Soul brothers Jay-R, Kris Lawrence, Billy Crawford in concert

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Local RnB royalties Jay-R, Kris Lawrence, and Billy Crawford have always treated themselves as soul brothers ever since they met each other – Jay-R and Kris in the US when they were in high school and Billy after meeting in a television studio right after his return to the Philippines from the US where he tried his luck as a recording artist.

The three are bonded tightly, like three pieces of wooden blocks held together not by nails but by glue.

On Sept. 15, Jay-R, Kris, and Billy reaffirm their brotherhood of soul in the much-awaited Soul Brothers concert at Kia Theater.

Aside from showcasing their Original Music Only hits, the show serves as a delightful throwback to the timeless catalog of soul, Motown, and other RnB classics. In this digital age, it sometimes surprises many music aficionados to hear them back on the airwaves or redone by contemporary artists.

Among their guest performers are close friends of the three – Daryl Ong, Sam Concepcion, Jay Durias, and Gloc 9.

RnB royalties (from left) Jay-R, Billy Crawford, and Kris Lawrence reaffirm their brotherhood in “Soul Brothers,” a concert at the Kia Theater happening on Sept. 15. 

With their combined knack as singers, songwriters and producers, the three continue to enthrall fans with their magnetic stage dynamism and commanding presence; Jay-R with his regular A.S.A.P. “Soul Sessions,” Kris with his HomeWorkZ gigs and recordings, and Billy with his regular It’s Showtime, Little Big Shots and forthcoming Pilipinas Got Talent Season 6 hosting stints.

More than their respective musical talents, it’s actually their long-standing friendship and tightly knit camaraderie that have kept them glued together through the years. It’s no coincidence that they are all under Arnold Vegafria’s management outfit, ALV Talent Circuit.

Their recent TV promo sorties showed how Jay-R, Kris, and Billy could be quite a riot with their wacky antics and hilarious pranks. But they can also mesmerize and enthrall as soon as they burst into a spine-tingling three-part harmony a capella number.

The Soul Brothers concept actually has a long history. Jay-R explains, “The first Soul Brothers show was in Guam. We were all part of that first show. Then, the second Soul Brothers show was in New York, but only Kris and I were able to go.”

The reigning Pinoy RnB King promises to make this edition more memorable. 

He says, “This edition will be special because we are home in Manila. We have more room to play around with our stage and concepts. For sure, there will be duets and collabs with the three of us. I’ll be singing my new single “Kabilang Dako.” Bill and Kris will also be performing their new songs.”

Despite having championed his Original Music Only (OMO) cause in the months past through his HomeworkZ bar tours, Jay-R is willing to work on some covers for the show. He reiterates, “I’m still all about Original Music. My whole set is mostly my original stuff. But at the same time, Billy, Kris and I have the same favorite songs, which we want to perform for our audience.”

Despite being friends for a long time, why did it take this long for them to do a show together? 

Jay-R explains, “Maybe it just wasn’t the right time before. Now is the perfect time for us to come together and push out a major concert. It’s in line with all the original music we’re putting out in the future.”

The boys are excited about their recording collaborations. 

Jay-R disclosed, “We have a song with all of us together called ‘Habang Buhay.’ It will be part of my upcoming album. We will launch the song digitally very soon.”

Plans are also underway for a Soul Brothers concert tour abroad. 

Jay-R confirms, “We already have a Soul Brothers show in San Francisco on Oct. 6, Los Angeles on Oct. 7, San Diego on Oct. 8, and we’re finalizing a few more cities in the U.S. and Canada, and possibly UAE.”

Soul Brothers is produced by ALV Events International, in cooperation with HomeWorkZ Music.

Tickets are available at ticketnet.com.ph. Showtime is 8:00 p.m.

★★★★★

Brace for a more fun-filled Sunday night as GMA Network brings back All-Star Videoke twice the fun and twice the excitement, beginning Sept. 3.                                     

The grand return of the musical game show hosted by the two of the Network’s versatile artists – multi-talented actress and TV host Solenn Heussaff and funny comedian Betong Sumaya – should affirm the Kapuso network’s leadership in Sunday night entertainment.

Solenn revealed that because of her love for music and singing, she is more enthusiastic for the show to begin. 

“Ito talaga yung first hosting gig ko sa GMA Entertainment so iba yung feeling kasi sobrang bongga yung preparations sa lahat. Nandun yung pressure but the excitement is there for me kasi I really like music and singing so dito magagawa ko talaga yun,” the Kapuso star said. 

IN CHARACTER. Betong Sumaya (left) and Solenn Heussaff team up for GMA-7’s revamped “All-Star Videoke”

On the other hand, Betong shared how grateful he is to be part finally of the program that has become one of the Filipino viewers’ favorite TV programs.

“Natutuwa ako kasi kami ni Solenn yung pinagkatiwalaan ng GMA dito sa napakalaking project na ito. As we all know, inaabangan talaga ito ng viewers noon, di ba? Sobra yung excitement ko kasi following (in) the footsteps of Allan K., Jaya and Arnell Ignacio, ang laki ng shoes to fill in so I feel blessed and challenged at the same time,” he said.

The game features six celebrity contestants or Videoke stars vying to outwit one another by filling in the missing words in a song in a videoke-type of presentation.

In the event that the player correctly fills in the words in each song, a pair of celebrity laglagers will choose one player who will be out of the competition.

The two remaining contenders will proceed to the semi-final round for a chance to play in the jackpot round. The winning contestant becomes the All Star Videoke Champ! and wins a cash prize of up to P100,000. 

A “Super Oke” prize is also up for the win if the winner decides to continuously play in the succeeding weeks.

All-Star Videoke is under the helm of esteemed director Louie Ignacio and pilots on Sept. 3 after 24 Oras Weekend on GMA Sunday Grande. 

★★★★★

Two of GMA-7’s homegrown artists – Vaness del Moral and Jake Vargas renewed their exclusive contracts with the Kapuso Network. 

During the contract signing, Vaness shared that she is very contented with the way GMA is handling her career all these years, “Nagsimula ako sa Starstruck 11 years ago. Batch 3 ako. At simula noon hanggang ngayon, feeling ko, dito ako sa GMA 7 tatanda at dito na rin ako magre-retire. Ramdam na ramdam ko ever since Starstruck hanggang ngayon, hindi ako napabayaan. At tuloy-tuloy ang pag-alaga sa akin ng Artist Center.”

Kapuso star Vaness del Moral renews her ties with her mother network

At present, she is in Impostora as Crisel. 

Meanwhile, Jake said he is very pleased to renew his contract with the Kapuso Network, “Salamat sa pagtitiwala nila sa akin. Dito talaga ako nagsimula sa GMA. 7 years na akong Kapuso. Nag-start ako sa Walang Tulugan with The Master Showman at pagkatapos nun, sunud-sunod na ang mga shows ko dito. Ang dami nilang naitulong sa career ko. Kaya, Kapuso talaga ako. At ang sabi sa akin ni Tatay (German Moreno) hanggang marami kang naipapakita sa kanilang maganda, huwag kang aalis, [sa] 7 ka talaga. Kaya gusto kong pasalamatan ang GMA Network sa pagtitiwala, at sa pagmamahal.”

Jake is currently in Pepito Manaloto.  

★★★★★

Gabriel (Gerald Anderson) and Bianca (Kim Chiu) remain ach other’s source of strength amid the challenges they face in their relationship and careers in the Kapamilya morning series Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin.

No longer the country’s top triathletes, the couple is determined to build a future together after Gabriel swore to marry Bianca.

This came after Bianca chose Gabriel over endorsing Tiger Shark – a decision Carlos (Jake Cuenca) asked her to make, proving that love is more important to her than money. She also continues to provide for her family by working as an office clerk.

However, problems continue to come their way. Gabriel is being given a hard time by Roman (Michael De Mesa) getting the money that Victoria (Ayen Laurel) had promised to give Gabriel in her last will and testament. Meanwhile, Isabel (Coleen Garcia) has her eyes set on ruining Bianca’s life after the latter exposed Isabel’s illegal transactions in their company.

Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin airs on ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN HD (Sky Cable ch 167) before It’s Showtime.

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