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The video for American Idol winner Jordin Sparks’ new single ‘No Air’ premiered recently. R&B star Chris Brown features on the song and video:

Decent video. Prior to now I hadn’t really warmed to Jordin’s music, and still haven’t – she has NOTHING on some of Idol’s past contestants like Fantasia etc. Saying this, ‘No Air’ is a pretty solid effort and Chris Brown’s contribution serves the song well.

What do think of the song / video?

Janet Jackson recently made an appearance on ‘What Perez Says’ Diva Special on VH1. Check out the hilarious interview below:

I always like when artists aren’t so guarded and leave the ‘media trained’ façade at home. This is easily one of Janet’s most relaxed interviews in a while. ‘Hey B*tch’ had me rolling…the funniest I’ve seen in a long while.

Your thoughts?

Usher - 'I Can't Win' & 'Moving Mountains' Despite there not being a release date for Usher’s forthcoming album, more material from the as-yet-untitled set have surfaced – ‘I Can’t Win’ and the full version of ‘Moving Mountains’ (a snippet of which was posted earlier this month).
I’m liking both tracks and feel they show a lot of artistic growth. Saying that, the songs seem kinda on the adult-contemporary side of R&B, which could be, somewhat, risqué considering his main fanbase. Still, his album is definitely one I’m anxious to hear.

Hit or Miss?

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The 2008 Brit Awards took place last night here in London. Check out the performances below:
Amy Winehouse – Love Is A Losing Game

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Rihanna & The Klaxons – Umbrella

 

More performances:

Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love

Mark Ronson (ft. Amy Winehouse) – Valerie

The Brits Award’s shunning of urban music has kinda made it a bit of a non-event for me. Still, the performances were entertaining. Rihanna was just ok, I guess. Leona was her usual near flawless self. All eyes were on the recovering Amy Winehouse, who delivered two very interesting performances. I’d be lying if I said her vocals weren’t down-right horrid in places on both songs. However, she did a pretty good job overall. Random tidbit: don’t you just love her little shimmy dance lol. For real, it’s great to see her finally getting herself together.

What do you think of the performances?

R&B singer Mario will be a contestant on Season 6 of ABC’s hit ballroom show Dancing With The Stars. Of his participation on the show, the 21 year old said:

“This is definitely something new for me. It’s exciting. Every time I watch the show, I’m amazed how honest and real everyone is.” {Source}

Hmm. I’m not too sure about this. These kinda shows tend to be for over-the-hill stars of yesterday. Still, I can’t knock his hustle factor. After the disappointing performance of his stellar ‘Go!’ album last year, he’ll likely be looking for an avenue to set up his ‘comeback’. A tidbit: over the years Mario has become less of a choreographed act, so I guess the show will be interesting on that front.

Your thoughts?

Teedra Moses - TVT Records Files For BankruptcyNew York based independent record label TVT Records filed for Chapter 11 aka bankruptcy yesterday (February 18th). The label, home to artists such as Teedra Moses, Lil’ Jon & The Eastside Boyz, Pitbull and Ying Yang Twins, have terminated the majority of their employees. It’s unknown, at writing, whether the label’s release schedule for this year will be affected. {Read more here}
I’m guessing this sheds some light on the slow-go of R&B songstress Teedra Moses’ serially delayed album ‘The Young Lioness’. If there is any justice, Teedra will get snapped up by another label – independent or a major – she’s too talented to go unheard. ‘Complex Simplicity’ still rates as one my all-time favourite R&B albums.

Your thoughts?
Rihanna's Former Crack-Addict Father Speaks Grammy winner Rihanna’s father has spoken to the press for the first time about his past addiction to crack. Below is his description of when he was caught by the ‘Umbrella’ singer taking the drug:

“I turned and looked Rihanna in the eye and instantly came back down from the high I was on. I saw her run for her mother, ask her something and then they both started to cry. I had no idea she had been watching. It was the lowest point – life just stopped and I realized what a fool I had been.”

When the Sunday Mirror tracked down the father-of-five in Bridgetown, Barbados, he was hawking tacky toys, perfume and household items from the boot of a battered Nissan car. Despite his daughter’s millions, he never asks for a penny and insists he’s happy in his work, which earns him around £250 (about $492 US dollars) for a seven-day week. He said: “The only thing I want is to be a part of her life. I have had her forgiveness, which you can’t put a price on, and I would never dream of asking her for a dollar.” {Source}

It’s great that he’s sorted himself out. I’m kinda baffled at the ‘selling stuff out of a trunk’ thing, though. Whatever floats his boat, I guess.

Any thoughts?
Pussycat Dolls Working On New CDFollowing a string of flop singles, it appears Nicole Scherzinger is taking heed to calls for her to return to the Pussycat Dolls. Songwriter Sean Garrett, in a recent interview with our friends over at Rap-Up.com, confirmed that he is currently contributing to a new Pussycat Dolls record. When probed about the status of Nicole Scherzinger’s much delayed ‘Her Name Is Nicole’ LP, Garrett stated that Scherzinger is still working on the project (huh?!) and there is to be some form of tie-in with the Pussycat Dolls album. What exactly that means is anyones guess. Whatever the case, here’s hoping it marks an end to Nicoles dire solo assault on the charts. {Source}

Your thoughts?
That Grape Juice Marks 1 Year Online!

Wow! What a year. It’s kinda hard to believe that That Grape Juice has been around for one year already.

When I dreamt up the idea of starting a ‘music blog’, I never envisioned reaching the height we’re at now. I simply set out to share my passion for music with like minded people around the world. Fast forward 12 months later; with thousands of daily readers, That Grape Juice is undeniably one of the net’s premier Urban entertainment sources.

From celebrity interviews and shout-outs, to competitions, to the ever-increasing media recognition, That Grape Juice is definitely growing from strength to strength.

So, I take this opportunity to say a big thank you to the following (I feel like I’m giving an award speech lol):

Personal: God, my parents, my sisters, Kwame (TGJ’s self-appointed, but greatly appreciated publicist!) and the friends who have supported my vision (you know who you are).

Bloggers: Kevin (Kevipod) and Toya (Toya’s World), my reasons for starting That Grape Juice – thanks for all your support. Soul Man (SOHH), Angel and the crew over at Concrete Loop, Fresh (Crunktastical), Sandra Rose, Jawn Murray, B. Scott (Splendiferous!) and all our affiliates.

Industry: Amina and Co (T.Tank), K. Scully, EA Games UK, BBC 1 Xtra, Sony BMG (UK), Def Jam UK, Music World Music, T.O Organisation, A. Silberstein, Bambus, DJB, Code Black and everyone else that have been instrumental to bridging That Grape Juice with ‘the industry’.

A special thanks to Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Rihanna; Boy, do you get people talking!

Most important of all are YOU, the That Grape Juice readers. Without you all, this wouldn’t be possible – trust me! For that, I’m eternally grateful. Despite the site’s success, I know my vision for That Grape Juice and anticipate you will all continue this journey with me.

Believe me when I say, this really is the ‘Diet Coke’ version of what I’m feeling to express (we’d be here all day if I posted it all lol). So, once again, to everybody, THANK YOU!

Remember to keep it locked on That Grape Juice!

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Notes:

• You will notice a few changes on the site in the weeks and months ahead.
• Some great interviews are lined-up (several confirmed already). Wish I could disclose, but patience is a virtue.
• Expect more ways for you guys to interact with the site. In the meanwhile, lets keep them comments coming in – let your voice be heard..

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Your thoughts?

Tyra Covers Entertainment WeeklySupermodel turned chat show host, Tyra Banks appears on the cover of the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine. Check out an extract from the feature, which can be read in full by clicking here, below:

Banks considers herself more akin to Martha Stewart and Donald Trump. To that end, her latest development is Bankable Enterprises, created to move the mini-mogul into arenas like real estate…

”There’s a fear I have with success in the business world,” she admits. ”People have this image of women, especially in business — that they have to be ballbusters, and that’s so not what I am.” That said, the woman whose company logo features a shiny bank vault is not going to stop growing her media empire. ”I’m not afraid of wanting money at all,” she says. ”Money will give me more power to do things that are truer to my spirit than what I’m already doing.” Still, she adds, ”I don’t think I’ll always be on television. I don’t know whether it’s 10 or 20 years, but I know it won’t be when I’m 60.”

More power to her.


Any thoughts?
With the release of Janet Jackson’s latest album ‘Discipline’ drawing ever-nearer, it’s now possible to preview the whole CD via Amazon.com. Whilst it’s most logical to pass judgement upon hearing the full CD, it does give a pretty good idea as to how the album will sound. I’m liking what I hear – a lot.

What do you think of the preview?

This week’s From the Vault video is R&B crooner Keith Sweat’s 1996 classic ‘Twisted’ (ft. Kut Klose). Undeniably one of the 90’s defining Slow Jams, the song and the video have remained one of my favourites since being released. Check it out:

Ahh the 90’s, when R&B was almost-universally good.

Your thoughts?

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