Usher‘s next album, the follow-up to his gazillion-selling 2004 disc Confessions, was set to drop later this year (you know, when every other artist in the history of recorded sound is set to release their new album in an attempt to cash in on the holiday-buying frenzy). However, word is that it’s been delayed till 2008. The official unofficial story is that Usher’s pregnant wife, Tameka Foster, has him whipped — she’s demanding that he cater to her and their coming child (due later this year) before he devotes himself to the necessary promotion of his album.
That a tidy tale that serves to further vilify Tameka (she’s already hated by fans), but what if the problem lies not in Tameka’s demands, but in Usher’s producer Jermaine Dupri?
This just might be the week the music industry changes forever. Fresh on the heels of Radiohead digitally releasing their seventh album, In Rainbows, and offering fans the chance to pay whatever they want for the download, Madonna is reportedly close to leaving her long-time home, Warner Brothers, to sign with Live Nation. If you’ve been to a stadium show any time recently, you’ll probably recognize Live Nation’s name — they’re a concert-promoting business, and they’re betting $100 million on Madonna’s power as a performer (the Material Girl gets half up front). It’s a solid bet: Her tour last year grossed about $195 million. Even if she’s pushing the big Five-O, Madonna’s still money in the bank. This will make her only the latest in a long string of artists to have bucked tradition in favor of something weirder and more dynamic. We refer you to:
- The Eagles (yes, we actually just wrote the words The Eagles in a VH1 blog) are selling their new album directly to Wal-Mart.
- Not only did Starbucks release Paul McCartney’s latest, the coffee conglomerate also seduced Sonic Youth. The New York art rockers, whose contract is up with Geffen, will release Hits Are For Squares exclusively through the beanery.
- Dissatisfied with simply forgiving Third World debt and editing Vanity Fair, Bono really is writing the Broadway musical version of Spider-Man.
- Rufus Wainwright wants to be Judy Garland, and he’s hellbent on making it happen.
- Gina Gershon released an album. Crazy times!
Get your tissues out, Hills fans, because here’s a depressing tidbit that wasn’t included in Monday night’s crapola cram session: The Hills is one big sexy pile of fake. Admit it – you already knew this but just couldn’t bring yourself to acknowledge the (fake) truth. Sadly, our fave reality show is as made up as Santa Claus – just in a pair of Ray Bans with a lovely Louis Vuitton bag. Check out these pics taken yesterday of Heidi and Spencer staging an airport drop off and pick up at LAX. They change shirts to make it look like two different occasions, but the rest of their outfits are exactly the same.
This should come as no surprise, especially when the show’s executive producer has basically revealed that the show is staged. But rest assured dear fans, everything Lo does is 100% real, baby! There’s nothing fake about the way she says “Justin Bobby” or flashes her crotch for the cameras. She can’t help but be real – real effing nuts. Team Lo(co)! [Getty]
The Hills Recap: Heidi’s in the Effing Office, Ya’ll!
The Hills’ Lauren & Audrina Strip Down
With news that Britney Spears‘ label has moved up the release of her much-anticipated fifth album Blackout, the Internets are ablaze with suspected album covers. Given the amount of speculation and Britney’s recent struggles, we put together a few of our own suggestions and invite you to do the same. E-mail creations to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll add submissions to this post as they are received.
From the Internet:
None of these take into consideration that her album title (which refers to “blocking out negativity and embracing life fully” according to her record label) may go down as the most ironic in the history of recorded music, given the star’s stints in rehab and her rumored drug and alcohol addiction.
We’re thinking the album title has more to do with what she does each evening, or what she’s done to the unburned photographs in the family album. Regardless of the title, we’re still thinking it’ll do better than “Popozao.”
From the VH1 Blog:
From our readers:
Britney’s Most Shocking Moments
Box Set: Britney Spears
Brit Wants a Slumber Party with her Babies
Britney Loses Her Kids
Britney Bombs on the VMAs
Rihanna Hunts for NYC Hot Spot
The singer was spotted asking around for a good club to go to in the Big Apple. How about just going to bed – aren’t you only 18, RiRi? [NYP]
Angelina Still Has No Love for Dad
Despite rumors of a reunion, Angie’s rep confirms that the estranged father-daughter pair are not in contact. [Us Weekly]
Nicole Fills Out Old Bikini
Hilariously, Nicole is wearing the same bikini as when she weighed ninety pounds, but now it actually fits. Isn’t weight gain magical?![TMZ]
Reese Is Finally Free of Ryan
The once-perfect pair have officially split. Snooze. Even their divorce was dull and boring. [IDLYITW]
Lost Star Gets Six Month Jail Term
Michelle Rodriguez must six months in jail for violating her probation. She deserves it for shooting Sayid’s girlfriend! [Yahoo! News]
Dear Radar: You are sometimes funny, even when you’re comparing Rudy Giuliani and Tom Ford. Did you ever read Spy?
(See the somewhat racy, functionally NSFW Vanity Fair cover, which is being aped above, after the jump.)
Oh, Tila, it is as we feared. There are fundamental flaws with A Shot of Love. But before we delve into the nitty-gritty, we’d like to point out the positive: You are a radiant and sophisticated presence on screen and your physical beauty is simply unparalleled. We know of no other star who has the ability to exude sex and innocence and worldy wit – all at the same time. Just look at these screenshots from MTV!
As for the production itself … We are sorry to see that the executives at MTV have foisted upon you a group of 16 absurd men and 16 “women” who are undeserving of your attention. We cringed as we watched last night’s premiere, sympathetic to how you must have immediately intuited the crux of your dilemma: You will not find love here, not among these barnyard animals, these bouncers and strippers, these reality-program dregs who would not last one commercial break on a decent network. No, you will not find love.
You might, however, find a disease.
This is something we do not wish for you, Tila. Hear our plea: If your show were to air on VH1, things would be very, very different. (Dear faithful readers: If you agree, you should visit www.vh1wantstilatequila.com.) We implore you to bring your show here, Tila. Before it is too late, before you become so disillusioned with relationships, so deadened to the real and fulfilling nature of deep human connection, you become anhedonic and require serious medication simply to function.
Yes, your contestants are that bad. This is not hyperbole.
We love this hilarious video featuring hip hop “hit maker” Lil Royce on his quest to persuade Common and Kanye West to collaborate with him on his new album. The only problem – the tracks are all skits of him getting shot by major stars. As he explains in the video, “Lil Royce has collaborated with over 500 rappers since the mid 1980s. On many rap albums, rappers have “skits” where they shoot someone to prove how tough they are. He’s the guy they shoot.”
Check out the above clip to see if he succeeds at getting the emcees to go to town on him with a loaded gun. Be warned – there’s lots of NSFW language in this piece. But what do you expect – Lil Royce is gangsta! [FunnyorDie]
Kanye West Artist Info
The Quotable Kanye West
If you aren’t feeling infuriated enough over the state of the world, you’d be wise to check out “Mad About the Boys,” a story in the new issue of Vanity Fair that details Backstreet Boys and ‘NSync Svengali Lou Pearlman’s all-around inappropriate behavior as a liar, fraud, philanderer, thief and creepy old dude who gets off touching the young boys he mentors. Among the story’s many allegations is that Lou molested an underage Nick Carter, a story Nick’s own mother stops just short of confirming. In its brutal character assault of an already shady character (Lou’s in jail for extorting around $500 million from various investors), the story comes off as nothing but sound, citing that various sources (many anonymous and ranging from his right-hand men to his next door neighbor’s gardener) have independently confirmed writer Bryan Burrough’s allegations.
But now, Lou has hit back, talking exclusively to Radar Online…