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On TV One's 'Unsung,' singer Stacy Lattisaw gets a second life

Lattisaw, whose episode airs April 12, is working on a gospel album after a 20-year absence from recording. She says she was waiting for the right opportunity to explain why she vanished from the R&B scene after scoring the biggest hit of her career in "Where Do We Go From Here," a 1990 duet with her former boyfriend and Southeast neighbor Johnny Gill.

"The stress of the music business just took a toll on me and, around 23, I decided, 'This is it for me,' " says Lattisaw, who now lives in Clinton and runs a recording studio and audio equipment company in nearby Fort Washington with her husband. "I watched some of the episodes [of 'Unsung'], so I figured sooner or later that I'd get a call from them."

Episode brought closure

Approaching the surviving members of Zapp, the influential Ohio funk outfit whose leader, Roger Troutman, was killed by his brother Larry in a mysterious 1999 murder-suicide, required more finesse. Although younger brothers Lester and Terry Troutman continue to perform under the name Zapp, they had largely avoided discussing the tragedy prior to the taping of their episode. After months of phone conversations with Rowland and the episode's producer, P. Frank Williams, Lester Troutman was ultimately won over by their diligence, he says.

"Everything they said they would do, they did," says Lester Troutman, the group's drummer. "It's brought closure that I would never have gotten if I hadn't done it. Now people understand what we understand. Which is nobody really knows, and nobody will ever know, what happened that morning."

The episode has increased awareness that Zapp, whose influence can be felt today in the music of Snoop Dogg and T-Pain, is still a touring band. "It's been almost the same as having a hit record," Lester Troutman says. "People who didn't know we were still playing are calling to book us and saying, 'Oh, by the way, I was so touched by the 'Unsung' episode.' "

Unsung

(one hour) airs at 9 p.m. Monday on TV One.


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