Sunday June 15th, 2003
New CD's this past week:
- Luther Vandross - Dance with my father
- Jeffrey Osborne - Music is life
Music news stories this week:
Jeffrey Osborne Says 'Music Is Life'
Veteran R&B singer Jeffrey Osborne
released his tenth album, Music Is
Life, on Tuesday, June 10th, on his own Jay Oz Records which is
distributed by Koch Entertainment.
The first single from the set, "Rest of Our Lives," is presently Number
19 on the urban AC Radio & Records National Airplay chart.
Osborne released his first album, Love, Togetherness & Devotion, as a
member of L.T.D. in 1974. The singer said that with his latest release
-- now almost 30 years later -- he attempted to make his up tempo songs
sound contemporary: "And with this particular CD, all the up tempo
things, I tried to make them, you know, contemporary sounding so they
kinda feel like what's happening today."
Kevon Edmonds' Acting Roles And Tour Plans
Singer Kevon Edmonds will join Gerald
Levert, K-Ci and JoJo, and Frankie
Beverly and Maze on this summer's Honey Nut Cheerios Soulfest tour,
which will run from July 2 to August 20. Kevon loves to perform live
and he observes that, when onstage, it's essential for an artist to
perform directly to the audience: "You learn how to reach and touch your
audience. You have to be real to them. If you're not, they don't feel
you, and they want to know that you're not afraid to give it to them.
They need to know that, and if you're singing up in the air and that
kind of stuff, audiences... you can't pass that off, you know what I'm
saying? They're intelligent and they know when it's real and it's
legitimate and they have a good, strong sense of a true performer.
Edmonds is also branching out into acting. On Monday (June 19), he will
appear on an episode of the ABC daytime drama, All My Children, wherein
he will play a singer at the much-anticipated wedding of the characters
Hayley and Mateo. He will perform an original song called "At Last." All
My Children airs at 1:00PM ET. Edmonds will also play a wedding singer
in the upcoming film Disney's The Kid, starring Bruce Willis. The movie
will open on July 7.
Luther Vandross moved out of intensive care
Luther Vandross has been moved out of
intensive care and upgraded to
stable condition, his business manager said Thursday.
Vandross "is more and more responsive each day," Carmen Romano said in a
statement. "I feel as though I am watching a modern day miracle."
The 52-year-old R&B singer remains hospitalized at Cornell-Weill Medical
Center. He had been in critical condition since his April 16 stroke, at
one point contracting pneumonia and needing a tracheotomy to help him
However, family and friends told The Associated Press last week that
Vandross was beginning to mouth words and had started light therapy. He
also no longer needs a respirator to breathe.
His move out of intensive care comes two days after the release of his
new album, "Dance With My Father." Lois Najarian, a spokeswoman for J
Records, said Vandross was excited and happy about the reception to his
album, and even listened to a radio tribute to him on Wednesday.
"The DJ played 'Dance with My Father' and said that it was the No. 1
most-requested song," she said. "The people who were with Luther said a
big smile came over his face."
Najarian said doctors were still unsure if Vandross suffered any
long-term damage from the stroke. When his condition improves, he will
be moved to a rehabilitation facility
Beyonce Thrilled To Have Sung With Luther Vandross On His New Album
Beyonce Knowles is among the special guests
on Dance With My Father, the
new album by R&B legend Luther Vandross. The record comes out Tuesday
(June 10th), even though Vandross is still in a New York City hospital
after suffering a stroke in April. Knowles duets with Vandross on a
version of the 1978 Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaway hit "The Closer I
Get to You," which will also appear on Knowles' June 24th solo debut,
Dangerously In Love.
Knowles says that singing with Vandross was a true privilege: "He called
and asked did I want to collaborate with him? I grew up dancing to his
music, singing his music, hearing my mom and dad listen to that music,
and I completely was just in disbelief that he asked me that. I was so
Knowles adds that Vandross's present situation makes their collaboration
all the more meaningful: "I'm praying for him. I love him. I respect
him. I'm happy I was given that opportunity, and he's in my prayers."
Vandross's album also features guest performances by Queen Latifah,
Busta Rhymes, and Foxy Brown.
Knowles plays her first solo concert on Saturday (June 14th) in a
pay-per-view broadcast from the Ford Motor Company's 100th anniversary
celebration in Dearborn, Michigan.
Earth, Wind & Fire back On Charts
Earth, Wind & Fire returned to the
charts with their first studio album
in six years, titled, The Promise. The album was released on the group's
own Kalimba Records and debuted at Number Five on Billboard's
Independent Albums chart. The new CD also landed at Number 19 on the
magazine's R&B chart and at Number 89 on the Top 200 Pop Albums chart.
EWF founder and co-producer Maurice White says that when it came to
deciding how to approach making new music, the fans came first: "What we
want to do first is to please the Earth, Wind & Fire fans. I think with
a veteran group, you know, you kind of walk the fine line. I think if
you try to be too new and too hip, you can kind of be too hip for the
room, because we're sort of known and typecast in a way. We have to kind
of be an Earth, Wind & Fire product first 'cause a lot of people kind of
know what it is even if they don't know who we are, so we kind of have
to honor that first. We start from the premise and stretch out just a
R. Kelly Barred From Attending Los Angeles Video Shoot
A Chicago judge has barred singer R. Kelly
from attending a Los Angeles
video shoot, but the judge said on Wednesday, June 4th that he would
permit the R&B superstar to travel to Los Angeles for the third annual
BET Awards on June 24th. Kelly has not been allowed to leave the Chicago
area without permission from the court since he was indicted on June 5,
2002, after a video tape surfaced that allegedly showed the singer
having sex with an underage girl.
The judge also allowed Kelly to travel to Dallas for a charity concert
for the families of military personnel. Prohibiting Kelly from
performing at the awards show or charity concert would "do more harm
than good," the judge said, according to an Associated Press report.
Kelly is nominated for two BET Awards including Best Male R&B Artist and
the Viewers Choice Award for his music video for "Ignition."
New Edition Needs Your Help
The members of New Edition are asking the
media and the public to help
them design the cover for their upcoming 20th anniversary album. The
fellas are looking for some great, old pictures of themselves from back
in the day. Send whatever you've got to:
Attn. Brooke Payne
105 Linkside Court
Woodside, Georgia 30189
New Edition performed on Friday's Essence
Awards. All of the members
were there except Bobby Brown. Bobby didn't tour with the group earlier
this past year, either. But the rest of the guys say they are sure
Bobby will come back to the group "when the timing and the moment is