It looks like Janet Jackson still knows how to shock her fans. The icon was spotted in London recently with a new short hairstyle and noticeably slimmer figure. Production on the new Tyler Perry film, ‘For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf’, in which Jackson stars alongside Mariah Carey and Whoopi Goldberg, among others, is expected to start on June 1st. Shout out to PunchBowlBlog.com for the pics!
Check out this glimpse of Trey Songz’s video for his new single, ‘Yo Side of the Bed’. The clip, which was filmed in December 2009, features Keri Hilson and will support the 6th track to be lifted of his gold-certified LP, ‘Ready’. The preview can be seen below:
Janelle Monáe made her network television debut on ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’ last evening. The singer performed the 1st single from her debut studio album, ‘The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III of IV)’, ‘Tightrope’. ‘The ArchAndroid’ hit stores yesterday, May 18th. Check out the performance below:
Christina Aguilera was spotted shopping in Beverly Hills yesterday. The singer, whose ‘Bionic’ album hits stores on June 8th, is undoubtedly gearing up for the heavy promotional campaign that her new LP is going to need to make a splash on the Billboard charts.
What do you think of the pic?
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?
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:
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:
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…
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…
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