Backbeat: Lalah Hathaway Celebrates 'Where It All Begins' @ L.A. Live's Conga Room
Backbeat: Lalah Hathaway Celebrates 'Where It All Begins' @ L.A. Live's Conga Room

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Before hitting the stage, Lalah Hathaway (center) made the red carpet rounds with Concord Music Group/Fantasy/Stax project management executive Michele Smith (left) and manager Marcus King (right). (Photo: Ashley Stagg)

"It's cool to wave around a new record and promote it by playing it," says Marcus King of King Management. "But call me old-fashioned -- on this promotional tour we're going to do live dates at smaller venues and clubs, more things on the road so people can hear what Lalah can do."

And Ms. Hathaway, daughter of R&B icon Donny Hathaway, proved she's more than up to the task during the release party for her sophomore Stax/Concord album, "Where It All Begins" (Oct. 18). A half-industry/half-public crowd cheered her on during a 45-minute set on Oct. 10 inside a packed Conga Room at L.A. Live. The party was staged in association with artist/actor/Sirius XM radio host Jamie Foxx's weekly live R&B/comedy showcase, Foxxhole Live's "Any Given Monday."

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Hathaway and surprise guest Rahsaan Patterson riff through a medley of Michael Jackson songs, including "Rock With You," "Thriller," "Human Nature" and "Do You Remember." (Photo: Gail Mitchell)

Hathaway performed several songs from the upcoming set, including a revamp of her concert staple "I'm Coming Back" and "Small of My Back," as well as a cover of one of her dad's classics "You Were Meant for Me.' She also drew a standing ovation with an emotional cover of another elder Hathaway gem "A Song For You." Making surprise appearances were singer/songwriter Rahsaan Patterson, a co-writer on the upcoming project's lead single "If You Want To," and DJ Quik.

In addition to King, who came aboard earlier this year as the singer's manager, the Hathaway team includes agent Larry Shields of The Agency Group. Between now and mid-December, Hathaway's promo tour will include performances in New York City (Oct. 21), Philadelphia (Oct. 24), Atlanta (Nov. 5) and San Francisco (Dec. 2-4). Also spotted among the throng: Island Def Jam senior VP of A&R Max Gousse and Notting Hill Music VP of urban A&R Livio Harris.

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Blue Key Management owner Monica Young and client Matthew A. Cherry were also among the Conga Room crowd. Cherry, a former NFL wide receiver-turned-film/video director, is working on his debut movie, "The Last Fall." The sports drama stars Lance Gross and is being helmed through Cherry and partner Scott Hebert's Transparent Filmworks. Overseeing the score/soundtrack is the Grammy-nominated group Foreign Exchange. Young also manages Stax/Concord singer/songwriter N'Dambi‹also in the house‹who is currently working on her next album. (Photo: Gail Mitchell)

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Songwriter/producer Mike City (left) joined such collaborators as Patterson and Lee Hutson Jr. on Hathaway's album. City is joined here by his manager Larry Plummer (center) and Grammy-winning songwriter/producer Bryan-Michael Cox. (Photo: Gail Mitchell)

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