Deserving artists who didn’t achieve superstardom. That’s the premise behind TV One’s “Unsung” series, a four-part biography special spotlighting Donny Hathaway, the DeBarge Family, the Clark Sisters and Phyllis Hyman.
Cable viewers will be treated to a sneak peak of the DeBarge episode on Thanksgiving (Nov. 27, 7 p.m. ET). Then each one-hour installment will air on four consecutive nights beginning Sunday, Nov. 30 at 10 p.m. ET with Phyllis Hyman, followed by the Clark Sisters (12/1), Hathaway (12/2) and the DeBarge Family (12/3). The series is hosted by urban adult contemporary KHHT (Hot 92.3) Los Angeles personality Al B. Sure! A singer in his own right, Sure!’s recordings include the 1988 No. 1 R&B hit, “Nite and Day.”
“We created ‘Unsung’ as a way to celebrate core urban favorites whose body of work has stood the test of time but whose journeys may be less well-known,” Jeff Meier, TV One senior VP and “Unsung” co-executive producer, tells Billboard.biz. “We wanted to answer why did these artists remain mostly unsung to the world at large?”
In addition to focusing on each act’s musical path, the episodes include reflections by either the artists or their families.
“We tried to mix it up as far as time periods, groups versus solo performers, musical styles, gender and living versus deceased,” explains TV One executive producer Endyia Kinney-Sterns. “We felt these acts had enduring relevance, compelling personal stories, a core fan base and great music.”