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Amerie In Love and War

Peep the official album cover for Amerie’s Def Jam debut ‘In Love & War’ (due November 23rd). Loving it!

What do you think of the cover?



Sugababe Keisha Buchanan

With the UK music industry still in shock over the departure of Keisha Buchanan from country’s biggest girl group, the Sugababes, new reports are suggesting the industry’s top hitmakers are lining up to work with the talented vocalist, particularly Ne-Yo:

Having been humiliated after she was forced out of the Sugababes, Keisha Buchanan may soon have the last laugh — R&B star Ne-Yo is desperate to work with her.

We can reveal that the US singer, 29, who has written hits for Beyoncé, Rihanna and Leona Lewis, contacted Keisha about working on material for her solo career.

Earlier this week, the 24-year-old singer, the last original member of the group, announced she had been forced to leave. Keisha has now been replaced by Eurovision runner-up Jade Ewen.A source told us: “Keisha has known Ne-Yo for a few years. They are close friends and have worked together on Sugababes material. So when he heard she had left the group he contacted her and told her he wants to work with her. Keisha is also good friends with Jermaine Riley from FDM, who is signed to Ne-Yo’s label. When he heard of the split he told her to call him as he had some big news.”

Mutya Buena, 24, an original Sugababe who left in 2005, has hinted she would like the founding line-up — which included Siobhan Donaghy — to reform. The source added: “Mutya is keen on the old line-up getting back together, but Keisha wants to try to make it solo and she thinks Ne-Yo is the perfect guy for the job.”

Speculation over the Sugababe split led to rumours that Keisha was bullying the other members, a claim she fiercely denies. Today Sugababe Amelle Berrabah, 25, said: “Problems started in the last few months, but it was a long time coming.”  {Source}

I’m definitely hoping this is true; ever since news broke that Keisha had been ousted, yet has a solo deal, I’ve been sizing up the prospects of her solo LP. While some may be sceptical of her chances as a solo artist, I must say I’m very optimistic. As well as her undeniable talent, Keisha has also done a great job over the years of networking with her industry peers, hence if handled correctly and given the opportunity to work with the best (which I’m sure her label Island wouldn’t say no to, particularly in the case of Ne-Yo), she could really be a force and, as the article suggests, have the last laugh. Definitely looking forward to this project…

Your thoughts?


Diddy

Following several weeks of industry mumerings, it has been confirmed that Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs is leaving Warner / Atlantic Records, and reportedly joining Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope label. Perhaps most shocking, however, is that his Bad Boy imprint will REMAIN over at Atlantic, hence after launching the careers of Day26, Cherri Dennis and everyone’s favourite ‘sanger’ Cassie, the mogul is leaving them behind to persue his career elsewhere. Ouch. Peep the report below:

With his contract wrapped, Sean “Diddy” Combs is ankling Warner Music Group/Atlantic Records as an artist, a source confirmed Friday.

Much-rumored departure does not affect WMG’s joint venture with hip-hop impresario’s imprint Bad Boy Entertainment and its acts, which will continue to move through Atlantic.

Bad Boy catalog remains at WMG in perpetuity.

Combs had not been prolific during his five years with WMG: He issued one album, “Press Play,” in 2006. Set debuted at No. 1 nationally.

Recent industry scuttlebutt has placed Combs’ forthcoming album “Last Train to Paris” at Interscope.

Implying a new Bad Boy-styled imprint may be in the offing, Combs said in a statement, “Now that the term of the Warner deal has ended, I have elected to accept an opportunity to move my recording career and future label venture to another company.”

{Source}

With next to no one really checking for Diddy as an artist (I mean come on now…), the real story here lies with the fact that Day26, Cassie and co are set to remain over at Bad Boy. If there was ever a time I was certain an act was set to be dropped, it’s now – unfortunately. That said, for some reason, I feel we’ll probably be seeing the oh-so-talented Cassie have her contract bought out and her make the move over with her lover boss.

Your thoughts?


Keri Hilson is currently on this side of the pond to promote her album ‘In A Perfect World’, as well as co-host the 2009 MOBO Awards this coming Wednesday. The R&B star stopped by GMTV yesterday for a chat, as well as to perform her current UK single ‘Energy’.

While the performance wasn’t bad and I love the song, I’m really gonna need ‘Miss Keri Baby’ to not look like she’s having bad cramps when singing. Compare her facial reactions to that of her backing singer; she looks like she’s in pain. On the bright side, she sounded pretty good – she’s becoming a much more consistent live performer.

Your thoughts?


Alicia Keys - 'Doesn't Mean Anything' (New Single)

R&B star Alicia Keys’ 4th studio album is titled ‘The Element if Freedom’ and will hit stores December 1st, it has been confirmed. {Source}



While I’m liking her new single ‘Doesn’t Mean Anything’, it isn’t moving me in that some of her past hits have; a grower perhaps? Here’s hoping the album delivers; either way, I’m sure it will do well, as I see Ms. Alicia is looking for them Christmas sales LOL. On a more serious note, she apparently is releasing the album on December 1st as it is World Aids Day More power to her.

Your thoughts?



Saturdays Wordshaker


Peep the official album cover for The Saturdays’ sophomore LP ‘Wordshaker’, which hits shops in the UK on October 12th via Geffen. Can you say ‘work’!

Also, check out a snippet of the album’s title track, which judging by this clip needs to be a single ASAP!




Your thoughts?

Preview Mario's 'D.N.A'
The folks over at Amazon are previewing the whole of R&B crooner Mario’s latest LP ‘D.N.A’.


Click here to listen


As one of those of felt his last album ‘Go!’ was a criminally underrated gem, these snippets aren’t grabbing me as instantaneously as I would have hoped; I’m not a fan of the first single ‘Break Up’ either. That said, I’ll hold my full judgement until hearing the record in entirety.

Hit(s) or Miss(es)?


Sugababes and Jade

Amidst all the drama surrounding the Sugababes, the group visited BBC Radio 1 yesterday to premiere the new version of their latest single, the Red One produced ‘About A Girl’, with new vocals by their latest addition Jade Ewen.

Without slinging mud Jade’s way, I must say, I prefer Keisha’s version by a mile. Something about this re-recorded version conveys a generic and rushed aura. Take a listen to each version, and let us know which you prefer:


Keisha’s version:



Jade’s version:


Hit or Miss?

—————————————

In other Sugababes news, check out their interview with Radio 1’s Scott Mills yesterday, in which they discuss Keisha’s departure and more.

Part 1



Part 2



While Jade came across well, I can’t say the same about Amelle and Heidi. If either were as media-trained as they should be at this time, they would have ascertained that it is not in their best interest to come across defiant or nonchalant about the past week’s events (especially Amelle); as, regardless of what was popping off behind-the-scenes, Keisha essentially was the Sugababes and should never have been booted.To think two people who weren’t even there at the group’s conception are the one’s lobbying for her ejection is disgusting. We don’t know what went on behind the scenes, yet if it was that volatile, surely the group could have just disbanded with their credibility in-tact – after this album. Instead, they are largely considered a joke by most now, and will have the utmost of up-hill struggles trying to claw back any notion of respect they once had. IMO, Heidi and Amelle seem so comfortable in the group, so much so that forcibly ousting the founding (and let’s be realistic, most talented) member was the only way forward. Heidi mentioned that she had to make the right decision, yet anyone with half-a-braincell (which makes me wonder about their management too) would have foreseen the backlash they’d receive after all this and let that factor into making such a decision. It’s actually all quite a shame, as – take away the group’s history etc – the current line-up do look great and, if  they were a new group, would actually stand quite a chance (particularly as we don’t have anything like them in the UK). However, the reality is that poor Jade has been thrust into a pretty sh*tty situation and it feels as if the group’s days are numbered.SMH….

Your thoughts?





R&B star Ashanti stopped by the Early Show on CBS earlier this week to promote her stint as Dorothy on the Broadway adaptation of The Wiz, performing ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’.

Like I’m sure Ms. Douglas is herself, I’m pretty fed up with her improved vocal delivery going so unnoticed. IMO, Ashanti really is underrated.

Any way, as one of those quite looking forward to her next studio effort, I’m still quite perplexed as to what the hell is going on with her label-wise. That moose, Irv Gotti, a few months back, insisted on telling the world Ashanti had been dropped from The INC / Universal Motown; yet reports later indicated she is still signed with them?

What do you think of the performance?


omarion2

After a somewhat tumultuous few months, a period which saw him sign and severe ties with Timabland and Lil’ Wayne’s labels, Omarion today announced that he has signed a new deal with EMI. Check out the report below via MTV:

The former B2K frontman announced Thursday (September 24) that he signed a new deal with EMI to create his own imprint StarWorld Entertainment. Through the pact, the Los Angeles native will release his next project, Ollusion, due November 24. Just last month, Omarion united forces with Lil Wayne and joined the rapper’s Young Money roster. However, shortly after the news broke, the singer mysteriously parted ways with the camp.


“I have a lot of respect and admiration for the genius of Lil Wayne and the entire Young Money family,” he said in a statement. “I asked to be released from the label to pursue other opportunities that were recently presented to me. Because of our relationship, Lil Wayne had no issue with us ending our business relationship and released me from the label.”

Prior to linking with Lil Wayne, O partnered with Timbaland in 2008, but the union didn’t result in any material being released through the producer’s Mosley Music Group.

Omarion will now ready his third solo album, which will feature collaborations from Tank, Fabolous and Gucci Mane on the first single, “I Get It In,” set to debut October 5.

“My style has evolved so much on this album,” Omarion said in a statement. “I was able to express truly who I am from a creative and artistic standpoint, which allowed me to share a personal side of myself with my fans through my music. This is my masterpiece, and I can’t wait for the world to hear my new album.”

More power to him; it seems ol’ Omari has more lives than Super Mario. Here’s hoping all this label bouncing will result in a worthwhile album. The void Chris Brown has left in the young male R&B/Pop market has been left open for seemingly so long, so this really could be Omarion’s time to shine – providing he ditches the uber nasal singing and the material is half-way decent.

Your thoughts?


With all the hysteria surrounding the UK’s #1 girl group, the Sugababes, we here at That Grape Juice were perhaps most surprised by recent events. For, just one week after interviewing the ladies back in August, we filmed our debut ‘That Grape Juice: Rising Star’ episode with Jade Ewen – who a few weeks later would go on to replace the group’s last founding member Keisha Buchanan.

Like just about everyone else, we have our own take on the drama that lead to the ousting of Buchanan; that said, with Jade now set to be thrust into mass conciousness in a big way, there’s no time better than the present to premiere her ‘That Grape Juice: Rising Star’ episode. The 21 year old East Londoner speaks candidly with That Grape Juice about her stint on Eurovision, her journey in the industry so far, her influences, being a carer for her parents,  Mariah Carey’s voice, her now-uncertain (solo) debut LP, and eerily enough her take on the Sugababes! All this and much more. A very interesting watch, if I must say so myself. Enjoy!



Your thoughts on TGJ Rising Stars: Jade Ewen?


That Grape Juice Update


Hey!

Welcome back to That Grape Juice! Hopefully, it’s not necessailry a welcome back for most – as I’d like to think most of you came to join us over at our temporary home over the last week or so. *It pretty much goes without saying now, that you can now access That Grape Juice via our normal address – www.thatgrapejuice.net again*

Now, you’re probably wondering ‘where the hell is the new design Sam was blabbing about?!’ LOL. Well, please do hold tight as it will be ready any day now (literally!). Perhaps most importantly, however, is the fact that That Grape Juice is now hosted on WordPress! While you probably aren’t noticing much of a difference; I’ll just say, that you will very soon!

Words cannot express how thankful I am for your baring with us. It really is a testament to the fact that thousands continue to enjoy the work we’ve been putting in for the last 2 and a half years. You are all very much appreciated.

In the meanwhile, you know where to keep it locked – your favourite site and mine – That Grape Juice!

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