Olivia, the former First Lady of G-Unit Records, is still trying to get out of 50 Cent’s shadow.
The thirty year-old R&B singer is part of the cast of VH1’s Love & Hip Hop reality series, which makes its premier tonight (March 14).
“A lot of people don’t know the real Olivia,” she told MTV News. “I felt like I was kind of sheltered being in the Unit, so this was a way for everybody to see my personality and just to see how I really am…”
What people do know is that in 2004 Olivia signed with 50 Cent’s G-Unit, and her career seemed to be back on track for stardom. Four years earlier she had the distinction of being the first artist that music industry legend Clive Davis signed to his then fledgling J Records. However, her self-titled debut came and went with little fanfare a year later and she was out of a deal before she connected with 50 Cent a few years afterward.
Although her vocals were featured on G-Unit cuts like 50 Cent’s hit “Candy Shop,” she wouldn’t release an album on that label either, leaving the House that Fif built sometime in 2006. Her sophomore album, Behind Close Doors, was shelved (its since been released as a mixtape). While it was reported that in 2009 she signed a deal with Universal Motown Records to release what would be her official sophomore album, Show the World, according to a label representative she was never signed to the label.
With the buzz that Love & Hip Hop is generating thanks to fellow castmates like Jim Jones’ longtime girlfriend Chrissy Lampkin and Fabolous’ baby mama and stylist Emily Bustamente, Olivia hopes viewers will get to see that the setbacks were bad luck, not suspect vocal pipes.
“‘We have a lot of scenes together,” says Olivia, referring to Emily and Chrissy. “So you get to see the relationships and how we bond when you see me with these two women… It’s a big deal for me because a lot of people also don’t know that really I can sing, sing. So that was another reason why this would be a good opportunity.”
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