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The story behind Adina Howard's 'T-Shirt & Panties'

Few know the sexy underground cut was written by future Oscar winner Jamie Foxx

If movies can be described as cult classics, then so can songs. Adina Howard's "T-Shirt & Panties" was never a chart hit, but managed to outlast several other sex-tinged songs of the era.

When I talked to Howard about her recent forays back into music, I had to know the story behind "T-Shirt & Panties," which had evolved from a typical album cut to a WJLB quiet storm classic, a closer at basement parties, a strip club anthem and a standard on sensual mixtapes.

What most people don't know about the cut: It was written by Jamie Foxx, who was carving out a musical career of his own at the time.

"Jamie Foxx wrote that song," Howard says, "and there's a gentleman by the name of Billy Moss, who was in the studio working on my album, 'Welcome to Fantasy Island.'

"Jamie happened to be in the studio that day, and he came to the studio and he was working with Billy, and after my session was completed, and he's like 'I got this song I want you to hear.' It was in conceptual form," Howard says.

She asked Foxx to finish the lyrics and create a formal demo of the song for her consideration. A few days later, her record company's A&R shopped the song over to her.

"I don't even if it was called 'T-shirt and Panties' at that point. But I heard the song over the phone, and after it was done I was like, 'I gotta have it.'"

A few months later, Howard, Foxx and Moss recorded the song. The "Fantasy Island" album, though, was never officially released; it later surfaced as a bootleg. "T-Shirt & Panties" eventually made it onto Howard's 2004 album "The Second Coming."

"I love it. 'T-shirt & Panties' is one of my favorite songs," Howard says. "I love the fact that I've been able to create classic music. Timeless -- that means I'm still around, I'm still here."

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