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"These are four distinct talents that just happen to be Urban artists, but our job is to prove their appeal is across the board."
——Capitol President Andy Slater

PUT THE RECORDS ON: CAPITOL’S TOWER OF URBAN POWER

Label Boss Andy Slater and Team Launch a Quartet of Crossover Stars in LeToya, Corinne Bailey Rae, Cherish and Chingy
The home of Coldplay and Radiohead has got soul.

Capitol Records is generating some serious midsummer urban heat, with four individual artists starting a fire at radio and retail, including this week’s chart-topping debut by former Destiny’s Child member LeToya.

The success of fellow newcomers Corinne Bailey Rae and Cherish, as well as returning rapper Chingy, is a tribute to the effort by label President Andy Slater and his team, who are having some hot fun in the summertime as they ignite the label’s commitment to R&B.

Slater insists that it’s no coincidence. “These are four distinct talents that just happen to be Urban artists, but our job is to prove their appeal is across the board,” he says. “And if this keeps up, I’m going to order myself a watch from Jacob the Jeweler.”

LeToya’s self-titled debut has been fueled by the CHR/Rhythmic hit “Torn” The video is #1 on BET’s 106th and Park, living large at VH1 Soul and MTV Hits and added at MTV, MTV Jams and BETJ. The online initiative was also strong, with “Torn” featured on both Yahoo! Music and AOL Music. The new video, “She Don’t,” premiered on BET’s Access Granted, including a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the clip. Her promotional agenda included appearances on AT&T’s Blue Room and Live With Regis and Kelly. She’s currently opening for Mary J. Blige on a national tour.

Rae, a young U.K. writer/artist with a captivating self-titled debut album, is breaking through with her first single, “Put the Records On,” launching her into the Grammy race with an album ensconced in the Top 20 as the track explodes at Hot AC on the way to becoming a multi-format smash. Rae’s success has been fueled by VH1’s “You Oughta Know” breaking artist program.

VH1 EVP Music and Talent Rick Krim provides corroboration. “Based on the tremendous response we’ve heard from VH1 and VH1 Soul listeners, Corinne Bailey Rae is already one of those rare artists who connects so easily, and effectively, with music lovers,” he says. “The buzz around her is propelled by undeniable talent and an assured yet accessible presence.”

Then there’s sister group Cherish, riding a Top 5 Urban and crossover hit in “Do It to It,” leading to the Aug. 15 release of the foursome’s debut album, Unappreciated, and is currently Top 10 on the pop chart. The video was just added at MTV, is in heavy rotation at BET, and is being played on MTV Hits and MTV Jams as well as Fuse’s Hip-Hop Countdown. The foursome’s TV appearances include Good Morning America, where they taught viewers the “snap dance,” and the BET Awards Pre-Show. They hit the road as an opening act on the much-anticipated Chris Brown and Ne-Yo “Up Close and Personal” tour Aug. 17 in Cincinnati.

On deck is budding superstar MC Chingy, whose new single, “Pullin’ Me Back,” is exploding at all Urban formats after being Most Added last month, generating an ever-growing buzz about his third album, Hoodstar, streeting Sept. 19.

Not that the rock is being neglected at the Tower. Coming in September is Bob Seger’s Face the Promise, his first new studio album in 12 years, along with new releases from the Decemberists and Saosin.

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