Albert Joseph Brown, III was born in Boston, Massachusetts on June 4, 1968 but raised in Mount Vernon, New York where he was the star quarterback on the high school football team. Still, he turned down a full scholarship to the University of Iowa to pursue his love of music under the alias Al B. Sure! In 1987, he was tapped by Quincy Jones as the winner of a Sony Records talent search and, found fame while still in his teens with the spectacular debut album “In Effect Mode” featuring numerous hits, including such instant R&B classics as Rescue Me and Nite and Day.
Known for the velvety-falsetto on his romantic love songs, Al released other solo CDs while collaborating on duets with everyone from Diana Ross to David Bowie to Al Green over the course of a recording and producing career which has thus far netted the charismatic crooner numerous Grammy nominations as well as Soul Train and American Music Awards for Best New Artist. Currently, he is one of a dozen bachelors competing for the affections of Omarosa on The Ultimate Merger, a new reality series sponsored by Donald Trump.
Here, Al talks about his life and about what it was like to be on the show which is set to premiere on TV One on Thursday, June 17th at 9 PM.
Kam Williams: Hey, Al, thanks for the time.
Al B. Sure: Don’t worry about it. How’re you doing today?
KW: Very well, thanks. How did Donald Trump interest you in competing for the affections of a controversial sister voted the #1 reality show villain of all time by the readers of TV Guide?
ABS: I’ve known Mr. Trump since he hosted I think it was my 21st birthday party on his yacht years ago. He’s an amazing guy. And I’ve also known Omarosa for a few years. She’s always been just a really sweet and kind person, very different from what viewers see on television. I’ve always admired her because she’s such a smart go-getter, so we’ve always been friends.
KW: Yeah, the first time I met her, I was struck both by how strikingly beautiful she is in person and by how different she is from the monster she’s been edited to look like on The Apprentice.
KW: But if you already know her, why go on a reality show to date her?
ABS: It’s a cultural concession too the new media. I can’t live in the past. Part of this new media is this reality forum. So something you’d ordinarily do in private, you end up doing in public for all the world to see. Then it becomes much more interesting, especially how TV One has cast a great group of guys to compete for the prize, this very dynamic woman. What’s better than that? It makes for a very positive show.
KW: I told my readers I’d be interviewing you, and the most common response I got from them was something like, “He’s more famous than Omarosa. Is this just a publicity stunt?” One even said, “Ask him, are you out of your mind?” given her reputation for being difficult.
ABS: I received feedback like that myself. But like I said, I know the real Omarosa. She’s a friend, a dynamic woman, and a good person. I’ve been approached to do so many reality shows that I’ve turned down over the years. But being that this was Donald Trump, TV One and Omarosa, I thought this would be great. And you never know what might happen.
KW: Did you enjoy the whole reality show process?
KW: Even being cooped up in a suite with 11 other guys?
ABS: Not that part so much, because I’m a bit of a loner, even though they were great guys, and we established a brotherhood over the course of this journey. And still, in the back of everybody’s head was the competition. But we did our best to keep it as positive as possible.
KW: No spitting on each other, like the contestants on Flavor of Love.
ABS: No, no spitting on each other, but we did challenge each other intellectually any time we bickered.
KW: Weren’t the other contestants shocked and intimidated when they learned they’d be competing against Al B. Sure?
ABS: To be very candid with you, their biggest surprise was when they came to realize that I was so down to earth, and that my door was always open to anybody who needed to talk. Despite the competition, I’m going to be your brother first. I have to be that way, because God has blessed me with the vehicle of music, the experience of life, and the spirit of discernment. So, of course, I feel responsible to share my gifts.
KW: And how was it to look at Omarosa romantically for the first time, instead of as a friend.
ABS: You know what? She’s a very, very sexy woman. What more can I say? And sexy to me is not just the physical. I’m 42 now, so when you can sit down and have an incredible conversation with me, that’s the biggest turn-on, not the tightest jeans.
KW: Batala McFarlane asks, if you weren’t an entertainer, what line of work would you have pursued?
ABS: I would probably have been an attorney or played football in the NFL, which was my initial dream. I love football to this day.
KW: Documentary filmmaker Hisani Dubose says she loves your music and would like to know what you’re working on now.
ABS: Currently, I’m pitching a production of my own television show. I can’t reveal exactly what it is, but I’ll be talking about it very soon. I also have a website, http://www.albsure.net/, and I’m hosting Slow Jams, the #1 morning radio show. You can find a link to it on my website. I’m on 7 days a week from 5 to 10 AM playing everyone from Beyonce’ to Marvin Gaye. Besides that, my latest album is called Honey, I’m Home. I’m trying to bring the romance back to music. Old school… Music is meant to be a part of your blood stream, and if it doesn’t affect your bloodstream, then you may as well put it back in the shoebox underneath the bed. My godfather, Quincy Jones, taught me that the melody comes from God, and it is what it is. At the end of the day, what you put into something is what you get out of it.
KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman says, in the event you succeed in your quest to woo Omarosa, how do you think your kids will react to having her as their wicked stepmother?
ABS: That’s not nice. I won’t answer that one.
KW: Children’s book author Irene Smalls asks is this a show business move or an affair of the heart? I think you already answered that.
ABS: I love these questions. They’re funny.
KW: Ila Forster wants t know what your feelings were while watching the MTV Sweet Sixteen segment that featured your son and Sean Combs?
ABS: I’m not going to comment about that. I don’t discuss my family with the press; I discuss my family with my family. If you notice, when you