Sunday July 28th, 2002


New CD's this week:

- Boyz II men - Full circle:5th album for the boyz and 1rst one on Arista Records
- Mario - Mario: debut album of 15 year old Mario


Short news stories this week:

Mary Mary's Sophomore Album Makes 'Incredible' Debut

Incredible, the second album from gospel sister act Mary Mary, enters Billboard's Top
Gospel Album chart at Number One this week. The album's first single, "In The
Morning," is Number 61 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
Members Tina and Erica Campbell, who scored the top-40 dance hit "Shackles (Praise
Him)" in 2000, told LAUNCH that they wanted their music to appeal to everyone. "We
were not trying to be R&B, we were not trying to pattern ourselves after any hip-hop or
R&B artist or trying to get as close to world as possible and keep God in it," Erica said.
"That was never our intention. We were gospel from the start. Are gospel now, and will
always be."
In 2000, Mary Mary released its platinum, Grammy-winning debut, Thankful.

Destiny's Child And Former Members 'Work It Out'

Destiny's Child has decided to "work it out," and the group has settled all of its lawsuits
with former members LeToya Luckett and Latavia Roberson. The terms of the settlement
were not revealed.
All parties involved in the suits jointly released the following statement on Wednesday
(July 24): "The former members of Destiny's Child, LeToya Luckett and Latavia
Roberson, along with Music World Entertainment, Matthew Knowles, Beyonce Knowles,
Kelendria (Kelly) Rowland, and T. Michelle Williams wish to announce that they have
amicably resolved all of their outstanding differences and agreed to end all litigation
between them."
Luckett and Roberson initially filed a lawsuit after their expulsion from the group, which
was caused by their disaffirmance of their manager's agreement with Matthew Knowles,
Beyonce's father and the group's manager. After settling with Beyonce and Kelly, the
case against Matthew Knowles was set for a July 15 trial date. Luckett and Roberson
alleged that Matthew Knowles "breached his fiduciary duties towards them, mismanaged
their financial affairs, and tortiously interfered with their music careers by causing their
expulsion from the group."
Luckett and Roberson also filed a suit against Knowles, Rowland, Williams, and their
record label, Sony Music, on February 27 of this year in Houston federal court, seeking
unspecified damages for breach of contract, defamation, libel, and fraud, according to
court papers. The former groupmembers claimed that "disparaging" lyrics in the
Grammy-Award-winning song "Survivor" were directed at them, in violation of a
previous settlement agreement. Warren M. Fitzgerald Jr., Luckett and Roberson's
attorney, later revised the pleadings in the state court litigation.
Meanwhile, Beyonce makes her feature film debut as Foxxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers
In Goldmember, which opens in theaters nationwide on Friday (July 26). She also
contributed the track "Work It Out" to the film's soundtrack.

R. Kelly Sued By Private Investigator

Charles Freeman, who claims R. Kelly hired him to recover a "performance" tape, is
suing the entertainer for $75,000, according to published reports.
Kelly, who is allegedly featured having sex with a 14-year-old girl on videotape, was
charged last month with 21 counts of child pornography.
Freeman, who reportedly filed a suit against Kelly in Illinois' Jackson County Circuit
Court, maintains that Kelly's private detective Jack Palladino agreed to compensate him
$100,000, and as much as $40,000 in expenses to find and return a stolen videotape.
Freeman, who resides in Kansas City, Missouri, said he was only paid $65,000 for the job
for which he was hired in August 2001.
Freeman said he was given two days to get the tape to Palladino, and agreed to pass a
polygraph test afterwards to assure that he was not aware of any additional copies.
Freeman also agreed to keep the matter confidential.
We were unable to obtain a comment from Freeman's attorney Gregory Vleisides by
press time.
On August 7, Kelly is scheduled in Chicago's Cook County Criminal Courthouse to face
the child pornography charges.

Ashanti, Alicia, And Aaliyah Take Lead In 'Lady Of Soul Awards' Nominations

Murder Inc./Def Jam recording artist Ashanti received five nominations Tuesday (July
23) at the eighth annual Soul Train Lady Of Soul Awards nominations lunch held at
Spago Restaurant in Beverly Hills.
In addition to being up for awards for the best solo R&B/soul single, best solo R&B/soul
album of the year, R&B/soul or rap song of the year, best solo R&B/soul or rap new
artist, and best R&B/soul or rap music video, Ashanti was named as the recipient of the
2002 Aretha Franklin Award as "Entertainer Of The Year" for outstanding achievements
in the field of entertainment.
It was also announced that actress Angela Bassett would be presented with the 2002 Lena
Horne Award for outstanding career achievements in the field of entertainment.
Alicia Keys and the late Aaliyah each received four bids in the same categories, best solo
R&B/soul single, best solo R&B/soul album of the year, R&B/soul or rap song of the
year, and best R&B/soul or rap music video.
The event, scheduled to air live on August 24 at 8 p.m. ET at the Santa Monica Civic
Auditorium, will be co-hosted by Arsenio Hall, Shemar Moore, and Jill Scott.
Scott, who received four Lady Of Soul Awards last year, told LAUNCH that she
volunteered to serve as a co-host for this year's program. "I really kinda searched this one
out," Scott said. "I really wanted to do this because I thought that they did me so well last
year, really paid attention to what I was doing when a lot of other award shows just
didn't. And I felt respected by them, and I wanted to show my appreciation. I thought that
I could add some fun and easygoingness, and a little class as well. I just thought it would
be a good idea, and here I am."
The following is a complete list of the eighth annual Soul Train Lady Of Soul Awards

Aaliyah - "Rock The Boat"
Alicia Keys - "A Woman's Worth"
Ashanti - "Foolish"
India.Arie - "Brown Skin"

702 - "Pootie Tangin'"
Destiny's Child - "Emotion"
Exhale - "Chillin' In Your Benz"
Isyss featuring Jadakiss - "Day & Night"

Aaliyah - Aaliyah
Alicia Keys - Songs In A Minor
Ashanti - Ashanti
Mary J. Blige - No More Drama

Allure - Sunny Days
Destiny's Child - Survivor

Aaliyah - "Rock The Boat"
Alicia Keys - "Fallin'"
Ashanti - "Foolish"
Mary J. Blige - "Family Affair"

Ashanti - "Foolish"
KeKe Wyatt featuring Avant - "Nothing In This World"
Truth Hurts featuring Rakim - "Addictive"
Tweet - "Oops (Oh My)"

Damozel - "Everyday's A Party"
Exhale - "Still Not Over You"
Isyss featuring Jadakiss - "Night & Day"

Aaliyah - "Rock The Boat"
Ashanti - "Foolish"
Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott - "One Minute Man"
Trina - "Told Y'all"

CeCe Winans - CeCe Winans
Helen Baylor - My Everything
La Shun Pace - God Is Faithful
Yolanda Adams - Believe

Luther Vandross Works Hard To Give His Audience More

Luther Vandross has scheduled a series of tour dates that will keep the crooner busy
during the second half of the summer. In addition, Vandross will travel to the United
Kingdom this November for various dates there.
Vandross is no stranger to the touring circuit, where some of his earliest gigs had him
opening for David Bowie and Bette Midler. The New York native talked about his modus
operandi for each show: "I always like when an audience member can sit there and say, 'I
don't know what it is but, when you come to a Luther show you just get more of
something. I like that.' That's why I would go through having the gowns made, things like
that, because it just fills you with entertainment. You feel taken care of as an audience
member, like their not gonna try and slip something past so that they can make a quick
buck, you know? 'He actually went through a lot of preparation to present this.' You
know, I like when that's apparent."

3LW Working Overtime Before Macking

The acronym "3LW" stands for "3 Little Women," though it could just as easily refer to
"3 Lovely Workaholics," as they have no less than three extracurricular projects on their
plate before releasing their second album - not the least of which is sure to cause quite a
Adrienne Bailon, Naturi Naughton and Kiely Williams will launch a clothing line called
F.U.S.S. (for "Funky Urban Sassy Style") in Spring 2003. Although the brand is still in
its formative stages, it promises to be just as alluring as the young ladies involved in its
In September, the girls said that they'll serve as hosts for a week of programming on the
UPN Network during sweeps week, introducing shows and providing some between-
show banter. They added that there's talk of them starring in their own sitcom. Think
Moesha in triplicate, perhaps.
Then there's their musical tangents. In addition to providing backing vocals on Bone
Thugs-N-Harmony's new single, "Get Up and Get It", the ladies have lent a hand to
labelmates Best Man, singing back-up on "Hold Me Down," which will appear on the
latter's as-yet-untitled album expected to drop this fall, according to an Epic
All this before 3LW release their new album, A Girl Can Mack, scheduled for a
September 24 release. Best Man reciprocate in kind, appearing on one of the album's
tracks, "Ain't No Maybe," which the girls said might be the follow-up to their current
single, "I Do (Wanna Get Close to You)". A label spokesperson, however, said that a
second single has yet to be officially chosen.
The new LP demonstrates maturation from 2000's self-titled debut, not only musically by
emphasizing a hip-hop slant and flaunting a widespread vocal range, but thematically.
"The last album we were talking about boys cheating on us, and this album we're talking
about us cheating on boys," Williams explained, somewhat jokingly. "Which is cool
because that happens in life, and it's all about real life and showing stuff that actually
Contrary to Williams' statement and the connotation harbored by most when
acknowledging 3LW's album title, "macking" isn't exclusively about being a playa,
though the girls do some of that too. For proof, just check out the tentatively titled track
"Yes, I Took Your Boyfriend," which may appear on the album. ("We over-recorded,"
Bailon confessed, referring to the approximately 22 songs they tracked with producers
such as Beau Dozier, son of Lamont Dozier of the legendary production team
Dozier/Holland/Dozier; John John, who also worked on 3LW's debut; and Steve Russell,
of R&B group Troop fame as well as knob-twiddler for B2K, among others.)
"I think that a lot of people, they took the word 'mack' and kinda twisted it and made it
into what they think it's gonna be," Williams said. "And that's cool, 'cause we want it to
be a title that everyone can use for whatever part of their life they're in. But it's not all
about macking boys - I mean, you can do that if you're like me, but naw ..." she joked.
"It's really just about macking your education, macking your life, macking your career,
macking anything.
"Taking control of your life, it's definitely something we had to do for the ladies," she
continued. "We had to show them that women have been macking and standing up for
themselves for years, and it's just gonna come back. Now we have to move it on to the
younger generation, just tell them to take control of your life, handle your business."
And as a group on the verge of having another successful album to complement its debut,
business seems to be doing just fine for 3LW.


News 2002

News 2001