Sunday May 29th, 2005
New CD's this past week:
- Marques Houston - Naked
Music news headlines this week:
Shanice Returns With New Album
With the joy of marriage and motherhood fueling her fire, Shanice is back,
with her signature smile and five-octave range intact. She’s resurfaced
with a new independently released album, Every Woman Dreams.
To debut her latest offering, Shanice performed for an intimate group of
fans, special guests, and celebrities at The Conga Room in Los Angeles
Wednesday night (which turned into a surprise birthday bash for the R&B
songbird), and the response was more than welcoming.
The performance was kicked off by her husband and muse, (actor/comedian)
Flex Alexander, who spread rose petals along the path that she would walk
to take the stage. Shortly after, her angelic voice was heard coming from
the entryway, singing in acappella the late Minnie Ripperton’s classic
“Lovin’ You.” Once she made her way to the stage and finished with the
song’s familiar glass shattering note, the specially invited guests were
Now a woman, the vocal powerhouse went on to masterfully deliver several
songs from her new album, which had a mature, yet playful feel. And with
titles like “I’m Gonna Take Care of You” and “I’m So Crazy For You,” it
was clear that they were inspired by her love for her hubby.
One of the night's many highlights was her diva-esque performance of the
title track and first single, “Every Woman Dreams,” on which she schools
the ladies on not settling for less in their relationships. She even put
a little old school grit in it, which many may not be use to from her. I
suppose it changes the game when you’re singing from the heart. She was
almost glowing as she performed, often looking out into the crowd at her
man. Shanice has been away for a while, but she definitely still has what
it takes to reclaim her position as one of the most notable voices in the
Every Woman Dreams, Shanice's fifth album, is due in stores this August.
It will be released on the couple’s own newly formed IME records, through
a joint venture with industry vet Richard Nash’s Playtime Entertainment.
In the house to witness the performance was (Magic's better half) Cookie
Johnson, EUR's Lee Bailey, comedian Joe Torrey, actress/singer Tichina
Arnold and singing couple Chante Moore & Kenny Lattimore.
Lina’s Sophomore CD ‘The Inner Beauty Movement’ In Stores June 28
Lina.., Singer and songwriter who boldly discards all artistic blueprints,
achieving an unexpected, brilliantly satisfying musical fusion that makes
a musical statement thriving on rich, jazz-era orchestration complemented
by R and B and hip-hop. In effect, a one woman Harlem Renaissance,
reclaiming decades worth of musical heritage for a new generation.
Bringing the past pouring into the present, L ina made her bold musical
introduction in 2001 with her debut album, "Stranger On Earth." Produced
by Travis "T-House" House and Jeeve, the album finds the young singer and
songwriter bringing classic and modern soul together on such tracks as the
grooving "Step Up," the atmospheric "Waiting" and the hip-hoperatic "Playa
No Mo'." With her sophomore album near completion, Lina and record label
Hidden Beach Recordings, set their sights on raising the musical standard.
Growing up in a music filled household, her mother a singer and her father
a guitarist, Lina wrote her first songs as early as age eight, and found
herself gravitating toward her mother's prized record collection,
endlessly spinning classics from the Thirties, Forties, and Fifties.
"I think Billie Holiday was my first love" ... says Lina, thinking back to
her childhood in Texas. "There was just something about her approach to a
song and the blues that she brought to everything she touched." Studying
music in high school, Lina was exposed for the first time to a wide
variety of musics - classical, choral, opera - and began singing in area
talent shows, taking her first steps toward becoming a songwriter.
Lina's post high school years brought frequent travel to the Los Angeles
area where, under the guidance of her cousin and uncle, she began to work
with a variety of producers and songwriters. Lina would eventually move to
L.A., in full-time pursuit of her artistic dreams.
After cutting a series of demos in an effort to turn other artists on to
her songs, Lina had her first success in 1998, when L.A.-based Tyrese
recorded one of her songs for his self-titled debut. Since, her songs have
been recorded and placed on forthcoming albums, as well as in films such
as HBO's "Disappearing Acts" (2001) and Fox Picture's blockbuster hit
"High Crimes" (2002).
Kem’s New “Album II” Has Great Chart Chemistry
Detroit singer and songwriter Kem had a great chart week for his second
Motown set, Kem Album II. The CD debuts at Number One on the Billboard Top
R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and bows at Number Five on the Billboard Top 200
chart for the week ending June 3rd, according to his label.
Kem Album II is the much-anticipated follow-up to his gold certified debut
set, Kemistry, which featured the hit "Love Calls." The 11-track set was
produced by Kem and features a cameo by Stevie Wonder, who plays harmonica
on "You Might Win."
The first single from Kem Album II, "I Can't Stop Loving You," has
remained at Number One on the urban adult chart for three weeks.
Next month Kem heads out on the 20-city Find Your Way tour, also featuring
American Idol Fantasia and Rahsaan Patterson. The tour kicks off June 8th
in St. Louis . Among his upcoming performances will The Tom Joyner
Fantastic Voyage Cruise, which sets sail Sunday May 29th, and July 3rd at
the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans .
Whitney Houston Is Getting Better
It's been a month since Whitney Houston checked out of rehab for drug
abuse, and her husband, Bobby Brown, says she's been doing a whole lot
better. He told Access Hollywood, "She's my lady and she's doing wonderful
and everything about her spirit right now is just great. So we're enjoying
life again." Brown says he's been by his wife's side throughout the entire
ordeal, especially because she was there for him during his rehab stint.
Brown added, "I'm just looking forward to her just being herself."
Houston recently hit the studio to continue working on a new studio album
with her with long-time mentor, Clive Davis.
Some of Houston 's recent struggles could be featured in Bravo's new
reality series, Being Bobby Brown, which premieres June 30th. Brown said
that shooting was being done around the time that his 41-year-old wife
entered rehab, but he doesn't know if those clips will be shown in the
Teena Marie Sends Another Single To Radio
Veteran singer and songwriter Teena Marie is gaining airplay for yet
another single from her latest album, La Dona. The sexy ballad "My Body's
Hungry" is among one of the most-added tunes at urban adult radio this
"My Body's Hungry" follows the success of last year's Number One Urban AC
hit "I'm Still In Love," and the Gerald Levert duet "A Rose By Any Other
La Dona is Marie's first nationally released album since 1990's Ivory. She
says that radio shouldn't dismiss the talents of older artists: "Radio has
always been geared to young artists. I don't think there's anything wrong
with that. But I also think there's a place for older artists as well. And
I think that there's so many artists that I know, that to me are -- the
older artists haven't scratched the surface on what their capabilities
are. And I don't think you can shut them out just because they got a
De La Soul, Common & Lyfe To Open For John Legend
R&B singer John Legend has selected Common and De La Soul to open for him
during his upcoming North American tour. Allhiphop.com reports that in
addition to Common and De La Soul, R&B singer Lyfe, Rahzel, and DJ JS-1
will also perform on select dates. The tour is slated to kick off June
10th in Atlanta .
Legend's debut album, Get Lifted, has been certified platinum for sales of
one million copies.
Bobby Valentino Hardly Slowing Down
Bobby Valentino’s smooth and sexy “Slow Down,” the debut single from the
first R&B artist signed to Ludacris’ Island Def Jam/Disturbing Tha Peace
joint venture label, won the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot R&B/ Hip Hop
Singles & Tracks chart last week – and sent his self-titled debut album
"Disturbing Tha Peace Presents: Bobby Valentino" straight to a #2 debut
on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Billboard Album chart. On the pop side,
“Slow Down” jumped 2 points to #16-bullet on the Hot 100, and the album
debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart, with 179,751 units
Channeling the sounds of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Prince and other
classic R&B greats in his music, Bobby Valentino has tapped into a
soul-starved marketplace that can’t seem to get enough of him. The video
for “Slow Down,” directed by Erick White (who has shot clips for DTP
founder Ludacris, Chingy, Fabolous, Jojo and others) stays at #1 on BET
and has just been added on MTV.
“Slow Down,” produced by hitmakers Tim & Bob (known for their string of
hits with TLC, Jodeci, Jagged Edge, and others) has turned into the R&B
success story of the year. Bobby recently wrapped up a 32-city
promotional tour of major and secondary markets, where “Slow Down”
accelerated nearly 10 million in Hot 100 radio airplay audience to nearly
80 million last week. The digital single sold another 7,800 downloads
this week, reaching almost 40,000 in a little over 2 months.
Born in Jackson, Mississippi, and raised in Atlanta, 22-year old Bobby
Valentino first tasted stardom in the teen vocal group Mista (produced by
Organized Noize), who delivered a classic hit with 1996’s “Blackberry
Molasses.” Bobby returned to school, eventually receiving a degree from
Clark Atlanta University two years ago. The wisdom he’s acquired over the
years makes his debut album irresistible, as listeners hone in on his
extraordinary vocal ability, teased by such tunes as “Love Dream,” in
which he puts his falsetto to good use, and the poignant “My Angel,”
focusing on the magical chemistry between a man and his true love.