Sunday February 15th, 2004
New CD's this past week:
- Para:Diso - Paradise II Paranoia (UK release)
Music news stories this week:
Erykah Badu Pregnant
Singer Erykah Badu, who is currently touring with Floetry, is expecting again,
according to New York's WQHT. The station reported that Badu was expecting
her second child and that the father-to-be was none other than The D.O.C.
The D.O.C. released his critically acclaimed platinum debut, No One Can Do
It Better, in 1989 but shortly thereafter the rapper suffered a near-fatal
car accident that crushed his larynx and severely damaged his voice.
The rapper re-grouped and was instrumental in the formation of Dr. Dre and
Suge Knight's Death Row Records as a ghostwriter. The D.O.C. attempted to
revive his career in 2003 with the release of his third album, Deuce.
Calls to Badu's label, Motown Records, were not returned at press time.
Badu already has a 6-year-old son, Seven, by Andre 3000 of OutKast. The
singer has also been romantically linked to Common in the past.
Janet Jackson In Revealing CD Cover Photo
Janet Jackson -- who is still catching heat for the controversy surrounding her
breast-baring stunt with Justin Timberlake during the Super Bowl halftime
show on February 1st -- appears topless on the cover of her new album,
Damita Jo. The cover shows her posed sideways, with her arms folded over
her breasts. The topless shot is nothing new for Jackson. She has posed in
revealing shots for Rolling Stone and other magazines in the past.
Damita Jo will be released on March 30th.
Diana Ross Convicted Of Driving Under The Influence
Diana Ross was convicted of DUI (driving under the influence) by a Tucson,
Arizona judge on Monday (February 9th). The former Motown star pleaded no
contest to the charge, and was sentenced to serve two days in jail, as
well as a year of unsupervised probation.
Two other charges related to the 59-year-old singer's December 2002 arrest
were dropped. Her lawyer, Stephen Paul Barnard, said in a statement that
Ross was, quote, "very pleased to have this behind her. She was willing to
accept a plea along these lines a long time ago." According to the
sentence, Ross must serve her jail-time before March 9th, though she will
be allowed to do so at a prison near her Los Angeles home. Ross did not
appear before Tucson City Court Magistrate T. Jay Cranshaw, but
teleconferenced her plea into the courtroom from New York.
On December 30th, 2002, Ross was arrested outside Tucson, after a driver
alerted police officers that a car was traveling southbound in the
northbound lanes, outside the city limits. Ross was pulled over and given
a breath test, which showed her to have a blood alcohol concentration of
0.20 percent, more than twice Arizona's legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Hiriam Hicks Aligns With Aezra Records & Crea
For its first major venture into the world of urban music—with the
multi-talented R&B singer-songwriter Crea—Phoenix, Arizona-based Aezra
Records has inked a deal with Hiriam Hicks, CEO and founder of the Artist
Factory, his newly formed, Atlanta-based artist development enterprise.
Crea's first radio single, "U Lied," from her completely self-composed
debut album Mystory, slated for an early first quarter release in 2004, is
already gaining a strong street buzz. An inspired singer and guitarist as
well, Crea turns in thirteen seductive tracks that are as real as they
come - "equal parts soul and creation," she says. With a
throaty-yet-feminine delivery on Mystory, Crea brings clarity and drama to
her autobiographical musical trip through life's experiences. Both fully
evolved neo-soul and home-grown rhythm-and-blues, her music is sincere,
therapeutic and revealing. "Crea is not what you would call a 'blower,'"
says her manager, Sa-Ra, who handled the bulk of the production for the
album. "The way she sings and facts that she writes about is authentic."
Prior to launching the Artist Factory in May 2003, Hicks was best known as
the groundbreaking President of Island's Black Music division who helped
engineer the entity from scratch into a $28 million business its first
year. He has also has guided the careers of some of the most prominent and
award-winning stars in the industry, including Kelly Price, Dru Hill,
Steve Harvey, The Isley Brothers, TLC, Keith Sweat, Bell, Biv, Devoe,
Bishop T.D. Jakes and Karen Clark-Sheard, among others.
Tamia Returns With 'More'
R&B artist Tamia will release her next album, "More," April 6 via Elektra.
The album has been retitled from "Still," which was originally scheduled
for release in August 2003. It's the follow-up to 2000's "A Nu Day," which
has sold 668,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Guests on "More" include Fabolous on "Into You," Gerald Levert on "(They
Long To Be) Close to You" and Mario Winans on "Mr. Cool." A host of
heavyweight producers also lent a hand, including Jermaine Dupri, 7
Aurelius, Track Masters and Warryn Campbell. R. Kelly produced the single
"Questions," which debuted last week at No. 24 on Billboard's Bubbling
Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart. A video for the track was recently shot
by Darren Grant (Jewel, Craig David).
"I don't want to be on the trend of 'What's the hottest thing now?'" Tamia
told Billboard last summer. "I want to have a career like Luther Vandross,
where 10 years from now people can hear one of my songs and remember
exactly what they were doing and who they were seeing when they first
Tamia will also join labelmate Missy Elliott, Beyoncé and Alicia Keys on
the Verizon Ladies First tour, which kicks off March 12 in Ft. Lauderdale,
Fla. and wraps April 18 in Oakland, Calif.
5 Grammy's For Beyoncé, 4 For Luther Vandross
Beyoncé tied the record for most Grammys ever by a female artist with
five. The Destiny's Child frontwoman won best R&B song and best rap/sung
collaboration for "Crazy in Love" (shared with Jay-Z), best female R&B
performance for "Dangerously in Love," best R&B performance by a duo or
group with vocals for "The Closer I Get To You" (a duet with Luther
Vandross) and best contemporary R&B album for "Dangerously in Love."
Beyond the aforementioned Grammy for his duet with Beyoncé, Vandross, who
is recovering from a massive stroke, won best song, best R&B album and
best male R&B performance for "Dance With My Father." In a videotaped
message, he said, "Remember, when I say goodbye it's never for long,"
before breaking into song: "I believe in the power of love."
Jackson Jackson was a no-show. According to CBS News, she and Timberlake
were told they could only appear on the telecast if they apologized on