Ruben Studdard to release new album in May

Our favorite velvet teddy bear, Ruben Studdard, hopes that his fourth album, “Love IS,” will connect him to all of his “American Idol” fans.  The May 19 release features production by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Studdard said his switch from J Records to Hickory Records, both distributed by SonyBMG is more in line with his fan demand for ballads sung by the reality competition winner.

“I think J Records didn’t do a good job with connecting me to my ‘American Idol’ fan base,” said Studdard to Billboard, whose 2006’s “The Return,” sold less then 240,000 copies. “I wanted to make sure we had an opportunity to make the music they want to hear, and we got that.”

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Maxwell is back!

R&B crooner Maxwell will release his fourth studio album,”BLACKsummer’snight,” July 7 on Columbia Records, reports Billboard.  His first single, “Pretty Wings,” and its video debuted today.  

Maxwell produced the nine-song album, which was recorded with a ten-piece band.  To promote “BLACKsummer’snight,” Maxwell will be touring this summer and headlining the Essence Music Festival on July 4th. 

This is Maxwell’s first recording in nine years.

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BET and VH1 to launch new network

The VH1 Soul and BETJ cable networks will use its resources to create the Centric network in October, reports Billboard.  The new network will compete with Comcast/Radio One-owned TV One in targeting the 25-to 54-year-old African-American audience, while reaching out to other multicultural viewers

VH1 Soul and BETJ will continue as individual networks.  Centric will offer original programming such as “Monica: Still Standing,” a reality show starring R&B singer Monica.  Comedian Mo’Nique will also have her own nightly talk and variety show.  The “Soul Train Music Awards” will also be reinstated.

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Gospel Singer Timothy Wright Dies

After being seriously injured in a car crash that killed his wife and grandson last July, Grammy-nominated singer Timothy Wright died Thursday at the Bronx Veterans Hospital, according to a report by Billboard.  He was 61.  

Wright was the pastor at Grace Tabernacle Christian Center Church of God in Christ, located in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. His latest album, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,” came out in 2007.

The title song, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,” was written by Wright and his wife and recorded live at a Church of God in Christ convocation.  The song expresses the plight of a woman displaced during Hurricane Katrina. She encourages herself and others by calling the name of Jesus.

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Mike Tyson is a reluctant reality series junkie

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Mike Tyson said his girlfriend has turned him into a reluctant reality series junkie.  He frequently watches “For the Love of Ray J,” “Candy Girls,” “Tough Love,” and all the “Real Housewives” series.

“She got me watching “Dancing with the Stars” and said, ‘You should be on “Dancing With the Stars,” ‘ ” Tyson told MTV News. The boxer, who is the subject of the new documentary “Tyson” (in theaters Friday), was not exactly receptive to the idea. “I’m living with this woman, and I’m saying, ‘Are you sick?’ ”

Despite his girlfriend’s best efforts, Tyson said he has no plans to star in his own reality show.

“She said, ‘Hon, listen. I know some people, and I think it would be a good idea if you’re a producer and you control everything that happened and you have your own reality show,’ ” Tyson recalled. “I said, ‘Are you crazy?’ “

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Jill Scott has a baby boy!

On Monday, singer Jill Scott and her fiance drummer Lil John Roberts welcomed their first child, a baby boy.  Jett Hamilton Roberts was born at 4:20 p.m. on April 20 and weighed 7 lbs., 8 oz.

After years of being unable to conceive, Scott said she discovered that she was pregnant right before leaving to film her HBO series, “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency,” in Botswana.

“At one point I was trying to gain weight for the role, and I noticed I had put on 7 lbs. in 7 days. And I thought, my god! What’s going on here,” she tells PEOPLE. “I thought something was wrong with me, and I found out I was pregnant the day I was supposed to leave for Africa.”

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WHATS THE TEE?

What’s the tee guys and gals? It’s your ever so beautiful gossip “queen”, Windy City’s number one drag queen, the one and only Ms. Christian Valentino!  I am here to dish the dirt of the entertainment community, tell you all the stars’ business… lol, give advice and just keep it real at all times. 1st of all let me welcome you to The Suite 411! I promise to make sure that I keep it funky… no tongue biting… I am gonna tell u like it ‘tis! At least MY view point of things.

 

I guess I can start off with this whole Chris Brown/Rihanna mess… 

More tee when you read the rest

 

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