Laura Heywood Interviews Jawan M. Jackson (Ain't Too Proud)

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Jawan M. Jackson is currently on Broadway playing Melvin Franklin, one of the original and longest lasting members of the Temptations. From the group’s founding in the early 1960s to Melvin’s death in 1995, he never left the group — and his impact has never left the world of music.

As one of the most recognizable voices in the Motown family — or truly in any music of the time — Melvin had a voice so deep it made the walls vibrate.

Finding a voice that could recreate this legend for the stage was no easy feat. But that voice was found — attached to a brilliant actor, a handsome face, and a budding dancer who proved easy to teach those signature Temptations moves.

This is the second Broadway show in which Jawan M. Jackson has played this same man — the first being a two and a half year run in Motown: the Musical, where the Temps were just one of a whole slew of featured groups. This time, we get to experience their deep back story, and through Jawan’s smooth and captivating performance, we watch Melvin grow from a timid teenager to a persistent veteran who insists on remaining with the Temptations despite the debilitating pain that came with age.

There’s a lot of focus put on Jawan M. Jackson’s voice, because it’s so low and so unique and dare I say so sexy. But there is so much more to this this performer, this man, this human being.

Yes, we get the history of “that voice” — but we also get (forgive me) “DEEPER” into how he got to Broadway without having an agent; the despondence that can follow having all of one’s dreams come true — and how Jawan pushed past that to create and pursue new dreams; what inspires him to get up in the morning; and how helping others pursue their own dreams has become a critical part of this man’s purpose.

Laura Heywood Interviews is proud to welcome Jawan M. Jackson!

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