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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

British soul star JOSS STONE is racing to explain a saucy photo in the booklet accompanying her new album - because fans think it confirms a romance with producer RAPHAEL SAADIQ.
The sexy singer and Saadiq appear naked, in an embrace, with their bodies painted for the eye-catching shot - but Stone insists it's supposed to be an artistic statement, and nothing sexual.

Stone says, "It's a picture that everybody kind of looks at it sexually, but it isn't... He (Saadiq) is from Oakland, I'm from Devon, England; he is 40, I am 19; he is American, I'm English.

"It's, like, two completely different people. It says something and I wanted to say something, otherwise there's no point in doing it."

Stone has been romantically linked to Saadiq recently after producer DALLAS AUSTIN sensationally claimed the singer had slept with her latest collaborator while working on her new album, INTRODUCING JOSS STONE, in the Bahamas.