The Music Mix Music news, reviews, albums, concerts, and downloads

Tag: Usher (11-20 of 79)

2012 Billboard Music Awards: 20 essential takeaways from the show

Like most music awards shows, the Billboard Music Awards are so not about the statuettes that are doled out. The show — which aired live last night on ABC from the MGM Grand Hotel, with hosts, Modern Family stars Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell — is typically more about everything but the awards: performances, tributes, collaborations, and other sundry craziness.

Hell, even the fashion — hello to Miley Cyrus’ barely-there suit jacket — is more important than the prizes! And that was no different this year. Just a handful of the 46 awards were actually given out during the show (LMFAO dominated), which was jolted to life with performances from Katy Perry, Cee Lo Green, and Linkin Park; tributes to Robin Gibb, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, and Stevie Wonder; a collaboration between Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys; and a heartfelt speech by Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown.

Here are 20 essential takeaways from the evening:

READ FULL STORY

Usher premieres new video for 'Climax,' introduces Vevo's next wave

Usher’s new single “Climax”—which, he’d like to remind you, is not about sex at all—is steadily climbing up the Billboard Hot 100 (it jumped up from 81 to 57 this week), and nothing injects a fresh track with a little adrenaline like a new video.

In fact, “Climax” has adrenaline to spare. While Usher is usually content to show off his dance moves and flash his abs, “Climax” is a purely cinematic affair that casts him as a jealous spurned lover.

It has everything a proper action noir needs: Guns! Fast cars! Violent sex! Brooding behind steering wheels! The narrative is a little muddled (is Usher thinking through all the various scenarios that could happen should he act, or does the car chase simply follow him capping that other dude?), but it looks sharp and allows Usher to really live in the pathos of the song’s heartbroken lyrics. If “Climax” is a bellweather, then Usher’s upcoming album should be one of the all-time great divorce records—his Here, My Dear.

Check out the video below, and see if you can follow the Lynchian plot threads. READ FULL STORY

TV Jukebox: 'American Idol,' 'Smash,' 'Cougar Town,' and more music-on-TV moments

Rainy days and Mondays may have gotten Karen Carpenter down, but the rain washes away old heartbreaks for at least a couple of our favorite characters in this latest TV Jukebox.

A pathetic fallacy of a rainstorm made for a new lease on love in this week’s How I Met Your Mother, and a downpour was key to an impromptu proposal on Parenthood — though, thankfully, not on Cougar Town; otherwise they’d still be cleaning up the wet toilet paper!

Elsewhere, crazy dreams came true on Smash and American Idol, paint went splat for science’s sake on CSI, and sexytimes abounded on Nikita and Being Human. That’s without mentioning the “show tunes” from Glee, House of Lies, Private Practice, Body of ProofFringeand Hart of Dixie. Click through to see our picks. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!) READ FULL STORY

Grammys to honor Nick Ashford and Jerry Leiber

Three months after losing musical and life partner Nick Ashford, Valerie Simpson acknowledges that she still has a hard time performing any of the classic songs they created together. “I get a big lump in my throat when I try to sing one of our songs right now,” she said.

She’ll get a little help next week as Usher is set to sing from the Ashford & Simpson catalog for what promises to be a poignant moment in the usually upbeat Grammy nominations prime-time special. It will be part of a joint tribute to Ashford and Jerry Leiber, and will also feature Mike Stoller, who was Leiber’s longtime writing partner. Leiber and Stoller wrote classics such as “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Yakety Yak” and other hit songs that came to define early rock `n’ roll. Ashford and Simpson helped define the Motown sound with hits like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand” and “You’re All I Need to Get By,” as well as soul hits for themselves and others. READ FULL STORY

David Guetta and Usher go continent-hopping for 'Without You' video: Watch it here!

Ubiquitous DJ-turned-dance music producer David Guetta is closing in on a banner 2011, thanks to his guest-happy, hit-filled solo album Nothing But the Beat.

The album’s third single “Without You,” which features syrupy, plaintive vocals care of Usher, is currently sitting at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, and the track now has a flashy video that premiered earlier today.

The video opens with a little intercontinental flavor, driving home the fact that Guetta is beloved all over the world. While Guetta is laying down beats for hordes of people, Usher is all alone on a beach.

But wait! Before you weep for Usher and his loneliness, there’s a (literally earth-shattering) twist!

Check out the clip below, and feel free to do your little desk chair dance to keep your Friday afternoon funky. READ FULL STORY

RCA Records retires Jive, J Records, and Arista

Entertainment Weekly has confirmed that RCA Records has folded J Records, Arista Records, and Jive into parent label, RCA. The label issued a statement to EW explaining that the move was “an effort to refresh RCA Records,” and “all label imprints (J Records, Arista Records and Jive) will now be under the the iconic RCA Records label.” Among the artists who will be affected by the change are Jive tentpoles (Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake), singers from Arista (Alicia Keys, Pink, Usher), and J Records acts, including Pitbull.

Taylor Swift duets with Usher, T.I. during all-star sweep through Atlanta: Watch here

It’s Monday, which means it’s time once again to play Who Showed Up At Taylor Swift’s Tour Stop Over The Weekend?

Swift’s indefatigable Speak Now tour made its way to Atlanta over the weekend, and showcased visits from not one but two local superstars.

On Saturday night, Swift welcomed Usher to the Speak Now stage, and the two of them ran through his massive 2004 single “Yeah.”

Sadly, Swift did not take on the Lil Jon part (or the Ludacris verse), opting instead to sing along with Mr. Raymond in the chorus. Naturally, the ATL fans in attendance went ape, including Usher’s two sons, who ran up on stage at the conclusion of the duet.

On Sunday, Swift brought out another member of Atlanta’s musical royalty: T.I. The rapper (who had only been tasting free air for a few days thanks to his release from prison) tag-teamed with Swift on “Live Your Life,” with Taylor filling in for Rihanna.

Sunday’s performance was quite a bit more theatrical, as Swift started out by crooning the song’s chorus (even adding Rihanna’s island lilt on the word “haters”), then calling for T.I., who began rapping from backstage only to make his way down the dramatic, sparkly staircase that serves as the centerpiece of Swift’s Speak Now set.

Follow the jump for shaky cell phone video of each performance: READ FULL STORY

Usher accused of stealing his hit 'Burn' from another songwriter

Nearly seven years after his 2004 smash “Burn” topped the Billboard charts, R&B superstar Usher is facing accusations that he stole the track, according to Billboard.com.

In August, a California federal judge found sufficient evidence that Usher and co-producer Jermaine Dupri had access to songwriter Ernest Lee Straughter’s 1998 track “Reasons,” and accepted a musicologist’s report that pointed out substantial similarities between the two.

As Billboard reports, an expert testifying on behalf of Straughter showed that both tracks “shared measurable similarities, including a ‘highly unusual’ 18-bar introduction, musical instruments that enter at the exact same bars, similar guitar and vocal stylings, the pitches and phrasings of certain melodies, and other compositional congruity.”

The possible link between Usher and Dupri and Straughter? Warren G, who had collaborated with both parties, though not on these specific songs.

The judge will consider several arguments put forth by the defense; if she chooses to pass, the case will now likely go in front of a jury.

More on EW.com:
Timbaland, Pitbull, and David Guetta enjoy sun and exotic ladies in ‘Pass at Me’ video”: Watch it here
Demi Lovato covers Lil Wayne’s ‘How to Love’ in NYC: Watch it here

Selena Gomez’s performance of ‘Love You Like A Love Song’ on ‘The Tonight Show’: Watch it here

Usher headlining 'Essence' Music Festival tonight -- PHOTOS

R&B superstar Usher is headlining tonight’s concerts at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans at the Lousiana Superdome. At left, you can see a shot from his sound check for tonight’s performance.

The Friday main stage show are also featuring performances by Charlie Wilson, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, and Boyz II Men. Kanye West will headline tomorrow’s main stage show; he’ll be preceded by Jill Scott, Chaka Khan, and El DeBarge. The festival will wrap up on Sunday with performances from Mary J. Blige, New Edition, Trey Songz, and Kem.

Check out another shot from Usher’s sound check below:  READ FULL STORY

Beyoncé reveals that she donated Gaddafi performance fee, while Mariah Carey issues statement: 'I feel horrible and embarrassed'

GaddafiImage Credit: Chris Pizzello/Burhan Ozbilici/Evan Agostini/AP ImagesAs the situation in Libya worsens, the music world’s eyes have been trained on stars including Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Usher, and 50 Cent—all of whom have performed at opulent soirees thrown by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi or members of his family.

Rolling Stone reported earlier this week that these artists have been facing calls to give away the money they earned from their performances. Yesterday, Beyoncé’s publicist released a statement saying that the singer had done just that: “All monies paid to Beyoncé for her performance at a private party at Nikki Beach St. Barts on New Year’s Eve 2009, including the commissions paid to her booking agency, were donated to the earthquake relief efforts for Haiti, over a year ago. Once it became known that the third party promoter was linked to the Qaddafi family, the decision was made to put that payment to a good cause,” the statement reads.

Mariah Carey, meanwhile—who received $1 million after performing for Gaddafi’s son Muatassim in 2008—has issued her own statement on the matter: “I was naïve and unaware of who I was booked to perform for. I feel horrible and embarrassed to have participated in this mess. Going forward, this is a lesson for all artists to learn from. We need to be more aware and take more responsibility regardless of who books our shows. Ultimately we as artists are to be held accountable.”

What do you think, readers—do you respect these artists for their admissions after the fact, or believe they shouldn’t have agreed to the performances in the first place?

UPDATE: Carey’s rep reports: “Mariah Carey has written a new song, “Save the Day,” and the proceeds from that song will go to human rights organizations.”

More on EW.com:
Lady Gaga spends third week at No. 1 on Billboard hot 100 chart
Kim Kardashian’s new single ‘Jam’: Listen to it here

Latest Videos in Music

Advertisement

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP