Posted by | Filed under The end of a Decade
5. Usher: Burn…
Jermaine Dupri and Bryan Michael-Cox did the damn thing on this joint, and I think it was his best song from the album. With its fluent melodies and graceful falsetto, this was the ultimate break-up song of all break-up songs to hit this millenium. Usher was certainly at his peak. The song was deservingly nominated at the 47th Grammy Awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.
4. Aaliyah: More Than A Woman…
Timbaland‘s trademark staccato beats and synth melodies plague the kick-ass uptempo. I’ve always said that if Timbaland had untouched chemistry with any artist it was with Aaliyah. Whilst he still delivered great songs after her passing, none of them seemed to touch the standard of his work with the Exalted One.
3. Ciara: Promise…
This was a different direction for Ciara. It may even weaken any argument that she does not have a shred of vocal talent. However, I have yet to hear her master the song live. With its Prince-inspired percussion, soft synths and sensual falsetto, Ciara took a song completely out of her comfort zone and lived up to the challenge.
2. Alicia Keys: You Don’t Know My Name
This is real organic R&B-soul at best which takes a sample from slick 1970s trio the Main Ingredient. When I go back and listen to Alicia’s back catalogue, it is very much missed. It really shows she could still sell a hit without going all commercial. I enjoy her new direction and understand that in order to evolve, change is needed, but I have yet to hear anything as amazing as this so far. Proceed for number one… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by | Filed under The end of a Decade
This has got to be the toughest category because so many wonderful R&B albums dropped within the last decade. But I simply had to pick the ones that I considered absolutely flawless, a force to be reckoned with. So, my top five R&B albums of this decade are as follows:
5. Mariah Carey: The Emancipation of Mimi…
Prior to the ‘Emancipation of Mimi’, Mariah released quite a few underwhelming albums. I would not say she’s ever put out a completely crap album. However, ‘Charmbracelet’ and ‘Rainbow‘ would be prime examples of dwindled quality (musically and vocally). When Mariah released Emancipation, the world was her oyster. The production on this album was electrifying as was her vocal delivery. It was oldskool, unwatered R&B at best and I loved it. One of the reasons why I love this album so much is because I was hearing the standard that Mariah delivered on her last flawless album – the Butterfly album. Sadly, Mariah has been unable to recapture that same magic since.
4. Aaliyah: Aaliyah…
This album was really dark but it was stunning. In light of her death, this showed that as an artist, she had fully evolved. Aaliyah combined her street R&B sound with rock undertones and I was completely stumped. I don’t think I’d heard R&B and rock mixed like that before. All I know was that it was a sound I could not get enough of. I would not say it was her best album as all three of her albums are memorable for different reasons. Vocally, this album showed Aaliyah was more than just a pretty singer who knew how to dance. I was very aware that she was not the greatest singer but vocally, this album showed improvement. After listening to songs like ‘I Care 4 U’, I dare anyone to say she could not sing.
3. Justin Timberlake: Justified…
I hate that I love this man’s music but I really do. He always delivers and I can’t help that. If you want to know what my problem with him is, then I think his attitude is really douchey. The height of the albums popularity was also met with controversy when he bared Janet Jackson‘s pierced nipple at the Superbowl and left her to dry. But I’m over it now. I can’t stay peeved off forever. One of the reasons why I love this album is because he shamelessly shadows himself on Michael Jackson and puts a modern twist on MJ’s classic ‘Off the Wall’ sound. It’s crazy because all of the Neptunes tracks that are on here, Michael rejected every single one of them. However, you could tell MJ’s old style was in mind when these songs were crafted. Both Timbaland and Neptunes delivered their best work on this brilliantly produced album.
2. Amerie: All I Have…
This album is simply the truth. One of the reasons why I cherish it so much is because it is the main album to drop this decade that sounds the closest to Mary‘s earlier sound. I am even going to say that, as underrated as it is, this album is an R&B classic. With its hard-edged, hip-hop beats and flawless R&B melodies, Amerie certainly put herself in line to compete with Mary’s hip-hop soul throne.
Proceed for number one… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by | Filed under The end of a Decade
It’s now the end of a decade for music. Like any other year, 2009 had its ups, and 2009 had its downs. In this post, we look at my top 5 lows…
5. Destiny’s Child break-up…
A lot of people will be shocked at this one but they were the ONLY R&B girl group in the the millenium doing big things. You want to know why this was sad? Because it was like the end of an era for the R&B girl group. Blaque and Cherish tried but they didn’t make it. When all of my favourite 90′s girl groups like 702, SWV, TLC, Brownestone, Jade, Xscape, Blackgirl, En Vogue, etc, disbanded or faded out, I could always count on Destiny’s Child. ‘The Writing’s On The Wall’ and their fairwell album ‘Destiny’s Fulfilled’ will always be top notch albums in my book.
4. Rihanna and Chris Brown…
A lot of people are probably rolling their eyes at this one but to me it was tragic. Domestic abuse is no joke and many women have lost their lives as a result of it. As this was a high profile case, it brought about awareness of the support system offered to those in a similar situation. When Breezy messed up Rihanna’s face, it came as a shock because no one ever believed he was capable of such a thing. He was so squeaky clean and perfect…a little too perfect in fact. Now his career is in ruin and may not recover. I thought they were such a hot couple and it was painful to see them end this way.
3. Lefteye’s passing…
I grew up listening to TLC and I have all of their albums. They are legends. When Lisa ‘Lefteye’ Lopes died, I was really sad because she was my favourite member and her wonderful delivery brought TLC’s music to life. She was just so fiesty and hilarious. We need another personality like that in music.
2. Aaliyah’s passing…
Right before she died, I had just written an article for the college magazine about her role in ‘Queen of the Damned’. I was really excited so her death came as a shock to me. I never knew her personally but her music made me feel like she was my sister. She came across as really sweet and sincere. I could connect to it and we were quite close in age. Not to mention she was so physically beautiful and her music was stunning. I wanted to be her so badly.
Proceed for number one… Read the rest of this entry »
Here are some more photos of R&B stars Usher and Chris Brown during the Cleveland Cavaliers vs Atlanta Hawks basketball game at the Philips Arena in Atlanta:
I know Usher and Breezy still have some fans up in this piece. Their convo looks rather ‘interesting’.
Posted by | Filed under Beyonce
Yesterday morning (Dec 30th), a large crowd of Beyonce fans formulated massive queues in the Shopping Mall, in Salvador, Bahia. Eager to secure an entry to Beyonce’s show, hundreds of people gathered in a store accredited to sell the tickets:
Is Jesus coming to town? Just kidding. These South American fans are really hungry for some Sasha Fierce. I understand this is the first time Beyonce is taking her extended ‘I Am’ tour to South America, so I’m totally understanding the craze. Correct me if I’m wrong though…
Posted by | Filed under Fergie
Black Eyed Peas frontwoman Stacy Ferguson has finally admitted that her infamous “wet crotch” was in fact pee and not the sweat she was trying to pass it off as originally. The singer who goes by the stage name ‘Fergie’ says it was “the most embarrassing incident in her life” when she took to the stage at San Diego’s Street Scene festival in 2005…
According to Contact Music and Showbiz Spy, Fergie said: “We had to rush onstage before I had the chance to go to the restroom. It was a very embarrassing night for me” also stating she had learnt her lesson: “That won’t happen again. I make a point now of visiting the bathroom at least once before I go on stage”.
Not that she was fooling anyone when she tried to pass it off as sweat. Realistically speaking, any woman who sweats like that profusely down south has serious medical problems. It was gross back then but since its aftermath, it’s quite laughable.
Oh, and if you’re wanting another solo album from Fergie Ferg, you could be in for a very long wait. Fergie says that after her tour comes to an end with the Black Eyed Peas, she is going to try for a baby with husband Josh Duhamel.
Posted by | Filed under Nelly Furtado
Nelly Furtado has announced via Twitter that her fourth English album will be released on May 25th, 2010. The album will serve as the follow-up to 2006’s multi-platinum selling opus ‘Loose’. Once again, producer Timbaland has already been confirmed to work on the project.
I for one, am really excited about a new Nelly Furtado album. I thought that ‘Loose’ was simply the business. It was well produced, it was fresh and it was just an outstanding piece of work that explored the themes of female sexuality. Before Britney Spears, Rihanna and others jumped on the synth pop craze, Nelly Furtado was really the one who popularised it.
Loose was a different side to the singer. Timbaland and his protege Danja did not fail to present those oldskool synths, hard-hitting bass, watered down samples, cascading infectious hooks, and dance-driven beats. Plus, it’s not like Loose was the only stunning album from Furtado.
Whilst ‘Whoa, Nelly!’ and ‘Folklore’ were more folk-pop, they were still good albums worth listening to. Are you looking forward to a new project from Nelly Furtado?
Posted by | Filed under Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige’s ninth studio album ‘Stronger with Each Tear’ has debuted at No. 2 with first week sales of 330,000 copies. Her last project, 2007’s ‘Growing Pains’, debuted at No. 1 with 629,000, while ‘The Breakthrough’ opened at No. 1 with 727,000 in 2005.
Alicia‘s ‘The Element of Freedom’ drops two spots to No. 4 with 280,000, whilst Susan Boyle coninues to shut down the game selling another 510,000 copies of debut album ‘I Dreamed a Dream’.
Just like Alicia, Mary sold 300K less than her last project. For anyone else this would have been respectful, but these are not strong numbers by Mary’s standards. Will she manage to go Gold in her second week. Who knows, but it would be embarrassing if she didn’t.
I can’t see anyone under the age of 24 having a remote interest in a Susan Boyle album. She’s a phenomenal singer but the rate at which her album is selling is absolutely astounding and very very mysterious. Amazingly, her album has now sold THREE MILLION in the US alone since its release just five weeks ago. What’s even funnier now is that EVERYONE is jumping on the Subu bandwagon from the likes of 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg and Lady Gaga. Hilarious!
In related news, Mary will sing in an all-star musical number at next week’s People’s Choice Awards ceremony on January 6th.
Posted by | Filed under Beyonce
First day sales of $1,600 VVIP tickets for Beyonce’s concert were sold out in the Port of Spain this week. The event is a connected extension of her ‘I Am…’ world tour to South America for a series of live concerts, beginning on February 4th, 2010. The two-week run will end at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain on February 18th. Read more.
Going back to the Ciara topic, $1,600 for one ticket is a lot of money. However, as its for a VERY popular and dominating act of Beyonce’s calibre, some would argue that it is well worth it. This amount of money seems like nothing compared to what Lady Gaga is charging for the same type of tickets.
Apparently, Lady G has caused outrage because organisers are charging 25K for a table at her scheduled new years eve gig. Gaga will perform at the Fontainebleau in Miami to ring in 2010 and is said to be the hottest ticket in the country based on sales through website NewYearsEve.com. The controversial singer is getting paid $300,000 for her performance.
I am not leaving myself high and dry for those type of prices but when you deliver the fierceness, I can understand it. As I said in the Gaga post yesterday, Beyonce and Gaga are the only ones coming full force. They are the ‘must see’ acts and as a result, their hype is very much validated. You don’t have to like it, but the truth is what it is.
Posted by | Filed under Ciara
I actually read this on Necole Bitchie‘s site yesterday and laughed. I was not even going to post it because this story has more holes in it than a bathroom sponge. Even the source is questioning it. I like to post things that have a shred of legitimacy. But as news is slow, this one is for sh*ts and giggles. Apparently, Ciara is being paid a gigantic $2 million to perform her hit singles at a venue in Kazakhstan TOMORROW (new years eve)…
Yes. You read correctly. Say it nice and slow now. Two meeeliiiion. I can understand if she had a successful album out and was hot in demand but she’s not. Let’s not forget that her album ‘Fantasy Ride’ tanked really badly this year.
Sadly, Ciara Harris is NOT the ‘must have’ artist to book for events. I thought that was Beyonce or Lady Gaga. I’m finding it hard to believe she is recieving this extreme amount of money.
Even Rihanna, who is more successful only recieved ONE QUARTER of this amount to perform in Abu Dhabi on new years eve also. I just don’t get it but I’ll gladly be enlightened. Not hating. Just stating. If this news IS in deed true, good for her though.
Posted by | Filed under Randomness
The year 2009 has been an eventful one but also a very tragic one too. As we finally get closer to the end of such a turbulent year, I have written up my own set of predictions for the year 2010. Check them out below and tell me what you think of them.
1. Beyonce take-over will occur in the lead-up to her new album in November 2010. Unfortunately, her career-savvy ambitions will get in the way of her marriage.
2 Turning 41 will hit Jay-Z MAD hard when Beyonce fails to get pregnant.
3. Amerie will leave Def Jam, when she finally discovers that the only artist LA Reid really cares about is Rihanna.
4. Rihanna will have a very successful world tour.
5. Chris Brown will fade ino oblivion as Jive halts all promotion.
6. Michael Jackson‘s former practitioner Dr Murray will commit suicide.
7. Mariah Carey will FINALLY get pregnant.
8. Samantha Mumba will get pregnant.
9. Janet Jackson will have a successful comeback but will still be battling issues with her weight.
10. Jennifer Lopez and Solange Knowles will flop terribly.
11. Diddy will dump Cassie and NOT for Kim Porter.
12. JLS will have a second no 1 album.
13. Rihanna will end up dating someone in the sport/acting field.
14. Craig David will put out a great album
15. Lady Gaga will confirm Rihanna collaboration for new album
16. Christina Aguilera will struggle with her comeback
17. Leona Lewis will announce her engagement
18. Kelly Rowland‘s first single will be instant smash in the UK
19. Britney Spears will announce her engagement
20. I get my way with Marvin Humes (a girl can dream right?)
Posted by | Filed under Randomness
Last year, psychic Nikki predicted Oscar success for Kate Winslett and the late Heath Ledger as well as Jennifer Hudson‘s Grammy win. She predicted the passing of Ted Kenney, Unice Schriver, Farrah Fawcett, Patrick Swayze and Michael Jackson.
For 2010, Nikki’s musical predictions include Celine Dion falling pregnant again. Fergie and her husband splitting up. Shakira needing to be careful of planes. Madonna needing to watch her health and getting married.
Lady Gaga winning lots of music awards and performing with Madonna. Michael Jackson‘s father being arrested. A kidnapping occuring around Michael Jackson’s family. Sean Coombs (Puff Daddy) needing to be wary of a shooting.
Click here to read her entire prediction list. How much of this do you think will come true? I’m going to write my own prediction list later.
Posted by | Filed under Alexandra Burke
Alexandra Burke is now encountering day three of sunny beach bliss in Barbados. Yesterday (Dec 29th), the 21-year-old was seen continuing to live the high life on Sandy Lane Beach, rocking a skimpy white bikini and some aviator-style sunglasses:
On Monday, she was also seen wearing a skimpy red bikini, and a brown two-piece on Sunday. Alex is taking a break after a busy few months promoting her debut album ‘Overcome’.
The pop star is holidaying with friends on Barbados after flying out on Christmas Eve and has spent the past few days enjoying the sunshine and surf.
The female body is a beautiful thing but where the males at? Marvin Humes said he was jetting off to spend the festive season on a beach so if anyone has pics, send them my way please.
Ever since deleting his Twitter account, Chris Brown has been keeping a low profile. Well not any more. The 20-year-old was spotted yesterday (Dec 29th) with his fellow R&B rival Usher, courtside at the Cavs vs. Hawks game in Atlanta:
Usher is looking rather…old. Chris Brown may forever be stigmatised with the ‘woman beater’ tag but he is still looking too right from a ladies lens. I give him that much. And producer Polow Da Don eerily lurks not too far behind.
Also, if you still can’t get enough of Breezy, check out his ‘Vibe’ photoshoot below:
Posted by | Filed under Alicia Keys
Twelve-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys will be participating in an upcoming ‘Alicia Keys & Friends’ concert. The concert will take place at the Apollo in New York City and will be broadcast on Thursday, January 7th at 9pm est/6pm pst via www.BillboardLive.com. Check out the promo video for the upcoming concert below:
In addition to her performance, AK will be introducing talented new artists who will also perform during this very special, intimate broadcast.
A congrats is also in order for Ms Keys as her latest opus ‘The Element of Freedom’ has now gone Gold. In her second week, Hits Daily has her at #3 with sales in excess of 270-280k. She is believed to reach the 700K mark (or close to). The official numbers will be out later.
Last week, the album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s R&B Albums and Digital Albums charts. It also debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart, according to Nielsen/SoundScan. With a total of 417,277 units sold in a week, this marks the biggest first week sales debut for a female R&B singer this year. Woman power!
Posted by | Filed under Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga tells MTV News her aspirations and plans for her next studio album, which will serve as the follow-up to her critically acclaimed project ‘The Fame Monster’. Gaga says she wants to have a heavy hand at writing on the project. Below, you can check out some very interesting interview excerpts:
“Well, I’m going to write new music … that’s the beauty of writing your own music — you don’t have to rely on songwriters and producers to write hit songs for you. I’m going to write a new album and I’m going to have new ideas”. Interestingly, she adds that the new album: “will inspire some kind of new sonic energy and lyrical style”.
Gaga also talks about the importance of artist evolvement: “I find ‘The Fame Monster’ to be completely different than ‘The Fame’. I’ve evolved, but artists should evolve. In the ’70s and the ’60s, artists evolved all the time — from album to album the music was changing, the feeling was changing, the artists seemed almost entirely different than who they were five or six years before.”
Gaga is a very gimmicky artist and sadly, lack of talent is associated with gimmicky acts. But that’s where it all stops. Gaga has proven more than just a gimmicky act. Put aside her eccentricities and you see a genuinely talented act who can sing, dance and deliver us a unique brand of art and entertainment. I am more curious to see what this novelty pop act brings to the table for the next album. Aside from Beyonce, there is not much acts today who can do both. Thoughts?
Posted by | Filed under Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey and husband Nick Cannon made a second appearance at the 14th Annual Capri Hollywood International Film Festival yesterday (Dec 28th). Ms Carey accepted the ‘Capri Award ‘09 – Supporting Actress of the Year’ for her role in ‘Precious’. Check out some new flicks below:
MC sparkled in a purple figure hugging sequined dress, which accentuated her curves beautifully. The legendary powerhouse will be spreading her inner diva some more when she attends next week’s People’s Choice Awards on Jan 6th at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. The show will be broadcast live on CBS.
Posted by | Filed under B5
Well well well. Looks like Rihanna is not the only one to go Emo these days. When an artist or an R&B boyband gets their ‘Bad Boy’ card revoked, I never thought this would be a possible outcome. The worst that could happen is, you get dropped but sign a lowkey deal else where and carry on where you left off. Or… you go back to a world of normality, whether it’s flicking burgers at your local McDonalds or whatever. But this? Naw, I can’t…
Unfortunately, B5 look like crazy gothic henchmen combined with the Jonas brothers. At least in mid scientific experimentation gone horribly HORRIBLY wrong. Screw you P. Diddy! Screw you! Well, at least the second one to the right still look good. Sadly, Diddy chewed these poor boys up and spat them riiight the hell out. Photos: Crunk & Disorderly.
Here’s what they started with, and it was real cute back in the day:
…how the mighty have fallen…
Posted by | Filed under JLS
The Mirror asked gorgeous JLS singer Marvin Humes the question lots of us girls have been dying to ask him: Who would he snog, marry or avoid. He replied: “If she wasn’t wed, I’d snog Cheryl Cole, I’d marry Alexandra and avoid Rihanna”…
Ouch! A few weeks ago, it was reported that Rihanna was disappointed that the heart throb failed to approach her when they both partied at London nightspot Mahiki last month. And judging by their joint performance on the X Factor finale we know Marv has it bad for Alex.
It’s been an amazing year for JLS as Marvin gushes that to date, their debut album has now sold a staggering 900,000+ copies (in the UK) since its release seven weeks ago.
It’s day 4 of the iTunes 12 Days of Christmas and the online music store is giving away a free range of festive treats. Today, you can download JLS’ ‘Everybody In Love’ music video, free of charge. In related news, their new music video for ‘One Shot’ is completed and set to premiere in January.
Beyonce is sizzling like bacon on a spit in the commercial for her first fragrance ‘Heat’. Earlier this month, a 10 second clip of the commercial hit the Net. And now you can watch the full 30 seconds below:
Are you ready to catch the fever?