K-Ci Hailey represents one of the last and strongest ties to the raw essence of pure southern soul. Blessed with a voice that excites, soothes, and soulfully seduces, the Monroe, North Carolina-native carries the torch of R&B into the next generation.
K-Ci is meeting that challenge head on with two recent single releases – a timely remake of Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” (dedicated to the memory of Andre Harrell, founder of Uptown Records who introduced K-Ci to the world through multi-platinum-selling `90s bad boy R&B quartet Jodeci) and his own revisiting of the Gospel classic “Jesus Saves” that he first recorded at the age of 12 leading Little Cedric and The Hailey Singers. While he is not embracing Gospel full-time, the song sets the stage for K-Ci to triumphantly return with his first R&B solo album in nearly 15 years. Now signed to P Music Group, Inc. headed by President/CEO Michael Paran (also home to R&B music royalty Charlie Wilson and Johnny Gill), K-Ci’s music will be released via his newly created label Euphoria Music Group. K-Ci is rejuvenated and ready to make his most personal and refined musical statements.
It was truly a moment of testimony when K-Ci revealed a healthy new look in his video for “Jesus Saves” which he recorded following a stroke he suffered and recovered from. “That song says it all,” K-Ci cosigns. “Jesus saved my life. I first recorded it when I was a kid. It touched me then but coming full circle it really touches me now. I couldn’t even walk or talk. The very first thing that happened once God delivered me from my stroke was…I sang. I sang before I talked! God saved me and this is my testimony to the world.”
K-Ci chose to cover Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” as a way to pay fitting tribute to another key person in his life: Uptown Records founder Andre Harrell. “It was the first song that came to mind when he passed,” he states. When I recorded the song, I was thinking about all the laughter, the parties, just bustin’ up in his office and staying all day. Dre helped a lot of young Black talent. He’d say, ‘K-Ci: he’s a star! This gonna be my star right here! Go rock `em, K!’ I’d say, ‘I got you, Dre.’ Dre was my mentor. I miss him.” “When “Tears in Heaven” was released so many of my artist friends reached out to say how much they loved it and welcomed me back. That meant so much to me as well as the support from radio and the fans,” he states.
Star quality has always been a factor for K-Ci. When Jodeci exploded on the R&B scene in 1991 for a fiery 5-year run, the industry was full of clean-cut groups begging girls to love them. Jodeci flipped the script as the bad boys of R&B. They kicked out the unforgettable classics “Forever My Lady,” “Stay,” “Feenin’,” “Freek `n You,” “Cry for You,” “Come and Talk to Me,” “Love U 4 Life,” even a live cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Lately” – scoring Gold & Platinum plaques, Billboard Music and Soul Train Awards by the fistful. After Jodeci disbanded, K-Ci and his brother JoJo continued on as powerhouse duo K-Ci & JoJo, releasing the Billboard R&B and Pop chart-topping crossover smash “All My Life.” They also co-starred in rapper 2Pac’s single/video, “How Do U Want It.”
Now preparing to elevate in his career’s second act, K-Ci has been exercising, meditating and engaging in his favorite hobby, fishing, on the lake just outside his home. He stays close to his wife and credits her for his newfound lease on life. “She’s my rock and keeps me on point,” he shares. “This is the happiest I’ve ever been in my whole career. I thank God for giving me a second chance.” Laser focused on completing the most comprehensive and realest K-Ci Hailey project to date, the vocal giant has reached out to cousins Anthony Hamilton, Fantasia and Dave Hollister
for potential contributions. For a younger generation unfamiliar, K-Ci is about to show them what uncut Soul music is all about. And for those who are already knowing, even they will be in for a soul-rockin’ surprise.