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Gift Ideas for R&B Fans (2012 Edition)

'Tis the Season ...


Looking for a holiday present for that special music fan? Well, you're not alone. There's good news though: there's still time left, and 2012 saw the release of some pretty sweet items related to stars of the past and present -- such as R. Kelly, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston -- that might make good presents. Throughout 2012, plenty of gift quality material like DVDs, books and box sets were released, and after combing through the various items, the result is this: the About.com 2012 recommendations for holiday season gifts for R&B/Soul music fans.

25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Michael Jackson's 'Bad' (Box Set)

This deluxe 25th anniversary edition of Michael Jackson's Bad album includes three CDs, two collectible booklets and features the first ever authorized DVD release of a concert from the record breaking BAD tour. CD one contains the original re-mastered album; CD two consists of previously unreleased material recorded in Michael's personal studio, including early demo versions of songs from the album and demos for songs not included on the final album. The second CD also includes new remixes from internationally renowned DJ/producers.
CD three showcases the audio from the sound truck recordings of MJ's July 16, 1988 concert at Wembley Stadium in London. The DVD is of the complete Wembley show. The three CD/one DVD box also includes two extensive booklets with previously unseen photos from the recording sessions, a two-sided poster and more.
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'Whitney: Tribute to an Icon' Hardback Book

In this collection, more than twenty of the world’s top photographers joined together to celebrate Whitney Houston through their camera lenses. The photographs, which were curated by renowned photographer Randee St. Nicholas, span 30 years of Whitney Houston’s career. The 192-page book, which was released Nov. 27, 2012, is available in both hardback and Kindle versions.

R. Kelly's 'Soulacoaster: the Diary of Me' Autobiography

R. Kelly's long awaited autobiography, which was released in hardcover June 2012, features R&B's Pied Piper sharing his life story through episodic stories and color photographs. Most important details of his life -- from the learning disorder that left him unable to read or write, to the teacher/mentor who prophesized that his destiny was in music, to his various battles with legal and personal ordeals -- is explored between the book's covers.
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Sade's 'Bring Me Home - Live 2011' DVD/CD

This concert film, which was released in May 2012, features Sade Adu during her band's first live tour in a decade, in support of the Soldier of Love album. The DVD/CD features 22 of Sade's biggest hits performed live as well as a rare, all access look behind-the-scenes with a 20-minute documentary film shot by Sophie Muller as well as a technical documentary by Stuart Matthewman and outtakes from the crew.
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Amy Winehouse's 'At the BBC' CD/DVD Package

This November 2012 two disc (CD/DVD) set from Amy Winehouse includes a CD with 14 rare BBC recordings dating from 2004 to 2009. The DVD feature, titled "The Day She Came to Dingle," is a short film featuring an interview with Amy intercut with her delivering a 20-minute live performance in December 2006 at a small church. The performance was taped two months after the release of her Back to Black album.
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'Sparkle' Movie DVD/Blu-Ray

This remake of the 1976 family film features Jordin Sparks starring as Sparkle, a young woman whose dreams to make it big in show business almost seem impossible. Her protective mother is played by Whitney Houston in her last film role before her untimely death. Other singers who appear in the film include Cee-Lo Green, Goapele and breakout star Carmen Ejogo. The DVD and Blu-Ray versions both come with a digital copy of the film as well as a special feature tribute to Whitney.
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The Weeknd's 'Trilogy' Three CD Set

This three-disc set, which was released Nov. 13, compiles Canadian singer The Weekend's trio of 2011 mixtapes, House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence, into one package, with three new songs added. If you're shopping for someone who's a fan of darkly moody, emotive, introspective music (a la Portishead or Drake) this set's a bargain; it contains 30 songs for under 20 bucks. (Note: some songs contain explicit lyrics.)
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