Scarlett Johansson unveils debut album

Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:04am EST
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NEW YORK (Billboard) - Actress Scarlett Johansson says Tom Waits has given the thumbs-up to her debut album, which features covers of 10 tunes written by the notoriously persnickety musician.

"Anywhere I Lay My Head" will be released May 20 via Atco/Rhino. David Bowie, whom Johansson met a party just prior to beginning work on the album, lends his distinctive vocals to the tracks "Falling Down" and "Fannin' Street," while Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner and members of the band Celebration contribute throughout. The album was produced by Dave Sitek of the New York rock band TV On The Radio.

The album also boasts one original tune, "Song for Jo." Johansson said she initially considered making an album of standards, but the project slowly morphed into a Waits-dominated affair. "His melodies are so beautiful and his voice is so distinct," she said at a news conference Tuesday.

"I sent him some of the early, early recordings, and he said, 'Go ahead,"' she added. "I've heard he's very pleased."

There are no plans for Johansson to perform live in support of the project, but she says she'd be intrigued by "getting everybody together," perhaps at a festival, at some point in the future. "It would be a missed opportunity not to."


<p>Scarlett Johansson arrives at the Warner Music Group Grammy after-party in Los Angeles February 11, 2007. REUTERS/Max Morse</p>