In Your Ear: Howard Hewett

The former lead singer for the R&B group Shalamar, opens his music file and tells why a new CD by crooner John Legend, who represents a newer generation of R&B, has him taking musical notes.

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Finally, we want to close today's program on a musical note. Over the holidays, we brought you an interview with R&B singer Howard Hewett to talk about his Christmas album. And when he stopped by, he also talked about the music he's listening to these days. And we want to share that with you in a segment we call "In Your Ear."

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. HOWARD HEWETT (R&B Singer): One of the CDs I listen to a lot now basically is like the new John Legend Project called "Evolver."

(Soundbite of song "Quickly")

Mr. JOHN LEGEND: (Singing) If I had 20 million dollars In a vault somewhere baby, It wouldn't matter anyway 'Cause the doctor told me that I'm dying slowly So I guess I got to love you while I'm here baby Did you know...

Mr. HEWETT: And there's so many different songs, I mean, that brings out the different, you know, emotions. Like there's one song on there called "Quickly." I'm hoping that maybe, you know, that may - at one point or another be one of the singles from the project.

(Soundbite of song "Quickly")

Mr. LEGEND: (Singing) I know we just met But baby could you love me quickly

Mr. HEWETT: It's such an urgency when the lyric is, you know, the world is going crazy, but, baby, can you love me quickly.

(Soundbite of song "Quickly")

Mr. LEGEND: (Singing) I want you to love me like you know the world is about to end, baby - quickly

Mr. HEWETT: You know, and then there's a call to responsibility type of song on there.

(Soundbite of song "If You're Out There")

Mr. LEGEND: (Singing) If you hear this message, wherever you stand I'm calling every woman, calling every man

Mr. HEWETT: You know, the call to get this whole thing together, but the time to do it was yesterday.

(Soundbite of song "If You're Out There")

Mr. LEGEND: (Singing) The future started yesterday, and we're already late

Mr. HEWETT: I enjoy songs that bring different types of emotions, you know, to the surface, makes people think, makes people feel.

(Soundbite of song "If You're Out There")

Mr. LEGEND: (Singing) We've been looking for the world to change If you feel the same Then go on and say If you're out there Sing along with me If you're out there I'm dying to believe that you're out there Stand up and say it loud If you're out there Tomorrow's starting now

Mr. HEWETT: That's one of the things about today. It's like we, you know, we don't feel as much as we should, I believe. We've been so anesthetized, I think, by TV, by, you know, certain things that, you know, we just kind of get immune to feeling. And I think it's important that we as people feel each other again.

(Soundbite of song "If You're Out There")

Mr. LEGEND: (Singing) If you're ready, we can shake the world Believe again It starts within

MARTIN: That's John Legend singing "If You're Out There" from his album, "Evolver." R&B singer Howard Hewett was talking about it because that's the music that's currently playing in his ear.

And that's our program for today. I'm Michel Martin, and this is Tell Me More from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow.

Mr. HEWETT: Administration and this time, it's going to be really exciting, and I'm looking very much forward to it.

(Soundbite of song "If You're Out There")

Mr. LEGEND: (Singing) If you're out there And you're ready now

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