Sunday June 16th, 2002
New CD's this week:
- Lathun - Fortunate: debut album from this
new Motown artist, includes a duet with
- Raphael Saadiq - Instant vintage: first solo album from tony! Toni! Tone! and Lucy
Short news stories this week:
Maxwell Plans Mini Summer Tour
R&B stylist Maxwell will head out on
handful of summer tour dates that kick off with a
July 24 stop in the Philadelphia area at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, Pa. The artist
has scheduled a slate of 11 shows in nine cities, with two-night stands on tap for Newark,
N.J., and Washington, D.C.
Tickets for shows in Wantagh, N.Y., Newark, and Washington, D.C. went on sale today
(June 14) via Ticketmaster. The kick-off show in Upper Darby will go on sale tomorrow;
other on sale dates have not yet been announced.
Maxwell will be touring in support of his third album, "Now." Released last August, the
Columbia set debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and claimed the top spot on
Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart after street date violations saw it appear a
week early at No. 88. The album spawned the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart
hits "Lifetime" (No. 5) and "This Woman's Work" (No. 16).
As previously reported, Maxwell is among those up for the best male R&B artist honor at
the second annual BET Awards, which will take place June 25 at Los Angeles' Kodak
Theatre and will be broadcast live on the cable channel beginning at 9 p.m. ET (rebroadcast at 9 p.m. PT).
Here are Maxwell's upcoming tour dates:
July 24: Upper Darby, Pa. (Tower Theater)
July 25: Wantagh, N.Y. (Jones Beach)
July 27-28: Newark, N.J. (NJ Performing Arts Center)
July 31-Aug. 1: Washington, D.C. (Constitution Hall)
Aug. 3: Toronto (Hummingbird Theater)
Aug. 4: Cleveland (Music Hall)
Aug. 7: Chicago (Arie Crown Theater)
Aug. 8: Detroit (Cheney Park)
Aug. 10: Richmond, Va. (Landmark Theater)
Ashanti To Reflect On Love In New Book
Anyone familiar with Ashanti's music knows
she hasn't always been lucky in love, but
that doesn't mean the R&B songstress doesn't have some valuable advice on the subject.
By year's end, Ashanti will branch out from the modest role of album-sales record-holder
(for the biggest first-week sales of a debuting female R&B artist in the SoundScan era)
by becoming an author.
She is currently working on a book titled "Foolish/Unfoolish: Reflections on Love,"
which will be a collection of her original poetry and thoughts on love and relationships,
to be published in November by Hyperion.
Also included in the tome are personal anecdotes about those who - for better or for
worse - inspired Ashanti to wax poetic.
"This is a book for [Ashanti's] literally millions of fans - but also for anyone seeking
fresh insight on a timeless theme," Will Schwalbe, the editor in chief of Hyperion, said in
Ashanti's self-titled debut album, which includes the book's namesake songs, has sold
nearly 1.6 million copies, according to SoundScan.
Alicia Keys Working On New Album
Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter
Alicia Keys recently completed a short two-
week break on her scheduled tour through the fall with soul singer Musiq. Keys shared
with us how important it was to recharge her batteries: "I think, you know, just time alone
is always a necessity, you know? I just think to think with your own thoughts and be
around a quiet area that is just very personal you, I think is really beneficial. So, for me, I
realized that experiencing that is helpful in refocusing and staying focused."
Keys also shared with us in Miami recently that she has already begun work on her
sophomore album: "I've been writing, you know, for the new album forever, you know,
since before the first album came out, but now I'm definitely continuing to write and
actually playing some songs down this whole month of June and continuing on while I'm
on tour. And then I'm going to lock down when I get off tour in September--or possibly
November, if we go to Europe--and then I will be...We gonna make it happen. It's gonna
Justin Timberlake, T-Boz, Angie Stone Praise Raphael Saadiq's Solo Debut
Peers of artist/musician/producer Raphael
Saadiq give Saadiq's solo debut, Instant
Vintage, released Tuesday (June 11), unanimous praise. *NSYNC's Justin Timberlake,
TLC's T-Boz, and Angie Stone are among those who have expressed their support of the
album, which includes the new single "Faithful."
"Raphael's got too much vibe," Timberlake said. "That explains why there are so many
tracks on the record."
T-Boz, who appears on the album's song "Different Times," said working with Saadiq
was extremely inspiring. "He brings out the best in you, and it is an honor to be on his
album," she said.
Stone said Saadiq was one of the two "soul warriors left in the game." "Being an
extraordinary artist, producer and songwriter, he is one of my most accomplished
partners," said Stone, who appears on Instant Vintage's "Excuse Me." Saadiq also
produced Stone's song "Brotha."
Saadiq, a founding member of the gospel-tinged, funk/R&B band Tony Toni Tone, also
created the Grammy-nominated group Lucy Pearl that included members Ali Shaheed
Muhammad, Dawn Robinson, and Joi.
Musiq On Topping The Chart, His New Single & Video
Musiq is currently prepping the release
"Dontchange," the second single from his latest
album, Juslisen, which is currently Number 10 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
Juslisen debuted at Number One last month, and we recently asked the singer if he was
surprised by the strong showing: "Most definitely, it was a surprise coming in at Number
One, but it's always a good thing and I'm very grateful for it, and I'm looking forward to
doing it again, if at all possible."
Musiq also shared what fans can expect when his video for "Dontchange" hits starts
airing in the coming weeks: "Basically, it's a story about me. Well, I'm playing a guy
who's married to this woman, and we're just spending our lives together. And it's a song
that's depicting the things that we may have to go through to endure, proving--or not
necessarily proving--but showing how much you love someone."
Parents Of Girl In R. Kelly Tape Under Investigation
The Illinois Department Of Children And
Family Services (DCFS) has reopened an
investigation into allegations that the parents of the 14-year-old girl allegedly videotaped
having sex with singer R. Kelly allowed their daughter to have sex with the singer.
DCFS spokeswoman Martha Allen told the Chicago Sun Times, "It's a priority-one case,
the most serious investigation we have." Allen continued, "We got a call last December
17 to investigate allegations of sexual abuse of the girl, the one who's allegedly in the
video. In this case, we were investigating--and still are investigating--whether or not the
parents allowed the girl to engage in sex with R. Kelly."
The girl was identified by her aunt, R&B singer Sparkle, as the girl on the videotape.
However, the girl and her parents have refused to cooperate with authorities and deny
that she is even the girl on the tape.
DCFS authorities believe that the indictment against Kelly and the videotape, which was
anonymously sent to the Chicago Sun Times in February, now provide a firm footing on
which to further their investigation.
Kelly was indicted on 21 child-pornography charges on Wednesday (June 5). The singer
was arrested in Polk County Florida and freed on $750,000 bail on Thursday (June 6). On
Friday (June 7), Kelly turned himself in to Chicago authorities to be formally booked.
If the singer is found guilty of the Class 1 felony, he could receive a prison term of up to
15 years and a fine of up to $100,000. Kelly is next expected to appear in Cook County
Criminal Court in Chicago on June 26.
3LW Out To Show A Girl Can Mack
With the first offering off of their
upcoming A Girl Can Mack album, teen trio 3LW plan
to show that they can hang with grown folk.
In the video for "I Do (Wanna Get Close to You)," the little women hit the club in search
of good times, according to a spokesperson for the group. But the party isn't in any
ordinary spot in the Chris Applebaum-directed vid: The songbirds get things jumped off
in a futuristic pod-like venue in the middle of the ocean where they come across Loon -
who raps on the track - Naughty by Nature and Nick Cannon.
"The song is a lot of fun," the group's oldest member, Adrienne, said last month of the P.
Diddy/Mario Winans-produced cut. "We wanted to come out with a song that was going
to make people happy."
The girls said they have a couple of melancholy love offerings on the LP as well. "There
is a joint on our album called 'Crazy,' " Adrienne disclosed. "It's about a girl who's falling
in love with a guy that's taken. But not only is he taken, she's taken. They both got people
in their lives and she's saying, 'Just this once, I hope two wrongs can make a right.' It's a
sad song, the melody is beautiful. It will touch a lot of people that fall in love with people
that are taken. Trust me, it happens a lot."
Adrienne and her group members Kiely and Naturi said they've pretty much wrapped up
production on their second, but are still in the lab working on a few more cuts.
3LW's rep said the video for "I Do (Wanna Get Close to You)" is in post-production and
should be ready in July. A Girl Can Mack is slated for an October release.