Ricky Fante Adds His Soulful Voice to Two Blockbuster Film Projects
By Virgin Records
Mar 10, 2005, 15:44

Singer-Songwriter Makes Musical Appearances in 'Their Eyes Were Watching God' and 'Robots'

Fante's Timeless Style Also Crosses Borders in Italian Double Chart Splash

New York, NY -- Virgin Records recording artist Ricky Fante, whose debut album Rewind was one of late-2004's critically-hailed triumphs, has been busily extending his global presence in every direction, in the opening months of 2005.

Coming to movie theaters this week, Fante has recorded the newly-written track "Shine," chosen as the lead song from the Robots film soundtrack, released on Virgin Records on March 1. Fante co-wrote the song with Kevin Kadish and Rewind collaborator and Virgin Sr. Vice President of A&R, Josh Deutsch. Robots is the much-anticipated new animated film from 20th Century Fox, opening nationally March 11, created by the Academy Award-winning team behind the animated hit Ice Age. Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Robin Williams, Greg Kinnear, Drew Carey, Mel Brooks and Jamie Kennedy are among the stars providing the voices of Robots. The film will open internationally in major European and Latin American markets in mid-March and early April. Asian territories will follow in mid-summer.

This week, Fante made a musical appearance in the television ratings winner Their Eyes Were Watching God, starring Halle Berry and Michael Ealy. Based on the classic novel by Zora Neale Hurston, and produced by Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions, Their Eyes premiered on the ABC television network March 6, and drew a massive Sunday night audience of nearly 25 million viewers. In the film, Fante performed the much-loved Al Green song, "Simply Beautiful."

In the same week, Ricky's Rewind album debuted at No. 24 in the Italian national album chart. Album sales were driven by the single "It Ain't Easy," which had already entered Italy's top 10, and moved to No. 8 from No. 9.

Fante's debut album Rewind (featuring the focus track "It Ain't Easy") was greeted with a stream of superlatives at its release: People praised his "gritty, gospel-charged growl and organic style that harks back to the golden days of Otis Redding, Al Green and Wilson Pickett." Vanity Fair raved that Ricky "possesses an extraordinary soul voice." USA Today noted that he "distinguishes himself with raw, intense performances that take you back to when soul wasn't a description but a feeling." While promoting Rewind, the artist performed on The Tonight Show, among other key TV outlets, and turned in an impressive vocal and stage portrayal of the iconic Wilson Pickett in a March 2004 episode of the Sixties-based television drama American Dreams.

Raised in Washington, D.C. on a diverse diet of jazz, soul and R&B, Fante names Stevie Wonder, Elvis Presley and James Brown among his many musical influences. He collaborated in writing and recording his album with Grammy-winning songwriter and guitarist Jesse Harris (Norah Jones), making Rewind fresh and distinctly original, yet undeniably authentic -- firmly and proudly claiming a place in the tradition of Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, and all the true, defining voices of R&B.

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