R&B singer D’Angelo has officially linked up with celebrity personal trainer Mark Jenkins to get his body back in shape for his return to music.
Jenkins told SOHH his goal is to get D’Angelo in better shape than his famous implied nude music video “Untitled.”
“I’m rocking with Mary [J. Blige] this summer and I’m starting with D’Angelo next week,” Jenkins revealed to SOHH last weekend. “So I’m looking for a big transformation with D’Angelo. We’re back. His music is good and he’s gonna be coming back pretty strong in the next three or four months. The music is tight. That transformation was really one of the big ones that put me on the map so we’re looking to get him in better condition than the ‘Untitled’ video. That’s the target we’re shooting for.” (SOHH)
In October 2008, Jenkins also spoke on trying to get D’Angelo back in shape.
“He’s very much into mixed martial arts and boxing. I’ve also got some dirt bikes, so we’re gonna hit some moguls and trails this week. I’m actively trying to find sports that he’s genuinely interested in so that he has motivation to train for his sport as opposed to going into the gym and just doing curls and looking in the mirror, because this way he’ll be more apt to stay in shape for a lifetime. The mistake we made the last time is that it turned into more of a superficial thing: How do I look? How do my arms look? How do my abs look? And a lot of that was due to the media as opposed to a lifestyle thing.” (Entertainment Weekly)
D’Angelo’s past fight with alcohol and weight gain became public around the mid-2000’s.
On a Sunday in April 2006, Gary Harris pulled up to D’Angelo’s large starter mansion outside Richmond, Virginia, in a limo. Harris, the A&R man who’d first signed D’Angelo in the early ’90s and who had overseen his 1995 debut, Brown Sugar, was on a mission: to escort the singer to Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Treatment Centre in Antigua. As he walked into the spacious kitchen, Harris knew this wouldn’t be easy. Spread across the kitchen table, marble countertops, shelves — nearly every available flat surface — were empty alcohol bottles of all conceivable varieties. “There was scotch, vodka, beer,” Harris recalls. “While I was waiting for him, he emptied the contents out of the corners of three or four bottles to get a shot.” D’Angelo himself was unshaven, about 40 pounds overweight, and hadn’t packed. “He was trying to act like he didn’t know I was coming that day,” Harris says. (SPIN)
In January 2009, reports suggested D’Angelo was working on a new album.
D’Angelo is expected to collaborate with Prince on his long-awaited first new album since 2000, reportedly titled James Riverand due this summer from J Records. In a statement, his manager, Lindsay Guion, says D’Angelo will also team with Gnarls Barkley‘s Cee-Lo Green. Collaborations with Raphael Saadiq, Mark Ronson and Roy Hargrove are already in the bag. (Billboard)
Check out D’Angelo’s “Untitled” music video below: