R&B crooner Lyfe Jennings has set an August release date for his sophomore album, "The Phoenix" (Columbia/Sony Urban Music). The inmate-turned-artist penned all the tracks on the album, as with hi

R&B crooner Lyfe Jennings has set an August release date for his sophomore album, "The Phoenix" (Columbia/Sony Urban Music). The inmate-turned-artist penned all the tracks on the album, as with his 2004 debut effort "Lyfe 268-192." A first single is expected to be released next month.

The album's title refers to the mythical Phoenix rising from the ashes, something Jennings, who spent 10 years in prison for arson, felt many people could relate to. "I just picked up where I left off and told a story," he says. "I think that's what happens to everybody. You get stuck in the ashes and you come through. This is just another situation in my life where I came through the fire."

While much of the album touches on relationships, the cut "S.E.X.," featuring Lyfe's protégé LaLa tackles the topic of young female maturation. "I've wanted to write this song for a long time," says Lyfe. "[It's about girls] being confused by all the sudden attention when they start developing physically but not mentally."

Also notable is a new version of slain rapper Tupac Shakur's anthem "Keep Ya Head Up," which Jennings hopes will appeal to both rap and R&B fans. Similar to "Lyfe 268-192" (the title of which referred to his prison number), many of the tracks on the new offering utilize live instrumentation, including a 20-piece orchestra.

Jennings' debut peaked at No. 7 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 39 on The Billboard 200. It has sold nearly 1 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Lead single "Must Be Nice," reached No. 5 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

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