Wyclef Jean and Tom Jones Illustration by Chris Pyle
Evan Serpick
May 20, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Wyclef Jean has recorded with some curious characters (Kenny Rogers, Mick Jagger, um, Steven Seagal). So, it’s no shock that Jean asked Tom Jones to sing on a remake of ”What’s New Pussycat?” for the Fugees’ June 18 album, ”Masquerade.” More surprisingly, Jean will coproduce Jones’ fall disc, which will include covers of Bob Seger’s ”We’ve Got Tonight” and Lead Belly’s ”Black Betty.” ”It’s a combination of hip-hop, R&B, and his regular pop sound,” says Jean. ”I always looked at Tom Jones as being half soul singer.” The odd couple met last year, though Jean has emulated Jones for a lot longer. ”He’s where I got my ladies’-man thing from. Ladies throw their bras at me because of Tom Jones.”

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