Sunday October 2nd, 2005
New CD's this past week:
- Toni Braxton - Libra
- Mica Paris - Soul classics (UK release)
Music news headlines this week:
Charlie Wilson Thinks Frankie Beverly Is Hating On Him
Gap Band frontman Charlie Wilson is making a lot of noise with his new
solo album, Charlie, Last Name Wilson, but everybody isn't necessarily
happy for him. Wilson was scheduled to open for Frankie Beverly & Maze at
Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., on November 25th and 26th, but the
veteran singer was bumped from the show after the promoter got a call from
According to Wilson's manager, Beverly wasn't comfortable with having to
follow Wilson's opening act, especially since Beverly's vocal chops have
suffered over recent years to the point that he allegedly required
surgery. Wilson's manager said in a released statement, "It is obvious the
last thing Frankie Beverly wanted to do was work harder than he has too
after Charlie Wilson has gotten done burning rubber and dropping bombs on
the crowd with Charlie's electrifying show."
The two men have allegedly been involved in a rivalry for years.
Charlie, Last Name Wilson was executive produced by R. Kelly, with
production and writing by Scott Storch, T-Pain, Will.I.Am of Black Eyed
Peas, Justin Timberlake, and Drew & Vidal. The album features guest
appearances by Snoop Dogg, Twista, Timberlake, and Will.I.Am.
Diana Ross In Hollywood Fender Bender
The New York Post's "Page Six" gossip column reports that Diana Ross was
involved in a fender-bender last Monday (September 26th) in Los Angeles. A
witness e-mailed the celebrity defamer.com website saying that after the
accident on Sunset Boulevard -- during which Ross' entire fender came off
-- the diva took refuge in the doorway of a nearby dry cleaners before a
tow truck took her car away. The website posted pictures of Ross in the
doorway as well as her car being towed. No word on whether any one was
injured, or whether Ross was the cause of the accident.
Kindred The Family Soul To Hit The Road In Support Of New CD
Philadelphia-based duo Kindred The Family Soul will be hitting the road
this weekend to promote their sophomore album, In This Life Together,
which was released September 20th by Hidden Beach Recordings. The
VH1-sponsored tour kicks off October 2nd in San Diego , California , and
wraps up October 30th in Greenville , South Carolina .
Made up of singing and songwriting couple Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon,
Kindred has created a second album that continues to explore the realities
of loving and living together as a couple and as a family in modern times.
The couple says that the album, which combines R&B, jazz, and hip-hop, was
inspired by the Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee memoir, also titled In This Life
"We're enamored of the relationship Davis and Dee created together, and
everything they were able to accomplish," says Dantzler. "Their marriage
spanned 50 years which is a major achievement. That's something to be
looked at as an admirable model, and their marriage and collaboration as
artists is a model for us."
The first single from Kindred's new album is titled "Where Would I Be...,"
which is among the most-added singles at urban adult radio.
Meli’sa Morgan Back On The Charts
Soul Songstress Meli'sa Morgan makes a strong return with her new album
“I Remember” on Orpheus Music scheduled to release November 8. This
album is just what the adult contemporary market is looking for.
On the new single, which features Meli'sa along with Freddie Jackson, they
bring back the classic "Back Together Again" formerly recorded by Roberta
Flack and Donny Hathaway. The single has been added to radio and is
climbing the R&B charts.
Orpheus CEO, Charles Huggins, President Beau Huggins, and its Vice
President Charli Huggins are all pleased that they brought Meli'sa and
Freddie back together again for this project. Orpheus, originally known,
Hush Productions were the innovative production company that launched both
of their celebrated careers in the mid-1980s. "Once I decided I wanted to
record "Back Together Again," advised Morgan, "I knew I had to do it with
Freddie, who is a close and enormously talented friend of mine. We always
wanted to record together, and judging by the awesome response the song is
getting from fans, the press and radio, it clearly was the perfect
choice." "We have watched the changes in R&B music and we feel that
Meli'sa's album is going to add the Soul back into Rhythm and Soul music,"
says President Beau Huggins, who is also the Executive Producer of the
Meli'sa's critically acclaimed list of #1 hits include the Prince penned
"Do Me Baby" (which made her a star), the fearless funk of "Fool's
Paradise," the sizzling sensuality of "Do You Still Love Me," and "Love
Changes," her electrifying collaboration with super '80s producer Kashif.
The “I Remember” title track is ready to add another chart-topping slow
jam to Morgan's stellar list of hits. Co-written and produced by Meli'sa
and long time collaborator Lesette Wilson (who contributed six songs to
her CD), "I Remember" is the album's sensational debut solo single.
Breaking new emotional and vocal ground, Morgan delivers a pulsating,
sensuous performance that is filled with lyrical power, poignancy and
pleasure. "This song is one that everyone can relate to - for everybody
who has ever loved somebody, lost somebody or found that somebody again,"
says the deep thinking, ever-beautiful Meli'sa Morgan. "It's one of the
best and most sincere songs I've ever recorded."
Influenced by great R&B divas like Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle and Aretha
Franklin, Meli'sa's impressive album also features her new stylized
version of the aforementioned "Ain't No Way." Giving it her own spine
tingling spin, she takes the Ashford & Simpson produced track to a rarely
reached soul inspired plateau. "It's a song close to my heart, and working
on it with my friends Nick and Valerie gave me the extra incentive to push
the envelope. I wasn't trying to do it better than Aretha, no one could. I
just wanted to do it my way, hoping to touch people with it the way the
original version always touches me."
Meli'sa has a strong fan base and they will not be disappointed. From the
title track "I Remember..." to the gospel track "He's The One" Meli'sa is
bringing everyone back to remembrance of good R&B music.
New Toni Braxton Album “Libra” Released
Six-time Grammy winner Toni Braxton released “Libra”, her long-
awaited new album, this past week (September 27th). It's her first new
album on the Blackground/Universal label, and her first since 2003's More
Than A Woman.
Braxton has also just released a new single from the set, titled
"Trippin'." The tune follows the R&B success of the first single,
"Please," which is currently Number Eight on the Billboard Adult R&B chart
and Number Seven on the national urban Ac airplay charts.
"Please" was produced by Scott Storch, who contributed other tracks on the
album, along with producer Vincent Herbert.
A mother of two with musician husband Keri Lewis, Braxton has overcome a
brush with the heart disorder pericarditis. She is preparing to return to
the stage with a tour to be announced later this year.
Fans got a chance to see Braxton perform on the opening of the 2005 Soul
Train Lady Of Soul Awards program, which she also co-hosted.
New Wonder Album Finally Hitting Stores
After numerous delays, Stevie Wonder's first new album in 10 years, "A
Time 2 Love," will finally arrive Oct. 18 via Motown. The set was most
recently due for release June 14; first single "So What the Fuss"
featuring Prince has been at radio since May and a second single, "From
the Bottom of My Heart" has been garnering airplay for nearly as long.
Among the guests on the 15-track set are India.Arie and Paul McCartney on
the title cut, Bonnie Raitt on slide guitar on "Tell Your Heart I Love
You," gospel star Kim Burrell and rapper Doug E. Fresh on opener "If Your
Love Cannot Be Moved" and Wonder's daughter Aisha on "How Will I Know" and
Another track, "Shelter in the Rain," will be available Oct. 11 from
digital downloads retailers, with proceeds earmarked for Hurricane Katrina
"As an artist, you get anxious and excited -- you want to show what you
can do," Wonder told Billboard late last year. "But for me, I had to make
a real decision not to rush. I wasn't feeling that the timing is right. A
lot of what I do when I do an album is based on whether the timing is
"A Time 2 Love" is Wonder's first new album since 1995's "Conversation
D'Angelo Okay After Virginia Car Crash
Vocalist D'Angelo (real name: Michael Archer) has been released from a
Richmond, Va., hospital after being injured during a Sept. 19 car
accident. According to a statement from the Virginia State Police, the SUV
in which D'Angelo was traveling swerved off State Route 711 and crashed
into a fence before flipping over.
The artist was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the car.
According to police, it is not yet known if D'Angelo was driving; another
person in the vehicle, Lynne Sellers, was also injured in the accident but
the status of her condition is unknown.
"I banged up my ribs but other than that I'm fine," the artist told the
Associated Press today, adding that he was excited to return to the
News of the crash began to spread late last week after the Roots'
?uestlove posted early details on the group's Web site, but the message
was quickly removed.
Just prior to the accident, D'Angelo was given a three-year suspended
sentence after pleading no contest to felony cocaine possession in
Chesterfield Circuit Court. As previously reported, he was arrested near
Richmond in January after police found marijuana and cocaine in his car
during a traffic stop.
D'Angelo received a 100-day suspended sentence in April stemming from the
marijuana and driving under the influence charges.
As reported earlier, J Records recently acquired D'Angelo's contract from
Virgin, which released his two studio albums. The artist has been largely
inactive since his 2000 effort "Voodoo," which debuted at No. 1 on The
Maxwell And Fugees Getting Busy On New Albums
Although details are scant at deadline, two of urban music's
missing-in-action stars are preparing comeback albums. Sources say
singer/songwriter Maxwell will return in February with a new album for
Columbia/Sony Urban Music, his first since 2001's "Now," which has sold
1.7 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The artist has not been heard from at all since that project, which
spawned three hit singles on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart:
"Lifetime" (No. 5), a cover of Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" (No. 16)
and "Get To Know Ya" (No. 25).
Meanwhile, work continues on the Fugees' reunion album, which is expected
in January and will be led by the single "Take It Easy." Although the trio
has reunited a handful of times in the past year for live performances, it
has produced no new material since its landmark 1996 album "The Score,"
which has sold 5.7 million copies.
As for group member Lauryn Hill's years-in-the-making sophomore solo
album, sources say there is still no definitive release date on tap.