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Maya Rudolph to return to TV with star-studded variety show

April 16th, 2014 3:10am EDT
Maya Rudolph
Former Saturday Night Live star Maya Rudolph is heading back to TV with her own star-studded variety show.

The comedienne will front The Maya Rudolph Show, a one-off special that executives at America's NBC network have described as a revival of the classic variety show format.

Rudolph has recruited some of her former SNL co-stars to appear on the programme, including Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen and Chris Parnell, as well as actors Sean Hayes, Kristen Bell and The Office's Craig Robinson.

Janelle Monae is set to serve as the musical guest, with soul legend Raphael Saadiq serving as bandle...

Janelle Monáe won't dress sexily

March 23rd, 2014 5:20am EDT
Janelle Monae
Janelle Monáe doesn't want to dress sexily.
The 'Tightrope' singer feels her voice should be the main focus of people's attention when they are watching her perform, rather than her body.
She said: "There are no women who perform fully clothed - still to this day there aren't. To me, that was a problem, to say 'If you want to be in the music industry, you need to be able to sell sex' ... I want to be in control of my body. I don't ever want a man or a woman to tell me to dress that way. I think its up to me."
Janelle, 28, also said she never takes too long thinking about her stage costume...

Lorde: Prince is 'a big deal'

February 20th, 2014 2:20am EST
Lorde thinks Prince is "a big deal".
The 17-year-old singer triumphed at the BRIT Awards last night (02.19.14) after being crowd the Best International Female, and she admits she was frozen on the spot when the 'Purple Rain' hitmaker and his new band 3RDEYEGIRL walked past her backstage.
Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, she said : "Prince walked past me in the corridor that was the craziest moment ever, sheer surprise, he's a big deal."
The 'Royals' hitmaker fought off stiff competition from Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Pink and Janelle Monae, but she insists she never expected to win being ...

One Direction to appear on 'Sesame Street'

January 22nd, 2014 12:20pm EST
Niall Horan
One Direction are to appear on 'Sesame Street'.
The British boy band put an educational spin on their debut single 'What Makes You Beautiful' for their upcoming appearance on the iconic children's program next season, in order to help young kids learn the alphabet.
In a preview clip posted to Youtube, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson pay tribute to the letter "U" by singing along to the track which lists words that begin with letter while a puppet appears alongside them.
Harry declares on the track: "26 letters are in the alphabet, but we're here to sin...

Sir Paul McCartney parties with wife

January 19th, 2014 6:20pm EST
Nancy Shevell
Sir Paul McCartney only had eyes for his wife Nancy Shevell at Michelle Obama's 50th birthday party.
The couple, who tied the knot in 2011, were among the 500 guests at the US first lady's star-studded bash at the White House in Washington D.C. on Saturday night (01.18.14), where the 'Live and Let Die' hitmaker, 71, declined all other invitations to hit the dance-floor in favor of boogying the night away with his businesswoman spouse, 54.
A source told People.com: "Sir Paul didn't allow many people to come between him and his bride. He came to party! He pulled his jacket off, put it at Vale...

Janelle Monae lives out Sesame Street dream with guest appearance

January 14th, 2014 3:10am EST
Sesame Street
R&B star Janelle Monae has ticked off one of her lifelong dreams after filming an appearance on beloved children's TV show Sesame Street.

The Tightrope hitmaker was invited to take a walk down Sesame Street last month (Dec13) to teach the puppet characters all about the importance of perseverance and she performed a song, titled The Power of Yet, to help illustrate the life lesson.

During the shoot, she told Billboard.com, "I am so excited to be living one of my dreams - to be here on Sesame Street. I'm here because I am teaching everybody on Sesame Street the importance and the power of ...

The 51 Best Albums Of 2013 - What Made Your List?

December 30th, 2013 6:00pm EST
Daft Punk
Ranking the very best albums of any year is incredibly difficult; there are always misses. 2013 was filled with some triumphant musical moments, though not all of their parent albums were necessarily ‘worthy’ of being considered the best of the year. Because of various factors, this list has its surprises and like any album reviewed, its triumphs and flaws. One thing’s for sure – the top ten to fifteen albums are pretty close to the cream of the crop from my perspective. Here are the 50 (+1) best albums of 2013!

1) Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

The Ivy Leaguers outdo th...

25 Best R&B Albums Of 2013

December 27th, 2013 6:30pm EST
It truly saddens me to see R&B, a personal favorite style of music, in a state of uncertainty.  2013 found the numbers of R&B down considerably, a trend that is consistent year in and year out. Save for a select few commercial bright spots (led by an unexpected Beyoncé album), R&B only dented the charts. Even so, finding 25 albums with some significance wasn’t difficult to do.  Sure, some of the lowest ranked albums have their flaws, but each has some reason for being selected.  Enjoy!

1) Janelle Monáe - The Electric Lady
Bad Boy

In a world where R&B and soul music have cooled off consid...

Eminem demands $2m for Super Bowl gig

December 20th, 2013 6:20am EST
Eminem reportedly refused to perform at a Super Bowl party unless he was paid $2 million.
The 'Monster' rapper is said to have been approached to play a concert at the NFL Owners Party during Super Bowl week in 2014.
According to TMZ, the offer was for Eminem to perform a set of his greatest hits for 1,500 guests following a lavish dinner, but organizers were forced to find a replacement act after the rapper demanded the hefty fee
Reps for the event were also eyeing a performance from Kanye West only to find that his fee was also out of budget.
A source revealed: "(For Kanye) it was $1 mill...

Pink & Janelle Monae saluted at Billboard Women of the Year luncheon

December 10th, 2013 8:30pm EST
Janelle Monae
Pink and Janelle Monae were honoured for their musical achievements at Billboard's Women In Music luncheon in New York on Tuesday (10Dec13).

Pink picked up the Woman of the Year trophy, while Monae was named the 2013 Rising Star.

Accepting her latest accolade Trouble singer Pink admitted she was shocked when she learned she had been selected as the publication's top woman.

She said, "These are names that popped into my head, and not just music, but Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, or Miley Cyrus, if you're high as s**t and you have a thing for tongues.

"You don't think, 'Oh yeah, Woman ...

Janelle Monae axes gigs due to vocal issues

November 6th, 2013 3:10am EST
Janelle Monae
Singer Janelle Monae has become the latest star to stall a new tour after falling ill.

The stylish R&B star has been forced to postpone three dates on her tour, which was scheduled to start on Tuesday night (05Nov13) in Anaheim, California after doctors ordered her to rest up to save her voice.

Announcing the news on her website on Tuesday afternoon, Monae wrote, "Unfortunately, this diagnosis means I will have to postpone my coming concerts in Anaheim, San Diego and Phoenix, a fact which truly leaves me heartsick and shaken because I live for this: connecting with you and giving you a on...

12 Songs For Lovers – A Soundtrack That Will Boost Any Relationship

October 26th, 2013 4:00pm EDT
Janelle featuring Miguel primetime
Love songs can be so touching and certainly can propel any relationship (and in some cases hookups).  I have constructed a list of 12 ‘love’ songs that have the emotional and physical connection between lovers in mind… or something like that!  I attempted to make some narrative, but like most soundtracks, they’re all over the place anyways!

Track 1

Raheem DeVaughn, “Complicated”

(A Place Called Love Land)

As we know, no one relationship is ‘cut and dry’ by any means; all are their own diverse entity.  Among Raheem DeVaughn’s best tracks on his underrated indie-R&B album A Place Called L...

2013 Album Playlist: Favorites, Least Favorites, and Honorable Mentions - Part 1

October 11th, 2013 9:15pm EDT
The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2
As I look over my 2013 playlist from my iPod, I realize I have listened to numerous albums this year.  In fact, the amount of music that my ears have consumed and my pen has analyzed is pretty scary…and I still missed lots of albums! SMH! Some were special, some made me cringe, and some fell somewhere in between the two extremes.  As difficult as it was, as of October 7, 2013, I have compiled a list housing my favorites, least favorites, and honorable mentions.  I’m almost certain I’ve slighted someone and I’m sure there will be continual revisions, but for now, here’s what you should’ve sp...

Earth, Wind and Fire want to work with Maroon 5

October 11th, 2013 1:10am EDT
Earth, Wind & Fire want to work with Maroon 5.
The legendary 'Boogie Wonderland' funk band are big fans of the 'Moves Like Jagger' group as well as neo-soul singer Janelle Monáe, and keep up to date with all the latest musical trends through their grandchildren.
The band's Philip Bailey told BANG Showbiz: "I love Janelle Monáe and would love to collaborate with her. I'd also like to do something with Maroon 5. That would be fun.
"There are so many other people I respect too, Stevie Wonder is a wonder. For real. I like to be inspired by my fellow musicians.
"I love classical jazz but I have...

Playlist: 5 Favorite September 2013 Albums

September 30th, 2013 2:15pm EDT
Janelle Monae
September 2013 yielded a number of notable new music releases. As a blogger, music journalist and critic, I found it incredibly difficult to make the time to listen to the over abundance of music provided. That said, I am so glad for there to be an over abundance as opposed to an under-abundance. While all of the albums I listened to left me with something special and a new jam to add to my playlists on my iPod, I chose five albums that stuck with me for various reasons.  If you haven’t partaken of these, you should definitely check them out!

5. Kings Of Leon, Mechanical Bull

Who thought ...

Review: Janelle Monae Scores A Home Run On 'The Electric Lady'

September 24th, 2013 10:20pm EDT
Janelle Monae
Merely calling Janelle Monáe one of a kind would be a total understatement, like really.  Janelle Monáe is one of a handful of R&B artists who brings something truly different, fresh, and eclectic to the table.  Incredibly nonconformist, Monáe beats to her own drummer, from the tuxedo she swears by to the bombastic, illustrious tunes she captivates us with.  Her second full-length album (third if you include her debut EP in that conversation) The Electric Lady shows no fall-off for Monáe – girlfriend’s got it y’all.  Perhaps most shocking about the album is that she was able to get Prince t...

Janelle Monae in awe at superstar pal Prince

September 15th, 2013 8:40pm EDT
Janelle Monae was left stunned by her new duet partner Prince after the superstar entrusted the young soul singer to produce their collaboration without his help.

The Tightrope star teamed up with the Purple Rain icon for the song Givin' 'Em What They Love for her new album, The Electric Lady, and Monae admits she was shocked when perfectionist Prince left her in charge of fine-tuning the track.

She tells the New York Post, "I'm still pinching myself in disbelief. (Prince) doesn't do a lot of collaborations, let alone let people produce him. But he wanted me to be in control of the mixing...

Janelle Monae: 'Showing Skin Is Not What Makes Me Sexy'

April 4th, 2013 11:28am EDT
Janelle Monae
Singer Janelle Monae adopted her signature suit and tie look to set a good example for young female fans, declaring, "Showing skin is not what makes me sexy."

The R&B star, who is known for her masculine dress sense, made a conscious decision at the start of her career not to flash her flesh in a bid to conform to traditional ideas of sex appeal.

She tells Essence magazine, "People don't ask Jay-Z to take his shirt off when he rhymes. (I want to) redefine what it means to be sexy and what it means to be a woman. Showing my skin is not what makes me sexy. I like skirts and dresses just l...

Janelle Monae Named The New Face Of Covergirl

August 15th, 2012 4:51pm EDT
Janelle Monae
Singer Janelle Monae has become the new face of CoverGirl.

The stylish hit-maker will join the likes of P!nk, Taylor Swift and Drew Barrymore in new commercials for the cosmetics firm.

Monae says, "Becoming a CoverGirl is truly an honor and a gift. It opens up a new platform for me to inspire women to feel stronger, braver and more beautiful inside and out."

Her first adverts for CoverGirl will debut in the September issue of Vogue magazine.

Celebrities Raise $1.4 Million For AIDS Research

February 10th, 2012 10:45am EST
Lindsay Lohan
Stars including Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Jessica Parker and Julianne Moore turned out to help raise more than $1.4 million for Elizabeth Taylor's AIDS charity at a gala in New York on Wednesday.

The event at Manhattan's Cipriani Wall Street was hosted by Sex and the City star Parker to benefit Taylor's American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and included performances by rapper Theophilius London, R&B star Janelle Monae and opera singer Michelle Johnson.

The bash also featured an auction in which a portrait of Richard Gere, taken by late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, sold for $20,000...

Obama Requests Song During Janelle Monae's White House Show

October 14th, 2011 7:13pm EDT
Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae was astonished when President Barack Obama asked her to perform his favorite track during her show at a White House state dinner this week.

The R&B star was invited to entertain 220 guests at the American leader's temporary home during a special event honoring South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Thursday.

And she was left stunned when the president and his wife, First Lady Michelle, made a personal request for her to sing her hit song "Tightrope."

In a post on Facebook, Monae writes, "Just performed (at) The WHITE HOUSE for the State Dinner!!!!! President Obama and Firs...

Mya Offers Up Dinner Date For Charity

June 14th, 2011 3:39pm EDT
Mya Harrison
R&B singer Mya is giving one wealthy fan the chance to win an intimate dinner date with the sexy star as part of a charity auction.

The Case of the Ex hit-maker, who previously dated rapper The Game, has offered up a night in her company for the CharityBuzz.com sale.

The lot, valued at $2,500, will raise money for the North Shore Animal League America - an animal rescue organization.

Singer/songwriter Janelle Monae is also taking part in the online sale and has offered bidders the opportunity to meet her backstage at a concert of their choice.

Her prize will benefit the Alzheimer's ...

40th Anniversary Tributes And Releases For Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' Planned

May 12th, 2011 11:30pm EDT
Marvin Gaye
Soul legend Marvin Gaye's groundbreaking "What's Going On?" album is set for a 40th anniversary celebration featuring re-releases, rare cuts and celebrity tributes.

The classic hit stores on May 21, 1971 and quickly became one of the most important albums ever released, featuring a reflective Gaye musing on the troubles of the day.

The album spawned the hits "What's Going On, Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" and "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)."

To celebrate the anniversary, record label Motown is releasing "What's Going On" - Super Deluxe Edition, which features two CDs and one vi...

Katy Perry Announces More 'California Dreams' Shows; Teams Up With Twitter (Tour Dates)

April 18th, 2011 9:42pm EDT
Katy Perry
Pop superstar Katy Perry has announced a series of brand-new U.S. dates on her California Dreams 2011 World Tour sponsored by Shick Quattro for Women. The new shows commence on September 7 following on the heels of the summer North American leg of the tour, which kicks off Stateside on June 7th in Atlanta and runs through August 14th with two shows in Katy's Santa Barbara hometown. Katy just wrapped sold-out dates in the U.K. before heading to sold-out shows in Australia, New Zealand and Japan in May. North American dates feature a rotating group of exciting openers, including Robyn, Janel...

Fashion At The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards - Who Looked The Best?

February 14th, 2011 8:43am EST
Grammy Awards fashion
As we previously reported, the ladies ruled the Grammy Awards last night. And several stars stood out on the red carpet with their fashionable attire.

Katy Perry showed up with her grandmother wearing angel wings, while Lady Gaga made an appearance in an egg.

Cee Lo Green performed with muppets and Gwyneth Paltrow in a bird-like costume, while Rihanna teased with a ruffled number that strategically hid her softer parts.

Check out the fashion below, and tell us who your favorites are. (See the list of winners here!)

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga arriving in an egg

Jennifer Lopez

Justin Bi...

Lauryn Hill: 'I Personally Know I'm Worth The Wait'

January 4th, 2011 5:24pm EST
Lauryn Hill
Hip-hop diva Lauryn Hill showed no remorse after keeping devotees waiting for almost four hours at a recent comeback concert in New York, telling disgruntled fans she was "worth the wait."

The reclusive singer was due to return to the stage to kick off her first U.S. tour in years on December 27th, but the show at Manhattan's Highline Ballroom had to be postponed after a heavy snow storm brought transport in the Big Apple to a standstill. She went ahead with her second scheduled gig, at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg, on December 28th, and drew a crowd including soul superstar Prin...

Who Had The Best Album Of 2010?

December 24th, 2010 4:00pm EST
Kanye west
Kanye West's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" has topped another important end-of-year albums poll after landing the honor from Spin magazine's editors.

The acclaimed album was named the best of 2010 ahead of Deerhunter's "Halcyon Digest" and "The Suburbs" by Arcade Fire.

LCD Soundsystem's "This is Happening" and Jamey Johnson's "The Guitar Song" round out the Spin top five, while albums from M.I.A., Kid Cudi, Janelle Monae, Grinderman and Robyn make the top 10.

Cee Lo Green's R-Rated Hit Tops Spin Magazine's 2010 Pop Poll

December 9th, 2010 9:51pm EST
Cee-Lo Green
Cee-Lo Green's naughty hit "F--- You" has topped music magazine Spin's poll of 2010 hits.

The quirky tune beat out Arcade Fire's Ready To Start and Power by Kanye West in the first definitive end-of-year pop poll.

Rapper West's Runaway also makes the top 10, as does LCD Soundsystem's All I Want and Helicopter by Deerhunter.

The top 10 is:

1. "F--- You" by Cee Lo Green
2. "Ready To Start" by Arcade Fire
3. "Power" by Kanye West
4. "All I Want" by LCD Soundsystem
5. "Hitchhiker" by Neil Young
6. "Helicopter" by Deerhunter
7. "Runaway" by Kanye West
8. "Cry When You Get Older" by Robyn
9. ...

Alicia Keys & Usher Lead Soul Train Nominations

October 18th, 2010 10:25pm EDT
Alicia Keys
New mom Alicia Keys has something else to celebrate after learning she has been nominated for four Soul Train Awards.

The "No One" singer gave birth to her first child, Egypt, on Friday, and now she's leading the way at the soul and R&B prizegiving, which is due to take place in Atlanta, Georgia on November 10.

Usher also landed four nominations, while Drake scored three. Monica, Nicki Minaj and Sade were among the double nominees.

Ronald Isley and Anita Baker will be the recipients of special career achievement awards at the event, which will be hosted by "Hustle & Flow" co-stars Terren...

Alicia Keys' Star-Studded Gala Raises $2.4 Million For Charity (Pics)

October 2nd, 2010 12:54pm EDT
Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys and her superstar pals Jay-Z, Beyonce, Whitney Houston and Usher have helped to raise a massive $2.4 million for the R&B singer's children's charity.

The "No One" star staged the seventh annual Keep A Child Alive Black Ball in New York on Thursday night to generate funds for kids and families in Africa and India affected by HIV and AIDS.

A heavily pregnant Keys, a co-founder of Keep A Child Alive, performed at the event, teaming up for a duet with Sade and with Jay-Z for a rendition of their smash hit Empire State of Mind, while singer/songwriter Janelle Monae also took to the...

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