Brandy Dropped By Epic; Leaves ManagementOur very good friend Jawn Murray over at AOL’s Black Voices is reporting that Brandy has been let go by label Epic Records. Check out the story below:

R&B singer Brandy Norwood is in search of a new record deal.

BV Buzz has learned exclusively that the 30-year-old singer was just dropped by her label Epic Records because of the lackluster sales of from her comeback CD, ‘Human.’

Released on Dec. 8, 2008, the CD has only sold 196,509 units to date according to SoundScan.

“Her friend Brandon Creed that works as an A&R representative at Epic Records has been making calls to see if other labels would be interested in signing her,” a record company source told me.

In addition, Brandy has also parted ways with her management.

The former ‘Moesha’ star had been represented in recent months by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Management.

The McComb, Miss.-bred singer’s relationship with Roc Nation supposedly dissolved because of “creative differences.”

A rep for Roc Nation did confirm the split to BV Buzz.

“Roc Nation no longer reps Brandy,” the publicist Jana Fleishman said in an e-mail yesterday.

A source tells me that Brandy’s business relationship with Roc Nation “is what kept Epic Records from dropping her months ago.” Since the singer is no longer repped by the firm, the label “didn’t see the benefit in giving her another album.”

“She was signed to Epic when Charlie Walk was president of the label. Now that Amanda Ghost is president, she is the one who decided to let Brandy go,” the source explained.

Coincidentally, Roc Nation had also represented Ghost, who in addition to being president of Epic Records is a Grammy-nominated songwriter who has written for Beyoncé, Jordin Sparks and Shakira.

Brandy’s last CD ‘Human’ was her first release in more than four years and her debut album for Epic Records.

Prior to signing with Epic, the singer had recorded exclusively for Atlantic Records, where she released four CDs before parting ways with that label in 2005.

A rep for Brandy denied that the singer has been dropped from the label.

“They have not dropped her. We are trying to get a release from them. We’re in waiting,” her rep told me, before adding: “And Brandy and Roc Nation parted amicably.”

BV Buzz’s call to Ghost’s office was forwarded to Elisa Goldman in the publicity department. That call has gone unreturned.

A message was left for Creed as well, though he has yet to respond.{Source}

What ever is said in the weeks and months ahead by both parties, there’s no denying that this is a real sad situation for Brandy – if true, considering all the problems she’s been through over the last couple of years.

The situation really highlights the bogus state of the industry today; Ms. Norwood churns out one of last year’s best efforts with ‘Human’, yet goes on to sell the worst she has with any of her albums. All this despite being promoted relatively well, a point I feel important to note as many are oft quick to say their favourite wasn’t promoted right, yet if I recall right I remember seeing Brandy on numerous shows, as well as having her own BET special. As cut-throat as it may sound, it’s easy to see that Epic had no choice, as no sales=no money. That said, it’s real, real sad when an immensely talented artist in the form of Brandy, currently at her creative peak isn’t able to shift records, yet a whole bunch of nonsense can. SMH. Here’s hoping another label snaps her up swiftly.

Your thoughts?

Review up shortly (aka I’m watching it now LOL)

In the meanwhile…

What do you think of the video?

Michelle Williams is currently over here in the UK promoting her stint in the West End adaptation of Chicago, in which she will star as the fiery Roxy. Peep the interview above. Michelle, who is a good friend of this site, almost always comes across really well in interviews. Great personality, which really shines through. More power to her. I’m definitely gonna try check out one of her shows, which by the way kick off July 13th.

Your thoughts?

That Grape Juice To Interview Keri HilsonAs some of you may remember, we were supposed to interview R&B star Keri Hilson back in April during her last promo stop in London, yet scheduling changed that. Well, I’ve just received word from her label that we have confirmed phone time with her late Saturday night (London time). So, as usual, I’m throwing it to you guys to submit any questions you may have for the talented singer-song-writer in the comments section below. As usual, only legitimate questions will be considered. Thanks guys 🙂

*Please note, as I’m sure you are aware of already, plans can change at any given time. However, at present, all systems are go… *

The video for Beyonce’s latest single ‘Sweet Dreams’ premiered a few hours ago. As I’m sure regular readers will know, we are ardent supporters of Bouncy, however that does not mean we won’t call it as we see it, and what I’m seeing isn’t a good look – at all. Echoing my sentiments from the preview of the vid yesterday, this is a recession video if I’ve ever seen one. Granted Ms. Knowles-Carter is supposedly going for a ‘simple/classic’ feel with these batch of videos, that is no excuse to essentially be churning out cheap, creatively-starved, mediocre re-hashes of the ‘Single Ladies’ video (see: videos for ‘Ego’ and this). Re-hashing aside, IMO all of the videos besides ‘If I Were A Boy’ and ‘Single Ladies’ have been, to put it bluntly, rubbish. Before the stans jump me, in no one am I saying this takes away from Beyonce’s talent, yet for someone who, quote on quote, wants to be an ‘icon’, this isn’t the way to go about it. All that money in the bank, and nothing (or not enough!) is thrown at her videos. Not a good look.

Being the best in the game isn’t dependant solely on songs, stage performance etc; we are in the visual age and whether artists like it or not, they have to be able to sell us that song via a great video. Not making videos just for the sake of it – which seems to be the case here. Here’s hoping Bouncy steps it up next go round. SMH…

What do you think of the video?

Mariah Apologises For Poor Performance At Jackson Memorial Following her performance of ‘I’ll Be There’ at the memorial for the late, great Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey took to Twitter to apologise for the quality of her performance. Here’s what the 39 year old Tweeted:

Just recovering from the day. Still filled w/sadness as we listen to KJLH in LA(Stevie Wonder’s radio station)paying tribute to MJ.

Trying to sing today was basically impossible for me. I could barely keep myself from crying. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to pull it together and really do it right,but I was literally choked up when I saw him there in front of me.

One thing I know is, we will never really have to say goodbye to MJ. His legacy lives on through his music and the millions of people. He inspired with his timeless music. He will be forever in our hearts. {Source}

In this particular instance I won’t say anything other than it’s great Mariah came out in celebration of The King of Pop’s life. Though, I must say I’m interested to hear what you guys thought of Mariah’s showing…

Your thoughts?

Check out this preview of Beyonce’s much anticipated video for new single ‘Sweet Dreams’. While I’ll hold my judgement until the full video surfaces, I’ll say that Ms Knowles really needs to start delving into her purse if she’s adamant on releasing all these videos, because if this doesn’t look like a recession video, then I really don’t know what does.

Your thoughts?

The new Sugababes single ‘Get Sexy’, their first under their new deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, premiered yesterday. Produced by Red One, the vivacious uptempo sees the ‘Babes venture into new territory musical territory. Big, bold, and banging, the ladies have managed to serve up a fresh new sound, without deviating from their top 40 mainstay (evidenced by the many hooks which pervade this song). Listening to this definitely has me anticipating more new material from the ladies, who worked with Ne-Yo, Stargate, among others during their time in the US.

Hit or Miss?

The memorial service to celebrate the life of the King of Pop Michael Jackson finished just a few moments. While I’ll have That Grape Juice’s full take on the classy and well-organised event, check out highlights from the gathering below:

Your thoughts?

This past weekend saw two of music’s biggest acts pay tribute to the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson. During Madonna’s show at London’s 02 last night, the 50 year old and her dancers gave an uptempo nod to MJ (which you can watch above), while Beyonce gave a touching rendition of ‘Halo’ (which you can see below), changing the words in honour of Michael. Good stuff.

Randomness: I must have randomly been walking through London Bridge today, stumbling upon a dance showcase (presented by Scoop). After the performances the hosts gave a speech about Michael and went on to give a master class in the classic ‘Beat It’ routine. I was so surprised to see hundreds of people of all races, ages (young – elderly), genders etc join in honoring Michael. This really brought a smile to my face and put me in a celebratory mindset about Michael’s legacy for the first time since his untimely passing. Only he could bring together such a diverse mix of people, who united in their love for his music and dance. Definitely brightened up my day. The vid below doesn’t really do the event much justice, many folk were in the house, and everyone from toddlers to pensioners got in on the ‘Beat It’ routine:

What’s more, there’s not been a time that I’ve been out since ‘that’ sad day, that I’ve not heard someone blaring out MJ in their car. I literally mean everyday, multiple people. Anyone else noticed the same thing?

Long live the King!

Your thoughts?

The sudden passing of the King of Pop Michael Jackson last week sent shock waves through the world at large. Beginning to move away from the tragedy of Michael’s death, now more so than ever is the time to celebrate life of the greatest entertainer the world has ever known, and toast to the next phase in his story; a phase which will no doubt see new material and his legacy live on forever. With that, this week’s classic From The Vault video is Michael’s performance of ‘Billie Jean’ at his 30th Anniversary special in 2001 (be sure to watch it till the end, you’ll know why after doing so). Enjoy:

Awesome performance!
Your thoughts?
Sugababes - 'Get Sexy' (Snippet)Check out this lengthy snippet of the lead single ‘Get Sexy’ from the Sugababes’ forthcoming US debut on Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. Though holding my judgement till hearing the track in its entirety, the ladies were not playing when they said the song’s sound would be like nothing we’ve heard from them yet. Hmm…
Hit or Miss?