R. Kelly Returns With "Untitled" on December 1st

October 21, 2009 12:46 PM ET

R. Kelly has announced he'll release his new album Untitled on December 1st both physically and digitally. The nameless LP, Kelly's first since 2007's Double Up and last year's shelved 12 Play: Fourth Quarter, has already spawned first single "Number One," featuring Keri Hilson, and second single "Religious" was delivered to radio recently after debuting on Kelly's YouTube page. As Rolling Stone previously reported, his The Demo Tape mixtape was released this June.

For Untitled, Kelly broke with tradition and instead did some recording in Atlanta instead of his native Chicago, according to a press release. The album will also find the Chocolate Factory singer collaborating with up-and-coming producers like Chris Henderson, Lil Ronnie and Infinity. At an album preview party Kelly hosted at his own home, he reportedly told the crowd he party-tested Untitled hard. "For three months straight, I threw a party at my house every weekend. ... Like 200 girls come over, and there's some guys too, like four or five, but no pictures, so we can all be ourselves. Then I'd play the music and see how they would react — if they didn't feel it, I'd go back downstairs and rework it."

Kelly recently kicked off a tour in support of Untitled, a trek that'll keep the singer on the road and not trapped in a closet until a December 8th show in St. Louis, Missouri. Check out the remaining tour dates below:
Oct. 22 - Atlanta, GA
Oct. 23 - Chattanooga, TN
Oct. 24 - Charleston, SC
Oct. 25 - Augusta, GA
Oct. 27 - Birmingham, AL
Oct. 29 - Dallas, TX
Oct. 30 - Houston, TX
Oct. 31 - New Orleans, LA
Nov. 1 - Memphis, TN
Nov. 5 - Los Angeles, CA
Nov. 6 - Las Vegas, NV
Nov. 7 - Oakland, CA
Nov. 12 - Indianapolis, IN
Nov. 14 - Detroit, MI
Nov. 15 - Milwaukee, WI
Nov. 17 - Chicago, IL
Nov. 20 - Louisville, KY
Nov. 21 - Charlotte, NC
Nov. 22 - Greensboro, NC
Nov. 24 - Washington, DC
Nov. 27 - Jacksonville, FL
Nov. 28 - Miami, FL
Nov. 29 - Tampa, FL
Dec. 4 - Norfolk, VA
Dec. 5 - Richmond, VA
Dec. 6 - Cleveland, OH
Dec. 8 - St. Louis, MO

Related Stories:
R. Kelly Preps For New Album With Debut Mixtape, "Demo"
R. Kelly Promises He'll Wind Up on Top in "Number One" Video

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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