Chante Moore & Kenny Lattimore: celebrate their love with new album and play, `Things That Lovers Do’ – Interview

Chante Moore & Kenny Lattimore: celebrate their love with new album and play, `Things That Lovers Do’ – Interview – Cover Story

Chante Moore and Kenny Lattimore have it all–a happy marriage, a baby on the way and two of the hottest careers in music.

And they are celebrating their love with a new album of romantic tunes, Things That Lovers Do, and a hit musical play of the same name.

They are the first R&B singing husband-and-wife team to showcase a new album with a stage play.

“We thought it would be an interesting way to launch our new album, Things That Lovers Do,” explains Lattimore. “It was something that had never been done before. We wanted to be a part of something as spectacular and groundbreaking as this.”

On the album, the talented singers team up on such romantic classics as Teddy Pendergrass’ Close The Door; Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright’s With You I’m Born Again, Ashford and Simpson’s Is It Still Good to You and Keith Sweat and Jacci McGhee’s Make It Last Forever.

Chante notes, “We tried to pick songs that we thought we could do justice to, that we identified with and where our voices would work. We tried to find songs that would flow with our style. We wanted to celebrate old-school love songs.”

Kenny notes, “We expect that some people are gonna say (of certain songs) ‘That was my favorite–they shouldn’t have touched it.’ And other people are gonna say, `That was my favorite, and I like what they did to it.’ Or, `I didn’t like that song and now I like it because of their version'”

He reveals that each of the songs tell something about their relationship. “We wanted to do something different. Something that we felt reflected our relationship. We had to do something that we believed in as a couple, something we would truthfully say as a couple.”

Chante points out, “We chose songs that we were connected to in some way. Like with the song Still by Lionel Richie or Rene and Angela’s You Don’t Have To Cry, we knew that if we were going through a problem, we’d say, `Well `I do love you, still.’ And `If you cry, you don’t have to cry alone, I’ll be by your side to help you be strong.’ We can say that to each other, and I think it was that point that was the beauty of making the record, being able to take songs that we totally believe in.”

The album also features two originals tunes co-written and produced by hit-makers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the title track, Things That Lovers Do, and the first single release, Loveable.

As the album rapidly climbs the charts, the musical couple are taking their love to the theatrical stage in a play of the same name, Things That Lovers Do, which opened to rave reviews in Richmond, VA, with upcoming stops in New York, Detroit, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

The musical is loosely based on their lives, but it is not a fact-by-fact account of their relationship, they explain.

The play also stars comedienne-actress Kym E. Whitley and popular actor Clifton Powell. It was directed and staged by Tony Award-winner George Faison and written by Javon Johnson.

Things That Lovers Do tells the story of an up-and-coming singer (Chante) who feels like she has the perfect life–a new husband (Powell), baby on the way, and a bright future with her music group and producer and long-time friend (Kenny). But her life and career begin to unravel around her when the man in her life is no longer attentive. Along the way, Chante’s aunt (Whitley) is there to offer her advice.

In the play, Kenny and Chante perform tunes from the Things That Lovers Do album as well as their own hits, including Kenny’s ballad, For You and Chante performs her Chante Got A Man.

The lovebirds will take a hiatus from the play after the Baltimore engagement (March 18-23) because they are expecting their first child in April. Chante has a daughter, Sophia, 6, with actor Kadeem Hardison. They divorced in 2000.

They are thinking about naming their bundle of joy–Kenneth Lattimore Jr., Chante reveals.

He will be the first child for Kenny. The dad-to be says: “God has really blessed us to allow us to carry this child. I just pray for the baby to be healthy.”

As they wait for the stork to arrive, they are continuing to inspire lovers everywhere with their romantic music on the album and in the play. They say working together has enhanced their relationship. “I know professionally, the road for everybody can be lonely, and with my being pregnant, now there is a comfort zone, not having to use that phone that much,” she laughs. “Some people don’t work together well, and I feel sorry for them,” she laughs. “But we are pretty compatible.”

She continues, “We believe that God put us together, so we are going to do what we have to do to stay together. It’s such a pleasure to be able to do what we do, together.”

They offer advice to other lovers seeking a lasting relationship. “It is difficult to date someone who does not believe what you believe,” she contends.

Chante adds, “Prayer is key. I think that couples have to pray together to stay together. We know that no matter what happens, we have each other. Going to church and worshipping together, those are the things that make us strong. Not because people pay attention to us and say, `You guys are so cute together.’ There are a lot of cute couples who are not going to make it. You have to be compatible. You have to share the same belief system. People talk about how they love God, but do they strive to please Him?”

Kenny adds, “Keep the spontaneity in your relationship and respect each other as individuals. We do not forget that we are individuals. Sometimes Chante needs Chante time and Kenny needs Kenny time. We don’t smother the relationship–we allow it to breathe.”

COPYRIGHT 2003 Johnson Publishing Co.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group