Sunday January 13th, 2002
Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and R&B Album Chart January 19
New CD's this week:
To ring in the new years, this
past week there was the release of the debut
album by Pam & Dodi. Pam & Dodi's gorgeously empowered voices flow
over a range of musical backdrops, from hip-hop-flavored R&B beats to
pristine pop ballads, from traditional gospel choruses to dance-floor-ready
funk. The message is in the music, and the music really bumps!
Short news stories this week:
R. Kelly And Jay-Z's 'The Best Of Both Worlds' Almost Complete
Singer-songwriter R. Kelly recently shared
that The Best Of Both Worlds, his
forthcoming collaborative album with rapper Jay-Z, would be released in April.
The pair have reportedly completed 17 songs and have both brought out the best
of each due to their competitive natures. The bulk of the set has been recorded in
separate studios due to scheduling conflicts and R. Kelly's refusal to fly--the singer
has never been a fan of airplanes and has been a no-show at several awards shows
in recent years due to his unwillingness to travel cross-country.
In related news, R. Kelly is presently working on a new album, Love Land, which
is due in the fall. The set was inspired by the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
Love Land will be the follow-up to R. Kelly's triple-platinum 2000 release,
TP-2.Com, which featured the hits "I Wish," "Fiesta," "A Woman's Threat," and
"Feelin' On Yo Booty."
Destiny's Child, Aaliyah, Alicia Keys,
&Tim McGraw Top The AMAs With A
Pair Of Wins Each
The 29th Annual American Music Awards were
primarily dominated by women,
as Destiny's Child, Alicia Keys, and the late Aaliyah each earned two AMAs on
Wednesday night in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, country singer Tim McGraw made a
strong showing for the men, notching victories in the favorite country male artist
category and favorite country album for Set This Circus Down.
Destiny's Child won favorite pop/rock album honors for Survivor and favorite soul/
R&B group, while Keys won favorite new artist in the soul/R&B and pop/rock
categories. R&B singer and actress Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash in August of
2001, earned favorite soul/R&B female artist and favorite soul/R&B album for her
self-titled third album.
The show opened with a bang as co-host Sean "P. Diddy" Combs set things off with
a special performance of his hit "Bad Boy For Life" which included an impromptu
appearance by Ben Stiller and guest performance by Snoop Dogg. Halfway through
the performance, Combs was joined on stage by Mr. Cheeks, who performed a remix
of his hit "Lights, Camera, Action!"; as well as teen sensation Lil' Bow Wow, who
tore up a rug with the popular "crip walk" dance step. Following a change of clothes,
Combs joined his co-host Jenny McCarthy on stage to get the show officially started.
One of the evening's highlights occurred when Janet Jackson referred to Lenny Kravitz's
'fine ass' while introducing the rocker via satellite from Tokyo, Japan. Jackson later
accepted her award for favorite female pop/rock artist via satellite as well.
Jackson and newcomer Alicia Keys were bested by the late Aaliyah in the favorite
female soul/R&B artist category. Aaliyah's friend and collaborator Ginuwine, who
coincidentally was presenting the award, accepted on behalf of the fallen star, who
received a standing ovation from the capacity crowd.
In an unusual pairing, R&B sensation Usher, who underwent surgery for a dislocated
surgery in November, performed his latest chart-topping hit "U Got It Bad" with the
assistance of Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi on guitar. The crowd was treated to a view
of Usher's physique when the singer ripped off his T-shirt during his performance.
Pop diva Britney Spears serenaded the crowd in a form-fitting pale peach dress with
the sultry "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman" from her multiplatinum Jive Records
album, Britney. The crowd was later treated to the premiere of Cher's latest song, "This
Is A Song For The Lonely."
Crooner Luther Vandross, who beat out Ginuwine and R. Kelly to win his sixth AMA
in the favorite male soul/R&B artist category, performed "My Sweet Lord" as a tribute
to the late George Harrison of the Beatles, who died November 29 after a battle with
cancer. The song, originally written and performed by Harrison, was also dedicated to
several other musicians who were lost during 2001, including Aaliyah, Perry Como,
bluesman John Lee Hooker, John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas, and country
artist Chet Atkins.
In addition, comedian Chris Tucker presented Michael Jackson with the artist of the
century award to close out the evening's festivities.
Brandy Expecting A 'Full Moon' On March 5
Brandy reveals a more adult side of her
personality on her new single "What About
Us," which was recently released to radio. In the song, produced by Rodney Jerkins,
Brandy grills her beau on his lack of commitment, singing, "I don't need this bullsh-t/
I won't put up with this any longer/You can go if you want/I don't need your pity/I will
be just fine if you decide that you want to leave/Close the door behind you."
The 22-year-old singer discussed the direction of her music with the Steve Harvey
Morning Show Tuesday (January 8). "This is just a different Brandy, a more edgy
Brandy, more mature, definitely something that I'm very proud of," Brandy said
regarding the tone of Full Moon, her third album, due out March 5 on Atlantic Records.
"What About Us" is the first single from Full Moon, which Brandy compares to Janet
Jackson's 1986 breakthrough record Control, which is known as the first time Jackson
was at the helm of one of her music projects. In addition to showcasing a more realistic
glimpse of Brandy's demeanor, "What About Us" also includes more of her own
songwriting and producing than previous efforts.
Brandy told Harvey that Full Moon is a concept album. "It's all a story," she said. "It's
just about me falling in love, and going through the experience of falling in love, and
then falling out of love, and overcoming the pain, and then finding somebody that I've
Brandy's 1994 self-titled debut album was certified quadruple platinum, and 1998's
Never Say Never achieved quintuple platinum status.
R&B Singer Keke Wyatt Charged With Christmas Assault
Rising Kentucky-based R&B star Ketara
"Keke" Wyatt, 21, is currently free on
bond following her arrest on a second-degree assault charge for allegedly stabbing
her husband and manager Rahmat Morton, 28, on Christmas Day (December 25).
According to police reports, Wyatt and her husband were involved in a domestic
dispute on Christmas morning that resulted in Wyatt stabbing Morton five times
with a steak knife.
While Morton's injuries were not life-threatening, he sustained stab wounds to the
chest, arm, top of hand, and back before part of the knife broke off in his back.
Morton has decided not to press charges against his wife, but prosecutors are planning
to arraign Wyatt on second-degree assault charge, for which she could serve a prison
sentence of 10 to 20 years, if convicted. The couple's 2-year-old son was at home
during the altercation but was unharmed. Police have been unable to ascertain what
instigated the dispute.
Wyatt's debut set, Soul Sista, came out in November and is currently Number 143
on Billboard 200 albums chart. The set has sold more than 152,000 copies since its
release. Fans were first introduced to Wyatt when she performed a remake of "My
First Love" with her label mate Avant on his platinum-certified debut, My Thoughts.