Original v. Cover [V.10]: Whitney Houston, ‘I Have Nothing’

If you were never vocally impressed by Ariana Grande, her cover of Whitney Houston’s, ‘I Have Nothing,’ will make you a believer.

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‘Whitney’ Biopic Review

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Lifetime released its second highly-anticipated biopic. The first was that of Aaliyah back in November, but I wasn’t interested in watching that one and from the horrendous comments, I didn’t miss anything. Let’s get into the basics:

  • Whitney Houston – Yaya DaCosta
  • Bobby Brown – Arlen Escarpetas
  • Vocals – Deborah Cox
  • Director – Anglea Bassett

When seeing the promo pics, I could not disagree with the casting. The movie has aired and it’s time for my review.

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Whitney Houston, LIVE, Artwork + Tracklist

whitney-houston-live-album-art-918x1024This will be the second posthumous album of Whitney Houston set to be released in November of this year. The first album, I Will Always Love You – The Best of Whitney Houston. was a compilation of her greatest hits along with unreleased tracks: ‘I Look To You’ (w/ R. Kelly)’ and ‘Never Give Up’. Now nearly exactly two years later Her Greatest Performances (Live) will be released November 10th. The album can be preordered on both iTunes and Amazon with an exclusive fan package available as well.There will be the CD sold separately along with the CD/DVD combo available for $19.98.

Check out the tracklist below:

  1. Home (The Merv Griffin Show,1983
  2.  You Give Good Love (The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,1985)
  3. How Will I Know (The Brit Awards,1987)
  4. One Moment In Time (The 31st Annual Grammy® Awards, 1989)
  5. Greatest Love Of All (That’s What Friends Are For: Arista Records 15th Anniversary Concert,1990)
  6. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (That’s What Friends Are For: Arista Records 15th Anniversary Concert,1990)
  7. The Star Spangled Banner (Super Bowl XXV, 1991)
  8. All The Man That I Need (Welcome Home Heroes,1991)
  9.  I’m Your Baby Tonight(Welcome Home Heroes, 1991)
  10. A Song For You (Welcome Home Heroes, 1991)
  11.  Medley: I Loves You, Porgy/And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going/I Have Nothing (The 21st Annual American Music Awards, 1994)
  12. I’m Every Woman (The Concert For A New South Africa, 1994)
  13. I Will Always Love You (The Concert For A New South Africa, 1994)
  14. My Love Is Your Love (Late Show With David Letterman, 1998)
  15.  I Believe In You And Me (The 16th Annual World Music Awards, 2004)
  16. I Didn’t Know My Own Strength (The Oprah Winfrey Show, 2009)

The DVD features all 16 performances featured in their audio formats plus the ‘My Love Is Your Love’ music video and her duet of ‘When You Believe’ with Mariah Carey at the 71st Annual Academy Awards.

Mariah Carey Declared Queen of Pop

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Time magazine has compiled a new pop list titled, The Ultimate Ranking of Pop Stardom‘. The ranking was determined by numbers straight from the Billboard archives:

TIME went through every song that reached the top ten of the Billboard 100 back to 1960 to see which artists had both the biggest years and longest careers. We assigned points based on a song’s rank for each week it was in the top ten. Artists who collaborated on songs are both given credit for its success. Artists were chosen for this list based on all-time chart performance and contemporary significance.

Points are awarded by placement in the Top Ten, from ten points for a number-one hit to one point for a number-10 song. All artists listed by name on a track are given full points for its chart performance, but groups with members who later had solo careers are still counted as separate entities.

There are two rankings ‘By Hits’ and ‘By Debut’. ‘By Hits’ Mariah Carey trumps all. Since her debut on Billboard in 1990 her largest ranking came in 1995, Daydream, and then a decade later in 2005, The Emancipation of Mimi. Although she’s recently released an album, her charting stops in 2008. Ranking two through ten, in order: Rihanna, Usher, The Beatles, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Katy Perry, and Boyz II Men. No surprise that Rihannas most successful album to date is Good Girl Gone Bad and for Usher it’s ConfessionsThe Beatles most successful compilation was 1964s, A Hard Day’s Night and Madonna‘s was True BlueJanet Jackson‘s highest charting was The Velvet Rope and Whitney Houston‘s greatest was 1998’s (charted in ’99), My Love Is Your Love.  Michael Jackson‘s solo career charting began in 1971 and his greatest year was over a decade later in 1983 with the prolific success of Thriller. In at #9 is Katy Perry. In the five year span of her charted career her biggest success was Teenage Dream. Boyz II Men rounded off the top 10 and their highest selling album was II

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‘By Debut’ Bruno Mars ranks #1 with Doo-Wops & Hooligans trumping his other two projects. Ranking two through ten, in order: Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Maroon 5, Rihanna, T-Pain, Chris Brown, and Kanye West. Lady Gaga‘s greatest success was The Fame Monster and Taylor’s Swift‘s was RED. Miley Cyrus‘ greatest success thus far has been her latest album, Bangerz and Maroon 5‘s was Overexposed. T-Pain‘s biggest year was 2007 with success of collabs with Kanye West, Chris Brown, Baby Bash, Flo Rida, Plies, and his solo work EpiphanyChris Brown‘s greatest success was Exclusive and Kanye‘s was 2011 with success of ‘E.T.’ and ‘N***as in Paris’.

 

To see the full ranking, CLICK HERE.

This Week In Music (V.17): NEW MUIC + NEWS

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Music. Click the links below to catch up on some of the news/new music of the week thus far:

Now for this edition. I usually start with new music, but I’m starting with news first this week.

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Whitney Houston and Aaliyah biopics are both in the works with Lifetime. It is known that Angela Basset will be executively producing the Whitney Houston film as well as Yaya DeCosta portraying Whitney. Bobby Brown will be played by Arien Escarpeta. Well it has been announced that Whitney Houston’s voice will not be used in the film. Her songs will be sung by Deborah Cox. I love Deborah Cox as an artist, but I do not know if she matches Whitney vocally. I think that her voice is beautiful at what she does, I just don’t know if it will match up to covering Whitney Houston. This is not her first time working with Whitney Houston’s voice as the two collaborated for the track, ‘Same Script Different Past’.  I’m interested in hearing it regardless. Great opportunity for her. I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story will premiere on Lifetime sometime next year.

alexandra-shippIt’s also know that Zendaya Coleman dropped out of the Aaliyah biopic, but the film production must go on and a new leading lady has been chosen. Alexandra Shipp has been casted. and is best known for her roles on House of Anubis, Switched at Birth, and Awkward. The 23-year-old’s rep released a statement on Shipp being casted:

“Aaliyah has always been an inspiration to Zendaya. She was honored to portray her and pay tribute to her. If she is going to do it, she wants to do it right.”

I knew that it wouldn’t take long for them to cast another girl. What shocked me was that this biopic is going to be executively by Wendy Williams/Wendy Williams Productions (Happy belated 50th Birthday) along with Debra Martin Chase. I’m not sure how this movie is going to pan out, but I will be staying tuned and updating as the film evolves. Aaliyah: Princess of R&B (how original of a title) begins production later this month and will premier in the fall. The storyline is based off the biography by Christopher Farley, Aaliyah: More Than a Woman. For me I hope the film will be on point with how close the premiere date is and how far off it is for the Whitney Houston biopic premiere.

460x-1In other news, Beyoncé will have a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She is currently slaying fans across the country alongside her hubby Jay Z with the On The Run Tour. Her success never ends and the accolades keep coming as well. Her outfits are ones that are mimicked and admired and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has noticed and her clothing will be showcased at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame exhibit.

460xMuseum curator, Meredith Rutledge-Borger, stated:

“When we looked at the depth of the amount of stuff that she was willing to send, we just thought, ‘The only way we can really showcase these items is to put them in the Legends of Rock area in the museum,’ which really is the spot that we have to pay tribute to legends of rock, which Beyonce has proven herself to be.”

Outfits will include her Super Bowl performance outfit, her gold glove and black leotard from ‘Single Ladies’, her outfit from ‘Crazy in Love’, plus more. Beyonce will be eligible for induction in 2022 as a member of Destiny’s Child and in 2027 as a solo artist.

yegqLastly, Kanye West has graced the latest cover of GQ magazine with a title that reads: “Kanye West Tells Us How to Grow Up, Survive a Wedding, Stay Outrageous, and Dress Like a God.” He covered GQ before in 2007 for the ‘Man of the Year’ issue. Check out the cover of the fashionisto to the left.

It wouldn’t be an edition of ‘This Week In Music’ without featuring new music. Be sure to click the links above! There’s been a lot of music put out this week and while I would love to highlight it all, I’ll just highlight the music that caught my eye.

Jeremih teamed with Shlomo for a collaborative EP titled, No More. It features six tracks and was a gift from Jeremih to fans on his 27th birthday. Aside from this EP, Jeremih is working on his third album, Thumpy Johnson, which features his DJ Mustard/YG assisted track, ‘Don’t Tell Em’. CLICK HERE to download No More.

Tinashe is still riding high off her Schoolboy Q assisted track, ‘2 On’ as she gears up to drop her debut, Aquarius, in September.  She’s teamed with David Andrew Sitek for a track called ‘Xylophone’ and it’s not as hard bumping as ‘2 On’, but it shows that she’s more than just urban music. Take a listen below:

https://soundcloud.com/drpepperstudio/david-andrew-sitek-x-tinashe-xylaphone

 

 

This Week In Music (V.16): New Music + News

Welcome to another edition of THIS WEEK IN MUSIC!                      [As always, click the LINK!]

 

Quick chart news. Congrats to Trey Songz for having the number one album in the country, Trigga. He also ranks #1 on both R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and R&B Albums charts. To see who else ranked within the top 10  of the Billboard 200, click here and for my Trigga album review, click here. black-widow-coverIggy Azalea is still atop the Hot 100 with ‘Fancy’ for the 7th week, putting her in fifth place above Adele (‘Rolling In The Deep’, 2011) for longest reign on the Hot 100 this past decade. Holding the #1 spot is Rihanna’s, ‘We Found Love’, (2011-12). With another month a top the charts and she can set a record. Only time will tell. Iggy also released the cover art to her Rita Ora assisted track, ‘Black Widow’, one of my favorites from her album The New Classic. CLICK HERE for my review.

In other music news, I’ve mentioned in a post before that Drake and Lil Wayne would be heading on tour titled, Drake vs. Lil WayneIn an interview with MTV, Lil Wayne discussed just how the show would go down:

“Since, thank God we’ve been so successful, we’ll just be going back and forth with our hits and getting the crowd to go crazy, then just finally hittin’ the stage together.”

What better way to feed off the name of the tour than with an actual battle. That should be interesting. The tour will run from August 8th to September 27th.

rs_600x600-140711151050-600-drake-chris-brown.ls.71114_copyIn other Drake news, his ‘beef’ with Chris Brown must have been ceased because the two have been photo’d in the studio together. I know I’m not the only one who wants to her a Drizzy/Breezy collab. Let’s see how long it takes to surface.

It will have been 20 years since Usher released his debut, ,and it’s been 10 years since the release of his infamous album, Confessions. It has been confirmed that he will be opening this years MTV VMAs airing LIVE August 24th. He hasn’t performed at the VMAs since his 2010 performance of ‘DJ Got Us Falling In Love’ and ‘OMG’. Currently he has, ‘Good Kisser’ out and a new Pharrell Produced and Nicki Minaj featured track titled, ‘She Came To Give It To You’. He already did a medley at the BET Awards so who knows what he’s doing for MTV. Two other performers have been announced for the VMAs, Ariana Grande and 5 Seconds of Summer. Stay tuned to future posts for updates.

Backtracking to the Usher/Nicki collab, I did not like it upon first listen, but it has grown on me. It reminds me so much of Earth, Wind & Fire. I guess I didn’t like it because the sound was not what I was expecting with Nicki Minaj being featured on the track. Being that she’s a rapper I was expecting something more ‘club’ oriented. Nicki did great on this beat and this just adds more to her versatility. I’m interested to seeing how this does on the radio. Take a listen below:

https://soundcloud.com/usher-raymond-music/usher-she-came-to-give-it-to-you-featuring-nicki-minaj

 

yaya-and-whitney

If you were questioning if Yaya Decosta was rightly casted to play Whitney Houston in the upcoming Lifetime biopic, this picture should speak for itself. The photo is a recreation of Whitney Houston’s 1987 album, Whitney. The Angela Bassett directed film will be focusing on Houston’s relationship with Bobby Brown and will not address her untimely death. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Angela Bassett stated:

“I want you to fall into the world of Whitney and Bobby. And I don’t want to stop you at the gate with maybe the image of something familiar, someone you’ve seen from something else. Yaya was far and above the only choice.”

Lastly in music news, Beyoncé and Jay Z are heading to HBO.Their ‘On The Run’ tour will be the next installment for the Carters featured on the network. For full details, click here.

Moving on to new music, Omarion and Bow Wow have teamed up for a new track, ‘Need That Love’. I’m sorry, Omarion and Shad Moss. I’m not sure why he dropped Bow Wow, but whatever. The track does sample Michael Jackson’s, ‘Lady In My Life‘ which most people might know as LL Cool J’s, ‘Hey Lover’. As for the track it isn’t horrible. If this is the direction Omarion is going for his upcoming album he’ll be sampling a lot as he sampled DeBarge on his track, ‘You Like It’. I could hear this on the radio. Take a listen below.

 

B.o.B released a mixtape, No Genre Pt.2. CLICK HERE to download that. Not sure when or if I’ll be listening to it. Elle Varner has released her official second single for her upcoming album titled, ‘Don’t Wanna Dance’, and features A$AP Ferg. The vibe of the track reminds me of ‘I Don’t Care’ from her debut, Perfectly ImperfectI like it though and from what she’s put out so far I can’t wait to hear her album. Take a listen below:

https://soundcloud.com/ellevarner/elle-varner-dont-wanna-dance-featuring-aap-ferg

 

Until next week…

Original v. Cover [V.5]: Whitney Houston, ‘How Will I Know’

It’s very hard to do a rendition of a Whitney Houston song and just about everyone in the business attempts to put their twist on one of her many illustrious hits.Newcomer, Sam Smith, has been added to that list as he covered ‘How Will I Know’ for SiriusXM.

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