Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ke$ha Says Rihanna 'Meant Absolutely No Offense'

'I'm so used to the media flipping my words around,' singer tells Complex.
By James Dinh


Ke$ha on the December 2010 issue of <i>Complex</i>
Photo: Complex

Pop-star rivalry has been around for years. Whether it was Britney vs. Christina or Mariah vs. Whitney, there's always been an underlying competition between your favorite female pop singers. But don't expect any animosity between today's stars, at least not from Ke$ha.

The wilding-out singer, who's the latest Complex cover girl, spoke with the magazine about her pop-star peers, including Rihanna, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

"I actually think that's cool," the singer said of the female stars she's being compared to. "Out of that group of chicks, I'm the new bitch on the block, so I'm still getting used to being compared to some of the biggest pop stars in the world, but I don't take any offense to it. That just means people know my records."

Earlier this year, Ke$ha teamed up with Rihanna for the Barbadian bombshell's girl-power trek, the Last Girl on Earth Tour. Despite the duo's pairing, the blogosphere went into a fury when Rihanna recently revealed that she "didn't want the generic pop record that Ke$ha or Lady Gaga or Katy Perry could do."

The party-loving pop star admitted that she hadn't even read the quote, suggesting that the media may have taken Rih's comments out of context.

"I'm so used to the media flipping my words around that I'm sure she meant absolutely no offense to me or Katy or Gaga," said the singer. "Rihanna and me are totally cool, we were just on tour together, and I know that she and Katy are good friends. I don't take any offense because I'm sure it's bullsh-- anyway."

Based on the garbage-bag ensemble she wore to this year's MTV Video Music Awards, it seems that Ke$ha could care less about other people's opinions. "I was trying to look super-hot," she said. "I like to poke fun at when people make fun of me, because I don't take myself that seriously. People say I'm 'garbage chic,' so I thought I'd take it to the next level and make a garbage bag super f---ing chic — and I succeeded!"

As for now, the singer is focusing on her recently released Cannibal, a companion album to her debut, Animal.

Do you think there's competition between any of today's pop stars? Share your thoughts below!

Open the floodgates! It's Mega-Release Week, with Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Ke$ha, My Chemical Romance and Lloyd Banks all dropping new albums. Stick with MTV News for everything you need to know about the brand-new music.

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Usher's VMA Performance Proves He's Still King: Making The Show

Singer held back at rehearsals, harnessing his energy for Sunday's show.
By Jayson Rodriguez


Usher performs at the 2010 VMAs
Photo: Kevin Mazur/ Getty Images

The King is back!

Usher thrilled the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night with his stunning combination performance of "OMG" and "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love."

The singer moved and grooved, proving that he's the R&B star that everyone pays attention to for the big moments.

After a lukewarm reception to his previous album, the singer busted back onto the charts and radio with his latest set, Raymond v. Raymond, and he's been proving doubters wrong since its release.

"We all sat in a room and came up with a concept for the stage, and then we took that concept to Usher," VMA executive producer Dave Sirulnick told MTV News about the star's setup. "We said to him, 'We want to do the best televised dance routine that you've done in years. Let's show why you're the king.' "

Usher handily delivered.

Durng his rehearsals he was as focused as Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant on the eve of game seven for the championship.

His choreographer led the way with Usher's backup dancers while the "OMG" star looked on intently; he only jumped in a handful of times, instead choosing to harness his energy for Sunday night's big show.

The crooner has ruled the charts in the past with a mix of uptempo grooves and slow-burning ballads.

But Usher has reinvented himself this year with the will.i.am dance tune "OMG" and his latest single, "DJ Got Us Falling in Love."

Usher plays to win, and after his stirring performance it's clear that the crown still rests securely on his head.

The Moonmen have all been handed out and the stars have gone home, but there's plenty of 2010 MTV Video Music Awards news, interviews, behind-the-scenes scoop, party reports and more still to come, so keep it locked on MTVNews.com.

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Michael Jackson's Michael Track Listing Reveals Akon, 50 Cent Collabos

Akon collaboration, 'Hold My Hand,' will debut Monday.
By Jocelyn Vena


Michael Jackson's <i>Michael</i>
Photo: Epic Records

Michael Jackson fans are eagerly awaiting the December 14 arrival of his posthumous release, simply called Michael, and on Friday (November 12), the album's official track listing was unveiled. Michael will feature appearances by 50 Cent and Lenny Kravitz, as well as a collaboration with Akon called "Hold My Hand" that's set to debut on Monday (November 15).

"Hold My Hand" will be Michael's lead track. According to an official announcement, Jackson had intended for the song to be the first official release off the album. His label, Sony, and the executors of his estate reportedly have a handwritten note from the singer in which he shares that wish. Another tune, "Breaking News," began streaming on his website this past Monday as a preview for the album.

An early take of "Hold My Hand" was leaked in 2008, but Akon says the version that appears on Michael is the definite one. "The world was not ready to hear 'Hold My Hand' when it leaked a couple years ago. We were devastated about it," Akon explained. "But its time has definitely come; now in its final state, it has become an incredible, beautiful, anthemic song. I'm so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all time idols."

In 2007, Akon spoke to MTV News about working with Jackson on music, including "Hold My Hand." "Just to be in the same room [with him], I felt like everything I wanted to achieve in life had already been achieved," Akon said. "That's how incredible that aura [is]. We about to shake the world up, man ... You know how you be with somebody and you can't even explain [the feeling]? I used to always sit and wonder, 'How does somebody sell so many records and dominate a whole business genre to a point where nobody can't be a part of that without associating [with him]?' The way he thinks ... some artists think regional, some think national, I was thinking international, 'til I met him. He thinks planet. It's on another level."

The cover art for Michael was released earlier this month. The painting by Kadir Nelson takes fans on a fantasy ride through the greatest moments of MJ's solo career. MTV News recently decoded the Jackson images and references that make up the album art including several iterations of Jackson ranging from Thriller-era Jackson right through to the singer wearing a crown, an obvious reference to his moniker as the King of Pop.

Here is the complete track list for Michael Jackson's Michael, according to Sony Music Entertainment:

»"Hold My Hand" (Duet with Akon)
»"Hollywood Tonight"
»"Keep Your Head Up"
»"(I Like) The Way You Love Me"
»"Monster" (Featuring 50 Cent)
»"Best of Joy"
»"Breaking News"
»"(I Can't Make It) Another Day" (Featuring Lenny Kravitz)
»"Behind the Mask"
»"Much Too Soon"

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Usher Most Admires Justin Bieber's 'Excitement And Innocence'

Bieber's mentor tells MTV News the teen sensation has 'so much more in store for the future.'
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Tim Kash


Usher and Justin Bieber at the 2010 AMAs
Photo: Jason Merritt/ Getty Images

With so much accomplished in 2010, Justin Bieber has certainly set the bar high for 2011. But the teen singer is already gearing up for next year. Bieber will not only release his much-anticipated 3-D flick, "Never Say Never", but he has also teased that he'd like to release an album of all-new material sometime later next year.

His mentor, Usher, thinks that at this point, the sky's the limit.

"As far as music and entertainment, that's the beginning," Usher told MTV News at Sunday's AMAs, where Bieber performed and took home four awards.

"There's so much more in store for the future, or at least there's a ton of things we can do and will, and with the support of his fans who will continue to just grow and grow and grow."

At 16, Bieber has accomplished what few manage with many more years in the music business, but Usher said he wants to ensure that Bieber doesn't stop enjoying it all as his popularity continues to grow and his schedule gets busier.

Asked what he admires most about Justin, Usher said, "His excitement and innocence in it. And I don't mean that in a light way because I think that he's absolutely enjoying every moment of it, as any young man his age would, but in a different way because [of] the hard work that has gone in and led to the dream that has become a reality. And every time you have an opportunity do something incredible, I tell him to do his best and be conscious that what you're doing today should last forever and eternity."

What did you think of Justin's AMA performance on Sunday? Tell us in the comments!

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Britney Spears Tweets About 'Glee' Tribute Episode

'I loved it!' writes the pop star, who also thanked fans and shared her thoughts on the show's covers.
By James Dinh


Britney Spears and Heather Morris on the set of "Glee"
Photo: FOX

Britney Spears fans are a force to be reckoned with. Earlier this year, they campaigned for an episode of "Glee" to be dedicated solely to their favorite pop princess. And after much anticipation, on Tuesday night the students of McKinley High shimmied, crooned and danced their way in tribute to the entertainer. The singer took to Twitter to thank her fans for their efforts and shared her thoughts on the program, titled "Britney/Brittany," and its covers of her songs.

"I loved it! Thank you guys SO much for making this happen!" Britney tweeted. In particular, the star seemed to enjoy the renditions of her classic tunes, saying, "I love this version of Stronger. Artie did a great job," and "The GLEE version of Toxic is amazing!"

While some of the McKinley High students — including Cheerio cheerleader Brittany S. Pearce (played by Heather Morris) — went into anesthesia--induced dream sequences to channel their inner Britney, Spears herself emerged throughout the episode's hallucinogenic fantasies. Appearing as Madonna's character at the end of "Me Against the Music," a high-school teacher in "... Baby One More Time" and a fellow cheerleader, the singer remained a source of inspiration for the Gleekers.

Spears gave kudos to co-star Morris, saying, "Awww Heather Morris is sooo cute! Brittany S Pearce. Ha! She was so fun to work with and was really sweet in person."

The singer not only applauded Morris' friendliness, but also her rendition of "I'm a Slave 4 U." She wrote of the sultry production, "Slave: Oh ... My ... God ...! Those little boys are SO cute! I know how hard it is to dance with that snake! Nice job." The pop star also was surprised at how well the show re-created the music video set of her 2003 Madonna duet, "Me Against the Music," pointing out that it "looks just like the original," and adding, "Santana does a great Madonna impression."

As the students walked Spears through memory lane, Lea Michele's cover of "... Baby One More Time" also had the singer reminiscing. "Watching Baby brings back so many memories! Feels like yesterday," she explained.

John Stamos also made a guest appearance in the episode, as the dentist who sends the Gleeks into Britney world. Spears made it clear that the 47-year-old actor looks as good as he did during his heyday. "John Stamos is still hot! He looks the same as he did on Full House," she tweeted.

As with many "Glee" fans, Britney found a pleasantly odd interest in Jane Lynch, who plays the aggressive cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester, describing the actress as "hilarious and scary all rolled into one."

Spears wasn't the only one who enjoyed filming the tribute episode — the "Glee" castmembers recently dished on working with the star. Morris told Australian magazine TV Week that the singer was her childhood inspiration. "She was my idol from, like, age 12 to 16," she said. "I sang to her [songs] in my living room and danced to her — I learned all her moves. And I had my talent shows and I lip-synched to her. I just kept flashing back to growing up and being obsessed with her."

Naya Rivera, who plays Santana, also spoke highly of the pop icon. "I love Britney Spears. I mean, who doesn't? We all grew up with her," she proclaimed in a promo video for the show. "The first music purchase I ever made was '... Baby One More Time' on cassette. [It was like], 'Britney Spears is going to be in my mitts, what do I do?' [And I was like], 'Hi Britney!' And then she was like, 'Hey!' She was awesome and beautiful. She was, like, magical."

What did you think of the Britney-themed episode? Sound off in the comments!

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Monday, November 29, 2010

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Ke$ha Says Rihanna 'Meant Absolutely No Offense'

'I'm so used to the media flipping my words around,' singer tells Complex.
By James Dinh


Ke$ha on the December 2010 issue of <i>Complex</i>
Photo: Complex

Pop-star rivalry has been around for years. Whether it was Britney vs. Christina or Mariah vs. Whitney, there's always been an underlying competition between your favorite female pop singers. But don't expect any animosity between today's stars, at least not from Ke$ha.

The wilding-out singer, who's the latest Complex cover girl, spoke with the magazine about her pop-star peers, including Rihanna, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

"I actually think that's cool," the singer said of the female stars she's being compared to. "Out of that group of chicks, I'm the new bitch on the block, so I'm still getting used to being compared to some of the biggest pop stars in the world, but I don't take any offense to it. That just means people know my records."

Earlier this year, Ke$ha teamed up with Rihanna for the Barbadian bombshell's girl-power trek, the Last Girl on Earth Tour. Despite the duo's pairing, the blogosphere went into a fury when Rihanna recently revealed that she "didn't want the generic pop record that Ke$ha or Lady Gaga or Katy Perry could do."

The party-loving pop star admitted that she hadn't even read the quote, suggesting that the media may have taken Rih's comments out of context.

"I'm so used to the media flipping my words around that I'm sure she meant absolutely no offense to me or Katy or Gaga," said the singer. "Rihanna and me are totally cool, we were just on tour together, and I know that she and Katy are good friends. I don't take any offense because I'm sure it's bullsh-- anyway."

Based on the garbage-bag ensemble she wore to this year's MTV Video Music Awards, it seems that Ke$ha could care less about other people's opinions. "I was trying to look super-hot," she said. "I like to poke fun at when people make fun of me, because I don't take myself that seriously. People say I'm 'garbage chic,' so I thought I'd take it to the next level and make a garbage bag super f---ing chic — and I succeeded!"

As for now, the singer is focusing on her recently released Cannibal, a companion album to her debut, Animal.

Do you think there's competition between any of today's pop stars? Share your thoughts below!

Open the floodgates! It's Mega-Release Week, with Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Ke$ha, My Chemical Romance and Lloyd Banks all dropping new albums. Stick with MTV News for everything you need to know about the brand-new music.

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Beyonce Can't Pick Her Favorite Jay-Z Song

'I can't tell you which one is my favorite. It's just too many,' singer tells MTV News.
By Jocelyn Vena


Beyoncé arrives at her "I Am ... World Tour" DVD screening on Sunday
Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Jay-Z is letting fans into his world with two major releases this month. He just published his book, "Decoded," in which he takes a closer look at his career, and on Monday (November 22), Hova is releasing a greatest-hits album, The Hits Collection, Volume 1.

The album features Jay's most memorable tunes, including "Big Pimpin'," "Hard Knock Life," "99 Problems" and his collabo with his superstar wife, Beyoncé, "03' Bonnie & Clyde."

But when MTV News caught up with Bey Sunday at a New York screening for her DVD concert special, "I Am ... World Tour," she admitted that "Bonnie & Clyde" isn't her favorite Jay-Z track.

"God, that's not my favorite, even though I like it," she laughed. "I can't tell you which one is my favorite. It's just too many. You're putting me on the spot!"

While the pair may be releasing fresh products at the same time, the singer insists there is no competition in the Carter-Knowles household.

"No absolutely not, [there is no competition]," she told reporters at the DVD event, going on to praise "Decoded." "That book is unbelievable, and I think we're all really proud of it. And this DVD [out this] Thanksgiving — it's the holiday season of everyone's [material] coming out."

The DVD shows a new, more intimate side of the usually private Beyoncé, and Jay-Z admits that his book also sheds new light on his persona and career. "A lot of people listen to music, but they don't really listen to it," he explained. "You may know the words and you may bop your head to it, but you don't really understand what you're singing."

Open the floodgates! It's Mega-Release Week, with Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Ke$ha, My Chemical Romance and Lloyd Banks all dropping new albums. Stick with MTV News for everything you need to know about the brand-new music.

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The Situation Hopes To Go From 'Jersey Shore' To Big Screen

'I would have to say that I'm looking forward to possibly doing a movie or so,' he hints to MTV News at the American Music Awards.
By Gil Kaufman, with reporting by Tim Kash


Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino
Photo: Todd Williamson/ WireImage

He's got his own clothing line, a book, a couple of moneymaking trademark phrases, a hilarious abstinence commercial with Bristol Palin, a hit TV show, a couple mill in the bank and, of course, those abs. But what "Jersey Shore" breakout star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino really wants to do is ... act.

MTV News caught up with the former underwear model on the red carpet at Sunday night's American Music Awards, where the Sitch told us he's got his eye on jumping to the big screen.

"In the upcoming year, I would have to say that I'm looking forward to possibly doing a movie or so," Sorrentino said. Asked what kind or roles he's coveting, the onetime "Dancing With the Stars" contestant teased, "I want to surprise everybody. They might be coming to something soon."

While an action movie would seem to be the way to go for the buff GTL fanatic, Sitch was cagey on that angle, saying it could be a shoot-'em-up situation — or something entirely different. "It could be something in the middle. I don't know. ... Hopefully it works out. Other than that, there could be also some reality in the future as well. I'm right in between, I don't know. I'm like in college right now, about to graduate. I don't know what's going on. Maybe I'll stay another year, maybe I'll graduate, I don't know."

In the meantime, he's focused on hawking his book, "Here's the Situation: A Guide to Creeping on Chicks, Avoiding Grenades, and Getting in Your GTL on the Jersey Shore," and he recently told MTV News that the sky's the limit for him.

"I've realized what I want to do in life in that I just love being in front of the camera," he said. "I love being an entertainer. It's almost been a lifelong journey to find out what I wanted to do. I'm so happy to be here, and everything's been going great."

What kind of movie would you like to see the Situation in? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Usher Remembers Being A 'Pizza Face' On 'When I Was 17'

'I had really, really bad acne ' he admits in Saturday's episode.
By Mawuse Ziegbe


Usher on "When I Was 17"
Photo: MTV News

He's known as one of the smoothest R&B sensations to grace the stage, but when Usher was 17, he grappled with a far less flattering image.

"I went through this phase where I had really, really bad acne," the singer admits on the latest episode of "When I Was 17," premiering Saturday at 11 a.m. Usher, who was 17 in 1995, reveals with a grin that his nickname was "Pizza Face."

"His acne was so horrible," recalled one of Usher's more blunt friends, Keith. "His face was so jacked up."

Music mogul and producer Jermaine Dupri remembered how the entertainer's spotty complexion led him to shy away from the spotlight.

"He didn't want to go out. He wanted to stay in," Dupri says. "He was a little ashamed of what was going on with his face."

The singer went to extreme, and ultimately unsuccessful, lengths to disguise his breakouts.

"As a dude, you're not gonna put makeup on your face, right?" Usher said. "I tried that, it didn't even work."

He may have experimented with cosmetics and spent a few more nights at home but the multiplatinum star didn't let his acne hold him back from wooing the ladies. "I was 17, so I would still try to talk to girls [and] get past it," Usher reasoned.

He even had some smooth lines to drop when he wanted to draw attention away from his skin. " 'Don't look at that, look at my eyes, baby. I'm trying to say something real serious to you right here,' " Usher recalled, reenacting his complexion-deflecting dating moves. "I know I have pizza face, I don't care."

In the end, his skin cleared up and the singer said it was just a matter of riding out a rite passage that many teens are forced to endure.

"This is something that all 17-year-olds have to deal with," Usher said. "You can't run away from it."

— this week featuring B.o.B, Usher and Ne-Yo — premieres Saturday at 11 a.m. on MTV

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

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Beyonce's Parents, Mathew And Tina Knowles, Skip Divorce Hearing

Tina filed for divorce last year after 29 years of marriage.
By Kara Warner


Beyonce and Tina Knowles
Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/ Getty Images

Despite the fact that Beyoncé's mother, Tina Knowles, filed for divorce from B's father, Mathew, nearly a year ago, it appears the couple might not be headed for a split after all.

According to TMZ, Mathew and Tina were expected to appear at court in Harris County, Texas, on Monday, but no one showed up, so the judge dismissed the case. There is no official word from Mathew or Tina's reps about a possible reconciliation.

Tina filed divorce papers last November after 29 years of marriage to Mathew. Mathew was reportedly hit with a paternity suit in October 2009 from a woman named Alexsandra Wright, who was then six months pregnant with a child she claimed was Knowles'. A paternity test later proved that the child was, indeed, Mathew's. Neither Tina nor Mathew commented on whether that incident precipitated her divorce filing.

Both parents have played a pivotal role in Beyoncé's career, with Mathew quitting his job at IBM nearly 20 years ago to begin managing the singer's early group, Girl's Tyme, which eventually morphed into Destiny's Child. He has had producer credits on many of B's projects, including the 2009 film "Obsessed," and he is the founder of Music World Entertainment, a label that, through Columbia Records, has released albums by Beyoncé's sister, Solange Knowles; Sunshine Anderson; and former DC members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.

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Akon Disagrees With Will.i.am Over Michael Jackson's Posthumous Release

'These records would have come out whether he was alive or dead,' 'Kon says.
By James Dinh


Michael Jackson and Akon
Photo: Getty Images

As with many other posthumous releases, the forthcoming Michael Jackson album, Michael, is already creating controversy. After will.i.am told Entertainment Weekly that he thought it was "disrespectful" to release the collection of previously unheard material from the King of Pop, fellow collaborator Akon struck back.

'Kon, whose "Hold My Hand" collaboration with Jackson dropped on Monday as the LP's first single, insists that releasing new music is actually a way of honoring the icon.

"I think that's probably will's opinion," Akon told TMZ of the Black Eyed Peas frontman's statement. "Me personally, I think that's keeping his legacy alive, if you ask me. I don't see anything disrespectful about it. He got his people taking care of it. We all did records that we actually worked on together on the album. These records would have come out whether he was alive or dead, so I think this actually to helps keep his legacy alive. I honestly disagree with that."

The hip-hop star explained that he hopes "Hold My Hand" will reach "another level" and be properly distributed as he and the Jackson team had originally planned.

Last week, will.i.am slammed the project, suggesting that there's no honor in the upcoming release, due in stores December 14. "Whoever put it out and is profiting off of it, I want to see how cold they are," he told EW. "To say that what [Michael] contributed during his life wasn't enough. He just wasn't any ordinary artist. He was a hands-on person. To me it's disrespectful. There's no honoring."

Not only did Akon call his sessions with MJ "amazing," but he also gushed that it was nothing short of a dream come true saying, "He was a very incredible person, very creative. That was really a dream come true on my end. I enjoyed every moment of it."

Do you agree with Akon or will.i.am on the new Michael Jackson album? Share your thoughts below!

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

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Britney Spears 'Glee' Episode Takes On '... Baby One More Time'

Lea Michele dons Brit's naughty schoolgirl look for a faithful cover of the 1998 hit.
By Aly Semigran


Lea Michele performs "... Baby One More Time" on "Glee" on Tuesday
Photo: FOX

It was the song that launched the career of one of the most beloved, albeit troubled, pop stars of the past decade. Its iconic video spawned a modern-day "Lolita" and earned the title of #1 first favorite video on "TRL." So, of course, Britney Spears' 1998 smash "... Baby One More Time" was an obvious choice for Tuesday night's episode of "Glee."

While general-anesthesia-induced hallucinations had another Brittany (Heather Morris) tackling "Me Against the Music" and "I'm a Slave 4 U," star Lea Michele took on the timelessly catchy "...Baby One More Time." As Michele mimicked Spears' naughty schoolgirl look, the instantly recognizable opening notes pounded on the piano (though the "Glee" version had a slight change of key). With her throaty "Oh bay-buh, bay-buh," Michele effortlessly channeled the song (surprisingly enough, she sounded downright restrained) that made the former "Mickey Mouse Club" member a superstar.

It's fitting that "Glee" paid homage to the song that is but a few weeks away from celebrating its 12th anniversary. (Go on and take a moment to absorb that information.) "... Baby One More Time," the first single of Spears' debut album of the same name, was released in the United States in late October 1998.

Of course, it could have all sounded very different if writer Max Martin had followed through with his original plan to have R&B heavyweights TLC sing the track. The song was also originally titled "Hit Me Baby One More Time" but was changed due to concerns about it being misinterpreted.

In Spears' capable 16-year-old pigtails, the single went on to sell over 9 million copies, garnered Spears her first Grammy nomination (Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, which she lost to Sarah McLachlan for "I Will Remember You") and reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The rest of the album featured other Spears hits, including "(You Drive Me) Crazy" and "Sometimes," but neither of those songs left quite the same impact.

Spears told Blender — which placed the track at the #9 spot on its list of "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born" — that the song wasn't an easy undertaking for her at first (of course, neither was the immense fame that followed). Spears revealed, "I didn't do well at all the first day in the studio. I was just too nervous. So I went out that night and had some fun. The next day I was completely relaxed and nailed it. You gotta be relaxed singing '... Baby One More Time.' "

Spears looked more than at ease during awards show appearances that followed, namely the 1999 VMAs, in which the leather-clad pop princess took the stage alongside her tourmates 'NSYNC for a "... Baby One More Time"/ "Tearin' Up My Heart" showstopper.

Of course, long before the folks at "Glee" took "... Baby One More Time" out for a spin, countless other musicians had already had at it. From punk rock (Simple Plan) to acoustic (Travis), Spears' song has been refashioned (albeit, sometimes ironically) in many genres. Take, for instance, Bowling for Soup's cover of the ditty, which wound up on Bowling for Soup Goes to the Movies. And even Jamie Lee Curtis and Chad Michael Murray took a crack at it in the 2003 film "Freaky Friday."

What did you think of the "Glee" covers of Britney's songs? Share your reviews in the comments.

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Beyonce Says She Takes Pregnancy Rumors In Stride

'I just hope that one day, when I decide to be pregnant that people are happy for me,' superstar jokes about year-round bump-watch.
By Jocelyn Vena


Beyoncé
Photo: MTV News

In 2010 alone, Beyoncé was pregnant at least twice, if you believe the rumors.

While the singer shot down the talk both times, she says that at this point she's pretty much to used to people speculating about potential baby bumps. "I mean, it's a part of it. At this point they said I've been pregnant like eight times, so I'm kind of used to it," Beyoncé told MTV News at a screening for her concert DVD, "I Am ... World Tour," in New York City.

"I just hope that one day, when I decide to be pregnant that people are happy for me, 'cause I'm like gosh, like, everyone's like, 'Oh god, please! She's been pregnant 100 times.' One day, hopefully, I will be. So whatever; it's a part of being a celebrity, I guess."

Her mom, Tina Knowles, was also at the screening and when asked if she thought that 2011 might be the year we give up gossiping about Bey's pregnancy status, she played it cool. "You have to ask her those personal things," she said. "I don't know!"

But Tina was also the lady to shoot down the baby-bump rumors last month when she sat down with talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres.

"I heard that, but I'm here to clear the rumors up. The truth is it's not Beyoncé that's pregnant, it's me," she joked. "No, it's not true. Not right now. I'm looking forward to it. With all the rumors, by now I should have about five or six grandchildren."

What do you think of the constant speculation about Bey and a baby bump? Tell us in the comments!

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Justin Bieber, Usher Top American Music Awards Winners List

Eminem, Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna also nab trophies.
By Mawuse Ziegbe


Justin Bieber wins Breakthrough Artist, Pop/Rock Favorite Male Artist and Artist Of The Year Award during the 2010 American Music Award
Photo: Jason Merritt/ Getty Images

The 2010 American Music Awards dished out hardware to many of pop, R&B and country music's biggest names. Like most high-profile awards shows, there were showstopping performances, off-the-runway fashion and emotional moments. Unlike most trophy fests, the AMA winners aren't determined by the inner circle of music-industry professionals, but rather the fans who plunk down cash for hit records.

This year, fans handed over pyramids to the artists who also cranked out many of the biggest hits. Justin Bieber made off with the most AMA booty, nabbing four trophies. Taylor Swift, Rihanna, the Black Eyed Peas, Eminem and Bieber's mentor Usher also snagged AMA loot.

Check out the list of AMA winners below:

Pop or Rock Music
Favorite Male Artist
Justin Bieber

Favorite Female Artist
Lady Gaga

Favorite Band, Duo or Group
The Black Eyed Peas

Favorite Album
Justin Bieber, My World 2.0

Country Music
Favorite Male Artist
Brad Paisley

Favorite Female Artist
Taylor Swift

Favorite Band, Duo or Group
Lady Antebellum

Favorite Album
Carrie Underwood, Play On

Rap/ Hip-Hop Music
Favorite Male Artist
Eminem

Favorite Album
Eminem, Recovery

Soul/ Rhythm & Blues Music
Favorite Male Artist
Usher

Favorite Female Artist
Rihanna

Favorite Album
Usher, Raymond v. Raymond

Soundtracks
Favorite Album
Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers

Alternative Rock Music
Favorite Artist
Muse

Adult Contemporary Music
Favorite Artist
Michael Bublé

Latin Music
Favorite Artist
Shakira

Contemporary Inspirational
Favorite Artist
MercyMe

Artist of the Year
Justin Bieber

T-Mobile Breakthrough Artist
Justin Bieber

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Beyonce Can't Pick Her Favorite Jay-Z Song

'I can't tell you which one is my favorite. It's just too many,' singer tells MTV News.
By Jocelyn Vena


Beyoncé arrives at her "I Am ... World Tour" DVD screening on Sunday
Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Jay-Z is letting fans into his world with two major releases this month. He just published his book, "Decoded," in which he takes a closer look at his career, and on Monday (November 22), Hova is releasing a greatest-hits album, The Hits Collection, Volume 1.

The album features Jay's most memorable tunes, including "Big Pimpin'," "Hard Knock Life," "99 Problems" and his collabo with his superstar wife, Beyoncé, "03' Bonnie & Clyde."

But when MTV News caught up with Bey Sunday at a New York screening for her DVD concert special, "I Am ... World Tour," she admitted that "Bonnie & Clyde" isn't her favorite Jay-Z track.

"God, that's not my favorite, even though I like it," she laughed. "I can't tell you which one is my favorite. It's just too many. You're putting me on the spot!"

While the pair may be releasing fresh products at the same time, the singer insists there is no competition in the Carter-Knowles household.

"No absolutely not, [there is no competition]," she told reporters at the DVD event, going on to praise "Decoded." "That book is unbelievable, and I think we're all really proud of it. And this DVD [out this] Thanksgiving — it's the holiday season of everyone's [material] coming out."

The DVD shows a new, more intimate side of the usually private Beyoncé, and Jay-Z admits that his book also sheds new light on his persona and career. "A lot of people listen to music, but they don't really listen to it," he explained. "You may know the words and you may bop your head to it, but you don't really understand what you're singing."

Open the floodgates! It's Mega-Release Week, with Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Ke$ha, My Chemical Romance and Lloyd Banks all dropping new albums. Stick with MTV News for everything you need to know about the brand-new music.

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Michael Jackson's 'Hold My Hand' Debuts Online

Song featuring Akon is first single off posthumous album Michael.
By Gil Kaufman


Michael Jackson and Akon
Photo: Getty Images

"Hold My Hand," the official first single from the upcoming posthumous album from Michael Jackson album, was released on MJ's official website over the weekend. The lead track from Michael, due on December 14, is a universal plea for peace on which Akon and MJ weave their voices together over a wash of dramatic strings and a subdued beat.

Akon, who recently went back into the studio to put finishing touches on the song, spoke to MTV News back in 2007 about working with the King of Pop, who reportedly wrote a hand-written note in which he expressed a desire to have "Hold My Hand" released as a single.

"Just to be in the same room [with him], I felt like everything I wanted to achieve in life had already been achieved," Akon said. "That's how incredible that aura [is]."

Unlike "Breaking News," the beat-heavy anti-media screed that was streamed on the MJ site last week, the uplifting "Hold My Hand" is one of Jackson's classic love ballads, a heart-stirring call to unity with a touch of a Caribbean lilt.

"This life don't last forever," Jackson sings in the opening lines in his signature quavering falsetto. "So tell me what we're waiting for/ We're better off being together/ Than being miserable alone."

Then together, the men sing, " 'Cause I been there before and you've bee there before/ But together we can be all right/ 'Cause when it gets dark and when it gets cold we hold each other till we see the sunlight."

As the three-and-a-half-minute single comes to a close, the strings swell and a gospel choir comes in, clapping hands and giving the tune a majestic feel.

The 10-track album will also feature cameos from 50 Cent ("Monster") and Lenny Kravitz ("(I Can't Make It) Another Day".

Even though he worked with Jackson on tracks late in the singer's career on what was slated to be MJ's comeback album, one person who is not excited about the new MJ disc is the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am.

"Whoever put it out and is profiting off of it, I want to see how cold they are," he told Entertainment Weekly. "To say that what [Michael] contributed during his life wasn't enough. He just wasn't any ordinary artist. He was a hands-on person. To me it's disrespectful. There's no honoring."

Considering how meticulous and particular Jackson was about his music, Will said he thought it was callous of Jackson's label, Sony Music, to release what he suspects are unfinished works. "Michael Jackson songs are finished when Michael says they're finished," said Will, who earlier this year revealed that he worked on the songs "Dreaming" and "Still the King" with Jackson, as well a tribute to James Brown called "I Will Miss You."

"Maybe if I never worked with him I wouldn't have this perspective," the producer told "Access Hollywood," noting that those songs will never be released because MJ didn't give his final approval on them. "He was very particular about how he wanted his vocals, the reverb he used. ... He was that hands-on. ... He kept his vocals and I kept the music. We had that understanding."

What do you think of the new Michael Jackson song? Share your reviews in the comments.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Photos | Wango Tango 2010

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Michael Jackson's Michael Track Listing Reveals Akon, 50 Cent Collabos

Akon collaboration, 'Hold My Hand,' will debut Monday.
By Jocelyn Vena


Michael Jackson's <i>Michael</i>
Photo: Epic Records

Michael Jackson fans are eagerly awaiting the December 14 arrival of his posthumous release, simply called Michael, and on Friday (November 12), the album's official track listing was unveiled. Michael will feature appearances by 50 Cent and Lenny Kravitz, as well as a collaboration with Akon called "Hold My Hand" that's set to debut on Monday (November 15).

"Hold My Hand" will be Michael's lead track. According to an official announcement, Jackson had intended for the song to be the first official release off the album. His label, Sony, and the executors of his estate reportedly have a handwritten note from the singer in which he shares that wish. Another tune, "Breaking News," began streaming on his website this past Monday as a preview for the album.

An early take of "Hold My Hand" was leaked in 2008, but Akon says the version that appears on Michael is the definite one. "The world was not ready to hear 'Hold My Hand' when it leaked a couple years ago. We were devastated about it," Akon explained. "But its time has definitely come; now in its final state, it has become an incredible, beautiful, anthemic song. I'm so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all time idols."

In 2007, Akon spoke to MTV News about working with Jackson on music, including "Hold My Hand." "Just to be in the same room [with him], I felt like everything I wanted to achieve in life had already been achieved," Akon said. "That's how incredible that aura [is]. We about to shake the world up, man ... You know how you be with somebody and you can't even explain [the feeling]? I used to always sit and wonder, 'How does somebody sell so many records and dominate a whole business genre to a point where nobody can't be a part of that without associating [with him]?' The way he thinks ... some artists think regional, some think national, I was thinking international, 'til I met him. He thinks planet. It's on another level."

The cover art for Michael was released earlier this month. The painting by Kadir Nelson takes fans on a fantasy ride through the greatest moments of MJ's solo career. MTV News recently decoded the Jackson images and references that make up the album art including several iterations of Jackson ranging from Thriller-era Jackson right through to the singer wearing a crown, an obvious reference to his moniker as the King of Pop.

Here is the complete track list for Michael Jackson's Michael, according to Sony Music Entertainment:

»"Hold My Hand" (Duet with Akon)
»"Hollywood Tonight"
»"Keep Your Head Up"
»"(I Like) The Way You Love Me"
»"Monster" (Featuring 50 Cent)
»"Best of Joy"
»"Breaking News"
»"(I Can't Make It) Another Day" (Featuring Lenny Kravitz)
»"Behind the Mask"
»"Much Too Soon"

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Emma Stone Is The Actress We're Most Thankful For In 2010

With winning turn in 'Easy A,' 'Spider-Man' casting and 'SNL' hosting gig, the 22-year-old has had quite a year.
By Eric Ditzian


Emma Stone
Photo: Fotonoticias/Getty Images

As MTV News' Thankful Week draws to a close, we begin to cast our gaze away from the big screen and towards tables soon to be the scene of turkey-crazed feasts. But we have one last honor to bestow: the actress we're most thankful for in 2010.

The winner is none other than Emma Stone, a move that completes a nifty "Spider-Man" double win, as we also honored Andrew Garfield — who's stepping into the role of Peter Parker — as the actor we're most thankful for this year. Stone won the part of Gwen Stacy in October, capping a stellar year for the 22-year-old.

From the top-notch teenage rom-com "Easy A" to her "Saturday Night Live" hosting gig to the opportunity to shoot flicks opposite the likes of Steve Carell ("Crazy, Stupid, Love") and Justin Timberlake ("Friends With Benefits"), Stone was already having a great 2010. Then "Spider-Man" director Marc Webb came calling. Her life is never going to be the same — and she couldn't be more excited.

The always-energetic actress called up MTV News in the midst of "Spider-Man" preproduction to talk about what a surreal year it's been and how she's dealing with the pressures of taking on the iconic Marvel series.

MTV: Thanks for calling up to chat.

Emma Stone: Thank you for having me!

MTV: Well, you're going to be very excited in a second.

Stone: What is it? What's it going to be? You like how I'm excited at the mere mention that I'm going to be excited?

MTV: Uh-oh, I really have to come through now. Look out your window — there's a blimp with your face on it!

Stone: Oh my god, it's so beautiful, I'm looking right now! You wanna know what's really insane about that? I actually pulled back the curtain and looked at the sky.

MTV: I'm sorry to disappoint, but I can tell you that every year we honor various people we're thankful for, and this year you're the woman we're most thankful for.

Stone: Oh my god, shut up! Get out of here! I prepared a 10-minute speech, is that OK?

MTV: I'm afraid we don't have enough time. You know, the man we're most thankful for this year is your "Spider-Man" co-star Andrew Garfield.

Stone: Hey, I know that guy! We've met. He's the worst!

MTV: I won't tell him you said that. It has been quite a year for you. "Easy A" gets a great reaction, you're shooting movies with people like Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling, you host "Saturday Night Live," and then you land "Spider-Man." Does 2010 feel like a landmark year?

Stone: It feels kind of scary saying this because that means it's only downhill, but it's been the best year of my life. Not just with how lucky I've been work-wise, but with my family and friends. I'm totally terrified for 2011. I have such a disaster mentality, it's not even funny.

MTV: Which raises the question, are you ready for something as big as "Spider-Man"? Can you ever be ready for something like that?

Stone: The way I have to approach it, and I think Andrew would agree, is just like any other movie. You're going to put the same amount of focus into this that you would with anything. It just happens to be an exponentially bigger budget. So there's that. It'll probably feel different when we start to do press, but we won't have to deal with that for another year and a half. And there are harnesses I'm going to have to use in this one. That's the only difference: just the harnesses.

MTV: Seriously, though, it's been quite a year for you with onscreen love interests. The women in the office are jealous — Penn Badgley, Timberlake, Gosling, Garfield. You're a lucky woman ...

Stone: What can I say? You cannot compare them. They are so wonderful in their own ways. Again, it's been an amazing year.

MTV: Has there been one surreal point in particular that kind of encapsulates 2010 for you?

Stone: Hosting "Saturday Night Live." That's always been my ultimate dream. That moment before you come out those doors when Don Pardo says your name and you're standing there ... I had never let myself imagine what that would feel like. That moment when you walk through those doors was probably the most surreal moment, not just of this year, but ever.

MTV: So you guys are in rehearsals for "Spider-Man," right? What is that process like at this point?

Stone: Today I went and did hair tests, because I have blonde hair now since Gwen has blonde hair. My natural hair is blonde, so it's kind of nice. I looked in the mirror and said, "Oh my god, it's me again, it's been so long!" We're finalizing the visual stuff. And I think we'll start actually rehearsing, because we start shooting in two weeks. Andrew and I went and learned about science yesterday. Gwen really likes science, so we learned about science. I was homeschooled, so I never went to chemistry class in a traditional setting like Gwen is into. That was really beneficial.

MTV: There seemed to be so much competition for the role of Gwen Stacy. Do you ever think, "Why me?" What do you think won you the part?

Stone: I ask myself that question every day. I have no f---ing idea. It's the most amazing idea, I can't even tell you. I don't think I ever will figure out how it happened. It's been mind-blowing. I know things will eventually change, so I'm just trying to avoid thinking about it and just enjoy it while it's happening. Ugh, what am I even saying? Don't write any of that down!

Thanksgiving is a time for taking stock, expressing gratitude and, most importantly, overeating. We at MTV News have been gorging all year at movie theaters, so it's about time we looked back and gave thanks to our favorite actors and filmmakers of 2010. Enjoy exclusive interviews with our winners all week long.

Check out everything we've got on "Spider-Man."

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.

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