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Dawn Robinson: Lucy Pearl Replacement 'A Big Shock'

When Lucy Pearl announced Monday that Joi was replacing Dawn Robinson in the R&B/hip-hop supergroup, no one was more surprised than Robinson herself.

That came as a big shock to me when I heard about it [Tuesday]," said Robinson, who added that she understood all along that Lucy Pearl would be a one-year, one-time project. "That wasn't something we had discussed. We hadn't talked about anyone replacing anyone.

Robinson said she hadn't had a chance to talk to Raphael Saadiq and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, with whom she formed Lucy Pearl in late 1999. The group released their self-titled debut in May.

The group knew I was leaving as of October 31 to work on my solo album, and I thought we were all just going to go our separate ways," Robinson said. Sounding upbeat despite the surprise news, the former En Vogue singer wished Saadiq, Muhammad and Joi well.

A phone call would have been nice," Robinson added.

Saadiq and Muhammad could

not be reached for comment Wednesday (November 8).

Meanwhile, Robinson just inked a deal with QVC's Q Records, which is distributed by Atlantic. She said she'll start working in a few weeks on the solo album she put on hold when she joined Lucy Pearl.

Robinson said she's already written most of the songs, including "Planet You," an R&B ballad about a self-absorbed boyfriend. But she might not include it on the album, she said, because she doesn't want to be pigeonholed as an R&B singer.

I don't see why we have to categorize everything," Robinson said. "Music breaks through color lines and genre lines. You can go to a Madonna concert and stand next to a skinhead and get along, where you wouldn't normally be around that kind of person.

Robinson said she plans to ask No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani and Black Crowes leader Chris Robinson to guest on the album.

She said her experience with Lucy Pearl allowed her to grow as an artist, because each

member contributed equally to the group's sound on songs such as "Dance Tonight.

With En Vogue, we were never allowed to write our own material," Robinson said. "I think Lucy Pearl was a more credible band, because we all had a part in the sound.

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