Sunday August 3rd, 2003


New CD's this past week:

- LSG - LSG 2; Levert, Sweat & Gill are back
- JS - Ice cream; another R. Kelly produced project, this time for former Isley Brothers back-up singers


Music news stories this week:

Jesse Powell is Back

Jesse Powell returns to the R&B scene with his fourth studio album this
fall titled "Jesse." Like its simple title, the album is stripped down
organic R&B at it's best. Known as having one of best voices in the
genre, Jesse surpasses even the wildest of expectations with his latest
masterpiece. The single "By The Way" is bound to be the latest "it"
wedding song and is going for radio adds now.
Born in Gary, Indiana, Jesse Powell began singing at an early age with
his family in local talent shows. Eventually, he made his way to Los
Angeles in the early nineties where he got his big break after Louis
Silas, Jr. caught his performance at a showcase. Jesse was then signed
to a recording contract and made his debut with 1996's "Jesse Powell"
which fared quite well on the charts. His follow up album, 1999's "Bout
It" went gold with the help of the #1 single "You."
In 2001, Jesse released "JP." Described by All Music Guide as an
enjoyable step forward, the album ranked #18 on the R&B charts. His
latest album titled simply "Jesse," promises more from one of the best
voices in music today.

Meet Raheem DeVaughn

Every songwriter worth his weight in catchy hooks has a story to
tell-one that is gripping and compelling in its intensity. Raheem
DeVaughn is that gifted storyteller, a young man with volumes of short
stories that have found their way to The Love Experience, his stellar
debut album.
The Love Experience is a raw, no-holds-barred record. Every emotion that
DeVaughn has experienced is hidden in plain view. Every scab is peeled
fresh and every open wound is salted. The result is a well-written
diary, set to amazingly lush production and vocal arrangement.
Forget about placing Raheem DeVaughn in the neo-soul category.
DeVaughn's voice, velvety, chalky, pristine and gut wrenching borrows
heavily from generations before him. Raheem bridges the gap between an
older generation of R&B masters and their all too few modern
counterparts. He is obviously a student of the culture. He has
thoroughly studied his forefathers and the resulting thesis is The Love

Tyrese Says Current Single Got R. Kelly Remix, Could Be 'fast & Furious'

R&B singer and actor Tyrese's current single, "Signs Of Love Making," is
already charting at Number 14 on the Radio & Records urban singles
airplay list, and according to the singer, it will soon be available in
an R. Kelly remix. The tune is the followup to the single "How Are You
Gonna Act Like That," from his J Records debut album I Wanna Go There.
Recently Tyrese talked about the new version of the tune:"R. Kelly just
did the remix of 'Signs Of Love Making,' yeah, he just did the remix to
it. R. Kelly's a Capricorn, I'm a Capricorn, Jesus Christ was a
Capricorn, ya know, it's a beautiful thing that Christmas is on the
25th, so yeah. The remix. I don't know what the next single is off the
album, but 'Signs Of Love Making' is doing real well and I'm just happy
to still be in the game after three albums." J Records has not yet
released the remix, and has not confirmed a date.
Last year, Tyrese went to Miami to film his role as Pearce in the film 2
Fast 2 Furious , the sequel to the 2001 film The Fast And The Furious.
While Tyrese says he is likely to appear in a possible third installment
of the bad-boys-and-fast-cars franchise, it seems the Miami heat was too
much for the Los Angeles native: "Yeah, they're saying they're gonna do
a 3. We'll see, though, we'll see. I told them we probably shouldn't do
it in Miami, I really can't work under those conditions. Pretty, ah,
pretty intense out there."

Whitney Houston Recording Her First-ever Christmas Album

Whitney Houston is currently in the studio recording a Christmas album
that will be released this fall. Mervyn Warren, who was the main
producer on Houston's The Preacher's Wife soundtrack, is producing it.
More information about her first-ever Christmas album will be released
For The Preacher's Wife soundtrack Houston went back to her gospel music
roots. The songs from the 1996 movie soundtrack include "Joy," Hold On,
Help Is On The Way," "I Go To The Rock," "I Love The Lord," and "Who
Would Imagine A King" among others.
Meanwhile, Houston is currently nominated for a 2003 Soul Train Lady of
Soul Award in he best R&B/Soul Album of the Year category for Just
Whitney. The 9th annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Award's will take place
on August 23rd at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California.

Ashanti To Open For R. Kelly, Offers Advice To Newcomers

R&B star Ashanti will open for R. Kelly during his upcoming, five-date
tour in August. Ashanti will be touring in support of her latest set
Chapter II, which debuted at Number One atop the Billboard 200 chart on
July 19th.
Ashanti recently told us that up-and-coming artists really need to be
prepared in a number of different ways if they want to make it big in
the music game: "I would definitely just say you know you have to really
mentally and physically prepare yourself. You know you have to have
thick skin--definitely have to have thick skin! You have to surround
yourself with people that genuinely care about you and your well being
because there are so many people out there that try and take advantage
of you. And just do you thing. If it's in your heart then always follow
the passion that's in your heart and have fun with it."
In addition to her quick-selling album, Ashanti has recently earned a
nomination for the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. Her song, "Rock Wit U
(Awww Baby)," is up for the Best R&B video. "Rock Wit U" is currently at
Number Two on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

Ashanti will open up for R. Kelly on the following dates (subject to
August 15 - Oakland, CA - Oakland-Alameda County Arena
August 16 - Inglewood, CA - Great Western Forum
August 22 - Washington, DC - MCI Center
August 23 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
August 30 - Atlanta, GA - Phillips Arena


News 2003

News 2002

News 2001