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Rowland Confirms She's Working On 3rd LP In an interview with UK newspaper The Daily Record, R&B star Kelly Rowland confirmed that she has indeed begun work on her third solo album. That Grape Juice first reported on Kelly’s plans to head back to the studio last month. Here’s what the ‘Like This’ singer had to say of the new project:

Q: WHAT ELSE ARE YOU UP TO AT THE MOMENT?

A: I’m going back into the studio as I’ve just started the third album.

Q: WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH?

A: I want to work with will.i.am. That’s the only person I have in my head right now.

{Source}

It’s great to know Kelly is moving on to the next album. I’m hopeful that lessons have been learnt, both on her part and on the part of the label with the sadly underrated ‘Ms. Kelly’ project.

While I know what my own personal hopes and expectations are for her next record, I’m pretty interested to hear yours. Fans, non-fans etc, what are your ‘wants’ for Kelly’s next album? Producers to work with? Musical direction? etc..

Your thoughts?

Leona Lewis - 'Spirit' Following the record-breaking success Leona Lewis has enjoyed here in the UK, the singing sensation releases the US version of her debut LP ‘Spirit’ Stateside today.
US folks, will you be picking up the album? My European visitors, what do you think of the record? Is Leona’s current US success deserved? Drop your views in the comments section…

Your thoughts?
Chris Brown - 'Forever' R&B star Chris Brown is set to re-release his successful sophomore effort ‘Exclusive’ in June, and has lined up ‘Forever’ as the lead single. Produced by Polow Da Don, the track sees the teen singer venture into a, somewhat, different musical direction than we’re used to hearing from him; with the song sounding more Hip-Hop/Euro-Pop than his commercial R&B mainstay. Put simply, I’m not really feeling this one. While I expected more from ‘Exclusive’, the album does boast cuts that are better than this, so I’m kinda puzzled at the logic behind repackaging it.

Hit or Miss?

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The much-anticipated video for Kelly Rowland’s ‘Comeback’ exclusively premiered literally just now on popular Destiny’s Child fansite DC3 Forever – courtesy of Music World. Whoa! Hands-down, this has to be the best Kelly video released thus far. Channelling her inner-diva, Kelly’s attitude and sex appeal were at an all-time high (she was working that choreography). Though simplistic concept-wise, the vid more than captured the song’s essence.

Granted ‘Comeback’ isn’t my favourite Kelly track, watching the video definitely has me scratching my head as to why it wasn’t made a single

What do you think of the video?

50 Cent: 'Young Buck Gone From G-Unit' It turns out the rumors of friction among Hip-Hop collective G-Unit turned out to be true:

“50 Cent revealed today that the Tennessee rapper was no longer in G-Unit the group, but would still record for the label.

‘You can look at it and see that’s Game [former G-Unit rapper] all the way. I was giving him a chance, giving him the benefit of the doubt [to remain with the group]. You can take this as an official notice right here – pretty much you can say: Young Buck is no longer in the group G-Unit, but signed to G-Unit [Records] as a solo artist’, 50 Cent told DJ Envy, a co-host on the Hot 97 Morning Show with Miss Jones.” {Source}

Maybe he’ll actually have a chance of success on his own…just a thought.

Your thoughts?

The much anticipated video for Usher’s #1 smash ‘Love In The Club’ made its debut little over an hour ago. What can I say, other than it’s ON-POINT! Having seen the preview earlier this month, it appeared as if the clip would be a rehash of his 2004’s ‘Yeah’ vid, however the full vid proves otherwise. Considering the song’s subject-matter etc, I wasn’t really expecting the level of grandeur or thought put into the vid’s concept, but I’m pleasantly surprised. The concept, the choreography, the cameos (Diddy, Kanye and Keri Hilson)…I’m liking everything. ‘Love In The Club’ is lifted from Usher’s forthcoming album ‘Here I Stand’, which originally due in June, has been pushed up to May 27th.

What do you think of the video?

The Best You Never Heard: Toni, Keri Hilson, Estelle & N2U
This week’s edition of ‘The Best You Never Heard’ serves up tracks from the likes of Toni Braxton, Keri Hilson, Estelle and R&B quartet N2U. You can drop me your suggestions for future installments at [email protected]

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Toni Braxton – Midnite

R&B songstress Toni Braxton delivered, what I feel to be, her most cohesive effort for a long while yet in the form of 2005’s ‘Libra’. Though the album only achieved mild success, tracks such as the smooth mid-tempo ‘Midnite’ highlight the LP’s more deserving (of success) nature. A great mix of ‘vintage Toni’ and more contemporary production, ‘Midnite’ definitely shows Braxton can more than hang with the current crop of female artists out at the moment.

Listen: Midnite

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Keri Hilson – Hands & Feet

As Timbaland protegee Keri Hilson continues to prep her debut ‘In A Perfect World’, we shine the spotlight on ‘Hands & Feet’ – a not-so-tact cut she had featured on the soundtrack to Usher’s 2005 movie ‘In The Mix’. From the Southern, club-ready production – courtesy of Danja – to Keri’s swagger with her delivery, this one is a winner. Despite having floated around for a few years, I hope it gets a placement on her album.

 

Listen: Hands & Feet

 

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Estelle – Free

 

 

While Estelle is perhaps most known for her recent chart topping effort ‘American Boy’ (both here at home and Stateside), the Londoner has been on her grind for several years now. Released back in 2004, when the multi-talented star was signed with Virgin, ‘Free’ stands as a great track, with an even better message. Random tidbits: Listening to this after so long kinda makes me see where the early Lauryn Hill comparisons came from; real Lauryn-like / LOL at “Put the weave down, do something with yourself”.

Listen: Free

 

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N2U – Baby Mama Love

Jermaine Dupri’s ill-fated stint as the Head of Urban at Virgin Records didn’t prove to be all bad; R&B crooners N2U were one of the first (and only) signee’s to the label under JD’s headship. ‘Baby Mama love’, taken from their 2005 debut ‘Issues’, is an awesome track on a number of fronts. With its engaging and unconventional subject-matter, as well as their stellar vocal delivery, the song stood as one of my personal favorites from that year.

Listen: Baby Mama Love

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Your thoughts: Hit(s) or Miss(es)?

LMAO. It’s kinda sad, as though exaggerated, a lot of what she’s saying is the truth – the sad truth…

Your thoughts?

Mariah Carey -  'E=MC²' CD Give-AwayThat Grape Juice is giving you the opportunity to win a copy of Mariah Carey’s eagerly anticipated new album ‘E=MC²’ (due April 14th – UK / April 15th – US). This, Carey’s 11th studio effort, features her record breaking 18th US chart topper ‘Touch My Body’ as well second single ‘Bye Bye’. With production credits from the likes of Jermaine Dupri, Danja, Bryan Michael-Cox, Swizz Beats and more, the album boasts an endless number of box-fresh hits. To be in with a chance of winning one of the three copies we’re giving away, submit your answer to the following question:
Which of the following is Mariah’s 1997 #1 Album ?

a) Honey

b) Butterfly

c) Rainbow

Email your answer as well as your full name, age, and address to [email protected]. Please be sure to put ‘Mariah Comp’ as the subject. Winners will be selected randomly from all correct answers. Competition ends Sunday 13th April. Good luck!

*Note: CD’s will only be dispatched upon the album’s general release (April 15th)*
Whitney Houston & Dionne Warwick A glowing Whitney Houston attended Muhammed Ali’s Celebrity Fight XIV yesterday with her aunt Dionne Warwick yesterday at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Arizona. Warwick had the following to say about the now-stabilized Houston:

“Whitney Houston is back! I’m thrilled that she’s in the studio and working on her new album. No doubt she’s overcoming everything that has been put in front of her even this week.”

There’s no doubt she was referring to the extracts Bobby Brown’s upcoming autobiography which surfaced earlier this week. In any case, Whitney definitely looks to be in great shape (the twins were sitting right lol).

Also in attendance at the event, which saw Whitney present Ali with an award onstage, was her ‘Bodyguard’ co-star Kevin Costner. Check out the pic of the pair below:

Whitney Houston & Kevin Costner

{Thanks Terrence!}

Any thoughts?

Chilli - 'Dumb Dumb Dumb'Former TLC member Chilli looks set to (re)launch her solo career this year, following a botched effort early last year. The first single from the as-yet untitled set, is the aptly titled ‘Dumb Dumb Dumb’ – which was written by Cristyle the pen behind Mariah’s 18th #1 ‘Touch My Body’. While the busy production is pretty good, lyrically the song falls flat. It would seem that Chilli is trying to base this song, subject matter-wise, on the 90’s ‘guy-bashing’ craze that used to be ‘all the rage’. Granted this concept isn’t necessarily played out, it would help if the song was anywhere near good. As one of those who’ve been patiently awaiting Chilli’s solo material, this -as well as her other efforts (shudders at the thought of ‘Straight Jack’) have been real disappointing. It kinda has me thinking that the idea of Chilli ever going solo should have been left in the 90’s – a time when I feel she could have feasibly had any success. {Thanks Andy}

Hit or Miss?

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As Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson continues to prep her much anticipated debut album, her jaw-dropping performance of ‘I Am Changing’ on The Late Show With David Letterman back in December 2006 serves as this week’s ‘From The Vault’ video:

The performance speaks for itself. Amazing. With the industry increasingly pushing musically-challenged artists to the forefront, Jennifer is a testament to the fact that genuine vocalists still exist and shine like no other when given the chance. Good stuff.

Your thoughts?

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