'Happy' Go Lucky
Aretha Franklin returns to music stores this week with "So Damn Happy," her first Arista studio album since 1998's "A Rose Is Still a Rose." That set debuted at No. 7 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and boasted contributions from Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Lauryn Hill, and Jermaine Dupri.
The new album dispenses with high-profile collaborators in front of the mic, but boasts songwriting and production assistance from Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Gordon Chambers, Barry Eastman, Troy Taylor and Ron Lawrence.
First single "The Only Thing Missin'," described by Franklin as "the kind of song that a singer waits for," is No. 61 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart this week. The artist is on the road for what is being billed as her final major tour, which hits New York's Radio City Music Hall on Saturday (Sept. 20).