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Hey All!

Just a few quick reminders…

* There still is time to enter our That Grape Juice: Christmas Give-Away. We’ll be making another announcement within the next day or so about more prizes that have been added to the list! Click here to enter!

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Thanks!

Alicia Keys continues along the promotional trail for her ‘Element of Freedom’ LP, taking to the stage on The David Letterman Show to perform current single ‘Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart’. As ever, Keys’ delivered a great performance. I really cannot get enough of this song at the moment. Love it!

‘The Element of Freedom’ hits stores today!

What do you think of the performance?

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Producer Timbaland stopped by the Ed Lover Show late last week to promote his current effort ‘Shock Value II’. In perhaps staying true to the album’s title, the 38 year old star voiced many a eyebrow raising comment during his banter on the show – the most interesting coming in the form of his opinions of Pop phenomenon Lady GaGa, as well as Ciara:

On Lady GaGa:

“What’s her name GaGa b-bla-bla? Yeah I wanna work with Lady GaGa, me and her are kinda the same style. I feel like she took my style (pauses) and ran with it… which is smart. I would do the same thing. I’ll put her on the re-package cos I’m a do a re-package”.

On Ciara:

There’s no more R&B, so all I listen to is “baby girl” (Aaliyah). I was excited about Ciara. I gave her my blessings because she was in the right footpath, the right footsteps as I would say. I think that she was going in the right direction and I love her to death. People would say “Oh Ciara is the next Aaliyah” – yes she is. She keeps my girl alive, so when I hear Ciara a tear come out my eye, coz I’m like “wow, she ain’t forgotten”.”

That sound is still gonna be heard. These kids who don’t know [and know] Ciara will go “Who she sound like? Baby girl Aaliyah” and then they go back and buy the Aaliyah stuff and be like “Aaliyah sound better than her” or somethin’. The point is Aaliyah won’t be forgotten”. {Source}

While Timbo’s comments are pretty harmless, I must say the back-handed nature of his praise for both GaGa and Ciara, make me question the legitimacy of his like for them. I mean ‘ What’s her name GaGa b-bla-bla’ for arguably the biggest star out right now, was an outright diss IMO. As for the Ciara / Aaliyah comparisons; how about Aaliyah be Aaliyah and Ciara be allowed to be Ciara. To be honest, I’ve never really seen the similarities between Ciara and Aaliyah. Yes, CiCi debuted with a similar tomboy style and swagger, but her dancing and lack of emphasis on vocals makes her an entirely different artist IMO. Surely Janet is a more fair comparison point, and even there I still see major differences. Just my 2 pence…

In any case, did anyone actually remember Timbaland has an album out?

Your thoughts?

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It appears R&B star Chris Brown wasn’t done venting his frustrations about the treatment his latest effort ‘Graffiti’ is receiving courtesy of the industry and the stores supposed to be selling it. Speaking on his Twitter page yesterday, prior to the entire account being mysteriously deleted, the 20 year said:

“JUST WAS AT WALMART IN wallingford CT,844 north colony.. the(y) didnt even have my album in the back… not on shelves, saw for myself.”

“we talked to the managers and the(y) didnt even know anything. wow!!! but they had alicia keys album ready for release for this tuesday comin. the manager told me that when there are new releases its mandatory to put em on the shelves.. BUT NO SIGN OF #GRAFFITI. BS no disprespect to alicia at all.. just givin an example to whos album is loaded and ready to go next week.

{Spotted over at Singers Room}

While it’s almost a cert it was his handlers that decided to axe the Twitter account, I can’t but feel a little bad for Chris. Now before anyone peggs me any kind of advocate for violence, surely the public should be given the chance to decide his fate by either buying his CD or not. Simple as. It’s really not for any higher entity or random outlets to pre-determine the fate of the album. In any case, it’s good Chris is speaking up about it (though I’m sure his label are up in arms). ‘Good’ as should the album under-perform, this drama can be factored into it along-side the obvious. While on the topic: does anyone else find it weird that, beside his Fan Appreciation Tour, and them annoying ‘I’m Sorry’ interviews, Chris hasn’t actually had a televised performance anywhere?

Your thoughts?

tgj end of year awards

As 2009 draws nearer to its close, we will be acknowledging the releases, events and shocking moments that have made the last 12 months one of music’s most memorable ever with our 3rd annual That Grape Juice: End of Year Awards.

Shaking things up somewhat from last year, the nominations process has been stream-lined this go round, with the provisional list of categories and nominees listed below. Prior to nominations going live and voting commencing this Thursday (December 17th), we’re keen to hear your feedback/suggestions on both the nominees and categories, which you can drop in the comments section below!

So quickly recapping, the final nominee list as well as actual voting goes live on December 17th. Winners will be thereafter announced on Christmas Day ( December 25th)!

(* For those wondering, Beyonce isn’t eligible for many of the awards as ‘Single Ladies’, as well as her album ‘I Am Sasha Fierce’ were both released in October 2008 – and were nominated/won many awards last year!)

That Grape Juice: End of Year Awards 2009 – The Nominees

Album of the Year
Single of the Year
Michael Jackson Best Video:
Best Collaboration
Best New Artist
Best Female Artist
Best Male Artist
The Kelly Rowland Underrated Artist Of The Year Award
Most Slept-On Album of The Year
The Please Go Sit Down Somewhere Award
Worst Single Of The Year
Worst Album Of The Year
(You) Slippin’ / Step Your Game Up Award
Best Reality TV Show
Most Shocking Event of 2008
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Michael Jackson
The Michael Jackson Best Video of The Year Award
Best Live Performer

Album of the Year

* The Fame Monster – Lady GaGa

* The Blueprint 3 – Jay-Z

* The E.N.D – Black Eyed Peas

*  I Look To You – Whitney Houston

* In A Perfect World – Keri Hilson

Single of the Year

* Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z (ft. Alicia Keys)

*  Pretty Wings – Maxwell

* Bad Romance – Lady GaGa

* I Gotta Feelin’ – Black Eyed Peas

The Michael Jackson Music Video of The Year Award

* Love, Sex, Magic – Ciara

* Russian Roulette – Rihanna

* Bad Romance – Lady GaGa

*I Can Transform Ya – Chris Brown

* Bad Boys – Alexandra Burke

Best Collaboration

* Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z & Alicia Keys

* Knock You Down – Keri Hilson, Ne-Yo & Kanye West

* Video Phone (Extended Mix) – Beyonce & Lady GaGa

* Love, Sex, Magic – Ciara & Justin Timberlake

* Hard – Rihanna & Young Jeezy

Best New Artist

* Alexandra Burke

* Drake

* Kid Kudi

* Kesha

Best Female Artist

* Beyonce

* Lady GaGa

* Alicia Keys

* Ciara

* Rihanna

Best Male Artist

* Jay-Z

* Maxwell

* Drake

* Chris Brown

Best Club Banger

* Work – Ciara

* Obsessed – Mariah Carey

* Hard – Rihanna

* Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas

* I Can Transform Ya – Chris Brown

Best Live Performer (TV, Award Shows etc):

* Beyonce

* Janet Jackson

* Lady GaGa

* Jay-Z

* Ciara

The Kelly Rowland Underrated Artist of the Year Award

* Amerie

* Teairra Mari

* LeToya Luckett

* The-Dream

Most Slept On Album of the Year

* Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel – Mariah Carey

* In Love & War – Amerie

* Love vs Money – The-Dream

* Fantasy Ride – Ciara

* Graffiti – Chris Brown

The Please Go Sit Down Somewhere Award

* Rihanna

* 50 Cent

* Chris Brown

* Mariah Carey

Worst Single of the Year

* Wait Your Turn – Rihanna

* Why R U – Amerie

* Louboutins – Jennifer Lopez

* Happy – Leona Lewis

Worst Album of the Year

* Before I Self Destruct – 50 Cent

* More suggestions needed……

You Slippin’ // Step Your Game Up Award

* Mariah Carey

* 50 Cent

* Britney Spears

* Jennifer Lopez

* Rihanna

Recession Special: Worst Video of  the Year

* I Want To Know What Love Is – Mariah Carey

* Wait Your Turn – Rihanna

* I Get It In – Omarion

* Fresh Out The Oven – Jennifer Lopez

Most Shocking Event of 2009

* Kanye West VMA Outburst

* The Death of Michael Jackson (RIP)

* Whitney Houston’s Grammy Snub

Best Movie

* Precious

* This Is It

* Madea Goes To Jail

Most Anticipated Comeback For 2010

* Usher

* Kelly Rowland

* Janet

*IMPORTANT: This is NOT the vote itself. This is for feedback on the nominees list. Voting starts on Thursday*

Your thoughts / suggestions?

* Banner credit: Luca!!!

rihanna_glamour

It appears Def Jam are wasting no time rushing out a re-release of Rihanna‘s latest effort ‘Rated R‘. For in a recent interview with the the BBC,  Ryan Tedder, the hitmaker behind Beyonce’s ‘Halo’, confirmed that he will be heading into the studio with the model at the start of the new year. Check out an excerpt from the feature:

Those so far on his radar include Ne-Yo, the Noisettes. Lupe Fiasco, Imogen Heap and in the new year, Rihanna.

He admits he’s been trying to synchronise schedules with the Umbrella singer for about a year and a half now and wants to get her pushing the boundaries.

He said: “She’s in a darker musical place right now… she’s got enough of those songs on Rated R to last for a while.

“I can do stuff dark musically, haunting kind of thing, but I want to have her do something vocally that she’s never done before.”

While news of a all-but-confirmed re-release comes as no surprise, two things really struck me upon reading this. The first being that in trying to get her to do something vocally she’s never done before, perhaps he could actually get RiRi to sing out of her mouth instead of her nostrils. More than anything though, it really drove home how disgusting the industry can be at times…it’s as if a re-release was always in the pipeline (yes, we all knew it was coming, but the confirmation leaves a salty taste in my mouth). Surely the general premise of re-releases are to extend the shelf-life of an already-successful album or a poorly selling album that never got a chance first go round (in the way of promotion etc)?

Whatever the eventual fate of ‘Rated R’, there’s no doubt its numbers to date are atrocious – when considering all the promo, sympathy, interviews, her success with her last album and all that jazz. If folk weren’t buying into it now, I have no idea why a re-release – which all indications point to being planned before the original even came out – is being given the green-light. As I type, the notion of another entirely new LP being rushed out next year came to mind, which IMO is equally as bad. SMH…

Your thoughts?

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Lady GaGa caps off an amazing 2009 by hitting the top spot on the Official UK Singles Chart with current single ‘Bad Romance’. Though facing a serious challenge by the force that is Susan Boyle, GaGa boasts the UK best selling album and single of 2009. {Source}

The level of success GaGa has attained in little over a year is next to unheard of in recent music history. Yet I can’t think of any other artist in recent times who deserves it more than the 23 year old superstar. A much needed breath of fresh air to the music industry, GaGa unique brand of…well…everything…really must be giving her industry contemporaries a serious kick up bum to step their own game up lol. Go GaGa!

Your thoughts?

Peep this preview of Covergirl model Rihanna‘s latest music video, ‘Hard’. The Melina directed clip is set to premiere any day now! We’re reserving full judgement until seeing the video in its entirety.

{Thanks Music on Play!}

Your thoughts?

The incomparable Whitney Houston was recently interviewed on Australian morning show ‘9 Today’. As ever, the diva of divas, didn’t bite her tongue about any questions put her way, which included her thoughts on her own comeback, the recent Australian controversy surrounding Britney’s Spears’ lip-syncing, future movie roles and much more. A great watch, I must say. {Thanks Sasha!}

Your thoughts?

{Content Removed As Requested}

Check out episode 9 of the hilarious ‘Cleveland Show’.

Enjoy!

k3

Kelly Rowland dazzled at the arrivals lounge at Elton John’s Grey Goose Character & Cocktails Aids fundraiser at The Grosvenor House Hotel here in London tonight.

The international star, 28, was asked by Sir Elton personally to perform a Destiny’s Child medley at the star-studded event, to which Rowland gladly agreed.

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Your thoughts?

Pop vocalist Leona Lewis performed on today’s ‘The X Factor’ finale. The singer did a rendition of Oasis’s ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’ which is featured on her ‘Echo‘ album. To date, the record has sold over 600, 000 units in the UK; a far cry from her sales in the US which have barely passed 100, 000 copies.

With the exception of a few off-key notes at the beginning, Leona certainly did her thing. Watching that performance reminded me of why Simon Cowell regards her as the best singer that he has discovered on any of his various talent show competitions. All she needs now is a bit more personality and she can very well be at the forefront of the next generation of divas.

Thoughts?

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