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Brandy Performs To An Empty Stadium in South Africa

Brandy performs to a crowd of 40 in a stadium that seats 90,000 in Soweto, Johannesburg


According to reports on Twitter, this past weekend was not good for Brandy's comeback. On Saturday the singer performed at Soweto's Soccer City to a crowd of 40 people — in a stadium which seats 90,000. After just two songs, Brandy walked off the stage, presumably embarrassed and fed up.

First reports of the debacle came via South African musician Kabomo who tweeted: "lol. I have no words for what I have just witnessed" "Brandy [just] performed to an empty stadium. With the stadium lights on." Earlier in the day, tens of thousands of people had filled the stadium for the Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day. Billed only as a "surprise guest," festivalgoers were not told that Brandy was set to play, and they trickled out during performances by David Jenkins, Elvis Blue, Salif Keita and D'Banj. By the end, one tweet announced, "Brandy [was] performing for the chairs!"

The issue, it seems, was not with Brandy — who has been to SA before at the invitation of Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula (another trip plagued by controversy) — but with logistics and publicity. A number of concertgoers complained about poor production, staging and sound. "They disrespected and frustrated us as fans. Sound quality, production and structure of the concert were questionable." To add insult to injury SABC, the national TV channel, ended their broadcast of the concert before Brandy had even reached the stage. Neither Brandy nor the concert promoters have commented on the gig. But, in the words of her "rival" Monica, we're gonna encourage Brandy not to take it personal.

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Adekunle Gold achieves an artistic freedom that most mainstream artists don't have through a smooth balance of introspection and club bangers.

A few years ago, Adekunle Gold broke out into the scene with a refreshing way of carrying himself, presenting his art and speaking his truth with music. His debut single "Sade" started this journey of chart topping releases, sold out shows, and the constantly evolving sound that graces African airwaves. Gold's self assurance made him stand out from the very beginning, as his sound was delivered with intent, compassion, and stuffed with personal truths.

Not many artists are willing to try new things with their music, and in order to maintain mainstream success, some cling to one sound, one image and direction often crafted from fragments of their first hit. These artists get stuck trying to recreate a capsule in time, while true artists are open to the dynamic of change, and the necessity of renewal.

Adekunle Gold is one of a handful in his profession who draws on a spectrum of experiences to make honest music which is consistent with the self-revelations of a growing man. This has become his biggest strength, allowing him to craft contemplative songs like "Sade" and "Oreke" and still create afropop magic like "Something Different"

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