Sunday October 23rd, 2005
New CD's this past week:
- Stevie Wonder – A time 2 love
Music news headlines this week:
Babyface Gets “Grown &
Sexy” On The Road Next Month
Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds has lined up a new series of concert dates just
in time for the holiday season. The R&B/pop songwriter, producer, and
performer is hitting the road right before Thanksgiving for an 11-city
trek to help promote his latest album, Grown & Sexy. The tour kicks off
November 23rd in Oakland, California and wraps December 13th in Atlanta.
Babyface wowed fans earlier this year on a limited trek with songbird
Anita Baker in June. The singer performed tunes from his current album,
previous Babyface hits, and chart smashes he penned for the likes of Bobby
Brown, After 7, Tevin Campbell, Boyz II Men and many others. Big brother
and After 7 lead singer Kevon Edmonds also made a surprise appearance at
the Los Angeles show.
Alicia Keys “Unplugged” Album Bows At Number One
Multiple Grammy winner Alicia Keys has done it again. The singer,
songwriter and pianist has debuted her latest project, Unplugged, in the
Number One position on the Billboard 200 album chart, with first week
sales of 195,681 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The latest chart milestone makes Keys the first female R&B artist to have
three consecutive Number One debuts on the Billboard 200 chart. She's also
the first female artist in any genre to launch an Unplugged album at
Number One, beating past MTV Unplugged projects by Mariah Carey, Lauryn
Hill, Alanis Morissette and Shakira, according to J Records.
Keys recorded her MTV Unplugged album and TV special on July 14th at the
Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City. The album features two new
songs -- the single "Unbreakable" and "Stolen Moments" -- as well as guest
appearances by Mos Def, Common, Damian Marley, and Maroon5's Adam Levine.
John Legend To Release “Live At The House Of Blues” Concert DVD
Singer songwriter John Legend will share his recent Los Angeles concert
performance with fans by releasing the DVD Live At The House Of Blues on
December 6th. The DVD will be available on its own, and also packaged
together with his platinum Columbia debut, Get Lifted.
Taped at the Sunset Boulevard House Of Blues in August, Live At The House
Of Blues showcases Legend performing several tracks from Get Lifted,
including the hits "Ordinary People" and "So High." Kanye West makes an
appearance on "Number One" and Snoop Dogg lights up "I Can Change," just
as they do on the studio versions. The live set also features new songs,
including "Do It Again," "Medley" and "Selfish."
Legend's DVD also includes behind-the-scenes footage, interview clips, a
making-of documentary, and the video for "So High."
Legend, who received four Vibe Award nominations, is currently on the
second leg of his Get Lifted tour. Upcoming dates include October 21st in
Trenton, New Jersey; October 22nd in Storrs, Connecticut; October 23rd in
Portland, Maine; October 27th in New York City; and October 28th in
Atlantic City, New Jersey. For more information, go to johnlegend.com.
Mary J. Blige Debuts New Single
Mary J. Blige debuted her new single, "Can't Hide From Love," last Sunday
night (October 16th) during a special performance at Lincoln Center in New
York City. MTV.com reports that Blige performed for an intimate crowd that
included LL Cool J, Fat Joe, Swizz Beatz, Chaka Khan, Ice-T, and the
Reverend Al Sharpton.
When asked, the singer explained how much she enjoyed live
performances. Blige said: "The live performances are the best, because
you get to show people that you're not a studio singer, and that even if
you crack or you fall -- they get to see you real and you can get up and
keep going, you know?"
Blige is tentatively scheduled to release her new album, Reminisce,
Fantasia’s Dim View Of Her Hometown Protested By Local Couple
Her hometown may be called High Point, but North Carolina native Fantasia
Barrino didn't exactly find the town a pinnacle locale to grow up in. Now
a local couple is demanding that city signs promoting Fantasia be removed,
saying the views the singer reveals in her new autobiography portray the
In Fantasia's book Life Is Not A Fairytale, the American Idol winner says
she and her friends used to call High Point -- also known as the Home
Furnishings Capital of the World -- the "Land Of The Dead." Fantasia also
noted that after attending local schools, she is still functionally
illiterate. "High Point is a depressing place for anyone who is not a
furniture store owner," Fantasia writes. "High Point is all about
furniture and nothing else."
Now Kyle Sandler, 29, and Jennifer English, 26, are demanding that the
town remove signs proclaiming it as Fantasia's birthplace. The two have
created a Web site, fantasiaslies.com, to counter the book's descriptions.
"I can see people driving in to (the furniture) market saying, 'Ha ha ha.
Fantasia hates them but look at the signs saying 'Welcome to High Point,
home of Fantasia Barrino,'" Sandler said.
So far, city officials say there are no plans to remove the signs, which
are not permanent. High Point Mayor Becky Smothers stated, "There's a lot
more serious things happening right now than Fantasia's signs."
Prince Gets New Hip
Legendary singer Prince will have to get hip replacement surgery, this according
to Contact Music. The pop music icon is facing the painful surgery to help cope
with the discomfort reportedly brought on by several years of performing in his
trademark high-heeled boots.
Prince was apparently thinking twice about the full hip replacement, according
to close sources, because he's a Jehovah's Witness, a religion that's against the
blood transfusion required for the operation.
The National Enquirer reports that the mega-star is currently on medication as
he attempts to fight through the pain in his now bad joints.
Jamie Fox Hopes Fantasia Will Co-Star In “Dreamgirls”
Now that Jamie Foxx has been cast in the upcoming film adaptation of
Dreamgirls opposite Beyonce Knowles and Eddie Murphy, the Academy Award
winning actor is lobbying for American Idol winner Fantasia to play Effie
White, the role portrayed famously by Jennifer Holiday on Broadway. "I
think if Fantasia does it, it's out of here," said Foxx during interviews
last weekend for his new movie, Jarhead. "If Fantasia does the movie, it's
completely in the stratosphere. It's nuts."
Dreamgirls, directed by Bill Condon (Chicago), is loosely based on the
story of Diana Ross and the Supremes. Beyonce will play Deena, the lead
singer of The Dreamettes. Murphy will portray James Thunder Early, the
suave crooner who hires the Dreamettes as background vocalists. Foxx will
star as Curtis Taylor Jr., the manager who leads the Dreamettes to
Effie White, one of the Dreamettes, is one of the few remaining roles to