Reviews coming shortly. In the meanwhile, take a listen and drop your views in the comments section…

Hit(s) or Miss(es)?

Brandy Hits The Studio With PharrellHaving completed her mini-promotional tour, which saw stops in select European cities as well as the US, Brandy is back in the studio to continue the recording of her 6th studio album. The latest to join the producers list is none other than Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes – as confirmed by Brandy herself on Twitter today. Williams joins an all-star list of writers and producers lined-up to work on the as-yet-untitled record, which includes Ne-Yo, Stargate, The-Dream and Tricky Stewart.
It appears Brandy and her team are sparing no expense when it comes to enlisting the best of the best to work on the album, following the commercial tanking of her last LP (her Epic Records debut and the criminally underrated) ‘Human’. Interestingly, the at-time-of-writing absence of past collaborators Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins and Timbaland suggests she’s looking to work with those she hasn’t worked with in the past.
As one of those who really enjoyed ‘Human’, yet understood the sad reality that such records don’t really enjoy chart success in today’s industry, I’m really salivating at the info known about this new project – top producers, more commercial sounding, yet the same high quality we’ve come to expect from Brandy. Word is we can expect the album in stores this Fall.

Your thoughts?

Check out the official trailer for Ciara’s new DVD movie ‘Mama I Want To Sing’, which also stars Patti Labelle, Hill Harper, and Lynn Whitfield. Say what you want about Ms. Harris, but she sounds pretty good, and her acting doesn’t look bad either. The movie STILL is without a solid release, though.

Your thoughts?

Soulja Boy: 'Michael Jackson Inspired Me'

In a recent interview with MTV, teen rapper Soulja Boy revealed Michael Jackson to be his inspiration:

“But as far as getting my inspiration for stage performance, it has always been Michael Jackson. I remember I watched the DVD … Michael Jackson came and stood onstage for 10 minutes. They was screaming the whole 10 minutes. I actually imitated that a couple of times in my show.” {Source}

LMAO! Honestly, I mean come on now…Soulja Boy and Michael Jackson should not even be mentioned in the same sentence, much less when talking stage presence or performance.

Your thoughts?

Rihanna Lends Help To SugababesAs the UK’s top girl group the Sugababes ready their US label debut on Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, the ladies have revealed that none other than Rihanna has been advising them on the material for the record:

Sugababes star Keisha Buchanan says the trio have struck up a close friendship with Rihanna while recording in America.

Rihanna has become the “fourth Sugababe”.

The ‘Umbrella’ singer has been advising the British trio – who have signed a record deal with Jay-Z’s Roc-a-Fella label – while they are recording in America and has struck up such a close bond with the ‘Ugly’ stars, they have grown to regard her as part of the band.

Singer Keisha Buchanan – who makes up the group with Amelle Berrabah and Heidi Range – told Britain’s Daily Star newspaper: “We keep missing Jay-Z. Every time we’re gonna hook up he’s off partying with Diddy or someone, but Rihanna has been a huge help to us. She’s been like our fourth members, listening to all our songs and saying what she liked and what she didn’t.”

Keisha also heaped praise on new singer Cherri V, who releases her debut single ‘Until The Sun Comes Up’ next week, for her “refreshing” sound.

She added: “I’m so pleased she’s breaking through. Her sound is so refreshing.” {Source}

Interesting. I say this as it’s funny Rihanna is lending her advice on their material, when all signs point to her own material being selected for and dictated to her!! LOL. Also notable is the fact that all three members can sing circles and then some around Ms. Fenty. Not being mean, just saying…

Randomness: Just came off the phone with my friend who made a really valid point IMO. RiRi really needs to hit the studio sometime soon (or be seen to), as she’s merely a few paparrazzi shots off becoming a full-fledged socialite.

Your thoughts?

Fierce fivesome, The Saturdays, stopped by GMTV this morning to perform their stomping new single ‘Work’. While I feel the group still need a bit of polishing, I definitely enjoyed this performance; the song actually goes hard.

Tidbit: Not to take away from the group, but is anyone else already anticipating Vanessa’s (in the middle) solo project. Her voice is the business.

What do you think of the performance?

Jennifer Hudson’s fiance David Otunga has officially joined World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) (random or what?). The Harvard graduate and former ‘I Love New York’ contestant made his wrestling debut at the company’s official development territory Flordia Championship Wrestling (FCW) this week.

As a big wrestling fan, once upon a time (and to a less extent today), it’s not oft you see people from other media arenas join the WWE – especially as wrestlers. Like the commentators say I’m sure all eyes will be on him from here on out. I mean, I never ever envisioned posting a wrestling match on That Grape Juice LOL.

Randomness: WWF/E was the business during the ‘Attitude’ days. HBK, Austin, The Rock, DX, Mankind, Undertaker…ahh childhood memories!

Your thoughts?

Kelly Rowland is doing the promotional rounds here in Europe for her collaboration with David Guetta – ‘When Love Takes Over’. Their most recent stop being in Guetta’s native France on popular show Le Grand Journal last night, where they performed the single. Check it out above.

Loved it! Ms. Kelly really is taking it to the next level with the vocals, the confidence, the look (she looked stunning, right?)…everything. I’m itching now more so than ever for that 3rd album of hers.

In other Kelly news, ‘When Love Takes Over’ is way ahead of the pack in the mid-week chart over here in the UK, which means it’s pretty much a cert that it will be #1 come Sunday on the Official UK Singles Chart. Go Kelly!

Lastly, in a recent interview Kelly confirmed that she worked with Ne-Yo for the first time recently in a collaboration between herself, the ‘Closer’ singer, and David Guetta for the latter’s album. Fingers crossed they Kelly and Ne-Yo work together on her record; for, I think they’d conjure up something great. {Source}

Your thoughts?

Britney: 'I Was Not Forced To Go On Tour'Pop’s comeback queen Britney Spears has hit back at the media murmurings about her supposedly being forced into her current massive world tour:

BRITNEY SPEARS has addressed rumours she was pressured into launching her current world tour – insisting she proposed the idea because she was sick of people thinking she was “finished.”

Spears has endured a tumultuous 12 months which saw her lose custody of her two sons, suffer a break down and spend time in hospital under a mental health order.
But the pop superstar appeared to bounce back with the launch of her Circus shows earlier this year (09), which will see her take in the U.K., Europe and Australia on a mammoth run of live dates.

But Internet gossips have speculated that Spears is not ready for such a massive operation, with many suggesting she was pushed back out on the road by her father Jamie and manager Larry Rudolph.

But Spears insists she was the driving force behind her Circus tour – because she wanted to silence the critics who thought her career ended with her meltdown.
She says, “A lot of people thought I wouldn’t make it. People thought I was finished, didn’t they?

“I guess for a while last year it looked that way. Nothing I can do about the past. But I’m hoping to prove them wrong now. And I have really put everything I have into this new show.”

And the Toxic hitmaker admits going back on the road has been a therapeutic experience for her.

She adds, “I’m not sad any more. I was just so sad for such a long time, but not any more. And you know what? That feels really, really good. I’m happy. Truly. I feel like the girl who has it all. I have my family, my boys, my friends, my fans, this show.” {Source}

It’s great to see that ol’Britney is in a great place mentally. However, if it’s proving critics wrong about her abilities, then I’m afraid she’s gonna have to step it all the way up. For, despite all the spectacle, critics – almost in unison – have highlighted the facts that a) Ms. Spears seems to forgot how to dance and literally just struts up and down the stage and b) she almost gets swallowed up in the epic-ness of her show; put simply, she almost isn’t the star of her own show. That said, baby steps…

Your thoughts?

That Grape Juice To Interview Amerie That Grape Juice has just received word that we have interview time with Amerie tomorrow afternoon – US time (apologies for the short notice!).
Do you have any questions for the ‘Why R U’ singer? As usual drop them in the comments section below. You guys know the drill, only legitimate questions will be considered. Thanks guys!

Some of you may recall an uber-low quality behind the scenes clip of Beyonce’s latest video for new single ‘Sweet Dreams’ surfacing on the net last week. Well, now the clear, high-quality version has surfaced and it’s looking like a winner. Check it out above.

Your thoughts?

Cassie Laid Into Live On Air - By Charlamagne Some of you may remember Charlamagne as shock jock Wendy Williams’ former side-kick, and for those who do, you’ll know, like Williams, he’s no holds barred. So whose decision it was to allow Cassie on his show on 100.3 The Beat recently is anyone’s guess. Because, as you probably guessed, he ripped her to shreds live on air. Everything from her vocal ability, to the nude pics, to being a nobody in the ‘Beyonce / Rihanna’ world, to Diddy…this really was slightly uncomfortable to listen to – even if a little funny. Nonetheless, Ms. Ventura kept her composure, which I guess earns her brownie points in terms of following the Media Training 101 handbook.
Anyway enough of my rambling, check out the interview below:
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