NORCROSS, Ga. — Before he bedazzled music disciples with an onstage electric performance with Ed D. Kane, universally beloved R&B singer Anthony Hamilton regaled an overflowing crowd inside Tree Sound Studios in suburban Atlanta with tales of his journey from his Asheville, South Carolina roots to international music stardom.
As the likes of actress Terri J. Vaughn, “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Cynthia Bailey and husband Peter, comedian Rodney Perry, stylist Derek J, rapper David Banner and celebrity photographer Derek Blanks listened in, Hamilton waxed poetically with a fireside-type ambience, and the architect of the smash hits “Charlene” and “Cool” introduced his multifaceted protege Ed D. Kane while discussing how the two met in barber school — armed only clippers in their hands and dreams of music riches in their souls.
“We met in barber school. I’m a barber. I know y’all saying ‘he don’t ever comb his hair,’ ” Hamilton blurted out jokingly as the crowd erupted in laughter. “I don’t care what y’all say! I don’t care,” he added as another wave of guffaws enveloped the room. “I like it sometimes when it’s unkempt.”
Hosted by Tree Sound boss Malissa “Mali” Hunter, Hamilton displayed the same flair for storytelling that he does for onstage artistry that this writer first witnessed at the Bermuda Jazz Festival in Hamilton, Bermuda. The singer alerted the crowd that his humble beginnings included doing “perms and jheri curls,” (inducing yet another eruption from the audience). It was in this setting that he and Cain struck up a friendship, the common denominator being their mutual love of music.
Kane and Hamilton lost contact temporarily as Hamilton broke into the music game and torpedoed up the charts and soared into the hearts of scores of women.
Kane had less than stellar music origins, discovering that Hamilton had “made it” in pop music from a … well … very interesting place.
“I was locked up,” Kane recalling that first saw his old friend again while watching the jailhouse TV. “I said ‘I know this dude!’ I said ‘I know that’s not who I think it is!’ ”
After Cain got out, Kane and Hamilton eventually hooked back up and together they manufactured multiple hits. Today, the two have been traveling all over the world performing in R&B starved countries in Europe and Asia.
After the laid back chop-it-up session, the longtime friends took to the stage and revved the party up to a real respectably high level. Take a look at the photo highlights from talk/performance from Anthony Hamilton and Ed D. Kane at Tree Sound Studios, hosted by Mali Hunter and sponsored by Corona and Viniq Shimmery Liqueur cocktails.