Sunday April 18th, 2004


New CD's this past week:

none to report


Music news stories this week:

Tamia Makes Biggest Chart Debut

R&B singer Tamia released her third album, More, last Tuesday, April 6th,
and this week it entered the Billboard 200 albums chart at Number 17 with
more than 74,000 copies sold in its first week according to Nielsen
Soundscan. reports that the debut at Number 17 was the
highest entry the singer has ever had on the Billboard chart. Before More,
Tamia's highest debut was 2000's A Nu Day which entered the chart at
Number 46.
More features guest appearances from Fabolous, Red Cafe, Gerald Levert,
and Mario Winans, and the production of R. Kelly, DJ Clue, Jermaine Dupri,
Babyface, 7 Aurelius, Trackmasters, and Warryn Campbell. .
Prior to the release of the album, LAUNCH asked Tamia what it was like to
work with a variety of talented producers. She said: ["It's really weird
because my goal when I first set out to do the album was not to work with
a whole bunch of different producers but the material was really good and
it really all blended together. So it doesn't sound like you're listening
to a whole bunch of different producers. It sounds like a complete album
to me."]
The latest single from the set, "Questions," is presently Number 25 on the
national Urban AC radio charts.


Usher Holds Strong At Number One

R&B singer Usher is enjoying his third week at Number One on the Billboard
200 albums chart. The singer's latest release, Confessions, sold another
463,000 copies this week according to Nielsen Soundscan, bringing the
set's three week total to more than 2 million copies sold.
He explained that as a child he always had big dreams and that he
continues to aspire to greatness although he's achieved many of those
dreams. He said: "I had big dreams and have always had big dreams. I
wanted to become a young pop idol, no R&B idol, and be remembered for
classic music that I made. I did that. Now I'm going to continue to do it
and I'm going to do more. I'm going to make more history. I going to make
more moments. I'm going to be the hottest cat ever to touch the scene and
remind you that you can never ever forget it."


Teena Marie To Unveil “La Dona” Album In May

Veteran R&B singer and songwriter Teena Marie is set to make a triumphant
return to the marketplace with her first album of new material in ten
years. The new set, titled La Dona, will debut on May 22nd on the Cash
Money Classics division of New Orleans-based Cash Money Records. The
singer -- who logged numerous indelible hits like "Lovergirl," "Behind The
Groove," and "If I Were A Bell" in the early '80s -- is back on the radio
these days with the new album's first single, "I'm Still Lovin' You."
Marie says that the title of her new album comes from an honorary title
bestowed on her by one of her managers. It's both a term of respect within
Latin families, but it also has "original gangsta" connotations, as she
said: " 'La Dona' came from my manager Lee, calling me Dona. In the Latin
family that's a term of respect for the mother, the matriarch. And it's
kind of like the O.G., gangsta mama, it kind of applies like that." She
adds that the original title for the album was Black Rain, after one of
the album's tunes. But she says that while in the studio working on the
single "I'm Still Lovin' You," the title La Dona seemed to fit better: "We
were all sittin' in the studio, working on the single and Ronald Williams,
the CEO at Cash Money, his fiancee Meeko, who's real close to me, they
were talking about the album and they were saying even the romantic cuts
were sounding real gangsterish. And she said, you need to call the album
La Dona."
The album features all original music, with guest appearances by Gerald
Levert, Medusa, M.C. Lyte, singer DeDe O'Neal, Baby, and her original
producer and duet partner Rick James.
Marie's "I'm Still Lovin' You" has climbed into the top five on the
national urban AC airplay charts. The track was co-written and produced by
Mannie Fresh.


Usher Sets Another Record

Usher, who just broke an R&B sales record, has made history again.
Billboard reports the R&B singer's hit, "Yeah," which features Lil' Jon
and Ludacris, has set a new record on the magazine's Hot 100 Airplay
chart. According to the chart, the single was played on radio stations
more than 5 million times in one week.
Usher recently set a sales record when over a million copies of his fifth
album, Confessions, were sold in the first week it went on sale.
In related news, Usher is on the cover of the May issue of Vibe and he
talked to the magazine about his breakup with TLC's Rozonda "Chilli"
Thomas. Usher said their off-again, on-again relationship is really over
this time. He said, "It's over. It's a done deal. When something is in the
past, you just move on. I don't want to give energy to a situation I'm
done with."


Tell-All Luther Vandross Biography In Stores In July

Not many people know about Luther Vandross' closely-guarded private life
but that may change soon. In July, Harper Collins will publish Luther: The
Life and Longing of Luther Vandross, a tell-all biography of the R&B icon.
The book was written by music journalist Craig Seymour, who dug up
information about Vandross' love life, his dieting, him being behind the
wheel in a 1986 car accident that killed his best friend, feuds with
fellow R&B singers like Anita Baker, and the almost-fatal stroke that
Vandross suffered last year.
Vandross is currently in a New York City-area rehabilitation center
recovering from the stroke. His latest album, Dance With My Father,
released last summer, was the fast-selling disc of his career, sold nearly
two million copies, and earned him four Grammys.

News 2004

News 2003

News 2002

News 2001