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With the release of Fantasia‘s new album ‘Side Effects Of You’ drawing nearer, the American Idol alum has given fans a preview of the hotly anticipated set.

As earlier reported, the Soul-filled songbird stopped the Tom Joyner Morning Show to perform new single ‘Lose To Win’ this week; while there she also shared select clips from ‘Side Effects’.

Take a listen below…

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Shortly before talent-devoid “divas” dominated charts with their brand of EDM or autotune-assisted fly-by-night hits (see: Katy Perry, Ke$ha, and oh na na what’s her name), 2006 saw an assembly of legendary divas gathered to be honored by Queen of Talk Oprah Winfrey.

Indeed, it would take someone with Winfrey’s stature to unify Patti Labelle, Gladys Knight, Janet Jackson, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, and so many other legendary female entertainers and activists (Coretta Scott King, Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, etc) for one worthy cause. Uniting for what was christened ‘The Legends Ball’, living legends lent their talents and stories for a group of distinguished guests including some of today’s top performers (Alicia Keys, Ashanti, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, and more).

Despite the absence of noted divas Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Aretha Franklin, and more, the three-day event (filmed for an ABC special) still won praise from viewers – especially its gospel themed finale.

With gospel hitmaker Bebe Winans at the helms, the ladies kicked off an impromptu “mic toss” where the singers showcased their gifts to the inspirational classic ‘A Wonderful Change’. Press PLAY above to see divas in action who earned the titling from their talent and not fashion accessories (note: no pitching correcting/modifying machines were on site).

Your thoughts?

 

 

Without fresh controversy to drive up ‘dem sales’, this week has ‘Battleship’ star Rihanna take a tumble on the UK charts. However, all is not lost.

For, in what should be the nudge her camp needs to drop her new single as soon as possible, Beyonce has done the opposite and enjoyed a sales boost in the nation following the airing of her ‘Life Is But A Dream’ documentary on Thursday night.

Chart check below…

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Kesyhia Cole continues the push for her latest album ‘Woman To Woman’ this week, embarking on a nationwide tour in support of the critically acclaimed release.

Joined by the ever impressive Chrisette Michelle, last night saw the tour stop at Norfolk’s Chrysler Hall where she showed love to her good friend Elijah Blake by performing the cut he penned for her, ‘I Choose You’.

Peep the R&B wonder in action below…

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Ever keen to broaden our musical scope, recent months have seen That Grape Juice venture into a number of new musical landscapes including, most recently, gospel.

Spearheaded by well-received interviews with gospel singers Joshua Rogers, Dorinda Clark Cole, Israel Houghton, and more, TGJ is now offering readers ‘The Overflow’ – a collection of the top gospel-themed news stories from the week.

Tuck in below for the latest news on Michelle Williams, Kurt Carr, Deitrick Haddon, and Fred Hammond’s United Tenors

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With the UK’s Urban Pop scene in the clutch of her hand, Misha B lends her voice to Frank Ocean‘s fan favorite ‘Super Rich Kids‘, with the help of the guys over at ‘The Line Of Best Fit‘.

Adding a small dose of ‘Britishness’ to the cut, there’s no doubt her take on the song will see her win the support of any who may not be as clued up on her cause as they should be.

We love it and know you will too.

Enjoy below!

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Their female counterparts may be holding it down on an Urban front, but recent months have seen R&B’s leading lads succeed in pushing the genre to broader heights.

Sure, while the likes of Tyrese and Brian Mcknight never truly ‘went away’, the fraternity friendly lyrics of Frank Ocean, Miguel and The Weeknd has seen them win over audiences who perhaps don’t even consider themselves R&B fans, in ways their predecessors couldn’t.

Now, with sales from Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Ocean keeping the field afloat- and the forthcoming arrivals of Elijah Blake, Luke James and  B. Smyth fast approaching, we ask….

Is Male R&B Finally Making A Come Back?

…and if so, who stands as your favorite act?

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Myself (Sam), and all of us here at That Grape Juice wish you all a very Happy Easter!

Here’s hoping you enjoy the day with your loved ones, eat as much chocolate as you can, but above all, remember and celebrate the true cause for today.

Happy Easter!

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True Blood is back!

The HBO hit is set to return for its sixth season on June 16th. Check out an exclusive sneak peek at what this series will be offering below…

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The second search for ‘The Voice UK’ is underway!

Already a smash in the US (and its original home of Holland), the show has arrived on British shores by way of the BBC last year and takes its place prime-time for another year running. Coaches this side of the pond are Jessie J, will.i.am, Danny O’ Donoghue, and the legendary Tom Jones.

Billed as the definitive talent-search, many are predicting it to serve as a true contender to The X Factor‘s strong hold.

Judge for yourself below with highlights from episode 1 / series 2 below…

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That Grape Juice: Hello there Miss Alexis! Thanks so much for taking the time. How are you today?

Alexis Spight: Doing well! And, thank you for taking the time!

TGJ: Our pleasure. So, let’s get right to it as we’re excited to talk about your debut album ‘L.O.L.’ (which debuted at #3 on Billboard Gospel charts) last week. How does it feel to have that kind of reception?

AS: It feels amazing and I’m very grateful. I always say I know people have to work years to acquire something like this, so I know it’s nothing but the grace and favor of God. I’m really humbled by it.

TGJ: Why did you feel the song ‘Steady’ was the best choice to act as the album’s lead single?

AS: It’s a song I wrote two years ago after taking a close observation of the world with everything that’s going on. People are losing their houses, minds, jobs, etc. and my prayer was just that God would keep me grounded – or steady.

That prayer is something I’m learning to incorporate in my life as I go through this industry and am being exposed to different things. I pray that He continues to cover me. Even though I wrote it a couple of years ago, it’s still a very relevant concept today.

TGJ: That’s amazing! So, any thoughts on what the follow-up single will be?

AS: I have a couple of things in mind, but I don’t want to give them away quite yet.

TGJ: Well, we’ll keep our eyes and ears open for it. Speaking on the album as a whole, where did the inspiration for the title of the album come from?

AS: ‘L.O.L. (Living Out Loud)’ is just that…living out loud. Living what we sing about, preach about, and pray about.

TGJ: After listening to “L.O.L”, what should listeners expect? What do you want them to walk away with?

AS: Expect uplifting, different, and out of the box things. I’ve always been different, so I incorporate that into my music. I remember going onto the show [Sunday’s Best] and I recall having a conversation with a preacher. He told me, “There are a lot of people you aren’t going to reach because of how different you are with that bright red hair and weird, crazy fashion sense.” In so many words, he said churches wouldn’t embrace me because although times are changing, many churches are still moderately conservative.

‘L.O.L.’ Album Preview


AS (continued): It bothered me a little bit because I love God like crazy, but I prayed and consulted God about it. I had to wonder about people who were just like me – different, unique, and don’t necessarily fit into a box of traditionalism that some churches try to enforce. I want to reach those people.

I came to the realization that God created me as unique as he did to catapult those souls toward the Kingdom.

TGJ: We know many new artists are not very involved in the creative aspect of their early albums. Were you?

AS: I was very involved with this album! I had a lot of creative control. I actually wrote two of the songs (‘Music’ and ‘Steady’). I also got the opportunity to choose what songs I wanted included on the album. I even was privileged to put my own spin on the demoes presented to me.

It’s really important because you are the artist. You always want to maintain originality in what you do. Better to be disliked for being yourself than liked for trying to be someone else.

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TGJ: Now, as with many interviews, we have a segment called “Five From Fans” where we received five questions from our readers for you. Are you ready?

AS: Yes!

TGJ: #1 – Have you had trouble adjusting to the demands of being a “celebrity”?

AS: No. I definitely want to say it’s a learning experience. I’m definitely living my dreams and grateful for this platform [BET’s] ‘Sunday Best’ has given me.

TGJ: #2 – Any plans on experimenting with other genres, namely R&B?

AS: No, I’m always going to be a gospel artist. Even still, I don’t ever want my ministry to be exclusive to one type of audience or one genre [sonically]. I don’t want to conform or compromise my work, but I do want it to get rid of barriers and naturally flow into another markets like R&B or even country.

Alexis with R&B singers Avant, Chris Brown, Raphael Saadiq, actors Lance Gross, Morris Chestnut, and rapper T.I.

Alexis Spight

TGJ: #3 – Who are your vocal idols?

AS: So many! Kim Burrell, The Clark Sisters, John P. Kee, Lisa Knowles, and overall, just anything with a positive message. That’s not restricted to gospel though. I love India Arie and even Rascal Flatts! (laughs)

TGJ: #4 – Some people argue that singing competitions have really run their course and no longer produce “superstars”. Considering you’ve been [to varying degrees] on ‘American Idol’, ‘X Factor’, and ‘Sunday’s Best’, what are your thoughts?

AS: I don’t agree. I’m a believer in seizing opportunity and I believe that aside from anything else, those are major opportunities [for upcoming artists]. You never know what doors they can open, I’m living proof of that. I didn’t win the competition, but even so, God is still opening doors for me.

TGJ: #5 – With the new season of BET’s ‘Sunday Best’ coming soon, any advice for up-and-comers?

TGJ: Thanks so much for that. Continuing on that same plane, now that you two aren’t going head-to-head every week on the show, is there any pressure to compete with ‘Sunday Best’ winner Joshua Rogers? Even if only in a friendly manner?

AS: No, I don’t. We’re so different and have our own styles, so we don’t compete. We never ever had that vibe, even when we were on the show. I thank God for our friendship.

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TGJ: We’re sure a number of fans would actually like to see you two collab!

AS: Well, I don’t want to give away too much, but Joshua and I have some tricks up our sleeves. (laughs) Just say on the look out for that. My “uncle” John P. Kee and I have some tricks up our sleeves too.

TGJ: We are certainly looking forward to those. Any other collaborations we should be on the lookout for? Or even “dream” collabos?

AS: No, but I would love to work with Lisa Knowles. It would be an honor to work with the Clark Sisters, Mali Music, or The Walls Group. Even Kierra Sheard and other youthful artist. I believe this generation is about to take over!

TGJ: Last, but not least, where can fans find more about you?

AS: I’m everywhere! For booking, check out [email protected]. Of course you know I’m on Twitter @lyrically_lexi and Facebook @Alexis Spight! And, for all you SocialCam users out there, see me on SocialCam.

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Interview by: Quinno Rashad (That Grape Juice US)

(@blueeyedsoul517)

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Visit Alexis Spight’s Official Twitter Page//Click to purchase ‘L.O.L’ on Itunes

Your thoughts?

While some fans of songbird India Arie rejoiced at news of the Grammy winner’s forthcoming album ‘Songversation’ (June 25) – led by the single ‘Cocoa Butter’ – others weren’t exactly gleaming at first glance of the single’s cover art.

Arie, whose career has wielded a number of self-love hits like ‘Private Party’, ‘Video’, and ‘I Am Not My Hair’, immediately came  under fire with accusations of skin bleaching.

Now, it seems the ‘Ready for Love’ singer is ready to nip the rumors in the bud.  Taking to Twitter over the weekend, see what Miss Arie had to say:

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