Watch Singer Jose Figueroa Jr. Impress ‘The Voice’ Judges by Belting Billy Vera & The Beaters’ ‘At This Moment’


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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“At This Moment,” the 1987 No. 1 hit made famous by Billy Vera & The Beaters, was recently brought back into the limelight thanks to a powerhouse performance from Florida-based singer Jose Figueroa Jr.

The 34-year-old made an appearance on The Voice, opting to sing the track during his Blind Auditions segment in front of judges Nick Jonas, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Blake Shelton.

Figueroa’s performance earned the approval from both Legend and Jonas, though all four judges seemed ultimately impressed by his appearance:

Figueroa later selected Jonas as his vocal coach for the next round of competition.

The selection of “At This Moment” was a welcomed return to the spotlight for the track, which has become an enduring contemporary classic after surging in popularity in 1987 after it was used in the sitcom Family Ties — injecting new life into the song, which had previously been released six years earlier.

In Family Ties, the track was used as theme music for the budding relationship between the show’s Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox) and girlfriend Ellen Reed (Tracy Pollan), who coincidentally became real-life married partners as well.

Here’s the full regular version of “At This Moment”:

As for Billy Vera, he has maintained a busy profile in recent years. Coming up this Saturday, March 20, he will be one of many artists and celebrities that will be featured in Rock Cellar’s All Together Now-LA2 telethon for COVID relief. It’s the second annual All Together Now telethon, following our March 2020 event for COVID-19 relief in Los Angeles.

100% of the proceeds raised will provide food, shelter & services to homeless families, and support to first responders, musicians, restauranteurs, and more through the Mayor’s Fund and several partner organizations helping those in need including The Midnight Mission, Project Angel Food, MusiCares, Valley Cultural Foundation, and the Get Together Foundation – all action-based organizations making a difference in our community.

Click here for more details about the show.

Vera also released a new album, Timeless, in 2019. The record featured the single “I Knew You When,” which attained some radio attention on the East Coast:

In 2017, Vera published his official memoir, and Harlem to Hollywood traces his unique path to stardom in special detail:

Born into a white, suburban family, Vera fell for black music as a child and started down a winding performer’s path that would buoy him the rest of his life. In the sixties, Vera paid his bills by songwriting (for other artists) through the day and playing mobbed up clubs at night. By 1967, as Newark burned on the other side of the Hudson, he and gospel singer Judy Clay, the first interracial duet to perform at the Apollo, tore the house down with a little ditty he wrote for himself: “Storybook Children ” a commercial hit produced by Atlantic Records. Through the seventies, popular taste shifted drastically. As blue-eyed soul went out of fashion, Vera, like many other musicians, found himself scrounging for survival gigs, but one crucial difference set him apart: he abstained from the drugs and drink that fueled – and eventually claimed – so many of his contemporaries. As that decade sputtered to a close, a woman by the name of Dolly Parton recorded Vera’s “I Really Got the Feeling” and hit number one on the charts. Riding the tide of this unexpected attention, Vera hightailed it to Los Angeles, formed a new band, Billy and the Beaters, and charted twice before the close of 1981 with songs from their eponymous album recorded live at the Roxy. Five years later, one of these minor hits, “At This Moment ” was featured in several episodes of NBC’s Family Ties. The song rocketed up the charts and a 42-year-old Vera found himself with his very own number one single. Nine visits to Carson and an American Bandstand appearance later, Vera tasted many other flavors of success: acting both on- and off-camera, producing records, and reissuing his own work. Today, with a star on the Hollywood Walk and Fame and a Grammy in tow, he’s finally prepared to share his journey (did we mention that he’s also a photographer and music historian who documented every step of career?).

Stay in touch with Billy Vera by visiting his official website.


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