Sunday September 10th, 2006                                                  HOME


New CD's this past week:

- Beyoncé - B'day


Music news headlines this week:

Ruben Studdard Makes A Grown Up 'Return'

Posted Sep 7th 2006 10:11AM by Steve Baltin
Filed under: Soul/R&B, Television
Ruben Studdard is still the Velvet Teddy Bear, something he makes clear in
the opening track of his forthcoming album, 'The Return' (Oct. 17). But
don't expect more of the same from the former 'American Idol' winner.
In fact, he says folks might be in for a bit of a surprise. "Even with the
success of Kelly Clarkson's album, I think a lot of people were surprised
to see how edgy she was in her real self. Most of the time, people see us
on the show and they think we're kids," Studdard tells AOL Music.
"I'm an urban artist, I'm a grown man. And now I'm showing people that I'm
mature, and this is really who I am."
Studdard, hanging out in an L.A. hotel room, where he was in town to
perform at a United Negro College Fund tribute to Aretha Franklin, says
the music is a little different as well. "I think the beats and my vocals
make it really a pop-driven album," he says. "Most people look at me as
this soul balladeer, but I wanted to flip the script and make the drive of
the album more Justin Timberlake-ish, or Michael Jackson-ish. And I think
people are going to get that. It's R&B because I'm singing it, but listen
to all the tracks down -- it's soul-pop."


McKnight Teams With Rascal Flatts On New Album

Brian McKnight has teamed with country stars Rascal Flatts for the song
"Red, White and Blue," which will be included on his upcoming Warner Bros.
debut. As previously reported, "10" will arrive Nov. 14 and is McKnight's
first album since leaving Motown.
R&B vocalist Jill Scott joins McKnight on "More Than Just a Thang," while
songwriters Tim & Bob contributed to "Unhappy Without You" and first
single "Used To Be My Girl."
McKnight told Billboard in June he was optimistic about his move to WB.
"I've seen what they can do -- they think outside the box," he said. "When
I was a teen, all the acts I loved were on Warner Bros., including my
brother Claude of Take 6. It's kind of surreal but it feels like this is
where I should be."
"10" is the follow-up to 2005's "Gemini," which debuted at No. 4 on The
Billboard 200.

Whitney Houston Currently Working On New Album

Whitney Houston is hard at work on a new album. According to,
J Records head Clive Davis said that they've already chosen six songs for
the upcoming set. Houston won't be writing any of the tracks, though.
Davis said, "Whitney doesn't write. It's a gift -- you either got it or
you don't. I've seen more artists lose a career over trying to do that."
There's no word on when it will be released.
Houston's last effort, One Wish: The Holiday Album, came out in 2003.
A new book claims that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden became obsessed
with Houston and wanted to marry her, according to author Kola Boof, who
had been his mistress in the 1990s.

Omarion Getting Older With '21'

R&B vocalist Omarion will release his sophomore album, '21,' Oct. 31 via
Epic. The set features production from Pharrell Williams, the Underdogs
and Bryan Michael Cox. First single "Entourage" is No. 27 this week on
Billboard`s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
"To me, at 21, it was a realization of who I wanted to become - just me
practicing my morals as a man and getting better in my craft," Omarion
says. The album is the follow-up to 2005`s 'O,' which debuted at No. 1 on
both The Billboard 200 and Billboard`s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
Omarion will also be seen in several upcoming films, including the horror
movie 'Somebody Help Me,' which also features fellow R&B artist Marques
Houston. Next up is 'Reggaeton,' about an aspiring Bronx rapper forced to
flee to Puerto Rico, and the drama 'Street Soldier.'

Gerald Albright, EW&F, Ray Parker Jr. Featured On New Pat Boone CD

Soulful artists Smokey Robinson, Ray Parker Jr., Earth Wind & Fire, Joni
Sledge, Sam Moore, KC & The Sunshine Band, The Four Tops, Kool & The Gang,
Gerald Albright, Kool Moe Dee and James Brown all make special appearances
on a brand new album by pop veteran Pat Boone. Pat Boone R&B Classics will
be released September 19th and is produced by his longtime drummer, Ollie
E. Brown of Brown Sugar Productions.
The 72-year-old Boone says he considers himself to have R&B roots, being
that he was the first white artist to re-record R&B tunes for a larger
white audience, beginning in March 1955 with his version of The
Charms'"Two Hearts," which sold more than 1 million copies. His many
covers and non-threatening appearance took R&B and the new rock & roll
sound into the most conservative corners of segregated America in the '50
and early '60s.
Among the tunes on Pat Boone R&B Classics are "Papa's Got a Brand New
Bag," "Soul Man," "Get Down Tonight," "Tears of a Clown," "Celebration,"
"I Can't Help Myself," "A Woman Needs Love," "We Are Family," "Shotgun,"
"That's The Way of The World," and "BackBone," all recorded with the
original artists.
Said Boone, "This was a labor of love for music that America has loved for
50 years and a love for the artists who created it; and a love for the
unadulterated fun that rocketed around the world."

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