R+B beauty Faith Evans is hoping to leave her past behind and be recognised as an artist in her own right with the release of her new album.

Evans was married to late rapper NOTORIOUS B.I.G. who was gunned down in 1997 and was also signed to SEAN 'P DIDDY' COMBS' BAD BOY RECORDS label - but she wants to rise above her hip-hop connections.

The I'LL BE MISSING YOU singer has signed a new recording deal with CAPITOL RECORDS - she is the only R+B artist on the label - and her new disc THE FIRST LADY has already received superlative reviews from US critics.

She says, "My associations certainly overshadowed my talent for a long time. (They are) a key part of my story. But I've worked really hard to reverse that."

04/04/2005 03:36