BETWEEN THE LINER NOTES
Howard Hewett: A New Kind of Love Song
By Shannon Woodland and Scott Ross
The 700 Club
Scott Ross [reporting]: Howard Hewett is known by millions around the world as a R&B artist extraordinaire. But Howard didn’t get his start singing love songs.
Howard got his start singing with his sisters in church and opening concerts for gospel music stars like Shirley Caesar and the Blind Boys of Alabama. Howard’s mother was the one who recognized her children’s talent and promoted it on her weekly religious radio broadcast.
In 1980, Howard joined the R&B group Shalamar. The hits... well, there were many.
Howard Hewett: “Second Time Around,” “For the Lover in You,” “A Night to Remember,” a whole bunch of stuff. We had a great time.
Ross: When that began to break open for you, it really did in a very large way. There are many pitfalls to fame. Did any of that snare you?
Hewett: The whole drug thing I never really got into that. I experimented back in the 1980s but thank God nothing ever stuck… Some people say, 'I was way down, kicked and just in the gutter, and the Lord brought me back up.' That’s beautiful but I don’t want to go all the way down there. In my life I’ve gone from the left to the right but the Lord knows how to bring me back to center.
Ross [reporting]: After five years with Shalamar, Howard wanted more -- a solo gig. That’s what Howard’s been doing for the past 20 years. Even today Howard’s schedule is booked. He performs over 100 shows a year in the United States and overseas.
Ross: In the middle of this, you got married. How do you balance this all?
Hewett: Oh man, I was married before. I didn’t balance it out. I blew it out. It was crazy.
Ross: Your present wife is Angie. How long you been together?
Hewett: Thirteen years.
Ross: She was previously married?
Ross: She had children?
Hewett: Yes, we have hers, mine and ours.
Ross: How many is that total?
Hewett: Five kids.
Ross: You’re still traveling around. You’re a father and a husband. So how are you keeping this all together?
Hewett: Scott, you have to be very conscientious about the importance of time spent.
Ross [reporting]: Howard rarely spends more than a few days away from his family during his performances. Family is priority No. 1. Integrity is another priority he places a high value on.
Ross: What kind of music will you not do? Where’s the line?
Hewett: You have to keep your integrity. I believe there’s a personal responsibility that each artist has to have. I don’t believe in censorship. It’s a two-edged sword. Someone can't tell me I can’t sing about God.
Ross [reporting]: Sounds like Howard is keeping his promise. But a love song is a love song is a love song. Or is it? Howard notes a real difference, and that’s what makes him stand out.
Hewett: There’s a big difference singing about love and romance, then singing about sex. I don’t sing about sex. I sing about love. God is love.
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