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Grammy predictions: The Daily Herald calls it for Macklemore, Kendrick and Lorde

The Daily Herald write: There are so many tough choices this year at the Grammy Awards, where Jay Z is the top nominee with nine, but may not be the favorite to take the most trophies when the show airs live at 7 p.m. Sunday on CBS from The Staples Center in Los Angeles. Lamar, […]

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grammysThe Daily Herald write: There are so many tough choices this year at the Grammy Awards, where Jay Z is the top nominee with nine, but may not be the favorite to take the most trophies when the show airs live at 7 p.m. Sunday on CBS from The Staples Center in Los Angeles. Lamar, Macklemore and Lewis, Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams are next with seven, but none is guaranteed a trophy in what must have been a tough year for voters — and has been for us as The Associated Press tries to sort out the mess.

Here are a few tips for this year’s office pool:

Album of the Year: “The Blessed Unrest,” Sara Bareilles; “Random Access Memories,” Daft Punk; “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” Kendrick Lamar; “The Heist,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; “Red,” Taylor Swift.

Fekadu: Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” doesn’t even have a 20 percent chance to win this — though it should. And why isn’t Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” on the list? I can’t deal. Putting my personal feelings aside, this is how it will work: While Taylor Swift had earth-shattering numbers, Sara Bareilles created a top-notch, memorable album, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis owned 2013, they won’t win here. That leaves Daft Punk and Kendrick Lamar — who is like a second coming to hip-hop. If “Random Access Memories” was a little stronger, it would win, but I think the Recording Academy — after failing to properly award amazing rap records in the top categories — will get it right with a win for Lamar. “Poetic Justice,” indeed!

Talbott: Don’t be daft, punk! Looking back over the history of the Grammys, the usual winner in this category is that year’s “event” album. Those records got attention beyond the quality of the music for some reason or another. With all due deference to Taylor Swift’s popularity, the album that felt like an event in this group is Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories.” It didn’t yield as many hits as “Red” — one of three albums on this list that came out way back in 2012, a limiting factor for all. But few albums had as much ink spilled over them this year. Score one for the robots.

Record of the Year: “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers; “Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons; “Royals,” Lorde; “Locked Out of Heaven,” Bruno Mars; “Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell.

Talbott: Oh, Lorde, this one’s easy. “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines” had their runs, but Lorde finished the year in the strongest position as Grammy voters were filling out their final ballots. Those other two songs were sexy — or depending on your point of view, sketchy — come-ons, and felt like distant memories of one-night stands as the year closed. Lorde, on the other hand, offered something of an anthem for the dispossessed, an antidote to the swagification of pop music. Listeners took note, and I think Grammy voters did, too.

Fekadu: You have a strong argument, Talbott, but I also think Lorde may be too new to win this — shoot, she was too new for a best new artist nomination. That’s the same deal for Imagine Dragons. Mars’ hit, while epic, might seem too old, which leaves us with two Pharrell-laced bangers. “Get Lucky” wins this because it features a legend, a super-respected musical duo and it wasn’t sued by Marvin Gaye’s children. Can’t wait to see their suits.

Song of the Year (songwriters): “Just Give Me a Reason,” Pink, Nate Ruess and Jeff Bhasker; “Locked Out of Heaven,” Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine; “Roar,” Katy Perry, Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee and Henry Walter; “Royals,” Lorde and Joel Little; “Same Love,” Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert.

Fekadu: I think the real competition is between “Just Give Me a Reason” and “Same Love.” Pink’s duet with Nate Ruess, who won this award for “We Are Young” with fun. last year, is a rousing number and a win like this for Pink is deserving after she’s impressed us year after year. “Same Love,” though, was a social anthem and more than a year after it was released, it still provides the chills when Macklemore begins his verse. Who am I kidding? “Same Love” wins this.

Talbott: History tells us sometimes the hits win. Sometimes the winner has become an anthem in some way. And sometimes it’s a right-field entry you may not have expected. I think this is where The Recording Academy shows its love for progressive, openhearted messages and rewards Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for a song that was a lot of all three.

New Artist: James Blake; Kendrick Lamar; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; Kacey Musgraves; Ed Sheeran

Talbott: This category is and always has been baffling. This is a strong group, but how could Lorde not be nominated? Historically best new artist has been impossible to predict, and this year’s nominees are all over the board. While I personally feel Kendrick Lamar has the best long-term prospects among these entries, I think voters are focused on Macklemore and Lewis and their dazzling year and will give the nod to the Seattle rap duo.

Fekadu: If Ed Sheeran released a sophomore album this year as gratifying as his 2011 debut, this would be his trophy. But you’re right about Macklemore and Lewis winning this.

Pop Solo Performance: “Brave,” Sara Bareilles; “Royals,” Lorde; “When I Was Your Man,” Bruno Mars; “Roar,” Katy Perry; “Mirrors,” Justin Timberlake

Fekadu: Oh wait, Justin is nominated for something? It’s crushing how he didn’t earn any top nominations this year — it almost makes you wonder who he irritated? Anyhow, it will be a cat fight full of roars: While Bareilles deserves to win here — her copycat, Katy Perry — will take home her first Grammy Award.

Talbott: Ah, the positive pop song. Even in today’s raunch-obsessed music scene, there’s nothing quite as powerful as an empowering song like “Roar.” The problem for Perry, though, is Lorde stole her growl.

Rock Album: “13,” Black Sabbath; “The Next Day,” David Bowie; “Mechanical Bull,” Kings of Leon; “Celebration Day,” Led Zeppelin; “… Like Clockwork,” Queens of the Stone Age; “Psychedelic Pill,” Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Talbott: This category makes me feel old — and conflicted. Do we go with the four beloved legacy acts who didn’t put out the best albums of their careers but sure get credit for trying? Or do we go with the more current acts who are certainly deserving of their own moments? I’m thinking Zeppelin, Sabbath, Bowie and Young cancel each other out and voters already feel like they’ve rewarded the Kings. So I’m picking the true long shot here, and the band that put out the year’s best rock album: Queens of the Stone Age.

Fekadu: I just hope that David Bowie shows up when he wins this award. Don’t want him to become the Maggie Smith of awards shows.

R&B Song: “Best of Me,” Anthony Hamilton; “Love and War,” Tamar Braxton; “Only One,” PJ Morton featuring Stevie Wonder; “Pusher Love Girl,” Justin Timberlake; “Without Me,” Fantasia featuring Missy Elliott and Kelly Rowland

Fekadu: If Stevie Wonder had a writing credit for “Only One,” PJ Morton — the keyboardist for Maroon 5 — would win this. And while Tamar Braxton had an impressive year thanks to her reality show, we all know this will go to the former N’Sync frontman.

Talbott: The Recording Academy sent Timberlake mixed messages with his large nomination total but lack of a major nod. Here’s where voters make nice.

Rap Album: “Nothing Was the Same,” Drake; “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” Jay Z; “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” Kendrick Lamar; “The Heist,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; “Yeezus,” Kanye West

Talbott: On the surface this is a cutthroat category, but it’s really a two-rapper race. Drake, winner of last year’s Grammy in this category, Jay Z and West have all been saluted before. And Macklemore and Lewis will figure in the overall categories, leaving the bedrock hip-hop voters free to go with their hearts. Lamar spent a good portion of the year proclaiming himself the greatest, and we agree.

Fekadu: Kendrick’s verse on “Control” foreshadowed his win here. Maybe next year, Kanye?

Country Song: “Begin Again,” Taylor Swift; “I Drive Your Truck,” Lee Brice; “Mama’s Broken Heart,” Miranda Lambert; “Merry Go ‘Round,” Kacey Musgraves; “Mine Would Be You,” Blake Shelton

Fekadu: Musgraves is a bright newcomer nominated twice in this category since she co-wrote Miranda Lambert’s hit. However, she’ll win the gold for her own song Sunday night.

Talbott: Here’s where I go all Nate Silver on you, Mesfin. Looking at the records, a blonde has won this award every year since 2005 (if you count Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Rascal Flatts’ Gary LeVox, and we certainly do). So let’s narrow that field right on down to Swift and Miranda Lambert. Now, add in the fact that Lambert and Musgraves have been splitting votes in the country song categories of other awards show — I see no reason that trend will change — and that leaves Swift an easy winner. Maybe the night’s top winner — if Mesfin and I are wrong. Nobody around here’s predicting that, though.

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Annie Wersching, best known for role in TV series 24, dies at 45

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Actress Annie Wersching passed away of cancer early Sunday morning, her publicist, Craig Schneider told CNN. Wersching was 45 years old. (more…)

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Mr Eazi Featured new Boss Campaign featuring Anthony Joshua, Paris Hilton, DJ Khaled, others

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Mr Eazi Featured new Boss Campaign featuring Anthony Joshua, Paris Hilton, DJ Khaled, others

Boss has unveiled its advertising campaign for Spring/Summer 2023 and it features a star-studded lineup of celebrities including Nigerian artiste Mr Eazi. He engaged in some nostalgia posing with an adorable picture taken when he was just a child wearing the new season sweater from Boss.

The aim is to illustrate Boss’s slogan “Be Your Own Boss”, by telling the story of “the extraordinary path to a life of success” travelled by the celebrities featured in the campaign.

The brand also enlisted the likes of Colombian pop singer Maluma, US supermodel Gigi Hadid, British model Naomi Campbell, South Korean actor Lee Minho, Italian tennis player Matteo Berrettini, Heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua, Paris Hilton, DJ Khaled and many others from across the world.

The superstar singer continues his ascent in recent times following a slew of successful releases of songs like Legalize, Patek and the latest single – Werserwhich is getting traction on Tiktok.

He also tweeted that he will release a couple of projects this year.

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Meghan Trainor Releases Remix Of Her Worldwide Smash “Made You Look feat. Kim Petras

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Meghan Trainor Releases Remix Of Her Worldwide Smash “Made You Look feat. Kim Petras

Today, GRAMMY® Award-winning, global superstar Meghan Trainor recharges, re-energizes, and revamps her global smash “Made You Look” with a brand new Official Remix featuring Kim Petras. Listen to “Made You Look (Feat. Kim Petras)” HERE. The original highlighted her acclaimed new album, Takin’ It Back, out now. Listen to Takin’ It Back HERE.

About the track, Petras commented, “I had ‘Made You Look’ stuck in my head for months. It’s just so catchy and I felt like the song was like a warm hug. So I loved it right away, and then when I got asked to jump on it, I was really, really excited. I think Meghan is such a great pop songwriter, so it was an incredible experience. I’ve never worked with an artist who wanted to track me and comp my vocals and do it all together. She really is like a little angel and such a treasure and deserves everything that’s coming her way with the song and I just feel so excited and honored to be a part of it. We collaborated in a really special way that I won’t forget.

This notably marks the first collaboration between Trainor and rising pop powerhouse Petras. Together, they lock into a bouncy call-and-response as Petras urges “Don’t be shy, just put your hands on me, as Trainor’s towering runs ring out. It adds a whole new dimension to the fan favorite.

On the collaboration, Trainor gushes, “Kim is an icon. I have been a fan for a very long time and I am so excited to have her on ‘Made You Look.’ We had such a fun time in the studio together and she added the perfect energy to the song. She is a queen and I cannot wait for everyone to hear her voice on this song! She really brought it to a whole new level.”

“Made You Look” has exploded as a runaway hit and a major moment for Trainor. It has tallied over 353 million global streams. Simultaneously, the music video has clocked north of 87 million YouTube views. At radio, it continues to hold strong in the Top 5 at Pop.

She continues to breathe new life into the track. In addition to the Joel Corry Remix, she capped off the holidays with “Made You Look (A Cappella).It gathered 6.2 million YouTube views on the accompanying video featuring friends Sri, Scott Hoying, Elyse Myers, and Chris Olsen.

So far, the song has soundtracked over 4 million TikTok videos and 308K YouTube Shorts. Apple Music touted it at #1 on its A LIST POP Playlist, and Spotify placed it on Today’s Top Hits Presents Best Hit Songs of 2022 and the Best Pop Songs of 2022. Billboard applauded it as “inescapable, and Entertainment Tonight chatted with her about the track.

It sets the stage for more to come from Meghan Trainor in 2023!

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Rae Sremmurd Drops New Track “Sucka Or Something”

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Clearly intent on making waves in 2023, iconic rap duo Rae Sremmurd releases “Sucka or Something.” Listen HERE via Eardrummer Records/Interscope Records. As usual, the Mississippi brothers employ their dizzying lyricism over innovative production to craft an unforgettable earworm. The track follows their New Year’s release “Torpedo” and is  accompanied by a vibrant D.I.Y.-themed music video. Watch it HERE.
“How you gonna try to play me like a sucka or something?” Swae Lee ponders over a bombastic beat. “How you gonna try to play me when I know what’s up? Feel like I’m 6’ 5” ‘cause the money is up.” Laid-back yet typically larger-than-life, “Sucka or Something” is a reminder that even though the duo has done it all—they still haven’t lost any of their creativity or fire that made them superstars.
 
The casual ambition of the song is reflected in the dynamic video. The grainy footage showcases the brothers’ performance skills, but it’s an eclectic, collaged concoction that ebbs and flows with the mellow track. The deftly edited imagery conveys Rae Sremmurd’sunique bond and nods at their humble beginnings. Watch the visual HERE.
Rae Sremmurd has established themselves as the preeminent melodicists in hip-hop, racking up hit singles from the moment they landed with 2014’s “No Flex Zone.”
The duo’s first two albums, 2015’s SremmLife and the following year’s SremmLife 2, were each certified Platinum, and the latter spawned the group’s first No. 1 hit, the Gucci Mane-assisted “Black Beatles.” SR3MM, from 2018, was groundbreaking in its own way, a triple-disc effort that saw each brother get his own LP’s worth of space to work solo, before tying them back together.
Most recently, Rae Sremmurd was announced as the headliner for this year’s NFL Pro Bowl taking place on February 5th at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The entire 7 minute performance will be televised across ESPN, ABC, and Disney XD. Fans can also catch the duo hitting the Coachella stage this April for the first time in 7 years.
 
Rae Sremmurd – “Sucka or Something”
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Amber Rose says she’s done dating, wants to be single for the rest of her life

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Amber Rose is no longer taking a dip in the dating pool. (more…)

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Ari Lennox Releases Video For Waste My Time

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Ari Lennox Releases Video For Waste My Time
Ari Lennox turns to therapy to solve her relationship questions in the new music video for her single “Waste My Time,” out today via Dreamville/Interscope Records. In the video, directed by Val Vega, the soul and R&B superstar ponders why she keeps falling for the same guys before the scene transforms to a steamy series of sets – Ari glistening in a pool, seducing in a gold and pink cloud, and embraced in a steamy romance. Does she get the answers she needs? Join Ari’s therapy journey and watch the full “Waste My Time” video HERE.
The “Waste My Time” video arrives on a big day for Ari Lennox’s career, as her age/sex/locationtour kicks off tonight at the famed House of Blues in Las Vegas. The 34-date trek runs through March 29 and hits several major markets – including concerts in New York City, Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles and more –before it concludes with two shows in her hometown of Washington, D.C. Purchase your tickets for the age/sex/location Tour at www.arilennox.com
 
age/sex/location is Ari Lennox’s second studio album and was released in September to spectacular reviews. Pitchfork praised the album as “a bountiful exploration of what it truly means to be grown and sexy,” while Rolling Stone confirmed that the star “has delivered her best work to date” and VIBE featured the album on its list of the 25 Best R&B Albums of 2022. Standout tracks include “Queen Space,” with Summer Walker and “POF,” which President Obama placed at No. 3 on his annual favorite music series for 2022, and of course, the Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox-produced hit “Pressure.” The RIAA gold-certified hit has soared to over 640 million streams, hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult R&B Airplay and became her first solo Hot 100 single. “Waste My Time” extends Ari’s hitmaking streak at radio, with its No. 10 spot on Adult R&B Airplay. Thanks to those hits and more fan favorites, age/sex/location has already raced past 200 million streams in the U.S..
If that weren’t enough, Ari has continued to reap massive wins in recent months. In November, Ari delivered electric performances at both the American Music Awards and the Soul Train Awards, where she was nominated for six trophies, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year. In December, she became the first-ever digital cover for HuffPost, with the publication proudly declaring the First Lady of Dreamville “a student of her craft and proof that R&B ain’t dead.”
age/sex/location is another win in Ari Lennox’s book, following her acclaimed 2019 debut, Shea Butter Baby, now officially certified gold by the RIAA. The project, now with over 1.5 billion global streams, spawned the RIAA platinum-certified title track, featuring Dreamville label head and marquee artist J. Cole, gold-certified singles “BMO” and “Whipped Cream,” and “Up Late.” Critical recognition capped off the debut era with nominations for a Grammy Award (for her contribution to Dreamville’s album, Revenge of the Dreamers III), three 2019 Soul Train Awards, and two 2020 NAACP Awards.
Ari Lennox – age/sex/location eAlbum
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