“American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard is working with two American icons on his debut album.
R&B star R. Kelly wrote and will produce an inspirational song called “Send Me an Angel” for the Birmingham, Alabama, crooner, and Missy Elliott, who “loves Ruben,” according to her spokesperson, is working on material for the project as well.
The album, titled Soulful, has been pushed back from October to a November 11 release.
“I’ve been touring nonstop and haven’t had the chance to make my album the way I want to,” Studdard said in a statement. “In order to work with the best of the best … I need time to vibe with them so that I can put out the best album possible.”
Studdard has already recorded a collaboration with Fat Joe (see “Fat Joe, ’Idol’ Ruben Studdard Team Up To Say ’Can I Get Your Attention?’ “ ), and has been in studios with producers Harold Lilly (Monica, Deborah Cox) and Static (Jay-Z).
Work on the project is expected to increase heavily after August 31, the last date of the American Idols Live Tour (see “Ruben Studdard Confronted By Rabid Claymates At Tour Stop” ).
Studdard is tangled up in a lawsuit surrounding the 205 jerseys he wore on “American Idol” (see ” ’205’ Jersey Makers Say They Secretly Paid Ruben Studdard” ), but it is not expected to interfere with the release. His lawyer did not return calls on Thursday (August 21).
In the meantime, the contest’s runner-up, Clay Aiken, is putting together his self-titled album, due October 14. Steve Mac (Nick Carter), Clif Magness (Avril Lavigne), Steve Morales (Christina Aguilera), Rick Nowels (Dido) and Desmond Child (Cher) are working on the project (see “Clay Aiken’s ’Night’ Video Says ’This Is The Soul’ “ ).
Aiken has also been booked to perform “This Is the Night” at the Miss America pageant on September 20, which will air live on ABC.