En Vogue on their big ‘Coming 2 America’ moment
The legendary group sat down with theGrio and opened up about their big screen moment
After months of anticipation, Coming 2 America has finally dropped on Amazon Prime Video. Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, and more return to Zamuda in the hilarious sequel of the beloved 1988 film. Not only does the film see much of the original cast reuniting, but it also features some jaw-dropping cameos.
In one show-stopping moment, music legends En Vogue reunite with Salt-N-Pepa to perform their hit song, “Whatta Man” (this time, “Whatta King”) almost 30 years after its release.
TheGrio caught up with En Vogue (Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron and Rhona Bennett) to discuss their big moment in Coming 2 America, their memories of shooting that super-secret scene, and what they are looking forward to on the other side of the pandemic.
Considering the given circumstance of 2020 and the pandemic, En Vogue tells theGrio that “they’re doing pretty good.” Ellis told theGrio, “We are maintaining, and continuing to work and enjoy time with our families.” Bennett certainly agrees with Ellis, telling us they’re looking forward to “the days to come.”
When asked about their surprise involvement in Coming 2 America, Herron gushed, saying “We were really excited! Our manager got a phone call inviting us to redo “Whatta Man” with Salt N Pepa for the movie, but it would be called “Whatta King.” We were, of course, ecstatic to be able to come back together and record with Salt N Pepa but even more importantly, to be a part of such an iconic film.”
Coming to America (1988) was an incredibly influential movie for En Vogue and in many ways, still is.
Herron explained to theGrio, “That movie [Coming to America] was everything for us, for the Black community, for us struggling artists trying to get into the game, and it was such a treasure for us. When we had the opportunity to be in Coming 2 America, we were over the moon.” Even En Vogue, icons in their own right, found themselves starstruck while shooting on set.
Herron dished, “First of all, everybody from the original cast was back…and then some!” Terry Ellis chimed in, saying, “It was incredible energy.” The on-screen reunion with Salt-N-Pepa was special as well. Herron told theGrio, “Over the years when we’re out on the road, every so often it would be En Vogue and Salt N Pepa on the same bill…but it’s been a few years since we have performed that song together.”
Ellis, Herron and Bennett all agree there’s one thing they miss the most: being onstage. Herron explained, “It’s been a big adjustment for us. First of all, a lot of our live shows have disappeared and so during the pandemic we sort of had to regroup and figure out how to keep the brand moving forward.” En Vogue are pros, though, and were able to adjust just fine, still connecting with fans and singing down.
Ellis explained, “Thanks to the internet, there have been a lot of online performances…and fortunately last year we were able to do a drive-through movie performance, which is sort of like the new venue.”
En Vogue has certainly been busy with major performances. They recently appeared at the Billboard Music Awards, as well as Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve last December. “There was an actual audience there! It was socially distanced and masked, but there was an audience there! Really the biggest thing for us is getting out there in front of a live audience again, I think that’s what we miss the most.”
While a timeline of the return of in-person concerts is still up in the air, if we know En Vogue, they’ll be more than ready when that day comes.
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