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Chocolate contralto Toni Braxton released the music video for the remix of the first single off her upcoming album, ‘Yesterday‘. The clip was directed by Billie Woodruff and features Braxton’s collaborator on the track, Trey Songz. To date, ‘Yesterday’ has climbed to #49 on the Hip-Hop/R&B charts. Braxton’s new album, ‘Pulse’, hits stores in February 2010.

This video is the typical ‘recession special’ that has come to define the caliber of music videos given the current economy. Either way, there is no denying that Toni is possibly the beautiful woman in the music industry today – beautiful face, body, skin and voice. I am surprised that there wasn’t any more chemistry between her and Trey in the video though, especially given their recent passionate performance at the Soul Train Music Awards. I was really hoping to see more intimacy between the two, rather than having them in completely different shots without any interaction what so ever.

Sidebar: Toni’s wig collection sure got some air time in this video huh?

Thoughts?

welcome to new That Grape Juice

Since launching That Grape Juice 2.0 the site’s traffic has almost doubled! While this has been a blessing, it’s dually also been a bit of a nag, as the site’s server has been experiencing difficulties in trying to cope with the increased traffic.

As a result, we’ll be moving to a more advanced server later today, so as to keep things afloat here at your favourite site and mine. If everything goes to plan, you won’t experience any difficulty accessing the site at all. However, if you do, continue to refresh the page until it comes up.

Thanks for your patience!

Remember, keep it locked on That Grape Juice!

UK media darling Cheryl Cole performed at the Children In Need concert, which aired on BBC1 yesterday, offering a ‘live’ rendition of smash single ‘Fight For This Love’.

I oft find myself quite torn with how I feel about Ms. Cole. The critic side of me knows she couldn’t sing her ABC’s in tune if she tried (as evidenced by this performance), yet the consumer side sees the spectacle and media-flooding, which is hard not to fall victim to. Either way, I doubt she cares too much; her album ‘Three Words’, though critically panned, has been certified Platinum here in the UK and her profile seems to be expanding with each passing day (see: X-Factor, L’Oreal).

What do you think of the performance?

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After a lengthy hiatus Jennifer Lopez hoping make a dent on the music scene with new single ‘Louboutins’ (lifted from new album ‘Love?’) which premiered moments ago. Unfortunately for Ms. Jenny From The Block, this cut is…well…not cutting it. Repetitive lyrically and showing little in the way of vocal growth (something which IMO was necessary for Jennifer coming out this go round), the Tricky Stewart produced track’s only worthwhile offering is it’s stellar production which screams epic and ‘I’m back’. It such a shame that the rest of the track doesn’t.

Hearing this has me wondering what exactly is going on with her team, as the previously heard ‘Hooked On You’ was the epitome of fire on a track and a sure hit had it been released. In any case, whose to say this won’t be a grower (the ‘hook’, though redundant is quite catchy), particularly after her upcoming performance at the American Music Awards this Sunday.

Hit or Miss?

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As many of you may know, we announced several  months back that you can now follow That Grape Juice on Twitter! Adding to the ever-expanding ways to be apart of the That Grape Juice community, our Twitter page allows you to receive up-to-the-minute updates about the latest posts on the site as well as what’s happening in the Urban Pop Culture world more generally.

What’s more, you, as well as the thousands who have already joined, will be able to keep up with me, ‘Sam’, while I’m on-the-go. I’ll be making use of Twitter’s Blackberry feature, which allows me to let you guys know what I’m up while I’m out and about. That means everything from checking in with you all while on location at an artist interview to complete randomness from the wackiness that is ‘my world’. So what are you waiting for…

Click here to follow That Grape Juice on Twitter!



Click here to follow Trent’s Twitter too!

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The That Grape Juice Facebook Group launched last year, as I’m sure many of you will know. Work, school, college, home, wherever; I’m sure many of you – like myself – spend a ridiculous amount of time on Facebook. Yes, it’s ‘that’ addictive!

Why not, then, combine your daily Urban Pop Culture fix with social networking and come be a part of the rapidly growing That Grape Juice Facebook community. Along with the thousands who have already joined (thank you all!), you will be the first to get word on upcoming interviews, competitions, view exclusive pictures and much much more. The discussion board/wall will also give you the chance to interact with other ‘Grape Juice readers moreso now than ever before.

It’s an open group, so anyone can join – invite all your friends too!


Click here to join That Grape Juice On Facebook

Pop singer Leona Lewis made a special appearance on ‘The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brian’ recently. The singer promoted her new album ‘Echo’ and performed the first single from the record, ‘Happy’. The song has thus far peaked at #50 on the Billboard Hot 100.

It’s good to see that she is still trying to promote the album because as with the projected figures, it’s going to need all the help it can help. However, with a rather boring and generic single like ‘Happy’, I can’t see the LP getting the push that it so desperately needs. Add that to her emotionally vacant performances and generally poor reviews from the critics, I sense that this album has little hope of matching the success of it’s predecessor.

Thoughts?

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The 2009 ‘Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show’ took place at The Armory in New York City last evening. The lingerie extravaganza attracted a long list of celebrities including Fergie (seen above) who looked far from fugly while she rocked the stage.

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Two of Hip-Hop’s most powerful players, Jay-Z and Dr. Dre, were also at the event.

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Keri Hilson made a stop at the show as well. She could easily fit in with the models on the runway if she wanted.

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Keri and Jay bumped in to each other at the after-party. What an interesting conversation that must have been.

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Finally, we have Fergie once again who this time posed with her illustrious band-mates, the Black Eyed Peas, on the red carpet.

What do you think of their looks?

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!

On September 30th 1995, vocal powerhouse Mariah Carey became the first female artist to have a song debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the second act overall to achieve such a feat (Michael Jackson was the first) with her 9th #1 single, ‘Fantasy’. Produced by Carey and Dave Hall, the song held the top spot for 8 weeks and was ranked at the 7th most successful track of that year on the Billboard Hot 100. Beyond the US, the track hit #1 in several other countries including Canada, Australia and New Zealand while ranking in the top 5 in several others such as the UK where it peaked at #4. In addition to many commercial breakthroughs, the song earned Carey her 6th consecutive Grammy Award nomination fro ‘Best Female Pop Vocal Performance’.
It is impossible to deny the cultural impact of this song. It heralded a new era in Urban/Pop music; shaping the sound of what music is today. Mariah was one of the first mainstream R&B/Pop acts to collaborate with a Hip-Hop act when she brought in Ol’ Dirty Bastard to feature on the remix and unlike her predecessors, she composed the song herself. No other artist in that decade was able to craft a song that combined Pop sensibility with Hip-Hop beats, effectively introducing gangsta rap into the homes of the conservative listeners. Some would go as far as to say that many of the rappers today owe their successes to Mariah because without her influence, their chances of scoring mainstream success would be a rare possibility. So remember, every time you hear Beyonce, Christina Aguilera or Rihanna on the radio, they are singing within the confines of a genre revolutionised by Mariah Carey.

Thoughts?

Diva Mariah Carey is currently over here in the UK promoting  her new album ‘Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel’, yesterday performing ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ on the Alan Carr Chattyman show.

The few semi-off points really drive home the fact that this was, for the most part, live. So with that in mind, Mariah did a great job. She’s still look likes she’s about to burst a vein trying to hit certain notes, but the output were some really great vocals. Loved the whistle and the belting at the end. Great performance.

What do you think of the performance?

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Iconic diva Mariah Carey launched this year’s Christmas season by turning on the Christmas lights at the Westfield Shopping Centre in London early today. The singer used the occasion to help promote her new fragrance, ‘Forever’, as well as her ‘Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel’ album which will be released on November 23rd in the UK. Mariah will perform her cover of ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ on this Sunday’s ‘The X Factor’. Keep an eye on ThatGrapeJuice for all the octave-warbling footage!

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Hot on the promotional trail for her ‘Rated R’ LP, Rihanna called in to the The Bert Show on Q100 radio station in Atlanta to discuss many a topic. The interviewers asked whether she missed ex-Chris Brown, if  rumours of her dating actor Tristan Wilds of (from TV show ‘The Wire’) were true and more. Here’s what the Bajan beauty had to say:

Interviewers: Do you still miss Chris?

Rihanna: Um, sometimes. Actually yes. There are alot of reminders, alot of hotel rooms, alot of places that we’ve been to together, music, different things that come up that are reminders of your ex….I’ve gotten over it, but there’s definitely constant reminders. Alot of it is listening to the radio, songs that come on, that were our favorite songs or his songs.

Interviewers: Is there any truth to the stories that you’re dating Tristan Wilds [The Wire]?

Rihanna: I don’t even have his number…I had a house party, this is funny, you know how a bunch of people come over that you don’t even know. And he came by, which was fun for me, I appreciated the company and he brought a bunch of friends….but I dont even have his number, so I dont know how I can be dating him.

Interviewers: Are you even open to dating right now?

Rihanna: Um, no. I’m a very flirty girl though…

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Ms. Fenty sure ain’t shying away from talking about the Chris Brown scenario at any chance it’s presented to her, is she? Funny, for, when they were together, they both remained so tight-lipped about it all – despite the countless pictures and whatnot. Yes, ‘the incident’ happened, but considering  she said in her 20/20 interview that the main thing that annoyed her was that relationship shouldn’t be the public’s business, it’s somewhat confusing to see her so open about it. Artists such as ‘she who shall not be named’, have effectively managed to keep her private life private, and, most importantly, keep the focus on her music, so there are workable ways for Ms. Fenty to do the same. That said, when your music lacks substance and leaves a lot to be desired, what other options other are there? I’m just saying…

Your thoughts?

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