The Renaissance man of entertainment has returned to do what he does best—leaving audiences begging for more. Brian McKnight’s 13th studio album, Just Me, which is set for release on July 12, boasts a two-disc set with new material and live unplugged versions of his classic ballads. The soulful singer, who gained international fame in the 1990s with hits such as “Anytime” and the unforgettable “Back at One,” once again leaves listeners swaying as he croons about the joys, tests and trials of life and love.

With a whopping 40 cuts, Just Me, leaves even the most skeptical yearning for the type of romance McKnight brings to mind with tracks such as “End and Beginning With You” and “Fall 5.0.” The album also offers colorful renditions of hits such as Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed,” and Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You.” For fans who just can’t get enough of McKnight, the album also includes a DVD of the Just Me Tour, offering backstage glances and footage of McKnight wooing crowds.

“One of the greatest things about this album is that all the new tracks were a collaboration of myself and my sons BJ & Niko,” says McKnight in a press release. McKnight, who has been touring and promoting his latest album since March 2011, has truly turned his act into a family affair, bringing along not only his sons who coproduced the album, but older brother Claude McKnight III, who enjoyed critical acclaim as a founding member of the popular jazz sextet Take 6.

Hailing from Buffalo, NY, the multi-platinum selling artist was introduced to the world at the age of 19, when he signed his first major record deal (Mercury Records) and released his debut self titled album in 1992. By 1997, the boyish grin and smooth vocals were holding listeners worldwide captive, while blowing away the charts with albums that were going platinum two and three times over.

With so much success, it’s hard to find a category of the entertainment business McKnight hasn’t conquered. The singer, songwriter, and producer has crossed into genres such as country and pop while also simultaneously leading a thriving career in television, theatre and radio. “The Brian McKnight Morning Show” ran for a total of four years, with two of those holding a steady top five position on the KTWV Wave Smooth Jazz radio station. McKnight will bring his Just Me tour to Rockville, Md., on July 21 and 22.

Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer