Sunday April 17th, 2005


New CD's this past week:

- Mariah Carey – The emancipation of Mimi

Music news headlines this week:

D'Angelo Pleads Guilty To Drug Possession

Michael Eugene Archer, better known as R&B star D'Angelo, has pleaded
guilty to possession of marijuana and driving under the influence of
alcohol after a January traffic stop.
Archer, 31, a Richmond, Va., native, waived his preliminary hearing on a
third charge of possession of cocaine, a felony. A Chesterfield General
District Court judge certified that charge to a Chesterfield Circuit Court
grand jury.
The artist was fined $250 yesterday (April 13) and given a 90-day
suspended jail term on the DUI conviction. Archer's driver's license was
suspended for one year. On the marijuana charge, Archer was fined $50 and
given a 10-day suspended jail term. His driver's license was suspended for
an additional six months.
In an unusual legal maneuver, authorities said Archer appealed both the
marijuana and DUI convictions to Chesterfield Circuit Court.
Archer was pulled over on Jan. 9 in suburban Richmond, where he was
charged with driving under the influence. Authorities said a subsequent
search yielded marijuana and .029 grams of cocaine.


Charlie Wilson Of The Gap Band To Release Solo album

Gap Band frontman Charlie Wilson is currently working on his debut album,
Charlie, Last Name Wilson, which will be released on July 12th.
reports that the set will be executive produced by R. Kelly and will
feature the production of Will.I.Am, Scott Storch, Dr. Dre, and Justin
Wilson and Timberlake are currently featured on Snoop Dogg's latest single
and video, "Signs."
The Gap Band was formed in 1967 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and consisted of
brothers Ronnie, Robert, and Charlie Wilson. The group released several
hits including: "Burn Rubber," "Outstanding," "Shake," and "You Dropped A
Bomb On Me."


Mariah Carey Says She’s Moved Past her Troubled Times

Mariah Carey had a busy week promoting her new CD, The Emancipation of
Mimi, which was released on Tuesday. She's spent a lot of time in
interviews, but is finding that she's still getting a ton of questions
about a low point in her career that happened in 2001. Mariah tells the
Associated Press, "I feel like that's over and anybody that deals with
that is kind of like living in 'four-years-ago land.'" The singer says the
time period where two breakdowns and the disastrous movie debut in Glitter
occurred were a "blip of a moment in my career." That career, she says,
"has spanned almost half of my life."
Industry insiders are predicting that The Emancipation of Mimi will see
strong sales in its first week of release, and the album is selling well
online, where it's ranked at Number Seven on The first single
from the album, "It's Like That," was the highest-charting debut single
Mariah has had in five years.
Despite the fact that the album is being touted as "The Return of the
Voice," Mariah says she is beyond needing to prove herself. She says,
", I don't feel like I have to prove anything on this record. I'm
just thankful for the record. I'm in a really good place right now in my
life, and I'm grateful to God for everything that I have."


Beyonce Knowles Tests For Starring Role In Movie Musical

Beyonce Knowles may be destined for the silver screen again, this time
with a leading role in the film version of the Broadway musical
Dreamgirls. Variety reports that Beyonce recently met with
screenwriter/director Bill Condon and producer Laurence Mark to test for
the role of Deena Jones, a '60s girl group singer who many say is loosely
based on Motown legend Diana Ross. Condon -- who wrote the screenplay for
the adaptation of the Broadway musical Chicago -- hopes to start filming
Dreamgirls in Los Angeles this fall.
In other Beyonce film news, the release date for her film The Pink Panther
starring Steve Martin has been moved to the summer once again. According
to Variety, the original release date was July 22nd, but the movie studio
changed it to September 23rd. The movie will now open on August 5th, the
same weekend as fellow singer-turned-actress Jessica Simpson's big screen
debut in The Dukes of Hazzard.
Beyonce is back with Destiny's Child for a concert tour in support of
their triple platinum album Destiny Fulfilled. The trio will perform in
Japan this week, and then move on to concerts in Australia and Dubai
before beginning the European leg of the tour, which runs May 14th through
June 11th.
During the tour, the trio and their backup dancers will wear clothes
designed by Beyonce's mom Tina and the design team at their label The
House of Dereon. The label will provide 60 original ensemble costumes for
Destiny's Child and 36 outfits designed for the backup dancers. In a
statement released yesterday (April 11th), Beyonce said "Performing is not
only about sharing my musical passions, but it's also about expressing my
individuality. By having Destiny's Child wearing House of Dereon on the
tour, I am able to express my creativity and love of music and fashion."
Destiny's Child currently has two singles on the Billboard Hot 100 singles
chart this week. "Soldier" featuring T.I. and Lil Wayne is at Number 36,
while the group's new single, "Girl," is at Number 58.


Mary J. Blige's Producers Spill The 411 On Her Next LP

Santana, Jay-Z, Ja Rule and even Cassidy are all hailing the queen.
As Mary J. Blige continues to work on her new LP, she's keeping a high
profile with guest appearances and a freestyle. She's on the remix of
Cassidy's "I'm a Hustla" that
came out last week, and a previously unreleased Mary and Ja Rule duet
called "Streets Done Raised Me" has surfaced on radio and mixtapes.
"These streets done raised me, baby/ Oh, this world done changed me," she
sings on the hook, while Ja laments his turmoil. Later Mary gets her own
verse, singing, "I used to say a prayer for you daily/ But praying for you
just ain't helping you lately/ Baby, baby, I shed my tears/ But I'm not
gonna cry no more, you crazy?"
Mary has a song of her own that's just started getting spins as well. MJB
took over the beat for the Game's "Hate It or Love It" and laced it with
her own lyrics, recollecting her life and career. "Go 'head and envy me,
I'm the soul hip-hop queen/ And I ain't going nowhere, but you already
know me," she sings.
The only place it seems like Mary is going to is the studio. Her label
hasn't released the title or due date for her next LP, but it's expected
in stores this year. Blige just laid tracks with two high-profile
production teams, Cool & Dre ("So Much More," "Hate It or Love It") and
Dre & Vidal ("Caught Up," "Oh").
"We produced one and co-wrote another one with her," Cool said of the
collaboration. "People always ask us who we want to work with, and I
always say Mary. We finally got that chance and it was great. We was like,
'The queen wants to mess with Cool & Dre? Let's do it ASAP.' "
The pair flew out to Los Angeles and cut records with Mary in a studio
that Marvin Gaye owned.
"You can feel Marvin in there, just chilling," Cool said. "It's like a
regular studio, but it has a vibe. The vocal booth has all his old
keyboards and amps. You can see all the sh-- he worked on. She was
knocking out songs left and right. We did this record called 'People.' Her
and Sean Garrett wrote the record. It's crazy. It's the 411 formula we
gave her. It's about relationships with people. It's basically 'Don't be
mad if the people let you down. Don't be mad if they don't come through,
because they're just people at the end of the day.' It's got the crazy
bridge. At the end, we had to tell her, 'Mary, you've got to throw in that
la-di-da-di-da.' And that made that sh-- a classic."
Dre & Vidal also have what they think has the potential to not only be a
timeless Mary joint, but the first single from her album. Their record is
another song where Mary teams up with Jay-Z.
"It's an up-tempo club record with energy," Andre Harris said. "It's
called 'Can't Hide From Love.' It's the jump-off record. Mary's coming
back, letting the person know 'You can't hide from love. I'm chasing you.
Don't hide from it.' It's hot, it's a burner."
Dre & Vidal say that while they got Mary to party, she also brought the
drama, especially on one of the two ballads they crafted with her.
"She's giving you some pain, she's giving you a lot of conviction on the
ballads," Vidal Davis explained. "One song she couldn't take it. The whole
song, the whole session, she just cried the whole time. It was incredible
how it came out. Mary still has the work ethic of a new artist. I've seen
Mary cut two songs in one day. At this point in the game, normally artists
who've been out for a while don't have that drive."
Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Swizz Beatz, Rodney Jerkins, the Neptunes, Jimmy Jam
and Terry Lewis, and Raphael Saadiq are also said to have contributed to
the 27 songs she's recorded. Mary is also on Will Smith's new album, Lost
and Found, via "Tell Me Why," and she's going to pop up on Jaime Foxx's LP
on a duet called "Love Changes”. That song was originally performed by
Kashif. Blige will also be a featured guest on Santana's next LP. She
sings a song that was written by Rob Thomas and features Big Boi rapping.


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