Former Danity Kane member D.Woods this past weekend gave a rendition of the US National Anthem – The Star Spangled Banner- at the Cavaliers vs Magics basketball game in Cleveland, Ohio. Though not the best offering of the track I’ve heard (See: Whitney, Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce), D still did a pretty good job IMO.
What do you think of the performance?
Despite the drama that still surrounds Chris Brown, the 20 year old star insists his forthcoming album will be his biggest yet:

Though the case against Chris Brown for the alleged assault on Rihanna earlier this year continues to play out in Los Angeles courtrooms, a friend of Brown’s says the singer is doing his best to move forward and concentrate on work.

“Chris is focused,” says songwriter Robert Allen, who is working with Brown on his upcoming album, tentatively titled Graffiti. “He knows how to deal with whatever is going on and is willing to do what he has to do to please his fans.”

To do that, Brown plans to bring a different vibe to his music. “It’s not particularly just R&B,” says Allen, who has worked on songs with Brown in Los Angeles, New York, and Miami. “Chris is trying different things and experimenting. We’ve been making things really eclectic. The direction of this album is really fun and free spirited. It’s like a collage.”

Brown, who had been keeping a low profile for about three months, recently broke his silence in a video, in which he declared, “I ain’t a monster.”

“You want to go away so your audience can miss you some,” Allen says of why Brown has laid low. “But he’s so happy and ready for this next album to break through and make a big impact. He wants this to be his masterpiece. He’s predicting this will be his biggest album.” {Source}

I must say, I’m real surprised he’s pressing ahead with a new release so soon. Yes, the industry is fickle but not that fickle. The magnitude of what Chris is actually embroiled in doesn’t quite seem like it’s settled in the minds of Chris or whichever label honcho is actually gonna allow a release during or very near to legal proceedings against him.

Your thoughts?
Ciara Interview Update
Coincidence or what? As I’m literally about to hit ‘publish post’ on our interview with Ciara, I receive an email from the the UK arm of her label asking if we want to interview Ms. Harris this Friday – in person here in London. With the last interview, we crammed in as many of your questions as possible considering the allocated time; however it would be silly to pass up on the chance to speak with her again about more. 
So with that said, we’ll hold back the original interview in the meanwhile and hit you with the re-buffered version. Thanks for being so patient.
Any more questions for Ciara? Drop them in the comments section below…

Rapper Eminem, who performed at last night’s MTV Movie Awards 2009 in California, was the talk of the night for much more than his performances of ‘We Made You’ and ‘Crack A Bottle’. During the show, funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G, Borat etc) descended from the arena ceiling as his gay character Bruno, landing on the Detroit star and giving him a face full of his…erm…a**. Lord knows if Eminem was in on the whole thing, but he sure looked P’ed off at the end. LOL.
Your thoughts?
Reports: Jennifer Hudson Is Pregnant
Speculation has been rife for months that Grammy and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson is expecting her first child with fiance David Otunga. Well new reports are claiming that Hudson is indeed with child:

A weekend baby shower in downtown Chicago confirmed what has long been rumored: Jennifer Hudson is pregnant.

“It was a baby shower, a quiet gathering of friends and mostly family,” singer/actress Felicia Fields, a longtime Hudson friend, said of Saturday’s get-together in a relative’s home. “They’re really trying to keep it kind of quiet.”

South Side native Hudson, the 27-year-old singing star who won the 2006 best supporting actress Oscar for “Dreamgirls,” is engaged to former reality TV star David Otunga, who’s currently pursuing a pro wrestling career. Hudson has said she no longer would live in Chicago after her mother, Darnell Donerson, brother Jason and nephew Julian King were found murdered in October, with William Balfour, the estranged husband of Jennifer’s sister Julia, charged with the crimes.

Hudson recently finished a co-headlining concert tour with singer Robin Thicke, with an April 25 show at the Arie Crown Theatre. Her manager and publicist previously denied that she is pregnant.

“It was a nice time that we had,” Fields said of the shower. She didn’t want to get into when the baby is due, but speculation is that Hudson is many months along—an impression bolstered by her appearance of late.

As for whether Hudson received blue or pink gifts, Fields said, “They don’t know [the gender]. More yellow.” {Source}

It kinda goes without saying, but many congratulations to Jennifer and David – most especially after the difficult year she’s had.

Randomness: I find it hilarious that the friend says ‘they’re really trying to keep it quiet’, while blabbing to the press LOL LOL.
Your thoughts?
Michael Jackson Unveils New (Old) Look
Peep this new pic of Michael Jackson (and yes, it’s new). As the King of Pop continues to ready his much anticipated ‘This Is It’ series of comeback shows in July, he revealed his new look this weekend in Los Angeles while posing with a fan. It looks like Mike dusted off and donned that curly lacefront from the ‘Dangerous’ era LOL/
I think it’s a good look.
Your thoughts?

Check out the video for Jeremih’s smash ‘Birthday Sex’ which premiered within the day. I can’t say I’m big on this song (overrated much?) regardless of whether it broke the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. That said, the video definitely encapsulates the song.
What do you think of the song / video?
New Song: Sugababes - 'Teardrops'
While the Sugababes continue working on their US debut on Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, a new cut from the ladies has surfaced. Set to feature on the forthcoming Island 50 compliation, ‘Teardrops’ is a funkified cover of Bobby Womack’s 80s hit of the same name. Keisha, Heidi and Amelle put their unique stamp on this one and the results are great. Good stuff.
Hit or Miss? 
{Link removed as requested}

R&B songstress Brandy has been hard at work on her 6th studio album, with this new Ne-Yo collaboration ‘Decisions’ said to be the fruit of these new sessions. Some of you may remember Brandy saying in her interview with That Grape Juice earlier this year that she wanted to work with Ne-Yo, Tricky Stewart among others. Well, it turns out this song was penned by Ne-Yo and produced by Tricky.
About the cut itself, I’m really liking this one. While I feel ‘Human’ was the best way for Brandy to re-enter the music scene (a message driven record), it’s great to see Ms. Norwood return to her more commercial rootings and still churn out a winner. This really sounds great; both her and Ne-Yo’s voices mesh effortlessly and the production is hot. Great track.
Hit or Miss?

Somewhat breaking the Bad Boy M-O, Day26 are actually releasing a 2nd single from their sophomore LP ‘Forever In A Day’ in the form of ‘Stadium Music’ – and it’s not 6 months after the first. Shocker!  LOL.
The video for the the uptempo cut premiered today and it’s a so-so affair. While not disaster on a screen, this recession-budget clip really doesn’t do the group any favours – at all. With their album having experienced a ‘blink and you miss it’ chart-life, they are in desperate need of something to rejuvenate the project – and this doesn’t seem likely to do the job. A shame, as ‘Forever In A Day’ is actually a solid effort. 
What do you think of the video? 
Rihanna To Testify Against Chris Brown
The on-going saga between Rihanna and Chris Brown steam-rolls on, with the ‘Umbrella’ singer now confirmed to testify against Brown in court next month:
Prosecutors plan to call Rihanna as a witnesses during a hearing in Chris Brown’s assault case, her attorney said Thursday. Donald Etra told reporters that prosecutors have told him the Barbados-born singer will receive a subpoena to testify at a preliminary hearing June 22. The hearing will focus on whether there is enough evidence to continue the case against Brown.
Brown was arrested in February on suspicion of hitting and choking Rihanna, then his girlfriend, in a rented car hours before the couple were scheduled to appear at the Grammys. Rihanna has not been formally been named as the victimn in police or prosecutors’ reports.
Etra said Thursday Rihanna will comply with the order. If she is called to testify, the 21-year-old singer would be subject to cross-examination by Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos.
A judge on Thursday rejected as premature a motion by Geragos to receive police and investigative records related to the case and the apparent leak of a photo of a beaten and bruised Rihanna.
Brown wasn’t in court Thursday, but he’s required to attend the preliminary hearing. {Source}
It’s safe to say that with Rihanna testifying, what’s more on a date that Chris Brown compulsorily has to attend, the media will be all over this one. As much as this situation has been drawn out and over-reported since February, this upcoming court date sure will be one to watch.
In other Chris Brown news, check out the singer recently talking about his forthcoming album, and declaring that he ‘is not a monster’:

Your thoughts?
‘It’ chick of the moment Lady GaGa features on the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine. Although it’s typically ‘GaGa’, it’s hard to deny that she looks a hot mess. I mean, come on now…
What do you think of the cover?