CBS/NARASThe nominees in several of the top categories for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards were announced Friday night in a CBS special. The Grammys ceremony will be held January 26, 2014, in Los Angeles.
Overall, Jay Z tops this year's nominations with nine. Rappers Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, as well as Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams, each have seven nominations. Rapper Drake has five.
Here are the nominees announced during the telecast:
Album of the Year The Blessed Unrest, Sara Bareilles Random Access Memories, Daft Punk good kid, m.A.A.d city, Kendrick Lamar The Heist, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Red, Taylor Swift
Record of the Year "Get Lucky," Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams "Radioactive," Imagine Dragons "Royals," Lorde "Locked Out of Heaven," Bruno Mars "Blurred Lines," Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams
Song of the Year(Award to Songwriter) "Just Give Me a Reason," Pink featuring Nate Ruess "Locked Out of Heaven," Bruno Mars "Roar," Katy Perry "Royals," Lorde "Same Love," Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Best New Artist James Blake Kendrick Lamar Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Kacey Musgraves Ed Sheeran
BestPop Duo or Group Performance "Get Lucky," Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams "Just Give Me a Reason," Pink featuring Nate Ruess "Stay," Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko "Blurred Lines," Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams "Suit & Tie," Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z
Best Country Album Night Train, Jason Aldean Two Lanes of Freedom, Tim McGraw Same Trailer Different Park, Kacey Musgraves Based on a True Story…, Blake Shelton Red, Taylor Swift
Young Money EntertainmentDrake is making a big donation to a Philadelphia high school once rated the country's most dangerous. The rapper has decided to build a recording studio inside Philly’s Strawberry Mansion High School.
Strawberry Mansion was featured on a World News with Diane Sawyer special report back in May. "By the end of it, I was so heavily affected, I started questioning major aspects of my life," said Drake of the report, during a taping of an ABC News report.
"In the next few months, I’m building a recording studio inside your school," Drake is seen telling a school audience in a video clip from the report posted online. "This is about you, this is about your principal, this is about your future. I love you, I care about you, and I want to see you succeed."
In addition to the studio, students were given free tickets and transportation to Drake's Would You Like a Tour show at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on December 18.
TheRoots.comThe Roots' annual Okayplayer Holiday Jam will takes place next week.
Guests are not announced in advance for the famously star-studded, private event, now in its 7th year, but previous years have seen performances by Q-Tip, Yasiin Bey, Talib Kweli, Patti Labelle, A$AP Rocky, John Legend, Estelle, Bilal, Big Daddy Kane, Shaggy, Yelawolf, Pharoahe Monch, Jean Grae and others.
Hosted by comedic star Hannibal Buress, this year's event will be held Monday, December 9 at Brooklyn Bowl. Performances will begin at 9 p.m.
RCAR. Kelly is giving fans behind-the-scenes access to his racy video for "Cookie," the latest single from his upcoming album, Black Panties.
Filmed inside a mansion, the visual finds the singer joined by a flock of models scantily-clad in French maids outfits. "I’m bringing the milk," said Kelz during an on-set interview. "I got all kinds ofcookiesup in here. They’re round, they’re square, triangle, some of them are heart shaped."
"When it comes to my videos, I like to have my hand on every scene, it's not an ego thing. It's just that I have visions," he adds. The footage was posted on the singer's official YouTube page.
WE tvSWV is making a comeback and they've got a new reality show to prove it. After selling 15 million albums during the '90s, the R&B trio -- consisting of Cheryl “Coko” Clemons, Leanne “Lelee” Lyons and Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George -- has unveiled the official trailer for their upcoming show on WE tv.
The clip offers a lengthy glimpse into what fans can expect from the show's first season, including footage from a show on their comeback tour at Wembley Stadium in London. At one point, Coko announces her battle with breast cancer and speaks candidly about pursing her solo career. More importantly, though, the group finally addresses the reasons that led to their 15-year hiatus.
"The journey of SWV is the kind of real and personal comeback story our viewers love to see," said Lauren Gellert, WE tv’s senior vice president of original production and development. "These dynamic women experienced enormous success together, then it all fell apart. United again, the stakes are higher than ever, and so -- at times -- is the drama and tension."
The untitled series will premiere sometime in January.
EssenceJennifer Hudson covers the January issue of Essence and speaks about balancing a thriving movie career, motherhood, recording a new album, maintaining her svelte figure and planning a wedding with her long-time fiance, David Otunga.
Hudson explains the importance of making time for her relationship and the difficulty in finding private moments together.
"I just love being with him. We have so much fun," she says. "We’ve shared so many special moments, like when we flew down to Key West last summer for a friend’s wedding. I’m on the road so much for work that I didn’t even want to go…but David persuaded me to go and it was just the two of us. We’re usually surrounded by so many people that it’s tough to have privacy. But on this trip we could party with our friends, then just disappear for hours…it was so freaking fun."
The singer also spoke about finally finding herself and embracing her new confidence. "I spent my twenties figuring out what I wanted to do, and trying everything," she says. "But by 30, my foundation was set. I became confident and clear about the path I wanted to take...Now I've really settled into myself. And I'm stronger than I've ever been."
The January issue is on newsstands Friday, December 6.
Life TimesThis year's Grammy nominations will be announced on Friday, and there's a strong chance that three past winners will compete in the coveted Best Rap Album category: Drake with Nothing Was the Same, Jay Z with Magna Carta…Holy Grail and Kanye West with Yeezus.
If Drizzy manages to beat out Jay and 'Ye, he'll become the third artist to claim back-to-back awards in this category -- he won last year for Take Care, Yahoo Music notes. Eminem achieved the feat twice, first with 1999's The Slim Shady LP and 2000's The Marshall Mathers LP and then later with 2009's Relapse and 2010's Recovery. West previously won consecutively back in 2004 and 2005.
According to TMZ, Drake has pulled out of a scheduled appearance in Friday night's Grammy nominations TV special due to a scheduling conflict.
While the Grammy Awards will air on January 26 at the Staples Center, here are some likely nominees for Best Rap Album and two performance categories in the rap field according to Yahoo Music:
Best Rap Album Drake -- Nothing Was the Same Kendrick Lamar -- good kid, m.A.A.d. city Macklemore & Ryan Lewis -- The Heist Jay Z --Magna Carta…Holy Grail Kanye West -- Yeezus
Best Rap Performance Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz -- "Thrift Shop" Eminem -- "Berzerk" Kendrick Lamar -- "Swimming Pools (Drank)" Drake -- "Started from the Bottom" A$AP Rocky featuring Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar -- "Fu**in' Problems"
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake -- "Holy Grail" J. Cole featuring Miguel -- "Power Trip" Wale featuring Rihanna -- "Bad" Big Sean featuring Lil Wayne & Jhene Aiko -- "Beware" Lil Wayne featuring Detail -- "No Worries"
Written EntertainmentAlthough Ashanti has delayed her upcoming Braveheart album, the singer has treated fans to a new holiday EP, titled A Wonderful Christmas with Ashanti.
"Hey y'all!!! Make sure u pick up my Christmas EP inspired by my lifetime movie "Christmas in the city,'" she announced on Instagram. The project features five holiday tracks, including the Christmas classic "Let It Snow."
The set marks her second seasonal offering, following 2003′s Ashanti’s Christmas. Fans can purchase A Wonderful Christmas with Ashanti on iTunes now.
In related news, her new Lifetime movie Christmas in the City premieres on December 7.
Here is the track list for A Wonderful Christmas with Ashanti:
"Let It Snow" "It’s Christmas" "Christmas Love" "Sleigh Ride" "Christmas Is the Time"
Eminem.comEminem’s "Berzerk" serves as the soundtrack to the official commercial for the 56th annual Grammy Awards, which will air next month.
The Grammy organization has released a new 30-second clip in which people are seen dancing to Slim Shady's hit single from his latest album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Although Em's record is used in the ad, his project is ineligible for any nominations during this year's ceremony since it was released too late in the year to qualify for the upcoming awards. The 56th Grammys will recognize only music that was released between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013.
The Grammy Awards will air Sunday, January 26 at 8 p.m. on CBS.
Following the news of the death of former South African president Nelson Mandela at the age of 95 on Thursday, celebrities are expressing their sadness.
Jennifer Hudson, who portrayed Mandela's ex-wife in this year's biopic, Winnie, said in a statement, "The Mandela family is in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Mr. Mandela fought for freedoms and equality that changed the face of South Africa and the world. We can all learn from his extraordinary journey."
Tyrese, who is also morning the loss of his friend and actor, Paul Walker, expressed his condolences in a long message written on Instagram.
"We lost a man who literally dedicated his life on making a difference," Tyrese wrote. "His heart will still beat for the world even in heaven.... Winnie and the family my deepest condolences to you I'm sending my energy and prayers to you and your family... Just know that while he was with us he SERVED his God given purpose and saved millions whole doing so."
He also added a passage from one of his favorite speeches to pay tribute to Mandela. "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. -Marianne Williamson Author, Lecturer#RIH( Rest In Heaven.)"
Here's a list of tweets from some of today's biggest music stars:
Lauryn Hillwrote, "God Bless you Honorable Nelson Madela! May you rest well. With Great Respect, Gratitude and Love! Lauryn."
John Legendwrote, "I've never been so honored to meet anyone #Mandela."
Jamie Foxxwrote, "Rest in Peace Mr. Nelson Mandela. A fearless leader, incredible human being, inspiration, a REAL hero. Truly one of a kind. God bless you. Thank you for your mark you left on humanity Mr. Mandela. Prayers to his family, friends and the people of South Africa."
Rihannawrote, "#NelsonMandela you made your people proud!! We'll always love you for it!"
Monicawrote, "My sincerest condolences to The Mandela family??never will his countless efforts & sacrifice be forgotten. There are few that live their lives dedicated to others but Nelson Mandela did...."
Jill Scottwrote, "So very saddened to hear of Nelson Mandela's passing. His struggle will never be forgotten."
Russell Simmonswrote, "Nelson Mandela was an angel walking on this earth. You were one the greatest teachers this world has ever known. We love you and we miss you."
Michelle Williams of Destiny's Childwrote, "May your brave and courageous legacy NEVER be forgotten."
Chuck Dwrote, "To recognize what NelsonMandela DID for our RIGHTS to FIGHT wrong simply means building a human bridge across EARTH."
Kendrick Lamarwrote, "Advising all my young ones that follow me to research a small piece of Nelson Mandela Life. That's how you pay your respect...... GO!R.I.P. Nelson Mandela, You were a great man."
R. Kelly said, “To the Mandela family, may God keep you in perfect peace at this time. For God has chosen a soldier. Mandela R.I.P.”
Talib Kweliwrote, "Today marks the passing of one of the greatest freedom fighters history has ever known. We love you Nelson Mandela."
Marques Houstonwrote, "One of the most influential men in #history! #RIP Nelson Mandela"
Samuel L. Jacksonwrote, "Never met a better person in my life than Nelson Mandela. My sympathy to his family & his country."
Tamar Braxton has treated her fans to not one, but two brand new videos, which premiered on BET's 106 & Park on Wednesday.
The singer unveiled the visual for her latest single, "All the Way Home," which appears on her albumLove and War. In the visual, after a long ride in her Rolls-Royce Phantom, Tamar returns home to reconcile with her man, played by her husband Vincent Herbert.
Tamar switches her hair from blonde to brunette in the video for her Winter Loverslandsingle "She Can Have You," in which she endures an emotional breakup right before Christmas.
Winter Loversland and Love and War are available in stores now.
Image credit: Jonathan MannionGucci Mane has announced that he will release new music just in time for the holidays.
The rapper revealed on Twitter his upcoming album, The State Vs Radric Davis II: The Caged Bird Sings, will be released on Christmas Day, December 25 to fans worldwide. Gucci also unveiled the artwork for the project, which contains a bird trapped in a red box.
The news comes just days after the rapper was arraigned in an Atlanta court on federal charges of gun possession by a convicted felon. The charges stem from two separate incidents in September, and could lead up to 20 years in prison for each count if he's convicted.
Sherlock and Star Trek star Benedict Cumberbatch has taken one of R. Kelly's raunchiest sex songs to new heights. On Wednesday night, the actor joined the legendary singer on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" to read the lyrics from Kelly's new single, "Genius."
"I can feel your body flowers, while I’m kissing on your thighs," Cumberbatch says with a straight face. "Go to sleep, and when we wake up I’ll hit that thing again. Promise." In a monotone voice, he even adds Kelly's ad libs, "La la la la la."
The song appears on Kelly's highly anticipated album, Black Panties, which arrives on December 10.
Just days after Paul Walker's death, Beyonce paid homage to the beloved Fast & Furious actor during the Los Angeles stop of her Mrs. Carter tour.
"I dedicate this song to Paul Walker," said Bey during a show at the Staples Center on Tuesday. The singer dimmed the lights before beginning her dedication, which included performances of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and "Halo." The footage of her performance was posted on her official YouTube page on Thursday.
One concertgoer tweeted about the performance: "When @Beyonce sang Whitney Houston I will always love you and dedicated it to Paul walker... I cried. That woman sings like no other."
As previously reported, the 40-year-old actor was killed in a car crash Saturday, November 30 after attending a charity event in L.A. for his Reach Out Worldwide organization to help victims of the Philippines typhoon.
Image Courtesy Rihanna via Instagram/Courtesy Teyana Taylor via Twitter
Teyana Taylor has lost her Adidas endorsement as the brand ambassador for the company’s Originals Harlem GLC sneakers.
"We have ended our relationship with Teyana Taylor and do not have any upcoming product launches with her," a senior PR rep told MadameNoire.
When asked if her deal was terminated due to her recent Twitter spat with Rihanna, the rep explained, "All I can say is that Adidas partner with athletes and artists who blend well with our brand values. We evaluate our relationships with partners based on the values we hold at adidas and we don’t condone violence of any kind.”
On Wednesday night, Teyana confirmed the news by tweeting, "Hey haters, imma let yall finish but I had the fastest sellin adidas of all time. #HandsMicBack&WalksOffStage #Kanyeshrug#ImSleepTho." She later added, "And that's my statement you guys have a nice day!!!!!"
Back in September, Taylor was called out for making light of the fact that Rihanna was the victim of domestic abuse by photo-shopping an image of herself as a boxer, hitting another boxer whose face was replaced with the superimposed image of a battered Rihanna, after she had been assaulted by then-boyfriend, Chris Brown, back in 2009.
Days later an online petition requesting that Adidas drop Taylor was created which asserted that Taylor's mockery of a "domestic violence victim discourages your female customers from speaking out against their abusers."
RCAR. Kelly's popular "Trapped in the Closet" video series is returning to IFC with more chapters in 2014.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the singer will resume where chapter 33 left off, which saw Kelly's Sylvester and Twan, played by Eric Lane, outrunning a group of Italian mobsters and interrupting a taping of a Jerry Springer-inspired talk show, Out of the Closet.
"I’m gonna be forever writing these chapters,” Kelly told EW in 2012. “Because now I’ve created a fan base out there that deserves to hear what’s next."
While there's no word on when the series will premiere, IFC will be airing all 33 chapters of the series this Saturday, December 7, at 5:45 p.m ET. You can also view the chapters online via IFC.com.
NBCUniversalMariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson and Mary J. Blige helped kick off the Christmas season in New York City Wednesday night with musical performances on NBC's annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center extravaganza. The evening also featured performances by Toni Braxton, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Goo Goo Dolls, Ariana Grande, Leona Lewis and Jewel.
The annual TV special from New York City’s Rockefeller Center was hosted by Today show co-hosts Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales.
Here's a rundown of the highlights:
Mariah opened the show with a medley of the holiday classic, “Joy to the World” and the Three Dog Night hit of the same name.
Mary J. Blige joined the festivities singing “This Christmas,” from her album, A Mary Christmas.
Kelly Clarkson performed Chuck Berry's classic holiday tune, "Run Rudolph Run."
The Goo Goo Dolls continued the celebration with their version of Burl Ives’ classic, “A Holly Jolly Christmas."
Next up, it was Ariana Grande, performing her holiday tune, “Love Is Everything,” backed by the Harlem Boys Choir.
Jewel sang Mel Torme’s classic “The Christmas Song,” which appears on her new Christmas album, Let It Snow. Jewel is one of the judges on NBC's music competition series The Singoff.
Braxton teamed up with R&B singer, songwriter and record producer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds for a soulful version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
British singer/songwriter Leona Lewis sang an original tune, "One More Sleep," off her first Christmas collection, Christmas with Love.
Actress Audra McDonald, whose credits include Broadway productions of Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun and Porgy and Bess, sang “Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music.
The famous Radio City Music Hall Rockettes performed a dance routine to the song, “Let Christmas Shine," followed by a return appearance from Mariah Carey singing her holiday favorite, “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
The evening ended with the Today show co-hosts leading the crowd in a countdown to the lighting of the 76-foot Norway Spruce, which is illuminated by 45,000 multi-colored LED lights and topped with a nine-and a half-foot-wide Swarovski star.
Life TimesFans have long debated which albums saw Jay Z at his best. On his 44th birthday, the rapper took time out to rank each of his twelve solo albums via his Life and Times website.
The rapper posted a black and white picture of his albums stacked on top of each other, in order from best to worst. The rap mogul also adds commentary to explain the positioning of each project. Hov gave the top spot to Reasonable Doubt, which he described as a "classic," while Kingdom Come was seated last. "First game back, don’t shoot me," he wrote.
Here's Jay's album list:
1. Reasonable Doubt (Classic) 2. The Blueprint (Classic) 3. The Black Album (Classic) 4. Vol. 2 (Classic) 5. American Gangster (4 1/2, cohesive) 6. Magna Carta (F**kwit, Tom Ford, Oceans, Beach, On the Run, Grail) 7. Vol. 1 (Sunshine kills this album…f**k… Streets, Where I’m from, You Must Love Me…) 8. BP3 (Sorry critics, it’s good. Empire (Gave Frank a run for his money)) 9. Dynasty (Intro alone…) 10. Vol. 3 (Pimp C verse alone… oh, So Ghetto) 11. BP2 (Too many songs. F**king Guru and Hip Hop, ha) 12. Kingdom Come (First game back, don’t shoot me)
Courtesy of Kevin Hart's InstagramBeyoncé is known for making little girls cry, but who knew she would have the same emotional affect on Kevin Hart, who attended her concert at L.A.’s Staples Center Tuesday night.
"Beyoncé’s right there," the comedian screamed as the singer flew over the crowd in a harness. "She flew over here like Tinker Bell!"
Standing front row with Christina Milian, Kevin giggled uncontrollably and, he joked, nearly passed out when Beyonce tossed him her sweaty towel on stage.
He later tweeted, "Beyonce is Pound 4 Pound the best performer in the business, she put on a phenomenal show last night! She threw me a towel & I fainted lmao." The funnyman then added the video footage taken by a nearby fan.
AliciaKeys.comAlicia Keys has launched her new website, AKVault.com, and is treating fans to a previously unreleased song, "I’d Die Without You," which is a cover of P.M. Dawn’s 1992 hit.
"One of my favorite songs ever," Alicia wrote. "Had to do My version! Shout out to PM dawn!" Her rendition was originally recorded in June 2007. Fans can subscribe to her new website to gain access to more previously unreleased music, liveperformances and rare photos.
In other news, Keys will begin the Australin leg of her Set the World on Fire tour on Thursday in Perth with special guest John Legend.