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The year 2005 was a busy one to say the least. Indeed, Amerie was ruling the airwaves with her ‘1 Thing’, the Pussycat Dolls released the now-classic ‘Don’t Cha’ and Bow Wow served up one of the biggest hit of his career in ‘Let Me Hold You’

Still, in retrospect, that year’s biggest “contribution” was the launch of TGJ favorite, Rihanna! Alas, this week’s From The Vault is dedicated to the model’s debut single, ‘Pon De Replay’.

The infectious Dancehall/R&B/Pop fusion was produced by Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers and served as Rih’s lucky first strike. For, the cut reached the second position on both the American and British charts and peaked inside the Top 20 of every country it was released in.

‘Replay’s club-themed visual was a music channel regular and arguably showcases the upper echelon of Ms. Fenty’s limited showmanship (see: “come run run run run”).

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Dismissed as a one-hit wonder, few at that time would have deemed the stunner as one who’d go on to be one the biggest artists on the planet. A fact which re-affirms that, with the right backing, any-and-everything is possible. For, as much as we can appreciate the track, it doesn’t scream “Superstar Alert”, nor does the “singer” in the video.

After experimenting with her image and sound a plenty with varying results (see: rock chick, femme fatale, dance queen…), Team Rih have finally realized that what makes their “product” so palatable is its Island-bravado. Hence, there’s no coincidence that theres been a reversion to cooking up songs in the vein of ‘Replay’, and in doing so they’ve scored some of their biggest hits (see: ‘Rude Boy’, ‘What’s My Name’).

For all her vocal crimes, Rihanna remains a compelling concept as both a “brand” and “musical movement”. So much so that even when the going is tough (see: ‘Rated R’), all that was needed to remedy the predicament, was a referral to this her “genesis” for the map forward.  As the saying goeth, “if it ain’t broke, why fix it”? Of course, her voice is an entirely different story.

Randomness: Are we the only one side-eyeing the fact that this specific track has been relegated to a mere video interlude while on tour? It would have been ‘interesting’ to witness its evolution through the years. You know, kinda like Beyonce and ‘Crazy In Love’.

Your thoughts?

After wowing fans overseas with the whimsical ‘Pink Friday’ Tour, Nicki Minaj returned to the US yesterday to perform at the Philly Wired Festival.

Performing a number of cuts from her debut LP and its follow up, Minaj-as you will see in the clip below-has certainly upped her performance game,since the mess that was her ‘American Idol’ stint.

Watch below…

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With Afro-Beats making its long-overdue foray into the mainstream via the likes of D’Banj and Tiwa Savage, next up is Nigerian wonder WizKid.

Already a house-hold name is his West African native, the 23 year old saw his debut album become the fastest selling album in the region too.

And, as if his list of achievements weren’t meaty enough, Wiz won the 2011 MTV EMA Worldwide Act Award and 2011‟s MOBO Award for Best African Act. He is also nominated for Best International act at the 2012 BET Awards.

So pervasive is the rapper’s buzz that hitmaker Akon had no choice but to sit up and sign him to an International deal on his Konvict Music imprint in April of this year.

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So given the ample hype, naturally one question arises: is it warranted? Check out the video for ‘Pakurumo’ below and let us know!

WizKid makes his London tour debut on June 4th. Click here for ticket details.

Your thoughts?

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‘Come On Over’ cutie Christina Aguilera was spotted last night in Beverly Hills hand-in-hand with beau Matt Rutler after a dinner date at Sur Restaurant in West Hollywood.

Dodging pap snaps, the starlet rocked a figure hugging, teal Herve Leger dress as she made way out.  And, as ever, her cups runneth over.

Get into the shots below:

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The snaps surface hours after Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins sent fans into a frenzy when he took to Twitter to announce he was indeed booking summer studio sessions with Miss Xtina.  We can’t wait to hear what the duo is cooking up.

Your thoughts?

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‘The Bridge’ beauty Melanie Fiona is still hard at work crossing many-an-outlet in support of her sophomore album ‘The M.F. Life’ (in stores now).  In conjunction with landing two Grammy wins this year and her first top 10 album, the singer forges on to continue collecting career ‘firsts’ as her singles and performances collect critical acclaim.

Most recently checking in with our friends over at The Huffington Post, Miss Fiona imparted performances of some of her fan favorites while also dishing on her admiration for Lauryn Hill, Sade, Bob Marley, and her idol Whitney Houston.

Needless to say, Fiona rocked the house.  Get into the set below:

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The Voice UK continued in spectacular fashion tonight, with the latest episode of the Live Shows.

Check out highlights from the hotly anticipated show on our sister site – That Grape Juice TV.

Click here to watch The Voice UK!

Tweet attacks of the R&B crooners!

Moments ago Twitter was set alight when ‘Run It’ singer Chris Brown responded to a certain Brian Mcknight over subliminally shady comments made via his own Twitter page.  Mcknight, who has recently seen himself atop a few unflattering headlines for his X-rated web hit ‘If You’re Ready To Learn’, learned today that Brown isn’t exactly one to keep silent when he feels attacked.

Also lending unfavorable remarks about fellow crooner R. Kelly and boxing champion Floyd Mayweather,  the ‘Back At One’ hitmaker certainly found himself back in another firestorm of controversy.  See it all unfold below:

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Pint sized ‘Promise Ring’ belter Tiffany Evans found many-a-fan bumping ‘Won’t Find Me’ late last year.   While that single built much buzz for the young singer’s mixtape (via her Little Lady imprint), the accompanying video release didn’t find much follow-up.

That is…until now.

Hosting a countdown via her official site,   Miss Evans’ latest effort ‘If You Love Me’ will find its release next Friday (June 8th at 12 pm)!  Just in time for summer, keep it locked to That Grape Juice for the latest on the song as we await its premiere.

Your thoughts?

Peep this snap of former 106&Park star Rocsi Diaz, out and about with alleged boyfriend Eddie Murphy.

Caught leaving a a branch of Coffee Bean café in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, the unlikely pair confirmed their reports surrounding their relationship  by way of a conveniently timed love fest inside the cafe.

Evidence below…

Your thoughts?

After a long but well deserved journey,Leanne Mitchell has been crowned the winner of The Voice UK.

Beating Vince Kidd, Ruth Brown, Bo Bruce and Tyler James to the top spot, Mitchell’s prizes include £10,000 and a recording contract with Universal Music.

Congratulations!

Your thoughts?

It’s been a (very) long time coming, but change has finally come for Leona Lewis’ ‘Glassheart’ LP. Or so it seems.

Many will remember the project stalled something vicious when lead single ‘Collide’ under-performed last summer. However, it appears the album -which has been retooled by Clive Davis and was slated for a November release – is heading to stores sooner than one might think…

Details below…

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Paris scored the A-list treatment last night, when Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Spike Lee, The Dream and Gywneth Paltrow stopped by to support Jay Z and Kanye West‘s ‘Watch The Throne‘ show.

While we showed you one pic from the show last night, today has seen more backstage snaps surface online. Snaps,just waiting for you to unwrap them below…

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