Sunday February 12th, 2006                                                 


New CD's this past week:

- Mint condition - Live from the 9.30 club


Music news headlines this week:

John Legend Wins Best New Artist Grammy

In the least suspenseful award of the night, John Legend won the Grammy
for best new artist.
He beat out nominees Ciara, Fall Out Boy, Keane and SugarLand. Legend was
nominated for eight Grammys, tied for the most with his mentor, Kanye
West, and Mariah Carey.
The 27-year-old, piano-playing crooner released his critically acclaimed
debut, "Get Lifted," in December 2004. It sold more than 1 million copies.
"People cared more about it because West was attached to it and he was
an 'it' artist at the time and still is, even more so now," Legend
recently told The Associated Press. "So it got more attention than just
the average R&B singer would have got."
Legend, who performed in the pre-game show for the Super Bowl, has a
growing list of fans. He appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" Wednesday
and earlier opened for Alicia Keys' tour.
"He's special," Keys told The AP. "He's a person that plays and sings and
writes his own music, he's not trying to keep up with the Joneses."
Before the broadcast, Legend was announced as the winner for best R&B
album. He also won for best male R&B male vocal performance.

Sly Stone Emerges At Grammy Awards

Music legend Sly Stone made his first major public appearance since his
1993 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night (Feb. 8) at
the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Sly & the Family Stone were the subject
of a multi-artist tribute during the telecast, for which Stone joined in
during the final number, "I Want To Take You Higher."
Stone, now 61, has not released an album since 1982's "Ain't But the One
Way" and was last heard from on the 1986 soundtrack to the film "Soul
Man." Over the years, he has battled drug addiction and been the subject
of bizarre rumors about his personal life, but is understood to now be in
better health and living in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Boasting a huge platinum mohawk, dark sunglasses and a floor-length
metallic coat, Stone took his place at a synthesizer in the middle of the
stage, flanked by such artists as Joss Stone, John Legend, Maroon 5,
Fantasia, and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. He only
occasionally sung into the microphone and walked off the stage before the
song was finished, but not before stepping to the stage and flashing a
brief smile.
The tribute also featured portions of the Family Stone classics "Family
Affair," "If You Want Me To Stay," "Everyday People" and "Dance to the
Those songs are the basis for the new album "Different Strokes for
Different Folks," which features new renditions by such acts as Legend,
Maroon 5, OutKast's Big Boi and Buddy Guy with John Mayer. The set is due
Tuesday via Legacy.

Earth, Wind & Fire Set Spring Tour Dates

R&B legends Earth, Wind & Fire are ready to promote their latest album
“Illumination” on a string of North American concerts beginning Feb. 25 in
Albuquerque and ending March 26 in Corpus Christi, TX.
The group also plan on continuing their tour in Europe, so far 3 UK dates
have been confirmed with more to follow on the continent.
"Illumination," released in September, features a large array of guest
performers, including Outkast's Big Boi and The Black Eyed Peas'
Will.I.Am. The set entered The Billboard 200 album chart at No. 32 last
year, the highest debut position in the group's history.


Avant 'Minutes' Away From Fourth Album

R&B vocalist Avant will release his fourth album, "Director," March 21 via
Magic Johnson Records/Geffen. First single "4 Minutes" can be streamed on
the artist's Web site. The single rockets 79-44 this week on Billboard's
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. A video for the track was directed by Bryan
Barber, who was behind the cameras for the upcoming OutKast film
Although the track list for "Director" has yet to be confirmed, the album
is tipped to feature production from Jermaine Dupri, Rodney Jerkins, Bryan
Cox, the Underdogs and Steve Huff.
Since the release of 2003's "Private Room," Avant has appeared on the
Lloyd Banks hit "Karma" and can presently be heard on the remix of the
Pussycat Dolls' No. 1 Mainstream Top 40 single "Stickwitu."
"Private Room" debuted at No. 18 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 813,000
copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.


Marvin Biopic To Star Jesse L. Martin

Finally, a feature film about the life of Marvin Gaye has been given a
green light. Jesse L. Martin, star of NBC’s “Law & Order” and the feature
film “Rent,” will portray Motown’s finest in the independently-financed
film “Sexual Healing,” due to begin production in May.
The movie, to be directed by Lauren Goodman from her own script, will
focus on the years preceding his sudden shooting death at the hands of his
father on April 1, 1984, one day before his 45th birthday. The film will
include his self-imposed exile in Europe after years of battling drugs,
domestic issues and label headaches. There, he was rescued by a promoter
who helped Gaye record his biggest-selling album, "Midnight Love,"
supported by his comeback smash, "Sexual Healing."
“More than just being the voice of a generation, Marvin Gaye proved to be
its very heartbeat,” Goodman told the Hollywood Reporter. “As a filmmaker,
I was drawn to tell the story of a human being who was never fully
realized, one with faults and foibles and an uncommon grace expressed
every time he picked up the microphone.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, producers have been trying for years
to get a Marvin Gaye biopic off the ground. Originally, “Sexual Healing”
was intended to cover a larger portion of his life but was refocused on
his final years because of rights issues with his Motown-produced records.


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