Polow Da Don: Hit-maker Polow Da Don spoke with MTV.com recently about working on Ciara’s forthcoming ‘Fantasy Ride’ LP. During the interview, the ‘Promise’ producer made an interesting comparison about himself and Ciara and the late Aaliyah and Timbaland:

Ciara’s upcoming album, Fantasy Ride, may feature a slew of hitmaking producers, including Tricky Stewart (Rihanna’s “Umbrella”), Danjahandz (Britney Spears’ “Gimme More”) and Missy Elliott (Jazmine Sullivan’s “Need U Bad”). But according to Polow Da Don, only he and CiCi have something special enough to become the new Aaliyah and Timbaland.

“We both came up and were raised in the same camp,” Polow explained to MTV News. “We’ve known each other for a long time. We actually just have this natural chemistry that I don’t even have with some of my own artists.

“I understand her and I understand what she should be doing,” the producer added.

“And one thing people do say about when I work with Ciara is that I make her sound better than ever,” he continued. “I make her sound like a vocalist versus the other stuff she may do that’s more performance, where she can get on the dance floor. It’s kind of the same thing with Aaliyah. She may not have been the best singer, but her voice was so unique and her sound — she had her own lane, and I think Ciara is like that same thing.”

I’m sure this one will have tongues wagging…

Your thoughts?

R. Kelly Divorce FinalizedThe divorce of R&B crooner R. Kelly and wife of 11 years Andrea (right) was made official this yesterday afternoon. Check out the report via Usmagazine.com below:

“The parties have reached an amicable resolution concerning all issues related to their marriage, and will share joint custody of their three children,” their Chicago-based lawyers said in a joint statement. “The details of this agreement will remain confidential and the family requests that their privacy be respected during this time.”

The couple separated in the fall of 2005, and Andrea went to court for an emergency restraining order, claiming that he had physically abused, harassed and stalked her, according to MTV News.

Andrea told Essence magazine in 2007 that she and Kelly “have a bond that we will have for the rest of our lives because we have children…That we filed for divorce is not that important.”

They have two daughters and a son together.

Any thoughts?

As singer/songwriter The Dream preps his sophomore effort ‘Love & Money’ for a February 17th release, one of the album’s joint 1st singles, the Mariah Carey assisted ‘My Love’ surfaced within the hour. The easy on the ear mid-tempo is filled with enough hooks and all-round catchiness to have you humming/singing along before the song fades out.

Mariah’s feature works too; the rasp and hoarseness that is Mimi’s 2009 ‘voice’ (which is becoming increasingly obvious on record now) actually actually compliments The Dream’s vocal rather well. Her belting parts, for all the critique levelled against her current vocal state, shows exactly why she is still one the premier voices of our time. Great track.

Hit or Miss?

Burgeoning star Lady Gaga kept her momentum going last night by stopping by The Tonight Show With Jay Leno to perform her #1 single ‘Just Dance’. As with most of her live showings, she did great. It seems as if she’s switched things up with her performance of the track on this promotional push (band, less choreography, live-er vocals etc); still, just adds a different feel to what is an awesome and very deserving track.

What do you think of the performance?

Kanye West Covers VIBECheck out Kanye West on the cover for the February issue of VIBE magazine. Is it me or does is something really off about the pic? Pardon the bluntness, but he looks old as hell. Damn.
What do you think of the cover?
Jermaine Dupri Axed By Def Jam Word has it Jermaine Dupri has been laid off from his position as Head of Urban over at Island Def Jam:

AllHipHop.com has received an exclusive report that Atlanta-based producer Jermaine Dupri’s tenure as President of Island Records Urban Music has come to an end. A formal announcement of his departure from the position, which he has held for nearly two years, may come as early as this week. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source close to the situation confirmed to AllHipHop.com that Dupri has in fact been terminated effective immediately. {Source}

Yes it’s bad news for JD on the surface, but I’m sure his hitmaker status ensures his pockets are lined up nicely. Saying that, with him only serving 2 years on the job, having moved (been laid off) from the same position over at Virgin, it doesn’t particularly bode well for JD – who, arguably, didn’t make much of a (lasting) impression.

Randomness: Did anyone else see this coming a while back anyway; I mean, with girlfriend Janet leaving the label and Mariah’s project (which he oversaw) under-performing?

Your thoughts?

Aubrey Talks Her Future With Making The Band MTV.com recently caught up with Aubrey O’Day, who spoke on a number of things including her future with the entities that made her a known name – Danity Kane and Making The Band:

In October, Diddy very publicly kicked Aubrey O’Day out of Danity Kane during the season finale of “Making the Band.” It had many fans wondering if O’Day would be back for another season of the show — but for now, O’Day says she doesn’t see it in the cards.

“You never know if I’ll be involved in the new season, but as of now, no,” she told MTV News. “I’d really like to just move past ‘Making the Band’ and start making my own career. But you never know.”

While she’s continued to make headlines with talk about her sexuality and rumors of a Playboy pictorial, her musical plans for the new year are more vague, so making a cameo on the show that made her a star may not be completely out of the question. “I have love and respect for the entire situation and if I should need to go back and give a little love and respect to ‘Making the Band,’ then so be it,” she said.

O’Day admitted that she misses her former bandmates.

“I’m sad,” she said. “I think that Danity Kane is an amazing group and I think that we made amazing music. We had great albums.”

She added that things that might not have made it into the show or into headlines made it difficult for the group to go on as it was. “There’s always tons that goes on behind the scenes and that’s usually the part that matters most.

“There’s not much you can do about that situation,” she added. “Puff needed to do what’s best for him, and so now it’s my time to do what’s best for me.”

As much as I like Aubrey, I can’t help but be a little sceptical about her future. A lot of what she’s been making headlines for saying and doing, don’t necessarily fit the mould of one looking to be a big (respected) solo star – something she has expressed her want to become.

Anyway, I guess more light will be shed on what’s next for O’ Day, as she is set to make a special announcement on MTV News on January 14th.

Your thoughts?
Lady GaGa Hits #1 It’s been a long and slow ascend to the top for newcomer Lady GaGa’s debut single ‘Just Dance’, (indeed the song was officially released last May). This week, however, the song finally clenched the coveted #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, jumping #2-#1 knocking off Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ in the process. What’s more, mid-week sales show the song to be on course to land the top spot here in the UK this week as well. {Source}
I’m real glad to see this young talent finally garnering the recognition she deserves. It kinda has me hopeful about the future of the industry; as in the face of the samey uniformity of many of the artists/acts that populate the music scene, a genuinely unique talent can emerge and be successful.

Your thoughts?
Fantasia's House To Be Auctioned Off Next Week Rumors have been swirling for a while now about R&B star Fantasia’s financial situation, however it seems that things really aren’t going so well for the American Idol winner; her home is set to be auctioned off (to pay for her debts) next Monday:

CHARLOTTE, NC – Fantasia Barrino – who faces the loss of her $1.3 million home here in a debtor’s auction set for noon Monday – is apparently ignoring the looming legal threat, officials told The Post yesterday.

The inspirational “American Idol” winner owes a Florida credit company $65,000 – money she borrowed in 2006 to pay back taxes she owed the IRS.

The singer made a $10,000 payment in August 2007. But she never paid the rest, so the company won the right in court last month to auction off her house for the balance.

Mecklenburg County sheriff’s deputies, who are responsible for enforcing civil court orders, have tried at least a dozen times to reach Barrino at the home and by phone, said Sgt. J.W. England, a supervisor of civil judgments.

A deputy spoke a couple of times to Barrino’s mother, but never reached the star, who appears to be ignoring attempts to save her house, officials said.

“We try very hard and give the defendant every opportunity to pay,” England said yesterday.

Over the course of about a year, Barrino has never responded to court documents, and no lawyer ever appeared in court to represent her, said Larry Goldman, a Charlotte attorney representing the credit company, Broward Energy Management.

“I certainly don’t want anyone to lose their house,” Goldman said. “But as far as I’m concerned, we have a judgment.”

Barrino, 24, has made no payments and filed no documents since The Post reported a court-ordered lien on the property in Charlotte’s upscale Piper Glen neighborhood last month.

Goldman said he never heard from Barrino’s representatives until after the judge’s order. He said he has since spoken twice with reps who haven’t offered to resolve the debt but said they’d get back in touch before next Monday.

“My client has continuously asked me why they won’t just pay it,” Goldman said. “I just don’t have an answer.”

Barrino’s attorney, Gary Greenberg declined to comment yesterday.

“It’s my practice not to talk about client matters,” he said.

Barrino’s agent, Erin Culley, referred questions to the singer’s publicist but was unable to provide contact information for that person. {Source}

Ouch. Here’s hoping the situation is resolved ASAP. Though this does kinda have me wondering where all Fanny’s Oprah ‘Color Purple’ cheques and the money she’s made since hitting it big have gone?

Randomness: Is anyone else really anticipating Fantasia’s new album – whenever it is supposed to drop?

Your thoughts?

Former 3LW star Naturi Naughton spoke with Black Tree Media recently about playing the role of rapper Lil’ Kim in the forthcoming Notorious B.I.G movie (due in theatres this month). I’m kinda iffy about her being chosen to play Kim and watching the snippets within the feature still has me feeling the same. I guess time will tell if she holds her own with the role in the movie.

Any thoughts?

LeToya's New Single To Impact Radio February 3rd

With it being almost 3 years (yes 3 years!) since the release of LeToya’s debut album, it’s great to hear that things are finally coming together with her sophomore project. Now that her label Capital/EMI have ironed put their internal issues, it appears all systems are go for the release of Toya’s ‘Lady Love’ LP, which is tentatively scheduled for a March 24th release.

What’s more it has now ben confirmed that the set’s lead single, the Ne-Yo penned ‘Not Anymore’ will be impacting Rhythmic/Crossover radio in the US on February 3rd – meaning, in less complicated terms, we should be hearing it *very* soon LOL. In the meanwhile, you can listen to Ne-Yo’s demo version of the song, which is produced by Bei Maejor (Trey Songz, Mike Jones). I must say, I’m really feeling this one – especially the hook (“Stop, stop…”).

Click here to listen to Ne-Yo’s demo of ‘Not Anymore’

New Beyonce L’Oreal AdPeep Beyonce’s new print ad for L’Oreal. She looks great and moreover she actually looks like her – unlike ‘that’ controversial campaign they had featuring her before.

What do you think of the pic?