It's gone quiet on the music front, but Janelle Monae's film career is going from strength to strength into 2017.
There are many, many reasons to love Janelle Monae. Uncategorisable in her wider career as well as in her nominal job as a pop star, there have been few artists in the 2010s who are as daring and consistently compelling as her.
Where to start? Well, there’s the matter of her two exceptional studio albums The ArchAndroid (2010) and The Electric Lady (2013) – three if you count her out-of-print and hard-to-find debut The Audition way back in 2003 when she was just 18. Slavered over by critics and both selling around 200,000 copies in the States, they represent some of the most unique visions for pop music in ages.
Janelle Monae outside the 2016 American Music Awards
However, all has been quiet on the music front for the 31 year old American star for quite a while now. Since her Golden Electric Tour of Australia and New Zealand ended in May 2014, after support slots with Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers over previous years, she’s rarely performed live.
Monae’s official website has posted nothing in its news section in 2016 except to throw her support behind the Rock The Vote campaign.
On the other hand, Monae’s film career has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2016 alone, she has starred prominently in two critically acclaimed movies in 2016 – Hidden Figures and Moonlight.
The latter of these currently holds a Metacritic rating of 99/100 and is heavily tipped to win big come awards season early next year. Monae plays a woman who comes to look out for and look after a misfit boy whose own mother is neglectful and often absent.
Biographical comedy-drama Hidden Figures sees her as part of a more ensemble cast, but her performance was enough to win Breakout Performance at the African-American Film Critics Association awards.
While there’s no plans for any more films for Monae at the time of writing, there’s also no news of any music being worked on. It’s anybody’s guess whether more films or music will be released in 2017, but whatever comes will be eagerly devoured.
Janelle looking striking in red
Janelle at the BET Awards
Janelle perfectly dressed for the premiere of Star Wars
Janelle performing onstage over the summer
Janelle's consistently stunning whether in a pantsuit or evening gown
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