R+B singer Faith Evans has hit back at those who thought her career would slowly fade away following the murder of her husband Notorious BIG in 1997 - because she now believes she's better than ever.

Evans recently released her latest album THE FIRST LADY on the EMI record label, and she's keen to distance herself from the gangster rap scene Notorious BIG was a part of.

She says, "The truth is that I am who I am and I'm better than ever.

"For everyone who thought everything was over for me when BIG died, "Ha, fooled you. I'm here.'"

Notorious BIG - real name CHRISTOPHER WALLACE - was gunned down in a drive-by shooting after getting caught up in a rap feud. He was killed six months after his rival Tupac Shakur was killed in similar circumstances in September 1996.

AS/WNSMAS/GES)

17/04/2005 21:33