Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wiz Khalifa Says Snoop Dogg Advises Him To 'Boss Up'

Rapper opens up about 'High School' collaborator on 'RapFix Live.'
By Jayson Rodriguez, with reporting by Sway Calloway

Wiz Khalifa
Photo: Sohyung Kang / MTV News

Snoop Dogg always walked his own path as a youngin' in the game. And now that the veteran rapper has taken Wiz Khalifa under his wing, his advice to the upstart isn't very different from his own mantra.

According to the "Black and Yellow" star, Snoop told him to keep doing what he's been doing.

"He just always told me to stick to what I know, 'cause I know myself the best," Wiz said during his appearance on MTV News' "RapFix Live." "And [he told me to] boss up in every opportunity that I get. Those are mainly the two key points that stick out.

"Snoop is a big fan of what I do and, of course, he's a legend to me and it's just an honor for him to be talking about me, speaking so highly of me and sharing the same views. I witnessed his career, and there was a time when my dad wouldn't want me listening to Snoop. But as time went on and he got to see who Snoop was as a businessman and other avenues of life, then he really grew to respect him. I feel like, as long as I do me, like Dogg says, in time people will get it."

The two green-friendly rappers joined forces late last year for Wiz's "Black and Yellow" remix and later announced they would be shooting a movie together called "High School."

"We decided to go ahead and say, 'You know what? Let's do a movie and a soundtrack and just become, you know, bosom buddies and do what we do 'cause we love what we do and we love each other and at the same time, we know what the people want,' " Snoop explained. "The people want to see the two generations come together where hip-hop ain't about old school and new school. It's just about good music and making good moves and putting something out there that's classic where people can respect it and say, 'Yeah, so now, this was some gangsta sh-- that really made hip-hop gradually grow to another level.' "

Are you looking forward to seeing Wiz and Snoop join forces for "High School"? Tell us below!

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'Harry Potter' DVD Premiere To Stream Live Monday On!

Join us at 7 p.m. ET for interviews with your favorite 'Potter' castmembers live from the red carpet.
By Eric Ditzian

Bonnie Wright and Daniel Radcliffe in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1"
Photo: Warner Bros.

The last time MTV News hosted a "Harry Potter" live-stream event, Emma Watson offered to take off her dress and Daniel Radcliffe revealed that J.K. Rowling texted him to say she'd never write another book about the boy wizard.

Craziness! So you're not going to want to miss our next franchise live stream, which arrives Monday, April 4, as we celebrate the DVD release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1." Starting at 7 p.m. ET on, host Josh Horowitz will be interviewing castmembers and super-fans on the red carpet, debuting exclusive footage from the film and taking a peek inside Harry Potter: The Exhibition at the Discovery Times Square building in New York City.

The "Deathly Hallows" cast in attendance will include Sir Michael Gambon (Dumbledore), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), James Phelps (Weasley twins), Dohmnal Gleeson (Bill Weasley), Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley), Evanna Lynch (Luna), David Thewliss (Lupin) and Nat Tena (Tonks), plus producers David Heyman and David Baron and many more.

During the live stream, the stars will also be answering fan questions, which you can submit on or via Twitter (using @MTVNews and the hashtag #askpotter). Before the theatrical release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" in July, this will be your chance to get up close and personal with your favorite castmembers.

So be sure to lock in on this Monday, April 4, at 7 p.m. ET for our live-stream presentation of the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1" DVD premiere.

Check out everything we've got on "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1."

For young Hollywood news, fashion and "Twilight" updates around the clock, visit

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Ke$ha Postpones Japan Tour Dates

Ne-Yo, Cyndi Lauper continue to perform in the country following earthquake.
By Gil Kaufman

Photo: Noel Vasquez/ Getty Images

As the people of Japan continue to struggle with recovering from the nation's devastating earthquake and tsunami, some artists are being forced to cancel their tour dates in the nation. Ke$ha released a statement on Monday announcing that she would have to postpone her upcoming dates in Japan.

"My heart is with Japan right now through this disaster and these hardships," the singer wrote on her website. "I genuinely don't think right now would be appropriate timing for me to perform in Japan given the content and the spirit of my show, which is all about feeling exuberant, rowdy, and wild. ... I plan to bring my party there and to that part of the world when we are all ready to dance and Get $leazy together again. In the meantime I am going to do everything I can to help relief efforts and I encourage everyone in the world to do the same."

In the meantime, Ke$ha has a string of North American dates kicking off on April 1 with a show in Clarion, Pennsylvania, and running through early May.

According to Billboard, the promoter of the scotched Japanese tour, Creativeman Productions, also announced that it would be canceling a pair of its annual spring festivals. The Springgroove, an R&B, soul and hip-hop festival scheduled for April 2 near Tokyo and April 3 in Osaka, would have featured Nelly and Flo Rida, among others. Also called off was then annual hardcore Punkspring festival on April 1 and 2 in Osaka and Nagoya with headliners Good Charlotte and Hoobastank.

Ne-Yo continued with his planned dates in Japan over the weekend, performing a show in Nagoya on Friday and launching a charity initiative to help the people of the country. Called "Spread Love Through Music," the show included donation boxes at the concert to help those in need and the sale of a special wristband with proceeds going to earthquake relief. He plans to do the same during his shows on Tuesday (March 22) in Yokohama and Thursday in Tokyo. "You can absolutely spread love through music, and I think that's what's absolutely called for in this time of crisis," he said in a video on his website.

Also currently touring Japan is Cyndi Lauper, who is slated to play a show in Osaka on Tuesday and was in the country promoting her Memphis Blues album when the quake hit on March 11. She's been tweeting about her experience all along, and on Monday, she wrote about the healing power of music in the shattered country.

"Miss my family but have my music family and the warmth of the peeps I sing to. Tonight I will lose myself in the music and the rhythm," she wrote. Like Ne-Yo, she is asking fans to donate cash at the shows to earthquake relief and is donating all royalties from sales of her Blues album in Japan to the Japanese Red Cross.

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Ronnie James Dio Dead at 67

Today, the heavy metal world lost a true legend. Ronnie James Dio, who most recently fronted the Black Sabbath-without-Ozzy band Heaven & Hell, lost his battle with stomach cancer at 7:45 a.m. PST. He was 67.
?My heart is broken,? said his wife and manager, Wendy Dio in a statement. ?Many, many friends and family were [...]

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Katy Perry Says 'E.T.' Video Doesn't 'Play It Safe'

Clip's on-air debut at 7:53 p.m. ET will be followed by live 'MTV First' interview with Perry on
By MTV News staff

Katy Perry
Photo: MTV News

When Katy Perry's "E.T." video, featuring Kanye West, premieres on MTV and on Thursday, fans should expect a decidedly cinematic experience.

"With Teenage Dream, the record in whole, I knew I wanted to give so many different flavors, so many different ideas, and just make a different 'movie' for each song," Perry told MTV News of her latest album, which has already spawned clips for "California Gurls," "Firework" and the title track. "I feel like I've done that."

The "E.T." video will premiere at noon Thursday on, and Then, "MTV First: Katy Perry's 'E.T.' " will bow on air at 7:53 p.m. ET before tossing to an live stream, featuring MTV News correspondent Sway's exclusive chat with Perry, an interview with director Floria Sigismondi and reaction from Perry's fans.

Perry has noticed a shift in public opinion about her with the release of each Teenage Dream video, and she's thinking "E.T." will be no exception.

"It's interesting to see a lot of the commentary that goes along with growth," she marveled. "People are like, 'OK, I like her,' finally, or like, 'Damn, I hate to admit it, but we're on the Katy Perry train,' which is really exciting, and i feel like I worked really hard for that.

"I knew starting with 'I Kissed a Girl' that it might have taken a little bit longer to get everybody just onboard the Katy Perry train, I guess," she added. "But now, I'm having so much fun and I get to be so creative and try different things and expand, and I never play it safe — in any way, really."

Don't miss the premiere of Katy Perry's "E.T." video, featuring Kanye West, at 7:53 p.m. ET Thursday on MTV, followed by our live "MTV First" interview with Katy Perry on!

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

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Britney Spears Fans Call Femme Fatale 'Amazing'

With release of Spears' new album upon us, fans praise the pop star for being 'feisty,' 'sexy' and 'unstoppable.'
By Jocelyn Vena

Britney Spears performs in San Francisco on Sunday
Photo: Max Morse/Getty Images

It's Femme Fatale's arrival day and Britney Spears lovers couldn't be more excited to have the singer release her seventh studio album. When MTV News caught up with a number of her fans in San Francisco on Sunday, where Spears was taping her performance for "Good Morning America" — which airs Tuesday (March 29) — they revealed why they were looking forward to this new chapter in the pop star's dynamic career.

Camille Burgess explained, "We grew up listening to her songs and she will always be amazing." Her pal Stephanie Griffin added, "She's unstoppable!"

Sarah explained that Spears' spirit is why fans will certainly scoop up copies of the singer's latest, which features production from Dr. Luke and Max Martin, as well as collaborations with artists like "Britney's back but she sealed the deal ... everything!" she gushed. "She's feisty! She never gives up!"

Femme Fatale is a nonstop party album, complete with sexy beats, Britney's signature cooing singing style and lots of references to wanting to get busy with hot dudes. "I've heard a couple of songs and I have to say it's definitely amazing ... She knows what she's doing," Thomas explained. "And I think she's definitely going to have some surprises up her sleeve this next album ... The entertainment power she has, the way she flaunts herself onstage, she's not afraid to be different. It's inspiring to me."

Randi mirrors Thomas' feelings on why fans have stuck with the singer through her ups and downs and are just as excited as ever for this latest release. "Why do we love her? She's awesome," said Randi. "She's an influence on everything. No matter what she does she's always going to be sexy."

What are your thoughts about Britney's Femme Fatale album now that it's finally in stores? Share your opinions in the comments.

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'Cast in Metal: Airbourne Frontman Joel O'Keefe

If AC/DC aren't cranking out albums fast enough for you and Rhino Bucket don't get your engine revin,' then check out the new Airbourne album 'No Guts, No Glory.' The second disc by these Aussie/DC obsessives is a feast of sleazy, slammin' rhythms, jagged flesh-cleaving guitars and howled melodic vocals that sound like Angus-and-company on [...]

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Linkin Park, Paramore Battle for Survival In Musical March Madness

30 Seconds to Mars, Tokio Hotel, Panic! at the Disco also locked in tight matchups in the final hours of the Sweet 16.
By James Montgomery

Linkin Park's Chester Bennington
Photo: Kevin Winter/ Getty

When MTV's Musical March Madness tournament moved on to the Sweet 16 on Monday, we warned that the challenge for bands and their fans would only get tougher from here on out. And we weren't kidding.

Check out our MMM Bracket right here!

With Sweet 16 voting set to close Tuesday at midnight ET, half of our matchups are still too close to call, as big-name artists slog it out for a spot in the Elite 8. Will this be the round where presumptive favorites fall? Will we see upsets of VCU-like proportions? Well, all of that's up to you, really. There's still time to cast your votes and help your favorite bands advance ... but that time is quickly dwindling.

Sweet 16 voting is now under way over on the Newsroom blog!

And sure, some of our Sweet 16 matchups are basically foregone conclusions — #3 My Chemical Romance lead #2 Radiohead by a large margin, #16 Sum 41 are rolling #4 the Strokes, #9 Disturbed are dominating #12 Patrick Stump and #3 Green Day are running away from #2 Blink-182 — but we've got a whole lot of nail-biters brewing ... so here's a look at those ultra-tight contests.

#1 30 Seconds to Mars v. #5 Panic! at the Disco

When we revealed our Sweet 16, we had this West region clash circled, writing "there may be no bigger matchup in the tournament to date." And so far, it has lived up to the hype. Both bands have been campaigning hard, and their fans have responded, casting nearly 70,000 votes at press time. This one looks like it's gonna come down to the wire, as 30 STM lead Panic! by less than 2,000 votes. You can help decide the winner by voting now.

#1 Linkin Park v. #5 Paramore

A huge matchup in the South region, this one pits two MMM title faves against each other ... and the results speak for themselves. More than 80,000 votes have been cast so far, and with just hours left until polls close, fewer than 200 votes separate the two bands. Both Mike Shinoda and Hayley Williams have been hitting up the fans for support, and right now, this one is LP's to lose ... but anything can happen. You can vote for your favorite here.

#6 Coheed and Cambria v. #7 Avenged Sevenfold

All eyes are on this tilt in the Midwest region, as Coheed — last year's MMM champs and the band most had penciled in for the 2011 finals — are standing on the brink of elimination. With hours left to go in the polling, and more than 40,000 ballots cast, they trail Avenged Sevenfold by less than 2,000 votes. If they want to keep their dreams of a repeat alive, they're going to need some help from their fans. Or perhaps this really is A7X's time. You can decide this ultra-close contest by voting now.

#14 Tokio Hotel v. #2 Muse

Another tight one in the South — what else would you expect from two bands that made the Final Four last year? — with nearly 60,000 votes already counted, it's Tokio Hotel who hold a 3,000 vote lead over Muse. It's unquestionably both acts' toughest tournament challenge to date. Could this be the round where Tokio Hotel's fan support finally runs out? Or will it be Muse who fail to live up to the pre-tourney expectations? Once again, it'll be up to you. Vote now to send your favorite on to the Elite 8.

MTV's Musical March Madness has reached the Sweet 16! Voting is now open and will continue until Tuesday at midnight, when we'll roll on to the Elite 8. All winners are determined by your votes, so, if your favorite act is still standing, it's up to you to guide them to glory. You can rally the troops on Twitter using the hashtag #MMM — but get ready, things only get tougher from here on out!

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Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Suit Vs. AEG Can Proceed, Judge Rules

Katherine Jackson and family are pursuing a claim against concert promoter.
By Gil Kaufman

Michael Jackson

When he was alive, Michael Jackson was forever embroiled in a series of complex and expensive-sounding lawsuits. But even in death, the late King of Pop is the subject of major legal action. None could potentially be bigger than the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the pop icon's mother, Katherine Jackson, against concert promotion giant AEG Live.

Reuters reported that a Los Angeles judge ruled on Wednesday that the civil lawsuit can go forward. It will proceed in parallel with the criminal case against Jackson's physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, who has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with Jackson's June 2009 death from an overdose of the powerful surgical anesthetic propofol. Murray is the only person charged in Jackson's death and he is currently awaiting trial in that matter.

Katherine Jackson's lawsuit — filed in September on behalf of her and Jackson's three young children — accuses AEG of being responsible for the medical decisions made by Murray, whose salary was paid by the touring company behind Jackson's attempted "This Is It" comeback shows in London. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos denied a motion on Wednesday by AEG to dismiss Katherine Jackson's suit, but warned Jackson's attorneys that they would need to show evidence of "fraud, negligent infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy" in order to win the case.

The judge has already said she doubts they can prove the latter charge, because the suit does not detail any agreement between Murray and AEG to break the law in providing medical care to Jackson.

"If the object was to get him to rehearsals, I don't see that as a wrongful or illegal act," the judge said. A lawyer for AEG told the judge that the company could not have predicted beforehand that Murray's medical decisions would result in Jackson's death. Court papers also show that AEG "did not choose to hire Murray" and had only participated in negotiations to bring him on as an independent contractor. Michael, who had previously been treated by Murray in Las Vegas, was reportedly the one who suggested the cardiologist serve as his personal, on-call physician during the "This Is It" rehearsals and shows.

Katherine Jackson's attorney recently dropped choreographer Kenny Ortega from the lawsuit based on new information they received about his actions. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for March 22, just six days before Murray is due back in court for his trial. Jackson's father, Joseph, has twice attempted to file a wrongful death suit in the matter, though his is focused on Murray and the Las Vegas pharmacy that supplied the propofol, not AEG Live.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

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Sucker Punch Filmmakers Talk About the Movie?s Soundtrack

Sucker Punch may not be impressing too many film critics–it looks like director Zack Snyder may have gone overboard when he decided to toss as many pop culture geek references as he could into one project–but fortunately, the soundtrack is at least deserving of praise. We’ve got a video in which Snyder, composer Tyler Bates, [...]

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Justin Bieber Vintage Video: His First Meeting With Usher

Justin Timberlake also wanted to sign Bieber, 'Never Say Never' star said in 2009.
By Jocelyn Vena

Justin Bieber
Photo: Brian Phares/MTV News

Just as the world was learning who Justin Bieber was, MTV News caught up with the shaggy-haired singer in September 2009. He was gearing up to release his debut album, My World, and plotting his pop-world domination. In the year and a half since that interview, Bieber has done the nearly impossible, launching himself into the pop mega-sphere.

In the chat, Bieber recalled how he and his manager, Scooter Braun, met and eventually got big names interested in signing the teen.

"My manager found me on YouTube. He flew me out to Atlanta for the first time — I'd never actually been on a plane before. He flew me to Atlanta where i was going to the studio to meet some people," he recalled.

"And Usher happened to roll up in his Range Rover. I ran up to him, and I was like, 'Usher, I love your songs. Want me to sing you one?' The politest possible way he could say no, he did. ... I took the hint. I didn't get to sing for him: He had to run into a studio session."

But later, Usher was beckoning the teen back to the ATL. "He actually watched my videos — after my manager got to talking to him — and was like, 'I should have let this kid sing,' and flew me back to Atlanta where I got to sing for him in a proper setting. A week later, I had a meeting with Justin Timberlake, who also wanted to sign me, so they both kind of wanted me."

As the story goes, Bieber went with Usher, and the two never looked back.

"As far as Usher being my mentor, he's definitely given me words of wisdom. I hear it from everybody, but definitely to hear it from Usher is great, just to stay humble and grounded is very important," he explained.

"There's a lot of people, especially young stars, that have gone down the wrong path, and I definitely plan to stay humble and stay grounded and keep my family first, because that stuff really is important in life."

On Friday, Justin Bieber's 3-D documentary, "Never Say Never," opens. The film takes a look at how the teen star worked to hit it big. MTV News has been chatting with him along the way, from the time he first burst on the scene in 2009 until now, as he embarks on a huge 2011 that will include a tour and more new music.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Justin Bieber's Next Album To Capture Justin Timberlake's Magic

Songwriter Sean Garrett says former 'NSYNC star's success inspires Bieber's new project and also dishes on Beyoncé's album.
By Mawuse Ziegbe

Justin Bieber
Photo: Getty Images

Justin Bieber may have declined the chance to join Justin Timberlake's label, but according to a songwriter in the know, the former 'NSYNC crooner is the inspiration for the teen sensation's upcoming album.

Songwriter Sean "The Pen "Garrett, who has been working with Bieber on the follow-up to the chart-ruling My World 2.0., spoke with Billboard about the direction for the teen superstar's forthcoming album, saying the project will feature more grown-up fare.

"What we're trying to do with Justin is to segue him into young adulthood," Garrett said of the project, which is also slated to feature production from hitmaker Christopher "Tricky" Stewart. "The one great thing about Justin Bieber is the fact that his fans are going to grow with him. So we want all the fans that started out with him to still be intrigued and excited about him, but we want to also stretch out a little bit and make the fans that are 22-23 years old love Justin as well. When Justin Timberlake went from the last album of *N Sync to his first solo album -- I want to say [we're aiming for] that level. That's the bar for the type of song, that level of 'Cry Me a River,' big records."

Garrett, who has crafted records for stars like Chris Brown and Bieber's mentor Usher, also said he's hard at work on Beyoncé's next project. However, the songwriter didn't divulge too much information, only revealing that he's "been working with her extremely hard ... she's my favorite."

While Garrett said the plan for his next outing is to angle Bieber toward a swiftly maturing audience, Bieber himself has refused to categorize his music, insisting to MTV News in December that he's just focused on creating quality records.

"Whatever comes out of my mouth is just what you guys are going to hear," Bieber explained of his hits. "I don't know, it's not a specific type of music. Whatever music I write, I wouldn't say I'm pop or R&B or country or anything: I would just say it's just good music,"

What do you think Justin Bieber's new music is going to sound like? Let us know in the comments!

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Usher 'Got A Good Laugh' From Fan Kicking Him In The Face

'It looked worse than it actually was,' the 'OMG' singer laughs about accidental blow during concert serenade.
By Mawuse Ziegbe

Photo: Jordan Strauss/ Getty Images

Usher's club-rattling jam "OMG" may "kill it every night" according to tourmate Miguel, but when the Atlanta crooner hit Madison Square Garden earlier this week, he was almost taken out by a clumsy fan.

When the singer touched down in New York on Monday, he indulged a super amped fan's fantasy by pulling her onstage for an intimate flirty serenade of "Trading Places." As Usher and the concertgoer got cozy on a recliner, she swiveled around to face the crooner — knocking him squarely in his mug with her foot. She began apologizing profusely as Usher briefly paused to collect himself. But the superstar took the strike in stride, quipping, "We play rough in the bed. We kick each other in the face and all type of good stuff."

Although Usher brushed off the blow, the moment did make an impression on him.

"In all my years, this is one of the most interesting experiences. I got a kick out of it!" he told Us Weekly. The singer assured fans that the knock wasn't that bad. "It looked worse than it actually was. My audience and I got a good laugh."

As for the fan, the "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" star maintained everything is all good on that front too. "Wherever you are baby, don't feel bad," Usher said. "No hard feelings."

As Miguel has noted, Usher isn't one dwell on drama, whether it's cranking out another hit album or weathering an unexpected hit from a fan.

"He's such a tremendous example of perseverance and determination," Miguel recently told MTV News. "I was there throughout this album, so I've seen the adversity that he's had to overcome perception-wise."

What do you think of Usher's response to getting knocked in the head by a fan? Tell us in the comments!

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Is Bruce Springsteen Working on a New Solo Album?

Bruce Springsteen may never release another Born to Run (or another Darkness on the Edge of Town, for that matter) but you gotta give him some credit for being an artist who hasn’t completely�resigned himself to�constant self-imitation. While recent releases like Magic and Working on a Dream haven’t exactly explored new territory, projects like We [...]

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Is Beyonce Almost Finished With Her New Album?

'I probably won't get on this album, but hopefully the next one,' singer/songwriter Sia says of song she pitched for Beyonce's new album.
By James Dinh

Photo: Michael Loccisano/ Getty Images

As Britney Spears and Lady Gaga gear up to release new albums, there's another pop heavyweight who may offer them some friendly competition: Beyoncé. Details surrounding the singer's next album remain scarce, but according to a few of the project's collaborators, Bey is almost finished recording the follow-up to 2008's I Am ... Sasha Fierce and has managed to hit the studio with an extensive list of producers.

After gushing about her high hopes for working with Beyoncé, Australian songstress Sia revealed that she told B's behind-the-scenes team that she wanted to lend a creative hand for the new album. "So I just said to all the producers, writers, everyone, help me make this happen, and then Diplo e-mailed me and said, 'where are you in the world right now? would you be interested in flying to New York? I'm writing with Beyoncé,' and I was like, 'Yesss!' " the singer told MTV Australia.

Despite Diplo's offer, Sia said she was unable to fly out because of schedule conflicts, but is in the process of pitching songs to Beyoncé. When asked if her submissions were for Beyoncé's forthcoming LP, Sia said, "Well, there's only one song left for this album, so I probably won't get on this album, but hopefully the next one. That's my dream, that's my goal."

Sia isn't the only collaborator that has suggested Beyoncé is close to wrapping up studio sessions for the project. Sleigh Bells have confirmed working with the singer, but are weary on whether their work with the songstress will make the final cut. Speaking with, guitarist Derek Miller admitted, "I actually have no idea if the collaboration will ever be released."

While Miller remained tight-lipped on details regarding the song (or songs?), the Sleigh Bells bandmate confessed that the collabo is just one of her many musical partnerships, saying, "Beyoncé works with whoever she wants to work with, probably 30 or 40 producers. It's a totally different world from what I'm used to. So for me, it's just exciting to hear something that I worked on but I can't really say any more than that."

Sia and the Sleigh Bells join a long list of other collaborators who have been tapped to work on Beyoncé's new album, including Ne-Yo, S1, Jim Jonsin, Sean "The Pen" Garrett, The-Dream and Tricky Stewart.

Who do you want to see Beyoncé collaborate with on her new album? Share your suggestions in the comments.

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Bret Michaels Sues Tonys Over 2009 Onstage Injury

Lawsuit cites the incident as cause of Poison frontman's near-fatal brain hemorrhage last year.
By James Dinh

Bret Michaels
Photo: Brian Ach/WireImage

Bret Michaels is suing Tony Award Productions and CBS for his stage mishap at the 2009 Tony Awards, where the rock singer slammed his head against a stage prop that descended from the ceiling.

TMZ reports that the lawsuit, which was filed Friday (March 25), has Michaels alleging that he was not properly instructed on how to exit the stage following his "Nothin' But a Good Time" performance alongside his Poison bandmates and the cast of the "Rock of Ages" musical. He claims he had to be hospitalized for a broken nose and a cut lip.

However, things took a turn for the worse six months later when the rock star nearly died from a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage. And in the lawsuit, Michaels, who is suing for unspecified damages, claims that the onstage injury is in direct relation with his near-fatal hospitalization.

"One of the most common causes of this type of hemorrhage is head trauma — exactly like the one Michaels suffered at the hands of the Tony Awards," the lawsuit claims. "Through his sheer will to live, to see his children grow up, [he] was able to survive this trauma."

Bret says in the suit that producers have "failed and refused" to help aid the situation and claimed that he "missed his mark" during the performance.

Reps for Michaels have previously alleged the awards show's negligence in the incident. In a statement to MTV News days after the mishap, the singer's reps cited a "lack of communication" between their client and "the producers, directors, stage managers and crew" of the awards show.

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Usher - Fed Up (featuring Usher, Young Jeezy, Drake, Rick Ross)

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  • Artist: Usher
  • Label: We The Best, E1 Music
  • Director: Gil Green

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Beyoncé - Halo


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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Britney Spears Announces Las Vegas Nightclub Performance

'Looks like my little secret isnt a secret anymore,' she tweets before tonight's Rain gig with DJ Pauly D from 'Jersey Shore.'
By James Dinh

Britney Spears
Photo: Jive

With less than a week until Femme Fatale hits stores, Britney Spears is adding another date to her promotional calendar. The "Hold It Against Me" singer took to her Twitter on Friday afternoon (March 25) to announce a performance at Rain nightclub at Las Vegas' Palms Casino and Resort scheduled for later this evening.

"Looks like my little secret isnt a secret anymore. Whos coming to watch me take the stage TONIGHT at @RainLasVegas at @PalmsLasVegas?" the pop star tweeted. "You're all invited. Be there or be square bitch!"

Britney is no stranger to the Rain stage. Back in 2003, the pop titan gave fans a sneak peek of her album In the Zone by surprising about 1,800 clubgoers with a 30-minute set, which included songs like "Me Against the Music" and "Breathe on Me."

Spears' Vegas performance is the latest in her string of promotional ventures for her upcoming LP. Last week, it was confirmed that she would pre-tape her "Good Morning America" appearance on Sunday, two days before it will air on the show. On the day of her album release, she will also appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" for a late-night performance of her two latest singles: "Till the World Ends" and "Hold It Against Me."

In addition to her concert specials, MTV will dedicate March 29 to the singer for what is being dubbed a "Britney Takeover" day. The entertainer will also make appearances on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and the Kids' Choice Awards on April 2.

Spears has been keeping fans on the edge of their seats for months with video and song teasers leading up to Femme Fatale's Tuesday release. When MTV News interviewed Britney's manager, Larry Rudolph, after the premiere of her "Hold It Against Me" video, he had high praise for the pop star's latest project, comparing the album to a Madonna classic.

"In my opinion, this is her strongest album ever. It's somewhat of a departure from what she's done. It's more mature," Rudolph told us last month. "It's more of a dance record and this really is ... Britney's Ray of Light album."

What are you expecting from Spears' new album? Let us know in the comments below!

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Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Slash Light Up Super Bowl XLV Halftime Show

Foursome is joined by special guests and tons of lights for smash-hit medley.
By Mawuse Ziegbe

Black Eyed Peas perform during the Super Bowl XLV halftime show
Photo: Getty Images

The Black Eyed Peas promised a party at the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday (February 6), and the pop supernovas definitely delivered, with a performance teeming with lights, dancers and surprise appearances from celebrity pals.

Following a commercial that showed animated versions of the Peas showing off their social-media skills, the group kicked things off with their 2009 smash "I Gotta Feeling," descending from the ceiling on illuminated platforms onto a stage surrounded by a cluster of dancers clad in white bodysuits. The foursome led the team of fist-pumping troops in "Tron"-like getups, with Taboo sporting an outfit covered in flashing lights, rocking a shiny hairpiece, wearing huge bright studs and Fergie vamping it up in bling-laden shoulder pads.

When the speaker-busting bass of "Boom Boom Pow" dropped, the dancers dispersed across the field to create arrow-shaped formations as the glow-in-the-dark lights on their suits illuminated the stadium. Then rumored surprise guest Slash of Guns N' Roses rose from below the stage for a "Sweet Child O' Mine" duet with Fergie. The GNR great rocked a finger-searing solo in a studded version of his signature black top hat as more angular platforms and dancers moved across the gridiron. The platforms were bearing scores of marching-band musicians who blasted their horns and pounded away on their drums as the Peas went into "Pump It" and blue lights splashed across the production.

Quick streams of fog heralded the arrival of the Peas' second surprise guest, Usher, who swooped in on a long chain to bust out his joint "OMG." Rocking a sparkly collar on an otherwise all-white ensemble, the R&B hitmaker cranked out several counts of energetic choreography, enlivening moves from his "OMG" video and at one point jumping over Will and landing in a split.

A spray of pyro ushered in the collective's breakout 2003 hit "Where Is the Love?" as the oddly shaped platforms spelled out the word "Love" in bright-red letters. The team of dancers, which appeared to have multiplied to over 100, formed hearts across the field as will updated the lyrics of the smash with lines like, "Obama, let's get these educated."

Then the group jumped ahead to their most recent single, 2010's "The Time (Dirty Bit)," as several back up hoofers rocking cubed helmets joined the Peas onstage and dancers lined up along the gridiron to simultaneously bust out the Running Man, a move which drew cheers from the crowd.

The platinum-selling Peas wrapped up the performance with a reprise of "I Gotta Feeling," as the quartet triumphantly signed off amid of blitz of fog, firepower and flashing lights.

Ripping the halftime show was clearly a touching moment for will, who tweeted beforehand, "Me and apl started the peas when we were 16 yesterday we were dreamin now were livin it. Wow. I'm not crying out of sadness or nervousness its joy and pride and memories and the journey."

And once the crew left the stage, the frontman was not only proud, but pumped. "That was so freakin sick," he wrote. "Wow...!!!"

What did you think of the Black Eyed Peas' Super Bowl performance? Let us know in the comments!

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'Sucker Punch': The Reviews Are In!

'... the ride Snyder takes you on is so vividly conceived, so deliriously bizarre and wonderful,' writes Rene Rodriguez of the Miami Herald.
By Eric Ditzian

Abbie Cornish in "Sucker Punch"
Photo: Warner Bros.

We'll say this about Zack Snyder: The guy knows how to stir up passion in moviegoers, whether those intense feelings skew toward the aggressively negative or the bow-down-before-a-cinematic-god positive. Just take a peek at reviews for the director's adaptation of "Watchmen" in 2009.

A similar disparity in critical assessments surrounds Snyder's latest offering, the fantastical battle royale called "Sucker Punch." Some reviewers are passionately defending the film and calling out the haters for simply failing to understand what the director was trying to accomplish. Many more, however, are accusing Snyder of being the one who failed to deliver.

Will you love it? Hate it? Have you somehow never even heard of it? Check out what the critics are saying and decide for yourself.

The Story
"The story centers on Babydoll (Emily Browning), an orphan falsely accused of murdering her little sister and imprisoned inside an asylum where she is scheduled for a lobotomy. Before the procedure can be completed, Babydoll disappears into an alternate reality that exists entirely in her mind. There, she and four fellow inmates (Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung) are performers in a bordello managed by the theatrical Madam Gorski (Carla Gugino) and run by the cruel pimp Blue (Miami's Oscar Isaac). In order to escape — the cathouse and the mental institution — the girls must first fight off winged dragons, zombies, giant ninja robots and android aliens and collect five talismans. No, Sucker Punch doesn't make any sense. But none of that matters, because the ride Snyder takes you on is so vividly conceived, so deliriously bizarre and wonderful." — Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

Storytelling Shortcomings
"The film abdicates so many basic responsibilities of coherent storytelling, even coherent stupid-action-movie storytelling, director/ co-writer/ co-producer Zack Snyder must have known in preproduction that his greasy collection of near-rape fantasies and violent revenge scenarios disguised as a female-empowerment fairy tale wasn't going to satisfy anyone but himself. Well, himself, plus ardent fans of Japanese-schoolgirl manga comics. ... You will be unprepared for a film packing this much confusing crud into a little less than two hours of solitary confinement, which feels more like dog hours, i.e., 14." — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

The Visuals
"Loaded with all kinds of visions of the fantastic and high-octane excitement, it's a visceral feast that utilizes Snyder's signature techniques with all the velocity of a fire-breathing dragon ... But 'Sucker Punch' is not just style over substance. That's an argument the film is sure to be met with, as well, but there is just as much bubbling up under 'Sucker Punch's' CG surface than there is in its sepia-toned skies. Filled with themes of empowerment, escapism, and changing the course of the typical narrative, the film rides high in its jet-propelled mech warrior, and it has much to tell us when it's done doing loopty loops around our brain." — Jeremy Kirk,

The Influences
"You could go to see 'Sucker Punch' this weekend — a lot of people probably will, and a few may even admit as much back at the office on Monday — or you could try to make it yourself, which might be more fun, though not necessarily cheaper. Here's what you will need: a bunch of video-game platforms; DVDs of 'Shutter Island,' 'Kill Bill,' 'Burlesque' and 'Shrek'; some back issues of Maxim; a large bag of crystal meth; and around $100 million. Your imagination will take care of the rest." — A.O. Scott, The New York Times

The Final Word
"Some will see the worst sort of objectification in its Victoria's Secret-esque femme front line that also includes the scantily clad corps of Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung. Others will argue that 'Sucker Punch's' sexy guerrillas represent female empowerment, to say nothing of the benefits of diet and exercise. I'd suggest the film is a wonderfully wild provocation — an imperfect, overlong, intemperate and utterly absorbing romp through the id that I wouldn't have missed for the world." — Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

Check out everything we've got on "Sucker Punch."

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

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