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
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.