Getting your friends together in one place can be hard, so Janelle Monáe took the easy route and had her famous friends—Kimbra, Esperanza Spalding, Monica, Estelle, and TLC’s T-Boz—video chat in to her latest music video to join the party.
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EW was on the scene at last night’s taping of VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul (airing tonight at 9 p.m. ET). In addition to talking to the Divas — including repeat performers Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Kelly Clarkson, plus Jessie J and Florence + the Machine’s Florence Welch — we narrowed down exactly why the 13-year-old institution is still worth checking out. Below, five reasons to tune into tonight’s special. READ FULL STORY
Divas, make way! VH1 has added a bevy of other ladies — and, yes, some dudes, too — to the line-up for its annual special VH1 Divas, including Chaka Kahn (pictured here), Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Estelle, Marsha Ambrosius. The non-diva entities –i.e. those who have a Y chromosome — added include Boyz II Men and Travie McCoy.
The seven new acts join the previously announced divas, which include Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige, Florence Welch, Jennifer Hudson, Jessie J, and Jill Scott. The Roots will serve as the house band for the engagement.
VH1 Divas will celebrate soul this year, honoring so-called “soulful cities” — Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis, and Philadelphia — that inspired the participating divas and their art. The special airs Monday, Dec. 19, at 9 p.m. on VH1.
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Three years later, she’s back with a new single that finds her sharing time with another American Boy: The guest star this time out is Rick Ross, and the song is called “Break My Heart,” which you can hear after the jump.
Last night at New York’s Terminal 5, the five-city Grammy Celebration tour wound up with an old-school, hit-filled set from headliner LL Cool J (more on that later) and support from Brit R&B star Estelle. The latter told EW backstage that fans may not have to wait much longer for a follow-up to her 2008 breakthrough, Shine. "I’m working on my new album right now," she said, "I’m about five songs into it. It should be out this fall, in October or November."
Her sunny ’08 single "American Boy" was one of the sweetest success stories of last year; the catchy Kanye West collaboration cracked the Billboard top 10 and nabbed a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Estelle says West is one of her "favorite artists" and expects to work with him again.
Shine featured an eclectic group of guests, ranging from will.i.am and Cee-Lo to Mark Ronson and John Legend, and Estelle promises another grab-bag of famous names this time around, too: "I’m working with Swizz Beats, Kid Sister — her new album drops soon, look out for that! — and Dave Sitek, of TV on the Radio." (The guitarist and producer has worked with everyone from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Scarlett Johansson). Click through for a breakdown of her and LL’s eclectic Grammy tour sets.
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