Heavy D, pictured at right (alongside Sandy "Pepa" Denton and Flavor Flav), passed away today at the age of 44.
Sad news to pass along. TMZ is reporting that rapper/actor Dwight “Heavy D” Arrington died earlier this afternoon after collapsing outside his Beverly Hills home. He was 44 years old.
“The Overweight Lover Heavy D” rose to prominence as the frontman of Heavy D & The Boyz in the late 80s after being signed to Uptown Records, which was perhaps the preeminent practitioner of the New Jack Swing sound that dominated that era. The group released Livin Large to some fanfare in 1987, but the group really saw their exposure grow when they were tapped to write the theme song to the hit show In Living Color in 1990. Shortly thereafter, Heavy D experienced his greatest commercial success with his 1991 cover of “Now That We Found Love,” which ended up spending 15 weeks in the Billboard Top 40 in the summer of 1991, peaking at #11.
The cause of Heavy D’s death has yet to be revealed. We’d like to extend our condolences to Heavy D’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time.
We already know Rihanna isn’t camera shy, and when it comes to hamming it up in front of the lens, the superstar is a super playful babe. Recently on vacation with her gal pals, RiRi posted this gallery of pics that show her being extra irreverent, cheeky and downright sexy on film. Fishing, drinking champagne, flipping more than one bird and generally getting up to mischief, Rihanna once again proves why she’s our very favorite…
How much Beyoncé is too much Beyoncé? If you want our honest answer, too much is never enough! We could gorge ourselves on Lady Bey all day long, that’s why we’re so excited by the annoucement that the yummy-mummy-to-be is releasing one more video from her epic album, 4. While it hasn’t been revealed what the song the video will accompany, Billboard has indicated that it will not be “End Of Time,” although we’d be very keen to see what that video would look like.
The video will be released before Bey’s “Live At Roseland” DVD drops, and we’ve got our money on the Frank Ocean Penned “I Miss You,” as the seventh installment in what has so far been a gripping visual onslaught from 4. The DVD itself is set to only add to the mesmerizing Beyoncé persona, including intimate, behind the scenes footage of the diva and even Destiny’s Child, with special footage shot by hubby Jay-Z. We’d sure like Santa to drop a copy of that in our stockings this holiday season!
Following the release of Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s audaciously entitled Watch The Throne album, the ongoing competition between the Hov and rapper Lil Wayne was back on the front burner. With Jay-Z offering up the diss, “Really you got baby money / You ain’t got my lady’s money,” on “H.A.M,” Wayne responded in kind on Carter IV‘s “It’s Good,” threatening to kidnap Jay’s wifey Beyoncé with the line “Talkin ’bout baby money, I got your baby money / Kidnap your bitch, get that how much you love your lady money.” The rivalry created by the conflicting albums was seemingly quashed when Carter IV out-sold Watch The Throneboasting nearly a million copies in its first week.
But now it seems that Lil Wayne’s record sales weren’t enough to assure the rapper of his dominance over WTT, as reports have revealed that the recording artist will not be going ahead with plans to co-produce an album with Drake, supposedly due to fears of comparison with WTT. In an interview with XXL, Drake explained, “It would be sort of this competition [with Watch The Throne]. I feel like it would get caught in this whirlwind of hype. [Wayne] agreed. We just said, ‘If we do it, we’ll do it down the line. But right now is not the time.’” It seems that for now Jay-Z and Kanye are safely overseeing their kingdom; but is Lil Wayne’s bowing to their power a defeat, or a strategic play that will see the throne eventually toppled and reclaimed?
At this weekend’s MTV Europe Music Awards, Adam Lambert wow-ed fans as he performed live on stage with legendary rock band Queen. In a noisy, epic performance, Lambert belted out numbers like a pro, owning the material in a way that made him seem much more than your run-of-the-mill Freddie Mercury impersonator. Sporting his trademark vertiginous hair and a Matrix-style leather coat, Lambert fronted the legendary band with contemporary style, hitting big notes with soaring force. We feel it’s safe to say that this is probably another high point in Lambert’s career and definitely a favorite moment for his fans, but do Queen’s die hard contingent of supporters feel the same way?
Despite his ripping performance at the EMAs, unfortunately, it’s not all coming up daisies for the ex-Idol contestant as this week; he’s been stung with a pretty hefty lawsuit. The star has been shot with a subpoena by a company called Colwel Platinum Entertainment who claim they had an agreement with Lambert at the time of his appearance on American Idol, and that his appearance on the show was in direct violation of said agreement. We’ll see how this one pans out, but if we know Glambert, he’s not going to let a little thing like a lawsuit stand in the way of getting his (currently delayed) first single completed!
To find out what Adam had to say about the latest delay of his next single, follow along: Read more…
Kelly Clarkson‘s video for “Mr. Know It All” is currently sitting atop the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, and on this past weekend’s show, she sat down with our buddy Jim Shearer to not only discuss her new record, but also her current relationship status. Jim mentioned that the guys from Gym Class Heroes were crushing on Kelly, but she quickly shot the matchmaking suggestion down. “I try not to date musicians,” she told our fearless host. “It’s all I’ve dated. Every guy I’ve dated is a musician. Obviously, it’s not working.”
Well, from our vantage point, Single Kelly is sitting pretty. As we mentioned, “Mr. Know It All” is currently blowing up on our Top 20 Countdown AND on the Billboard charts. Additionally, her VH1 Unplugged performance is getting ever closer! VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson will premiere exclusively on VH1.com at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 17, and you’ll be able to catch the special on your television the next night, Friday, November 18, at 11 p.m.
At only 20 years old, rap producer Lex Luger can write a hit rap song in under 20 minutes. We are intrigued — as is the world of hip hop, with superstars like Jay-Z and Kayne West already clamoring to embrace the wunderkind. With the hip hop world turning out a slew of younger-cooler-more-talented-than-thou musical genius sensations recently (guys like Frank Ocean and Drake who are not only excelling at their art but actively influencing older generations and veteran producers), it’s easy to attribute some of the mastery of these new players to youth. Perhaps only with his limited experience is Luger able to move his virtuosic hand so deftly to produce work so quickly — unhindered by the heavy weight of perfectionism that can often sterilize and homogenize creativity.
Luger, the focus of a New York Times Magazine piece over the weekend, found his start producing beats in Atlanta with rapper Waka Flocka Flame, which transpired into Waka’s radio hit “Hand In Da Paint,” and began gaining momentum after producing Rick Ross‘s track “Blowin’ Money Fast.” From the mainstream to the underground, Luger became, and still is, one of the most sought after rap producers of the moment and as such, it wasn’t long before he caught the attention of the ultimate champion of young talent, Kanye West. Assisting Kanye on production for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, laying out a drum track for “See Me Now” and having Beyoncé sing over his beats, Luger established himself as a dominant force in the rap world. Luger is now being touted as “defining,” seminal in the creation of hip hop’s current favored sounds — definitely a space to be watched.
Are you in love with Jose Gonzales? If you’re not, you have a cold, cold heart — the singer/songwriter is absolutely alluring, and his whimsical brand of music simply dreamy. The Swedish born Argentinian Gonzalez appeared with his band, Junip, last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, performing “In Every Direction” and “Always” (above). With Gonzales’ enthralling, soft vocal and the gentle brushing of guitar chords, Junip is like listening to the air whispering in the trees on some fantasy planet…
Breathe easy, folks. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that biggest selling artist of 2011, Adele, underwent successful vocal cord surgery in Boston yesterday. According to a jargon-laced statement from Massachusetts General Hospital, “Adele underwent vocal cord microsurgery by Dr. Steven Zeitels to stop recurrent vocal cord hemorrhage (bleeding) from a benign polyp. This condition is typically the result of unstable blood vessels in the vocal cord that can rupture … Dr. Zeitels expects Adele to make a full recovery from her laser microsurgery.” LASERS!