Marcus B (cover)

In the news this week...Beyonce and Jay Z continue their run as entertainment's top earning couple. They beat out Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie, Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen, and more for the top spot on Forbes' Highest-Earning Celebrity Couples List with an estimated $95 million in earnings between June 2012 and June 2013. After taking a short break following the birth of her daughter Blue Ivy, Beyonce came back with a vengeance, securing several lucrative endorsement deals (H&M, Pepsi) as well as launching her "Mrs. Carter World Tour", which grossed an average $2 million per night. Husband Jay-Z's stake in the Brooklyn Nets (which he sold recently), his 'Watch The Throne' collaborative album with Kanye West, a world tour that brought in $1.4 million per night in America, and his other Roc Nation ventures also added plenty to the pot. Bey & Jay's latest deals sees them being a billionaire couple. Check out the full list below and read more on Forbes. (singersroom)

05. Kanye West & Kim Kardashian - $30 million
04. Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis - $35 million
03. Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie - $50 million
02. Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen - $80 million
01. Jay Z & Beyoncé Knowles-Carter - $95 million

Two of America's top soul singers have just come together for what, on the surface at any rate, is an unusual project. Philadelphia's neo-soulster Musiq Soulchild has joined forces with Chicago's Syleena Johnson for a reggae album. Entitled '9INE' (yes there are 9 new songs on it), the album, we're told, was a spontaneous affair. The project was the brain child of top reggae producer Kemar McGregor whose vision has always been to get established non-Jamaican singers to work in the reggae genre. While working on what was to be a various artists set, he recorded a duet between Soulchild and Syleena and the chemistry was such that the trio decided to record a whole album. The nine new songs were a collaborative affair and the whole thing was recorded in just nine days. The set's big tune is the lead single – 'Feel The Fire'. It's a big blend of pop and soul with just a garnish of reggae and Syleena's in fine soulful form – as befits the daughter of soul legend Syl Johnson. The tune comes in a dance hall style remix at the end (so there are actually ten songs on the set). 'Pieces Of You' is another cut that comes recommended... a light, pleasing jaunt in the lovers rock style... two great voices combining in soul.(soulandjazzandfunk.com)

 This weeks playlist, Sunday 22nd. September 2013

  1. Yarougough & Peoples feat: Doraian - Special
  2. Truce feat: Damage - Key To The City
  3. Gwen McRae - When I Think Of You
  4. Luther Vandross - I Won't Let You Do That To Me
  5. Omar - I Don't mean A Thing
  6. Randy Brown - We Oughta To Be Gettin' It On
  7. Zo! feat:Fonte & Chokolate - Making Time
  8. Full Flava/Romina Johnson - Round & Round
  9. Chante Moore - Making Love
  10. ? - I know You Want It
  11. Fatback Band - Shining Star
  12. Evelyn King - Shame
  13. Betty Whight - Keep It New
  14. By All Means - I'm The One Who Loves You
  15. (various mix)
  16. Gladys Knight - Saving My Overtime
  17. O'Jays - A Summer Fling
  18. Leyah Roberts - If You Don't Want My Love
  19. ? - I Just Don't Wanna Be Lonely
  20. (various mix)


The Isley Brothers

In the news this week....John Legend is officially a married man. The R&B crooner tied the knot with model Chrissy Teigen in Italy on Saturday. According to E! News, the couple wed in a small ceremony at an estate on Italy’s Lake Como, a favorite of celebrities including George Clooney and Madonna.  The Grammy-winning singer and Sports Illustrated model, who have been dating since 2007, got engaged in December 2011 during their holiday vacation in the Maldives. Legend professed his love for Teigen during an interview with Oprah earlier this year. “I knew I loved her,” he said. “I knew I could see myself living with her and spending time with her forever. I knew I could envision us having kids together.”  The couple showed just how deep their love is while shooting the intimate video for “All of Me,” a ballad Legend penned about his new wife. The newlyweds will have a little time to honeymoon before Legend returns to the U.S. to kick off his “Made to Love” tour on Oct. 20. (R&Bnews)

Ten years after his death in 2003, the late, great soul musician Barry White has finally received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and it couldn’t have been a better day, as he received the star on his birthday (Sept 12).  His wife, Glodean White, accepted the honor on his behalf, and the likes of Berry Gordy, Walter and Scottie of the Whispers, singer-songwriter Brenda Holloway, producer Jesus Barber, L.A. city councilman Tom LaBonge, and Soul Train producer Tony Cornelius were just a few of the many celebs who came out to pay tribute to the music virtuoso.  Producer of Walk of Fame ceremonies Ana Martinez said, "People can't get enough of Barry White's music, and even though he passed away many years ago, his songs will live on in the hearts of many. We are honored to have Barry White, his legendary voice and timeless songs immortalized on the Walk of Fame."  White was known for his bass voice and soulful, romantic songs, such as “Can't Get Enough of Your Love Babe,” and “Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up” with his 40-piece ensemble The Love Unlimited Orchestra. (singersroom)

This weeks playlist for Sunday 15th September 2013

Hour One
Amazonics - Redemption Song
Monday Michiru - No Woman No Cry
Joe Sample The Road Less Traveled
Teddy Pendergrass - Good To You
The O'Jays - Used To Be My Girl
Yarbrough & Peoples - Special
Maze - I Want To feel I'm Wanted
Syleena Johnson - Guess What
George Benson - Let's Do It Again
Tony Stone - Can't Say Bye
The Controllers - Sleeping Alone
Anthony David - Body Language

Hour Two
'Three-inna-Row: The Isley Brothers
1 I Need Your Body
2 I Once Had Your Love
3 Groove With You

Kenny Lattimore - Weekend
Rahsaan Patterson - We You Are
Jon B - They Don't Know
Wornell Jones - Must Be Love
Coke Escovedo - Runaway
The Jones Girls - The Feeling Is Killing Me
Melba More It's Hard Not To Like You
Maze - While I'm Alone

The Isley Brothers Biography:

 Three brothers, O'Kelly (Born 25 December 1937, d. 31 March 1986), Rudolph (Born 1 April 1939) and Ronald Isley (Born 21 May 1941), began singing gospel in their home-town of Cincinnati, USA, in the early 50s, accompanied by their brother Vernon, who died in a car crash around 1957. Moving to New York the following year, the trio issued one-off singles before being signed by the RCA Records production team, Hugo And Luigi. The Isleys had already developed a tight vocal unit, with Rudolph and O'Kelly supporting Ronald's strident tenor leads in a call-and-response style taken directly from the church. The self-composed "Shout" - with a chorus based on an ad-libbed refrain that had won an enthusiastic response in concert - epitomized this approach, building to a frantic crescendo as the brothers screamed out to each other across the simple chord changes. "Shout" sold heavily in the black market, and has since become an R&B standard, but RCA's attempts to concoct a suitable follow-up were unsuccessful.

The group switched labels to Wand Records in 1962, where they enjoyed a major hit with an equally dynamic cover version of the Top Notes' "Twist And Shout", an arrangement that was subsequently copied by the Beatles. In the fashion of the times, the Isleys were forced to spend the next two years recording increasingly contrived rewrites of this hit, both on Wand and at United Artists Records. A brief spell with Atlantic Records in 1964 produced a classic R&B record, "Who's That Lady?", but with little success. Tired of the lack of control over their recordings, the Isleys formed their own company, T-Neck Records, in 1964 - an unprecedented step for black performers. The first release on the label, "Testify", showcased their young lead guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, and allowed him free rein to display his virtuosity and range of sonic effects. However, the record's experimental sound went unnoticed at the time, and the Isleys were forced to abandon both T-Neck and Hendrix, and sign a contract with Motown Records.

They were allowed little involvement in the production of their records and the group were teamed with the Holland/Dozier/Holland partnership, who effectively treated them as an extension of the Four Tops, and fashioned songs for them accordingly. This combination reached its zenith with "This Old Heart Of Mine" in 1966, a major hit in the USA, and a belated chart success in Britain in 1968. UK listeners also reacted favourably to "Behind A Painted Smile" and "I Guess I'll Always Love You' when they were reissued at the end of the 60s. Such singles were definitive Motown: a driving beat, an immaculate house band and several impassioned voices; but although the Isleys" records always boasted a tougher edge than those by their stablemates, little of their work for Motown exploited their gospel and R&B heritage to the full.

Tired of the formula and company power games, the Isleys reactivated T-Neck in 1969, along with a change of image from the regulation mohair suits to a freer, funkier "west coast" image, reflected in their choice of repertoire. At this point too, they became a sextet, adding two younger brothers, Ernie (Born 7 March 1952; guitar) and Marvin (bass), as well as a cousin, Chris Jasper (keyboards). While their mid-60s recordings were enjoying overdue success in Britain, the Isleys were scoring enormous US hits with their new releases, notably "It's Your Thing" and "I Turned You On'. These records sported a stripped-down funk sound, inspired by James Brown And The JBs, and topped with the brothers" soaring vocal harmonies. They issued a succession of ambitious albums in this vein between 1969 and 1972, among them a live double set that featured extended versions of their recent hits, and In The Beginning, a collection of their 1964 recordings with Jimi Hendrix. In the early 70s, the Isleys incorporated into their repertoire a variety of rock material by composers such as Bob Dylan, Stephen Stills and Carole King.

Their dual role as composers and interpreters reached a peak in 1973 on 3+3, the first album issued via a distribution agreement with CBS Records. The record's title reflected the make-up of the group at that time, with the three original vocalists supported by the new generation of the family. Ernie Isley's powerful, sustained guitar work, strongly influenced by Jimi Hendrix, became a vital ingredient in the Isleys' sound, and was featured heavily on the album's lead single, "That Lady', a revamped version of their unheralded 1964 single on Atlantic. 3+3 also contained soft soul interpretations of material by Seals And Croft, James Taylor and the Doobie Brothers. An important key track was the Isleys" own "Highway Of My Life", which demonstrated Ronald's increasing mastery of the romantic ballad form. Having established a winning formula, the Isleys retained it throughout the rest of the 70s, issuing a succession of slick, impressive soul albums that were divided between startlingly tough funk numbers and subdued Ronald Isley ballads. The Heat Is On in 1975 represented the pinnacle of both genres; the angry lyrics of "Fight The Power", a US Top 10 single, contrasted sharply with the suite of love songs on the album's second side, aptly summarized by the title of one of the tracks, "Sensuality". "Harvest For The World' (1976) proved to be one of the Isleys" most popular recordings in Britain, with its stunning blend of dance rhythm, melody and social awareness (the song hit the UK charts in 1988 in a version by the Christians).

In the late 70s, the increasing polarization of the rock and disco markets ensured that while the Isleys continued to impress black record buyers, their work went largely unheard in the white mainstream. "The Pride", "Take Me To The Next Phase", "I Wanna Be With You" and "Don't Say Goodnight" all topped the specialist black music charts without registering in the US Top 30, and the group responded in kind, concentrating on dance-flavoured material to the exclusion of their ballads. "It's A Disco Night', a UK hit in 1980, demonstrated their command of the idiom, but a growing sense of self-parody infected the Isleys' music in the early 80s. Conscious of this decline, Ernie and Marvin Isley and Chris Jasper left the group in 1984 to form the successful Isley, Jasper, Isley combination. The original trio soldiered on, but the sudden death of O'Kelly Isley from a heart attack on 31 March 1986 brought their 30-year partnership to an end. Ronald and Rudolph dedicated their next release, Smooth Sailin", to him, and the album produced another black hit in Angela Wimbush's ballad, "Smooth Sailin' Tonight". Wimbush now assumed virtual artistic control over the group, and she wrote and produced their 1989 release Spend The Night, which was effectively a Ronald Isley solo album. The artistic innovations of the Isley Brothers, continued by the second generation of the family in Isley, Jasper, Isley, belie the conservatism of their releases since the late 70s. Their 1996 release Mission To Please attempted to move them into the same smooth urban soul territory as Keith Sweat and Babyface. In 2001 they were awarded over $5 million in a lawsuit, to be paid by singer Michael Bolton for plagiarism of their song "Love Is A Wonderful Thing". Later in the year, their new album Eternal proved their enduring appeal when it debuted in the US Top 5. For a third time the Isley Brothers had managed to reinvent themselves, and even more success was to follow in 2003 when Body Kiss reached the top slot on the US album charts.

The Isley Brothers represented the apogee of gospel-inspired soul on their early hits, they pioneered the ownership of record labels by black artists, and invented a new funk genre with their blend of dance rhythms and rock instrumentation in the early 70s. Their series of US hits from the 50s to the 90s is one of the major legacies of black American music.


Kenny Thomas

John Legend & Jahiem soon back!
In the music news this week...R&B veterans John Legend and Jaheim are set for solid debuts on the coveted R&B album charts next week. Early sales projections show both of their albums will arrive within the top 10, with John Legend leading the way. According to trusted industry sources, Legend's album, "Love in the Future," is likely to debut with 50-55,000 copies sold. Led by the singles "Made To Love" and "All of Me," "Love in the Future" is Legend's fifth studio album and first to be released since "Wake Up" (2010). Following John Legend, Jaheim is poised for a solid bow with "Appreciation Day," which is his sixth studio album. Led by the single "Age Ain't A Factor," Jaheim's "Appreciation Day" is projected to arrive on the charts with 40 - 45,000 copies sold. Official chart figures will be released next week. (singersroom)

Donell Jones is also back with new album and creating a sense of longevity within the industry is a task that most artists usually fail at doing. With so many chances of being a one-hit-wonder or trying to keep up with the times going wrong, it’s easy to see how an artist – especially in the R&B genre – can fall off and never be mentioned again. Flashback to one of your favorite tracks from the ’90s – can you say that the artist is still relevant today? Luckily for us, we can. In 1996, R&B lovers everywhere were forced to ask “Who is this guy?” when R&B singer Donell Jones did more than justice to Stevie Wonder’s “Knocks Me Off My Feet.” Arguably one of the best remakes we would hear, it wasn’t until 1999 that the world really felt the wrath of Donell Jones when he dropped one of the more legendary albums of our generation, ‘Where I Wanna Be.’ The album, which went platinum, featured 13 tracks of pure heaven to your ears. Now, over a decade and 4 albums later, the veteran R&B crooner has released his latest LP and along with it, dropped his record label too. The album, Forever, hosts the sound that we’ve been missing from the impressive vocalist and proves that he has made his mark on ears forever. ThisIsRnB.com recently got the chance to chop it up with the singer to get the details on the new album, being an independent artist and much more. Visit site for interview (thisisr&b.com)

Juke Box Jury "I'll give it five!"
Sadly this week we lost vintage DJ David  Jacobs, CBE aged 87, he was a British broadcaster who gained prominence as presenter of the 1960s peak-time BBC Television show Juke Box Jury and Chairman of the BBC Radio 4 political forum, Any Questions? He broadcast, mostly for the BBC, as an announcer and presenter for over sixty-five years, only stepping down shortly before his death. Though not really an actor, his earlier radio work had included some acting of small parts and he also sometimes played himself or presenter characters in films, television and radio. He had joined with the BBC since 1944 when he did a Forces radio show.

Today's tracklisting, Sunday 8th September 2013

Hour One
Dionne Warwick - Move Me No Mountain
EWF - Guiding Light
Gerald Albright - Guiding Light (inst)

Patti Austin - That's Enough For Me
Tracy Hamlin - Take Me To Paris
Joe - Closer
Unknown Song [thanks due to Dome records]
Shirley Brown - After A Night Like TRhis
John Legend - Angel
Jaheim - Age Ain't A Factor

Rena Scott - Night Dancing
C. Robert Walker - Something Going On

Hour Two
'Three-Inna-Row' with Kenny Thomas
1 Coming Down From Love
2 Just Stay
3 Best of You

Jill Scott - A Long Walk (Jazzy Jeff remix)
Betty Wright - Keep Love New
Margi Coleman - [Marvin] How I Miss You
Joshie Jo Armstead - In The Right Place (nold rmx)
Jeniqua - Making Love
Lenny White - Didn't Know About Love
Elouise Whitiker - Fallin' In Love
Terri Wells - Just Like Dreamin'
Narada Michael Walden - I Should Have Loved Ya

Purple songs all 2013

Kenny Thomas's Biography:

Born London, England. Thomas was one of the most popular UK soul dance vocalists of the early 1990s. His biggest UK hit came in 1991 with "Thinking About Your Love" (number 4), while his debut album sold more than 600,000 copies in the UK alone. Other hit singles spawned by that debut included "Outstanding", "The Best Of You" and "Tender Love', and also resulted in a Brit Award nomination for Best British Male Vocalist and Best British Newcomer. The warm, relaxed dance grooves of that debut were replicated on a second album that continued Thomas" massive commercial success. Guest musicians this time round included the Young Disciples, Nu Colours and the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra. This time some of the bonhomie of the original set was more restrained, with a slightly more mature lyrical vision reflecting more real-life experiences.

Voices (Cooltempo 1991)****, Wait For Me (Cooltempo 1993)***.

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Eddie & Drew
One of last year's most intriguing soul projects was DREW SCHULTZ'S 'Back Ro Class' album. Schultz – long-time drummer with the 4 Tops road band – put the album together with some of the remaining members of the Motown Funk Brothers session team and the music was a joyous celebration of classic uptown soul. More importantly a portion of the royalties went to worthy music projects in Detroit schools. On September 1st Drew will be following up the album by releasing a brand new single – 'Take It Slow' which features legendary guitarist EDDIE WILLIS – a key member of the Funk Brothers who's played on hits by Marvin Gaye, The Miracles, The Temptations, 4 Tops, Mary Wells and just about any other Motown artist you can name. The song's been specially written by Drew and features DELBERT NELSON on lead vocals. Nelson is a permanent member of the Funk Brothers touring team and the song is a great slice of old school soul. Once again half of all the profits from the single will go to music initiatives in Detroit's public schools.   (souandjazandfunk.com)

Super R&B group TGT has debuted strong on the Billboard charts with their anticipated album, "Three Kings."  Consisting of Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank, successful solo acts combined to create a super group, TGT not only did well, but earned the largest sales week for any member since May 2007. "Super R&B trio TGT starts at No. 3 with "Three Kings," moving 76,000," Billboard reported Wednesday, recognizing this week's best selling debuts on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. In addition to the Billboard 200, the "I Need" and "Sex Never Felt Better" group debuted strong on the R&B Albums Chart and Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums tallies, where "Three Kings" arrived at no.1. "Combined, the three members of TGT have notched nine previous top 10 albums on their own. Ginuwine has claimed four top 10s, while Tyrese and Tank have tallied two and three, respectively," reports Billboard. "Three Kings" is available now. (singersroom.com)

Sundays trackisting 1st September 2013

Hour One
Alicia Keys & Maxwell - Fire We Make
Curtis Mayfield - New World Order
Lytie - Still Here [welcome bed]
Ledisi - Stay Together
Etta James - At Last
Lauryn Hill - Can't Take My Eyes Of You
Eric Benet - Don't Let Go
Chevelle Franklyn - Spirit Filled
Joe Leavey/Julie Morris - We Go Up

Hour Two
'Three-Ina-Row': Lemar
1 50/50
2 Better Than This
3 Anniversary

R.Kelly - Spendin' Money
Dwele - Know Your Name
Chaka Khan - Everywhere
Luther Vandross - My Sensitivity/Better Love
Mary J Blige - Before I Go
The Manhattans - Crazy
Michael Jackson - Baby Be Mine
Mr. Dalvin - Get Mine

Lemar's Biography:

Lemar Obika (born 4 April 1978), professionally known simply as Lemar, is an English R&B singer–songwriter and record producer. Lemar has had a run of chart success in the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia. He rose to fame after finishing in third place on the first series of British talent show Fame Academy, which was won by songwriter David Sneddon.

Since then, Lemar has had seven top ten UK singles and sold over two million albums. He is seen as one of the most successful artists to come out of a reality TV show. Lemar has also won two Brit Awards and three MOBO Awards to date and released his fifth studio album in 2012.