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Singer Stephanie Mills hopes to bring R&B music back to the forefront

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NEWARK, N.J. -- Singer Stephanie Mills says she knows what she wants to do with her career. And that's keep on making great music after 40 years of performing.

"I have some new music coming out. My dream and what I hope to do is bring R&B music back to the forefront the way it should be," said Mills.

Mills hit the Amateur Night at the Apollo Stage as a child, then went on Broadway. As a teenager she was staring in the award-winning musical, “The Wiz” as Dorothy for 5 years.

"I grew up in theater, and I think if you can do theater it disciplines you to be able to do anything. So I love theater. I would love to do another show. Not stay in it for five years but maybe a year, but I would love to go back to Broadway to do something," said Mills.

Stephanie had some major hits in the 80's and early 90's at the same time some other big stars were on the scene.

"With so many who have passed, my friend Michael and Whitney, and I'm still here. And I've had my own trials and tribulations, but I'm still here enjoying my life, and to me, that's triumphant," said Mills.

Stephanie says she and Michael dated for awhile in the 80's.

"What young girl wasn't in love with the Jackson Five? I just, I was going to be Mrs. Michael Jackson. And they would come to see “The Wiz” all the time. And that's how I met them. And that's one of the reasons why I signed with Motown, because I wanted to be closer to him," said Mills.

They are fond memories for the Grammy award winner, just as fond as memories of being born in Queens and growing up in Brooklyn.

"We lived on President Street. My mother owned a beauty salon on Utica Avenue, Eastern Parkway," said Mills. "I would go to the beauty salon after school because my mom would take me home, but I would always be singing in school. I was a part of the Glee Cup Club and singing the national anthem in school. P.S. 269."

And Mills is still proud to be singing now.

"Sometimes they like to throw us away. I'm not going to allow them to throw me away. I love singing music. I love performing, so I'm not going to allow them to throw me away," said Mills. "I'm trying to hold it down, you know I'm 56 years old."

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