One Direction’s ‘Four’: Album Review

Band Aid 30's "Do They Know It's Christmas": Watch
Band Aid 30's "Do They Know It's Christmas": Watch
1D, Sam Smith, Rita Ora & others cover the classic for charity.
When One Direction’s Four (out today, ) leaked ten days before its official release date, the Internet went bonkers. The flood of tearful Tumblr posts attesting to its brilliance were pretty touching. (And not just in a click-this-Larry-Stylinson-gif-until-your-mouse-explodes kind of way, either.)

In this era of music industry ennui, it was touching to see that, despite all that’s changed in the past three years since their debut, global 1D-ementia remains strong. After all, though they’re each in their early twenties, Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis are the old-guard now. More »

Jennifer Lopez Is A ‘New York Times’ Best-Selling Author: Morning Mix

Did You Hear?

:: Jennifer Lopez, already a triple threat, has become a New York Times best-selling author with her first-ever book. True Love, a memoir, divulges intimate details of her high-profile relationships with the likes of Ben Affleck and Marc Anthony. [NYT]

:: Britney Spears hosted a #6SecondsOfSpears Q&A over the weekend. Fans learned what she orders at Starbucks, what she keeps in her purse, and what she wants for Christmas this year. [Twitter]

:: Rihanna‘s #R8 could be arriving “closer than anyone realized,” according to music industry insider DJ Skee. He also claims that a new Beyonce single will arrive this week. [SPIN]

:: Prince invited rising R&B auteur FKA Twigs to his Paisley Park studios to perform a surprise show on November 15. “Words cannot express my feeling right now,” a spectator said. [Okayplayer]

:: Pitbull is among several Latin acts performing at the Calibash festival, January 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Tickets go on sale November 21. [Billboard]

:: Lifetime’s Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B debuted over the weekend, to a slew of criticism from viewers. (Star Alexandra Shipp‘s singing was just one of their many concerns.) The biopic’s producers admitted that the fury “was hard to ignore, but you can’t dwell on it.” [The Washington Post]

Find out what music you can catch on TV below.  More »

Band Aid 30′s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” Is Here: Watch The Video, Starring Sam Smith, One Direction, Rita Ora & Others

Band Aid 30 Do They Know It's Christmas 2014 Ellie Goulding Chris Martin Sinead OConnor Ed Sheeran Seal One Direction Sam Smith
Christmas Charity
Adele A No-Show For Band Aid 30
Adele A No-Show For Band Aid 30
The singer won't take part in “Do They Know It's Christmas."

The video clip for Band Aid 30‘s rendition of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” premiered Sunday evening (November 16) during the UK telecast of The X Factor, and even without Adele taking part, the new version is quite the star-studded affair. Here on the lyrically-revised 2014 installment of the song — the fourth time it’s been recorded for charity over the past 30 years — One Direction take the first line, followed by Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Sam Smith, Paloma Faith and a slew of others (including Bono, a veteran of the very first version, and Chris Martin, who took part 10 years ago in Band Aid 20‘s take on the classic holiday track). More »

Nicki Minaj Debuts “Bed Of Lies” Featuring Skylar Grey: Listen

Nicki Minaj has two sides to her, as reenforced by her latest music. One moment, she acts ruthless as if to show that the male-dominated hip-hop industry cannot contain or intimidate her – see “Only,” featuring Chris Brown, Drake and Young Money label boss Lil Wayne, for the latest proof. The next, Minaj acts vulnerable, to signal in pop-informed songs that she’s getting personal. New song “Bed of Lies,” off her third studio album The Pinkprint and featuring in-demand songwriter Skylar Grey at the piano, falls in the latter category.

Without warning, Minaj debuted “Bed of Lies” earlier today (November 16), a few days after she and Grey performed a snippet on stage during the MTV EMAs. It’s a more pointed and detailed version of debut Pinkprint single “Pills N Potions,” as she confesses to popping pills and actually considering overdosing, due to a love taking advantage of her but also growing increasingly distant. Hear it below. More »

Adele Reportedly A No-Show During Band Aid 30′s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” Session

When the first version of the Band Aid collective’s charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas” was recorded in 1984, the studio session became a media event in of itself. Starting at 9 a.m., journalists watched closely as music superstars like U2‘s Bono, Duran Duran, Culture Club, Genesis drummer Phil Collins and Sting filed into the studio.

So on November 15, as new and established musicians alike arrived at London’s Notting Hill to record a new version of the song, this time raising awareness on the current ebola crisis, the media noticed that one notable artist was reportedly missing – Adele.

Despite announcements that she was among the dozen-plus participating artists, “Do They Know It’s Christmas” co-writer Bob Geldof (above, far right) said that Adele never responded to his request, according to The IndependentMore »

‘Hunger Games’ Cast Rewrites Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” On ‘SNL’: Watch

saturday-night-live-woody-harrelson-monologue
They'll Tell You We're Insane

Woody Harrelson first hosted Saturday Night Live in 1989, during the sketch comedy show’s second stint led by original director Dave Wilson. (David Byrne was the musical guest.) So to celebrate his return, the actor rewrote Taylor Swift‘s “Blank Space” to prove that he remembers more of 1989 than the pop superstar ever could, despite her new album title. Bless him, he tried: “Thought I met Margaret Thatcher / but it was Saddam Hussein / Then I got a blank space, baby / ’cause I used to do cocaine.”

Harrelson then brought out fellow castmates from the Hunger Games franchise (the latest of that series, Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, hits theaters November 21), though they weren’t much help to him. Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth weren’t born yet. Plus, despite what the Cheers goofball thought, the woman who joined them on stage wasn’t Taylor Swift, but Jennifer LawrenceMore »

Kendrick Lamar Performs “i” And “Pay For It” On ‘Saturday Night Live’: Watch

kendrick-lamar-i-snl
K. Dot Killed It
Kendrick Lamar's "i" Video
Kendrick Lamar's "i" Video
Kendrick Lamar hits the streets of Compton for his "i" video.

Kendrick Lamar came, saw and conquered tonight’s (November 15) episode of Saturday Night Live. The 27-year-old took no prisoners in his second appearance on the comedy/variety show, delivering a sizzling performance of “i” that included a full band, backing vocalists and even a little bit of a choreography. But the focus, as usual, was on K. Dot and his incredible flow.

The Rahki-produced, Isley Brothers-sampling jam is the first taste of Kendrick’s much-anticipated sophomore LP (due early 2015). “i” peaked at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100 but could rebound and go higher following this performance and the recent release of the video, which finds the MC hitting the mean streets of Compton. He later returned to perform “Pay For It” with TDE cohort Jay Rock. Watch “i” up top, then see “Pay for It” the jump. More »

S Club 7 Perform For The First Time In 12 Years: Watch

s-club-7-bbc
Ain't No Party Like A S Club Party

For years, S Club 7 has hinted at a reunion. During the ’00s, the British teen pop group did have an incredible run in the UK, with 11 Top 10 singles (four of those reached #1). Before all that, the Simon Fuller-assembled group became a crossover sensation with 2000 charity single “Never Had a Dream Come True” and its FOX series S Club 7 in Miami. Likely, the outfit’s seven members (Rachel Stevens, Hannah Spearritt, Bradley McIntosh, Paul Cattermole, Jon Lee, Jo O’Meara and Tina Barrett) figured that getting back together, if only for a live performance, would draw a big crowd.

Last night (November 14), S Club 7 performed for the first time in 12 years during BBC’s Children In Need – yes, the same charity special that One Direction performed on, which draws millions of viewers each year. More »

One Direction Perform “Night Changes” On BBC’s ‘Children In Need’: Watch

one-direction-night-changes-bbc
For Me *And* You

One Direction performed their new single “Night Changes” on live TV for the first time last night (November 14), hours after its official debut. The ballad finds the band thinking about getting older, baby, with a twinge of sadness in their voices. Still, during BBC’s Children in Need telethon, each lad (especially featured songwriters Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson) was greeted with loud, excited cheers as he sung his part. It’s as if the crowd was voting for its favorite boy band member.  More »

Ellie Goulding Confirms New Album For 2015 Release

Iggy Azalea Teases Ellie Goulding Collab
Iggy Azalea Teases Ellie Goulding Collab
Cop the latest taste of Azalea's 'The New Classic' reissue, ''Heavy Crown.''

Ellie Goulding first hinted at a new album last month, at island concert Bacardi Triangle. On stage, the eclectic British vocalist promised that she would be back stateside by next summer, letting the audience figure out on its own that new music will probably arrive in the spring. Last night (November 14) at the London Palladium, though, Goulding confirmed that a new studio release is indeed on the way.

“The only big thing coming up for me now is my third album, which won’t be out until next year. Everything is going into that,” Goulding said, during the Royal Variety Performance, an annual gala hosted by the British Royal Family.  More »