Ruben Studdard will be releasing Unconditional Love, his first studio album in two years, it was announced today by his label, Verve Records. Along with beautiful standards, Unconditional Love contains two original tunes, one of which is the first single, "Meant To Be" which will be released tomorrow, November 19th simultaneous to Studdard's appearance on 'The Biggest Loser.' 16 time Grammy winning producer and Verve Records Chairman David Foster is one of several producers on the CD.
"Silky, classy, sexy, romantic--bring you to your knees--this is how I describe the incredible voice of Ruben Studdard. He feels every note and every word he sings. He is a man with an extraordinary voice," commented Foster.
Unconditional Love is filled with some of the most romantic songs Studdard has ever recorded including "My Love" by the Beatles, The Carpenters classic, "Close To You" which includes Stevie Wonder on harmonica and Bonnie Raitt's poignant, "I Can't Make You Love Me." Additional tracks include a steamy version of Teddy Pendergrass' "Close The Door" which was produced by singer Eric Benet who also produced Studdard's breathtaking version of the Boz Scaggs hit "Look What You've Done To Me." The album also contains a soaring duet with Laylah Hathaway of "With You I'm Born Again" which was originally recorded by Syreeta Wright and Billy Preston.
"Unconditional Love is my most romantic album yet. I've wanted to record many of these love songs for a really long time. It's the most heartfelt album I've ever recorded and includes many of my favorite songs from all different eras," commented Studdard.
Fans of Ruben--and they are legend--will get to see him perform in February during several shows scheduled including one at NY's Beacon Theatre on February 15th Studdard will also be going on tour with Laylah Hathaway – dates to be announced.
It's been a decade since Fox Television's 'American Idol' crowned Studdard, a Birmingham, Alabama native, its 2003 winner after he pulled in 24 million votes. In the years since, the "Velvet Teddy Bear" (as Gladys Knight nicknamed him) has had a string of gold and platinum records, top ten albums and r&b and pop singles. Along with performing around the world, he has toured as Fats Waller in the national stage tour of "Ain't Misbehavin" and managed to pick up several Grammy and American Music Award nominations along the way.