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Presenting Camille Yarbrough: The Featured Voice on Fatboy Slim's Praise You .

Entertainment Editors


As we enter the new millennium, Chicago native Camille Yarbrough's voice continues to infuse the music industry! Camille is the 'unidentified' featured vocalist who lends her legendary vocals on Fatboy Slim's "Praise You," the second single released on his sophomore CD, You've Come A Long Way Baby (Skint/Astralwerks Records, 1998). The project has had much success in the U.K., France, and Australia; however, its success in Europe and the United States has been attributed to the single, "Praise You". As a matter of fact, the entire hook featured in "Praise You" is taken from Camille's song, "Take Yo' Praise," on her album, The Iron Pot Cooker (Vanguard Records, 1975).

On the commercial side, "Praise You" has had equal success. After finding a spot in MTV's Buzzworthy rotation, the song has been used in a network television commercial to advertise the movie Cruel Intentions, and appears on the movie's soundtrack; the track was also used in the film Go and the television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Thank God It's Friday. In December 1998 and repeatedly in January 1999, the song was used in an Air Jordan Nike television commercial. It's been used as a background track for various segments on Entertainment Tonight, was licensed for a network television commercial to honor the Golden Globe Award winners in January/February 1999, and finally, was used as background music for February's TV Guide Awards show on Fox Television. Quite an achievement for a tune whose hook, written by Camille Yarbrough, is over 20 years old!

Camille is an amazing woman. Along with singing and songwriting, she has dazzled audiences from the stage. Her acting credits include Kwamina and Trumpets of the Lord, on Broadway, Cities in Bezique at the Public Theatre, and the national tour and cast album of Lorraine Hansberry's To Be Young, Gifted, and Black. Her television and film credits: the CBS Special, Caught in the Middle; soap operas Search for Tomorrow, Where the Heart Is, and on the big screen, Shaft. In 1971, Camille combined her skills (songs, poetry & dialogue) into a musical spoken-word presentation entitled "Tales and Tunes of an African American Griot." The vocal material for her critically acclaimed album, The Iron Pot Cooker, was taken from this stage dramatization. Reflect on what some reviewers had to say about the album:

- The Washington Post: Camille Yarbrough bares her soul in The Iron

Pot Cooker and makes no attempt to give the ghetto mass-audience


- Billboard: Poetess-soul singer Camille Yarbrough has stylish

traces of Nina Simone and Gil Scot Heron...Her songs are all

thought provoking and the instrumental work aids and abets;

- The Ann Arbor News: Camille Yarbrough will touch your

consciousness, and perhaps your soul, not only with her message,

but with her presentation of that message. It is one of the most

powerful albums we have heard for some time;

- The Sunday Denver Post: Each of her songs is a drama, and

Yarbrough is an actress extraordinaire. She interprets her own

song-poems with compelling and (for the listener) exhausting


- Buffalo News: This is unnerving insight into a slice of

contemporary life. A powerful, challenging album...;

- Translation of Swedish Review: Billie Holliday in the 30's and

40's could communicate this message. Camille Yarbrough makes us

understand the music and language of the 70's and it is a

shattering experience.

They say history repeats itself, and The Iron Pot Cooker is certainly evidence of that fact. As the content of the project relates to modern society, there are plans for the re-issue of the album in the first quarter of 2000. Journalist, lecturer, and hip-hop activist Kevin Powell shares his opinion on The Iron Pot Cooker's modern-day posture:

"Without question, The Iron Pot Cooker is a precursor to Lauryn Hill's best selling "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill." Everything we love Lauryn for-her independence, her womanism, her daring voice, her willingness to tackle unpopular topics, her effortless shift from rap to song, and back again, and her limitless musical explorations-Camille Yarbrough did a generation ago. Indeed, there would be no Lauryn Hill, no Erykah Badu, no Me'shell Ndegeocello if it were not for the presence and model of Camille Yarbrough."

Camille continues to use her various gifts of creative expression to impact our society today. She's a teacher, a lecturer, and an author of culturally conscious children's books. She's also served as Professor of African Dance and Diaspora in the African Studies Department of New York's City College. At present, Camille functions in the role of a spoken-word artist, a Griot - an oral historian - "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Camille is available to lecture, speak, or present her modern-day stage production "Ancestor House," a re-make of "Tales and Tunes of an African American Griot," to colleges, universities and community organizations.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 12, 2000
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