The latest annual CMJ Music Marathon took over the live music venues of New York City for the better part of last week, showcasing a new batch of talent in pretty much every genre that falls under pop’s broad umbrella. During the grueling, well, marathon does seem pretty much the right word for it, EW saw more acts than we can remember, but these nine made a particular impression. All of them are destined for big things, so here’s a good chance to catch them on the way up.
Tag: Mary J. Blige (1-10 of 22)
Didn’t make it down to New Orleans for the 20th annual Essence Festival? (Essence, like EW, is a Time Inc. publication.) The bad news: You missed out on a Prince concert that may never make it online—at least, not in an officially sanctioned sort of way. The good news: You can catch a few highlights of the fest in the videos below.
We’ll begin backstage with first night headliner Nas:
Nine-time Grammy winner Mary J. Blige will sing the national anthem before Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday night, the Associated Press reports.
Tomorrow’s game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox will take place at Boston’s Fenway Park. In addition to many other events, Blige performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Game 6 of the 2009 World Series.
Check out that performance below: READ FULL STORY
Burger King is apologizing to Mary J. Blige and her fans for releasing an ad that garnered the singer serious fan backlash. The clip featured Blige soulfully singing about the fast-food chain’s new chicken snack wraps. It immediately went viral when it was released Monday, and some in the black community said it was stereotypical.
Burger King pulled the ad Tuesday over what the company said was a music licensing issue. The company explained Wednesday the spot was unfinished.
In a statement, Blige said she understood why fans were upset. She said the ad didn’t come across the way it was planned and she would never put out an unfinished spot.
Burger King said it was released prematurely and they hope to have the final ad on the air soon.
New Mary J. Blige single ‘The Living Proof,’ from the soundtrack to ‘The Help': Hear it here
Mary J. Blige, Kelly Rowland, and Trey Songz to perform at 2011 BET Awards on June 26 — EXCLUSIVE
Mary J. Blige and Lil Wayne to team up at Billboard Music Awards
After catching a lot of heat for what many perceive to be its racist overtones, a Burger King commercial starring Mary J. Blige has been taken off the air.
The ad, which debuted this week and reportedly earned Blige a cool $2 million, features the R&B star soulfully singing the virtues of the fast-food chain’s new chicken wrap. (Jay Leno, David Beckham, and Selma Hayek appear in similar ads as part of a larger attempt to rebrand the fast-food giant).
In the clip — see it here — MJB, clad in a black leather jacket and shades, stands in a disco-lit BK franchise and croons, “Crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses, ranch dressing wrapped up in a tasty… flour… tortilla.”
While the company released a statement saying “The Mary J. Blige advertisement has been pulled due to a licensing issue. BURGER KING® expects to have the Blige ads back on air soon,” some see it as a confirmation of the ad’s negative stereotypes.
The blog Madame Noir criticized Blige’s performance as “buffoonish,” and ad writer Thembisa S. Mshaka says the issue stems from “the tone-deaf representation of black women in advertising” that perpetuates “the stank, sassy, abrasive but entertaining ‘soul sista’ ” stereotype.
Mshaka goes on to compare Blige’s Burger King ad with those of her peers:
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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Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige, Florence Welch, and Jennifer Hudson to headline this year's 'Vh1 Divas'
The annual VH1 Divas show has become something of a referendum on the biggest female singing stars in the music world. Last year featured ascendant stars like Katy Perry, Keri Hilson, and Nicki Minaj, and previous Divas include Beyoncé, Adele, Jordin Sparks, Miley Cyrus, and Whitney Houston.
This time around, the headliners are no exception: Kelly Clarkson, Florence Welch, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jessie J, and Jill Scott are all scheduled to perform. It’s a return date for Clarkson, Blige, Hudson, and Scott, while Welch and Jessie J will be making their Divas debuts.
This year’s show will also feature the Roots (who will serve as the house band, presumably because of federal law that requires them to back up everybody) and will pay tribute to a number of influential musical cities, including Chicago, London, Detroit, Memphis, and Philadelphia. The show airs December 19.
So let’s go ahead and do some fantasy booking, shall we? Though most of the show will probably be devoted to the funk and soul tracks that came from those cities, there are a few things we’re hoping for while all those ladies are in the same room.
Since Jessie J loves a good cover, she should go toe-to-toe with Clarkson on a run through “Since U Been Gone.” Welch and Hudson should pay homage to Blige with a tribute, maybe “Real Love” or “Family Affair”? And is there any chance Scott can do a version of the Roots’ “You Got Me,” since she co-wrote that song?
What do you want to see this year’s Divas do? Sing your torch song in the comments.
Read more on EW.com:
Review: Kelly Clarkson, Stronger
Review: Florence + The Machine, Ceremonials
AMAs announce more performers, including Justin Bieber and Kelly Clarkson. Who are you most excited for?
TV Jukebox: 'Community,' 'The Big C,' and 'The Good Wife' feature our favorite songs on TV this week
Hear, hear, TV fans. The Jukebox is back for another week with a selection of the most inventive, emotional, and surprising songs to hit TV screens this week. With another season of The Sing-Off afoot, a cappella was naturally on tap — but we also found an affecting a cappella inclusion in the most unexpected place. Elsewhere, things got naughty on The Good Wife, civil disobedience gave Lionel Richie renewed relevance on Community, and a new show established its place in the moody CW wheelhouse. Check out our picks below! (Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD!) READ FULL STORY
The trials and tribulations of R&B/soul/hip-hop legend Mary J. Blige are well documented, especially when you go through her discography—the singer has famously used her music to tell the stories of her own struggle.
And now, the newest episode of VH1’s Behind the Music: Mary J. Blige, which will air on the cable network Sunday, July 24, at 10 p.m., continues to tell the story, specifically about her struggle to quit drinking for her husband, record executive Martin Kendu Isaacs. EW has the exclusive preview clip of the hour-long episode. READ FULL STORY
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