Sunday April 23rd, 2006 HOME
New CD's this past week:
- J. Blackfoot - It ain't over till it's over
- Hil St. Soul - SOULidified
- Tony Terry - Changed
Music news headlines this week:
All-Star Katrina Benefit Disc Nearly Ready
Grammy-nominated producer Rodney Jerkins is putting the finished touches
on an as-yet-untitled Hurricane Katrina benefit album. The Universal disc
is due Aug. 29, the one-year anniversary of the storm that devastated the
Gulf Coast, and features appearances from Patti LaBelle, George Clinton,
Ciara and Christina Milian, among others.
The first single is a remake of the Sister Sledge hit "We Are Family" and
will be released to radio in June. The track features the original group
members, reunited for the first time in 20 years, along with LaBelle,
Clinton, Ciara, Milian, Chris Brown, Lyfe Jennings, Mary, Mary, Ray J and
"I am honored to lend my creative talents to help the volunteers who
provide the social and human services needed on a daily basis to help
these families make it day-to-day," says Jerkins, who has worked with
artists such as Madonna, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez and Alicia Keys.
All proceeds from the single and album will benefit Katrina victims via
organizations such as Communities In Schools (cisnet.org), the U.S. Dream
Academy (usdreamacademy.org) and Points Of Light Foundation (polf.org).
The latter group works directly with displaced Katrina residents and
represents more than 150,000 volunteers in the Gulf region.
"We must empower those who are permanently 'on the ground' and on the
front lines with the resources needed to complete the task at hand," says
Sherman Brown, executive producer of the "We Are Family" project. "With
this CD and DVD, we hope to be a major catalyst in making this happen."
Clear Channel, Wal-Mart and UPS Foundation are among the corporate
partners also involved in the venture.
Whitney Houston Back In Rehab?
Embattled singer Whitney Houston, dogged by unflattering tabloid reports
about her alleged drug abuse, has reportedly checked herself into rehab.
The singer was said to have entered the Sierra Tucson clinic in Tucson,
Arizona last week, according to TV newsmagazine show Extra.
Sister-in-law Tina Brown, whose tattling to The National Enquirer resulted
in a series of sensational stories about Whitney's habits that caused
gasps around the world, now tells the tabloid that even Whitney's husband
Bobby Brown didn't know that the singer had checked herself in. He
returned to their home April 14th from a concert to find Whitney gone.
"At first he thought she was just off on another drug binge," Tina told
The Enquirer. "It took a few days for him to find out from Whitney's
family that they had talked her into going into rehab -- and a few more
days to get an answer about which treatment center she was in."
Bobby's sister had said she initially went to the paper with the lurid
details of Whitney's addiction so that the diva would get help. Now she
says, "I hope this time it works. She can still come back and be the star
she was, the singer the world adored. I pray to God she'll get herself
clean for good."
Mary J. Blige Says God Wants her To Have Material things
Mary J. Blige says she's a spiritual and religious person, and that's part
of the reason that she loves material things. She told May's issue of
Blender magazine, "My God is a God who wants me to have things." She
added, "He wants me to bling. He wants me to be the hottest thing on the
block. I don't know what kind of God the rest of y'all are serving, but
the God I serve says, 'Mary, you need to be the hottest thing this year,
and I'm gonna make sure you're doing that'."
Blige also told the magazine that she's proud of her success, saying, "I
do consider myself part of black history. Since 1991, I'm still doing this
and I'm successful. And I haven't hurt anyone in the process."
Blige currently has the Number One song on the Radio & Records CHR/Pop
chart with "Be Without You." Her latest single from last year's The
Breakthrough is "Enough Cryin'."
Michael Jackson Working In A New Album For 2007
Michael Jackson is working on material and hopes to release a new album
next year. According to Billboard.com, he's signed a recording contract
with Bahrain-based Two Seas Records. Jackson, who's been living in Bahrain
since getting acquitted on child molestation charges last spring, said, "I
am incredibly excited about my new venture and I am enjoying being back in
the studio making music."
Jackson's last studio album, Invincible, came out in 2001.
The album news come shortly after Jackson announced that he had reached an
agreement with creditors to refinance nearly $270 million in loans and
perhaps sell some of his publishing rights to Beatles songs.
In other news, the Associated Press reported that a man who claimed he was
molested by Jackson in 1984 -- and then repressed the memory until a few
years ago -- has had his lawsuit dismissed by a federal judge. Joseph
Bartucci said that when he was 18, Jackson lured him into a limo, then
sexually and physically assaulted him for nine days. The judge gave no
reasons for his decision. Jackson's lawyer said he's pleased with the
results, adding, "It's time to get on to new and better things."
Kelly Rowland finishing Up her Second Solo Album
Kelly Rowland is currently finishing up her sophomore solo album, My
Story: Kelly Rowland, which arrives on July 11th. According to
Billboard.com, the Destiny's Child star has tapped Snoop Dogg, Shawnna and
Remy Ma for possible guest appearances. Singer-songwriter Tank wrote
several tracks for the set and also appears on the song "The Show."
Rowland said the new album is more personal than her 2002 solo debut,
Simply Deep, explaining, "This album is very different from the last
record. It was so alternative, and this record is urban. I wanted to go
back to my roots because that's where I started and that's what feels
natural to me."
Rowland said that she never would have predicted being this successful,
both as a solo artist and with the group: ["I never would've even imagined
this because it's been a blessing and more. I don't know. I don't think I
would've, but it's been amazing."]
Rowland is part of the 8th Wonder Of The World Concert Series, a group of
concerts taking place all over the world over the next five years.
Ashanti Cancels Show After Cousin's Death
Ashanti canceled last week's Saturday (April 15th) concert in
Johannesburg, South Africa after her 20-year-old cousin and personal
assistant, Quinshae Snead, was killed in a car crash. According to
People.com, Snead was running an errand for the singer when her car was
hit by an unlicensed teenage drunk driver. Ashanti was supposed to join
Lauryn Hill and local female artists for a show Saturday night, but she
scrapped her appearance in the wake of her cousin's death.
The teen was arrested for drunk driving and hospitalized.
Ashanti was in South Africa with her parents, brother and sister.
Sources say that Ashanti was torn up about the accident and cried for most
of Sunday (April 16th). She headed back to the United States on Monday.
Babyface Sues Anita Baker Over Royalties
Kenny Edmonds, aka Babyface, has sued singer Anita Baker for allegedly
failing to pay him for a song he produced for her.
In the lawsuit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Babyface
claims that Baker refused to pay him producer's fees and royalties for the
song, 'Like You Used to Do,' which he produced and Baker recorded.
Babyface claims he also co-wrote the song with Baker. 'Like You Used to
Do,' was included in Baker's album, 'My Everything,' which achieved gold
Babyface also alleges that Baker entered into an oral agreement for him to
perform at her concerts in Los Angeles, Detroit, New York and Chicago --
all in June and July of 2005. The suit claims that Babyface performed in
Los Angeles and New York and that Baker cancelled the concerts in Detroit
Babyface claims Baker was supposed to pay him $75,000 for each of the four
concerts, but that he was only paid $150,000. He is demanding an
additional $150,000 for the concerts that Baker cancelled.
The suit asks for at least $250,000, plus royalties and attorneys fees.