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Is The US Music Market Divided By Colour Lines?

4248733340 3c146825b7 Is The US Music Market Divided By Colour Lines?

Ciara, Kelly Rowland and Justin Timberlake. These artists are among the very best of their generation; each dominating a completely different genre of music. However, they all have one thing in common: the inability to successfully branch out beyond the confines of their primary music markets and into different genres. It seems that unlike international territories, the US music industry remains segregated; governed by unspoken rules regarding race and ethnicity; refusing to allow artists to explore new sounds that do not match established audience perceptions of what they acts “should” be performing.

Indeed, the US music scene remains intent on suppressing the talents of artists; stuffing them into box marked by  various stereotypes. For instance, when Ciara first emerged on the charts in 20o4, she was hailed as one of the hottest newcomers in R&B, partially filling the void that was left by the late Aaliyah. From her Hip-Hop-inspired sound to her full-fledged Urban appeal, she easily dominated the R&B charts for most of that year. Yet, Ciara found herself on the receiving end of severe criticism when she indulged in Pop/Dance music on her ‘Fantasy Ride’ LP, with several US critics and DJ’s claiming that she had abandoned her Urban audience in an effort to to appeal to a more “white” following.

Kelly Rowland has encountered a similar backlash in recent years as well. Despite struggling to score a hit after her initial solo smash, ‘Dilemma‘, Rowland seems to have finally found her niche with her new Dance-oriented sound; amassing incredible success in the UK, Europe and Australia. Nevertheless, such triumphs were not reflected in the US, where her 2009 hit, ‘When Love Takes Over’, only peaked at #76 on the Billboard Hot 100. Like Ciara, many of individuals in the US refused to acknowledge her artistic growth and criticised Rowland for abandoning her Urban roots.

Nonetheless, these pressures are not only encountered on the charts. Justin Timberlake had several incredible accomplishments across all formats, especially with his TI-assisted hit, ‘My Love’. However, his music was blatantly ignored by his own peers at the Grammy Awards where they refused to nominate his straightforward Urban recordings in any of the R&B categories; an occurrence many attribute to the colour of his skin.

So, while many many aspects of life in the US are slowly being liberated, the music industry remains an area of tension and unfair categorisation. In light of new reports that even Jennifer Hudson is being forced by industry pundits to rework the Euro-dance sound of her upcoming album and stick to her R&B roots, it is clear that full artistic freedom continues to be subjected to underlying pressures involving race and ethnicity. However, with Rihanna and Beyonce managing to successfully branch out and evade such conflict, there may yet be hope for other acts as well.

Do you agree that the US music market is divided

by race and ethnicity?

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Hot Shots: Kelly Rowland At The 2010 WMA

keke Hot Shots: Kelly Rowland At The 2010 WMA

Kelly Rowland hit the stage at the 2010 World Music Awards yesterday. The Urban/Dance performer was one of many celebrities who attended the event which was held in Monte Carlo, Monaco in it’s 21st year of proceedings. Check out more images of Rowland below:


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Scherzinger Readies New Single

n1 e1272733617479 Scherzinger Readies New Single

Despite the dismal performance of Nicole Scherzinger‘s first trek into solo stardom, the Pussycat Doll lead singer is making another attempt at cracking the charts. Speaking during a press call for Dancing With The Stars – which she is currently the favourite to win – with partner Derek Hough, Scherzinger confirmed details regarding her new single. Check out the details below:


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Mariah Carey Performs ‘Without You’ In Egypt

mariah carey filming new video obsessed 835x1023 e1274268924685 Mariah Carey Performs Without You In Egypt

Diva Mariah Carey performed at the Etisalat’s 3rd Anniversary celebration in Egypt on Monday. During her set,  the songbird, 40, took a stab at her classic ‘Without You’. Check out how she fared below…


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Aguilera To ‘Woohoo’ On New Single

xtina christina e1271849643726 Aguilera To Woohoo On New Single

It has has now been confirmed that the Nicki Minaj-assisted ‘Woohoo’ will serve as the next official single to be lifted from Christina Aguilera‘s ‘Bionic’ LP. According to All Access, the track is set to go for adds on radio on May 25th.

Smartly, ol’ Chrissy’s label RCA are wasting no time dusting themselves off and trying again after ‘Bionic’s’ lead single ‘Not Myself Tonight’ tumbled down the charts – after a disappointing #23 peak on the Billboard Hot 100. It’ll be hella interesting to see if ‘Woohoo’ can save what is otherwise looking to be a shaky start for the project.

Randomness: While not a ‘bad’ track, ‘Woohoo’ bares no trace of this ‘futuristic’ sound Aguilera has been screaming to the high heavens about. In fact, nothing we’ve heard from the album does. Granted we’ll hold full judgement until hearing the record in its entirety (being the fair and unbias site that we are), this is increasingly looking like a case of  the artist trying to talk something into existence. By that, I mean, if she says it’s ‘futuristic’ enough times, then folk may just start to believe it. Just saying…

Your thoughts?

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That Grape Juice On Twitter // Facebook

tgj twitter That Grape Juice On Twitter // Facebook

As many of you may know, you can now follow That Grape Juice on Twitter! Adding to the ever-expanding ways to be apart of the That Grape Juice community, our Twitter page allows you to receive up-to-the-minute updates about the latest posts on the site as well as what’s happening in the Urban Pop Culture world more generally.

What’s more, you, as well as the thousands who have already joined, will be able to keep up with me, ‘Sam’, while I’m on-the-go. I’ll be making use of Twitter’s Blackberry feature, which allows me to let you guys know what I’m up while I’m out and about. That means everything from checking in with you all while on location at an artist interview to complete randomness from the wackiness that is ‘my world’. So what are you waiting for…

Click here to follow That Grape Juice on Twitter!

Be sure to follow That Grape Juice’s Trent as well….

Click here to follow Trent’s Twitter too!

cd8e673d0d6d1c0c846009367162b45f That Grape Juice On Twitter // FacebookThe That Grape Juice Facebook Group has been up and popping for a while now. Work, school, college, home, wherever; I’m sure many of you – like myself – spend a ridiculous amount of time on Facebook. Yes, it’s ‘that’ addictive!

Why not, then, combine your daily Urban Pop Culture fix with social networking and come be a part of the rapidly growing That Grape Juice Facebook community. Along with the thousands who have already joined (thank you all!), you will be the first to get word on upcoming interviews, competitions, view exclusive pictures and much much more. The discussion board/wall also gives you the chance to interact with other ‘Grape Juice readers moreso now than ever before.

It’s an open group, so anyone can join – invite all your friends too!

Click here to join That Grape Juice On Facebook

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Nicole Scherzinger On ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Week 9

Pussycat Doll front-woman Nicole Scherzinger once again scored the highest points of the night on yesterday’s ‘Dancing With The Stars’ episode. Scherzinger and dancing partner Derek Hough nailed both the Ballroom and Latin routine. Peep their awesome performance above…

Your thoughts?

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That Grape Juice To Interview Kelly Rowland

kelly commander3 e1273246329901 That Grape Juice To Interview Kelly Rowland

That Grape Juice is pleased to announce that we will be interviewing Grammy Award winning singer Kelly Rowland here in London within the next few days.

The Destiny’s Child alumni will be in town promoting her new ‘Commander’, which hit iTunes this week.

Have any questions for Kelly? Be sure to drop them in the comments section. As usual, only legitimate questions will be considered.


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New Song: Christina Aguilera – ‘Bionic’

x2 New Song: Christina Aguilera   Bionic

The full version of Christina Aguilera’s ‘Bionic’ has just surfaced. The song is the title track from her upcoming LP which hits stores on June 8th. Give ‘Bionic’ a listen below:


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Sneak Peek: Rihanna’s ‘Rockstar 101′ Video

20091124 rihanna rated r 004 Sneak Peek: Rihannas Rockstar 101 Video

Your favourite model and mine Rihanna plays dress up in this sneak peek from the video for her new single ‘Rockstar 101′. While we’ll hold our judgement until seeing the video in its entirety, I can’t say it looks like its serving up much of substance. Check it out below…


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