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Johnny Mathis on His Unreleased CHIC/Nile Rodgers Album: 'I'm Very Proud Of It'

Johnny Mathis
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Johnny Mathis arrives at The Grammy Awards Pre-Grammy Gala held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 7, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. 

Johnny Mathis is also recording a new album, due out in October.

Billboard recently caught up with the legendary Johnny Mathis on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards to talk about his upcoming album, his lost CHIC-produced music and more.

During our chat with Mathis and his producer Fred Mollin, we talked about Mathis' unreleased 1981 album with CHIC, I Love My Lady (for Columbia Records). The set was produced by CHIC's Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, and remains unreleased (except for a few songs here and there on assorted compilations and box sets).

When asked if there's a chance the album might eventually be released, Mollin said, "I think there is." Mathis stated, "You know, as long as those things are on vinyl or tape or what have you, the record companies are going to release them someday." Then, with a laugh, he added, "Probably before I'm dead."

Mathis said he is "very proud" of his work with Edwards and Rodgers, as it "got me in a little different direction" from what he was used to.

Mathis was nominated for best traditional pop vocal album at this year's Grammys for Sending You a Little Christmas, produced by Mollin. Mathis says recording holiday tunes is his "favorite thing." (Audiences favor his holiday efforts, too: his biggest selling album is Merry Christmas, with five million sold in the U.S., according to the Recording Industry Association of America.)

Mathis is currently at work on a new album, which is due out in October, according to Mollin. "We're starting a new album very shortly, which will come out in October on Sony," he said. "Can't give you a concept, but it's gonna have a much bigger dimension to it. How's that for a hint?"