Sunday March 28th, 2004


New CD's this past week:

- Usher – Confessions
- Carl Thomas – Let’s talk about it


Music news stories this week:

Solange Knowles Pregnant?

Singer and actress Solange Knowles, who married Daniel Smith, a college
football player from her native Houston in the Bahamas last month, may be
pregnant. The New York Daily News reports that when Knowles was asked if
she was pregnant during a recent press stop for her new movie, Johnson
Family Vacation, the singer didn't deny it but refused to answer the
Knowles said, "You know what, I don't talk about my marriage and I don't
talk about my family. That's one thing that we all sat down and discussed
-- I know everyone has tried to get the Jay-Z question out of my sister
(Beyonce) but what's part of my family is part of our family."
The singer added, "As much as people try to find negative things, God is
my only judge and that's the only person I have to stand before at the end
of the day. He can give me strength to make it through."
Citing an inside source, the paper said that Solange's manager dad, Mathew
Knowles, has been trying to hide his 17-year-old daughter's pregnancy
until after the release of her new movie, Johnson Family Vacation, which
opens on April 7th. The film also stars Bow Wow, Cedric The Entertainer,
and Vanessa L. Williams.

Bobby Brown Jailed (Again) For Failure To Pay Child Support

Bobby Brown obviously wasn't channeling the future when he told reporters
earlier this week, "This is the last time you'll see me coming out of
[jail] or going in."
The 35-year-old R&B singer headed back to jail Wednesday (March 24) — this
time in Massachusetts' Norfolk County — pending payment of $63,000 in back
child support to ex-girlfriend Kim Ward.
Brown was released from Georgia's DeKalb County Jail, where he was serving
another sentence, to face contempt-of-court charges levied by Ward . Ward
is the mother of two children — LaPrincia, 14, and Bobby Jr., 12,
according to the Boston Herald — Bobby fathered before marrying Whitney
Brown had been under a court order to pay $5,500 a month to Ward and had
complied since the case was adjudicated in the early '90s, according to
Norfolk County Register of Probate Patrick McDermott, until last May, when
the payments stopped. Brown was in the midst of serving a 60-day sentence
in DeKalb County for violating his drunken-driving probation (see "Bobby
Brown Sentenced To 60 Days For Probation Violation") when he was released
to attend Wednesday's mandatory child-support hearing.
"It was an emergency based upon the fact that the family of Mr. Brown's
ex-girlfriend was without any income," McDermott said, "and his basically
not having paid since last May has made their financial situation grave,
to the tune that they may lose their home."
Brown was originally scheduled to go free Thursday, after completing about
half his jail time, for good behavior. This was the second time he'd been
summoned to appear in Norfolk County on the child-support matter, and his
previous failure to do so led Judge Paula Carey to sentence him to jail
time, lest he disappear again.
Carey also chastised Brown on his tardiness. Initially scheduled to appear
at 8:30 a.m., Brown did not arrive until 12:45 p.m. His hearing was pushed
to 2 p.m., an unusual same-day rescheduling that was another result of the
court's fears that Brown could not be trusted to make a third court date.
Meanwhile, Houston, who has been famously supportive of her husband — even
after he was charged with misdemeanor battery for allegedly hitting her in
December — did not show up to stand by her man. The 40-year-old diva
checked herself into a drug-rehab facility on March 15.
Brown will continue his courtroom tour on May 5, when a Fulton County,
Georgia, judge is scheduled to rule on the battery charge.

Usher Says He's Not A Baby's Daddy

Is Usher the Orson Welles of R&B?
Many moons ago, the legendary actor/director got on the radio with the
fictional work "War of the Worlds" and had half his listeners thinking
Earth was being invaded by aliens. Now Usher has sung the title track of
his latest LP, Confess
ions, with so much fervor, word going around the
rumor mill is that he's actually a baby's daddy.
Newspaper gossip columns are reporting that the love child is the reason
TLC's Chilli left Usher, fans have been calling in to radio stations
taking sides, and you can guess what they're saying in Internet chat
On Tuesday afternoon, after a rehearsal for "TRL," Usher said he never
anticipated people would be talking this much about the record. But there
is one thing that has been lost in the sauce of the chatter: He's nobody's
"The rumors started shortly after we did a few listening parties [for my
album]," Usher said in the "TRL" studios. "The word kinda got out that I
had a baby. I did a song, 'Confessions Part II', about a gentleman, a cat
that has to confess to his girl that he's got a baby and he hopes she
gives him another chance. But I don't have a child [in real life]."
It's easy to see how people could've gotten confused. The singer told MTV
News in December: "It wasn't a specific situation that happened in my life
right now. In other words, I wasn't in a relationship and got another girl
pregnant — right now. But it is something I can relate to and it's
something that has happened to me in the past. As I said, I have a few
deep, dark ones that I've kept stowed away in a closet for a minute".
Usher now says he was inspired to write the record by seeing his friends
go through similar situations.
"I can't say it happened to me in my most recent relationship," he added.
"I have experienced situations like that that have allowed me to pull from
my own experience to write the record with Jermaine [Dupri]. But it's just
something that I collectively got energy from everybody around me that had
been through it."
Still, Usher's real talk caught his longtime friend and collaborator Dupri
off guard while they were making the song.
"At first JD was kinda shocked, like, 'Really?' " Usher remembered. "I
said, 'Yeah, man, I think that's hot. I think that's hot for us to give
something to the fellas.' I always have stuff for the ladies, but this is
something that the men. I think they're gonna understand. Especially if
they went through it or are going through it. Furthermore, it's great
Mr. Entertainment has his sights on having the world talk about more of
his music before all is said and done. Outside of working his own album,
Usher wants to do more with Beyoncé.
"Beyoncé and me have been talking about doing a record together," he
explained about dancing in B's "Naughty Girl" video. "She reached out to
me and said she had an idea and really wanted me to be the lead in her
video," the slim singer continued.
"I was like, 'Well let me hear the idea.' It sounded like something
totally different than what had been on TV. It kind of paid homage to the
past ultimate entertainers: dancers, singers, actors. I felt it opened
interest for us to do a movie together or something. We will work together
in the future. I think it will be magic. I think it will be the biggest
sh-- to ever happen in R&B and pop. F--- pop, I think it will be the
biggest thing to happen in music."

Ginuwine Turning Early Days With Missy, Timbaland Into Film

Up till now we've just seen Missy Elliott and her good friend Ginuwine in
bit parts or cameos on the big screen. Now the opportunity may have come
for them to expand their screen time and bring along other members of
their clique.
"I'm working on a movie called 'The Basement' about me, Missy and
Timbaland and what all of us went through," Ginuwine said of a film he's
spearheading that centers around him and his crew when they were starving
artists in the early '90s. He hasn't yet talked to his friends about
starring as themselves in the film.
Even if they shy away from the project, though, he said, "I do want to get
their OK to use certain things and portray them in certain ways. It's
definitely going to be us involved in it. I definitely want to be in it
also. Hopefully that will work. I'm trying to work on it as we speak."
He said he's already had a lot of interest from movie studios. "The people
who want to do it are anxious to get it started. They've got writers and
everything ready right now," he said. "Say we do it in June or July or
something like that — which is pushing it — it will probably come out
January, February or March."
Even if Ginuwine isn't able to hook up with Timbaland for their Hollywood
biopic, he still wants some beats from the Virginia producer. The cut-up
crooner is getting ready to start his next solo LP, which he'll either
title Back to the Basics or The Sixth Man.
"Oh yeah, we working on that, either in a month or two," the pop-locking
singer said. "We gotta get things straight at the label. I gotta feel like
I'm being done right, they gotta feel like they're being done right. It's
a little negotiation thing going on right now. Nothing that we can't
handle as business people. Hopefully everything will get resolved and
everything moves forward. Hopefully I'll come out by Christmas."
Besides his solo joint, Ginuwine is still very much committed to recording
a duet album with LL Cool J.
"Right now I'm trying to dig in the crates, and it's gotta have a plot
because The Best of Both Worlds, they already said that. I gotta make
something else up [for the title]. It's gotta make sense for LL and
myself. I gotta pretty much go with a lot of what LL wants because I came
to him with it. He's been in the business way longer than I have. I just
want to make sure everything's right for him as well as for me. Once I'm
done [coming up with a title], I'm bringing [LL] at least half the tracks
and hooks so he can just take that album and do whatever he's gotta do
with it. I'll leave the spaces so he can just add in."

Beyonce Knowles Has Warm Reunion With Ex-Destiny’s Child Member

A bit of Destiny's Child's ruffled past was recently smoothed over,
according to Beyonce Knowles. She said she had a chance meeting with
original member LeToya Luckett -- who was fired from the group in 2000 --
at a Houston restaurant, and that the two had a friendly encounter: "We've
all grown up so much, and it's wonderful to see someone you hadn't seen in
so long. And we, we did hug, and it was like seeing an old sister, you
know, that you hadn't seen in a long time. So it's great, and I'm happy
for her that she's doing well, and we each are on a different chapter in
our lives, and it was good to see her and know that there are nothing but
positive feelings for each other."]
Luckett wasn't feeling so positive when she and LaTavia Roberson were
dismissed by Destiny's Child founder and manager Matthew Knowles, who is
Beyonce's father. The two were booted after they turned 18 and informed
Knowles they were terminating their management contract with him. They
sued him in March 2000, after their dismissal, and the case was settled
out of court.
Luckett and Roberson went on to form the group Angel.
The two were replaced in Destiny's Child by Michelle Williams and Farrah
Franklin. Franklin was dismissed five months later.


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