Sunday March 14th, 2004
New CD's this past week:
None to report
Music news stories this week:
Kanye Produces Brandy Single
Besides shipping 1 million units of his own project, West now has even
more reason to poke his chest out in pride. He's just finished the
production on "Talk About Our Love," the first single from Brandy's
as-yet-untitled upcoming LP.
Atlantic Records isn't divulging much information on the record, except to
note that West raps on the song and that it will hit the radio around the
first week of April. Besides West, Brandy has also worked with producers
Timbaland and Walter Millsap on her album.
Meanwhile, Kanye is keeping busy with his other peers. "I Want You," a
record he produced for Janet Jackson, has hit the radio. The "Louis
Vuitton Don" is also in the midst of trying to solidify a label home for
his imprint, Very Good Music. His stable of artists will include Common,
GLC, Consequence and John Legend, all of whom appear on The College
Usher Hoping To Keep Winning Streak Alive
R&B singer Usher will release his new album, Confessions, on March 23rd.
The singer is hoping the set will surpass the six million sales mark like
his last two offerings: 1997's My Way and 2001's 8701.
Usher explained that selling six million records back to back was one of
his greatest personal accomplishments. He said: "The greatest achievement
over the last decade? One that I can say is very great is the fact that I
sold six million albums consecutively for the last two albums and gonna
sell more on this album. I'm optimistic and also I'm able to speak it
before it happens. That's a trait you learn as a Christian."
The lead single from Confessions, "Yeah!" featuring Lil' Jon and Ludacris,
is enjoying its fourth week at Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 singles
chart. The singer recently released the second single, "Burn."
Confessions features production by Jermaine Dupri, the Neptunes, Babyface,
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Rich Harrison, Vidal & Dre, Robin Thicke, and R.
Florida Judge Rules R. Kenny Photographs Inadmissible
R. Kelly has scored another legal victory. Last Thursday, March 14th, a
Florida judge threw out the evidence that had been the basis for
child-pornography charges filed 14 months ago against Kelly by authorities
in Polk County, Florida. Florida Circuit Judge Dennis Maloney ruled that
the evidence against the R&B singer--photographs that allegedly showed
Kelly having sex with an underage girl -- had been illegally obtained by
Polk County sheriff's detectives and were therefore inadmissible in court.
The photographs were found on a digital camera that was wrapped in a towel
and stuffed inside a duffel bag.
"I've always had faith in our system of justice, and I do believe justice
was done here today," Kelly said in a statement. "As I've said before, I
am confident that when all the facts are brought out, people will see that
I'm no criminal." Kelly, who was at home in Chicago when the Florida judge
issued his ruling, got news of the legal victory in a telephone call from
Prosecutors have the right to appeal the ruling, but it's very likely that
the judge's decision will end the case against Kelly in Florida .
Two weeks ago, prosecutors in Cook County , Illinois , dropped seven of
the 21 child-pornography charges they filed against the singer nearly two
Motions filed by Kelly's attorneys seeking dismissal of the remaining
Illinois charges are still pending before the Cook County Circuit Court.
Kelly still faces 14 counts of child pornography charges in Chicago and
has pleaded innocent.
Beyoncé, Missy & Alicia's 'Ladies First Tour' Kicking Off
The Verizon Ladies First Tour 2004 starring Beyonce, Alicia Keys, and
Missy Elliott, kicked off last Friday, March 12th, at the Office Depot
Center in Fort Lauderdale. When the trio came together at a press
conference to announce the outing, Alicia Keys said that the tour will be
both a powerful and a positive experience: "You know it just feels really
good, and as you see we're all here together with positive energy and
that's the feeling that you're gonna get on this tour. I feel like there
is no competition and there is no competitiveness because there is no
comparison. We all stand alone, and we all are individuals, and when we
come together it's just going to be a force that will not be denied."
This marks Alicia Keys's first major U.S. tour since the release of her
album, Songs In A Minor. Beyonce is touring the U.S. for the first time as
a solo artist in support of her multi-platinum debut album, Dangerously In
Love, and Elliott is out in support of her latest release, This Is Not A
Special guest Tamia joins the tour on the heels of her chart-topping hit,
"Officially Missing You," and the smash R&B hit single, "Into You" with
Fabulous. Her new album, More, will be released on April 6th.