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Brian McKnight: Gemini, Brian McKnight What We Do Here number one single


Brian McKnight "Gemini," Brian McKnight "What We Do Here" number one single now. Brian McKnight new album "Gemini" will be in the stores February 8th (on Motown/PGD) and Brian McKnight new single "What We Do Here" is #1 Four Weeks In A Row. Brian McKnight is the multi-platinum, multi-talented superstar and tops Urban AC radio airwaves once again. The new single, a smooth ballad titled, "What We Do Here" from his upcoming album Gemini is #1 at the Urban AC radio format for 4 weeks in a row.

Brian McKnight superstar proves that he can still seduce listeners with his new single, "What We Do Here." The sexy ballad has held onto the #1 spot for four weeks in a row on the Adult R&B chart. The track is off the upcoming album, "Gemini".

"Gemini," Brian McKnight's eighth studio album is set for release on February 8, just in time for Valentine's Day. Brian McKnight, born under the astrological sign Gemini delivers what his fans expects of him -- classic love songs for the ladies, but he also shares his duality of his personality. "All my life as a Gemini, people say, I am so hard to read. On this album I am not running away from that. I am embracing all my complexities. It's OK to be a chameleon and adapt."

The balladeer Brian McKnight also offers more risque and upbeat songs such as "What You Gonna Do" with guest appearances by Juvenile and Akon, and "She" with Talib Kweli and Musiq.

As a singer, songwriter, musician and producer who has sold over 16 million records world-wide, Brian McKnight has received many awards and accolades (American Music, Blockbuster, NAACP Image and Soul Train awards) and nominations (Emmy, Grammy) for his previous work and albums, the platinum certified "Brian McKnight" (1991), gold selling "I Remember You" (1995), double-platinum selling "Anytime" (1997), "Bethlehem" (1998), triple-platinum certified "Back At One" (1999), and gold selling "Superhero" (2001) and "U-Turn" (2003).

Brian McKnight "Gemini" album: ORDER IT NOW.

Ruben Studdard: I Need An Angel, Ruben Studdard is hospitalized, Ruben Studdard hospitalized


Ruben Studdard: I Need An Angel, Ruben Studdard is hospitalized, Ruben Studdard hospitalized (American Idol).

If anybody ought to be hugging the velvet teddy bear for releasing "I Need an Angel," the follow up to the American Idol 2 champ's 2003 "Soulful" double platinum debut,, it's the top brass in the Gospel Music biz. Not only does Ruben Studdard give the genre its props by reinvestigating his roots and turning in an entire disc's worth of well-loved renditions, Ruben Studdard also, by virtue of his celebrity, will spawn a new audience of secular listeners for the music.

Because to hear this stuff--whether you were raised in the church or outside it--is to love it. The spiritual build-up starts with a light touch: Ruben Studdard lays his impeccable musical timing and Luther Vandross-like pipes all over the R. Kelly-penned title track, an anthem that recalls R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly." Later come gospel-soul hybrids ("Goin' Up Yonder"), spiritual ballads ("Center of My Joy," the Marvin Winans-penned "Restoration"), gorgeously interpreted traditional numbers ("Amazing Grace" and "Shout to the Lord") and a single twirl-toward-the-pulpit, free-your-demons Alabammy howler ("Fix It, Jesus," featuring the preacher Harvey Watkins, Jr.).

Capping a disc that for an artist less blessed could have been inaccessible, alienating, or worse, is a Ruben Studdard original: "Don't You Give Up" borrows a hook from the Jackson 5, but it's Ruben Studdard we hope will carry on, be it as smooth R&B crooner or a mainstream spreader of spiritual inspiration. - by Tammy La Gorce

Ruben Studdard "I Need An Angel" album tracklisting:
1. I Need An Angel
2. Center of My Joy
3. Goin' Up Yonder
4. Fix It Jesus
5. Amazing Grace
6. Shout To The Lord
7. Running Back To You
8. Restoration
9. We Have Not Forgotten
10. I Surrender All
11. Ain't No Need To Worry
12. Don't Give Up

Important Update (via the BBC, today):
Former US American Idol winner Ruben Studdard has been taken to hospital, suffering from exhaustion.
Ruben Studdard, 26-year-old was in his Alabama hometown when he was taken ill, a spokeswoman for his record label said. She said Studdard "will likely remain in the hospital through the end of the week - all promotion for his new album this week has been cancelled".
Ruben Studdard won American Idol last year (...) Spokeswoman Liz Morentin of J Records said Ruben Studdard had been feeling unwell over the past couple of weeks.
Exhaustion is believed to be at the root of the illness, although further tests are being carried out in hospital (...)."

Ruben Studdard "I Need An Angel" album: ORDER IT NOW.

Diana Krall Live At The Montreal Jazz Festival, Diana Krall DVD


Diana Krall "Live At The Montreal Jazz Festival", Diana Krall DVD. "Live at the Montreal Jazz Festival" DVD features Diana Krall on vocals and piano along with her band of Anthony Wilson on guitar, Peter Erskine on drums, and Robert Hurst on bass. Most of the songs performed here are culled from Diana Krall's recent Verve release, "The Girl in the Other Room". It's now just released on Verve Music Group/Universal Music Video (November 23, 2004).

The album, which has been certified Gold in the US and double Platinum in Diana Krall's native Canada, marked a change in that it showcased for the first time Diana Krall's skills as a songwriter. Many of the album's songs were penned by Diana Krall and her husband, Elvis Costello.

Some of the Diana Krall/Elvis Costello compositions featured on Live at the Montreal Jazz Festival are "Abandoned Masquerade," "Departure Bay," and "Narrow Daylight." The DVD also features Diana Krall's concert opener, the original instrumental "Sometimes I Just Freak Out," a song which is not available on the US version of her latest CD.

Diana Krall also interpreted songs from a wide range of artists for "The Girl in the Other Room," including Tom Waits ("Temptation"), Mose Allison ("Stop This World"), and Joni Mitchell ("Black Crow"). Live performances of all of these can be seen on the "Live at the Montreal Jazz Festival" DVD.

Grammy-winner Krall revisits some classic favorites from her earlier Verve and Impulse! recordings on this new DVD as well. During this performance, Diana Krall included "All or Nothing at All" from her album "Love Scenes" and "East of the Sun (West of the Moon)" and "Devil May Care" from "When I Look in Your Eyes".

Special bonus features on the "Live at the Montreal Jazz Festival" DVD include the music video for "Narrow Daylight," a photo gallery, artist biography and discography.

Diana Krall "Live At The Montreal Jazz Festival" DVD; the tracks:
1. Sometimes I Just Freak Out
2. All Or Nothing At All
3. Stop This World
4. The Girl In The Other Room
5. Abandoned Masquerade
6. I'm Coming Through
7. Temptation
8. East Of The Sun (And West Of The Moon)
9. Devil May Care
10. Black Crow
11. Narrow Daylight
12. Love Me Like A Man
13. Departure Bay
14. Narrow Daylight

Diana Krall "Live At The Montreal Jazz Festival" DVD Personnel:
Diana Krall - Piano, Vocal, Co-Producer
Anthony Wilson - Guitar
Peter Erskine - Drums
Robert Hurst - Bass

Diana Krall "Live At The Montreal Jazz Festival" DVD: ORDER IT NOW.

Madeleine Peyroux: Careless Love


Madeleine Peyroux "Careless Love" new album. In September, Rounder Records released singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux's highly anticipated second album, "Careless Love". The album, produced by Larry Klein (Shawn Colvin, Joni Mitchell) and featuring Madeleine Peyroux originals as well as interpretations of songs by Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith, Leonard Cohen and others, marks a long-awaited return for Madeleine Peyroux, following an eight year hiatus.

The 12 songs found on Madeleine Peyroux "Careless Love" album features a mix of acoustic Blues, Country ballads and torch songs showcasing Madeleine Peyroux's sultry alto. Highlights include "Don't Wait Too Long" composed by Madeleine Peyroux, Larry Klein and Jesse Harris (best known for his contributions to Norah Jones' hit album "Come Away with Me") as well as Madeleine Peyroux's warm renditions of Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love" and Bob Dylan's "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go."

Madeleine Peyroux had met Jesse Harris while touring behind "Dreamland". "We started collaborating and then lost touch for a few years. We reconnected in New York as he was about to win a Grammy and wrote that song together sitting on a bench in Central Park," she said.

In 1996, Madeleine Peyroux reached critical acclaim with the extremely successful release of her debut album, Dreamland. Time Magazine proclaimed Madeleine Peyroux as "one of a kind" while the Los Angeles Times called her vocals "polished and precise."

In 1996, Madeleine Peyroux, a 22-year-old American who had been living in Paris as a street musician, suddenly found herself on the fast track to fame. Appearances at Lilith Fair and Jazz festivals, and opening tours for Sarah McLachlan and Cesaria Evora followed, while "Dreamland"'s sales reached an impressive 200,000 copies worldwide. "It was great," recalls Peyroux. "I got to perform with fantastic musicians. I got to see Nina Simone live. I could've kept running with it, but instead I stepped back and took a breather."

Madeleine Peyroux also has a very personal relationship with French culture. On "Dreamland," she covered Edith Piaf's "La Vie en Rose." On "Careless Love," she delivers a vibrant version of "J'ai Deux Amours" ("I Have Two Loves"), a song that American expatriate singer Josephine Baker sang to Allied troops in France during the Second World War. "In many ways, Josephine Baker embodied that song because she represented an alliance between America and France during the war. It has so much symbolism and it's important to remember that in these days of strained international relations."

With "Careless Love," Madeleine Peyroux is once again proving herself to be an original interpreter and an open receptor to songs from earlier eras—an artist who channels vintage Jazz and Blues with chilling accuracy. "I feel very lucky to be part of a tradition of songwriting that stands the test of time," says Madeleine Peyroux. "I also feel lucky to be able to go back and perform as much as I did before—I can't wait." Adds Madeleine Peyroux, with characteristic modesty: "I'm very eager to know what the reaction to the record will be. We did something that felt good. I hope we touch a chord with people." With its sweet, bewitching sound, there's no doubt that "Careless Love" will do just that.

Musicians on Madeleine Peyroux "Careless Love" album:
David Piltch - bass
Larry Goldings - organ, piano, Wurlitzer and estey
Jay Bellerose - drums and percussion
Dean Parks - guitars

Madeleine Peyroux "Careless Love" album tracklisting:
1. Dance Me to the End of Love
2. Don't Wait Too Long
3. Don't Cry Baby
4. You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
5. Between the Bars
6. No More
7. Lonesome Road
8. J'Ai Deux Amours
9. Weary Blues
10. I'll Look Around
11. Careless Love
12. This Is Heaven to Me

Madeleine Peyroux "Careless Love" album: ORDER IT NOW.

UMe Digital announces albums only available online from Rusty Anderson, Black 'N Blue, John Jorgenson and Dan Reed


UMe Digital announces albums only available online from Rusty Anderson, Black 'N Blue, John Jorgenson and Dan Reed. UMe Digital, World's First All-Digital Download Label from a Major Music Company, Set for Debut; Label Announces Initial Releases; Offers Unprecedented Access and Exposure for Artists

On November 23, 2004, the debut of UMe Digital, the world's first all-digital download label from a major music company. UMe Digital product -- individual songs, EPs, and full-length albums -- will be distributed exclusively online.

The releases on UMe Digital will be consistent with UMe's philosophy of marketing established acts and acts who already have an established fan base. Available on November 23 via all online music services will be recordings from renowned guitarist Rusty Anderson (Paul McCartney, Stewart Copeland), guitar giant John Jorgenson (Elton John, Desert Rose Band, Hellecasters), Modern Rock innovator Dan Reed (Dan Reed Network) and legendary Hard Rockers Black 'N Blue, and singer/songwriter Will Owsley (Shania Twain and Amy Grant guitarist).

In addition to its marketing expertise, UMe Digital provides the technical expertise and production in the encoding and online delivery in the format each site requires. Unlike in the physical world, in virtually no time, perhaps only a week or two after entering into a deal, an artist's music can be online everywhere.

UMe Digital presents an auspicious opportunity for artists who are between deals and those who have deals but own their recording masters, particularly for live and/or acoustic tracks and previously unreleased recordings such as outtakes and demos. An artist may release a CD on one label and release other product via UMe Digital.

As for the future, Gilbert anticipates that the number of recordings and artists will progressively expand. Also, he added, "When artists find success with downloads, we may opt for a physical release as well."

UMe Digital will be available at all of the top online retailers and music services, including Apple iTunes Music Store, Napster, Tower Records Online, Microsoft Music Service, Virgin Digital, MusicNet, Liquid/, Real/Rhapsody, MusicMatch, MusicNow, Sony-Connect, FYE online, and

Some UMe Digital Artists:

Rusty Anderson "Undressing Underwater" (Album)
Featuring guest appearances by Paul McCartney and Stewart Copeland, "Undressing Underwater" shines the spotlight on a guitarist-singer-songwriter who continues to break new ground. Heard on recordings from Paul McCartney, Copeland, Perry Farrell, the Wallflowers, Elton John, Courtney Love, Stanley Clarke, The New Radicals, and Sinead O'Connor, Rusty Anderson has lent his talents to Oscar-nominated and Grammy-winning tracks. "Undressing Underwater," his debut album, was produced by Anderson, David Kahne, Mudrock, and Parthenon Huxley.

Black 'N Blue "One Night Only - Live!" (Album)
A heavy metal band from the Pacific Northwest, Black 'N Blue boasted four albums in the '80s for Geffen Records, produced by such heavyweights as Gene Simmons (KISS), Dieter Dierks (Scorpions), and Bruce Fairbairn (Aerosmith). With MTV favorite "Hold On To 18" and songs such as "Without Love," "Miss Mystery," "Nasty, Nasty," "I Want It All, I Want It Now," "Does She Or Doesn't She," and "Live It Up," Black 'N Blue helped define the decade of metal. "One Night Only - Live!," produced by Pat Regan (Deep Purple, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow), is a recording of a one-off reunion show staged by Portland, Oregon's favorite hard rock sons at that city's Key Largo club on Halloween 1997.

John Jorgenson "Franco-American Swing" (Album)
In the words of Elton John, John Jorgenson's guitar work is "brilliant, f---ing brilliant!" Bonnie Raitt, Bob Seger, Hank Williams Jr., Barbra Streisand, The Byrds, Rose Maddox, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, and John Prine are among the other artists whose CDs feature this three-time winner of the Academy of Country Music award for Guitarist of the Year. In 1986 Jorgenson formed country-rock's Desert Rose Band. With their second album, 1988's "Running," they were named the Academy of Country Music's Touring Band of the Year, an honor repeated in 1989 and 1990 (years they were also nominated as the Country Music Association's Best Vocal Group). Jorgenson then formed the Hellecasters -- three lead guitarists, no vocalist. "The Return Of The Hellecasters," their debut, was voted Album of the Year and Country Album of the Year in 1993 by Guitar Player magazine's Reader's Poll. He then recorded and toured with Elton John, a collaboration that lasted six years. Jorgenson's solo debut, "Emotional Savant," was issued in 1999.

Dan Reed "Sharp Turn" (Album)
One of Portland, Oregon's most successful artists has been Dan Reed, whose Dan Reed Network was a standard-setter for innovative rock in the '80s and early '90s. After three Polygram albums with cumulative worldwide sales of more than 1,500,000 copies, Dan Reed backed out of the rock arena to focus on stage acting, as well as producing and directing independent films. Never losing his passion for music, Dan Reed is in the studio once again, defying genre boundaries and stretching rock into new shapes and forms with "Untangled Daydream," a project leaning to the electronic and featuring stunningly beautiful soundscapes.

Dan Reed Collection Network "Collection (Import)" album: ORDER IT NOW.

Mark Bunney: Coming Soon

Mark Bunney "Coming Soon" album. Every once in a while there comes a musician that stands out among the rest. Mark Bunney is one of those musicians, and rightfully so. He is a student at the Prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where he is pursuing a degree in music on a full scholarship.

Mark Bunney adds the Midas touch to every note he plays with precision, skills and simple passion. One listen to Mark Bunney "Coming Soon" and you will immediately become a fan of his. His music will surely penetrate your every being, taking you to a place where only music lovers go…relaxed zone!

Mark Bunney showcases his skills on some popular tracks such as "God & God Alone," "I Love the Lord" by Richard Smallwood, and an awesome arrangement of "We Fall Down/The Celebration". "We Fall Down" of course made popular by Gospel artist Donnie McClurkin, with an added bonus called "The Celebration". Mark Bunney really showed the anointing of the Holy Spirit on this number!

Mark Bunney has this to say about his album, "Coming Soon"… "Its concept is centered on the theme of a day. A day mixed with elements of reality and ideals. For me, each day is a unique blend of striving for the unreachable, dealing with a variety of problems, but being determined in my heart that I'll make each day a success. The bright rhythmic feel of the first song Morning Devotion, is the epitome of what it feels like when I have started the day right".

The Global Independent Network Association and En Sound Entertainment are proud to present one of the world finest Christian Jazz saxophonists, Mark Bunney. "Coming Soon" is distributed by Book World Music.

You can preview Mark Bunney "Coming Soon" album at Mark Bunney webpage.

Mark Bunney "Coming Soon" album tracklisting:
1. Morning Devotion
2. God & God Alone
3. A New Day (Featuring Cava Menzies)
4. Heavenbound
5. I Love the Lord
6. We Fall Down/The Celebration
7. Morning Devotion Reprise (Feat. David Francis)
8. Street Witness
9. A Dream of Peace
10. Days End
11. Coming Soon

Mark Bunney "Coming Soon" album: ORDER IT NOW.

Kelly Clarkson: Breakaway, Kelly Clarkson second album (American Idol)


Kelly Clarkson "Breakaway," Kelly Clarkson second album (American Idol). Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway," one of the most anticipated albums of 2004, will be released by the RCA Records label on Tuesday, November 30th.
"Since U Been Gone" was the No. 1 most-added song at Mainstream Top 40 radio this week, adding to the buzz for the CD, which has reached a fever pitch. Billboard Magazine wrote: "This is an utterly ideal
showcase for Kelly Clarkson. There's glorious tempo, enough edge to rattle the speakers, a relentless, big-game hook -- and it's a huge leap forward for the entertainer as a more confident, ever-maturing vocalist."

Her first album, "Thankful," released in 2003, debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100 and included the No. 1 single "A Moment Like This" plus the top 5 smash hit "Miss Independent". Certified double platinum, "Thankful" was the perfect introduction to Kelly Clarkson.
"I had a lot more experience coming into the second album," Kelly Clarkson says. "I knew exactly what I wanted and who I wanted to work with."

The album begins with the title track, "Breakaway," one of this year's mega-hits reaching #1 on all Top 40 radio outlets. "Since U Been Gone," is the second track on the new album. Kelly Clarkson describes the song as an "empowering anthem." It's the only track on the album not recorded in Los Angeles.
"I went to Max Martin's studio in Sweden. We recorded it there with Max and the co-writer of the song, Lukasz Gottwald. The first time I heard the song I thought it was a little poppy, so I asked if we could rock the track a little. We put some heavier guitars and harder drums on it. Now it's explosive".

Kelly Clarkson co-wrote six songs on the album, including "Behind These Hazel Eyes" with Max Martin and Lukasz Gottwald, as well as "Because of You" with Ben Moody and David Hodges, formerly of Evanescence.
Kelly Clarkson also recorded six songs co-written by Kara Dioguardi, including "Gone," "Where Is Your Heart," and "You Found Me."
"Kara is one of the best writers I've ever met," says Kelly Clarkson. "She's passionate and very much an emotional writer," 'Gone,' which Kara Dioguardi wrote with John Shanks, is feisty and uptempo. "It'll be a great song to perform live. I love "You Found Me" because it's a happy song and the rest of the album is a bit on the darker side."

Kelly Clarkson and Kara Dioguardi also teamed up to write "Hear Me," along with Clif Magness. "'Hear Me' is the message I really want people to get from this album, sometimes I just want to be heard," Kelly Clarkson explains. "I don't care if you like my opinion or if you care what I'm saying, just listen. Indulge me. I wrote this song about being in a crowd, you're screaming at the top of your lungs and no one is listening. You are invisible. That's what I feel like sometimes. It's a very therapeutic song for me to listen to. I think everyone can relate to it."

The album concludes with a live version of "Beautiful Disaster," a song Kelly Clarkson originally recorded for her first album. "The lyrics are so beautiful," Kelly Clarkson stresses. "Writer Matthew Wilder and I wanted to do a piano version. We did it on tour and everybody flipped over it. I thought it would
be great to add it to the record for the people who didn't get a chance to see me perform it live."

The album producer is Clive Davis with A&R by Stephen Ferrera. Clarkson is managed by Simon Fuller for 19 Management.

The complete track listing for Kelly Clarkson "Breakaway" album is:
1. Breakaway, Written by M. Gerrard/B. Benante/A. Lavigne, Produced by John Shanks
2. Since U Been Gone, Written by Martin Sandberg/Lukasz Gottwald, Produced by Max Martin and Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald for Maratone Productions
3. Behind These Hazel Eyes, Written by Kelly Clarkson/Martin Sandberg/Lukasz Gottwald, Produced by Max Martin and Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald for Maratone Productions
4. Because Of You, Written by Kelly Clarkson/David Hodges/Ben Moody, Produced by David Hodges and Ben Moody
5. Gone, Written by Kara Dioguardi/John Shanks, Produced by John Shanks
6. Addicted, Written by Kelly Clarkson/David Hodges/Ben Moody, Produced by David Hodges and Ben Moody
7. Where Is Your Heart, Written by Chantal Kreviazuk/Kelly Clarkson/Kara Dioguardi, Produced by Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk
8. Hear Me, Written by Kelly Clarkson/Kara Dioguardi/Clif Magness, Produced by Clif Magness
9. Walk Away, Written by Chantal Kreviazuk/Raine Maida/Kara Dioguardi/Kelly Clarkson, Produced by Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk
10. You Found Me, Written by Kara Dioguardi/John Shanks, Produced by John Shanks
11. I Hate Myself For Losing You, Written by Kara Dioguardi/Jimmy Harry/Shep Solomon, Produced by Clif Magness
12. Beautiful Disaster (Live), Written by Matthew Wilder/Rebekah Jordan, Live Engineer: Toby Francis

Kelly Clarkson "Breakaway" new album: ORDER IT NOW.

Tommy Funderburk's debut album "Anything For You"


Frontiers Records is pleased to present Tommy Funderburk's debut album “Anything For You”, to be released worldwide in January 2005 !

Tommy Funderburk has been one of the most hired background singers in the history of rock! He had recording sessions with artists such as Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Yes, Steve Lukather, Richard Marx, Rick Springfield, Starship, REO Speedwagon, Coverdale/Page, Jon Anderson and many others...

But he is also widely known in the melodic rock and AOR circles for the contribution to timeless classic albums such as Airplay (with Jay Graydon and David Foster) in 1979, The Front in 1984, What If in 1987 and for his two albums with King of Hearts: the duo he created with Richard Marx's guitar player Bruce Gaitsch.

He also sang lead vocals of Boston’s album “Walk On” in 1994.

Tommy Funderbrurk is now one of the founding members of the new US-based label Sovereign Artists who has recently released the HEART’s return album “Jupiter’s Darling”.

In the meanwhile he started to work on his first solo album recorded under the guidance of producer Fabrizio V.Zee Grossi (Glenn Hughes, House of Lords etc.). Apparently titled "Anything For You," the album features several songs co-written by Tommy Funderburk with the likes of Michael Thompson, Bruce Gaitsch and Greg Mathieson which are a delight for all lovers of classic Melodic Rock and AOR in the style of Toto, Richard Marx and King of Hearts.

Tracklisting is:
Learning How To Love
Remember Our Love
Anything For You
Only You Can Give Me
To Say You Love Me
You Got The Love
The Garden
Second Chance
Say A Little Prayer

Release in Europe is scheduled on Frontiers Records on January 24th 2005, while the Japanese release will happen slightly earlier on King Records.

Fantasia: Free Yourself, Fantasia Barrino First Album (American Idol)


Fantasia "Free Yourself," Fantasia Barrino First Album (American Idol). Fantasia Barrino "Free Yourself" album which is Fantasia Barrino first album will be released on J-Records on November 23. Fantasia Barrino "Free Yourself" (Fantasia "Free Yourself") album features Miss Elliott, Dupri and Harold Lilly (who produced Alicia Keys).

J/19 recording artist Fantasia, the American Idol 3 champion who made Billboard History with her first record "I Believe" in June, is set to release her debut album "Free Yourself". The album, arriving in stores November 23rd, will feature guest appearances by Missy Elliott, who is producing three tracks, and a host of hitmakers that include Jermaine Dupri, Rodney Jerkins, Soulshock & Carlin, The Underdogs, Jazze Pha, and others.

Fantasia "Free Yourself" album producer Clive Davis, Chairman and CEO, BMG North America - who served as a judge in the final stages of "American Idol" and signed Fantasia to J Records in association with American Idol creator Simon Fuller's 19 Recordings Ltd. - has announced that the artist's first single is "Truth Is," produced by Soulshock & Karlin. "Truth Is" impacted Urban and Rhythm radio on November 15th, and Top 40 radio on November 29th.

"Fantasia is the real deal, an artist who is instantly identifiable and very much her own person," said Clive Davis. "She will have a long and illustrious career."

In addition to reprising "I Believe", "Free Yourself" will include Fantasia's show stopping version of the Gershwins' "Summertime", the song that took her to the final round on the American Idol competition. Fantasia made Billboard history by becoming the first artist in the history of Billboard's Hot 100 chart to debut at Number 1 with her first record, "I Believe". "I Believe" is currently the best selling single this year according to Neilsen Soundscan charts.

Fantasia "Free Yourself" album will also contain no less than three collaborations with Missy Elliott as producer and co-writer: "Selfish (I Want U 2 Myself)" (featuring Missy), the album title tune "Free Yourself" and "Good Lovin'".
Among the album's other highlights: The Underdogs produced "Ain't Gon' Beg You" and "You Were Always On My Mind" made famous by Willie Nelson, "Baby Mama" (co-written and produced by Harold Lilly), "Don't Act Right" (with Jazze Pha), "It's All Good" (with Rodney Jerkins), "This Is Me" (The Underdogs), and "Got Me Waiting" (produced by Jermaine Dupri).

"Working with Fantasia was fun because she's so into what she does and she understands that she's one hit record away from being not only the biggest American Idol, but one of the biggest stars in the world," said Jermaine Dupri.

Fantasia's upcoming appearances include Good Morning America, 20/20, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Ellen, Live with Regis & Kelly, and Early Show. Fantasia will perform on the American Idol Christmas special (with Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard) airing on Fox on November 24th.

As the pre-release campaign heats up in support of "Free Yourself," the High Point, North Carolina native and single mother is proud of the work she has accomplished on her debut album. "I want the songs I record to show different aspects of what I can do musically," Fantasia Barrino says. "I feel like God has blessed me and now I just want to give something back..."

Fantasia "Free Yourself" album: ORDER IT NOW.

Best Christian Albums of 2004: Sara Groves, Derek Webb, Steven Curtis Chapman, James Clay...


Best Christian Albums of 2004: Sara Groves, Derek Webb, Steven Curtis Chapman, James Clay...

Christian Music Today announced the Best Christian Albums of 2004 on Monday, Nov. 22, on its popular Web site, Christian Music Today. The fifth annual list, featuring the top 12 albums of the year, was chosen by six editors and writers who worked from a list of nearly 50 nominees.

Critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Sara Groves, who twice finished as a runner-up in Christian Music Today's 2001 and 2002 lists, broke through to claim the No. 1 spot this time with her remarkable CD, "The Other Side of Something" (INO Records).

"The fact that she's placed highly three albums in a row is testament to what a consistently fantastic songwriter she really is," wrote Christian Music Today, calling Sara Groves "an artist stretching her sound without straying, settling on a good balance of Folk and Progressive AC Pop... Sara Groves is the rare Christian artist able to successfully juggle all that she can be-introspective, creative, worshipful, secular, intelligent, and approachable."

Derek Webb, another thoughtful singer/songwriter and Sara Groves' labelmate at INO Records, finished No. 2 on the list with "I See Things Upside Down". Of the former Caedmon's Call member's project, Christian Music Today wrote that Derek Webb now "joins the ranks of convicting songwriters like Keith Green, Mark Heard, Steve Taylor, and Rich Mullins... He doesn't just peel back layers of the heart with candid insight; he breaks it wide open to expose our shortcomings... Derek Webb has truly arrived with another album of incredible songwriting depth." Derek Webb's solo debut, "She Must and Shall Go Free," had finished No. 5 on Christian Music Today's 2003 list.

Finishing third was the brand-new album from punk rockers Relient K. Of mmHmm (Gotee), Christian Music Today wrote, "This band gets better with every album. We've always enjoyed this band, but now we respect them. The songs are still fun, but the themes are more mature and spiritual than ever... While the band embraces a more aggressive rock sound on mmHmm, their addition of piano in the mix allows for dramatic shifts in mood that help embellish the music instead of to define it. In other words, it flat out rocks."

Rounding out Christian Music Today's list of 2004's Best Christian Albums are:
No. 4. Toby Mac, Welcome to Diverse City (ForeFront/EMI)
No. 5. Caedmon's Call, Share the Well (Essential)
No. 6. Salvador, So Natural (Word/Warner)
No. 7. Sanctus Real, Fight the Tide (Sparrow/EMI)
No. 8. Fernando Ortega, Fernando Ortega (Curb/Warner)
No. 9. Rachael Lampa, Rachael Lampa (Word/Warner)
No. 10. James Clay, James Clay (Inpop)
No. 11. Steven Curtis Chapman, All Things New (Sparrow/EMI)
No. 12. Buddy Miller, Universal United House of Prayer (New West)

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