Grammy week kicks off with the 4th Annual Essence ‘Black Women in Music’ event which took place last night in West Hollywood. Solange was honoured at Greystone Manor Supperclub where she entertained guests with music from her ‘True’ EP. Some of R&B’s leading ladies were in attendance, including Kelis, Jill Scott, Dawn Richard, Tamia and Estelle. All of them were there to celebrate their fellow females. Great to see so much undeniable talent under one roof! Peep some pics in the gallery below.
Style corner: Solange rocks matching Ostwald Helgason Resort 2013 top and a-line skirt with Nicholas Kirkwood heels.
Photos: Global Grind
Last years’s ‘Divas’ line-up was an abominable joke, and no one stans for powerhouse vocals more than yours truly. So, you know that last night’s airing of ‘Vh1 Divas Celebrates Soul’ was going to be a treasured one.
The broadcast featured performances from music’s best vocal/soul and pop divas including Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Jessie J and Chaka Khan to name the few. Now all they needed to do was add Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey and Tamia to the line-up and my life would have been complete.
Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige & Kelly Clarkson Medley
Memphis Soul Medley
Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out
Detroit Soul Medley
Jessie J – Domino
Mary J. Blige – Mr. Wrong
Amy Winehouse Tribute
Philly Soul Medley
Kelly Clarkson – What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)
London Soul Medley
2011 was a very exciting year for music! Pop’s royal trinity each released their long awaited albums in the first half of the year, a UK soul singer took over the world with her self written achy-breaky love ballads, REAL hip-hop found a place on radio, and a certain red-wigged Barbadian siren released her sixth album in six years!
Find out where the most anticipated and talked about albums of 2011 ranked against each other after the jump and sound off below!
1. Beyonce – ’4? (June 24, 2011)
Beyonce’s ’4? marked a drastic shift in the singer’s approach at making hit records. Instead of the raucous affairs she’s known for, Beyonce decided to take things nice and easy the fourth time around. To compare ’4? to her previous works, think of it this way: if ‘B’Day’ was the popping inner city, and ‘I Am…Sasha Fierce’ was the reclusive yet still down-to-earth suburbs, then ‘4’ is a quiet nook in the country with an accessible, yet rarely used, access road to get downtown. Influenced by a list of artists that would take too long to name, ’4? is Beyonce’s most poised work and features some of her finest vocal performances on record. Opening at No. 1 with 310K copies sold, the ambitious new mother was able to keep the club kidz satisfied with offerings like “Run The World (Girls)”, while still catering to the 30-somethings that grew up with her since the late 90s with lush slow jams like “I Miss You” and “Dance For You.” Tracks like “Love On Top” and the Kanye West produced “Party” are guaranteed to follow in “Single Ladies”‘ footsteps as cookout staples for decades to come. Sure, the album is arguably a commercial flop, but ’4? sits proudly in Beyonce’s discography as her best album, hands down.
2. Adele - ’21? (January 19, 2011)
The late and great Amy Winehouse may have ushered in the era of white English soul singers, but no other female singer to emerge from the UK has been able to dominate in such a manner like Adele has in 2011. “Rolling In The Deep” reached No. 1 on just about every radio format spanning from AC to Urban, and seamlessly crossed both generation and racial boundaries. ’21? debuted at the top of the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, and peaked at No. 1 in a total of 24 countries. The album also spent 13 weeks atop the U.S. Billboard 200, 23 weeks atop the Australian ARIA Albums Chart, set an all-time record of 26 weeks at number one in New Zealand, and 29 weeks in Ireland earning a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. As of November 2011, worldwide sales for ‘21’ have surpassed 13 million copies (and counting). Armed with a vindictive pen, a robust Contralto, and a gaggle of soul-clapping background sangers, Adele Atkins is a force to be reckoned with. The trophy for ‘Album of the Year’ probably already has her name etched out in gold. The only downside to ’21? is its content – frankly if you haven’t’ had your heart broken recently, its lyrics and somber vibe may be difficult to relate to.
3. Jay Z and Kanye West – ‘Watch the Throne’ (August 8, 2011)
Is it the bitter-beer-face sample on “Otis” that makes you want to throw one hand up and testify? Is it the cocky bassline on “Niggas In Paris” that even the hardest n*ggas have to bop to? Or is it lines like, “That shit cray,” or “I’m ’bout to call the paparazzi on myself,” that have submersed themselves into everyday pop culture lingo? Whatever it was, it worked! Hip-Hop’s most respected rappers came together to make a sophisticated rap record that is easily the best musical collaboration between to separate acts released in 2011. The Grammy nominated album debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200, selling 436,000 copies its first week; as of December 2011, ‘Watch the Throne’ has sold 1,144,000 copies in the United States.
4. Jill Scott - ‘The Light of the Sun’ (June 21, 2011)
Jill Scott explored the full spectrum of human emotion and passion on her fourth studio album, ‘The Light of the Sun’. Following the birth of her son, Jill was inspired so creatively that she wrote all fifteen of the album’s tracks herself and co-produced 70 percent of the rest. All of her hard work paid off seeing how ‘The Light of the Sun’ debuted at No. 1, a first for Scott, selling well over 135,000 copies it’s first week. The eclectic neo-soul collection is a declarative affair as Scott asserts her right to personal fulfillment, and celebrates her position as “a grown woman, making decisions and choices, utilising everything inside of me, my soul, my heart, my mind, my voices.” As with her previous works, Scott makes music on her own terms and she isn’t interested in hook/chorus factory-produced songwriting—in her own grown n sexy lane is where she excels best, competing with nobody but herself.
5. Lady Gaga – ‘Born This Way’ (May 23, 2011)
Though titled ‘Born This Way’, a more appropriate moniker would have been ‘Gay This Way’, as no other mainstream pop album released in the last 10 years has so fiercely advocated gay rights and equality. Released on May 23, 2011, and with the help of Amazon.com, ‘Born This Way’ sold an unheard of 1,141,000 in its first week, and thus far has released five successful singles topping various Billboard charts. Gaga’s continual inaccurate self-portrayal as an unaccepted “freak” has struck an emotional chord with her rabid fanbase of Little Monsters—seeing how majority of them belong to the LGBT community. Paired with self-loathing yet encouraging songs like “Bad Kids,” “Hair,” and “Born This Way,” Lady Gaga was able to create a safe haven for millions like her to feel safe, wanted, and accepted. With her sights set to be the metaphorical pink umbrella for gays to be themselves under, Lady Gaga totally abandoned the urban flair that peppered her earlier works (“Poker Face”, “LoveGame”) in favor of the sledgehammer, metal-pop that plagues ‘Born This Way’ and the packed floors of Ibiza. A genius business move or genuine sentiment that just-so-happened to make her a killing? The jury is still out, but that doesn’t negate the fact that ‘Born This Way’ is a world class pop album that earned Gaga her third consecutive nomination for the Grammy’s ‘Album of the Year’.
6. Chris Brown – ‘F.A.M.E.’ (March 18, 2011)
Instead of shying away from the bad boy image his infamous outbursts have created for him, 2011 saw Chris Brown embracing his new image with tatted arms. ‘F.A.M.E.’ no longer presented Chris as a young man straddling the fence between teen morality and adult sexuality. Instead, Chris finds himself comfortably filling the sexy dancing shoes Usher stopped wearing the moment he said “I do,” to Tameka. While some saw ‘F.A.M.E.’ as a hodgepodge of conflicting genres, I saw the LP to be a testament to Chris’ versatility as an artist. Whether he’s shaking things up on “Look At Me Now”, seducing on “No Bullshit”, or fist pumping in a fog of ecstasy and glow sticks on “Yeah 3x”, Chris is right at home on each. With intoxicating hooks, high octane productions, bedroom vocals and the tendency to get a little nasty…‘F.A.M.E.’ goes down as Chris’ most well rounded album. Unlike his trendy ex-girlfriend, ‘F.A.M.E.’ was able to grant the singer his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with over 270K copes sold in its first week. Don’t call it a comeback…
7. Drake – ‘Take Care’ (November 15, 2011)
Someone must have given Drake the memo that he is a platinum selling recording artist with millions of dollars, with a countless number women throwing themselves at him on the daily. Not to mention he’s “Jimmy Brooks” for crying out loud! I say that because the most notable thing about ‘Take Care’ is the metaphorical frog in Drake’s throat that follows a good cry is totally absent. ‘Take Care’ finds the Canadian bred rapper in a surprisingly good mood while still perfecting the dark, atmospheric vibe of ‘Thank Me Later’—some of the tracks even sound as if they were delivered with a smile. The album’s minimalistic production has heavy 90s R&B overtones similar to the stylings of TLC, Maxwell, and Aaliyah. Lyrically the album leaves the woe-is-me shtick at home and touches on various aspects of fame, fortune, loneliness, sex, and decadence. Impressively Drake is credited as a co-writer on each of the LP’s 18 tracks. Debuting at No. 1 selling 631,000 copies in the United States, ‘Take Care’ is the quintessential hip-hop album dressed in pop attire as it finds the perfect marriage between both mainstream and non-radio friendly rap; a union J. Cole failed to master with his debut.
8. Britney Spears – ‘Femme Fatale’ (March 25, 2011)
Ironically titled ‘Femme Fatale’, Britney Spears’ seventh studio album was a well-orchestrated oxymoron that further established “Britney Spears the Brand” as the long standing Queen of Pop, while at the same time placing “Britney Spears the Person” further into the abyss of muzzled silence. Equipped with her distinctive tone and Louisiana drawl, Britney lent her elastic voice to the productions of Dr. Luke and Max Martin to secure some of the biggest hits of her career. The ‘Femme Fatale’ era will be remembered for its innovative music videos, successful world tour, and the ubiquitous worldwide smash hit “Till The World Ends.” After pioneering the electro-pop genre in 2007 with ‘Blackout’, ‘Femme Fatale’ continues that sound with a tongue-in-cheek sense of self-awareness and levity. Unlike Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’, ‘Femme Fatale’ doesn’t want to save the world or make a difference—Britney just wants to let her extensions down and party. Can you hold it against her?
9. Jennifer Lopez – ‘Love?’ (April 28, 2011)
‘Love?’ was a solid effort with truly inspiring moments but it wasn’t quite the uptempo, party record it should have been. ‘Love?’ presented a hybrid blend of dance-pop/r&b with latin undertones produced and written by the industry’s A-List, giving J.Lo exactly what she’s been asking for, a good hit. “One the Floor” scored J.Lo the biggest digital hit of her career selling well over 3,000,000 downloads the US alone. ‘Love?’ was meant to garner hit singles and re-establish relevance for J.Lo in the ever changing landscape of popular music, and it did just that! The video for “On the Floor” holds the record for the second most watched female music video on YouTube of all time, with over 440 million views! The album was a win for the style icon and a much needed addition to any J.Lo fan’s collection. Jennifer Lopez has taken this euro-pop craze by hostage and isn’t giving it back until we pay her. She accepts, gold, platinum, and diamond certifications…
10. Rihanna – ‘Talk That Talk’ (November 21, 2011)
Rihanna’s attempt to recreate the firestorm of controversy sparked by Madonna’s ‘Erotica’ era sadly came up short with her sixth LP, ‘Talk That Talk’. Putting all her coins in the “Sex Sells” theory, the album’s crude lyrical strokes, courtesy of Ester Dean, are it’s main selling point along with a spotlight on europop’s biggest producers. Unfortunately somewhere in the orgy Rihanna got lost in the mix. Her most uninteresting release to date, ‘Talk That Talk’ opened at No. 3 with consistent numbers, 197K. Shocking considering “We Found Love” marked Rihanna’s twentieth download to reach the million-selling milestone, extending her record for the most such downloads among women. Translation: the world may LOVE her singles, but only Rihanna’s Navy is checking for her albums.
I support black girls that rock, because we need more women that know their worth, and know that they’re beautiful, regardless of any opinions. It’s awesomely inspiring and refreshing and epitomises a movement to motivate black women to support each other. Last night on BET, the telecast for ‘Black Girls Rock 2011? was broadcast. The annual event, which was taped on October 26th, honours excellence for women in the black community and featured performances from the most accoladed soul and R&B divas.
Mary J. Blige, Melanie Fiona, Estelle, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Mary Mary and Elle Varner all took to the stage. Check out all the performances below.
Philly soul diva Jill Scott and H-Town rapper Paul Wall get steamy in her new music video for latest single ‘So Gone (What My Mind Says)’. Diamond Chip Dick (played by Wall) has a once celibate Scott all sprung, and horny. Her message? “D*ckmatization” is no joke. The track is lifted from her fourth studio album, ‘Light of the Sun’, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 back in June. The powerhouse songstress will be delivering more of that sensuality when she sings alongside Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jessie J and others at this year’s ‘VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul’, which will broadcast on December 19th.
While we await for that concert to come around, you can watch Jill Scott’s act of sensuality after the jump.
Posted by Mikey | Filed under Jill Scott
Jill Scott has just premiered the music video for the peaceful radio-single, “Here My Call”, from her No. 1 album The Light of the Sun. Watch the video and get goosebumps below!
Posted by Toya | Filed under Jill Scott
Jill Scott is only just celebrating her first number one album in the States, which should have happened a long time ago…
Scott’s latest effort ‘The Light Of The Sun’ has soared to the top of the Billboard Album chart after pushing a solid 135,000 units in its first week of release. The LP is preceded by its leading singles ‘Shame’ and ‘So In Love’. The one thing you can say about Scott is that she knows who she is as an artist permitting her to carve out the right amount of balance for herself. She knows her craft.
Congrats to Scott on her first ever number one album. It could not have happened to a more deserving artist, and at least good music is getting recognition (and not just her much talked about boobs). True talent and good music rules.
Posted by Toya | Filed under Jill Scott
R&B diva Jill Scott covers the latest issue of Billboard magazine. The singer released her fourth studio album ‘Light of The Sun’ this week, so she’s been on her promotional rounds. Ms Scott has much to smile about. For the project is set to top the Billboard 200 next week with projected sales of 125k.
The talented vocalist had a full live band and worked it out during her stunning set on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
The BET Awards just got more exciting. This might even be their best show yet! Beyonce has just been announced as a performer a few hours ago. On the same day, Beyonce will be headlining the Glastonbury music festival in the UK. This means she is going to be at two different places at the same time. Actually, not quite. She will perform live via satellite from the UK. It seems somebody actually reads the blog! Ha! The other Destiny’s Child songstress who has been announced as a performer is Kelly Rowland. The singer will perform her hit single ‘Motivation’ from her third album ‘Here I Am’ (out on July 26th).
It’s about time she performed this song on television. I’m assuming she’s waiting for the album release date to draw closer before doing any gruelling promotion, but in my opinion, that’s not a great promo plan. The BET Awards was a MUST opportunity and I’m glad she gets that (finally). Other newly announced performers include Trey Songz, Mary J. Blige and Cee Lo Green who joins previously announced performers such as Alicia Keys, Chris Brown, Jill Scott and Drake! The star-studded ceremony will broadcast live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on June 26th. If you thought The Billboard Music Awards line-up was amazing, I will say this – The BET Awards really topped themselves! Chris! Alicia! Beyonce! Kelly! Mary! It doesn’t get better than that.
Posted by Toya | Filed under Jill Scott
Jill Scott looks beautiful on the June issue of Ebony magazine. The singer, who is set to release her new album ‘The Light of the Sun’ on June 28th shed some light about her split with her former fiancé, as well as her move from Hidden Beach Records to Warner Bros Records and her 2-year-old son.
Scott also shot a photoshoot for the magazine with photograghers Steven Gomillion and Dennis Leupold. The 39-year-old proudly shows off her new slimmed body in the upcoming spread, which is definetely the perfect way to get your own back after a break-up! The magazine, published as ‘The Music Issue’, will see the latest installment become available in newsstands on May 17th.
Christina Aguilera was one of many talented singers who performed at the 2nd Annual Mary J. Blige Honors concert this past Sunday (May 1st). The gig was to benefit ‘Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now’, which supports female empowerment. Mary clearly has an ear for talent. Notice how real singers were the only ones asked to perform. Despite Blige hilariously criticising Aguilera for her nasty skank attitude previously, it’s good to see that their dispute is now water under the bridge!
Jennifer Hudson was another powerhouse who performed at the gig. There are pictures of them hanging out backstage and it seems they may have negotiated a possible collaboration. Hudson recently stated that she most “definetely” wants to collaborate with Aggy. Whether it happens or not is a completely different story. After the jump, you can check out decent quality concert footage of Aggy, Hudson, Jill Scott, Corinne Bailey Rae, Anita Baker and of course Mary J. Blige showing the world what a true singer is all about below.
Christina Aguilera performed her hit ‘Beautiful’…
Jennifer Hudson performs her idol Whitney Houston’s ‘I’m Every Woman’…
Jennifer Hudson performs ‘I Got This’…
Jill Scott performs her hit ‘Golden’…
Corinne Bailey Rae performs her hit ‘Like a Star’…
Corinne Bailey Rae performs her hit ‘Put Your Records On’…
Mary J. Blige and her idol/mentor Anita Baker duet on ‘Caught Up in the Rapture’…
Jill Scott has finally revealed the tracklisting for the deluxe edition of her new album ‘The Light of the Sun’, set to hit stores June 28. This is going to be one hot summer with Scott’s soulful vocals as the soundtrack. Peep the tracklisting below.
2. “So in Love” feat. Anthony Hamilton
3. “Shame” feat. Eve and The A Group
4. “All Cried Out Redux” feat. Doug E. Fresh
5. “Le BOOM Vent Suite”
6. “So Gone (What My Mind Says)” feat. Paul Wall
7. “Hear My Call”
8. “Some Other Time”
9. “Making You Wait”
10. “Until Then (I Imagine)”
11. “Missing You”
12. “When I Wake Up”
14. “Rolling Hills”
15. “The Light of the Sun”
16. “Love Soul Bounce” (Bonus)
17. “Quick” (Bonus)
18. “I Love You” (Bonus)
Real r&b is making a comeback. Excited yet?
Earlier this week Jill Scott revealed the flawless cover artwork to her upcoming album ‘The Light Of The Sun’ as well as her brand new [slimmed down] look! Jill is showing off her long and shapely legs, sporting a red wrap draped across her curvaceous body, diva hair and fabulous YSL stilettos. Its different, its sexy, its confident, its a win! I could not be any more excited for this album!
Jill Scott’s new album ‘The Light Of The Sun’, will be released in the U.S. June 28 and a day earlier in the U.K. Listen to her official second single featuring Anthony Hamilton, titled, ‘So In Love’ below.
Grammy award winning singer Jill Scott has just premiered her new video for her buzz single titled “Shame” featuring rapper Eve. The cut is taken from her long awaited forthcoming album “The Light of the Sun”, which is scheduled to hit stores on June 28th, via Warner Bros. The video was shot at the Cecil B. Moore Recreation Center in Philadelphia and features cameos from Ms. Jade, Pharoahe, Black Thought from The Roots and Meek Millz.
Watch the video below.
Here’s the official first single from Jill’s forthcoming album titled “So In Love”. It’s a soulful duet with one of my favorite male vocalists Anthony Hamilton. I love the song but it’s not single worthy. The track is like album filler. Jill needs a record that’s so out of the box!
Some of the biggest divas in R&B music took to the stage recently to perform at BET’s ‘Black Girls Rock’ concert. The gig was to honour African-American women in entertainment, society and politics. Keri Hilson, Keyshia Cole, Monica, Shontelle, Fantasia, Marsha Ambrosius, Kelly Price and Jill Scott were some of the R&B songstresses to grace the stage, but who delivered the most power-house influenced performance? And who sucked?
Read the rest of this entry »
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Looks like this week is the week for baby premieres. Not long after we see photos from Us Weekly of Christina Milian showing off her baby daughter Violet, we get some newly surfaced photos of Soul diva and ‘Why Did I Get Married Too?’ actress Jill Scott showing off her baby son Jett Jr. The photo is taken from the May issue of Essence magazine: