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From The Vault: Madonna – ‘Hung Up’

“Time goes by… so slowly”
While this week has found Queen Of Pop Madonna forced to share details about her much anticipated 13th album ‘Rebel Heart’, From The Vault journeys back to her most sonically sound effort in recent years. This week’s pick is the glorious ‘Hung Up’.
Released almost a decade ago, ‘Hung Up’ was the very first offering of the artist’s disco-heavy tenth album, the delicious ‘Confessions On A Dance Floor’. Helmed by British producer Stuart Price and the diva herself, it is famously built on a sample of ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’ by legendary Swedish group ABBA.
Released in a ‘We Belong Together’ reality, the song still managed to achieve major success on a global scale peaking at #1 in 41 countries including the UK, France, Canada and Australia – it reached #7 in the US – and has sold over 9 millions unit since its release.
Johan Renck was in charge of directing the track’s visual. Featuring many dancers – including several of the krumpers seen in David LaChapelle’s documentary ‘Rize’ as well some of her own documentary ‘I’m Going To Tell You a Secret’ – the video succeeds in relaying a raw street aura while keeping up with the glam of the late 70s/early 80s which were explored during that album campaign. From the fashion and the lighting, to the beauty shots and choreography, all comes together and explodes into a euphoric final scene where Madge is seen dancing up a storm.
Perhaps it’s us, but from where we’re standing ‘Confessions’ was the last real “Madonna” album. Indeed, much of what came after has reeked of desperation and tackiness (see: ‘MDNA’, shuffling with LMFAO at the Superbowl, reductive-gate). We’re all for exploring different sounds and textures, and clearly that’s what M-Dolla is famous for; still, we wish she would maintain some sort of regality in her music. In wanting to cater to the younger generation, it feels like the artist is continuously losing the very elements that made her the Queen Of Pop in the first place. So much to the point where she is making the same music the very artists she gave birth to are churning out —- ironically with less tasty results.
Here’s hoping the remaining 13 tracks of ‘Rebel Heart’ give back to us that very artist who has been Pop’s definitive blueprint.
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The Overflow (Gospel News Round-Up): Lecrae, Karen Clark Sheard, Jason Nelson, & More

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Ever keen to broaden our musical scope, recent months have seen That Grape Juice venture into a number of new musical landscapes including, most recently, gospel.

Spearheaded by well-received interviews with gospel singers Yolanda AdamsHezekiah WalkerTwinkie ClarkFred HammondKierra SheardDorinda Clark ColeIsrael HoughtonMarvin SappMicah StampleyJoshua Rogers, J. Moss, and more, TGJ is now offering readers ‘The Overflow’ – a collection of the top gospel-themed news stories from the week.

Tuck in below for the latest news on Richard Smallwood, Karen Clark Sheard, Jason Nelson, Israel Houghton & New Breed, Lecrae, and more:

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Lady GaGa Starts Work On New Album? Hits Studio With Nile Rogers & Diane Warren

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Is Lady GaGa cooking up the follow-up to ‘ARTPOP’?

The superstar singer was spotted in the studio with music legends Nile Rogers and Diane Warren yesterday.

And while it’s unknown what exactly the mega-watt trio working were on, both Rogers and Warren (who has penned smashes such as ‘Un-break My Heart’ and ‘I Was Here’) were ultra endorsing of the ‘Applause’ singer:

Regardless of what they’re working on, the fact she’s baking new material (with such esteemed talent)  lends yet more credence to GaGa’s status as one of Pop’s hardest working women.

Beyond recently wrapping up her ‘artRAVE’ world tour, the 28-year-old is currently in the midst of promotion for her collaboration album, ‘Cheek To Cheek’, with Tony Bennett. Busy times. More power to her.

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Music

Slayage: Madonna’s #RebelHeart Hits #1 In 36 Countries, Nabs 5 Top 10 Spots On Itunes USA

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“B*tch I’m Madonna”

If you thought the quote above meant nothing, you’re in for a rude awakening.

As the weekend brought with it the unexpected release of 6 songs from her newest project ‘Rebel Heart’ (now available for pre-order), fans awaiting the follow-up to her 2012 release ‘MDNA’ apparently couldn’t wait to get their hands on what the diva had been cooking up with Diplo, Alicia Keys, Nas, Nicki Minaj, and more.

Now, after #Rebelheart has been trending all weekend long, reports are surfacing that Madge is making major moves on digital charts around the world – namely iTunes USA?  Don’t just take our word for it, check below:

 

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Entertainment

Tyson Beckford Offered Role On ‘Love & Hip Hop’

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World renown supermodel Tyson Beckford has revealed he was offered a role on VH1’s hit series ‘Love & Hip Hop’ this week, doing so after reports claimed its Atlanta arm had “suspended” one of its leading ladies.

Full story below…

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Dawn Richard Debuts New ‘Blackheart’ Promo Pic / Ignites Debate

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Dawn Richard is no stranger to controversy.

After all, it’s the very word that has defined 2014 for her following the messiest of break-ups from Danity Kanedawn-richard-111

In hoping to put the muddiness of that drama behind her, Richard is gearing up to release her latest solo album, ‘Blackheart’ on January 15th.

And while buzz has been growing for the independent set, the spotlight was intensified all the more this week when the singer unveiled the newest promo shot for the project.

Viewable above, the snap features the performer posing it up looking much different to the “her” fans have come to know and love over the years (pictured left).

We’re all for evolution, but surely folk should be able to recognise who they’re actually supporting?

It’s a question some took to Instagram to voice. See their words below…

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Damage Control? Mariah Carey Hits Right Notes…Backstage

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As recent years have taught us, Mariah Carey‘s “new” voice is as unpredictable as the lottery.

One day she’ll hit the jackpot only to miss the mark entirely the next.

An instance of the latter hit headlines recently when mic-feed audio from her performance at New York’s Rockefeller Center went viral for all the wrong reasons.

In a bid to perhaps remind the masses of her gravitas, the seasoned diva took to Instagram last night to share a series of interestingly timed clips of vocals warm-ups before hitting the stage for a Christmas concert.

Has Mimi still got it? You be the judge below…

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Report: MTV To Revive ‘Total Request Live’

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BET‘s ‘106 & Park’ may have bid its fans adieu, but it seems it won’t be long before its “replaced” by the very show it was inspired by.

That’s right, you guessed it…‘Total Request Live.

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Watch: Usher Rocks ‘Graham Norton’ With ‘Good Kisser’

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Usher may be re-working his new album for a 2015 release, but that hasn’t stopped the star from shining light on the set’s buzz singles.

This week saw the crooner hit the UK to perform the Grammy nominated ‘Good Kisser’ on ‘The Graham Norton Show’.

Random seeming perhaps, given that the song was released way back in April, however with the crooner’s new tour ‘The UR Experience’ set to hit Europe early next year, the showing served as a teaser of sorts to what Euro fans can expect.

Peep the performance below…

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Did You Miss It?: Lupe Fiasco Comes To Defense of Iggy Azalea

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Just when you thought “everybody hates Iggy” one has popped up to aid the embattled ‘Bounce’ beauty.

While nemesis Azealia Banks was winning hearts and earning supporters with a passionate Hot 97 interview that saw her slam the Auusie rapstress, Q-Tip joined the attack and took to Twitter to lend Azalea an unsolicited hip hop history lesson and black culture lecture.

Despite a growing list of detractors to boot, Azalea has now found a surprising and unlikely defender in the form of rapper Lupe Fiasco.  No stranger to lending unpopular or oft-controversial opinions, see below his thoughts on the ‘Fancy’ hitmaker’s position in hip hop after being quizzed by a follower:

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