After years in the wilderness, neo-soul man D'Angelo returned to the U.S. stage in early June for a late-night set at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. He already had a few European dates under his belt, but this was his first appearance onstage in the States since...well, no one could remember. Then a BET Awards slot made waves and sealed his return. Best known for his first two albums — 1995's Brown Sugar and 2000's Voodoo — D'Angelo had become something of an industry phantom, with word of his every move spoken of in hushed, reverent tones and bootlegs leaking online to rabid fans. Critic Robert Christgau once went as far as to call him the "R&B Jesus" for a Village Voice piece, and word has it that D'Angelo's new album, dubbed James River, will once again reaffirm his legend. Few singers anywhere could overshadow a date with Mary J. Blige, but D'Angelo is surely one of them.
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