Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Ciara unwraps ‘Jackie’ album cover + announces tour (dates)...

Ciara is looking mighty sexy on the cover of her sixth studio album 'Jackie', shot by Francesco Carrozzini. It was also creative directed by Vogue Italia editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani.
Ciara has also announced dates for part one of her Stateside 'Jackie' tour, which kicks off May 3rd. Ticketing and venue information has yet to be announced.

Rihanna, Beyoncé & more show up for Jay Z’s ‘Tidal’ announcement...

A major event in New York's Herald Square saw some of music's biggest heavyweights signing on to support Jay Z’s brand new streaming service, Tidal. Everyone from Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Rihanna to Usher, Nicki Minaj and Madonna.
In a bid to out-rival Spotify, Jay Z certainly pulled out the stops for this one. More PR fodder and fat checks for this lot. Who's on board for it anyway? Because in all honesty, I can truly say I could care less.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Ameriie performs at Jazz Cafe...

Ameriie performed five dates in the UK last week. Her last and final tour stop was last night at Camden's Jazz Cafe in London. With her full band in tow, Ameriie performed some of her biggest hits including, 'One Thing,' 'Why Don’t We Fall In Love' and 'All I Have' from a career spanning 13 years.
The electric show was met with rave reviews. The 35-year-old, who recently dropped her Rich Harrison-produced new single 'Out Loud,' has actually been doing a lot of overseas shows. That, on top of recording a brand new album and writing a novel. I honestly don't know how she finds the time. Videos and pics have been posted below.

Listen to Kat DeLuna's new single 'Bum Bum' (featuring Trey Songz)...

Dominican songstress Kat DeLuna recruits Trey Songz for new single 'Bum Bum.' The cut, produced by A-Wall, samples Sister Nancy's 1982 reggae anthem 'Bam Bam' and has some subtle references to Shaggy’s 'It Wasn’t Me.'
On the song, Kat saucily chants, “If you love this bum bum... it’s the only one you want.” So, as you can see the artwork is very fitting. I mean, when all else fails, selling sex is always the alternative. Kat hasn't had a hit in years and her last album was released five years ago. She's always had Island vibes to her music but this isn't doing anything at all. The song is too slow, and gets quite boring pretty quickly.

Beyoncé & Rihanna feature in star-studded promo clip for TIDAL...

Beyoncé and Rihanna join the likes of Usher, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Kanye West, Calvin Harris and more for a new star-studded promo clip for music streaming service TIDAL.
The Swedish-based, high-fidelity music service was purchased by Jay Z last month for $56m, and an official announcement about their new plans will take place later tonight. Full details here, and check out the promo clip inside.

Karrueche Tran opens up to Iyanla about ex-boyfriend Chris Brown...

A tearful Karrueche Tran sat down with spiritual life coach Iyanla Vanzant at her home in Los Angeles. The interview served as a special for Oprah's OWN, titled 'Iyanla Exclusive: Karrueche Tran,' which was aired over the weekend.
KT opens up about her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, sharing details about his cheating, their first date, that infamous love triangle with Rihanna and finding out that he fathered another woman's child. In my opinion, it should not have taken a baby for her to leave him for good (if this really is the case). He has disrespected and humiliated her on so many occasions, yet she chooses to keep going back to him. I hope she *eventually* learns to love herself and just move on. Money and an extravagant lifestyle in the spotlight just isn't everything if you have to sacrifice your happiness for it.

Destiny's Child reunite for Stellar Gospel Music Awards...

Destiny's Child reunited over the weekend! Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams all performed 'Say Yes' (off Michelle’s album 'Journey to Freedom') at the Stellar Gospel Music Awards the other night in New Orleans.
I always get excited when I see these three performing together. It means one day there's a slight possibility (no matter how small) that we may get a real album from them again. 'Destiny Fulfilled' was such a beauty of an album. A decade later and that album still gets heavy rotation on my end. Look out for the full televised performance, which is scheduled to air on Easter Sunday via TV One.

Justin Timberlake accepts Innovator Award at iHeartRadio Music Awards...

Father-to-be Justin Timberlake was honoured with the Innovator Award at last night's iHeartRadio Music Awards.
Okay... I'd like it in writing as to what exactly has JT done to innovate music and the industry. I'd like a proper full detailed explanation from Tom Poleman that doesn't involve the words "breaking barriers" unless he can corroborate that with some real clarity. Sure, he's mega successful (thanks to N-Sync), and some hot Timbaland beats but when I think JT, the word innovator certainly doesn't come to my mind.

Usher joins Martin Garrix on stage at Ultra Music Festival...

Fresh off wrapping his European tour, Usher was invited to join Martin Garrix's set at the Ultra Music Festival this past weekend. The pair performed their EDM collaboration, 'Don't Look Down.'
I attended Usher's show on Tuesday. It was good. Seeing him revisit so many of his oldschool hits served up a real treat for us long term R&B heads. I think it's okay for Usher to hop on the occasional EDM song as a feature. I just hope the underperformance of his organic music of last year doesn't push him further into recording songs of a heavily EDM-nature. He will never have another 'Confessions,' but that's not to say he can't put out a decent album later this year.

Chris Brown performs with Jamie Foxx at iHeartRadio Music Awards...

New baby father Chris Brown was invited to perform during Jamie Foxx's set at last night's iHeartRadio Music Awards. The duo performed 'You Changed Me,' off Foxx's first album in five years, due May 19th.
Breezy couldn't even sing a simple verse live, but at least the crowd enjoyed what he was serving up, while Foxx played piano. His lip-synced performance follows news of an upcoming Las Vegas residency where he has signed up to do a series of shows, which kick off May 2nd.

Rihanna rocks iHeartRadio Music Awards with 'Bitch Better Have My Money'...

Last nights iHeartRadio Music Awards saw Rihanna performing her new single 'Bitch Better Have My Money,' live for the first time. Riri rocked a green Versace fur coat, alongside matching thigh-high boots, and large sunglasses during her set. Furthermore, congratulations to Rihanna on ruling the box office this weekend.
Her animated movie 'Home' opened at number one, raking in $54 million, and earning $48.2 million for an amazing worldwide total of $102.2 million! Now this vibrant green wardrobe and wig looked like she borrowed heavily from Lil Kim's 1997 music video 'Crush on You.' Actually, I'm going to say this was a straight up homage. It explains why she posted a photo of Lil' Kim on her Instagram account last Thursday. As for the performance... totally swaggerific!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Brap, brap: Rihanna has the #1 song on iTunes!

Mixed reviews aside, Rihanna's pulling power can't be denied. Chick has the number one single on the main US iTunes chart with 'Bitch Better Have My Money.' Not a fan of the song myself to be honest. However, people are clearly here for urban ratchet Rihanna. It is clearly the more preferrable option than the folksy direction she was attempting with ‘FourFiveSeconds’ (featuring Kanye West and Paul McCartney).
Question is, can Rihanna maintain that pull on the Billboard Hot 100 and break some records in the process? Riri will perform ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ for the first time at this Sunday's iHeartRadio Music Awards.

Christina Milian covers 'Latina'...

Check out Christina Milian looking totally gawjus on the cover shoot of Latina magazine. During the shoot with Steven Gomillion, the Turn Up singer gushes about her "very special" relationship with rapper Lil Wayne.
Man Crush and Lil Wayne in the same sentence? That's funny to me. Weezy or Weasel isn't occupying any woman's Man Crush lists as far as Instagram feeds go. His bank balance perhaps, and Chrissy damn well knows it. The question is, what's it doing for her stagnant music career? The May 2015 issue of Latina will be available on newsstands on April 7th! The assisting photoshoot is below.

Nicole Scherzinger is still recording new music...

Following the underwhelming UK performance of her latest album 'Big Fat Lie,' Nicole Scherzinger is still recording songs for the Stateside release.
This woman's perseverance is commendable. However, if music listeners are not buying what she's putting out, her efforts will continue to go in vain sadly. She just wasn't destined to follow in Beyoncé and JT's footsteps. Let's face it, Nicole finding breakthrough success in the States just isn't going to happen. Ever.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Christina Milian premieres 'We Ain’t Worried' video...

Christina Milian premieres her girly house party visuals for her new single 'We Ain’t Worried.'
Apparently, the budgeted clip was just an excessive plug for her 'We Are Pop Culture' clothing line. I don't care for the song either. It's trash. I'm about to enjoy a girls night out myself this Saturday, so this video could not have come at a more convenient time.

Britney Spears announces release date for new single 'Pretty Girls'...

Britney Spears' new single 'Pretty Girls' (featuring Iggy Azalea) gets released to digital retailers on May 5th! This news was confirmed by Britney herself during her cover interview with People. The song was reportedly written by British girl band Little Mix.
They recorded it during the recording sessions for their upcoming album and it eventually got passed down to Britney. She also confirms that a music video will be shot very soon. Little Mix's music is R&B pop mostly (their last album was dominantly R&B) so could this mean Britney may be transitioning back to a more urban sound? With the exception of 'Femme Fatale' and 'Britney Jean,' all of her albums have been very solid. However, another 'Blackout' would be great.

Listen to Rihanna's new single 'Bitch Better Have My Money'...

Rihanna has premiered an explicit CDQ version of her brand new single 'Bitch Better Have My Money,' produced by Deputy. The song is lifted off her upcoming new album, R8.
Riri wants you to get wasted at the club with this grimy trap anthem. It's not really representative of the "timeless" music she claims she wants to make, but everyone has to have their fun songs right? With this, Rihanna clearly has fun utilising some of her rap skills. Brap, brap. Check out the song in CDQ below and purchase it on iTunes.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Snapshots: Mariah Carey grabs a bite to eat in LA...

Mariah Carey grabbed dinner at Craig's restaurant with Courtney Love and director Brett Ratner in Los Angeles over the weekend.
Ratner has directed many of her music videos including the iconic 'Heartbreaker' video. The singer, who has been in Los Angeles working hard on her upcoming Vegas residency, was looking every inch her oldschool self with those luscious 'Vision of Love' curls. Too bad she still doesn't have the sense to sack her stylist!

Rihanna now owns the masters to her music...

According to her newly updated website, Rihanna, who is recording her first album under the Roc Nation label now has full ownership of her masters. Boss move from this business woman!
Rihanna is set to reap the financial rewards when it comes to her projects. Also featured on her rebranded website is a tour 2015 section fuelling further speculation that she is set to embark on a joint trek with Kanye West. Rihanna's come-up game has been amazing. She's come so far since almost getting dropped from her label and coming close to bankruptcy. Werk!

Listen to Usher and Chris Brown's 'All Falls Down'...

'New Flame' collaborators Usher and Chris Brown reunite on an unlucky in love ballad titled 'All Falls Down.'
Over sprinkling piano keys and sparse drums, the pair portray their vulnerable side after getting their hearts broken by a woman. The song is believed to have leaked from Usher's recording sessions for his upcoming new album 'UR.' We all know Usher is a vocalist. However, Chris displayed some real dimension to his vocals here. Nice song.

Snapshots: Kelly Rowland and baby Titan cover 'Essence' (full photoshoot)...

Such an adorable moment! Kelly Rowland and her precious family are on the cover of Essence magazine.
Aside from the blurry pap shots we've seen of him so far, this is actually the first time Kelly gives the world an official glimpse of her cute newborn son Titan. The April issue of Essence is on newsstands now. *UPDATED*

Friday, 20 March 2015

Jennifer Lopez performs ‘Feel The Light’ on ‘American Idol’...

Princess gowns don't get any bigger than this, but at least Jennifer Lopez looked the part, while animated scenes from the film 'Home' were projected against it.
Watch the performance and check out a preview of the upcoming 'Feel the Light' music video, inside.

Listen to new Rihanna songs 'Dancing In The Dark' + 'As Real As You And Me'...

Rihanna, who plays one of the lead voice-acting roles in the Dreamworks animated movie 'Home', has recorded a chuckload of songs for the assisting soundtrack.
Two of them being 'Dancing In The Dark' and 'As Real As You And Me.' Listen inside!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Rihanna is making “timeless” songs for new album...

For her new album, Rihanna is choosing artistic integrity over sales and instant chart hits. Apparently, she wants to record timeless music that she can perform in 15 years because she feels her current catalogue doesn't have that "forever" quality to it.
Her latest single 'FourFiveSeconds' with Kanye West and Paul McCartney is clearly her introduction to a more mature direction, but it did not blow up like her poppier hits of years past.

Dawn Richard premieres 'Projection' video...

Dawn Richard keeps it sweet and simple in her Monty Marsh-directed visuals for 'Blackheart' single 'Projection.' Light illuminates off her face while she relaxes in a tub of water.
The video has a nice aesthetic, but it does get tediously boring after watching the same scene run on for four minutes.

Is Justin Timberlake an innovator to you?

Why is Justin Timberlake being honoured with the iHeartRadio Innovator Award? He has as much innovation in him as Justin Bieber!
His songs are Primark versions to what legends like Michael Jackson and Prince served up previously and his paper thin vocals are very tinny.

Listen to Ameriie's new single 'Out Loud'...

Ameriie and her '1 Thing' producer Rich Harrison reunite once again for her blazing new single 'Out Loud.' 
The percussion heavy banger sees the singer returning to her original sound which can widely be heard on her 'Touch' album from back in 2005. One of my favourite albums from her actually alongside her debut. This is hot.

Mariah Carey's interesting vocal arrangement for 'Hero'...

Troo-ooth. Yoo-oou. Goo-oone. Stroo-oong. Ever wondered what a staccato remix of 'Hero' sounds like? While raising awareness for LGBT human rights issues, Mariah Carey performed her classic hit at the Human Rights Campaign gala in Los Angeles over the weekend.
The performance was all over the place.

Listen to Tinashe's new mixtape ‘Amethyst’...

Today, Tinashe drops her fourth mixtape 'Amethyst,' which consists of seven never before heard songs. Production comes courtesy of IamSu!, DJ Dahi, and Ryan Hemsworth.
Stream and download her treat to fans below.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Madonna performs second single 'Ghosttown' on the Jonathan Ross Show...

Madonna’s pre-taped appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show was broadcast last night on ITV. Madonna vogued it up during a live remix rendition of 'Living For Love' and she also performed 'Ghosttown,' which is officially confirmed as the next single from new album 'Rebel Heart.'  
The interview portion saw the singer opening up about her live Brit Awards 'horror' fall, which gave her whiplash afterwards. Madonna interviews don't translate so well in print and that tends to make her come across as really unlikable. This one on the other hand, was different. It really brought out her down to earth and fun side.

Ameriie teases new single ‘Out Loud’...

Before embarking on a UK tour of late March, Ameriie unveils a 15-second snippet of her forthcoming new single, 'Out Loud.' 
The pulsating drum-heavy tune has that classic Ameriie funk with live band instruments. She's certainly not straying too far away from her niche with this sound. An absolute summer banger from what I can hear!

Ciara’s ‘I Bet’ is a rip-off of Usher’s ‘U Got It Bad,’ claims JD...

The floodgates have been left wide open ever since Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke lost their copyright case against Marvin Gaye's family. Case in point, Jermaine Dupri has now accused Ciara’s latest single 'I Bet' as being a “complete rip-off” of Usher’s 2001 hit 'U Got It Bad.'
Dupri who co-produced the song with Bryan-Michael Cox claims he, Usher and Cox all noticed the similarities immediately.

New Keri Hilson song previewed by Timbaland...

Taking to Instagram, Timbaland shared a clip of a new song he produced for Keri Hilson's upcoming new album. 
So far, the snippet sounds really basic. Tim and Keri have been known to put out hot music together. However, it's been almost five years too long since 'No Boys Allowed.' Sonically, her first album was on point. Perhaps Timbaland is just getting tired, but I'd like to think they can still get back that fiery musical chemistry.

Beyoncé dazzles in Ankara outfit...

Looks like Beyoncé has an Ankara fabric fetish. Those that follow her fashion choices closely will notice she's been rocking this design on several occasions. 
All things African culture and Beyoncé will certainly embrace it. This being evident in her music videos, photoshoots and candid outtings. Nice.

Newly appointed Dior spokesperson Rihanna shoots more scenes for commercial...

This week, Rihanna was officially announced as the face of Dior's newest campaign. She has created history by becoming the first black spokesperson for the brand. 
While shooting a new Dior commercial at the Versailles Castle Park, Ri was seen rocking a Pre-Fall '15 dress from their latest collection. It's easy to see why Rihanna got this gig. With her undeniable modelling looks and confidence, Ri clearly is Dior Haute material who can pretty much pull off anything at this point. 

Friday, 13 March 2015

Snapshots: Britney Spears for Billboard magazine (photoshoot)...

Britney is aging and it shows. She's been through a lot in her life and sometimes that glow just gets sucked right out.
What makes up for those hard times is Britney finally regaining primary custody of her two young sons. Congratulations!

Rihanna promotes ‘Home’ on ‘GMA’

Earlier today, Rihanna and her co-stars Steve Martin and Jim Parsons promoted their DreamWorks’ animated film 'Home' on 'Good Morning America.' 
The interview was very light hearted. She spoke about her character Tip, but there were no discussion about the soundtrack or new music. If you're interested in the film, you can catch it when 'Home' opens in theaters on March 27th.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Britney Spears covers Billboard...

In her cover feature for Billboard magazine, Britney Spears says she is taking her sweet steady time with her ninth studio album.
She wants to put out an amazing body of work but she's in no rush as the kids are now her main priority. Good. 'Britney Jean' was terrible. And as long as she doesn't allow crusty will.i.am to touch the project, this one has a real chance at progress. Read the full article here

Mary J. Blige premieres 'Doubt' video...

Shortly before playing to a full house, an emotional Mary J. Blige takes to the stage of an empty theater in her latest video 'Doubt.'
The visuals come a day following her guest appearance on Fox's hit drama 'Empire.' The song, produced by Rodney Jerkins and Sam Romans is lifted off her latest album, 'The London Sessions.'

Mariah Carey officially signs with Epic Records...

A rep for Sony confirms today that the ink is dry on Mariah Carey’s new recording contract with Epic Records. It will see the singer returning home to the Sony umbrella, as well as reuniting with Antonio 'L.A.' Reid for a multi-album deal.
Following her departure from Def Jam, her first release with the label will be a greatest hits compilation to coincide with her upcoming residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. It's been ten years since her phenomenal comeback with her six-times platinum 'The Emancipation of Mimi.' Can she reclaim back that momentum?

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’ sales projections are in…

Madonna is projected to sell 100-110k copies of her new album ‘Rebel Heart’ next week. With streaming, the overall number stands at 115-125K. Poor dat. Looks like consumers just don't have the 'heart' for her forced music anymore, and the only way to get that point across is to 'rebel' against it, period.
Even if her album didn't leak three months in advance, it probably wouldn't have made much of a difference as Drake has already proven. If people want to buy your music, they will buy it. Of course her fans are going to mock Mariah Carey for selling half this amount. However, I think it's commendable MC didn't follow trends. I respect that she stood her ground to staying true to herself and putting out a quality body of work. It's better to do that and have low sales than try and compete with the younger artists and still have low sales.

Tinashe announces fourth mixtape...

Tinashe is dropping her fourth mixtape soon courtesy of HNHH. The seven-track compilation is called ‘Amethyst’ and will see a release on March 16th. 
The timing of announcement could not be any slicker, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. It's clearly her way of saying, there's life after dropping out of Iggy Azalea’s 'Great Escape' tour which was doomed to begin with anyway. A great escape in deed. Check out the tracklisting for her upcoming mixtape below.

Rihanna's full spread for Harper’s Bazaar China...

We've already seen Rihanna's flawless double covers on the Chinese edition of Harper’s Bazaar, and now the entire spread has just been released. 
Photographed by Chen Man, one of Rihanna's ensembles was a creation from Raf Simons' Spring 2015 Haute Couture collection for Christian Dior. Stunning.

Sevyn Streeter announces album title...

Sevyn Streeter's upcoming debut album is called 'On The Verge.' The 28-year-old says that after two record deals in, this third one was the charm.
Nice to know she's successfully hit her breaking point. Hopefully, the music is good, and I think it will be. Read here for a full explanation.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Robin Thicke & Pharrell ordered to pay millions after losing ‘Blurred Lines’ copyright case...

Marvin Gaye's family are about to enjoy a hefty payout. Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were found guilty by a jury for infringing on Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song 'Got to Give It Up' and must pay nearly $7.4 million. 
As a result of their chart-topping hit 'Blurred Lines' infringing copyright, the jury awarded the Gaye family $4 million in damages, with profits of more than $1.6 million each from both parties. Sales for the track exceeded $16 million.

Tinashe drops out of Iggy Azalea's postponed tour...

Opening acts Tinashe and Nick Jonas have jumped ship after Iggy Azalea's tour was rescheduled to October due to "production delays." According to a press release today, Azalea's 'The Great Escape' tour (which was due to kick off this Spring) will now have new opening acts (TBA).
Must suck for those that specifically purchased tickets to see the opening acts. Hopefully, refunds won't be a problem. Tinashe got out in time before this sinking ship deterioriated further. She should have been the one supporting Nicki Minaj on her European tour (not Trey Songz). Oh well, at least she can concentrate on recording her second studio album now.

Britney wins...

Caesar Entertainment has presented Britney Spears with a plaque honouring the huge success of her Vegas residency in its first year. The show has sold 300,000 tickets and grossed more than $45 million dollars!
This is amazing considering her performances are not what they use to be. I personally wouldn't fork out my rent money to watch what I have seen online, but I think fans are just happy to be in her presence, especially as no one really knows how much longer she will be doing this for.

Rihanna commercial or music video?

Apparently, Rihanna is said to have shot a Dior commercial at the Versailles castle in Paris. Peep some pics from yesterdays shoot below. 
It could be that she shot the commercial for Dior and managed to squeeze in a few shots for a new music video as well. After all, some people are saying this was in fact for an actual video for R8. Ugh. We won't know until the final product is unveiled to us in the coming months! 

Jordin Sparks premieres ‘Double Tap’ video...

The Instagram lurker's theme song got a music video today. Jordin Sparks hits the club and displays her more grown up side in the sexy visuals for the 2 Chainz-assisted ‘Double Tap,’ lifted off her mixtape '#ByeFelicia.'
Directed by Dabs, the clip shows how iphones and taking selfies has become the modern cultural artefact of today's world. ‘Double Tap’ will also appear on her third studio album, 'Right Here, Right Now,' due this Spring.

Ciara premieres ‘I Bet’ video...

Ciara challenges her inner ballerina during the minimalist, clean cut visuals for new single 'I Bet.' The Hannah Lux Davis-directed video was very abstract and allowed Ciara to use her lean, post-baby body and fluent movements to express her hurt and emotions.
There was definetely an air of grace, elegance and artistic expression to the visuals. Nice in a way, but would have been more effective had the video featured a storyline and not just a simplistic performance piece full of beauty shots.

Monday, 9 March 2015

So apparently, "amazing" singer Cheryl doesn't deserve radio shunning...

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini's husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini has slammed Capital radio over the lack of airplay for his wife's new single 'Only Human.' 
He questions her management and label for their lack of support, berates their laziness to promote such an "amazing singer, person and creative inspirational human being," and scorns Marvin Humes for not playing enough of his wife's records. Massive overestimation on his behalf. It's one thing to believe your wife is "exceptional," but amazing singer? The reality is, her songs are cabbage and she is far from being the amazing singer he claims she is.