Sunday July 13th, 2003
New CD's this past week:
Music news stories this week:
Ashanti Debuts At Number One For Second Consecutive Time
Grammy award winning singer Ashanti scored
her second consecutive Number
One debut this week when her latest set Chapter II entered the Billboard
200 at Number One after selling more than 326,000 copies, according to
Nielsen Soundscan. The singer's self-titled debut set entered the charts
at Number One in April of 2002 after selling more than half a million
copies in its first week.
When LAUNCH spoke to Ashanti, she said that she enjoyed recording
Chapter II in Miami. "This one we were in Miami. I had all my guys with
me, all my big brothers,” said Ashanti. “The atmosphere was great. It
was 90 degrees every day. We were on the jet skis and the yacht, and we
just had a ball."
"Rock Wit U," the lead single from Chapter II, is currently Number Four
on the urban Radio & Records National Airplay chart.
R. Kelly To Release Greatest Hits
Grammy award-winning singer R. Kelly will
release his first ever
greatest hits set, the 'R.' In R&B Collection Volume 1, on September 9
on Jive Records. The first single, "Thoia-Thoing," was shipped to radio
The set will include the following hits: "Bump N' Grind," "Your Body's
Callin'," "Down Low," "When a Woman's Fed Up," "I Wish," and "I'm Your
Angel" featuring Celine Dion.
The set will also feature a bonus limited edition CD of never
commercially released remixes, and two new songs, "Thoia Thong," and
"Ghetto Religion" featuring Wyclef Jean.
R. Kelly's latest studio set, Chocolate Factory, was recently certified
double-platinum for sales of more than 2 million copies.
R&B Legend Barry White Dies
Barry White, the legendary R&B singer
whose smooth, deep baritone set
the standard for romantic crooners for years to come, died Friday after
a lengthy battle with numerous health problems. He was 58.
White passed away at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Friday
morning, according to a spokesperson for the late singer. White suffered
kidney failure last fall and had a stroke in May (see "For The Record:
Quick News On Barry White, J. Lo, Metallica, White Stripes, Radiohead,
Hanson, Tori Amos, Raekwon & More"). He had been waiting for his health
to improve in hopes of undergoing a kidney transplant.
"His generous nature, courtly manners and timeless music made him the
most giving and sought-after human being I’ve ever known," White's
longtime manager, Ned Shankman, said.
White's voice — at once booming and tender — seemed an extension of his
imposing presence. The singer's large frame seemed matched only by his
charisma and his talent. His career spanned more than three decades, but
he is perhaps best known as the velvet voice behind such classics as
"Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" and "You're the First, the Last,
White's first foray into music came at age 16 when he recorded the song
"Little Girl" with the group the Upfronts. He later worked as an A&R rep
(with the 5th Dimension and the Bobby Fuller Four) and as a producer
(putting together Love Unlimited). Soon White began working on demos of
his own, which eventually yielded his first album, 1973's I've Got So
Much to Give.
White then joined forces with Love Unlimited, rechristened it the Love
Unlimited Orchestra, and began to churn out a string of hits that made
him one of the most successful R&B artists of the '70s. Songs like "It's
Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me," "You See the Trouble With Me,"
"I'll Do for You Anything You Want Me To" and "Love Serenade"
established White and Love Unlimited as the music of choice for many a
romantic evening through the disco era.
The '80s brought a handful of less successful albums and eventually a
hiatus for White. However, he re-emerged in the '90s with the albums The
Man Is Back, The Right Night & Barry White and Put Me in Your Mix.
Despite his early success, White would not win his first Grammy Award
until 2000, for his album Staying Power.
White was preparing a "duets" album for release on Def Soul later this
White is survived by eight children: La nece, Deniece, Nina, Shehera,
Barriana , Barry Jr., Darrell, and his stepson, McKevin. He is also
survived by his companion (and the mother of Barriana), Catherine