Sunday December 8th, 2002


New CD's this past week:

- Mariah Carey - Charmbracelet


Short news stories this week:

Kelly Rowland Glad To Be In 'Freddie Vs. Jason'--Though She's Scared Of
Horror Movies

Kelly Rowland is ready to show the world that Beyonce Knowles (Austin
Powers In Goldmember) isn't the only member of Destiny's Child who can
act. In addition to recording the solo album, Simply Deep, this year,
Rowland also appears in the forthcoming horror film Freddie Vs. Jason,
which pairs the villains of the Friday The 13th and Nightmare On Elm
Street series and will hit screens next year.
The irony, Rowland tells us, is that she's not a fan of horror films
herself: "I'm actually scared of scary movies. It's just so funny that
it's my first movie and it's scary. I didn't even see movies like
Hannibal. I'm scared to see Red Dragon or anything like that. I will not
go see it 'cause I'm a little bit of a chicken."
Rowland adds that she did see one of the Nightmare On Elm Street films,
but not the whole series: "It was when I was little, and I never watched
one again until I was actually, like, you know, looking at it to study
Freddie and Jason and all of that for this movie."
Destiny's Child kicks off a two-and-a-half-week tour Thursday (December
5) at the Compaq Center in the group's hometown of Houston. The trio
plans to record a new album next summer, according to Rowland.

R. Kelly, Lil' Wayne, Neptunes, Contribute To Nivea's Debut

The self-titled debut from Nivea, out Tuesday (December 10), includes
contributions from R. Kelly, Lil' Wayne, and the Neptunes, among others.
Kelly produced three songs on the album, including "Ya Ya Ya" featuring
Lil' Wayne, "The One For Me," and "Laundromat." The Neptunes produced
"Run Away" featuring Pusha T from the Clipse. Organized Noize provided
the track for "Don't Mess With The Radio."
Jagged Edge members Brandon and Brian Casey appear on the album's first
single, "Don't Mess With My Man," that has held the Number 25 position
on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart for several weeks.
Mystikal raps on the "Don't Mess With My Man" (remix) which is included
on the album as a bonus track. Mystikal was returning the favor to
Nivea, who sang the chorus on his 2000 hit "Danger (Been So Long)."

Destiny's Child Starting To Plot New Album For 2003

After spending most of 2002 apart, the members of Destiny's Child (DC)
come together Thursday (December 5) to begin a short tour at the Compaq
Center in Houston. The year Beyonce Knowles co-starred in the film
Austin Powers In Goldmember, while Kelly Rowland scored a Number One
single with Nelly ("Dilemma"), released a solo album (Simply Deep), and
shot the horror film Freddie Vs. Jason. Michelle Williams, meanwhile,
released the Christian-themed solo album, Heart To Yours.
However, Rowland tells us that Destiny's Child is hatching plans for its
next group project in 2003: "We're going to come back together in the
summertime and start recording Destiny's Child's new record, and in fall
we got a new DC record out. We'll have to, of course, get into the
studio and set the tone, and I think that when we do we'll be bringing a
whole bunch of elements from what we've been doing individually back
into Destiny's Child, and it's gonna be beautiful."

Whitney Houston Album Out Next Tuesday, Despite Reports

Whitney Houston's new album, Just Whitney, will be released next Tuesday
(December 10), despite reports to the contrary. On Monday (December 2),
the New York Post reported that the eagerly anticipated release will be
shelved until after the New Year due to continued production problems.
The newspaper also reported that the singer's December 10 concert on
ABC's Good Morning America had been canceled.
However, a source at Houston's Arista Records label told us that the
album will come out December 10, and that the Post article was
completely incorrect. Furthermore, ABC-TV confirmed for us that Houston
will still appear on Good Morning America. The singer will perform a
live mini-concert at New York City's Lincoln Center Plaza on Sunday
(December 8). That performance, which is free to the public, will then
air on Good Morning America on December 10, the same day Just Whitney is
released. If you need your dose of Houston a little earlier, Diane
Sawyer interviews the diva on a special Wednesday (December 4) episode
of Primetime at 9 p.m. ET.
Just Whitney was produced by Dallas Austin, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds,
Rodney Jerkins, and several new producers. The album is Houston's first
collection of new material since 1998's My Love Is Your Love, which
included the hits "It's Not Right But It's Okay," "Heartbreak Hotel,"
and the Wyclef Jean-produced title track, "My Love Is Your Love."

Ashanti Becomes Dionne Warwick For NBC's 'American Dreams'

Ashanti will portray Dionne Warwick on the December 15 episode of the
NBC series American Dreams. The 22-year-old R&B singer will perform
Warwick's classic hit "Walk On By" on the nostalgic drama series. The
holiday episode, titled "Silent Night," will air at 8 p.m. ET, the
program's regular Sunday night timeslot.
We asked Ashanti what it was like to fill the shoes of the legendary
singer on the hit show: "I mean, it was kind of hard for me only because
I'm an '80s baby. You know, I really didn't know too much about Dionne
Warwick in the time that she was doing her thing, but of course she was
such a legendary artist and one of the first ones to do it and to make
it happen. So, I tried--they said I did good--but it was a lot of fun."
Ashanti told us that she had a wonderful time taping the show, and also
meeting co-executive producer and eternal teenager Dick Clark: "It was a
lot of fun. You know, I had to be her. I had to dress like her with
it--bright pink lipstick--but it was a lot of fun, and I got a chance to
meet Dick Clark. Oh, man, he's hilarious. He's such a nice guy, and his
hair is all dark, so he still looks young!"
Ashanti joins several other modern-day artists that have portrayed
popular 1960s acts on American Dreams. Usher took on the role of Marvin
Gaye in an episode that aired in November, and Michelle Branch and Nick
Carter portrayed Lesley Gore and Jay Black of Jay & the Americans,
respectively, on previous installments.

Earth, Wind & Fire Sets Holiday Shows

It appears as though the members of Earth, Wind & Fire (EWF) will be
doing their last-minute Christmas shopping in Las Vegas this year. The
Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame act has just announced a four-gig stint at
the city's Paris Hotel & Casino. The group will perform in the casino's
Le Theatre Des Arts December 19-22. Tickets to EWF cost $75 and are
available by calling 1 (877) 796-2096.
The group has also announced that it will play a New Year's Eve
(December 31) concert at the Trump 29 Casino in Indio, California.
While EWF embarks on its holiday outing, the final touches are being put
into place on its next album of all-new material, which is due out in
2003. Bassist Verdine White said that be it either touring and
recording, EWF never forgets its main goal: "Our goal now is just to
continue to make great music. You know, for us it's a no-brainer. You
know, our life has been pretty fluid and our career is fluid, you know?
We're not really under pressure to be anything than who we are, you
know? So, for us, it's just been really a wonderful journey, you know?
We're never concerned about the outcome as much as we are the journey,
and that's the most important process, you know, is the journey."

Whitney Houston Says New Album Is About Surviving

Whitney Houston's album, Just Whitney, due out on December 10, addresses
the top R&B singer's life as a regular person.
"This album for me is about surviving, raising a family, being a wife or
girlfriend and all the challenges that go along with those things,"
Houston said in a statement. "These songs are more about creating a mood
than about anything in particular."
The album's current single, "One Of Those Days," produced by She'kspere,
has been Number 38 on Billboard's Hot/R&B Singles & Tracks chart for
several weeks.
Just Whitney features additional production from Babyface, Missy
Elliott, Teddy Bishop, and Gordon Chambers, among others.
Houston is scheduled to appear on ABC's Primetime on December 4 in a
sit-down interview with Diane Sawyer.
Houston's last studio album, My Love Is Your Love, was released in 1999.

India.Arie, DMX, Mobb Deep, 702 & Others Featured On 'Empire' Soundtrack

India.Arie, 702, Mobb Deep, DMX, Jon Secada, Jene, and India are among
the stars featured on the Empire soundtrack, which is due out via Motown
Records on December 3. Three singles will be released from the set,
including "That's What's Up" by Mobb Deep, "I Still Love You" by 702,
and two versions of India's "Welcome To My Empire."
The film Empire opens in theaters on December 6 and stars John
Leguizamo, Delilah Cotto, Peter Sarsgaard, Denise Richards, Treach,
Isabella Rossellini, Sonia Braga, and Fat Joe, among others. Empire was
written and directed by Franc Reyes and will feature an original music
score by Grammy Award winner Ruben Blades, who also appears in the film.

The complete Empire tracklisting includes: "I Still Love You" by 702,
"Best Thing" by Rachel, "That's What's Up" by Mobb Deep, "J.O.S.E." by
Jose, "Fame" by DMX, "Slow Down" by India.Arie, "I Seen It All" by
Ironclad, "Welcome To My Empire (English)" by India, "My Life Through
The Spirit In Your Eyes" by Jon Secada, "Amante" by Luis Fonsi, "I Will
Remember Your Smile" by Jene, "As I Stand Alone" by Angel Lopez, and "Te
Invito A Mi Imperio (Spanish)" by India.


News 2002

News 2001