Advertisement

Do you know which song spent the most weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100? Do you know which song was the first to debut at the top spot? That Grape Juice has you covered! ‘Back In The Beat’ is our brand new feature, which each Friday takes a look back at the songs that topped the Billboard Hot 100 at this exact point in time in years of past.

Covered by me, Trent, it provides the opportunity to not only take a ‘trip down memory lane’, but remember some of the monumental songs that molded the present day sound of the music industry. So get out your pen and paper because class is officially in session!

Whitney ‘The Voice’ Houston ascended to the peak of the Billboard Hot 100 for the 10th time on November 28th 1992 with her astronomical hit ‘I Will Always Love You’. The song remained at the top spot for an astounding 14 weeks, a record that was not matched by another solo act until Mariah Carey’s 2005 hit ‘We Belong Together’. Written and originally performed by Dolly Parton, the David Foster-produced song also held the top spot on the Hip-Hop/R&B charts for 11 weeks. The record was the top song of 1993 on the Billboard Hot 100 . Outside of the US, the track hit #1 in 16 territories including the UK where it ranked as the top single of 1992. Critically, Houston’s version ‘I Will Always Love You’ largely outperformed the original, receiving several accolades including 2 Grammy Awards for ‘Record of the Year’ and ‘Best Female Pop Vocal Performance’.

What a voice! Whitney was a star before this song but, as she said during her Oprah interview, ‘I Will Always Love You’ made her a global phenomenon. To this day, young singers try their hands at this track attempting to emulate her every inflection; trying to capture the magic of her wondrous instrument. It’s hard to believe how much her voice was changed (for obvious reasons) over the years. However, all anyone has to do is listen to this track to remember why she was once one of the greatest voices of our time.


Thoughts?

leona-lewis

Pop vocalist Leona Lewis took the stage at the ‘Ken Bruce Show’ yesterday. The UK singer performed material from her new album, ‘Echo’, as well as several of her earlier hits. The event took place at the BBC Radio Theatre in London. Peep the performances below:

‘Happy’

‘I Got You’

‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’

‘Better In Time’

‘Bleeding Love’

Thoughts?

R&B crooner Maxwell appeared on ‘The Jay Leno Show’ last evening. The falsetto vocalist performed ‘Bad Habits’, the second single from his critically acclaimed LP, ‘BLACKsummers’night’. Maxwell recently received 6 Grammy Award nominations for the project including ‘Song of the Year’ for his monster hit ‘Pretty Wings’. ‘Bad Habits’ has thus far peaked at #74 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the Hip-Hop/R&B charts.

As usual, Maxwell shut it down! It seems that every time this man hits the stage, he finds a new way to bring passion out of the lyrics of his songs. He is certainly deserving of every Grammy nomination he received. Maxwell is just too smooth!

Thoughts?

photorated0dnl1

Bajan model Rihanna guested on the popular radio spot ‘Big Boi in the Neighborhood’ recently. In the interview, the singer discussed her new album, ‘Rated R’, as well as people in the industry that she dislikes. Among the names that the star named was none other than Tiffany Evans who recently spoke out about the symbolism involved in Rihanna’s hit song ‘Russian Roulette’. Interestingly, Tiffany released an apology almost immediately after Rihanna made her comments, then retorted by slamming her right back.

*Click here to listen to the segment*

This is getting better with every passing moment! Whether or not there is any hidden meaning in Rihanna’s music is besides the point because I staunchly subscribe to the belief that “meaning lies in people, not in words.” What is  interesting, however, is how these two artists are going at it so publicly. In fact, they should take a cue from the rappers and go at it on the stage with a good, old-fashioned vocal battle. We all know who would lose…sorry, I couldn’t help it.

Thoughts?

R&B songstress Alicia Keys was recently interviewed by BET where the diva discussed  several aspects of her upcoming album ‘The Element of Freedom’. In particular, she conversed about her highly anticipated collaboration with fellow entertainer Beyonce. Keys’ new album hits stores on December 15th.

This is shaping up to be one of the biggest unions of the decade! It is definitely the closest thing to the iconic Whitney Houston/Mariah Carey ‘When You Believe’ record that floored critics in 1998. However, I am trying to keep my excitement in check because as we’ve witnessed by many of today’s collaborations, such as Beyonce and Lady GaGa’s ‘Video Phone’ remix, artists don’t always deliver as promised.

Thoughts?

The extended preview of Chris Brown’s ’20/20′ interview hit the airwaves today. The special, hosted by Robin Roberts, will be shown on ABC this Friday. In the clip, Brown discusses ‘the incident’ with his ex-girlfriend Rihanna and addresses several of the statements made against him by the Bajan model. Interesting…I won’t say anything until I see the full interview.

Thoughts?

Jennifer Lopez visited ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ today. The music mogul performed her new song ‘Louboutins’ which marks the first time that Lopez has performed the track live since  the American Music Awards where she notoriously fell during her choreography. The song will be featured on her upcoming studio album ‘Love’? which is slated for release in the first quarter of 2010.

Minus the blatant lip-syncing throughout the entire set, this was a very good performance. The dancing was tight (minus her uninspired dance solo) and I was completely engrossed (although partially because I was wondering if she was going to fall again). I must admit that this song is growing on me but not enough to get me excited for the album. Hopefully her next single will be far more impressive. Peep the hilarious interview where she makes fun of her AMA mishap below:

Thoughts?

whitney-houston-x-factor-video

As reported earlier today, the legendary Whitney Houston has been unceremoniously shut-out from the nominations for the 52nd annual Grammy Awards. The news comes as a shock to many, as the singer’s critically acclaimed, Platinum-selling comeback LP ‘I Look To You’ has long been touted as a Grammy favourite, with its US release date even brought forward to make it eligible for nomination.

While many will debate as to why Houston, 46, was snubbed (a prominent reason cited being her supposed diva antics towards the committee – comprised of writers, producers, industry folk –  at her peak), it’ll be interesting to see what happens with her comeback campaign moving forward. With the Grammy’s supposed have been the crowning moment of her rise from the ashes, so to speak, her team will have to find alternate ways to further enrich the campaign – the answer not being solely to tour.

That Grape Juice exclusively reported months back that there’d be no further singles from the album this year. However, upon the start of the new year, Ms. Houston’s best bet IMO would essentially be to put her best foot forward. By that I mean, releasing some of the record’s A* cuts (‘For The Lovers’, ‘Worth It’, ‘Calling You Tonight’, ‘Nothin’ But Love’, for example) – no playing around. In being frank, neither ‘Million Dollar Bill’ or ‘I Look To You’ were first or second single worthy IMO – something which proved not that big a deal when looking at the album’s success to-date, yet will do with the selection of future singles.

It’d also definitely benefit Whitney being more visible, not necessarily in the way of just performances, but talk-show interviews, TV specials, and maybe even a return to movies. As much as Whitney may have become accustomed to her ‘new life’, any hopes of making a significant dent on the music industry once again will require diligence and concentrated saturation of the market (see Mariah‘s hustle and flow approach during the ‘Emancipation’ era…my girl was everywhere!). Speaking of Mariah, does anyone else see Whitney’s Grammy shut-out as a more extreme version how they did Mariah at the 2006 show? Not the business. That said, I guess this whole episode further lends support to the age old saying that “nothing is a certainty”. Here’s hoping things move onwards and upwards for Whitney…

Your thoughts?

love-vs-money

R&B vocalist and go-to songwriter The-Dream was on a rampage last evening after not receiving a single Grammy nomination for his ‘Love vs. Money’ LP which was released earlier this year. The Executive Vice-President of Island Def Jam took to his official twitter page to vent his frustrations about being ignored by the Grammy Awards committee. Peep an excerpt from his tirade below:

dream-grammy-tweets-475x851

Wow! I absolutely agree with his sentiments. ‘Love vs. Money’ stands as one of the best Contemporary R&B albums released this decade, in my honest opinion. With unique productions, dynamic vocals and incredible productions, there is certainly no reason why this record should not have been nominated in several of the major categories. His single ‘Walking On The Moon’ (featuring Kanye West) was a definite front-runner for ‘Best Rap/Sung Collaboration’ as was ‘My Love’ (featuring Mariah Carey) for ‘Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group’. The fact that Jamie Foxx and T-Pain’s auto-tuned ‘Blame It’ got favoured over the latter song is completely baffling. To compound the situation, many of the songs that The-Dream wrote himself were chosen in place of his own material (see Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’). Hot mess.

Sam’s 2 Pence: Can’t say I thought the album was Grammy worthy, Trent. (FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT lol)

Thoughts?

6

Diva Mariah Carey made an appearance at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball in New York City last evening. The megastar present Island Def Jam Chairman LA Reid with the ‘Spirit of Compassion Award‘. Peep more images of her and husband Nick Cannon below:

5
7
3

What do you think of Mariah’s look?

Young diva Leona Lewis made an appearance on the National Lottery airing on BBC1 recently. The singer performed  the Arnthor Birgisson-produced ‘I Got You’ which will serve as  the second single from her new album, ‘Echo’, in the US.  ‘Echo’ proved to be a commercial upset in that territory when it debuted at #13 on the Billboard 200 with 68, 413 units sold.

Now this is the kind of song she needed to release as the first single! Her vocals suit the drifting melody wonderfully and the building rhythms would sit well amongst many of the hits on today’s Pop radio format. Hopefully this record proves to be a success because she needs all of the help she can get if she wants this album to even go Gold.

Thoughts?

As you may remember, we posted fan footage of Shakira performing on NBC’s annual Christmas special. Well last evening the network finally aired the event, ‘Christmas In Rockafella Center’. Peep the performances from Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys and Shakira below:

Aretha Franklin – ‘Joy To The World’

Alicia Keys – ‘Little Drummer Girl’

Shakira – ‘Santa Baby’

Thoughts?

**