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R. Kelly to release 'Write Me Back' on June 26

May 15, 2012 |  4:12 pm

Grammy-winning R&B king R. Kelly is set to release his new album, “Write Me Back,” on June 26, RCA Records announced Tuesday.

“Write Me Back” is led by the bubbly “Share My Love,” which landed at No. 1 on urban adult radio, and his latest single, “Feelin’ Single.”

The singer’s 11th disc is the follow-up to 2010’s “Love Letter.” The Grammy-nominated album garnered critical acclaim when Kelly traded in his salacious brand of R&B and knocking hip-hop beats for a disc brimming with retro throwbacks.

Gone was the Lothario role that made him famous and infamous. Inspired by the classic soul of Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Teddy Pendergrass and Sam Cooke, “Love Letter” featured traditional harmonies, simmering hooks and a focus on balladry paired with classically minded arrangements that presented Kelly as a chivalrous ladies man.

“Write Me Back” closely follows Kelly’s more genteel style of R&B.

“Love Letter” served as a comeback of sorts for Kelly. Although Kelly has remained a mainstay in the R&B/hip-hop landscape with guest features and music, including his version of a musical soap opera,  “Trapped in the Closet,” now at 22 episodes, many believe his stock plummeted after years of controversy stemming from an underage sex scandal that led to court (he was acquitted of all charges). The singer was blacklisted by a host of urban radio stations during the trial. A bitter feud with Jay-Z has also provided fodder for the media.

Kelly has been a busy man outside of prepping his album. He is readying additional “Trapped in the Closet” chapters to air on IFC later this year; his memoir, “Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me,” is slated for a June release; and he wrote and produced music for Whitney Houston’s final film, “Sparkle.” He will also embark on his “Love Letter” fan cruise in October.


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R. Kelly has emergency throat surgery, takes indefinite break

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

Photo: R. Kelly. Credit: Courtesy of RCA Records.