Here’s my story: I’m on the red carpet at the BET Honors and in a small, cold room, filled with shouting people and flashing lights. The men were in suits and tuxedos and the women were snatched and beat to the Gods! In the room, there’s this beautiful woman standing on the “media” row of a few people next to me. I had noticed her before when our group walked from the hotel to the media room, but for some strange reason, I couldn’t figure out who she was. She was in a gorgeous black gown, hair in a ponytail, her make up was flawless and her smile was radiant; the one feature that seemed familiar. First thing I thought was “I think I’m under dressed.” (lol)
You know how you stare at someone, trying to figure out where you know them from but just can’t put a finger on it? I proceeded to do my interviews and she was busy doing hers. Funny thing about this woman though, the celebrities that stopped through our line, gave this woman extra time. Again, I’m thinking “who is this chick?” I’m sure she caught me staring at her!
About an hour had passed and the celebrity flow began to minimize; leaving only assistants and interns. The “media peeps” started to clear the room and a few of us “radio chicks” decided to take a group picture. The “mystery woman” in the ball gown was busy talking, laughing, and minding her business while we were busy snapping our cheesy red carpet selfies.
I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I had to introduce myself. I wasn’t sure if she knew who I was, but when she introduced herself, my jaw dropped! This beautifully, talented woman I had been standing next to all that time was the legendary Angela Stribling! (selfie time!!!)
(Miss Angela & I at the BET Honors, 2013)
She’s the woman with the golden voice and memorable tagline “I’m Angela Stribling.” She was one of the big names from the BET line up from the 90’s like Bev Smith and Donnie Simpson, on shows like Video Soul, Screen Scene, Planet Groove, and more!
I was super psyched to finally meet the woman I used to watch on television, mimicking her voice and pretending to host the evening news in the mirror (don’t judge me).
From the BET Honors red carpet to Twittersphere, Miss Angela and I had developed a virtual sisterhood; in 140 characters or less! It’s truly an honor to have had the opportunity to dig in the crates of her history. I’ve learned so much! Talk about a name dropper! Read more on Miss Angela Stribling and consider yourself schooled by a true television and radio legend!
Angela Stribling, WHUR Washington, DC / Urban Adult / Host of Pillow Talk With Angela Fridays at Midnight. Also, guest host and imaging voice of The Original Quiet Storm.
How long have you been in the radio business? Over 20 years.
How long were you in the television business? Since 1990
What is more enjoyable/different? I love them both. People are so visual. So it’s amazing how many people can remember what I had on, or how I wore my hair, before they remember the actual content. It’s just funny. I’m having so much fun with it, because even though I can’t see them, I know my audience is right there with me.
Is the transition from television to radio a challenging one? Not really, but, the mediums are completely different. The difference in television is the script/teleprompter. But, I found a way to inject my creativity and personality! I really enjoy interviewing people, and getting them to relax and tell me everything makes it all worthwhile! I’d say that honestly connecting with people is my greatest strength!
What was it about radio that struck your interest? In radio, you get a chance to create whatever world you want to. Since there are no visuals, you have to help your audience feel the vibe you’re going for. The music is the star! My goal is to make my listeners forget their troubles and fall even deeper in love with their fav artists. I’ll inject a little humor and/or inspiration along the way too.
What genre of music do you like to listen to the most and why? I listen to a lot of different genres. But, Jazz is my absolute favorite. I fell in love with jazz at a very young age. When I first heard Sarah Vaughan sing, I was mesmerized. Then, I discovered Ahmad Jamal, Miles Davis, Nina Simone, all the masters. I’ve been hooked ever since. But, I also love R & B. I listen to WHUR even when I’m not working there.
What is your LET IT GO song? (one that you would absolutely lose your mind listening to) Lately, it’s Jennifer Hudson and R Kelly’s “It’s Your World!” I can’t get enough of it! Wait, I’m gonna put that on right now! 😉
You’ve interviewed a lot of celebrities, was there ever a time you had an uncomfortable celebrity encounter/interview where it went terribly wrong? Describe.
Hah!!! Well, you’re right! I’ve covered lots of people and have many funny stories. I’d have to say the most embarrassing was when I wanted to interview Chaka Khan at the Cincinnati Music Festival a few years back. My producer wanted just a quick interview with the major artists. It was before 2005 because Luther was there…Chaka, Gladys, etc… Okay so when Chaka was finished performing, my producer informed me that she was in a big rush so, the camera guy will meet us at Chaka’s trailer. He said I’ll meet you there too… just get me anything you can get. A short interview about her performing here, anything!
So, okay! I rushed to her trailer (practically ran) and was met by her British assistant, Wanda. Wanda told me that she will do her best to get me that quick interview with Chaka…but, it will have to be very quick because she had a plane to catch. No problem. I waited patiently for the beautiful Chaka Khan to come from her dressing room… She came out, and thankfully remembered me from previous interviews. I said “I know you’re rushing, but all we need is a quick line or two about you performing here at the Cincinnati Music Festival ok?” (My camera guy arrived before I did and was set up) She said: “Angela, you know I’ll do an interview with you, but I’m in such a rush. I have a plane to catch. I’m sorry.
But, talk to Wanda and have her check my “shedule” and I’d be happy to do it.” I looked at her …as if I was being punked… I thought she was joking… I started laughing and I said “Wait, did you say “shedule?” Bwahahahaha!!!” I thought she was saying that to get me to laugh, but… She wasn’t laughing. She said very slowly… “Yes, she’ll check my “shedule” to see when I can do it.” Now, you know when something is so funny to you…(even if it’s only you)… and you are not supposed to laugh… Which means you can’t stop laughing? Unfortunately, this was one of those times. I could not stop laughing. I was thinking “Isn’t she from Detroit?” Jesus, help me! But, as I later thought about it, I do know how it is. Her assistant is British, and they spend a lot of time together. Musicians have this issue. Especially, because they have such good ears… They don’t even realize their speaking like whoever has the accent. Yes that all makes sense now…
But, at the time, it didn’t stop me from laughing. Her reaction? She just walked off with Wanda and the rest of her entourage. I was standing there laughing… but it was sobering when she walked off. Well, the only consolation is that the producer was laughing too. Actually, he was in tears. I felt soooo bad. Okay, fast forward about one month later…when I was to bring her on stage in St. Lucia. I prayed that she’d forgotten about the laughing fiasco, but honestly wasn’t sure whether or not I was going to get beaten up backstage. o-O But, Ms. Chaka Khan was very sweet. Love her! 😉
Who was the best celebrity encounter and why? I’d have to say the best celebrity encounter was interviewing Stevie Wonder. Why?: Because he’s Stevie Wonder. He’s such a kind, generous, genuine spirit. I wasn’t expecting his sense of humor. He’s so funny. Which is completely disarming when you’re around such greatness! I’m proud to call him a close friend.
What’s the biggest misconception about you? I’m not sure. But many people tell me that after having a conversation with me, they were surprised at how “down to earth” I am. So, maybe the misconception is that I’m not. When I dug a little deeper as to why some people even thought that I wasn’t, it all came down to the way I speak. They thought I spoke a certain way for the cameras and mics. I’m just me all the time. 😉
What don’t people get about music when it comes to radio? I think people don’t get how powerful radio is. So, we have to be responsible with what we choose to play. People have so many choices of where they listen to music these days. So, we cherish our listeners. We’re exposing our audiences to the very best that we can get.
Who do you most admire in the radio industry and why? Two people actually. The General Manager of WHUR, Jim Watkins, is such a genius and visionary. He’s that type of manager who gives you insightful direction, then room to soar! His generosity is probably what inspires me the most. Jim takes mentoring and giving students a chance to develop and grow, very seriously. I’m also very inspired by Cathy Hughes! She is a true maverick and gave me my start in the radio industry. I’ve witnessed how her steadfast focus on her goal, garnered her so much success. A true trailblazer. I won’t say that she’s an inspiration just because she’s a woman! She’s someone we can all take a lesson from.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Cathy Hughes told me a long time ago to own something some day. I’ve been a successful voiceover artist for a long time, so, it made sense for me to start my own production company. Thank you Cathy!
What’s the biggest misconception about women in radio? I think the perception is that we are staunch rivals and competitors. My experience is the complete opposite. Take us, for instance KiKi. I’ve got so much love for you…and you always make me feel genuinely appreciated for my contributions to the broadcast industry. Thank you, by the way! 😉 In my world, women support and celebrate each other! I believe there are many of us in the sisterhood!
Where do you see urban radio in the next 10-15 years? So many people say Ooooo! Terrestrial radio is dying and everyone will listen to music on their smartphones and the internet. There’s nothing wrong with having many choices. But, I believe radio is here for a long time. I can’t imagine life without it! Yes, it’s constantly changing and growing. But, that’s a good thing.
Who do you think is the most under-appreciated artist out there right now? Will Downing! He’s so incredible… But it seems that he rarely gets real love from radio. I’ve never been able to figure that out. He’s so talented! Maysa is another one. She was just nominated for a Grammy… and Still doesn’t get much love from radio.
Who’s in your iPod/radar? Stevie Wonder, Gregory Porter, Ahmad Jamal, Marcus Miller, Minnie Riperton, Leela James, Avery Sunshine, Will Downing, Maysa, Syleena Johnson, Buika,
What do you want your legacy to be? That’s a big question. I want to inspire people to be there best! We’ve got the tools for greatness, but it’s usually fear that holds us back. It’s a constant lesson, but it’s worth it to work on every day. So, by living my life, fully, and authentically, I wish to encourage others to do the same. Follow your bliss!
Biggest regret is… I’d love to say that I have no regrets. But, I do! Well, I’ll just say, there was that one who got away!
If you could be one of these, who would it be and why?
Kardashian sisters -Kim! Such a slave to fashion!
Girlfriends (cast) – “Joan” played by Tracee Ellis Ross
Female Super hero –Unfortunately, there aren’t many. So, a version of CatWoman! A sweet kitty by nature, but will battle when necessary!
Sex In The City girls- Oh! I’m so Carrie. She’s a girl who is living her dream career, her girlfriends are her lifeline, and she is passionate about that fairy tale happy ending with her man!
How can people reach out to you?
FB Fan Page – Pillow Talk With Angela
Instagram – AngelaStribling
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER/IG @JustKiKiBrown
FAN ME ON FACEBOOK @MsKiKiBrown
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