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A NIGHT OUT WITH: JULISSA BERMUDEZ | A SONG BEFORE DINNER

Julissa Bermudez, left, with Adrienne Bailon. Photo by: Robert Caplin for The NYT

By Douglas Century, New York Times

On a recent Saturday in Midtown, Julissa Bermudez lounged on a brown leather sofa in the Sony Recording Studios, awaiting her moment with the maestro.       

Ms. Bermudez, a 22-year-old former fashion model who is now the host of the youth affairs talk show “The Center” on BET every weekday, had an informal singing audition with Rodney Jerkins, the Midas-touch record producer.

While on-air chitchat about college applications and prom dresses has its moments, Ms. Bermudez — who was born in the Dominican Republic and was raised in Elmhurst, Queens — harbors slightly loftier show business dreams.

She had just returned from Los Angeles, hopscotching among meetings with talent managers and casting directors. She pulled a script from a black quilted Marc Jacobs bag. “It’s a Jack Black comedy called ‘Be Kind Rewind,’ ” she said, shrugging. “There’s a part called Cindy they want me to read for.”

This evening she’d landed every aspiring pop singer’s dream: a session with Mr. Jerkins, the New Jersey native who earned the nickname Super Producer with a litany of hits for Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige and Beyoncé.

Dressed in jeans and a pale-blue printed T-shirt, Ms. Bermudez hugged Mr. Jerkins, who wore a white shirt, sneakers and a blinding array of bling. She’d never planned to be a pop singer, she told him. “But everyone I met in L.A. kept asking me, ‘Do you sing?’ ” she said. “And I was like, if Paris Hilton is making records, I’m not going to tell them no.”

At Mr. Jerkins’s coaxing, she sang a verse or two of a Marc Anthony favorite. It was an untrained voice, to be sure, but Mr. Jerkins thought he heard something.

FOR THE REST OF THIS STORY VISIT: www.nytimes.com

Comments

  1. Reply

    I have a crush on that woman.

  2. Reply
    SHAY

    ISN’T HER BOYFRIEND LARRY JOHNSON FROM THE KC CHIEFS??

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