R&B crooner Kenny Lattimore has released "Real Love This Christmas." The track is from the singer/songwriter's first yuletide-themed album, A Kenny Lattimore Christmas.
Helmed primarily by Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer Aaron Lindsey (Israel Houghton & New Breed), the 11-track A Kenny Lattimore Christmas takes the singer beyond straight R&B into jazz/smooth jazz, gospel and traditional pop. "I didn't want it all over the place," adds Lattimore. "But it's enough outside of the box that people don't expect it."
The album currently holds the No. 5 slot on Top Gospel Albums, while "Real Love This Christmas" stands at No. 23 on Hot Gospel Songs. A rebroadcast of Lattimore's Up Close & Personal special on Sirius XM's Heart & Soul channel will air tomorrow (Dec. 24).
His own debut album Kenny Lattimore materialized on Columbia Records in 1996 to much fanfare. That set boasted a pair of Top 20 hits: "Never Too Busy" and the Grammy-nominated perennial wedding favorite "For You (Kenny Lattimore song)", written by high school friend Kenny Lerum. The huge success of the album earned Lattimore a win for Best New Artist at the NAACP Image Awards in 1996, and eventually achieved Gold sales status.
He followed up his debut with From the Soul of Man, another critically acclaimed set of classically styled soul music in 1998, yielding the hits "Days Like This" and "If I Lose My Woman" along with a standout cover of The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." After a short hiatus, the singer re-emerged on Arista Records when, then president Clive Davis signed him to a new contract. He eventually released a more contemporary R&B album, 2001's Weekend under L.A. Reid's regime as Davis was only allowed to take a small defined number of artists to his next venture, J Records.
The title track and first single was anchored by a sample of Blondie's "Rapture" and became a radio favorite on both sides of the Atlantic. Davis may have had a different vision for his career, but, he ended up recording three albums for Arista Records as Reid also had a vision that included a modern-day version of a classic soul duo with his new bride, the Gold level artist, Chante Moore whom he recorded two duet albums that were both critically and commercially acclaimed.