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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Aloe Blacc to bring R&B starshine to 'Ellen,' 'Live With Kelly & Michael'

Aloe Blacc performs at Stubbs BBQ for the DefJam 30th Anniversary show during SXSW on Tuesday.

AP

Aloe Blacc performs at Stubbs BBQ for the DefJam 30th Anniversary show during SXSW on Tuesday.

14

March

Aloe Blacc may sound like a throwback, but R&B's Next Big Thing is the very model of modern success. At first, he was just a voice, crooning the hook on Swedish DJ Avicii's worldwide No. 1 Wake Me Up, party-starting on Ellen DeGeneres' gone-viral Super Bowl ad.

Retro-minded peer Bruno Mars infiltrated our brains in much the same way — penning and producing hits, singing hooks for Travie McCoy and B.O.B., working radio, TV and social media, making us like him before we even knew who he was. As far as business plans go, it's a hot one to emulate.

Born Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III, which is actually more memorable than his stage handle, Blacc is extremely ambitious on just-released LP Lift Your Spirit too ambitious at times, trying on so many masks you wonder who this guy is. But much like Mars, the Panamanian-American displays moments of such starshine, especially with his sepia-toned R&B vocal, it's hard not to love him.

You can read our full album review here. Then you can catch Mr. Blacc on TV March 21 for a reunion with Ellen on her gabfest. Plus a spot on Live With Kelly & Michael March 25. He's a good one, kids.

[Last modified: Friday, March 14, 2014 4:25pm]

    

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