Magic superstar Dwight Howard has much in common with Celtics big man Shaquille O'Neal. An outsized personality to go with his outsized physique. An affinity for Superman, with the free-throw line serving as each of their personal Kryptonite. A love of music.
But the latter is also where they differ. While Shaq has had a relatively accomplished and occasionally notorious hip-hop career -- did he really need to bring up Kobe's taste buds that one time? -- Howard is aiming whatever musical talents he may possess toward a different demographic and genre. Dwight Howard has made a kids' album.
Due to be released October 26, the album, titled "Shoot for the Stars," includes a song list typical of the fare that is aurally unavoidable at a typical NBA game, including covers of the Black Eyed Peas' "Let's Get It Started," MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This," The Jackson Five's "ABC" and "Will You Be There."
A cynic might wonder if Howard's musical taste is the result of some weird strain of Stockholm Syndrome from too many hours spent in NBA arenas. But the intent couldn't be more admirable.
Kids from the NBA Cares Program will sing along with Howard on the album, and according to the Orlando Sentinel, some of the proceeds from sales will benefit the BETA Center, which "targets support for teen moms and at-risk families" in Orlando.
"This record is a dream come true for me in so many ways," Howard said in a press release. "Recording this album for me ranks with being the first pick in the NBA draft, my first NBA All-Star game and winning a gold medal at the Olympics. Razor & Tie and KIDZ BOP have been incredible and I hope everyone enjoys the album as much as I did recording it."
Howard, known for his easy smile and friendly personality -- really, this project fits his image perfectly -- will also reportedly do impressions of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, and Charles Barkley on the album.
Other songs include "Shout," "Day-O," and "Whoomp (Hoop) There It Is."
For a possible follow-up album should this one succeed, might we suggest "Freethrow" sung to the tune of "Freebird"?
"For I must be traveling on now/'Cause the refs will never call it on me. . ."
C'mon, the kids will love it.
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer