Mary J. Blige has been working non-stop promoting her new album, ‘Stronger With Each Tear’. The singer took the stage last evening on CBS’ ‘A Home For The Holidays’ to perform her new single,I Am. The song has thus far peaked at #65 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #18 on the Hip-Hop/R&B charts.

That was yet another solid performance from Blige. She sang wonderfully and she engaged the audience like a true performer. It goes without saying that Blige is one of the best in the game right now and very rarely disappoints. Hopefully her hard work pays off and she receives the sales figures that reflect the high quality material that she has put forward on the album.

Thoughts?

Flash mobs have been popping up all over world this year. Dancing along to the hits from Michael Jackson,  the Black Eyed Peas, Beyonce and Janet Jackson, the collectives pay tribute to many of music’s biggest stars. Keeping this trend alive, over 300 people stunned unsuspecting shoppers recently at the Carousel Center in Syracuse, New York to honor Mariah Carey’s Christmas classic ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’.

This looked like so much fun! Groups like these seem to come out of no where and even though they barely rehearse, they always put on a good show. Furthermore, I can’t think of a better song that this collective to have performed. ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’, which was written and produced by Mariah and Walter Afanaseiff, is undeniably the only Christmas song of the last 25 years to gain such popularity, becoming a classic in every sense of the word.

Thoughts?

Jennifer Lopez has been hard at work putting the final touches on her new album, ‘Love?’.  In the midst of one of her recent studio sessions, the performer was interviewed by ‘Access Hollywood’ and used the opportunity to defend her vocal abilities which have been the subject of extensive criticism since her debut. ‘Love?’ hits stores in March 2010.

Even though I was impressed by her genuineness and humility regarding her voice, I must admit that Jennifer has never struck as a immensely gifted vocalist. She rarely experiments with her range and has shown little dynamism. In contrast, although she may not be a powerhouse singer like Mariah Carey or even Beyonce, Jennifer definitely stands head and shoulders above many of her younger contemporaries who continue to go ‘hard’  (*hint hint*) with their reliance on auto-tune and studio mechanics to help them imitate actual talent.

Thoughts?

Singer Amerie has just released the video for her new sing’e ‘More Than Love’ from her ‘In Love & War’ album. The clip for the Del Pearson and Lenny Nicholson-produced track features rapper Fabolous. To date, ‘In Love & War’ has yet to surpass 30, 000 units in US sales.

Simple and to the point, this video really encapsulates the message of the song. Although the extended narration at the beginning was quite tedious to endure (it was over a minute long), the rest of the clip served its purpose. Conversely, one has to wonder if this single has the potential to save Amerie’s project. With Fabolous’ verse being the most interesting facet of the track, I am still baffled as to why the label chose to release this song as a single. However, the mere fact that her camp is still supporting her by releasing this is a sign that maybe they still have hope that ‘In Love & War’ has some life left after all.

Thoughts?

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Christmas seems to have come a few days early for Beyonce fans, as not one but two new cuts from the 28 year old superstar have surfaced today – the previously posted ‘Black Culture’ and now ‘Waiting’. Though little is known about the track in terms of when it was recorded (‘B’Day’ or ‘I Am…’ sessions), it has been confirmed that the cut was produced by hit-makers Stargate.

With this sounding very much like an early demo, it’s hard to judge it as anything other than that. For if I was to, the words ‘dated’ and ‘repetitive’ would pretty much sum it up.

Hit or Miss?

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Icon Mariah Carey and her husband Nick Cannon were spotted in Aspen, Colorado yesterday. The duo were delighted to show off their new puppy, Dolomite, to the paparazzi. Cannon has been busy directing both of Carey’s upcoming videos for the ‘Up Our My Face (Remix)‘ and the ‘Angels Cry (Remix)’ which feature Nicki Minaj and Ne-Yo, respectively. Enjoy more of the photos below:

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What do you think of the pics?

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Beyonce is currently prepping to finish her tour and release a new LP in 2010. Meanwhile, a new song from Billboard’s female artist of the decade has surfaced. There is no word on whether this Michael Jackson ‘Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough’ sample from her recent studio sessions or a previously unreleased track from her other projects.

This record is a fun 70’s throwback that depicts Beyonce using a lot more restraint than she has done in recent times. Her voice easily glides over the Quincy Jones-produced melody without overpowering or underwhelming the listener. If this is similar to the organic sound that Beyonce is trying to capture on her next ‘Indie-inspired’ album, then I am all ears.

Hit or Miss?

Jennifer Hudson

According to reports Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson is said to be expecting her 2nd child with fiancé David Otunga. If true, the news comes just four months  after Hudson gave birth to the couple’s first child, David Otunga Jr.

A source tells Star Magazine: “Jennifer (27) was in total shock when she found out she was having another baby.

“She had wanted some space between the kids’ ages. [But] she and David love kids. It’s another thing for them to celebrate during the holidays.” {Source}

Should the reports prove true, many congratulations are in store for Jennifer and David!

Your thoughts?


Check out Lady GaGa‘s recent interview with MTV News, in which discusses her ‘Monster Ball’ tour, not being a ‘character’ and a lot more. Ever wacky, ever eccentric, this interview is very ‘GaGa’, yet ultimately left me feeling her that much more (she gets a big co-sign on the industry today being less about the ‘art’ and more about the spectacle behind the scenes).

Your thoughts?

tgj end of year awards

Many thanks to the THOUSANDS of you who have already voted in the That Grape Juice: End of Year Awards 2009. If you have yet to do so, or simply want to vote again…

Click here to vote!

Remember, voting ends tomorrow, with the winners being announced on Christmas Day!

* In keeping an eye on the tally, I must say some of the artists in the lead of some categories are quite surprising!
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Mariah Carey and Ne-Yo have been busy on the set of their new video for their collaborative effort, the ‘Angels Cry (Remix)’. The clip is being directed by Carey’s husband, Nick Cannon, who also directed her ‘Up Out My Face (Remix)’ which features rapper Nicki Minaj. While these shots don’t look as intriguing as those of the other video, I am still eager to see what two of R&B’s major players can cook up. Peep more pics from the shoot below:

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What do you think of the pics?

rico kelly

That Grape Juice recently caught up with hit-maker Rico Love, the creative force behind chart smashes from the likes of  Beyonce (‘Sweet Dreams’), Chris Brown, Usher and Keri Hilson. With the 27 year old being named as one the main players in the making of our girl Kelly Rowland’s new album, we were keen to find out the latest on the Destiny’s Child alumni’s project.

As ever, we ask the questions you really want answers to! Check out what Rico had to say about Ms. Kelly’s LP, new label and more after the jump…

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