Angie Stone is the woman who led the neo-soul movement, with her natural afro, funky grooves and sultry voice.
Her hits like “No More Rain (In This Cloud),” “Wish I Didn’t Miss You,” “”Baby” featuring Betty Wright, “More Than a Woman” featuring both Calvin Richardson (album version) and Joe (radio version), and her celebration of Black men, “Brotha,” made her singer that women respected and men adored.
After several years of dabbling in more commercial R&B—her 2010 CD, “Unexpected” incorporated the Rihanna-esque Euro sound—Stone said she’s got her groove back and she’s returning to her core.
“I spent a lot of time over the past few years working with other people, writing with them, working with producers,” Stone explained. “And then one day I realized that while I was doing everything I could to help them succeed and watching them grow, I was losing pieces of myself in the process. I shaved a lot of my originality off when merging with so many other people. Fans weren’t getting Angie Stone. They were getting Angie and so-and-so. I knew I had to get back to my own music and skills. It’s time for Angie to do Angie.”
The Columbia, South Carolina-bred singer is now gearing up for her sixth CD, “Rich Girl,” a soulful R&B offering led by the first single “Do What U Gotta Do.”
Stone, who was responsible for helping R&B star D’Angelo—who is the father of her 15-year-old son Michael—write songs and cultivate his sound on both his “Brown Sugar” (1995) and “Voodoo” (2000) albums, said her forthcoming CD will remind fans of her two best-selling albums, the gold-certified “Black Diamond” (1999) and the gold-certified “Mahogany Soul” (2001).
“I wrote this album from a real place,” explained Stone. “It’s not about money, it’s about being rich in everything you do, in your spirit, your purpose and your giving to others. And because I was able to really write for, and in, my own voice this time, I could really sing these new songs with authenticity, something I haven’t been able to do in a long time.”
“Rich Girl” features guest appearances by Tweet, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, “Sunday Best” stars Y’Anna Crawley and Danetra Moore, and Stone’s daughter, Diamond Stone and will be released on SRR Records on Sept. 25.
VIDEO: Watch Angie Stone’s music video for her new single “Do What U Gotta Do.”