Jill Scott: New ‘Album Is Closer Than It’s Ever Been’

Jill Scott: New 'Album Is Closer Than It's Ever Been'

Jill Scott performs onstage during the 6th Annual “Black Women In Music” event held at Avalon on February 5, 2015 in Hollywood, California. 

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The 2015 Essence Black Women in Music honoree is celebrating her 15th anniversary in music

Jill Scott was among the stellar lineup of performers at the Feb. 10 taping of the CBS/Grammy tribute concert to Stevie Wonder (airing Feb. 16). She, along with India.Arie and Janelle Monae, threw down a rousing cover of the Wonder classic “As.” But that wasn’t the only Grammy Week highlight for Scott, who is currently finishing her fifth studio album.

The singer/songwriter was honored earlier during Grammy Week at Essence magazine’s annual salute to Black Women in Music. Staged at the Avalon in Hollywood, the event ranked as one of the best celebrations in its six-year history. Performers honoring Scott included Chaka Khan, Brandy, Lianne La Havas and MC Lyte. Among the music celebs in the house were Grammy Award winner Lalah Hathaway, Ciara, Grammy nominees Ledisi and Antonique Smith, Empire up-and-comer V. Bozeman, Goapele, Marsha Ambrosius, Zendaya and Jordin Sparks.

Exclusive: Essence To Honor Jill Scott at Black Women in Music Event

This year also marks Scott’s 15th anniversary since the release of her debut platinum album Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1. She is now busy mixing and mastering her new Atlantic album. The yet-untitled set, slated for a spring/summer release, is the follow-up to her 2011 outing The Light of the Sun — her first No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200.

In an earlier phone interview with Billboard, Scott — who recently co-starred in the January Lifetime movie With This Ring — said the album is “closer than it’s ever been. But I don’t think my gut is finished. I haven’t emptied everything out. This is my baby, you know, and it takes me some time to relinquish the reins. I might come up with another song or two. I don’t know.”

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Scott’s collaborators include songwriter/producer Aaron Pearce (Boyz II Men) out of Nashville and longtime creative colleague Andre Harris. “I wanted some of the storytelling of country music that I enjoy so much,” adds the singer, “the simple stories. The album is pretty eclectic, but again it’s me storytelling from the point of view of a grown-up woman.”