Grammy nominated and platinum recording artist Ruben Studdard will release his long awaited sophomore R&B/soul album, THE RETURN, on J Records, September 26th. THE RETURN is the follow-up to his heralded debut album, Soulful, released in 2003. Soulful has sold nearly 2 million copies and was recognized with coveted awards and nominations from the Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, BET Awards, NAACP Awards, Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Awards, and Teen Choice Awards. The intimate and powerfully sung lead single, "Change Me" (produced by The Underdogs) goes to urban adult and urban mainstream radio today.
THE RETURN includes additional production by The Underdogs, Scott Storch, Ne-Yo, Brian-Michael Cox, Harold Lilly, Dre & Vidal and others. Studdard produced the track "If Only For One Night," a remake of the Brenda Russell song popularized by Luther Vandross. He also co-wrote "I'm Not Happy," "Blow Ya Mind," and "To Tha Crib."
Studdard says the album title "signifies my return to the mainstream after doing the gospel record in 2004. (His debut gospel album, I Need An Angel, was certified gold and nominated for "Best Gospel Album" at the 2005 BET Awards.) "I've had people ask me where I've been in the past few years so I thought calling it 'THE RETURN' made sense. The first track on the new
record is "The Return Of The Velvet Teddy Bear" so I just shortened it and made it the title of my CD." Studdard says his third record, reflects "the growth I've been through as a person -- and a singer. I've had a lot of personal tests during this past year and I've learned some great life lessons. I think listeners are going to notice the maturity in my voice and in the subject matter. With 'THE RETURN,' I'm letting all the people who've followed me from "American Idol" until now know that basically I'm back ... "
The Alabama born artist has also devoted considerable time over the past year to the "Ruben Studdard Foundation For The Advancement of Children In the Music Arts" which provides scholarships, after school programs and summer camps to music students.