#Rihannaplane landed last night in New York, and while we wait on the final dispatches from our brave colleagues who were onboard, we thought we would take a moment to start looking at the album that has inspired the whole thing but been seemingly tucked a back seat pocket for the duration of the seven days. Who has time to talk dub-break downs when there’s Ace to be sipped and buses to catch! We get it.
But Unapologetic marks Rihanna’s seventh turn, and it brings to the table much to be reckoned with regarding quality and quantity and he-who-shall-not-be-named. There is also Rihanna’s confidence and swaggering deviance, and of course: “Diamonds.”
Did you know that Kelly Clarkson wanted to be a back-up singer? No, we didn’t either, and it’s hard to imagine her anything less than a star she is today. But she insists that ten years later she still doesn’t “fit in most environments in this industry.” “There are prettier girls or oh, there are more talented girls, or oh, there are always more things that people will tell you,” she explained when we sat down with her in LA. “To all those people, like I was totally one of those kids, like that people kind of were like, oh you’re obviously never going to make it.” And so she resolved instead to hang behind the scenes, where she could flex that gargantuan voice of hers and keep out of the spotlight.
Of course, things worked out otherwise: “Like, I love singing. You know, that’s what I love to do, so but, and ya know, life had different plans for me … People just have to be ready for whatever life is gonna present you. And embrace it, whatever that is.” And so she advices young or up and coming stars to make sure they are doing it for the right reason, because, she says, if “it’s innate in you, you know, you just feel like it’s your purpose. Like, I just feel like that can’t be wrong.”
The noise had become deafening. Nicki Minaj listened to the clamor of critics who claim she abandoned hip-hop for pop. She got the unwarranted memo and responded with Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded The Re-Up. The message she’s conveying is simple: I can still rap. Don’t get it twisted.
After her sophomore release she caught flack for seemingly trading in the flow of a hungry emcee from Jamaica, Queens to appease an audience whose most played songs on their iTunes were sung by Justin Bieber. On the balladry “Freedom” she drops clues that she’s not at all oblivious to the chatter. “Did I really body bitches with commercial songs?” she boasts. It’s liberation Nicki seeks, not approval. Read more…
Their month may be passed, but we just can’t quit VH1 You Oughta Know artist Delta Rae and this last clip from their You Oughta Know Live session has just been freed from the vault and is way to good not to share. After a rousing run of their own tracks — “Morning Comes,”“Bottom Of The River,” and “If I Loved You,” — they broke out this cover of Fleetwood Mac‘s “The Chain,” so stormy and impassioned that the original sounds almost like a lullaby by comparison.
Amy Wallace wrote a fantastically written profile, “Ocean-ography,” on Frank Ocean for GQ magazine. Wallace pulled out of Frank the important small details that complete the bigger picture to otherwise mysterious prolific songwriter and singer. It’s less about the back story on how a kid goes from working at Fatburger to writing songs for Justin Bieber and Beyonce. Instead it’s a window into Frank as a creative, a human, a man. Read more…
R. Kelly told me he loved me last night. He told me through his art and he also told me face-to-face. Well, he had sunglasses on but myself and the packed room of journalists and fans could also feel the emotion in his voice. His extremely beautiful voice, one that sang not only once but three (3) times during a post-Trapped In The Closet premiere Q&A–including hits such as “Bump ‘N Grind” (He sang this one as an impromptu duet with a fan) and “I Believe I Can Fly” (This one was as a finale duet with the entire audience).
He told me he loved me directly after I submitted a question (OK, I totally stuffed the ballot box) to his Q&A and it was chosen. It read as follows:
The mayhem is finally over. Rihanna‘s 777 tour plane has landed in NYC for its final show. And based on the around the clock coverage and tweets of a handful of the 200 journalists and bloggers who were along for the 7 countries 7 days 7 shows ride, we’d bet money folks are happy it’s over (including Rihanna). As down to earth as the mega star seems, don’t mess up her music. Riri ripped her band a new one at last night’s London concert. And thanks to the livestream it lives on the ‘net forever. Read more…
Lil Wayne won’t work with just anybody — try asking Justin Bieber, who’s still gotten nothing for all his texting — but for some reason he was willing to do this. Last night TMZ posted a brand new Paris Hilton song called “Last Night,” and lo and behold, it’s got Wayne spitting bars for and about the hotel heiress turned pop star. The song is produced by Paris’ ex-boyfriend, Afrojack, and it finds the two recalling a rowdy evening prior. “I want to say, ‘Oh my god, that was so much fun’!” Paris sings, typically dulcet and ever enthusiastic. Wayne chimes in to agree that “last night was awesome, super f*cking awesome,” and then kicks the raunch up another notch with a reference to Paris’ infamous sexcapade: “Last night I had fun with her/ I got 99 problems, not one with her/ And excuse my French, but f**k the cameras / I wanna spend a night in Paris.”
You must bow down to Cyndi Lauper. Yes, bow. There will never be a time when “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” won’t be relevant. Sunday night she stepped out for the AMAs looking like a young rockstar. VH1 caught up with the 50-million-records-sold singer to ask if she had any crushes on any of the performers. One thing Cyndi made crystal clear: She ain’t no cougar! Read more…
How early is too early to begin your Christmas caroling? Never, if you sound as Pentatonix do. We caught up with the The Sing-Off winners ahead of the American Music Awards on Sunday and asked them if they might ring in the holiday season with a tune. The group has just released their second EP, a Christmas collection called PTXmas, so they had a few festive options ready to roll and they happily obliged. Above, check out the group singing “Angels We Have Heard on High” on the AMAs red carpet.