2009 Fall Music Roundup

Peep our fall music roundup of what we’re lovin’ and what we can’t wait to hear, featuring Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, Mario, Trey Songz, Drake, Janet Jackson, Rihanna, Ryan Leslie, BeBe & CeCe Winans and more.
ESSENCE.COM Oct, 15, 2009

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Peep our fall music roundup of what we’re lovin’ and what we can’t wait to hear.

Boy, don’t you know she’s “The One”? The Queen of Hip Hop Soul delivers another chapter of self-reflection before year’s end, and we’re waiting with bated breath.

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The Jiggaman’s latest, “The Blueprint 3,” has earned praise from stuffy critics and street kids alike. From selling out shows here and abroad in seconds to bringing the Big Apple to its feet with a rousing new anthem (Empire State of Mind), Jay continues to do big things.

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One of our favorite soul sisters returns December 1 with “The Element of Freedom,” her fourth studio album. First single “Doesn’t Mean Anything” is classic Keys, and we’re hoping beau Swizz Beatz supplied some banger tracks.

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Considering all the divorce drama he’s been through this past year, we’re sure Usher’s new joint will be worth a listen. Set for release in late fall, the still untitled album’s leaked track “Papers” (as in divorce papers) hints at what’s to come.

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Hailed by the New York Times as one the best R&B albums of the year, Trey’s “Ready” doesn’t disappoint. Peep new single “Say Ah,” featuring Fabolous: Consider it the 2009 version of Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It.”

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Mario’s been burning up the charts for months with his single “Break Up.” His fourth album, “D.N.A.,” is in stores now and features help from The-Dream, Babyface and others.

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Mimi gives her fans what they want on her twelfth album, “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel”—thumping mid-tempo cuts and soaring ballads.

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Ms. Jackson blesses fans in November with “Number Ones,” a collection of her biggest hits and new single “Make Me.” The CD will include 33 of our favorite Janet jams from albums “Control,” “Rhythm Nation,” “janet.,” “Discipline” and more.

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“The wait is ova,” wrote Rihanna in a recent post to Twitter followers, giving November 23 as the date for what we can only suspect is the release of her next CD. She’s rumored to be working with Ne-Yo, The-Dream, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Akon, just to name a few.

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Returning to her throne as one of the queens of pop music, Whitney Houston released her comeback album, “I Look To You,” on August 31, 2009. It debuted at No. 1, selling 304,000 copies, making it the biggest first-week sales of her career.

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This out-of-the-box hip-hop artist and Kanye West protégé won over fans and critics alike last year with his chart-topping single “Day ‘N’ Nite,” and his debut album, “Man on the Moon,” hit iPods in September to rave reviews.

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Mr. McKnight is a busy man these days. In between hosting his new weekend nighttime talk show (check your local listings), the balladeer found time to record a new album, “Evolution of a Man,” out October 27.

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Just because they’re the house band for “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” doesn’t mean The Roots are done producing new music. Be on the lookout for new album “How I Got Over” on October 20.

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Just months after the release of his self-titled debut back in February 2009, this talented singer, songwriter and producer returns with his follow-up CD, “Transition,” on November 3. ESSENCE.com attended a recent listening session, and take it from us: the joint is sick!

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This veteran artist continues to treat us to her brew of funk, ska, alt, rock and soul on her latest release, “Devil’s Halo.”

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Slinging gritty rhymes amid Kanye and Neptunes tracks, Virgina natives and blood brothers The Clipse hop back onto the charts on October 20.

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Backed by new label Def Jam, Amerie goes to battle for her fans with “Love & War,” expected in stores in early November.

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Billed as hip-hop’s “next big thing,” singer/rapper Drake wrecked shop with his street mixtape “So Far Gone” in early 2009. “Gone” was finally released to retail in late September, stirring more buzz for his new music, which is slated for arrival in 2010.

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Powerhouse songstress Leona Lewis boasts production help from heavyweights like Ne-Yo on her upcoming sophomore album, “Echo,” due November 17.

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We didn’t forget about our gospel lovers. The Winans brother-sister duo makes a joyful noise on their first album together in 15 years, “Still.”

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Expect the best when this soul diva returns on November 24 with her new album, “Unexpected.”

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This eclectic MC is building buzz with his latest single, “Chill,” featuring Lady Gaga. He’s expected to release his debut album this fall.

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Cosigned by Jay-Z and Kanye West, Canadian rocker Fiona boasts a standout voice that’s not to be missed. Here’s to blasting the fiery single “Give it to Me Right” off her debut album, “Bridge,” and hitting repeat.

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Studio bigwigs such as the Neptunes put a fresh spin on classic MJ tunes on “Michael Jackson: The Remix Suite,” out October 27.

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