BET UK: Your Thoughts?
The nominations for the BET Awards 2009 have been announced. Additionally, Beyonce, Ne-Yo and Maxwell are the first confirmed performers for the June 28th show, which is being hosted by Jamie Foxx. You can check out who made this year’s nominee list below:

Best Male R&B Artist
The Dream
Jamie Foxx
Ryan Leslie

Best Female R&B Artist
Keyshia Cole
Keri Hilson
Jennifer Hudson
Jazmine Sullivan

Best Group
Day 26
GS Boyz
The Roots
Three 6 Mafia

Best Collaboration
Jamie Foxx ft T-Pain-Blame It
Keri Hilson ft Lil Wayne- Turnin Me ON
Jim Jones & Ron Browz ft Juelz Santana-Pop Champagne
TI ft Rihanna-Live Your Life
Yung LA ft TI & Young Dro- Aint I

Best Male Hip Hop
Lil Wayne
Rick Ross
Kanye West
Young Jeezy

Best Female Hip Hop
Lil Mama

Best New Artist
Keri Hilson
Kid Cudi
Ryan Leslie
Jazmine Sullivan

Best Gospel Artist
Regina Belle
Shirley Caesar
Mary Mary
Smokie Norful
Trin I Tee 5:7

Video Of The Year
Beyonce-If I Were A Boy
Beyonce- Single Ladies
Jamie Foxx ft T-Pain-Blame It
TI ft Rihanna- Live Your Life
Kanye West-Heartless

Best Actor
Idris Alba
Samuel L Jackson
Will Smith
Jamal Woolard

Best Actress
Angela Bassett
Rosario Dawson
Taraji P Henson
Jennifer Hudson
Beyonce Knowles

Best Male Athlete
Kobe Byrant
LeBron James
Reggie Bush
Dwayne Wade
Tiger Woods

Best Female Athlete
Tamika Catchings
Lisa Leslie
Candace Parker
Serena Williams
Venus Williams

The majority of the list doesn’t really come as a surprise IMO, yet it kinda drives home how lacking the music scene has been in the way of major smashes/videos/undeniable break-out stars etc this past year.
What do you think of the nominations?

The first single from Amerie’s forthcoming Def Jam debut, ‘In Love & War’, ‘Why R U?’ premiered today. With it’s ‘Old Skool Amerie’ vibe, The Buchanan’s-produced breezy mid-tempo is very much reminiscent of the sound the songstress first hit the scene with with her debut ‘All I Have’.
Perhaps due to loving her Electro/Pop/R&B fusion of  a third album ‘Because I Love It’, this – on first, second, and third listen – kinda pales in comparison. I’m definitely not eyeing this one as first single material. Here’s hoping the rest of her new material lives up to expectations…because this really doesn’t IMO.
Tidbit: Amerie will be shooting the video for this later this week with director Ray Kay – whomost recently directed Christina Milian’s ‘Us Against The World’ clip.
Hit or Miss?
Ciara & Jay-Z To Tour Together
Ciara appears to be everywhere at the moment promoting her new LP ‘Fantasy Ride’, and if you’re in the US, she and rapper Jay-Z, may be coming to an arena near you:
Jay-Z and Ciara are planning a summer tour together, the former’s representative has confirmed to
“I will say it because the information has been leaked. Me and Jay-Z will be doing a 10-city tour run together! More details coming soon! [sic]” Ciara revealed on Twitter Monday night.
The full itinerary has not yet been announced, but Jay-Z’s rep did say it won’t be a 10-city tour, although she wouldn’t confirm if it was more shows or less.
Still, a few dates and venues have already been revealed, including stops July 3 and 4 at The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas, July 10 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut, and July 12 in Atlanta.
Before the Jay-Z tour, Ciara will support Britney Spears on the European leg of the “Circus” tour in June. {Source}
CiCi and Jay sounds like one hell of a show. I must say though, I did always envision Jay being a joint-tour of sorts with Ms. Knowles-Carter if he were to ever embark on such a trek with an R&B singer. That said, it’s still a great billing…
Your thoughts?
Michael Jackson Comeback Concert Update
Michael Jackson’s and AEG Live’s PR have sent over the following press release about the preparations for the King of Pop’s comeback shows at London’s 02 this summer. Peep the exclusive new pic of MJ in rehearsal above and the press release below:


Kenny Ortega Announced As Show Director

(May 12th, 2009) – The streets of Hollywood are buzzing; Michael Jackson mania is in full swing 5,500 miles away from The O2 arena – the home of his historic 50 concerts this summer.

Kenny Ortega, the renowned Director, Producer, Choreographer and creative talent is hard at work collaborating with Michael Jackson in the overall design and direction for the upcoming ‘This Is It’ concert shows. Ortega previously worked on Michael Jackson’s Dangerous and HIStory tours, some of the most spectacular shows ever staged. Last week, thousands of dancers flew in from every corner of the globe including Japan, Australia, South America and Europe to audition for Jackson and Ortega – all of them were chasing their dream of winning a spot to perform on stage with their idol Michael Jackson.

Even after the selection process narrowed the competition from thousands of submissions to over five hundred top international dancers, there was still no dance space large enough in Los Angeles or New York to house the auditions. The producers ended up booking LA’s Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, part of the site where the Grammy Awards are held each year, to handle the unprecedented numbers of performers who flocked to these auditions.

Ortega, having once been in partnership with Gene Kelly, is most recently known for his work as the Director and Choreographer of Disney’s, High School Musical 1, 2 & 3. Ortega also Produced and Directed the Barbra Streisand’s Millennium concert tour and is a two time Emmy award winner for his work as Director and Choreographer of the 2002 Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In receiving the phone call from Michael to lead the team, Ortega said, “My answer without a beat was nothing could keep me away. Collaborating with Michael on the Dangerous and HIStory tours were two of the greatest creative experiences of my life, to be invited to partner with him again is a dream come true. Working with Michael is always a true and full partnership, he is a creative mastermind, he assembles top professionals to lead his team and then inspires each and every one of us to climb to new places, break out of the box and conquer new challenges. He is the most significant artist and entertainer of our generation.”

“This Is It” is a spectacular concert experience incorporating iconic Jackson songs and choreography mixed with original new works. Ortega says, “Our show goals are to create more than a concert but a complete theatrical musical experience with a dynamic balance that features Jackson in both spectacular production and intimate settings. The stage set, choreography, costumes, lighting, effects and overall production will be of the highest standard and pushing the state of the art.” Michael is dedicated to every detail and aspect of the show working closely with his creative and talented production team. He is “tremendously excited” about sharing his stage show with hundreds of thousands of fans this summer in London.

Ortega goes on to say, “It has been over a decade since Michael and I worked on the HIStory tour together. We had been in discussion in the last couple of years about finding a new project to work on. When I got the call to join him for these concerts I was in-between gigs, catching my breath. I had just finished a World Press tour for High School Musical and was about to start a new film. In accepting the invitation I had to move a few mountains to clear my schedule, but I’m thrilled to say I’m fully on board.”

Casting is in final stages for dancers and the band. The dedication, passion and determination of these performers, who are all personally inspired by Michael Jackson brings an unprecedented intensity to the stage. Michael Jackson, The King of Pop, has influenced a generation of performers through his music, dance and stage shows impacting an art form.

This week with rehearsals in full swing the impossible has become possible as details to this complex and dramatic show are being put together. And when moments get intense and exciting in rehearsals an age-old British tradition has been adopted – a tea break!

Ortega adds, “I go to work each day with a huge sense of joy just knowing what is in-store. Michael, the team and I will hash out a creative idea, we’re ready to implement it and Michael will say let’s sleep on it. The next day he is back in studio raising the bar to the next level and pushing us further for greater dynamic results.”

Randy Phillips, President & CEO of AEG Live, commented, “The unprecedented demand for these shows turned a normal public on sale into a cultural phenomenon and pushed the boundaries by which we measure success. Michael and Kenny are creating an escapist adventure that will take the audience on an entertainment experience only imagined in dreams or big budget motion pictures. This is the perfect pairing on unique creative talents with the greatest repertoire in contemporary music.”

Ortega concludes, “I am looking forward to the creative days ahead as we build a Michael Jackson experience like no other, and to ultimately arriving at The O2 – a magnificent venue and a worldly place. I am thrilled to be a part of the team that once again is bringing Michael Jackson, the greatest entertainer of our generation, back to the stage and into the light and love of his devoted fans.”

By the end of the 50 concerts, 1 million fans will have witnessed one of the greatest musical events in history. This will be the last chance to see the King of Pop in London in 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.

I seriously can not wait for the first show to kick off. More over, I can’t wait until August when the show I’ll be attending takes place (where I’ll sitting in the first, center block – A2!). As a fan of MJ since childhood, and having never seen him perform before (although I was in the house at the World Music Awards 2006, but we won’t count that!), to say I’m hyped to see the show is an understatement.

Your thoughts?

Having already notched up over 1 and half million views on Youtube, this hilarious video of the Top 60 Ghetto Black Names has become an internet sensation in the space of just a few weeks. 
Though no doubt laugh out loud funny, some have raised questions as to whether there are racist undertones…
What do you think?

Hot on the promotional trail for her latest effort ‘Fantasy Ride’, Ciara stopped by The Tonight Show With Jay Leno a few hours ago to perform current single ‘Never Ever’.
While I enjoyed the performance, I must say I’m hungry for another ‘Love Sex Magic’ live showing. However, as the Justin Timberlake assisted cut has already peaked inside the Billboard Hot 100 top 10, I guess more attention is being paid to ‘Never Ever’.
Tidbit: Look out for our interview with Ciara later this week.
What do you think of the performance?

Kelly Rowland made a brief stop in the UK this weekend, to perform at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend festival in Swindon. The ‘Like This’ singe gave a stunning acoustic rendition of ‘When Love Takes Over’, the cut she features on from David Guetta. It’s really not often that we hear Kelly belt a whole song out full voice; and how great it sounds. Awesome vocals, awesome performance. I’m really hoping we hear Kelly sing like this more on her next record. {Thanks Detron!}
What do you think of the performance?

Hot on the promotional trail for her new album ‘Fantasy Ride’, Ciara performed on Satueday Night Live last night. The 23 year old gave live renditions of current singles ‘Love Sex Magic’ (w/ Justin Timberlake) and ‘Never Ever’ which you can view above.
Having literally just rolled out of bed (it’s 9.23am here in London), I may be a tad over-excited in saying this; but that ‘Love Sex Magic’ performance IMO is Ciara’s best live showing ever! Say what you want about her, but that performance sold her, the song and album in ways I’ve yet to see an artist (sans ‘she who shall not be named’) do in a long long time. From the choreography, to the swagger, to the vocals (if they were live LOL, if not who cares!)…everything was straight fire. Awesome.
…’Never Ever’ was pretty good too LOL…
What do you think of the performances?

As one of the biggest acts to emerge from the UK scene over the last year, The Saturdays were to invited to perform at today’s BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend festival in Swindon. The fierce-five piece offered, somewhat, stripped down versions of their biggest hits (I’m guessing to go with the ‘festival’ theme). Peep a selection of their performances above and below, inclusive being ‘Issues’, ‘Work’ and ‘Beggin’: 

While their performance of ‘Issues’ was great, as was that of ‘Beggin’, the same can’t really be said for ‘Work’. The track which is hands down their best yet IMO didn’t transcend as well in this particular live setting. Where was the choreography, polished stage presence and whatnot? For what it’s worth, I liked the live instrumentation of the track, though. 
Tidbit: Why do people pay to go to shows to stand still and be mute? Don’t some people know it’s a recession?! Wack or otherwise, if paid for, I have to enjoy the show – it’s not even an option not to!  
What do you think of the performances?

The video for Mariah Carey’s ‘Love Story’, from her ‘E=MC2’ LP, premiered on the net today. Not to be mistaken as a single, the diva’s husband Nick Cannon released the video as a gift to Mimi’s fans (the ‘Lambs’) to commorate their 1 year wedding anniversary. The clip was also presented during the couple’s anniversary celebrations in Las Vegas a couple of weeks back. Interestingly, the footage is taken from scenes that were meant to feature in a proper video for the song, which was supposed to be the follow-up to ‘Bye Bye’.
About the video; it’s decent, I guess. Not much to say there…
However, discussing Mariah’s last project kinda brings back to my conciousness how shabby the handling of the project was (i.e. single choices) and how medicore the album itself was. Here’s hoping the record Mariah is currently putting the finishing touches to in the studio is better. The as-yet-untitled album is due out later this year.
Tidbit: Click here to read Nick Cannon’s blog laying into rapper Eminem for still having Mariah’s name in his mouth on his ‘Relapse’ album LOL.
Your thoughts?

Peep this behind the scenes look at the video for the Cassie’s, whose name is on everyone’s lips right now, new single ‘Must Be Love’.
I can’t say either the song or (what we’ve seen of the) video are rocking my world, to be honest. Maybe my judgement is clouded by the fact that I will forever wonder how Cassie has (and even secured) a record deal.
I’m still a little suspicious about the whole leaking of the nude shots of her earlier this week. With promotion for her new single and video ‘Must Be Love’ set to kick off shortly, the timing of the scandal seems oh so suspect.
Your thoughts?
Shocking: Nude Rihanna Pics Hit The Net!!!
First Cassie earlier this week, and now Rihanna; *fully* nude pictures of the ‘Umbrella’ singer have surfaced within the last hour on Perez Hilton. We won’t be posting the pictures here for several reasons, however they’re not hard to find. Peep the report below, though:

RIHANNA has become the latest star caught up in a nude photo scandal after salacious snapshots allegedly featuring the singer were posted online on Friday (08May09).

Rihanna’s face can clearly be seen in shots that show the Umbrella singer stripping provocatively for the camera, but other photos show only segments of a woman’s naked body.

The most incriminating full-length shot appears to feature the sexy star partially clothed taking a photograph of herself in the mirror of a large hotel suite bathroom. The messages ‘I love you’ and ‘I miss you’ are written on the mirror.

The girl in the photo definitely looks like Rihanna, but the subject’s face is covered by a BlackBerry phone camera.

The seven pictures led to websites like almost crashing as fans stormed the Internet looking for the scandalous photos, which reports suggest were taken at The London hotel in West Hollywood, where Rihanna once stayed with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown.

The new photos come just days after Rihanna made her first public appearance following an alleged fight with Brown in Los Angeles on the eve of the Grammy Awards in February (09).

The R&B star performed briefly alongside Kanye West at the Costume Institute Gala in New York on Monday (04May09).

Brown still faces jail time if he’s found guilty of allegedly beating his then-girlfriend and threatening to kill her during the fight. {Source}

WOOOOOWWWWW!!! This week has actually been nuts with all the celebrity ta-ta’s and va-jay-jay’s being seen across the net! Rihanna is the last person I’d expect to see this from; why, I don’t know…I just wouldn’t expect it. That said, it’s interesting that it’s the non-singing singers that this has been happening to. I really didn’t want to bring her name in this, but you wouldn’t see this from a Beyonce for example. Being so high-profile, taking such pics to begin with is always gonna be risque. SMH…

What this means for Rihanna career-wise will be interesting to see…
Your thoughts?
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