Friday, June 15, 2012

Nokia to Cut 10,000 Jobs and Close 3 Facilities


BERLIN — Nokia said Thursday it would slash 10,000 jobs, or 19 percent of its work force, by the end of 2013 as part of an emergency overhaul that includes closing research centers and a factory in Germany, Canada and Finland, and the departures of three senior executives.

The company also warned investors that its loss was likely to be greater in the second quarter, which ends June 30, than it was in the first, and that the negative effects of its transition to a Windows-based smartphone business would continue into the third quarter.
Nokia, based in Espoo, Finland, posted a loss of €929 million, or $1.2 billion, in the first quarter as sales plummeted 29 percent. Once the undisputed global leader in the mobile phone business, Nokia has been outcompeted by Apple, as well as by Samsung and other makers of handsets running Google’s Android operating system.
In February 2011, Nokia and Microsoft announced an alliance to produce a line of smartphones called Lumia running the Windows operating system.
Since then, the Finnish company has seen its sales fall and profit evaporate as consumers and operators have avoided, or demanded discounts on, smartphones running Nokia’s in-house Symbian operating system, which the company is phasing out. Although Lumia devices have won critical praise, sales have not been strong enough to offset declines in its main business.
“These planned reductions are a difficult consequence of the intended actions we believe we must take to ensure Nokia’s long-term competitive strength,” said Stephen Elop, the Nokia chief executive and a former Microsoft executive. “We do not make plans that may impact our employees lightly, and as a company we will work tirelessly to ensure that those at risk are offered the support, options and advice necessary to find new opportunities.”
The company said the job reductions, and the shutdowns of research and development centers in Ulm, Germany, and Burnaby, Canada, and a handset factory in Salo, Finland, would save €1.6 billion by the end of next year.
As part of its streamlining, Nokia announced the sale of its luxury handset business, Vertu, to EQT VI, a European private equity firm, for an undisclosed price. The company also said it had purchased Scalado, a maker of smartphone imaging technology that is based in Lund, Sweden. It did not say what it paid for Scalado. Further, Nokia said it would “closely assess the future of certain noncore assets.”
In a conference call with journalists, Mr. Elop suggested that Nokia Siemens Networks, the company’s 50-50 network equipment venture with Germany’s Siemens, which lost a combined €986 million in 2010 and 2011, could be one of the businesses in the focus of its future review. Mr. Elop declined to describe Nokia Siemens as a noncore asset but said the network gear maker’s restructuring, now in its second year, was designed to make it more attractive for potential investors.
“What we have said is that Nokia Siemens is going through its own restructuring and we are pleased with the efforts so far,” Mr. Elop said. All the restructuring is being done to make it “a more independent entity in future,” he added. “As that proceeds, we will make a determination to see what the future holds.”
Nokia said 3,700 of the planned 10,000 job to be cut would take place in Finland. The handset factory in Salo to be closed is Nokia’s largest in the country, and about 850 employees will be affected there by the reductions. Nokia plans to keep a research center in Salo open.
Pete Cunningham, an analyst at Canalys, a research firm in Reading, England, said the cuts by Nokia were not surprising given the intense competition from Apple, the global leader in smartphones, and Samsung, the South Korean rival that overtook Nokia this year as the world’s largest bulk maker of cellphones.
“It is an unfortunate but necessary action to streamline the business to ensure that it has the best chance of competing,” Mr. Cunningham said. “Apple and Samsung are really turning the thumbscrews on the rest of the market. Nokia is having to work very hard to make its Lumia handsets attractive due to the lack of traction that Windows Phone has in the market today.”
Shares of Nokia were down 9.4 percent Thursday in Helsinki trading.
Nokia employed 53,553 workers in its handset business at the end of March. The company also had 68,595 employees in Nokia Siemens.

Stanford Sentenced to 110-Year Term in $7 Billion Ponzi Case


HOUSTON — Jaime Escalona was fleeced so thoroughly by the financier R. Allen Stanfordthat he could no longer pay for his grandson’s autism treatments, he said in a steady voice in court on Thursday, before turning to the defendant and declaring, “You are a dirty, rotten scoundrel.”

Mr. Stanford took the insult in stride, and stared right back.
Then Angela Shaw Kogutt, who said three generations of her family had lost over $4 million because of Mr. Stanford’s “financial terrorism,” asked all the scores of victims in the federal court gallery to stand before Mr. Stanford to show him their faces of misery. Judge David Hittner of the Federal District Court told Mr. Stanford he was under no obligation to look, but he swiveled his chair toward the victims anyway without a flinch or sign of caring.
For Mr. Stanford, his day in court on Thursday — the day he was sentenced to 110 years in prison without parole for masterminding a $7 billion Ponzi scheme — was anything but a time for contrition. Instead, after refusing to testify in his own trial, Mr. Stanford broke his silence to say that unlike Bernard L. Madoff, the most prominent of Ponzi scheme swindlers, “I am not a thief.”
Rather, he said, he was the victim of government “Gestapo tactics” that provoked a run on his Caribbean bank and then sold off his assets at bargain-basement prices. Anyone who lost their money, he said, did so because of the government’s “unnecessary” actions.
“I’m not up here to ask for sympathy or forgiveness,” he said in a rambling statement to the court before the sentencing, intermittently holding back tears and shuffling papers. “I’m up here to tell you from my heart I didn’t run a Ponzi scheme.”
In response, the federal prosecutor William J. Stellmach called Mr. Stanford’s version of events “obscene.”
“This is a man utterly without remorse,” Mr. Stellmach said. “From beginning to end, he treated all of his victims as roadkill.”
A federal jury in March convicted Mr. Stanford of running an international scheme over more than two decades in which he offered fraudulent high-interest certificates of deposit at the Stanford International Bank, which was based on the Caribbean island of Antigua.
Prosecutors argued that Mr. Stanford had consistently lied to investors, promoting safe investments for money that he channeled into a luxurious lifestyle, a Swiss bank account and various business deals that almost never succeeded. Mr. Stanford’s defense lawyers pleaded for a sentence effectively of time served because of the three years he spent in prison awaiting trial. Prosecutors recommended 230 years, the maximum according to sentencing guidelines, for his convictions on 13 counts of conspiracy, wire and mail fraud, obstruction and money laundering. He was acquitted of one count of wire fraud.
The prosecutors heavily relied on James M. Davis, Mr. Stanford’s former roommate from Baylor University, who served as his chief financial officer. Mr. Davis testified that the Stanford business empire was a fraud, with bribes paid to Antiguan regulators and schemes to hide operations from federal investigators. He described how Mr. Stanford had sent him to London to send a fax to a prospective client from a bogus insurance company office to reassure him that his investment would be safe.
For Mr. Stanford, the verdict and sentencing represented the end of a remarkable career that began when he bought a Texas fitness club. After it went bankrupt, he tried offshore banking and lived a life of glamour. Mr. Stanford is now a shadow of the swaggering financier who only three years ago had an estimated fortune of over $2 billion, a knighthood awarded by Antigua and a collection of yachts and a fleet of jets, and even his own professional cricket team and stadium on the West Indies island.
As Mr. Stanford spoke to the court, dressed in a loosefitting olive green prison jumpsuit with his hands cuffed, he did not go into details about the accusations. But he and his lawyer, Ali R. Fazel, said that unlike Mr. Madoff, who was sentenced to 150 years in 2009, Mr. Stanford was accused of pocketing money that was actually invested in many enterprises, some of which had earned United States regulatory approval. Mr. Stanford said he had employed more than 5,000 people and lent money to the government of Ecuador and several corporations, municipalities and hospitals.
“Stanford was a real brick-and-mortar financial institution,” Mr. Stanford said, referring to his bank. “I am not a thief.”

Chris Brown Hands Over Physical Evidence To NYPD



Chris Brown and his lawyer Mark Geragos have submitted "physical evidence" to the New York Police Department that they say implicates Drake and his entourage were indeed involved in an altercation. 
The Look At Me Now singer has been cooperating with detectives and cops say Chris is not currently a suspect but rather "a witness and a victim." They also say Drake is not a suspect, either. 
TMZ Reports: 
Drake has been "cooperating" with authorities, but we do not know if he has spoken to cops -- it appears his representatives have had conversations with detectives.
The two hip-pop stars have been in the news since their camps got into a bloody altercation that left Chris Brown with a gash on his chin and his bodyguard in need of serious medical attention which included a stay in the hospital. The fight is believed to have started over an argument about Rihanna. Eyewitnesses say partygoers started throwing bottles, buckets, cups and more. 
Read more: http://globalgrind.com/entertainment/chris-brown-drake-fight-evidence-nypd-victim-arrested-rihanna-wip#ixzz1xs0PxX6B

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Bob Seger, Jim Steinman Among Songwriter Hall Inductees



Stevie Nicks prefers writing a song over meeting a handsome prince. Ne-Yo claimed songwriting saved his life. And Bob Seger said writing a song is the hardest, yet most rewarding thing that he does.

Converging opinions thrived at the 43rd annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction ceremony in New York where Seger, along with Canadian folk rocker Gordon Lightfoot, "Gambler" songwriter Don Schlitz, "and Jim Steinman of "Bat Out of Hell" fame became the latest members of the prestigious club. The writers of the long-running musical, "The Fantastick's" were also inducted.

Seger opened the show with a spirited version of his 1973 classic, "Turn the Page." He was then inducted by Valerie Simpson who performed "We've Got Tonight" in his honor.

On the red carpet before the performance, Simpson said that steamy track has a very special power.

"It's one of the sexiest songs I know, it put more people in bed than I can imagine," Simpson said.

Ne-Yo was honored with this year's Hal David Starlight Award. It's given to young artists that are making a significant impact with their original music.

"To have a person who that has written a song that I look up to or that I grew up listening to tell me that I am good at it to. That means the world to me," Ne-Yo said of Hal David, a frequent songwriting partner to Burt Bacharach."

Then he explained how writing songs saved him.

"I was a pretty riled up little kid, and if not for my mom giving me the pad and the pen and telling me to take my emotions and put them there, then there was no telling then I might I have been sticking you up or something," Ne-Yo joked.

After being inducted by Swizz Beatz, Ne-Yo told the crowd of nearly 900 that he didn't prepare a speech because he still didn't believe he was standing there.

While Nicks was not inducted, she did honor Bette Midler with the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award, and even performed "The Rose,' the song made famous by Midler in the 1979 movie of the same name.

"People ask what is your favorite thing to do in a night? Be in a fantastic studio with a great poem and a piano and a little tape recorder. That is my idea of a great time," Nicks said.

Lightfoot known for such hits as "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," and "Sundown" performed his haunting 1970 ode to his failed marriage, "If You Could Read My Mind."

On the red carpet he explained his motivation: "My life had been a bit of a rollercoaster. I think at that time I was going through the lower dip and sort of climbing up again."

Over the years, artists from Barbara Streisand to Johnny Cash covered the song.

One of the evening's funniest moments came from Jim Steinman, who wrote songs for Meat Loaf on his first two "Bat Out of Hell" albums. After Loaf and Constantine Maroulis performed an abridged version of the nearly 10-minute title track, Steinman noted: "They shortened the song so much I felt like I was watching an episode of "Glee."

The Songwriters Hall of Fame was created in 1969 by a group of established songwriters, including the legendary Jonny Mercer. The organization's mission is to shine a spotlight on the accomplishments of songwriters.

Rita Ora VEVO LIFT Showcase in NYC



Rita Ora tore up New York City Tuesday night as she performed at Gramercy Theatre for the VEVO LIFT showcase. The Roc Nation beauty performed popular singles like “R.I.P” and along with new material from her upcoming album, which she said, was expected to release around September. Ora was an electric performer as the packed audience in the theatre went wild throughout the show and especially at the end when Ora brought two fans on stage to shower the crowd with glitter and confetti while performing her popular single “How We Do (Party).” With a fast growing fan following the British singer is expected for great things.

Pharrell Williams is being honored byThe American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)


Pharrell Williams in undoubtedly a musical pioneer, and this month he is being honored byThe American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for his contributions as a producer, songwriter, and composer.
The three-time Grammy Winner is being awarded with the prestigious ASCAP Golden Note Award during its 25th Annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards.
Past winners include Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jermaine Dupri, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Quincy Jones, LL Cool J and Lionel Richie.
The event takes place Friday, June 29 in Los Angeles.
Congrats are in order to the Hip-Hop trendsetter.

The Heat Even The NBA Finals At 1-1


If Game 1 was forshadowing anything it would be that Game 2 was going to be that much more insane. The Heat came out of the gate and didn't look back holding the lead for the entire game. Just because they held the lead the entire game doesn't mean the Thunder didn't make it very interesing in the final minutes. Prior to all that though the Heat started the game on a tear while the Thunder were the complete opposite. For the second game in a row Shane Battier hit at least 4 three pointers, that and Dwyane Wade getting off to a quick start propelled the Heat to a 12 point lead at the half. 
The second half wasn't entirely like Game 1 where the Heat came out flat, but the Thunder came out on fire yet again. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook put the team on their back as the Thunder kept crawling closer and closer to taking the lead getting it all the way down to 2 points at one time. Truth be told when playing in OKC and the crowd is in to the game it seems like your playing a 5 on 6. Two highlights of the second half would be Kevin Durant dunking all over Shane Battier, and then late in the game when the Heat were so close to closing the game out, a late turnover resulting in a three by Kevin Durant put the game at 98-96 with 37 seconds left. LeBron James quickly fired an ill advised three which he missed giving the Thunder another chance. During a Durant drive to the hoop for the game tying bucket it seemed as if the refs missed a very big foul call that would've put Durant at the free throw line. The no call resulted in a miss, quick foul, and then two crucial made free throws by LeBron. With 6 seconds left Westbrook fired a three which didn't connect as the game went final 100-96. 
As controversial as the NBA can be sometimes the players can't dwell on what should've been for long, as Game 3 will be Sunday at 8:00 PM ET down in Miami. The adjustments for Miami seemed to work in Game 2, now it is on OKC to make the right adjustments to get a win in Miami for Game 3. Also a reminder that the Finals goes 2-3-2, so the next three games will be in Miami. Check the stats from the key players below. 
Oklahoma City Thunder 
Kevin Durant - 32pts, 3 reb, 1 asts 
Russell Westbrook - 27pts, 8reb, 7ast 
James Harden - 21pts, 4reb, 2 ast 
Miami Heat
LeBron James - 32pts, 8reb, 5 asts 
Dwyane Wade - 24pts, 6reb, 5ast 
Chris Bosh - 16pts, 15reb 

Chris Brown Ends Beef With Meek Mill


Breezy sends a tweet suggesting there is no bad blood between the stars.

Chris Brown Drake Fight Meek Mill
"Me and @MeekMill ain't on that bulls---. Real respect Real...." Brown wrote on the microblogging site.
Mill then co-signed Brown's sentiment with a retweet, adding, "Naw, we just getting money!"

Earlier reports had said Mill and Brown had gotten into a shouting match last night at club W.I.P. in New York, which led to a scuffle between Drake and Brown’s entourages, but so far it looks like the only person the Maybach Music Group rapper has a problem with is Roscoe Dash.
Last month, Meek and Brown got into a skirmish on Twitter allegedly over Rihanna, whom both men have been linked to.

THREE LADIES AXED FROM BASKETBALL WIVES


THREE LADIES AXED FROM BASKETBALL WIVES

Rumors have been circling for quite some time now around Shaunie O’Neal and VH1's decision to let go three cast members go from Basketball Wives.
According to TMZ, a decision has been made: Jennifer Williams, Royce Reed, and Kesha Nichols have all been fired from the show.
While VH1 has yet to release an official statement, sources allegedly said producers will be notifying the ladies any day now are dropping what they call “dead weight” from the show.
Royce was reportedly cut for not being allowed to talk about her ex Dwight Howard due to a 2009 court order, while Jennifer Williams was cut due to her lawsuit against Nia Crooks. According to the source, Kesha Nichols was cut for reportedly being too boring. Royce was also ostracized by the rest of the group and wasn’t able to participate in any group outings.
When TMZ contacted VH1 for a comment, the network had this to say: “We don't comment on casting until everything is final. Thanks for checking in.”
Are you surprised?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Funkmaster ‘Wife-Beating’ Flex Caught Lying…Again!!!


Funkmaster Flex Gets Called Out!

If Funkmaster Flex had his way, he’d have you believe the domestic charges against him – involving Monica Taylor – were dropped. But, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Know why? Because the Hot 97 DJ’s estranged wife is revealing the only reason she didn’t move forward with the second degree aggravated harassment charge against him, is to protect her kids.
You may remember back in April 2011, cops were called to the couple’s Westchester, New York home – where the altercation between the pair led to the arrest of Flex. At the time of the incident, the couple was married for 18-years.

Monica Taylor, who has since legally separated from her Hip Hop-personality husband – whose real name is Aston Taylor – after filing an order of protection against him, says there was no way she would have the court order her daughter to testify before a judge – leaving the court with no choice but to drop the case.

She says despite what Flex’s lawyer may have said, he was NOT found ‘not guilty’ of the domestic abuse charges against him.

Here’s what Funkmaster Flex’s lawyer had to say about the case:
“We are pleased to report that on April 15, 2011, Mr. Taylor was found NOT GUILTY of all charges.”
Here’s what Monica Taylor had to say about the case:
“Not Guilty? Case was dropped because I refused to allow my daughter 2 testify or her 911 calls public. Be a man, protect kids not urself. 
I have moved on! I now have a new life with Happiness & peace. Leave me out of your public battles & cries 4 attention, Wish U only the best.”

Moesha Star Yvette Wilson Succumbs to Cancer


Earlier today, June 15, 2012, Yvette Wilson passed away after her battle with cervical cancer.


Moesha Yvette Wilson Dead
Yvette Wilson, born March 6, 1964 in Los Angeles California, is best known for her role as Andell Wilkerson on the UPN sitcom Moesha and its spinoff The Parkers.

Yvette appeared on many comedy films such as House Party 2, House Party 3, Friday, and on Def Comedy Jam.

From the desk of...




Remember whether you’re approaching a prospective employer or seeking financial backing it’s your job to sell yourself. There are thousands of others competing in any chosen profession, but you can give yourself an edge by thinking what do I have to offer. So many people approach a new career by asking, “What can this career do for me?” instead of “What can I do to make myself and my services invaluable? What unmet needs can I fulfill?” This is the attitude that can mean the difference between success and failure.

Remember that the truly successful career is built upon three requirements. First, you must have the desire to succeed, or as I say it, the “have to” spirit. Second, you must have the “know how.” Knowledge is power it build enthusiasm and enthusiasm builds success. But neither knowledge nor power is enough. The third requirement is that you apply yourself. You can want to succeed as an A&R with all your heart. You may learn everything you can know about the music industry. But unless you are willing to apply all your skills – in other words to work hard-all your efforts will be wasted.

Not all of us want to develop an international conglomerate-most are independent people who want to support our families while practicing the art of trade. If you decide to become an entrepreneur, you must also be willing to work harder than you will ever work in an ordinary job. You must condition yourself to work like you have a boss standing over you. This means you must set aside exact hours to work every single day. Once you make the decision stick to it, no matter what. You too will have to be a strict boss to avoid failure.

Kamal D. Jabbar

Carly Rae Jepsen Hits No. 1: 'Call' Connects Atop Hot 100


Carly Rae Jepsen sends her pop culture juggernaut "Call Me Maybe" to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, dethroning Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," featuring Kimbra, after eight weeks at the chart's summit.


"Call," the choice for buzz-worthy YouTube sing-and/or-dance-along videos from everyone from Justin Bieber and some high-profile friends to the Harvard University baseball team, rises 2-1 on the Hot 100 courtesy of gains on the Digital Songs, Radio Songs and On-Demand Songs charts.


The cut logs a fourth week at No. 1 on Digital Songs with a 4% gain to 296,000 downloads sold in the chart's tracking week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. With its latest sales frame, it passes the 3-million mark (3.3 million) in downloads sold to date.



On Radio Songs, "Call" lifts 4-2 with 117 million in all-format audience (up 14%), according to Nielsen BDS. It also climbs 2-1 on the mainstream top 40-based Pop Songs radio airplay chart.
 
As on the Hot 100, the song succeeds Gotye's track at No. 1 on On-Demand Songs, where it pushes 2-1 with 1.1 million on-demand streams, according to BDS.
 
With her Hot 100 coronation, Jepsen is the first lead female to top the chart in a debut visit since Ke$ha sent "TiK ToK" to the top for nine weeks beginning the week of Jan. 2, 2010. Before that, Lady Gaga was the last rookie female to conquer the Hot 100 on a first try when "Just Dance," featuring Colby O'Donis, began a three-week command the week of Jan. 17, 2009.
 
Jepsen is in good company: following "TiK ToK," Ke$ha has added seven more Hot 100 top 10s, including her second No. 1, "We R Who We R," in 2010. Lady Gaga, of course, has become not only a chart force but also a worldwide household name. She's banked 10 more Hot 100 top 10s after "Dance," including two more No. 1s, "Poker Face" (2009) and "Born This Way" (2011).
 
"Call" was first a hit in Jepsen's home country of Canada, as the Mission, British Columbia, native took the song to No. 1 for four weeks on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 beginning in February. After fellow Canadian Justin Bieber Tweeted his affinity for the song to his more than 20 million Twitter followers and produced a video in which he, Selena Gomez and Ashley Tisdale sang it, the U.S. success of "Call" surged. Jepsen is signed to the Schoolboy Records imprint, established by Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun.
 
Gotye's "Somebody," meanwhile, slips 1-2 on the Hot 100 after its eight-week reign. The song remains atop Radio Songs for a fourth week (141 million, down 3%), holds at No. 3 on Digital Songs (213,000, down 14%) and descends 1-2 on On-Demand Songs (1 million, down 4%).
 
The Nos. 3 and 4 songs on the Hot 100 remain static from last week:Maroon 5's "Payphone," featuring Wiz Khalifa, and fun.'s former six-week Hot 100 No. 1 "We Are Young," featuring Janelle Monae, respectively.
 
One Direction's former No. 4 hit "What Makes You Beautiful" rises 6-5, swapping spots with Nicki Minaj's "Starships" (5-6), while Flo Rida's "Wild Ones," featuring Sia, stays at No. 7.
 
After the song became her 22nd Hot 100 top 10 last week - the fifth-best sum among women in the chart's more than five-decade history,Rihanna's "Where Have You Been" pushes 9-8 this week. It bullets again at No. 9 on Radio Songs (74 million, up 14%) and powers 32-23 on On-Demand Songs (335,000, up 17%). On Digital Songs, "Where" falls 6-7 (132,000, down 9%).
 
Katy Perry flies 19-9 on the Hot 100 with "Wide Awake," the second single from her "Teenage Dream: the Complete Confection" reissue album. First single "Part of Me" debuted at No. 1 the week of March 3. "Awake," Perry's 11th career top 10 dating to her first, the seven-week No. 1 "I Kissed a Girl" four years ago, and her eighth consecutive top 10 single promoted to radio (six of which have topped the Hot 100), claims dual top Digital and Airplay Gainer honors on the Hot 100, bounding 12-4 on Digital Songs (173,000, up 60%) and 35-14 on Radio Songs (49 million, up 40%).


"Awake," which Perry first performed live at the Billboard Music Awards (May 20), is approaching the 50-position On-Demand Songs chart, with 215,000 on-demand streams (up 69%) in the survey's tracking week.
 
Rounding out the Hot 100's top 10, Bieber's "Boyfriend" slides 8-10. With the teen superstar's third studio album, "Believe," due Tuesday (June 19), another track from the set, "All Around the World," featuring Ludacris, is the Hot 100's Hot Shot Debut at No. 22. It starts at No. 5 on Digital Songs (157,000). Last week, fellow preview cut "Die in Your Arms" entered the Hot 100 at No. 17 and Digital Songs at No. 4 (185,000). 

50 Cent & Oprah Winfrey Bury the Hatchet

Oprah Winfrey and 50 Cent have ended their six-year feud.

The talk show host and the rapper sat down for an interview on OWN's Oprah's Next Chapter to sort out their differences. Among them, Winfrey said she had taken offense when 50 -- whose real name is Curtis Jackson -- once said of her daytime talk show: "Oprah's audience is my audience's parents, so I could care less about Oprah or her show."



During the interview -- which took place at the Queens, N.Y., house of Jackson's grandparents, who raised him after his mother's death in 1983 -- Jackson indicated that he was surprised the interview with Winfrey was actually happening.

"This is a huge milestone for me -- just being in your presence and on the show," he said. "That's a huge accomplishment." (The two even embraced before the interview got under way.)
Winfrey went on to ask Jackson about his "audience" comment and brought up her own public criticism of rappers' use of the N-word and misogynistic lyrics in their music.

"I would see moments when you would discuss your feelings on the culture and everything that was wrong with the culture was what was on my CD, and I was like, 'Oh, she doesn't like me'," Jackson said. "I was saying, 'If I can't be your friend, at least let me be your enemy, so I co-exist.'"

Replied Winfrey: "That's interesting. I don't spend a lot of time looking at people who don't like me, but I did hear that you said something like I had white women in my audience that were as old as your grandmother. I felt that that was a pointed criticism. Did you say things about me to be provocative, or did you just not like me?"

Answered Jackson: "I was saying it's a conservative audience -- their kids are listening to it, and they look for something that allows them to be a little rebellious -- that's rap and roll."

Winfrey said she couldn't understand why her criticism of rap music lyrics led Jackson to think she didn't like him personally.

"I think it's so interesting that you thought that because I was against the use of the N-word, violence and singing about violence and misogynism, meant that I did not like you, because I did not know you," she said.

But the two agreed to disagree about the use of the N-word.

"When you're actually using it with malice in your heart, you can feel the difference," Jackson said.

Winfrey also asked Jackson about his decision to name his dog after her.

"That was not a compliment," she said. "I heard you had a bitch named Oprah."

"At the time, I was just looking at the situation and I saw I was developing negative feelings for someone who doesn't even know me -- and I gave it to the dog," he replied.

Meanwhile, Jackson also revealed his softer side to Winfrey, telling her that he paints his grandmother's toenails because she is unable to reach them and giving her a tour of the pink bedroom he sleeps in at his grandparents' house.

Lady Gaga Reveals New Perfume Bottle


Lady Gaga was forced to unveil the bottle for her first perfume after images leaked online yesterday (June 13). "Looks like photos of my perfume are being leaked," she tweeted. "Oh you fashion editors I could just crinkle my hands at you!"


The singer also tweeted images of the bottle, which is as outrageous and fabulous as she is. Crowned with an edgy and alien-like gold cap, the bottle beneath is simple and unfussy. But the truly bizarre part is inside the bottle, where the scent takes the form of a "black fluid."

She had previously said that her fragrance, which was going to be called "Monster," would smell of "semen and blood." However, the fragrance's box says that it contains notes of "belladonna, crushed heart of tiger orchidea with a black veil of incense, pulverized apricot and the combinative essences of saffron and honey drops."

"My perfume was designed for women, but a lot of my gay friends wear it," Gaga explained after a fan asked if she would be making a perfume for men. Mother Monster's "Fame" perfume will hit stores later this summer for Little Monsters of every gender. She will also cover the September issue of Vogue to promote the launch of her first scent.

Maybach Music Group Holds 'Self Made Vol. 2' Album Listening at NY Strip Club


"All we know how to do is be self-made," Rick Rossdeclared last night (Wednesday, June 13), at an exclusive listening session designed to unveil tracks from the sequel to Maybach Music Group's first collaborative album, "MMG Presents: Self Made Vol. 1." 


Well-versed in manufacturing a spectacle as seen with their press conference last month, the members of MMG -- Ross, Meek MillWale,Omarion and Stalley -- chose Bronx's gentlemen's club, Sin City, for the evening's proceedings, transforming a run-of-the mill press gathering into an exhibition of excess that visibly ran the attendees' comfort zone gamut.


"June 26 is the official release date for 'Self Made 2,'" Ross reiterated to the room before handing the mic over to DJ Khaled to introduce each track, one-by-one. After nodding to Power 105's DJ Self  -- who spun back-to-back MMG favorites for the preceding two hours -- Ross saluted the album's core contributors who were also present: MMG, Gunplay, and Bad Boy's French Montana.

DrakeBusta Rhymes, DJ Scoob Doo, Fred Da Godson, and Warner Bros. Records and Def Jam label execs
-- Def Jam President, Joie Manda, Senior VP Shawn "Pecas" Costner, Senior VP of Marketing Chris Atlas --  also convened in support of the project that kicks off MMG's string of summer releases. Upcoming MMG projects include "MMG Presents: Self Made Vol. 2" (June 26), Meek 's debut album, "Dreams & Nightmares" (August 28), and Ross' highly-anticipated, "God Forgives, I Don't," out July 31.


Though in an untamed atmosphere with dancers' shift-assignments announced every so often over the PA system, MMG's music still managed to project growth. A balance of hard-hitting street anthems like "Actin' Up" and "Black On Black," featuring Ace Hood and Bun B, co-exist with smooth, R&B-leaning tracks, "M.I.A" and "Let's Talk," courtsey of their new acquisiton, Omarion. Verses from the album's featured marquee artists were finally revealed and stand-out flows from Kendrick LamarNasNipsey Hu$$leWiz Khalifa and T.I. commanded head nods.

Whether or not intended, MMG gave all a Petri dish peek into their fast lives. Hosting the "Self Made Vol. 2" listening session at Sin City -- where French shot "Everything's A Go" -- the scene was set. The braggadocio-laden cuts were unleashed in the same atmosphere that births them. But for those examining the landscape a bit closer, the celebratory vibe was oddly juxtaposed by some of the rappers' own subdued temperaments.

Omarion and Stalley spent much of the evening on their cells, albeit standing on couches in the VIP section. Meek politely declined repeated advances from the female staff members. Not long after an intoxicated female associate became visibly ill,  Noah "40" Shebib and Drake, who had kept a parental watchful eye on her, were escorted out the building appearing relieved. Drake left a smiling French behind to hold down the section that stood just below of the rabid VIP area.

Cocktail waitresses donning tuxedo bustiers were instructed to "make it sparkle" on command. The dancers shook their lady parts while performing their best tricks, attempting to catch eyes with MMG and their entourage. Watching the ladies' efforts go unnoticed was telling considering the environment. Rap clich├ęs permeated the room and were, in turn, absorbed through all five sensory channels of those invited as a majority of the rappers, themselves, seemed not the least fazed.

Celebratory events like yesterday's listening are a recent mainstay for the Maybach Music Group conglomerate and friends. Last month, they took over New York to celebrate Omarion's MMG signing, Meek's birthday and their headlining slot at Hot 97's Summer Jam. Whether work or play, it would appear that the MMG movement is in full-throttle.

R. Kelly Owes Nearly $5M in Taxes

R&B star R. Kelly, who last year saw his suburban Chicago mansion fall into foreclosure, now has the Internal Revenue Service at his door.


The Chicago Sun-Times reports documents held by the Cook County Recorder of Deeds show the recording artist owes the IRS nearly $5 million in unpaid taxes.

Kelly owes the money for taxes dating back as far as 2005. He paid $2.6 million in back taxes in 2008 and another $1 million last year, but the records show he still owes the federal government more than $4.8 million.

A message seeking comment was left Thursday for Kelly spokesman Allan Mayer. The Sun-Times reports Mayer said last year that Kelly didn't have any serious financial troubles.