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Tag: Happy Holidays (21-30 of 32)

Kanye West's 'Christmas in Harlem' leaks: Hear it here

kanye-west-santaImage Credit: Chris Hatcher/PR PhotosMerry Christmas from Kanye West, everyone! “Christmas in Harlem,” a jolly new tune featuring his protégés CyHi Da Prynce and Teyana Taylor that leaked online today, is a worthy addition to the holiday hip-hop canon. If you like classics of the genre like Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis,” Ludacris’ “Ludacrismas,” and Jim Jones’ “Dipset Xmas Time,” you’ll love this.

“It’s 40 below the windchill/And we’re wiping snow off the windshield/But still, wonderful night to be alive, baby/And I’m so happy to be with my baby,” Kanye raps in his good-natured opening verse. Aww! He later compares himself to the title character from 2003’s Bad Santa, which is pretty hilarious. CyHi follows up with a slick verse, ending with the following ecumenical promise: “Happy Kwanzaa, and for the ones that aren’t Christian/Everybody gets gifts as long as I’m living!” Thanks, dude.

According to a tweet from CyHi, what leaked is an unfinished version: “The real one is coming!” And Kanye himself tweeted that “Christmas in Harlem” will eventually feature additional vocals from Cam’Ron, Jim Jones, Pusha T, Big Sean, and Musiq. This song is already so awesome that I can’t wait to hear the final track. Check out “Christmas in Harlem” after the jump and let us know if you agree.

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Coldplay sparks hope with new 'Christmas Lights' video: Watch here

coldplay-christmasColdplay has a potential Christmas classic on their hands. Today the English rock band debuted their video for “Christmas Lights.” In true Coldplay fashion, it begins as a sullen ballad about a couple breaking up but then swirls into rousingly anthemic cut. In the video the foursome plays on a small stage as if starring in a play with no audience. The show closes with an array of fireworks, signaling all lost loves to return home. It’s a great spin on the Christmas music genre–stocked with jingling bells, lyrics about Santa, and heroic tales of a red-nosed reindeer.

Check out the video after the jump and let us know what you think of Coldplay’s yuletide plea.

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Boyz II Men accused of lip-syncing at live Christmas special

Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

Boyz II Men have found themselves in a bit of controversy after their performance last night at NBC’s annual Christmas in Rockfeller Center tree-lighting special. The trio sang the holiday classic “This Christmas” without a problem. But after their set the next act, singer Charice, was introduced, and Boyz II Men’s melodies began to play again. Oops. But after watching the clip again, it appears that the only vocals that played were their background ones, which is common and doesn’t mean they lip-synced the entire way.

Also, if you listen closely during their performance, you’ll hear that their microphones are on. When Shawn Stockman claps his hands, the muffled beat on the mic is audible. So what do you think, Mixers? Did one of the most successful groups of our time try to pull the wool over our ears last night? Or did some sound guy at NBC just make a mistake? Check out the incident here and sound off in the comments.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

Thanksgiving's over, so let's talk Christmas music

Every year for the past decade-and-a-half or so, I’ve sent out a Christmas music compilation CD as my holiday card to friends and family. It’s typically about 20 tracks of “traditional” Christmas songs (so Weezer’s “Silent Night” could be on there, but not “Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto” by Snoop’s Dogg Pound), because those are the classics that get me all warm and fuzzy around the time the trees go bare and the gas bill goes up. For the first few years it was a piece of cake. Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas CD showed up every year, as did gems from collections by Frank Sinatra, Etta James, James Taylor, and Tony Bennett. But a CD greeting card that goes out each and every year, basically containing renditions of the same relatively small pool of songs, desperately needs variety to make it worthwhile year in and year out. As time went by, that became a real challenge. Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” is awesome, but those well-known one-off-type tracks will make your compilations seem gimmicky if they keep showing up every year. To keep it interesting, you gotta find the deep cuts – and keep finding them year in and year out, despite the limited number of new Christmas CDs entering the picture each year.

In this ongoing hunt over the years, I’ve found some really wonderful music, though, and figured this weekend, as we kick off the official holiday season, I’d share a few of my favorites (some albums, some individual songs). This is in hopes that you, EW.com readers, will share yours with me (more fodder for next year’s collection – the Holiday 2010 mix is already a wrap). So without further ado, in no particular order: READ FULL STORY

Beyoncé's I Am... tour special set for another Thanksgiving primetime TV debut: Watch the preview here

beyonce-world-tourOne just wasn’t enough for Beyoncé. After millions of fans licked their Thanksgiving plates clean while watching her dance her tail off  on her intimate Las Vegas I Am…Yours turkey day special last year, Queen B is coming back for seconds. Documenting the international leg of her 2009 concerts, ABC will premiere the broadcast version of Beyoncé‘s I AM…WORLD TOUR in another primetime special at 9:30pm EST/PST this Thanksgiving.

I got to check out a screening of the concert movie a few weeks ago. Look out for plenty of behind the scenes footage–some even shot by Beyoncé on her laptop. As someone who’s known to be one of the strongest women in a business, it’s interesting to see what she’s like when the curtain is pulled back. You’ll see Beyoncé distraught–even in tears at times–when talking about how much she misses home and specifically her husband, Jay-Z. So much so that she starts a “Day-Z” countdown, marking the days left before she can fly back across the Atlantic to briefly see him.

Still, the shows go on in their high-heeled, wonderfully choreographed glory. Kanye West and Jay even pop up on stage for a bit. Produced and directed by Beyoncé for her Parkwood Pictures, Beyoncé‘s I AM…WORLD TOUR will be exclusively sold through Walmart starting Nov. 26.

Check out a preview of the special after the jump.

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Kanye West announces 'Good Fridays': New tunes every weekend 'til Christmas

kanye-west-santaImage Credit: Chris Hatcher/PR PhotosTime to clear some space on your iPod: Every single Friday from now ’til Dec. 25, Kanye West will be liberating a brand-new song by himself or one of his close friends. He announced the plan in a series of tweets yesterday.

“Swizz [Beatz] looked at me the other night and said man are you getting sleep and I told him I can’t sleep… My people need this new music,” he wrote. “I know yall need the music so I’m dropping 1 new song every weekend until Xmas. It may be my song it may be a new Jay song etc…I’m calling it good Fridays. Yall know every Friday yall gone have a new joint from our family.”

With West and Jay-Z’s “Power” remix and his and Beyoncé’s “See Me Now” already out there, plus new albums on the way from West himself and protégés like Kid Cudi and Big Sean, that’s going to be a whole lot of G.O.O.D. Music to enjoy as summer turns to fall and winter.

What do you think of Kanye’s release plan? Looking forward to this Friday?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More news from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Lady Gaga is Queen of Twitter: Sorry, Britney!
Lauryn Hill performs at Rock the Bells festival: Is she back for good?
Wyclef Jean issues statement about Haiti presidency disqualification
The Swell Season issue statement about apparent suicide at show
Drake and Lil Wayne start fires in their ‘Miss Me’ video

Susan Boyle reportedly planning Christmas album

susan-boyleImage Credit: Daniele Venturelli/Getty ImagesIs Susan Boyle making a Christmas album? According to a report in Billboard citing unnamed “U.S. retail sources,” the Scottish sales phenomenon is currently in the studio recording a Yule-themed set for a potential October release. A spokesperson for Columbia Records confirms that Boyle is in the process of recording her second album, but was unable to confirm whether or not it has anything to do with the holidays.

Boyle’s debut, I Dreamed A Dream, sold more than three million copies in the U.S. in just over a month after being released late last November, making her follow-up a very big deal within the music industry. What do you think of this report? Would you buy a Susan Boyle Christmas album?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Katy Perry’s new single “Teenage Dream” hits the Web
T.I. and Keri Hilson stay true in “Got Your Back” video
Justin Timberlake’s directorial debut: Exclusive pics
Jack White performs Beatles song at the White House
Jerry Garcia biopic in the works: Who should play him?

'NOW That's What I Call Love': Hinder's 'Lips of an Angel' for Valentine's Day? Really?!

There are plenty of questionable song choices on NOW That’s What I Call Love (out Jan. 26), which a press release sent this morning bills as “A PERFECT VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT” featuring “20 unforgettable love songs from today’s top artists.” I mean, Hoobastank’s “The Reason”? David Cook’s “Light On”? They might as well have called this thing NOW That’s What I Call Mediocre Adult-Contemporary Rock, am I right?

But one item on the track list really sticks out for me, and that’s Hinder’s “Lips of an Angel.” In case you’re lucky enough to have forgotten it, “Lips of an Angel” is a turgid power ballad about wanting to cheat on one’s current partner with an ex. You know, “My girl’s in the next room/Sometimes I wish she was you.” “Girl, you make it hard to be faithful.” That one. And this is supposed to be romantic?! If your significant other gives you this song about itching to hook up with someone else on Valentine’s Day — or any other day, for that matter — you might be justified in dumping him or her immediately.

I don’t even like Valentine’s Day, but I’m pretty sure “Lips of an Angel” makes a mockery of everything that ridiculous pseudo-holiday stands for. Am I the only one? Watch the song below if you must, click through to the jump for the full lineup of NOW That’s What I Call Love songs, then sound off in the comments section.

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Neil Diamond covers Adam Sandler, becomes the Grinch who ruined Hanukkah

I thought my Chanukah wishes had been answered when I heard that Neil Diamond did a cover of Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song.” Until I listened to it: ugh. Then things got worse. I saw the music video, done in slipshod Flash animation. Needless to say, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Sandler’s song for a musically underrepresented holiday works because it’s fun and feels off-the-cuff. For some reason the Jewish Elvis though we needed a straight-faced, fist-pumping version of a novelty song. Well, this is the same Hebraic hero who—for some reason—has recorded three Christmas albums, so what do you expect?

There’s potential in this cartoon video for the song, and it’s criminally wasted. ‘Toon versions of David Lee Roth, The Fonz and Captain Kirk show up, but they don’t do anything other than smile/leer and raise their animated eyebrows.

Am I missing some secret subtext in this painfully vanilla cover? Or should we let this crazy Diamond shine on?

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Ke$ha: A Music Mix Q&A on her Top 5 hit ‘TiK ToK’ and why she’s no longer welcome in Paris Hilton’s home
Axl Rose issues statement on ‘unprovoked’ paparazzi scuffle
Miley Cyrus song disqualified from Grammy noms
Kanye West responds to EW’s Best of the Decade honor
Lil Wayne’s Rebirth delayed yet again to 2010
Did Eminem call Adam Lambert a homophobic slur?

The Beatles: Thanksgiving special coming to ABC?

Buried in the middle of a Billboard story about the business side of the new Beatles remasters is the following tantalizing paragraph: “And just in time for the start of the holiday shopping season, sources say ABC is planning to air a two-hour prime-time special on Thanksgiving night that will feature Beatles footage and contemporary artists performing Beatles songs.”

Oh, really! ABC declined to comment when contacted by EW, but that’s no reason not to start getting extremely psyched. Speaking as someone who’s been DVRing and re-watching the old Beatles Anthology documentaries on VH1 the past couple of Wednesdays — still awesome, BTW — the phrase “two-hour prime-time special” is sweet music to my ears. Any amount of Beatles footage being aired on television = I’m sold.

And what about those contemporary covers? At the top of my list, naturally, would be Radiohead playing “Sexy Sadie” (which helped inspire “Karma Police”) or “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” (ditto for “Paranoid Android”). Or how about Erykah Badu doing an extended funky jam on “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”? Over on the poppier side, I bet Adam Lambert could make a big old rocker like “Helter Skelter” his own. I could even see someone like Taylor Swift working wonders on a confessional pop tune like “I’m a Loser.” How about you? Name the artists you’d like to see take on the Beatles catalog in prime time, below.

More from EW’s Music Mix:
‘Rock Band: Radiohead': If only this game were real!
The Beatles: And their best song is…
Jimmy Page and Jack White talk about ‘It Might Get Loud,’ their new documentary with the Edge
Jason Schwartzman exclusive: Hear the theme song for his new HBO show here

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