Jordin Sparks Signs To New Record Label, Announces New Album ‘Right Here, Right Now’

2014's Best Pop Singles
2014's Best Pop Singles
Idolator editors pick their favorite pop singles from 2014.

Jordin Sparks is getting right back in the game.

It’s been a few minutes since we last got a studio album from the talented season six American Idol winner (since 2009′s Battlefield, actually), but she’s gearing up to make quite the comeback, beginning with the release of her brand new mixtape, #BYEFELICIA. And as it turns out, that mixtape was just the tip of the iceberg.

In a new press release issued today, Jordin announced that she has signed with Louder Than Life, an imprint via Sony Music founded by producer Salaam Remi. And ahead of her forthcoming new record, she’s dropping her #BYEFELICIA single “It Ain’t You” today as the official new single from her forthcoming third album, Right Here, Right Now.

“I am very excited to be working alongside Salaam Remi on my next album. Together, we have created something special. I’m very proud of it and can’t wait to share it!” Jordin says of the upcoming record. For reference, Remi worked extensively with artists like Amy Winehouse and Nas in the past.

Are you excited to hear Right Here, Right Now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. More »

Avicii Wants You To Seize The Day (And Night): Watch The Swedish DJ’s Motivational “The Nights” Video

avicii-the-nights
The Nights That Never Die
2014's Best Pop Singles
2014's Best Pop Singles
Idolator's editors pick the best pop singles of 2014.

Avicii bookends Robbie Williams-voiced club-banger “The Days” with “The Nights.” Both singles sound alike, have an identical message and are housed on the Swedish DJ’s The Days/Nights EP (they also feature on his upcoming sophomore LP Stories). It feels like overkill but at least the visuals are different. “The Days” mysteriously only a lyric video, while “The Nights” plays like a home movie/elaborate Snapchat story.

The clip features footage of Rory Kramer seizing the moment with a variety of outdoor activities like surfing, skateboarding and skiing. Because embracing life obviously involves adventure sports and sunburn. So who is this dude? A friend of RAS‘ (i.e. the song’s writer/vocalist). He penned “The Nights” about advice his father gave him, so it’s as much his vision as Avicii’s. Watch up top. More »

Lion Babe’s Self-Titled EP Is Now Streaming: Listen To The Fiery Project

Lion Babe has been making waves in the underground scene for a little while now, with their 2012 single — “Treat Me Like Fire.” Fast forward to two years later, and the NYC-based duo (producer Lucas Goodman and vocalist Jillian Hervey) are ready to take on the mainstream scene. Their debut self-titled EP released today (December 15), and it’s a warm-blooded blend of soul, R&B and electronica.

Songs like “Jump Hi” featuring Childish Gambino has a sparkling, funk-tinged groove that is reminiscent of summers in Brooklyn, while “Jungle Lady” is swelters with lust (courtesy of Hervey’s Erykah Badu-esque tone) that blends with the tune’s spacial production.

Take a listen to the four-track EP stream after the jump! More »

Nicki Minaj’s Semi-Nude 2015 Calendar: See All 13 Boobs-And-Booty Baring Photos

2014's Best Pop Singles
2014's Best Pop Singles
Idolator's editors selected the 20 best pop singles of the year!

Nicki Minaj has been exciting many a “Anaconda” worldwide ever since her debut, but now the rapstress is baring her ass-ets more than ever before! As seen throughout 2014, sex is selling like hotcakes (have you seen K. Michelle‘s recent album promotion?). But for Minaj, she has decided to give fans more than a peek of her boobs and booty for every month of the week.

Her 2015 calendar finds the “Only” diva showing off her curvaceous frame in a naughty firefighter get-up, workout gear, bikinis and more. There is even a scandalous shot of the rapper’s nude body in what seems to be a tub of milk — how kinky! More »

Spend New Year’s Eve With Jennifer Lopez! The Diva’s ‘Dance Again’ Concert Documentary Premieres December 31

Jennifer Lopez's Flawless Bikini Body
Jennifer Lopez's Flawless Bikini Body
Jennifer Lopez showed the new generation of divas how to lay a thirst trap on Instagram.

All good things come to those who wait! Jennifer Lopez‘s Dance Again concert documentary will make its belated debut on HBO on December 31. What better way to bring in 2015? Produced by Simon Fields, the film is said to combine live performances from the diva’s blockbuster 2012 world tour, as well as documentary footage — J.Lo apparently reflects on her “romantic happiness” — and interviews with family and friends.

The tour was absolutely spectacular, so this should be a (long-overdue) treat. The timing is also interesting. Dance Again was initially pegged for a theatrical release in 2013 (it was filmed in 3D), but that never eventuated. Instead of simply releasing the film on DVD, a high-profile HBO special is a pretty smart way of promoting the pop icon’s rumored Las Vegas residency. If it’s actually on the cards. Regardless, this will be must-see TV! More »

Nicki Minaj’s ‘The Pinkprint’: Review Revue

2014's Best Pop Singles
2014's Best Pop Singles
Idolator editors select their Top 20 pop singles of 2014.

With her latest studio album The Pinkprint (out this week), Nicki Minaj has laid out the blue — err, pinkprint for all the female rappers who come after her. (Her words, not ours!) Led by her Dr. Luke slow-burner “Pills N Potions” and the all-out A$$ attack of “Anaconda,” critics weren’t quite sure what to expect from Minaj’s third outing.

Here at Idolator, we gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, declaring it her 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.” But what did critics around the world have to say about Nicki’s newest record?

Check out all the latest reviews after the jump. More »

Ne-Yo’s ‘Non-Fiction’: See The Cover Art & Tracklist

2014's Best Pop Singles
2014's Best Pop Singles
Idolator's editors selected the 20 best pop singles of the year!

Despite a brief release setbackNe-Yo is now ready to ring in 2015 with a new album! Titled Non-Fiction, this marks the R&B crooner’s sixth project of his career. It may also be his most heartfelt:  “I’m a storyteller: with this album, I wanted to put a magnifying glass on that. I wanted Non-Fiction to feel cinematic: each track gives listeners something entertaining, yet if they take their time with it, they’ll discover different dimensions and subplots.”

The 14-track album is threaded with features — including his duet with Pitbull on “Time Of Our Lives,” “Money Can’t Buy” with Jeezy and the Juicy J-assisted “She Knows.” Aside from the collaboration with Mr. 305, Ne-Yo is heading back to his R&B roots on Non-Fiction.

In an interview with Billboard, the singer said it will be “predominately R&B this time. I had a little stint with the dance music and all of that, which I had a good time with– and I love the audience, I love them for accepting me doing it – but I had to go home on this one.” More »

Nicki Minaj Performs “Bed Of Lies” On ‘The Ellen Degeneres Show’: Watch

nicki-minaj-ellen
A Little More Personal
2014's Best Pop Singles
2014's Best Pop Singles
Idolator's editors selected the 20 best pop singles of the year!

Nicki Minaj‘s third LP The Pinkprint dropped today (check out our review!) — and in celebration of the album, she stopped by The Ellen Degeneres show. The rapper performed her latest single, “Bed Of Lies,” alongside featured artist Skylar Grey. Donning an all-black outfit, minimal make-up and layers of bling, Minaj poured her heart out as she spit the emotional lyrics.

The Pinkprint — which is shaping up to be Minaj’s strongest work yet — has tracks like the Meek Mill-assisted “Big Daddy,” her “Feelin’ Myself” collaboration with Beyonce“The Crying Game” featuring Jessie WareAll Things Go,” “Only” and more. More »

Ben Haenow Wins ‘X Factor UK’: Listen To The Winner’s Debut Single

2014's Best Pop Singles
2014's Best Pop Singles
Idolator's editors pick the best pop singles of 2014.

Unlike the hit-or-miss quality of American talent TV counterparts, the X Factor UK is almost consistently known for churning out actual international superstars: One Direction, Ella Henderson and Cher Lloyd, anyone?

Last night, a new winner was crowned on the UK series: Ben Haenow, mentored by Simon Cowell as part of the “Over 25′s” group. And, in the grand tradition of all reality TV winners, his debut single is already available today — and it’s a cover of OneRepublic‘s “Something I Need.” The anthemic track, produced by Ryan Tedder and Benny Blanco, comes from the group’s 2013 record, Native.

That being said, runner-up Fleur East certainly seems poised for stardom as well after quickly became a fan favorite in the competition, especially with her jaw-dropping performance of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars“Uptown Funk.” Watch Ben’s performance of his winning single after the jump, and check out Fleur’s killer semi-finals performance as well.

Who do you think should have won? Sound off in the comments below. More »

D’Angelo And The Vanguard’s ‘Black Messiah’: Listen To The Full Album

2014's Best Pop Singles
2014's Best Pop Singles
Idolator's editors selected the 20 best pop singles of the year.

No one, including probably D’Angelo himself, could have anticipated the near-15-year (!!) stretch there would be between the neo soul singer’s sophomore album, 2000′s Voodoo, and his third one. Yet here we are with Black Messiah, which was released last night at midnight with only a two-day warning. Better late than never?

D’Angelo and his band The Vanguard worked on the 12 tracks (which include the funky “Sugah Daddy”) with Pino Palladino, James Gadson and Questlove, while Kendra Foster and Q-Tip helped to co-write the LP. More »