With music, love, and laughter, rising hometown R&B singer R.L. wed Ra'Sheda Ah'Shanell Watkins at the new elegant Le Meridien hotel in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday, May 24. R.L. is with the multi-platinum selling R&B group NEXT… With music, love, and laughter, rising hometown R&B singer R.L. wed Ra'Sheda Ah'Shanell Watkins at the new elegant Le Meridien hotel in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday, May 24. R.L. is with the multi-platinum selling R&B group NEXT, with hit songs "Too Close" and "Wifey." R.L. performs with his half-brothers Tweety and T-Low.
The wedding was one of simple modern elegance, sophistication, and beauty. The ceremony and reception were held in one of the hotel's exquisite banquet halls, decorated with tan and ivory drapery and white and pink calla lilies. On top of the traditional exchange of rings, recitation of vows, lighting of the unity candle, and kissing of the bride, R.L. took the opportunity to sing to his new bride on a number of occasions.
In a very intimate moment after the bride and groom recited their vows, R.L. sang his song "As Long as You Know" that promises that she will always have his heart. He also sang "All about you", and his brother T-Low performed "You Are My High." Walter Milsap played the processional and accompanied the songs.
R.L. met Ra'Sheda for the first time at the airport through a mutual acquaintance, just as he was beginning his career with NEXT. At the time, Ra'Sheda was attending college in Georgia. According to Minister Stanford Ellis, on that first meeting, R.L. considered Ra'Sheda out of his league. Petite and drop-dead gorgeous Ra'Sheda made a stunning picture and was once a first runner-up for the Miss Minnesota contest.
It wasn't until they met again at a Lynx game at the Target Center that the real pursuit for her affection began. The success of the group's debut album, Rated Next, kept R.L. on the road and away from Ra'Sheda. However, he stayed in touch through phone calls and flowers and after they decided to date more seriously, in the words of Ra'Sheda, "From that point on it was all about R.L. and Ra'Sheda!"
Ra'Sheda is from the Twin Cities and is the daughter of Mr. Levi Watkins and Mr. and Mrs. Randall Greene. She currently works at Nordstrom. R.L. is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Huggar, and is pursuing both a singing and acting career. Ra'Sheda wore an ivory Romona Keveza strapless gown. The bride's maids wore a silver-blue wrap dress by Lazaro. The couple traveled to the Bahamas for their honeymoon and will reside in Minneapolis post-nuptials.
Over 400 guests were in attendance, including such notables as Kaygee, formally of the famed hip hop group Naughty by Nature, performer Walter Wilsap, Troy Hudson of the Minnesota Timberwolves, producer Darren Lightly, and other local dignitaries.
NEXT recently released their third album, Next Episode last December. They will be putting out a new single in the next month or so and re-releasing their album. R.L. is also working on putting out a solo album at the end of the year. Upcoming performances include a post-game concert for the Minnesota Lynx game on July 5, and R.L. will be performing the National Anthem at the Minnesota Twins game on June 25 for the African American Heritage Day at the Metrodome. For more information about R.L. and the group NEXT, please visit jrecords.com.