When Madonna announced plans for a new album in spring 2012 while on a press junket for her film W.E. at the Venice Film Festival, she said that she hoped to have a first single ready for February or March. If the latest rumor is true, that timeline is about to contract significantly: SBNation.com is reporting that Madonna will perform at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show on February 5, 2012.
We doubt that a Madonna performance is set in stone, considering that Madonna was in negotiations to perform at two past Super Bowl halftime shows?XXXIII (in 1998) and XXXV (in 2000)?but in the former case, the deal fell through, and in the latter, Madonna reportedly backed out when the timeline became impossible. It’s likely, though, that Madonna and the NFL are in talks. A “Madonna source” told Gossip Cop, “It looks promising,” and the NFL spokesperson SBNation contacted declined to comment. This year’s Super Bowl will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and televised on NBC.
Exclusive: Madonna To Perform At Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show, Sources Tell SBNation.com [SB Nation via Popdust]
TMZ reports this morning that they have seen a recently-discovered “five-minute sex tape showing Tupac receiving oral sex.” Allegedly the five-minute tape documents a 1991 house party featuring “a bunch of groupies,” and during the sex act, “an unreleased song of Tupac’s is playing in the background, as Tupac is singing along and dancing, wiggling his hips. And it gets even better,” the gossip site reports:
As the woman services Tupac, who is holding a cocktail in one hand and a blunt in another, Money B from Digital Underground walks over to him. Tupac puts his cocktail arm around Money B, continues singing and dancing … and the woman never stops.
We tend to be skeptical of these types of rumors, in absence of evidence available, but we have to admit this story has a significant ring of truth to it. After all, five years later Tupac would make an X-rated music video (with a censored cut for television, of course) for “How Do U Want It.” What we’re more curious about, in this case, is the twenty-year journey the tape has taken before reaching someone who, TMZ reports, “is making plans to release it.” Did the tape get mixed into a bunch of old VHS tapes and sold at a garage sale by a relative of a Digital Underground member? Was it submitted to Death Row Records thanks to its inclusion of an unreleased song, and then copied by an unscrupulous intern or interloper? The world may never know. We welcome your theories, questions, and “Humpty Dance” puns in the comments.
Tupac Sex Tape Surfaces [TMZ]
[Image: Getty Images]
Every now and again, a story surfaces that we really, really, really don’t want to believe is true. Yesterday’s unsubstantiated rumor that Swizz Beatz is cheating on Alicia Keys is certainly one of them, and after reading the text from a series of alleged Blackberry Messenger conversations between the Grammy-winning producer and a Houston singer/songwriter who goes by Christina Elizabeth, we’re crossing our fingers that this news is only unconfirmed balderdash.
Swizz and Alicia have always maintained that their own romance was not birthed from an affair, but because it began so soon after he was separated from then-wife Mashonda Tifrere, some may be quick to speculate that it was only a matter of time until an infidelity of this nature would occur. Up until this point, however, the happily married couple have only responded through tweets: Alicia seemingly calling the rumors “laughable” and Swizz saying they’re “BS” and making a plea to have people put their energy into more “positive things.” Just this past weekend, the couple were seen hand-in-hand at Fashion Week events, and Alicia is featured on “International Party,” the second single off of Swizz’s new album Haute Living, which drops next week.
Late yesterday afternoon, popular gossip mill MediaTakeOut dropped one of their patented “MTO WORLD EXCLUSIVES” claiming that Rihanna has, and we quote, “decided to DROP Jay Z . . . and his RocNation team as her managers.” They cited a “ROCK SOLID INSIDER” who claimed that Rihanna was preparing to part ways with her mentor/svengali J-Hova, citing “FINANCIAL IRREGULARITIES” and insinuating that Beyoncé‘s relationship with Jigga Man was getting in the way of RiRi landing primo endorsement deals.
Well, even though we should’ve left for the Labor Day weekend “HOURS” ago—this writing in “ALL CAPS” thing is kinda fun, we’re going to try it “MORE OFTEN”!—we decided to go straight to the source instead of simply re-reporting unsubstantiated gossip. We reached out to reps at Def Jam who confirmed to us just moments ago that the news is simply “not true.”
Adding weight to this statement is a Tweet that Rihanna herself sent out. It pretty much speaks for itself:
Joe Jonas would be incredibly happy if his career followed the same trajectory as Justin Timberlake‘s. Both started out as cogs in the Disney machine, then followed that up with successful stints in boy bands. Timberlake, as we know, was able to parlay his early stardom into a wildly successful solo career, and now Joe Jonas is trying to do the same. In an attempt to gain a new audience, he’s played in front of a bunch of egg-throwing hipsters in Williamsburg and buddied up to Jimmy Fallon, but what he really needs to break through is a hit song, preferably one with a juicy tabloid angle, à la Justin’s cool and calculated Britney takedown, “Cry Me A River.”
Jonas’ first single off his forthcoming Fast Life LP, “See No More,” stiffed; it peaked at #92 in the Billboard Hot 100. However, the single was just released in the UK last week, and the British press inquired as to whether it was directed at his ex, Taylor Swift. You may recall that Jonas dumped Swift during a 20-second phone call in 2008, an event which the heartbroken Swift eventually chronicled in the song “Forever & Always” (“Was I out of line? Did I say something way too honest / That made you run and hide like a scared little boy?”).
After listening to “See No More,” we can’t imagine why anyone would think this song about a “cold” girl who “threw it all away” is directed at the Swift (especially considering Jonas already dissed T-Swizzle on the Jonas Brothers track “Much Better”). That didn’t stop London’s press-hungry Metro from asking the question, though, which Joe flatly denied. “No, that?s not about her,” he tersely stated. “When I write songs I don?t say who they are about because I don?t want the audience to relate to what was going on with me when I wrote it. You say one thing and it becomes a big rumor.” Much to the (likely) chagrin of his publicity team charged with generating interest in his solo career, it appears that this case is closed.
Joe Jonas: I Didn’t Write a Song About Dumping Taylor Swift [US Weekly]
Remember when Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty was an innocent girl standing underneath an umbrella, before she was hollering at a “Rude Boy” to join her in some “S&M” on her “California King Bed”? Yeah, our memories of those days are getting fuzzier, too, especially if the rumors of a new Rihanna/J. Cole sex tape are true!
“We have seen it and we do not know what we are going to do with it yet,” said a rep from the Hustler empire told Radar Online. Odd J. Cole didn’t mention it when he played us his album last week, but the 26-year-old protege of Jay-Z will certainly benefit from this tabloid circus since Cole World: The Sideline Story drops next month.
Rihanna is, unfortunately, no stranger to scandal, accustomed to fending off rumors of secretly dating mentor Jay-Z and canoodling with Drake, not to mention having to endure the embarrassment caused when naked photos she sent to then-boyfriend Chris Brown were leaked. Like many stars in the public eye, the Barbadian pop star wears a target on her back for this kind of negative attention, and her music, as we jokingly alluded to in the beginning of this post, might make it easier to assume that the sex tape exists. But in all fairness, just because her songs can be boldly sexual in nature doesn’t mean we should jump to conclusions, even when taking into account that the Roc Nation-managed artists have toured together and are known to be friendly. Developing!
Hustler Insist They Have a Rihanna and J-Cole Sex Tape [Radar]
It’s hard being a rap superstar. (Well, as hard as it could possibly be for the type of guy who has an “other other Benz.”) Kanye West and Jay-Z are being reminded of this fact as the release date for Watch the Throne, the debut LP of their collaboration The Throne, approaches. Yesterday’s rumors of disagreements behind the scenes as to tour details got a boost of credibility this morning when the Throne postponed 14 of the 25 announced tour dates and outright canceled (or at least, have yet to reschedule) eight others. The tour, originally slated to kick off in Detroit on September 22, will now begin five weeks later in Atlanta.
This was only a minor setback in the face of the announcement yesterday that Spike Jonze had directed a video for “Otis,” to premiere soon. That night, the Throne hosted a wildly successful multi-session listening party last night at the Hayden Planetarium at New York’s Museum of Natural History (not to be confused with the planetarium of the same name in Westport, CT, referenced in Fountains of Wayne‘s “Laser Show”). Then audio of the listening party surfaced online. Apparently the searches for recording devices and confiscation of cellphones (to prevent a repeat of the incident with the hyperenthusiastic Fader Tweeter) was not thorough enough to stop bootlegging.
On the bright(?) side, the bootleg consists merely of distorted snippets of songs, according to our friends at Popdust?so incomplete and of such low quality that they’re hardly a replacement for the album even through the tinniest laptop speakers. Def Jam probably won’t have to push the digital release date any closer as a result. Whoever chases leaks on their behalf, though, is going to have a very busy next couple of days regardless.
[Image: Getty Images]
To hear Caleb Followill tell it, Kings of Leon‘s American tour has been cancelled so that he can rest his voice. To hear the rest of the band tell it?well, they’re not being specific, but they seemed angry with the outcome, judging from their reactions yesterday. The band’s management is being a bit more active in its pursuit of silence, making copyright claims on clips of Caleb’s meltdown [via @carr2n]. Their basis for the claims is the inclusion of the band’s music, which is why edits that include merely Caleb’s ad-libs have remained on YouTube, but the claims are suspiciously coincidental given the sheer volume of fan-shot Kings of Leon clips from other shows still available on the site.
As a na?ve attempt to protect Caleb Followill’s privacy (and reputation), this is all sensible?perhaps standard operating procedure prior to the Internet. As a social media strategy, however, this is the worst possible course of action for the band and for Caleb. Fans are curious folks, and as long as an audience wants the story, people will try to get it (and in so doing, will have control over it). In the absence of hard evidence (or sometimes even in spite of it), speculation and circumstantial evidence will exist as fact in practice.
Until an official report on the cause of Amy Winehouse’s death becomes public, many are more than happy to speculate, including, most recently, Tony Azzopardi, a 56-year-old London man who claims to have been friends with the singer and her now-incarcerated ex Blake Fielder-Civil. Azzopardi has given several interviews to local police?and several more to the British tabloids?indicating that, in spite of the claims of Winehouse’s family, the singer had relapsed, a fact he knew as a result of helping her buy crack cocaine and heroin on the eve of her death.
Have you heard the latest Lady Gaga rumor? It’s a doozy. Investigative journalist and author Ian Halperin tells Star that “Gaga barely ate for weeks at a time to fit into her costume,” that “Part of the reason she wears wigs and makeup is because her hair is falling out and she’s covered in red blotches, both side effects of [lupus],” and that “she has done every drug conceivable,” all according to her friends and his other sources. “She’s morphed into this caricature called Lady Gaga, who isn’t even a real person. The girl known as Stefi to her friends and family has all but disappeared.” Gasp! These are serious allegations!
Wait a second. This sounds like the same combination of actual fact stretched to the edge of
glory believability, carefully-phrased but non-libelous implications, and juicy but impossible-to-disprove conjecture that characterized the Sandra Bullock-Jesse James sex-tape rumor, or that poorly-sourced book that insisted that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were on the verge of breaking up. Who wrote those again? Oh yeah?investigative journalist and author Ian Halperin.
We have to say, Halperin’s rumor-mongering is extraordinarily skillful. He may even be our generation’s Robert Harrison. He lays out a diagnosis of anorexia, leaving readers to draw the conclusion. He springboards off Gaga’s revelation a year ago that she’s genetically predisposed to lupus to fashion a fable about her costumes. He uses variety of drug use to imply regularity of drug use. And certainly no one can deny his claim that “she’s morphed into this caricature called Lady Gaga, who isn’t even a real person.”
So while we’re extremely skeptical of Halperin’s claims, we do have to admit he can spin a good yarn. And while nothing can top his claiming, after the death of Michael Jackson, to have predicted the death of Michael Jackson, this Gaga tell-all may be his next-best work.
Lady Gaga’s Drug And Diet Hell: ‘She’s A Walking Time Bomb’ Says Friend [Radar Online]