Sunday October 29th, 2006                                                  HOME


New CD's this past week:

- George Benson & Al Jarreau - Givin' it up
- John Legend - Once again

Music news headlines this week:

Michael Jackson Hits Studio With For New Album

Michael Jackson and Black Eyed Peas producer/rapper have begun
collaborating on new material for Jackson's as-yet-untitled album, due
late next year via the Bahrain-based Two Seas Records.
The pair recently entered a studio in Ireland. "I like what he is doing
and thought it would be interesting to collaborate or just see how the
chemistry worked," Jackson told Access Hollywood in an interview airing
this week. "I think he's doing wonderful, innovative, positive, great
The new offering will be the pop star's first release since 2001's
"Invincible," which bowed atop The Billboard 200. But Jackson, who
currently resides in Bahrain, says he has still been writing in the
interim. "I am always writing a potpourri of music," he says. "I want to
give the world escapism through the wonder of great music and to reach the
Next month, Jackson will make a rare appearance at the World Music Awards
in London to receive the Diamond Award, for selling more than 100 million
albums. Previous recipients include Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Bon Jovi
and Celine Dion.
The awards, which are based solely on record sales, will be handed out
Nov. 15 at Earls Court, hosted by Lindsay Lohan. Beyonce, Mary J. Blige
and Andrea Bocelli are among the performers.


Maxwell Reactivates Three-Album Project

R&B singer/songwriter Maxwell is looking to unveil material from his
long-brewing, three-installment album "Black Summer's Night" early next
year via Columbia/Sony Urban. The first album will arrive Feb. 13,
according to the artist's MySpace page.
A single was initially due Oct. 11 but the site states that "due to
scheduling obligations with Columbia Records, we are not able to release
the new single to MySpace at this time." A non-working audio file of a
song called "Fistfull of Tears" currently appears on the site.
In a message posted on Sept. 1, Maxwell wrote, "The last week of letters
and comments have done a lot to get a brother off that couch and on to the
studio. Who knew after five years that anyone would be around? You proved
me wrong and I thank you for it. It feels so right to be back with you."
"Black Summer's Night" will be Maxwell's first release since 2001's "Now,"
which has sold 1.7 million copies in the United States, according to
Nielsen SoundScan and spawned the singles "Lifetime," "This Woman's Work"
and "Get To Know Ya."


Jermaine Dupri Steps Down As Virgin Urban President

Jermaine Dupri has stepped down as president of urban music at Virgin,
following lackluster sales of his girlfriend Janet Jackson's latest disc,
"20 Y.O," which Dupri co-executive produced.
In a statement released to the Associated Press today (Oct. 25), Dupri
said, "Since there are so many rumors running rampant about my position at
Virgin Records, I feel that it is necessary to set the record straight. I
was not forced out of the company -- I made a decision that it was in my
best interest to leave."
The producer/rapper was appointed to the post in January 2005. Since then,
his signings have included Dem Franchize Boyz; he also pacted with OutKast
member Big Boi's Purple Ribbon imprint.
As for "20 Y.O.," it bowed at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 last month and
has sold just 443,000 units to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.


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