingly talented, and as refreshing as a glass of mint lemonade on a sweltering summer day. And she’s been making it big in Europe for a while now! [...]

  3. [...] I absolutely love this chick. Afrobella did an excellent post about her and I agree with every single word. In these Rihanna and Ciara days (and don’t get me started on Can’t Leave Him Alone bullshit yet), she’s an incredible breath of fresh, talented air. [...]

  4. [...] His photos are really edgy and interesting, and I was absolutely captivated by this photo of former Afrobella of the Week Chrisette Michele, meeting herself as celebrity and admirer. I love the hot, chic short hair trend, [...]

  5. [...] It’s not the first time Chrisette’s stopped by to leave a comment, but I did really jump for joy when I read this last one. Thought I’d [...]

  6. [...] already know how much I love former Afrobella of the Week Chrisette Michele, right? Her music lifts my spirits, and her videos give me makeup inspiration. And in the past, [...]

  7. [...] I first heard the golden pipes of Chrisette Michele and featured her on Afrobella – she was in the middle of a natural hair transition. Since being signed to a record label [...]

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