Dionne Warwick Talks New Album, Whitney Collaboration

Dionne Warwick’s new album of duets of her classic hits is called “My Friends & Me,” but it could have been called “My Friends & Me … and My Son.”

Warwick, 65, worked with her producer-son Damon Elliott on the CD, released last week on Concord Records. She sang alongside a crop of contemporary and veteran R&B, country and pop artists, including Reba McEntire, Gladys Knight, Cyndi Lauper and Kelis.

“It was a pleasure and an honor to work with him,” Warwick told The Associated by phone Friday as Elliott listened in.

?Thanks mom,” said Elliott. “You’re welcome,” Warwick answered back.

Was Elliott, 33, intimidated by recording his famous mother and some of her most recognized tunes, from “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” to “Walk on By”?

“Of course,” said Elliott, who has worked with Gwen Stefani and Jessica Simpson. “But mom made it very comfortable for me. I was not afraid to give direction.”

“My Friends & Me” took only a month to record. The collection of 13 songs spanning Warwick’s 45 years in music took five years to plan, from scheduling to confirming its many guest artists.

“It’s always easy to work with friends, I feel. I’ve depended on my friends and they’ve depended on me,” Warwick said.

Warwick and Elliott are also collaborating on a project with Warwick’s cousin Whitney Houston, who recently filed for divorce from Bobby Brown. Warwick described Houston as “doing fine.”

The new collaboration is a song titled, “Family Comes First,” for the upcoming film “Daddy’s Little Girls,” directed by Tyler Perry. It “involves our entire family, doing solos, doing harmonies,” Warwick said.

“It’s like `We Are the World’ with the Warwicks. Well, more than the Warwicks,” added Elliott.

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