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Music

Weigh In: TGJ Picks Rihanna’s Top 5 Performances Ever!

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She’s gifted modern pop music with some of its biggest hits, but now it’s time That Grape Juice gifts Rihanna – with an ode to her greatest performances just in time for her birthday.

Indeed, while some will argue the singer’s inconsistent live acts – featuring their fair share of stage presence shortages and poor vocal displays – make it a difficult task to collect a number of qualitative stage showings, there are a wealth of demonstrations that prove such is simply not the case.

Over the course of 10 years and 7 albums worth of material, Ri has a bevy of memorable moments on stage.  With her outstanding 2015 Grammy performance still fresh in our minds as evidence of her growing abilities, tuck in below to see our picks for the birthday girl’s best:

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Music

How Being Too Socially Conscious Too Soon Caused Lady Gaga’s Demise

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Lady Gaga has always stood as a present day pop anomaly.

As an artist, Gaga – born Stefani Germanotta – has carefully skated on commercial relevance by offering an EDM-wrapped package similar to the radio’s top offerings, yet qualitatively different in its decoration with undeniable vocal talent and stage presence oft-lost on her pop competitors.  These qualities, much like her ever-changing image, saw her inaugural years court as much positivity for her eccentricity as it did negativity for claims of being gimmicky.

Yet, for as meteoric as her rise to pop dominance was, her slide down the slope of commercial relevance has seemingly met similar acceleration.  Indeed, the years that followed her blockbuster ‘Born This Way’ album don’t see her every “hairdo and don’t,” on-stage antic, nor music release greeted with the same level of intense media coverage they once received.  While the cause of this shift has seen many-a-finger pointed toward the allure of “her gimmick fading,” others even argue that her inconsistent choice of sound (i.e. departure from “black music”) is to blame.

I, on the other hand, will argue that neither are the primary perpetrator, but instead wish to place a lens on Gaga’s aggressive social agenda which, in turn, caused the drift of her faithful buying audience.  Full analysis below:

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Music

Iggy Azalea Quits Social Media After Getting Slammed For Bikini Photos

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It appears Iggy Azalea has finally followed her Grand Hustle mentor T.I.‘s advice.

Read her rant below:

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Music

Beyonce & Lady Gaga Led ‘Stevie Wonder Tribute’ A Moderate Ratings Draw Despite All-Star Lineup

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Not even the combined powers of music super divas Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Jennifer Hudson were enough to shift killer ratings for the second installment of the ‘Grammy tribute’ series – this time paying homage the academy’s most decorated artist Stevie Wonder.

Airing February 15th on CBS, the showing – a critics top pick -  did manage to draw a respectable viewing audience, but still nearly less than half of last year’s episode in honor of the Beatles (which drew a whopping 13.95 million viewers).  The numbers are all the more disappointing as, unlike the Beatles tribute, Wonder’s installment had little competition elsewhere on television.

But, as reports below reveal, all was not lost.  For, after the likes of Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande, Janelle Monae, John Legend, and Ed Sheeran put their ever modern twists on Wonder’s classic hits, interest in the 70s & 80s numbers found itself skyrocketing on top sites Spotify and Shazam.

Get the full reports on the TV and streaming numbers below:

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Music

Chart Check: Rihanna Rises On Hot 100 While Drake Dominates Billboard 200 With Surprise Album

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At the rate Rihanna, Kanye, and Paul McCartney are moving, it looks more like they’re ‘FourFiveSeconds’ to hitting #1 on the Hot 100 with their modern day pop-folk single.  Giving McCartney his first top 5 on the chart in 31 years, the song is slowly, but surely creeping to the top spot.

But, as the week has evidenced, such creep will be no easy feat.

As the tally’s refreshing shows, ‘Locked Out of Heaven’ hitmaker Bruno Mars appears to be locked in the #1 spot and has clocked yet another week on the chart’s perch with ‘Uptown Funk.’  In fact, reigning in lucky week number 7, the run gives him his longest reign at the top – besting his former longest reign ‘Heaven’ by 1 week.

Elsewhere, on album charts, it comes as no surprise that Drake‘s surprise album ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’ is #1 with over 535,000 united moved its inaugural week (495,000 of those are pure album sales).  To put this into context, Beyonce’s self-titled surprise moved 617,000 units in a little over 3 days, but could at least later boast physical copy sales in its tally.

Drake’s sales are expected to be relatively sustained over the next week but, unlike Bey, will not have any physical retailer as its considered a “mixtape.”  Furthermore, Drizzy’s reign atop the Billboard 200 enters him in history books as only the second hip hop act to see his first 4 albums debut at #1 (DMX is the first).

Enough chatter, tuck in below to see this week’s refreshed Hot 100 and Billboard 200 lists below:

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Entertainment

Exclusive: That Grape Juice Interviews ‘Empire’ Star Malik Yoba

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(Photo Credit:  Kevin Kneeland & Nicole Oriatti of K&N Media)

FOX’s wildly popular new show ‘Empire’ has breathed life anew into the career of television star Malik Yoba. Best known for leading the channel’s former flagship series ‘New York Undercover,’ fans of the hit 90’s show (and ‘Empire’ alike) were so sure that the veteran actor had been off TV’s radar since the show’s unceremonious end – a belief Yoba wholeheartedly shuns.

From memorable showings on Tyler Perry‘s ‘Why Did I Get Married’ movie franchise to at least 12 other showings across television, he’s been far from out of sight over the past two decades.  And, if our exclusive chat with the star is any indication, we should expect to see much more of him in the near future.

Tuck in below as Yoba dishes with TGJ editor Rashad on ‘Empire’s success, its critical backlashes (see: alleged “gay agenda,” poor representation of African Americans), and much more.

Never one to bite his tongue, it’s safe to say Malik Yoba made this a “must read”:

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Music

TGJ Replay: Kelly Rowland’s ‘Ms. Kelly’

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Welcome back to TGJ Replay!

Designed much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ features, ‘Replay’ is That Grape Juice‘s newest reflective segment to act as a written quest to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday. Unlike its retrospective predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase entire albums (and eras) from a library of pop and Urban pop music hits.

Now, as fans ready themselves for the muchly anticipated follow-up to R&B diva Kelly Rowland‘s ‘Talk A Good Game,’ we reflect on the album that really put her on the genre’s map by her lonesome – ‘Ms. Kelly.’

“‘I wrote a lot on this album and I’ve had a wonderful time recording it. It’s a feelgood record; very intimate. It’s a sneak peak into my mind and heart.  I listened to a lot of Whitney Houston for her vocals. I love her. I love Beyoncé’s voice, and I love Brandy. Those are three vocalists who inspire me. I love how different they are. I love how they take themselves to the next level.'” – Kelly Rowland, 2006

Join us as we flashback to 2007…

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