Two different music events went down over the weekend. First, it was day two of the Essence Music Awards which saw big R&B performers take to the stage and then we had the 24-hour global concert called Live Earth, which has got to be one of the largest music events of the year. More than 150 of the world's top musicians came together for 24 hours of music from 9 concerts across all 7 continents. With an audience of more than 2 billion people, Live Earth used the global reach of music to engage people on a mass scale to combat our climate crisis (global warming). Proceeds from the event were donated to the Alliance for Climate Protection. So first I'm going to concentrate on Live Earth. And my girl Alicia Keys performed in the US part of the concert in New York:
Alicia was rocking some new extensions to her beautiful tresses. And in the most unlikely pairing of the day, she teamed up with Aussie country-rocker Keith Urban, to cover the Rollingstone's classic 'Gimme Shelter' in front of the crowd. AK told Bravo host Dave Holmes backstage, "It was a really spontaneous thing ... bringing together people from supposedly two separate worlds". Inside this post, I've posted the performance where Alicia sang an exclusive brand new track off her new album As I Am. Proceed for more details.
Speaking to USA TODAY in her trailer before going on stage, Alicia said that Live Earth "represents a global issue in a really global way. This is not just about one person or one city or one country. It's our world problem." If government leaders don't all grasp the gravity of the situation, she said, individuals have to do what they can. "If 20,000 people change their light bulbs" to be energy-efficient, that could make a statement and a difference. She also said said that she had designed her set with the issues driving Live Earth in mind. She would perform For The Love of Money because "for me, that's why we are where we are." She also selected two enduringly relevant classics: Stevie Wonder'sLiving For the City and Marvin Gaye'sMercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology). Gaye's song "is so accurate now," she said, shaking her head. "How could that song still be so accurate 30 years later? That’s sad, man."
Anyway, check out her Live Earth performance of some of those classics:
She did a great job!
Alicia also said she would introduce a pertinent new song from her upcoming album, As I Am, due Oct. 23. "I'm very excited about the record; it's incredibly moving," she said, noting that her new material had been influenced by larger events like those being acknowledged in these awareness-raising concerts. "For me, music comes from what surrounds me, what I’m feeling. There's always an element of questioning."
Here's the new song off her new album As I Am that she performed exclusively. The track is called "The Thing About Love":
I love the new track. It sounds awesome. Not only did she perform the new track but straight after, she performed If I Aint Got You, one of her previous hits. The singer/songwriter mentioned that her upcoming projects also include the film The Nanny Diaries, in September, in which she appears with Scarlett Johansson; and a tour set to start in January. "I'm constantly evolving," she said.
Gimme Shelter with Keith Urban - Alicia Keys ^^^
Rihanna also performed at the event but she graced her stage in Tokyo, Japan. I actually caught her performance on TV where she performed Pon De Replay, SOS, Unfaithful, Shut UpAnd Drive and Umbrella:
Neither performance was that great. I mean, Ciara and Janet have lackluster vocals but they compensate for it with technical choreography and Mariah can't dance but she makes up for it with amazing vocals. Rihanna doesn't have either as does Cassie, so that's my only fear for her, that people will eventually catch on. I am not expecting her to do backflips but DO something interesting for a change because if not, she will just become a fad, a here now gone tomorrow type artist. Anyway here are her performances:
Joss Stone attended a conference in South Africa, Johannesburg at the Coca Cola Dome where she was to take the stage:
It was a great performance. I'll put up the performance once I get hold of it.
So now I'm going to cover day two of the Essence Music Awards.Chris Brown had the crowd in the palm of his hand the minute he launched into "Gimme That." before going into his Michael Jackson routine:
His show is as much about dancing as it is about singing. During his performance, he did the moonwalk (wearing red jacket and silver gloves) with suggestive gyrations and kicks to "Rock with You" and "Billy Jean" bringing back fond memories of when MJ was in a much better place. I could shoot him for horrible tats though.
Beyonce and her overly suggestive facial expressions performed as well:
Beyonce performed Suga Mama and Get Me Bodied. I see that she's been enjoying her Popeyes as of late.
Kelly Rowland also performed at the event:
And here she is making another New Orleans appearance, though her weave looks really funny this time round:
And whilst we're on Kelly, check her out on 106 & Park:
The interview was also recorded in New Orleans ....
At the Essence music Awards, Solange Knowles was there to support her fam Beyonce AND Kelly, and she brought along her son Daniel, or should that be Juelz?:
Their father Matthew was also at the event. And um, as we're on Matthew, Solange and baby Juelz, check out their Baby Jamz website. You will LAUGH at the mere prospect of traditional nursery rhymes being downgraded to street Hip Hop, all sung by SOLANGE, promoted by Juelz and put together by Matthew. Why they gotta dampen the spirit of my childhood? Huh? Whyyy? When I heard the nursery rhymes, I just laughed. Apparently, the nursery rhymes are available on CD which you can now buy for your kids. So um, would you let your kids listen to this crap? LMAOOOOO! I know I wouldn't. It's a cute idea (and dare I say it but her spin on SOME of the songs are hot) but my kids will grow up listening to the original nursery rhymes just like I did. LOL. I mean, hell, how are you going to relegate This Old Man into a reggae remix with its ridiculous "booyaka's", and then have game to straight pimp Mary Had a Little Lamb, and turning Buckle My Shoe into a snap song. Upon hearing Bingo, I just got all hysterical. Anyone notice how they no longer call Solange's kid Daniel, as soon as Sol divorced Daniel Snr?
Here is more info about the launch: Matthew Knowles has launched a Hip-Hop Toy Line. He has partnered with Plant Toys to create a hip-hop-inspired toy line called Baby Jamz. Via a 50/50 joint venture with the toy maker, the Baby Jamz collection comprises of five toys, each coming with a CD from the Baby Jamz CD series, which daughter Solange is a featured singer on and Beyonce plans to become involved in, in a later series. Solange's son Juelz is the face of Baby Jamz, and his image appears on all packaging and in all TV and print ads. The toys will retail from $6.99 to $24.99. Baby Jamz is the first music-intensive partnership for Planet Toys, which has licensing deals with General Motors, Harley-Davidson, Scholastic and other brands. Discussions between Knowles and Planet Toys president/CEO David Canner began nearly a year ago.
Knowles pointed to a lack of children's toys that reflect urban society as the main impetus, so he felt his Music World Entertainment would be perfect. "There is a real opportunity for us to make a benchmark here, with Planet Toys making the toys and Music World making the music," Knowles said. Canner concurred, adding, "With Baby Jamz, we're going after that hip-hop mom."
The second Baby Jamz toy collection is slated to arrive in stores next spring. It will include a "drum machine" that attaches to a car seat. Knowles plans to evolve Baby Jamz into a kids clothing line, linking it to House of Dereon, the high-end fashion line launched by his wife Tina and Beyonce, and its sister line, Dereon, helmed by Beyonce and Solange.
Well, I just thought I should share the hilarity. But back to the Essence Music Awards. More backstage action:
Actress Regina King hung out with Kelly Rowland and Robin Thicke.
Mary J Blige performed:
I bet she tore it up.
Also more performances took place, so um, let's start with the next one. Season 2 American Idol winner Ruben Studdard:
No fucking comment.
But another performer who was a lot more easier on the eyes was none other than Robin Thicke:
So far so good. And that is my Essence coverage done with. Whew. But the weekend action didn't stop there either.
Jennifer Lopez performed during the New Seven Wonders of the World official declaration ceremony Saturday, July 7 2007 at Luz stadium in Lisbon, Portugal:
During her 15-minute set, she performed Que Hiciste, Jenny From The Block, Ain't It Funny (Remix), Waiting For Tonight, My Love Don't Cost A Thing and Get Right and killed it. Jenny's back!
And she looked mad hot on the latest issue of Glamour:
Solange had ANOTHER 21st birthday which took place at the Generations Hall in New Orleans:
Solange looked gorgeous but I hate that bright red lipstick. And what was up with Beyonce's lace-front? You can heavily see the glue on her forehead caked on like thick porridge. I am sorry, but with Beyonce's money, there is just no excuses.
MORE & FINAL WEEKEND RECAPS ....
More flicks from the Essence Music Festival: Mario, Kelly Rowland, Solange Knowles, Mary J Blige and Ne-yo:
Mario is showing us that skin bleaching creams can be a man's best friend. And that's not camera light either. His skin tone has lightened considerably over the years. Compare how he looks at recent events to how he looked when he first came out and the difference is simply undeniable. Just sad. And why hasn't Kelly insured her legs yet? Her legs are just as great as the rest. If Mariah, Rihanna and Amerie can go the mile ....
More flicks from Solange's 21st birthday party. Chrisette Michele also performed: