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We reported a few months back that R&B songstress Toni Braxton had signed a new deal with Atlantic Records and was set to drop her first single ‘Get Loose’ toward the end of the year. Indeed with just a few days to go before the year is out, the song has surfaced. Produced by Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins, the uptempo song unsurprisingly has a very Darkchild 2008 sound. By that I mean it has elements similar to cuts such Brandy’s ‘Right Here (Departed)’ and Beyonce’s ‘Scared of Lonely’.

As I type and listen to the song over again, I’m still on the fence about this one. It’s decent enough on first listen, however in terms of a ‘comeback’ single and chart prospects, just doesn’t really cut it for me. A grower? Perhaps. A miss? Perhaps. {Thanks Devonte!}

Hit or Miss?

Rep: Michael Jackson Not Sick

Following reports yesterday alleging that Michael Jackson is gravely ill, the King of Pop’s spokesman has issued a press release shooting down the claims:

Michael Jackson’s spokesperson is denying a report that the artist is ill with a serious lung disease, calling the claim “a total fabrication.”

In a recent interview with In Touch, author Ian Halperin said Jackson, 50, is suffering from Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency, which can be fatal. Halperin is the author of a forthcoming unauthorized biography of Jackson.

“Concerning this author’s allegations, we would hope in the future that legitimate media will not continue to be exploited by such an obvious attempt to promote this unauthorized ‘biography,'” said Dr. Tohme Tohme, described in a statement as Jackson’s “official and sole spokesperson.”

“The writer’s wild allegations concerning Mr. Jackson’s health are a total fabrication,” Tohme added.

The statement concludes with word that Jackson is “in fine health” and is “finalizing negotiations with a major entertainment company and television network for both a world tour and a series of specials and appearances.” {Source}

It’s great to hear that Michael isn’t being idle and is cooking up something special for the fans. It is even better to know that he is in good health; the lengths some people will go to sell something. SMH…

Your thoughts?

New Beyonce Videos To Debut TomorrowJust a bit of a heads up; Beyonce’s latest videos – ‘Diva’ & ‘Halo’ – will be making their simultaneous debuts tomorrow on iTunes, but you know where to keep it locked to catch them too…That Grape Juice!

Are you anticipating Beyonce’s new videos?
That Grape Juice UpdateI’ve been meaning to update you guys on a number of things for a while now, but have been procrastinating. So without further ado LOL…

* Janet Tour Contest:
Janet Jackson’s cancellation of her ‘Rock Witchu’ tour has essentially led to the premature end of our ‘That Grape Juice Wants To Rock Witchu’ contest, something that disappointed me personally. Thankfully, winners for select dates that went ahead enjoyed the show from their very very close seats (pops collar…you know how we do LOL LOL). You will be pleased to know that we have a similar themed contest in the pipeline for one of next year’s biggest tours. Any guesses as to who?

* T.I. & D. Woods Interviews:
It’s with much annoyance that I can confirm that our telephone time with T.I. has been cancelled. We had been allocated a time to interview the rapper during last month’s Thanksgiving Week, however we received word a day prior that his overseas press time had been cancelled due to a lack of time in his US schedule.
Though the unpredictable nature of these things is always something to bare in mind, it’s still very annoying when things like this happen. I will go on record and say that we, here at That Grape Juice, work very hard to secure the very best interviews (See: Interview archive to the left) and will definitely continue to do so.
As regards D. Woods, the official word from her people is that a slot is still to be allocated. I must say though, with D. Woods keeping a relatively low profile since her split from Danity Kane and a new season of Making The Band (kinda…’Bonus episodes’) set to air at the top of 09, I’m thinking there may be more to it all. Watch this space is what I’ll say…

* That Grape Juice – End of Year Awards:
Technical glitches can be a bitch (pardon my French LOL). The final nominee list and voting are now set to go live tomorrow – 23rd December.

* Xmas Updates:
With Christmas around the corner and it hitting me that I’ve bought little to nothing in the way of presents (as well as all of the stress that comes along with this time of the year), updates may be a little slower than usual. Just a little. That said, I don’t want any of the That Grape Juice faithful to leave me hanging in the meanwhile! One of the main aspects of all this that I love is the fact that it’s all very unpredictable – anything can happen/surface at any time! So do be sure to keep it locked on That Grape Juice as you usually would!
* Etc: 2009 is shaping up to be another great year for the site. Know that we continue to work tirelessly behind the scenes on many fronts to make That Grape Juice the best it possibly can be. Next year will be no different. Continue to expect the latest news, music, videos, interviews and all that good stuff as we head into the new year. Feel free to suggest anything you’d particularly like to see on the site in the comments section below or by emailing me [email protected].
Many thanks to each and every one of you for supporting the site. Do be sure to keep it locked on That Grape Juice and spread the word!
Rihanna To Re-Release 'Good Girl Gone Bad'...Again!

Not content with milking her break-through album ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ within an inch of its life, Rihanna is set to release the LP for the third time (yes, the THIRD time!) next month.

‘Good Girl Gone Bad: The Remixes’ (due January 27th) features remixed versions of 12 tracks from the album’s first and second releases including ‘Disturbia’, ‘Take A Bow’ and ‘Umbrella’.

Oh joy! I guess Ms. Fenty’s team just couldn’t allow 09 to run its course without another album from her – after the ‘singer’ (sheep-bleater), herself, confirmed that her fourth studio LP wouldn’t be hitting stores next year. {Source}

For all her ‘It Girl’ status, she doesn’t sell anywhere near as many albums (where the real profit is made) as the label treatment she receives would have you think. So why so much money is being pumped into her is beyond me. I’d much rather see her prove her true worth, by churning out a well-selling album that is actually somewhat good this time.

Your thoughts?

The 'RandomNess' PostOnce again, it’s a Friday and no surprises it’s been a slow news day. The voting for the That Grape Juice: End of Year Awards 2008 were to go live today, but technical difficulties have delayed this until Monday 22nd December.
So I’m throwing it back to you guys to express yourselves as you wish. As ever, it’s always entertaining to read – and read them I do…

As per the title of this post, feel free to drop anything and ‘errrrrthing’ in the comments section.
{So, anything from your thoughts on the site, to random ramblings, particular views on any story (music, politics, sports etc), share a story/new song, shameless promotion of your own site/material lol…not to be limited to music alone…a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g! }
It’s your shout….

X Factor victor Alexandra Burke is everywhere here in the UK at the moment. The 20 year old performed ‘Hero’ sans the rest of the final 12 X Factor finalists – whose collective version recently topped the Official UK chart – at The Millies, an event to honor the nations bravest.

Granted her rendition wasn’t flawless, it definitely has me even more proud that she won. The richness of her tone is reminiscent to that of a certain Ms. Houston, something I couldn’t have ever imagined saying about a British talent show contestant (sad, but true). With there being increasing talk of Simon Cowell prepping Alex for International stardom, it wouldn’t surprise me if by this time next year she’s a star on both sides of the Atlantic.

What do you think of the performance?

Ten years after Brandy & Monica’s smash ‘The Boy Is Mine’ set alight the charts, the R&B stars reunited on stage to sing the song recently at Brandy’s showcase for Atlanta’s V103 radio station event. While it was a great for the nostalgia and what not, it kinda irked me as a) I would have preferred it be on a bigger platform – i.e. something televised and not some dingy club b) Monica’s ad-libbing (which I usually like) and over singing were borderline painful. Still, it’s wonderful seeing these two onstage together once again. Watching this takes me back to a time when the R&B scene was populated by actual talented artists.

What do you think of the performance?

'A Different Me': Your Thoughts? This week ushered in the release of Keyshia Cole’s third studio album ‘A Different Me’. With early estimates showing the album to be on course to sell over 300,000 copies in it’s first week, Cole’s looks set to further cement her place in the industry.
That said, we here at That Grape Juice want to know what you think of the album? Have you bought it already? What do you think of it? Will you be buying it?
Having given the album a quick run-through myself, I can’t really much jumped out at me. There’s no doubt Keyshia is benefiting from the festive sales, but come January – considering there seems to be little-to-no hype around the project and not a hit in sight – it’ll be interesting to see whether her sales will hold up. Anyway…

Your thoughts?
The Royal Variety Performance show aired here in the UK last night on ITV1. Filmed last week, the show featured live showings from the likes of Leona Lewis, Rihanna and the Pussycat Dolls. Check out their performances below:
Leona – Run

Rihanna – Take A Bow

Pussycat Dolls – Medley

Leona nailed it! I really have not seen the hype surrounding the song, which is currently #1 on the UK chart until now. Awesome performance.

It may come as a surprise to some, but Rihanna’s sheep-like bleating wasn’t half as annoying as usual. Dare I say, she actually turned in a solid showing.

Pussycat Dolls served up more of the same. Take from that what you will.

What do you think of the performances?

Christina Milian Talks Nick & Mariah, Getting Dropped & More Christina Milian features on the cover of the Winter 08 /09 issue of Rap-Up magazine. In her interview, the singer speaks on former boyfriend Nick Cannon’s surprise wedding to Mariah Carey, getting dropped from Def Jam and what inspired her to return to the industry. Check out quotes from her piece below:

On the reason why she was dropped:

“It was a budget cut, I believe. [Def Jam] probably got rid of projects like mine to spend the money on [Rihanna].”

On who inspired her to get back into music:

“I bumped into Janet Jackson at a club. We talked for an hour and I was telling her I don’t know if I’m gonna do this, and she was like, ‘Girl, do not let them stop you. I’m a fan and you make good music.’ She’s a person I actually looked up to growing up, so her telling me that really was the day I was like, ‘I’m not gonna let these people hold me down. It’s time.’”

On Nick Cannon marrying Mariah Carey:

“I was surprised like everyone else. I was like, ‘Really?’ It just seemed like a weird match, but I was happy for him. I always feel Nick works hard to get what he wants, whether that be women—that’s how he got me.”

Interesting, no doubt. She seemed kinda salty with that Rihanna comment – and rightfully so IMO (no shade on Rihanna, personally). Pretty, talented and oozing with cross-over appeal, had she had the kind of backing Rihanna got (and continues to get), Christina could easily have been what and who Rihanna is today.

Tidbit: Janet, a Christina Milian fan? Things that make you go ‘hmmm’…

Your thoughts?

Entertainment Tonight last night ran a feature on Beyonce’s latest foray into the acting world – ‘Obsessed’, which also stars Brit Idris Elba and that woman from ‘Heroes’ (LOL). The movie, which hits theatres in April 2009, looks really good judging by the clip above.

I’m admittedly a bit cynical when it comes to Beyonce and her acting (‘Dreamgirls’ being her best movie showing to date), so I’ll definitely be paying close attention to this one, as it’s her first non-musical role.

Will you be going to see ‘Obsessed’?

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