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This week in ridiculous tour riders: Kanye West and M.I.A.

Whatever you thought of M.I.A.’s Super Bowl outing, one thing is for certain: it could’ve gotten weirder.

The web’s premier celebrity-shamer The Smoking Gun has dug up a copy of what it claims is M.I.A.’s tour rider, and it’s a bit of a doozy, even by M.I.A.’s high-doozy standards.

On the list? Let’s see, we’ve got some bottles of Vitamin Water, a few trays of European cheese and “quality chocolates,” a high-speed internet connection.

Hmm, anything else? Oh yeah, we almost forgot about the three women between the ages of 20 and 25 to dance on stage wearing full-body burkas. And the burkas should be provided by the venue, naturally.

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Brandy and Monica reunite on 'It All Belongs to Me' -- hear it here

More than a decade after topping the charts with “The Boy Is Mine,” Brandy and Monica reunite to deliver their highly anticipated follow-up “It All Belongs To Me,” which has leaked online. No longer fighting over the same man, they’ve matured and are finally ready to kick him to the curb, both broke and naked. Good for them!

When I first heard the announcement of the collaboration, I confess the little girl in me who spent many nights belting “It’s not hard to see / the boy is mine” over my hairbrush was thrilled. Expectations were high.

The pair have reportedly been friends for years, so it’s actually surprising they haven’t laid down a track much sooner.  Unfortunately, unlike their ’98 hit, this sleeper isn’t likely to make a major dent in your Most Played list — while it seems to have the right ingredients, strong vocals, and an empowering message, it suffers from watered-down couplets about Facebook and Macbooks and a beat that isn’t quite catchy enough.

In a sense, the duet is Beyonce’s “Irreplacable” with two leads and more juvenile lyrics. This little girl of yesteryear will just keep hoping a better follow-up is in the works. Listen here: READ FULL STORY

Hear 'On Your Way Up,' a new song from Showtime's 'Shameless' theme song band High Strung -- EXCLUSIVE

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There are several reasons you might be familiar with the Detroit band the High Strung.

Perhaps you know them from their bouncy garage ditty “The Luck You Got” (taken off their 2006 album Moxie Bravo), which soundtracks the theme song to the Showtime series Shameless. Or maybe from the shows they played at Guantanamo Bay, which they described to Vanity Fair as “like Detroit or L.A.”

There’s also a chance you remember them for their library tours, which This American Life chronicled in a segment titled “The Dewey Decibel System.”

Now you’ll know them from their catchy, Kinks-y new song “On Your Way Up,” taken from their upcoming album ?Posible o’ Imposible? (out April 17). The track, bowing exclusively on EW.com, tells the story of a man who, unlike the William H. Macy patriarch of Shameless, is riding the crest. Give it a spin below:

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Who's afraid of M.I.A.'s middle finger? Thoughts on a Super Bowl 'scandal'

Hey, remember Nicki Minaj’s performance with Madonna at the Super Bowl last night? It was pretty good — great, even.

Of course, no one wants to talk about that, thanks to M.I.A. So congrats, Maya! And since she wants us to, let’s talk about it.

M.I.A.’s decision to flip the bird during her short time in the Super Bowl spotlight was a lot of things. It was juvenile, and maybe even bratty. It was a lazy bit of shock imagery from the woman who gave the Grammys a very pregnant, very awesome, middle-finger-free performance back in 2009. And it was, according to some sources, “a case of adrenaline.”

It was also the game’s biggest fumble: The singer was riding a steady stream of positive buzz from both her performance in the “Gimme All Your Luvin'” video and her own “Bad Girls” video, which was released the same day and is, at least to this viewer, a better, more inventive clip.

M.I.A. has already proven to us that she can put on an engrossing show without resorting to cheap tricks.

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'Soul Train' fans honor Don Cornelius with a dancing flash mob: Watch it here

What’s the best way to remember Soul Train godfather Don Cornelius? Some 100 fans in Times Square this weekend knew the answer: a dance line.

Organized online and executed on Broadway in the heart of Manhattan, the Soul Train flash mob emulated the show’s trademark setup for a good 45 minutes among a gaggle of surprised tourists.

The event was a (literally) moving tribute to honor the show’s late founder and host Cornelius, who was found dead in his Sherman Oaks home last Wednesday.

“Don Cornelius was a big influence in my life, and I just wanted to pay tribute,” said disc jockey Jon Quick, who was holding up speakers at the event. “He was playing the music that nobody else wanted to play. He was an amazing man.”

Watch a convention of flash mobbers bring love, peace, and soul to Times Square in the video below:

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Drake sued by ex-girlfriend for including voicemail in 'Marvin's Room'

What goes into the making of a good Drake song? Lots of things. Confessional lyrics, for example, a good beat, and probably an ample supply of cardigan sweaters.

Oh, and in the case of “Marvin’s Room,” an ex-girlfriend’s voicemail message.

That ex is now revealing herself to be Ericka Lee, and she’s suing the rapper to a bid to get partial songwriting credit (read: royalties).

According to the suit, Drizzy and Lee were creative partners, often co-writing songs and poems. “Plaintiff’s contribution is highly significant to the overall work,” the official complaint, filed in California, reads. One contribution they view as significant is her voice; the suit alleges that Drake in fact gave Lee vocal credit in the form of “Syren Lyric Muse.” The audio is now registered by the parties in the U.S. Copyright Office.

The suit also claims that Drake sent Lee texts saying things like “U basically made that song” and “It’s s–t without you.” And in another one of these messages, Drake apparently said he’d give the ex 2% of the publishing royalties? Which sounds like a pretty weird thing to discuss via text, but Drake’s a weird dude, so who knows.

It’s a strange situation all around, and it’ll be interesting to see how it develops. Really, though, it was a long time coming; given how often the guy calls out his exes by name on his albums, you’d imagine at least a few of them would be pretty peeved.

Anyway, until all of this gets sorted out, give the track another listen to hear exactly what Lee’s demanding compensation for:

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Lana Del Rey makes up for past sins on 'Letterman'

Sorry, backlash fans: Lana Del Rey wins this round.

After a certain disastrous late-night television performance (you know the one), ol’ LDR bounced back last night with an improved showing on The Late Show With David Letterman.

Once again singing her breakout hit “Video Games,” the once-wooden starlet looked to have been better oiled and more prepared for a national stage.

Also helping was the fact that the Late Show camera crew mercifully took some of the heat off of Del Rey by periodically focusing on other people, ones equipped with musical instruments and chairs.

Another possible factor for the controversial songstress’ relatively smooth outing? A confidence boost stemming from knowing that her debut effort Born to Die is in the lead for the highly coveted non-Adele top spot on the Billboard 200.

We could keep making guesses, or you could just watch the video below and rate her performance yourself:

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Madonna debuts 'Give Me All Your Luvin',' featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.: Watch it here

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Unbate your breath, Madge fans: it’s here.

After sprinkling around a string of promotional hints and teasers, Madonna is now allowing us to witness her sports-crazed video for “Give Me All Your Luvin'” in all its glory.

Surrounded by cartoonish, Dick Tracy-esque imagery and an (unbranded) football team, Madge runs around in various costumes while Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. — dressed as cheerleaders — goad her on.

The trio, as the video suggests, are psyched about their Super Bowl halftime duties this Sunday. Not even an anonymous gangster with a tommy gun can stop them now!

And as a bonus, one of the three outré personalities in the video attempts to nurse a plastic baby doll through her leopard-print brassiere. Which lady is it? Watch the video below to find out:

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Dream cover duets that will happen only in your head (even though you're right, and they'd be AWESOME)

Over the years, entertaining myself on my evening commute has taken strange turns, like choreographing a synchronized swimming routine to Britney Spears’ “Toxic” or envisioning a figure skating long program set to Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” for Paul Wylie. But occasionally, I get a good idea: Last night, while listening to the duet “Surrender to Me” by Ann Wilson and Robin Zander off of the Tequila Sunrise soundtrack, I decided Jennifer Nettles and Keith Urban should do this song, if only so I can hear Urban perform the guitar solo that kicks in around 2:45 in the music video below. Nettles can capture that ’80s urgency, while Urban can keep it grounded but still sexy. Another reason I’m not insane: Richard Marx cowrote “Surrender to Me,” and he’s collaborated with Urban on three singles, two of which went to No. 1 (“Long Hot Summer” and “Better Life”).

What dream duets have you conjured up in your mind and remain convinced would be amazing? Pitch it below — including the song title — and perhaps you’ll at least get some validation from fellow readers. READ FULL STORY

BET bans Nicki Minaj's 'Stupid Hoe' video

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Roman Zolanski’s really done it this time.

Like Ciara and the Game before her, Nicki Minaj is seeing her latest music video — the vibrant, Hype Williams-directed “Stupid Hoe” — banned from BET.

Though the network hasn’t officially cited specific reasons behind the move, a rep confirmed to TMZ that the clip would not be airing on the channel due to its general explicit nature. Sorry, delicate BET viewers!

The single, taken from the raptrix’s forthcoming Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (out April 3), prominently features the line “you a stupid hoe,” and the bonkers video is haunted by a floating, disembodied bare booty.

If you absolutely demand to see Minaj on television, however, she will be performing this weekend at what’s in theory one of the most family-friendly venues in America, the Super Bowl. Hopefully for NBC’s sake, all booties will be draped and attached to their rightful owners.

More on EW.com:
M.I.A. gears up for Super Bowl with a new(ish) single, ‘Bad Girls’
Madonna’s Super Bowl performance will feature LMFAO, says will.i.am
Nicki Minaj bumps second album, premieres ‘Stupid Hoe’ video: Watch it here!

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