N'Kenge: Bye Bye Baby / Two Lovers
International award-winning songstress N'Kenge has been heralded by The New York Times as "a classically trained diva that can stretch from Broadway to Pop, Soul, and Opera". Trained at both The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, N'Kenge's vocal and musical range spans 5 octaves and 11 languages.
N'Kenge made her Broadway debut in "Sondheim on Sondheim", and slayed the game on Broadway originating the role of Mary Wells in "Motown: The Musical", which garnered a Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album.
On May 7, 2018, as part of the "Broadway at The Pierre" cabaret series in association with Broadway Sings for Pride, a concert was held at Two E Bar/Lounge — the sophisticated saloon located inside the New York City luxury hotel, The Pierre. The concert featured a performance by N'Kenge, backed by pianist and musical director Josh Kight.
N'Kenge performed a medley of the songs "Bye Bye Baby" and "Two Lovers" during the concert, where Shefik served as Videographer. Both of the songs in the medley were originally performed by R&B singer Mary Wells.
"Bye Bye Baby" is the first single by Wells, released in September 1960 on Motown Records, from her album "Bye Bye Baby I Don't Want to Take a Chance". The song was one of Motown's earliest hit singles and showcased a much rougher vocal than the singer had during her later years.
"Bye Bye Baby" became an R&B hit reaching number 8 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and crossed over to pop stations where it peaked at number 45. It was significant as the first single released under one of the Motown subsidiaries nationally after the label's first singles were released through distributing labels such as United Artists.
"Two Lovers" is a single released in 1962 by Wells on Motown Records, from her album of the same name. The song was the third consecutive hit to be both written and produced by Smokey Robinson of The Miracles and recorded by Wells, the two previous charters being "The One Who Really Loves You" and "You Beat Me to the Punch". The song's cleverly devised lyrics at first appear to be about a girl singing to one lover who is "sweet and kind" and a second who treats her bad and makes her sad. Eventually, the girl reveals that the two lovers are actually the same person. The song became Wells' most successful release to date, reaching number 1 on the Billboard R&B chart and number 7 on the Billboard pop chart. Its success would be eclipsed two years later by the singer's most successful release ever, the signature tune "My Guy".
- Videographer: Shefik
Last Updated: January 21, 2023