With more cuts and switcheroos than Destiny’s Child, the X Factor panel has seen two judges and one host axed from its regular lineup just this week. Such dismissals instantly ushered in whispers of who would replace female judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul. And, while names like Nicki Minaj and Kelly Rowland were instantly tossed around, no name has had the rumor mill buzzing more than Mariah Carey.
Unlike Minaj and Rowland, the ‘Hero’ hitmaker was rumored to be part of the original cast of the show during its first American season as show creator, Simon Cowell, repeatedly made public pleas for the songstress to guest his show. But, as the buzz reaches a feverish pitch, Mr. Mariah Carey husband Nick Cannon has stepped in to slam all reports that the singer will be joining the X Factor crew.
Citing her legendary status as cause she would be uninterested, read more from Cannon after the jump:
Seems like divas are everyone’s talk. For, much like That Grape Juice, VH1 is on a quest to crown ‘the ultimate diva’ and (based on fan votes) tally up the 100 greatest women of music history. The survey comes as their second – the first saw acts Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner take the number 1 and 2 spots respectively while acts like Madonna and Billie Holiday filled out the top 10.
As with most ‘best of’ collections however, much fan uproar encouraged the music channel to redo and revamp their original listing. With 6 categories – “All Time”, “90s”, “80s”, “Pop”, “Rock”, and “Hip Hop/R&B” – VH1 is introducing a more comprehensive compilation of divas to include, unlike their original survey, more contemporary performers.
With singer acts like Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and Beyonce facing off against legends Janet Jackson, Tina Turner, Barbara Streisand, Madonna, and more, the results should be more than interesting. As the first of the series’ week long airing starts February 13th, fans must hurry before voting closes.
‘You Da One’ yodeler Rihanna has found herself yet again attempting to sell (and sail) the sinking ship that is ‘Talk That Talk’. In another bid to keep sales of the critically ashamed project afloat, the ‘BattleShip’ starlet is looking to make a splash by gifting a full version of a fan favorite from the collection – ‘Birthday Cake’.
Arguably one of the album’s better offerings, Riri was quizzed in December about when listeners should expect a full version of the sexy tune to which she replied:
I promised! 1st on the agenda ’12 #CAKE
Now, nearly two months later, (if sources prove correct) that wish may finally be coming true:
The gargantuan success of Adele last year etched the UK deeper into the consciousness of today’s music-loving mass.
Indeed, prior to then, modern Britannia routinely churned out acts whose success was largely of the critical persuasion – with limited global presence.
And, yet while our charts naturally boast a heavy US presence, it’d be criminal to overlook the contained contributions which have made our industry one of the most revered in the world.
This week, Best You Never Heard, celebrates those contributions with a special Best of British Edition.
So without further adieu…
Will Young – Your Game
Hailed as of the first “credible” talent show winners, Will Young hit a homerun with his sophomore set ‘Friday’s Child’. Indeed, the 2004 album saw the Pop Idol winner ditch the cover-heavy material of his first LP in favour of flavoursome Pop; songs which really spotlighted the soulfulness of his voice.
And while the album as a body of work was stellar, no track stood out louder nor brighter than ‘Your Game’. Penned by Young and Taio Cruz, the cut is a delicious melody of Pop, Funk, and Soul.
Upon release, the track respectably charted at #3 on the Official UK Singles Chart. Although, it so clearly was worthy of nabbing the top spot. A stance the BRIT Awards seems to concur with; the song was honoured with the ‘Best Single’ gong at the 2005 ceremony.
All Saints – Under The Bridge
The 90’s pervasiveness of Girl Power saw the Spice Girls overshadow many female groups – both home and away. However, for many, London collective All Saints provided the perfect antithesis to the cheese and camp Ginger, Sporty and co served up for mass consumption.
Gritty, edgy, and devoid of the bells and whistles which defined Pop acts of that era, the Saints were wholly compelling. For, not only were they able to fuse R&B and 90’s Pop, they did so while remaining markedly “British”.
Ironically, one of the best examples of this is their unique take on the Red Hot Chilli Peppers‘ rock hit ‘Under The Bridge’.
While lyrically and melodically identical to the original, the 1998 track evokes an air of “fresh” – recooking a well-known rock smash into an Urban number which still goes hard today.
Keisha White – The Weakness In Me
2006 saw R&B chanteuse Keisha White deliver her best effort yet with ‘The Weakness In Me’.
A stirring cover of Joan Armatrading‘s song of the same name, White laced the track a new layer of authenticity, delivering the lyrics with ample conviction. With her vocal emotion set to production which built into a rousing climax, this had all the makings of blockbuster ballad – a fact which makes its #17 charting still hard to swallow.
Nonetheless, as we’ve made common-practice here at That Grape Juice, it’s important to celebrate “good music” – irrespective of its charting. And this, right here, is timeless.
Misteeq – Scandalous
As far as UK Urban acts go, Misteeq are as noteworthy as noteworthy gets.
Rising to prominence in 2001 (as part of the UK’s growing Garage scene), the trio scored a total of 9 top ten singles, a Platinum certification for their debut effort ‘Lickin’ On Both Sides‘ and Gold status for its follow up ‘Eye Candy‘. However, it’s ‘Scandalous‘ which cemented the ladies in the British history books.
Released March 17th 2003, the Stargate produced cut peaked at #2 in the UK and #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 respectively, spearheaded by a scorching hot video, courtesy of Jake Nava who later went onto direct Beyonce’s ‘Crazy In Love‘.
Picked up Giorgio Armani’s ‘Armani Code‘ ads in 2007 and Halle Berry‘s ‘Catwoman’ three years prior, ‘Scandalous’- in its own strange way- is just as celebrated by Pop culture as it is overlooked, even today.
Yet, with all three members credited for penning the track, we’re sure it is giving them just as much to celebrate today as it did when it turned them into Brit Pop icons almost a decade ago.
It’s that time again! That Grape Juice wants to see what you all are listening to. Which 5 tracks have you got on constant rotation at the moment?
Remember, it doesn’t have to be limited to Urban music; could be something new, Throwback, religious, even something you made yourself! Drop a comment in the comments section. Ours are below – in no particular order:
1) Turn Up The Music – Chris Brown
2) Next To Me – Emeli Sande
3) I Need You Now – Smokey Norful
4) Countdown (Live On Kimmel) – Beyonce & The Roots