Sunday May 4th, 2003
New CD's this past week:
- Kelly Price - Priceless: the long awaited third album
Music news stories this week:
Vandross Undergoes Tracheotomy, Remains In Critical Condition
Two weeks after suffering a stroke, R&B
singer Luther Vandross has yet
to regain consciousness and was forced to undergo a tracheotomy last
week after contracting pneumonia.
The singer remains in critical condition and has shown no signs of
consciousness since he was found in his New York apartment several hours
after the April 16 stroke.
"The doctors report that neurologically he is minimally responsive,"
according to a statement released Monday by Vandross' business manager,
Carmen Romano. "We're waiting for him to regain full consciousness. I am
told this may take some time."
Spokesperson Lois Najarian stressed that doctors do not consider
Vandross' condition to be a coma because he has shown some signs of
responsiveness, though he has not yet been able to speak or move about.
"He is expected to make a full recovery with a long road of
rehabilitation ahead of him," Najarian said.
Romano said Vandross contracted pneumonia last week and as a result
underwent a tracheotomy, a procedure in which a hole is made in the
windpipe and a tube is inserted to aid breathing. "The tracheotomy was
performed in a manner in which his vocal cords were not affected or
damaged," Romano said.
Some of Vandross' peers have offered words of encouragement for the
ailing singer. Alicia Keys wrote that if Vandross could hear her, she'd
tell him, "This is Alicia. Please, take your time. Don't rush. You will
get better, but it's gonna take time. My mom, Jeff, Angie and all your
labelmates are praying for you and playing your music everywhere. In the
car. In the crib. Have you heard us? You are loved!"
Singer Deborah Cox also released a statement, in which she wrote, "It is
hard to put into words the depth of this tragedy. Luther is not only an
innovative, accomplished musician and entertainer, but an incredibly
warm and funny individual. He always found his way to my dressing room
at shows to chat about all kinds of things and to lend support and
encouragement as a mentor. ... I have been diligently praying for his
Vandross remains in the intensive care unit at the Weill Cornell Medical
College in New York and is still listed in critical but stable
condition, according to a hospital spokesperson.
J Records still expects to release the singer's new album, Dance With My
Father, on June 10. The album features contributions from Beyoncé
Knowles, Busta Rhymes, Stevie Wonder, Foxy Brown and Queen Latifah, and
Najarian said the label is considering reaching out to some of the
record's guests to help promote the release.
Beyonce Looking For Dancers
Destiny's Child singer gone solo, Beyonce,
(a.k.a. Beyonce Knowles) is
looking for the hottest dancers around for her music video for "Naughty
Girl," the first single from her upcoming Columbia Records solo debut
album, Dangerously In Love.
If you are a male or female dancer between 18 and 30 years old, you can
attend an open audition on Monday, May 5th from 4 to 7 p.m. PT at Alley
Kat Studios in Los Angeles. (Alley Kat Studios is at 1455 Gordon Street
between Sunset Blvd. and Fountain Ave).
The dancers that are selected will also appear with Beyonce on an
upcoming television special, as well as on her soon-to-be-announced
Beyonce will perform on NBC-TV's Saturday Night Live on May 17th. Other
upcoming television performances include NBC-TV's the Today show on June
10th, CBS-TV's The Late Show With David Letterman on June 11th, and
CBS-TV's the Early Show on June 13th.
Dangerously In Love will be released in June.
Blaque Return With Love For Left Eye And Help From Missy
In 1999, Blaque, an R&B/pop trio
discovered by the late Lisa "Left Eye"
Lopes, landed hit singles with "808" and "Bring It All to Me" from their
self-titled platinum debut. The young group's follow-up, Blaque Out, was
a bit of a wash-out. Now, less than 18 months later, Blaque are back
with a new look and a new label, and they've hired some big guns to help
Their as-yet-untitled third album, which comes out in August on Elektra,
will feature production by Missy Elliott, Rodney Jerkins, Linda Perry,
Warryn Campbell, Wylee and Jazz. And the ladies (Shamari Fears, Brandi
Williams and Natina Reed) have made themselves over as super-sexy but
sophisticated vixens in the vein of En Vogue.
The record's first single is "Ugly," which was produced by Elliott, who
worked on five of the LP's 14 tracks. The upbeat party song features her
trademark clicking, syncopated beats, a two-note hookline and wicked
lyrics about a less-than-stellar-looking dude who fancies himself a
ladies' man. "Hey boy/ I don't mean to be rude/ But the way you comin'
on/ Makes me catch an attitude/ You wanna know what the deal/ Well
what's up with your grill/ 'Cuz you ugly/ So please stop talking junk in
The other Elliott-produced cuts are "Freakazoid," "Nappy Dugout," "Dat's
Right" and the bonus track "No Ganksta."
"Her Name" is a tribute to TLC's Left Eye, who died last year while on
vacation in Honduras (see "Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes Killed In Car
Accident"). The honey-sweet club cut was produced by Campbell, who also
helmed the ballad "If It Was Me."
Perry and Jerkins worked on two songs each. Perry tackled the poppy
"It's Not Me" and "Love Em Down" and Jerkins handled the reggae and
Latin-tinged lead number, "Blaque Out," and the slow ballad "Fall Back."
Wylee produced the soulful "Deeper (Try Harder)" and Jazz worked on the
bubbly pop track "Fall Through."
Musiq To Headline Grey Goose Trek
Musiq, Jaguar Wright, and Vivian Green are
confirmed for the Grey Goose
Music Tour, which kicks off May 22 in Washington, D.C., and bows June 22
in Orlando, Fla. Last year's Grey Goose tour featured Bone
Thugs-N-Harmony and Lil' Jon and the Eastside Boyz.
Musiq has begun work on his third Def Soul album, which will be the
follow-up to last year's "Juslisen." The set debuted at No. 1 on both
The Billboard 200 and Billboard's Top R&B Hip-Hop Albums chart. Its
latest single, "Dontchange," is No. 36 this week on Billboard's Hot
R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
Wright has wrapped her second MCA album, "And Your Point Is...," due
later this year. Green's Columbia debut, "A Love Story," was released
Prior to the trek, Musiq will appear May 17 with Santana at Los Angeles
radio station KIIS-FM's annual Wango Tango at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena,
Calif. Other confirmed acts include Kiss, Nelly, Christina Aguilera, and
Craig David with Sting.
Siedah Garrett Takes Rocker Stance On New CD
Singer and songwriter Siedah Garrett veers
from her well-known pop/R&B
material into straight rock 'n' roll on her new CD, titled Siedah! The
album's release date has been pushed to July 8th.
The first single from the new set is the pop-rock tune "What I Know."
Garrett also includes a rock-oriented version of Michael Jackson's "Man
In The Mirror," which she co-wrote, and a cover of the Rolling Stones'
"It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It)."
Garrett co-wrote most of the 11 tunes on the new album with two
collaborators: Glen Ballard and guitarist Michael "Fish" Herring.
Ballard has penned hits for Alanis Morissette, No Doubt, and Michael
Jackson. Herring has worked with Prince and Christina Aguilera.
Garrett has crafted several well-known songs during her career and is
also a well-respected session singer. She co-penned the title track for
Al Jarreau's current CD All I Got, and contributed music to Patti
Austin's On The Way To Love (2001).
Garrett's songwriting credits also include hits for Michael Jackson,
Aretha Franklin, Paula Abdul, and Quincy Jones. She also wrote music and
served as lead singer on the Brand New Heavies CD Shelter.
Garrett's 1984 duet with former Temptation Dennis Edwards on "Don't Look
Any Further" is an R&B classic.
Macy Gray Sets International Release Dates
For 'the Trouble With Being
Macy Gray has announced the international
release date for her new album
The Trouble With Being Myself. The singer's third studio effort will be
released overseas on May 5th.
The U.S. release date of The Trouble With Being Myself has not yet been
finalized. Epic Records, Gray's label, was to have released the effort
on May 13th.
When Gray's album does finally come out, buyers will be able to use the
disk in their computers to unlock hidden areas of the singer's website
macygray.com. Among the inside items users will find are diary entries,
exclusive pics, and messages from the artist.
Brian Mcknight Keeps Busy With Music And Acting
Brian McKnight's life keeps gets busier and
busier now that his latest
album, U Turn, has sold more than 500,000 copies -- earning him a gold
certification from the RIAA.
According to his official website, McKnight will perform at this year's
Indianapolis 500 in May. In addition, the singer will be a celebrity
judge on Star Search later this year.
McKnight will add TV star to his resume, taking on a reoccurring role on
UPN's new series, Platinum. He'll star opposite rapper Sticky Fingaz.
The singer's current single, "Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda," sits at Number
28 this week on Radio & Records' Adult Contemporary chart.
Billy Paul Wins Half-Million In Back Royalties
"Me And Mrs. Jones" singer Billy
Paul was awarded a half-million dollars
on Thursday, April 24th, in back royalties owed to him by producers
Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff's Philadelphia International label.
Paul had been unable to collect royalties earlier than 1994 because of a
statute of limitations. He told the court it had been 27 years since he
received any kind of royalty statements from Philly International. A
year-and-a-half ago, he heard his original recording of "Me and Mrs.
Jones" used in a commercial for Nike -- without his permission -- and
took legal action.
Paul's court victory could lead to additional lawsuits from other
Philadelphia International artists who believe that they have also not
received a proper royalty accounting including the O'Jays, Teddy
Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, the Three Degrees, and Harold Melvin & the Blue