News on Brandy, Tom Waits, Badly Drawn Boy

BrandyOn top of Brandy's recent revelation that she secretly married producer Robert Smith last year, the R&B star is now said to be expecting her first child. A spokesperson for the artist confirmed yesterday (Feb. 21) that the singer/actress is pregnant. The baby is due sometime in July.

Atlantic is planning a March 5 release for Brandy's third album, "Full Moon." The set is led by the Rodney Jerkins-produced single "What About Us?," which this week falls back one position to No. 4 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart and is No. 9 in its ninth week on The Billboard Hot 100.

Brandy's last album, 1998's "Never S-A-Y Never," debuted at No. 2 on both Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and The Billboard 200. The set has sold 4.4 million copies in the U.S. to date, according to SoundScan.


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WaitsEpitaph's Anti Records imprint has set a May 7 release date for a pair of Tom Waits albums, "Alice" and "Blood Money," the latter which was renamed from its original title, "Red Drum."

As previously reported, the material on each album stems from songs Waits and wife/chief collaborator Kathleen Brennan created for European productions staged by director Robert Wilson, "Alice" (1992) and "Woyzeck" (2001). "Alice" is described as "a reflective cracked mirror odyssey about longing, obsession and madness," while the "Blood Money" set "is a blunt essay on a dispassionate world, a series of news flashes from the state of incredulity," according to the label.

Along with a large band of strings and horns, "Alice" features a guest appearance by former Police drummer (and current Oysterhead member) Stewart Copeland, who contributes his talents to the track "Table Top Joe." Similarly, blues great Charlie Musselwhite's harmonica is among the collective on "Blood Money." A full track listing for each album is posted on the official Anti Web site.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







BDBArtistDirect/XL/Beggars Banquet has set an April 23 release date for U.K. singer/songwriter Badly Drawn Boy's original soundtrack to the film adaptation of Nick Hornby's best-selling novel, "About a Boy" (Riverhead Books). Due in May, the film stars Hugh Grant and Toni Collette and was directed by Chris and Paul Weitz ("American Pie").

The set was recorded with producer/Bong Load Records founder Tom Rothrock (Elliott Smith, Beck). Tracks were written entirely by Damon Gough and his band, including eight new songs and all incidental/score material. It's Badly Drawn Boy's first release since 2000's Mercury Music Prize-winning "The Hour of Bewilderbeast," which hit No. 23 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart.

Gough became involved with the film at the request of Hornby. "I wanted to get on with my own record, but I met [the filmmakers], read the book, and I started to get a good feeling," he says. The band has since entered a Los Angeles studio to work on its next set.


-- Larry Flick, N.Y.






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