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Tag: LL Cool J (1-10 of 13)

The five worst singles of 2013, courtesy of the Wanted, Ray J and more

It’s not as easy as you might think to find five truly god-awful songs from one year—then agree on all of them, as the EW music staff recently did. The most terrible songs not only irritate your ears, they invade your cultural space and insult your intelligence. We believe these five very much fit the bill.

1. “Accidental Racist”
Brad Paisley feat. LL Cool J
This schmaltzy loaf of country pop equates slavery’s “iron chains” with rap’s “gold chains,” and the Confederate flag with the “do-rag.” Smarmy gimmicks don’t come any stupider: READ FULL STORY

'The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!': Katy unplugs, Taylor strips, Lorde twitches

Every year, the Grammys broadcast fills its three hours with performances, so much so that the actual winners of the prizes tend to get overshadowed by the combinations on stage. The producers must have figured that if it works well for the actual awards show, it might as well work for the nominations special.

Such was the case with tonight’s Grammy Nominations Concert Live! Though there were some surprises in there (check out all the nominees here), it was hard to figure out exactly who was being rewarded with so much stuff happening on stage in Los Angeles (and in the case of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, on stages that were not even in the country).

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis kicked the show off from outside the Nokia Theatre, with some funny gags about security. They made their way into the Buckyball prison that was the stage and ripped through a relatively spry version of “Thrift Shop.” Macklemore has some natural charisma that he tends to coast on, but all props to his band of Robin Thicke jacket-wearing backup dancers and that dude walking and playing the trumpet at the same time. READ FULL STORY

Taylor Swift and Katy Perry added to Grammy nominations show performers list

This Friday’s The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!  is shaping up to be nearly as big a spectacle as the actual Grammy Awards, which won’t actually be handed out until the end of January.

LL Cool J is hosting, Ed Sheeran is presenting, and producers just announced the addition of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry to the list of previously announced performers, including Lorde, Robin Thicke, and Miguel & Keith Urban.

“But wait,” you may be saying to yourself, “neither Swift nor Perry will even be in this country on Friday night, let alone at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, where this is taking place!” Such is the magic of satellite technology: LL will be throwing to live performances in Canada (for Perry) and Australia (for Swift). Expect accented fireworks!

The one-hour special, which will air on CBS at 10 PM this Friday, December 6, will also, incidentally, roll out the nominations for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, which will be handed out just across the street at the Staples Center on Sunday, January 26.

Music released between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013 is eligible, and based on sales, cultural exposure, and general Grammy warmth, expect Justin Timberlake to rack up a ton of nominations. Lorde is pretty much a lock for Best New Artist, and you have to assume both Kanye West and Jay Z will make some noise as well.

Who else’s name deserves to be called this Friday night? And which performances make you the most curious? Let us know in the comments.

KISS, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel among Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees

Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, and The Replacements are among first-time nominees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The hall of fame announced its annual list of nominees Wednesday morning and half the field of 16 were first-time nominees. YES, Link Wray, and The Zombies also received their first nominations.

More than 600 voters will determine the class of 2014. Inductees will be announced in December and a ceremony will be held next April in New York. The induction will be aired on HBO in May. READ FULL STORY

LL Cool J on 'Accidental Racist': 'The song wasn't perfect' -- VIDEO

Now that Brad Paisley has taken his turn trying to defend the batty lyrics to “Accidental Racist,” it’s time for LL Cool J to make his defense.

Last night on The Tonight Show, LL addressed the conversations over the song from Paisley’s new album Wheelhouse, which contains multiple lyrics that some judged insensitive to the actual struggles against racism. Paisley wanted credit for starting a conversation about difficult issues, while LL took a different approach.

“I feel good,” the rapper told Jay Leno when asked about the Internet fervor over the tune. “The song wasn’t perfect. You can’t fit 300 or 400 years of history into a three or four minute song.”

He continued, somewhat turning on the song. READ FULL STORY

Brad Paisley and LL Cool J's 'Accidental Racist': Here's what people are tweeting

As you’ve probably heard by now, Brad Paisley and LL Cool J released a controversial duet called “Accidental Racist,” a song that, among other things, compares do-rags to confederate flags.

EW spoke to Paisley earlier today about the song and the uproar it has caused (you can read that post here). The country singer admitted,  “It’s such a complicated issue.” Indeed, it is! And Twitter, where complicated issues go to get made fun of, has reacted swiftly to the song.

Here’s a roundup of what a selection of people (comedians, musicians, writers, and countrymen) are tweeting about Paisley and LL’s “Accidental Racist”:

READ FULL STORY

Brad Paisley talks about his LL Cool J duet 'Accidental Racist'

Today, the internet is abuzz over a provocative new track from Brad Paisley and LL Cool J (yes, like Nelly and Tim McGraw before them, they recorded a duet) called “Accidental Racist,” which appears on Paisley’s ninth studio album Wheelhouse, available tomorrow.

The song covers Paisley’s struggle to deal with race issues as a white man in the South, who feels like people are “walking on eggshells” whenever the subject comes up. The lyrics describe him (or at least the character he’s playing) walking into a coffee shop wearing a shirt that has a confederate flag on it. Paisley sings, “[I'm] just a proud rebel son with an ‘ol can of worms/Lookin’ like I got a lot to learn.” LL Cool J eventually answers Paisley’s verse with a rap of his own. “If you don’t judge my do-rag… I won’t judge your red flag,” the recent Grammy host says. “If you don’t judge my gold chains… I’ll forget the iron chains,” he continues.

When the earnestly delivered song floated through the EW office a few weeks ago, we knew it was destined to cause a ruckus. So we asked Paisley to share his motivation for recording “Accidental Racist” as part of print-edition feature on the stories behind some of his biggest career hits. An online version of that article was supposed to run tomorrow, but since everyone is talking about “Accidental Racist” now, the song merited its own post.

Here’s Paisley (with very light edits, just for clarity) on why he made “Accidental Racist”:

“At this point, after all these albums and all these hits, I have no interest in phoning it in, and I think that [the song] comes from an honest place in both cases, and that’s why it’s on there and why I’m so proud of it. This isn’t a stunt. This isn’t something that I just came up with just to be sort of shocking or anything like that. I knew it would be, but I’m sort of doing it in spite of that, really. READ FULL STORY

Beyonce to headline 2013 Essence Festival

Get out your freakum dress:  Beyoncé is going on tour, and she’s just added a special stop.

Over the July 4 holiday, Bey will be headlining one night at the 19th annual ESSENCE Festival taking place in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where she performed her halftime show last week.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Beyoncé back to the 2013 ESSENCE Festival line-up. She is truly the ultimate ESSENCE woman,” said Essence Communications President Michelle Ebanks in a release. “If you missed her tour de force in New Orleans, please join us this Fourth of July weekend so that you can experience it live for yourself at the ESSENCE Festival. The ESSENCE Festival features the best in music, culture, arts and entertainment—all of which Beyoncé captures through her extraordinary gifts.”

Other acts at the festival include Keyshia Cole, LL Cool J, Brandy and more.

Read more:
Grammys 2013: Best/Worst Style
Grammys 2013: See the Stars Mingle
Grammys 2013: Red Carpet Style

LL Cool J celebrates Grammy hosting gig at dinner

LL Cool J and wife Simone Smith. Image credit: David Livingston/Getty Images

LL Cool J spent the night before the Grammy Awards sipping Hennessy with some of his famous friends.

The 45-year-old rapper-actor and returning Grammy host was the guest of honor Saturday at a private dinner sponsored by the liquor brand. Celebrities such as Mark Cuban, Michael Bolton, Neil Patrick Harris, Mark Burnett, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Gene Simmons were among those who raised a glass when LL Cool J proposed a toast to “success in every form.”

New Grammys promo finally reveals something Taylor Swift isn't good at

Unless something in her life eventually goes horribly awry, it is unlikely that Taylor Swift will ever release a rap album.

Still, should the day ever come when she parlays her tag-team with T-Pain, her collaboration with T.I., and her acoustic take on “Lose Yourself” into a full-fledged hip-hop diva career, she should probably leave the beatboxing up to the professionals.

In a just-released promo for the Grammy Awards (which air next Sunday, Feb. 12), host LL Cool J and performer-nominee Swift are hanging out around a huge novelty award — you know, like they always do.

LL busts into some old-school beatboxing, but when Swift jumps in to add some mouth scratches and throat samples, things get goofy pretty fast (which, to her credit, she clearly realizes). Check it out below. READ FULL STORY

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