3 Minute Update: Catch up on what's happening with Keith Washington

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    By Catalyst Enterprises, LLC - Stephanie Grimes/Manager of Keith Washington and Appointed Representative, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18030798

    3 Minute Update is the newest SoulTracks feature. It is designed to give classic soul fans a chance to catch up with what’s going on with their favorite soul music artists of the 60s, 70s and 80s. All in three minutes. Our latest in the series is a 3 minute update on soul crooner Keith Washington.

    There was a moment in the early 1990s when Keith Washington appeared to rule the world. He had a #1 hit song, was acting on the biggest daytime soap opera, and was considered an up-and-coming songwriter to boot. And those talents have carried him -- with some real ups and downs -- for more than three decades in the spotlight.

    3 Minute Update is the newest SoulTracks feature. It is designed to give classic soul fans a chance to catch up with what’s going on with their favorite soul music artists of the 60s, 70s and 80s. All in three minutes. Our latest in the series is a 3 minute update on soul crooner Keith Washington.

    There was a moment in the early 1990s when Keith Washington appeared to rule the world. He had a #1 hit song, was acting on the biggest daytime soap opera, and was considered an up-and-coming songwriter to boot. And those talents have carried him -- with some real ups and downs -- for more than three decades in the spotlight.

    Part of a large Detroit family, Washington was singing regularly around town when he met his future wife Marsha, and followed her to Charlotte, North Carolina. It was there he honed his craft as a songwriter, and landed a placement with Freddie Jackson, "Hey Lover," that went to the top of the charts. That opened the eyes of record execs, and Elektra/Qwest Records signed Washington and moved him to L.A. to record his debut album.

    Working with Rodney Shelton and Marsha as co-songwriters, Keith came out of the box with a signature ballad that became one of the great love songs of its era."Kissing You" shot to the top of the R&B charts and established Washington as part of a new breed of romantic soul men. He followed it with the sexy duet, "Candlelight and You" with Chante Moore, and another solo hit, "Are You Still In Love With Me." His Make Time For Love album went solid gold.

    Red hot, Washington showed his acting chops by taking on a regular role in TV's General Hospital, and landed an international hit duet with Kylie Minogue, "If You Were With Me Now." Unfortunately, his follow-up album, You Make It Easy, failed to land a top 20 hit, and he lost his recording contract. Washington stayed busy, though, working in several stageplays and acting on television. He returned on MCA/Silas Records in 1998 with KW, but had only one moderate charter with "Bring It On."

    With his major recording days done, Washington moved back to Detroit, and took on the role of a lifetime, portraying Marvin Gaye in the touring stageplay My Brother Marvin. He later hosted a nighttime radio show, "Kisses After Dark" at his hometown WGPR Radio, and became a fixture around town, known for his fashion sense, as he showed us when he attended the SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards dressed in a head-to-toe white fur coat.

    These days, Washington remains busy as an in-demand actor in musical stageplays and as a solo concert performer. He is also working on a comeback album with local Detroit musicians, as he spotlighted on a 2022 episode of TV One's biography series Unsung. The leaked clips of the music sound great, and we'll be looking forward to hearing more when he releases the recordings.

    By Chris Rizik

     
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