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Usher Says Living with Puff Daddy Inspired His Success

Image Courtesy BillboardUsher is celebrating his 20th anniversary as a recording artist, and as he reflects on his career, he says recording his first album at the age of 16 with Puff Daddy and living with him was one of the keys to his success.

"My time with Puff, it gave me chutzpah,” Usher says in the Billboard cover story. “I got to perform onstage with The Notorious B.I.G., be in sessions with him and Craig Mack,” he recalls. “I got to be part of the driving force that was Bad Boy, that was Puff."

Usher will kick off his “UR Experience” tour November 1 in Montreal, Canada.  The North American leg will run for 27 dates through December 14 in Tampa. FL.

"This will be one of my free-est tours," he says. "I'm singing love songs that went on to be baby-makers -- and now the babies are in the audience,” he says with a laugh. “Talk about a family reunion."

The eight-time Grammy Award winner also opens up about his relationship with his girlfriend, Grace Miguel, who's also his manager.

"One thing that has come from having a great partner like Grace is being able to cherish the places that I've gone," he says. "We see the monumental sites, go to the museums, eat in the best restaurants. I'm that guy now. In the past I'd do what I have to do and get on the bus to the next city. Life has become a vacation."

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Nicki Minaj Takes Over the World in MTV EMAs Promo

ABC/Fred LeeNicki Minaj is hosting the MTV Europe Music Awards on November 9 in Glasgow, Scotland, and in the new promo, she becomes queen of the world following the show.

In the fantasy clip, Nicki's face is featured on dollar bills, MTV becomes NTV (Nicki Television), Nick at Night is renamed Nicki at Night, and “Anaconda” is produced as an opera. She receives the key to the world, and her image is everywhere, including on food, video games and laundry detergent.

Her Minajesty will also perform on the show, and she’s nominated for four awards: Best Female Artist, Best Look, Best Hip-Hop Artist, and Biggest Fans.

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Drake Celebrates 28th Birthday in New York City with PARTYNEXTDOOR

Image Courtesy Eric McCandless/CBSDrake turns 28 years today, and Thursday night he celebrated with his protégé PARTYNEXTDOOR at the S.O.B.’s nightclub in New York City.

According to Rap-Up.com, they hit the stage together to perform “Recognize” from the OVO Sound signee's new album, PARTYNEXTDOOR 2. PND is also from Canada, and Drake said to him on stage, "It’s moments like tonight that you’ll never forget, my man.” He added, “Even though it’s my birthday at midnight, I just want to let you know that I’m proud to be here with this guy, ’cause it’s your night tonight, boy.”

They also performed together on October 19 at the kickoff of PND tour in Montreal, Canada.

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Mariah & Nick's Kids Unaffected by Their Parents' Split, Says Nick

Angela Weiss/WireImageMariah Carey and Nick Cannon's marriage may be on the way to being over, but their split hasn't affected their twins at all, according to Nick.

Appearing on Friday's Meredith Vieira Show, Nick said of twins Moroccan and Monroe -- affectionately referred to as "dem babies" -- "They're just happy. They love mommy.  They love daddy."  That's because, as Nick explained, the kids are used to one of their parents or the other being gone for long periods of time.

"We have always been people who have been on the go, coming and going, their life hasn't changed one bit," Nick told Vieira. "We spend holidays together, we do everything that we are supposed to do together as a family."

Nick also decried the media's coverage of his and Mariah's marital issues, saying, "You know, the media, they can say whatever they want to say and obviously, because you are not giving them anything...they kind of create all these stories and make it way worse than it actually is." 

Asked to name a particular rumor that irks him, Nick said, "You know what I heard the other day? I heard that there's a family dispute over our eight dogs!"  He added that what's needed now is for him and Mariah to ignore the distractions and just be "focused on family and what's right and getting through these times and doing what's right for the kids, so that's just where we are."

The twins are currently with Mariah as she tours Asia.

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Christina Milian Dating Lil Wayne "That’s A Hot Mess," Says Toya Wright

Image Courtesy Guzman/UniversalSo far, The Dream and Nivea have made it clear that they disapprove of Christina Milian and Lil Wayne's rumored relationship and now, Wayne's first wife, Toya Wright, is giving her thoughts on the matter.

During a recent interview with VladTV, Wright candidly revealed why she doesn't think alleged couple gave much thought into their actions. "I think that is a hot mess if you want my honest opinion. That’s just too much. I just don’t think that’s cool. There’s too many other women out there to date to date your son’s mother’s ex-husband’s girl," she says. "It’s too much."

Toya adds, "It’s a lot to explain to your kids. I feel Nivea on that."

Although Toya makes it a point to stay out of "Wayne’s love life unless it has something to do with my daughter," she just feels Milian and Wayne are complicating things. "I just think it’s too much. Just a mess," she sighs referring to the fact that Nivea and Milian both have kids with their respective ex-husband The Dream.

But what about love being blind? Toya chimes in: "True, you can’t help who you fall in love with, but you can avoid certain things before it even gets to that point."

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Pharrell Williams to Perform on "A Very Grammy Christmas" Special

The Recording Academy/CBSFor the past several years, CBS has been airing The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!, a special that reveals the Grammy nominations in the top categories, interspersed with live performances.  This year, however, the network is changing things up.

Pharrell Williams, along with Maroon 5 and Ariana Grande, will all perform on A Very Grammy Christmas, a one-hour special that will replace the Grammy nominations concert show.  The show, taping November 18 in L.A., will air December 5, and will also reveal the nominees for the Grammys' prestigious Album of the Year category. The rest of the nominations -- 82 out of a total of 83 categories -- will be revealed the morning of December 5, in a way that has yet to be announced.

The presence of Pharrell on the show likely indicates that the Grammy folks consider him a good bet for a nomination.  His current album G I R L is eligible for nomination, as is his single "Happy," because it was officially released as a single within the nomination period.

Tickets to attend the taping at the Shrine Auditorium are now on sale via Ticketmaster.

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Chrissy Teigen Takes a Twitter Break Following Death Threats over Ottawa Shooting Tweet

ABC/Rick PowellChrissy Teigen is known for her wisecracking Twitter posts, but a message she posted Wednesday about the attack on the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa elicited death threats from followers, causing the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model to take a break from Twitter.

Teigen, 28, tweeted, "Active shooting in Canada, or as we call it in America, Wednesday."

Teigen's post angered followers who blasted the model with threats like, "Rot in hell b**ch" and "Sorry Canada, our Hollywood elites and its dumb models are idiots. Wish ISIS would give Chrissy a permanent haircut."

Teigen, who's married to John Legend, retweeted one threat which read, "...I hope someone murders some you love, like your f****t husband." She responded by writing, "Amazing this isn't punishable."

Finally, Teigen had read enough. "It's gotten to the point people don't even see the simplicity of the original tweet and have just wanted to get shaking-mad over something," she wrote in her final tweet, adding, "I feel sick. Bye Twitter. Taking my talents to Instagram."

Canadian authorities say a gunman fatally shot a soldier and then burst into the Parliament building where he fired his weapon multiple times before being shot dead.

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Iggy Azalea Releases New Song Off "Reclassified"

Universal Music GroupIggy Azalea on Thursday released one of the new songs that will be featured on Reclassified, a reissue of her debut album, The New Classic.

On the track, titled "Iggy SZN," she raps, "Simmer down b***h, it’s Iggy SZN."

Reclassified will include a handful of other new tunes, including a collaboration with Ellie Goulding titled "Heavy Crown." It's due out November 24.

You can catch Iggy on TV this weekend when she performs on NBC's Saturday Night Live.

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Tamar Braxton Shines in "Let Me Know" Video Premiere

Image Courtesy Epic Records

Tamar Braxton wasted no time in filming the accompanying visual for her new single, "Let Me Know," featuring Future

With Tamar serving as the director, the artsy visual finds the singer showing off her svelte figure in various lingerie outfits. At one point, she lays naked with glitter covering her body as she sings along to the tune, which samples Aaliyah’s "At Your Best (You Are Love)."

"I’m definitely a fan of Aaliyah," Tamar tells Rap-Up. "She was one of my good friends because her uncle [Barry Hankerson] and my sister [Toni] were affiliated at the time, so I spent a lot of time with her."

The song will appear on Tamar's follow-up to last year’s Love and War.

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Report: Chris Brown Appears in Court for Progress Evaluation

RCA RecordsChris Brown appeared in a Los Angeles court Thursday for a progress report related to his probation in the Rihanna assault case.

A judge increased Chris' community labor from three days to four to ensure he'll complete his requirement by the end of his probation in January, according to TMZ.

Chris' therapist wrote a letter to the judge saying that Chris has been following his "medication management."

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Mary J. Blige Release Video for “Right Now”

Image Courtesy Capitol RecordsMary J. Blige returns to London in the alternate video for “Right Now,” her latest offering off her upcoming album, The London Sessions.

In the Mike Ho-directed clip, which premiered on BuzzFeed, MJB gets chauffeured around in a black Bentley before arriving at an underground dance club, where she later performs for a packed crowd.

"I'm telling you right now, no I won't play this game with you/ I'm taking it back now," she sings on the Disclosure-produced single.

The London Sessions is due out December 2. The set will include contributions from Rodney Jerkins, Sam Smith, Emeli Sandé, and Naughty Boy.

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Jeezy’s Longtime Engineer Hails Rapper's Work Ethic on "Seen It All"

UMG/Jonathan Mannion

Jeezy’s latest album, Seen It All, includes his signature sound that his long time engineer, Tony Rey, helped to create. After working closely with the Snowman since 2005’s Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, he is now breaking down the recording process for the rapper's fifth solo project.

"We went through three different stages of the album," Rey explained during an interview with XXL, "But it’s funny because some of the core songs that stayed there were from way back. So 2012, end of 2011-type songs, some of them made it. That’s how you can see that it’s been a long process."

He adds that the rapper puts the same energy into creating an album that he does with his mixtapes. "Mixtape Jeezy is the same as album Jeezy. But as far as work ethic goes, I think he puts in as much work on any song that he touches, even a feature that he does for people. He really puts his full frontal effort. It’s gotta be dope," he says.

Seen It All features collaborations with Jay Z, T.I., YG, Rick Ross, The Game and Future.

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Iggy Azalea Confirmed for 2014 Victoria's Secret PINK Nation "Crazy for Campus Bash"

ABC/Randy HolmesIggy Azalea is scheduled to showcase at Victoria’s Secret PINK Nation’s annual back to school concert.

According to Us Weekly, the rapper has been tapped to partake in the Crazy for Campus Bash, taking place at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, on October 29. Previous performers included acts like Drake and Kid Cudi.

She will likely showcase hits like "Black Widow" and "Work," both of which appear on her album The New Classic.

The upcoming performance will come on the heels of Azalea’s first appearance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live on October 25, where she will perform her new single "Beg for It."

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Jazmine Sullivan Previews New Song, "Mascara"

Image Courtesy Guy Aroch

Jazmine Sullivan is hard at work on her upcoming album, Reality Show. To get fans excited, the singer surprised fans with a teaser for a new song called "Mascara."

The singer previews a brief snippet of the ballad via an Instagram video in which she's seen wearing black shades while singing along to the lyrics in a car.

"Never leave the house without makeup on/Keep mascara in my pocket if I'm running to the market because you'll never know who's watching you," she mouths along with the track.

The singer seems to be poking fun at the beauty process women go through just to keep a man's attention. "Yeah my hair and my a** fake, but so what? I get my rent paid with it/And my t**s get my trips to places I can't pronounce right/He said he'll keep it coming if I keep my body tight," she sings in another Instagram clip.

Jazmine has yet to announce the release date for Reality Show.

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Strong First-Week Sales Expected for T.I.'s "Paperwork"

Image Courtesy Grand HustleThis week saw the release of T.I.’s Paperwork and the album is projected to enjoy a strong sales start based on first-day forecasts.

According to Hits Daily Double, industry insiders estimate that the rapper's ninth studio album will sell approximately 65,000 to 70,000 copies in its first week.

The projections come in below first-week sales of Tip's previous studio effort, 2012's Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head, which debuted at number two and sold 179,000 copies in its first week.

The album includes his Iggy Azalea-assisted hit "No Mediocre" and "About The Money."

The official sales tally will be released on Wednesday.


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Faith Evans Says Reuniting with Missy Elliott for New Single Is a "Blessing"

Prolific Music Group, IncFaith Evans has officially marked her return with her new single, "I Deserve It," lifted from her upcoming album, Incomparable.  The singer  reunites with Missy Elliott for the '90s-inspired song, and she says the reunion was natural.

"Even though we have history, we go back, we haven't worked together since she did 'Burnin' Up,'" Faye tells  XXL magazine, "We didn't actually record together [in person] this time, but I hit her -- I hit her every once in a while just to see how she's doing -- and when I got this record, I always knew I wanted her on it."

Faith adds that her daughter informed her of Missy's protege Sharaya J, who later jumped on the track after Faith made a call to Missy. "I was like, 'You know, it might be dope for both you and Sharaya to get on it.' Next thing I know, Sharaya's verse was done and Missy's verse was done. So it was a win-win for everybody all around," Evans says.

She calls their collaboration a "blessing," adding, "hopefully it did something for everybody involved."

Incomparable is due out November 24.

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Report: Beyoncé and Jay Z Renewed Vows; Shopping for Home in Paris

Myrna Suarez/WireImage for Parkwood EntertainmentIf Beyoncé and Jay Z's marriage really was in trouble earlier this year, the couple has since gotten past it and recommitted themselves to it.

The proof: the two have renewed their vows, according to People magazine. Its source says that while the couple did have "major problems" at one point, they've "worked it out."

And now they're looking to take their love to one of the most romantic cities in the world. Another People magazine source says the couple has been shopping for a home in Paris over the past month.

An Us Weekly insider further reports that Bey and Jay plan to retire in the City of Light eventually, and that they want their two-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, to learn French.

When Beyoncé and Jay Z wrapped up their On the Run tour in Paris last month, Jay noted that the city was special to them because they got engaged there. He also mentioned that Paris is where Blue Ivy was conceived.

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Drake Confirmed for Australia's Future Music Festival 2015

Image Courtesy Eric McCandless/CBSDrake is scheduled to make his debut performance at the Future Music Festival in Australia.

The rapper announced the news via Instagram, in which he posted the official flyer for the upcoming event. He will be joined by producer Avicii and fellow rap collaborator 2 Chainz when the 5-day concert event kicks off on February 28 at the Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney.

The upcoming concert event will marks Drizzy's first time down under.

Here's the dates:

2/28 -- Royal Randwick Racecourse, Sydney
3/1 -- Arena Joondalup, Perth
3/7 -- Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane
3/8 -- Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
3/9 -- Adelaide Showground, Adelaide

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Iggy Azalea and Nick Young Front Forever 21's Holiday Ads

ABC/Randy HolmesIggy Azalea has landed her first national ad campaign. Alongside her boyfriend, Los Angeles Lakers star Nick Young, the rapper has been tapped to front the holiday campaign for clothing retailer Forever 21.

In an interview with People, Iggy revealed what it was like posing for the ads with her significant other. "As the hours rolled by I think Nick started to realize photo shoots are hard work too," Azalea says. "It was funny watching him have that revelation!"

Young chimed in: "It was real cool. We had great chemistry," he says.

The pair credit their playlist for making the time fly by faster. "It was a two day shoot -- by the end of it I think we’d listened to everything under the sun twice!” Azalea says, adding that the "trickiest thing is not having any clue what you’re doing!"

Although the ads have not run yet, but People has a preview of some of the pictures from the shoot.

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Watch "Tamar & Vince" New Season Extended Preview

WeTVTamar Braxton and Vince Herbert have given fans a glimpse into their new season of WEtv's Tamar & Vince.

In an extended preview for season three, which premieres Thursday, the singer struggles to balance her recording, promotion and tour schedule with raising the pair's one-year old son, Logan Vincent Herbert. At one point, she reaches a boiling point and lashes out at Vince.

"Nobody has the perfect relationship. Everything is love and war. Get your life!" Tamar says before her husband confronts her about her disrespecting the relationship.

Tamar & Vince season three premieres Thursday, October 23 at 10 p.m. on WEtv.


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