Sunday January 19th, 2003
New CD's this past week:
Short news stories this week:
Bobby Brown Is A Wanted Man
A bench warrant was issued for the arrest
of R&B singer Bobby Brown on
Tuesday (January 14) by Georgia State Court Judge Wayne M. Purdom. Brown
violated the terms of his bail bond by leaving Georgia and performing
live at the American Music Awards (AMAs) on Monday night (January 13) in
Los Angeles, where he sang his "Thug Lovin'" duet with rapper Ja Rule.
Brown, who is expected to surrender Friday (January 17), will be jailed
indefinitely since on Wednesday (January 15) Purdom filed an order
indefinitely postponing the singer's trial for misdemeanor drunken
driving charges. Purdom had set a 10 a.m. ET Wednesday deadline for
Brown to surrender in order to preserve a previously scheduled January
21 trial date due to the travel needs of witnesses in the case, which
dates back to 1996.
Brown's lawyer Xavier C. Dicks told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
that Judge Purdom had been treating Brown "like a dog on a leash."
According to Dicks, Brown made three requests to leave the state of
Georgia: once to perform with his wife Whitney Houston in New York's
Times Square, once again to attend the funeral of Houston's aunt, and
finally to perform at the American Music Awards.
Purdom denied all three requests. However, Brown was under contract to
perform at the AMAs, according to Dicks, who said, "When you are an
entertainer, you've got to perform sooner or later."
Brown, who currently has fugitive status, was initially arrested outside
Atlanta in April of 1996, when his red Mercedes-Benz was seen weaving in
and out of traffic. He was charged with drunk driving, speeding, no
proof of insurance, and failure to maintain a lane. The singer then
missed a 1997 court date.
In November of 2002, Brown was pulled over and arrested in Atlanta for
speeding, having no proof of insurance, driving without a license, and
possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. After posting the $1,300
bail in Atlanta, he was transferred to nearby DeKalb County to deal with
outstanding charges from the 1996 arrest. Brown subsequently posted a
$10,000 bail bond and was freed with the requirement that he stay in the
state of Georgia.
Ashanti Wins Two American Music Awards, Grammys Next
Ashanti entered the American Music Awards
with five nominations--the
most of any artist--and she left with two awards. The R&B songstress
took home honors for favorite new pop/rock artist and favorite new
Ashanti told us how she felt about winning two of the five AMAs for
which she was nominated:"Excellent, excellent--I'm very happy to be
here, happy to be nominated. It's a very prestigious award, so it's a
Ashanti couldn't possibly be disappointed--after all, she still has five
2003 Grammy nominations to look forward to. The Murder, Inc. artist is
nominated for a Grammy for best female R&B performance for "Foolish,"
and her self-titled debut was nominated for best contemporary R&B album.
Ashanti will even compete against herself
in the best rap/sung
collaboration category. Ashanti received a Grammy nod for her duet with
rapper Fat Joe on "What's Love," which will have her facing off against
her duet with Ja Rule on "Always On Time." To top it all off, Ashanti is
also in the running for the best new artist Grammy alongside Norah
Jones, Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch, and John Mayer.
The 45th Annual Grammy Awards will be presented at Madison Square Garden
in New York City on February 23.
Mariah Carey's 'Through The Rain' Set For U.S. Release
Mariah Carey's "Through The Rain"
will be released as a commercial
single in the U.S. on February 4. MonarC Music and Island Def Jam,
Carey's record label, initially had no plans to release "Through The
Rain," the first radio single from her Charmbracelet album, as a
commercial single in the U.S. However, following the singer's stellar
performance of the song at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on
Monday (January 13), the label reversed its decision.
The single release will feature three tracks, including the "Through The
Rain" (Album Version), "Through The Rain" (Hex Hector/Mac Quayle Radio
Edit), and a live version of her Def Leppard cover, "Bringin' On The
Heartbreak." International editions of the CD single saw release late
Meanwhile, Carey has moved on to promoting Charmbracelet's second single
and accompanying music video, "Boy (I Need You)" featuring Cam'ron. The
video will debut on MTV's Making The Video at 5 p.m. ET on Monday
In related news, Carey received the Recording Industry Association Of
America Commemorative Award while attending the American Music Awards.
The award recognizes the more than 100 gold, platinum, and multiplatinum
certifications that Carey has earned throughout her career. Island Def
Jam Music Group chairman and CEO Lyor Cohen personally presented the
award to Carey.
Jill Scott Heading Back Into The Studio
Neo-soul singer Jill Scott is back in the
studio working on her
as-yet-untitled third album after taking a hiatus to write for several
publications and enjoy the life of a newlywed.
Although out of the limelight for the past year, Scott was still able to
earn two Grammy nominations for "He Loves Me (Lyzel In E Flat)" from her
2001 live set, Experience: Jill Scott 826+. The song has been nominated
for best female R&B vocal performance and for best remixed non-classical
recording. The 45th Annual Grammy Awards will be presented at Madison
Square Garden in New York City on February 23.
While on extended vacation, Scott did have the time to contribute to new
releases from the Roots, Common, and the debut set from her labelmate
In related news, Scott has signed on as the
national spokesperson for
the Coca-Cola Apollo Theater Academy, a program designed to offer
children hands-on songwriting, entertainment, and record-industry career
experience. Scott explained why she decided to participate in the
program, saying, "The program celebrates a 'school without walls'
concept to inspire creative insight, thought, and opportunity for our
children, as such I'm happy to lend my time."
Usher turns the beat around
Tonight Usher will help celebrate the disco
era by taking on classics
such as "Turn the Beat Around," "I Just Want to Be Your Everything," and
"Ain't No Stopping Us Now" on ABC's concert special, "Disco Ball." KC &
the Sunshine Band, the Pointer Sisters and the Village People revive
their original hits for the two-hour special. Usher, who is renowned for
his stage performing talked with the BET Radio Network about the art of
Usher has been nominated for a Grammy: Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
Diana Ross Pleads Innocent To Drunk Driving Charge
Diana Ross has pleaded innocent to charges
of drunk driving and will not
be required to appear in an Arizona court Monday (January 13) for her
Ross's attorney, Greg Davis, filed a written "notice of appearance" with
Tucson City Court, in which she pleaded innocent to the three
misdemeanor charges against her, AP reports. Because the notice was
filed, neither Ross nor her lawyer are required to appear in court
Ross was stopped early on the morning of December 30 after someone
reported a vehicle driving south in the northbound lanes of a street in
northeastern Tucson. The former Supremes singer was cited on three
misdemeanor counts related to driving under the influence; breath tests
showed her blood-alcohol level to be 0.20 percent, more than twice
Arizona's legal limit of 0.08.
Another hearing is scheduled this week by Ross's lawyers to block the
release of the police videotape showing Ross's field sobriety tests.
Grammy Nominee Kelly Rowland Talks 'Dilemma' And Patti LaBelle
Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland's duet
with Nelly, "Dilemma," is
nominated for two Grammy Awards--record of the year and best rap/sung
Rowland told us that it wasn't until after she recorded her vocals that
she learned that "Dilemma" was actually based on Patti LaBelle's "Love,
Need And Want You": "I didn't know at first that it was a Patti LaBelle
remake, and when I found out that it was I went back in the studio. I
was, like, 'Nelly, I have to put something else on this song.' I was,
like, 'I have to either do some more runs, or harmonies, or something.'
I went back in and he thought I was crazy, but when I finished putting
the extra--I guess you'd say 'stank' on it--he was, like, 'You know,
baby girl, that's even better!'"
Once Rowland and Nelly were satisfied with the final product, they were
both eager to know what LaBelle thought of the loosely based cover.
"When you do remakes, you just want it to sound good," explained
Rowland. "Just like the original did."
Rowland said that she was relieved when LaBelle, who co-stars in the
"Dilemma" music video, had nothing but praise for their collaborative
effort: "I was kind of walking on egg shells until I heard Patti LaBelle
finally say at the video shoot, 'Baby, you sang that song!' I felt so
much better when she said it."
The 45th Annual Grammy Awards will air live on CBS from Madison Square
Garden in New York City on February 23.
Gerald Levert Adds O'Jays Flavor On 'The G-Spot'
R&B singer and songwriter Gerald Levert
lifted a bit of his dad's music
to add flavor to his current album The G-Spot.
Levert is the son of the O'Jays' Eddie Levert, and devotes himself to
writing and arranging songs much the way the old-school artists did,
recapturing the flavor of classic R&B without recreating it exactly. In
a rare instance on The G-Spot, Levert uses the O'Jays' "Family Reunion,"
but blends it with elements lifted from Gladys Knight & the Pips' "Make
Yours A Happy Home" and the Ohio Players' "Heaven Must Be Like This."
Levert's new single from The G-Spot is titled "Closure." The track was
co-written with album executive producer Randy Bowland.