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Nelly - 'Body On Me (ft. Akon)'With the release of Nelly’s latest LP ‘Brass Knuckles’ drawing nearer, a brand new track from the set has surfaced. The Akon-assisted ‘Body On Me’, finds Nelly in familiar radio-ready territory. Though this isn’t as promising as his current single ‘Party People’, it’s a pretty decent effort.

Hit or Miss?

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R&B star Ashanti stopped by New York’s HOT 97 radio station earlier this week for an interview with Angie Martinez. The singer spoke on a number of things including her current status with The Inc, Nelly and, of course, her new album ‘The Declaration’. Check it out:

Great interview; she came across really well. Saying that, she needs to be honest about the whole situation with The Inc. After all, if it was all good Irv Gotti and Ja Rule wouldn’t be speaking of her negatively to anyone that will listen.

Any thoughts?

Michelle Williams - 'Hello Heartbreak'Former Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams is really surprising a lot of people with her new material; and judging by the sound of this new track, ‘Hello Heartbreak’, she will continue to do so. The club-destined cut, as with the other tracks we’ve heard, is very much an Urban/Pop/Dance fusion. Michelle’s album ‘Unexpected’ really is shaping up to be one of my most anticipated LP’s of 2008.

Hit or Miss?

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R&B songstress Keyshia Cole performed her current single ‘Heaven Sent’ on Regis and Kelly yesterday. I really enjoyed this performance. As I’ve said many-a-time, ‘Heaven Sent’ stands as my favourite Keyshia Cole track and seeing her nail it live was real satisfying. Vocally there’s no denying she has stepped up remarkably compared to some of her earlier showings. Great performance.

What do you think of the performance?

R. Kelly - 'Touch My Body' (Remix) As reported, R&B veteran R. Kelly is currently prepping his new LP for a summer release. In what I’m sure is a move to drum up interest in the project, Kelly has jumped on Mariah Carey’s ‘Touch My Body’ – offering his own spin on the #1 single. I must say I’m really liking this one; the vocal arrangement was great.

Hit or Miss?

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R&B/Pop collective Danity Kane stopped by TRL earlier this week to perform their hit ‘Damaged’. The brief downtime seems to have worked; this stands as the best performance of the song thus far IMO. From the vocals to the choreography to the stage presence, the girls were on-point. Good stuff.

What do you think of the performance?

Solange - 'Sandcastle Disco' (Snippet)Having tweaked the title of her forthcoming album ‘Sol-Angel & The Hadley Street Dreams’, Solange continues to ready the set for its August release. Meanwhile, a new snippet from the LP has surfaced in the form of ‘Sandcastle Disco’. Judging by the lengthy clip, the uptempo cut is a winner – definitely one of the better cuts I’ve heard from the record thus far.

Hit or Miss?

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A preview of the video for Mary J. Blige’s latest single ‘Stay Down’ aired yesterday on BET’s 106 & Park. I’ll reserve my judgement for the Hype Williams directed video until seeing it in its entirety. In the meanwhile…

Your thoughts?

Mariah Carey performed her new single ‘Bye Bye’ on American Idol yesterday. Check out the performance below:

She did pretty good, though gone seem to be the days where a Mariah performance ‘Wowed’ me. Also, I’m not sure if it’s just me but, it seems as if she lip-synching during certain parts. In any case, it’s unlikely to affect her sales as, according to Billboard ‘E=MC²’ is on-course to debut atop of the US album chart at #1 next week – knocking off Leona – with sales in excess of 500,000. More power to her.

Your thoughts?

Beyonce Set To Retire? According to the NY Daily News, Beyonce may be retiring (you read right) following the release of her upcoming LP:

The diva is currently working on a new album, but her cousin Angelica Knowles tells our source that it will be her last. Instead, Beyonce plans to spend her days scouting talent for new hubby Jay-Z’s upcoming label, The Carter Music Group.

Beyonce’s first protege is rumored to be an R&B artist named Chelsea Thomas. Her reps couldn’t be reached for comment.

I have a hard time believing this; as we all know, it’ll be a cold day in hell before Papa Knowles ever allows such a thing to happen. The way I see it, if there’s an ounce of truth to this, then be prepared for ‘Jay-Z / Blackout’ round 2. Anyway, hate it or love it, the industry needs Beyonce IMO. Granted I’m still waiting on her to come with her ‘A-Game’ musically, her performing skills (in comparison to her peers) are second to none.

Your thoughts?

Danity Kane Perform On SoundcheckDanity Kane recently performed a set for Walmart’s online concert series SoundCheck in New York. The setlist included:

* Poetry
* Showstopper
* One Shot
* Damaged
For the most part, they nailed it! Watching this really shows how far they’ve come both vocally and performance-wise. While all the performances were great, their vocal runs and riffs on ‘Showstopper’ were overly on-point.

What do you think of the performances?
Chilli: In a recent interview with our good friend Necole Bitchie, former TLC member Chilli spoke candidly about her ex. Usher and her feelings towards him now:

Necole: I mean because everyone was rooting for the two of you. You were like the cutest couple ever

Chilli: Well you know what’s funny. I will say this and I know it’s gonna be everywhere. Lord, Tameka gonna be trying to fight people. But honestly I will say, although Marlon (Wayans) is the one that got away, Usher is the one that I truly did love. Like that was truly my first adult love. I love him very much and I will always love him. I don’t know how you love someone that deeply and just stop loving them. I’m not in love with him anymore but I can’t say that I don’t love him anymore. And of course I do want him to be happy and all but me and him had what I never had in any of my other relationships, and that was chemistry. Even in that picture that you have up. Any picture that you see with the two of us, you see it. It’s just there! I could be standing next to him til this day and people will be like “Wow”. It’s not that you are wondering if we are back together again, it’s just that we look like we just go together.{Click here to read the rest of the interview}

I applaud Chilli for not giving the ‘media-trained’ answer and talking around the topic. Still, I wonder exactly what caused the break-up…

Any thoughts?

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