Kim Kardashian And Kanye West Reportedly Working On Music Together. While the rumors between Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were originally romantic, the spotlight has now turned to the two stars making music together. Kim and Kanye were both spotted at a recording studio in Culver City, CA. But when she took to Twitter, she wasn’t able to say much about what exactly she was working on. “OMG u guys have no idea what I’m doing today! You are gonna DIE!!!! OMGGGG I’m nervous!!!!!!” she tweeted that day. Kim is reportedly at work on an album and has already hit the studio with The-Dream, who produced hits for Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, and Kardashian’s pal Ciara. “Its going down in here!!! Will twitpic soon! I’m turning it ooooonnnn!!!!” she added later in the day. Whatever is going down, it’ll probably pop up on her new reality show, “Kourtney & Kim Take New York.” The new spin-off will feature appearances by Kanye as well as footage of Kim in the recording studio with The-Dream. Let’s see how well Kim’s music career will fare. Her former friend and fellow reality star Paris Hilton earned a top 10 album with “Paris” and two #1 dance singles, “Turn It Up” and “Stars Are Blind.”
What does 16-year-old Justin Bieber share in common with musical icons Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana and Britney Spears? They all, at one time or another, have inspired record company A&R executives en masse to aggressively sign up artists who sound, and sometimes even look, decidedly like them. Dylan’s brilliance sparked the signings of folkies from Donovan to Steve Forbert; Springsteen led to Joe Grushecky and John Cafferty; Nirvana minted Radish, Candlebox and countless others; Britney Spears begat Willa Ford. Seizing on the opportunities created by a phenomenon like Bieber is nothing new, and it’s certainly not unique to the music business. But in the case of Bieber and the search for the next teen heartthrob, the pace at which it’s happening appears as frenzied as the girls who bum-rush Bieber for autographs after shows. Perhaps the most extreme example is the preternaturally talented Greyson Chance, who in less than one month has secured two A-list managers and motivated a major TV personality to launch a record label. On April 28, Chance posted a YouTube video of himself covering Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” for his sixth-grade classmates in Oklahoma. Ellen DeGeneres booked the 12-year-old — who sports a swooping, Bieber-esque haircut — for a May 13 appearance on her ABC daytime show, then brought him back May 26 to announce that she’d launched her own record label, eleveneleven, and signed Chance as her first artist. Ellen DeGeneres Signs Greyson Chance to New Label. Though Chance was rumored to have signed with Interscope the same week of his first “Ellen” visit, a representative for DeGeneres says, “A partnership with a major label is still in the works.” Chance is co-managed by Guy Oseary (Madonna) and Troy Carter (Lady Gaga). A source familiar with the deal says that no material has been recorded yet, but Chance’s team is searching for music in the vein of Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida.” Comparisons between Bieber and Chance are inevitable, given their age and online origin. But a more fitting comparison can be made with Cody Simpson, a 13-year-old from Australia signed to Atlantic. Simpson also started playing guitar and singing at a young age and was discovered last summer by an enterprising YouTube viewer: producer Shawn Campbell (Missy Elliott, Ciara). ”My parents thought it was some weirdo trying to get to me,” Simpson says, “but he seemed legit and I’ve been wanting to make music since I was 7, so I told my parents to let me try this.” ”I’ve never worked with anyone this young before, but Cody is so focused,” says Campbell, who helped Simpson get signed to Atlantic through executive VP of A&R Mike Caren. Caren says that there’s room for more than one teen male artist in the marketplace. “Justin Bieber opened the door for teen music on rhythm and pop radio,” he says. “The really talented ones can break through.” Simpson’s debut single, “iYiYi,” featuring labelmate Flo Rida, will be released June 1, and a full album is in progress. Caren says that it will be “more uptempo, energetic pop” than Bieber’s R&B-driven material. “It’s reminiscent of the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync sound.” Simpson is managed by Blue Williams, who also manages 15-year-old Khalil, signed to Island Def Jam Music Group’s Teen Island label. The label was first created for Bieber, says Kawan “KP” Prather, senior VP of A&R at Def Jam, adding that due to Bieber’s success, “people are less scared” to sign teen artists outside of the Disney/Nickelodeon formula. Khalil’s debut single, “Girlfriend,” was written by Sean Garrett and sent to urban and rhythm radio formats May 24, and Williams says the focus is on developing him into a long-term artist. “Justin Bieber tapped into something that we had gotten away from as an industry,” he says. “Little girls like to have artists that make them scream, whose posters they can put up on their walls. We’ve been so busy chasing a hit single or a hot record, we stopped making stars.” Also on Teen Island is Aaron Fresh, a 17-year-old native of Trinidad and Tobago signed to a joint venture through Nick Cannon’s Ncredible Entertainment. Fresh’s debut single, the reggae-tinged “Spending All My Time,” is bubbling under the Mainstream Top 40 chart, with airplay detected at 64 stations, according to Nielsen BDS. “The youth movement is definitely in effect right now,” says Cannon, who was introduced to Fresh through a producer. “It comes around about every 10 years, and last time it was Usher, Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé. I see Aaron as a future superstar right up there with them.” Meanwhile, even Simon Cowell appears to be on the hunt for the next Bieber. During an interview on ABC’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show” before his departure from “American Idol,” the music/TV mogul revealed that “The X Factor” will come to the United States next fall with a lower age limit 14.
As chart stars like Ke$ha, Jay Sean, Adam Lambert and Wyclef Jean descended upon New York this holiday season, Billboard’s cameras caught up with them at Z100′s Jingle Ball concert and at the Vevo launch party to find out their personal highlights of 2009 and their big plans for 2010. Some themes emerged among the diverse list of artists. Several cited Michael Jackson’s death as the most important music moment of their 2009. As for 2010, many have albums coming, tours afoot, and have projects with Taylor Swift either in the can or in the works. Video interviews by Mariel Concepcion and Evie Nagy.
Kris Allen, unsurprisingly, cites his “American Idol” experience as his highlight of 2009. The “Idol” winner says it has been “crazy and I feel good.” As for 2010, look for him to kick off a tour in February and, before long, perhaps new music will be forthcoming. He’s planning to start writing his next album soon. Meanwhile, check out Kris performing Kanye West’s “Heartless” live in New York in the video above.
Justin Bieber’s plans for 2010 include releasing the second half of his album so the “ladies… don’t have to wait.” He says his favorite moment of 2009 was getting to perform at Wembly in London, “even though I broke my foot. I’ll never forget it.” See the cast for yourself in the video as Bieber performs “Love Me” live in New York.
Boys Like Girls say 2009′s best moment for them was working with pal Taylor Swift, who appears on “Two Is Better Than One” from BLG’s September album “Love Drunk.” In the video, check out the band playing the title track live in New York. Coming up in 2010, catch Boys Like Girls out on the road, or as they phrase it, “a bunch of not going home.”
Ciara is quick to site the passing of Michael Jackson as the most important music moment of 2009. Her plans for 2010 include new music.
Miranda Cosgrove was happiest about her mom’s Christmas dinner in 2009 (“She won’t tell me the recipe,” the “iCarly” star laments). As for 2010, she’s most excited about her first solo album, due in the spring. It will include, “a lot of relationship songs” the 16-year-old actress/singer says.
The Fray were pleased with the warm reception to their self-titled second album in 2009, they say. But the top moment? Easy. The record was nominated for a Best Pop Vocal Album” Grammy on Dec. 2.
Allison Iraheta, the redhead who took fourth place on “American Idol” in 2009, mentions both the death of Michael Jackson and her “Idol” cohort Adam Lambert’s much-debated American Music Awards performance as the most memorable music moments of the year. She says she’s most looking forward to spreading the word about her new album “Just Like You” in 2010.
Wyclef Jean keeps it simple. He says the music highlight of 2009 for him was watching Alicia Keys and Jay-Z perform “Empire State of Mind” at the World Series in New York this fall.
Ke$ha says 2009 was a whirlwind for her. The “TiK ToK” singer says she, “worked really, really hard for the moment she could say she was No. 1.” But what was the highlight of her 2009? She got to leave her waitressing job. She says she told her employers, “I quit, bitches!” In 2010, look out for her album “Animal” on Jan. 5, and soon thereafter, a big tour. “I’m just trying to cover the world in glitter, one country at a time.”
Adam Lambert is so over the controversy surrounding his bawdy performance at the American Music Awards in November (“It’s all in the past,” he says). 2009′s highlight for him was the “American Idol” finale. He calls getting to sing with Queen and Kiss “totally surreal.” In 2010, Lambert will be coming to a town near you, possibly starting with a spring tour that “pulls out all the stops: costumes, fire, dancers, the whole nine yards.”
Leighton Meester branched out from her “Gossip Girl” fame in 2009 with a star turn on Cobra Starship’s hit “Good Girls Go Bad.” She says when she first heard the song on the radio, “I screamed like a nerd.” In 2010, look for the actress/singer’s first album as well as a pair of movies: “Date Night” in April and “The Roommate” in October.
Orianthi first wowed American crowds as the dexterous guitarist for Michael Jackson. She was prominently featured in the footage that makes up the doc “This Is It.” As you might guess, the Australian says that the best moments of 2009 for her were “getting to audition for Michael Jackson’s band and working with him. It was life-changing.” Up her sleeve for 2010 is the release of her debut album, “Believe,” which features a song with Steve Vai and “guitar solos on every track,” as well as a tour in Feb. or March.
Pitbull is partial to Jay-Z’s “Blueprint 3″ as the best music moment of 2009. He calls Hova’s album an “inspiration.” What’s up for him in 2010? Look for more singles from “Rebelution.” “I’m staying dedicated to the project, old school music style,” he said on camera.
Raphael Saadiq is quick to note that his music’s success at iTunes was the highlight of 2009 for him.
Jay Sean celebrated his first Hot 100 No. 1 in 2009. He says, “how many people manage to get a No. 1? It was such a blessing.” How did he react to finding out his single “Down” had topped the chart? “I dropped the phone!” Sean lets us in on the fact that he may possibly work with Taylor Swift in the new year.
Lady Gaga hooked up with artist Francesco Vezzoli and members of Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet for her performance at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art’s 30th Anniversary gala this weekend. Singing her new single, “Speechless,” she displayed just the kind of avant-garde artistry that had all the celebrities in attendance praising Gaga’s gutsy persona. “I don’t know about everybody else, but I just love the fact that she’s like, ‘Yes, this is what I’m wearing, and yes, this is how I’ll be performing,’ ” Christina Ricci told MTV News on the red carpet. “And anyone who has that sort of self-confidence and the b—s to sort of be like, ‘I’m a fantastic creature. You’d better love me,’ is OK in my book.” Other stars like Rose McGowan and Ciara praised Gaga’s tough attitude and that fact that she’s bringing performance back to the world of pop music. “I love what she wears,” McGowan confessed. “Performers are performers for a reason. Give me a show.” “I think she kind of surprises you with everything she does,” Ciara added. “Very bold.” Another gutsy gal, Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson, thinks that Gaga’s ability to bring the art world into the mainstream is what makes her so appealing. “I love that she’s out there doing what she’s doing and taking chances and sort of living outside the mainstream in some way but still managing to infiltrate it,” she said. “I’m so grateful to her for being out there and not being afraid to be laughed at and taking chances and risks.” Gaga herself recently acknowledged to MTV News that she’s on a mission to bring her outsider message to the mainstream when she talked about her appearance on “Gossip Girl” that airs Monday night (November 16) on the CW. “I really sat down with the writers,” she said. “I was like, ‘Look, I want to do this, and the reason I want to do this is because I am trying to say something that is not mainstream in a mainstream capacity. So, if I can say it on your show, that would be, like, a real coup d’état for me as a performance artist.’ “
In Vegas this past Saturday Justin Timberlake brought together a diverse group of talented artists for his second-annual Justin Timberlake & Friends Concert, benefiting Shriners Hospitals for Children. Opening the event was Jay Sean with U.K.’s beat box champion MC Zani, performing Jay’s hit single “Down”. MTV VMA’s Best Female Video award winner, Taylor Swift followed, performing “You Belong With Me” and “Love Story.” JT introduced the next artist, Alicia Keys as “one of the greatest musicians of my generation”. As she strutted the stage in red pumps, she took a seat at her piano to vocalize “Doesn’t Mean Anything”. The night’s other performances included artists such as TLC, Ciara, Timbaland, Snoop Dog, and to cap off the evening, Justin himself, surprising the crowd with “Until the End of Time.”
Lady Gaga and Kings of Leon have been nominated for five MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs). The singer and the band will both compete for Best Song, for ‘Poker Face’ and ‘Use Somebody’ respectively, Best Live Act and Best World Stage Performance, with Gaga also nominated for Best Female and Best New Act, while Kings of Leon are also up for the Best Group and Best Rock prizes. Beyonce Knowles follows them in the nominations list, receiving nods in four categories, Continue reading →
Ciara tried to lose weight on a cayenne pepper diet. The ‘Love Sex Magic’ singer attempted to follow in the footsteps of Beyonce Knowles by cutting out fatty foods and consuming only liquids. However, the drastic regime proved too much to maintain and Ciara was soon missing her favourite meals. She said: “I attempted to do this cayenne pepper thing one time. I could not get past the idea of drinking what that stuff looked like. I attempted to, but I was like, ‘I just cannot do it,’ because I love food too much. It would be so hard to take away physically eating food. Continue reading →
Scottish producer-artist Calvin Harris scored his first U.K. No. 1 single last Sunday with “I’m Not Alone” (Columbia/Sony BMG), while Lady Gaga’s “The Fame” (Interscope/Universal) started a second week atop the album chart. Harris had top ten U.K. hits in 2007 with the nu-disco singles “Acceptable In The 80s” (No.10) and “The Girls” (No.3), which spent a total of 34 weeks in the top 75 between them. The new track went to No. 1 on downloads alone, with a CD single released today (13). Harris starts a British tour Apr. 25 in Bristol and his second album is due in the middle part of 2009 as the follow-up to “I Created Disco,” which debuted at No. 8 in the U.K. in June 2007. The new singles chart also featured a 7-4 climb for La Roux’s “In For The Kill” (Polydor/Universal) and a No. 6 debut for “Love Sex Magic” (Geffen/Universal) by Ciara featuring Justin Timberlake. Lily Allen’s “Not Fair” (Regal/Parlophone/EMI) climbed 12-11 and “Takin’ Back My Love” (Interscope/Universal) by Enrique Iglesias, on which Ciara also features, 16-13. “Fields Of Anfield Road” (Robot), a soccer-related single by the Liverpool Collective and the Kop Choir, debuted at No. 16. Its release marks the 20th anniversary on Wednesday (15) of one of the worst disasters in soccer history, when 96 fans died at Hillsborough stadium. Lady Gaga’s album chart reign continued ahead of a No. 2 debut for British rock band Doves’ “Kingdom of Rust” (Heavenly/EMI). The band opened at No. 1 with both of their last two studio releases, “Some Cities” (2005) and “The Last Broadcast” (2002). EMI had another top five debut in Bat For Lashes’ “Two Suns” (Echo/Parlophone) at No. 5, a dramatic improvement on the No. 48 entry and peak of “Fur and Gold” in September 2007. Yeah Yeah Yeahs came in at No. 9 with “It’s Blitz” (Polydor/Universal) and a promotional visit to the U.K. last week by Carole King to publicize the augmented reissue of her 1971 classic “Tapestry” was rewarded as the Epic/Sony BMG release appeared at No. 12. The original album peaked at No. 4 in the U.K. in 1971; a 2001 anniversary reissue hit No. 3. Finally on the new chart, former “X Factor” contestant Eoghan Quigg’s eponymous debut album for RCA/Sony BMG debuted at No. 14. U2′s “No Line on the Horizon” (Mercury/Universal) is in a fifth week at the helm of Billboard’s European Top 100 Albums chart, while Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” (Interscope/Universal) is spending a seventh week at No. 1 on Eurochart Hot 100 Singles.