Sunday December 14th, 2003
New CD's this past week:
- Musiq – Soulstar
- Avant – Private room
- Ruben Studdard - Soulful
Music news stories this week:
Mary J. A Bride
Mary J. Blige and new hubby Kendu Isaacs married in a hush-hush ceremony
on Sunday, December 7.
The wedding took place before just 50 guests at Blige's home in Bergen County,
Despite Blige's insistence that she wanted to keep her nuptials on the
down-low, she initially announced her bridal plans in November during an
appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Word had it that the couple were to tie the knot the day after
Thanksgiving--but no-one knew if the diva had actually done the deed till
her camp began issuing confirmations this week.
Blige blurted out the big news herself during an appearance on The Tonight
Show, telling Jay Leno , "I'm so happy, he's a good man and he loves me."
Blige credits Isaacs, a record producer, for helping her kick cocaine and
In a 2002 interview with Ebony, Blige called Isaacs her "soul mate," and
discussed their strong religious bond.
"He completes me in the areas that I'm weak in. He's an analytical brain.
I'm a creative brain. We pray together. We read the Bible together," Blige
said. "I've never seen a man who loves the Lord like he does. He loves his
family. He's a good person. He makes me laugh."
The nuptials feast was whipped up by Blige's sister and mother, and
included oxtail, barbecued chicken, crab red rice and salad, according to
a People magazine report. The cake came from a favorite Yonkers, New York
The twosome are forgoing a honeymoon for now while Blige prepares to go on
tour for her latest CD, Love & Life.
Bobby Brown Turns Himself In, Appears In Court With Whitney At His Side
Bobby Brown turned himself in on Wednesday and was charged with
misdemeanor battery three days after he allegedly struck wife Whitney
Houston in the face. The blow was supposedly delivered in the midst of an
argument in their home during which Brown reportedly threatened to "beat
The couple appeared together at the Fulton County Magistrate's Court in
Dunwoody, Georgia, according to Fulton County Police Department
spokesperson Corporal Kurtis Young.
Police were still seeking Brown, 34, as of Tuesday night, when they
returned to the couple's Alpharetta home and spoke to Houston a second
time to see if the 40-year-old singer had heard from her husband. Brown
was originally thought to have flown to California following the fight,
but Young said it was unclear if he had left the state (see "Bruised
Whitney Houston Calls Police After Alleged Altercation With Bobby Brown").
Brown appeared with his lawyer before a judge Wednesday afternoon and was
charged with one count of misdemeanor battery under Georgia's
domestic-violence law, which allows the state to file charges when
domestic violence is suspected, whether or not the victim cooperates.
"Once the allegation is reported, she doesn't have the option of whether
or not to press charges," Young explained.
Brown was released on a signature bond and ordered to return to court on
January 7. If he fails to do so, a bench warrant will be issued for his
The charge of simple battery carries a sentence of up to one year in jail
and a $1,000 fine. Young said a first domestic-violence offense is
sometimes dismissed or suspended if the defendant enrolls in marriage or
anger-management counseling. Houston, who appeared in court with a bruise
visible on her left cheek, held hands with Brown while in court and the
pair left with their arms around each other as Houston exclaimed, "We're
still together," according to Young. Houston then sang along to the Aretha
Franklin song "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" as the couple
drove away in their SUV.
Whitney's publicist issued a statement Wednesday from a family
spokesperson that read, "Bobby Brown is very apologetic about what
happened and hopes his wife forgives him."
Grammy Nominee Ruben Studdard's Debut Album Out
R&B singer and American Idol winner Ruben Studdard will be releasing his
debut set, Soulful, tomorrow (Tuesday, December 9th), but he's already a
Grammy nominee. The 25-year-old singer received a nomination last week for
Best R&B Male Vocal Performance for his cover of Luther Vandross'
"Superstar," which is included on Soulful. The track originally came out
in June as part of the "Flying Without Wings" CD single. Ironically,
Studdard is now competing against Vandross, who was nominated for "Dance
With My Father," in the same category. Brian McKnight, R. Kelly, and
Tyrese also are up for Best R&B Male Vocal Performance.
With his album in stores tomorrow, Studdard said that he's ready for
whatever happens. "I think there's a lot of anticipation behind my
record," he said with confident look on his face.
The Birmingham, Alabama native added that he hopes to be around for a long
time no matter how his debut sells: “I know it's gonna do well. So, you
know, after I prayed about it I'm just not going to worry about it no
more. However the cookies crumble is how they fall and it's my
responsibility to go out and perform to the best of my ability so that I
can make sure that I'm around for a long time because even if you don't
sell as well as people think you should if you have a good show people
will always want to see you sing
American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson was also nominated for a Grammy for
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Miss Independent." But Idol
finalist Clay Aiken was shut out -- receiving not a single nomination for
his debut album Measure of a Man.
Musiq'S 'Soulstar' Album Out
Neo-soul singer Musiq has released his third album, Soulstar Tuesday
December 9th. The first single from the set is "For The Night." The album
will include a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Miss You," and guest
appearances from Cee-Lo and Bilal.
Recently the singer talked about his new album. Musiq described the set as
a throwback, saying: "I call this project a futuristic throwback because
it has, you know, a lot of the elements of yesteryears but it has, you
know, the potential of tomorrow but it's definitely, you know, valid for
the present."The star also said that his creative process is similar to
giving birth. Musiq said: "Aijuswanaseing, Juslisen, and Soulstar took
around about nine months give or take a week to do, so each album has been
like giving birth."
The singer continued: "I can't even imagine what women go through but if
it's anything like this women some strong folks, man. They strong 'cause
this is definitely draining. It takes you through a lot, a lot of things
mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially."
In related news, tomorrow is also a special day for Musiq because it is
the day that his episode of As The World Turns airs on CBS. The singer
plays himself on the show. Check your local listings for times.
Alicia Keys Says First Tour Stops Will Be At Small Venues
Alicia Keys has been promoting her new album The Diary Of Alicia Keys
heavily on TV, but come the new year, Keys plans to hit the road. She told
LAUNCH that the first few stops will be in some of the smallest places
she's played since the breakthrough success of her debut, Songs In A
Minor: "We're gonna start off with some incredibly, unbelievably,
ridiculously small venues, which is so exciting to me. We're gonna do,
like, 600 (capacity) at the most. It's gonna be a lot of fun. We're gonna
do a lot of special things on tour this time. We're gonna kind of mess it
around and just keep the excitement rolling."
Keys will preview those small venue shows on December 15th, when she
performs at a special release party for The Diary Of Alicia Keys at Club
Exit in New York City.
Bits & Pieces
UK artist Hil St. Soul who released two album in her home country (Soul organic 2002
and Copasetic & Cool 2002) is going stateside. Reportedly she signed with Shanachie
Trey Songz, an artist under producer Troy Taylor's (Aretha Franklin, B2K) Songbook
Entertainment banner, has signed with Atlantic Records . . .
"Bravebird" is the title of the sophomore set by former Epic artist and Groove Theory co-
principal Amel Larrieux. It is out Jan. 20, 2004, on Blisslife Records.
Glenn Lewis is "Back for More" in February. The Epic/Sony Urban Music album's title
track, featuring Kardinal Offishal, is also the lead single . . .
Lionel Richie is in the studio working on a new Island Def Jam album due next year . . .
En Vogue returns Feb. 24 with "Soulflower." Joining original members Cindy Herron
and Terry Ellis is singer/songwriter Rhona Bennett. Bennett, who had a recurring role on
"The Jamie Foxx Show," penned the trio's first single, "Losin' My Mind." The new album
is being released on 33rd Street Records, distributed by Bayside Entertainment for Funky
Girl/Beat Exchange Records.