Sunday May 23rd, 2004

 

New CD's this past week:

None to report

 

Music news stories this week:

Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole and Dionne Warwick To Tour Together.

Whitney will join Natalie Cole and Dionne Warwick on tour this summer
starting in Germany in July.
"We're going to havea great, great time," Cole told Access Hollywood
Tuesday. "It's going to be fun."
Houston is reportedly clean and sober after a 30-day stint in rehab under
the watchful eye of a chaperone.
Cole, who battled her own drug problem in the early '80s, said Houston is
doing "really great. She's a strong woman and she has a great desire to
get healthy and get well, so I'm just really happy for her."
The "Unforgettable" crooner cited their personal relationship as a reason
to do the tour.
"I said 'yes' because that's my buddy," she said. "I've always thought of
Whitney as my little sister. I've known her since she was 19, and ... I
feel really good that when they asked who she would want to be on the show
with her, she said me."
Warwick has known Houston even longer, the two are cousins. The former
Psychic Friends Network pitchwoman has also battled her own addictions,
entering rehab in 2002 as part of a pot bust plea bargain.
Together, the troubled trio could make for a successful mix, according to
Pollstar editor Garry Bongiovanni. "There's a certain 'event' status about
Natalie Cole , Whitney Houston and Dionne Warwick that may make it
successful," he said. "I think it's going to be a lot better than the
individual artists going out on their own."
He also credits Houston for putting the music before personal drama. "It's
smart for her to go out and work this summer. Whitney was a legit arena
headliner but she's been away from the scene for a while."
But it's not all smooth sailing this summer for R&B's wackiest couple,
Houston and hubby Bobby Brown . The "My Prerogative" singer has been
ordered to stand trial on domestic violence charges for allegedly roughing
up his missus last December.
Earlier this month, Brown was ordered to turn himself in for
fingerprinting July 10 or 11, at which point he'll be released on $2,000
bond. No trial date has been set.
Meanwhile, no dates have been confirmed for the Houston-Cole-Warwick tour,
nor has there been any word on whether the trio plans to take their show
to the States.

 



Anita Baker Getting Assistance From Babyface On New CD

Anita Baker is getting some songwriting and production assistance from
none other than Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. Baker, who signed to the Blue
Note label earlier this year, is expected to deliver her first album of
new material in a decade later this year.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia,
Babyface described the difference between his own recordings and the music
he writes with other artists: ["I'm kind of a person that likes to write
about being in love, loving someone or someone loving you and not
necessarily walking out on them because you found them in bed with
somebody else. That's not usually my forte. I usually write that for other
people to sing. So I'm kind of like wrestling between that in terms of an
artist today. But then at the same time, there are other people that I
work with that aren't really concerned about that."
Babyface also talked about Baker, of whom he's a big fan: "For example I'm
working with Anita Baker right now, who's working on a new record, who's
like just being totally herself. Who can be, based off the fact that she's
been gone so long, and everybody's dying to hear Anita again. And so, and
I'll just give you a small preview: She sounds amazing, she's writing some
amazing songs, and it should be special. I think she's coming out some
time this September."
In other Anita Baker news, her first-ever live recording will be released
on June 8th on Rhino Records. Anita Baker: A Night Of Rapture Live
was recorded in 1986 and includes such Baker favorites as Sweet Love",
"Caught Up In The Rapture," and "No One In The World." Also included
is the singer's version of Van Morrison's "Moondance," recorded live at the
Montreux Jazz Festival. As an added bonus, the enhanced CD features video
concert footage of "Sweet Love," "You Bring Me Joy," and "No One In The
World."

 



Pointer Sister Pleads Innocent

June Pointer Whitmore jumped to her own defense in court Friday.
The youngest Pointer Sister, who was ousted from the band four years aog
due to substance-abuse problems, pleaded innocent at an arraignment
hearing to a pair of drug charges stemming from her arrest last month in
Hollywood.
Whitmore and two other people were apparently hanging around outside of
older sister Bonnie Pointer's apartment when they had a run-in with a team
of L.A.'s finest, responding to citizen complaints.
Whitmore was taken into custody and charged with a felony count of cocaine
possession and a misdemeanor count of possessing a smoking device. She was
later released on $10,000 bail.
Sister Bonnie, also late of the Pointer Sisters since leaving to pursue a
solo career, was not charged in the case.
After forming in the 1970s, the original lineup of Ruth, Anita, June and
Bonnie were fixtures on the charts and won a Grammy for 1974's
"Fairytale." After Bonnie left, they became even more popular, scoring a
string of 1980s hits, including the million-selling cover of Bruce
Springsteen 's "Fire," as well as "Slow Hand," "He's So Shy," "I'm So
Excited" and the twin 1984 smashes, "Jump (for My Love)" and "Automatic,"
both of which earned Grammys for the trio. Their popularity waned during
the '90s, but they continued to perform and also starred in a touring
production of Ain't Misbehavin'.
Nowadays, Anita, Ruth and Ruth's daughter, Issa, comprise the Pointer
Sisters and own all rights to the name.
The trio was in Montana last month finishing a DVD, and are set to travel
to Belgium to kick off a world tour.
Meanwhile, Whitmore is due back in court June 9 for a hearing on a
possible early disposition on her drug case.
 




Jill Scott Readies Follow-Up To Debut

Jill Scott 's debut album, released four years ago, sold more than two
million copies, garnered her critical acclaim and answered the question
posed by its title: "Who Is Jill Scott?"
Now that her name is recognizable, she's ready to share some more. Her
second studio album, "Beautifully Human, Words and Sounds, Vol. 2," is set
for release on Aug. 31.
Although Scott released a live album in the interim, she told The
Associated Press that she wasn't ready to put out an album of full
material until now.
"I could have just run back in and gone into the studio, but I would have
been singing completely and totally about life on the road," the
Philadelphia native said Monday in a phone interview.
"I needed to come back home, go grocery shopping, get a cat, spend some
time with my husband ... just do everyday things."
She describes the new album as "warm, like a hug, like a first kiss, like
a kitten purring next to you. It sounds so sweet, but it really is. It's
sweet and sincere."
"Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds, Vol. 1," with its rich, soulful
grooves coupled with the neosoul diva's poetic flair, garnered instant
critical praise, though it took some time to become a wide success. But by
2001, Scott was a platinum star who had three Grammy nominations.
Scott, 32, knows there will be pressure to replicate her success. But
she's not worried or anticipating huge initial sales.
"I don't mind starting over again, not at all, I think that would be fun.
I'm not looking to jump in. I don't know what people are expecting. I'm
not looking to jump in and be Beyonce," she laughed. "I'm me."
And who is Jill Scott now? Scott got married, has been acting and started
The Blues Babe Foundation to mentor youth. But the singer says she hasn't
changed all that much.
"I guess I have grown up a little more, but it's all coming from the same
place," she said. "I still enjoy to a certain degree, I still enjoy
arguments. I'm interested in how I feel."




'Destiny Child's Kelly Rowland Engaged

Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child and Dallas Cowboys safety Roy Williams
are getting hitched, Rowland's label, Columbia Records, announced Friday.
Rowland said she and her fiance haven't set a date for the wedding.
Williams proposed in New York on Monday, in a room filled with friends
including fellow Destiny's Child singer Beyonce. The two, both 23, have
been together about six months.
Rowland won a Grammy last year for collaborating with Nelly on the hit
"Dilemma" and released a solo album, "Simply Deep," in 2002. She, Beyonce
and Michelle Williams are headed back to the studio next month to record a
new Destiny's Child album.
Williams is going into his third season with the Cowboys and made the
Pro-Bowl earlier this year. Last season he had 72 tackles, including 55
solo tackles, two sacks and two interceptions.

 



TV Show Helps Find Suspect In Florida Murder Jason Tavaras

Tips called into the "America's Most Wanted" television show helped
authorities capture a 21-year-old man who officials say killed the son of
a 1970s disco singer in South Florida nearly two years ago.
Police arrested Peter Cunningham in the Bronx on Monday, two days after
the Fox show highlighted the slaying of 23-year-old Jason Tavares, who was
fatally shot in a botched drug deal.
Tavares was the son of Antone "Chubby" Tavares, a singer in the group
Tavares, which recorded the "Saturday Night Fever" hit "More than a
Woman."
After Tavares' slaying in Lauderhill, just west of Fort Lauderdale,
Broward County sheriff's investigators tracked Cunningham to Sarasota,
where they lost his trail.
Fifteen tips came in following Saturday's show, said Kim Newport, a
spokeswoman for the program.
One woman said she recognized Cunningham and pointed detectives toward the
Bronx rooming house where he was found, said Antone Tavares, who had
appealed to the crime-fighting show for help in resolving the case.
"If I had to do it with my last breath, that guy was going to get caught,"
said Tavares, of New Bedford, Mass. "It's not going to bring back my baby,
who I love more than life itself, but it brings some closure."
Cunningham was charged with first-degree murder and will be extradited to
Florida this week, said Liz Calzadilla, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's
office.
 



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