Sunday January 22nd, 2006                                              


New CD's this past week:

- Donald McCollum - U don't want my love (UK release)
- Jiva - Sun and moon (UK release)

Music news headlines this week:

Mariah, Kanye & Legend To Perform At Grammys

Mariah Carey, Kanye West and John Legend are the first acts confirmed to
perform at the 48th Grammy Awards, which will be held Feb. 8 at Los
Angeles' Staples Center and broadcast live on CBS.
The trio of artists is tied with a leading eight nominations for the
awards. Carey and West will face off in the album of the year category
(for "The Emancipation of Mimi" and "Late Registration," respectively),
while Carey and Legend are both nominated for song of the year and best
R&B song (for "We Belong Together" and "Ordinary People," respectively).
The Grammys will be West only other upcoming appearance besides a Feb. 2
show in Detroit as part of the Pepsi Smash Super Bowl Concert Series.
Legend's only upcoming show is Jan. 26 at the Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues
Fest in Montego Bay, Jamaica.


Toni Braxton To Release New Music Video From Her “Libra” Album

Six time Grammy Award winning singer, Toni Braxton will be shooting the
second music video from her chart-topping 6th studio album, “Libra.” The
new music video will be filmed later this month or early February and it
will be the third single released from her long anticipated “Libra” album.
The new video will be for the track, “Take This Ring.” The Rich Harrison
go-go hyped produced song with its blaxploitation-film soundtrack effects,
splices in just enough funk--and the right kind--to fuel a thousand
In other Toni Braxton news, in support of her new album she will begin her
worldwide “Libra” tour by taking her show out on the road. Beginning in
March she make stops in Atlantic City, NJ, Chicago, IL and New York State.
Her “Libra” album peaked at #2 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums when
it was released in September 2005. Toni Braxton has sold over 42 million
albums worldwide from the start of her singing career which began in 1993.


McKnight, LL Visit 'Family Reunion' Soundtrack

The soundtrack to the upcoming Tyler Perry film "Madea's Family Reunion"
will be issued Feb. 21 through Motown. The 10-track set features new songs
from Chaka Khan, Gerald Levert and Yolanda Adams, among others. The movie
will arrive three days later in U.S. theaters.
The Brian McKnight ballad "Find Myself in You" will be the first single
released from the project and is currently available for download via
Apple's iTunes Music Store. Other artists on the soundtrack include LL
Cool J featuring Mary Mary ("We're Gonna Make It"), Johnny Gill ("You for
Me -- The Wedding Song") and Kem ("Tonight").
In the film, 68-year-old Mabel "Madea" Simmons (played by Perry) struggles
to keep her relatives together before an upcoming family reunion. The cast
is rounded out by Blair Underwood, Lynn Whitfield, Boris Kodjoe and Maya
Madea was also the central character in Perry's "Diary of a Mad Black
Woman," released last year. That film stunned industry observers by
topping the U.S. box office with a $22 million opening weekend gross. The
soundtrack was released via Rowdy/Motown one month after the film.


Chaka Khan & Aaron Neville Sign To New Label

Chaka Khan and Aaron Neville are the first two acts signed to the new
Burgundy Records, Billboard has learned. The imprint was founded by Joe
DiMuro, the executive VP of Sony BMG Strategic Marketing Group. Burgundy
will be distributed by Sony BMG.
New albums from each are due later this year. Khan's disc of original
material will find her returning to her raw and gritty Rufus-era funk
roots. For his CD, Neville will reinterpret soul standards made famous by
the likes of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding.
"We know there is an audience for this music," DiMuro says. "We will
propagate [it] to other areas. We will monetize it."


Angela Bofill Suffers Stroke

The "Angel of the Night," singer Angela Bofill is paralyzed on her left
side following a stroke suffered on Jan. 10, her manager Rich Engel told
us. Bofill is convalescing is at Sutter Hospital in Santa Rosa, CA.
Bofill, 51, was released from intensive care on Sunday (Jan. 15) and will
require speech and physical therapy, Engel said.
A benefit concert has been organized to pay her hospital bills, as Bofill
did not carry health insurance. The show, planned by Engel along with N.Y.
radio stations Kiss FM, and CD 101.9, will be held on March 11th at the
Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, N.J. Similar events are being
planned for Detroit and Los Angeles, Engel said.
Latest report is that she is making progress after her recent stroke.
While still hospitalized in Northern California, her agent reports that
she has begun to show signs of improvement.


Van Hunt Returning With “Yesterday And Today”

On April 4th Capitol Records will release Van Hunt's "Yesterday And
Tomorrow", the follow-up to Hunt's Grammy-nominated self-titled debut.
Produced by Hunt and Grammy Award-winner Bill Bottrell (Sheryl Crow,
Madonna, and Michael Jackson), "Yesterday And Tomorrow" sees the gifted
singer/songwriter/musician further expanding on the multi-hued mingling of
soul, pop, and R&B that first brought him into the spotlight. The album was
recorded in a number of studios across the country, including Los Angeles'
the Pass and Nashville's East Iris. Similar to his debut, "Yesterday And
Tomorrow" is mostly written, arranged and performed by Hunt.
Hunt recently was honored with a Grammy Award nomination for "Best
Urban/Alternative Performance" for the Van Hunt track, "Dust!" Since the
2004 release of his eponymous debut, Van Hunt has been celebrated as one
of today's most compelling and inventive talents. The album quickly
received rapturous praise in a variety of national publications. People
Magazine said, "The Hunt for the next great soul artist is over ... with
his dynamite debut, Van Hunt has produced the year's best CD so far."
People Magazine also picked it as one of the Top 10 Releases of 2004.
"Unlike his neosoul brethren, Hunt wraps his seamlessly quilted voice
around wry, off-kilter lyrics; his skewed views on love and life are wholly
his," declared Rolling Stone, adding, "The bar has been raised." "I hope
the singer Van Hunt puts out a few more albums quickly," raved The New
York Times' Ben Ratliff, "because the promises of his first are too good
to squander: solid lyrics about depression as well as ecstasy; horn charts
and slow grooves played by real musicians."
In addition, Hunt received approbation from a number of his fellow
artists, including Alicia Keys, who saluted him as "one of the most
incredible musicians I know." Mary J. Blige, Joss Stone and Adam Clayton
of U2 all named Hunt's debut as one of their favorites of the year.
Hunt's many musical gifts went well beyond the recording studio and onto
the concert stage. He earned a reputation as an electrifying live performer
with a series of national tours, including both headline dates as well as
shows alongside such artists as the Roots, Angie Stone, and Seal. Van Hunt
will premiere some of his new songs at a concert appearance later this month
at The Sundance Film Festival at Kimball Arts Center on January 25th.


New Edition Reuniting Again … With Bobby' Brown

Dust off those "I Love Ralph" and "Ronnie Is So Sexy" T-shirts — New
Edition are reuniting. An expanded lineup featuring the group's six
members — Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph
Tresvant and Johnny Gill will be hitting the road for an extensive tour
that is planned to last at least two months. The catch: The tour won't
happen until 2008.
The announcement was made by Bivins onstage in Atlantic City, New Jersey,
on Sunday, after Brown performed a couple of numbers with Bell Biv DeVoe.
The group has reunited in various forms before: All six for the 1996 LP
Home Again and its troubled ensuing tour (not all six members were still
in the group at the tour's end) and, minus Brown, for the Diddy-helmed One
Love in 2004 (see "One Love But Two Sounds: Classic New Edition And '04
BBD Flow"). In recent months, various members have been performing shows
and making sporadic appearances, including on BET's 25th anniversary show.
On Sunday, at an R&B show billed "Body & Soul" at the Trump Taj Mahal in
Atlantic City, Brown — who has also been touring solo (see "Ladies' Man
Reborn: Bobby Brown Back In Shape At Atlantic City Gig") — jumped onstage
twice to rapturous applause, once with Bell Biv DeVoe and once by himself.
"Your brother is here!" Brown said from the backstage while BBD performed.
The group's lead singer Ricky Bell announced he was sick and was
performing against doctor's advice. Although he did not disclose his
ailment, it seemed like he was hampered by the flu because he could barely
sing — the usually stellar crooner sounded more like the raspy Young Jeezy
than he did himself. Brown joined the group and helped with lead vocals
during "When Will I See You Smile Again?" and BBD's "Poison."
Brown returned later for a very brief solo set, wearing an all-black suit
with an orange dress shirt. He tore into "Every Little Step," then "Roni,"
and when the music for "My Prerogative" came on, he tore open his shirt,
sending buttons flying into the front row. He performed the song
bare-chested, with his tie still around his neck and a fur coat on.
New Edition aren't the only R&B artists on the comeback trail: Keith
Sweat, Guy and En Vogue also performed at "Body & Soul." Guy announced
onstage that they will have a new LP out this year and it looks like En
Vogue will be following suit: The Funky Divas performed a brand-new single
at the show. For the most part, all of the "Body and Soul" performers look
the same as they did a decade ago, and their voices stand the test of time
On a related note, SWV were not at "Body & Soul" but have been performing
dates with Keith Sweat and Guy. They also have plans to release new
material this year: an SWV LP and a solo gospel project from group member


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