When Christina Aguilera was expecting her daughter, Summer Rain Rutler, she promised that she would return to the spotlight soon after she gave birth. First, she announced a new album — a follow-up to #JusticeforBionic, which may feature Pharrell. Then she revealed that she was returning to The Voice for its eighth season, along with fellow founding coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, before she made a guest appearance during its current season.
What she didn’t tell fans, though, is that she has another TV gig in the works.
Deadline reports that Aguilera is one of five executive producers of a forthcoming ABC Family dramedy, tentatively titled Hearts and Clubs. The show follows a group of Las Vegas entertainers as they “fall in and out of love,” as somehow influenced by romantic comedy Love Actually. Let’s hope that 2010′s Burlesque is another source of inspiration, as Aguilera’s fiance Matt Rutler, who she met on set, is also overseeing the show’s development. More »
Last week, Meghan Trainor stopped by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to answer patients’ questions. One child asked why she wears pink in the video for her breakout hit, “All About That Bass.” (Turns out, she wasn’t all that sure herself. Go figure.) Another ended up singing that same song with Trainor, as if it was a duet, after he slyly asked, “If you could do a duet with any kid, who would it be?” But then another got the latest scoop on how she plans to follow up her Title EP: “What new music are you making right now?”
“Ooh, good question,” Trainor said. “I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but I’m going to: I just cut a song with Jason Derulo. It’s a duet, and it’s like a dance song, and it’s going to be real cool. I don’t know when it’ll come out – I haven’t even heard it – but I did that last week.” Watch the adorable Q&A-turned-press conference below. More »
Slowly but surely, Nicki Minaj has opened up on her now-ex boyfriend Safaree Samuels. She joked with Rap Radar founder Elliott Wilson in his Inside the Actors Studio-style interview series, CRWN, about how they moved from Queens, N.Y., to Atlanta together so that she can pursue a rap career: “I was so madly in love with him.” Pause. “As a friend.” Yet as she showed to Power 105 host Angie Martinez, Minaj is still trying to heal from their recent break-up. After all, they dated for over a decade. “I tell my girlfriends, my best friends, sometimes I still want to tell him stuff and get his opinion, because –” the rapper said, before she had to fight back tears.
Now, though, Minaj is actually seen crying in her new short film The Pinkprint Movie. To the most emotional songs from her just-released third album (“All Things Go,”“The Crying Game” featuring Jessie Ware, “I Lied” and “Grand Piano”), the 16-minute clip shows Minaj torn between leaving and staying with a flame, played by model Willy Monfret, and being rescued from a car crash by another man, played by Boris Kodjoe. It’s beautifully shot but also tough to watch, because Minaj has never been this vulnerable before. Watch The Pinkprint Movie up top, then see her recent, lengthy interviews with Wilson and Martinez below. More »
Let’s get one thing straight: Nicki Minaj has yet to release a bad album. 2010′s Pink Friday reintroduced the firebrand as a role model and best friend, with featherlight pop-rap songs about real love and hard work, particularly as a female. With 2012′s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, she made us take notice yet again, kickstarting the release with some of the most high-octane rap of her career, and then speeding off with Eurodance hooks louder and messier than LMFAO‘s. Both releases were overlong and at times repetitive. What angered most detractors, though, was that each time she committed herself to yet another full-length, she refused to do what others wanted of her: a big-budget version of her 2009 breakout mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty, or whimsically explicit songs that often referenced rap classics by males.
With that out of the way, and with hopes of a straightforward rap album mostly dashed, The Pinkprint (out today, ) isn’t a dud, either. In fact, it’s Nicki’s best album. Rap and pop are no longer how she relays her bipolar tendencies. Instead, somewhat miraculously, the now-comatose Nicki shows that these two genres, with their warring gendered expectations (pop scanning as “feminine,” rap as “masculine”) can peacefully co-exist in this lonely, gently whirring universe that exists here, her first breakup album. That works in her favor. As unexciting as her first two introspective singles (the Dr. Luke-produced “Pills N Potions,” the Skylar Grey-featuring “Bed of Lies”) were, The Pinkprint shines because it forces us to reckon with an emotion not often associated with the cagey Queen of Rap: vulnerability. More »
:: Taylor Swift celebrated turning 25 by inviting Beyonce, Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, Sam Smith, Nick Jonas, Selena Gomez and more to a birthday bash at her New York City apartment. See eight photos from the fun-filled, star-studded event above.
:: Be sure to also check out what Girls creator Lena Dunham gifted the 1989 star. Hint: There’s a cat involved. [Billboard]
:: Ingrid Michaelson‘s take on Taylor Swift’s “Clean” wasn’t the only inspired cover from Billboard’s Women in Music event – Betty Who performed a stripped-down version of Ariana Grande‘s “Love Me Harder.” [Billboard]
:: Jeremih was arrested for attempting to board a flight after the final boarding call. According to reports, the “Don’t Tell ‘Em” singer pried open the jetway door of the US Airways plane heading to Phoenix. [Rolling Stone]
:: “What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?” Iggy Azalea asks Nick Young, her NBA player boyfriend, behind the scenes at Forever 21′s holiday ad shoot. “Vanilla,” he says, as he looks intently back at her. See what he did there? [MTV]
Find out what music you can catch on TV today below. More »
Selena Gomez has been in transition for the majority of 2014. She found new management and returned to the studio with producers in crimeDreamlab and Ruffian (plus new collaborator Zedd). Then the singer released the Justin Bieber-inspired torch song, “The Heart Wants What It Wants,” as a single from her new greatest hits compilation For You. All of this seemed to confirm what rumors have suggested for a few months now — Gomez was ready to leave her Disney Channel days behind, by fulfilling her contract at the Disney-owned Hollywood Records and signing to Interscope, making for an eventful 2015.
On December 12, the Stars Dance diva confirmed the good news: She’s now an Interscope artist! Gomez posted to Instagram a snapshot at a restaurant, with what appears to be the record contract in front of her — see it below. More »
Ariana Grande shared a few adorable childhood photos in the lyric video for her original Christmas song, “Santa Tell Me.” One snapshot in particular showed baby Grande in a onesie, next to her brother Frankie, with a bow taped to her butt. Now, the grown-up songstress is taking cues from her early years in the tune’s official video, released yesterday (December 13).
Like Beyonce‘s DIY-inspired “7/11″ video, though at a house instead of a hotel room, the My Everything diva invites a few friends over to a sleepover-turned-spontaneous dance party — in bed, in the lobby, wherever. At one point, Grande descends a winding staircase and playfully spanks her girlfriends’ butts. Later she turns around, wiggling the bow on her own as if it was a bunny tail.
Watch Ariana Grande’s new “Santa Tell Me” video, plus outtakes up top, then see another baby photo that her mother Joan Grande shared below. More »
D’Angelo waited five years to follow up his 1995 debut Brown Sugar with the ambitious Voodoo, an album that traced R&B’s roots to music from African voodoo rituals. Eight years passed before he released a new song, “I Found My Smile.” Then in 2012, amid promises of a third album, D’Angelo began performing another new song, a funk epic titled “Sugah Daddy.” When he isn’t recording and performing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon with his band the Roots, poor Questlove has acted as the singer’s unofficial spokesman. For years, time and time again, he promised that D’Angelo’s album was near completion.
On December 12, he released a trailer for an album with his new band, the Vanguard. A day later, the elusive soul artist provided solid proof that yes, Black Messiah is about to arrive — the studio version of “Sugah Daddy.” And it’s all that fans could have hoped for, too. While spending the majority of his musical career in hiding, D’Angelo has shown in songs that he has dedicated years toward studying and metabolizing what seems like every piece of soul music in existence. “Sugah Daddy” is no different, as it feels fresh yet familiar.
D’Angelo will host a Black Messiahlistening party later today (December 14) in New York City. For now, or if you’re not in New York, hear “Sugah Daddy” and see the Black Messiah album trailer below. More »
Earlier this week, Madonna discovered that a photo shoot outtake had been stolen — that is, previously unreleased and then leaked online. She posted the snapshot by Steven Klein, the same fashion photographer who assisted with her racy “Secret Project” last year, with a scathing caption: “Thanks for showing me again and again that stealing selling and buying is alive and well in cyberspace!”
Now, the Queen of Pop has found yet another outtake floating on the internet. This time on Instagram, she wonders if her fans (gasp!) are to blame. “Another unreleased photo from a series I have just discovered!” she says. “Stolen and sold ti [sic] whom?? Wtf? Are my fans doing this? If so Im very confused! Stealing is a crime. #karma”
Many pop stars now anticipate such leaks. When Nicki Minaj‘s The Pinkprint surfaced online earlier this week, the rapper was unfazed. Not Madonna, though. Before she found these photos, she had two unreleased songs (“Wash Over Me,” “Rebel Heart”) surface online during Thanksgiving weekend, then her manager Guy Oseary asking fans to help them find whoever was responsible.
So are the fans actually to blame? See the photo shoot outtake that pissed off Madonna below, then sound off in the comments. More »