Reality TV Newbies: ‘R&B Divas LA’ Adds Chrisette Michele & Leela James to Cast

chrisette michele-leela james-cast r and b divas la-the jasmine brand

The TV One R&B Divas franchise continues to grow. Last month, we shared that the ATL added two new faces, former Destiny’s Child member LaTavia Roberson and former 702 member Kameelah Williams. The ladies  are currently filming for the new season which will premiere early next year. And now we’ve caught word of two additions to the Los Angeles spin-off. 31-year-old soul singer Chrisette Michele and LA-bred singer/songwriter Leela James, have been tapped to join the original members of the popular show. D’Angela Proctor, SVP Programming and Production, TV One, confirmed the addition:
The debut season of R&B Divas LA set the tone as a series all about glamour and high-stakes drama. As we gear up to shoot season two, we anticipate that the addition of two lovely and respected solo artists, Chrisette and Leela, will build upon the impassioned, ever-evolving group dynamic that season one viewers embraced.
Check out part of the network’s press release with background on the newbies:
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Chrisette Michele is a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter with four solo albums and a series of featured credits under her belt. She gained initial industry traction in 2006 for her contributions to a series of hip hop singles, including “Lost One” on Jay-Z’s album Kingdom Come, and “Can’t Forget About You,” “Still Dreaming,” and “Hope” on Nas’ album Hip Hop is Dead. In 2007, she released her debut album I Am and was featured on Ghostface Killah’s album The Big Doe Rehab on the bonus track “Slow Down.” In 2008, Michele was featured on the single “Let Us Live” on The Game’s album LAX, and “Rising Up” on The Roots’ album Rising Down. Chrisette released her second album Epiphany in 2009, and won a 2009 Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for her single “Be OK.” In 2010, she released her third album, Let Freedom Reign, and additionally was featured on rapper Rick Ross’ album Teflon Don on the track “Aston Martin Music” (along with Ross and Drake). Her fourth album, Better, was released in June and has received a 56th Annual Grammy Awards nomination for Best R&B Album. She is currently on tour performing in select U.S. cities.

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Leela James burst onto the scene with her 2006 debut album A Change is Gonna Come, introducing audiences to her considerable vocal chops and garnering nominations for Outstanding New Artist at the NAACP Image Awards and Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist of 2008 at the Soul Train Music Awards. She has gone on to record three subsequent albums including My Soul, which reached #7 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Albums Chart and #37 on the Billboard 200 chart, and earned acclaim from critics for her songwriting skills. Nicknamed Baby Etta as a little girl, James paid homage to her idol in 2012 by recording her album Loving You More… In the Spirit of Etta James. The acclaimed recording artist appreciates the eternal qualities of an undeniable star – raw talent, musical substance and an authentic voice that’s timeless – all of which are embodied on Leela James’ upcoming fourth studio album, to be released in 2014, and new single “Say That,” a sultry duet with Anthony Hamilton.

So the big question is who’s returning? To date, we’re told returning cast members include Chanté Moore, Lil’ Mo, Michel’le and Claudette Ortiz. It’s highly unlikely that Kelly Price or Dawn Robinson will return. What are your thoughts on the new additions to R&B Divas LA? And will the show suffer without Kelly and Dawn?