5 Reasons We Think You Oughta Know Rebecca Ferguson

by (@zaragolden)

Meet Rebecca Ferguson, one of our two You Oughta Know artists for July and August. Hailing from Liverpool, the 25-year-old singer made her first big splash on Britain’s The X Factor‘s seventh season, where she won-over the usually salty Simon Cowell and placed second overall. Her successful showing subsequently earned her a record deal. And although her debut album Heaven only hit shelves stateside in May, the lead single “Nothing’s Real But Love” has already found its way to both the top of the UK charts and deep into our hearts. Ferguson’s belting recalls the classic soul of Aretha Franklin as well as that of the quirkier Macy Gray, but she cites also acts like Mike Posner and rockers Kings Of Leon as influences. Here are five things that make us proud to have her as our latest You Oughta Know artist:

1. Earning It On The X Factor

As she explains in her audition tape for The X Factor, Ferguson assumed her dreams derailed when she got pregnant at the age of 17. “I thought, well, maybe I won’t be able to become a singer. Who’s going to want me, now I’ve got a kid? I lost me confidence,” she shared through tears. Not yet ready to put aside her life long dream of being a singer, she climbed the audition stage and hasn’t looked back since.

For her audition, she sang “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and, oh boy, did a change come. Not even the notoriously difficult Simon Cowell could say no to a voice like hers. “You’re voice is totally on the money,” he said. “Let me try to restore that confidence for you,” he told her, sending her forward to reclaim her spirit as well. It was a long time coming, but she knew a change was going to come.

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The Internet Wants To Send Pitbull To Alaska

by (@zaragolden)

As a promotional stunt, Pitbull plans to visit whichever Walmart store can accumulate the most “likes” on Facebook before July 15th. in order to “share the experience of using Energy Sheets with my fans.” Pitbull was probably envisioning a quick trip to some superstore in a populated place like Dallas or Southern Florida, somewhere he could “share the experience of using Energy Sheets with my fans” and then be back on his Mr. World Order way. But a writer for the Boston Pheonix and the humor website SomethingAwful.com, has a better idea: why not jam the system and send the sun-bred, Miami boy and his energy strips to a land most forbidden? Or at least most far off.

Using the hashtag #ExilePitbull to rally the troops, troublemaker David Thorpe has earned some 45,000 ‘likes’ for the store in frozen Kodiak, Alaska, some 5,000 miles and many climate zones away from Pitbull’s Miami. A chilly bon voyage it may be!

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It’s A Boy For The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams!

by (@zaragolden)

You Oughta Know artist, Unplugged veteran and history maker — remember how she performed pregnant? — and one-half of the Grammy Award winning duo Civil Wars Joy Williams has added “Mother” to her already impressive résumé. Williams and her husband, the Civil Wars’ manager Nate Yetton, brought a baby boy into the world on Saturday. Welcome, Miles Alexander! “Now I really know what love at first sight means,” she gushed on Twitter. “All happy and healthy.” A hearty congrats to all!

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Andre 3000 Will Cover the Beatles and Muddy Waters For Jimi Hendrix Biopic

by (@zaragolden)

Outkast‘s Andre “3000″ Benjamin will play Jimi Hendrix in the upcoming biopic All Is By My Side, but he won’t actually get to try on any of the psychedelic guitar god’s originals on for size. According to Rolling Stone, Hendrix’s estate has put the kibosh on that. And so, as it turns out, Andre Benjamin’s Jimi Hendrix experience might be Hendrix-less after all. Sort of.

Experience Hendrix, LLC, the family-owned company that over see’s Hendrix’s legacy, has asked that the biopic — which is currently in production in Dublin — not include original music or copyrights created by Hendrix. Because the film is meant to cover the years ahead of Hendrix’s landmark debut, Are You Experienced?, director John Ridley has opted instead to use some of Hendrix’s most famous covers. And so in lieu of Andre Benjamin remakes of “Purple Haze” and “All Along The Watchtower,” we’ll get Andre Benjamin covers of Jimi Hendrix covers of the Beatles, Elvis, Muddy Waters, and more. Not such a bad compromise, if you ask us! Read more…

Last Lap: Blur Release Two New Songs

by (@zaragolden)

BLUR RELEASES TWO NEW SONGS
As promised, the band debuted their first two new songs in nine years today, first on Twitter via live stream, and now on YouTube as lyric videos. Not so shabby! [Vulture]

ADAM LAMBERT KICKS OFF HIS MINI-TOUR WITH QUEEN
They did “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and — look out Freddy Mercury! — Glambert’s looking pretty good. [RS]

CHRISTOPHER OWENS QUITS GIRLS
“My reasons at this time are personal. I need to do this in order to progress. I will continue to write & record music,” the frontman explained (sort of) on Twitter. [Huff Post]

BILL CLINTON PLAYS “MIDNIGHT CITY” ON THE SAX
We love Bill, we love M83, and we love this. [Spiegelman]

Willow Smith Is Comfortable In Her Own Skin In “I Am Me”

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It’d be a lie if we said the opening of Willow Smith’s “I Am Me” didn’t sound like Rihanna. Within seconds it’s blatantly obvious it’s not Riri because Willow has her own sound, but the similarity in sound is there, even if only for a moment. New York City is a perfect place for a video titled “I Am Me” because it’s a place where individuality is celebrated. In the middle of Washington Square Park Willow sports blue jeans and an oversized shirt toting her keyboard and skateboard. And the whole point is she just doesn’t care what anyone has to think, whether it’s about her clothes or her shaved head. Read more…

Guess Which Part Of “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” P!nk Puts The Emphasis On? (Hint: It’s Not “One Last Kiss”)

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Pink "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)"

P!nk has always had the formula to make catchy hit songs that grab your attention. Take, for instance, “So What” or “Stupid Girls,” songs where she dares to be herself by telling it like it is. “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” is her exit love letter to an ex that she’s finally getting rid of. P!nk uses her robust vocals to deliver this pop rock tune where she let’s said subject know she thinks he’s “full of s—.” Read more…

We Bet You’ve Never Heard Ginuwine’s “Pony” Covered The Way Ed Sheeran Nails It

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Ed Sheeran Covers Ginuwine "Pony"

It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard any new music from 90s R&B heartthrob Ginuwine. On the BET red carpet last night Ginuwine, Tank and Tyrese mentioned working on an album together as TGT. Fortunately for us we don’t have to wait for the collaboration album to hear some classic Ginuwine. YOK artist Ed Sheeran covers Ginuwine’s “Pony” sounding more like a veteran singer than the 21-year-old upcoming new kid on the block. Read more…

Chris Brown Disses Drake on “I Don’t Like” Remix

by (@zaragolden)

And so it begins! Some weeks after their much publicized brawl at NYC’s Club W.I.P., Chris Brown has come out swinging at Drake. Rapping over Kanye West‘s remix of Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like,” Breezy brings the fighting words. Brown calls Drake out as a bottle thrower — a charge Drake has adamantly denied — and takes the Toronto rapper to task for his music, his crew, and most personally his looks. “Them eyebrows, man,” he raps, “them sh**’s is yikes!” That, there, is where it really hurts.

Save for a few nice words reserved for associates Lil Wayne (who he calls “nice”) and Nicki Minaj (whose assets he finds “tight”), Breezy is sure to waste no breath not on Drake.  “One on one, what you scared, bruh? Matter of fact, Take Care, bruh,” he raps, making reference to Drake’s last album, Take Care, and calling him forth for battle. He strips Drake of his rapper title, saying, “I be singing, he be singing, so it’s on,” making clear that he — although counted as a crooner first, generally — is fit for the lyrical spar. And of Drake’s October’s Very Own crew and their much bantered about motto, Breezy makes clear that he thinks he’s got one up on them: “OVO, you overdosed, screamin’ YOLO — no, I live twice.”

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The Top 3 Performances At The 2012 BET Awards

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BET Awards 2012 Whitney Houston Tribute

Yes, the royal couple of hip-hop and R&B were at last night’s BET Awards, front and center. Beyonce and Jay-Z were the second and third most nominated artists (respectively) of the night, only behind their play brother Kanye West. Although the Carters didn’t perform it was a great night for both hip-hop and R&B. Usher, Chris Brown, Melanie Fiona, Maybach Music Group crew, Nicki Minaj and countless others brought their A game. As hard as it was to choose only three, here are our top three performances from BET Awards 2012.

3. G.O.O.D. Music swerved on everybody.

Nothing gets a crowd hype like dropping the beat to one of the hottest songs of the summer. Big Sean emerges on top of a neon lit Lamborghini to the beat of “Mercy.” Pusha T delivers his verse followed by 2 Chainz. The crowd explodes when 2 Chainz hits the stage. It’s safe to say 2 Chainz is the latest rap phenomenon. Being Kanye he skips his “Mercy” verse and appears as the beat changes to “Way Too Cold.”  When he finishes his first verse, he raps an acapella freestyle before dropping the mic. It doesn’t get much better than that for an opener. Read more…