Sunday August 13th, 2006 HOME
New CD's this past week:
- Jody Watley - The makeover
- Joy Denalane - Born & raised (German release)
Music news headlines this week:
D’Angelo Back In the Studio
D’Angelo is reportedly back on track, health-wise and music-wise.
After addressing a substance abuse problem in an Antigua rehabilitation
facility, the soulful singer is back in the lab, laying down tracks for a
new album, according to AOL’s BV Entertainment Newswire.
D’Angelo was spotted in New York recently taking a meeting with Virgin
Records urban music president Jermaine Dupri, music exec Gary Harris (who
worked with D’Angelo on his hit “Brown Sugar”), and music industry manager
No date was confirmed as of press time.
R&B Singer Sammie Makes a Comeback
Remember the 12-year-old who sang “I Like It” with a voice smoother than
molasses and a smile so mischievous he could have been one of kids on The
Cosby Show? Well Sammie is back, all grown up and ready to run the show
all by himself.
His Capital Records debut album, From the Bottom to the Top, went platinum
in 2000 and paved the way for an overwhelming youth movement that soon
enveloped the hip hop scene. After six years of not setting foot in the
studio, the 18-year-old Miami native enters the R&B scene again as a grown
man with his sophomore effort, Sammie – which contains the first single,
“You Should Be My Girl,” featuring Sean Paul of the Young Bloodz.
“With the first album, it all just happened so fast – I couldn’t go to
school like I wanted to,” Sammie said during an exclusive interview. “I
wanted to feel what it was like to go to homecoming, and go to prom and
all of the things that every teenager should experience in life.”
And so he did – attending high school just like every other kid his age,
and graduating last June after what he claims to be “the best four years
of his life."
As the newly polished singer steps out of the classroom and into the
spotlight, he’s armed with not only stellar vocal skills, but also a dream
team of producers that put a veteran flair on the album, which comes to us
via Rowdy Records.
“I worked with some amazing producers such as Dallas Austin, Brian Michael
Cox, Jazze Pha, and Daron [Jones] of 112. It’s kind of like my lil’ baby
right now because I got to co-write the album. I got to express my
thoughts on paper and be creative."
He’s currently on the road and will continue to tour this summer, as he
presents his fresh new sound to old and new fans all over the country.
Sammie is set to hit stores this October.
Janet Jackson Graces Cover Of “Vibe” Magazine
A newly fit Janet Jackson poses topless on the September cover of Vibe,
wearing just a bikini bottom and a necklace, with only her right arm
draped across her breasts. The 40-year-old singer, who recently lost 60
pounds, told the magazine that she'll stop posing for sexy photos at some
point, but not for a while, saying, "Of course. When I'm 80. That's when
I'll call it quits," according to the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, Jackson said that she has completely moved on from the 2004
Super Bowl halftime incident in which Justin Timberlake pulled off a part
her bustier, revealing one of her breasts. She said, "It's just over and
done with. It's old. It's the past. It's history. I'm onto something new.
Everybody got their licks in -- those who wanted to -- and it's done."
Jackson is currently dating music producer Jermaine Dupri, who she says
reminds her a lot of herself. Jackson explained, "When I look at Jermaine,
I see myself. I feel as if I'm looking in the mirror. The connection I
feel with him I have never felt with anybody else."
Jackson's new album, 20 Y.O., comes out on September 26th.
Marques Houston Grows Up On “Veteran”
R&B singer Marques Houston is finishing up his third album, "Veteran," due
Nov. 14 via T.U.G./Universal. The set features guest appearances from
Shawnna, Mya and Yung Joc, and production by the Underdogs, Bryan Michael
Cox and Rufus Black, among others.
A video was recently shot for lead single "Favorite Girl," which Houston
describes as "a mid-tempo, feel-good song you can drive or clean up to."
The singer wrote the majority of the tracks on the new offering.
"I think this is the first album that reflects who I am as an artist and
as a man," he tells Billboard.com. "There's a lot that I've been through
as far as relationships and just experiencing life. I'm only 25 but I’m
veteran because I've been in the industry since I was 8 and I've watched
Houston says the disc is a natural step up in both his artistic and
personal evolution. "My first solo album was basically the setup album,
letting everybody know that I was breaking away from the group. The
'Naked' album was really a coming-of-age project, letting everybody know I
could talk about sexy stuff and getting the image of a little kid out of
people's head," he says. "With this album, I really dug into my soul and
deep into my spirit. [Going from] a bad relationship to a new one gave me
a lot to write about."
"Veteran" will be the follow-up to 2005's "Naked," which bowed at No. 13
on The Billboard 200 and has sold 390,000 copies in the United States,
according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Meanwhile, Houston and Omarion, who appeared together in 2004's "You Got
Served," will star in the upcoming drama "Somebody Help Me," which was
also written and directed by Chris Stokes.
Benson, Jarreau Draft Stars For 'Givin' It Up'
Jazz veterans George Benson and Al Jarreau are joined by some big names on
their first collaborative album, "Givin' It Up." Due Oct. 24 via
Concord/Monster Music, the set features Paul McCartney on a version of Sam
Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me," Jill Scott on Billie Holiday's "God
Bless the Child" and Patti Austin and Chris Botti on "Let It Rain."
Elsewhere, Benson and Jarreau put new spins on each other's material.
Jarreau has added lyrics and vocals to Benson's instrumental hit
"Breezin'," while Benson recasts Jarreau's "Mornin'" as an instrumental.
The pair also covers Paul Young's "Every Time You Go Away," John Legend's
"Ordinary People," Miles Davis' "Four" and "Long Come Tutu" and Seals &
Croft's "Summer Breeze."
Among the musicians contributing to the sessions are Herbie Hancock,
bassists Marcus Miller and Stanley Clarke and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta.
Monster Music is releasing "Givin' It Up" as a two-CD SuperDisc package,
featuring a variety of high resolution audio mixes.
Benson and Jarreau are touring together through the end of the month.
Donna Summer Suits Up With Burgundy
For the first time in her illustrious career, Donna Summer says she is
without direction -- and that's a good thing. "There is lots of room for
discovery," she tells Billboard.com with a chuckle.
However, the singer/songwriter is not without a label, having just signed
with Sony BMG imprint Burgundy Records. Summer will work closely with
Burgundy executive VP/GM Joe DiMuro and his team. "They will help me to
define who I am now," she says. "We must find this out, as I am a lot of
things. These days, I am much more socially and politically aware. The
world has changed over the past several years. There are levels of the
human psyche I'd like to address."
Summer says a new album will be released in 2007, with original songs and,
perhaps, a couple of remakes -- possibly including something from Marvin
Gaye. In the early '80s, prior to Gaye's untimely death, Summer was
preparing to record some duets with him.
"I have always loved his work," Summer notes. "I was listening to his
music the other day. His songs are relevant, touching and gripping. A
couple of them would make for very timely covers."
Summer is the latest addition to a Burgundy stable that includes America,
Chaka Khan and Aaron Neville.