Representing the “205” area code wherever he goes Ruben Studdard’s latest album is the perfect gift for your Valentine as it’s all about “Unconditional Love.”
Turning out classics like The Carpenters “They Long To Be (Close To You)” and Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” RS has also penned several songs on the album.
The first single off Studdard’s sixth album (which dropped February 3rd), “Meant To Be,” debuted on The Biggest Loser finale where Ruben says the song pertains to what’s going on in his life because “it’s about moving toward the place where you’re meant to be.”
RS co-wrote “Meant To Be” with one of the album’s producers, 16 Grammy-award winner, David Foster.
“This is the album people expected out of me after I won American Idol (Season 2),” said Studdard. “It’s a great album. Very Luther-esque with a classic R&B sound. It just feels good. When you put it on it exudes what the title says.”
As for his latest goal, living a healthier lifestyle, Ruben has started 2014 122 pounds lighter.
When asked if he preferred being barked orders at from Simon Cowell or his Biggest Loser coach Dolvett Quince, he replied, “Well neither one of them barked. Growing up playing sports, this was nothing new to me. Dolvett is a professional motivator and wanted to help us become our better selves. During both experiences I looked forward to the challenge.”
Wanting to be a professional singer since the age of 11, Studdard’s dreams came true when at 24 he beat out all the hopefuls to become the winner of the second season of American Idol. 
“After pounding the pavement with demos, I soaked up American Idol like a sponge. On Biggest Loser it was about getting my life in order and I thank them for being patient with me.”
A self proclaimed “music fiend,” Ruben says his dream tour would be with Frank Sinatra, Luther Vandross, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole.
As for what’s on his more current playlist, Ruben says Gregory Porter has the best vocals; he’s loving jazz artists Christian Scott and Lalah Hathaway along with hip-hop artists J. Cole and Jay-Z.
To other music lovers he encourages to make use of any platform that allows them to get their music in front of people.
“I would urge them to try out for American Idol and take every opportunity they have for people to hear their music.”
A native to the Magic City, Ruben says he feels fortunate to have a job that allows him to travel all over the world then come back home.
“Birmingham is most definitely home. The people keep bringing me back,” Studdard said. “I’ve met amazing people all over the world, but there’s just something about being home.”
Wanting to create a hometown show for his fans, Ruben teamed with BOSE (he loves their products) and The Outlet Shops of Grand River for a concert for a CD signing along with a meet and greet event last Saturday at the BOSE store.
Verge Records contacted BOSE store manager Stephen Hinton because Studdard wanted to bring an intimate concert to his hometown fans.
Marie Feanny from the BOSE corporate office was thrilled by this great opportunity and Manager of Marketing & Tourism for The Outlet Shops of Grand River Roslyn Rodda said it was a great event because everybody got on board.
To his fans Ruben wants to say two words—thank you.
“I appreciate my fans being as loyal as they have been,” said Studdard. “It’s been an amazing ride, and I wouldn’t have my job if they hadn’t have voted for me.”
His hopes for fans with “Unconditional Love?” 
Studdard says, “I hope I’ve made everybody proud.”
 

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