Thursday, November 1, 2012
Today, Chuck Berry made a rare move: he gave an interview. Visiting Cleveland to accept the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s American Music Masters Award, the 86-year-old met with journalists at the museum’s offices before touring an exhibit celebrating his life.
Seated in the center of a conference table between friend Joe Edwards and his son Charles Berry Jr., wearing a captain's hat and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame varsity jacket, Berry was humble, revealing and playful. "Now let me make a statement," he said at the beginning. "After being before drums for 48 years, it has taken effect in the last four months and I have a strange hiccup that comes out every time I tell the truth." The room erupted in laughter.
At one point, Rolling Stone asked Berry how far the country has come since the days he played segregated venues throughout the South. Berry paused for a moment. "I never thought that a man with the qualities, features, and all that he has, [could] be our President," he said. "My dad said, 'You may not live to see that day,' and I believed him. I thank God that I have." Berry stopped for several seconds while his eyes welled up. "Excuse me," he said.
The most moving moment came when Berry discussed his own future. Explaining that he doesn't hear well, Berry turned to his friend Edwards. "If you don’t mind, Joe, explaining [questions] to me, because I am hearing very little. I’m wondering about my future," he said, raising his finger. "That’s news!"
Berry was asked to expand. "Well, I’ll give you a little piece of poetry," he said. "Give you a song? I can’t do that. My singing days have passed. My voice is gone. My throat is worn. And my lungs are going fast. I think that explains it."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Kevin C. Johnson argued that people still pay to see Berry monthly at St. Louis’ Blueberry Hill. "I’ll tell you what that is," Berry said. "They’re having a great time from memory. And I hope that I can continue to enhance their memory because it looks very dim, like I said, you know."
Is Miguel having the best season ever? Possibly. The Kaleidoscope Dream singer shared a flick of himself with a fresh-faced, bangs-rocking Beyoncé during some studio time. “… woah. creating for Virog’s all weekend,” he tweeted.
Since the ”Dance For You” bombshell is quite selective of her collaborators–only sharing studio with the crème de la crème of the biz–we figure the “Do You” dude has caught her eye with his soulful grasp on R&B and passionate songwriting.
Will the budding star appear on the Queen’s upcoming album? It’s not hard to imagine an incredible record from these two, but for now, the anticipation for whatever these two cooked up will run high.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
RELATED: Toni Braxton Says Oprah Was Mean To Her + Did Toni Hide Secret Cash Stash From Bankruptcy Court? [VIDEO]
A bankrupt Toni Braxton is being accused of fraudulently transferring more than $50,000 to her husband in funds that were supposed to go towards her .The allegations were made by the trustee of the R&B singer’s bankruptcy, who claimed Braxton diverted $53,490 to her estranged husband, Keri Lewis, TMZ reported.
The “Breathe Again” singer, 45, filed bankruptcy in 2010 after she was forced to cancel a concert tour in 2008 due to health problems. Braxton’s indicated she was between $10 million and $50 million in debt.
Braxton, a multiple Grammy winner, denied the trustees claims through a representative.
"All of the made to Lewis prior to Toni’s bankruptcy filing were appropriate transfers for reasonable and necessary personal and business expenses in the ordinary course of her business,” her rep told TMZ.
Braxton’s attorney, Debra Grassgreen, said the singer’s bankruptcy filing will allow her to pay back her debt and sell property that is under water in Atlanta.
The most recent filing marked the second time Braxton filed for bankruptcy. She went through the process for the first time in 1998.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Ryan Leslie, whose production credits include Cassie’s “Me & U” and Fabolous’ ”You Be Killin Em,” proves he’s a modern-day maestro with his third album, “Les Is More.”
It’s the follow-up to his Grammy-nominated R&B album, 2009’s “Transition,” and it’s a fine demonstration of the singer’s skills — his rap skills.
Kicking off with some rock star momentum, Leslie gives us “Glory,” a humble, but epic track speaking directly to those who underestimate his musical ability. Frankly, he doesn’t care, and it sounds good.
Leslie wrote and produced the entire rap album, which includes high-profile guests like Kanye West and Fabolous, who appears on the remix of the first single, “Beautiful Lie.” The piano intro is one you could listen to over and over.
As the Harvard graduate gets deeper into his new sound, he doesn’t hold back on his modesty. On “5 Minute Freshen Up,” he spits: “And it feels good, that’s how I know I made it, overpaid at the same time as I’m underrated.”
Another highlight comes from “Dress You to Undress You,” which samples Sharon “Terea” Robinson’s “Pretty Bird.” Leslie’s sensuous voice accompanied with guitar riffs make a seductive match.
CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: If you’re down, “Ups and Downs” will surely send you up.
Hot on the heels of the release of her new album, Two Eleven, Brandy’s landed the latest cover of Vibe Vixen.
Bran looks absolutely stunning in the photos, and inside she opens up about everything from making straight R&B music, the upcoming election, and even her relationship with the late, great Whitney Houston.
On making a strictly R&B album:
That’s what my fans wanted from me. I felt like that was my way to reintroduce myself to them and introduce myself to people that don’t even know me. They’re supporting me and it feels good. I took my daughter to the Mindless Behavior concert and 10- to 16-year-olds are screaming to the top of their lungs when I’m walking in. I started doing music before they were born! I just remember asking some little girl, ‘How do you know me?’On the importance of voting:
So many have gone through so much, especially African Americans, to get the opportunity to vote. I remember my first time voting. My mom took me and held my hand. It gives you a voice on what you want and what you need. I think it’s so important for us to get out there and vote. That’s all I can really say about it.On making a tribute song for Whitney Houston:
I don’t think I’m ready for that yet. It’s really about the overall purpose, which is music. I remember her telling me, ‘Nobody can be you so don’t try to be something other than you. Be yourself and stay true to that.’ That was the last thing she said to me. That was the last time I heard her voice. It’s all a spiritual thing to me. The day, the passing, it’s all…You can read the full interview with B-Rocka over at Vibe Vixen.
"Sparkle" star Jordin Sparks has decided to add perfume purveyor to her growing list of accomplishments.The "American Idol" winner will be releasing her own fragrance "Ambition" this November. Aptly titled, the perfume will have a citrus-themed signature that includes notes like bitter orange and lemon zest.
“Right now, I feel like I can take on the world,” said Sparks during a recent shoot for the fragrance in Los Angeles. “Ambition is the perfect word for where I am in my life right now.” This will be Sparks' second perfume release. Her first fragrance ("Because of You") debuted in 2010.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
In the latest announcement of an established hitmaker scoring a top A&R role at a major label, the Island Def Jam Music Group announced today that veteran songwriter/producer Dallas Austin will be joining the company as a Senior Vice President, A&R for Island Records. Austin will be reporting directly to Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO of Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown.
Weiss described Austin as "a veteran who has been supplying chart hits to this industry for more than two decades, across multiple genres and around the world. Island Records is fortunate that such a coveted creative force is working with the company and its artists," he continued in a statement.
"I am truly honored," Austin stated of his new appointment, which will see him writing and producing for current Island artists and also discovering and signing new talent.
Over the years, Austin has scored hits with Madonna ("Secret"), Michael Jackson ("They Don't Care About Us [Remix]"), and Monica ("Don't Take It Personal [Just One Of Dem Days]"), among many others. More recently, Austin has worked with Gwen Stefani ("Cool"), Chris Brown ("Key 2 Your Heart"), and Carly Rae Jepsen ("Tiny Little Bows").
Austin might be best-known for his work with TLC and pop singer Pink. He worked extensively on the TLC albums FanMail (including the smash "Unpretty") and CrazySexyCool, both of which won a Grammy for Best R&B Album. Austin helped make P!nk the star she is today by producing and sharing writing credits with the singer on "Don't Let Me Get Me" and "Just Like A Pill," two hit singles from her early album Mizzundastood.
Jennifer Hudson isn’t convinced when it comes to the feud between American Idol judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Husdon, who was a season three finalist and performed several times on the show since then, knows Idol all too well and says the feud’s a fake.
Hudson told TMZ, "I don’t believe it." Her opinion? "I think it’s just for ratings for the show."
The upcoming season of Idol has been quite the spectacle, ever since former judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler announced their departure from the show. After much curiosity as to who would replace them, it was finally revealed Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban would be joining Randy Jackson.
Almost as soon as the judges’ roster was released, the media went into frenzy over Nicki and Mariah beef rumors. After a video of the two in a heated argument went viral, the question now is whether it was staged or real.
Mariah also claims that Minaj threatened to shoot her, but Minaj denies ever saying that.
Jennifer Hudson isn’t the only one skeptical about the Idol drama, Cee Lo Green, who is a judge on rival reality show The Voice, spoke out last week suggesting the cattiness is "bogus" and may be an attempt to steal viewers from his show.
Solo-life after Danity Kane and Dirty Money ain’t so bad for Dawn Richard!
First, her EP “Armor On” hit No. 1 on the iTunes R&B Albums chart. Now Dawn has made a Youtube video to announce she’s signed a deal with Altavoz Distribution to have the physical copies of her debut album Goldenheart distributed globally. The deal solidifies Richard will become a certified household name. “We have just signed with Altavoz Distribution, which will allow us to have the record GoldenHeart in every store—from Best Buy to Target to the mom and pop stores,” Dawn explains. “This is exactly what we needed to expand the brand. It’s a movement.”
The album’s original release date was for October 16th, but the date will be pushed back to accommodate the worldwide demands. “Don’t be sad. It’s gonna be a really great thing for us,” she tells her fans in the . A new release date for Goldenheart will be revealed on Monday October 15th.
The first single “86” is now available on .
Marsha Ambosius has released a controversial new video for "Fuck N Get It Over With" that has sparked a few rumors. Although many think this video was the former Floetry singer's way of telling the world that she's into chicks, she's setting the record straight through social media.
Apparently the scrutiny placed on sexual orientation, as portrayed in the video, had the "Far Away" songstress up in arms. She took to her Facebook page earlier today for a lengthy rant. Interestingly, she doesn't deny that she has had "sexually explicit dreams about women" but does claim she is "not a lesbian." Thanks for sharing, Marsha.
Possibly the specific detail with which Ambrosius details exactly where the pair hooked up should be the more controversial element of this song? The song is from the chanteuse's forthcoming Friends & Lovers EP -- not like that title raises any eyebrows either.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Saturday, October 13, 2012
A moving, star-studded tribute to Whitney Houston was recorded on Thursday highlighting the best and dearest moments the late singer and actress gave to the world.
“We are still mourning, but tonight we have chosen to look at the great work she left us,” said Grammy Awards’ executive producer Ken Ehrlich of the tribute.
Usher, Jennifer Houston, Britney Spears, Halle Berry, Cece Winans and Yolanda Adams are just a few of the entertainers who lent their talent and memories of the singing Diva to the hour-long homage “We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston” which took place at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. The show will air Nov. 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
Along with heart-felt performances of Houston’s hits by some of the top names in music, the show features numerous clips of Houston at various stages in her career. Houston herself performs her best known song, “I Will Always Love You,” in a clip from the Grammy Awards. The clip brought the audience members to their feet, just as it did when she sang it live in 1994.
Jennifer Hudson opened the show in a sparkly blazer and big hair reminiscent of Houston’s look in the 80s. Hudson performed a lively medley of “I’m Every Woman,” “How Will I Know,” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” Earlier this year at the Grammy’s, Hudson performed “I Will Always Love You” in a hastily organized addition to the show to honor the fallen star. Houston had been found dead in her Beverly Hills hotel room the previous night.
“She inspired a generation of little girls and women to believe in their own dream and to know that they had within themselves the greatest gift of all. I was one of those little girls who then became a woman who never ever, ever, stopped loving Whitney Houston,” Berry said.
Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, beau Nick Gordon and sister-in-law Pat Houston attended the show. They were joined by Clive Davis, the record executive credited with discovering Houston. Houston’s mother Cissy and brother Gary were not among the attendees.
Usher performed “I Believe in You and Me,” from “The Preacher’s Wife” soundtrack, a movie in which Houston played the starring role. Usher said Houston had “one the greatest voices we have heard in this lifetime. I will never forget her.”
After four years away from the music game, multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning R&B/pop singer, songwriter, and actress Brandy has come roaring back with the fearless and inspired TWO ELEVEN — a thoroughly modern R&B album that Rolling Stone has called “Brandy at her most realized: romantically shaky, vocally sharp, and musically sound.” Billboard has hailed it as a “strong return to Brandy’s multi-layered impassioned vocals.” With its unforgettable melodies, glorious harmonies, edgy beats, and Brandy’s sultry voice front-and-center, TWO ELEVEN sounds like an artist reborn. “It’s an honest album,” she says. “It’s relatable. It’s sexy and vulnerable. I really let my true self come through on every song. It has so many different colors, but at the same time, it represents the artist I am now.”
The Mississippi-born daughter of a gospel singer father, Brandy became one of the most successful multi-media stars of the ’90s, thanks to her constant presence on both the pop and R&B charts, as well as star turns on the hit sitcom Moesha and the classic made-for-TV movie phenomenon Cinderella, which attracted more than 60 million viewers and broke new ground with its multi-cultural cast. Since emerging with her 3x-platinum self-titled debut album in 1994 (released when Brandy was 15), this trail-blazing pioneer has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide (including the 5x-platinum selling Never Say Never) and is ranked one of the best-selling female artists in American music history by the RIAA. She has earned scores of awards, including a Grammy, an AMA, two Soul Train Music Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, three Billboard Awards, four MTV Awards, six Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards, two Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, and three BMI Awards. Brandy also currently stars on BET’s top-rated scripted series The Game and will appear in Tyler Perry’s upcoming film The Marriage Counselor.
Yet with all of her success, Brandy wasn’t sure she’d ever make music again after the release of her last album Human in 2008. “I didn’t really know what type of music I wanted to do or if anyone would even give me the opportunity,” she says candidly. “You start to doubt whether this is still the path that you’re supposed to be on.”
That struggle is what makes Brandy’s return with TWO ELEVEN all the more triumphant. “It definitely feels like a comeback to me because I know I’ve been gone,” she says. “The fans will say, ‘You never left.’ No, I left. I’ve been gone. I’ve been down. I’ve struggled. I’ve failed. I’ve been through so much, so just making this album is a comeback for me.”
Brandy was coaxed into recording again after meeting Breyon Prescott — the CEO of Chameleon Entertainment whose A&R and production credits include Jamie Foxx, Angie Stone, and Kanye West — in May 2010 after she performed an intimate concert at the Key Club in West Hollywood, belting out her own hits like “Almost Doesn’t Count” as well as a smoldering cover of Etta James’ “At Last.” “Breyon told me I needed to get back to my R&B roots, but needed a fresh, new sound,” Brandy recalls. “He said my core fans really wanted an R&B album from me and I didn’t give them that the last time. So that became the center of what we were trying to accomplish with this album. Breyon has an incredible ear for music. He was able to bring together all these amazing people to help me achieve that vision.”
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Paula Abdul is returning to the judges' panel — but not on a singing show. The former judge of American Idol will sit alongside Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba on "Dancing with the Stars" Oct. 15.
"Dance has always been my first love and Dancing with the Stars epitomizes what dance can do to the human spirit," Abdul said in a pretaped package that aired during Monday's show. I've been sneaking into the show for years, and now I get to be a guest judge. It's a marriage made in dancing heaven."Abdul's been out of work since bugging out of "The X Factor."
Nominations are in for the 2012 American Music Awards. Leading in the fields of Soul/R&B are , Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown.The official list of nominees was revealed during a press conference with Christina Aguilera Tuesday. Aguilera is also confirmed as the first performer set to take the stage November 18.Usher leads the pack of R&B artists nominated with three nods in total. His nods include Favorite Album - Soul / R&B for "Looking 4 Myself." He shares that field with Rihanna ("Talk That Talk") and Chris Brown ("Fortune").In addition to having "Fortune" nominated, Chris Brown shares the field of Favorite Male Artist Soul/R&B with Usher and Trey Songz.The Favorite Female Artist category includes Beyonce, Mary J. Blige and Rihanna.Drake, Nicki Minaj and Tyga lead in the Hip Hop categories.The 2012 American Music Awards are due to air Sunday, November 18 on ABC.
Longtime fans of singer-songwriter Vivian Green won't be disappointed with her new album "The Green Room" as she returns with a more R&B sound on a record that oozes growth and creativity.
Stepping away from heartbreak ballads such as her 2002 hit single "Emotional Rollercoaster" and the pop sound of her previous album "Beautiful," it seems the Philadelphia-born Green has made a conscious effort to focus on the happier side of love. That's a decision sure to satisfy fans.
"Anything Out There" is the first single and Green gets straight to the point professing her love for her man. It's a smooth, contemporary vibe and she sounds mature showing off a classy, sultry side.
"Remedy" is a sweet, uplifting song about love making everything better and "Still Here," featuring Brian Culbertson, captures a perfect match between his smooth jazz and her soulful melody.
Fans wanting to hear more upbeat sounds will relish Green's collaboration with guest rapper Freeway on "X." "I'm Not Prepared" offers a groovy start, but becomes one of the album's few disappointments when the track somehow fails to take off completely and turns tame.
This record demonstrates a positive response to critics of her last album. Green shows she's listened to and answered any doubts regarding her ability.
“Lifetime’s all-new docuseries “The Houstons: On Our Own”, premiering Wednesday, October 24, at 9pm ET/PT with back-to-back episodes, will chronicle those closest to the pop music icon, Whitney Houston, including her daughter Bobbi Kristina (Krissy); Pat Houston, Whitney’s sister-in-law and manager; Pat’s daughter Rayah; Whitney’s brother Gary; mother, Grammy® Award-winning singer Cissy Houston, and family friend Nick Gordon, as they try and pick up the pieces after her untimely death.”