In the shadow of greatness

Motown, like all great industries, has its legacies and legends. L’Stubbs is a talented vocal quintet descended from Motown’s royalty. The cross-generational all-female group features Thelma Stubbs-Mitchell, the sister of Levi Stubbs of the legendary Four Tops, and four of his nieces, Pamela Fuller, Shelia Stubbs-Taylor, Ronda Pierce, and Robin Pierce. L’Stubbs have performed with the iconic Four Tops and the Temptations. They are making name for themselves with their sultry R&B harmonies and Diva-style.

 
To find out what it is like to grow up under the auspices of Motown greats, don’t miss a word of this exclusive interview.
 
DD: You have an impressive legacy, as the sister and nieces of Levi Stubbs of the legendary Four Tops. How has this influenced your music?
L’ Stubbs: Watching the Four Tops all of our lives brought us great inspiration, work ethic, and a true love for the business of entertaining.  We also have a great love for all the Motown groups, especially the Jackson Five.  One of our other favorite family groups is the Osmond Brothers
 
When we were young girls, in our grandmother Daisy Stubbs’s bathroom we would make drums out of the walls around us and conduct are own Motown show.  We would add our own twist to the dance moves that we saw performed by The Four Tops many times.  We never imagined as little girls, we would now be performing in front of thousands of people and have a new CD titled "Here We Are"
 
DD: Did any of you ever perform with the Four Tops or your brother Levi Stubbs? 
L’ Stubbs: Yes, L’Stubbs has opened up for the Four Tops and the Temptations on several occasions.  These performances gave us phenomenal concert and tour experience. There is nothing like performing live in front of thousands of people, and receiving rave reviews.  For the city of Detroit, Sheila recorded a song entitled "The Detroit Song" with her uncle Levi.  It was all a blast, and the song and time spent with uncle Levi will be treasured forever.
 
DD:   How long have you been performing together?
L’Stubbs: We have been performing collectively together, for five years.  However, before forming the group L’Stubbs, we formed separate groups such as: Guest Stars, Phase III, and Starfire.  Each group would consist of at least three members of L’Stubbs; this would allow us to interchange our members for different performances.  After years of working separately, one of our family members, Barbara, told us that she thought we would have a great future if we worked together.  So, we formed our group L’Stubbs, and this union has been the perfect fit.  
 
DD: You are a family group from Detroit which is yet another type of musical legacy; did you think about this when you were forming the group?  Did it influence you?
L’Stubbs: Yes, because Detroit has so many musical legends and with Motown being a historical fixture, we have a huge responsibility with representing our city, along with preserving our family legacy.  We feel that the group of ladies we have formed together are pretty dynamic.  Often, we have been told that while performing, if our audience were to close their eyes, they would think that Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, or Louis Armstrong were on stage.  This is a huge compliment and we are humbled and honored by the comparisons.
 
And yes, we are greatly influenced by the many legends here in Detroit and we will continue trying to keep Motown "alive".  
 
DD: What are the advantages and disadvantages to working with family?
L’Stubbs: A great advantage we have is that as family members we share the same timbre (vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner) in our voices. This works magic with our harmonies.  Having a close family, we all live in the same city of Detroit which makes it very convenient for our weekly rehearsals.
 
A disadvantage as family members is that if we wanted to fire another member, we would still have to socialize with that person. Instead we take the word ‘family’ to heart, and even if we disagree, we have learned how to compromise.  Our motto is "we cannot fire each other from our family; which means we must work things out within our group".  Can you imagine five strong-willed females!!! (smile)
 
DD: What inspires the group musically and stylistically?
L’Stubbs: When we are performing, we are thrilled seeing our audience enjoy themselves. This is an inspiration to us. We love interacting with them, and making them a part of our act. This really puts an extra spark in our step.  When we create our songs, our fans and life experiences inspire us.  We all are true believers in love and romance. 
 
Many legendary artists inspire our sense of style. Tina Turner to name just one, has a strong, courageous, bold style that we feel is classic. 
 
Today, we are inspired by many fashion-forward entertainers. We take the old and new school combinations of style and ideas to create a foundation which we enhance and cultivate into our own unique and individual style.  
 
DD: Where do you see L’Stubbs in 5 years?
L’Stubbs: We would love to tour overseas and we plan to take a trip there soon.  We are currently on a multi-city tour promoting our CD "Here We Are".  Our first single "All Is Well" will be released to radio nationally.  We also see ourselves still making people smile and bringing people together from all walks of life.  Perhaps in the future, L’Stubbs will produce music for other artists, and write movie scores. We will definitely continue grooming the next generations.  We are committed to today’s youth.  Our goal is to let the legacy live on.  There’s no stopping us now!  because "HERE WE ARE"!
 
For more about L’Stubbs, or to hear selections from their new CD, Here We Are go to http://www.stubbsgirls.com/
 
 
  
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