Sunday April 11th, 2004
New CD's this past week:
- Tamia – More
- Adina Howard – Second coming
- The O’Jays – Together we are one
Music news stories this week:
Jermaine Jackson Working On New Album
Big brother Jermaine Jackson says he's at work on a new album of original
material, though he won't say when it will be released or on what label.
Jackson has been busy lately serving as the family spokesman while younger
brother Michael Jackson faces current criminal child molestation charges
and during sister Janet Jackson's Super Bowl Nipplegate scandal. But
despite being labeled as Michael Jackson's "lesser-known brother,"
Jermaine is also a talented vocalist and songwriter with several solo R&B
hits to his name, though his biggest successes came in the '80s. Early
solo hits as a teen included 1972's "Daddy's Home" and 1975's "Let's Be
Young Tonight." After splitting from the Jackson 5, he scored with "Let's
Get Serious," "Let Me Tickle Your Fancy," and the ballad "Do What You
Jermaine has also proven to be an enduring stage pro. While other acts
suffered from jitters or plain bad singing at the recent taping of the
Motown 45 special, Jermaine delivered a soulful, pitch-perfect performance
of "I'll Be There" with duet partner Nick Lachey.
Jackson, who turns 50 later this year, told reporters that he is putting
together a new album: ["Yes, we're in the studio working right now and
almost halfway done. Yeah, we'll be writing a lot, yeah."]
In related news, older brother Tito Jackson released a blues album titled
I Gotta Play last year and toured clubs last summer. The set is rumored to
be getting a major-label re-release later this year.
And Jackson nephew Auggie has just been signed to Los Angeles-based Midas
Records. Son of Rebbie Jackson, who had a 1984 gold single with
"Centipede," the 18-year-old born Austin Brown is a developing singer,
songwriter, and producer. Auggie will deliver his debut set, Slick &
Polished, in the summer of 2005.
Prince Hit With Lawsuit
Prince was recently hit with a lawsuit by a fan who claims the singer's
bodyguards attacked him at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport when
he snapped a picture of the star on December 29th. The Associated Press
reports that Anthony Fitzgerald filed the lawsuit on Wednesday, April 7th,
in Hennepin County District Court in Minnesota .
Fitzgerald alleges that one of Prince's bodyguards named Trevor lunged at
him, quote, "in an aggressive, threatening manner," unquote; he also
grabbed his camera and left him, quote, "stunned and humiliated." The
lawsuit specifically alleges assault and battery, loss of camera, and
intentional infliction of emotional distress. Fitzgerald maintains that he
has been anxious and unable to sleep since the incident.
Prince has yet to be formally served in the matter as Fitzgerald's lawyer,
Frank Berman, has asked the court to recommend a means of service since he
has been unable to get a copy of the lawsuit to the singer.
Prince is currently on the Musicology Tour. The singer will release his
new album, Musicology, on April 20th.
Comodores Working On New Album
Veteran R&B group the Commodores said that they are working on a brand-new
album that they expect to deliver early next year. In the meantime,
original members Walter Orange and William King along with instrumentalist
Harold Hudson and singer J.D. Nicholas continue to tour throughout Europe
King said: "We are in the middle of doing an album right now, and it's the
first album in 15 years. We're also looking forward to going to Europe
this summer, and we just got back from Europe . We did the Germany part
and we're gonna go back and do the other section of Europe, and then we're
gonna start here in the United States in October and then back to Europe
again the end of October back into November. And hopefully the album will
be out the first of next year, then we start the U.S. tour all over
Asked whether they had a title for the project and if it will feature
all-new material, King said: "We do not. And you know what, we never get a
title for the album until we're in the midst of it or either at the very
end. 'Cause we never know what's gonna hit us. We always try to come up
with a title but it never works out. Right now it's all new material,
The Commodores began in Tuskegee , Alabama , in 1967 and were signed to
Motown in 1971. After numerous hits, lead singer Lionel Richie left in
1982 to forge his own successful solo career. The remaining members, with
new vocalist Nicholas, had a Number One R&B single with "Nightshift,"
their tribute to the late Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson. The group, sans
Richie, released its most recent album, No Tricks, in 1993.
Ashanti To Release New Album And To Launch Tour This Summer
R&B singer Ashanti is currently shooting her first film role as the
pregnant girlfriend of a high school basketball player in the new movie
Coach Carter. The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson and Rob Brown.
Ashanti has no plans of putting her musical career on hold. MTV.com
reports that Ashanti is writing for her third album while on the movie
set. The singer said, "We're looking for a release in late summer. And
we're going to be putting together a tour hopefully late summer too."
In related news, Ashanti was recently added to this year's VH1 Divas
line-up. She will be joined by previously announced performers: Eve,
Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Deborah Harry of Blondie, Cyndi Lauper, Joss
Stone, and Jessica Simpson. The show will air live from the MGM Grand in
Las Vegas on Sunday, April 18th, at 9 p.m. ET.
Bobby Brown To Star In His Own Reality Show?
Bobby Brown has had more than his share of drama these days, but will TV
viewers want to watch it all played out on the small screen? The
35-year-old Brown, who spent jail time in both Georgia and Massachusetts
last month, is hoping they will. Brown's production company, B2, has been
following Brown and his wife, Whitney Houston, around Atlanta gathering
footage with plans to pitch a reality show to the networks.
Houston 's publicist, Nancy Seltzer, told the Associated Press on Friday
(April 2nd) that the proposed show would center on Brown, while her
multi-platinum-selling client would be a side player: "As I understand it,
the reality show is about Bobby Brown. If she can help her husband in any
way, she of course will do so, but it's about Bobby."
Cameras reportedly followed the troubled couple last Monday (March 29th),
as they dined with daughter Bobbi Kristina and the family dog at The Palm
restaurant in the Buckhead section of Atlanta . On Tuesday evening, the
crew recorded the pair's appearance at another Atlanta restaurant, The
Prime, where Houston -- accompanied by a rep from her rehabilitation
center -- sang "Happy Birthday" to a fellow diner.
The drama continues for the couple, who will celebrate their twelfth
wedding anniversary in July. On March 26th, Brown spent one night in a
Massachusetts jail for failing to pay $63,000 in child support for two
children he fathered before his marriage to Houston . With the sum paid to
the court sometime during the night, Brown reappeared in the courtroom,
where Norfolk Probate and Family Court Judge Paula Carey ordered Brown to
establish life insurance policies for the children, now 12 and 14. She
also gave him 90 days to establish an educational trust fund for them.
That's not the end of Brown's legal woes. The singer is scheduled to
appear in a Fulton County, Georgia, courtroom on May 5th to answer a
misdemeanor battery charges for striking Houston .
Meanwhile, Houston checked into a rehabilitation center in Georgia to
address her substance abuse problems, but quickly checked herself out on
March 21st after a mere five days. Currently, she is in an inpatient
rehabilitation program that allows approved authorized outings, including
the restaurant appearances she made last week. She is also allowed to
drive 10-year-old Bobbi Kristina to school, and on such an outing last
Tuesday (March 27th), Houston received a speeding ticket in suburban
Gwinnett County, Georgia, for driving 68 mph in a 45 mph zone, according
to the AP.