R&B heavy-hitter Ginuwine closed out the Golden Era Superlounge on Sunday night, hitting the Essence Festival stage as a solo artist for the very first time in his career.
Despite being viewed by many fans as a trailblazing artist with a near-omnipresent hit still in rotation in cars and bars across the nation, Ginuwine is often overlooked when it comes time to reward and recognize the contributions of R&B titans of the 90’s and 00’s.
However, he feels that his headlining set at the 25th anniversary of Essence Festival is among the crowning achievements that gave him his just due.
“It’s definitely something I’m appreciative of,” he said, speaking to press just before hitting the stage. “I’ve been out for 23 years, so to be invited to the 25th annual ESSENCE Festival means a lot to me. I always felt that I was never acknowledged for a lot of things — award shows, all of that. But for me to be acknowledged and ESSENCE to want me here for the 25th Festival, that’s absolutely an honor. “
He also spoke on how it feels to see people young and old instantly resort to body rolling, side-sliding, and pelvis-popping when his music begins to play.
“It makes me feel like I’m pretty sure Michael Jackson must have felt when everybody was doing a kick or sliding back and dancing,” he added. “That’s how it makes me feel, even though it’s always nasty (laughs). Hey, I started it!
As long as they remember me, that’s all that counts.”