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What Whitney’s Grammy Shut-Out Means Moving Forward

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As reported earlier today, the legendary Whitney Houston has been unceremoniously shut-out from the nominations for the 52nd annual Grammy Awards. The news comes as a shock to many, as the singer’s critically acclaimed, Platinum-selling comeback LP ‘I Look To You’ has long been touted as a Grammy favourite, with its US release date even brought forward to make it eligible for nomination.

While many will debate as to why Houston, 46, was snubbed (a prominent reason cited being her supposed diva antics towards the committee – comprised of writers, producers, industry folk –  at her peak), it’ll be interesting to see what happens with her comeback campaign moving forward. With the Grammy’s supposed have been the crowning moment of her rise from the ashes, so to speak, her team will have to find alternate ways to further enrich the campaign – the answer not being solely to tour.

That Grape Juice exclusively reported months back that there’d be no further singles from the album this year. However, upon the start of the new year, Ms. Houston’s best bet IMO would essentially be to put her best foot forward. By that I mean, releasing some of the record’s A* cuts (‘For The Lovers’, ‘Worth It’, ‘Calling You Tonight’, ‘Nothin’ But Love’, for example) – no playing around. In being frank, neither ‘Million Dollar Bill’ or ‘I Look To You’ were first or second single worthy IMO – something which proved not that big a deal when looking at the album’s success to-date, yet will do with the selection of future singles.

It’d also definitely benefit Whitney being more visible, not necessarily in the way of just performances, but talk-show interviews, TV specials, and maybe even a return to movies. As much as Whitney may have become accustomed to her ‘new life’, any hopes of making a significant dent on the music industry once again will require diligence and concentrated saturation of the market (see Mariah‘s hustle and flow approach during the ‘Emancipation’ era…my girl was everywhere!). Speaking of Mariah, does anyone else see Whitney’s Grammy shut-out as a more extreme version how they did Mariah at the 2006 show? Not the business. That said, I guess this whole episode further lends support to the age old saying that “nothing is a certainty”. Here’s hoping things move onwards and upwards for Whitney…

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Music

Mariah Set To Leave Island Def Jam?

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As a result of the lackluster reception of ‘Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel’, and Mariah Carey‘s indignation with the handling of the record, sources close to That Grape Juice have informed us that the songbird may just be ready to take flight to a new label. There is reliable word that Carey has been at logger-heads with label-head LA Reid for several months now.

The 39-year old diva has been signed to the Island Def Jam Music Group since 2002. The terms of the singer’s deal entail a minimum of 3 albums for the grand total of 22.5 million dollars, with her being named a joint partner with the Universal Music Group. Carey’s first LP released under the agreement was 2002’s ‘Charmbracelet’ which was followed by the 6x platinum ‘The Emancipation of Mimi’, ‘E=MC²’ and Memoirs…, which was released on September 29th 2009.

If Carey decides to leave IDJ, I will not be shocked. The promotional efforts behind ‘Memoirs…’ reflect less than half of the energy that the label placed into the ‘Emancipation’ project. Has anyone else noticed that she has barely taken any new promotional pictures for this record with the exception of her single covers and the album booklet? Add that to Carey’s criticism’s of ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ being chosen as a single in place of ‘H.A.T.E.U.’, and it’s easy to understand why she might be preparing to ditch the label.

It is no secret that several labels have been itching to sign Carey since she left Virgin Records in 2001. Clive Davis (Whitney Houston, Leona Lewis, Jennifer Hudson) at J Records, for instance, tried to get her to join his team. The real question is: should Carey leave IDJ, where would she fit in? I personally think that her best move would be to go back to Sony, where she would be able to get the attention and funding she deserves; a plausible option now that ex-husband Tommy Mottola is no longer with the company. Either way, with a rare talent like hers, she would be an invaluable addition to any label’s lineup.

What do you think Mariah’s next move should be?

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