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Cher exclusive: The superstar discusses her upcoming album

The amazing and iconic Cher is making a return to the big-screen this November in the sequin fever dream Burlesque, opposite fellow pop star Christina Aguilera. But the diva is also beginning to plot out her next album, which has her working with hitmaker Diane Warren (Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”; Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me”). Warren also wrote one of Cher’s two big Burlesque tunes, the big power ballad “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me.”

The 64-year-old diva says that fans shouldn’t expect the same dance music heard on her 1998 album, Believe, which featured the titular blockbuster single. “It really won’t be Believe-ish,” she says. “It will be more…I don’t know how to say it. I can’t put a genre to it. It’s a little bit more real instruments, like guitars and stuff like that.” Don’t get too excited Cher fans: the singer admits she’s still very early in the recording process.

Says Cher, “I just got some of the songs and I’m just learning [them] so I’m kind of at that beginning stage where you’re taking baby steps.” Watch the full trailer for Burlesque below:

Are you excited for a new Cher album, Music Mix-ers? What kind of music would you like to hear her tackle?

Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Eva Mendes sings! Hear the 'Other Guys' actress duet on 'Pimps Don't Cry' with Cee-Lo Green

eva-mendes-cee-loImage Credit: Tristan Gregory/Camera Press/Retna Ltd; Scott D. Smith/Retna LtdWatch your bony back, Gwyneth—there’s another singing actress at the rodeo, and she’s ready to “Pimp”-slap your “Country Strong” to the ground.

I kid! There’s room for more than one poreless movie star in the recording booth, of course. And they won’t exactly be competing for the same chunk of the music market with their respective songs; Eva Mendes, who will star as Will Ferrell’s hot-doctor wife in this weekend’s cop-buddy comedy The Other Guys, has made her own decidedly un-twangy contribution to the film’s soundtrack, with rapper/soul man/50% Gnarls Barkley-ian Cee Lo Green, and has it streaming here.

Fans of Shaft-style slow jams, hot Latina thespians, and men in fuchsia fun-fur coats who sell womens’ bodies for money while remaining proudly tear-free (yay for that Venn diagram!) will likely enjoy “Pimps Don’t Cry”; so, probably, will people who think comedy is funny.

But you tell us, readers, in the comments section below. Better than her sex tape?

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

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Gwyneth Paltrow tells us the story behind her new song, 'Country Strong'

Gwyneth-PaltrowImage Credit: Camera Press/Tristan Gregory/Retna LtdWe knew Gwyneth Paltrow could sing — or at least handle Smokey Robinson’s “Cruisin'” alongside Huey Lewis — but reaction to the title track from the upcoming movie Country Strong (slated for Dec. 22) can best be described as “pleasantly astonished.” Joining the ranks of the shocked: Paltrow herself.

During a recent chat with the actress about Country Strong and her extensive preparation for the role of Kelly Canter — a Faith Hill-type Nashville superstar who’s trying to reclaim her career after a crash in rehab — we asked, half jokingly, if she set out to have another radio hit, a la “Cruisin’,” which got decent play a decade ago. “No! I didn’t! What the hell?” Paltrow laughed. “No! I was just singing songs for the movie. I think the original plan was they wanted the bona fide crew to re-sing our songs, and then when [Sony Music Nashville chair] Joe Galante heard it, he was like, ‘No, I want to release this as the single.’ I was like, ‘Excuse me please? What? What is going on?'”

The track (hear it here) is a straight-down-the-middle commercial country song that wouldn’t sound out of place on the radio alongside Faith or Martina McBride, with Paltrow’s hearty alto soaring above guest vocals from Vince Gill and Patty Griffin. “They were added in later,” Paltrow said. “I did my vocal, and then Byron Gallimore, the producer, who’s unbelievable, he was like [in Gallimore’s drawl], ‘You know, I just think Vince would sing so well on this.’ I was like, There’s no way. And he f—ing got Vince Gill to sing on the track! It’s crazy. He has this best voice ever, in the history of any genre. I just die for that man’s voice. And Patty Griffin, I had seen her play in New York with John Prine years ago, and I had gotten really into her record Flaming Red. Amazing. I’m so humbled.”

Paltrow also revealed that she and Country Strong costar Tim McGraw (he plays her husband/manager) recorded a duet for the film’s end credits. No word yet on what her old karaoke buddy Huey thinks of all this, but what do you think, Mixers? Are you as astounded by Gwyneth’s latest sorta-accidental single as Gwyneth?

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

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Gwyneth Paltrow's 'Country Strong': What do you think of her new single?

If I hadn’t known that Gwyneth Paltrow was the person singing “Country Strong,” I’d never have guessed. She sings her new single like she was born and raised in Nashville. That’s good news for Paltrow’s upcoming film of the same name, in which she plays a country singer whose career has seen better days. Based on “Country Strong,” which was serviced to radio today, she seems to have the accent and delivery down pat.

Other than that, it’s a well-sanded country-pop construction. “‘Cause I’m country strong,” Paltrow cries out over slick wall-of-fiddles production, “hard to break, like the ground I grew up on.” Those feel like the kind of empowering lyrics that could connect with listeners. Vince Gill and Patty Griffin sing backup, providing some extra country cred.

Check out “Country Strong” at The Boot and let us know what you think of Paltrow’s singing. Country Strong, which co-stars Tim McGraw and Leighton Meester, hits theaters Dec. 22. Are you looking forward to it?

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

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Trent Reznor to score Facebook movie 'The Social Network'

social-networkImage Credit: Rob Sheridan; Albert L. Ortega/PR PhotosLike button? Trent Reznor has announced via the Nine Inch Nails newsfeed that he will be scoring The Social Network—a.k.a. The David Fincher Facebook Movie, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, and Rashida Jones.

“I was planning on taking some time off after the continual waves of touring that ended last fall,” Reznor writes, “and spend this year experimenting around with what would become How To Destroy Angels and some new NIN. Well, that plan didn’t work out so well. David Fincher started inquiring about my interest in scoring his upcoming film … I’ve always loved David’s work but quite honestly I wondered what would draw him to tell that story. When I actually read the script and realized what he was up to, I said goodbye to that free time I had planned. Atticus Ross and I have been on a creative roll so I asked him if he wanted to work on this with me and we signed on.

“Months later, I’m happy to tell you we’re nearing the completion of this and I couldn’t be happier with how it’s turned out. The level of excellence that David operates on is inspiring and the entire process has been challenging and truly enjoyable.”

“As Atticus and I near the end of the scoring process, we’re looking forward to the next phase – distilling the large amount of music we’ve written for this down to a satisfying record (or two). The film opens Oct 1 in the US with the record likely available a couple of weeks ahead of that.Speaking of the film… it’s really f—ing good. And dark!”

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

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Jack Johnson, 'Spring Wind': An EW exclusive stream from the upcoming '180 Degrees South' soundtrack

Jack-JohnsonImage Credit: Ben Hider/Getty ImagesWhen Emmett Malloy—one half of the Malloy Brothers, prolific directors of top-line music videos for, among others, Ke$ha, Vampire Weekend, and Avril Lavigne, as well as concert films for Metallica, the White Stripes, and Jack Johnson—began work on the adventure documentary 180 Degrees South three years ago, he hoped to rope in a few of his former subjects for the soundtrack.

James Mercer (the Shins, Broken Bells) and singer-songwriter Mason Jennings did him one better, accompanying Malloy on one of his journeys into the Patagonia wilderness; Jack Johnson didn’t make the trip, but he, along with Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock (performing as his sometime alter ego Ugly Casanova), offered their services from Stateside.

Johnson’s contribution, a cover of Greg Brown‘s reflective, lovely “Spring Wind,” has been known to pop up for years in his live sets, but you can find it for the first time here as a studio recording; stream the song below, and find the soundtrack in full when it’s released June 22.

Liam Gallagher's new band is called Beady Eye. Where on earth did he get the idea for having a name that starts with the letters B, E, and A?

guess-whoImage Credit: Chris Ashford/Camera Press/Retna LtdFormer Oasis singer Liam Gallagher has announced that his new band is to be called Beady Eye. The group features his fellow ex-Oasis members Gem Archer and Andy Bell, but not, of course, his brother Noel whose sudden departure from the group last summer provoked its implosion.

The Oasis-crazy British media has already weighed in on the name “Beady Eye,” with Paul Stokes of the NME declaring it to be “terrible.” One point I’m surprised Stokes doesn’t raise is that Beady Eye will finally allow the Beatles-obsessed Gallagher to get very close to the Beatles—at least alphabetically. That’s right, on CD shelves and in record stores, no one will stand between The Beatles and Beady Eye but those pesky Beastie Boys (and, in Gallagher’s U.K. homeland, the Beat, who are, unsurprisingly, not known as “the English Beat” in England).

Is this a coincidence? Given that Gallagher recently announced plans to actually produce a film about The Beatles, I think not!

What do you think of the name Beady Eye? Of Liam Gallagher? And can you think of any other bands that would, alphabetically, squeeze in between Beady Eye and the Beatles?

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

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Russell Brand talks about his 'Grey's Anatomy'-name checking, NSFW 'Get Him to the Greek' song

Get-Him-to-the-GreekImage Credit: Glen WilsonFans of Grey’s Anatomy who think they’ve suffered enough of late should probably stay clear of the soundtrack to the new comedy Get Him to the Greek, which hits stores June 1. On the CD, which features material penned by Jarvis Cocker of Pulp and The Libertines’ Carl Barat amongst others, British comedian Russell Brand channels the spirit of his …Greek character Aldous Snow, a debauched rocker with a fondness for songs about having sex while on drugs and stroking furry walls while, uh, also on drugs.

What does all this have to do with Grey’s? Well, one of the tracks—a NSFW  ditty called “Riding Daphne”—finds Brand recalling a particularly lubricious game of doctors and nurses he played with the lady mentioned in the title. At one point, Brand sings about engaging in some very heavy petting while his partner watches a certain medical drama. In fact, the song, which was penned by singer-songwriter Dan Bern, actually manages to rhyme “Grey’s Anatomy” with “she… sat on me.

Yesterday, we called the comedian to see what he had to say for himself. Brand revealed that he doesn’t watch Grey’s Anatomy, and wasn’t sure how he had developed “such a loathing for it.” The comedian did admit, though, that he was curious about what the Grey’s cast would make of the song.

“I await with bated breath,” he said, “as I would were they about to give me a prostate exam.”

Are you an appalled Grey’s nut? An amused Russell Brand fan? I’ve posted the trailer for Get Him to the Greek after the break. Check it out and tell us what you think.


EW Exclusive: 'Twilight: Eclipse' soundtrack artists to be unveiled tomorrow on MySpace, verrry slowly

muse-eclipseImage Credit: Danny Clinch; Kimberley FrenchLast week, we learned that British rock lords Muse will return for a Twilight three-peat on the upcoming third soundtrack installment in as many movies for that obscure little book series (is it about werewolves? vampires? hobbits? We really can’t recall).

Anyhow, MySpace tells EW exclusively that they will unveil the full soundtrack roster for Twilight: Eclipse, beginning Wednesday, May 12, at 11am EST/8am PST … and continuing on for many hours, at the rate of one band reveal every half hour. (We will do our best to update you in real time here; you can also get the updates on Twitter via @MySpaceMusic).

Last chance to place the bets of your Twi-lives and tell us: Who will be keeping musical company with Muse by this time tomorrow?

UPDATE: Find EW’s continuous rollout of the tracklisting (via MySpace) here

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'Sex and the City 2': Listen to the new single from Jennifer Hudson and Leona Lewis

Jennifer Hudson and Leona Lewis declare that “Love is Your Color” on their single from the Sex and the City 2 soundtrack, which has now been released to the Internet. I thought anyone who was anyone was going to be seen in mauve polka dots this summer. But then, I’m more likely to be found reading Fangoria than the fashion mags.

I can say with a tad more authority that “Love is Your Color” is a big ballad that showcases the two stars’ respective talents, even if does at times sound not unlike another, similarly-titled, song by a certain Celebrity Apprentice contestant.

Check out the track after the break and see if you agree.

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

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