Sunday September 24th, 2006                                                  HOME


New CD's this past week:

- Miki Howard - Pillow talk


Music news headlines this week:

Ciara Sounding 'Young But Sexy' On New Album

R&B singer Ciara has set Dec. 5 as the release date for her sophomore
effort "Ciara: The Evolution," due via La Face/Zomba Label Group. The set
boasts production from Rodney Jerkins, Pharrell Williams,, Lil
Jon and Polow Da Don.
Ciara wrote or co-wrote every track and co-produced the majority of the
disc, which is led by the Polow-produced single "Promise." "Nobody's
really heard her do a ballad and the way we did it is young but sexy,"
Polow tells "It's incredible and I predict it'll No. 1."
Last November, Ciara said she planned to open up more on the new offering.
"For this album, I took my inspiration from many different influences and
the sound really reflects that," she said. "The world loves to dance, so I
wanted to give them music to dance to, but at the same time, the message
is so much stronger. This time around, I'm taking people into my world and
letting them see more of who I truly am."
"Ciara: The Evolution" will be the follow-up to 2004's "Goodies," which
bowed at No. 3 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 2.6 million copies in the
United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.


Luther Vandross Tributed Once Again

A second Luther Vandross tribute CD is on its way in the form of "Forever,
for Always, for Luther, Vol. 2," due Nov. 20 via Universal-distributed
Rendezvous. The collection is produced by two of the guiding lights behind
2004's first volume, Rex Rideout and Bud Harner.
This time out, the lineup includes Kirk Whalum (making a return
appearance), Patti Austin, Jonathan Butler, Jeff Lorber, Wayman Tisdale,
Gerald Albright, Will Downing, Maysa (of Incognito fame) and Norman Brown.
A portion of the CD's proceeds will benefit the American Heart Assn.
Sources say a U.S. tour is being planned for the spring.


Ashanti, Producer Settle Contract Dispute

Ashanti and her first producer, Genard Parker, dropped all litigation on
Septembet 19th in a contract dispute, ending a trial that began a day
earlier. If any money changed hands, their lawyers refused to talk about
it, saying only that everyone was pleased that the bitter battle was over.
Outside court, Alan Kaminsky, a lawyer for Ashanti, called the decision by
both sides to drop all litigation "an excellent result."
"I'm very pleased the plaintiff has voluntarily dismissed the case against
us," Ashanti said outside court, where she had been scheduled to continue
her testimony. The lawsuits were time-consuming, the 25-year-old singer
said, and "I'd rather be in the studio writing."
Parker, the producer who had helped Ashanti record demo tapes of several
songs at his apartment when she was 16, said outside court that he was
"happy it's over."
Last year, another jury concluded that Ashanti broke a contract with
Parker and owed him $630,000. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff rejected all
but $50,000 of the award on the grounds that the jurors did not have
adequate facts to determine damages so they were left to speculate. The
judge's decision led to the new trial, where Parker had been seeking $2.3
On Monday, Kaminsky told the jury that Ashanti should not have to pay
Parker anything because he had no role in her career after he released her
from his contract so she could sign with another company.
Although the release called for Parker to receive money from the company
for her first three albums, the company eventually rejected Ashanti and no
records were made. Later, she met Irv Gotti and worked with Murder Inc. to
produce three records that sold 6 million copies, Ashanti testified.


Whitney Houstonís Divorce Papers Files In California

The latest details on the split between Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown
are coming to the surface. The Grammy-winning songbird filed for legal
separation as the first step to a divorce from the R&B bad boy in the
state of California, where her paperwork claimed she has been living for
the last six months.
Friends of Houston -- who has palatial homes in Atlanta and New Jersey --
confirmed to that she has been living in Southern California
since April to receive treatment at a rehab facility.
While Georgia offers at least 13 ways to claim a divorce, California is a
no-fault state. Sources close to the couple also claim that the pair did
sign a prenuptial agreement.


Brandy In Talks For New TV Show

Singer Brandy, who has served as a judge on America's Got Talent, is
reportedly in talks to headline another TV project. The
multi-platinum-selling singer was the star of UPN's Moesha from 1996 to
2001. The still-untitled project is centered on a New Yorker who moves to
Los Angeles to take a job as an entertainment editor.
Brandy recently sat in as a co-host on The View and had a recurring role
on TV's One On One. She also appeared on movie screens in 1998's I Still
Know What You Did Last Summer.
Brandy is reportedly at work on her fifth solo album, due in 2007. Her
previous album was 2004's Afrodisiac.


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