J-Pop Singer AI's Gospel-Inspired 20th Anniversary Album Due in November

Courtesy of Billboard Japan


J-pop singer-songwriter AI will release a commemorative album called Kansha!!!!! - Thank you for 20 years NEW & BEST- on Nov. 6, to celebrate her 20th anniversary in music.

The American-born artist delved into her various influences that laid the foundation for her musical journey so far to create the songs for her anniversary album.

She drew from her background in gospel music and gave a number of her own hit tracks a gospel makeover, while also paying tribute to artists she respects by sampling and covering their songs.

The newly recorded gospel renditions include some of her biggest hits such as "Happiness" and "Story," and the set closes with a moving cover of "No Weapon" by Fred Hammond.

Three new songs are also included in the album, starting off with the first track, "Baby You Can Cry," that samples J-pop superstar Namie Amuro's hit song "Baby Don’t Cry." AI took part in Amuro's collaborative hip-hop/R&B project SUITE CHIC in 2003, an endeavor that became a turning point for both singers' careers. "Baby You Can Cry" will drop digitally ahead of the album Sept. 27.

The limited first edition of the anniversary project will come with a second CD containing 17 of AI's greatest hits, including the original versions of "Happiness," "Story," "VOICE" and "FAKE" featuring Namie Amuro.


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