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Tag: Usher (21-30 of 83)

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

Grammy Awards 2011: Backstage with Justin Bieber, Usher, Esperanza Spalding, Matthew Morrison, and many more

esparanza-spaldingImage Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesAs you might imagine, backstage at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards is a press feeding frenzy, with golden gramophone winners — and even some presenters — parading behind-the-scenes to various media outlets to take their questions and revel in the celebratory mood of the evening. The bold-faced names trek from the radio press to TV shows like Extra and — you guessed it — even us here in the print and online world. I resided backstage for the show and waited for folks like Esperanza Spalding, Usher, Justin Bieber, Train, and Matthew Morrison to come and bask with the reporters for a bit. Here’s what minute-by-minute account of what transpired:

6:15 P.M. PT: The band Train, winners for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocals for their smash single “Hey, Soul Sister,” are both the first winners of the evening and the first winners to come backstage for the evening. The first question for the group is about their surprising comeback last year with “Soul Sister.” “We’ve been through a lot, and to be here after so many years, it’s such an honor to be nominated,” says vocalist Patrick Monahan. “This was a beautiful comeback nomination. We feel we have many more albums to come that are going to be better. To have won this makes up for things that didn’t even exist.”

READ FULL STORY

Bieber and Usher relive their history for Grammy performance

Justin Bieber and Usher teamed up for an irresistibly sweet Grammy performance, starting with the little Biebs’ 2007 audition for his mentor on video — singing “U Got It Bad.” Their banter onstage was pretty eye-rollingly sentimental: “Now it’s your time,” Usher told Bieber as he left the coiffed teen idol to perform an acoustic version of his massive hit “Baby.” What no mention of his origin-story documentary, Never Say Never 3D, in theaters now? Biebs has been promoting that thing everywhere — even the freaking Daily Show! — so I was a little shocked to see him actually singing again.

Fact was, though, he sounded great, especially on the stripped down “Baby.” His movie theme song, “Never Say Never,” was up next, and while it’s just not as beautifully pure a pop song as “Baby,” the Ninja drum corps/gymnasts really spiced it up nicely. We were also treated to yet another omnipresent tiny entity, Jaden Smith, of the Will and Jada and Willow Smiths, rapping. (And, man, were his parents proud during those reaction shots!)

Usher had to follow all of that up with his performance of his own hit “Oh My Gosh,” which was, well, pure Usher: Great dancing, rousing beats, and a nice dance bit at the end with Justin. Count this as one more way pop culture is beating every last one of us into submission: We will like Justin Bieber. Oh yes we will.

What did you think, PopWatchers? What was the best part of the Bieber-Usher performance? Bieber? Usher? The tiny Smith? Or the Ninja drummers?

Image Credit: Michael Caulfield/WireImage.com

More on the Grammys from EW.com:
2011 Grammy Awards: We’re live-blogging it!
Lady Gaga’s Grammys arrival is predictably weird: See it here
Lady Gaga Performs “Born This Way” at the Grammys
Grammys 2011: The winners list

Black Eyed Peas perform at Super Bowl XLV Halftime Show: Missing the feeling

black-eyed-peas_320.jpg Image Credit: Patrick Semansky/AP Images In theory, the Black Eyed Peas are the perfect band to play at the Super Bowl halftime show. They’re glitzy, entertaining, and it’s hard to believe that any sporting event of the last five years hasn’t played a song by the group at some point during play. Yet, they seemed to fall short during the halftime show — standing up in front of a live crowd of more than 100,000 people, the Black Eyed Peas seemed… well, as small as peas themselves. The dancers surrounding them might have had to adhere to strict choreography, but the Peas, merely standing next to each other in a line, looked awkward, as if they didn’t have a concrete plan for what would happen after they descended from the sky (a cool effect, I’ll admit) at the beginning of the show. No matter how many awesome LED effects they could distract us with, you couldn’t mistake the fact that we were watching a small pack of four musicians — with plenty of sound problems. READ FULL STORY

Usher, Slash join Super Bowl halftime show

usher-slash_320.jpg Image Credit: David Gabber/PR Photos; PRN/PR PhotosUsher and Slash will be joining the Black Eyed Peas onstage during the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday, according to the AP. Both artists have collaborated with members of the Black Eyed Peas in the past; will.i.am is featured in Usher’s song “OMG,” and Slash has appeared with the band in concert, even joining them to sing “Sweet Child O’ Mine” at the 2009 Rose Bowl.

Read more:
Black Eyed Peas set to play Super Bowl halftime show
Christina Aguilera to perform the National Anthem at Super Bowl XLV: How will she do?
Lea Michele to kick-off Super Bowl with ‘America the Beautiful’
‘Glee’ Super Bowl promos feature fire, football zombies, and plenty of Sue
‘Glee’: On the set for the Super Bowl episode’s huge ‘Thriller’ performance — EXCLUSIVE
This week’s cover: How ‘Glee’ is leading TV’s gay-teen revolution
Justin Bieber, Ozzy Osbourne cast in Super Bowl ad
11 Best Super Bowl Ads Ever

Grammys announce more performers: Justin Bieber, Usher, Jaden Smith, Bruno Mars, B.o.B, and others

Justin-Bieber-UsherImage Credit: Michael Caulfield/Getty ImagesThis morning a new batch of performers for the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards were announced. Usher and his protege Justin Bieber are set the hit the stage alongside Will Smith’s son, Jaden. Though the young Smith is known more as an actor, he did collaborate with Bieber last year on “Never Say Never.” Maybe he’ll bust some more raps next month. Hip-hop upstart B.o.B, R&B crooner Bruno Mars, and energetic soul star Janelle Monáe will all make their debut appearances at the Grammys, performing together in what’s described as “a rare never-before-seen presentation.” No doubt, Mars and B.o.B will spend a bit of time performing their summer smash “Nothin’ On You,” but it’ll be interesting to see where Monae fits in to the set.

READ FULL STORY

Usher's 'OMG' and Homer Simpson's Christmas carol: Rip-off or coincidence? Listen here

Usher-Homer-SimpsonImage Credit: Noel Vasquez/WireImage.com; FoxDid Usher rip off an old episode of The Simpsons for his smash hit “OMG”? Probably not. But as the morning DJs at Jackson, Miss.’s Y101.7 radio discovered earlier this year, Usher’s tune sounds amusingly similar in places to a Christmas carol that Homer Simpson attempted to compose in a 2003 episode of the animated Fox sitcom.

A YouTube clip put together by the Y101.7 DJs has been making the Internet rounds today with words like “plagiarism” in the headlines. That’s a little silly. The clip presents just a couple of short lines from each song that share similar cadences. We’re talking about “pow-pow-pow/wow-oh-wow” versus “wow-wow-wow/now-now-now” – much more likely a random coincidence than any kind of conscious or unconscious theft. It’s pretty funny to juxtapose these parts of the two songs out of context, but that’s about it.

Right? Check out the YouTube clip for yourself after the jump and sound off in the comments. READ FULL STORY

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