Monday, February 28, 2011

Grammy 2011 Snubs Include Adam Lambert, Ke$ha, Big Boi, Rihanna

While Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber were both nominated, they didn't get as much love as some expected.
By Gil Kaufman

Photo: Jordan Strauss/ Getty Images

You hear it all the time: "I'm just thankful to be nominated." It's the gracious and polite thing to say, and artists who lose out on major awards always feel compelled to offer it up.

But what if you never even get nominated?

Every year, there are head-slapping omissions from the roster of nominees at the big awards-fests (Christopher Nolan at the Oscars, anyone?), and this year's 53rd annual Grammy Awards (which take place February 13) are no exception.

In the night's biggest category, Album of the Year, there was plenty of griping from critics about the inclusion of Katy Perry's Teenage Dream, which many considered too lightweight for the night's top prize. But there was also a bit of talk about Justin Bieber's smash My World 2.0 not making it into the mix in the major categories, even if Bieber can lick his wounds with his Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album love.

Though the rules about the Best New Artist category have since been changed to avoid such a problem in the future, Lady Gaga has been the victim of Grammy snubs before. She earned six nominations this year, including coveted Album of the Year for The Fame Monster, but it was mystifying that her huge hit, "Bad Romance," didn't get any Record or Song of the Year nominations.

What gives?

"They want her for ratings, but I think the Grammys are still a bit freaked out by Gaga," said Entertainment Weekly music writer Leah Greenblatt. "There were so many shenanigans about her not being nominated for Best New Artist that I think the Grammys got shamed over that. It's possible they would try to make it up to her by showering her with nominations and I could see her win in major categories [in the future], but I think they're not quite ready for her." That could, of course, change next year when Gaga's Born This Way is in the running.

Another diva used to serious Grammy love, Alicia Keys, was totally shut out for her The Element of Freedom album. "It's interesting that Alicia Keys got nothing," she said. "Her and John Mayer are practically on the ballots every year whether they qualify for eligibility or not. And I think 'Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart' was one of the year's best singles." And reclusive Grammy bait Sade got a pair of notices for her singles "Soldier of Love" and "Babyfather" in the R&B categories but no chance at any of the big prizes. Greenblatt said she was surprised by both snubs, especially since Sade's Soldier of Love album was one of the top sellers of 2010 and because the enigmatic singer had been away for nearly a decade and came back in fine, mature form, the kind of story the Grammys love to honor.

There were some eyebrows raised over the single nomination for "American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert, who had a solid and creatively rich hit album with his debut, For Your Entertainment, but just a single nod for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Whataya Want From Me."

With Perry strutting into a number of top categories thanks to her light-as-air pop confections, it was a wonder that another pop tart with huge digital sales and big chart hits (things the Recording Academy likes to see), Ke$ha, was completely shut out of the game. Greenblatt thought the Lambert dis might fall into the same Gaga territory, with the Academy being a bit freaked out by the singer's out-and-proud persona and over-the-top antics, but when it comes to Ke$ha, she said it's probably a different story. "She had a huge impact, but I think the Grammys think she might go away, and they've chosen not to legitimize her," she speculated.

Speaking of big sales, quite a few people commented on the fact that Train's smash "Hey, Soul Sister," the best-selling single of 2010, got just one notice for a little-heard live version in the Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group category.

A couple of well-respected hip-hop acts were also conspicuously absent from the nominations list, including Outkast's Big Boi, whose acclaimed Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty was left out of the Best Rap Album category, along with Rick Ross, whose Teflon Don got no love. "Rick Ross is the kind of artist made to be ignored by the Grammys," Greenblatt said. "He has a sensibility the Grammys will almost never come around to, no matter how beloved he is by rap fans."

But given that she thought Chico Dusty was one of the best albums of 2010, Greenblatt was stunned by the freeze-out of Big Boi, who has been showered with Grammy love in the past. "It's such an achievement, a fully realized album that feels like a real tapestry, a headphones album from someone whose skills are so singular ... [from] one of the most iconic and Grammy-approved hip-hop acts of all time."

Rihanna's Rated R was also eligible but got stiffed in the major categories, landing just a Best Dance Recording nod for "Only Girl (In the World)" for her single from last year's Loud and a number of notices for her work on Eminem's "Love the Way You Lie." And if you thought Kanye West got ripped off when My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy got blanked, don't worry: It wasn't eligible this year but is in the hunt for next year.

The one omission that seemed to make sense was the two small nominations for the kids from "Glee," who are up for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for their cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " and for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Glee: Vol. 1. Though they set cash registers ringing like crazy, it's no wonder that actors singing covers didn't garner attention at a show that ostensibly awards creativity. And no one seemed too shocked that Christina Aguilera's poorly received Bionic was ignored.

Who do you think got stiffed by the Grammys? Share your top snubs in the comments.

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'Cast in Metal: Final MTV Interview with Ronnie James Dio

In spring 2009, just as Heaven & Hell (Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio) were getting ready to put out their debut full-length, 'The Devil You Know,' Dio and bassist Geezer Butler sat down in an apartment in New York's East Village to talk about the making of the disc, the sorry state of the [...]

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Beyoncé - If I Were A Boy

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Dredg to Release ?Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy? May 3rd

After nearly two years since their last album The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion, Sacto CA rock-outfit dredg have set Chuckles & Mr. Squeezy as the title of their 5th studio album, along with the release date of May 5th via Superball Music (And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Oceansize). Subsequently, the band also released the cover art for Mr. Squeezy which can be seen above. No new music is available yet from the album, though with Dan the Automator behind the helm as producer, one could expect this will be a trippy ride. Head to the replies to view the high-resolution cover art and a press quote from the band

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Britney Spears' 'Hold It Against Me' Video: Fans Weigh In!

MTV News captures all the excitement around the premiere of Britney's 'HIAM' clip.
By Jocelyn Vena, with additional reporting by Vaughn Schoonmaker

Britney Spears in her "Hold It Against Me" music video
Photo: Jive

As soon as Britney Spears' music video for "Hold It Against Me" debuted on Thursday night, fans' reactions were fast and immediate. Readers quickly began commenting on the stories posted on, and MTV News even stopped by the New York City nightclub Splash to get find out the opinions of fans who were attending the club's official viewing party.

Clubgoers, some in their best Britney gear, gathered in the packed nightclub to get the first taste of the sleek, dark Jonas Åkerlund-directed video. Judging from their excitement and their screams, the clip didn't disappoint. One excited fan shared that he couldn't believe he got the chance to see Britney in a catfight against herself.

The viewing-party attendees' excitement was matched by that of commenters on our site. "Just watched it a second time and i am loving it even more," Malcolm wrote. "So much more to see and take in during a second take."

Another commenter, Britney, explained that on a scale of one to 10, the clip ranked high up on her list. "LOveeeeeee the video!!! omg already one of my FAVES!!! on a scale of 1 to 10 i would say its a very very high 8...almost perfect...a few things: a bit too fast-ly put together...Needed more Rocky Horror Tribute scenes and BRITNEY NEEDS TO TAKE the Heels off and put the FLATS back on to really show the Dance moves!!!" she wrote, before reiterating that the video did rock. "All around Awesome video...very creative..Very Britney-ish!!"

Those comments were mirrored by kentalicious, who shared, "Amazing! visually stunning! Best video in years, needs repeated viewing. I love how she is evolving as an artist, after such an Iconic career she still delivers."

With many fans wondering for weeks what they would be getting in the video, TriniBrent did not seem disappointed. "This is a Hot video," he commented. "Britney is definitely back and i am proud of her!"

"I love this vid, it's very different from her other videos," ishot_JT explained. "I also notice that Britney is definitely going back to Blackout/Toxic roots."

Do you want to add a critique of Britney's "Hold It Against Me" clip? Share your opinion in the comments.

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Beyonce May Work With Diplo, Sleigh Bells On New Album

Producer says he was 'in NYC tryin' to make tracks' for B and Bells' songwriter/guitarist.
By James Montgomery

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/ WireImage

Over the years, Diplo has worked with everyone from Thom Yorke to Spank Rock (and, of course, M.I.A.) so perhaps it should come as no surprise that, for his next collaboration, he's chosen to work with none other than Beyoncé. Oh, and electro-slammers Sleigh Bells, too. It all makes sense, in some bizarre way.

This is according to Dip himself, who posted a message — and a remix of the Sleigh Bells track "Tell 'Em" — on his blog, in which he let it be known that he, his production partner Switch and Sleigh Bells' songwriter/guitarist Derek Miller just wrapped sessions for Beyoncé's follow-up to I Am ... Sasha Fierce. He wasn't quite sure what would come of the tracks they created.

"Me and Switch was in [the] studio in NYC tryin' to make tracks with Derek and Beyoncé last week after we played her team [Sleigh Bells'] album," Diplo wrote. "Dunno if we gonna manage to finish, but [it] was good times."

At the very least, you know Bey's husband, indie-rock fan Jay-Z, is pumped by the news. Diplo is just the latest in an ever-growing list of top-flight producers who have worked with Beyoncé in recent months. There's still no release date or tentative title for her upcoming album, but she's logged studio time with the likes of S1 (he of "Power" fame), Ne-Yo, Sean Garrett and Jim Jonsin.

A spokesperson for Beyoncé did not respond to MTV News' request for comment on the Diplo tracks by press time.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Melissa Leo Drops F-Bomb While Accepting Best Supporting Actress Oscar

Presenter Kirk Douglas nearly stole the show until the 'Fighter' star made her memorable speech.
By Brian Warmoth

Melissa Leo accepts the award for Actress in a Supporting Role
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Melissa Leo sparked some pre-Oscar controversy with her last-minute advertisements in major Hollywood trades, but in the end, nothing could disrupt the Best Supporting Actress nominee's momentum from her wins at the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards and Critics Choice Awards. In the end, the two-time nominee beat out Amy Adams and Helena Bonham Carter to make the 50-year-old star and her part in "The Fighter" one of the night's biggest stories.

Kirk Douglas stole the show for a few minutes before presenting Leo's award, which crowned her role as Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale's mother with a golden statue. A heavy favorite, thanks to her previous honors in the last few months, Leo also beat out young contender Hailee Steinfeld and Jacki Weaver, who was nominated for "Animal Kingdom."

But it was Leo's own speech that was being referred to for the rest of the night, thanks to her nervous slip-up.

"Yeah, I am kind of speechless; golly sakes, there's people up there too," Leo marveled, waving at the audience in the mezzanine. "When I watched Kate two years ago, it looked so f---ing easy!"

Luckily, ABC had enough of a broadcast time delay to bleep out her F-bomb, but that hasn't stopped it from being an instant classic acceptance speech.

After being passed up in 2009 for her performance in the comparatively small art-house film "Frozen River," Leo walked off the stage with international recognition for her much bigger box office success story.

Leo's belief in her character Alice Ward propelled her through the final weeks of Oscar voting. Her decision to launch ads personally, reportedly without consulting "Fighter" distributors Paramount and Relativity, stirred up headlines as voters were finalizing their picks, but whether or not she managed to sway the Academy into her corner or already had their attention won't make any difference now that she has the Oscar.

Shortly after Leo's win, Bale also took home the Supporting Actor prize.

Stick with MTV News on Oscar night and beyond for red-carpet fashion coverage, analysis of the winners, plus interviews, photos and more from your favorite Hollywood stars!

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Britney Spears Makes Your Body Pop On Femme Fatale Teaser

Producer Dr. Luke gives fans a snippet of 'How I Roll' from Brit's March 29 album.
By Jocelyn Vena

Britney Spears' <i>Femme Fatale</i>
Photo: Jive

Judging by the snippets we've heard from Femme Fatale, Britney Spears is ready to dance. Late Wednesday night, Spears' producer Dr. Luke tweeted out another tease for the track "How I Roll."

"I just might be feeling like giving u another snippet ..... maybe," Luke wrote. "Should it be a [producers] bloodshy and avant song??? something like that," he added before sending a link to the song.

The teaser opens with Britney cooing "ooh ahh" as beats and synths kick in. Those are jumbled with handclaps before Spears begins singing lines like, "Show your knee socks/ With tequila on the rocks/ Till you make your body pop/ To the speakers."

"In my opinion, this is her strongest album ever. It's somewhat of a departure from what she's done. It's more mature," manager Larry Rudolph told MTV News about Femme Fatale, which he even likened to a Madonna classic. "It's more of a dance record. ... This really is Britney's Ray of Light album."

Spears herself has hinted that the album will have fans dancing. "I would describe it as moody, edgy pop with A LOT of energy. I co-wrote a couple of songs. I think it's some of the best work I have ever done. There are a few mid-tempos that could be considered ballads," Spears said during a Twitter Q&A this month.

"I have a lot of history with #MaxMartin and @TheDoctorLuke so it's always fun to collaborate with them," she continued. "They make such incredible music. I'm so excited and I can't wait for you guys to hear it. I think its some of the best work I have ever done!"

What do you think of what you've heard so far from "How I Roll"? Tell us in the comments!

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New Treatment Center Encourages Clients to Rock Out on Premesis

Roll over Betty Ford and tell Promises the news. A new rehab center in South Central, Pennsylvania called Clarity Way is providing its clients the use of an in-house recording studio and a music therapist. So now drug-addled artists can try to get clean and be productive at the same time.
The studio, which is equipped [...]

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Photos | Performances At The 10th Annual BMI Urban Awards

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Usher Says New 'Rev Pop' Project Is A 'Movement'

Singer teases his new project by pointing to past hits like 'Yeah!' and 'OMG.'
By James Montgomery

Photo: MTV News

With the success of songs like "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love," "Hot Tottie" and "OMG," Usher had himself a fairly massive 2010. But rather than rest on his laurels, he's looking to build on his big year, not with an album, but with a "movement."

It's something he's calling "Rev Pop" — or, simply, "Rev" — and though he's already teased his idea in a video with David Guetta (Akon is also involved), he has yet to speak in full about it. So when MTV News caught up with Ush before the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles at the (Belvedere) RED launch party, we asked him about his next musical endeavor. And though he didn't reveal much, he did let it be known that "Rev" isn't exactly something new. In fact, he's been doing it for a while now.

"I'll give it to you this way: At a later date, I'll tell you more about Rev Pop, but if I were to give you a flash: I've done it before, I did it with 'Yeah!' " he said, "taking a cultural experience, and also worldwide recognition of a feeling, and putting the soul in the middle of it. Not allowing it to shift heavily to R&B genre, or pop. I did it again with 'OMG,' once again putting the soul in the middle of it, which was an electric-pop experience, with the soul.

"It's bringing those elements together to tell a story, that was born here," he said, gesturing toward his heart, "And that's what Rev Pop is. There's more, I mean, I could really elaborate, but that's just what I'm going to tell you right now. 'Rev' is what it's called ... the movement is called Rev."

Usher wouldn't say just when his fans would be getting their first taste of Rev, but whenever they do, it sounds like they're going to be impressed ... if not a little shocked.

"Stay alive," he smiled, "Because you're definitely going to be in for a surprise."

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New Led Zeppelin On The Way? Jason Bonham Hints At 'Jam' Sessions With Jimmy Page -- But Not Robert Plant

Drummer admits he doesn't know what will come of 'new material.'
By Chris Harris

Jason Bonham
Photo: Larry Marano/ Getty Images

On Friday morning, mere hours before he was due to take the stage with classic rockers Foreigner at Detroit's GM Renaissance Center, drummer Jason Bonham — the son of late Led Zeppelin kitman John Bonham — told Jim Johnson and Lynne Woodison of local rock station 94.7 WCSX that he'd be an ex-member of Foreigner as of September 1. But that's not the only thing he said.

Much to the delight of Led Zeppelin fans everywhere, Bonham revealed that he's been meeting up with Led Zep guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones in recent months and that they've been "trying to do some new material and writing."

It was the first time since Led Zeppelin announced they would re-form for a single performance (which happened late last year at London's O2 Arena, in honor of the late Ahmet Ertegün, who signed the band to Atlantic Records in 1969) that anyone connected to the band has confirmed publicly that new music could be on the horizon for the iconic rockers. While the bandmembers have stopped short of definitively ruling out such a reunion, singer Robert Plant insisted in the wake of last year's show that he intended to focus on promoting and touring behind his critically lauded album with bluegrass artist Alison Krauss, Raising Sand.

Not that Bonham knows what — if anything — will happen with the new material he's been working on with Page (who collaborated with pop singer Leona Lewis on an uneven version of Zep's "Whole Lotta Love" at the Olympic closing ceremonies in Beijing on Sunday night) and Jones. He said he just shows up and takes his seat behind the kit.

"I've been over [to England] a couple of times," Bonham said. "I've been working with Jimmy and John Paul and trying to do ... some new material and some writing. I don't know what it will be, but it will be something. At the moment, all I know is I have the great pleasure to go and jam with the two guys and start work on some material. When I get there, I never ask any questions. If I get a phone call to go and play, I enjoy every moment of it. Whatever it ends up as, to ever get a chance to jam with two people like that, it is a phenomenal thing for me. It's my life. It's what I've dreamed about doing."

He said it's still too early to tell what will become of these "jam" sessions, but admitted that the "possibility of doing something is in the cards. I really felt it was in the cards from the moment we walked offstage at the O2." Bonham also explained that, before there could be a Led Zep LP, "lots of politics [would need to] get ironed out," but added that recording with Zep is "something I've always wanted to do."

Bonham noticeably didn't mention frontman Plant's name during the discussion. A spokesperson for Page's management had no comment on the matter, and a spokesperson for Jones' management could not be reached by press time.

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Oscars Best And Worst Fashions: Experts Weigh In!

MTV News asked a pair of fashion-industry notables to share their choices for the best and worst looks in Oscars history.
By Jocelyn Vena

Miley Cyrus at the 2010 Oscars
Photo: Getty Images

The Academy Awards are just days away and that means that soon enough some of Hollywood's biggest names will be hitting the red carpet while donning some of the most haute couture they can get their hands on. But, before they hit the carpet, MTV News reached out to some fashion-world experts and asked them to weigh in on the event's best and worst looks ever, which the stars perhaps should take note of before they decide on what to wear.

We caught up with fashion-industry maven and People's Revolution founder Kelly Cutrone, as well as Faran Krentcil, digital director at Nylon magazine, who divulged their favorite and least favorite looks from Oscars history.


Cameron Diaz in Oscar de la Renta, 2010:
Both Cutrone and Krentchil agreed that this was a winning look for the star. "On another actress it might have looked a little overdone, but Cameron managed to make the dress look like it was just lying on her bedroom floor, and she grabbed it on her way out of the bath. That's true star power, isn't it?" Krentcil explained.

Maggie Gyllenhaal in Dries Van Noten, 2010:
"I think that it's not that hard to put a beautiful dress on a girl and get away with it, and then there are people who really understand it ... I think that Maggie Gyllenhaal was a great example of that," Cutrone revealed. "Dries was not obvious; it's an inside brand. It's really about beauty and aesthetic."

Miley Cyrus in Jenny Packham, 2010:
Cutrone felt that Miley's look bridged the singer/actress from, well, tween star to teen star. She explained, "The truth of the matter is she has gone from a Disney star to a Vanity Fair cover girl and it brought it back to the middle. [She] really shined."

Natalie Portman in Lanvin, 2005:
"This dress was slightly see-through and the color of a gasping sea monster," Krentcil recalled of the outfit. "And its floaty shape and grey-blue-green-purple shimmer made it beyond chic."

Anne Hathaway in Valentino, 2009:
Krentcil didn't have much more to say than "yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes," about why the beaded, white sheath worked so well for this year's Oscars co-host.


Charlize Theron in Dior, 2010:
"She looked ridiculous and she's so beautiful. She deserved to wear something better," Cutrone noted, adding about the outdated nature of the dress, "It looked like a Gaultier throwback piece, not like Dior. I didn't know Nancy Reagan was working for Dior."

Jennifer Lopez in Giorgio Armani Privé, 2010:
"All those angular pieces, they look bizarre, and I'm hoping that this season we get rid of the asymmetrical art pieces," Cutrone explained about the Gaga-esque style J. Lo wore.

Angelina Jolie, 2000:
Jolie went gothy that year and Krentcil explained that "the whole thing was so Addams Family weird, when she started making out with her brother, we were too distracted to notice."

Gwyneth Paltrow in Alexander McQueen, 2002:
While noting that Paltrow's Ralph Lauren dress in 1999 tops her list for great looks, Krentcil said about her 2002 look, "The thing is, the dress would have worked without the bun hair and the weird chunky necklace — go with a practically bare face and loose, wavy tresses and all of a sudden, everyone would have wondered why they weren't as cool as Gwyneth."

Kate Winslet, 1998:
"Kate Winslet was my favorite actress in high school, so I was really disappointed when she showed up in an Oscar gown that looked like Maria Von Trapp had made it from the Sound of Music curtains," Krentcil explained. "Fortunately, her Yves Saint Laurent dress last year was so amazing, it exonerated this bummer of a gown."

Will it be a regal evening for "The King's Speech"? Can "The Social Network" dial up Oscar gold? Don't miss MTV News' "2011 Oscars Live" at 6 p.m. Sunday, February 27, when we'll be chatting with your favorite Hollywood stars live from the red carpet on, and stick with us all Oscar night for winners, interviews, photos and more!

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

No hay m&#225;s Led Zeppelin

A pesar de lo dicho ayer, Peter Mensch, manager del guitarrista Jimmy Page, se retractó totalmente en eso que la banda buscaría un reemplazo al ultragenial Robert Plant para seguir rockeando y toureándola por el mundo tras su show de 2007 en el O2 Arena de Londres por el poder de la música más sexual de la historia. No habrá más Led Zeppelin, no hay planes de que lo haya.

Mensch comentó: "Led Zeppelin se acabó. Si no los vieron en el 2007, se los perdieron. Probaron reemplazantes a Robert Plant, pero nada funcionó. Se acabó. No hay planes para continuar. Francamente, ojalá todos dejaran de hablar al respecto."

Los fans no están nada contentos, especialmente los británicos, considerando los precios delirantes de las entradas del show reunión.

¿Y a ti? ¿Qué te parece todo esto?

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Remembering George Harrison on His Birthday

Today is is the birthday of George Harrison, and although he is no longer with us, his legacy lives on in the music he gave the world. Although not a member of the famous Lennon/McCartney songwriting duo, his contributions to the catalog of The Beatles, as well his solo work, are among the most memorable [...]

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Leighton Meester Channels Ke$ha On New Song

The 'Gossip Girl' star gets her party on with 'Front Cut,' a new track that just hit the Internet.
By Jocelyn Vena

Leighton Meester
Photo: Frazer Harrison/ Getty Images

For a while there it seemed like Leighton Meester was only going to be "Country Strong," but now she's again embracing her dance-club music roots on a new track. On Tuesday, a new Meester tune titled "Front Cut" hit the Web.

The "Gossip Girl" star's track, a certain club banger that could easily be confused with any song in Ke$ha's dance-heavy discography, features the writing, production and vocal talents of Clinton Sparks.

"I'm too fly to be all up in this line, boy/ I should get a front cut/ I should get a front cut," Meester proclaims in the opening lines of the song — which is all about getting key access to a slamming party — before some killer keyboards and heavy beats kick in. She goes on to rap/sing, "You see me coming through/ Not just me, my girlfriends too/ You know what we came to do/ That's why we in front of you."

Meester really displays her swagga on the song's bridge, when she goes on to sing, "Don't tell me I gotta wait in the line/ I said f--- the front door, I should go in through the side/ Why don't you/ Lift up that rope to let through/ All these girls in my crew / Give me a drink or a few/ I mean a bottle or two/ We've been out here too damn long / And I hear Clint Sparks playin' my song/ Got my diamond and my Louboutins on/ Ya better hurry up or I'll be gone/ Don't tell me I gotta wait in no line/ 'Cause there's plenty of other clubs that want me inside."

With no official release date for the track or any definite plans for an album release, it seems that for now Meester fans will have to just enjoy the song online. The singer/actress' pop-star career has been long-simmering, to say the least. She was expected to drop an album in 2010, but that never happened.

In 2009, she appeared on Cobra Starship's "Good Girls Go Bad," then she hooked up with Robin Thicke on the song "Somebody to Love."

So what do you think of Meester's new club banger? Share your opinions in the comments.

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Nelly Opens Up About Sister's Death On 'Behind The Music'

'I just broke down,' rapper says on March 7 episode.
By Jayson Rodriguez

Photo: Andrew H. Walker/ Getty Images

Nelly had always been public about his sister's health issues, from fighting for bone-marrow donors in an effort to save her life to speaking about how her death affected him. But the rapper has yet to discuss the details surrounding the day she died in 2005 after a two-year battle with leukemia.

In the March 7 episode of VH1's "Behind the Music," however, the St. Louis star finally opens up about the last conversation he had with his big sis, Jacqueline Donahue. He was on the road and was unaware of the severity of her declining health, he said.

"Jackie gets on the phone and I'm like, 'Hey, sis,' " Nelly said, recalling the ordeal. "She's so medicated. The pain got so severe, and there was nothing they could do. They drugged her up just to subdue the pain. I talked to her for about 20, 25 minutes. And she gets off the phone and she lays down, and she's gone. They said the only thing that kept her alive was that she wanted to talk to me before she left."

The news of his sister's death immediately took a toll on him. "I was enraged," Nelly explained. "We had this door in the back where my room was; I split the door straight down the middle, just punched it."

Nelly then punched a TV screen, shattering the monitor. "I just destroyed everything that was back there and I just broke down," he said.

The rapper eventually took time off from his career before rebounding last year with 5.0 after 2008's commercial disappointment Brass Knuckles.

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Katy Perry Denies Feud With Britney Spears

Singer calls the media 'filth' for implying she was attacking Spears for using product placement in her 'Hold It Against Me' video.
By James Montgomery

Katy Perry
Photo: John Parra/ WireImage

Last week, when Katy Perry answered a question tweeted by her California Dreams tourmate Marina and the Diamonds about product placement in music videos, she never expected to touch off a media firestorm. And she's plenty mad that she did.

It all started with Perry's reply to Marina's query for "a consensus on product placement in videos." Perry wrote on Twitter, "Do it with style and grace ... Not so 'In [your] face like some. [You] have to get creative with it. Some artists don't care though, and you can tell."

Given that Perry's response occurred hours after the premiere of Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" video (a version of which is loaded with promotional shots for products like Spears' own Radiance perfume, Make Up for Ever cosmetics and dating website, most were quick to interpret it as a dig at Spears for selling out. And that made Perry very angry.

Early Wednesday morning (February 23), Perry took to Twitter once again to rip the tabloid media (or as she calls them, "filth") for their speculative and hurtful ways, claiming in a series of messages that they manipulated her words in an attempt to pit her against Spears, and, because of that, were basically responsible for the decline of civilization as we know it.

"Dear tabloid media a.k.a. FILTH: please note I expressed an overall feeling about product placement, [its] role in videos and the art of them being compliment[ary] or sticking out," Perry wrote. "Most, if not ALL, popsters welcome deals with products [to] offset costs of big-budget vids in these recessional music industry times. I'VE used them in MY vids before and am happy [to be] able [to] make a better vid because of [them].

"Once AGAIN, stop pitting artist against artist for [your] sensational satisfaction," she continued, "and stick to what [you're] best [at]: lying, gossiping, exaggerating and overall lending a hand [to] the deterioration of a generation."

What do you think of artists using product placement in their videos? Tell us in the comments.

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Rhymefest Explains How Hip-Hop Career Helps Him In Politics

Kanye West protégé made it to an April runoff election for Chicago City Council.
By Brian Jacks

Che "Rhymefest" Smith
Photo: Bruno Vincent/ Getty

Move over, Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel, there's a new face in Chicago politics. And it's probably not who you'd expect.

Rapper Che "Rhymefest" Smith, the Kanye West protégé whose collaboration on "Jesus Walks" earned the pair a Grammy in 2004, is knee-deep in a hotly contested race for the Chicago City Council. The artist received 20 percent of Tuesday's vote against incumbent Willie Cochran, forcing a runoff election for the alderman seat representing the city's 20th Ward.

A lifelong Chicago resident who grew up with West on the city's troubled South Side, 'Fest seems an unlikely political candidate, but the artist contends his musical career outside the political system makes him an ideal choice to be a councilman.

"We could talk on a hip-hop level and we can talk on a community level," Smith told MTV News. "On a hip-hop level, we rappers are always talking about 'hood credibility; we're more 'hood than the next artist is, but what are we really doing to make our community safer, to make people be able to have employment in our communities? We're living under tyrannical conditions. So as an artist, what can I do more than a song-and-dance for the community that has bought my records?"

The artist pointed to such factors as high unemployment and prison recidivism as key issues in his campaign, stating that his experience in the music industry has given him the skills necessary not only to help legislate, but to directly improve the lives of the citizens in his community.

"I think the great thing about the position I'm running for in city council is, unlike a president or a senator, we're on the ground," he said. "We're in the community. We get to [be] hands-on with the people every day. And I think that's where it starts. ... So what would I do as an advocate and legislator for the community? I'd begin with entrepreneur programs. As a brand -- Rhymefest -- and being in the industry, I can teach people how to market and promote and start their own businesses."

Like politicians who bring in celebrity donors to get out the vote, Smith has been able to rely on his own stable of high-profile names to help with his campaign. And he's issuing a call for other hip-hop notables to join his cause.

"[Kanye] helped with his generous donation," Smith said. "He helped to fund my whole field operation on Election Day. Lupe Fiasco helped to pay for hundreds of turkeys where we went door-to-door for Thanksgiving Day. Brother Ali stepped up. [But] Talib Kweli, Common: I need you. I'm asking for the so-called conscious, positive rappers to join me, to help us resurrect all our communities, starting with the 20th Ward in Chicago. I put down the mic to help save a community, and I need the positive rappers to come out too."

Rhymefest's burgeoning political career will face its strongest test when the runoff election is held April 5. But whatever happens, the artist will continue to push for change within his community. "One of the problems that's plaguing America is the individualism attitude," he said. "We really have to step up and be a village again."

What do you think of Rhymefest's political career? Let us know in the comments!

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'Glee' Original Songs Slated For March Episode Hit The Net

Ryan Seacrest previewed soon-to-be 'Gleek anthem' 'Loser Like Me' and 'Get It Right' on his radio show.
By Aly Semigran

The cast of "Glee"
Photo: FOX

During the February 15 episode of "Glee" (titled "Silly Love Songs"), Lea Michele's character, Rachel, not-so-subtly foreshadowed the arrival of original songs on the show. But while new tunes "Loser Like Me" and "Get It Right" won't appear on the hit series until March 15, Gleeks got a first listen on Friday morning (February 25).

The two new original "Glee" tracks debuted on "On Air With Ryan Seacrest." Ryan also tweeted out the information, posting on his page, "Attn Gleeks! Here's the world premiere of #Glee's first ever original songs 'Loser Like Me' & 'Get It Right.' "

"Loser" features all of the New Directions members, led by Michele and Cory Monteith. The peppy pop ditty features lyrics keeping in tune with the themes of the show. After the opening guitar riffs, Michele croons, "Yeah, you may think that I'm a zero/ But hey, everyone you wanna be/ Probably started off like me/ You may say that I'm a freak show/ But hey, give it just a little time/ I bet you're gonna change your mind."

Monteith later comes in with similar "we'll show you" lyrics: "Pushed me up against the locker/ But hey, all I do is shake it off/ I'll get you back when I'm your boss." The rest of their castmates join them for the chorus, singing, "You wanna be/ You wanna be/ A loser like me."

Earlier this week, "Glee" music producer Adam Anders — the pair penned the numbers along with pop music powerhouse Max Martin — described "Loser" to Entertainment Weekly as a "Gleek anthem. It's a very uptempo, kind-of-summery hit." The Michele solo "Get It Right" was inspired by "Lea's story line," Anders told EW.

In its opening moments, the Michele ballad sounds reminiscent of the Britney Spears hit "Everytime" thanks to its fluttering piano and breathy vocals, but comes into its own as it builds. The Golden Globe-nominated star cries in the chorus, "What can you do/ When your good isn't good enough/ And all that you touch tumbles down/ 'Cause my best intentions keep making a mess of things/ I just want to fix it somehow/ But how many times will it take for me to get it right?"

Both "Loser Like Me" and "Get It Right" will appear on the album "Glee: The Music, Volume 5," which will also feature season-two covers like Michele's take on Katy Perry's "Firework" and guest star Gwyneth Paltrow's rendition of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide." The fifth installment is due on March 8.

What do you think of the "Glee" originals, "Loser Like Me" and "Get It Right"? Tell us in the comments!

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Oscar Preview: Can 'King's Speech' Be Dethroned?

The period drama seems poised to take the Best Picture crown once promised to 'The Social Network.'
By Eric Ditzian

Colin Firth in "The King's Speech"
Photo: Weinstein Company

If the 83rd Academy Awards had been held a month ago, shortly after the critics groups had doled out their prizes and the final glasses of champagne had been drained at the Golden Globes, "The Social Network" would almost certainly have nabbed Oscar's Best Picture statue. After all, David Fincher's film about the salacious founding of Facebook hardly encountered a critics group it didn't woo and win over, before going on to earn four Globes, including Best Motion Picture - Drama. What could possibly stand between "Social Network" and the Academy's top honor?

As it turns out, another month. And another biopic, this one telling a story that begins some 80 years ago and resembling a far more traditional Oscar film than Fincher's exploration of youth and digital beauty. "The King's Speech" bounced back from its Globe defeats (it nabbed just one of seven nominations, with Colin Firth taking top dramatic actor) and secured important wins from the Producers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild.

So much for creating a big tent with the inclusion of 10 Best Picture nominees. Like last year, we find ourselves watching a two-horse race that, at this point, might not be all that close. Kudos to "Toy Story 3," "Winter's Bone" and "Inception," but their nominations are kind of the equivalent of pity invites to a kid's birthday party: Sure, the birthday boy was forced to request the pleasure of your company, but he's not going to pretend you're anything more than a seat-filler. Our man Oscar holds the most exclusive birthday party in Hollywood, and its voters like it that way.

What's interesting this year is the nature of the two-horse race. In 2010, it came down to a decision between a populist fave in "Avatar" that made a gazillion dollars at the box office and a critics' darling in "The Hurt Locker" that maybe six people saw in the theater. Both "Social Network" and "King's Speech," meanwhile, have almost identical box-office grosses and high-90s ratings at the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregator. The difference between the two is that "King's Speech" is the kind of film that could have been an Oscar nominee a decade ago — or a half-century ago — whereas "Social Network," in everything from story line to subtext to soundtrack, is directly plugged into 2011.

That's not to suggest "King's Speech" is some musty relic of yesteryear, nor that contemporary relevancy is a requirement for Oscar glory. The key, rather, is that the best film should win. And if you ask us, the finest film of the year is "Social Network." But as in so many years past — from how "Gladiator" bested "Traffic" to the way "Shakespeare in Love" beat out, well, geez, take your pick! — the best film of the year doesn't always receive that Oscar honor.

We can talk about momentum, we can indentify vital precursor wins, we can cite all manner of historical facts and we can lament fuddy-duddy voters. None of it seems to matter. On Sunday night, it appears, a very good film but hardly the year's best will win Best Picture. Let's offer our early congratulations to "The King's Speech."

Which Oscar contender should take Best Picture? Share your pick in the comments!

Will it be a regal evening for "The King's Speech"? Can "The Social Network" dial up Oscar gold? Don't miss MTV News' "2011 Oscars Live" at 6 p.m. Sunday, February 27, when we'll be chatting with your favorite Hollywood stars live from the red carpet on, and stick with us all Oscar night for winners, interviews, photos and more!

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

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Ke$ha Pokes Fun At Disney In New Funny Or Die Clip

Pop singer plays a dirty Disney princess in online parody.
By Jocelyn Vena

Ke$ha in Funny or Die's "Disney's Princess Ke$ha" video
Photo: Funny Or Die

Ever wonder what it would be like if Disney gave Ke$ha her very own movie? Well wonder no more, since the folks over at Funny or Die have dreamed up a new Ke$ha-starring satire, "Disney's Princess Ke$ha."

The clip opens with Ke$ha in a castle bedroom addressing her animated pals, complaining about her alarm clock waking her up. "Oh that clock. What a killjoy," she says as she stares out of her window in the castle tower. Just as she begins singing a very Disney melody, she proclaims it "gross" and says "f--- it," before kicking off a signature Ke$ha-style tune, complete with her rap-sing style and club-ready beat.

"Time to get the day going/ Dress it up to the nines/ Yo, critter crew/ Make Princess Ke$ha look fine," she sings. "Add a little pinch of magic from my fairy-tale life and off we go." Then she goes into the chorus: "I'm getting ready so nice / I'm getting customized."

The pop star is later catapulted into the real world. In an alley, she meets up with an animated rat, a pumpkin and a cross-dressing hobo fairy godmother. The rat and pumpkin are transformed into a shopping cart and a man who take off with Ke$ha.

This is the singer's second appearance on the site. Last November she appeared in a clip where she jokingly explained "The Story of the $."

"I used to be Kesha with an S, instead of a dollar sign, and then one year I had my birthday party at Shakey's Pizza," she said in the clip. "On the sign, the big sign where they write 'Happy birthday,' they replaced the S with a dollar sign. It ruined my life. I wanted to be a CPA, but you know who H&R Block doesn't hire? People with dollar signs in their name. I pretty much had to be a pop star."

What do you think of Ke$ha's latest Funny or Die video? Tell us in the comments!

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Beyonce's Mom Says Daughter's Style Has Always Been 'Edgy'

'It's just a result of her constantly evolving,' Tina Knowles says of the fashion in Beyonce's "I Am ... World Tour" DVD concert special.
By Jocelyn Vena

Photo: Paul Warner/ WireImage

Beyoncé has never been shy about hitting the stage in stunning costumes. Her appearance has always been a mixture of showgirl sparkle and pop star razzle-dazzle. And her style is on full display in her new DVD concert special, "I Am ... World Tour."

Her mom and stylist, Tina Knowles, said that while the looks may seem a bit edgier than what fans have seen from the singer in the past, she thinks that her superstar daughter has always been ahead of the style curve.

"Well, the wonderful Thierry Mugler designed the costumes, and I actually worked on some of the dancers and the band, and it was just amazing to work with him because he is so creative," Knowles told MTV News at a New York screening of the special. "So it's just a result of her constantly evolving, but she's been edgy. It's funny for people to say she went more edgy, but she's been wearing body suits and that type of thing."

And while Knowles may act as her daughter's stylist and costume designer, she says that Bey's style decisions are all her own. "Well, we discussed her working with Thierry Mugler, and I'm the biggest fan. And so she had seen some of the fashions and she loved it," she said. "So we always discuss things, but it's her decision, it's her career."

Beyoncé, who also directed the concert special , said it gave her a better understanding of the filmmaking process. "It was hard work," she said. "I learned so much. I have a new respect for directors and I think I would like to do more of it. ... Well, I've done some co-directing for music videos [but] this was definitely a big step for me, and I'm so thrilled."

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Photos | Alicia Keys Brings Jay-Z, Beyonce To Her New York Show

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Arcade Fire Manager Responds To Steve Stoute's Grammy Gripe

In an open letter of his own, Scott Rodger said he's 'proud of this band and what they've achieved.'
By James Montgomery

Arcade Fire at the 2011 Grammy Awards
Photo: Getty Images

Three days after music-industry vet Steve Stoute took out a full-page ad in The New York Times to blast the Grammys for being out of touch and vaguely evil, the manager of one of the bands he singled out responded, calling Stoute's missive "a nice piece of self publicity."

In an e-mail to industry insider Bob Lefsetz, Scott Rodger, manager of Album of the Year winners the Arcade Fire, ripped Stoute for calling into question not only the validity of the band's triumph but also their show-closing second performance. While the encore served as a de facto victory lap for the band, to Stoute it appeared to be proof positive that the Grammys were rigged and in need of a serious overhaul.

"Arcade Fire had the final slot on the Grammys as the ratings are low at the end of the broadcast. It really is that simple," Rodger wrote. "[There was] no big plot. We had no guarantee of air time, but it was simply to play out the end-credits of the show. ... For the Grammys international broadcast, our main performance — along with that of Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers was completely cut from the show. Our end-title performance was bastardized because they cut our ads/sponsor messages completely. It was a bit of a farce."

Rodger also defended his band's AOTY win — which Stoute took issue with in his Times open letter, and then again in a follow-up interview with The Hollywood Reporter, — because, well, they "deserved" it.

"They made the best album. If the award was named 'Album Sales of the Year,' there would be no discussion," Rodger wrote. "Eminem made a big-selling album, but it was far from being his best work. Katy Perry made a big pop record that simply didn't have weight or credibility. Gaga's ... was a repackage of the main release.

"Arcade Fire are now one of the biggest live acts in the world. It's not all about record sales. It's about making great records, and it's about building a loyal fanbase," he continued. "The band make great albums, they're not a radio-driven singles band. ... Things couldn't be better."

Rodger closed his e-mail by taking a final shot at Stoute, saying that his protests were myopic — since Arcade Fire's triumph was actually celebrated by big-selling artists — and that "he needs to tune in."

"Did he see Kanye's tweets when we won and the praise he gave us?" he wrote. "I'm proud of this band and what they have achieved."

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  • Label: Jive, Zomba Label Group
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Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Other Stars Make Forbes' Top-Earning Of 2010 List

Taylor Swift, Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus also made the magazine's top 20 list of Hollywood moneymakers.
By Jayson Rodriguez

Photo: Columbia/Music World

On the East Coast, revenue streams are slowly rising as banks are still cratering and trying to recover from the recession. But out West, money ain't a thing, as Jermaine Dupri and Jay-Z once rapped.

Forbes has released their list of Hollywood's 20 Highest Earners of 2010, with Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus among those rubbing elbows with the likes of power players like Oprah Winfrey.

The venerable talk-show host topped the list with a whopping $315 million haul. Winfrey's earnings were generated for the most part by her multimedia deals, which include a syndication deal for her TV show, a magazine and her soon-to-be-launched network.

"Avatar" creator James Cameron came in second, more than $100 million behind Winfrey, with a tally of $210 million. Director and playwright Tyler Perry ($125 million), blockbuster movie producer Michael Bay ($120 million) and golfer Tiger Woods ($105 million) rounded out the top five.

Beyoncé was the only pop star to break the top 10. The "Single Ladies" superstar landed at #9, sandwiched between George Lucas and Dr. Phil. Mrs. Carter, whose hubby, Jay-Z, was named Hip-Hop's Cash King by Forbes in August with a tally of $63 million, pulled down $87 million over the past 12 months.

The blond-haired trio of Britney Spears ($64 million), Lady Gaga ($62 million) and Madonna ($58 million) made their mark on the list at numbers 13, 14 and 15, respectively.

Pop tarts Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift capped the list. The young stars placed at 18 and 19 on the list, with Disney star Cyrus pocketing $48 million, and country singer Swift depositing $45 million into her bank account.

Hollywood's 20 highest-earning men and women of 2010, according to Forbes:

1. Oprah Winfrey, $315 million
2. James Cameron, $210 million
3. Tyler Perry, $125 million
4. Michael Bay, $120 million
5. Tiger Woods, $105 million
6. Jerry Bruckheimer, $100 million
7. Steven Spielberg, $100 million
8. George Lucas, $95 million
9. Beyoncé, $87 million
10. Dr. Phil, $80 million
11. Simon Cowell, $80 million
12. Jerry Seinfeld, $75 million
13. Britney Spears, $64 million
14. Lady Gaga, $62 million
15. Madonna, $58 million
16. Sandra Bullock, $56 million
17. Ellen DeGeneres, $55 million
18. Miley Cyrus, $48 million
19. Taylor Swift, $45 million
20. Judge Judy Sheindlin, $45 million

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