Thursday, January 24, 2013

Beyonce 'Did Not Sing Live,' Inauguration Official Confirms


An inaugural official confirmed to CNN on Wednesday that Beyonce lip-synced the national anthem during Monday's Inauguration Day ceremony. "She did not sing live," the official, who asked to remain anonymous, told CNN, adding that the singer made the decision herself to go with a pre-recording the night before Monday's ceremony.

"Because she didn't have time to rehearse with the Marine Band, she decided to use her recording with the Marine Band," the official added. "It was all Beyonce."

Mid-performance, Beyonce pulled out her earpiece, which ostensibly was being used to time her lip movements to the music; how she was able to continue to perfectly time her singing could be a result of having performed the song so often.

Other performers Monday included Kelly Clarkson, James Taylor and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir; there has been no indication that they did not perform their songs live.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Marine Corps Band told the London Times its members performed live.

"We don't know why Beyonce decided to use prerecorded music," the spokesperson added. "All music [for inaugural ceremonies] is prerecorded as a matter of course, and that's something we've done for years and years. The Marine Band did perform live throughout the ceremony, but we received last-minute word that Beyonce wanted to use the recording."

Later, the Marine Corps issued another statement that threw its initial admission into question.

"The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) requested that the Marine Band accompany Beyonce Knowles-Carter in the performance of the Star-Spangled Banner at the 2013 Inaugural Ceremony. However, there was no opportunity for Ms. Knowles-Carter to rehearse with the Marine Band before the Inauguration so it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill-advised for such a high-profile event. Each piece of music scheduled for performance in the Inauguration is pre-recorded for use in case of freezing temperatures, equipment failure, or extenuating circumstances. Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter's vocal performance, no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded."

Beyonce sang "At Last" at the 2009 Inaugural Ball for the president and first lady and, along with husband Jay-Z, has become close with the first family.

In 2009, Jennifer Hudson lip-synced the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, and Faith Hill lipped along with a prerecorded "America the Beautiful." And Whitney Houston lip-synced her famous rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the 1991 Super Bowl.

Among the celebrities who have come to Beyonce's defense are Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys and former Destiny's Child bandmate Michelle Williams.

Earlier, White House spokesman Jay Carney told the press at a briefing that he has "no idea" whether Beyonce lip-synced.

"What I know about this, [I] mostly know from what I've read and shockingly it has not all been consistent," he said, as quoted by Politico. "I actually have no idea what's true and what's not about what happened here and I don't think it's particularly important to address from the podium here."

Beyonce, who will take the stage at halftime of the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, has yet to comment.  


Weeks after making headlines for getting arrested on child support charges, footage of "Love & Hip Hop" cast member/manager Rich Dollaz's run-in with police has now surfaced.
In the footage, Dollaz is initially shown doing an interview before getting interrupted by police.
In this clip, Rich Dollaz (long-suffering manager of Olivia primarily for the purposes of the reality show Love and Hip Hop) is begrudgingly being interviewed by the Mouth To Ears blog in the lobby of a hotel....when cops show up to arrest him. The arrest allegedly traces back to an ongoing child support claim. And while it seems like a bit of a hassle (especially when the baby mama pressing charges appears outside the hotel to scream at Dollaz for added melodrama)...if you notice how surly and condescending Dollaz is in the beginning of the interview, maybe the interruption wasn't so inconvenient after all. Kismet! (Miss Info TV)
Gossip and speculation of the arrest sizzled online around mid-January.
January 11, 2013: Just when you thought that the show Love And Hip Hop NY couldn't have any MORE drama . . . one of the stars, Rich Dollaz was ARRESTED last night in Memphis - for CHILD SUPPORT. You see, his babys mother Chaundrea Nicolle had him put on Child support for their 12 year old daughter earlier this year. According to Chaundra he NEVER really paid any support. But Rich claims that he is not CERTAIN that the girl is IN FACT his. Either way, Rich went to Memphis, Chaundra's home town, yesterday to do a party. And Chaundra tipped off police - who apprehend Rich at the airport. Rich was released on bail and then he took to Twitter to GLOAT about getting out on Twitter. (Media Take Out)
This comes weeks after Rich reportedly got engaged to fellow "Love & Hip Hop" cast member Erica Mena.
Last night, we were on hand for a screening of the new season held at Kiss and Fly Club, and Erica dropped the bombshell that she was engaged to Rich Dollaz. The two are currently in the midst of planning a summer wedding and Erica has a new "R" tattoo, which she reveals in the first episode of the show. (Necole Bitchie)
Back in 2010, former G-Unit member Olivia spoke to SOHH about having love and respect for the renowned manager.
"He's a character" Olivia told SOHH with a smile. "I love Rich, I'm glad we teamed up. We probably met, I wanna say six or seven months ago. And it feels like I've known him my whole life. So it's a great connection with the both of us, we work very well, I don't have to tell him what I need done, like, he'll call me and be on top of it all the time with like interviews and whatever. Most managers don't talk to their artists on a daily basis and he does that, which is really good." (SOHH)
Check out the arrest footage:

Urban Music Vet Ron Gillyard Joins Quantasy

Veteran urban music executive Ron Gillyard has joined creative services agency Quantasy as a partner, holding the title of chief growth officer. He comes to the Los Angeles-based company after stints as president of urban music at Interscope and J Records.
Notes Quantasy founder/CEO Will Campbell in a statement announcing Gillyard's appointment, "Ron's extensive background in the entertainment industry and invaluable connections and business instincts … will help us push the limits of creating immersive and culturally relevant experiences for our partners."
Among Quantasy's clients are such Fortune 500 companies as American Honda, Google, Wells Fargo and Farmers Insurance.
"Our catchphrase is 'connecting the world through advertising, entertainment, technology and culture,'" Gillyard tells "For years those segments lived in four separate boxes, but the lines are blurring. We want to help clients look at the world through that one lens where everything fits."
Most recently, Gillyard owned and operated Gillyard Entertainment LLC, an L.A.-based entertainment management and consulting firm. His management clients at one point included BeBe & CeCe Winans and India.Arie. In addition to serving as president of urban music at Interscope (2003-2007), Gillyard held a similar post at J Records (2000-2003).
Previous positions include GM at Bad Boy Entertainment and Motown. Over the course of his career, he has worked with such artists as Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Sean "Diddy" Combs, 50 Cent and Eminem.


Renowned fashion executive Kimora Lee Simmons recently discussed her take on today's biggest stars entering the apparel game and how she helped pave the way for modern day business moguls like Diddy and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.
In Simmons' perspective, her and ex-husband Russell Simmonsare largely responsible for proving they could take the fashion world by its neck and run with it.
Kimora says that she and Russell were fashion trailblazers and paved a way for other celebrities to create fashion empires. "Before us there wasn't any Beyoncé, there wasn't Sean John orJustin Timberlake, there wasn't Jessica Simpson. There wasn't any of that," Kimora said. "We really laid the blueprint for that. One thing I love about myself is this business is that I don't have to rely on the sales of an album, or my movie being a hit for my clothing to be a hit." (The Grio)
Back in 2011, Kimora spoke to SOHH and discussed how she came up in the fashion game.
"I have kids, businesses I started up with Russell, and so I think it's a little bit different. I could be her auntie. And then again, Russell is not an artist [like Kanye], he's more of a rap mogul. ... For me, I kind of grew up with Russell. I met Russell when I was very young. Not like now, he dates girls who are very young but he's a lot older. I was young, he was young too. We had grown together, we were married, we had children, we had a family and many businesses that we created together. So personally speaking, I have learned a lot from Russell as far as him being a mentor and being the man he is. He has taught me a lot and helped me so much with everything that I ever have done and that I will ever do in the future. He's a great friend and a great mentor." (SOHH Guest Star)
Just last month, Beyoncé landed a $50 million deal with Pepsi.
In an expansion of the recent marketing experiments that have brought PepsiCo ever closer to the music industry, the company has embarked on a hybrid project with Beyoncé that will include standard advertising like commercials as well as a multimillion-dollar fund to support the singer's chosen creative projects. "Pepsi embraces creativity and understands that artists evolve," Beyoncé said in a statement. "As a businesswoman, this allows me to work with a lifestyle brand with no compromise and without sacrificing my creativity." (New York Times)
Last year, Diddy spoke on topping Forbes' annual richest hip-hop artists list over longtime friend Jay-Z.
"I'm usually at No. 1," Diddy said in an interview. "Our plan was to always flip-flop on it. This was the year I told him that we had to flop it back to its original owner. We push each other, we inspire each other. It's just a beautiful relationship of natural competitiveness. But you know, it's back at Bad Boy." (Hot 97)

Building the $100 Billion Dollar Music Business: Guest Post

In this guest post, New Music Seminar/Tommy Boy Entertainment founder Tom Silverman describes how we can grow the music business into one that reaches $100 billion in annual retail revenue in the next decade. Silverman is also a a founding member of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) and Merlin and sits on the boards of SoundExchange, and the RIAA. 

Going through last year's U.S. sales numbers, a startling fact jumped out at me. So when the MIDEM director, Bruno Crolot, invited the New Music Seminar to present a panel at MIDEM this year, I knew it was the perfect place to discuss how to grow the music business and set a real goal of $100 billion in annual retail revenue that we can achieve in the next decade. 

The 12th year of flat or declining sales and revenues has directly resulted in a reduction of artist rosters, signings and investment of roughly 50% and music job losses in the realm of 60% since 2000, based on my conversations with business affairs people relevant companies. The music industry has never been more risk-averse than it is today. 

The only way to get more investment into more artists and create more music jobs is to increase the revenues of the music business.  We used to think the only way to do that was to sell more albums and sell them at a higher price. The trend analysis below explains why that is no longer a possibility. The music industry must focus its efforts on developing a new paradigm for music revenue creation. 

The current U.S. retail value of the business is around $7 billion and the world is around $23 billion, according to the RIAA and IFPI. Looking at U.S. album sales and single sales since 1995 and projecting sales out to 2020, one thing becomes clear; music sales revenues will be down or flat for the foreseeable future. Physical CDs will continue double-digit declines in units and even greater declines in value. Digital albums will continue to grow and will pass physical CDs in 2015 in unit sales, but gains in digital sales will continue to be erased by declines in physical sales causing a ceiling on overall U.S. album sales of around 300 million per year, according to projected current trends. Digital single sales growth is slowing: we almost reached 1.4 billion in 2012 but it is unlikely that they will reach 1.5 billion in 2016 before they begin to decline. When you consider inflation at around 2% a year, you see that sales revenue cannot support a sustainable music business. 

A conservative projection of future of music sales in America (it could be worse) 

The good news is that non-sales music revenue is approaching 25% of all music revenue and is the only kind of revenue that can support a vibrant sustainable music business over the long term. 

· Music synchronization license revenue continues to rise. 
· Advertising-revenue sharing is in the top 10 earners with YouTube, Vevo generating substantial and rapidly growing revenue with others joining the party. 
· Music cloud lockers like iTunes Match, Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Music, Xbox Music and Samsung Music Hub are yet another new revenue center for the music business. 
· Music performance revenue nearly hit half a billion dollars in 2012 at SoundExchange with projections of a billion dollars of revenue in four years. 
· Subscription revenues are the biggest growth area.  Spotify recently announced US paid subscription over 1 million. Cricket/Muve announced over 1.1 million subscribers. Rhapsody with PCS/Metro has well over a million subscribers and Xbox music is also in that ballpark.  Rdio, Samsung Music Hub, Slacker, andBeats Electronics' Project Daisy launching now will also garner millions of subscribers. 

Don't forget, one company has already achieved 23 million paid music subscribers in North America at a higher subscription price than any of these music services that pay SoundExchange statutory rates: Sirius/XM. And they did it without on-demand, cloud locker, social or even interactive functionality. Although combined music-streaming services may only have 4 million US music subscribers today, 50 to 100 million are clearly possible. At 50 million subscribers at $10/month, the industry nearly doubles with an additional $6 billion in gross revenues. 

There are only an estimated 300 million music buyers in a world of 7 billion people. There are 6 billion active cell phones and 1.2 billion smartphones. 50 million new cars hit the roads every year. The Consumer Electronics Show was a tribute to these and other connected devices. How can music subscriptions be bundled into as many of these subscriptions as possible? Just an average monthly subscription of only $2 bundled into 3 billion devices would take revenues to more than $90 billion from our current $23 billion. 

In anticipation of the New Music Seminar, this June 9-11 in New York, we are heating up the conversation at other conferences. The first NMS road show will be at MIDEM on Saturday, (January 26), where we will convene many of the companies leading the charge toward the $100 billion music business. Speaking will be Xbox Music's Jerry Johnson, YouTube's Chris Maxcy, Spotify's Ken Parks, Sony Music's Mark Piibe and Samsung Mspot's Daren Tsui. 

Yes, I believe that there is plenty of life left in music sales but I also believe that we must embrace non-sales revenue opportunities if we are to achieve the $100 billion music business. It will take an organized effort by the music industry and our technology, device and mobile service providers to make this dream a reality, but we made just such an effort in the early '80s when we launched the CD. IFPI, RIAA and all of the music stakeholders from musicians and songwriters to labels and publishers must organize now to build the business we all want.

MediaNet Expanding Services to Mechanical Rights Licensing, Administration

MediaNet, the back-end of such digital services like Mog/Beats and Songza, is expanding it offering by providing mechanical rights licensing and administration. 

MediaNet currently relies on the Harry Fox Agency (HFA) to supply publishing licenses for the master rights it provides to services. But now the company is adding research staff so it can conduct direct licensing with publisher's non-affiliated with HFA. It also plans to offer those services to digital music service providers that do not use MediaNet as their back-end. 

"We have already built an $80 million infrastructure, which can do much of what is required to track publisher information," MediaNet executive VP/GM Larry Miller says. 

That's because MediaNet was launched in 2001 as one of the first online services in the digital music space. 

"Now, by offering both master-side and publishing rights administration services, we can remove cost and friction for any company that wants to offer digital music services, allowing them to focus on creating, releasing and scaling brilliant products and services rather than allocating in-house resources to copyright administration," Miller continues. 

MediaNet is jumping into a space that already has such well-entrenched players like Music Reports and HFA's Slingshot operation, even if a void opened up when Google acquired RightsFlow. But beyond the entrenched players, such performance rights organization's like SESAC and BMI reportedly are eying the mechanical-rights administration business as well, so that promises to be a competitive space in the next few years.


Fruitvale was one of the first films to be bought by the revered Weinstein Company at Sundance 2013, at an rumored $2 million and change. The first feature film from writer/director Ryan Coogler, a former college football player, brings the tragic story of Oscar Grant back to life.
22-year-old Grant, played by an excellent Michael B. Jordan (The Wire, Friday Night Lights), was shot execution style by a BART police officer early morning New Year's Day 2009, while handcuffed and weapon-less. The incident was captured on several cell phones and went viral ultimately instigating protests and outrage. Fruitvale, also starring Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, follows Grant around on his last day on this planet.

Exclusive: Verizon Teams With Jill Scott for Black History Month Campaign

Verizon has teamed with Jill Scott for a multi-tiered print, TV and online advertising campaign to coincide with Black History Month -- a rare artist endorsement deal for both parties -- Billboard has learned. Scott's involvement as one of Verizon's "Innovators & Pioneers" was teased in a company blog post on Monday. Other spotlighted talent includes Navarrow Wright, E. David Ellington, Lia Neal, Maritza Correia, Jeff Henderson, B. Smith, Will Packer and Robert Townsend.

The initiative, dubbed "Celebrating Your Story," features talent from different lifestyle categories sharing tales of their own career empowerment and ways that Verizon technology has made a difference in their lives. For Scott, the biggest impact has been on her songwriting process, as she says in a video on Verizon's Insider blog. "I think possibly the best part of being an artist at this level of technology in the world today is that I can really work with anybody. Whether I'm working with somebody in Nashville or working with somebody in Hungary, I can create music with anybody. I can make songs on my phone, on my computer. I can do so much more so easily, it's almost scary."


Watch Justin Timberlake's official lyric video for "Suit & Tie."
Press play below!

Monday, January 21, 2013


Talk about a car enthusiast's dream.
Car collector Rick Champagne scored the ultimate ride: the original Batmobile. And, it only cost him $4.6 million. (Yikes!)
The vintage ride was used in the Batman television serie, that ran on ABC between 1966-68. The car is the first of six models, and was built in 1966 by legendary Hollywood car customizer George Barris. Barris built the car with a $15,000 budget in only 15 days, adding to a 1955 Ford Futura concept model that he purchased for $1. Now, that's a return on an investment!
Barris had owned the vehicle until Champagne purchased it at the Barrett-Jackson auction house in Scottsdale, Ariz. this week.
The Batmobile is tied with the Aston Martin DB5 that Sean Connery drove in Goldfinger for the highest price paid for a movie car at an auction.


Rap mogul Russell Simmons has reflected on how far African Americans have come in Hollywood, notably, as successful directors and producers of big films.
Simmons hopped onto his Twitter page Sunday (January 20) to reflect on the success Blacks have had in the movie industry.
"Just saw @Hughes2Society's " "broken city". Amazing movie. Holy sh.... Congratulations on excellent movie"
"Everybody should see Mark Walberg russell crowes and jeffrey wrights "Broken City" @Hughes2Society Masterpiece"
"I remember when there wasn't any black directors & no black producers @ all. The world is changing" (Russell Simmons' Twitter)
He also stressed the importance of keeping the movement going and not slowing down.
"When I made nutty professor I didn't even realize that no black producers who weren't "the talent" got credit as producers"
"Mainstream hollywood is changing and a post racial dream will be realized in some of hollywood like it is in some of the music circles"
"We got to "keep on pushin" like Curtis Mayfield said. Who would have thought it would have taken so long?.But we still push"
"I'm a yogi not a politician I go where I wanna go see who I wanna see and say what I wanna say. I'm a free man !!!!!!!!"
"They wr the talent (they could demand prod spots) The job of riding arnd in go carts on set was reserved 4 white men anyhow that's over" (Russell Simmons' Twitter)
A few years ago, Training Day and Brooklyn's Finest director Antoine Fuqua told SOHH his all-time favorite urban films.
"There's a few of them out there man that I feel were good, especially the impact they had when they first came out. I think John Singleton's Boyz N The Hood was a good movie, a good solid movie, you know, that dealt with that. Menace II Society was really good, that had a good feel as far as the texture. New Jack [City], I liked New Jack, that was just a more colorful version, you know what I mean? It was a little more of a hyper-reality version [of urban films]. So yeah, man, all those movies I liked." (SOHH Guest Star)
Fuqua also briefly gave his take on Mekhi Phifer's extensive résumé and acting skills.
"You know man, I saw very little of Paid In Full. I saw a very little of it, I haven't seen the whole movie yet. Mekhi [Phifer] is a good actor man. He's been doing it for a while. He ain't no joke. Mekhi can really act. I never worked with him but you know, he's a cat that I would work with, for sure. There's a lot of talented brothers out there like the Wesley Snipes and those guys where unfortunately there's just not enough material being generated or financed, some of them really show their real craft." (SOHH Guest Star)

Obama Inauguration Music Guide: Katy Perry to Q-Tip

Just as Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration drew stars from Beyonce to Aretha Franklin, the president's re-election has led to another can't-miss week for music fans. Some musicians, such as John Legend and Alicia Keys, will be all over Washington D.C. in the coming days, while others will offer single performances -- or show up for a night of DJing. We've hiked through Capital Hill's extensive inauguration schedule to bring you a list of the week's biggest balls.
Kids' Inaugural Ball
When and Where: Saturday, Jan. 19, Washington Convention Center
Kids will be having all the fun. this weekend, with the "Some Nights" rockers joining Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Usher, Smokey Robinson, Brad Paisley, Marc Anthony, Mindless Behavior, Nick Cannon and the cast of "Glee" at the weekend event. The audience will include first lady Michelle Obama and first family daughters Sasha and Malia.

Inaugural Millenial Ball 

When and Where:
 Saturday, Jan. 19, M Central
Ballers on a budget should head to this event, held in a red carpet-free warehouse with a $75 open bar. Funk Ark and Oddisee will perform, with Mayer Hawthorne throwing down a DJ set.
When and Where:
 Saturday, Jan. 19, W Hotel
The relatively late-night event -- it starts at 11 p.m., past Sasha and Malia's bedtime -- will include Pharrell Williams and John Legend.
General Now Party
When and Where:
 Saturday, Jan. 19, Kogod Courtyard at the Reynolds Center will co-host the event, which will also feature music from John Legend, T-Pain and Common.
Peace Ball
When and Where:
 Sunday, Jan. 20, Arena Stage at the Mead Center
District bookstore Busboys and Poets will organize the sold-out, liberal-minded ball, which will include a DJ set from Moby.
Speaker's Cabinet Inauguration Luncheon and Concert
When and Where:
 Sunday, Jan. 20, Italian Embassy
Cyndi Lauper and John Legend will serenade Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic Party figures at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event.
Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball
When and Where:
 Sunday, Jan. 20, Harman Center for the Arts
La La will host Russell Simmons' black tie charity gala, with John Legend, 2 Chainz, Brandy, Pharrell, Jadakiss, Swizz Beats and many more set to attend. Performances will feature Wayne Brady, Meek Mill and a number of hip-hop legends, with Doug E. Fresh and DJ D-Nice to take the stage.

Plan to Rock!
When and Where:
 Sunday, Jan. 20, 9:30 Club
Delta Rae will live up to the party's title at the club, with the vibes balanced by a Q-Tip DJ set and celeb appearances from Tatyana Ali, Aisha Tyler and Kate Walsh. DJ Lil'e will spin at the afterparty.
2013 Inaugural Ball
When and Where:
 Monday, Jan. 21, Washington Convention Center
This is the place to be on Monday -- the official celebration of President Obama's re-election. This week's numerous events will include only two official events, with the Commander-in-Chief's Ball also happening Monday. Not that ball-goers will need another night out after this one: Katy Perry, Usher, Maná, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Soundgarden and Brad Paisley will be among the many acts soundtracking the big bash. At the inauguration itself, look for Kelly Clarkson to perform "My Country 'Tis of Thee," with James Taylor singing "America the Beautiful" and Beyonce singing the national anthem.
Commander in Chief's Ball
When and Where:
 Monday, Jan. 21, Washington Convention Center
The evening's other official event will be held for military members and families, with Alicia Keys, Chris Cornell, Brad Paisley, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Hudson and Jamie Foxx slated to appear.
Creative Coalition's Inaugural Ball
When and Where:
 Monday, Jan. 21, Harman Center for the Arts
The star-studded event will include both musicians and comedians, with the Goo Goo Dolls set to play and Paula Abdul joining actors Eric Stonestreet, John Leguizamo, Giancarlo Esposito and Johnny Galecki in attendance. You can be there, too, if $10,000 for a pair of tickets won't start a personal recession.
BYT's Inauguration Spectacular 2013
When and Where:
 Monday, Jan. 21, Bohemian Caverns
The 9 a.m.-2 a.m. bash will bring Brooklyn to D.C., with performances from Computer Magic and Rewards, a Chairlift side-project.
Ambassador's Inaugural Ball
When and Where:
 Monday, Jan. 21, Carnegie Library
Biz Markie, Mi Casa and LIRA will hit the stage at the VIP event, which will draw ambassadors from Morocco to Malawi.
Hill Country Barbecue
 Monday, Jan. 21
For those looking to make their own music this week, the bar will host Rock 'n Twang Live Band Karaoke night, which goes from 8:30 until the house band runs out of Willie Nelson. Stop by that morning for breakfast tacos, coffee and hot chocolate.


Hudson Mohawke is the latest recruit to Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music. For those who might not have heard of Mohawke before, chances are you've heard his music. The Scottish producer worked on several tracks on G.O.O.D. Music's Cruel Summer -- "Bliss," "To The World," "The One" and the hit "Mercy." The 26-year-old began as a DJ and has a bunch of solo EPs, plus his 2009 debut LP on Warp Records, dubbed Butter, which showcases his work on the turntables. He also moonlights as one-half of music duo TNGHT. West, if you recall, randomly jumped onstage at TNGHT's last gig in Brooklyn. (Everything is coming together now!)
Mohawke took to Twitter to discuss his recent deal. He will still release his solo music on Warp, and will work strictly as a producer for the G.O.O.D. team.


Grammy-winning singer Rihanna and rumored, rekindled ex-boyfriend Chris Brown have reportedly teamed back up for a follow-up to last year's buzzing "Nobody's Business" collaboration.
While details are still emerging, the duo got spotted leaving a recording studio heading into the weekend.
Rihanna and Chris Brown are, once again, making beautiful music together. On the heels of their recent collaboration, "Nobodies Business," a rep for Breezy tells E! News that the two are indeed currently working on another single. Which certainly explains why the duo was spotted leaving, albeit separately, from a recording studio in West Hollywood on Thursday night. This will be the fourth collaboration of sorts for Rihanna and Brown. (E! Online)
In RiRi's new Complex Magazine cover feature, she plainly disregards questions related to her personal relationship with Breezy.
Before leaving the restaurant for the airport, Rihanna addresses one last question. It's the biggest question surrounding the song: If her relationship with Brown is truly nobody's business, then why make a record about it? Her voice, usually warm and cut with chuckles, turns cold. "Pardon me?" she replies, her eyebrow slightly raised. Even after the question is repeated, she hesitates to answer. The hands that moved up and down throughout the conversation, suddenly fall flat. "It's the truth. Remember?" she says, turning toward the other side of the table to gather her belongings. As she gets up to leave, she adds: "It's a fun record that The-Dream wrote and we loved the lyrics. You're still asking me questions about it so clearly you don't know." Maybe she doesn't know either. (Complex)
Recently, Brown's ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran spoke on her love for the male singer and not yet being ready to see Rihanna face-to-face.
"I do care about him and I do love him," she said about Brown. "Family is very important to me, and I've always put it in my mind to remember that. For me, I'd love to meet somebody and grow and build a foundation, but I don't want to even think about marriage right now. I can't even get a clothing line out. (laughs) ... For everybody, emotionally, that would just be way too much [if all three of us could sit down together]. I'm a very mature person so if the time ever did come where we would need to sit down and talk, I'd do it. I'm a mature person. I can work it out but that would be a lot. (Pause) Yeah, it would be a lot." (VIBE)
Over the past few weeks, Brown and Rihanna have been spotted on numerous outings together.
And just like that ... Rihanna's back where it all started ... Chris Brown's passenger seat. The on-again couple relived their past earlier today in L.A., where they picked up some refreshments -- including an Icee -- at a gas station convenience store. You'll recall, Rihanna was riding shotgun back in 2009 when CB unleashed a ferocious beatdown on her face -- but today, she was nothing but smiles. Oh yeah, that red sweatshirt she's wearing is Chris' clothing line -- Black Pyramid. (TMZ)

Alicia Keys to Sing National Anthem at Super Bowl

 Alicia Keys is adding her voice to the Super Bowl show for the third time.

The Grammy-winning R&B singer will perform the national anthem before the NFL championship game on Feb. 3 in New Orleans.

The league said Friday that Keys' three performances at the Super Bowl will be the most in the event's history. She sang "America the Beautiful" before the 2005 game, and was part of the pregame show in 2008.

Keys, who turns 32 next week, released her fifth studio album, "Girl on Fire," late last year.

The Super Bowl teams will be determined Sunday, when the San Francisco 49ers play the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship game, and the Baltimore Ravens face the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game.
The NFL said in October that Beyonce will be the star of the halftime show at this year's Super Bowl. She sang the national anthem at the 2004 NFL title game in her hometown of Houston.

Others who have performed the national anthem at past Super Bowls include "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson last year, as well as Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Neil Diamond and Mariah Carey.

At the 2011 Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers in Dallas, pop star Christina Aguilera flubbed a line while belting out the national anthem. When she was supposed to sing the words "O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming," Aguilera instead repeated an earlier line, with a slight variation - drawing plenty of attention on Twitter.


Veteran ABC News journalist Barbara Walters has been hospitalized in Washington, D.C. after falling at an inauguration party.
The 83-year-old newswoman reportedly had a misstep at the home of Britain's ambassador to the United States, Peter Westmacott, that left her with a cut on her forehead, ABC Newsspokesman Jeffrey Schneider said.
ABC News reports:
Walters, out of an abundance of caution, went to a hospital for treatment of the cut and for a full examination, Schneider said on Sunday. She was alert and was "telling everyone what to do, which we all take as a very positive sign," he said.
It was unclear when Walters might be released from the hospital, which ABC didn't identify.
TV-Barbara Walters.JPEG
In this Monday, April 23, 2012 photo, veteran... View Full Caption
Walters was TV news' first female superstar, making headlines in 1976 as a network anchor with an unprecedented $1 million annual salary. During more than three decades at ABC, and before that at NBC, her exclusive interviews with rulers, royalty and entertainers have brought her celebrity status. In 1997, she created "The View," a live weekday talk show that became an unexpected hit.
Walters had heart surgery in May 2010 but returned to active duty on "The View" that September, declaring, "I'm fine!"

Prince to Be Honored at Billboard Music Awards on May 19

The 2013 Billboard Music Awards are returning to Las Vegas on Sunday, May 19 and will honor the legendary artist Prince during a live ABC broadcast from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Prince will be honored with the Billboard Icon Award and is set to deliver what will likely be an unforgettable performance during the broadcast, produced by Don Mischer and sponsored by Chevrolet and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The "Purple Rain" singer-songwriter-musician follows the 2012 Icon recipient, Stevie Wonder, who received a multi-tiered tribute led by Alicia Keys.

Also at last year's event, Adele dominated with twelve awards, including Top Artist , Pop Artist and Female Artist, while LMFAO followed with six nods, including for Hot 100 Song of the Year ("Party Rock Anthem"). The show featured over 15 live performances from some of the biggest names in music, including Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Usher and Justin Bieber.

The star-studded telecast resulted in a ratings win for ABC, attracting its second-largest audience since 2003 and trumping NBC's season finale of "Celebrity Apprentice" by 27% among all age groups.

The awards will reflect Billboard's chart rankings based on key fan interactions with music, including album sales and downloads, track downloads, radio airplay and touring as well as streaming and social interactions on Facebook, Twitter, Vevo, Youtube, Spotify and other popular online destinations for music. These measurements are tracked year-round by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Entertainment and Next Big Sound. The awards will be based on the reporting period of Feb. 27, 2012 through Feb. 24, 2013. Top artists will be recognized in a variety of genres, including R&B, Rap, Pop, Country, Rock, Latin and Alternative.

Stay tuned for more announcements on performers, presenters and more for the May 19 airing of the 2013 Billboard Music Awards on ABC.