Sunday April 24th, 2005


New CD's this past week:

- None to report

Music news headlines this week:

Mariah Carey Debuts At Number One, 400,000 Copies Sold

Mariah Carey's 'The Emancipation of Mimi' debuted at Number One on the
Billboard 200 album chart with over 400,000 copies sold. This the best
opening sales week in her career, and the first Number One debut,
according to Nielsen Soundscan. Mariah last reached Number One on the
Billboard Top 200 album chart with her 'Butterfly' CD, which has sold l3.7
million copies to date.
In other news, Mariah Carey says that unexpectedly being seated next to
her record mogul ex-husband Tommy Mottola and his new wife Thalia at the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame gala was "just weird." Mariah tells the
Associated Press, "He was a gentleman. He was, nice, but I wasn't about
the photo op -- I felt kind of bamboozled."
Mariah has said her husband and former mentor was controlling during their
marriage. Mariah says, "That period of my life was so damaging, that it's
like, if I even connect with who I was during that period of my life, it's
a very physically...I can feel it."


Whitney Houston Is Out Of Rehab

Grammy-winning singer Whitney Houston has completed a stint in rehab.
Houston left the exclusive Crossroads Clinic in Antigua on Tuesday. She
had been ordered by a Georgia court to undergo an intensive bout of
therapy, and checked into the clinic on March 23. Houston isn't home with
husband Bobby Brown yet -- she has been transferred to another clinic near
her Atlanta neighborhood.
The Crossroads Clinic is owned by guitarist Eric Clapton.


LaToya London Says New Album Will be A Mix Of Music

American Idol Season 2 Finalist LaToya London says that she grew up
singing different kinds of music, and that's why her upcoming debut CD
will contain a range of genres. London said "I wasn't just exposed to just
gospel, I wasn't exposed to just jazz. I was exposed to all of it. I was a
very soft-spoken child, very shy, so that was my way of opening up and I
loved to sing, so music was my avenue to be heard."
London wrote five of the songs on the still-untitled album. The scheduled
release date is July 19th, and she expects to have a single out in
Best known as the petite singer with a big, big voice, London was one of
the four remaining finalists before she was voted off the show. Jasmine
Trias, Diane DeGarmo and Fantasia Barrino finished out the competition
with Fantasia being crowned the American Idol.


Ruben Studdard Working On Third Album

Former American Idol winner Ruben Studdard is working on his third album,
and the singer tells that he plans to return to his R&B roots.
Studdard, who recently recorded with producer Mario Winans, said, "This is
going to be another R&B album. We're just looking for the best songs, and
everybody's really working really hard to make it a great album."
Studdard explained that he selects material for his albums based on how
well they will translate during a live performance. He said: "Me
personally, I was looking for songs that would translate into a live
performance, because I'm all about my performance on stage with my band.
You know, some artist like to do studio tracks and some people don't like
to perform with bands. With me, that's my thing. I love to have a band
behind me."
Studdard's 2003 R&B flavored debut effort, Soulful, was a platinum seller,
but the singer's 2004 gospel-inspired follow-up, I Need An Angel, was a
commercial disappointment.


Aretha Franklin To Present At Daytime Emmy Wards Show

Aretha Franklin will be a presenter at the 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards
on May 20th at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The Daytime Emmys
recognize outstanding achievement in all fields of daytime television over
the past year. Franklin, who's a longtime Young And The Restless fan, said
that "watching the soaps is still one of my favorite things to do,"
according to No word yet on which category Franklin will
be presenting.
The 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be broadcast later that evening
(May 20th) at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.
The Queen of Soul will be performing tomorrow night (Friday, April 22nd)
in Boca Raton, Florida at the Mizner Park Amphitheatre.
In June, Aretha will release her first CD on her own Aretha Records label
called A Woman In Love. It features guest appearances by Faith Hill and
former Temptations lead singer Dennis Edwards, who's also an Aretha
Records artist.
On October 22nd, Aretha will be among the artists inducted into the
International Gospel Music Hall Of Fame in Detroit.

Usher Gives Impromptu Performance In Atlanta Restaurant

Usher treated diners in a trendy Atlanta restaurant to a free floor show
along with their meal recently. According to, the
multi-platinum superstar was dining with friends -- including Big Boi of
Outkast -- when he stepped into the DJ booth and grabbed the mic. He sang
his song "Friends and Lovers" and even covered the rap done by Ludacris on
the track. The rap contains the lyric "Now you're all grown up like Rudy
Huxtable," and it just so happened that actress Keisha Knight Pulliam --
who played the referenced role on The Cosby Show -- was at the restaurant.
A source said, "She was dancing away as Usher sang to her."
During Usher's live Showtime concert special broadcast from Puerto Rico
last month, he told viewers that the concert would be his last live
performance of the year. He said that he would be focusing on his film
career and his business ventures such as his record label and his part
ownership in the Cleveland Cavaliers professional basketball team.

'Forever, For Always, For Luther’ Makes West Coast Concert Debut

Forever, For Always, For Luther, the Grammy-nominated Luther Vandross
tribute album, makes its West Coast performance debut over Memorial Day
weekend at the Lake Tahoe Jazz Trax Summer Smooth Jazz Festival in Lake
Tahoe, California. On May 29th, artists who performed on the album,
including singer Lalah Hathaway, sax player Kirk Whalum, keyboardist Brian
Culbertson, and guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr., will bring their unique
styles to interpretations of Vandross's songs.
Other artists for the three dates of the festival include singer Bobby
Caldwell ("What You Won't Do For Love"), and singers Brenda Russell and
Peabo Bryson.
Lalah Hathaway says she was happy to be included on the Vandross tribute
project, since she grew up with his music. She adds that she originally
wanted to sing "Superstar" until producer Rex Rideout reminded her that
Vandross did not write the song. Instead, he suggested "Forever, For
Always, For Love," a tune Hathaway was not as familiar with, though when
she heard it, she decided to record in the same low key. Said Hathaway,
"So I bought the record, listened to it a couple of times, and then I put
it away, and then I listened to it on the way to the session. And I wanted
him to keep it in the same key as Luther, because I feel like, I'm big
with kind of color and the sound of things and I didn't want him to change
the color."
Hathaway says it took a very short recording session to nail the song, but
she hopes that Vandross himself is pleased with it because she meant it as
a valentine to the recovering veteran, who suffered a stroke in April of
2003. Said Hathaway: ["I really, really worked hard, even though it was
only a two or three hour process, to make sure that Luther was absolutely
satisfied and proud with it. I want him to listen to it and I want him to
smile. It's like a love letter to him, He's such a part of the music of my
life, the soundtrack of my life growing up. I just really want him to be
happy with it. I really, really worked to try and put my foot in it for
Smooth jazz performers include guitarist Norman Brown and sax player
Everette Harp.
The Luther Vandross tribute will also be part of the Big Bear Lake Jazz
Trax Summer Festival on June 18th, in Big Bear, California . Complete
information about both Jazz Trax Festivals can be found at
Last October a number of the featured artists from the album came together
with some special guests at New York 's Madison Square Garden to perform
music from the album.


Chaka Khan To Lecture At The Learning Annex

Singer Chaka Khan will speak at an upcoming series of lectures at the
Learning Annex, the nationwide seminar franchise. Beginning on May 3rd,
the eight-time Grammy winner headlines An Evening with Chaka Khan, in
which she'll discuss her turbulent life and career, as well as the music

Khan's Learning Annex lectures are scheduled for:
May 3 - San Diego
May 10 - Los Angeles
May 11 - San Francisco
Khan is performing at the 4th annual Rochester International Jazz Festival
in June.
Her song "Through the Fire" was recently sampled by hip-hop artist Kanye
West for his song "Through the Wire," which received a Grammy nomination.
Khan released Classikhan last year, her take on pop and jazz standards,
backed by the London Symphony Orchestra. A new contemporary album is in
the works that will feature guest artists including Mary J. Blige.
The singer has her own brand of candy, called Chakalates (pronounced
"chocolates".) They're sold in the exclusive Neiman-Marcus department
store chain.


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