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Tag: R&B (31-40 of 474)

Nicki Minaj vs. Mariah Carey, round 253: Which video do you prefer?

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Even though they no longer share a judges’ table on American Idol, that doesn’t mean Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey can’t still go head to head.

Yesterday, both ladies unveiled brand new videos. Minaj pulled back the curtain on the clip for her new single “Lookin Ass N—a,” which puts her in the middle of the desert in stark black and white and gives her a machine gun (until the end, when she gets a second machine gun). It’s not especially subtle, but it does get her point across. Give it a watch below: READ FULL STORY

Charts: Bruno Mars gets a Super Bowl boost, Pharrell keeps getting 'Happy'-er

As it turns out, being on the most-watched television broadcast in history is good for business.

Bruno Mars, who provided the only semblance of entertainment during a lopsided Super Bowl 10 days ago, found himself back in the upper echelon of the Billboard album chart for the second straight week when his second album Unorthodox Jukebox made the jump to number three this week (last week, it sat at no. 7). The album, which was released back in December 2012, moved 81,000 units in the week following the Super Bowl, an 82 percent increase over the previous week’s total.

It wasn’t quite enough, though, to put Mars at the top of the chart this week. That spot belongs to Now That’s What I Call Music! 49, which sold 98,000 copies in its opening week. The seemingly indestructible compilation series has been providing listeners with 10-month-old hit songs since its debut in 1998 — this iteration provides hitherto unavailable access to Lorde’s “Royals,” Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” One Direction’s “Story of My Life,” and Imagine Dragons’ “Demons.” Now bumps the soundtrack to Frozen out of the top spot, where it had sat for two weeks. The Disney monster still sold 88,000 copies and is on its way to crossing the one million-sold mark next week.

But back to Bruno: Even more impressive than the bump for his Unorthodox Jukebox was the one received by his first album, Doo Wops & Hooligans, which nearly made its way back to the top 10 with 26,000 copies sold. That’s not bad for an album from 2010, though Mars shouldn’t necessarily crown himself king of everything just yet: Of the 112 million viewers who took in Mars’ halftime performance, that means less than one percent of those people turned around and bought an album. Wouldn’t you think the strike rate would be better than that, even considering the two million copies of Unorthodox Jukebox already in circulation?

Perhaps Mars should just get himself nominated for an Academy Award. Though Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” is once again the top song on the Billboard Hot 100, the big surprise this week is the surge of Pharrell Williams’ Oscar-nominated track “Happy,” which jumped from number eight to number two this week. Could Williams’ dramatic increases in airplay and digital sales possibly send him to the top of the Hot 100 next week, and out-race Perry’s “Horse”?

T-Pain says some rappers won't work with Frank Ocean because he's gay

Yesterday, with the internet ablaze over the NFL’s first openly gay prospective star, some equally interesting news about the (apparently not always) evolving view of homosexulity in hip hop got a little lost. Over the weekend, DJ Vlad released a video interview with T-Pain that had some interesting revelations on that topic.

“I think the radio is getting more gay-friendly,” said the Auto-Tune champion/noted boat enthusiast. “I don’t think urban music is getting more gay-friendly because if that was the case, Frank Ocean would be on a lot more songs. I know n—-s that will not do a song with Frank Ocean just because he gay, but they need him on the f—ing song and that’s so terrible to me, man.

You can watch the interview in the video below:

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Katy Perry, Lorde, Imagine Dragons all get early post-Grammys sales boosts

If Katy Perry is actually a witch, then she certainly cast the right spell on music buyers.

Though her performance during the 56th Annual Grammy Awards was met with mixed reviews (EW loved it; the rest of the Internet was more lukewarm), Perry has the biggest post-Grammys sales bump so far.

We won’t know which albums got the biggest spikes until next week (the sales numbers close Sunday night), though a number of songs—including Perry’s “Dark Horse,” featuring rapper Juicy J—have already seen noticeable increases following their appearance on Sunday night’s show.

“Dark Horse” has been on top of the iTunes singles chart all week, and it’s the number one song on Billboard‘s Digital Songs chart (which includes Monday’s sales) this week. It sold 294,000 downloads last week, up 12 percent from last week’s tally. That boost was enough to push “Dark Horse” into the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100, which is Perry’s ninth trip to that plateau.

Other big gainers on the Billboard Digital Songs chart include Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” (up 206 percent), John Legend’s “All Of Me” (a 110 percent gain), and Pink & Nate Ruess’ “Just Give Me a Reason” (a 122 percent boost). Imagine Dragons also got a jolt with the release of the Kendrick Lamar-assisted remix of “Radioactive,” which helped the song to a 58 percent sales gain.

It’ll be interesting to see who will see their album sales boosted by the Grammys, which were watched by nearly 30 million people. Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories will almost certainly see a giant bounce, as should Lorde’s Pure Heroine, Kacey Musgraves’ Same Trailer, Different Park, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist. However, it’s entirely possible the biggest winner of the post-Grammys week could be 2014 Grammy Nominees, the compilation album that debuted at number two with 59,000 copies sold.

What music did you buy in the wake of the Grammys? Let us know in the comments.

Staff Picks: Stream our January playlist featuring Broken Bells, Angel Haze, Black Lips and more

Pop’s superstars may be busy picking out their Grammy outfits, but a relatively quiet post-holiday release time just means there’s more room for lesser-known names (and a few old-school alt icons) in our headphones.

Read on to stream some of our favorite songs from the likes of Stephen Malkmus, Mø, Dum Dum Girls, Sevyn Streeter, St. Vincent, Mogwai and more — all from just-released or upcoming albums.

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On the scene: Prince electrifies the Mohegan Sun Arena

Over the course of his long, storied, and downright weird career, Prince has proven he can make just about any room his home—from the teeny (dig his epic sets at New York’s tiny City Winery earlier this year) to the gargantuan (he played the greatest Super Bowl halftime show of the modern era in 2007—sorry, Beyoncé).

But the Purple One’s ideal stomping ground is an arena, which he proved yet again Friday night (December 27) when he stampeded through the first of three shows at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Those rooms are intimate enough for Prince to individually invite women onto the stage to dance with him, but also large enough to contain his royal histrionics.

Decked out in an all-yellow suit and situated behind a microphone stand bearing the glyph that once stood in place of his name, Prince treated the first night of his three-night stay like an old-school soul review. “We’re just gonna jam tonight,” he told the crowd while introducing the New Power Generation, and he lived up to his word. The early part of Prince’s two and a half hour set featured him teasing out extra-long versions of staples both classic (“Let’s Go Crazy”) and modern (“Musicology”), and vacillating between being a living avatar of James Brown and the greatest descendent of Jimi Hendrix.

The most remarkable thing about seeing Prince live is the fact that the guy is a ridiculously great guitar player (or, as one bearded dude said to another during the solo that highlighted “Something In the Water (Does Not Compute),” “That motherf—er can shred!”). His guitar heroics showed up early and often, especially on the slowed-down, Zeppelin-ized version of “Let’s Go Crazy.”

When he wasn’t melting his six-string, he was holding court as the ringmaster of a sprawling funk band whose numbers seemed to keep multiplying (there were at least 18 other musicians on stage). READ FULL STORY

Robin Thicke leaves the dancing to the pros in 'Feel Good' video: Watch it here

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Robin Thicke will forever have a hard time making music videos, if only because his clip for “Blurred Lines” became so iconic (and was so full of breasts).

Still, he really gives it a go in “Feel Good,” for the latest single from his album Blurred Lines. Once again, Thicke still invites along a group of ladies, though unlike the “Blurred Lines” gals, these women are tastefully dressed in Vegas showgirl costumes (not to be confused with Showgirls costumes). Really, it’s like the old school Sin City version of the Radio City Christmas show — if Dean Martin dreamed up a stage review and set it to a pulsating whisper track.

So yeah there’s no bare boobs, but there are some pretty colors and some top-shelf dancing. Give “Feel Good” a look below.  READ FULL STORY

Beyonce's brand new album -- stream samples of all the songs and videos here

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Ah, what innocents we were—going to sleep last night in a world with only four Beyoncé studio albums, and waking up to the bizzonkers news blitz that is her self-titled no. 5. (Read Nick Catucci’s review here.)

“I see music,” Beyoncé said in a statement about the many videos that accompany the album. “It’s more than just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies. And they’re all connected to the music.”

She also talked about the irregular nature of Beyoncé‘s sudden release. “I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it,” she said. “I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”

EW’s music critic Nick Catucci is hard at work in his music-critic terrarium, prepping a full review of the album which will be up on EW.com this afternoon. (Update: Here’s the review!) In the meantime, though, you can take a look at the full run of the album’s video snippets (there are visual clips for each of Beyonce‘s 14 tracks, plus three bonuses), and draw your own conclusions:

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R. Kelly live at SiriusXM: On the scene

What’s R. Kelly really like? Or at least, what’s he like when he’s enclosed in a glass booth with a handful of fans, a small entourage, and a SiriusXM host lobbing softball questions and gently ribbing him?

He’s deceptively normal. Normal because he’s very present without seeming too “on.” Which is deceptive because he’s still R. Kelly: As liable to recite an original poem so sexually explicit you can’t make eye contact with anyone else in the room while he’s speaking as he is to giving you goose pimples with a few a cappella bars of “Bump N’ Grind.”

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'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

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