Sunday July 24th, 2005
New CD's this past week:
- Kloud 9 - Yearning 2 love (UK release)
Music news headlines this week:
Janet Jackson Working On New Album With Jam & Lewis
Janet Jackson is working with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for her
next album, due out in 2006. The set will mark 20 years since the trio
first collaborated on Janet's Control, which earned Jam and Lewis a
Producer of the Year Grammy. Lewis tells Billboard.com that the three are
working together the way they did in the early days, saying, "It used to
be a lot of involvement from all of us, and at some point when Janet
became more confident with her writing ability, she did the bulk of the
writing. And it's kind of come back full circle. We're all kind of back in
there doing it again together which I really enjoy."
Jackson once explained her unique relationship with the producers:
"You know, we have such a great relationship, and it's not just a
working relationship -- we're very good friends. And through all of this,
this time in my life, they were there, and we talked, and they listened.
And actually, Jimmy's oldest son is my godson. I just am so thankful and
appreciative that Jimmy, musically speaking, he loves listening to
Janet's boyfriend, Jermaine Dupri, is executive producer of the album.
This will be Janet's first album since 2004's Damita Jo. That album was
released shortly after the Super Bowl XXXVIII (38) half-time show in which
Justin Timberlake pulled off part of Janet's costume revealing her breast.
Justin later insisted the incident was a "wardrobe malfunction." Damita Jo
debuted at Number Two on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and has sold
close to a million copies in the U.S.
Babyface To Deliver Music For The “Grown & Sexy”
Singer, songwriter, and producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds is set to
deliver his new album, Grown & Sexy, July 26th on J Records. The release
is the follow-up to his 2001 album, Face2Face.
Babyface says the title to his new album is where he finds himself. "It
means being comfortable with who you are, where you are in your life,"
Babyface told Billboard. "That confidence is what makes you sexy. But
there's still a certain amount of youth quality to the record."
The Grammy-winning artist recently taped a performance special of music
from the project in Los Angeles , to be shown on BET the same day that the
album is released, July 26th. The show features Babyface singing a couple
of older tunes as well, sometimes accompanying himself on guitar,
sometimes joined by older brother Kevon Edmonds, who once fronted the L.A.
& Babyface-produced trio After 7.
The one-hour special will be edited into a half-hour show, a video and a
commercial spot to air on BET and its sister stations BET Jazz, VH1 and
VH1 Soul, according to Billboard.
Babyface recently wrapped a short concert tour in June with Anita Baker.
Coming up, he's working on producing a tribute to the late Maurice Gibb of
the Bee Gees that will feature such artists as Paul McCartney, Jagged
Edge, Sheryl Crow, the Black Eyed Peas, Rascal Flatts, and others.
Ashanti Facing $4 Million Lawsuit From Former Producer
R&B singer Ashanti is facing a $4 million lawsuit from a former producer,
who claims the singer owes royalties because she failed to honor the terms
of their release agreement. New York 's Daily News reports that jury
selection began in the case yesterday (Monday, July 18th), and that the
singer is expected to testify on her own behalf at some point this week.
The lawsuit, which was filed by producer Genard Parks and his T.E.A.M.
Entertainment company in Manhattan Federal Court, alleges that Parker
signed Ashanti to a production agreement in 1997, when the singer was 16.
When he was unable to secure a recording contract for the singer, the two
executed a release agreement but according to Parker, Ashanti failed to
honor the terms of the release agreement, therefore it should be void and
he should be entitled to royalties from Ashanti 's subsequent platinum
albums released through Murder Inc. Records.
Ashanti 's lawyer, Harry Stokes, told the paper, "This is a big
inconvenience for her. She's in the process of making a film for 20th
Century Fox, and she's interrupted the production schedule to appear for
Stokes added, "There's no merit to this case. Her position is that she's
not going to succumb to pressure and false allegations and pay someone
who's not entitled to anything."
Alicia Keys Shares Workout Secret
This year Grammy-winning singer, pianist and songwriter Alicia Keys has
been busy promoting her album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, with a national
tour and numerous appearances on television and at awards shows.
Throughout it all, the New York performer has been showing off a stronger,
Asked about her workout secrets, Keys recently joked that she hates
exercising. She then confided: that she does enjoy working out,
particularly running: "No, but I really enjoy actually training. I like
the focus of it, I like the mental side of it and I like running. I like
when it's warm, if I can just hit a city block or hit a block, it gives me
something to really concentrate on. And it's time alone, so I really like
that a lot. "
Currently, Keys is getting ready to record her first Unplugged album, a
live follow-up to the multi-platinum The Diary of Alicia Keys. She is also
preparing for her first film role as the star of Composition In Black And
White, the story of biracial piano prodigy Phillipa Schuyler. Halle Berry
is producing the film, which is scheduled for a 2006 release.