Sunday November 9th, 2003
New CD's this past week:
- George Benson - Irreplaceable (European release)
Music news stories this week:
Truth Hurts Says She Is Still Tight With Dr. Dre
R&B singer Truth, formerly known as Truth Hurts, recently inked a new recording
contract with Raphael Saadiq's Pookie Entertainment. Hurts released her debut set,
Truthfully Speaking, on Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment label in 2002. The lead
single from the set, "Addictive," was a smash hit until October 2002 when Hurts,
Dr. Dre, and the Universal Music Group were hit with a lawsuit by Bappi Lahiri who
claimed the song borrowed heavily from his composition, "Thoda Resham Lagta Hai."
Recently Allhiphop.com spoke with Hurts who shared that she parted ways with
Aftermath Entertainment because of the company's distributor, Interscope Records.
Hurts said, "A lot of confusing things happened that ended up being bad. And it was
not because of Dr. Dre. It was because of the parent company, Interscope. The lawsuit
happened and a lot of other stuff happened that caused confusion. I don't think they
were ready to promote a record like mine. As a consequence to that, they didn't know
how to put out a second single. They really didn't know what to put out first! They
went behind the first single to put out the next one but then the R. Kelly thing was
going on, and I wanted to put out the track that R. Kelly did. So, he didn't get a chance
out the gate because radio wasn't trying to play him. So they really didn't know how to
handle a project like mine."
Hurts added that her relationship with Dr. Dre is still great. Hurts said, "We are on great
terms. Dre and I speak all the time. He definitely wants to do something for my next
Hurts is presently working on her untitled sophomore set which will be released in the
spring of 2004.
'Live' shows Vandross at his finest
A sold-out Valentine's Day concert in New York was recorded with the intention of
making Luther Vandross' first live album. Little did anyone know at the time that it might
also have been the last in the singer's remarkable career. Vandross had a life-threatening
stroke this spring just before the release of his platinum Dance With My Father, sparking
an outpouring of prayers and support.
It is still unknown whether he'll be able to record or perform again. Until that time,
Luther Vandross Live at Radio City Music Hall 2003 can serve as a reminder of his
powerful stage presence. His concerts have always been classy affairs, warmed by his
rich baritone and sumptuous arrangements. This album captures the singer at his best. An
effusive Never Too Much gets the show off to a fast start before he settles in with several
dreamy ballads, including the wedding anthem Here and Now and an extended version of
Superstar, which is augmented by a beautiful Nat Adderley Jr. piano solo.
He picks up the tempo with Stop to Love before delivering an impassioned If Only for
One Night, which segues into the more playful Creepin'. As usual, the lovely A House Is
Not a Home proves to be the showstopper, and closer Glow of Love sends the audience
home on an upbeat note.
It's typical Vandross, giving his fans the musical pleasure they crave, though no one ever
seems to get as much sheer joy out of singing as he does.
Luther Vandross Keeps Spirits Up Despite Stroke
Despite his debilitating stroke, Luther Vandross has been able to keep up his spirits
throughout his ordeal, says the singer's personal assistant.
"His sense of humor is definitely intact," Max Szadek told The Associated Press in an
interview this week. "Anyone would be depressed going though this, but he does bring a
certain levity to the table with it."
Vandross, 52, suffered a life-threatening stroke in April. After some setbacks, he was
released from a hospital to a rehabilitation center this summer and has been making
progress, Szadek said. He can sing, walk with assistance - and will even correct your
Yet, Szadek said, Vandross is a long way from being fully recovered.
"Day to day, there's always going to be an inconsistency. That's the nature of the
healing," he said. "So he is singing, but I don't want to mislead people that he's ready to
perform next week. ... I think it's important for people to know that he is making
progress, but it's slow going and it's steady."
Among the tasks Vandross is working on is trying to improve his short-term and long-
"I think he's performing to the best of his abilities, but it was a very serious injury," said
Last week, J Records released "Live at Radio City Music Hall," from Valentine's Day
performances Vandross did there in February. Szadek said Vandross is particularly proud
of the album, his first live disc.
"I think he was showing people he was really at a pinnacle as a performer," Szadek said.
"This performance is iconic in a way, because it really features everything he was about."
Keith Sweat Best-of Set Due In January
R&B crooner Keith Sweat will release The Best Of Keith Sweat: Make You Sweat on
January 13th. The set will include: "I Want Her," "Make You Sweat," "I'll Give All My
Love To You," "Twisted," "Make It Last Forever" featuring Jacci McGhee, "Come And
Get With Me" featuring Snoop Dogg, "How Deep Is Your Love," "Get Up On It"
featuring Kut Klose, "Nobody" featuring Athena Cage, and "My Body."
Sweat is currently working on his tenth studio album. The singer released a new set,
LSG2, with his LSG group mates Johnny Gill and Gerald Levert in July of 2003. The set
peaked at Number Six on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
In a released statement, Sweat shared how he has been able to sustain his musical career
for the past 15 years. Sweat said, "My strategy has always been to give people just
enough of me, then pull back. That way, they'll want more."
Destiny's Child's Michelle Williams To Replace Toni
Braxton In 'Aida'
Destiny's Child singer Michelle Williams will join the cast of the Broadway musical
Aida, replacing singer Toni Braxton starting November 18. Braxton will give her final
performance in the Disney musical at the Palace Theatre on November 16, after a four-
The 23-year-old Williams, who joined Destiny's Child in 2000, said in a statement, "I
think it's every performer's dream to one day be on a Broadway stage. To play Aida is a
dream come true. I'm very excited for this opportunity." Aida features a Tony Award-
winning score by Elton John and Tim Rice. The musical is the story of a love triangle
between Aida, a Nubian princess stolen from her country, Amneris, an Egyptian princess,
and Radames, the soldier they both love.
Williams noted, "Aida is a woman with such strength, and there are so many things about
her that I relate to. I love this character and can't wait to truly find her within myself."
Williams released her gospel-flavored solo debut album Heart to Yours last year. Her
next solo effort, Do You Know? is due in January.