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Rihanna & Chris Brown: A Couple?For the last couple of months, speculation has been mounting as to whether R&B stars Rihanna and Chris Brown have been dating. Following the surfacing of the pic above, taken at LA Reid’s post-Grammy party this past Sunday, PEOPLE.com report Brown, 18, was spotted at the ‘Umbrella’ singer’s 20th birthday party recently:

When partygoers (like Kanye West and Wilmer Valderrama) weren’t flinging cupcakes, they offered a standing ovation after Chris Brown sang an acapella version of “Happy Birthday.” While Brown has denied that he and the birthday gal are dating (”We’re just friends … we hang out,” he told PEOPLE at a post Grammy party), a party guest tells us the two were cuddling and acting “very cozy all night.”

Add to this the fact Rihanna came to visit Chris on the set of Jordin Sparks ‘No Air’ video (which he features in), I’m thinking there may be truth to the rumors. Hmmm..

In other Rihanna news, her club-ready, bassline-heavy new single ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ is performing fantastically well here in the UK. After a whopping 27 weeks on the Official Singles Chart, the song continues to hold steady, rising #5-#4 this week. The track is available at most music stores and iTunes.

Any thoughts?

This is news to me. I didn’t know there was any ‘beef’ and, judging by this video, I don’t think there is – from Janet’s end, anyway. While Khia does bring up some valid points (‘So Excited’ should have been the first single), she comes across kinda bitter and ungrateful. I mean, Janet and Khia sharing the stage. That would have been a hot mess.

Do you agree with Khia?

New Michelle Williams Song SnippetsAs former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams preps the release of her first R&B solo effort (due May), more snippets from the as-yet-untitled set have surfaced.

Both tracks, ‘Break The Dawn’ and ‘Unexpected’, are stark departures from the sound found on Destiny’s Child’s material as well as Michelle’s previous solo LP’s. It appears she has embraced a more Euro-Pop/R&B sound. Still, the tracks are promising, all the same – especially ‘Break The Dawn’.


Hit(s) or Miss(es)?

LISTEN: Break The Dawn (Snippet) {REMOVED As Requested)
LISTEN: Unexpected (Snippet) {REMOVED As Requested}
Danity Kane - 'Welcome To The Dollhouse' Cover

Check out the official album cover for Danity Kane’s forthcoming LP ‘Welcome To The Dollhouse’ (due March 18th). The ladies are looking great, if I must say so.

What do you think of the cover?

Sales for Michael Jackson’s re-packaged ‘Thriller’ album are exceeding initial expectations:

JACKSON STEPS OUT: Early reports show Sony Legacy’s 25th anniversary re-release of Michael Jackson’s deluxe Thriller is overperforming, with a first-week sales prognosis that could put it in the 80-90k range, which would seemingly be good enough for a Top 5 bow.

If Thriller 25 goes on to sale up to 90k the 1st week in the USA considering it’s a re-release after 25 years and without any new videos or live performances,then i think that means MJ still has great sales potential with a brand new album.

If the music is hot and the brand new album leads off with a blockbuster single,i can still see MJ selling between 350-400k the 1st week in the USA and over 3 million total sales in the US. The key will be the lead single. It has to be hot and hopefully a soulful r&b style that relates to r&b and hip hop radio stations. {Source}

I’m really hoping Michael releases his new album this year. If anything, this shows there is a large audience awaiting him.

Do you think Michael can still sell records?

As some of you may know, singing legend Aretha Franklin was none too pleased with Beyonce’s introduction of Tina Turner as ‘The Queen’ at this past Sunday’s Grammy Awards. Franklin branded it a ‘cheap shot for controversy’, yet added ‘love to Beyonce anyway.’ Beyonce’s father and manager Matthew Knowles released the following statement slamming Franklin’s comments:

“As a manager I am not taking something this ridiculous to Beyonce. Beyonce referred to Tina Turner as a ‘queen’. Not queen of gospel, queen of soul, queen of blues, Queen of England. I consider my wife a queen and sometimes call her that. Does Aretha have a problem with that?” {Source}

As much as I r-e-s-p-e-c-t Aretha, I have to side with Matthew on this one. I mean, come on now. Anyway, Aretha should have other things to worry about (hint hint: treadmill).

Your thoughts?

Pop/R&B vocalist JoJo revealed in a blog entry on her official MySpace that she is currently working on her third album:

I am in the process of recording my third album, presently. I hope to have it out this fall, but I will be releasing a single before then. I have written alot of new music.

I’m actually pretty amped to see what she’s gonna come with on this new album. For a number of reasons, I wasn’t really drawn to JoJo as an artist before, but her last LP ‘The High Road’ was one of the best R&B, yes R&B, albums released in a long while. Having enlisted hit-makers from the urban world such as Swizz Beats, Sean Garrett, Scott Storch and J.R Rotem, JoJo really delivered a stellar effort with ‘The High Road’ It’s a shame the album didn’t garner the recognition it deserved.

About the new record, word has it the record will be released via Universal Motown instead of Blackground/Universal, after the 18 year old singer’s disappointment with Blackground’s treatment of her last LP.


Your thoughts?
Snoop Dogg Covers XXL
Rapper Snoop Dogg features on the cover of the latest issue of XXL magazine, which is on newsstands now. Snoop’s new album ‘Ego Trippin’ will hit stores on March 11th.

What do you think of the cover?
Mariah On The Set Of 'Touch My Body'

Mariah Carey poses with director Brett Ratner and actor Jack McBrayer from NBC’s 30 Rock, on the set of her new video ‘Touch My Body’. Speaking to AllHipHop.com, Ratner talks about the video:

“Mariah is musically at the top of her game and has never looked better,” Ratner assured AllHipHop.com. “This will be our 5th music video we have collaborated on and definitely the best one yet visually, as well as musically. The video [for “Touch My Body”] is the perfect combination of fantasy and comedy with Mariah looking more beautiful than she has ever looked, ever.”

Having been, somewhat, underwhelmed by the song, I’m anxious to see what the video delivers. Mariah’s gonna have to come hard with the video for me to forgive the mediocrity that is this song. The vid should be debuting within the next few weeks.


What do you think of the pic?

The video for Kanye West’s new single ‘Flashing Lights’ premiered today. I’m really not sure of what to make of it. Great song, though. It turns out this is just a teaser. The full video will be premiering later today

What do you think of the video?

Janet: 'Damita Jo' & '20 Y.O' Weren't Right Pop superstar Janet Jackson has shrugged off suggestion that the poor performance of her last two albums had anything to do with the 2004 Superbowl fiasco:

Janet, the Jacksons’ equivalent of Marilyn Munster, told me the other night that the CDs simply weren’t that good.

Both “Damita Jo” and “20 Y.O” were flops. Many people in the music biz attributed her sales decline to her “wardrobe malfunction.”

“Ms. Jackson” disagrees. “I think it was the music,” she said when we talked about her upcoming album debut on Island DefJam, “Discipline.”

“The albums weren’t right,” she added.

The first track from “Discipline,” titled “Feedback,” was used as radio bait. The rest of “Discipline” — due on Feb. 26 — should undo the damage of her previous two outings, according to Jackson and her fiancé, Jermaine Dupri, who’s her main producer. {Source}

Retrospectively, I do feel ‘2.0 Y.O’ was a solid effort, but could have been much better. ‘Damita Jo’ is her best LP since the decade began IMO, so I can’t say I agree that the Superbowl didn’t affect the sales of that record. Interestingly, it appears the label are going with idea of ‘Feedback’ being a buzz single, which I’m sure wouldn’t have been the case had the single raced up the charts as hoped. Still, I’m anticipating ‘Discipline’ delivering the goods – and the sales.

Your thoughts?
Amerie Headed To Island Def Jam? According to our friends over at Rap-Up.com, singer Amerie may be set the likes of Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey over at Island Def Jam. Check out their report below:

Late last year, EW.com reported that Amerie had been dropped from her label Columbia Records. There have been a few signs that lead us to believe that the R&B singer is in the process of signing or has already signed a new deal with Island Def Jam. Amerie’s third album Because I Love It was never released in the U.S.

For one, Amerie appeared on Chingy’s first single, “Fly Like Me.” Chingy is signed to Def Jam. Last month, Amerie appeared at the birthday party for Island Def Jam executive VP of A&R Karen Kwak. And just last night, she showed up to the Island Def Jam Grammy after party toasting IDJ chairman L.A. Reid. She was a no-show at the Sony BMG after party, home to Columbia Records.

Could Amerie be making the move to Island Def Jam? It’s only speculation at this point, but all signs point in that direction.

I’m really hoping this is true, because she’s too good of talent to be overlooked and treated in the way she has been by her current label. Prior to her most recent effort ‘Because I Love It’, I wasn’t really on the Amerie bandwagon, but the LP converted me, for real. With Def Jam’s proven track record of pulling out all the stops for their artists (see: Rihanna, Mariah etc), this would really be a good look for Amerie.

Your thoughts?

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