Faith Evans

Luck Be A 'Lady'

FaithR&B vocalist Faith Evans makes her Capitol debut this week with "The First Lady," which is led by the top-25 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks hit "Again." The album sports a number of high-profile collaborators, including the Neptunes' Pharrell Williams and the Clipse's Pusha on the Neptunes-produced "Goin' Out," Jermaine Dupri, Mario Winans and producers Ivan Barias and Carvin Haggins.

Evans' forthrightness burns brightly throughout "The First Lady," a candidness borne of significant ups and downs. The latter includes the 1997 murder of her husband, late rapper Notorious B.I.G., the 2004 arrest of Evans and her husband/manager Todd Russaw for drug possession and her exit from Bad Boy (she was the first female artist signed to the label in 1994).

"I definitely have a more forthright approach," Evans says. "The songs certainly reflect my life, even if I experienced something as a teenager. It's not all just based on the here and now."

"The First Lady" is her first new album since 2001's "Faithfully," her final release for Bad Boy. That set debuted at No. 14 on The Billboard 200 and has sold more than 832,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.