Changes to the monthly competitions

Hi and welcome back to Amazing OurStage. We want to let you know that there will be changes to the prizes we are offering. Every month will be different.
This month we are awarding prizes of $100 to winners of the competition finals. In the future there will be prizes to help your musical career. Check back to find out.

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Come back to see the improvements to OurStage over the next few months.

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Rebecca Black: Rumors And Revelations

We’ve tried not to get too involved in the whole Rebecca Black fracas that’s been brewing on the Internet for the past few weeks. It’s been hard considering that for a minute there Black was seemingly plastered onto every single Web site on the web and her song “Friday” was being streamed simultaneously by every human being with a broadband connection on the planet.

However, now that things have died down a bit we can take a step back and start really looking at the career of Rebecca Black. Though she’s post-ubiquity, don’t think for a second that we’re done hearing from Black. In fact, she’s been planting the seeds to turn her fifteen minutes into a legitimate career. Given how fast things have been moving for her it can be hard for anyone to track her trajectory. And because she is an Internet phenomenon, it’s tough to parse through the heresay and the rumors to determine what’s really happening and what isn’t.

Just know that OurStage Magazine is here for you.

To help cut through the B.S., we’ve decided to share a few of the facts about the young Rebecca Black and her nascent career. We’re also going to throw in some rumors* of our own is as well. Who says we can’t have a little fun fun fun of our own?

Revelation: Rebecca Black is suing Ark Music Factory

You’d think for basically making her career, Black would be a bit more grateful towards the guys at Ark Music. But what’s this? Black and her mother Georgina Marquez Kelly are suing Ark over copyright infringement? Shocker. At least if Rebecca Black was getting all of the money from the single, a pretty good sum of money by the way, she said she’d donate it all to Japan relief. Good for her!

Rumor: Rebecca Black has signed with Universal

Rebecca Black did sign with… someone. She’s now working with a big time management team and Ark CEO Patrice Wilson aka Fat Usher aka that rapper in the “Friday” video (!) did state that she was no longer with Ark, cryptically stating that she was now signed with somebody else. But who? Why not Universal, already the home of fellow rising pop star Jessie J, fellow role model to young women Taylor Swift and Black’s beloved Justin Bieber (seriously, she has a Bieber shrine). She’d fit right in.

Revelation: Rebecca Black is working on her full length debut album

Not one to rest on her laurels Black is already working on her full length debut at Flying Pig Productions. She’s also got her next single slated to come out in the near future titled “LOL”. The chorus of the song? “BFF you make me LOL“. Inspiring.

Rumor: Rebecca Black’s new album will feature guest spots from Eminem and Snoop Dogg

Rebecca Black’s connection to rap is already known and she recently received a blessing from Snoop Dogg himself. So it shouldn’t be surprising that in an effort to boost her artistic credibility she will be teaming up the Doggfather and shock rapper Eminem on the LP. When asked about the move, Black was quoted as saying she was “tired of all the fake ass bitches hating on her.” Who knew she was so hood?

Revelation: “Friday” might not be the best song in the world but people love to cover it

Say what you will, but there’s no denying that for a disposable fluff-pop single, “Friday” has got some legs. It’s no revelation that Rebecca Black is obsessed with the Biebs (she is a teen girl) so it must’ve been extra special when she heard his rendition of her big hit. And by rendition we mean a few bars inbetween songs at a show in Nottingham. Is a collaboration between the two stars imminent?! No, no probably not.

He’s not the only one to get in on the act. Late night funnymen Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert also got into the act on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The song got an appropriately epic treatment with The Roots providing the instrumental muscle and the immortal Taylor Hicks of American Idol fame, who we didn’t know could play the harmonica!

Rumor: Move over Gwyneth, Rebecca Black is about to be the next big Glee guest star

You heard us right folks, Rebecca Black has been slated to appear on the hit musical TV show! In an attempt to lend her musical chops some credibility she’s going to be featured in an upcoming episode as the evil stepsister of Rachel Berry, the female lead of the singing cast played by Lea Michele.

The resemblance is uncanny.

The storyline for the episodes states that, “Rachel’s younger sister, jealous of the success and attention that her sibling’s received tries to join the Glee Club herself and when she can’t join the club she teams up with cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester to take the glee club down once and for all!” Rebecca Black was excited for the opportunity to showcase her acting chops, seeing the episode as way to demonstrate to fans that, “[I'm] a double threat.” No word on when she’ll make her Dancing With The Stars debut.

* Please note that it’s entirely possible that we made all of these rumors up.

Prizes For All In Guitar Center’s Your Next Record With Travis Barker Competition

It’s no secret that association with mainstream acts can lead to big things for any artists’ career. Dr. Dre introduced the world to Eminem, then Eminem introduced 50 Cent. Jay-Z and Lil Wayne collaborated with Drake and a hip hop superstar was born. It’s safe to say that the phenomenon is no coincidence. You too can get a chance to work with a megastar; all you need to do is enter your best original song by April 30th into Guitar Center’s “Your Next Record with Travis Barker” Competition on OurStage!  One Grand Prize Winner will win a trip to Los Angeles to record a three-song EP with drummer extraordinaire Travis Barker at the Red Bull Studios. Barker will rock out on the drums for one track from the EP, which will then be distributed worldwide by TuneCore. So what are you waiting for? The spotlight is calling.

For the loyal fans, judge in the competition by May 15th and you could win an OCDP snare drum autographed by Travis Barker himself. One sweepstakes winner will be drawn weekly until judging ends in May. It’s just that simple folks; you are mere clicks away from taking home a cherished piece of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia. Hit up the playlist below for a sneak peak at the top artists in the competition.

Sound And Vision: Where Is the Love? — The Disappearing Power-Ballad Duet

Back in the day, every major female pop star had one: a male pop star (or two, or three or more) who loved her—at least on the record and on the charts. Over the years, Barbra Streisand had Neil Diamond, Barry Gibb and Bryan Adams. Diana Ross had Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie and Julio Iglesias. Olivia Newton-John, Linda Ronstadt and Stevie Nicks had their pick of men (Andy Gibb, Don Henley, Aaron Neville, Tom Petty and John Travolta, among them.) Whitney Houston had Teddy Pendergrass, Bobby Brown, Enrique Iglesias and George Michael. Madonna had Prince. Celine Dion had Peabo Bryson and R. Kelly. Mariah Carey had Luther Vandross, and so did Janet Jackson.
But where did the love go? Though there have been scattered duet hits in recent years (Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown‘s “No Air,” Ciara and Justin Timberlake‘s “Love Sex Magic”), they are fewer and much farther between. On the Billboard Hot 100 dated March 19, 2011, “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson‘s country chart topper, was the only traditional male-female duet, way down at No. 34.
I’d say that part of the blame lies with the faltering power ballad, which isn’t the chart force that it was in the days when Celine Dion ruled the airwaves. Consider pop’s leading single males: Both of Usher‘s and Enrique Iglesias’s two recent Top 10 Hot 100 singles have been not ballads but dance-oriented collaborations with rappers and, in the case of Usher’s “OMG,” Will.i.am. Chris Brown’s comeback-in-progress also has been harder-edged and boosted by male guest stars like Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes, and of Justin Bieber‘s two Top 10s to date, neither has been a ballad, both were with rappers.
But it’s not just about what the public seems to want— it seems to be what the artists want, too. Why play the conventional good girl, duetting with Usher or Iglesias, when it’s so much more fun being bad? In the past year or so, both Rihanna and Katy Perry have gone Top 10 with rappers (Eminem and Drake, and Snoop Dogg and Kanye West, respectively). Meanwhile, Ke$ha went there with electronica hipsters 3OH!3 (after scoring her first hit riding shotgun with Flo Rida), and Beyoncé and Lady Gaga got there together.
As for the guys, boy-on-boy (or boys) rule: Bruno Mars with B.o.B and Travie McCoy, Jeremih with 50 Cent, Usher and Iglesias with Pitbull, Iglesias and Bieber with Ludacris. If it were 2001, Iglesias, or Ricky Martin, probably already would have zipped up the charts with Katy Perry and/or Rihanna on his arm. But it’s 2011, and just as every good girl wants a bad-boy rapper by her side, it seems the hit-making males would rather roll with the rough boys than mush it up with the ladies.
Will the power ballad survive the current disinterest in them? Can singing couples make a comeback? I’d be surprised if they didn’t. Pop music is cyclical, and if Jennifer Lopez can rise again, so can love (which, incidentally happens to be the title of J. Lo’s upcoming album, minus a question mark). All it needs is the right tag team to deliver it back into the public’s good graces and up the charts. I’d pay money to hear Pink and Adam Lambert together, but would the masses buy it? I’m not so sure, but wouldn’t it be just like them both to try and find out?

Soundcheck: Not So New Newbies – Skylar Grey And Yelawolf

Interscope Records is certainly back on everyone’s radar after reviving two of hip hop’s most iconic stars—this year’s ten-time GRAMMY nominee, Eminem and his mentor Dr. Dre. While these two are certainly front and center of the revamped label, they’ve got two more artists in the wing, waiting to take the label’s takeover to a whole new level.

In the last thirty days, Skylar Grey has performed on television’s highest-rated show, been featured on three radio hits, participated in a history-making comeback of one of hip hop’s legends and oh—won a GRAMMY for penning Song of the Year, “Love The Way You Lie.”  Not bad for a newcomer who appeared overnight. But how new is Skylar Grey?  Holly Brook Hafermann, the 25-year-old from Wisconsin is better known (or soon to be) by her stage name, Skylar Grey.  She’s caused quite the stir since her haunting GRAMMY performance alongside Dr. Dre and Eminem, where she played the piano and delivered the hook that finally called Dre back to the mic after a ten year hiatus.  She’s also making radio rounds on Lupe Fiasco’s second Lasers single, “Words I Never Said”.  Millions more were introduces to the piano-playing, raven-haired singer/ songwriter Thursday night, when she hit the American Idol stage alongside Diddy Dirty Money to perform their single, “Coming Home”.  While the mysterious voice seems to have popped up over night; Grey has been in the business, under a different name for years.  She’s currently signed to Alex Da Kid’s Interscope imprint, Wonderland, and is at work on her debut album—as Skylar.

In 2004, Grey (formerly Brook) was signed to Machine Shop, a label owned by Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda.  She released her debut album, Like Blood, Like Honey two years later and opened up for rockers like KD Lang, Teddy Geiger and Jamie Cullum among others. She also toured with Duncan Sheik and is featured on their 2009 album, Whisper House. Just last year, she released a seven-track EP, O Dark: Thirty EP produced by Sheik. While there’s been no explanation for the quickie name change, former fans of Holly Brook were sent e-mails in late January, advising them of the change and encouraging them to stay tuned for her new persona, Skylar Grey.  Pretty weird, but I’m sure there’s a completely logical explanation for her dark dye-job and assumed alias.  If the image overhaul and new home at Interscope did the trick to get her on my radar after seven years in the business, I’m glad she did it.  Her stellar songwriting skills have delivered some of my favorite tunes of the year, and her strong, unique voice will likely prove to be a powerhouse worth reckoning with.

Another Interscope rookie is making noise and is poised for a big year.  Yelawulf, the quick-rhyming rapper from Alabama, released his first high-impact mixtape Trunk Music 0-60 in November— his highly anticipated follow-up Radioactive is due out this summer on Eminem’s imprint, Shady Records.  He first caught our attention when he hit the stage at last year’s BET Awards with friend and mentor, Big Boi. This month he made XXL’s coveted Freshman Class issue, making him the first artist to grace the magazine’s cover two months in a row— he was featured alongside Eminem and the rest of the Shady family last month. Despite the “freshman” title, this isn’t the first go around for Yelawulf either,  He was a contestant on Missy Elliot’s short-lived reality competition show, The Road To Stardom in 2005 and was signed to Columbia Records in 2007.  Now, he seems to be in the right place, and ready to cash in after years of struggling for stardom, looks like the tatted-up Southerner is ready to shine.  While he’s not spilling many details on Radioactive yet, you can catch him on Travis Barker’s “Let’s Go,” along with Lil Jon, Busta Rhymes and Twista and on “2.0 Boys” with Eminem and label mate, Slaughterhouse—the hip hop collective comprised of Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Crooked I and Royce Da 5’9″.

Sound And Vision: Can R.E.M. Rock The Charts Again With “Collapse Into Now”?

If you read the title, and you’re still with me, maybe there’s hope. R.E.M.’s publicity machine might be working. Twenty years ago, for a brief window in the early ’90s before grunge took over, the band owned the title of the biggest American rock band on the planet.
And then there were three. Drummer Bill Berry departed after the 1995 Monster tour, leaving R.E.M. a trio, and diminishing returns kicked in with the next several albums. When Around the Sun came out in 2004, not only were reviews somewhere south of tepid (even the band has gone on the record as hating it), but it became the first R.E.M. studio album not to go gold, failing to enter the Top 10 or produce any chart singles. The Monster-wannabe Accelerate did better in 2008 (it debuted at No. 2), but like it’s predecessor, it failed to cross the 500,000 sales mark.
If at first and second you don’t succeed… On March 7, R.E.M. will try to avoid a strike-out with their 15th studio album, Collapse into Now.

These are hard times for the monsters of ’80s and ’90s rock. U2′s last album didn’t do anywhere near the band’s usual business. Bon Jovi continues to sell respectfully, but theywere just snubbed by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Kurt Cobain is still dead, Oasis is history and Radiohead doesn’t care if you get its music or not. The ’80s and ’90s rock bands with the most commercial potential either disbanded and reunited (like Pixies and The Cars, whose first album in twenty-four years, Move Like This, comes out on May 10), took extended hiatuses (AC/DC, Metallica) or have a lead singer who took Simon Cowell’s spot on American Idol (lucky Aerosmith).
R.E.M.’s going to have to get back on track the hard way, by releasing great music that thrills old fans while winning over new ones. Bassist Mike Mills has said that Collapse into Now is the band’s best work since Out of Time, the 1991 album that remains the band’s best seller and also spawned R.E.M.’s biggest hit, the Top 5 “Losing My Religion.” Although there’ll be no tour to support the new album, the band has been promoting it as if they actually believe what Mills says.
The publicity blitz began last fall—where else?—on the Internet, as R.E.M. made the album cut “Dicoverer,” which is as great as anything from the band’s golden years, available for download on its Web site. Over the next few weeks, lyric videos for various tracks began popping up on the band’s YouTube channel as did a Collapse into Now trailer, featuring snippets of R.E.M. performing key cuts. You can even “R.E.M.ix” the track “It Happened Today” online. And just in case everyone had forgotten that these guys were once multi-platinum superstars, the Coldplay of their day, “Losing My Religion” popped up in an episode of Glee.
But can three fifty-somethings competing with popular rockers half their age recapture past glory? Even their big-name collaborators on Collapse into Now—Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith—are talented relics from a bygone era. The tracks they’ve previewed so far have been a mixed bunch (fast, slow, brilliant, so-so), and thus far the first single, “Mine Smell Like Honey,” hasn’t been seen anywhere near Billboard’s Hot 100.
It’s going to take more than a grassroots multi-media campaign and a few bonus cuts to make Collapse into Now fly off iTunes’ virtual shelves. The band will need unanimously spectacular reviews to compete with spring arrivals from Britney Spears, Foo Fighters and Snoop Dogg. And even then, that might not be enough. If all else fails, R.E.M.’s best bet will be to get up out of those rocking chairs and hit the road. Maybe there’s still an open headlining slot on Lollapalooza 2011 with Enimen, Muse and Foo Fighters.
With fewer artists selling platinum, record sales are becoming increasingly irrelevant anyway—especially for icons of pop and rock like Madonna, U2 and, yes, R.E.M, whose fans won’t click on their YouTube links with the fervor of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga disciples, and who don’t rule the singles scene the way whippersnappers like Katy Perry and Rihanna do. For them, releasing new music should be more a labor of love, a way to avoid becoming a strictly nostalgia act, than a means to multi-platinum. If R.E.M. wants its glory back, if the band is to avoid collapsing into now, then the show—featuring something old, something new, and of course, “Losing My Religion”—must go on.
[Editor's Note: You can now stream R.E.M.'s Collapse Into Now on NPR.org prior to the Marth 8th release. NME also reported on Wednesday that the band has tapped a group of filmmakers including James Franco, of all people, to create music videos for each and every song on the album in an attempt to redefine "the idea of an album in 2011, beyond a music fan's idea of an album 20 years ago."]

Soundcheck: Hot Ticket Tours – This Year’s ‘Can’t Miss’ Show Line-Up

Now that the snow is finally melting and Spring is right around the corner so is the Spring/Summer concert season. Every year, I anticipate festival line-ups and envision my ideal headlining mash-ups, and every year, I’m pleasantly surprised with at least one can’t-miss tour. This year, you may want to start pinching pennies early, because there’s more than one hot ticket in town.

Janet Jackson will embark on her largest world tour to date with her “Number Ones: Up Close and Personal” Tour. The seasoned superstar who recently starred in Tyler Perry’s critically-acclaimed film, For Colored Girls recently completed her first book and has a new man to be giddy about. The North American leg is a 35-city tour, which promises all the nasty girl’s fan favorites from her latest LP, Number Ones, kicks off in Texas on March 3rd, wrapping up in Las Vegas on April 24th.

Another throwback must-see is the ‘Hip Hop Legends’ Tour. Salt N Pepa will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their 1986 debut, hit album Hot, Cool & Viscious. Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandy “Pepa” Denton and  Deidre “Dee Dee” Roper, better known as DJ Spinderella will hit 20 cities and be joined by fellow hip hop veterans like Doug E. Fresh, MC Lyte, Slick Rick, Whodini, Kool Moe Dee and  Naughty By Nature among others. Kicking off the tour on February 4th in Cleveland and wrapping up in Atlanta on April 2nd.

The hottest ticket in hip hop is undoubtedly Lil Wayne’s “I Am Music II” Tour, which kicks off in Buffalo, NY on March 18th. The 24-city tour will feature NickiMinaj,Rick Ross, Travis Barker and Beastie Boys’ Mixmaster Mike and promises to be worth the wait at the ticket counter.

Snoop Dogg will continue his “Get Wet” Tour through March with stops in Las Vegas, Houston and Pittsburg among others. Some lucky concert-goers will get twice as lifted with special engagements featuring Wiz Khalifa in select cities.

Kid Rock has set out on hisBorn Free” Tour with his Twisted Brown Trucker Band for the 28-city stretch, kicking off in Kansas City last week. He will headline the 2011 Rockfest Music Festival July 14th-17th in Wisconsin, performing songs from his latest album, Born Free.

Sade will hit the road with John Legend on June 16th for the first time in 10 years for her 50-date “Soldier of Love” Tour. The GRAMMY-winning pair will also appear at Coachella in April.

Rihanna is currently overseas on her “Last Girl on Earth” Tour, but will be back in the states to kick off her “LOUD” Tour in Baltimore on June 4th. When she wraps up her stateside leg, she will head to Europe on September 29th, where she won’t wrap until December 17th. Let’s hope RiRi doesn’t poop out on her ‘round the world stretch.

Two of my favorite festivals are sure to deliver some serious line-ups this year, with Eminem heating up Chicago for Lollapalooza, along with Muse and Foo Fighters among others. The 3-day festival held in Grant Park is August 5th-7th, with the official line-up coming soon. Coachella is another favorite desert destination, and this year’s star-studded line-up includes Kanye West, Cee-Lo Green, Lauryn Hill, Wiz Khalifa, Nas & Damien Marley and Erykah Badu. The hot and sweaty, weekend-long, jam session gets rollin’ April 15th date in Indio, CA.

Sound And Vision: Why Did The Academy Stop Picking Hits For The Best Original Song Oscar?

First, the good news: Tunes from Country Strong, Tangled, 127 Hours and Toy Story 3 will have the distinction of competing for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards on February 27th. The bad: Not one of them touched Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart.

Surprised? It’s not like movies have been putting on the hits lately. A few tracks from Burlesque grazed Billboard’s charts, but for the most part, soundtracks are no longer the record-label cash cows they used to be. Even a blockbuster film like Alice in Wonderland couldn’t turn Avril Lavigne‘s “Alice” into a hit. (It peaked at No. 71 on Billboard’s Hot 100.) When I think of recent soundtrack-single successes, only two quickly come to mind: Miley Cyrus‘s “The Climb,” from 2009′s Hannah Montana: The Movie, which was disqualified by the Academy because it wasn’t written specifically for the film, and Taylor Swift‘s “Today Was a Fairytale,” from last year’s Valentine’s Day, which, unlike two Burlesque numbers, wasn’t even deemed good enough for a Golden Globe nod.

To find an Oscar-nominated song that made a dent on the Hot 100, you’d have to go back to 2008, when “Falling Slowly” from Once went to No. 61 after winning the Academy Award. That’s as high as the Beyoncé-sung Dreamgirls nominee “Listen” had peaked in 2006. (The 2009 champ, “Jai Ho,” from Slumdog Millionaire, had to be translated into English-language pop by Pussycat Dolls in order to get to No. 15.)
The last Oscar winner to hit No. 1 was Eminem‘s 8 Mile single “Lose Yourself,” which took the prize in 2003. In comparison to the ’00s, every Best Original Song of the ’90s was a sizable chart hit, with two of them—”My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic and “A Whole New World” from Aladdin—going all the way to No. 1. Between 1981 and 1987 every Best Original Song Oscar winner was also a No. 1 Hot 100 single. Back then the category was more interesting and a win felt more prestigious because people could actually sing along with the contenders when they were performed on Oscar night.
But when did the Academy stop paying attention to what was on the charts and on the radio? Probably around the same time that movie hits dried up, soundtrack sales plummeted and the labels stopped releasing them with any regularity. Michael Jackson‘s This Is It was a smash in 2009. This year, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never didn’t even get a soundtrack—unless you count the Justin Bieber remix album that was released on February 14th, three days after the movie opened at No. 2 with a North American box-office haul of $29.5 million.
David Fincher went edgy when he hired industrial rocker Trent Reznor to write the music for The Social Network, whose Oscar nomination tally includes Best Original Score, but it’s telling that he didn’t get Justin Timberlake, who costarred in the film, to contribute a new pop song. Despite Trent Reznor’s chart success as the leader of Nine Inch Nails, the soundtrack only peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard 200 album chart. He’ll score Fincher’s upcoming English-language version of The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, but unless he wins the Oscar to go with his Golden Globe, I’m sure no one is counting on improved soundtrack sales.
Though TV soundtracks still occasionally chart well— especially if they have the word “Glee” in the title—movie soundtracks seldom do because they rarely seem to feature songs that you can’t find elsewhere. These days when movies use music to accompany the onscreen action, directors generally turn to classics as well as recent and current hits rather than commissioning new tunes. Daft Punk‘s Tron: Legacy score charted quite well, but it functioned as much as a proper Daft Punk album. For the week of February 19, 2011, the musical companion piece to Country Strong was the only movie soundtrack in the Top 40, and not one song on the Hot 100 originated in a film.
A couple of weeks ago, Barbra Streisand sang “Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born),” 1977′s Best Original Song Winner and a No. 1 Hot 100 hit, at the GRAMMY Awards. Thirty-four years later, everyone still remembers it. I doubt that anyone will be singing any of this year’s nominees at the GRAMMYs or even in the shower in 2045. I doubt that anyone is singing any of them now.

Soundcheck: GRAMMY Wrap Up

The stars were out and about in Hollywood this weekend for the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards. Music’s biggest night kicked off on Friday night with an exclusive pre-GRAMMY party hosted by five-time nominee, Cee-Lo Green at Live! On Sunset. Faith EvansFonzworth Bentley, Omarion and Big Boi enjoyed fiercely fashioned live mannequins, mac and cheese and customized cocktails and enjoyed a secret show from Cee-Lo, who told us he was “beyond honored” to be nominated five times and said “I’m enjoying every moment of this.”

Cash Money Records hosted a top-notch pre-GRAMMY soiree on Saturday night with a custom-built bank vault display and impressive ambiance. The gold carpet shined bright with stars like Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne, Mario and Reggie Busha among others. The Cash Money family took the stage to present Nicki with her platinum plaque to commemorate her debut album, Pink Friday selling 1 million copies. Wayne announced the beauty, who gave a heartfelt thanks to Baby, Slim and the rest of her crew, and shout out to all the “bad ass bitches getting’ money.” She told the crowd that “this man found me on some steps rapping on a DVD in Queens, New York and now look. This shit is real.”

The highlight of the evening came when Wayne hit the stage alongside Jay Sean, DJ Khaled and Busta Rhymes to perform a medley of Young Money hits to a thunderous crowd into the wee hours of the morning. While some party-goers split to hit The Roots concert at The Music Box Theatre, others, called it a night to prep for the next day’s festivities.

GRAMMY night featured thirty performances, and was over-the-top fashion frenzy, with Nicki Minaj donning a leopard-print Givenchy ensembleand spotted hair. Lady Gaga arrived on the carpet in an enormous egg, and spending the night with pointed prosthetic shoulders and horns on her forehead. The freaky futuristic imagery lasted throughout the night culminating in her graphic performance of “Born This Way”.

Best new artist nominee, Justin Bieber gave an acoustic rendition of his hit, “Baby”, then was joined by his mentor, Usher for a rendition of his hit, “ Oh My God”. Janelle Monae joined Bruno Mars and B.O.B. for a fifties-inspired segment complete with doo-wop back-up singers, bow ties and black and white effects. Drake and Rihanna gave a sizzling performance of “What’s My Name”, with the sexy siren wearing a beaded bathing suit and grinding on her rumored former beau, and “Best New Artist” nominee.

The biggest moment of the night came from ten-time nominee,Eminem, who performed a remixed version of his hit “Love The Way You Lie” with Rihanna clad in a gorgeous gown beside him. Then, as Skylar Gray belted out the hook to “I Need a Doctor” through a misty darkness, Eminem delivered a dramatic punch when he spit a stirring tribute to his friend and mentor, Dr Dre, begging him back to the mic for his long-awaited return. And finally, Dre took the stage, commanding gasps from the crowd at his massive stature. His huge, built up figure, (much taller than I remember too) made his triumphant return after a ten-year hiatus, delivering his verse from the second single of the now DEFINITELY coming out project, Detox.

While Eminem nabbed two of his ten nominations, including “Best Rap Album”, the night’s big winners were Lady Antebellum, who scored five statues and Lady Gaga who nabbed two. Big surprises came in the “Best New Artist” category, when jazz singer, Esperanza Spalding beat out Drake, Justin Bieber and Florence and the Machine; and again when Arcade Fire won “Album of The Year”over Katy Perry, Gaga and Eminem.

Check out the full list of GRAMMY winners here.

 


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