Billboard Bits: Blige/Franklin, Lumidee, Wheat

"Never Gonna Break My Faith" was penned by Bryan Adams and is featured in the movie's theatrical trailer.

The Mary J. Blige/Aretha Franklin duet first reported here last week will be released on the soundtrack to the film "Bobby," due Nov. 21 via Island Def Jam. "Never Gonna Break My Faith" was penned by Bryan Adams and is featured in the movie's theatrical trailer.

The soundtrack is rounded out by 1960s evergreens such as Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' "Tracks of My Tears," Stevie Wonder's "I Was Made To Love Her," Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar" and Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sounds of Silence," plus a cover of "Louie Louie" by actress Demi Moore, who appears in the film.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.






Former Universal Motown artist Lumidee has signed with TVT and plans to release her sophomore album, "Unexpected," in March 2007. The set is led by the single "Like The Wind" featuring Tony Sunshine, a revise of Patrick Swayze's “Dirty Dancing” hit "She's Like the Wind."

"Unexpected" will be the follow-up to 2003's "Almost Famous," which has sold 276,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The Caribbean-flavored lead single "Never Leave You (Uh Oh)" peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"I'm coming out of left field," says Lumidee of her new offering. "Nobody ever thought of me coming back on a street credible label like TVT, alongside acts like Pitbull, Lil Jon and the Ying Yang Twins. Actually, nobody ever thought of me really even coming back, period."

-- Clover Hope, N.Y.






After a brief tenure with Aware/Columbia, rock act Wheat has signed with Empyrean Records, which will release its fourth album, "Everyday I Said a Prayer for Kathy and Made a One Inch Square," in the spring. A five-song EP, "that's exactly what I wanted... exactly that," which includes album track "Little White Dove," is due in mid-December and can be pre-ordered from Empyrean's
Web site.

The EP can also be ordered as part of a limited-edition package featuring a silkscreened poster and a T-shirt.

Wheat pricked up ears with its first two albums, 1997's "Medeiros" and 1999's "Hope and Adams," which were heavily influenced by the melancholy rock of late-era Replacements. The group went for a much more pop-driven approach on its lone Aware album, 2003's "Per Second, Per Second, Per Second... Every Second," but the set failed to chart on The Billboard 200 and sold just 29,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.