Archive: July 2011 (1-5 of 5)

YouTube sensation Christina Grimmie: The 17 year-old singer talks about her new album and opening for Selena Gomez on tour

Christina-Grimmie

Christina Grimmie, one of YouTube’s most popular musicians, almost never joined the site at all.

“My friend convinced me to put a video up, when originally I did not want to,” the quirky 17 year-old tells EW. “I did on July 17th, 2009.” That was the day that Grimmie posted a video of herself playing piano and singing “Don’t Wanna Be Torn” by Hannah Montana.

As she frequently posted new cover videos to her channel, zeldaxlove64, Grimmie developed a small online fanbase, and what started as a frivolous hobby quickly became a much bigger project. “More and more, I made it a routine to post videos, and now I’m doing pretty well for myself, I would say.”

Well, that’s an understatement. Grimmie is now the veritable queen of YouTube musicians, with 974,000 subscribers, an EP of original songs (called Find Me) available on iTunes, a single (“Advice”) getting airplay on Radio Disney, and a plum opening spot on Selena Gomez’s upcoming summer tour.

That’s a pretty impressive slate for any artist, much less a teenager without a record deal. How did Grimmie achieve so much success in just two short years?

READ FULL STORY

Katy Perry, the latest pop diva to be sidelined by sickness, postpones two tour dates

Katy Perry has been forced to postpone two upcoming shows due to food poisoning.

Yahoo reports that Perry was under the weather last night during her performance at Milwaukee’s Summerfest festival.

Apparently it hasn’t gotten any better since and her July 8 and 9 concerts have been moved to August. Perry turned to Twitter earlier today to apologize for the switch-up and announced the new dates.

“Chicago and St. Paul—I’m so sorry to have to postpone today and tomorrow’s shows,” she writes. “But I’ll be back 8/21 (CHI) and 8/23 (St. Paul)!”

Pop starlets haven’t been doing so well in the health department as of late. Taylor Swift just canceled a show because of bronchitis, and Adele’s just getting back on her feet after being sidelined by laryngitis.

EW sends its best wishes, and recommends a personal chef, some Robitussin, and green tea, respectively, for these three ladies.

Read more:
Adele, Katy Perry help music sales go up for the first time in seven years
Katy Perry spent every week of the last year in the Hot 100 top 10-what did YOU do?
Katy Perry and Robyn take a sweet-toothed teenage dream tour to New Jersey

Rihanna talks Chris Brown aftermath: 'It was a very aggressive and defensive time'

Rihanna has already spoken out about Chris Brown a number of times.

She’s talked with Diane Sawyer, opened up to Rolling Stone, and (allegedly) tweeted about the R&B singer as well. In the August issue of Cosmopolitan U.K., Rihanna again speaks out about their breakup, but this time, the conversation is not centered around Brown—it is about her own attitude following their very public split.

Rihanna claims that dating has been tough since Brown: “It can definitely be intimidating to guys to date someone in this industry,” she says. “It’s really hard to find a guy who doesn’t care about that stuff. Right now, it’s easier just having my career to focus on.”

“I’m open to love,” she continues, “But guys should have to earn it. Because the minute they get it, they want something else,” the singer explains.

Dating might be difficult, anyway, since the pop singer admits that openness is not her strong suit: “I’ve always been good at masking my emotions. For me, it’s tougher to be vulnerable than to be tough.”

That sentiment appears to have been exacerbated by her assault, which left Rihanna feeling understandably angry. She remarks, “It was a very aggressive and defensive time, and that allowed me to start not giving a s–t. I walked around with a very f–k-you attitude.”

Not much to object to here, Music Mixers—I think we would all agree that Rihanna’s feelings make sense, right?

She’ll probably be forced to talk about her ex in interviews for years to come, but at least she handles those questions with what seems like genuine honesty—and a lot of patience, considering how much she would likely prefer to move on from that time in her life. Readers, do you agree?

More Rihanna on EW.com:
Rihanna kills rapist in ‘Man Down’ video, Parent Television Council cries foul, and the pop star snaps back: Who’s right here?
Cee Lo leaves Rihanna’s LOUD tour

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Jay-Z previews collab with Kanye West, 'Watch the Throne': On the scene at the NYC listening session

Leave it to hip-hop’s smoothest star to break up the tension in a crowded room.

“Why don’t you sit on the floor,” Jay-Z, clad in a Yankees cap, white v-neck tee, and matching shell-toe Adidas, asked the few people lingering around the entrance to his Mercer Hotel suite in Manhattan’s Soho last night. “We can make it like camp.” The revered rhymer invited friends and a select few journalists for an early listen of Watch the Throne, his long-awaited full-length collaboration with Kanye West (who was notably absent from the evening).

The room—one of many Jay and ‘Ye had transformed into a full-blown recording studio at the luxury New York inn since the beginning of the year—is still decked out with equipment: an MPC drum machine here, keyboards and microphones there. The duo is still buffing and polishing Throne, so we were asked not to quote any lyrics, since they might change before the release date. (Still to be determined, but Jay promises “soon.”)

Simply put: Throne proves to be a masterpiece. No exaggeration. Though it was mostly crafted here in New York, songs were also written in  Paris, Australia, and Bath, England. The influences of the international locales are evident, but its the true grit of New York’s hip-hop spirit that truly shines through.And though the title suggests pomposity and majesty, Throne is lyrically well-balanced and accessible. There are opulent raps dripping with swag for sure, but also plenty that smack of militancy, worry, and grief.

Speaking of grief, Jay diffused any notions of conflict between he and Kanye, offering up instead an anecdote that made West seem downright generous. Back in 2009, Jay told West that “Run This Town” would be the first single off of  Blueprint 3. West, who produced the track and offered some verse for it, opposed: He said he’d just attended a barbecue where “Town” played, but didn’t get a big response.Jay’s “Empire State of Mind” would be a better look, Kanye insisted.

Jay ended going with “Town” first, followed by his now-ubiquitous New York anthem. They both were smashes. But Jay said that the story exemplified West’s drive to win—even if it means sacrificing his own ego. “He’s difficult to work with for specific, well-intentioned reasons,” Jay said.

Below is a track-by-track description of Throne’s cuts. Mind you, all titles given (and some weren’t) are subject to change.

READ FULL STORY

Grammy-winning Buena Vista Social Club guitarist Manuel Galban has died, aged 80

Grammy-winning Cuban guitarist and Buena Vista Social Club member Manuel Galbán has died at the age of 80.

In the ’60s, Galban joined the hugely popular Cuban band Los Zafiros and in the ’70s formed his own group, Batey. He appeared in Wim Wenders’ 1999 documentary about Cuban music, Buena Vista Social Club, and subsequently performed with the touring ensemble of the same name. In 2004, Galbán won a Grammy for the album Mambo Sinuendo, a collaboration with his fellow guitarist Ry Cooder.

Galbán died yesterday in Havana of a heart attack.

“It is a very sad day for Cuban music and fans of Cuban music,” said Galbán’s manager Daniel Florestano. “Galbán’s enormous impact worldwide with his unique guitar sound and warm smile will be missed by many.”

You can see a very young Galbán appearing on TV with Los Zafiros below: READ FULL STORY

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