Sunday September 21rst, 2003


New CD's this past week:

- Aretha Franklin - So damn happy ; the queen of soul is back!!
- Erykah Badu - Worldwide underground ; Badu's third studio album


Music news stories this week:

Usher And Chili Back Together

Grammy Award-winning R&B singer Usher and Chilli of TLC are back
together again, according to the New York Post's Page Six. The couple,
who broke up two months ago, were reportedly spotted making out
backstage at the Absolut Lifestyle/ Honey Magazine Fashion Show for
Dollhouse Footwear on Monday night, September 15th.
According to sources, Usher hid backstage in a closet and jumped out to
surprise Chilli. The duo split when Chilli allegedly wanted the
relationship to become more serious.
Usher is presently working on his fourth album. He has already logged
time in the studio with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The singer hopes to
release a single in October and the album before the end of the year.
The set will be the follow-up to 2001's 8701 which sold more than four
million copies.

Montell Jordan And Wife Welcome New Baby Boy, New Album Soon

R&B singer Montell Jordan and his wife, Kristin Hudson, welcomed a baby
boy into the world on Monday (September 15). Their son, Skyler, was born
in Atlanta, Georgia, and weighed in at 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and is 20
inches long. Both the mother and Skyler are doing fine. The couple also
has a 7 year-old daughter, Sydney.
Jordan is currently gearing up for the release of his fifth album, Life
After Def, on October 21. The first single from the set is "Supa Star."
Recently LAUNCH spoke with Jordan, who revealed that he shot the video
for the single in one day with director Eric Shue in Los Angeles. "The
'Supa Star' video has been shot," Jordan said. "It was shot by a
director by the name of Eric Shue, who is the protege of Dave Meyers,
who was there for the video shoot as well. He was in the video shoot
actually. It was shot in Los Angeles. It was a one-day video shoot."

Live Floetry Album Will Include New Cuts And DVD

R&B/hip-hop duo Floetry will release, Floetry Live, on November 18th.
The set will include four new songs and a bonus DVD of footage taken
from a July show at the House of Blues in New Orleans, according to
The duo's debut set, Floetic, was recently certified gold and the group
just released the third single from the set, "Getting Late."
Group member Natalie Stewart explained why the group decided to release
the live set: "We haven't really recorded since we made the album
(Floetic) three weeks in 2000. Now we have an audience and we're
putting these songs on there just to let everyone know what's happened
in that space of time, and we're trying to get another album out in
Floetry Live will feature a collaboration with Mos Def.
Stewart shared that the duo didn't really think about putting out a
record until they arrived in the United States in 2000: "We weren't
thinking about albums and if we were, we were thinking of selling them
out of our backpacks at the end of shows. We came to Philly and then all
of sudden from nowhere people were talking mainstream record deals and
all that type of stuff. I mean I'm a straight up and down backpacker so
being up in the industry now is a crazy thing."

Beyonce Battles 'Temptations,' Kate Beckinsale Tackles 'Underworld' In

The fall film season kicks into high gear over the weekend with five
major movies opening nationwide.
And with the latest box-office lineup - "The Fighting Temptations,"
"Anything Else," "Secondhand Lions," "Cold Creek Manor" and "Underworld"
- there's a little something for everyone.
"The Fighting Temptations" mixes an inspirational story with a little
romance and a whole lot of music, with R&B singers Faith Evans, Angie
Stone, Montell Jordan, Bilal, rapper Zane and gospel artists Mary Mary,
Ramiyah and the Blind Boys of Alabama all appearing.
Of course, the singer heard loudest in the movie is Beyoncé, who plays
Lilly, a lounge singer in a small Southern town recruited to sing in a
struggling church choir by a New York advertising executive (Cuba
Gooding Jr.) trying to earn an inheritance.
"The thing that attracted me to Lilly was how real she was," Beyoncé
said of her character. "She's a real woman with issues. She made some
decisions in her life that weren't so perfect and she's judged by a lot
of people. I loved the fact that she was a Southern girl. She had a son
out of wedlock. She was very, very smart, but very natural, very earthy,
but there was nothing glamorous about the character. I was a lot heavier
when I did it. My hair was dreaded, no makeup. I wanted people to see me
like that. I wanted to become Lilly. I wanted it to be nothing like
Mike Epps and Steve Harvey also star in the movie, which was directed by
Jonathan Lynn of "The Whole Nine Yards" and "My Cousin Vinny" fame.
"The music in the movie is one of the best things about it," Beyoncé
added. "Gospel music just affects you no matter who you are and how you
feel; it just makes you feel comfort."

Bits & Pieces

Troy Taylor (Aretha Franklin's "The Only Thing Missin' ") is in the
studio with Patti LaBelle. He is also in talks with various labels on
behalf of Trey Songz, the first artist under his Songbook Entertainment

Dome Records has signed Atlanta's Seek to a U.K. and Europe licensing
deal for its new album, "Journey Into Day." The set will hit the shelves
Oct. 20. Dome will also release a third album by New Jersey-based soul
artist Dennis Taylor in October. In addition, it has signed South London
vocalist Avani. The 23-year-old is managed by Tony Hall, whose past
clients include Loose Ends and Lynden David Hall.

BBE/Rapster Records is preparing a set of unreleased recordings (circa
1976-1981) by Roy Ayers. For the uninitiated, the vibraphonist's music
(especially the much-sampled 1976 tune "Everybody Loves the Sunshine")
has inspired artists ranging from Guru and Mary J. Blige to Eric Benet.
"Virgin Ubiquity" is due in early 2004.

News 2003

News 2002

News 2001