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LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Faith Evans is a pragmatist -- while she's hard at work promoting her new album, she's also outlining a book, promoting a line of hair-care products, shooting a pilot for a reality show and developing a TV sitcom.
"Music is still the huge love of my life," Evans says. "It's a fun business, but the checks don't come as regularly. And when they do, they're not always the same amount," she adds with a laugh. "I'm taking advantage of all the revenue streams I can."
Those streams also include Prolific Music Group, Evans' imprint through which she will release her sixth album, "Something About Faith," distributed by eOne Music. The October 5 project marks the singer's return after a five-year hiatus and 15 years since her first album, "Faith." Anthemic love ballad "Gone Already" is the new set's lead single, which is No. 39 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Evans, a former Al B. Sure! and Christopher Williams backup singer, launched her career in 1995 when she became the first female artist signed to Sean "Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy Entertainment. The Grammy Award winner and widow of hip-hop icon the Notorious B.I.G. recorded three platinum albums -- including "Keep the Faith" and "Faithfully" -- before segueing to Capitol in 2003 for two more albums: gold-certified "The First Lady" and "A Faithful Christmas."
Personnel changes at Capitol and a fourth pregnancy prompted Evans' five-year break and the launch of her other pursuits. Jump-starting her nonmusical endeavors was her best-selling 2008 autobiography, "Keep the Faith."
"With the changes going on at Capitol, I didn't know how a new record would be handled," Evans recalls. "So I waited it out until I got a release. It also wasn't the right time to take my focus away from family. With some time on my hands, I followed up on an earlier offer to write my memoirs."
Evans and her writing collaborator, Aliya King, are teaming up for another book. Slated for next year, it will offer advice and informational tidbits about building a career in the music industry. After announcing plans earlier this year to do a reality show by herself, Evans is shooting a reality pilot with Misa Hylton-Brim, fashion boutique owner and mother of Combs' oldest son. Tentatively titled "First Ladies," the show will focus on the longtime friends' balancing acts as mothers and businesswomen.
Evans says she's also fielding development offers for a TV sitcom loosely based on her life that she began writing three years ago. In the meantime, she is doubling as the face for Glass Hair, a high-end line of hair-care products from the Venice, Calif.-based salon of the same name.
Not one to shy away from acknowledging personal problems, Evans referenced her arrest on drug possession charges in her 2005 top 10 R&B hit "Again." She is just as candid discussing her August driving-under-the-influence checkpoint arrest during the weekend of the video shoot for "Gone Already." Noting that she was back at the video shoot at 10 a.m. the next day, Evans says, "I definitely wouldn't have been in and out like that if it was as big a deal as it was portrayed in the media." After a September 3 court hearing, the singer was charged with two counts of DUI and faces up to six months in jail, according to TMZ.com.
That isn't stopping Evans, however, as the self-described "CEO of my career" pushes forward. "I've been blessed," she says. "Things have been working out well. I do believe there will be a good payoff on the other side."