What to Do Tonight: Anthony Hamilton



Even his hat is old-school
  • Even his hat is old-school

Authenticity has never been a problem for Anthony Hamilton, who was cast as a soul singer in the 2007 movie American Gangster (the true story about a guy who ran Harlem during the golden era of soul music in the ’70s). Despite having one of the most convincing voices in the business — at his best, Hamilton recalls Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, and Bobby Womack — the 39-year-old barber-turned-backup-singer-turned-R&B-virtuoso has remained below the radar for most of his nearly 15-year career. First gaining national attention in 2003 with his platinum-selling second album, Comin’ From Where I’m From, the North Carolina singer is also an in-demand crooner among hip-hop artists. Known for his spiritual bent — he first discovered his chops when he was a 10-year-old singing in a church choir — Hamilton’s relative anonymity could be attributed to his lack of sex appeal, R&B’s bread and butter since the start. In place of the cinematic, candlelit coitus celebrated by many of his better-known contemporaries, Hamilton regularly taps into real-life pain and pleasure. In “Cool,” his 2008 collaboration with rapper David Banner, he sings, “If we ain’t got enough for a movie, we can just sit at home.” Later, he suggests that he and his lady just watch cartoons. It doesn’t get more real than that. Anthony Hamilton, with Kem, Jaheim, and Raheem Devaughn, plays Time Warner Cable Amphitheater at 7 p.m. Tickets: $39.75-$79.75. —Jeremy Henderson

Follow us on Twitter: @clescenemusic

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.