Ruben Studdard
After being one of “American Idols” top participants, Ruben made his mark with top hits like “Sorry For” and covers of Luther Vandross. Now he is back with a new album being produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Check out this interview as he talks about covering Michael Jackson, playing Fats Waller, and being on American Idol.
by Thato Dadson

WHO?MAG: Tell me about your new Album “Love Is”?
Ruben Studdard: It’s a great compilation of great love songs. Ever since I was on the show everyone, thought I was like Luther and Gerald. It was great that I got to work with two great producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. I really just want to do an album that reflected what the fans were looking for in the beginning.

WHO?MAG: How was it working with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis?
Ruben Studdard: Man, it was almost like a dream! I couldn’t believe I was in the studio. They pushed me harder than anybody in the studio so I know the product is going to be amazing.

WHO?MAG: Why did you decide to cover Michael Jackson’s “Can’t Help It”?
Ruben Studdard: It was just one of my favorite songs that he did. And once I heard the track from Jimmy, I just had to sing it.

WHO?MAG: Are there any more Luther Vandross cover’s on this album or is that something you are trying to get away from?
Ruben Studdard: Nah, no Luther on this album. I wanted to move in a new direction.

WHO?MAG: How has the music business been to you compared from 6 years ago to now?
Ruben Studdard: It’s been good man. I can’t really complain. I’ve had a chance to work with one of the greatest music producers Clive Davis on my first 3 records. Of course leaving J Records and going to Sony ATV Hickory was a smooth transition and I’m happy!

WHO?MAG: How has being a married man effect your music career?
Ruben Studdard: It’s great man. Being married and being in love just makes you better because it gives you motivation to wake up every morning and to want to work everyday and to know that there is somebody out there that loves Ruben for Ruben and not anything else.

WHO?MAG: How did you land the part in Fats Waller musical, “Ain’t Misbehavin?
Ruben Studdard: They actually called me and the producers thought I would be perfect for the role. It was my first real on stage performance. I can tell you they worked me to death, but it was really great.

WHO?MAG: After American Idol, have you kept in contact with any of the judges or contestants?
Ruben Studdard: Oh yeah I talk to them often. We all keep in touch.

WHO?MAG: Who were your biggest inspirations musically?
Ruben Studdard: Growing up I was a huge fan of The Commission, Fred Hammond, Donny Hathaway, and Luther of course.

WHO?MAG: What advice can you give to upcoming artist?
Ruben Studdard: The piece of advice to give anybody is to keep focused. Make sure you practice and keep on moving.

WHO?MAG: What’s next for Ruben Studdard?
Ruben Studdard: I have the album coming out and we will be releasing that 2 days after the tour is done and then I plan on making a Christmas album this year.