Friday, 17 February 2012

Grammys 2012: Adele Makes a Clean Sweep

Adele is rolling with Grammy hardware to spare.

The singer made her post-surgery comeback by winning all six of her nominations at the 2012 Grammy Awards, topping the ceremony with Album of the Year for "21" and taking home both Song and Record of the Year for "Rolling in the Deep." She teared up as she took the stage for the final award, crediting the album's inspiration to a "rubbish relationship."
The first award of the broadcast, Best Pop Solo Performance, went to the Brit's "Someone Like You," the singer's second win of the evening. "21" picked up Best Pop Vocal Album during the afternoon pre-telecast portion of the awards, while her "Rolling in the Deep" producer Paul Epworth picked up Producer of the Year.

"My life changed when I wrote this song, before anyone even heard it," she said, looking into the crowd for "Someone Like You" co-writer Dan Wilson.

"Since this is a vocal award, I want to thank my doctors, they brought my voice back," she added, showing no signs of the strain that caused her to undergo vocal cord surgery.

If there were any lingering doubts about her recovery, Adele opened her performance of "Rolling in the Deep" a cappella, showcasing the instrument that made her "21" 2011's best-selling album. She drew the night's longest round of applause as the audience took its feet.

Beyond Adele's success, it was a night full of celebrations and tributes, with the sudden passing of Whitney Houston adding a sober note to the enthusiastic show.

Bruce Springsteen opened the evening with a high-energy performance of "We Take Care of Our Own," the politically charged new single from his upcoming album "Wrecking Ball". The performance, aided by a string section, had Paul McCartney clapping along.

And Bruno Mars, a six-time nominee, lit up the stage with a gold jacket and choreographed dance moves.

"Get off your rich asses and let's have some fun, y'all!" he shouted during his performance.

In between the exuberance, the show addressed the death of Houston, who died just a day before the ceremony at age 48.

We've had a death in our family," host LL Cool J said moments after he took the stage. "For me, the only thing that feels right is to open with a prayer… Heavenly father, we thank you for sharing our sister Whitney with us," he said, drawing bowed heads among the audience's array of stars.

Video of Houston's Grammy performance of signature hit "I Will Always Love You" followed, as did a standing ovation.

Shortly thereafter, Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt, performing as a duo, paid tribute to another loss, jazz great Etta James.

The performances also included a notable return. Three years after his assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna caused both to miss the ceremony, Chris Brown made his Grammy comeback with the electronic-inspired "Turn Up the Music," showcasing his dance moves atop a shimmering tower of brightly colored blocks.

Later, Brown's "F.A.M.E." won Best R&B Album. He kept his speech short:  "I just gotta thank God for this opportunity, and the Grammys for letting me get on this stage… Team Breezy, man, it's all for you, we all won. Thank you."

In one of the evening's most anticipated performances, the Beach Boys reunited for their 50th anniversary -- preceded by tributes by Maroon 5, who took on the '60s band's "Surfer Girl," and "Pumped Up Kicks" singers Foster the People, who turned in a faithful version of "Wouldn't It Be Nice."

After an introduction by Ryan Seacrest, the Beach Boys themselves launched into "Good Vibrations," with Brian Wilson at the piano and singing lead on the legendary song. Mark Foster and Maroon 5's Adam Levine joined the group after the bridge to add to the plethora of harmonies.

Whitney Houston Re-Enters Billboard Hot 100

'I Will Always Love You' sees 6,723 percent increase in digital sales and forces Billboard to adapt rules on 'catalog' tracks.

Spurred on by a massive uptick in digital sales and radio airplay following her death this past weekend, Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" re-entered Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart this week, landing at #7. And, in the process, it forced the magazine to adjust the way it handles so-called "catalog" tracks on the chart.  Historically, catalog songs — tracks still frequently aired on contemporary radio months or years after their initial debut — were ineligible for the Hot 100 (Billboard moves them to several "recurrent" charts once they've spent 20 weeks on the chart and have fallen below position number 50), though, in a statement, Billboard director of charts Silvio Pietroluongo said that will now officially change.
"Going forward, we feel that it is the proper move to allow older titles posting enough activity to return to the Hot 100 if ranking in the chart's upper half," he said.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Katy Perry 'praying for marriage miracle'

Katy Perry has reportedly been 'praying for a miracle' when it comes to her marriage.
The actress is said to be in turmoil following the end of her relationship with Russell Brand. He filed for divorce from her following a 14-month union late last year, and it's been suggested she was not prepared for him to do so.
Katy apparently still wants the marriage to work so has turned to her Christian faith for support.
'She's been praying for a miracle, basically, and it tells you everything that Katy doesn't give a damn about the money,' a source told the British edition of Grazia magazine.

It's suggested that Russell has refused to talk to Katy following their breakup. He was thought to be flying to Los Angeles to see her earlier this month, but she jetted out of America as he got there.
'She's trying hard to make sense of what happened, and while she knows it's over, there's a part of her that can't accept it until she's spoken to Russell and seen him face to face. She still doesn't know the full extent of his reasoning and his refusal to speak to her is making things 100 times worse.
'Katy's even tried reaching out to his mom Barbara and a couple of his pals, but they have all told her he'll be in touch to meet up 'when he's ready'.'
Katy, 27, has been writing songs about her heartbreak, while it's been suggested Russell will lift the lid on their relationship in his new memoir.
Those close to the couple now think they should see a professional to help them reconnect and become friends again, even if they don't mend their marriage.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Beyonce And Jay-Z Baby Gets Love From Rihanna, Diddy

Gwyneth Paltrow, Young Jeezy and Solange also hit Twitter to congratulate Bey and Jay on their new addition.

Now that Beyoncé and Jay-Z have welcomed their first baby, daughter Blue Ivy, into the world, some of the couple's most famous friends and fans are sending the new parents love and congratulations on Twitter.
Bey's sister, Solange, took to Twitter to confirm that she was a new aunt but said not all reports surrounding the birth are factual. "The most beautiful girl in the world," Solange wrote. "Information that goes through the telephone, always gets delivered wrong."

Jay's protégé and collaborator Rihanna also had some love for the new baby. "Welcome to the world princess Carter!" she tweeted, signing off: "Love Aunty Rih."
One of B's besties, Gwyneth Paltrow, wrote, "Welcome to the world Blue! We love you already."
The hip-hop community also celebrated the birth of Jay-Z's new addition. Fellow hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons tweeted, "congrats to my good friends Beyonce and Jay-Z." A few tweets later, he added, "today is the day the lord has made."
"Congrats to jay and B! God Bless :) !" Diddy tweeted. "And many more!"
Young Jeezy also shared his love for the twosome. "Congratulations to Jay-Z & Beyonce on baby Ivy Blue being born." (There has been some confusion about the order of the baby's first and middle names, with some outlets reporting it to be Ivy Blue instead of Blue Ivy.)
One of MTV's very own, "Jersey Shore" star Snooki, wanted to get in on the Beyoncé/Jay-Z baby party early Sunday. "Beyonce congrats on your baby gurl mama!!!!" she wrote. "So happy for you , you deserve it sexpot."
Mama-to-be Kourtney Kardashian added, "Congratulations to Beyonce, the 2nd Princess of Pop (behind Britney) for her new baby girl Ivy Blue!"
In the days leading up to the arrival, Beyoncé's pal Lady Gaga gushed about her mama skills. "Of course she is [going to be a good mom]," she said. "That's a tremendous understatement. She's the nicest female I've met in the industry. She's wonderful!"

Jessie J Tops Singles Chart With Domino

She topples Flo Rida from top spot while Bruno Mars gets No 1 album...

Jessie J has knocked Flo Rida off the top of the Official UK Singles Chart, with her Domino taking this week's No 1.
Flo Rida's Good Feeling fell just one place into second, while Rizzle Kicks' Mama Do The Hump climbed two places to No 3.
Avicii's dance anthem Levels stayed still in fourth and Lloyd's Dedication To My Ex (Miss That) rounded out the top five.
Over in the Official UK Albums Chart Bruno Mars' Doo Wops and Hooligans returned to the top spot, having spent a whopping 53 weeks on the chart in total.
Adele's 21 fell one place to No 2 and Ed Sheeran's + stayed still at No 3.
The Maccabees' Given To The Wild was a new entry in fourth while new mum Beyoncé's 4 crept up one place to No 5.

Adele 'Artist of the Year' Q&A: 'My Career Isn't My Life'

Adele owned 2011. The kicky, 23-year-old British singer released her second album, the break-up requiem "21," in February, and in barely 11 months, she has already sold more than any artist in the world, currently inching towards 13 million globally. But it wasn't just heartbreak that made her popular. In contemporary music, Adele is one of a kind, a woman who thrives off no bells and whistles, just pure personality and talent (and the ability to make the toughest curmudgeon cry).

Inside The Year In Music:

In your "Adele: Live at the Royal Albert Hall" DVD/CD, you talk about your cover of The Cure's "Love Song," and how your mum used to play it for you when you were little. Does she love that you covered it? How much in general has your family influenced where you are now, and what do they think of your success?

My mum loves that I covered a Cure song, yes. I remember their records being a huge part of my early life. The soundtracks to some of my first and fondest memories. They're a bigger part of my life now than they were then because I reference them in my writing and I'm aware I'm inspired by them.

My family are obviously a huge part of where I am now, but my music and certainly my career are very separate from my home life. I don't and never have involved them in it but they've never gotten in the way of it either.  They've always encouraged and loved what I've done from the moment I took an interest in music. I think they're as baffled by my success as I am. I don't ask my loved ones how they feel about it actually! There's too much other stuff to catch up on when we see each other.

Also in your Royal Albert Hall performance, you have a dedication to Amy Winehouse. Obviously people have compared you since you're both white British singers with soul, but do you feel any affinity with her beyond that?

I certainly think Amy set the bar and a standard, but for singers and artists in general. Though of course there was a flurry of British women who came out with debut records after "Back to Black," and I do think there was more interest because of her. I loved her for the same reasons everyone else did -- firstly, she was a remarkable singer but she was a believable and relatable artist, feisty but timid and fun but tragic -- normal! She created herself. That's what inspired me. I see no appeal in having a very specific plan as an artist. Who fucking cares if people don't get it or don't like it? I'd rather trust myself, to like what I've done and stick to my guns than make music I don't like, wear clothes that don't suit me and flutter between genres because I'm scared I won't be relevant if I pass my "sell by" date. Amy tattooed that in me! She made music because she was good at it and wanted to. And she was a huge artist who was always a bigger fan. That's why I gravitated towards her and listened when she sang and spoke... Or snarled!

You've had a remarkable year. Yet you seem to go about your career almost as an indie artist, and by all accounts, don't seem to have changed your personality. What keeps you grounded... and real?

Well I started on an indie label in the U.K. before I signed to Columbia here in the U.S., and I'm still there. What I like about indie artists and indie labels is they don't do everything. Obviously, the main reason for that is because they don't have the clout and don't get the chance to. Ha!

But why does a huge artist have to do everything? Quality control is vital. If I did everything, my artistry and music would become diluted. Performances and interviews travel globally and instantly nowadays because of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and blogs. I'd be repeating myself and be overexposed if I did every TV and every magazine cover I was given the opportunity to do. I don't change up my style, and live, it just is what it is. I only do things I like as well, TV shows I watch and publications I read. I won't do something simply because I should, so I'll sell a few more records.

When it comes to staying myself -- my career isn't my life, it doesn't come home with me. So it's a piece of piss staying grounded and not being changed by it. The same things I've always liked still satisfy me. My team's the same and my group of friends are the same. Of course I'm bowled over by people's response to "21," and when I meet artists I love, it blows my mind. But it baffles me as well. I go home and my best friend laughs at me, rather than going to a celebrity-studded party to rub shoulders with people who know me but who I don't know. I'm Z-list when it comes to that shit.

I think one of the things that sets me apart from other artists who have had the same kind of success is that my life isn't speculated about. And you can't escape that, which makes you more high-profile whether you want to be or not! I feel very lucky that isn't really part of my life. Then again, I did do a tell-all on my record anyway, haha! I'm incredibly private but I'm also incredibly honest and I think that creates a kind of "meet in the middle" respectable ground.

To that end, much has been made about your place in the pop universe, and how you are so real and uncontrived compared to a lot of other pop stars. Did you always feel supported in your decision to just be yourself?

I'm not sure. I'm never self-conscious and never have been. The thought of changing yourself or toning yourself down or up for that matter, to please someone else seems ridiculous to me. I'm not drawn to people who feel like they have to do that, so I'm not really aware if there was ever a shift.

What do you envision for your future, your next couple of years?

I'm really looking forward to some time to do nothing. I imagine I'll be 25 or 26 by the time my next record comes out, as I haven't even thought about my third record yet. I'm just gonna lay some concrete, set up home and just "be" for a bit. I'll disappear and come back with a record when it's good enough. There will be no new music until it's good enough and until I'm ready.

Have you begun writing songs for the next album?


It's been a long year. Have you found love again?

It's been the most erratic year. It's been fucking brilliant and exciting and emotional. Professionally, it's been a year that will define my life forever. But because of the success, obviously things have been unearthed and people have crawled out of the woodwork publicly and privately. But that's to be expected. And those things personally have forced me to address things I wouldn't have. I probably wouldn't have until my thirties.

Not having someone to share all this with made me miserable at times, to be honest. I wanted nothing more than to be in love and be loved back. That was until I remembered I was sharing it with millions and millions and millions of people!! I haven't been ready to be in love again since summer 2009... until now. And I hadn't met anyone along the way who has changed that.

I love that Robyn lyric from "Call Your Girlfriend": "The only way her heart will mend is when she learns to love again." I was bitter as fuck and so sad about my relationship that "21" is about. Obviously it was intensified because the record exploded, and it was a constant reminder of him that I couldn't avoid. But I hadn't met anyone else. I missed him because I didn't like feeling lonely and so I just kept going over and over the fuck-ups and resenting him and regretting our time together. But really recently, I realized that that had to happen for me to know what I want and need from myself. And of course in someone else.

How was your vocal surgery? How much longer until you can sing again?

The surgery couldn't have gone better. But because I was singing with damaged vocal chords for three or four months and because of the surgery and because of the silence after the surgery I now have to build myself back up vocally. It's gonna be a lot easier for me to sing now. And mentally I won't be worried about my voice on stage anymore. So I have to get used to that. That'll take most of January, so February I'll be singing properly!