If you have a hard time shopping for someone for Mother's Day, consider music as an option. Not only is it the gift that keeps on giving, but lasting memories can be made while listening to a music gift. But if you're the type that has a hard time picking out music for your mother (or grandmother, or sister, or daughter, etc.) then your Guide to R&B is here to help. Take a look at the below list of albums - all of which are by women - for a few suggestions on what to get.
Out of all the former "American Idol" hopefuls - winners and losers alike - Jennifer Hudson will likely go down in the history as one of the most - if not the most - talented and successful of all. She's already won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and numerous other awards. One thing she hadn't done though, was actually release a full album - until now. And that album, a self-titled release that dropped in the U.S. on Sept. 30, 2008, further cements her status as one of America's most talented singer-actresses.
The title of India.Arie's fourth studio album, Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics, may be a little long, but its also highly accurate. That's because on the album sister India testifies about two things: romance and social issues. And although the love songs find India in a good place spiritually and emotionally, the political and social commentary songs show a different side of her: they reveal the soul of a woman who's very concerned with poverty and the well being of the people of the world.
'Change Is Now: Renewing America's Promise'
On Wed. April 29, Barack Obama celebrated his 100th day in office as the 44th President of the United States of America. And one day before that, Hidden Beach Recordings released a CD/DVD package to commemorate the event. Change Is Now: Renewing America's Promise is a compilation of brand-new and not-so-new songs by artists like Stevie Wonder, India.Arie, Usher, Jennifer Hudson and others that share some common traits: optimism, hope for the future and a strong belief in positive change. Also included is a DVD with eight of Mr. Obama's speeches.
Melinda Doolittle didn't win the sixth season of the "American Idol" singing competition back in 2007, but along the way she did win several other things, including more confidence, good experience and plenty of fans. And on her debut solo album, Coming Back to You (released in the U.S. on Feb. 3, 2009), Melinda shows and proves once again that she's a strong and powerful vocalist who's versatile enough to incorporate various musical styles, including R&B, Soul, Gospel and Pop, into her songs.
On their first album together in more than three decades, Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash - collectively known as the singing trio Labelle - show that time apart definitely hasn't eroded their chemistry, nor have the years diminished their vocal abilities. On their new album, Back to Now, released in the U.S. on Oct. 21, 2008, the ladies pick up right where they left off back in the mid-1970s. The Gospel melodies, soaring vocals, message songs and strong songwriting that fans had come to expect from the girls back during their heyday are all on display.