Everyone has their idols whether in sports, radio, the big screen or whatever else. When it comes to music, my all-time favorite singer (other than Luther Vandross) hands-down, is Chante Moore. Now, before you gather any opinions because of her beauty, understand that my love for R&B singer Chante’ Moore is genuine and well-formed. I first heard her heavenly voice when she sang backup for El DeBarge on his “In The Storm” album (can we still say album?) in 1992. She can be heard on “You Know What I Want” and my unmentionable dream-inducing, “Love Me Tonight”. Don’t ask.
Let’s just say that to me, she has THE most beautiful voice since the late Minnie Riperton (and you’re right, she ain’t hard on the eyes, either). Hell, I didn’t even have a problem with her in that promo pic wearing that Green Bay Packers shirt in the gym and that’s straight-up sacrilege to us Bears fans.
To me, there is no one better. But remember, this is my opinion. So on with the story…
When my friend Dorothy told me that Chante Moore and then husband Kenny Lattimore (she just had to bring him along, didn’t she?) were bringing their tour through Ohio, naturally I flipped. Price did not matter. My baby was coming. Now, she would meet the REAL Kenny.
The “right” Kenny.
The event was the 2003 Black & White Diamond Concert, held at the Aladdin Shrine Temple in Columbus, OH.
Of course, my wife Connie’s first back-to-reality warning was, “You’re going to see her. You won’t actually meet her.” But if you’ve been following my blog posts, you all know me well enough by now. This is Kenny Davis we’re talking about here. I’m GONNA meet my baby.
There were two ticket prices: $30 for the upper level and an $800 floor-level dinner table that seated 8. Guess who quickly gathered 6 friends to accompany us? Besides, she manages the money, so it’s easy to say that money was no object. As a solo act, I’m broke as a joke!
Since this was a formal affair, you were expected to attend in a black tux or dress (most ladies wore a combination of white, silver and black).
I took my time at the tuxedo rental shop, carefully selecting the best tux, tie and cummerbund for the affair; the whole time, listening to her constant reminder, “She’s not going to see you in the audience!”
But this is Kenny Davis we’re talking about here.
The evening of the concert, Connie came out to the garage after hearing the sound of splashing water.
“Are you washing the CAR? In JANUARY?? What is WRONG with you?”
I drove a black Dodge Intrepid. Other people want SUVs, but this? This was my dream car. My “black panther” because it looked like one. My license plate? PNTHR58. Everything had to be right for my baby. Even my ride.
As we got dressed, she constantly looked at me in bewilderment. Hey, I didn’t care. I was going to see (say it with me now) “my baby”. Sounds foul, doesn’t it? It was.
I pulled out a pair of unused dress socks, which brought about the first question.
“When did you get those socks?”
“The day after I found out about the concert.”
“Boy-, UGGH. Waitaminute!” watching me remove the adhesive tape from the rolled-up boxer briefs, “When did you get those drawz (drawers)?”
“You bought them. I just never wore them.”
“We’re gonna have a long talk after this night is over…”
We got to the event and met up with our friends. Dinner was beautiful and we enjoyed the most beautiful concert imaginable (but you knew I’d say that. It’s Chante’, dude.). Chante performed many of my favorites, as well as several songs from their new duet CD, “Things That Lovers Do”. You should have seen my face when they sang Keith Washington’s “Make It Last Forever”. When they got to the bridge, they changed the words to:
Kenny: “Give me kissesssss”
Kenny: “Love meeeeee…”
Everyone at our table, knowing my obsession with Chante Moore, looked at me as I struggled to NOT fall out of my seat. My baby sang my NAME!!! Oh, I know she was singing to him, but I ain’t thinkin’ bout’ that dude. My baby was singing to ME!!!
It gets worth, people. When she reached a quiet moment in the show, she stopped to preface the next song by telling us that she wrote it about a very painful time in her life. This song had deep meaning to her. Then she went into the song, “As If We Never Met”, which I immediately recognized. Without thinking (not thinking – my modus operandi), I grabbed the candle at the table’s center and raised it up high. The audience broke into laughter and dear God, Chante had to motion for them to be quiet as she tried to continue the song. Lord, I was directly involved with the disruption of her performance. She never knew that, but if she ever reads this, which I hope and DON’T hope she will… Chante, I’m sorry, baby! It was me! Please forgive meeeeeeeee!!!!
Ok, let’s jump to the end of the show. During its awesome finale, they sang their new song “When I Said I Do” as the crowd stood on its feet and cheered wildly. I wish I had a recording of it because it sounded incredibly amazing! I figured that if I was going to get a close-up picture, this would be my only shot (no pun intended). I stood up as Connie asked, “WHERE ARE YOU GOING?” as I ran to the front. There was a human chain formed at the front of the stage by security, so I spotted who I considered to be the smallest and weakest link. I then ran through said spot at full speed and my momentum caused me to hit the the front of the stage so hard that I almost lost the camera TO the stage. I yelled, “Chante!!!” and she looked at me and smiled.
My baby looked at ME!!!
That was it. At that moment, I could finally die. I had seen and done it all. My baby had spotted me and there were no longer any worlds to conquer. The “butler did it”. The senior class had repositioned their tassels and cast their graduation caps into the heavens! The Great Oz had spoken. Rubik’s Cube had been solved. The fat FINE lady had sung. The jelly was on the roll. The dishes were done. Wil E. Coyote finally caught that Road Runner and ate him! Chante Moore had seen and smiled… …at me.
I floated back through security guards who decided not to snatch me out (it being the last song) to a table of laughing friends and a very disgusted wife. All I could say was, “I GOT THE PICTURE!”
After the show, after the audience’s collective chant of “Encore”, people began to make their way to the exits.
“I’m going backstage,” I announced.
“WHAT??” my grouped replied.
“I’m gonna meet Chante Moore!”
“Kenny, please, PLEASE don’t-“
I didn’t hear the rest of her plea because I was off to the stage, determined to meet my baby…
Could this tale possibly get any worse? Oh, believe you – me. It did. But I think it best to leave it here for now.
So no, this story ain’t over, baby.
…click here for the exciting conclusion: “Meeting Chante Moore (Pt 2): How To Make A Complete Fool Of Yourself In 10 Minutes Or Less”.
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