Sunday August 6th, 2006
New CD's this past week:
None to report
Music news headlines this week:
LeToya Powers Right To No. 1 On Billboard 200
Six years after a messy departure from Destiny's Child, LeToya Luckett's
"LeToya" zooms straight to No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop
Albums chart, where it debuted last week due to street date violations.
The Capitol set sold 165,000 copies in the United States, according to
Nielsen SoundScan. The single "Torn" has already spent three weeks at No.
1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
"LeToya" knocks last week's No. 1, the multi-label compilation "NOW 22,"
down to No. 2.
Studdard Returns To R&B On New Album
Second season "American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard will release his third
effort, "The Return," Sept. 26 via J Records. The album is the follow-up
to 2004's gospel-leaning "I Need an Angel," which has sold 440,000 copies
in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The album's first single, "Change Me," produced by the Underdogs, will hit
urban adult and urban mainstream radio today (July 31). "The Return" will
feature additional production by Scott Storch, Ne-Yo and Bryan-Michael
Cox, among others.
Studdard produced the track "If Only for One Night," a remake of the
Brenda Russell song popularized by Luther Vandross. He also co-wrote the
tunes "I'm Not Happy," "Blow Ya Mind" and "To Tha Crib."
The artist says the album title "signifies my return to the mainstream
after doing the gospel record in 2004. I've had people ask me where I've
been in the past few years so I thought calling it 'The Return' made
sense. The first track on the new record is 'The Return of the Velvet
Teddy Bear' so I just shortened it and made it the title of my CD."
John Legend Back Once Again
After pumping 70’s nostalgic soul and sweater vests into the vein of R&B,
John Legend reappears this fall with his second major LP, Once Again.
The Ohio native teams with Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.I.Am for the
first single, “Save Room”, taking the melody of Classics IV’s rock
standard “Stormy” to recall a Beatles-inspired sun-soaked laze with
swelling guitar riffs that climax then deflate, its lyricism coolly
Will.i.am, who earns a co-production credit on the track, collaborated
with the neo-soul singer in 2004 on “Ordinary People,” the Grammy-award
winning single off Legend’s critically lauded debut, Get Lifted.
In 2003, Legend signed with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music label under
Columbia Records and has since released two live albums independent of the
uber-producer’s music emblem, including 2003’s Live at SOB’s, and 2004’s
Solo Sessions Vol. 1: Live At The Knitting Factory.
Monica Looks To Mayfield For New LP
R&B singer Monica is currently finishing up her fourth album, The Makings
of Me, which is due in stores on September 26. The leadoff single,
"Everytime Tha Beat Drop," was produced by Jermaine Dupri and features Dem
Franchize Boyz. Monica says the album title was inspired by Curtis
Mayfield's "The Makings of You," which is also sampled in the Missy
Elliott-produced song "Dozen Roses."
"This album is really the makings of me because it talks about so many
different scenarios, both good and bad, that have pretty much brought me
to the point where I'm at mentally," Monica recently told Billboard.com.
"We found different ways to put in the last 11 years of my life and make
this more of a musical diary where people can really see me in a lot of
different lights for once."
Monica also said that many of the songs grew out of her own poetry. "When
you start talking about subjects that are that personal, you kind of need
people that were there," she told Billboard. "For a lot of different
things that I experienced, people like Missy, us having a friendship
outside of music, she was there. Same with Jermaine. But I did venture off
and work with some people I really admired. I wrote with Tank and
different people that could really get a good feel of what I was talking
Others that collaborated on the album include Rapper Twista and producers
Sean Garrett, Bryan Michael Cox and the Underdogs. Monica plans to record
the album's final track with Akon this week.
Donnie Delivers “Daily News”
Singer/Songwriter Donnie introduced himself to the world with his
critically-acclaimed CD, “The Colored Section.” This Fall, Donnie will
release “The Daily News” via SoulThought Records.
Donnie’s music, a true reflection of his personality, is bold, honest and
unprocessed. He paints a picture of life that shows the joy, pains and
challenges facing the human race.
The first single, “911,” is a wake up call for America and will give yet
another perspective on the artist that USA Today described as "….
soulfully funky…. echoes the work of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway but
is thoroughly contemporary."
The video for “911” will be directed by Joe Robert Cole, winner of this
year’s screenwriting competition at the 2006 Vibe/Urbanworld Film Festival
for “The Man Who’s Never Been Kissed.” Mr. Cole was also a co-writer for
the recently released movie ATL.
Donnie will hit the road on a pre-release CD tour in August delivering
“The Daily News” to Atlanta, Washington, DC, Detroit, Chicago,
Philadelphia and New York. For more, visit: www.myspace.com/donniemusic
Christina Milian Looks For Fresh Start After Being Dumped By Island Def Jam
Island Def Jam disagreed, but Christina Milian still feels her third album
is So Amazin'.
Although she was dropped from the label just weeks after its May 16
release date, Milian is continuing to promote the album through live
appearances, including Power 106's Summer Splash with Sean Paul and Kelis
on August 19 in Long Beach, California.
"I still work it because I want people to hear my music," Milian said.
"It's unfortunate what happened. I worked hard on this music, and I think
Milian is especially proud of her would-be second single, "Gonna Tell
"I'm hoping to take that with me to another label one day and do a
video," she said. "It's dealing with being in a relationship and coming
out of it and having a fresh start. How ironic."
A fresh start is exactly what Milian is planning, and she's remaining
positive about the experience.
"I'm moving on to better things and new things," she said. "I've gotten a
lot of offers, and I'm pretty sure I know where I'm going."
Milian is also focusing more on her film career, although she's been
writing songs when inspiration hits her.
"I wanted to make it a slower process, this next album," she said, before
offering a few tidbits. "It'll be a mixture of everything I've done. I'd
love to do something with Timbaland. I'm a huge fan."
In the meantime, she's happy to at least be on "TRL" as an actress,
co-starring with Eva Longoria and Christina Applegate in Jessica Simpson's
"A Public Affair" video .
"They made me feel like part of the fam," Milian said of the Simpson clan.
"It was so laid-back. The video has a lot of personality to it, so
director Brett Ratner was always coming up with stuff on the spot, like,
'Hey, maybe now you should lick Andy Dick's face.' "
Come August 11, Milian will also be hitting the big screen, co-starring
with Kristen Bell in the horror movie "Pulse".
"It's a concept built on something we deal with day to day — wireless
frequencies, our cell phones, our laptops," the actress explained.
"Everyone is connected to their cell phones and computers, and if ghosts
or aliens could channel themselves through my e-mail, it'd be a little
freaky. It's possible it could happen. It might already be true."
On September 26, Milian will also be celebrating her 25th birthday.