Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Video: Mariah Carey Talks Baby, Cravings and Holiday Plans

Mariah Carey and husband Nick Cannon are expecting their first child, and the singer opened up to “Extra’s” AJ Calloway about her pregnancy and how it’s affecting her holiday travels. Read more here: http://extratv.warnerbros.com

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Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong Returning To Broadway's 'American Idiot'

Frontman will appear in 50 more performances of the musical inspired by his band's landmark punk-rock concept album.
By Gil Kaufman

Billie Joe Armstrong performs with the cast of "American Idiot" on September 28
Photo: Slaven Vlasic/ Getty Images

Talk about having the boss watching your work all the time. Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong apparently had such a blast appearing in "American Idiot," the hit Broadway show based on his band's landmark punk-rock concept album, that he's agreed to take the stage again — 50 more times, in fact.

According to an announcement on the show's website, after dropping in for a handful of turns as the character St. Jimmy, Armstrong will step into his Doc Martens again, beginning January 1 and running through February 27 at New York's St. James Theatre. The cameos will come in three stretches, from January 1-9, January 18-30 and February 10-27. The actor who originated the part on Broadway, Tony Vincent, will end his run as St. Jimmy on December 30.

The Tony-winning show based on the band's Grammy-winning 2004 album got a box-office boost when Armstrong made his Broadway debut in September during eight performances. During that stretch, ticket sales grew to more than $1 million; last week's grosses were around $600,000.

You can expect tickets for the shows with Armstrong to be a bit harder to get. While the show has been playing to just over 50 percent capacity in recent weeks, The New York Times reported that it was boasting a nearly sold-out 93.4 percent capacity reading when Armstrong joined the cast.

Though St. Jimmy doesn't show up until midway through the show, when Armstrong burst onto the stage during his September and October slots, the audience went wild as he ripped into his theme song, "St. Jimmy," and mixed in the perfect combination of cocky, sneering attitude.

By night's end, he took his curtain calls with the rest of the cast and played guitar on the evening-ending "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)," then came back out for a second bow and some hand-slapping with the patrons down front.

Will you check out Billie Joe on Broadway? Let us know in the comments!

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Stella McCartney Welcomes A New Baby Girl

Designer Stella McCartney is celebrating after welcoming her fourth child – a baby girl named Reiley. The daughter of Sir Paul McCartney gave birth to the tot, weighing eight pounds (3.6 kilograms), at London’s Portland Hospital last Tuesday, Eonline.com has confirmed. The little girl is a younger sibling for McCartney and husband Alasdhair Willis’ three [...]

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Ke$ha 'Blows Some Stuff Up' For 'We R Who We R' Video

Good-time girl says video for her first Cannibal single is 'a little bit sexy time.'
By James Montgomery

Ke$ha on the set of her "We R Who We R" video
Photo: Eric Ford/On Location News

By now, you've no doubt downloaded the song and gazed longingly at photos from the set of the video. But despite all of that, you probably still have no idea what to expect from Ke$ha's "We R Who We R" clip.

And neither did we ... so when MTV News caught up with Ke$ha backstage at the 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards in Madrid, we decided to ask her for a quick synopsis of the video, the first she's releasing off her upcoming Cannibal repack. And from the sound of things, the clip is probably going to get a rise out of certain folks.

"This video is a little bit 'sexy time,' I'm not gonna lie, it may induce a boner or two," Ke$ha laughed. "I'm not sure, [you'll have to] report back. But I'm hoping for at least one."

We'll definitely let you know. Anyway, aside from all that sexiness, there's another aspect to the "We R" video that Ke$ha is equally excited about: the sheer amount of explosions she managed to pack into the thing.

"[For] this video, I kinda thought, 'I should be blowing things up,' " she smiled. "So we closed down downtown Los Angeles and, I mean, I'm not going to give away all of it, but I do blow some stuff up."

Sweet. And if small outfits and large-caliber explosives aren't enough to compel you to watch, well, Ke$ha still has one more trick up her sleeve for the "We R" video: There's gonna be plenty of beer on hand, too.

"Look, it's got bombs, boners, babes, boobs and beer ... always beer," she said. "What more do you want?"

Are you looking forward to Ke$ha's new video? Let us know in the comments!

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Lady Gaga Urges Continued Support For 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal

Gaga posts video message imploring U.S. senators who have said they would vote for the repeal to 'please keep your word.'
By Gil Kaufman

Lady Gaga
Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

Lady Gaga has not given up on the drive to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring gays and lesbians from serving openly. As the Democrat-led Congress reconvened on Monday for the lame-duck session before Republicans take over leadership of the House of Representatives in January, Gaga issued a video message urging her fans to keep fighting.

"Right now, we're looking at tomorrow [Tuesday] being a very important day for you guys all to really be paying attention," she says in the clip, noting that the Senate will begin a repeal hearing soon.

The two-minute black-and-white video, which appears to be filmed backstage at a Gaga show, finds the singer sporting a short blond bob wig, a black leather jacket, animal-print tights and her signature round sunglasses.

The Pentagon is slated to release its long-awaited report on the repeal of DADT on Tuesday (November 30). Early leaks of the document show that the majority of troops don't care about allowing openly gay and lesbian soldiers to serve. Time magazine reported that Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will tell the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that they're also ready to lift the 17-year-old ban. A Senate vote on the repeal could come as early as next week, but as Gaga mentioned in her video, if action does not come swiftly during the lame-duck session, the chances of securing a repeal could be lost when Republicans take over control of the House.

"Otherwise it could take years for it to happen," she says. "Social repression is currently running rampant in this country as many of you know. Kids are being led to believe that it's OK to hate and condemn based on our differences and this recent horrific news of gay suicides is really proof of our social repression and ultimately government repression that is killing our youth. We have to end this law because it reinforces discrimination and it's setting a bad example."

Gaga has been at the forefront of the fight to repeal DADT, putting the topic on front pages around the world in September when she arrived on the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards accompanied by four gay and lesbian service members who'd been discharged because of the policy. That kicked off a flurry of activity by Lady Gaga over the next few weeks in an attempt to help get the DADT ban overturned before the midterm elections — an effort that ultimately failed due to a Republican filibuster.

"We've known for many years that an overwhelming majority of Americans are ready to repeal," she continues in the clip. "Senators, you have been put on notice by me and by the people of this country. You said you would debate and address this law when the Pentagon returned with a strategy and tomorrow morning you will have it. So will you keep your word? Please keep your word."

She then encouraged her Little Monsters to go to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network website to join the fight for repeal and for information on contacting Senators.

"As a performer, this issue means so much to me," she concludes. "And I know sometimes that political activism when you're a pop singer can be kind of trivial, but in truth I feel very close to all of you and I feel like I share a very special connection with my fans and I feel like I can speak for you, and you're screaming, 'Please end this law. Equality for all.' "

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Ke$ha 'Blows Some Stuff Up' For 'We R Who We R' Video

Good-time girl says video for her first Cannibal single is 'a little bit sexy time.'
By James Montgomery

Ke$ha on the set of her "We R Who We R" video
Photo: Eric Ford/On Location News

By now, you've no doubt downloaded the song and gazed longingly at photos from the set of the video. But despite all of that, you probably still have no idea what to expect from Ke$ha's "We R Who We R" clip.

And neither did we ... so when MTV News caught up with Ke$ha backstage at the 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards in Madrid, we decided to ask her for a quick synopsis of the video, the first she's releasing off her upcoming Cannibal repack. And from the sound of things, the clip is probably going to get a rise out of certain folks.

"This video is a little bit 'sexy time,' I'm not gonna lie, it may induce a boner or two," Ke$ha laughed. "I'm not sure, [you'll have to] report back. But I'm hoping for at least one."

We'll definitely let you know. Anyway, aside from all that sexiness, there's another aspect to the "We R" video that Ke$ha is equally excited about: the sheer amount of explosions she managed to pack into the thing.

"[For] this video, I kinda thought, 'I should be blowing things up,' " she smiled. "So we closed down downtown Los Angeles and, I mean, I'm not going to give away all of it, but I do blow some stuff up."

Sweet. And if small outfits and large-caliber explosives aren't enough to compel you to watch, well, Ke$ha still has one more trick up her sleeve for the "We R" video: There's gonna be plenty of beer on hand, too.

"Look, it's got bombs, boners, babes, boobs and beer ... always beer," she said. "What more do you want?"

Are you looking forward to Ke$ha's new video? Let us know in the comments!

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Monday, November 29, 2010

'Deathly Hallows' Designer Reveals Scene Secrets

'Harry Potter' production designer Stuart Craig talks to MTV News about helping Harry retrieve Sword of Gryffindor from a frozen lake.
By Kara Warner

Daniel Radcliffe in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1"
Photo: Warner Bros.

In the weeks leading up to the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1," fans were in a frenzy, trying to figure out just how much of the book would make the first film, which scenes would delight and disappoint, and what characters might not return ever again. And trying to get the tight-lipped folks in the Potter camp to discuss those key points was a bit of a struggle. However, now that the film has opened, MTV News has enlisted the expertise of longtime Potter production designer Stuart Craig for a few behind-the-scenes tidbits.

Much has been said of the production moving away from Hogwarts and out on multiple locations, which Craig described as a "movie on the run."

"We made a very different kind of film, which was shot a great deal on location. We traveled quite far, we built sets, and they spend a lot of time in a forest," he explained. "We built forest sets and integrated them into the real forests, so there were challenges there, as you might imagine."

Another one of the production's major challenges — and accomplishments — was shooting the sequence in which Harry retrieves the Sword of Gryffindor at the bottom of a frozen lake.

"There was a really demanding, complicated special-effects requirement there to do the ice," Craig said. "I think that all works remarkably quite well, actually. Harry breaking the ice, diving in and then subsequently strangled by the Horcrux around his neck and is struggling and can't get up quickly because of the ice above him. It's good stuff."

Which begs the question: How did Craig and his team pull off that scene, and what do they use to make the ice look so real?

"As always, well, as nearly always, there's more than one solution. The camera on top, looking from the outside down on it. It's big, thick sheets of Plexiglass with frosty texture on top of that," he revealed.

"When we're underneath, it's actually an area of wax which floats on top of the water. And wax makes very effective ice. They're tried and tested movie techniques; there are a lot. You could write a book one day, a guidebook, to the very movie techniques — frost on window panes with some Epsom salts and brown nails."

One of the great pleasures in chatting with Craig, whose credits outside the world of Harry Potter include "Ghandi," "The English Patient" and "Notting Hill," is the fact that he has such an informed perspective on the inner-workings of the industry; specifically, how advanced film-making technology is now.

"The great thing about movies these days is that you can fix everything," he said. "I have to give a talk at a film festival early next month, and I've just been looking at films that I've done in the past. In particular, 'Ghandi,' years ago in India. The thing then was: If sometimes there was a compromise, it was filmed and it was there, locked. Forever. You look at the movie 20 years later, and there it would be.

"These days, with visual effects able to do so much, you can do face replacement, you can put Dan Radcliffe's head on somebody else's body. There's nothing they can't do, it seems. I mean, at a cost, it's not cheap, so terrible things seem to get fixed, which is very reassuring," he added, chuckling.

What was your favorite scene in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1"? Tell us in the comments below!

Check out everything we've got on "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1."

For young Hollywood news, fashion and "Twilight" updates around the clock, visit HollywoodCrush.MTV.com.

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Les News, 112810

Eva Longoria is not letting her divorce from Tony Parker get in the way of her adopting a Haitian child. Brangelina start Xmas shopping in Paris, France. Justin Timberlake wants an Oscar nomination. Emma Watson fears that fame and fortune will keep the men at bay. Thom Yorke creates a piece of human art. The [...]

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Leslie Nielsen: A Fan's Appreciation

Read a tribute to the 'Airplane!' and 'Naked Gun' funnyman, who died Sunday at age 84.
By Eric Ditzian

Leslie Nielsen
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Owning a VHS tape of "Airplane!" was utterly pointless. The disaster-flick spoof played on what seemed like a near-constant basic-cable loop, available to feed the insatiable need for a first grader to hear Leslie Nielsen quip, yet again, that while everyone on his ill-fated flight was served steak or fish, he managed to dine on lasagna.

But there was a certain comfort in knowing that I had access to the movie any time I needed a quick fix. And I needed it often. For me, there was simply nothing else like it. I didn't know movies could do what "Airplane!" did. A glue-sniffing, pill-popping air-traffic controller? A little girl who takes her coffee black, just like her men? And what the heck was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar doing there?

(For photos of the late funnyman throughout his career, click here.)

"Airplane!" is a deeply strange movie, and its strangeness had the effect, even after countless viewings, of keeping the film endlessly surprising. How is that even possible? I knew every line and still it felt like anything could happen at any moment. It never got old.

Nor did Nielsen, so it seemed. He remained almost unfairly frozen in time — with that same white helmet of hair, that same doughy-skinned face he sported in "Airplane!," and then later in the "Naked Gun" trilogy. He was a man without a past. It would be decades before I learned of his previous work as a dramatic actor. I knew only what I saw on screen: one of the funniest damn people in the world. And so it was with great sadness that I read of Nielsen's passing on Sunday at the age of 84.

My first encounters with "Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad" were a shock to the system. My thinking went something like, "You mean to tell me there's a funnier movie than 'Airplane?' " As Lieutenant Frank Drebin, Nielsen just slayed me. The scenes where he crashes a major league baseball game, impersonating an opera singer named Enrico Pallazzo and then stepping into the role of call-botching home plate umpire remain some of the funniest stuff I've ever seen.

At least that's the way I remember it. It's been a while since I've seen a "Naked Gun" flick. For that matter, "Airplane!" no longer seems to be on TV constantly. And where that original VHS tape is, I have no idea. But these are movies that are sewn into my pop culture DNA. There's a certain comfort in that.

What are your favorite Leslie Nielsen movie moments? Tell us in the comments.

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

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Kanye West Makes Fantasy Real With Secret NYC Show

Nicki Minaj, Justin Vernon, Teyana Taylor join 'Ye at Bowery Ballroom to celebrate album release.
By Jayson Rodriguez

Kanye West performs at Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday
Photo: Erez Avissar

NEW YORK — Kanye West is nothing if not a showman, and on Tuesday, the rapper celebrated the release of his fifth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, with a performance that was as daring and dashing as it was fraught with traces of the petulant MC of the past.

Shortly after midnight, West took to the stage at the Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan accompanied by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and femcee/singer Teyana Taylor.

The trio launched into "Dark Fantasy," the spirited opening number of 'Ye's new set.

Sporting a skin-tight dress, Taylor admirably belted out the chorus to the track and stuck around to ride shotgun with the G.O.O.D Music chief.

"New York City, make some noise," West told the gathering crowd after the opening selections. "Today, I'm gonna do My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy."

From there, West breezed through "Gorgeous," "Power" and "All of the Lights," the latter of which was a rumbling effort.

Nicki Minaj joined Yeezy on stage for some album-release unity when the DJ spun "Monster," sans Jay-Z.

Rick Ross arrived onstage for the Bink-produced "Devil in a New Dress."

When West teased the first few chords of "Runaway," the crowd — which included Diddy, music executives Lyor Cohen and Sylvia Rhone, ?uestlove, comedian Aziz Ansari and Selita Ebanks — erupted with approval.

The dramatic rendition was easily the night's highlight and featured artist Pusha T looked possessed on the microphone. Meanwhile, West was like a mad scientist pounding away on his MPC machine, creating musical backdrops to match almost each song.

After over an hour of performing, Yeezy closed the proceedings with a stirring, slowed-down rendition of the song "Lost in the World," the song he's slated to perform at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday.

He reappeared on stage shortly after for an encore and powered through brief versions of "Christian Dior Denim Flow" and "Can't Tell Me Nothing."

Although he finished with "Good Life," it may have been the defiance of "Can't Tell Me Nothing" that stuck with 'Ye after the performance, when he spoke to the crowd.

"As you know, it's been an extremely hard year for me," he began. "But getting back to music, G.O.O.D. Fridays, and the album ... I never thought I'd say this, I wanna thank the magazines for perfect scores across the board. I always felt like I could do anything.

"To do 100,000 digitally," Ye continued, remarking on his first day tally in sales from Monday. "And slated to do 600,000 the first week. I'm not here to do mother----ing politics. I'm here to make music. I'm not here to talk in no interviews; no one ask me any stupid f---ing questions."

Open the floodgates! It's Mega-Release Week, with Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Ke$ha, My Chemical Romance and Lloyd Banks all dropping new albums. Stick with MTV News for everything you need to know about the brand-new music.

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Willie Nelson Arrested For Marijuana Possession

Legendary singer Willie Nelson was busted over the weekend in Texas for possession of six ounces of marijuana. Wait ... Willie Nelson smokes pot? Who knew.

Nelson’s tour bus pulled into a routine checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Tex. and in an astonishing feat of law enforcement, an officer noticed a familiar herb smell.

Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West said: “It’s kind of surprising, but I mean we treat him like anybody else." And by surprising, he probably means not at all.

Willie Nelson Pic

It wasn't Willie Nelson's first drug bust. Nor will it be the last.

As much of a joke as this sounds like, a criminal defense attorney in Austin says six ounces of pot could get Willie six months minimum and up to two years.

But Bruce Margolin, director of the L.A. chapter of NORML, thinks he has a defense that could spring the 77-year-old crooner by tracing the weed to Cali.

Specifically, Nelson can claim he forgot the California-grown pot was on the bus. The Golden State is cool with medicinal marijuana, after all. Stay tuned.

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Michelle Williams Continues To Channel Her Inner Marilyn Monroe

Last month we got our first look at actress Michelle Williams in full make-up as Marilyn Monroe in her new film My Week with Marilyn. Today we get to see another promo photo of Michelle as Marilyn and I gotta say, I much prefer this photo to the first Marilyn photo we saw last month: [...]

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Jennifer Grey & Derek Hough celebrate their big win! Plus, see more of your favorite celebs on the scene!

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iVoices: A Thanksgiving Exclusive - An Interview with a Pilgrim and an Indian!

iVoice and "One Funny Mother" Dena Blizzard with what might be a digital first -- a sit-down with a Pilgrim and an Indian before Turkey Day, plus her impressive attempt at convincing the kids housework WAS part of the first Thanksgiving!

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Taylor Swift & Jake Gyllenhaal: Actually Photographed Together!

You've heard the rumors. You've read the quotes from anonymous sources. But you still haven't seen Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal together.

Until now!

Following a Thanksgiving morning spent at a Brooklyn coffee shop, this likely couple visited Swift's hometown of Nashville over the weekend. Yesterday afternoon, the two were seen getting breafast at Fido, a coffeehouse and café near Vanderbilt University. Allow us to present actual evidence this time:

In Nashville

Swiftenhaal: Alive and well!

"They were smiling and laughing. They were talking a lot and enjoying each other's company," a witness told People. "They didn't look like friends."

Another customer named Emma Rice, who posted this picture online, added that Taylor and Jake looked "very cute" and "seemed close."

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Ke$ha Says Rihanna 'Meant Absolutely No Offense'

'I'm so used to the media flipping my words around,' singer tells Complex.
By James Dinh

Ke$ha on the December 2010 issue of <i>Complex</i>
Photo: Complex

Pop-star rivalry has been around for years. Whether it was Britney vs. Christina or Mariah vs. Whitney, there's always been an underlying competition between your favorite female pop singers. But don't expect any animosity between today's stars, at least not from Ke$ha.

The wilding-out singer, who's the latest Complex cover girl, spoke with the magazine about her pop-star peers, including Rihanna, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

"I actually think that's cool," the singer said of the female stars she's being compared to. "Out of that group of chicks, I'm the new bitch on the block, so I'm still getting used to being compared to some of the biggest pop stars in the world, but I don't take any offense to it. That just means people know my records."

Earlier this year, Ke$ha teamed up with Rihanna for the Barbadian bombshell's girl-power trek, the Last Girl on Earth Tour. Despite the duo's pairing, the blogosphere went into a fury when Rihanna recently revealed that she "didn't want the generic pop record that Ke$ha or Lady Gaga or Katy Perry could do."

The party-loving pop star admitted that she hadn't even read the quote, suggesting that the media may have taken Rih's comments out of context.

"I'm so used to the media flipping my words around that I'm sure she meant absolutely no offense to me or Katy or Gaga," said the singer. "Rihanna and me are totally cool, we were just on tour together, and I know that she and Katy are good friends. I don't take any offense because I'm sure it's bullsh-- anyway."

Based on the garbage-bag ensemble she wore to this year's MTV Video Music Awards, it seems that Ke$ha could care less about other people's opinions. "I was trying to look super-hot," she said. "I like to poke fun at when people make fun of me, because I don't take myself that seriously. People say I'm 'garbage chic,' so I thought I'd take it to the next level and make a garbage bag super f---ing chic — and I succeeded!"

As for now, the singer is focusing on her recently released Cannibal, a companion album to her debut, Animal.

Do you think there's competition between any of today's pop stars? Share your thoughts below!

Open the floodgates! It's Mega-Release Week, with Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Ke$ha, My Chemical Romance and Lloyd Banks all dropping new albums. Stick with MTV News for everything you need to know about the brand-new music.

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Justin Bieber And Manager Study Cautionary Tales Of Teen Stars

Scooter Braun says the secret to Bieber's longevity will be his personal life.
By Eric Ditzian

Justin Bieber and Scooter Braun
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

After picking up four trophies at the American Music Awards, Justin Bieber was back in Canada on Monday night, playing a sold-out show at Montreal's Centre Bell. The 16-year-old hasn't been back in his native country much since his latest tour kicked off this summer. And, according to Bieber's manager, that constant traveling is hard on his family.

"I think his dad misses him a lot because he doesn't get to see Justin as much," Scooter Braun told The Hollywood Reporter of his client, who was recently announced as one of Barbara Walters' "10 Most Fascinating People of 2010." "I think his mother — she and I have talked about this — at times, she struggles with how protective we have to be of him."

At the same time, though, Bieber's mom is thankful that she can be protective of him while they're on the road. "[S]he feels safer with him living this life because it's structured, and we know where he is all the time," Braun said. "She feels that if they were still in Stratford, Ontario, he'd be getting himself into a lot of trouble."

Instead, the Biebs is in the midst of a 90-show international tour that weaves through North America before jumping over to the U.K. next year. And he has no plans to slow down anytime soon. Pop-culture history is littered with epic flameouts, artists who rose to fame and quickly disappeared. But Bieber is so committed to avoiding such a fate, Braun said, he researches folks who fall into the "Where are they now?" category.

"Justin doesn't study the people who made it," Braun said. "He studies the people who haven't. He hears all the naysayers about how he's going to disappear, so he likes to look up people who used to be the so-called Justin Biebers before him and didn't go anywhere. He wants to see why they didn't go anywhere. The general feeling we get is that it had nothing to do with their talent and everything to do with their personal life. Like the kids fall into drugs and destroy their own trajectory."

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Lady Gaga's Born This Way Will 'Grab All The Monsters,' Akon Says

'She is amazing when it comes to just taking things to the next level,' label boss says of Gaga's 2011 release.
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Kelly Marino

Photo: MTV News

Earlier this year, Akon teased that Lady Gaga was working on "crazy" new tracks for her forthcoming Born This Way album. Now, Gaga's label boss has a few more details to share about the hotly anticipated LP, due in 2011.

"Well, Gaga and her follow-up, I've definitely heard [it], and what I can really tell you about it is the fact that I'm excited — and I'm hard to excite," he laughed to MTV News about the release. "I'm really hard to excite, 'cause my big question was like, 'Wow, how are you going to outdo yourself on this one? Do you realize how big you are? Do you know how big you really are? How are you going to outdo yourself?' "

Akon has no real worries about how Gaga will top herself since she's managed to do it so many times already, sonically and visually. "She's very creative. She will always find a way, always," he said. "Honestly, I think these are just appetizers as to what's to come, because what's to come, if you haven't been following her up to this point, you're going to get completely lost. Like, she is amazing when it comes to just taking things to the next level, [and] from what I've heard so far, I think she's going to be all right."

With tracks like "Telephone," "Bad Romance" and "Paparazzi" under her belt, Akon wants her fans to know that things are about to get even more epic on this new album. While he didn't say whether the album would have any Beyoncé-like collabos, he did say "maybe" when asked if he might appear on it.

"If I was going to compare it to her previous work, I would definitely say it's a notch up," he said. "It's like she's slowly taking you on to this journey down this road. If she were to just drastically do it, she probably would have lost everybody from the first album, but once the sound was created and established, now we can use that as a tool to grab all the monsters and walk them down this graveyard. It's crazy. It's amazing."

What are you expecting from Gaga's next album? Let us know in the comments!

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Nicki Minaj's 'Last Chance' Gave Natasha Bedingfield 'Goose Bumps'

British singer talks about her Pink Friday collabo with the Queens MC.
By Mawuse Ziegbe

Nicki Minaj
Photo: John Parra/ WireImage

Very few MCs are touching Nicki Minaj when it comes to stacking collabos in 2010. However, the pink-tressed raptress recently scored a team-up that was unexpected, even for her: a track with British songstress Natasha Bedingfield.

The singer explained to Billboard.com that although she may be known Stateside as the crooner behind the delicate pop anthem "Unwritten," she's well-versed in the hip-hop game. (Incidentally, the pop song became the theme of MTV's "The Hills," a show that counted Minaj among its fans.

"With Nicki, I come from London and we've got a heavy influence in hip-hop," Bedingfield said. "She called me and was like, 'I'd love for you to sing on this. I'm a huge fan,' and I was instantly like, 'I'll do this.' "

Bedingfield gushed that the lyrics Minaj penned made an instant impression on her. In another ironic twist of fate, the songbird laid down her "Last Chance" contribution in the lab of another Minaj collaborator, Eminem, while on the road in Detroit. Bedingfield added that she picked up on the Motor City luminary's energy.

"I heard the song she'd written and it gave me goose bumps. I was like, 'I've got to be on that,' " she recalled. "I was in Detroit, doing some promotion, so I went into Eminem's studio and it was amazing, really catching off Eminem's vibe. He wasn't there, but his studio is great."

Fans can check out Minaj and Bedingfield's collaboration on the lyricist's recently released Pink Friday album, while the songbird's forthcoming album, Strip Me, will be available on December 7.

What do you think of Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday debut? Let us know in the comments!

Open the floodgates! It's Mega-Release Week, with Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Ke$ha, My Chemical Romance and Lloyd Banks all dropping new albums. Stick with MTV News for everything you need to know about the brand-new music.

Don't miss the documentary "Nicki Minaj: My Time Now," premiering Sunday, November 28, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV!

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Michael Jackson's Michael Track Listing Reveals Akon, 50 Cent Collabos

Akon collaboration, 'Hold My Hand,' will debut Monday.
By Jocelyn Vena

Michael Jackson's <i>Michael</i>
Photo: Epic Records

Michael Jackson fans are eagerly awaiting the December 14 arrival of his posthumous release, simply called Michael, and on Friday (November 12), the album's official track listing was unveiled. Michael will feature appearances by 50 Cent and Lenny Kravitz, as well as a collaboration with Akon called "Hold My Hand" that's set to debut on Monday (November 15).

"Hold My Hand" will be Michael's lead track. According to an official announcement, Jackson had intended for the song to be the first official release off the album. His label, Sony, and the executors of his estate reportedly have a handwritten note from the singer in which he shares that wish. Another tune, "Breaking News," began streaming on his website this past Monday as a preview for the album.

An early take of "Hold My Hand" was leaked in 2008, but Akon says the version that appears on Michael is the definite one. "The world was not ready to hear 'Hold My Hand' when it leaked a couple years ago. We were devastated about it," Akon explained. "But its time has definitely come; now in its final state, it has become an incredible, beautiful, anthemic song. I'm so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all time idols."

In 2007, Akon spoke to MTV News about working with Jackson on music, including "Hold My Hand." "Just to be in the same room [with him], I felt like everything I wanted to achieve in life had already been achieved," Akon said. "That's how incredible that aura [is]. We about to shake the world up, man ... You know how you be with somebody and you can't even explain [the feeling]? I used to always sit and wonder, 'How does somebody sell so many records and dominate a whole business genre to a point where nobody can't be a part of that without associating [with him]?' The way he thinks ... some artists think regional, some think national, I was thinking international, 'til I met him. He thinks planet. It's on another level."

The cover art for Michael was released earlier this month. The painting by Kadir Nelson takes fans on a fantasy ride through the greatest moments of MJ's solo career. MTV News recently decoded the Jackson images and references that make up the album art including several iterations of Jackson ranging from Thriller-era Jackson right through to the singer wearing a crown, an obvious reference to his moniker as the King of Pop.

Here is the complete track list for Michael Jackson's Michael, according to Sony Music Entertainment:

»"Hold My Hand" (Duet with Akon)
»"Hollywood Tonight"
»"Keep Your Head Up"
»"(I Like) The Way You Love Me"
»"Monster" (Featuring 50 Cent)
»"Best of Joy"
»"Breaking News"
»"(I Can't Make It) Another Day" (Featuring Lenny Kravitz)
»"Behind the Mask"
»"Much Too Soon"

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Willie Nelson Busted!

In what is likely the must unsurprising news you’ll hear all day long, singer Willie Nelson got arrested in Texas last night on marijuana possession charges. The offending substance was found by a border patrol agent who smelled the loco weed inside Willie‘s tour bus … a subsequent search uncovered the marijuana and Willie got [...]

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Usher - Trading Places

Trading Places

  • Artist: Usher
  • Label: Zomba/LaFace Records
  • Director: Chris Robinson
  • Album: Here I Stand

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Lady Gaga Says Born This Way Is Nearly Finished, 'Almost Perfect'

'It won't be much longer, it's almost perfect. But I (we) don't want almost,' Gaga tweets about forthcoming album.
By James Montgomery

Lady Gaga
Photo: Ethan Miller/ Getty Images

By now, you are probably aware that Lady Gaga's upcoming Born This Way album is "incredible," "shocking," "bold and beautiful," "utter liberation," and, of course, "crazy amazing."

But what you might not have known is that it is finally, totally, completely finished. Almost.

That's according to Gaga herself, who took to her Twitter account on Wednesday to announce that she's nearly wrapped production on Born, and that her little monsters' long wait is just about over. Unless she's not satisfied with every last detail, of course.

"Endless melodies, hooks [and] poetry sledge-hammering my skull," she tweeted. "It won't be much longer, it's almost perfect. But I (we) don't want almost."

Of course, there's still no release date (tentative or otherwise) for Born This Way, though Gaga has been playing songs from the album — like "You And I" and "Living on the Radio" — since the summer, and has discussed the project at length during her Monster Ball performances. In September, at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, she announced the title of the album after winning Video of the Year.

Those who have heard Born This Way can't seem to stop gushing over it. On Tuesday, MTV News caught up with Gaga's label boss, Akon, who said the album "is definitely ... a notch up" from her previous work, and that she's "taking things to the next level."

Gaga's manager, Troy Carter, said that he's just starting to play music from Born for Interscope Records, and that the songs on the album are "incredible." He also hinted that the album would be "coming soon."

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Justin Bieber Calls Lil Twist His 'Homey'

'We're working on stuff for fun,' singer say of upcoming mixtape with teen rapper.
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Tim Kash

Justin Bieber
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/ AMA2010/ FilmMagic

Justin Bieber has been known to dabble in the world of rap. Not only does he perform the rap portion of "Baby" when he sings the song live — since Ludacris isn't always available to hit the stage with the singer — he even dropped a rap song this fall under the rap pseudonym Shawty Mane in which he raps over Vado and Cam'ron's "Speaking in Tungs."

Now fans are waiting for what Bieber and Young Money MC Lil Twist will share with the world on their mixtape, some of which Lil Twist teased might drop very soon. When MTV News caught up with Bieber on Sunday at the American Music Awards, he said he had no further details to share about the collaboration. "I don't know man," he said, with a smile on his face. "Lil Twist is my homey and we're working on stuff for fun."

Of course, even if the mixtape never sees the light of day, Bieber has plenty of projects already under way, including the releases of My Worlds Acoustic this Friday and his 3-D movie, "Never Say Never," next year. "I think this is only the beginning," he said. "There's so much more to come and I just hope that I have the career that Usher, my mentor, has had."

It's a sentiment that Usher shares. "There's so much more in store for the future, or at least there's a ton of things we can do and will," he said. "And with the support of his fans, who will continue to just grow and grow and grow."

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

TV Ad For Norwegian Deaf Metal

This image, which nicely compliments the video below, is for a 1993 metal comp that featured some pretty ripping bands, including Eucharist, Dissection, Impaler, At the Gates, Pitchshifter and Therion, along with a bunch of groups we've never heard of. Good luck tracking it down. But before you try, check out this Norwegian TV ad [...]

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Britney Spears Remains Under Conservatorship

Conservatorship has been in place since February 2008.
By Jocelyn Vena

Britney Spears
Photo: Fame Pictures

On Thursday (September 30), Britney Spears met with a judge in Los Angeles to discuss the current status of her conservatorship, which she has been under since February 2008.

TMZ reports that Judge Reva Goetz had requested a meeting with the pop star after the judge had discussed ending the conservatorship with Spears' lawyers at the last few status meetings.

Spears' father, Jamie Spears, was also present in the judge's chambers during the progress meeting. He left the courtroom minutes after Britney, who wore a black dress and black ankle boots.

It was decided that Spears would remain under her conservatorship, according to TMZ. The judge took the stand to announce: "At this time, all orders will remain in full force and effect." The decision came after she met with Spears and her father individually. The judge did give the OK to approve "investment strategies" for Britney's trust; a petition had been filed regarding that matter.

While there seems to be no change in Spears' personal life, she has certainly been a force to be reckoned with since she released her 2008 album Circus. She's managed to once again top the charts, mount a successful tour and even try her hand at acting. This week alone she brought some star power to "Glee," which tackled her hit-filled catalog, including "Me Against the Music."

Much has been rumored about what Spears is working on as far as a follow-up to Circus. After it was reported that Spears might release new music sometime this year, her manager, Adam Leber, was quick to clear the air.

"No new music news right now....Wish people wouldn't mislead you guys with BS info," he wrote on Twitter in August. "Not cool! PS- The guys that ARE working on Brit's next album ARE NOT talking about it..."

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GaGa Got Anderson Drunksies!!

Oh, what we would pay to see that!!
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This might sound crazy but...

I blew off my shrink appointment this morning because it was raining outside and I didn't want to get out bed, so I'm just going to show up tomorrow at the same time and pretend they got the day wrong.

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Beyonce's Parents, Mathew And Tina Knowles, Skip Divorce Hearing

Tina filed for divorce last year after 29 years of marriage.
By Kara Warner

Beyonce and Tina Knowles
Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/ Getty Images

Despite the fact that Beyoncé's mother, Tina Knowles, filed for divorce from B's father, Mathew, nearly a year ago, it appears the couple might not be headed for a split after all.

According to TMZ, Mathew and Tina were expected to appear at court in Harris County, Texas, on Monday, but no one showed up, so the judge dismissed the case. There is no official word from Mathew or Tina's reps about a possible reconciliation.

Tina filed divorce papers last November after 29 years of marriage to Mathew. Mathew was reportedly hit with a paternity suit in October 2009 from a woman named Alexsandra Wright, who was then six months pregnant with a child she claimed was Knowles'. A paternity test later proved that the child was, indeed, Mathew's. Neither Tina nor Mathew commented on whether that incident precipitated her divorce filing.

Both parents have played a pivotal role in Beyoncé's career, with Mathew quitting his job at IBM nearly 20 years ago to begin managing the singer's early group, Girl's Tyme, which eventually morphed into Destiny's Child. He has had producer credits on many of B's projects, including the 2009 film "Obsessed," and he is the founder of Music World Entertainment, a label that, through Columbia Records, has released albums by Beyoncé's sister, Solange Knowles; Sunshine Anderson; and former DC members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.

Tina Knowles is a stylist and one of the principals in House of Deréon, a fashion line she helped launched in 2004 with Beyoncé. She also designed many of DC's one-of-a-kind costumes early in their career.

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Britney Spears Producer Dr. Luke Calls Singer 'An Amazing Vehicle'

Album's co-executive producer expects new album out by early 2011.
By James Dinh

Britney Spears
Photo: Jeremy Cowart/ WireImage

While "Glee" was spot-on in its tribute to Britney Spears in September, it's safe to say her fans are ready for the real deal. The pop princess, who has remained relatively low-key since wrapping up her Circus Tour, is currently working on her new album with a few familiar faces, including producers Dr. Luke and Max Martin.

"She's such an icon, I don't want to let anyone down," Dr. Luke said last week at the Hollywood Reporter/ Billboard Film & TV Music Conference. "But most importantly, I want to make good music."

Luke said that he is anticipating that Britney's album will see an early 2011 release, and a source told THR it would hit stores before March 31.

In addition to Dr. Luke ("Circus") and Martin ("... Baby One More Time"), Darkchild and newcomer Billboard are also said to be working with Spears.

When asked if there were anything else he could reveal about the heavily guarded project, Luke wouldn't say much. "Just that I'm excited to be co-executive producing with Max Martin, the person who kind of invented Britney, and to make good music," he said. "And she's such an amazing vehicle to getting that music out to a lot of people in every country."

With Luke and Martin helming the project, fans may expect to hear Spears sounding like the producers' frequent collaborators Katy Perry and Ke$ha. But there have also been indications that Brit will take a fresher approach. Last month, Spears' manager Adam Leber spoke to Entertainment Weekly about her next album, promising that it will introduce a "progressive" sound from the pop star.

''It'll be a departure from what you've heard,'' he added.

What producers would you like to see Britney team up with? Sound off below!

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Jimmie Johnson totes daughter Genevieve Marie, 4 months, as he celebrates his fifth consecutive win of the Ford 400 Nascar race at Homestead Miami Speedway Sunday in Homestead, Fla.

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