Sunday March 19th, 2006                                                  HOME


New CD's this past week:

- J. Rawls - The essence of soul


Music news headlines this week:


Gladys Knight Salutes Ella, Duke, Sammy

R&B veteran Gladys Knight will honor a host of legendary vocalists with
the release of a covers album, "Before Me." Due June 6 via Verve Records,
the set features songs originally performed by Ella Fitzgerald, Duke
Ellington, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Sammy Davis, Jr., among others.
Grammy-winning producers Tommy LiPuma (Natalie Cole, George Benson) and
Phil Ramone (Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles) worked behind the boards on the
album. The Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and saxophonist David "Fathead"
Newman are among the contributing instrumentalists.
"As I was getting this music together, the title, 'Before Me,' just rang
in my head. I was impressed to make a reference to those glorious
performers that set the pace for me to be a part of this industry," says
Knight. "These people made great strides not just with their music, but
because of who they were as people."
Knight's most recent album was 2005's "One Voice" with the Saints Unified
Voices. The artist has a handful of upcoming shows on her itinerary,
including tomorrow (March 16) in Huntsville, Ala., and Saturday in
Westbury, N.Y. A six-date European tour begins June 30 in Birmingham,

Ray J Gives Up Fur After Encounter With Pamela Anderson

R&B star Ray J is still enjoying the success of his breakthrough single,
"One Wish," and the singer was celebrating at London's Kabaret nightclub
earlier this week when he had an interesting encounter with Pamela
Anderson. The former Baywatch star walked up to Ray J and took his
chinchilla fur coat right off his back. Anderson then began to explain
that People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) investigations
have found that animals are strangled, gassed, electrocuted, and even
skinned alive for their pelts. The conversation struck a cord with Ray J
and according to a statement released by PETA, he went outside the club
and threw his fur on the ground in front of a group of paparazzi and vowed
never to wear fur again.
Ray J recently released "What I Need" as the second single and video from
his album Raydiation.

Guy, After 7, Blackstreet & Tony! Toni! Tone! On Tour Together

Popular new jack acts of the '90s --including Guy, Blackstreet, After 7,
and Tony! Toni! Tone! -- have come together to perform all their hits on
the new Body & Soul Tour this month.
Guy will feature original members Aaron and Damian Hall and producer Teddy
Riley, who is also a member and producer of Blackstreet. Guy helped usher
in the new jack swing sound with "Groove Me," "I Like," and "Let's Chill,"
while Blackstreet emerged later in the decade with "No Diggity" and "Don't
After 7 reunites Kevon and Melvin Edmonds -- big brothers to Kenneth
"Babyface" Edmonds -- with Keith Mitchell, a cousin of former Babyface
partner L.A. Reid. The trio scored with "Can't Stop" and "Heat Of The
Singer and producer Raphael Saadiq will front the Tony! Toni! Tone!
lineup, which also features his brother Dwayne Wiggins and cousin Timothy
Christian. The group's hits include "Anniversary," "Slow Wine," "Feels
Good," and "Lay Your Head On My Pillow."

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