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Kehlani & Friends: A Tsunami Christmas - SOLD-OUT 

When: Fri., Dec. 8, 8 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 10, 8 p.m. 2017
Price: $35
Oakland-born R&B star Kehlani writes pop music that’s intimate and personal. I’m a beautiful wreck, a colorful mess, but I’m funny, she sings on “Honey,” one of the singles off her latest release, SweetSexySavage. She’s been in the spotlight since her teen years, as a member of Poplyfe, which finished in fourth place on the sixth season of America’s Got Talent. Atlantic Records picked her up based on her skills and groomed her for pop stardom. But rather than go through the well-oiled machine of vapid hits, she stuck to her offbeat vision of creative songwriting with meaningful lyrics — a formula rarely executed in the major-label world. She self-released two mixtapes, but SweetSexySavage is the best demonstration of her vision. It has the professional gloss that comes with major-label dollars, but still allows her confident alt-R&B self to shine through. This weekend, she’ll perform with to-be-announced guests at two special Christmas shows.
— Aaron Carnes

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