A host of huge stars -- ranging from Madonna to Nickelback and Soundgarden -- are planning album releases during the next 18 months. Here's a run-down of where they are in the recording process, and how long we'll have to wait for the music.
As reported by Billboard.com last September, Fiona Apple's drummer/co-producer Charley Drayton told Modern Drummer magazine that the power-packing singer/songwriter had a new record slated for a spring 2011 release. Fellow singer/songwriter Michelle Branch tweeted soon after that she'd heard several of the new, "amazing" tracks. The folks at Sony Music, Apple's label, are either keeping mum or haven't been part of the conversation. "If she's got a new album, no one here has heard it," a Sony source says. Her management couldn't be reached for comment.
Eleven years after releasing his now-classic sophomore album Voodoo, reclusive soul star D'Angelo is reportedly eyeing a late-2011/early-2012 release on J Records for his follow-up. Producer Mark Ronson said last year that he and D'Angelo had shared studio time, while the singer held a session this month with Roots drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson.
In June, DMX told Vibe that he had been working on his seventh studio album, Redemption of the Beast, for a year and had racked up 26 tracks. The album reportedly features Sean Kingston on a Scott Storch-produced track, as well as the LOX, Drag-On, Tyrese and Swizz Beatz. A release date isn't yet attached. Erica Swanson is handling management and booking for DMX.
First announced in 2002, Dr. Dre's third (and said to be final) album, Detox, was initially described as a concept album intended for a summer 2003 release ("a hip-hop musical," as he told MTV at the time). Infrequent updates have appeared from those said to have worked on the album-a list including Jay-Z, Eminem, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, T.I., Ice Cube, Nas, Game, R. Kelly and RZA. Last June, a song featuring Jay-Z and said to be slated for Detox titled "Under Pressure," leaked to the Internet-without a chorus-prompting Dre to issue a statement through the Interscope website calling the song "incomplete." A full single, "Kush" featuring Snoop and Akon, surfaced late last year and reached No. 34 on the Billboard Hot 100. In February, Dre joined Eminem onstage at the Grammy Awards and performed a second single, "I Need a Doctor," which features Eminem and Skylar Grey.
Following the performance, "Doctor" rocketed to No. 4 on the Hot 100. A third song presumably on Detox, "Die Hard," appeared on the Showtime series "Fight Camp 360°" in May, but wasn't released as a single. Dre has sold more than 13.8 million career albums, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The tally doesn't include the other No. 1 albums he's had a heavy hand in, including those from Eminem, Tupac Shakur, 50 Cent and Snoop. His representatives didn't return repeated calls for comment.
After two years of promotion and numerous delays, Game's fourth studio album, The R.E.D. Album, will, apparently, finally be released Aug. 23. The holdup? According to Interscope Records, the recruitment of such figures as Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Drake, Wiz Khalifa and Chris Brown. DJ Premier and Kanye West lend their production skills; Pharrell Williams executive-produces the entire album. As Game's former manager, Jimmy Rosemond, was recently arrested, Game is now managed by Tony Martin and Delaney McGill.
Don't look for a new Janet Jackson album anytime soon. Currently on a world tour supporting 2009 compilation Number Ones, Jackson released Discipline in 2008 before leaving Island Def Jam. Touring through mid-February 2012, Jackson "has yet to select which producers she will work with" on a new project, according to her management. "But she has been reviewing many while on tour.
Madonna entered the studio on July 4 to begin recording her first album outside the Warner Music fold. Manager Guy Oseary has tweeted Madonna's whereabouts for awhile, noting in April she had entered a studio to work on the score for the film that marks her directorial debut, "W.E.," and that in May she was listening to potential tracks. Rumored collaborators include A-Trak and David Guetta. Her last album, Hard Candy, was released in April 2008. With the next album expected in 2012, the gap will exceed the three years and five months between 1994's Bedtime Stories and 1998's Ray of Light. Madonna has seven No. 1 albums, 12 No. 1 singles and has sold more than 26.9 million albums since 1991, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (Her career predates the SoundScan era.)
Anticipation is high for Nickelback's next album. After all, the group was Billboard's Group of the Decade for the first 10 years of the millennium, and its last album, 2008's Dark Horse, debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, and moved 3.1 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Roadrunner Records confirms that the new album is due this fall, and a world tour promoted by Live Nation, with whom Nickelback has a long-term deal, is expected for 2012. It is known that most of the recording took place at frontman Chad Kroeger's Mountain View studio near Vancouver.
Following the release of her last album, Gran City Pop, in 2009, Paulino Rubio entered a new stage in her life with the birth of her first child. But since the beginning of the year, Rubio has been writing and picking repertoire for her next set, and is more involved than ever in the composition of new material. "Motherhood has really inspired her," says Andres Recio, who's working with Rubio on A&R. She's been working with RedOne and writing with Julio Reyes Copello, Casadiego, Espinoza Paz, Chino y Nacho and Claudia Brant. The Universal Music Latino album is expected in first-quarter 2012.
Following frontman Chris Cornell's tweet that Soundgarden would reunite in 2010 for select concerts and festivals, fans have patiently waited to see whether the Seattle rock quartet would release a follow-up to 1996's Down on the Upside. The band will indeed record again, but "they very likely won't have completed new material until next year," a representative says. Soundgarden is managed by Gary Gersh at the Artists Organization.
Willow Smith's hit "Whip My Hair" catapulted the preteen to stardom last year. But there's still no word from Roc Nation about her debut album. Names bandied about in various media interviews regarding collaborations include Skillz and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Smith's page on the Roc Nation website simply says the album is coming in 2011.
Reporting by Leila Cobo, Phil Gallo, Jason Lipshutz, Devon Maloney, Benjamin Meadows-Ingram, Gail Mitchell, Mitchell Peters, Erika Ramirez and Ray Waddell.