*Once upon a time called RIGHT NOW, singer Nellie “Tiger” Travis is still uncontrollably hot for “Mr. Sexy Man.”
With the song’s up-tempo, powerful and pulsating beat, the “gotta dance right now” groove has left listeners wanting more of “Mr. Sexy Man.” As for Nellie, she just loves how people respond when she belts out the song’s indelible and unforgettable hook…
“Hey, Mr. Sexy Man…What Yo’ Name is…What Yo’ Name is?”
Asked about the song’s Ebonics hook that has captured ear holes both nationally and internationally.
“Some people love lyrics with some Ebonics,” said Nellie with a laugh. “And they love ‘Mr. Sexy Man.’ When I perform the song, people all over the venue, even people on walkers, stand up and dance. And when I get to the part ‘What Yo’ Name is…What Yo’ Name is?’…everybody shout it out. It’s amazing!”
According to Nellie, the single “Mr. Sexy Man” was recorded on the independent label Wind Chime Records and written by Floyd Hamberlin, Jr., a guitarist, keyboardist and drummer. Much of his work can be tied to the storied Jackson, Mississippi-based Malaco Records.
“Floyd wrote it and I took it to the next level,” said Nellie. “Tyler Perry, in his famous Madea voice, has even mentioned the song when he was interviewed a while back on The Steve Harvey Show.”
“Mr. Sexy Man” – the song that is – lyrically describes what happens to Nellie and her crew when a cool and dapperly dressed man strides into the club. Nellie sings…
“I saw you when you stepped into the club…The way you walk, the way your body moves… I was out there dancing on the floor…I was out of step cause I was watching you…”
“Many club DJs are getting requests for the song six, seven times a night,” said Nellie. “Some people are calling radio stations and asking for, ‘What Yo’ Name is?’ because some think that’s the real name of the song.”
“Hey, Mr. Sexy Man…What Yo’ Name is…What Yo’ Name is?”
On the origin of her nickname “Tiger”: According to Nellie, it was given to her about 15 years ago by a cousin while she (Nellie) was performing at a Chicago blues club. The cousin felt that the fierceness of a tiger matched Nellie’s feline-like and intense vocal style, as well as her feisty and independent personality. Nellie agreed and the name Nellie “Tiger” Travis has became an important part of her storybook career that began with…
Once upon another time called YESTERDAY, deep down in the Mississippi Delta town of Sunflower, Nellie Travis was born destined to sing. Raised by her grandmother in nearby Mound Bayou, Mississippi, Nellie’s second home was the church, where she developed a pure love for gospel songs, which she delivered Sunday after Sunday – in the name of the Lord.
“My grandmother was an evangelist, and a lot of my uncles where ministers and gospel singers,” Nellie recently told Lee Bailey of EURweb.com. “So for me it was always church and always Sunday School and always gospel, which has always been my first love.”
Yet, a change was coming. In 1987, Nellie moved from Mississippi to “La La Land” (Los Angeles) with the mindset of “vocally seducing” the iconic Quincy Jones for a record deal. She never came close to meeting “Q.” However, she did amassed a following of fans who loved the singer’s renditions of R&B Top 40 songs.
In 1992, Nellie moved to Chicago, the “Blues Capital of the World” to seek her fame and fortune. While she didn’t know much about the blues, she was a quick study and soon began singing the blues locally and in countries such as Japan, Greece, Italy, Germany, and Brazil.
Nellie became so good at the blues that she was crowned “The New Queen of Chicago Blues” by blues singer and legendary WVON radio personality Purvis Spann. She also was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame, as a “Master Blues Artist.”
While Nellie still sings the blues, she has branded her overall vocal styling in the vein of “southern soul,” which is a blend of blues, early rock and roll, with a strong dose of southern black church gospel. Since her 2000 debut album entitled “I Got it Like That,” Nellie has released five other albums. Some of the single cuts are, “Slap Yo’ Weave Off,” “Don’t Talk to Me,” “If I Back it Up,” “Clean it Up,” “Before You Grab This Tiger By The Tail,” and more.
“Regardless of what songs I have recorded, or will record in the future, ‘Mr. Sexy Man’ is my signature song for life,” she said. “Audiences in the United States and beyond can’t get enough of the song. It’s going to take a lot to top this song.”
“Hey, Mr. Sexy Man…What Yo’ Name is…What Yo’ Name is… You’re one fine sexy looking man…standing over there with that Hennessey in your hand…I’m looking at you, you’re looking at me…I’m thinking about the possibilities.”
Nellie is also thinking about the possibilities of her signature song receiving more airplay, especially since the song’s YouTube video has received close to 500,000 views. She expects even a greater response when her new album, entitled “Mr. Sexy Man” is released in early 2016.
“I’m one-half inch from getting where I want to get and ‘Mr. Sexy Man’ is going to get me there,” Nellie said. “I pray about it every day. It’s going to happen. I’m trusting my maker.”
“Hey, Mr. Sexy Man…What Yo’ Name is…What Yo’ Name is?”…I had to come and ask you for a dance…you know that this Tiger had to take a chance… I just love the smell of your cologne, man you got me hot you really turn me on…
For more information about Nellie “Tiger” Travis and her signature song, “Mr. Sexy Man,” log on to: www.nellietigertravis.com.