Sunday September 12th, 2004
New CD's this past week:
- Anita Baker - My everything
Music news stories this week:
Destiny's Child "Destiny Fulfilled" In Stores November 16th
Destiny's Child will release their first new album in three years, Destiny
Fulfilled, on November 16th. The first single from the album is "Lose My
Breath" which was produced by Rodney Jerkins. Billboard.com reports that
the set will be formatted as a CD/DVD using flipside technology. Audio
tracks will be featured on one side and a DVD on the other.
Destiny's Child will be performing material from the new album on ABC's
Play For A Billion on Sunday night September 12th (check your local
listings for time and channel).
The group has already mapped out their plans for the next couple of years.
Michelle Williams will release her new gospel set later this year and
Kelly Rowland will release her sophomore solo album early next year. The
group will launch a world tour in April of 2005. Beyonce Knowles will be
squeezing in film roles in 2005 and 2006 before the group collectively
takes 2007 off. Another Destiny's Child album is slated for 2008.
In related news, Beyonce and her mother, Tina Knowles, have unveiled their
new fashion line, which will be called The House Of Dereon after Beyonce's
grandmother, Agnes Dereon. It will be in stores for fall 2005.
Beyonce said in a released statement, "To me, this is the greatest way to
enter into the fashion world. Inspired by my grandmother, working with my
mother and pursuing a dream we have all had for many years -- establishing
an important fashion company."
Jam & Lewis Sell Off Minnesota Recording Studio
Grammy-winning pop producers Jimmy "Jam" Harris and Terry Lewis have sold
their Edina , Minnesota recording studio for $2.3 million to a local real
estate developer, according to the AP.
The Flyte Tyme Studio, officially opened in 1989, was where the duo
recorded most of their chart-topping hits for Janet Jackson, including
Rhythm Nation, .janet, Velvet Rope, and her most recent set, Damita Jo.
Others who soaked up the Jam & Lewis magic at the 18,000-square-foot,
state-of-the-art facility include Mary J. Blige, New Edition, Ralph
Tresvant, Johnny Gill, Mariah Carey, Heather Headley, and others. The Jam
& Lewis team are credited with producing more Number One hits than anyone
except Beatles producer George Martin.
According to the production duo's lawyer, Brian Fogelberg, the five-studio
building was on the market since the first part of the year. The sale
closed September 1st when the facility was purchased by Twin Cities real
estate developer Karl Bohn. It is expected that Bohn will continue to use
the building for music production.
Minneapolis natives Jam & Lewis moved their entire songwriting and
production business to Los Angeles over the past year, and the studio sale
was the final step in the tranfer. Jam explained that Lewis made the move
first and convinced him to leave the cold weather behind, though Jam was
worried he wouldn't be as creative, as he said: "Terry, he came out about
a year and a half ago. And we were kinda running things from both sides,
he was doing things in L.A. , I was doing things in Minneapolis . And he
called me, he's got bad knees, he's got those knees that tell the weather,
and he said, 'You know, you need to come out.' And so we'd always had a
second house out here anyway, and we spent last summer out here. And my
biggest thing was: Could I be creative out here? You know, that was the
thing: Could I write a song out here? And the bulk of the stuff we ended
up doing on the Usher album we did during that stretch out here, and I
felt like OK, I'm OK."
Ray Charles' "Genius" Bows At Number Two
The very last album recorded by the late Ray Charles, Genius Loves
Company, has debuted at Number Two on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart
this week. The duets package -- which features such singers as Elton John,
Norah Jones, Bonnie Raitt, and James Taylor vocalizing with the man known
as the Genius Of Soul -- sold more than 220,000 copies in its first week,
according to Nielsen SoundScan figures.
Reps for Charles' label, Concord Records, confirm that one million copies
of Genius Loves Company were shipped worldwide in anticipation of strong
John Burk, executive VP of Concord and producer of the album, was the man
who convinced Charles to sign with the label and record a duets project.
While he admits that many veteran artists have done all-star duets sets
late in their careers, he said that he thought it was a perfect project
for the influential Charles: "It's been done enough to where my only
hesitation about it was that it's not a very original concept, that it's
done often. But I thought that in Ray's case, because of his unique
ability to influence singers and to break down the genre barriers, I
thought for him it was perfect, you know. I don't know that for every
artist it's necessarily the right thing to do but in his case, I think so”.
According to Billboard, the new album is the first Top Ten studio album
for Charles in more than 40 years. His last chart outing was in 1993, when
My World peaked at No. 145 on the pop chart and sold a total of 198,000
copies. A retrospective compilation, 2000's The Very Best of Ray Charles,
sold 242,000 copies.
Ray Charles died June 10th of complications from liver disease. His life
story is being brought to the screen in the film Ray, which opens October
Jill Scott's New Album Lands At Number One On R&B Albums Chart
Jill Scott's brand-new album, Beautifully Human: Words & Sounds Volume 2.,
which was released on August 31st, has landed in the Number One position
on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart in its first week on the
chart. In addition, the Philadelphia singer/songwriter made a strong pop
showing as well, ranking at Number Three on the Billboard Top 200.
Scott's 15-track Beautifully Human comes four years after her
Grammy-nominated debut set, Who Is Jill Scott?: Words & Sounds Volume 1.
This time out, tunes like "Whatever" and "I Need You" focus on love, while
the current single, "Golden," is a self-esteem anthem. The set has
garnered rave reviews from numerous media outlets.
This past August, Scott completed a nine-city Buzz Tour, which introduced
much of the new music to fans ahead of the album's release. On August
31st, Scott personally delivered her new album to hometown fans at a local
Tower Records outlet in Philadelphia , where it broke a record for one-day
sales at the store.
Scott's music reflects what's going on in her life, and she hopes that
fans will be able to incorporate her music into their lives in a positive
way. "As you all understand, there is career and there is life, and I'm
hoping that the music that I offer you is incorporated into your
life--that it's your everyday music, that it's your wake up and brush your
teeth music, it's your driving the car from one destination to the
next...You know, I hope that that's what this is for you."
Scott will make several television appearances in the coming weeks. The
singer is due on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on September 14th; Jimmy Kimmel
Live, also on September 14th; Tavis Smiley Late Night On PBS on September
15th; and The View on October 12th, among others.
In addition, Scott's first book of poetry is due. Titled The Minutes, The
Moments, The Hours, the book will be published by St. Martin 's Press
later this fall.