First Listen: Ruben Studdard “Remembers” on stunning new ballad


(June 5, 2023) It may be hard to believe but it’s already been 20 years since Ruben Studdard won season 2 of American Idol. During his time on the show, Gladys Knight, who was one of the judges, nicknamed him the “Velvet Teddy Bear.”

Ruben’s new song “The Way I Remember It” reminds us of why that moniker is so fitting. The song is as smooth as velvet and finds Ruben recounting to his lady love the details of the day he first met her, doing so from his perspective or the way he remembers it. The lyrics reflect the sentiments of a man whose love has grown stronger rather than weaker over time. 

This tender ballad has drawn comparisons to Luther Vandross, Ruben’s idol to whom he has previously paid tribute with his Grammy-nominated rendition of “Superstar” from his 2003 debut album Soulful in addition to his 2018 covers album, Ruben Sings Luther.  And those Luther comparisons are just what Ruben was aiming for.  He said: “The Way I Remember It” is a classic love song written and produced by Balewa Muhammad. It’s just the kind of Luther-style ballad [that] folks have been waiting for from me!!!” 

“The Way I Remember It” is the first single from Ruben’s upcoming album, which is scheduled for release in September.  In the meantime, you can catch Ruben in concert with his best friend and fellow American Idol finalist Clay Aiken, as they have joined forces for the “RUBEN & CLAY: TWENTY YEARS | ONE NIGHT” tour

Take a listen to “The Way I Remember It” below. 

By Darnea N. Samuels


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