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It's official: Justin Timberlake will close out SXSW

Have you seen Justin Timberlake recently? Better question: How can you not have seen Justin Timberlake recently?

As most sentient humans now know, JT is dropping The 20/20 Experience, his first album in almost seven years this Tuesday, and he hasn’t been slacking in the promotion department. His latest appearance has actually been the worst kept secret in music for the past week or so: He just announced that he will indeed be helping to close out the South By Southwest Festival on Saturday night, March 16 in Austin. Timberlake will headline the final MySpace Secret Show with Roots drummer Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson and producer RJD2 providing undercard assistance.

It’s the latest in Timberlake’s headline-grabbing blitz in celebration of his new album. In the past week alone, we’ve seen the album’s streaming premiere at iTunes, the announcement of a co-headlining summer stadium tour with Jay-Z, a ratings-grabbing turn as both the host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live, and a week-long residence on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

And he’s not done: This Tuesday, the same day as the album’s official release, he’ll preside over a televised album release party that will air on the CW. The special is called (deep breath) Target Presents the IHeartRadio Album Release Party With Justin Timberlake. It looks like it’ll all work out for JT; industry experts are already predicting first-week sales in excess of 500,000 copies for The 20/20 Experience, which would put him in rare company. 

EW’s intrepid SXSW crew will be on hand at Timberlake’s Saturday night show, so watch out for reports from the ground in this space. (And check in all weekend for continued coverage of the — literally! — thousands of non-Timberlake happenings in Austin this week).

Read More on EW.com:
Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon bring sexy back, barbershop quintet-style — VIDEO
Justin Timberlake streams ‘The 20/20 Experience’ on iTunes. Worth the seven-year wait? — The EW Review
Justin Timberlake boosts ‘Saturday Night Live’ ratings

Rihanna cancels tour date due to laryngitis UPDATE: Another date canceled

Time to send Rihanna some get-well cards.

RiRi only started her six-month Diamonds world tour last Friday, but she’s already had to cancel a date due to laryngitis. The “Stay” singer was scheduled to perform at a sold-out show at Boston’s TD Garden last night but dropped out on the advice of a doctor, according to a Live Nation statement.

“Unfortunately, following her sold out concert on Friday, Rihanna has contracted laryngitis and per doctor’s instruction is unable to perform this evening,” the statement read. READ FULL STORY

Justin Bieber cancels Portugal show due to 'unforeseen circumstances'

Justin Bieber should probably get back to the friendly confines of Los Angeles (or maybe Toronto) as soon as possible, as his spin through Europe has been full of speed bumps.

In his latest stumble, Bieber had to cancel the second of two shows in Portugal that was supposed to happen on Tuesday, March 12. The reason given? “Unforeseen circumstances.” (Tonight’s show will still go on as scheduled.) Since the announcement was made by the promoter, it’s safe to assume the show will not be happening due to low ticket sales or some sort of staging or logistical issue, rather than any sort of personal issue. READ FULL STORY

D'Angelo, Elvis Costello, Chris Rock, the Roots pay tribute to Prince at Carnegie Hall

Is it the singer, or is it the song?

That was the question on the minds of both the eclectic cadre of performers and the sold out crowd at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Thursday night for a benefit show titled “The Music of Prince.” A bevy of the Purple One’s contemporaries and followers joined together to genuflect at his funky altar, with the proceeds from the show going to a number of music-related charities for kids.

This was the ninth year for the series, and in the past, several of the tribute centerpieces—including Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young—made surprise appearances at their own shows. Prince himself did not materialize last night, but there were so many fascinating interpretations of his work and explorations of his unique charisma that it was almost better without his all-seeing eyes watching over the proceedings.

The evening began relatively tamely, with the Waterboys busting out a faithful rendition of “Purple Rain.” Though he bears no physical or aesthetic resemblance to Prince, singer Mike Scott managed to nail the same kind of passion and pathos the song’s creator first sent coursing through its veins nearly 30 years ago. It was almost too perfect, and it set an uncomfortable tone early in the evening: Would this simply be two and a half hours of extremely well-executed Prince karaoke, overseen by house band the Roots?

Luckily, subsequent performers took many more liberties with Prince’s songs, and while that led to some awkward moments, their ingenuity was generally rewarded. READ FULL STORY

Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z officially announce summer stadium tour

timberlake-jay-z

The rumor has been running since Jigga dropped another luxury verse on Justin Timberlake’s comeback single “Suit & Tie,” but now it’s official: Jay-Z and JT are spending the summer together.

Or at least part of the summer. This morning, the duo announced a 12-date tour that will take them into some of the country’s best baseball and football stadiums. The pairing will launch the trek—dubbed Legends of the Summer—at Toronto’s Rogers Centre on July 17 (a few days after they co-headline the Wireless Festival in London), and they’ll wrap up at Miami’s Sun Live Stadium on August 16.

In between, they’ll hit New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Baltimore, Detroit, Boston, Hershey, and Philadelphia. Sorry, most of the South and the non-California West—no Jay and Justin for you! Don’t feel bad though; Brooklyn also gets denied a show even though Jay-Z kinda sorta has his own arena there.

The complete list of tour dates is below. Tickets go on sale to the public on February 28, save for the concert at New York’s Yankee Stadium (the details on that one will come soon).  READ FULL STORY

Frank Ocean has '10 or 11' songs done, which may include Depeche Mode collaboration - EXCLUSIVE

In the weeks leading up to the Grammys, few were certain what Frank Ocean’s next move would be. Would he take a break from music  to focus on writing a novel, as he suggested to The Guardian last year? Or would he reinvent himself into something else entirely?

In an interview with BBC Radio radio yesterday, Ocean claimed that he is “10, 11 songs” into the follow-up to his critically-acclaimed Channel Orange: “It’s another cohesive thing, bordering on a concept record again.”

Ocean also said that Channel Orange collaborator Pharrell Williams has been with him in the studio, and that he hopes to work with Danger Mouse soon. Those are likely suspects, though another collaborator does seem a little more left field.

During a conversation about Depeche Mode’s upcoming album Delta Machine yesterday, singer Dave Gahan told EW that Ocean ended up in his legendary band’s orbit recently: READ FULL STORY

Lil Mama to play Left Eye in VH1's TLC biopic

Vh1 has just announced the principal cast of its hotly-anticipated TLC biopic Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story, including the big news of who will be playing the late, great Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez.

Lil Mama — the 23-year-old rapper who rose to fame with 2007′s “Lip Gloss” — will take on the Left Eye role, while Keke Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee, True Jackson) and Drew Sidora (That’s So RavenStep Up) have been tapped to play Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, respectively.

The TV movie starts filming in R&B group’s hometown of Atlanta, GA, next month, and the actual TLC alums T-Boz and Chilli will serve as consultants.

“We really want fans to experience our story in an authentic way,” Chilli said in a press release. “There is so much to our story that hasn’t been told until this movie, it really has to be done the right way.”

READ FULL STORY

Mariah Carey's new single 'Almost Home': Hear it here

Mariah Carey’s new single “Almost Home,” from the soundtrack to the forthcoming film Oz The Great and Powerful, was supposed to arrive tomorrow for our listening pleasure. But seeing as nothing is secret for long in the digital realm, it arrived a day early.

The Stargate-produced track not only helps Carey launch the movie, but also gets her on the trail to the release of her upcoming new album.

Last year’s single “Triumphant (Get ‘Em)” was a bit of a letdown, so does “Almost Home” get us back into a Mariah kind of groove? Judge for yourself below:

READ FULL STORY

Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z put on their fancy pants for 'Suit & Tie' video: Watch it here!

We heard the track, we watched the lyric video, we experienced the Rat Pack-channeling live performance at the Grammys —and now it’s time for the official video for Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie.”

The official video for Timberlake’s big comeback single was directed by David Fincher (who last told Timberlake what to do on film in The Social Network) and is chock full of not-cheap Tom Ford suits.

It’s lovely, it’s louche, and it’s in black and white. Give it a watch below.  READ FULL STORY

Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z reportedly planning joint stadium tour

Are you ready to mix your J.T. with your J.Z.?

The “Suit and Tie” BFFs Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z are planning to launch a massive 10-city tour together, according to a report from the New York Post‘s Page Six. (EW’s requests for comment to the artists’ reps have not yet been returned.)

Officially, the two artists — who performed together at Sunday’s Grammys, sat together with a shared reservoir of booze, and shared the stage at an afterparty at the Hollywood Palladium the same night  – have kept mum about their plans for the immediate future. Yet Timberlake did say on the Grammy red carpet, “We’re definitely going to go on tour. I don’t know how much I should say. It’s going to be a lot of fun, I know that.”

READ FULL STORY

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