Bee & El and Sony Masterworks Broadway announced November 1 that Tony and Grammy Award winner Billy Porter will release a new studio album, Billy Porter Presents The Soul of Richard Rodgers, in April 2017.
The album will feature soulful takes on classic Richard Rodgers songs.
The album includes solos and duets; in addition to Porter, the recording will feature Tony Award winners Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom, Jr., Renee Elise Goldsberry, and Patina Miller as well as with Grammy nominee Ledisi, and Tony Award nominees Joshua Henry and Brandon Victor Dixon.
Billy Porter Presents The Soul of Richard Rodgers marks Porter’s fourth studio album and his first as producer and content curator.
“Since the release of my first album Untitled almost two decades ago, I’ve been fusing my favorite genres, Broadway and Soul, in my music,” Porter said in a statement. “It has always been my dream to expand this idea beyond myself, so its sounds and attitudes could evolve to become a respected and viable voice in the Broadway market. This album is yet another example of how mashing up the classic with the modern makes the art explosive, transformative, visceral and immediate.”
Porter originated the role of Lola in the Broadway hit Kinky Boots, which won him 2013 Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Other theatre credits include Shuffle Along, Miss Saigon, Five Guys…, Grease, Smokey Joe’s…, Dreamgirls, Angels in America, The Merchant of Venice, Radiant Baby, Birdie Blue, Songs for a New World, Ghetto Superstar (one-man show), Topdog/Underdog, and King Lear. His play, While I Yet Live, premiered in 2015 at Primary Stages.
During his lifetime, Richard Rodgers penned more than 900 songs. His partnerships with Lorenz Hart and later with Oscar Hammerstein II produced some of the most successful musicals in Broadway history. His works with Hart included On Your Toes, Babes in Arms, I Married an Angel, The Boys from Syracuse, Pal Joey, and By Jupiter, and the Rodgers-Hammerstein collaboration spawned Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, Flower Drum Song, and The Sound of Music.