Singer Blu Cantrell may always be remembered for her single "Hit 'Em Style ( Oops! )," which charted all over the place. She was nominated for a Grammy for the follow-up album Bittersweet, which featured a Sean Paul collaboration with "Breathe."
The Rhode Island native appeared briefly in the movie Drumline, filmed a reality show with NBC's Celebrity Circus, and continues to support her LGBT fan base in festivals around the world. WCT talked with Cantrell during a stop at Boystown nightspot Roscoe's.
Windy City Times: Hi, Blu. Where did that name come from?
Blu Cantrell: It comes from me. My favorite color is blue. My mother used to make my birthday cake blue inside and out with the frosting. She figured out I loved it from a very young age. When I would be in the little seat in the shopping cart at the supermarket and I would pull all of the stuff off from the shelves that was blue. She gave me that name early on.
WCT: Has it carried over into blue margaritas?
BC: I don't know about that but I do love everything blue, so I wouldn't mind a blue margarita.
WCT: Your mother was a jazz vocalist?
WCT: Are there other family members who are musically gifted? I know you have a Brady Bunch-sized family.
BC: I have five brothers and sistersthree boys, three girls. My brother is a musician, [and he] sings and engineers. My oldest brother is in a rock band. My other sister is a good singer also but she is too shy to sing. She sounds amazing but won't do it in public.
WCT: Did you like being in a big family?
BC: Absolutely. I love my brothers and sisters.
WCT: You have performed at so many gay Pride festivals. Can you talk about that?
BC: I have a blast every time I come. It is an amazing crowd. One time I stage-dived in Chicago at a Pride event. The crowd didn't touch a hair on my head while carrying me all the way back to the front of the stage. They put my kindly down on my feet on the stage.
WCT: So they took care of you?
BC: Yes, they did. I enjoyed it. They always treat me very well.
WCT: You were in a play with Kenya Moore called Gossip, Lies and Secrets. Do you watch Bravo's The Real Housewives of Atlanta [on which Moore co-stars]?
BC: I can't stand her. She actually bullied me when we were on set together doing the play. She was really nasty to me. She is not a nice girl. I don't like her. She was very mean toward me.
WCT: I wonder if they knew that when they cast her. Did you see her pull the seat out from under Kim Fields?
BC: I don't know about that but she's catty. What they are showing is probably the honest truth.
WCT: Use one word to describe the following past collaborations of yours: Babyface.
WCT: Dionne Warwick.
WCT: Lil' Kim.
WCT: Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
WCT: You have done a little reality-TV show work. Would you do something like Dancing with the Stars?
BC: Sure I would.
WCT: Are there current artists you would like to work with?
BC: Right now I love Adele.
WCT: Any plans for new movies or music?
BC: No movies but we are in the early stages of music right now. We are getting ready to work with some producers in New York City. I don't even know their names yet. I just finished talking to my manager in LA but he is hooking me up to work with some big names.
WCT: Are you based out of New York?
BC: No; I am based in Rhode Island. I go back and forth from New York while staying with family in Rhode Island.
WCT: When do you return to Chicago after this Roscoe's appearance?
BC: The next time they invite me. I was just here and have done two appearances in Boystown recently.
WCT: You have been supportive of the LGBT community.
BC: Yes, absolutely. I love my people!