Sunday June 27th, 2004
New CD's this past week:
- Trina Broussard – Same girl
- Sweetback – Stage 2
- Morris Day – It’s about time
Music news stories this week:
TLC Looking To Replace Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes
Some two years after the death of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, the surviving
members of TLC are moving on — by putting together a reality show to find
Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas are signing on the
dotted line this week with FOX Television Studios, sources familiar with
the deal say, for a show that would document their search for a new member
to join them for recordings and possibly a televised concert. The show
does not yet have a network commitment nor a premiere date. Details are
expected next week.
Following Lopes' passing, T-Boz and Chilli completed the fourth TLC album,
3D, without her, but made sure to pay tribute to their friend by using her
previously recorded vocals in five of the songs. They also incorporated a
few Left Eye-inspired images, such as the painted black mark under the eye
as well as her name on clothes and clubs, in their videos for "Girl Talk"
and "Hands Up."
The group played what was to be its farewell concert — despite shouting
out that "TLC is forever" on the 3D song "Dirty Dirty" — seven months
after the album's release (see "TLC Say Goodbye, Beleaguered Ja Rule Basks
In Limelight At Zootopia Show").
"We take it video by video and project by project," T-Boz told MTV News at
the time. "Lisa isn't here — that's reality. It's not easy to come up with
how to incorporate her."
More Duets For Usher As Beyonce, Brandy Grab The Mic
Just two weeks after Jermaine Dupri said Usher and Alicia Keys' "My Boo"
duet would be another smash in their platinum catalog, not only has that
record surfaced, but so have a couple of other songs on which Usher teams
with Beyoncé and Brandy.
Usher starts off the mid-tempo "My Boo" by singing, "It is always that one
person who will always have your heart/ You never see it coming because
you're blinded from the start/ ... I know you're that one for me/ It's
clear for everyone to see."
Keys comes in, rapping, "I don't know about y'all, but I know about us/
And, uh, this the only way we know how to rock."
True to Dupri's description (see "Usher, Alicia Keys Record Duet"), the
two talk about how they used to be in love and how those feelings are
still lingering despite the two not being involved anymore.
"It started when we were younger, you were mine, my boo," Usher sings on
the chorus. "Now another brother's taken over." Then on Keys' verse, she
tells Usher, "After we kissed, I could only think about your lips."
The New York Grammy winner isn't the only fly girl Usher has feelings for
on wax, though. Another version of "My Boo" has popped up, with Beyoncé
singing Keys' part.
Usher and Brandy aren't getting along as famously on "Who Is She 2 U." The
version fans will hear on Brandy's upcoming Afrodisiac (see "Brandy Album
Preview: Singer Opens Up On Afrodisiac — Or Does She?") has the female
singer going it alone over the Timbaland-produced track, but on the
original incarnation of the song, she's busting Usher's chops.
"Don't even think about calling me crazy, you know you've seen that lady,"
Brandy sings. "You tried to play it off, but I could tell that you two
were friends/ You were just too nervous, she was looking like she was
hurt/ But the memory has surfaced."
"Who is she to me? Nobody, babe," Usher sings, defending himself. "Who is
she to me? No need to explain/ I don't know why homegirl keeps on lying on
everything I'm denying/ ... Don't be paying that broad no attention,
'cause you're the one I'm with."
The last new Usher record starting to get play below radar is a remix of
"Confessions, Pt. 2" featuring all new rhymes from Kanye West, Twista and
Shyne. West has been tapped to open for Usher on tour, beginning August 5
in Hampton, Virginia. Usher's itinerary currently runs through an October
7 show in Hartford, Connecticut, but the singer's management said more
dates may be added.
The singer's rep also said the aforementioned Usher tracks may or may not
be officially released. It's unclear what the plan for those records are
because Usher is still on tour overseas. As for a possible expanded
reissue of Confessions, Usher's management said no decision had been made
Mariah Carey Getting Back to Famous High Notes
The past few years been a roller coaster ride for Mariah Carey, who has
sold more 150 million albums worldwide since her 1990 debut.
In 2001-02, her film "Glitter" flopped, she had a nervous breakdown, and
Virgin Records dropped her. Yet, she received critical acclaim for her
role in the indie film "Wisegirls."
Only six months after she left Virgin, Island Records signed her to a
multialbum deal and gave Carey her own label, MonarC. While her first
album under the Island deal, "Charmbracelet," wasn't the smash many hoped
it would be, it did sell more than 1 million copies in the United States,
and her 2003 tour in support of the record grossed $6 million-plus.
Now she has re-signed with Creative Artists Agency, where Rob Light, the
talent powerhouse's managing partner and head of music, asks the important
question, "How do you take Mariah Carey, arguably the most successful
female singer in history, and reinvent her for the next stage of her
career while staying true to exactly who she is?"
Light, and Carey's manager, Benny Medina, are planning a multipronged
approach to remaking her into a multimedia star.
Carey is in the process of writing an illustrated children's book about a
biracial orphan girl, which Light says could be turned into an animated
"The children's (project) is a very natural step," Light says. "It's
something she's worked on without the help of ghostwriters. She has a
whole idea based on her biracial heritage; she thinks there is a huge
While Carey is best known for her seven-octave range, she also has penned
15 No. 1 singles. Light says CAA will be looking to utilize her
songwriting talent to possibly write for other artists, as well as for
jingles, commercials and television.
Carey also is looking at theater opportunities. She is set to star in "The
Prince and the Showgirl" early next year in London's West End, and Medina
says Andrew Lloyd Webber's office has expressed interest in working with
Carey on Broadway.
Says Light: "For everything she's done to this point -- she's been
credited as being an incredible vocalist -- but everything else, from
acting to songwriting, kind of gets pushed down. Our goal is to just take
the lid off that talent and let people know who she is."
Carey's next album, her first with new Island Def Jam chief Antonio "L.A."
Reid, is due out this year. Medina says the record will "hit all the
marks," from her signature ballads to R&B crossover songs and high-energy
dance tracks. She's been working with such A-list producers as Kanye West,
Swizz Beats and R. Kelly.
"She's an interesting iconic phenomenon," Light says. "Every time a record
comes out, it feels as relevant today as when her first record came out.
Very few artists can do that."
Of course, Carey is likely to tour again after the album's release. "She
really enjoyed the last touring experience," Light says. "She really felt
she put on a show that was her and connected with the audience. We're
looking at the big picture. I think touring will be a part of it”.