Sunday, July 31, 2011

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'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' Stars Give Apes Top Billing

Tom Felton, James Franco and other castmembers say come for the apes, stay for the story ... or just the apes.
By Kara Warner

Freida Pinto and James Franco at the "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" premiere
Photo: Frazer Harrison/ Getty Images

HOLLYWOOD — There is enough intrigue, presumed destruction and primate shenanigans in the trailers for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" to entice more than just the fans of the 1968 original into theaters when the film opens next week. But when MTV News caught up with the principal castmembers at the Hollywood premiere on Thursday, we asked them to sell us on a few more of the film's must-see elements, aside from their furry co-stars. Basically, if people come to see the apes, what will make them stay?

"Wow, James [Franco], Freida [Pinto], Andy [Serkis], everyone else," Tom Felton said, speaking to his co-stars' appeal. "There is a mixture of CGI and special effects that we've never seen onscreen before, along with a strong story and a strong message: Humans can't play God too much. We should not overstep our boundaries when it comes to manipulating Mother Nature."

Pinto countered that it's all about the apes. "I think this is one of few films that really give them a voice as well," she said. "Of course, 'Planet of the Apes' did as well, but 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' gives them a voice in a very revolutionary way."

One of the prominent primate voices heard is that of Caesar, played by seasoned motion-capture performer Andy Serkis, who, according to Franco, is the main reason why the film is any good.

"The apes, I think Andy Serkis and WETA should get top billing," Franco said. "They stole the show; they're incredible."

Actor John Lithgow, who plays the father of Franco's character, was the only one who thought folks will start out loving the apes and leave loving the humans.

"They [will] stay for the people, and the extent to which the apes become people," he said. "It's a story, it's a great story, that's why they stay."

Check out everything we've got on "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."

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

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Hailing from the streets of Brooklyn comes a fresh faced singer songwriter, and rapper (shock), called Krista. The young 24-year-old comes at a time when female pop singers are a hot ticket, but it takes a lot to stand out with characters like Lady Gaga and Ke$ha around. But Krista offers a unique voice that [...]

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Audrina Patridge, Ke$ha, Adam Lambert Share Prom Memories

'Me and my gay best friend just danced until 8 a.m.,' Ke$ha tells MTV News.
By Jocelyn Vena

Audrina Patridge
Photo: MTV News

It's prom season, and that means high schoolers across this great land will be renting tuxes, buying fancy dresses and negotiating the details of their curfews with parents. So, before you take your pictures and get in your limos, we asked some Hollywood A-listers to recall their fondest prom memories.

"I had a great prom," Ne-Yo told MTV News. "I didn't get to go with who I wanted to go with. I got my second choice, but my second choice turned out to be the one I was supposed to be there with, so it turned out good."

Ke$ha, never one to say no to a party, had the best night of all her friends. "I went to prom with my gay best friend, and let me tell you, I had way more fun than anybody else at a prom with their boyfriends," she recalled. "Everybody else was, like, crying and drama and breaking up, and me and my gay best friend just danced until 8 a.m."

"Hellcats" star Aly Michalka doesn't have a favorite prom memory — because she never went to prom. "I was homeschooled, so I don't even think we had a fake prom," she lamented. "Like, maybe we had a home-school prom and I wasn't invited?"

While everything always seems to be in peril on "The Vampire Diaries," star Nina Dobrev had a less tumultuous night: "Having everyone get together and such a final celebration [is what I remember]."

Romeo went big for his prom. "My senior prom, I remember I pulled up in my red Ferrari. I was feeling like James Bond," he said. "And it was one of the best nights of my life."

"My favorite prom memory was probably going shopping for a dress, and our boyfriends at the time dressed up as 'Dumb & Dumber,' " Audrina Patridge laughed. "And so we were like, 'We can't dress up dorky ... we have to look good.' "

Roots drummer ?uestlove made a big decision on the night of his prom: "June 2, 1989, was my very last haircut; prom haircut, totally butchered my hair. He butchered my hair, and I vowed never again to ever get in a barber chair, so I grew that Afro on my prom night."

Adam Lambert said his prom date was a 10, so he definitely had a fun night. "I had a great prom. I had an awesome time," he said. "I went with one of my best friends in high school. Her name was Lauren, and she was really hot. She wore a really hot red dress, so I felt like I had arm candy."

Share your prom memories in the comments below!

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Young Jeezy Changes His Thug Motivation With The Times

The Snowman explains how his TM 103 reflects the economic hardships of the day.
By Rob Markman, with reporting by James Smith

Young Jeezy
Photo: Monica Morgan/ WireImage

The folks on Capitol Hill aren't the only ones focused on the world financial crisis. Young Jeezy is well aware of the economic woes of the day, which play a role in his upcoming album TM 103.

Starting with his 2005 debut album, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, Jeezy stood as a voice of the streets his entire career. In 2006, he dropped The Inspiration: Thug Motivation 102 and two years after he dropped his third LP, The Recession. On September 20, the Snowman will return to motivate the thugs on his oft-delayed TM 103, and for him the evolution of the TM album reflects the hard times that many Americans have fallen upon.

"TM 101 dropped at a time when money was so plentiful that you could've had too much of it at some point, and everybody was happy," Jeezy told MTV News on Tuesday while backstage in Atlanta at the second of his Thug Motivation 101 six-year anniversary concerts. "Everybody was flamboyant, everybody was living, and nowadays it ain't like that. So when I dropped TM 101, my whole focus was, we're gonna get this money and that's what it's about. We're gonna get this money, we're gonna live life, we're gonna have fun."

In 2011, people can't spend money as frivolously as they once did, so Jeezy wasn't about to stick to the old topics.

"The evolution of that, 103 is more sort of like situations, like, OK, yeah we got to the money, we lost it two or three times, but what are we gonna do to maintain?" Jizzle asked before rattling off a few more hypothetical questions. "Are we gonna maintain? Are we gonna get back? Are we gonna stay focused on the get back, or we gonna get off track? Are we gonna pay attention to what they're talkin' about, or pay attention to what we need to do? That's what the evolution is about."

The Georgia rapper has seen his music labeled as trap rap — a brand of hip-hop that focuses primarily on the Southern drug dealer. While that is a fair assessment of Young Jeezy's sound on the surface, the rapper also believes that he is spreading a motivational message that can help his fans make it through their own trials and tribulations. It's a musical tactic that he credits to the late Tupac Shakur.

"It's about knowing what to do. When I was growin' up and I was listening to 'Pac, all his situations apply to me today. I never knew that, I was just listening to the music and I thought it was good music," Jeezy said. "Everything that he said applies to me today. Keep ya enemies close, money over bitches — that's real talk."

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

BeatCrave Fav of the Month Poll: Who Will You Pick?

We selected six bands for the month of July. �Now we need�you�to vote for your favorite�BeatCrave Fav�of the month! Your choices include: a three-piece band that stands at the crossroads of blues, country, and rock�Keith Moody�(listen here), four real, raw rockers from Charlotte, North Carolina �Simplified�(listen here), a folk, pop, soul project rooted in an [...]

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Britney Spears Nabs Joe Jonas For Femme Fatale Tour

Jonas Brother also tweets news that Fast Life delayed until October 11.
By Jocelyn Vena

Britney Spears and Joe Jonas
Photo: Kevin Mazur/ WireImage

There was a time when Joe Jonas was rumored to be an opener for Britney Spears on her Femme Fatale Tour. Well, it seems that rumor turned out to be true — for one date, at least. Jonas tweeted Friday (July 29) that he's opening for Spears at her August 5 stop in New Jersey.

"This just in ... I will be performing at the @BritneySpears concert in NJ on Aug 5," the Jersey native wrote. Just last week, it was announced that DJ Pauly D will also appear on several dates of the tour, which also features Nicki Minaj, Nervo and Jessie and the Toy Boys.

Jonas also shared in the same tweet that the release date for his forthcoming debut album has been delayed. He added, "And get ready for #FastLife in stores Oct. 11."

Fast Life was originally slated to hit stores September 6, but fans will have to wait an additional few weeks to hear what the middle Jonas Brother has up his sleeve on the long-simmering solo project.

Jonas was recently spotted in Paris shooting the music video for the album's second single, "Just In Love With You." He was seen getting cozy with a model at various locations in the City of Lights. The song is a follow-up to his single "See No More," written by Chris Brown.

While fans might have to wait a little longer to hear what Jonas has been working so hard on, he has made it clear that this album is all about them. "I was really excited," he told MTV News about hearing fans' comments about his first solo song. "I love the world we live in where you can know what people are thinking right away."

Are you eagerly awaiting Fast Life? Tell us in the comments below!

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Katy Perry Closing In On Michael Jackson's #1 Singles Record

If 'Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)' tops Hot 100, Perry's Teenage Dream will tie MJ's mark of five #1s from a single album.
By James Montgomery

Katy Perry
Photo: John Parra/ WireImage

Katy Perry's unstoppable Teenage Dream album continues to churn out hits ... and now, it might just make history too.

If Dream's fifth single, the just-released "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)", continues its climb to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 (it currently sits at #4, jumping 27 spots from last week), Perry will not only become the first female artist to ever have five #1 songs off one album, she'll be the first artist of any gender to accomplish the feat since Michael Jackson had five chart-topping singles off his Bad album in 1987 and 1988.

Perry's previous #1s from the Dream album are, of course, "California Gurls," "Teenage Dream," "Firework" and "E.T." Jackson's five #1s from the Bad album are "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," "Bad," "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Man in the Mirror" and "Dirty Diana."

Perry has already shattered the Hot 100 record for most consecutive weeks with a single inside the Top 10 (48, a number previously held by Swedish popmeisters Ace of Base), then kept that momentum going by spending an entire year in the chart's upper echelon. More incredibly, that streak is still active, as two of Perry's singles — "T.G.I.F." and "E.T." — sit at numbers 4 and 5, respectively.

What's more, "T.G.I.F" currently sits atop the Billboard Digital Songs chart, and may soon be her sixth single to pass the 4 million mark in digital sales, joining "E.T.," "California Gurls," "Firework," and from her One of the Boys album, "Hot N Cold" and "I Kissed a Girl." No other artist has even had four songs pass the 4 million download mark ... Perry's closest competitors in that regard are Lady Gaga and Rihanna, both of whom have had three 4 million-sellers.

What do you think of Katy Perry's chart streak? Sound off in the comments!

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Beyonce's 4 Holds On To Billboard #1

Adele's 21 is right behind at #2.
By Gil Kaufman

Photo: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

Make it a double for Beyoncé. After debuting with the lowest first-week totals of her solo career last week with 4, the "Best Thing I Never Had" singer will make it two in a row at the top next week when her latest holds on to the #1 slot thanks to sales of 115,000.

Though Bey's sales were down a bracing 63 percent (with a two-week total just shy of 426,000), that is more than enough to hold off this year's chart queen, Adele, whose five-month-old smash, 21, holds steady at #2 thanks to another 79,000 units moved. That pushes her total to date to nearly 2.6 million, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.

The ladies rule a female-heavy top 10 that features just one new entry, R&B singer Lloyd's King of Hearts, which sneaks in at #10 on sales of 26,000.

The rest of the top 10: Selena Gomez & the Scene, When the Sun Goes Down (#3, 44,000), Jason Aldean, My Kinda Party (#4, 42,000), Bad Meets Evil, Hell: The Sequel (#5, 35,000), Jackie Evancho, Dream With Me (#6, 34,000), Jill Scott, Light of the Sun (#7, 32,000), Lady Gaga, Born This Way (#8, 30,000) and Big Sean, Finally Famous (#9, 27,000).

It was an otherwise quiet week for new releases, with most of the top 40 suffering double-digit drops in sales. Among those losing some significant business: Bon Iver, whose Bon Iver is down 39 percent to 24,000, "American Idol" winner Scott McCreery, whose digital EP slips nine spots in its second week as sales tanked by 65 percent, fellow "Idol" champ David Cook, whose second album, This Loud Morning, drops 19 slots to #26 in its second go-round as business fell by 74 percent, and this year's "Idol" runner-up, Lauren Alaina, whose EP shed 47 percent of last week's figures to land at #35.

It seems that few of Limp Bizkit's fans have hung around for their long-promised comeback album, Gold Cobra, as sales took a nosedive in week two. The LP falls 40 slots to #56 as sales tailed off by 72 percent (8,000). Beyoncé has to settle for second-best on the iTunes albums chart, as Adele triumphs, pushing Bey to #2, followed by Bad Meets Evil, Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More, Bon Iver, Big Sean, We the Kings' Sunshine State of Mind, Gomez, Aldean and Gaga.

You can tell it's summer on the iTunes singles chart, as party starters LMFAO take the pole position with "Party Rock Anthem," which pushes Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" to #2, followed by Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass," Pitbull's "Give Me Everything," OneRepublic's "Good Life" and Adele's monster single, "Rolling in the Deep." At #7 is Hot Chelle Rae's "Tonight Tonight," and then Lil Wayne's "How to Love," Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem" and Gaga's "The Edge of Glory."

Beyoncé's chart reign is likely to end next week as a raft of new titles hits shelves. They include the hyped latest from "The Voice" breakout hosting star Blake Shelton, as well as new albums from Incubus, Colbie Caillat, Chris Young and Ashton Shepherd.

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Nicki Minaj Is A 'Great Artist,' Britney Spears Says

'I think she has a distinct sound when she raps,' Spears says of Femme Fatale Tour opening act.
By Christina Garibaldi

Britney Spears
Photo: MTV News

When the news that Britney Spears was taking MC Nicki Minaj on the road with her hit, fans — and Brit herself — couldn't have been more excited. The Femme Fatale Tour is now in full swing, with both women bringing their A-game to each performance. And along the way, it seems as if these two have sparked a friendship.

"I think she's great," Spears told MTV News of Minaj. "She's a great artist in every way and I'm really happy for her."

Minaj, who is nominated for three Video Music Awards, brings her own flair to the girl-power tour, adding her eccentric style, her fiery wigs and, of course, her signature beats.

"I think she has a distinct sound when she raps," Spears said. "It really stands out and sets her apart from everyone else. I'm happy she's able to be on tour with me because that's just amazing."

Last month, we caught up with Minaj just before she hit the road with the pop veteran, and she was ready to take that distinct sound to a whole new fanbase.

"I'm just trying to put more theater on that stage. So much to me is music, but it's also about putting on a show, so that's my goal: to truly put on a show and incorporate theater and dance," Minaj said.

And if you're lucky, you might just catch Spears and Minaj teaming up for a special performance of the remix for "Till the World Ends."

"At the end of the show, the last song she comes on every once in awhile," Spears said of Minaj joining her onstage. "Not every show, but it's usually special when she does it."

Will you see Britney and Nicki on tour this summer? Let us know in the comments.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Ke$ha - We R Who We R

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Michael Jackson Estate Rakes In $310 Million To Date

Singer left behind more than $400 million in debt.

Michael Jackson
Photo: Time Life Pictures/DMI/Time Life Pictures/Getty Im

Between album sales, movie profits, licensing arrangements and lucrative deals for Cirque du Soleil shows, the estate of late King of Pop Michael Jackson has raked in more than $300 million since the singer's shocking death in June 2009.

According to TMZ, legal documents released on Thursday reveal that executors of MJ's estate have managed to make a major dent in the more than $400 million in debt that Jackson owed at the time of his death.

The first accounting from the executors shows that they have already spent around $159 million paying back various debts, income taxes and other expenses, which include providing support for the pop star's mother, Katherine Jackson, as well as his three young children.

"Although there remain unresolved creditor claims, pending litigation and additional challenging business, tax and legal issues, and the estate is not yet in a condition to be closed, the executors have made substantial progress in reducing the estate's debt," the documents state, according to a Reuters report. Two of Jackson's longtime confidants, attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain, were named as administrators in a will sign by the pop icon.

In addition to paying to make "substantial improvements" to the Jackson family's Havenhurst estate in Encino, California, the executors also spent an undetermined amount of money on "last illness and funeral and memorial service expenses." Those costs included a $900,000 payment to the Forest Lawn Memorial cemetery where Jackson is buried and $35,000 on expenses described as "costume for memorial."

TMZ reported that not only did the famously cash-strapped Jackson have more than $400 million in debt, but his estate also owed more than $40 million to concert promoter AEG tied to the scuttled This Is It Tour, for which MJ was rehearsing when he died unexpectedly. They've also paid $27.2 million in taxes and $4 million in mortgage payments on Jackson's properties.

Despite the solid sales of the Michael album and millions of units of the singer's back catalog being sold, as well as the box office of the "This Is It" movie and DVD sales, the estate is not nearly out of the woods. TMZ noted that the administrators have received more than 65 creditors' claims, some of which are subject to "extremely high" interest rates, and there are several outstanding lawsuits against the estate in several countries.

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Blake Shelton, Incubus Take Over Billboard Chart

Beyonce's 4 knocked down to #5 in third week out.
By Gil Kaufman

Blake Shelton
Photo: Stephen Lovekin/ Getty Images

Blake Shelton was already a beloved country star before he became a reality-TV double-threat. But thanks in part to his breakout role on "The Voice," Miranda Lambert's better half is reaping plenty of benefits, including a #1 debut on the Billboard 200 charts next week for his new album, Red River Blue.

According to figures provided by SoundScan, Shelton's sixth studio album, his first #1 debut ever and highest-charting album to date, sold 116,000 copies last week. Just behind was the first album in five years from floaty rockers Incubus with If Not Now, When, which debuts at #2 on sales of 80,000. They lead a parade of new faces in the top 10 that also includes country singer Chris Young, whose Neon hit #4 in its first week (73,000), pop smoothie Colbie Caillat's All of You (#6, 66,000), head-bangers Theory of a Deadman's Truth Is (#8, 38,000) and the debut from the rebooted Sublime with new singer Rome, Yours Truly (#9, 35,000).

The rest of the top 10: Adele's 21 (#3, 77,000), Beyoncé's 4 (#5, 72,000), Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party (#7, 42,000) and Selena Gomez and the Scene's When the Sun Goes Down (#10, 33,000).

A couple of former top 10 dwellers fall to the second rung, including Eminem's Hell: The Sequel project under the Bad Meets Evil banner (#11, 30,000), Lady Gaga's Born This Way (down five to #13, 25,000) and Jill Scott's Light of the Sun (#14, 21,000).

The soundtrack to "Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows, Part 2" comes in at #25, while indie darlings Washed Out crash in at #26 with the excellent Within & Without (#26, 15,000). And it was a short trip to the top 10 for R&B crooner Lloyd, who plummets 39 spots to #49 in the second week for King of Hearts (9,000).

Over on the iTunes chart Caillat sits atop the album tally, followed by Shelton, Incubus, Adele, Sublime, Chris Young, Theory of a Deadman, Beyoncé, Bad Meets Evil and the unstoppable Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More.

LMFAO continue to rule the iTunes singles chart with their summer hit "Party Rock Anthem," which beats out Demi Lovato's "Skyscraper," Katy Perry's "Last Friday (T.G.I.F.)," Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" and Hot Chelle Rae's "Tonight Tonight." Rounding out the top 10 at #6 are Lil Wayne's "How to Love," Pitbull's "Give Me Everything," Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," OneRepublic's "Good Life" and Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem."

Things should be fairly static next week, with the only new titles including a new Kidz Bop Kids title and albums from 311, 3 Doors Down and DJ Khaled.

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Was Amy Winehouse Crushed By Sudden Fame?

The kind of sudden popularity Winehouse achieved can be disorienting and paralyzing, experts say.
By Gil Kaufman

Amy Winehouse
Photo: Dave Hogan/ Getty Images

Some stars seem born to be in the spotlight, thriving in the attention and adulation of their adoring fans and finding a way to navigate the downsides of intense public scrutiny with seeming ease. Others, such as troubled singer Amy Winehouse, appear to have difficulty handling the harsh spotlight and retreat into a destructive cycle of substance abuse and self-harm from which they never return.

Winehouse died at age 27 on Saturday. And though her cause of death has not been determined, it would seem with her sadly short career, which saw her rocket from obscurity in 2006 to tragic demise just five years later, she is the latest example of an artist for whom fame was to be too much, too soon.

"Anyone who is thrust into that kind of celebrity with that kind of attention needs a solid, well-built foundation and support system that they can wrap around them like a blanket," said Dr. Charles Sophy, a psychiatrist who has appeared on VH1's "Celebrity Rehab" and "The Housewives of Beverly Hills" and is the author of a new book on conflict-free communication for mothers and daughters, called "Side by Side."

"If you don't have those key elements, you're more likely to implode and hit a wall," Sophy said.

Read what Winehouse producer Salaam Remi had to say about working with the singer.

Winehouse, a child of divorce, appeared drawn to destructive personal relationships — including a tumultuous marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil that resulted in a number of public spats and arrests. To the public at least, it seemed she lacked some of the foundation Sophy says is necessary.

And though it's impossible for outside observers to know for sure, Sophy speculated that genetics may have also played a part in Winehouse's difficulty in dealing with fame, especially if there is a history of addiction or mental health issues in her family. "If those things are not dealt with, then they are huge issues too," he said. "And if all that hits at once, you need coping skills and if those aren't there ..."

Though her legend was based almost entirely on a single album, 2006's Back to Black, which spawned just two singles that charted in the U.S. — "Rehab" and "You Know I'm No Good" — Winehouse was among the few young women in recent pop history to have attained worldwide critical and commercial success only to either spin out or retreat in the face of the rigors of fame.

Some, such as former Fugees star Lauryn Hill, continue to perform sporadically, but have been unable (or unwilling) to release a proper follow-up. Others, like Alanis Morissette, survive their moment and go on to solid careers that never quite reach the same zenith. And some live somewhere in between, such as Courtney Love, who cracked up for years before getting clean and continuing her career at a lower orbit, or Fiona Apple, who seemed uninterested in playing the fame game and retreated into privacy, releasing just three albums over a 15-year career.

None of those examples really fit the Winehouse mold, though, according to Jenny Eliscu, a Sirius satellite radio host and Rolling Stone contributing editor who profiled Winehouse for the magazine in 2007, as the singer's star was about to go supernova.

"It would be easy and understandable to think that this is a phenomenon that afflicts female artists, but the parallel that makes the most sense for me is Kurt Cobain," she said of the troubled Nirvana singer, who committed suicide at age 27, after years of battling with drugs and struggling to deal with the limelight.

"He had a band to say, 'What the f---?' But when you're solo, it's entirely your own operation with no one there to keep you in check," Eliscu said. "You can languish in your problems. ... It's easy to get in your own cave."

Even if you're not abusing drugs or alcohol, getting it together to make a follow-up to a huge album is hard. But Eliscu said that if you compound that with the loneliness of being a solo artist, particularly one who probably never expected her authentically pained music to reach such a wide audience, you have a recipe for major trouble.

For every Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan who spin out after achieving early celebrity, there are Justin Timberlakes and Taylor Swifts, who appear able to handle the pressure. Sophy said that could be because they have that support system in place early on to help them deal with the pressure.

"Someone who is 27 is not necessarily 27 years old emotionally," said Sophy. "A 27-year-old can often act like an 18-year-old, because oftentimes addicts stop growing emotionally at the age they started using."

Even if, as father Mitch Winehouse said in a statement released after Amy's funeral, his daughter had been drug-free for three years, Sophy said it can take a long time for the brain's chemistry to return to normal long after a patient leaves rehab.

Sophy said that any artist who puts themselves in the spotlight is taking a huge risk, regardless of their sobriety. As they look for affirmation that they're talented enough, once success begins coming in a rush, it can make them doubt their skills more than ever.

"When they hit it and it becomes a big thing, then there's more pressure on them and their self-esteem, which might have been an issue to begin with and that's a bigger mountain to climb," Sophy explained.

It's hard for even the most self-assured person to say, "I'm really good at this," and so, Sophy said, when that doubt creeps in while the world is watching, it sometimes makes it difficult to stay on the straight and narrow without self-medicating or finding some other way to cope with the pressure.   "Instant fame is like a drug," he said. "It starts out slowly and then you can get a big rush from a big blowup and that little high you got from your first big interview or show is like a drug and you get addicted to the rush and adrenaline. Then you have that big [magazine] feature, and that really sends you over the top. And how do you beat that attention? You have to get another one."

Find out what music experts think will be Amy's musical legacy, beyond "Rehab."

While Winehouse often seemed unaffected by the attention, if not downright uninterested in it, her music came from what seemed like a genuine wellspring of pain and emotion. Because of that, Eliscu said it's not surprising that someone in that state of turmoil might retreat into a kind of cocoon of safety and escape the public world they've been thrust into.

"When you get to the level of someone like the Jonas Brothers, you have so many people protecting you that you can almost be sheltered from expectations of what people want," she said. "But [Winehouse] never had that level of structure in place around her. Even after the success of the first album in the U.K., she could never have known how well [Back to Black] would have done."

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Amy Winehouse Paid Tribute By Mark Ronson During Live Show

Plus, Cee Lo Green says he had been hoping to duet with Winehouse this year.
By Gil Kaufman

Mark Ronson performs a tribute to Amy Winehouse in Greenwich on Wednesday
Photo: Matt Kent/ Getty Images

The day after attending his friend and musical foil Amy Winehouse's funeral, producer/band leader Mark Ronson paid tribute to the fallen star at a concert on Wednesday night.

According to, Ronson brought Zutons singer Dave McCabe onstage to play his band's song "Valerie," which was famously recorded by Winehouse on Ronson's 2007 Versions covers album. Ronson, who produced the two most well-known tracks on Winehouse's 2006 breakthrough Back to Black album, "Rehab" and "You Know I'm No Good," dedicated "Valerie" to his troubled muse.

"It's really lovely getting to play some music here for you tonight. That's what makes everything better," he told the crowd at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, England. "I went to her service yesterday and there was a rabbi that spoke and he said that somebody's life is measured in deeds and not years and that's the best thing I heard yesterday. ... The genius in that woman and what she shared with us is pretty special. I'm not going to get all morbid on you. It's just nice to be playing music to people who like good music. She is my sister, wherever she is."

In addition to the version of "Valerie," Ronson invited members of Winehouse's backing band onto the stage at one point for another run through "Valerie," as well as Rumble Strips singer Charlie Waller, who sang a cover of "Back to Black." Ronson also played "Rehab" during a short DJ set in the middle of the show.

Winehouse was found dead in her Camden apartment on Saturday at the age of 27. Initial autopsy results were inconclusive and additional toxicology tests are expected to take two to four weeks.

Also on Wednesday, "The Voice" coach and "Forget You" singer Cee Lo Green revealed that despite reports earlier this year that he had recorded a duet with Winehouse for her next album, the two had never actually hooked up. Green told E! News the pair were trying to get together in the studio but never made it happen. "We were discussing working together ... we have a mutual friend, Salaam Remi," he said of the producer who worked on several tracks on Back to Black.

"There was a rumor that we had already recorded together. It wasn't true and I don't know where that came from. But we did grow fond of each other and thought we could work together. ... I could listen to her and she registered to me as the real thing. ... It's so untimely and unfortunate. What a loss. Music has lost a daughter."

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Ke$ha, Black Eyed Peas, More Featured In O Music Awards Roundtable Debate

Music-video director Wayne Isham will join Most Innovative Video debate, which streams live Monday on and
By MTV News Staff

Photo: Noel Vasquez/ Getty Images

Ever since they were first announced, the O Music Awards have proudly proclaimed themselves the untraditional alternative to the staid world of red carpets, acceptance speeches and celebrity glad-handing.

And for further proof of that point, consider the following: Though the inaugural O Music Awards won't premiere until April 28, the first award will be handed out on Monday at 4 p.m. ET ... and it's a big one.

For weeks, fans have been voting for the Most Innovative Music Video through the O Music Awards official site, and on Monday — in a roundtable debate moderated by MTV News' James Montgomery — a winner will be crowned.

The O Music Awards Debate for the Most Innovative Music Video, presented by FUZE®, will stream live on and Joining Montgomery around the table will be acclaimed video director Wayne Isham, Mashable's Brenna Ehrlich and some super-secret celebrity guests.

The Black Eyed Peas, Ke$ha, My Chemical Romance and more will also take part in the discussion about just what makes a video truly innovative, and the folks who are nominated for the award — a list that includes Arcade Fire, Robyn, OK Go and Andy Grammer — will also Skype in to make the case for why their video deserves to be named Most Innovative.

On Monday morning, the original list of 10 nominees will be whittled down to the top five vote-getters, and then, during the debate, our roundtable and the Internet audience will cut that list down to the final three. At the very end, we'll announce the winner of the very first O Music Award for Most Innovative Video.

The inaugural O Music Awards will stream live from Las Vegas at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on Tune in to see who will reign supreme in categories like Most Viral Dance, Funniest Music Short and NSFW Music Video!

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'Star Trek 2' Close To Locking In Director J.J. Abrams

Since finishing 'Super 8,' Abrams working on 'Trek 2' script.
By Terri Schwartz

JJ Abrams
Photo: Getty Images

Trekkies and J.J. Abrams fans alike can rejoice, for the "Super 8" director is at long last close to committing to helm "Star Trek 2." Now that Abrams can no longer use his stock answer — "The truth is that my focus has been so much on finishing 'Super 8' " — to avoid giving any "Star Trek 2" updates, Deadline has confirmed that he is working with the flick's writers and is close to committing to direct the sequel to his hit "Star Trek" reboot.

This must have been the "announcement" Abrams promised MTV News would be coming "soon" back at the "Super 8" premiere in June. But it also means that the film will miss its intended June 29, 2012, release date.

That's good news for "G.I. Joe: Cobra Rises," though, which Deadline is calling "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." The entertainment news site has learned that Paramount is planning on giving the June release date to the "G.I. Joe" sequel and slating "Star Trek 2" for either winter 2012 or summer 2013.

Either way, Paramount has agreed to be ready to jump into production on the flick whenever Abrams is. Abrams is now sitting down with writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman to polish up the "Star Trek 2" script, which Deadline is guessing will begin production in January.

MTV News caught up with Damon Lindelof at San Diego Comic-Con, where he chatted about the current status of the script. "There was a lot of work going on over the course of the last year between Bob [Orci] and Alex [Kurtzman] and I," Lindelof said. "We generated, like, a 90-page half-script half-treatment based on some meetings that we've had with J.J. [Abrams]. Now that J.J. is finally finished with 'Super 8,' we've kind of, not thrown out that material, but we're reworking a lot of it."

He added that the final product of the script will hopefully improve upon the sequel the same way "Batman Begins" improved upon "The Dark Knight." " 'Trek 2' has to be better than 'Trek 1,' " Lindelof said. "It has to."

Check out everything we've got on "Star Trek 2."

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

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Chris Brown To Star In A Romantic Comedy

Because, hey, who doesn?t think of vicious domestic assault and public temper tantrums in which chairs are thrown through windows when watching romantic comedies, �Chris Brown has decided to punch his way into our collective hearts by staring in a rom-com. So says The AV Club: ??that?s exactly what he plans to do in the [...]

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

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Do Foo Fighters Know Robert Pattinson From Robert Plant?

During band's rehearsal break for Sunday's Movie Awards, we put Foos to the test.
By Ryan J. Downey, with reporting by Jim Cantiello

The Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl
Photo: MTV News

UNIVERSAL CITY, California — Hard rock, heavy metal, hardcore and punk have long gone hand-in-hand with evil wizards, magic, vampires and werewolves. And with a collective sub-cultural pedigree that includes stints in the Germs, No Use for a Name, Sunny Day Real Estate, Scream and some band called Nirvana, you'd think the Foo Fighters — set to perform at Sunday's Movie Awards — would know their "Potter" from their Zeppelin. Certainly they can recognize a "wand" reference and pinpoint its origin?

Right? Before we put MTV News' magically crafted trivia to the band, it seemed safe to assume the Foos would accurately distinguish between the words of Harry Potter, a "Twilight" character and Led Zeppelin. But was their underground nerd cred blown to shreds? Read on — and click the video! — to see how the Foo Fighters fared when we caught up with them on the Universal Studios lot, shortly after they finished rehearsing their Movie Awards performance.

Our own Jim Cantiello played dungeon master as Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, Taylor Hawkins, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear were given a series of semi-famous lines and asked whether they originated with "Harry Potter," the "Twilight Saga" or the lyrics of hard-rock pioneers Led Zeppelin.

Here's a sampling of a few of those one-liners:

» "The elder wand, the most powerful wand ever made."

» "Why don't you let me be yours ever truly? Can I make your garden grow?"

» "You're lying, Dolores! You mustn't tell lies!"

Can you guess whether the lines above came from the "Potter" flicks, "Twilight" or Robert Plant?

Watch as the Foos try their best to do exactly that. Then tune in to the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday to catch the Foo Fighters rock the stage with their new single, "Walk."

Will wizards, vampires or dream thieves steal the 2011 MTV Movie Awards? Find out June 5, when the 20th annual show airs live at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Tune in at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT that night for the "America's Best Dance Crew" finale and Movie Awards pre-show, loaded with live action from the red carpet, exclusive movie clips and a special edition of "After Hours."

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'Breaking Dawn' Soundtrack To Feature One Castmember

Director Bill Condon tells MTV News soundtrack for 'Part 1' already has about 15 songs in contention.
By Terri Schwartz, with reporting by Josh Horowitz

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson
Photo: Summit Entertainment

As with any great tale coming to an end, "The Twilight Saga" will bring things full circle in its two-part finale, director Bill Condon says.

MTV News caught up with Condon at 2011 San Diego Comic-Con to talk about the final two installments of the franchise, and he told us that both movies, but particularly "Part 1," will hearken back to Catherine Hardwicke's 2008 "Twilight" flick, which started the onscreen phenomenon.

"I always thought of 'Breaking Dawn - Part 1' as a real companion piece to Catherine Hardwicke's movie," Condon explained. "Like, everything that got set up there gets resolved here. I think you'll find that there are stylistic and other nods to that film."

Fans will also be excited to learn that some of the same principles will apply to the highly anticipated "Breaking Dawn - Part 1" soundtrack. Condon confirmed that Carter Burwell, who scored the first movie, will be back for "Part 1," which means familiar themes like "Bella's Lullaby" will be in play again for the first time since "Twilight" first hit theaters.

With negotiations for the soundtrack still under way, though, Condon wouldn't talk too specifically about which songs will be included on the album. But he confirmed that there's a good chance that one of the "Twilight" cast's musically-inclined stars will appear on the soundtrack.

We'll leave it up to fans to guess whether that means Robert Pattinson, Jackson Rathbone, Booboo Stewart or one of the other musical castmembers.

"We're just figuring out [the soundtrack] now," Condon said during MTV News' "Breaking Dawn" Comic-Con takeover, adding that they haven't made deals with all of the featured artists yet. "We have a lot of [songs]. We have like 15, I think. "

Tell us who you'd like to hear on the "Breaking Dawn - Part 1" soundtrack in the comments section!

Check out everything we've got on "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1."

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

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Justin Bieber's Grammy Performance Will Be 'A Crossover,' Usher Says

The 'O.M.G.' singer looks forward to sharing the stage with his protégé on Sunday night.
By James Montgomery

Photo: Amanda Edwards/ Getty Images

HOLLYWOOD — At Sunday's 53rd Grammy Awards, Usher will be pulling double duty as both a nominee and a performer. Of course, given the massive year he just completed — with the success of his smash single "O.M.G." and as a mentor to rising phenom Justin Bieber — Ush's Grammy plans seem rather fitting.

Especially since he'll be performing with Bieber (and Bieber's pal Jaden Smith), a move that's just as much about celebrating Usher's successes as it is the successes of his young protégé.

"Having been through [the Grammys] so many times, you couldn't want for anything more than for your young protégé to have the opportunity to have one, so, in support of him having his moment, I wanted to be here," Usher told MTV News on Thursday, hours before his performance at the (Belvedere) RED launch party in Hollywood. "And also to be there to perform, to kind of tell the story of how we came together. This music business has definitely been good to both of us, and this year we have a lot to be happy for."

And just how will the dynamic duo tell that story? Well, Usher wasn't about to reveal all the details, but he did say that he's hoping their performance will show another side of Bieber ... a side most tend to overlook.

"The performance will be fun," Usher explained. "We want to get up there and just do what we do. Be comfortable, and have a great time. ... This is kind of a crossover for Justin. Having performed on so many different stages, this is the way that I wanted him to be seen and an opportunity to show the industry — a lot of the industry, that didn't believe [in him] — some of his other talents. He's going to play acoustically, and also, we'll get down a little bit."

And though Ush is up for a pair of Grammy awards on Sunday — Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best Contemporary R&B Album for Raymond v. Raymond — he's most looking forward to sharing the stage with Bieber and giving fans a look at where the young artist will be heading next.

"I'm very proud, man. I definitely saw it from the beginning, but thanks to the team that we have around us, it was made to happen. And that story has only just begun," Usher said. "The story of Justin Bieber doesn't stop with screaming girls; we need screaming fans all around the world ... a cultural experience that's much more than just fanfare. And that's what this is. That's what the Grammys will be; that's what my next phase for Justin is. This is the way I found him: I found him with a guitar in his hand, so I want him to be seen that way."

Don't miss "Snooki & Sway: Live From the Grammys," a red-carpet live stream kicking off Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on And stick with us all Grammy night for coverage of the red carpet, the show, the afterparties and beyond!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

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J. Cole Debut Will Take Musicality 'To The Next Level'

'The amount of concepts that are on the album is pretty remarkable,' MC tells MTV News of Cole World.
By Rob Markman

J. Cole
Photo: MTV News

As far as rap debuts go, J. Cole's Cole World: The Sideline Story is among the year's most anticipated, especially since it's being released on Jay-Z's Roc Nation label. Not that the pressure has gotten to him.

While J. Cole is surely aware of the inevitable pressures that come with dropping an album under the guidance of someone of Jay-Z's stature, the North Carolina rapper assured MTV News that there was no grand executive decisions made during the recording of his LP.

"All the songs on the album just happened naturally. There was never a, 'Oh, we need this kind of song,' " Cole told us backstage during last week's New Jersey stop on Rihanna's Loud Tour. "Everything happened naturally and very organically."

Not only is the LP organic, but the Fayetteville MC says it's surprisingly musical.

"It wasn't until I started playing it for people and I kept getting those responses like, 'Man this is really musical,' " he said. "To me, that's regular; that's what you should do on an album. I try to do that as much as possible, even on my mixtapes. So on the album, of course, I took it to the next level."

Without giving too much away, the rapper/producer promises a conceptual ride for Cole World. "Concepts-wise, the amount of concepts that are on the album is pretty remarkable, and that balanced with the fun songs," he revealed. "It's not a depressing [album], even though it could've went that way. I have enough songs where I could've just made it straight tearjerker."

The LP is slated for a September 27 release, but the rapper has been careful about doling out the details. He has a Jay-Z collaboration in the works, and even though he's still waiting for Hov to lay his verse, Cole is confident.

"I made it in my crib and I was like, 'Man I'm gonna throw something out today, or tomorrow whatever, let me do a song.' Then I started making it, and as soon as I made it, I was like, 'Oh nah, na,' " he said of how he came up with the song's instrumental. "I had already wrote the verses and I realized, 'Man, this is for Jay.' I finally made a song that was perfect for Jay."

Are you looking forward to Cole's debut album? Let us know in the comments section!

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