Monthly Archives: May 2011

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TREY SONGZ TALKS BALANCING WORK AND FAMILY

If you follow Trey Songz on Twitter, you know the singer is constantly hopping on different planes and private jets to perform all over the world. Next stop on Tremaine’s busy schedule is the BET Awards, which broadcast live from L-A next month.
•       The singer recently wrote, “Left Sin City and came to NY…got to NY and went to Sin City. BX what up?! Faded.”

PUSHA T TO BE ON HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA

Pusha T is really starting to make a name for himself as he’s just scored a role in HBO’s How To Make It In America. The rapper will star as a drug dealer in four episodes for the upcoming second season, which also includes Kid Cudi.  No further details are known at this time.
•       Aren’t you tired of rappers portraying drug dealers in movies and television shows?

NICKI MINAJ PLANS TOUR IN 2012

Nicki Minaj has announced plans to embark on her own tour next year. The outing, which is being dubbed the Pink Friday tour, will be the fem-cee’s first headlining show. According to UsMagazine.com, Nicki stated, “So this is my time to be a student and to learn and to absorb all of this information and then take that knowledge and create an amazing tour at the top of 2012.”
•       Nicki will join Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale tour, which opens on June 17th. Visit Ticketmaster.com to score passes.

TINIE TEMPAH TALKS SUCCESS

Tinie Tempah scored two number one hit songs and a number one album in his native U-K when he released his debut album, Disc-Overy, overseas last fall.  The 22-year-old rapper is excited about bringing his lyrical flow to the states. 

 “I’m really happy, it’s the first single out here, I definitely feel that my team out here is definitely worked very hard and believed in the single, and it’s just nice, because you got into a lot of radio stations, and you got into a lot of interviews, and they literally do say, what kind of English rapper can sort of crack it out here, and that’s the question I think to be faced with every single time, and it’s nice to not prove them wrong, but just show them that it can happen.”

Tinie Tempah just released his album here in the states.  It debuts at number 21 on the Billboard album chart this week. 
·       Tinie’s debut single, “Written in the Stars,” peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has now slipped to number 16.  His next single is “Till I’m Gone,” featuring Wiz Khalifa.

YOUR MEMORIAL DAY HISTORY LESSON

According to HistoryChannel.com, Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation’s Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first widely observed on May 30th, 1868 to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers. During the first celebration of Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which five-thousand participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20-thousand Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery. By the late 1800’s, many communities across the country had begun to celebrate Memorial Day and, after World War I, observances also began to honor those who had died in all of America’s wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday in May. Today, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Also, it is customary for the president or vice-president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

MEMORIAL DAY FACTS
It is believed that the holiday was chosen to be in May because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. * In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, New York, the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. * It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. * Many Southern states also have their own days for honoring the Confederate dead.  * Mississippi celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on the last Monday of April, Alabama on the fourth Monday of April and Georgia on April 26th.  * North and South Carolina observe it on May 10th, Louisiana on June 3rd and Tennessee calls that date Confederate Decoration Day. * Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes Day January 19th and Virginia calls the last Monday in May Confederate Memorial Day. * The crowd attending the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was approximately the same size as those who attend today’s observance, about five-thousand people. * The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 PM local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. (All above facts from USA.gov/Topics/Memorial_Day)

AND IN THE MUSIC NEWS:

SEAN KINGSTON CRITCALLY INJURED IN JET SKI ACCIDENT

Hip-hop star Sean Kingston is in critical condition in a Miami Beach hospital after being injured in a bad jet skiing accident Sunday evening … TMZ has confirmed.

According to Local10.com, the “Beautiful Girls” singer had a female passenger on board his watercraft when it crashed into a bridge (see below) around 6:00 PM local time. We’re told both Kingston and his passenger were rescued from the water by a good Samaritan.

0530_sean_kingston_bridge_wsvn
The Miami Fire Dept. responded to the scene and both Kingston and his female passenger were transported to nearby Jackson Memorial Hospital. We’re told Kingston’s injuries are so severe, he is being treated in the trauma ward.

We’re told … at this moment, officials do not believe alcohol played a role in the crash.

Officials are investigating the cause of the crash.

AND AS OF THIS MORNING:

Sean Kingston has been transferred from the trauma unit to the intensive care unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital — where he is in critical condition, but has been stabilized … this according to his rep.

0529_sean_kingston_exd_getty_5
Kingston’s rep tells us, “Sean’s family thanks everyone for their prayers and support during this time.”

JAMIE FOXX PARTIES COMING TO SHOWTIME!
Here’s a fun fact about Jamie Foxx, the entertainer is known to throw awesome parties at his house. The infamous get-togethers are actually called On My Balcony because he has celebrities come through and make special appearances on his terrace. Details about when the concert series will air are not yet known.

ALICIA ALWAYS LOOKS TO INSPIRE WITH EACH ALBUM
After appearing in Essence and W magazines, Alicia Keys is doing more press as she gears up to release her next studio album. The singer has already confirmed that one of the songs off the follow-up to 2009’s Element Of Freedom will include a song that’s dedicated to her mother.

MARY J BLIGE’S PERFUME: FRAGRANCE OF THE YEAR
Mary J Blige has tweeted some great news about her recently released perfume, My Life. The singer’s scent has received the award for Fragrance of the Year and Sales Breakthrough Winner during the annual Fifi Awards. MJB tweeted, “Thank you so much!!! Thank you to everyone who voted for the fragrance purchased it and loves it!” In related news, the singer is hard at work on recording her tenth studio album, My Life Too, The Journey Continues, which is slated for a September release.
•       She is also expected to star in the Nina Simone biopic and co-star in the Rock of Ages film with Tom Cruise.
       
CIARA READIES SUMMER TOUR
Wanna know what Ciara has planned for this summer? Well, the singer announced in Us Magazine’s Hot Bodies issue that she is scheduled to embark on a tour. Despite the disappointing sales of her latest album, Basic Instinct, the singer plans to hit a city near you and will reveal tour stops soon. Visit her official website for updated details about the trek.
      

WINEHOUSE BACK IN REHAB
Amy Winehouse is back in rehab.  According to People.com, Amy’s rep confirmed that the embattled singer checked into an English clinic on Wednesday as part of her ongoing problem with being addicted to alcohol.  Apparently, she was motivated to go by her father, Mitch.  Read more at People.com.
·       People reports that Amy downed a miniature bottle of Smirnoff on her way to rehab.
·       Do you think it’s good Amy went back to rehab?

BLACK EYED PEAS AUCTIONING OFF VIP SEATS FOR NYC SHOW
The Black Eyed Peas have teamed up with luxury charity auction site CharityBuzz.com to offer the ultimate concert experience at their Central Park SummerStage show in New York City on June 9th. The auction winner and a guest will meet the band pre-show, as well as enjoy a pre-party, including open bar and food, before being escorted to their ultra VIP seats, which are located on the stage!  The show is being filmed in 3D and they expect more than 60-thousand fans to attend the concert.
·      Bidding is open through Friday, June 3rd at: http://www.charitybuzz.com/catalog_items/26310310.  All proceeds benefit the Robin Hood Foundation.

LADY GAGA KICKS OFF GMA SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
Lady Gaga kicked off the Good Morning America summer concert series with a four-song set early Friday morning.  Some fans lined up two days before the show to get a good spot to watch the show.  Gaga opened the performance with “Bad Romance” before sitting down with Robin Roberts for an interview.  She returned to the stage to perform “The Edge of Glory,” “Judas” and closed the show playing “Hair” on a unicorn piano. 

AND…

LADY GAGA TOPS SOCIAL 50 CHART

Lady Gaga tops Billboard’s Social 50 chart again, holding Justin Bieber at number two, while Rihanna, Shakira, Akon, Eminem, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Lil Wayne and Michael Jackson round out the top ten.  Notable leaps include Selena Gomez, who is up two spots to number 16, LMFAO, who climb three spots to number 21, and the aforementioned Michael Jackson, who jumped 11 notches to number 10. 
·       The Social 50 ranks the most active artists on social networking sites including YouTube, Vevo, Facebook, Twitter  and MySpace.  Billboard uses a formula blending weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with weekly artist page views and weekly song plays to create the chart.

THE BLACK EYED PEAS TALK NEW SINGLE!
The Black Eyed Peas have scored a huge hit with “Just Can’t Get Enough,” which peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  We caught up with Taboo, who told us the story behind the song. 
“It’s basically paying homage to a woman either a girlfriend or a wife, someone you’re really interested into getting to know and you just say, ‘Yo I just can’t get enough of you you’re like everything that I’ve ever dreamed about I just can’t get enough, you’re like the ultimate drug.’”
“Just Can’t Get Enough” is at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. 
·       “Just Can’t Get Enough has sold over 1.9-million copies since it was released 14 weeks ago.  It sold 126-thousand copies last week and ranks number eight on the Digital Songs chart. 

TINIE TEMPAH TALKS FALL TOUR

Tinie Tempah joined Usher and Akon at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Friday night.  The British rapper has only one gig scheduled in America, which is Lollapalooza in Chicago in August.  Fans of Tinie will be happy to know that he is planning a fall tour of the States.

“Gonna put together a little tour, so hopefully September, October out here, a little small talk, some of my favorite cities and states, and towns in America, just showcasing the album, hopefully bring the band down with me as well.” 

– Tinie’s debut single, “Written in the Stars,” peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has now slipped to number 16. 

– Tinie’s next single is “Till I’m Gone,” a collaboration with Wiz Khalifa.  It was produced by Stargate.

DMX TO BE RELEASED FROM PRISON SOON!
DMX will reportedly be released from an Arizona corrections facility on July 1st. The rapper, who is said to be working on a new album, will be under supervision until the August 12th and then be allowed to come and go as he pleases. For just how long X stays out of trouble remains to be seen.
•       The rapper is currently serving time for violating the terms of his probation.

TREY SONGZ TALKS ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL
Judging by the line-up for the 2011 Essence Music Festival presented by Coca Cola, we’re confident that this will be the best of all the previous concerts. Taking place in New Orleans July 4th weekend (July 1st, 2nd and 3rd), this is an event you do not want to miss! To be a part of three unforgettable nights at the Superdome, purchase tickets via Music.Vh1.com or EssenceMusicFestival.com!
•       In addition to Trey, performances on Main Stage include: Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, Jill Scott, Jennifer Hudson, Chaka Khan, Charlie Wilson, Fantasia, Boyz II Men, New Edition, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary, and many more!

KELLY ROWLAND GETS NUMBER ONE HIT
Kelly Rowland has claimed the number one spot on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-hop chart. The singer told us that even though she’s experienced success with European-inspired songs, recording “Motivation” brings her back to her roots. The cut is the first sampling of the direction of her upcoming album, Here I Am.

SWIZZ BEATZ TALKS NEW ALBUM, NEW VIDEO
Swizz Beatz sat down with MTV News to give new details about his forthcoming effort, Haute Living. The hitmaker promises that the disc, which includes contributions from John Legend, Jay-Z, and Swizz’s wife, Alicia Keys, will not disappoint. He said of the upcoming video to his single “Skyscrappers,” which features Kanye West and U2’s Bono, “It’s like an art piece.” The producer added that the visual is “like a documentary of the world as we don’t know it, but kind of know it. You know these things are going on in the world, but you don’t really know to what degree they’re going on in the world.” There’s no word on when the clip will premiere, but none of the artists will be in the video.
•       The disc will be available later this year.

KELIS HAS NO REGRETS DIVORCING NAS
Now that Kelis’ divorce from Nas is finalized, the singer sat down with Attitude magazine to talk about life without her former spouse. The mother of the rapper’s child stated, “I’m not a big regret person.” She added, “I’ve been divorced, and I can still say I don’t regret it I’m a big believer that if a bad situation happens, it is a lesson that needs to be learned, just once.” The couple filed for divorce in April on 2009.
•       Kelis also said during the interview, “I’m a mother and I do what I love for a living, and I have enough money to do what I want but not so much that it’s a stress. I think happiness is a momentary feeling but I’m very content. I feel really good.”

EMINEM, ROYCE DA 5’9” LEAK TRACKLIST
Eminem and Royce Da 5’9” have released the official tracklisting for Hell: The Sequel. The nine-track project includes contributions from Havoc, Bruno Mars, Slaughterhouse, Bangladesh and Mike Epps. Be sure to get your copy on June 14th.

TRACKLIST:

1. “Welcome 2 Hell” – Produced by Havoc

2. “Fast Lane” – Produced by Supa Dups

3. “The Reunion” – Produced by Sid Roams

4. “Above the Law” – Produced by Mr. Porter

5. “I’m On Everything” Feat. Mike Epps

6. “A Kiss” – Produced by Bangladesh

7. “Lighters” Feat. Bruno Mars

8. “Take from Me” – Produced by Mr. Porter

9. “Loud Noises” Feat. Slaughterhouse

MIGUEL REACTS TO “SURE THING” REMIX
Unbeknownst to Miguel, Pusha T laid down guest vocals for the unofficial remix of the singer’s new single, “Sure Thing.” In related news, Miguel is up for Best New Artist for the 2011 BET Awards. Be sure to tune in June 26th when it airs live from L-A.
•       Click HERE to get the remix!  http://hulkshare.com/n9grrxohf4bw

FOOTAGE OF BEYONCE “SANGING” BEFORE IDOL 

In case you thought Beyonce’s performance of “1+1” during American Idol was pre-taped, Jay-Z recorded footage of the singer running through the song before she took stage. Check it out and be prepared to get chills!
•       The song is off her upcoming album, 4, which arrives on June 28th.
•       See it HERE!

HIP HOP TWEET OF THE DAY: LL COOL J
We all could learn a lot from LL Cool J, who tends to tweet inspiration quotes from time to time. Here’s what the rap legend wrote recently: “The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them. – Unknown”  Read more at Twitter.com/LLCoolJ.

JAY-Z GETS OUT OF TRAFFIC TICKETS?
Jay-Z lives above the law…well, when it comes to traffic tickets anyway. According to the New York Daily News, the rapper reportedly had cops fix tickets for him because he’s a huge rap star. The mogul joins other celebrities like A-Rod and Raymond Felton, who were able to manipulate policemen and get off easy because the cops allegedly unlawfully claimed that they “lost the paperwork.”
•       TIDBIT: The Internal Affairs Bureau is currently investigating these incidents.

FLAVOR FLAV TALKS AUTOBIGRAPHY
Wanna know more about the life of Flavor Flav? The Public Enemy frontman has written an autobiography titled Flavor Flav, The Icon The Memoir, which he told us will hopefully change people’s misconceptions about him and let them see what he’s really like. Visit his official website to learn more!
•       The rapper said in a statement “My life has taught me that nothing is really easy. Everything in life you want can come to you, but you really, really have to earn it and deserve it. You only get to live physically once in this lifetime, so while we are living this one time – we need to make the best of it. When we die, we become nothing but memories to other people and we want to leave them the best memories ever.”

WILL.I.AM PREPS SOLO ALBUM
According to NME.com, will.i.am is going to release a solo album.  Fergie recently told Hollyscoop.com that Will has completed the effort and that it is titled Black Einstein.  No word on a release date but we will keep you posted. 
·       Fergie said: “I believe Will is coming out with a solo album. I’ve heard it. It’s called Black Einstein and it’s amazing.”
·       The Black Eyed Peas are set to take a break following some summer shows.  Fergie said she is looking forward to down time and Taboo is planning to spend time with his family and newborn son, Journey. 

GAGA MAY SELL CLOSE TO ONE-MILLION ALBUMS
It should come as no shock to anyone, but it seems that Lady Gaga is on pace to have a very big first week with her new album, Born This Way.  According to HitsDailyDouble.com, the pop star is on track to sell close to one-million copies of the record.  That would unseat Adele’s 21 from the top of the Billboard 200 chart.  We’ll know the exact numbers on Wednesday.
·       Around half of Gaga’s total albums sold are expected to be digital, and the fact that she’s been selling the record for just 99-cent at Amazon.com can only help things.
·       Adele will move down to at least number two on the Billboard chart. Do you think she’ll be able to get back to summit again?

ADELE STILL ON TOP OF HOT 100

Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” maintains the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the third straight week.  Katy Perry’s former chart-topper “E.T.” featuring Kanye West, spends a third week at number two, while Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything” featuring Ne-Yo, AfroJack and Nayer rises four notches to number three.  The Black Eyed Peas’ “Just Can’t Get Enough” is up one spot to number four and Jennifer Lopez’s “On the Floor” featuring Pitbull is up one notch to number five.

For my American Idol fans, here’s a good interview on USA today:

When American Idol winner Scotty McCreery heard his single I Love You This Big was currently the top-selling track on iTunes, he could barely contain his excitement.

“Is it really?” gasped the Garner, N.C., country crooner, during a conference call with reporters Thursday. Scotty took the Idol title Wednesday after a consistent run that never landed him in the show’s Bottom Three. “That’s the first I’ve heard! That’s amazing! That is wild.”

Most 17-year-olds don’t begin their careers at the top of the charts. What’s next for the Season 10 champion? McCreery says plans are currently being made for him and runner-up Lauren Alaina (with whom he says he has a “brother-sister” relationship with, despite their post-results finale kiss) to head to Nashville for the CMA Music Festival. He has also recorded a second song for his debut album.

“I’m really looking forward to getting my music out there,” Scotty says. “The fans got me to where I’m at now and now it’s my job to get them the music they want to hear.”

Despite his popularity, McCreery was worried after Lauren’s emotional final performance of Like My Mother Does Tuesday. “It’s one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard. I was more than nervous coming into it last night,” he says. And on his relationship with Alaina, who he met during Hollywood week and had been in school with ever since, “She’s been supporting me and I’ve been supporting her through this whole process. We’re really close friends, and we both came out winners last night.”

The Season 10 American Idol talked about his emotional hometown visit, the niche-filled cast and his nickname “Scotty the Body” in the following edited transcript:

Scotty McCreery reacts after winning at the ‘American Idol’ finale on Wednesday, May 25, 2011, in Los Angeles. Other “American Idol” contestants are seen congratulating him.
By Chris Pizzello, AP

How are you handling all of the attention?

This is pretty wild, I gotta say. It’s a whole lot more than I bargained getting into it, but I’m handling it well. This is what I asked for and this is my new life! It’s a really wild ride so far.

You’re a quarter Puerto Rican. How has that affected you? Do you speak any Spanish?

I visited Old San Juan once with my grandmother. We went on a cruise there. I don’t speak Spanish. I’ve done Spanish 1 and 2 classes. My grandma asked me when I was young if I wanted to learn Spanish and I guess I was young. I should have, because it would have helped me a lot. But Jennifer seems to think that it gives me a little flavor that other people didn’t have. I was talking to her and her mom yesterday before the show so we were talking a lot of Puerto Rico stuff. But yeah, I’m a quarter — my dad was born in Aguadilla and my grandmom in San Juan.

When Carrie Underwood won, they brought her to Nashville to the Grand Ole Opry and the CMA Music Festival, which is coming up in a couple weeks. When will you be headed to Nashville?

We talked about it. I was talking to someone before and then last night. I think we’re going to try to get me and Lauren out to the festival. We’re trying to figure out the specifics of where we’re going to be playing, the booth signings and maybe playing at the Grand Ole Opry. They’re figuring this all out now as we speak. But we’re going to be down there for sure I think.

Did you ever doubt yourself or think you were going home?

This week especially. Lauren Alaina, she is something else. She sings like a bird, and she’s such an amazing young lady. But every week — I’ve heard people say the frontrunner stuff and the favorite — it never even crossed my mind. Everyone this year from top 40 down is so talented and it was an amazing ride. As far as doubt, I think I never gave myself a chance before the shows. I’ve always had confidence in me, it’s just, I don’t know, the nerves on this show are something else.

How many new high-school friends do you have now?

Oh my goodness. They were all my friends before, we’re all a big Garner High School family. I got to talk to a lot of them that I didn’t have a chance to talk to before, you know how that goes, but it was a lot of fun to get back there and talk to them all. I don’t know about new friends, though. We were all a pretty tight-knit family before I left for Hollywood.

Lauren kissed you after you won. Is there any romance between you and Lauren Alaina?

No, me and her are more like a brother-sister thing. She told me before the show she was going to do that, kind of a joke thing. She’s a character. She’s lovely, we’re really close friends. I met her day one of Hollywood Week and we were schoolmates through the whole experience. She’s great, but it’s more a brother-sister friendship with us.

Tell us about your future album.

I’m really looking forward to getting my music out there. We’ve already recorded two this weekend, we weren’t sure which one we would do, and I Love You This Big was the one we did, but the other one I’m really excited about too. I think it’s going to be a great album. I gotta pick some great songs. That’s what its all about after the show, because the fans got me to where I’m at now and now it’s my job to get them the music they want to hear and have good songs. Hopefully me and Lauren get to do a duet some time. I’m not sure about the first album but hopefully sometime soon.

What was with Ryan’s “Scotty the Body” nickname?

He told me early on, he said it was kinda like a tradition with all the Scotts he’s had on the show: Scott McIntyre, and there’s another guy named Scott (Savol). It was more like a joke. I had been eating too many cookies on the show anyways. I’m not as toned as I was back in my baseball days.

What was going through your head during your emotional hometown visit moment in the limo?

We were driving up to the school and I just looked out the window and saw all the familiar faces that I had missed for so long. I had rolled down the window and someone said, “We miss and we love you, brother,” and that just really got me. I missed them so much and it was such a great moment for me to be back there because those are my friends. Those are the true ones that I just really love.

At what point did you notice your voice changing?

I’ve always kind of sounded the same other than when I was young and had a really high voice. Vegas Week was the week that I discovered I could sing higher than I had been. Ken Stacey, one of the vocal coaches, he kind of got it out of me, and I used that a lot with Gone and other songs. I’ve used my low voice, but I guess you could say it has changed over the competition.

There goes your career as a relief pitcher.

Ha ha, I don’t think it would have gone past high school.

Did you have a game plan going into the show? You seemed to stay in your comfort zone when people like Casey would go all over the map.

Yeah, I mean, everyone had their own niche. Casey would sing his jazzy, kinda rocker-growly music, Jacob sang his gospel music, James sang his rock music and I sang my country music.We all kinda had that same niche, they all do different songs but we all sort of had are niche. Country music is me, it’s what I’ve grown up with and it’s what I do. I didn’t have any intentions of changing that. My thing is, if it got me this far, why change it up, so it’s what we like to do.

Remember the basketball shot you made at the mansion? Was it on the first try?

I tried it from the steps initially and was missing terribly. That was my third attempt from the balcony that I made that shot.

I Love You This Big is currently No. 1 on iTunes.

Is it really? That’s the first I’ve heard! That’s amazing! That is wild. I love the song. This is really wild. The song is a great song. When they pitched it to me, I fell in love with it. Last night when I sang it as my finale song, it was kinda a choked-up performance, but I got through it and hugged my family. It’s really amazing that it’s No. 1. You’re the first to tell me that.

Did you think you were going to win?

My thought was that (Lauren) wrapped it up when she sang that momma song. It’s one of the most beautiful songs I’ve hear. I was more than nervous coming into it last night, but it worked out in my favor. Lauren, she’s sweet. She’s been supporting me and I’ve been supporting her through this whole process. We’re really close friends and we both came out winners last night.

KELLY ROWLAND JOINS U-K’S X FACTOR

We’ve just learned that Kelly Rowland has been confirmed as a judge on the upcoming season of the U-K’s X Factor. The “Motivations” singer said of the music competition, “The X Factor is an amazing show. I love Simon [Cowell] because he’s so honest. Everything he says I agree with.” In related news, Rowland is currently working on her next studio effort, Here I Am.

• Other judges for the show include Louis Walsh, Take That’s Gary Barlow and Tulisa Contostavlos.

50 CENT COMPLETES NEXT ALBUM?

During an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, 50 Cent spilled some good news about the status of his upcoming album. The mogul, who performed with Nicole Scherzinger, stated, “I finished my new album now. I’m actually one song away from being done. I’m mixing the record. I’m excited.” In addition, Fif promised fans that they will hear new music later this summer.

• The disc is tentatively titled Black Magic.

BEYONCE RESPONDS TO COPYING AT BILLBOARD AWARDS

It’s hard to believe anyone had any complaints about Beyonce’s performance of “Run the World (Girls)” at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards, but the diva did receive criticism for copying Italian singer Lorella Cuccarini. Bey explained it to AOL Music, saying, “My makeup artist showed me the performance of Lorella Cuccarini a year ago, and it inspired me so much.” She added, “I then met with the talented people who worked on it. The technology and concept were so genius. Thank God for YouTube or I would have never been exposed to something so inspiring. I never worked so hard on anything in my life as that performance for the Billboard Awards.” In related news, Bey’s highly anticipated album, 4, drops on June 28th.

DIDDY-DIRTY MONEY RELEASES NEW VIDEO

Diddy-Dirty Money are rolling out another single from their latest album, Last Train to Paris. The group selected and shot the video for “Looking for Love,” which features Usher. Fans can now check out the video of the Colin Tilley-directed clip on YouTube.

BRUNO MARS IS PLATINUM!

Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops & Hooligans recently reached platinum status. When we last spoke to the “Just The Way You Are” crooner, he explained that the most rewarding part of his success is knowing that he remained true to himself. The disc sits at the number 17 spot on the Billboard 200 chart.

•Be sure to visit Ticketmaster.com to see Bruno and Janelle Monae perform during their joint Doo-Wops & Hooligans tour.

SELF MADE ALBUM PREDICTIONS

According to HitsDailyDouble.com, the estimated sales for Maybach Music Group’s latest album, Self Made Vol. 1, is expected to be anywhere between 50 to 55-thousand units during its opening week. It’s unlikely that the disc will claim the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart as Lady Gaga’s Born This Way is projected to sell over 900-thousand next week. The final sales figures will be available on Wednesday.

NEW BOYZ LAND IN TOP 40 ON BILLBOARD

200New Boyz’s latest album, Too Cool To Care, debuted in the top 40 debut of the Billboard 200 chart. The rap duo recently told us that their success is only going to get bigger as they’ve already selected their next single, which is sure to be a smash hit. The guys clarified that the song title, “Better With The Lights Off,” is not meant to offend unattractive girls. The disc, which includes contributions from Big Sean and Tyga, is in stores now.

ROCK THE BELLS LINE-UP ANNOUNCED

The official line-up for the 2011 Rock The Bells tour has been announced and concertgoers will see performances from Lauryn Hill, Nas, Erykah Badu, Cypress Hill, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Raekwon, Ghostface, Mobb Deep, The GZA and many more. The four city event will begin on August 20th in San Bernardino, California and wraps on September 10th in Boston, Massachusetts.

·If you’d like to attend, tickets go on sale to the general public on June 4th. Visit TicketMaster.com to learn more.

Other performers include Slaughterhouse, Mac Miller, Freddie Gibbs, Curren$y and Random Axe.

KILLER MIKE SELLS 4K IN FIRST WEEK

Killer Mike’s latest album, PL3DGE, failed to crack the top 100 on the Billboard 200 chart. The disc claimed the number 105 slot and sold over four-thousand units during its opening week. However, the rapper recently told us it’s his best work to date. The project includes guest spots from Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane and Big Boi. Be sure to get your copy today!

•The album marks the third installment of Mike’s I Pledge Allegiance To Grind Time series.

DRAKE ANNOUNCES OVO FESTIVAL LINE-UP

Drake has announced that Rick Ross and The Weeknd will join him for the second annual OVO Festival later this summer. The concert event will take place in Toronto at the Molson Amphitheater on July 31st. If you’ll be in the area, visit Ticketmaster.com on June 3rd to score passes.

•Drizzy is currently working on his sophomore album, Take Care.

LUKE LOSES ELECTION FOR MAYOR OF MIAMI

Well that was quick. Luke failed to garner enough votes and was unable to get a seat for the Miami Mayoral Election. The rap pioneer received an impressive 20-thousand votes, which translates to 11-percent of the overall vote.

DIDDY TO BE HONORED BY ASCAP

We’ve just learned Sean “Diddy” Combs will be honored with the coveted Founders Award during the 24th Annual ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Music Awards. Puff said a statement, “To be recognized for my contributions to music by ASCAP, an organization that represents music creators, is a true honor,” He added that all he ever wanted to was to “make people dance and hopefully inspire others to never settle for anything but their best.” The event takes place on June 24th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

•Previous recipients include Dr. Dre, Stevie Wonder and Garth Brooks. It is considered the most prestigious of all the ASCAP Awards.

•ASCAP stands for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

KANYE SIGNS ON FOR HEINEKEN RED STAR ACCESS TOUR

Need a good concert series to check out next month? Heineken’s Red Star Access tour has teamed with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music to kick off an 18-city outing beginning on June 9th in New York City. While tour dates are yet to be announced, fans can expect the show to hit major markets including Miami, Chicago, DC, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Atlanta, Houston, and Detroit.

POSSIBLE MOBB DEEP AND NAS JOINT LP?

According to HipHopDX.com, Havoc of Mobb Deep revealed that there’s a good chance that the rap group could record a full-length joint album with Nas. The rapper said, “[Recording] hasn’t begun [yet] but we tipped the iceberg a little bit with [a song called] ‘Dog S**t.’” He added that in making that song, collectively everyone shared “a mutual thought, like, ‘Yo, let’s make a f**king album.’ Everybody was like, ‘Yeah, that would be dope. F**k it, what we waiting for? Let’s do it.’” No further information is available at this time.

·Fans will be able to see both acts perform during the 2011 Rock The Bells tour later this summer.

·After recording Distant Relatives last year with Damien Marely, don’t you think Nas wants a break from joint projects?

TINIE TEMPAH TO PLAY WITH USHER ON FRIDAY

Tinie Tempah’s debut album, Disc-Overy, bows at number 21 on the Billboard album chart, selling over 16-thousand copies. The English rapper only has two U-S gigs in the near future. He told us about his upcoming shows in Los Angeles and Chicago.

“I’m back out here with Usher, on May 27th I believe. Usher’s date in L-A with Akon, which is going to be pretty amazing, so I’m doing Lollapalooza as well.”Tinie will likely be back in the states for some more shows in the fall. His debut single, “Written in the Stars,” peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has now slipped to number 16.

· Tinie’s next single is “Till I’m Gone,” a collaboration with Wiz Khalifa. It was produced by Stargate.

BIEBER TO RELEASE FEMALE FRAGRANCE

Justin Bieber will release a female fragrance next month. The scent, called Someday, will be available on June 20th. At just 17, Bieber has already endorsed a range of products including nail polish, pimple cream, and headphones. His scent, Someday, will be available at Macy’s, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, Ulta and Sephora on June 20th.

I checked out Johnny Depp this past weekend…check out my PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES review below!

Check out more entertainment HERE.

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