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Pop vocalist Leona Lewis performed on today’s ‘The X Factor’ finale. The singer did a rendition of Oasis’s ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’ which is featured on her ‘Echo‘ album. To date, the record has sold over 600, 000 units in the UK; a far cry from her sales in the US which have barely passed 100, 000 copies.

With the exception of a few off-key notes at the beginning, Leona certainly did her thing. Watching that performance reminded me of why Simon Cowell regards her as the best singer that he has discovered on any of his various talent show competitions. All she needs now is a bit more personality and she can very well be at the forefront of the next generation of divas.

Thoughts?

UK singer Alexandra Burke took the stage with popular group JLS on the finale of ‘The X Factor’ earlier today. The performers did a medley of Burke’s hit ‘Bad Boys’ and JLS’ own ‘Everybody In Love’. Joe McElderry took home this year’s title as the show’s winning contestant.

This performance was quite enjoyable. As someone who rarely pays attention to this show, I don’t know much about the quality of contestants but I must admit that Alexandra is definitely has a lot of potential. Other than her and Leona Lewis, I have not seen anyone emerge from that competition that has ‘wowed’ me. JLS…Alexandra certainly has a lot of potential.

Thoughts?

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Timbaland and Brandy aka Bran’Nu rocked the stage at Y100’s ‘Jingle Ball 2009’ which was held at Fort Lauderdale’s Bank Atlantic Center last evening. The concert also featured performances from a host of other entertainers who gathered to ring in the Christmas season. Peep more photos from the event below:

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Singer JoJo looks all grown up in this white ensemble.

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Sexy siren Shakira unleashed her inner she wolf for the fans.

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Jordin Sparks worked it out on stage.

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Finally, rapper Flo Rida had to cool things down during his blazing hot performance.

What do you think of the pics?

Check out this new commercial for Omarion‘s forthcoming LP ‘Ollusion’, which had me cracking up for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I never knew ‘Ollusion’ was ‘most anticipated’…hell I struggle to remember it’s even coming out! (“Not being a cow…I’m just saying”). What’s more hilarious was the fact Omari was doing the voice-over himself! All-in-all, this one provided a much needed laugh on this cold a** Sunday here in London town.

Jokes asides, I must commend Omari for grinding hard for success (I’m assuming he commissioned this ad himself). His label don’t seem to be doing much of anything with his project and, as they say, if you don’t talk yourself up, who else will? That said, there is the potential to go overboard and be somewhat premature with the ‘Omarion this unstoppable force’ aura this commercial was giving off. I mean, truth be told, beside ‘O’ and ‘Ice Box’, I’d argue Omarion is still largely known for his work in B2K – and we all know how relevant they are now. In any case, “fake it till you make it”…best of luck to him.

Your thoughts?

This week’s classic From The Vault video is Wyclef & Mary J. Blige’s year 2000 collaboration ‘911’, which was lifted from the former Fugee star’s ‘Ecleftic’ LP. Put simply, this track still goes hard today, with the video having aged particularly well some 10 years later. A classic.

Your thoughts?

Rihanna took to the stage on Cheryl Cole’s ITV1 special ‘Cheryl Cole’s Night In’ which aired tonight here in the UK. The Bajan model performed current single ‘Russian Roulette’.

Kudos where kudos are due, Ms. Fenty held her own pretty well tonight, so much so that I’d say it was hands-down her best performance of the song to-date. The billy-goat bleating was kept to a minimum and she wasn’t sitting in that damn chair.

What do you think of the performance?

Alexandra Burke was one of a host of stars on the bill for Cheryl Cole‘s ITV1 special ‘Cheryl Cole’s Night In’, which aired a few moments ago here in the UK. The singer performed her #1 ‘Bad Boys’.

Though this was probably the millionth performance of ‘Bad Boys’ we’ve seen from Ms. Burke, it was still engaging due to her electric spark as a performer. If this is the calibre of live performances we’re seeing from her now, one can only imagine what the future holds. Go Alex!

What do you think of the performance?

UK media darling Cheryl Cole’s ITV1 special ‘Cheryl Cole’s Night In’ literally just came off the air. The hour-show featured performances from a host of artists, as well as the Girls Aloud singer herself. Check out her performance of new single ‘Three Words’ with Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am above. Though neither Cole or the song move me in any way, I must say she turned in a pretty decent performance with this one. Good stuff.

What do you think of the performance?

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With Jennifer Lopez‘s comeback single ‘Louboutins’ currently struggling to chart, reliable sources have informed That Grape Juice that 40 year old’s label have scrapped the single in its entirety – no video, no iTunes release, no nothing. Instead, her team are deeming ‘Louboutins’ a ‘buzz single’ (sound familar?) and are gearing up for the release of  an entirely new ‘first official single’ – set to be rolled out early 2010. Lopez’s new LP ‘Love?‘ is still scheduled for a March 2010 release.

While I most definitely had a little chuckle at yet another artist pulling the ‘buzz single’ card, I can’t help but feel a little sorry for Jennifer. Despite giving her all with the live performances of ‘Louboutins’, the song is – blunt as this may sound – a bonafide flop; which, truth be told, may have always been its final destination, as it was always pretty rubbish. That said, it’s not a wrap for Jenny just yet. Provided there aren’t any push-backs and she comes with fire for her next ‘first’ single (lol), I don’t see why she can’t make an impact on the charts once again.

Your thoughts?

Pop music’s most famous contralto, Toni Braxton, took the charts by storm with her classic hit ‘Unbreak My Heart’ on December 7th, 1996. The ballad, which was written by Diane Warren and produced by David Foster, was the diva’s 2nd consecutive #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining at the charts peak for an impressive 11 weeks. In addition, the song is ranked as the 10th most successful single in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, representing the 3rd longest run that a female act has ever had at the top of the chart. ‘Unbreak My Heart’ was also a major success in other countries, charting at #2 in the UK and in the top 10 of several other territories. Braxton received her 4th Grammy Award with the success of the song, that time for ‘Best Female Pop Vocal Performance’ which remains the only time that the singer captured top honors in that category to date.

Whenever I think of the most difficult vocal performances ever put on record, this song is always near the top of that list. Braxton’s husky and dark timbre, combined with her expansive vocal range, set her apart from the majority of her contemporaries. I remember watching Alexandra Burke perform this on ‘The X-Factor’, and while she did handle herself quite well, there was no doubt that Braxton’s original version remains the golden standard. Truly a masterpiece.

Thoughts?

cassie

In news that comes as little surprise, it has been confirmed that Cassie has signed with Diddy‘s label venture over at Interscope. The model is the latest high profile  act (relatively speaking) to leave the Bad Boy imprint (since Diddy’s departure), the first being Day26 who have side-stepped to Atlantic Records (who still distribute Bad Boy). {Source}

Though somewhat expected, surely this must eliminate all element of doubt regarding something bogus going on behind the scenes (take from that what you will). As at writing, Cassie stands a *very* pretty, yet totally talentless ‘artist’. Hence, how she’s managed to keep her deal – with only one hit and one (flop) album to her name – is anyone’s guess – particularly when artists with more talent in their pinky finger have been dropped long ago. I mean it’s almost 4 years since ‘Me & U’ came out, how and why is she still here (I’m not being a cow, I’m legitimately baffled). I’d imagine some folk will cite the fact she’s a stunner as to why she still has a deal; yet in this economic climate and with a much more quality-demanding consumer base, being ‘pretty’ simply isn’t enough to survive.  SMH…

Your thoughts?

Holding true to our promise of keeping things fresh here at That Grape Juice (v.2.0 baby!), we bring you ‘Cover Star’. Completing our current feature-list (From The Vault, Back In The Beat etc), Cover Star will each week showcase regular folk’s rendition of your favourite tracks. Recent history has shown the web to be the place to discover new talent – talent which is undeniably out there in abundance. So what better way to give shine to undiscovered talent than on your favourite site and mine – That Grape Juice!

This week’s Cover Star is 20 year old Riko from Detroit, Michigan, who serves up his own rendition of Rihanna’s ‘Russian Roulette’. Check it out:

Putting aside the fact that he wasn’t looking into the camera (!), Riko gave an awesome rendition of the song (which believe it or not has grown on me), really taking it to church towards the end. Having checked out more of his videos, Riko has definitely been blessed with some serious vocals!

For more on Riko, check out his Youtube page

Your thoughts?

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