Jay-Z & Stargate Form LabelWith Jay-Z having just finalized his multi-million dollar deal with Live Nation; reports are circulating that the rapper has formed a new record label with hit-makers Stargate – the duo behind big hits from the likes of Beyonce, Ne-Yo, Usher, Mary J and more:

Hot on the heels of his deal with Live Nation, which reportedly has the live music promotions giant contributing $5 million each year in overhead for five years, $25 million to finance Jay-Z’s external acquisitions and investments, plus $10 million per album for a minimum of three albums within the deal’s term, as well as aanother $20 million for other rights including publishing and licensing, Jay-Z is reportedly in the process of starting a new joint venture project with Norwegian based production crew Stargate.

The Stargate team of Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel S. Eriksen will join Jay-Z in the formation of the StarRoc record label imprint. {Source}

There really is no stopping Jay these days, is there? With Stargate on board, it’ll be interesting to see what the label will deliver in terms of artists and overall sound.

Any thoughts?

R&B stars Fantasia and Jennifer Hudson took to the stage the Labelle & Charles: 30th Anniversary – ‘An Evening Of Stars’ this week, a show to honor Patti Labelle’s storied career. Check out a lengthy clip of Fantasia performing ‘Lady Marmalade’ and Jennifer performing ‘Over The Rainbow’ below:

Great performances from both ladies. On a random note, it really does go to show that genuine, raw talent can be found on shows such as American Idol.

Anyway, the full show airs in the US January 24 and 25, 2009 on BET and WGN.

What do you think of the performances?

Alicia Keys & Jack White - 'Another Way To Die' (Bond Theme) The much anticipated theme for the forthcoming James Bond movie ‘Quantum of The Solace’, featuring Alicia Keys and Jack White (of the White Stripes), ‘Another Way To Die’ , has surfaced. I’m kinda on the fence about this one…

Hit or Miss?
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Pink Lands First #1 It’s not often you see Pink around these sides. However, as one of the few who think she’s actually become better since switching up her sound from R&B, I’m real pleased to see her getting her dues. The singer’s new single ‘So What’ jumped #2-#1 this week on the Billboard chart – marking her first time atop of the chart.

It’s weird thinking back, that despite her ‘Misunderstood’ record being her biggest to date, the album’s single’s didn’t yield any #1’s. I mean great tracks such as ‘Just Like A Pill’, ‘Family Portrait’ etc were all deserving. That said, there’s no point dwelling on what could have been…she’s #1 now. More power to her!

Any thoughts?

Estelle - 'Come Over (ft. Sean Paul)'Fresh off the success of ‘American Boy’, UK breakout star Estelle is set to serve up ‘Come Over’ as the 2nd US single from her highly acclaimed ‘Shine’ LP. This brand new version, not found on the album, features Sean Paul – who I must say compliments the already great track very well. Good stuff.
In other Estelle news, the singer’s hit ‘American Boy’ rockets a whopping 43 places on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week to #9. It really makes me proud to see Ms. Swaray doing it B-I-G in the States – many a UK artist has tried, without luck, to establish themselves in the US. More power to her. Anyway, back to the song lol…

Hit or Miss?
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Both Ne-Yo and Keri Hilson stopped by BET’s 106 & Park to perform their current singles, ‘Miss Independent’ and ‘Energy’ respectively. You can check out Ne-Yo’s showing above and Keri’s below:

As has become the norm, Ne-Yo delivered an awesome performance. Keri, though iffy in parts, was pretty good too.

What do you think of the performances?

Some of you may remember this new Keri Hilson track, ‘Shake It Like A Dog’, from last year; the track was originally recorded by Mya for placement on her ill-fated ‘Liberation’ LP. Now featuring R&B crooner R. Kelly, as well as amped-up production (the beat knocks!), the track has been re-branded by Keri on her serially delayed album ‘In A Perfect World’ (which has now been pushed back to November 4th (SMH). I must say, I’m really feeling this one….a lot. Here’s hoping the pushback and delays with Keri’s record don’t hamper what is sounding like a very deserving (of success) album.

Hit or Miss?

To 'Migrate' or Not?Billboard recently confirmed that Mariah Carey was set to release fan/critic favourite ‘Migrate’ as the fourth single from her under-performing (by her standards) LP ‘E=MC²’. However since then, uber reliable Mariah fansite Mariah Daily received word from Def Jam that the release of the single has been axed, with no further information on future releases from the album.
It’s a shame really as, regardless of how good an album is (and let’s make no mistakes,’E=MC²’ was far from ‘good’ IMO), it simply takes 2-3 singles well sequenced singles to deliver a hit record – for an artist of Mariah’s caliber, anyway. Why favourites such as ‘For The Record’, ‘Migrate’ and even ‘Side Effects’ (which I can’t stand, yet most seem to love) were overlooked in favour of nonsense such as ‘Bye Bye’ and ‘I’m That Chick’ is beyond me.
What’s more, from the looks of it, it doesn’t seem like we’ll be receiving any new singles from the album – which I actually think may be for the best. In between those horrid live performances and the fact that the album just wasn’t very good (especially when compared with its predecessor ‘Emancipation’, I say it’d probably be in Mariah’s best interest to sit down and enjoy married life for now.

Your thoughts?
In an exclusive interview with BET’s Toure, R. Kelly spoke out about his child abuse trial for the first time since being acquitted back in June. Check out the full interview below (courtesy of World Star Hip-Hop):

Your thoughts?

With Nelly’s new album ‘Brass Knuckles’ in-stores this week, the St. Louis native stopped by The Tonight With Jay Leno show last night to perform current single ‘Body On Me’, with song collaborators Akon and Ashanti.
Though I’ve heard each sound better, they all put on a pretty decent performance.

What do you think of the performance?
It’s not often you see Kat Deluna around these sides (you’ll know why a few seconds after watching the video…ok, that was bad on my part lol). Anyway, the singer gave an ‘interesting’ rendition of the US national anthem – The Star Spangled Banner- at a football game in Dallas, Texas recently – so ‘interesting’ that the crowd booed her resoundingly. Check it out:

Ouch. From what I’ve seen prior to now, the girl can actually sing; however all the unnecessary vocal runs and acrobatics killed the performance right from the jump. Still trying to establish herself in the industry, it would be a shame if this is what she is remembered for…

Your thoughts?

While promoting his debut album ‘Just A Rolling Stone’ (did anyone else NOT know it was out?! LOL) on Rock Me TV, Donnie decided to air out Danity Kane’s Aubrey. I won’t ruin it, however I doubt Aubrey will be pleased to hear his comments. SMH:

You’d think Donnie would have more sense than to trash his co-star and ‘expose’ the behind the scenes aspect of a show he is still starring in with the very same Aubrey. Then again, I guess these are the type of stunts pulled when your album sells a pathetic 20, 000 copies – as Donnie’s did. Any publicity is good publicity, ey?

Your thoughts?

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