Friday, September 22, 2006

R&B Goes To Church

Do not change your dial. You are reading correctly.

If you are hearing a few of your favorite R&B artists issuing out new singles on your favorite gospel radio stations, then you are not on the wrong station. As Fall 2006 approaches, several popular R&B and pop artists will be releasing gospel projects and hope to bring to the table their faith and interpretation of gospel music to the world. While it is no surprise to see this kind of influx taking place in gospel (wow, we easily remember Whitney Houston's quick jump to gospel and safe trip back to mainstream), this year proves to deliver one of the most interesting seasons for popular music icons attempting gospel music.

First up to the plate is Dave Hollister. You remember him for singing with Teddy Riley's R&B dream team, BlackSTREET. Eventually, Hollister decided to go solo and delivered some of the coolest R&B records of the nineties including "My Favorite Girl", "Baby Mama Drama" and "One Woman's Man". But his appearance on the unforgettable "Let's Dance" remix, recorded by Hezekiah Walker, along with the popular concept video, opened up speculations that Hollister would eventually record a gospel project. Now GospoCentric Records, along with Zomba Recording Corporation, has announced that on September 26, that dream will become a reality with the release of "The Book of David". Production will be handled by PAJAM, Teddy Riley, Mike City, Shep Crawford and Warryn Campbell.

Another shocking surprise is on the way. The soulful R&B duo, Kenny Lattimore and Chante Moore, will be delivering their debut gospel/inspirational collection, along with another disc filled with new R&B/love songs. The idea of this ever happening was once a rumor, but Verity Records and Babyface's Laface Records has confirmed the release of this project and will surely rattle the gospel industry with imminent force. The first single from the gospel project, "Make Me Like The Moon", was produced by Fred Hammond. The release date of the double-disc "Uncovered/Covered" is slated for October 10, 2006.

Coko, formally one of the lead vocalists for the best-selling R&B group SWV, will also deliver her debut full-length collection this fall on the newly-organized Light Records. And R&B diva Kelly Price, known for her stylish vocals and several keynote appearances on gospel projects, will finally reveal her finished gospel project on the GospoCentric label this fall.

So this fall, don't get too concerned when you hear Dave Hollister, Coko, Kelly Price, Kenny Lattimore and Chante Moore singing on your local radio station...or singing at your local church function...we told you here first.

Kenny Lattimore (Official Website)
Chante' Moore (Official Website)
Kenny Lattimore & Chante' Moore (
Coko (

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where's The Care For The Bear

Ruben Studdard, along with Juanita Bynum and Jonathan Butler, arrived on Birmingham soil together on May 7 for an enriching musical experience to be put on tape and recorded. The event featured selected compositions featuring the GGC Symphony Orchestra and Choir (headed by professor Dr. Henry Panion, III) and was labeled "Gospo Goes Classical". It was not the first time this kind of event was done...a year before that Panion brought the GospoCentric label in with Dorinda Clark-Cole, Byron Cage and Tramaine Hawkins (whom could not make it because of an emergency) using the same platform and idea. But this time around, Studdard along with the other guests were bound to face a live recording - with a release on the praise-and-worship Maranatha! music label. He performed "I Need An Angel" with an amazing symphonic arrangement and also sung a song dedicated to the richness and pride of the state of Alabama.

But rumors surfaced and were later confirmed when ads begin to hit the media announcing Studdard's obvious omission from the project.

"I don't think they could get the stuff together with Maranatha! and J Records. But we recorded it in Birmingham about three months ago." said Studdard when interviewed with BV's Buzz columnist Jawn Murray. But Studdard is far from bitter over the experience. "Ah man, Jonathan Butler hands down is one of the best singer's I've ever heard in my life. And you know Juanita just goes without saying. She's a blessing man, and I enjoyed being with the both of them."

The R&B/inspirational gospel crooner will be releasing October 17 his upcoming "The Return" on J Records. Plenty of people have questioned him about his quietness in the music world but he clearly speaks about his activeness and believes that his upcoming project will end the rumors of any ideas of disappearing from the industry. The album promises to focus on his R&B/soul roots and will feature production from R&B/hip-hop sensation Ne-Yo.

Now, our attention shifts to Maranatha and J Records. What the heck happened? Do we have any care for the Velvet Teddy Bear? Can we all just get alone?

Ruben Studdard