Written by | Ray Cornelius

Grammy-nominated singer Janelle Monáe is closing out 2013 on a high note and rightfully so. The Billboard Women in Music  “Rising Star” is headlining Atlanta’s 25th Anniversary Peach Drop, the South’s largest New Year’s Eve celebration. This year’s festivities is presented by Mars’ popular brand M&M’S ®Peanut Chocolate Candies and will serve as the official kick-off for the company’s year-long tribute to the Peanut.

2013 has definitely been a stand-out year for the 28-year-old vocalist. She released her highly anticipated second studio album Electric Lady  which featured hot collaborations with some of her contemporaries including Solangé Knowles and Miguel, as well as her idol Prince, with whom she performed with last weekend.

Monáe also graced the cover of a number of magazines including ELLE, UPTOWN and the 20th anniversary edition of VIBE, in which she was named one of the ‘new faces of R&B’ along with Robin Thicke. A fierce competitor during award show season, Monáe held her own picking up three Grammy nominations, one MTV Music Award nomination and five Soul Train Award nominations. The very animated songwriter delivered a memorable performance during Black Girls Rock  and shut it down as the closing act of the BET Awards with fellow “Q.U.E.E.N.” collaborator, Erykah Badu. However, the real highlight of Monáe’s year was being able to perform for The First Family during the Inauguration at the beginning of the year and then again for the National Christmas Tree Lighting  at the White House.

“I love the Obamas and to have them be fans of my music means a great deal to me,”  says Monáe.  “I want to continue to write songs that inspire them because I know my music has the potential to help them and guide them and make their lives easier so that they can make the best decisions for this country.”

While Monáe doesn’t subscribe to New Year’s resolutions, she does believe in the power of the spoken word and creates “themes” for each year based on what she would like to see manifest in her life.

“I like to make themes up for each year and have already done so for 2014, 2015 and 2016. I don’t know what all is going to happen but I know what I want to focus on from a personal and career standpoint. I don’t share them, I just keep them in my head and hopefully the work I do will speak to that particular theme,”  says the Kansas-born diva.

Monáe went on to further explain that 2013 was just a taste of what fans can expect from her but remained tight-lipped about her new plans and projects for the coming year.

“You just never know what is going to happen. You have to just go with where life takes you and use your intuition and inner confidence to make the best decisions. I’m just excited about being more evolved in 2014 and tapping into undiscovered parts of me. I don’t think anyone, including myself, has seen the best of what’s yet to come from Janelle Monáe.”

Check out Janelle Monáe TONIGHT  as she headlines the Atlanta Peach Drop powered by M&M’S ®Peanut Chocolate Candies at 11:15 p.m. at Underground Atlanta. Here is a sneak peek of her new song, “What is Love?” which is from the upcoming animated film, RIO 2.

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Photo Credit: michaelbradok.com

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