Since Thanksgiving day, the TV One Network had been showing all of their episodes of the hit show UnSung. The series finale aired on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 made the 100th episode for the phenomenally produced biography themed program. Of the 99 shows in the series the following 10 were those that fans enjoyed the most based on their ratings. EarHustle411 was quite pleased to see the legendary green-eyed, soft-spoken wordsmith Donnie Simpson from BET’s Video Soul hosting the 100th episode. We are glad to say he’s still GOT IT!!
EarHustle411 had to do our due diligence and share some highlights from the most highest rated episodes of UnSung.
Check out the top 10:
10. Kid ‘N Play: The hip hop duo Kid ‘N Play with their festive hype and high top fades made their mark in hip hop and on the big screen with the House Party Movies. They both had their own demons to fight but time, wisdom and grace brought them back to life. They are on EarHustle411’s top 10 hip hop list.
9. Vesta Williams: Vesta Williams was a phenomenal singer and she also had her own personal convictions she dealt with from weight issues to drugs and only a show like UnSung could have gotten her to open up like she had. Unfortunately Vesta transitioned to the grandest stage of them all on September 22, 2011 just a short few months after she appeared on UnSung. The world will never have an artist like her to come along and take them by storm.
8. Ike Turner: Ike Turner’s episode was quite interesting because after the movie What’s Love Got to Do With It, he had been trying to speak his peace about how he was portrayed. He admits he was no walk in the park but nothing quite as bad as what was shown. Viewers saw a softer more compassionate side of Turner, when he was not on drugs. This UnSung episode was very enlightening. Ike Turner made is way to the Big Show in Heaven his music plays on, loud and proud.
7. Big Daddy Kane: Sexiest man in hip hop and all the ladies love chocolate. BDK was one of the best to ever do it and he held on to the number one spot for a long time until the dynamics of hip changed. Comedian Affion Crockett said it best, “unfortunately black people we are the group of people that throw away our gems too fast, if it’s out of style in our mind, we don’t want nothing to do with it. we are always looking for the next high, the next thing”. Regardless if he is making records or touring Big Daddy Kane will always have a number one place in our hearts. Big Daddy Kane’s episode was the highest rated show opening the doors for future hop shows. The Smooth Operator did that!!!
6. Teena Marie: Sweet Lady T makes it to the half way point in the top 10 and of course what would her story be like if it didn’t have Rick James in it. Her on and off relationship with the “superfreak” of them all may have given her some heartache through her journey to stardom but in the end she will always be our Lovergirl. Teena will certainly be missed and her songs will always keep her legacy alive.
5. Rick James: Rounding out number 5 is “it’s Rick James B***h”!! To hear an accomplished video host like Donnie Simpson say this says that Rick James left his mark on everybody. Rick’s episode included Teena Marie as well and his struggles throughout his career were emphasized but never his demeanor when not in the spotlight. Being a superstar, father and husband is a hard on its own but Rick did his best and that’s all one can ask for. Having been put in prison a couple of times helped the “Superfreak Funkateer” get his life back in order so we could see that infamous Fire and Desire duet on the BET Awards just before he transitioned into Music Heaven. Rick James’ song will always be around for the “Funkateer Fans” can rock out at will.
4. David Ruffin: Prior to David Ruffin becoming a Temptation another Ruffin was offered the job, his brother Jimmy. Once the Temps heard David, his brother was a distant thought. David truly enjoyed his life as an artist, but stardom was not David’s friend as with many entertainers. His episode was not about profiling his many flaws but showing that a diamond in the rough always gets smoothed out. He was a family man and unfortunately his addictions had such a hold on him that the only consolation was for him to be raised into Music Heaven.
3. Sylvester: Coming in at number 3 is one of the most underrated artists to ever make music. We say so because primarily he was an openly gay man and during the time of his career Sylvester’s way of life was one of those deep dark hidden secrets. But with his persona and “I’m going to be me” attitude, Sylvester made his mark in the music world, all the while proving to people that being gay was not contagious. His music catalog is impressive but his songs “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” and “Do You Wanna Funk” were the songs that made him a star. His underrated stint in music was the influence artist Jermaine Stewart needed to show his stuff as an a singer. Sylvester died in 1988 from complications of AIDS but his beautiful spirit of love and peace still lives on today.
2. Xscape: How do we even describe the highest rated show in the history of UnSung. We have one word for it…EXPLOSIVE!! The ladies of Xscape all agreed to appear on Unsung and although there was some visual tension seen by the viewers, EarHustle411 was disappointed that the ladies could not work out their differences. However, it was because of the episode that the fans of Xscape could finally get an idea of what happened to the group. They may not be getting back together but their real fans still has their collections on repeat in the iPod.
UnSung honored the legacies of those musical geniuses and notables in their own right who graced the UnSung chair. May they continue to Rest in Music Heaven.
Leroy Sugarfoot Bonner – Ohio Players
Joe Sample – Jazz Musician
Dick Griffey – SOLAR Records
Walter Hawkins – Gospel Artist
George Duke – Musical Recording Artist
Nick Ashford – Ashford and Simpson
Frank Reed – Member of the ChiLites
Marion Barry – former mayor of DC
Don Cornelius – Founder of Soul Train
Frankie Knuckles – Godfather of House Music
Cynthia Robinson – Sly and the family Stone
Bobby Womak – Musical Recording Artist
1. DeBarge: So here we are at the number one spot and it is only befitting that the first aired episode be the one to finish out the top 10. The DeBarge family episode set the tone for future episodes to be modeled after. All of the members of the DeBarge family has had struggles from the time they were brought in to the world. They’ve been through things that most people only read about but never has any been as opened and candid about their lives in the entertainment industry that the DeBarge family. Being in a mixed race family is difficult from the start, then to add domestic issues into the mix and the only thing that can come out of it is turmoil. With drugs, domestic issues, depression and a few other conditions happening, the DeBarge family (those who are still alive) are loving life and taking things one day at a time. Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom before we truly knows what it means to fall to your knees and the family members of DeBarge can all agree that while being on your knees is a great place to get in tune with God.
EarHustle411 and the writing staff would like to commend the producers and staff at TV One for their phenomenal job they are doing with the UnSung series. Keep doing the great work you all are doing and we are looking forward to more great UnSung programs.