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Mary J & Rihanna Join Grammy Line-UpThe Recording Academy have announced that R&B superstar Mary J. Blige and Def Jam’s Rihanna have been added to the list of performers at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. Blige will perform with legend Aretha Franklin, the Clark Sisters, Israel And New Breed, and Trin-I-Tee 5:7 in a special gospel segment. Rihanna will take to the stage with reunited group The Time.
What can I say, the Grammy’s is shaping up to be an unmissable show. With confirmed performer Beyonce rumored to be tearing down the stage with Tina Turner, as well as Janet Jackson’s ‘comeback’ performance of ‘Feeback’ it will be very interesting.

Which performance(s) are you most anticipating?
Ashanti's 'Declaration' Delayed
It has been confirmed that Ashanti’s much delayed new album ‘The Declaration’ has pushed back yet again. Originally set to drop late last year and then March this year, the set – the singer’s fourth – will now be released on June 3rd.
Though some may be thinking ‘it’s Mya all over again’, especially with Universal/Motown’s patchy record, I think it makes sense. With the inevitable chart invasion that will be Janet (Febraury) and Mariah (April), releasing a record in that window – if you’re not a guaranteed seller (sorry, Ashanti isn’t at present) would be too risque IMO. ‘The Way That I Love’ you has been received very well, so dropping another single before releasing the LP in June might be what the label are going for. Only time will tell…

Your thoughts?
The ladies of Danity Kane appear on the cover of the March/April issue of KING magazine. I must say they are all looking on-point. But, damn, that dishcloth on D.Wood’s head has got to go.
In other Danity Kane news, it has been confirmed that ‘Damaged’ will, indeed, be the first single to be lifted from the group’s new album, the title of which has been confirmed as ‘Welcome To The Dollhouse’ (….hmmm). The track beat out the Danja-produced ‘Pretty Boy’ in the fan poll to choose the next single. The album is due out on March 18th.
US visitors, do be sure to catch the new season of Making The Band , starring Danity Kane next Monday (January 28th)

Any thoughts?
Making The Band 4The new season of MTV’s Making The Band is set to start next week Monday (January 28th). Meanwhile, new music from the still-nameless group that were formed last season has surfaced.
Produced by Mario Winans, ‘Got Me Going’ (the rumored first single) is smooth R&B number, with an edgy, contemporary twist. I’m really liking the vocal arrangement on this one; the way in which their voices are interlaced to create the harmonies really stands out here. Something here reminded me of vintage 112.With a snippet of ‘Together’ having hit the net earlier this month, the full version of the track has surfaced. At the production helm of this gem is hit-maker Brian Michael-Cox. Put simply, the track is one of the best new songs I’ve heard so far this year. Great stuff.

 

Hit(s) or Miss(es)

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Ne-Yo recent sat down with Essence magazine to discuss a number of things including the gay rumors that he’s been dodging since debuting, as well as the recent drama with R. Kelly. Check out the extract below:

On The Gay Rumors

Honestly, when I first heard that there were rumors out there about me being gay I thought, Wow someone must really hate me. There’s nothing wrong with being gay, but I just couldn’t understand why someone would make up lies like that. I remember speaking to Jay-Z about it and he was like, ‘Look, man you haven’t made it until someone says you’re gay.”

Okay, so because I can respect a woman’s shoe game, and not to mention that I’ve bought a few pairs of shoes in the past for the women in my life, that makes me gay? That’s hilarious.”

On R. Kelly ‘Beef’:

I don’t hate R. Kelly. There won’t be no diss records—we don’t do that in R&B. Seriously, I looked up to R. Kelly as an artist, and still do, but I don’t have respect for him as a man. I was happy to join the tour. I’m a man, so I don’t disrespect other men. I would still be open to talk to him. But his not coming to me directly was blatant disrespect, because he didn’t even view me as someone important enough to show respect to by talking to me man-to-man. If you have issues with me, then be man enough to come to me personally, but instead he had his people do it and then they said it wasn’t him but that the promoters asked me to be removed from the tour and that’s b—sh–.

The Game & Dr Dre Reunite On New LP According to MTV.com, The Game and former mentor Dr Dre are to reunite on the former G-Unit rapper’s new album ‘LAX’ – which is apparently 80% completed:

“[Dr. Dre] dropped some stuff off,” Game’s DJ Nu Jerzey Devil said. “But I’m not sure if Game did anything to them yet.” Game has been recording in Miami and Los Angeles and should be ready to release LAX this spring.

Dre joins the already impressive line-up of producers set to feature on the project, including Scott Storch and Cool & Dre. This will mark the first time The Game and Dre have worked together since the rapper’s much-publicized departure from G-Unit, following the release of his debut album ‘The Documentary’. Dre was noticeably absent from Game’s sophomore effort, ironically titled ‘Doctors Advocate’ amid rumors that he had sided with 50 Cent & G-Unit.


Your thoughts?
Check out the official trailer for ‘Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns’ starring acclaimed actress Angela Bassett:

As a fan of Tyler’s work, as well as Angela being one of my favourite actresses (see: ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’), I’m real amped up for this movie. Certainly looks like Tyler will be onto another box office smash with this one. ‘Meet The Browns’ hits theatres in the US in March 21st.

Will you be going to see ‘Meet The Browns’?

Janet To Perform At The Grammy's It has been confirmed that pop superstar Janet Jackson will be performing at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards on February 10th. Renown dancer Blake McGrath, who is part of Janet’s team, revealed the news during an interview with MTV Canada, further stating that Janet is currently in rehearsals for the big show. {Source}
Janet joins the Grammy performer line-up which includes Beyonce and the Foo Fighters.

This one should be interesting; if Janet knocks this one out of the park…her ‘comeback’ will be cemented.

Your thoughts?

Keyshia Cole Appears On TRL R&B singer Keyshia Cole stopped by MTV’s TRL, in Times Square, New York, yesterday to promote her latest single, the ballad ‘I Remember’. Cole also spoke about her role in the forthcoming MTV flick ‘How She Moves’.
{Click pics to enlarge}
Keyshia Cole Appears On TRL Keyshia Cole Appears On TRL Keyshia Cole Appears On TRL

What do you think of the pics?
We all know Mariah Carey isn’t one to cover up her body; and why would she? The 37 year old star looks great in this deliberately suggestive pic, snapped in the Caribbean recently. No doubt the ‘We Belong Together’ singer is making sure her body is on-point in the run-up to the wave of of promo that she will be doing for her forthcoming album ‘That Chick’ (due April 1st)

What do you think of the pic?

Ok, so it’s well known that Ray J has pretty much become an industry joke after a series of flop albums and ‘that’ video with a certain Ms. Karshardian. However, I have to give it to Brandy’s little bro, this new single ‘Sexy Can I’ is actually kinda…well…good. With it’s catchy hook and decent video, the 27 year old star may have hit on his hands. The track is lifted from Ray’s fourth LP ‘All I Feel’, his first with new label Knockout Entertainment, and is slated to be released in April.

What do you think of the video?

Jill Marie Jones Clears Up 'Girlfriends' Drama Jill Marie Jones, famed for her role as Toni Childs in CW sitcom ‘Girlfriends’, has finally spoken out the true reason behind her departure from the popular show in an interview with Essence. It marks the first time the actress has addressed the issue since leaving the show two years ago. Below are extracts from the interview:

On Why She Left ‘Girlfriends’

Essence.com: Nothing wrong with spreading your wings, which brings me to your departure from Girlfriends. Tracee Ellis Ross said in an interview that the reason you didn’t return was because the cast did not receive the huge raise they were expecting. Is that true.

J.M.J: First of all, let me tell you why I left. I left because I wanted to do movies. My contract was up after my sixth season and people forget that just like the network can choose whether or not to renew your contract, I can also choose and evaluate whether or not I want to come back. My actor’s chair that has Girlfriends and my name on it, you know the director’s chair? Well, on the very last day of my sixth season, I told them to grab my chair and put it in my car for me. Then we had to negotiate a contract that doesn’t happen until they decide that your show is going to be picked up. You end the show in like February and then they don’t decide if they are going to pick you up because the upfronts until May. So why would I take my chair if I thought I was coming back? Believe you me, I would tell you. I’ve never made a decision based on money. I was on the show for six years and I think that’s a good run. There’s so much more I want to do in my career and so much more I want to know and learn, but my departure definitely had nothing to do with money.

On Her Current Relationship With The ‘Girlfriends’ Cast:

Essence.com: Do you still keep in touch with the cast?
J.M.J: I’ve talked to them individually at different times. I have so much love for all of them. But are we hanging out and having some wine and cheese on a Saturday night? No. Do I think of them as friends? Absolutely. In a way, I think of them as extended family, like cousins. I’ve talked to them individually throughout this, but I don’t talk to them on a regular basis. I wish them all well and I still watch the show.

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

There’s no doubt ‘Girlfriends’ has been kinda lacking since Jill’s departure. Still, it’s good to know there’s no hard feeling between her and the rest of the cast.

Your thoughts?

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