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Keri Hilson:

During a recent interview, singer/song-writer Keri Hilson lifted the lid on what’s going on behind the scenes with the Pussycat Dolls, revealing that lead (and only singer) Nicole Scherzinger was apparetly ‘forced’ into re-joining the group for their 2nd LP:

Keri Hilson has revealed that she believes that Nicole Scherzinger is “kinda forced” to remain a Pussycat Doll.

The R&B singer claimed that Scherzinger’s solo album Her Name Is Nicole has been pushed back several times in order for her to continue in the girl group, Ace Showbiz reports.

Hilson told the Daily Star: “I wrote ‘Alienated’, one of the songs on my album, for Nicole’s solo project. It was a good album but she decided to go back to the Dolls instead of releasing it, well she was kinda forced to I think.”

Scherzinger will reportedly leave the Pussycat Dolls to focus on her solo career after promotion for their Doll Domination LP is finished.

Speculation was fuelled further after the band’s single ‘Jai Ho!’ was released under the name ‘Pussycat Dolls featuring Nicole Scherzinger’.

In April, fellow group member Melody Thornton launched into a tirade about Scherzinger live on stage at a concert in Phoenix. {Source}

While I’m pretty sure there’s more than meets the eye with all this i.e. contracts etc, the whole drama surrounding the group isn’t a good look for Nicole’s already down-in-the-dumps solo career. For the over-emphasis on her has bred overexposure; put simply, people just ain’t checking for her like that – and the Dolls (as a collective) either because of it. The best cause of action at this junction IMO, would be to forget this solo thing (sorry, but the demand just isn’t there), hit the studio and give ol’ Melody some damn leads – at least to share.

Your thoughts?

The video for Sean Paul’s new single ‘So Fine’, the first to be lifted from his 3rd mainstream LP ‘Imperial Blaze’, premiered this week. Directed by Ray Kay, the clip is very much a recession video, yet serves its purpose. The song itself sees the dancehall star serve up yet another infectious party anthem, which should see him be a high fixture on the charts.

What do you think of the song / video?

To celebrate hitting #1 with her David Guetta collaboration ‘When Love Takes Over’ here in the UK this week, global star Kelly Rowland performed an acoustic version of the track for The Sun’s ‘The Biz Sessions’. You can watch the vocally stunning performance above.

What do you think of the performance?

R&B star Ashanti stopped by the Regis & Kelly show yesterday to promote her stint as Dorothy in The Wiz on Broadway (which runs until July 5th). The singer performed ‘Home’ from the production on the show. I keep saying this, but don’t sleep on Ms. Douglas, she’s really got some pipes on her. Great performance.

What do you think of the performance?

The video for Ciara’s latest single (internationally) ‘Work’ made its world premiere here on the UK’s 4 Music channel a few moments ago. Directed by none other than Melina, the construction site based clip is, to put it simply, hot, hot, hot…Ms. Harris did the damn thing. As ever the choreography brought something fresh and unique to the table and CiCi’s swagger was in full force. My girl’s Dutty Wine at the end was off the charts (Gwan my gyal!!! LOL). Great video, which should hopefully pump some life into the criminally underrated ‘Fantasy Ride’ project.

Tidbit: Missed our awesome interview with Ciara from earlier this month? Click here to check it out.

What do you think of the video?

Check out this lengthy clip of R&B star Ne-Yo giving advise to an up-and-coming female singer, in a video lifted from Jo Jo Capone’s DVD. As per the title of this post, you can see ol’ Shaffer didn’t hold back with his words. However, not ones to sensationalise anything, I can see where he was going with what he said – to an extent. The reality of the industry today is ‘looks over talent; not a good look’, but the reality nonetheless.

As for my take on Ne-Yo’s comments, I’m torn; on the one hand, he’s spouting the cold facts, yet on the other I’m thinking I’m not hearing much in the way of criticising the industry for the way it is and encouraging the lady to pursue her dreams regardless. After all, the likes of Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Jazmine Sullivan, among others, don’t necessarily fit the mould, yet still enjoy great success.

Your thoughts?

More Tickets To be Released For Jackson ShowsAs the start date of Michael Jackson’s 02 residency here in London draws nearer, additional tickets for the most anticipated shows of the decade are set to be go on sale tomorrow, according to sponsors AEG, who forwarded on this press release to That Grape Juice:

MICHAEL JACKSON

KING OF POP

SWAROVSKI SET TO DAZZLE AT THE O2

With Staging Almost Set Fans Invited to Purchase Select Extra Tickets

The Countdown begins with 21 Days, 504 Hours Until Show Time!

Excitement is building and the tension is palpable as fans wait with baited breath for the kick off of Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” tour. History will be made as Michael Jackson takes his first steps on the O2 arena stage on July 13th sparkling with Swarovski crystals.

Great news for fans! As the staging details are being finalised for the hottest show of the decade a limited amount of seats will be released this Wednesday, June 24th at 8am to registered fans.

“Since we put tickets on sale prior to designing the show, we were quite conservative in holding back seats to accommodate the footprint of this massive and technologically advanced production. Now that Michael Jackson and Kenny Ortega are very advanced in the creative process, our production team is prepared to open up those “holds” to the general public. This is a great opportunity for some lucky fans to experience entertainment history” said Randy Phillips, President & CEO of AEG Live

The iconic costumes and spectacular sets of Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” tour will be encrusted with over 300,000 CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements, featuring 53 different shapes, 40 different sizes and 27 different colours!

“Swarovski is thrilled to partner with Michael Jackson and his creative team for the stage and costumes. As the King of Pop, it is only natural for him to be crowned in crystal.” Nadja Swarovski, Vice President Swarovski Crystal Business.

Kenny Ortega, Michael’s directorial partner and creative collaborator said, “Swarovski and their team have been incredible partners throughout the development of This Is It! It has been an exciting collaboration, as their support, ideas and world class products have inspired our fashion and scenic elements to a new state of the art!”

For all fans who have registered on www.michaeljacksonlive.com but have not purchased tickets will be re-entered into the lottery system once again to receive a code. If you haven’t yet registered do so before Tuesday, June 23rd and you will also be entered to receive a code. Please note, receiving a code does not guarantee a ticket. 4-ticket limit per person applies and if you have previously purchased tickets you will not be able to do so again. Stay tuned to www.michaeljacksonlive.com for more ticket information.

This will be the first chance to see the King of Pop in London in over a decade for what will be a historic stage show, and once in a lifetime concert experience – this really is it!

Note To Editors – One of the world’s most popular entertainers, Michael Jackson has sold over 750 million units worldwide and is one of the very few artists to be inducted twice into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Guinness Book of World Records has recognised Michael Jackson as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time and Thriller as The Biggest Selling Album of All Time. Jackson won 13 Grammy Awards and received the American Music Award’s Artist of the Century Award.

Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” 50 concerts sold out in a matter of hours on March 13th smashing box office records.

With a heritage encompassing some of the most memorable moments in entertainment history, Swarovski crystal has captured the spotlight alongside eminent musicians from Madonna to Mariah Carey, Beyoncé to Britney Spears and Gwen Stefani to Girls Aloud.

Roll on July 13th!

Your thoughts?

Chris Brown Avoids Jail TimeAfter a tumultuous 4 months, singer Chris Brown is breathing a sigh of relief today after copping a plea deal in the assault case involving former lover Rihanna. Peep the report below:

R&B star CHRIS BROWN has avoided a jail spell after he pleaded guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend RIHANNA.
He made the plea just hours before the former couple was due to come face to face in court in Los Angeles.

Brown, 20, was ordered to serve 180 hours community service in his home state of Virginia and told he must stay away from Rihanna.

He will also serve five years probation for felony assault, and his progress with be monitored by the court at regular intervals.

The singer was also made to enrol in a domestic violence counselling program, according to US website TMZ.com.

Shocking pics, released earlier this year, showed how Rihanna had been left beaten and bruised following a fight with her ex on the evening of the Grammy awards in February.

The Caribbean-born songstress arrived at court dressed in all black, a sign she may have been expecting the worst.

A bystander said: “It looked as if she was going to a funeral.” {Source}

While I’m sure many will hold their own opinions on this, I’ll just glad the media circus surrounding this all can begin to subside. That said, it will be real interesting to see if Chris can resurrect his career Lazarus-style, as the funeral for his career was held when that now infamous battered Rihanna pic made the global rounds.

Your thoughts?

Ciara Covers Rap-UpR&B star Ciara features on the cover of the Summer 2009 issue of Rap-Up magazine. She looks great!
In other Ciara news, the video for her brand new single ‘Work’ makes its world premiere here in the UK tomorrow on 4 Music at 7.00pm.
What do you think of the cover?

The Much Music Awards took place in Toronto, Canada last night, and saw performances from, among others, Lady GaGa and the Black Eyed Peas. Check out GaGa’s show-stopping performance (you’ll see why) of ‘Love Game’ and ‘Poker Face’ above, as well as the Peas’ live showing of ‘Boom Boom Pow’ below:

I really enjoyed both of these; GaGa with all her expected theatrics and wackiness still turned in a great performance, which actually sounded good this time. The exploding **** were a hilarious. BEP did their thing too, with this being one of their better live offerings of ‘Boom Boom Pow’. Good stuff.

What do you think of the performance?
Will.I.Am Assaults Perez Hilton?The net is abuzz with a story that Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.I.Am apparently assaulted celebrity blogger Perez Hilton last night in Tornonto, Canada following the Much Music Awards. Check out the two very different accounts of what went down below:

Perez Hilton has reportedly been attacked by Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am and his security.

The internet blogger alleges that he was assaulted by will.i.am, real name William J. Adams, after the MuchMusic awards in Toronto last night.

“I’m in shock. I need the police ASAP. Please come to the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel now. Please,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I was assaulted by Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas and his security guards. I am bleeding. Please, I need to file a police report. No joke.”

Posting an update ten minutes later, he added: “Still waiting for the police. The bleeding has stopped. I need to document this. Please, can the police come to the SoHo Met Hotel.

“I spoke to my lawyer. I really need to talk to the authorities. Please come to the SoHo Met Hotel. Have called the police. Need them here.”

Police and representatives for will.i.am have yet to release a statement. {Source}

This then saw Will.I.Am give an alternate view of what occured:

will.i.am has rubbished claims that he assaulted celebrity blogger Perez Hilton in Toronto last night.

The Black Eyed Peas star admitted that the pair had an argument, but insisted that a fan turned on Hilton after he labelled will.i.am a “f*ggot”.

Speaking in a video blog, the rapper said that he approached Hilton after he “disrespected” bandmate Fergie and was subsequently subjected to a tirade of verbal abuse.

“This dude walks away, I leave, and then [Hilton] says, ‘You know that was very f*ggot of you for coming at me like that’. I said, ‘Yo dude, I was just saying keep our name out of your mouth if you’re going to be disrespectful’,” he said.

“This dude says in front of a whole bunch of people and fans in Canada, ‘You’re a f*ggot, will.i.am’. Right, I’m like, ‘Wow dude, whatever’.

“He walks away and then one of the fans goes a little crazy and like starts some stuff with Perez Hilton. I’m sitting minding my own business waiting for a car, but it goes to show you how crazy things can get. It’s not that serious, it’s all music and opinions.

“People make a career from opinions, which is cool, but don’t be disrespectful about it. And fans don’t get all crazy about it. That’s all I got to say today. Tonight was a good night but it ended quite crazy.” {Source}

Can you say drama, drama, drama! I guess only they know the reality of what really went down, however I must say it looks overly suspect that Perez is there Twitter-ring away when he’s supposedly been “assaulted”. I mean come on now…it’s like getting mugged in the street and whipping out your Blackberry to Twitter ‘Sweet Minty Jesus, I’ve just been mugged!’ Either the utmost of stupidity or attention whoring. My gut tells me it’s a little of both…


Your thoughts?
Kelly Rowland Hits #1

Kelly Rowland’s star is shining brighter than ever these days, the former Destiny’s Child star is carving out quite the successful solo career, scoring her 2nd UK #1 (solo) this week with her collaboration with David Guetta ‘When Love Takes Over’. After a couple of false-starts, things really do seem to be on the up for this immensely talented beauty:

KELLY ROWLAND has danced her way to the top of the U.K. singles chart with nightclub smash hit WHEN LOVE TAKES OVER.

The R&B star decided to step away from her usual style of music to hook up with French DJ David Guetta on the remixed track.

And the gamble appears to have paid off as she shot straight to the top of the British release countdown.

The song topples Brit newcomer Pixie Lott’s Mama Do, who sits ahead of the third track, Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas.

Dance singer Agnes is at number four with Release Me, while Keri Hilson and Kanye West’s collaboration Knock You Down rounds out the top five. {Source}

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ecstatic for Ms. Kelly, who thoroughly deserves this. Some of you may wonder why I stan so hard for her, and I’ll tell you why: as a music lover, there is nothing more frustrating than seeing someone with so much talent and potential be overlooked in favour of vocally-challenged, non-singning singers (not saying any names…’Eh Eh Eh’ LOL). That said, there’s nothing more gratifying than seeing such talents acheive feats like hitting #1 and all that good stuff. More power to her.

In other Kelly news, check her performance of the song from last night at French music bonanza Fete De La Musique:

Great performance! Ms. Kelly definitely had her DC3 swag in effect (See: stilleto-stage running, weave flicking and all that good stuff LOL).

Your thoughts?

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