's upcoming self-titled release, Avant
, out December 9th, will mark his 5th career album and his first release on new label, Capitol Records. The lead single from his latest effort "When It Hurts," continues to climb the charts, recently breaking into the Top 10 and Top 20 at radio formats Urban AC and Urban Mainstream, respectively.
"Seven years and five albums deep, I've got a resume and track record," says the multi-platinum R&B singer/songwriter. "I've proved my point which is why I decided to call the album Avant
, because it reflects who I am."
Avant gathers the talents of some of today's hottest and most innovative producers. Among them are Trackmasters (LL Cool J
), the Architects (Missy Elliott
), and Smurf aka Mr. Collipark (Soulja Boy
). Avant's new album also finds him branching out into studio production, complementing his track record as an established lyricist. One of the most talked about tracks on the album is "Break Ya Back" - Avant's tongue-in-cheek ode to satisfying a woman. "Break Ya Back" received so much chatter that Avant decided to create a viral video specifically for his fans. The sexy video recently hit the Internet and has been causing a stir on popular sites and tastemaker blogs.
While taking his time to record his new self-titled album, Avant stayed very busy working on other projects. He began to hone his acting chops by landing a starring role in David E. Talbert's critically acclaimed stage play "Love In The Nick Of Tyme." After the successful play wrapped, Avant landed a role in the comedic film First Sunday
starring Ice Cube
, Tracy Morgan
and Katt Williams
. In recent months, he also took time out of his schedule to pay homage to U.S. troops overseas by performing at several military bases in Iraq.
Avant's breakout debut album My Thoughts
(May 2000) was certified RIAA platinum and went on to sell more than 4 million worldwide. The album's opening cut, "Separated," turned into a career-defining #1 R&B smash; it was followed by the Top 5 remake of "My First Love" (in which Avant dueted with Ketara "Keke" Wyatt
on the René and Angela ballad of 1983). Avant mined RIAA gold with his second album, Ecstasy
(March 2002), which jumped out with another Top 10 R&B hit, "Makin' Good Love," followed by the sexy "Don't Say No, Just Say Yes." Private Room
(December 2003) reached the RIAA gold plateau again, on the strength of another pair of R&B/pop crossovers, "Read Your Mind" (his first collaboration with Snoop Dogg
) and "Don't Take Your Love Away."
Avant's final album under the Magic Johnson
Music imprint through Geffen Records was 2006's Director
, containing the Top 10 single, "4 Minutes." It also included the standout tracks "Lie About Us" (which paired Avant with the Pussycat Dolls
' Nicole Scherzinger
) and "You Know What" (feat. Lil Wayne
).Click the pics for gallery & larger images