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Anthony Hamilton Has Something To Prove

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As 2011 winds down, Morning Edition is looking at music we missed over the past 12 months. R&B singer Anthony Hamilton is one artist that slipped under our noses; we just missed his album Back To Love, which came out earlier this month. Hamilton's been in the music business for two decades, during which he's had a mostly black audience. Now, with Back To Love, he's gaining even wider appeal.

Hamilton often sings about love's imperfections. In the song "Mad", he focuses on the complications of staying in love after years together.

"It's this grumpy man who's in a relationship," Hamilton says. "They've settled in. He loves her, but he wishes she would go to the store or go to her mom's house or whatever it may be."

Hamilton's characters also face temptation; many succumb to it. He says he likes to remind his listeners how close we often get to making choices with damaging consequences, as do the characters in his song, "Woo."

"There's a lot of people that have weaknesses to sex and booze or whatever it may be," Hamilton explains. "I'm not one that's too far from having any of those problems myself. I think we are all one decision away from messing ourself up."

Hamilton may best be known for his R&B songs, but the song "Sucka for You" shows off his poppier side.

"'Sucka for You' was a way of letting people know — 'You know what? I know you heard me on the R&B ballads and all these songs but this is a part of my personality [too]. I ain't too proud to beg. I ain't too tired to stay up all night. I got something to prove.'"

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