Press Releases

Top 5: Albums to Look Forward To Before 2010

1. The Element of Freedom – Alicia Keys
Projected Release Date: Dec 1/2009
First single: “Doesn’t Mean Anything”

Alicia Keys is back with her fourth studio album, and even though we’ve been wondering “How could she possibly top what she did last time?”, she has always managed to do it. She went all for the Motown and old-school soul on As I Am, her last album, and on this one, she has said that she’ll be experimenting with new sounds as opposed to old – everyone seems to be saying that about his/her album these days. Let’s just hope she doesn’t abandon what makes her stand out from the typical R&B we hear on the radio.

In her own words: “The way that the songs progress [on the album] are gonna take you on a natural high. I just want you to feel a sense of freedom, I want you to feel out-of-the-box, feel inspired… you’re going to hear things that you probably didn’t think that I would sound like. It’s a journey.” – interview on 106 & Park

2. Raymond vs. Raymond (previously Monster) – Usher
Projected Release Date: Dec 8/2009
First single: “Papers”

After the absolute flop (well, by Usher’s standards, at least) that was Here I Stand, Usher is picking himself up and releasing another album. Amidst rumours and speculation that he had “gone soft” with his marriage to ex-wife Tameka Foster, the title of the first single, “Papers,” is definitely up for interpretation. Now in his thirties, Usher has to prove that he still has what made Confessions the massive commercial and critical hit that it was; two failures in a row would put him firmly in the “Up-for-retirement” class.

In his own words: “Racy, risky, and edgy” – interview with People magazine

3. Transition – Ryan Leslie
Projected Release Date: Nov 3/2009
First single: “You’re Not My Girl”

The strange thing about Ryan Leslie is that his career never really took off, despite lots of solid production work for artists like Cassie, New Edition, and Britney. He has earned the respect of many artists within the industry for his unique musical style, but his fame on the charts (and in the gossip columns) has been surprisingly limited. For a man who graduated from Harvard when he was 19, Ryan Leslie could be doing a lot of other things with his life right now, but his dedication to music is impressive, to say the least – he wrote and produced his entire debut album, which is almost unheard of in the music scene today. Transition is receiving the same treatment, but as of right now the odds of it being either a Confessions or a floptastic Here I Stand are pretty even.

In his own words: “I don’t really get into the idea of making excuses or giving explanations for why I’m not massively exposed… we’re at an age now where if people really want to expose something… they’ll expose it.” – interview with PinBoard

4. D.N.A. – Mario
Projected Release Date: Oct 12/2009
First single: “Break Up”

Sporting a new shaved head, Mario is back with D.N.A., an album that was supposed to be released ages ago, but kept getting pushed back. It’s hard to believe that this is his fourth album (he’s only 23), but Mario’s talent can’t be denied. He’s like a younger, more contemporary-R&B-sounding male version of Alicia Keys. He has all the producers that the hip-hop and R&B singers in the game want on their albums too, and seeing as this is Mario we’re talking about and add to that the fact that he’s been working on this album for so long, this will probably keep R&B afloat until the end of the year when all the other artists drop their albums.

In his own words: “… you’ve got the Trey Songzs, the Ne-Yos , and you’ve got the Chris Browns of the world—you’ve got all these new artists. This is my fourth album, and some of them aren’t even on their third [album]—I’m coming back with something fresh and new.” – interview with

5. Echo – Leona Lewis
Projected Release Date: Nov 11/2009
First single: “Happy”

Is there a more anticipated album this year? Well, there probably is, but this one is up there with the rest of them. Spirit was the hit album that every American Idol winner after Kelly Clarkson desperately tried to attain unsuccessfully (with the exception of perhaps Carrie Underwood), and Simon Cowell is not letting go of the reins on this one, having once again chosen the producers for every song. If the first single is any indication though, she seems to be following the formula for her debut a little too closely – “Happy” sounds dangerously similar to, well, every single on Spirit that featured piano instrumentals. Leona Lewis might be toeing the line with this one.

In her own words: “I’ve taken more control this time and I feel more at ease with everything.” (Don’t make me wish that you pushed yourself more, Leona.)

Mario Press Releases Videos

Check Out Clips From Mario’s MTV Documentary, I Won’t Love You to Death!

Check Out Clips From Mario’s MTV Documentary, I Won’t Love You to Death!

Video Sneak Peek: The Story of Mario and His Mom

I Won’t Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom (1 of 6)

I Won’t Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom (2 of 6)

I Won’t Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom (3 of 6)

I Won’t Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom (4 of 6)

I Won’t Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom (5 of 6)

I Won’t Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom (6 of 6)

Press Releases




PREMIERING SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21ST AT 10PM ET/PT to offer an Exclusive Discussion with Mario After the Show, Provide Viewers with Resources and Information on Substance Abuse & More

New York, NY – October x, 2007 – MTV’s News & Docs’ “I Won’t Love You To Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom” presents an intimate look into the life of Grammy-nominated R&B singer Mario as he courageously opens up about his personal battle with his mother’s heroin addiction. This documentary will present the extremes that are so much a part of Mario’s everyday life – from the highs of fame to the lows of drug addiction — and provide an intimate portrait of a tortured son trying to save his mother while still continuing to pursue the dreams he’s longed for since childhood. Viewers will go along on this difficult and emotional journey with Mario in hopes that in the end his mother Shawn will be free to experience life without drugs. “I Won’t Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom” is set to air on MTV on Sunday, October 21st at 10pm (ET/PT).

Mario is known for selling millions of hit records in addition to his starring movie roles but with all his successes, few might guess that a dark family secret has tormented him since childhood. In this hour long special, MTV’s cameras captured Mario’s personal battle with his mother’s addiction through his point-of-view. Coming close to death from multiple drug overdoses, Shawn was incapable of raising Mario for most of his young life. Growing up, Mario has struggled with trying to find a way to cope with and change his mother’s troubled life. At the age of 20, Mario found himself acting as a parent to his own mother by providing a home for her and paying her expenses. Constantly questioning where the money is going, Mario is at a crossroads to determine whether he’s really the doing the best thing for her. With the help of an interventionist, Shawn’s boyfriend and a close family friend; Mario prepares for one of the toughest days of his life as he finally confronts his mom on camera and offers her the gift of rehab. — a new online community where young people, their friends and some of the biggest names in pop culture are uniting to effect positive social change — will host an exclusive discussion with Mario right after the show ends, multimedia features on substance abuse and an in-depth Mario profile. By providing content and resources about substance abuse and rehabilitation, the Think Community will help viewers cope with issues featured on the series, educate them about drug abuse and connect them to the necessary help.

Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, actor Mario is best known for his hit singles “Just a Friend (2002)” and “Let Me Love You,” which won him two Billboard awards, as well as for appearing in the films Step Up and Freedom Writers. His latest album, Go will be released on November 27, 2007 on J Records and includes collaborations with Akon, The Neptunes, Ne-Yo, Scott Storch, Timbaland, Nelly, Stargate, Mr. Collipark, Polow Da Don and many more. The Baltimore native has described his new album as “more personal… more passionate,” which can be heard and felt on his current single “Crying Out For Me,” which is climbing up the charts. Another standout track from the album which will be featured on the MTV documentary special is the sincere “Do Right” where Mario speaks about his mom and her drug addiction. is a dynamic, multimedia-driven and enables youth to easily learn more about the issues that matter to them most, share their opinions – via uploaded online videos, podcasts and blogs – and connect with others to make a difference. The site is one of the only to reward members for positive actions taken online or off, serving up chances to hang out with socially conscious celebs, access to exclusive MTV events, exposure on MTV and other national media outlets, as well as grants, scholarships and more. was built with the help of financial support and expertise from founding partners the Case Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Goldhirsh Foundation and MCJ Amelior Foundation. For more information or to build a profile and become involved, visit

MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with more than 137 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services – MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, VH1 CLASSIC, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, with all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 260 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.

Tune in Sunday, October 21st at 10pm EST on MTV.