Its been a while since we’ve heard so much buzz surrounding R. Kelly’s career. Due to a “health emergency” Kelly canceled his book launch event scheduled for Wednesday night in NYC. His autobiography Soulacoaster debuts around the same time as his 11th studio album Write Me Back. Along with canceling the book launch event the Jimmy Fallon appearance and NBC’s Today Show performance were cancelled as well. According to TMZ, the Pied Piper’s reps said, “Initial indications are that he is suffering from complications from surgery he had last year to treat an abscess on his vocal cords.” No indication was given as to how long Kelly would be out of commission for his illness, but we’re sure he, more than anyone, wants to get back to work. His new album has been received fairly well by music critics calling it one of his better efforts in a long time. Professionally his illness couldn’t have come at a worse time, but there’s never a time better than the present to take care of one’s health. Read more…
We were impressed with Jordin Sparks heartfelt tribute to the late Whitney Houston at last night’s Billboard Music Awards. According to Radaronline.com, the last song Houston recorded was released today. Produced by R. Kelly, “Celebrate” is a happy upbeat duet Houston recorded with her Sparkle co-star Jordin Sparks who plays her daughter in the upcoming movie. If Whitney’s strong vocals in this song are any indication of the direction she was headed in prior to her untimely passing, it indeed proves what many have already said–Whitney Houston was ready to make a big comeback.
Houston opens the track sounding nearly as good as she did before her vocals became strained. “Everybody’s been so uptight. Everybody forgetting to live their life,” she sings. Sparks’ higher octave is a beautiful complement to Whitney’s lower gospel tone. “It’s time to celebrate, come on and celebrate,” the duo sing together. This song seems like a perfect embodiment of Whitney Houston–celebrating life and taking in the younger generation of singers with open arms.
Whitney Houston’s Final Song Released [Radaronline.com]
Just when R&B seemed to be dying an unfortunate death, leave it to R. Kelly to resuscitate the genre in a blink of an eye. Soulful and gentle, “Feelin’ Single” incites the urge to dance coolly across the floor. Like “Step In the Name of Love,” “Feelin’ Single” has an infectious softness about it that makes one forget all their worries. His voice is flawless on every note executing perfect harmonies on the hook. Light, fun and disco infused, the self-proclaimed King of R&B does the classic sultry combination like no other.
The timing for the track is perfect as cuffing season (when people find a winter beau to stay warm) ends, and summer fast approaches. Warm weather breeds the yearning for the benefits of being single. Well, for some. Feeling played by his girl the Pied Piper has a solution to deal with her late night hours– “hit the club and take somebody home with me.” This is the second single from his upcoming album Write Me Back, a follow-up to 2010′s Love Letter. A master of evoking something, anything within the listener, this track channels a bit of what makes Stevie Wonder great. It makes you feel the music. “Feelin’ Single” never felt so good.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Watch Janelle Monae Cover Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing”
Janelle Monae played a truly sexy, sultry cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” at her concert last night in Papantla, Mexcio. And despite the fan made hand held phone footage, it’s easy to see how wonderfully Monae performed the iconic song, and that you would have had chills coursing down your spine had you seen it live. [CoS]
M83 Is Releasing A Remix EP For Their Track “Reunion”
From Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, M83 will be releasing a seven song EP of remixes of their track “Reunion,” including versions by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and The Naked and The Famous. M83 uber-fans rejoice! [Paste]
Last night on The X Factor, special guest R. Kelly joined Melanie Amaro on stage to back her up in her performance of “I Believe I Can Fly,” the first time he’s ever sang the classic song as a duet. But we think back up is the wrong word — if it weren’t for Melanie’s powerful, ballad-prone voice, R. Kelly would have completely stolen the show. You can see Melanie’s awed, almost-disbelief as she meets R. Kelly’s veteran presence, and you really can’t help getting a few goose bumps of pride for her, regardless of whether or not you’re familiar with the program. And as glitter falls from the ceiling and the two hold notes for marathon lengths, there’s no doubt as to the inspirational, soaring grandeur of the performance.
If You’ve Ever Wanted To Be Lost At Sea With R. Kelly, Now’s Your Chance
R. Kelly has announced he will be hosting a six day cruise starting in Miami in October 2012. He will perform twice while the ship’s at sea, and will charge you between $999 and $2,999 for a ticket. [Rolling Stone]
Lana Del Rey’s “Born To Die” Video Leaks Online
Buzz artist Lana Del Rey‘s video for her new single “Born To Die” has leaked online, and you can forget the MacBook, pastiche-y style you’re used to from the big lipped singer — “Born To Die” is all sex. And tigers. [Spin]
Fat Joe Tells A Story About R. Kelly Beating People Up
If you can grasp what actually happened as Fat Joe recounts R. Kelly beating someone up between all the expletives and sound effects, let us know. Otherwise, it’s still pretty funny, if not worryingly inappropriate. [The Awl]
Odd Future’s Syd Remixes Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans”
As if you didn’t already love Lana Del Rey enough, Odd Future have remixed her haunting track, “Blue Jeans.” Keeping with her grand, emotive sounds, Odd Future’s remix is just as good as the remix. [Pitchfork]
R. Kelly Rebounds From Surgery, Preps New Album
R. Kelly has apparently completely recovered from his emergency throat surgery, because he appeared on Chicago’s WGCI this morning, talking about working on a new album?titled Black Panties?containing “10 Minutes,” a single that’s apparently close to release! [Rap Radar]
X Factor Judges’ Table Drama Ramps Up Prior To Premiere
Simon Cowell’s pre-X Factor trash talk continued at last night’s industry premiere, as he claimed (with agreement from L.A. Reid) that Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger had voted against talented auditioners simply because they were attractive women. Abdul retorted that this had been implied in editing based on which auditions were selected for the episodes. [Billboard]
Jennifer Lopez Will Return To American Idol
So said Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, in so many words, this morning on Ryan Seacrest‘s morning show: “I believe we?re still waiting for the official announcements but I am delighted to say that all three judges, along with the brilliant host of American Idol, [are] back for the next season.” [EW Inside TV]
Taylor Swift Premieres Fifth Speak Now Video
“Sparks Fly” is a pretty straightforward tour-advertisement video, but it’s a good advertisement, and anyway, what do you want? She’s already released four high-concept clips in the last year! Sidenote: we’re curious what Sara Marcus would say about Swift’s penchant for writing on her body. Is that in dialogue with riot grrrl? [Vimeo]
Gather around, y’all … we’ve got scoop. After undergoing emergency surgery to drain an abcess from his tonsils, it’s been announced that R. Kelly is currently recovering in Northwestern Memorial Hospital in his native Chicago. Reps for the 44-year-old singer, famous for his incredible vocal ability on naughty songs like “Bump N Grind,” “Feelin’ On Yo Booty,” “Thoia Thoing” and “I’m a Flirt,” report that he’ll be “laid up indefinitely.” On this end, we certainly wish the R&B crooner a speedy recovery and hope that he can return home soon. Going under the knife is never fun, especially when the area being treated affects your livelihood!
GET WELL, KELLS!
[Photoshop credit to the one and only Lauren Deiman]