Janelle Monáe, Billboard’s Rising Star of 2013, stopped by the storied set of “Sesame Street” to teach monster and human alike about the power of perservering.
“I am so excited to be living one of my dreams — to be here on ‘Sesame Street,'” the sharply-dressed singer told Billboard. “I’m here because I am teaching everybody on ‘Sesame Street’ the importance and the power of ‘yet.’ Never, ever, ever give up because there’s so much power in ‘yet.'”
Monáe was on hand to film for the legendary show’s 45th season, which debuts in September 2014. Her song, “The Power of Yet,” is the sort of empowering anthem — set to her brand of vibrant. modern soul — that both the kindergarten set and adults can appreciate. Connecting to both demographics is a priority for the minds behind “Sesame Street,” and inviting the star behind last year’s standout album, “The Electric Lady,” was the perfect move.
“I always tell people we’re not trying to write for any particular age group,” says “Sesame Street” music director Bill Sherman, who also writes many of the shows songs, like “The Power of Yet.” “We’re trying to write for everybody. By using current pop artists on the show, it opens kids up to all those sounds. And it opens up those artists to a generation they may not have gotten to.”
Monáe was celebrated as the Rising Star at Billboard’s 2013 Women in Music Awards ceremony last month, where CHVRCHES performed an astounding, minimal cover of her 2010 single “Tightrope.” Watch the performance below:
Billboard visited the “Sesame Street” studios in November to catch performances and monster collaborations from Macklemore and Ed Sheeran and to chat with executive producer Carol-Lynn Parente. For a another behind-the-scenes look at popular music’s crossover into the upcoming season, check out the story here.