HOLLYWOOD — Jamie Foxx sang BET’s praises after Tuesday’s awards show, but he did have one complaint.
“Usher snuck up in there and stole our trophy,” Foxx grumbled, referring to the Best Collaboration award for which he was nominated with Twista and Kanye West for “Slow Jamz.”
It’s OK, though. Foxx plans to get his vengeance next year. “We’re gonna get back in the lab and come out with something incredible, something that is so great,” Foxx said.
The actor, who released his only album, Peep This, a decade ago, is finalizing the follow-up with Kanye, among many others. While the track list has yet to be decided for the fall release, Foxx has logged studio time with everyone from Snoop Dogg and Tank to Scott Stapp and Slash.
“You never know what might be on it. We might do 46 tracks, ’cause I got friends,” Foxx said. “It’s gonna be called Ambidextrous, which means I’m goin’ in different ways. It’s gonna be a grown-up record.”
Foxx believes the quality of his music improved immensely after portraying legendary singer Ray Charles in an upcoming biopic opening in October.
“With 96 music cues in ’The Ray Charles Story,’ I started to understand how he built songs, how he built bridges, how he built hooks,” Foxx said. “It was a great training ground.”
The movie took on new meaning for Foxx last month when Charles passed away (see “Ray Charles Dead At 73″ ).
“For anyone who was connected to Ray Charles, everyone was very sad and disappointed that he didn’t get to stick around and at least see the beautiful movie we made for him,” the actor said. “It was a shock to some. We kind of knew a little bit he was ill, but I believed he lived a great life.
“As I was doing Ray Charles and I had prosthetics on my eye and couldn’t see anything,” he continued, “I realized that Ray Charles lived his life having to take people’s word for everything. He had to take your word for who’s in the audience, what the record is doing. But he still never stopped. It was a compelling story that we told and I just can’t wait for it to come out.”
In the meantime, Foxx will appear alongside Tom Cruise in “Collateral,” opening August 6 (see “What Do Kanye West, Tom Cruise, Ray Charles And Dave Chappelle Have In Common?” ).