Billboard Bits: Brandy, Manilow, Saw Doctors

Stories on Brandy, Manilow, and the Saw Doctors.

BrandyR&B singer/actress Brandy revealed yesterday (Feb. 5) that she secretly wed music producer Robert Smith last year. "I've fallen in love with a very warm, gentle, understanding and focused person," the 22-year-old artist said in a statement. "This summer we married quietly. A new experience, a new day for me -- I couldn't be happier!"

Brandy was 16 when she released her 1995 self-titled Atlantic debut album, which sold more than 1 million copies. She also starred in the UPN sitcom "Moesha," which ran for five seasons before wrapping up last year.

On March 5 Atlantic will release her third album, "Full Moon." The set is led by the Rodney Jerkins-produced single "What About Us?," which is No. 5 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart and No. 13 on The Billboard Hot 100 this week.

Her 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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Barry ManilowFormer U.S. president Bill Clinton joined Barry Manilow onstage last night (Feb. 5) during his encore at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Manilow announced that he was donating the proceeds from the concert, his first of five at the venue, to the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, which Clinton formed with former senator Bob Dole to aid victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

Manilow, who also appeared during Sunday's Super Bowl XXXVI pre-game salute to America, will be on the road in the U.S. through an April 20 show in Tallahassee, Fla. He kicks off a 13-date U.K. tour May 4 in Birmingham, England.

His latest album, "Here at the Mayflower," was released last November as part of a new deal with Concord. The set debuted at No. 90 on The Billboard 200. A new 20-track career-spanning compilation, "Ultimate Manilow," was released yesterday by Arista.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.






Saw Doctors Last week, Ireland's Saw Doctors performed a set at the Warwick Hotel in Galway, where footage was captured for a video for the single "This Is Me." Dave Horgan, who has handled similar chores for Will Smith and LL Cool J, is directing the clip, but this time around, he's doing it for free.

The director was so taken with the band's renowned live performance during a 2000 gig in Cape Cod, Mass., that he offered to make a video free of charge. The group took him up on the offer for "This Is Me," from its sixth album, "Villains?" The set was released yesterday (Feb. 5) on the Ryko-distributed Shamtown Records.

The Saw Doctors -- perhaps best known in the U.S. for the track "Never Mind the Strangers," which was prominently featured in an ad campaign for Irish brewer Guinness -- will kick off a month-long U.S. tour Feb. 16 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The run is set to close March 17 in Boston.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.





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