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Tag: Things That Make Us Go Hmm (51-60 of 148)

Whitney Houston biopic reportedly already in the works, Rihanna's name mentioned for lead role

Only two weeks after Whitney Houston’s passing, rumors are already circulating about a tell-all book to be penned by her ex-husband Bobby Brown and a biopic being put together by longtime mentor Clive Davis.

In fact, the U.K.’s Daily Mail thinks that Rihanna is the favorite to play Houston, with Jennifer Hudson, Vivica Fox, and Jordin Sparks also apparently on the short list.

All of those ideas remain simply rumors—and pretty flimsy ones as well; the names largely seem less like genuine casting news than an arbitrary collection of black actresses.

So let’s assume that Rihanna, whose first film role will come this May in the board-game-turned-big-screen-action-flick Battleship, is not exactly a lock for the part, despite the fact that the two women share a pop-star background and complicated relationships with guys named Brown.

However, Houston’s biography is so rich that it seems inevitable that it will end up on the big screen one of these days. Assuming that, who should take on the title role in The Whitney Houston StoryREAD FULL STORY

The-Dream says Rihanna asked to collaborate with Chris Brown

Rihanna’s got someone in her corner, and this time it’s not Miranda Lambert.

The-Dream recently spoke out in defense of Rihanna’s controversial collaboration with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown — and clears the air on how the two remixes came about.

“It was Rih’s idea,” he confirmed to Billboard.

The-Dream, who produced the “Birthday Cake (Remix)” track released on Rihanna’s birthday, says he made sure to stay supportive of her decision.

“Not only do we work together, but [Rihanna] is a friend of mine,” the producer said. “I don’t know how she got the logistics and how it happened — maybe she’ll talk about it one day. I showed up at the studio, and it was like, ‘All right, cool, let’s finish this record.’”

“For me, it’s just music,” he continued. “Two talented people doing a record together, doing two records together, and that’s what it was. It wasn’t about an incident that happened. The true thing really is to forgive, and… you want to believe in people.”

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Rihanna and Chris Brown release simultaneous remixes, guest on each others' new tracks

Most people blow out a few candles on their birthdays, but Rihanna, who turns 24 today, seems determined to start a full-on fire.

In the wake of Chris Brown’s controversial return to the Grammy stage last week (many people — like Miranda Lambertwere uncomfortable that Brown, who pled guilty to felony assault after a fight with Rihanna the night before the 2009 Grammys, was welcomed back to the show and given two performance slots), the “We Found Love” singer has been playing awfully nice with her ex.

Earlier today, Chris Brown tweeted, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBYN” (Rihanna’s real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty), to which she quickly replied “Thanks!” The small exchange was enough to launch a thousand blog posts asking whether Rihanna should be interacting so benevolently with her former beau, whom many feel has not demonstrated adequate or genuine remorse about his past iniquities.

But a moment ago, Rihanna took the reconciliation (and thus the controversy) a step further when she tweeted out a remixed version of Chris Brown’s single “Turn Up The Music” that features her own vocals as well. She wrote, “Turn up the music remix #RihannaNavy #Teambreezy enjoy!!!” and attached the video below: READ FULL STORY

Chris Brown's post-Grammys media maelstrom: What does it say about us?

By now, the world is well aware that Chris Brown’s two performances and televised win at Sunday night’s Grammys marked his first appearance on the show since he was forced to miss the 2009 ceremony after assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna.

His showing there seemed to confirm that this guy was a superstar, at least in the minds of the people curating the Grammys, and that everything he had done—from the initial assault to his various temper tantrums—was water under the bridge.

Recording Academy president Neil Portnow was defensive about the amount of attention Brown’s appearance garnered: “If we’re going to get in trying to personally evaluate artists in terms of their personal lives, that’s a slippery slope that we wouldn’t want to get into,” he said the following day. “That’s really where the judgment comes from: music professionals listening to the music of other professionals. Clearly, our voting membership rated highly Chris’ musical work this past year.”

Show producer Ken Ehrlich also defended Brown. “I just believe people deserve a second chance,” he said to ABC News Radio on Feb. 7. “The year he had this year, really brought him back into the public. If you’ll note, he has not been on the Grammys for the past few years and it may have taken us a while to kind of get over the fact that we were the victim of what happened.” (No really. He said that.) READ FULL STORY

Nicki Minaj releases new song 'Starships': Hear it here

In case you forgot, today was the original intended release date for Nicki Minaj’s second proper album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. (Those of you wishing to get your Valentine some new music will have to settle for the new Band of Skulls record.) That full-length will now be out in April, but Minaj wouldn’t let the pinkest of days go by without some fresh tunes.

In addition to premiering the song “Roman Holiday” on Sunday night’s Grammy Awards (more on that super-polarizing six minutes in a bit), Minaj also unveiled a new tune called “Starships,” which happens to be produced by Lady Gaga hitmaker RedOne — a deeply disturbing trend, considering she also tapped former Gaga choreographer Lauriann Gibson to design her Grammy show.

It’s super clubby and contains almost no rapping, which continues Minaj’s push into the complete opposite direction she should be heading.

Give the song a listen below. READ FULL STORY

Bon Iver scores upset victory for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards

Unlike past years, the 2012 version of the Grammy Awards was not a particularly shock-filled show. Most of the awards went to Adele, so it’s telling that the one big left-field selection came in a category that did not feature the big-voiced Brit.

When it came time to announce the winner for Best New Artist (awarded by the charming tag team of Tony Bennett and Carrie Underwood), any one of the five names nominated could have walked away with the award. (Well, OK, everybody except J. Cole.)

But while many, including Las Vegas bookies, thought that Nicki Minaj would walk away with the gold, the name in the envelope ended up being Bon Iver.

It was clearly an uncomfortable moment for Bon Iver mastermind Justin Vernon, who had already won a prize earlier in the night for Best Alternative Album. In the weeks leading up to the Grammys, he had said dismissive things about the show, noting that he was not interested in winning awards nor did he want to perform unless he was allowed to play his own songs. Would his victory turn into a Fiona Apple moment?

When he finally stepped up to the microphone, Vernon did mention that the joy of making music was reward enough, but he was also gracious in thanking the voters, other nominees, and musicians who would never be nominated. He also gave a shout-out to his label Jagjaguwar, in what is almost certainly the first time that tiny indie shingle has been called out on the Grammy stage.

What did you think of Vernon’s victory and speech? Did you notice that Minaj looked super upset when they announced Bon Iver’s name? Drop your best new thoughts in the comments.

Read More on EW.com:
Grammys 2012: The Winners
Jennifer Hudson pays tribute to Whitney Houston
Grammys 2012: Complete Coverage
Adele makes triumphant post-surgery return at Grammys

Nicki Minaj levitates, lights fires, speaks in tongues for Grammys performance of new single 'Roman Holiday'

When the performance slate for the Grammy Awards came out, it was a little bit surprising that Lady Gaga was not included on the list. Who would pick up the over-the-top theatrical slack with Mother Monster sitting on the sidelines?

Nicki Minaj was happy to fill in. In the evening’s most complicated and elaborate performance, she began on stage with “The Pope” (really just a weird old man from central casting who walked the red carpet with her), and began “confessing” the lyrics to her new single “Roman Holiday.”

Things only got weirder, as the show cut to a pre-taped segment that featured the same holy-man character showing up at a house for an exorcism. Who needed a demon purged? Minaj herself, who haphazardly put on lipstick and sang the lyrics to “I Feel Pretty” to herself as she climbed up the wall.

Eventually, the action cut back to the Staples Center stage, featuring lots of stained glass and a small army of monks. Minaj was strapped to a Frankenstein-esque lab table, eventually set free to rap through the remainder of the song.

In short, it was a mess, featuring a whole lot of religious imagery, a smattering of pyro, and no real messages to be found. The one great moment was when Minaj levitated in what might have been an homage to The Craft.

It was certainly the night’s most bombastic stage production, but it’s unclear exactly how we’re supposed to feel about Nicki Minaj (or her alter ego Roman Zolanski) once it ended.

What did you think of Nicki Minaj? Use your wackiest fake British accent in the comments.

Read More on EW.com:
Grammys 2012: The Winners
Adele performs ‘Rolling in the Deep’ at Grammys
Grammys 2012: Complete Coverage

Rebecca Black's 'Friday' video turns one today. If only there was some sort of helpful reminder of what today is!

Rebecca-Black_320.jpg

If there hasn’t been a Friday over the last year in which, at some point, you didn’t sing “Gettin’ down on Friday” or “We, we, we so excited” to yourself, then celebrating today’s musical milestone should feel bittersweet.

To be fair, Rebecca Black‘s “Friday” didn’t actually take over our lives — and thus forever alter our knowledge of how the week works (“Yesterday it is Thursday, today it is Friday”) and major decisions like where to sit in our friends’ cars — until March 2011. But the video was actually released one year ago today, Feb. 10, 2011, courtesy of ARK Music Factory. That’s right, it took the Internet almost an entire month to stumble upon this gem.

Here’s some fun, fun, fun, fun facts about Rebecca Black’s “Friday” over the past year:
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Bon Iver says 'No, thank you' to performing at the Grammys, with expletives

Bon-Iver

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver had a pretty remarkable 2011, what with the attention for his self-titled album, his work with Kanye West, and his sudden demand as a collaborator and producer. He’s up for a handful of Grammys next Sunday, February 12, and may just walk away with some gold, but you will not see him onstage with a guitar.

The conversation certainly happened, though it broke down in apparently spectacular fashion. Billboard  spoke to Vernon last night (he’s in New York for a performance on Saturday Night Live this weekend), and he laid out the story in rather verbose terms.

“We wanted to play our music, but were told that we couldn’t play. We had to do a collaboration with someone else,” Vernon told the magazine. “And we just felt like it was such a large stage — we’re getting nominated for this record that we made. Me and Brian [Joseph] and a bunch of our f—ing friends and we were given accolades for it, and all of a sudden we were being asked to play music that had nothing to do with that. We kind of said ‘f— you’ a little bit, and they sort of acted like they wanted us to play, but I don’t think they wanted us to play.”

Vernon didn’t divulge who the Grammy producers wanted him to collaborate with, but he did not that they were “awesome people.” “But you know what? F—in’ rock n’ roll should not be decided by people that have that job,” Vernon added. “Rock n’ roll should be the f—ing people with guitars around their backs.”

So while Vernon will not be joining the likes of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen, Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Foo Fighters, and Nicki Minaj on the Grammys stage, who are the “awesome people” the producers wanted Vernon to tag-team with for a song or two? Leave your guesses, conspiracy theories, and wild accusations in the comments.

Read more on EW.com:
Best New Artist Grammy winners over the past 25 years: Did they live up to their title?
Grammy Nominations: Snubs and Surprises
Bon Iver releases ‘Holocene’ video, lets disillusioned little boy be great: Watch here
Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon talks about his new album, Kanye, and why home is where the heart is: An EW Q&A

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:

READ FULL STORY

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