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Millie Small, ‘My Boy Lollipop’ singer, dies aged 73

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Jamaican singer Millie Small has died at the age of 73 after suffering a stroke.

The star was most famous for her hit single My Boy Lollipop, which reached number two in both the US and the UK in 1964.

It remains one of the biggest-selling ska songs of all time, with more than seven million sales.

Island Records founder Chris Blackwell announced her death and remembered her as “a sweet person… really special”.

It was Blackwell who brought Small to London in 1963 and produced her version of My Boy Lollipop, showcasing her childlike, high-pitched vocals.

“I would say she’s the person who took ska international because it was her first hit record,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

“It became a hit pretty much everywhere in the world. I went with her around the world because each of the territories wanted her to turn up and do TV shows and such, and it was just incredible how she handled it.

“She was such a sweet person, really a sweet person. Very funny, great sense of humour. She was really special,” said Blackwell.

Born Millicent Small in Clarendon, south Jamaica, she was one of seven brothers and five sisters, raised on the sugar plantation where her father was an overseer.

At the age of 12, she won a talent contest at the Palladium Theatre in Montego Bay; and by her teens, she was recording for Sir Coxone Dodd’s Studio One label in Kingston.

There, she teamed up with reggae singer Roy Panton, and they became one of the island’s most prolific duos, scoring a major hit with We’ll meet .

Blackwell took an interest in the singer after releasing some of those records in the UK on his fledgling record label, Island, and brought her to London in 1963.

Small was enrolled at the Italia Conti Stage School for speech training and dancing lessons; and she toured the UK before cutting My Boy Lollipop with a group of London session musicians (Small claimed Rod Stewart played the harmonica solo, but he has denied being present at the recording).

Released in February 1964, it made her an international star, and helped popularise ska music around the world.

“It is the ska equivalent of Elvis’ Heartbreak Hotel or the Sex Pistols’ God Save The Queen – the disc that popularised a sound previously considered to be on the margins of mainstream consciousness,” wrote music historian Laurence Cane-Honeysett in Record collector magazine.

However, Small was unable to replicate the success of My Boy Lollipop, scoring only one further hit, a soundalike called Sweet William, later the same year.

But she continued to tour and record, and appeared frequently on 1960s pop shows like Juke Box Jury and Ready Steady Go.

“My life seemed very normal to me – even though I was only 17, I took fame in its stride,” she told the express in 2016.

After leaving Island in 1970, she recorded for legendary reggae label Trojan Records, where her first single was a cover of Nick Drake’s Mayfair.

However, it was the b-side that attracted greater attention. Called Enoch Power, it was a defiant response to Enoch Powell’s inflammatory, anti-immigration “Rivers of Blood” speech.

Small’s lyrics, which captured the mood of the UK’s Caribbean population, received a rapturous response when she played the song at the Caribbean Music Festival at Wembley Arena, a month after its release.

Soon after that single, and the accompanying album Time Will Tell, Small stepped away from music, saying “it was the end of the dream and it felt like the right time”.

In later years, she lived in Singapore and New Zealand before returning to London, where she concentrated on writing, painting and raising her daughter.

When My Boy Lollipop was re-released in 1987 to mark Island Records’ 25th anniversary, the singer gave a rare interview to Thames TV, where she revealed she had, at one point, been penniless and sleeping rough in London.

However, she took the hard times in good grace, explaining: “That’s all experience. It was great. I didn’t worry because I knew what I was doing.

“I saw how the other half live. It’s something I chose to do.”

In 2011, Jamaica’s Governor-General made Small a Commander in the Order of Distinction for her contribution to the Jamaican music industry.

The singer is survived by her daughter, Joan, who is also a musician based in London.

Tributes were led by actor Vas Blackwood, who said Small “lit the fuse for Jamaican ska music”.

SOURCE: BBC

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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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Randy Gonzalez, dad of TikTok duo Enkyboys, dead at 35

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Randy Gonzalez passed away on Wednesday. (more…)

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Chris Brown shows off ‘department store’ he built to house his clothes

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Chris Brown is no stranger to the fashion industry. He’s already developed a clothing line, Black Pyramid. Now, he’s decided to sell some more swag. Yesterday (Jan. 24), the Grammy-winning artist went on his Instagram Story to inform his followers that he’s built a department store near the comfort of his home. (more…)

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