Marsha Ambrosius Explains Why ’90s Neo-Soul Duo Floetry Broke Up

Neo-soul duo Floetry came onto the music scene in the late ’90s. But after two studio albums, one live album and over 1,500,000 records sold, the duo, Marsha Ambrosius and Natalie Stewart, split with little explanation to fans as to why except that they had “differences.”

But now in an interview with Ebony, Ambrosius is shedding light on what happened between herself and her partner-in-song. It turns out that Stewart was allegedly in the midst of an abusive relationship with her boyfriend which is what drove the best friends apart.

“I felt me protecting what I felt happened and not wanting to disclose these stories was protecting her,” she said. “I remember when we got into an argument [afterwards] she said, ‘What are you protecting me for?'”

It was then that Ambrosius realized that she was possibly fighting a losing battle with Stewart, who’s also known as “The Floacist.”

“I was like, you’re absolutely right. I’ve damaged my own heart, taking on the burden of someone else’s b******t and vice versa. But it’s what I do. I’m a loyal person to the bitter end. I’m going to try and sugarcoat this s**t until it f*****g stinks. I do it every time,” she said.

But Ambrosius, who’s known as “The Songstress” couldn’t let it go — she was too afraid of the worst possible outcome for her friend. (According to Safe Voices, “one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.”)

“But I couldn’t, because if the other person is in a very damaging, abusive relationship and you’re the best friend that’s watching all of this unfold before your eyes… I can’t see you die. I don’t want to be here for that and it’s unfair for me to see you go through this,” she said.

The two released, Floetic in 2002 and followed up with Flo’Ology in 2005. The former features one of the duo’s most well-known track, “Say Yes.” It was even featured on President Barack Obama’s latest summer playlist for the nighttime.

But despite their success and tight bond, Ambrosius later went solo and found success in 2011 with her debut album, Late Nights & Early Mornings that held the popular track, “Hope She Cheats on You (With a Basketball Player)” and “Far Away.” Later, in 2014, she released her sophomore album, Friends & Lovers.

But in the same year, the duo reunited as Ambrosius brought Stewart on stage during her concert at The Clapham Grand in London. Together, the two performed songs off of their debut album. And this was enough to spark a reunion tour, which they began in 2015. And according to Ambrosius, it was just like old times.

“We just embraced, tears fell, looked over old photos, brought up old jokes,” she said. “This is my friend. This is the person that I loved.”

Apparently the two didn’t even have to practice to get back into their groove — especially since Stewart allegedly broke up with her abusive boyfriend.

“We didn’t have to rehearse. We had to hear the music and there we were, right back on stage, side by side,” she says. “That never died. What does is old feelings, old habits.”

It’s still unclear whether or not the two will be heading to the studio to release any new music though it seems unlikely. Instead, they’ll continue to put out solo projects and support each other as soul sisters.

“I never wanted to interfere with what it was for people,” she said. “What it is now, I couldn’t tell you, because we’re not who we were and we’re not for each other as we were when we created that music.”

[Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images]