Kelly Price is working hard to recover so that sometime soon, she can grace fans with her incredible voice again. Complications from having COVID and a harrowing year almost took the 90’s R&B icon away permanently. With her recently revealing she is working hard to get well so she can sing again for fans, some have revisited interviewers where she explains how she almost did not sing at all. There was a time where people told Price she was not a star, and she believed them.
In April, Price stopped by The Breakfast Club to discuss her album GRACE. During the sit down, she showed her appreciation for mentor Ronald Isley who was one of the first to believe in her. When asked who she was rooting for in the Verzuz between The Isley Brothers and Earth Wind and Fire she said her decision was completely bias. “I love them both. Having to pick one of course i’m going to say Ronald Isley. When everyone was telling me I was too fat, too black, too loud to make a record he was like ‘you could be 12,000 pounds and blue who wouldn’t buy that voice.'”She follows up with, “Tell that to everybody else in the business. I’m the chick they hiding in the room with a microphone.”
They began to discuss Kelly’s storied history of fat-shaming in the music industry. She says that she was always criticized and asked to lose weight. In one instance, while she was literally en route to her lawyer’s office to sign a deal, she was asked to come into the label offices to discuss her losing weight. She said the deal was with Jive Records and that she decided not to sign. The meeting was a blessing in disguise but it was not the first or last time she got pushback. This occurred before she featured on Notorious B.I.G.’s hit single “Mo Money Mo Problems.”
Despite being incredibly offended and heartbroken, Price recalls that she attempted to work with the label. During the meeting, she was told she would have to lose a significant amount of weight. She began asking, “how much?” “Do you want me Whitney Houston thin?” she remembers asking. However, no one could answer her. “I asked, ‘like ballpark?’ and nobody knew.” So she walked away from the deal. D.J. Envy recalls that during his mixtape days, he heard Price on everyone’s song. However, it felt like the whole world was hiding her; nobody wanted her seen. He joked about the tiny screen in the Biggie video that she was singing in. “How did that feel? Because you knew you could out sing everyone.”
She goes on to say that in the case of Biggie and Diddy’s video, she was just happy they asked her to be in it. She says usually, people had other people sing her parts in the video. She said she was “Martha Wash’d,” referring to the iconic vocalist whose parts were often lip-synced by skinner women in the videos because she was larger. She was famous for the song “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now).”
Price says the same happened to her. She would write songs and demo them for other artists, but when the records came out it would still be her voice. Later in the interview, she says revisited her Jive interview saying she cried the whole way home and that it messed with her head. She said during a recording session for one of Diddy’s acts she overheard the group talking about her weight while she was in the booth. She said one of them ultimately apologies.