Sunday November 19th, 2006                                                  HOME


New CD's this past week:

- Tamia – Between friends


Music news headlines this week:

Mary J. Blige To Perform At Billboard Awards

Grammy winner Mary J. Blige will be one of the performers at the 2006
Billboard Music Awards, set for December 4th at the MGM Grand Arena in Las
Vegas. She will join a performing lineup that includes Gwen Stefani, the
Fray, Janet Jackson, the Killers, and Fergie.
The awards honor the artists with the best Billboard chart showings of the
previous year. Also scheduled to make appearances on the awards show are
Flavor Flav, Three 6 Mafia, Vanessa Minnillo, Bowling For Soup, Carrie
Underwood, Carmen Electra, Dave Navarro, and the cast of High School
Blige is set to release the greatest hits package Reflections: A
Retrospective on December 12th. The album also features some new material,
like the new single "We Ride (I See The Future)."
Another star-studded Blige collection, a two-disk set titled Mary J. Blige
And Friends, will be available only at Circuit City this Christmas.
The Billboard Music Awards will be broadcast live December 4th on the Fox


Tamia Is Back With “Between Friends”

Grammy-winning vocalist Tamia is back this week with her fourth solo
album. The new set, titled Between Friends, was released Tuesday on the
singer's own Plus 1 Music Group through a deal with DVD distributor Image
Entertainment. The first single from the set is "Can't Get Enough." The
new set is the follow-up to her 2004 release More, which featured the
singles "Still" and "Officially Missing You."
The Canadian-born singer wrote her entire album with hit-making producer
Rodney "Darkchild" Jenkins and chart-topping songwriter Shep Crawford.
She says that after years of recording at major labels Qwest and Elektra,
she decided to go the independent route. "When I took a step back from the
music scene, I realized how disposable the industry had become and decided
to go back into the studio in an effort to create songs that are a
reflection of where I am in life both personally and professionally -- a
mother, wife, friend, and now, entrepreneur," Tamia told
While the singer has scored chart hits and collaborated with Quincy Jones,
Eric Benet, Gladys Knight, and Chaka Khan, among others, she says putting
out a new album still makes her nervous: "It's a little nerve-wracking,
because you try and do your best, and you try and put your best foot
forward, and you never know how people are going to take it. I'm sure
every artist puts out an album that they think is just the best work and
sometimes it just doesn't fly. So it's a little nerve-wracking when you're
finally finished and that's it and the album is out of your hands and it's
up to the people to decide how you did."


Al Jarreau And George Benson Planning 2007 Tour

Al Jarreau & George Benson's first-ever duet project, Givin' It Up, is
delighting fans from coast to coast. The two previewed the concept and the
music for the collaboration with a national tour this past summer, and are
currently plotting out dates for a second leg to kick off in 2007.
Jarreau says that the experience of touring together cemented his
friendship with Benson. "It made it wonderful, even stronger and faster
and deeper and thicker and wider and higher, we love each other all the
more," laughed Jarreau. "I think we both have a little something more in
our reservoirs that we will pull from as singers and players thanks to
this experience of touring together to announce the coming of the record,
to let people know that yeah, this is what's gonna happen."
The artists still have individual performance commitments for 2007, but
are currently working out another itinerary. "We're figuring that out
now," added Jarreau. "We're gonna give the record a little chance to be
out there and then we'll get together next year and do some touring in the
U.S. and abroad and announce and support the record some more."
In the meantime, Jarreau and Benson are making the rounds of TV shows to
promote the new album.


Heart Disease Likely Led To Levert's Death

Preliminary information about the death of prominent R&B singer showed he
had "mild to moderate" heart disease
Preliminary information about the death of prominent R&B singer Gerald
Levert showed he had "mild to moderate" heart disease, according to Greg
Boyles of the Geauga County Coroner's Office.
Boyles, an investigator with the office, said further tests are pending,
and it may take weeks before an official ruling is made.
He also said an official time of death was still pending.
Levert, 40, was pronounced dead Friday afternoon at University Hospitals
Geauga Medical Center in Claridon Township.
But numerous published reports indicated a family member found Levert in
his Newbury Township home and was unable to wake him, indicating they
suspected he may have died in his sleep. Levert was the father of four,
and the son of O'Jays singer Eddie Levert.
A singer with Atlantic Records, the younger Levert sold millions of albums
and had numerous R&B hits both as a soloist and as a member of groups such
as LeVert and the supergroup LSG, in which he was joined by R&B singers
Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill.
He was also a producer to many artists, such as the O'Jays, Barry White,
Stephanie Mills, Troop, Teddy Pendergrass, the Winans and Patti Labelle.
A public memorial service for Levert will be held at noon Friday at the
Cleveland Convention Center Music Hall, according to published reports.


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