Kelly Rowland is back in Europe for another promotional blitz to support her upcoming ‘Ms Kelly’ album. The singer stopped by morning show GMTV today to make her first televised performance of current single ‘Like This’. The performance was good; the choreography was decent and the vocals were on-point. It’s great to see her finally performing the song on TV now. ‘Ms Kelly’ drops July 3rd.

What did you think of Kelly’s performance?
During Akon’s performance at KFEST 2007 in New York yesterday, an audience member hurled a bottle of water at the ‘Locked Up’ singer. As expected, the Senegalese star wasn’t pleased, yet his actions thereafter shocked many. Check out the video:

You would think that he would know better than to do something like this, particularly considering the backlash he received from the incident with underage girl. Part of me feels the fan deserved it, but Akon has a responsibilty as an artist.

Rihanna is currently dominating the charts and breaking records with her hit ‘Umbrella’, however it’s being reported that Mary J. Blige wanted to record the song first. 19 yr old Rihanna managed to secure the track by convincing the songwriters to give it to her instead. Speaking to UK newspaper Daily Telegraph, the Bajan star said:
“Any songwriter would die for Mary to sing one of their songs. So I just prayed that I got it. It was perfect for me – it had a West Indian groove. When I saw one of the songwriters at the Grammy Awards, I went up to him and said, ‘Listen, ‘Umbrella’ is my song. He must have thought I was really pushy and laughed it off. But I held his face and I turned it back to my own, ‘No, I’m serious, I need ‘Umbrella’. Two days later we found out the song was mine.”
Can’t hate on the girl for getting hers; she’s reaping the benefits now. Though, it would be interesting to hear Mary’s take on the track. Thinking about it, I can imagine her doing a pretty good job. In other Mary J. Blige news, the Grammy Award-winning singer will be performing her own MTV Unplugged special this summer.

Who do you think would have sung ‘Umbrella’ better?

R&B Tamia singer Tamia has finally premiered the video for her latest single ‘Me’. It’s been some time since her last video ‘Can’t Get Enough’ debuted and a follow-up was long-overdue. The video for ‘Me’ is great; it plays on the concept of the beautiful ballad- a reaffirming ode to loving yourself. Tamia, who is 6 months pregnant, looks stunning too.

What do you think of the video?

The 2007 MTV Movie Awards took place last night in Los Angeles. Both Rihanna and Amy Winehouse performed at the star-studded event. Check out their performances:
Rihanna – Umbrella

I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting Rihanna’s anticipated performance with Jay-Z to be anything special; however I was pleasantly surprised by how good she did. Everything from her stage presence, to the vocals, to her look were all on-point. I’m still wondering what relevance Jay-Z has on the song, as he added nothing to the performance.

Amy Winehouse – Rehab

 

UK singing sensation Amy Winehouse also took to the stage to perform her hit ‘Rehab’. I liked her performance and felt it improved as it went on. She’s definitely had better performances than this, though. At the start she seemed kinda uncomfortable, yet got it together by the middle of the song.

What do you think of their performances?

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The Beyonce Experience tour made a stop in London last night, for the first of two dates here. Since purchasing my tickets way back in September, my interest in Beyonce had waned slightly after being let-down by her sophomore effort ‘B’Day’. However after yesterday’s show, I’m sold on the woman all over again. Absolutely fantastic.

After arriving at the arena around 7.30pm and purchasing the expected rip-off tour booklet (£12/$23!), we made our way to our seats. Once seated, I was surprised to see Matthew Knowles, as well as production trio The Bamma Boys, appear on stage to hype the crowd and introduce the opening act – Soul singer Katie Shotter. 20 year old Shotter was the winner of Matthew’s UK TV show ‘Chancers’ and is signed to his label Music World. She was generally well-received by the audience and her material was promising. Yet, by the third song it was like ‘hurry up and get off the stage’. Well, at least that’s what I was thinking Lol

An already-hyped audience erupted at 8.50pm, when Beyonce finally hit the stage. The spectacle of her entrance alone was pretty amazing; raining pyro served as the backdrop to her grand entry. Beyonce then launched into a rousing performance of mega-hit ‘Crazy in Love’, which set the tone for the rest of the evening. I’d seen her live a few times before and she was great, yet it was evident yesterday that she was performing with increased vigour. She commanded that stage; it was if she was possessed. Sasha was officially in the building.

There were many highlights during the show; including the steamy ‘Baby Boy’ (which was remixed with Reggae classic ‘Murder She Wrote’) and her near-flawless rendition of ‘Dangerously in Love’. The Destiny’s Child Medley was also a standout, with Knowles singing a string of the group’s big hits- crowd participation here was off the charts. Knowles’ vocals were on-point throughout and all songs were sung live – aside from the passable Suga Mama’.

Of the newer songs performed, I was most impressed with ‘Upgrade U’ and ‘Get Me Bodied’. Both performances stayed true to their video counterparts-hence the choreography was hot. Unfortunately the version of ‘Get Me Bodied’ she performed wasn’t the Extended Mix – so no ‘Naomi Campbell walk’ lol– but it was still great nonetheless. Even the limp ‘Flaws & All’ was brought to life via Beyonce’s raw stage presence; she shed a genuine tear during this performance.

The WHOLE arena – women, men, boys, girls and even the arena staff- went into a frenzy when the last song ‘Irreplaceable’ was sung. ‘To the left, to the left’, she encouraged us to sing ‘…even you gangstas too’ she added. At that point I let go of any reluctance and flung my hands up lol. Soon after, we we’re thanked for coming and she walked to the back. I knew that could not be the last song though. ‘Bass…High-Hat….808’ rang out and the audience went CRAZY, as Beyonce gave an encore performance of Déjà Vu.

So the night ended as just as it began – with a bang. The concert definitely lived up to its billing; it was an ‘experience’ and then some. On the night Beyonce showed just why – hate it or love it – she is the ‘Hottest Chick in the Game’.






Random points:
* Kelly Rowland was heavily promoted throughout the show – her ‘Like This’ video was played, Matthew spoke about her album and numerous promotional posters/handouts were spotted/given out

* Matthew Knowles sat right behind us for the entire concert at the mixing/recording pit

* Crowd was hyped all the way through

* Her band was incredible…very talented.

* She gave both her band and dancers time to shine.

Bad Boy Records artist Cheri Dennis is finally set release her long-delayed debut album, with the Yung Joc collaboration ‘Portrait’ as the CD’s first official single. Label head Diddy confirmed the news at the ‘Bad Boy Upfront’ event in New York this week. For those not familar with Cheri, the talented singer/songwriter has been signed to Diddy’s label for several years and her project has constantly been pushed back in favour of other artists- including Diddy himself. The hold-ups haven’t stopped Cheri from carving out her own way through the industry; she has written tracks for numerous artists including Olivia and Danity Kane. Dennis also sang the theme tune to MTV’s ‘Making The Band’ – ‘Oh La La’. The currently untitled album is slated for a summer release and will feature productions from Ryan Leslie, Byan Michael Cox and Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins.
I’m really hoping her album sees the light of day. If anyone thinks Mya and Kelly Rowland have been pushed back into oblivion, then they don’t know about Cheri. Anyway, the single ‘Portrait’ – which surfaced a few months ago- is a great track and I think it’ll do well. Check it out…

Will you be checking for Cheri?

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Rihanna – Cry

‘Cry’ is featured as a bonus track on the Japanese version of Rihanna’s upcoming album ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’. Though the song wouldn’t be out of place on the album’s main tracklist, it’s understandable why it was left off. The ballad is ‘ok’ at best and, though lyrically engaging, the song is pretty bland. I’ve definitely heard better ballads from the Bajan singer before.

LISTEN: Cry
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Mutya Buena – B Boy Baby (ft. Amy Winehouse)
Some of you – especially our European visitors – may remember Mutya from her time in one of the UK’s biggest girl groups, the Sugababes. Since leaving the group in 2005, Mutya has recently re-emerged with a new album ‘Real Girl’ (due June 4th) and her current single of the same name is enjoying major success on the charts (currently sitting at #11 on downloads alone). This new track, ‘B Boy Baby’, is a collaboration with rapidly rising star Amy Winehouse and is featured on Mutya’s album. I’m liking this laid-back mid-tempo track; it has a cool throwback vibe to it. If you liked Amy’s international hit ‘Rehab’, then you’ll probably enjoy this one too.

LISTEN: B Boy Baby (ft. Amy Winehouse)
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R. Kelly – Good Sex (ft. Twista)
The Runners produced ‘Good Sex’ sees R. Kelly and Twista hook up again for another collaboration. Their last collabo ‘So Sexy’ was a great track, however ‘Good Sex’ kinda falls short of the benchmark set by their last outing. The song, a bonus track on R. Kelly’s latest album ‘Double Up’ (released this week), is just too standard – from the production to the tired subject matter. Thankfully the actual ‘Double Up’ album is solid and I suppose the song serves it’s purpose as a bonus track to bulk up the tracklisting.

LISTEN: Good Sex (ft. Twista)
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Kelly Rowland – Love (Snippet)
As the release of Kelly Rowland’s 2nd solo album ‘Ms Kelly’ draws nearer (due July 3rd), more songs from the set have started to surface. This lengthy clip of ‘Love’, a track from the CD, further suggests that Kelly really brought ‘it’ on the album. Aside from the great production, the attention grabbing lyrics enhance the song’s appeal. The track, co-written by Beyonce’s sister Solange (a few eyes rolled there, I’m sure..lol) sees Kelly taking a different approach to the overdone subject of love.

LISTEN: Love
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What do you think of the New Songs?
R&B star Fantasia stopped by the Regis & Kelly show yesterday to perform ‘I’m Here’ from the The Color Purple Broadway production; which she’s currently starring in as the lead character Celie. Check out the performance:

I’m really liking this performance; it seems every time Fantasia sings the song she switches it up and adds something new. The American Idol singer has been getting rave reviews for her performance in The Color Purple Broadway show and this definitely shows why.

What did you think of the performance?
R&B singer Kelly Rowland continues the promotional rounds for her latest effort ‘Ms Kelly’, this time dropping by radio station 97.9 The Beat in Dallas, Texas. Rowland was interviewed and performed two of her hits – current single ‘Like This’ and the 2002 smash ‘Dilemma’.
The interview was interesting to say the least; Kelly openly spoke about a number of things including ‘The Fall’ bandmate Michelle Williams took on BET 106 & Park a few years back. Both performances sounded great too. Check it out…

What do you think of the interview/performances?
 
Having been signed to Island Def Jam by the label’s newly appointed President of Urban Music, Jermaine Dupri, Jagged Edge are back. The R&B quartet have enlisted the help of Ashanti on the JD-produced ‘Put A Little’; the song will apparently feature on their upcoming new album. I’m liking the track alot; it’s reminiscent of their trademark slow jams. Ashanti really comes through on this one and her verse is the highlight of the song.

Hit or Miss?

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Rihanna flaunts more of her new ‘image’ in the upcoming issue of GIANT magazine. The stunning 19 year old star, whose hit ‘Umbrella’ is at the top of both the UK and US charts, strips down to her lingerie in the photo shoot. In the issue, the Bajan beauty speaks on her father’s cocaine addiction, as well as the rumoured ‘beef’ between herself and Beyonce over Jay-Z. On the Beyonce situation, she said:

I guess it’s just the affiliation with him. Being a female and being on his label and having a close business relationship. I guess that sparks the rumors. I’m guessing. Because there’s no other way. At first it was funny, like Ah this is so funny! Why would they think this? Really? Ew. Then it was like they’re still talking about this? This is getting a little frustrating now. Can they cut this out? Because it got really intense where people just weren’t letting up. Then it turned into a “beef” between me and Beyonce. I was like where are these people going with this? This is crazy.

Nice to see her address the Beyonce/Jay-Z matter; although I doubt it will quash the rumours. Though her music doesn’t move me, I must say that Rihanna knows how to take a picture. If the music career dries, modelling is her best option. The pictures are hot…

What do you think of the pics?
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