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MISSION OF MEANING

POP MUSIC
Brian McKnight, who grew up in Buffalo, is riding the wave of success of the biggest album of his career. McKnight released the album, "Anytime," about six months ago and it has sold more than 1 million copies. It stayed at No. 1 on Billboard's R & B charts for a month, and the single "You Should Be Mine" earned a gold record. McKnight recently released another single, "Anytime," which is climbing up the record charts. McKnight began singing as a child at the Emanuel Temple's choir. "My grandfather was minister of music," he said. "The choir was a cappella, the voices were awesome, and I still hear the harmonies in my head." He made his first solo album in 1992 and has been on a steady rise ever since. McKnight has recorded with such acts as Vanessa Williams and Boyz II Men. McKnight's current album features guest appearances by Sean "Puffy" Combs and Mary J. Blige.

McKnight is now looking for more meaning in his music, rather than the soft ballads that made him famous. "I wanted to show people that there's more to me than sitting around being sad because some chick left me," he has said. "I like all kinds of music and I wanted to show people I could have fun doing this, too." McKnight is also in control of his musical destiny, even though such pros as Combs played a role on his current album. "I wanted to be there and guide them and make sure that it was being done the way I needed it to be done," McKnight said. He returns at 8 tonight to perform in Shea's Performing Arts Center.

-- Anthony Violanti

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