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Legendary Etta James Is Terminally Ill

In: Celeb Gossip & News, Music, Patrick

According to the Associated Press, singer Etta James is terminally ill. Over the past few years, she’s faced many health problems, but now sadly it looks as though the end is near for the 73-year old.

The “At Last” singer’s chronic leukemia was declared incurable two weeks ago. Her livin-in doctor, Dr. Elaine James (no relation to the singer) told The Press Enterprise the sad news. In addition to the leukemia, James has been suffering from dementia and kidney failure. I first learned of this sad news this weekend when talking to Vancouver’s most famed Drag Queen (and one of my favorites), Joan E. at a Christmas party this weekend.

You may remember that Beyonce sang Etta James’ “At Last” (one of my favorite “old” songs) at the inauguration of Barack Obama. What you may not know is that when Etta James performed at a concert in Seattle, she told people how she really felt about Beyonce singing her song: “The great Beyoncé. Like I said, she ain’t mine. … I can’t stand Beyoncé. She has no business up there, singing up there on a big ol’ president day, gonna be singing my song that I’ve been singing forever.”

Watch James performing her song (as well as Beyonce’s performance) below.

Watch performances of “At Last” after the jump…

Concert Review: Prince

In: Donovan, Music

His royal highness Prince Rogers Nelson, simply better known as Prince, brought his signature Minneapolis funk sound to town and gave a show that I won’t soon forget. The now 53-year-old musician proved he’s still got it and tore it up with a mixture of his classic hits, cover songs and amazing medleys. Given that the evening started out the wrong foot (started almost an hour late), Prince quickly got the crowd revved up and partied like it was 1999. Before you knew it, waiting outside in a serpent-like queue was nothing but a distant memory.

When I first heard that Prince was bringing his well-reviewed tour to Canada, I knew I had to go. Not that I was a huge Prince fan or anything, but his long list of hits played heavily during my childhood. I never thought I’d actually have a chance to see him live so I knew I had to seize this opportunity given he was playing, literally across the street.

From what I read about Prince’s previous stops, he liked to mix things up. From the setlists, to the number of encores, Prince definitely keeps his fans and band on their toes. Gotta hand it to his extremely-talented backup band, the New Power Generation, for working it out and being ready to play whatever suited the audience. A few of those female singers had me testifying all night long. Amen.

Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s face it. When it comes to music and year end lists involving them, Adele has been the reigning queen supreme for her monstrous single, Rolling In The Deep. So naturally, when I saw that Entertainment Weekly and Billboard had released their lists for best singles of 2011, I expected Adele to be on top. WRONG! Another femme fatale rose above them all (and know it wasn’t Britney Spears). However, it was someone who did go on tour with her.

That’s right. Ms. Nicki Minaj topped both lists with her single Super Bass as the #1 single for 2011. Let’s face it. This song is infectious. It has a catchy hook and some of the best lyrics of the year. While it may have only reached #8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 year end list, there is no stopping it on these two lists.

Chart wise, the song performed well not only in North America but all over the world going platinum in New Zealand and triple platinum in Australia. While it never hit #1 in any country it landed in the top ten in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Scotland, the UK and the US. After winning big with the track at the American Music Awards and having those two cute girls who appeared on Ellen reminding us how fun the song is, I think it makes a great choice for these two, year-end lists. Check out both Billboard and EW’s full lists below.

Check out both EW’s & Billboard’s 2011 Singles List after the jump.

It’s been three years since Ashanti released her under-performing fourth studio album “The Declaration“. In 2012, the singer is looking to reclaim her spot at the top of the charts with her brand new single “The Woman You Love“. The now 31-year-old has an uphill battle now that she’s without a major record label backing her. She parted ways with former label Murder Inc after years of behind-the-scenes drama. Ashanti’s doing it on her own and created her own label called Written Entertainment. Believer it or not, she’s now an indie artist.

Hearkening back to the sound of the 90s that made her a huge R&B star, the track features some bumpin’ hip-hop beats. With Ja Rule in the big house, Ashanti enlisted Busta Rhymes to add some street swagger to the track. Rhymes plays the role of her jilted ex. “The Woman You Love” is the lead single of her yet-untitled fifth studio album. Recently, the singer told US Weekly the process for choosing songs for the record.

“It’s excruciating to decide [which songs to include]. I’ve tried so many different sounds, some out of my comfort zone, but I feel good about it,”

listen to the track after the jump

People Magazine named Bradley Cooper the sexiest man alive, but the United Kingdom has a thing or two to say about that. Gay publication Attitude Magazine bestowed “Sexiest Man of 2011” honors to Harry Judd. Who is he? Well, he’s the 25-year-old drummer for English pop rock band McFly. Usually the band’s frontman gets all the attention, but if he keeps showing off his body, I’m sure Judd will be stealing a bit of that thunder. While it appears Judd is comfortable in his own skin, he’s actually self-conscious and has body issues. Check a couple of contradicting quotes.

‘I used to be very skinny. If someone says I’m skinny now I hate it.

‘But if girls say I’m too muscly, I feel self-conscious about that too.’

Gracing the cover of the January 2012 issue isn’t Judd’s first appearance in the magazine. Him and his bandmates have appeared before showing off their bodies, but it’s Judd who gets solo billing this time around. In recent months, Harry has extended his fanbase beyond teen girls and the gays. The drummer appeared in “Strictly Come Dancing“, the UK version of “Dancing With The Stars” and made it to the finals. Check out a few more shirtless pics of him below.

view more pics after the jump

Rising Artist Spotlight: Graffiti6

In: Donovan, Music

I first came across Graffiti6 a few weeks ago when I received an email from their publicity team. We typically receive several requests to feature artists PR teams are trying to pimp out. Sometimes the musical acts aren’t the greatest so we do nothing with them. Every so often, a gem is discovered and immediately added to my iTunes, which brings me to Graffit6. They’re the perfect addition to my Rising Artist Spotlight series.

Graffiti6 is a UK collaboration between singer-songwriter Jamie Scott and songwriter-producer TommyD. Prior to working with each other, Scott toured with both Alicia Keys and opened for Kelly Clarkson during the UK leg of her “My December” tour. Producer TommyD previous credits include working with Janet Jackson, Kylie Minogue and Kanye West to name a few. Separately, they’re talented in their own right but together… magic happens.

The London-based duo’s current single “Free” is one of my heavily played tracks. I absolutely love it. It’s a soulful song about breaking out of a relationship that has come to an end but hard to walk away from. Scott perfectly emotes the song’s theme through his impeccable vocals. If James Blunt and Bruno Mars had a kid, it would be him. And even better, Scott is as cute as shizz. What is about the UK that nurtures so many soulful singers? I grabbed the following quote from their press release because it describes their sound so succinctly.

Graffiti6’s sound is an uncategorizable mélange of pop, psychedelia, R&B, and British Northern Soul that fully capitalizes on the soaring uplift of Scott’s emotionally transparent voice and gift for melody and TommyD’s irresistible rhythms and inventive production.

listen to “Free” after the jump and to see a shirtless pic of Jamie

Super Bowl XLVI is still a couple of months away, but that hasn’t prevented Madonna from rehearsing for the big day. We all know how much of a perfectionist she is, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Word has it, Madge started working on her 15-minute halftime show this week. According to fan site, her performance will include a medley of five songs from her discography.

Seeing that her 13th studio album drops next year, one of the tracks will be her lead-off single, “Gimme All Your Luvin’“, previously titled as “Give Me All Your Love”. Expect both Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. who appear on the track, to join Madonna in Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI. I can’t wait to see what Minaj is going to wear.

Have any guesses on what the other four songs will be? Being that it’s a sporting event, don’t expect any of her hit ballads, but rather her biggest dance pop hits instead. I have to say the “Material Girl” singer did an excellent job of picking songs to represent different parts of her long career. She has something from her debut album all the way to her upcoming one. See if you can correctly predict the other four tracks before reading ahead.

find out which songs she’ll be performing after the jump

Flo Rida & Sia Are The “Wild Ones” On New Single

In: Music, Tyrell

I feel like we just heard new Flo Rida when he sampled Avicii’s hit track Levels to produce his massive club hit Good Feelin’. Now, a new song has hit the web featuring the new dance music it-girl Sia. Just to put it into perspective, DJ and producer David Guetta had both Sia and Mary J. Blige record vocals for the track Titanium and in the end chose Sia over the R&B diva.

The new track is the second single from Flo Rida’s upcoming 2012 album Only One Rida: Part Two. This album is the sequel to 2011’s predecessor Only One Flo: Part One. The first part of the album duo produced some massive hits for the rapper and I’m sure that part two will do exactly the same thing if the two lead-off tracks are any indication of what’s to come.

In the new track Wild Ones, Sia’s smooth vocals ring out singing, “hey I heard you were a wild one. If I took you home it’d be a homerun.” Amazing. Flo’s rhythmical rap fits perfectly in the beat and melody track quite reminiscent of his single with Akon titled Who Dat Girl. The song is very radio friendly and sure to be heard all over the nation. The track is available of download on December 20. Give it a listen below.

Listen to Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” after the jump.

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