SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

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Contemporary R&B Master Raphael Saadiq Scores Three Grammy Nominations with The Way I See It

iTunes Selects The Way I See It as 2008's #1 Best Album

NEW YORK, Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- It's been a big week for R&B performer Raphael Saadiq, whose critically acclaimed new album, The Way I See It, has just been named iTunes #1 Best Album of 2008. With an average customer rating of four-and-a-half-stars, The Way I See It is praised in an iTunes online review for "inhabit(ing) the atmosphere of late-Sixties Motown and Philadelphia International, incorporating the distinctly echo-laden drum shuffles of Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye, as well as the swelling string choruses of the Delfonics and the Stylistics ... music pours from this performer as easily as it did from Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder before him."

On Wednesday night, Raphael Saadiq, whose groundbreaking sound combines the best elements of traditional and contemporary Rhythm & Blues, garnered three Grammy nominations including Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals (for "Never Give You Up," a key track from The Way I See It featuring Stevie Wonder & CJ Hilton); Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance (for "Love That Girl," another deep groove from The Way I See It) and the big one: Best R&B Album for The Way I See It.

NPR's "World Cafe" has chosen The Way I See It as one of 2008's Top 10 CDs. NPR is featuring Saadiq in an exclusive interview and performance on their website (www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97798915).

Inspired by the sound and spirit of Philadelphia International Records, the groundbreaking label founded by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff in 1971, Saadiq will pay tribute to Gamble & Huff's profound musical legacy during a special mini-set at the legendary PIR Studios on Friday, December 5. Saadiq -- currently on tour with labelmate John Legend -- will perform in the studio for Gamble & Huff as part of a WDAS radio special hosted by Philly DJ Butterball. Saadiq opens for John Legend at Philadelphia's Tower Theater the evening of December 5.

Raphael Saadiq has been playing music since the age of 6, first rising to prominence under the name Raphael Wiggins in the R&B trio Tony! Toni! Tone! in the late 1980s going on to form a second R&B trio, Lucy Pearl, in the early 90s.

Launching his career as a solo artist in the mid 1990s, Raphael earned his first five Grammy nominations -- setting the record for an independent release -- for his 2002 album debut, Instant Vintage. A crossover success, Instant Vintage peaked at #25 on the Billboard Top 200 and #6 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart.

Raphael's collaborated with, and produced records for, a variety of artists including D'Angelo, who won a Grammy in 2000 for "Untitled (How Does It Feel)," Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, The Isley Brothers, The Roots, Macy Gray, Snoop Dogg, Devin the Dude, Kelis, Q-Tip, The Bee Gees, Nappy Roots, T-Boz from TLC, Joss Stone, Earth, Wind & Fire and many others. Raphael took home a Grammy for Best R&B Song in 2002 for his work on "Love Of My Life (An Ode To Hip Hop)" by Erykah Badu featuring Common.

His new album, The Way I See It, available in a collector's edition box set of 7" 45 rpm singles as well as on traditional CD, represents the finest example to-date of Raphael's downtown sound, a masterful blend of old and new school sensibilities on tracks featuring artists such as Joss Stone, Stevie Wonder, and Jay-Z.

Raphael Saadiq is opening for John Legend on the following dates:

    12/05        Philadelphia, PA       Tower Theatre
    12/06        Fairfield, CT          Fairfield University Alumni Hall
    12/08        Baltimore, MD          Lyric Opera House
    12/09        Washington, DC         Constitution Hall
    12/10        Greenville, SC         Peace Center Concert Hall
    12/12        Charlotte, NC          Ovens Aud.
    12/13        Durham, NC             PAC

www.raphaelsaadiq.com

www.myspace.com/raphaelsaadiq

www.columbiarecords.com

SOURCE Columbia Records

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