The Last Word: Chante Moore Reveals How Diddy Jacked Her Song, R Kelly Back In Court For South African Tour Scam, and Terrence Howard Reveals Stalking Past

What’s up, everybody? Happy Labor

Day weekend. We’ve reached the end of another five days, as we witnessed

history being made with Barack Obama officially accepting the Democratic

Party’s nomination to become President (was there any other significant thing

that went down this week?)

 

R.I.P to Aaliyah, who left us too

soon seven years ago Monday (Aug. 25). Shout out to Michael Jackson, who

celebrates his birthday today, and the sounding boards for keeping up the work.

 

And now today’s special…The Last

Word for the week ending Aug. 29, 2008

 

1. Maxwell Promises a Black

Summers’ Night

 

Looks like Maxwell’s performance

of “Simply Beautiful” during the BET Awards’ Al Green tribute wasn’t a fluke

after all. I don’t know how or what’s got him motivated, but the singer is

coming back to regain his status in R&B and neo-soul.

 

Not only is the 35-year-old

crooner putting together a trilogy of albums titled Black Summer’s Night, he is personally guaranteeing his resurfacing by

embarking on his first tour in six years. The outing, which kicks off Oct. 8 in

Boston, will stop off in New York City and Los Angeles before concluding Nov.

21 in Philadelphia.

 

As it stands now, there is no

release date for Black Summer’s Night,

nor any additional information on the project, a spokesperson told Billboard. With Maxwell coming out of hiding and hints of D’Angelo

hitting the studio, it looks to be an interesting future in store for us music

fans. But this three-album project does have to make you wonder if this means

that it will be more than half a decade before Maxwell blesses us with another

music offering.

 

Three albums can definitely keep

your name out there for a good minute or five. Maybe Maxwell should team up

with D’Angelo for a new collaborative album and a tour called Lost and Found,

because after they drop their albums, we may never hear from these guys again

until VH1 digs them up for whatever reality show they create on long lost

R&B greats.

 

2. John Legend Reveals Origin

of Name; Shares Music Wisdom

 

With a pair of multi-platinum

albums and five Grammy awards, it’s a safe bet to say that things are working

out for John Legend, who is preparing to release his third album, Evolver, in October.

 

While fame comes with a ton of

fans and potential women to spend his spare time with, the singer is grateful

for the ups and downs he experienced on the way to stardom while getting people

to lend an ear to listen to his music.

 

“…that whole grind is just part

of how you get discovered, how you develop yourself as a performer,” Legend

told MTV News while counting Jazmine Sullivan, Jill Scott, Bilal and Kanye West

among those who hustled like him to be a household name. “I think it makes

everything I do now more worth it, because I put in all that time and all that

effort.”

 

Obviously the grind paid off, but

would you believe that Legend was close to embracing his star status under his

government name, John Stephens?

 

“John Legend is a nickname that

some friends started calling me, and it kind of grew into my stage name,” the

crooner admitted. “Legend is something that I never would have chosen for

myself originally. It grew to the point where more people in my circle would

know me by that name than by my real name. I had to make a decision.”

 

“I was just like, ‘You know what?

Let’s just go for it. People are going to pay attention and I’m going to either

live up to my name or I’m not,’” Legend continued. “My bet was on me trying to

live up to the name.”

 

And the rest they say is history.

 

3. Chante Moore Gets Song

Jacked by Diddy

 

You gotta hand it to P. Diddy.

He’ll do anything for his woman. Even it means taking a potential hit song from

one artist and giving it to the apple of his year.

 

Just ask Chante Moore. In an

interview with NPR’s Tony Cox, the songbird revealed that her Rodney

Jerkins-produced song “If I Gave Love,” was slated to be the follow-up to her

hit “Chante’s Got a Man.” But those plans went south after Moore’s record label

realized a similar song Jerkins crafted for Diddy’s then girlfriend, Jennifer

Lopez, was slated to be the first single for the actress/singer/dancer’s debut

album On the 6.

 

“We should have been aggressive

instead of backing off our single,” Moore admitted. “And we backed off of it

because J. Lo had such a machine at the time. We should have just stepped out.”

 

Needless to say, Jenny Lo found

success with the tune, which was renamed “If You Had My Love” and specifically

requested by Diddy.

 

“I heard that it was because Puff

Daddy walked in and heard my song and said, ‘I want that song.’ [Rodney] was

like, ‘Yeah, it’s already taken. We wrote that for Chante,’” the 41-year-old

vocalist recalled. “And [Puffy] was like, ‘Yeah, mmm hmm, I want that song.’ So

Rodney wrote really the same song,”

 

Despite the shady business, Moore

has moved on with her latest album Love The Woman. The release features the first single, which is

ironically titled “It Ain’t Supposed To Be This Way.”

 

Maybe it’s me, but since this all

went down in 1999, do you think that Chante is still “bitter.” Don’t be

surprised to find J. Lo stranded in the middle of the block starring in the

video to her rival’s new cut, called “Chante Beats that A**.” That triathlon

training may come in handy for matters like these.

 

4. R. Kelly Encounters South

African Legal Situation

 

Why does it seem like court cases

and R. Kelly go together like Batman and the Joker?

 

According to media sources,

everyone’s favorite (il)legal crooner is once again at the center of another

episode as he gets set to be questioned by police, who feel he made more than $130,000

in profits from a touring scam in South Africa in 2005. All this without

setting foot in the country to perform!

 

Authorities want to speak to Kelly

after they confirmed that the person behind the scam, Busiswe Zakwe, deposited

money into his personal bank account. E! Online reports the confirmation was

reached after police found a deposit slip in Zakwe’s office that proved the

transaction took place. Although they confirmed that the bank accounts match,

authorities admit that they are unsure where the money is. Which is why they

want to bring Kells in for questioning.

 

Zakwe, is accused of milking

thousands of dollars out of investors, who she tricked them in to believing

that they could reap the benefits of ticket sales if Kells performed in the

country. The scammer, who was charged with fraud, is expected to appear in

court on Sept. 10.

 

Kelly, who has denied having any

knowledge of the scam, released a statement on Tuesday (Aug. 26), saying:

 

“There is absolutely no truth

to the reports that R. Kelly received money from a South African woman accused

of swindling investors by convincing them to invest in a non-existent R. Kelly

tour in 2005. Mr. Kelly has no knowledge of this woman, has never received any

money from her, and has not been contacted by any law enforcement authorities

regarding the matter. He will, of course, cooperate fully with any legitimate

investigation of this matter, since he has nothing to hide.”

 

I guess we’ll have to wait and see

how this one ends up. The question is why can’t Kells stay out of trouble long

enough to concentrate solely on what brought him to our attention in the first

place? I’m sorry. I forgot…legal bills don’t pay themselves.

 

5. Terrence Howard Gets

Inspired From Stalking; Anticipates Uphill Battle for Musical Acceptance

 

We all know that artists received

their motivation to make hits from a variety of different ways. Some drink,

some smoke, some f**ck for tracks. But Terrence Howard has brought a new

dimension to the process as he shared the inspiration behind “No 1 Fan,” a song

featured on his upcoming debut album Shine It Through.

 

According to the New York Times, the song was generated from Howard’s refusal to move on

after the end of his relation with Lori McCommas, the mother of his three

children. And while breaks are good fodder for classic material, this

particular parting has a twist, which involves Howard stalking his ex.

 

“I wrote that song (“No 1 Fan”) as

a stalker,” the actor told the Times.

“It was raining, and I was sitting there in front of the house, watching her

come home from a date after we were divorced. I was imagining what she did on

this date, and watching her giving him a kiss. I went home and wrote this

song.”

 

As you can see, Terrence’s album

has something a little different for the listener. In fact, that’s what the

entertainer was shooting for as he admitted that he “hated” DJay, the character

he played in the film Hustle and Flow

that paved the way for his Oscar nomination. But that didn’t stop his record

company from assuming they would get a Hip-Hop album from him after the success

of his/3-6 Mafia’s “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.”

 

Instead, Howard delivered a

product that showcased his other musical tastes. And with that comes the

realization that certain consumers may not initially warm up to what he is

bringing to the table.

 

“My own people, Black people,

they’ve become accustomed to this Hip-Hop sound,” Howard stated. “If it doesn’t

have a driving beat, I don’t know if they’ll hear it right away. I think I have

to go to a different crowd first.”

 

It will be interesting to see what

happens with Terrence’s music. Hopefully, he’ll be able to find an audience for

what he’s trying to put out. In the meanwhile, we can rest easy knowing that he

has joined the ever-growing list of crazy, deranged folks who were unable to

just let it go. At least all the stalking could generate some dollars to put in

the gas tank so he can keep tabs on the next woman who breaks his heart.

 

In Other Words…

 

* Legendary R&B diva Chaka

Khan will be honored with the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Lifetime

Achievement Award. The recognition will happen Sept. 9 at the Foundation’s 20th

Anniversary Pioneer Awards gala, which will be held at the Kimmel Center for

the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. Other honorees include Bill Withers, Teena

Marie, singer-songwriter Sugar Pie DeSanto, The Whispers, Kool & the Gang

and soul icon Donny Hathaway.

 

* Looks like Raven-Symone is done

with the major labels. The 22-year-old actress/singer has left Hollywood

Records in order to chart a new course as an independent artist after landing

at No. 159 on the Billboard 200.

 

* R&B songstress Tamia is

marking a milestone in her singing career with the release of her first live

album. The project, which was recently recorded at the Lincoln Theater in

Washington, DC, will feature Tamia singing her hits “You Put A Move On My

Heart,” “Stranger In My House,” “Officially Missing You,” “Can’t Get Enough”

and “I’m So Into You’ as well as covers of Sheila E’s “The Glamorous Life,” Jordin

Sparks and Chris Brown’s “No Air” and Musiq Soulchild’s “Love.” At this time,

there is no word on when the live album will be released. 

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