Category Archives: Music News

Jennifer Hudson Talk Working with Pharrell on "JHUD"

Image Courtesy Renato Sampaio/ RCA Records

Jennifer Hudson will soon release her third album, JHUD, which includes her Pharrell-produced single “I Can’t Describe (The Way I Feel)” featuring T.I. The singer revealed what it was like working with the in-demand hitmaker.

“I worked with Pharrell for my first album [2008’s Jennifer Hudson], although we didn’t end up having anything make that album, but we already had a rapport from back then. I was so excited to work with him again,” she said in an interview with Billboard.

She adds that they have a mutual appreciation for throwback music. “Where we connect is we both have a love of old-school music. He’ll come in with a track and then I’m like, ‘I already know where I’m going with this. I feel you,'” she says.

JHUD will be released on September 23.

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Pregnant Alicia Keys Poses Nude to Draw Attention to New "We Are Here" Movement: “I Want to Gather an Army"

Douglas Gorenstein/NBCA female celebrity posing nude while pregnant is sure to garner a lot of attention, and Alicia Keys knows it.  The singer, who’s expecting her second child in December, says that baring her baby bump will help her raise an “army” of fans to make a positive change in the world.

By being photographed naked with a peace sign drawn on her belly, Alicia is launching her new We Are Here Movement, which will, she hopes, inspire her fans to fight for social justice of every kind — from stricter gun laws, to gay rights, to girls’ education worldwide. She tells the New York Times, “I want to gather an army…It’s time to get people’s attention. People won’t be able to ignore this visual.”

Alicia has donated a million bucks of her own money to get the movement started, and it’ll go to 12 different groups, which she hopes her fans will then choose to donate to themselves.  They include her own foundation, Keep a Child Alive, which helps kids affected by HIV and AIDS; All Out, a gay rights organization; Oxfam, which fights global poverty; War Child; which supports kids living in conflict areas, and the Trayvon Martin Foundation, which combats racial profiling.  She also plans to organize petitions, rallies and protests.

Alicia’s newly released song “We Are Here” is the theme song for the movement. She tells the New York Times that she was inspired to write the song, and begin the movement, in part, when a friend asked her, “Why are you here?”  “Nobody had ever asked me that question before,” says Alicia, noting that it started her thinking about what her purpose in life is, and what her legacy will be.

“We’re in the same head space. We think the same things,” she says of her and her fans. “This is bothering us, so how can we take that to the next step and do something about that, as opposed to just being angry?”

You can get more info at WeAreHereMovement.com, and also watch a video where Alicia performs “We Are Here” and says, “It’s not about me. It’s about we, and together we can ignite the change that will create a more peaceful world for all children. And that’s the truth.”

Over the weekend, Alicia performed at a celebration for the late actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee at Riverside Church in New York. She performed her song “Superwoman” at the event. Dee died in June at the age of 91.

Post by Alicia Keys.

 

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Pharrell Williams Says "The Voice" Doesn’t Feel Like Work

Image courtesy ABC/Randy Holmes

Pharrell Williams is the new coach of NBC’s The Voice, alongside Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine and Blake Sheton.  Although Pharrell has a lot on his plate, his experience on the show has been very enjoyable.

“My expectation is that it would be work that I would enjoy, but I was wrong. It’s not t been any work at all. It’s been fun. Really, honestly fun,” he says of season seven.

The super producer also explains what motivated him to join the lineup of the hit singing competition show.

“I joined The Voice because I felt like it was giving me an opportunity to not only be able to give advice to the people that I would be coaching, but also people out in TV land — someone that’s looking for some answers or ever had any questions, hopefully, that I could impart some information to them that could make things easier for them, too,” he says.

So what does he love most? For Williams, he believes the show provides valuable coaching to large numbers of aspiring musicians.

“Essentially, at the end of the day, there are 48 contestants, and only person is gonna win,” he says. “The rest of those 47 people, like, their lives are gonna be changed because they had Blake teach them a lot about their voices and what they could do, and they had Gwen to teach them about the tone and their styling, and they had Adam to teach them about vocal control. you know. That’s huge!”

The new season of The Voice premieres Monday night at 8 ET on NBC.

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Gladys Knight Talks New Lifetime Movie & Unique "Dancing with the Stars" Concept

Courtesy: It Is Done CommunicationsFans of Lifetime Christmas movies can rejoice: Gladys Knight has just wrapped filming a brand new movie for the network, titled Seasons of Love.  And even though acting is nothing new for the 70-year old legend, she tells Billboard she found the love scenes a bit challenging.

“It was a stretch for me because of the onscreen kiss,” she laughed. “I felt like I was cheating on my real husband.”

In the film, Knight co-stars with actress Taraji P. Henson, who plays her sister. “It’s about young people figuring out how to get the special kind of love that my character and her husband have,” she says.

Knight is having a terrific month music-wise as well. Her new gospel album, Where My Heart Belongs, debuted at number 20  on this week’s Billboard’s R&B Albums chart.  Gospel isn’t new for Knight, who said she often included an inspirational song when recording with The Pips.

“We [Gladys Knight & the Pips] always had that [gospel] element in our lives, part of the village that raises you,” she said.

Meanwhile, the singer, who competed on the fourteenth season of Dancing With The Stars, said she has one wish for the ABC show.

“I’d like to see dancers like myself given our own category and give the younger ones their category,” she said. “Then we’re competing with people equal in the category and not [becoming] the joke of the show.”

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Chrissy Teigen Talks About Her "Ideal Relationship" with John Legend

Image Courtesy ABC/Rick PowellOn the heels of celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary, Chrissy Teigen revealed that she’s “in such an ideal relationship” with her husband, John Legend.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there that wake up to the same person every single day, and that’s beautiful to them,” she tells People“For us, it’s exciting to have time away and then be together and make up for that lost time.”

Despite their hectic schedules, Teigen found time to plan their anniversary trip to Italy and France, which included a stop at strip club Crazy Horse in Paris“I probably liked it more than him,” she jokes.

The Sports Illustrated cover girl revealed that she’s more reserved than her husband, who she says is usually “more naked” that she is.  “I don’t care if I wear swimsuits for a living,” she says.  “If the lights are on in the house, I am still covering my little tush.  My good friends call me Terry Terrycloth because I’m always in a towel.  I’m a little modest.”

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Beyoncé and Jay Z’s HBO Tour Special Premieres Tonight

Live Nation/Parkwood EntertainmentLast week saw Beyoncé and Jay Z concluding their joint outing at the Stade de France in Paris, and now fans can check out their HBO special, On the Run Tour: Beyoncé and Jay Z, tonight, September 20. 

To get fans even more excited, the singer teased another preview of their special via her Facebook page.  “It’s almost here!” she wrote in the caption.

In the black-and-white clip, Bey and Jay are getting prepared backstage while a stage director can be heard giving instructions to the crew over a walkie-talkie.  Just before the teaser ends, Beyoncé flashes a big smile as she enters the main stage.

The special will feature the famous couple performing more than 40 songs, including a surprise performance with Nicki Minaj for Bey’s “Flawless” remix.

On the Run Tour: Beyoncé and Jay Z airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT Saturday on HBO.

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Go Behind the Scenes of Trey Songz’s "Touchin, Lovin" Video Featuring Nicki Minaj

Jimmy Fontaine/Atlantic Records

Trey Songz is giving fans a behind-the-scenes peak into the video for his Nicki Minaj-assisted single “Touchin, Lovin,” lifted from the crooner’s latest album, Trigga.

“It was a very interesting concept.  We actually have an extra surprise in the video, where there’s an interactive feature,” Trey told MTV News during an on-set interview.  “I know my fans are very engaged on the computer and very much social savvy, so when we give them options to watch the video, I’m sure they’ll watch it probably 20 times when you realize you can go this way, that way, this way.”

Director Jason Zada adds that fans will pleasantly surprised.  “This idea of all your fantasy choices available to you at any point in time, it was kind of this really great way of sort of personifying all these fantasies that we all have floating around in our heads,” he said.

He also revealed that Nicki’s role in the upcoming visual will be significant.  “Nicki’s playing the dominant figure,” Trey added.  “She’s basically controlling my dreams.  And each portion of what you see is what it is she wants to happen.”

Trey adds, “I’m excited to see how the fans react.”

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Michael Jackson Duet with Late Queen Vocalist Freddie Mercury to Be Released in November

Neal Preston © Queen Productions Ltd.In 1981, The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and Queen frontman Freddie Mercury came together in the studio for a once-in-a-lifetime duet that inexplicably never saw the light of day.  That’s about to change, however: the duet will be included on the British rock legends’ new compilation, Queen Forever, on Nov. 10.

The song, titled “There Must Be More to Life than This,” was originally recorded for the Queen album Hot Space, but the backing track was never completed.  Enter producer William Orbit, who’s probably best known for his work on Madonna’s Ray of Light album.  He was tasked with completing the job, an assignment he said was like opening a “a trove of delights provided by the greatest of musicians.”

In a statement released by the band, Orbit says, “Hearing Michael Jackson’s vocals was stirring. So vivid, so cool, and poignant, it was like he was in the studio singing live. With Freddie’s vocal solo on the mixing desk, my appreciation for his gift was taken to an even higher level.”

Freddie Mercury eventually released a more stripped down-version of “There Must Be More to Life than This” on his 1985 solo album, but Orbit went in the opposite direction for this version of the song with Michael, adding full instrumentation to give the song more kick.

In addition to singing together, Michael and Freddie Mercury were pals. In fact, it was reportedly Michael who suggested to Freddie backstage at an L.A. concert that Queen should release their song “Another One Bites the Dust” as a single.  It went on to become one of their biggest hits.

“There Must Be More to Life than This” is just one of the many tunes featured on Queen Forever, which will be available as a 20-track single CD and as an extended 36-track, two-CD set.

The song will be the second posthumous duet released in 2014 to feature Michael Jackson; the other one was “Love Never Felt So Good,” a duet with Justin Timberlake.


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Chris Brown Felt Trey Songz Joint Tour Was "Necessary"

Eliot Lee Hazel/RCA RecordsLast month, Chris Brown and Trey Songz announced plans for a co-headlining outing, which will mark their first time doing so.  While promoting his new album, X, Breezy explained why he decided now was the best time for a joint tour.

“I felt like the time was necessary,” Brown said in an interview with Vibe.  “I know he’s been consistent over the years as well.  There’s not a lot of cats that can put their egos aside and share the same stage.  A lot of business and opportunities, they always get mixed up in between friendships and people trying to work together and having fun.”

He adds that their long friendship will make for a relatively stress-free tour.  “We’re like brothers, so we’re not going to let the business aspect come between us,” he says.

Breezy and Trey have yet to announce the dates, but the outing is dedicated to their real fans.  Brown adds, “With me and him being young entertainers and young R&B cats, I think it’s a blessing for the fans and a blessing for us to go out there and perform for them.”

In addition to selecting Tyga as a supporting act, Brown also spilled that he’s collaborating on new music with Trey.  “Right now, we’re just working and vibing, giving fans more insight on the tour so they can just be prepared for it.  Just hear the music and get ready,” Brown says.

The duo’s fall tour will see Trey performing material from his latest Trigga LP, while Brown will showcase cuts from his X album.

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Chris Brown Says He Would "Absolutely" Beat Usher in a Dance-Off

Image Courtesy Eliot Lee Hazel/RCA Records

Chris Brown and Usher not only collaborated on Breezy’s latest single, “New Flame,” but they also shared the same choreography in the accompanying visual.  However, Brown wants it to be known that he’s the real dance king.

When asked who would win in a dance-off, Brown tells MTV News that Usher will have some serious competition.  “See, I don’t like to be cocky or arrogant anymore, but when it comes to dancing — when you say ‘Chris Brown’ and you say ‘dancing,’ you’re gonna have to bring your A game,” he said.

He then compared his dance skills to Usher’s by bringing up the widely discussed moment when Allen Iverson showed up Michael Jordan during a 1997 NBA game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Chicago Bulls.  “It’s like when Iverson crossed Jordan,” Brown said.  “It’s a little different — these moves a little new.”

So is there any chance Usher would win?  Brown replied, “Absolutely not.”

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