Excerpted from the magazine for Billboard.com.

Slated for a July 30 release on Maverick, Diana King's "Respect" showcases a myriad of radio-friendly crossover songs designed to return the singer/songwriter to U.S. music consciousness. "Respect" is King's third album, and her first on Maverick. She's best known for her version of Dionne Warwick's "I Say a Little Prayer," which was spotlighted by the 1997 film "My Best Friend's Wedding." With such a gap in time since that hit, King is eager to reintroduce herself to the American public.

"'Respect' is like another debut for me," King explains. "This album is the result of me finally feeling comfortable with who I am and being able to express myself 100%. I've come to love who I am as an artist."

Maverick GM Fred Croshal concurs. "I've been privileged to work with Diana previously. The new album beautifully reflects how far she has grown as an artist... You get a smooth blend of several genres that will appeal to a wide audience."

"Respect" plays to King's versatility, combining elements from reggae, pop, and R&B in strong storytelling settings. Alongside a Nigel Dick-directed video, first single "Summer Breezin'," a collaboration with Jamaican rapper Bounty Killer (who's featured on the No Doubt track "Hey Baby" and in its video), has already built a solid radio connection.

"Each of the songs on the album comes from personal experiences or experiences I can relate to," King explains. "I got the chance to work again with my previous collaborators Andy Marvel, Billy Mann, Arnie Roman, and others. Everything flowed so well."

King is currently promoting "Respect" in Japan, where she has built a formidable fan base. She is hoping to follow up with a U.S. concert tour. .





Excerpted from the July 20, 2002, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the Billboard.com members section.

For information on ordering a copy of the issue, click here.