The latest episode of TV One’s UNSUNG airing TONIGHT is all about a soulful Chicago songstress with a rich, sultry voice, who started young and is still going strong. During the episode, Syleena Johnson tells her story of battling weight issues and toxic relationships to become the resurgent singer and powerful woman she is today.
She also speaks candidly on her musical relationship with R. Kelly and the string of sexual assault and abuse of minor charges that he’s facing. According to Syleena, despite them having a platonic musical connection, if she knew about R. Kelly’s alleged actions with minors, she would’ve confronted him and “knocked his teeth out.”
“It was very brother and sister-based, the relationship between R.Kelly and I,” Syleena recalled. “I was more of a student and he was like a teacher. Music was the connection.”
“We never knew about anything that has come out recently,” she added. “Just like any other man, you have girls around. You got groupies. That’s every man in the industry. That was every man I was around, so I didn’t see anything [that made me say] ‘Oh my God, this is awful.’ There’s no way I wouldn’t have cussed him out or knocked his teeth out. There’s no way. We didn’t know those things were going on. It’s shocking and awful for us as it is everyone.”
In addition to speaking on R., Syleena also spoke on her vocals on Kanye’s track “All Falls Down.” According to Syleena, Kanye asked her to sing the hook just hours before his deadline because a Lauryn Hill sample didn’t clear.
The track proved to be a breakthrough for Syleena who credited Kanye for taking her to the Grammys and around the world.
UNSUNG: Syleena Johnson premieres on Sunday, April 25 at 9/8c on TV One.
In addition to UNSUNG, fans are treated to a sneak-peek look at episodes with the new digital series, Unwind with Syleena Johnson.
Each episode will be published on TVOne.TV and TV One’s social media platforms. Syleena will react to clips, share anecdotes, and provide cocktail recipes for viewers to unwind to as they watch both UNSUNG and UNCENSORED. She’ll end each episode reminding viewers of their chance to win a $250 Amazon gift card.
UNSUNG is narrated by actor Gary Anthony Williams and is Executive Produced by Arthur Smith and Frank Sinton of A. Smith & Co. Productions. Mark Rowland also serves as Executive Producer. For TV One, Jason Ryan is Executive in Charge of Production; Donyell Kennedy-McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting; and Robyn Arrington Greene is Head of Original Programming and Production.