Having recently wrapped a performance tour for U.S. troops in Iraq, Avant is busy promoting his self-titled first album for Capitol Records.

Having recently wrapped a performance tour for U.S. troops in Iraq, Avant is busy promoting his self-titled first album for Capitol Records. The album's lead single, "When It Hurts," moves 66-52 this week on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

"I'm back in the game and have a renewed love of R&B," says Avant of the Oct. 28 release. "I just wanted to make good music versus doing a theme album; to have it be more about who I am as a person."

"The reality-based 'When' is an example of that," the singer/songwriter continues. "Everyone wants a 30-year relationship or marriage. But at one point a relationship is going to hurt."

"When It Hurts" was produced by Anonymous (aka Eric Dawkins) and Antonio Dixon (Fantasia), with a video directed by Bille Woodruff. Among the other producers who collaborated with Avant are the Trackmasters, the Architects and DJ Smurf (aka Mr. Collipark). Additional tracks include "Attention" with Snoop Dogg and a cover of Christopher Cross's Grammy-winning 1980 song "Sailing."

"I've always liked this song; it puts you in another world," says Avant. "I stay with the flavor of the record, but it's my urban version."

Avant's Capitol debut marks his fifth album. At 22, he became the first artist signed to NBA legend Magic Johnson's Magic Johnson Music, distributed then through Universal. Platinum first album, 2000's "My Thoughts" yielded two R&B hits: "Separated" (No. 1) and "My First Love" featuring Keke Wyatt (No. 4).

It was followed by gold-certified albums "Ecstasy" (2002) and "Private Room" (2003). Fourth album "Director" -- distributed through Geffen and his final MJM project -- was released in 2006. According to Nielsen SoundScan, it has sold 434,000 units to date.