Concerts

Live and Outrageous

Sometimes the heckler is right. Many moons ago, a young Millie Jackson wrecked some poor tuneless hackette's act at the famed Harlem nightclub Small's Paradise. The would-be diva dared Jackson to come onstage. Oops! After dusting off the object of her ridicule with her gorgeous, soaring alto, Jackson embarked on a monster career that has spanned more than 30 years, 26 albums, and a slew of top 20 R&B singles.

While some of her best-selling singles are straight-ahead love songs like "My Man, a Sweet Man," Jackson's strongest weapon is an ability to mix her sweet singing voice with half-sung, half-rapped, brutal sexual politics. Cheating husbands and the suckers who put up with them are equally subject to scorn in songs like "Leftovers": "Tell me something/You been married to her and shackin' with me/So who do you feel you're cheating on?" The jackass doesn't think he did anything wrong. His wife shows up to claim him and Jackson drops one on her: "How can you lay there stretched out in my bed?/With my brand-new nightie on/And my brand-new rollers in your nappy head?" Jackson kicks all their asses out and the people cheer.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Tom Bowker