Sunday September 11th, 2005                                                  HOME


New CD's this past week:

- George Clinton & the P.Funk All-Stars - How late do U have 2BB4UR absent
- Carleen Anderson - Soul providence (UK release)

Music news headlines this week:


R&B Singer Christopher Williams Alive And Well, Despite Rumor

R&B singer Christopher Williams is apparently alive and well, despite a
rumor, fueled by a hoax e-mail circulating around the country Wednesday,
that he had died in Atlanta. The hoax was confirmed Thursday by, who contacted a former Williams manager.
Cassandra Mills, who executive-produced Williams' 1989 debut album CW,
said that she spoke to the singer's wife by phone and was told that he is
quite well. However, his family has been shaken by the whole experience.
The e-mail, titled "Christopher Williams: 1967-2005 RIP," stated:
"Contemporary soul singer Christopher Williams died today in his Atlanta
home after a brief illness. The cause of death is not known." The e-mail
was so widely circulated that dozens of people called local news media,
including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, to try to confirm the rumor.
Williams started his career at the height of the New Jack era. After
releasing his debut, he recorded four more albums. In 1991 he appeared in
the film New Jack City, and his single from the soundtrack, "I'm
Dreaming," went to Number One on the R&B charts and was certified gold.
In recent years, Williams has performed in touring musical plays, such as
2003's Men Cry In The Dark. Williams can also be heard on the recent
multi-artist release Cafe Soul All-Stars.


Eric Benét Says He's Considering Changing Lyrics To "Hurricane

Singer-songwriter Eric Benét says he's going to re-write the lyrics to the
title track from his new album Hurricane to reflect his feelings about the
recent Hurricane Katrina catastrophe that has hurt the Gulf Coast region.
Appearing Wednesday at the taping of the Soul Train Lady Of Soul Awards in
Pasadena , California , Benét said: "I released my album two months ago
and the title of my album is Hurricane. And there's a song on the album
that's all about my personal growth, and healing and evolution. And in
light of everything that's happened, it's hard for me to go on stage and
sing this very personal song when the gravity of this is so real."
Benét added that he's working on re-writing the lyrics to the song for a
possible benefit, though he hasn't come up with the definitive version
yet. He said: "I'm in the process of actually re-writing the lyrics to my
song 'Hurricane' and hopefully, in some way maybe add some more healing,
in whatever way, shape, or form to the people right now who are in need."
Finally, the singer says he can understand what moved rapper-producer
Kanye West to speak out against President Bush on last Friday's NBC
telethon A Concert For Hurricane Relief. Benét stated: ["I, like so many
people in the country, felt a lot confusion and anger. Why? Why so much
devastation happened that did not need to happen. We had the knowledge of
how to prepare better for an event like this. And I felt a lot of anger, I
felt a lot of confusion, and I definitely relate to that emotion that was
Benét's current single, "I Wanna Be Loved" has moved to Number Ten on
Billboard's Adult R&B singles chart.

Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago To Receive Platinum For DVD

Veteran bands Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago, who are currently touring
together for the second year in a row, have earned platinum sales for
their live DVD Chicago And Earth, Wind & Fire Live At The Greek Theatre.
The two bands were honored with a platinum plaque on Tuesday, September
6th, at the place where it all began: the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles .
The two bands were back at the Greek Theatre for a two-night performance
stop on their summer tour.
Chicago And Earth, Wind & Fire Live At The Greek Theatre is a two-DVD set
that features the complete final show of the 2004 summer Earth, Wind &
Fire/Chicago tour, which was filmed in high-definition in August 2004.
Meanwhile, Earth, Wind & Fire will finally see its long-awaited album,
Illumination, released on September 20th. The new Sanctuary Urban Group
release, which celebrates EWF's 35th year together, features an array of
top contemporary producers and special guest artists.
Raphael Saadiq produced four tracks on the set, including the
Grammy-nominated single "Show Me The Way." Illumination also features
Brian McKnight, Floetry, Kelly Rowland, Will.I.Am, Vikter Duplaix, and
Earth, Wind & Fire are currently on the airwaves with two tracks from the
set: the Jam & Lewis-produced "Pure Gold" on urban AC stations, while
smooth jazz is playing EWF's version of OutKast's "I Like The Way You
Move" with Kenny G.

Freddie Jackson’s “Personal Reflections” Out In November

On November 1st, 2005, legendary romantic crooner Freddie Jackson is set
to release his first new album in several years on Artemis Records/Media
World Entertainment. The album, entitled Personal Reflections, features
cover versions of well known chart topping hits such as the first single
“Don’t Know Why,” “I Go Crazy,” “Back Together Again,” (a stunning duet
with R&B staple Meli’sa Morgan) and seven more. Jackson leaves his
inimitable mark on each of them, creating new classics to be enjoyed for
many years to come. Jackson offered, “These are some of my all-time
favorites, and the idea appealed to me of maybe exposing some of these
wonderful songs to people who didn’t catch them the first time around, or
maybe hadn’t been born yet!” The tracks are produced by some of the top
R&B producers of our time – e.g. Kevin Evans (Janet Jackson, Barry White),
Rex Rideout (Luther Vandross), and Cecil Sanchez (Mary J. Blige).
Artemis CEO/President Daniel Glass commented “There are few singers with
the talent and vocal skills to sing these great songs. Freddie Jackson,
under the expert guidance of Kevin Evans has delivered a masterpiece of
interpretations of some of the greatest romantic songs ever written.”
Harlem native Jackson holds the record for the most #1 urban chart singles
in the late 1980s. He dominated the air waves with his double platinum
debut album Rock Me Tonight, which featured the chart topping title track.
“Rock Me Tonight,” a sensuous slow groove, hit just the right note and
turned listeners into fans staying at #1 for six weeks and garnering him a
Grammy nomination for “Best New Artist.”
Jackson followed with the single “You Are My Lady,” which quickly zoomed
to the #1 spot as well. His sultry smooth vocals spawned 30 charted
singles including 11 #1 songs, an American Music Award, and earned him the
distinction of being ranked among the top 20 best selling black music
artists of the 80s and 90s. To date, Jackson has sold over 8 million
albums worldwide.
Just as he started, Personal Reflections marks his management repairing
with legendary Hush Productions hit makers Charles and Beau Huggins at


Anita Baker Having A "Christmas Fantasy"

Anita Baker's first holiday album, "Christmas Fantasy," will be released
Oct. 4 via Blue Note. The disc features Joe Sample on piano, Larry Carlton
on guitar, Nathan East on bass, Ricky Lawson on drums and jazz quartet The
Yellowjackets. The holiday set comes on the heels of 2004's gold-certified
“My Everything,” her first album of new material in 10 years.
The track list for "Christmas Fantasy" includes "I'll Be Home for
Christmas," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," "O, Come All Ye Faithful,"
"Frosty's Rag" and the Vince Guaraldi-co-written "Christmas Time Is Here."
The disc features Joe Sample on piano, Larry Carlton on guitar, Nathan
East on bass, Ricky Lawson on drums and jazz quartet The Yellowjackets.
The holiday set comes on the heels of 2004's gold-certified “My
Everything,” her first album of new material in 10 years.


Toni Braxton Returns With “Libra”

R&B vocalist Toni Braxton will inaugurate her new deal with Blackground
Records/Universal with her first studio album since 2002's "More Than a
Woman." Due Sept. 27, "Libra" is led by the Scott Storch-produced first
single "Please," which is No. 40 this week on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop
Songs chart.
Other tracks earmarked for "Libra" include "That's the Way Love Works,"
"Shadowless," "Happily Unhappy," "Supposed To Be" and the slower, soulful
Braxton will be highly visible this fall to promote the new album,
including co-hosting and performing duties at the Soul Train Lady of Soul
Awards on Sept. 7 in Pasadena, Calif. She will appear the following week
on ABC's World Music Awards broadcast and is also tipped to be a part of
BET's 25th anniversary special in October.
Braxton's final studio release for Arista, “More Than a Woman” peaked at
No. 5 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and has sold 434,000
copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.


Lemar Leads U.K.'s MOBO Nominees

With five nods, English soul singer Lemar has the most nominations for
Britain's 10th annual Music of Black Origin Awards, to be held Sept. 22 at
London's Royal Albert Hall.
Lemar is nominated in the best album category for his sophomore set "Time
To Grow" (Sony BMG), and his track "If There's Any Justice" is up for best
single and best video. The artist, who reached the final of the BBC talent
show "Fame Academy," is also up for best R&B act and U.K. act of the year.
American singer John Legend is up for three categories, while Snoop Dogg
and Mariah Carey took home two nominations apiece.
Members of the public can vote on 12 of the 16 categories. A
MOBO-appointed panel will decide the icon of the decade, outstanding
achievement award and lifetime achievement awards. A new category, best
African act, is open to votes cast only in Africa.
BBC1 will broadcast the gala in Britain on Sept. 23.


Floetry's Sophomore Album Due In November

R&B duo Floetry will release its second studio album, "Flo'Ology," Nov. 8
via Geffen. The Scott Storch-produced first single, "SupaStar," features
Common and can be streamed from the duo's official Web site. It is also
available for download from Apple's iTunes Music Store.
"This album is completely and utterly self-centered," group member Natalie
Stewart admits. "It's about breaking ourselves down over and over and over
again, knocking ourselves off our pedestals and then building up again and
getting knocked off again. Every song speaks to a different mood and
"Flo'Ology" is the follow-up to the group's 2002 debut, "Floetic," which
has sold nearly 788,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen
SoundScan. A live album, "Floacism," was issued in late 2003.
Having completed its summer stint on the Sugar Water tour with Erykah
Badu, Jill Scott and Queen Latifah, Floetry will next be on stage Sept. 17
at London's Shepherds Bush Empire.


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