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August 15, 1999 | SOREN BAKER
** Memphis Bleek, "Coming of Age," Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam. After appearing on a throng of high-octane, million-selling albums, this Jay-Z protege emerges with a ho-hum debut set. His assembly-line street chronicles are too mundane to draw attention, as is his less than commanding voice. A few stellar soundscapes from Swizz Beatz, Irv Gotti and others give the collection its punch. * Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four stars (excellent).
ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
August 9, 2013 | Mikael Wood
Whitney Houston, the superstar vocalist whose hit tunes helped bridge the gap between pop and soul music, was born 50 years ago Friday, on Aug. 9, 1963, in Newark, N.J. The birthday, of course, is one she didn't live to see: Houston died last year in Beverly Hills at the age of 48, plunging the music industry into turmoil the night before the Grammy Awards, which she so often dominated over the course of her nearly three-decade career. Yet Houston's music lives on in recorded form -- Sirius XM is in the midst of a day-long tribute to the singer's work -- and in renditions by younger artists, including Beyoncé, whose Mrs. Carter Show tour has her tackling "I Will Always Love You," the Dolly Parton song Houston all but made her own. PHOTOS: Celebrities react to the death of Whitney Houston Listen to that classic -- along with four of Houston's other finest moments -- below.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2012 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Alicia Keys has been relatively mum on the details of her upcoming album, but on Thursday, the multi-platinum Grammy winner wanted to tease fans with what she's been up to. “I got something fresh for you, something fresh for the summer. I'm feeling good, and I'm thinking, 'Let me be the one to kinda just play you a little bit,' ” she said in a YouTube message to her fans before playing just a quick snippet of a track. Keys couldn't hold onto the track much longer and shortly after the teaser, the singer tweeted the full track, “New Day.” She didn't say whether the drum-heavy single was the lead of her as-yet-untitled album, but with husband Swizz Beatz's trademark club beats pushing Keys' simple and catchy hooks, “New Day” sounds crafted for summer dance-offs.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 21, 2013 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy, Los Angeles Times
When Eve's last album was released, Kanye West was known only as a producer, Drake was playing an awkward teenager on Canadian TV and waitress Nicki Minaj was slinging Red Lobster's famous cheddar biscuits. To say a lot has changed is an understatement. More than 11 years after that album, countless delays, a focus on acting and more than a few growing pains, the Grammy Award winner's long gestating fourth album, "Lip Lock," dropped last week. "For some reason it all came together at this moment.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 26, 2012 | By Mikael Wood
"New Day. " "101. " "Brand New Me. " The song titles on Alicia Keys' fifth studio album suggest she's exploring previously untouched ground: perhaps her life with producer Swizz Beatz, whom she married in 2010, or the son she gave birth to later that year. What's more, "Girl on Fire" finds Keys assembling an impressive new crew of forward-looking collaborators, including Emeli Sandé, Frank Ocean and Jamie Smith of the xx. In the slow-burning "Fire We Make," she doubles down on the here-and-now vibe, trading breathy vocal lines with Maxwell over fuzzy soul-blues guitar by Gary Clark Jr. Yet in spite of that fresh blood, "Girl on Fire" basically delivers the same payload as Keys' other albums; it's a collection of handsomely crafted, gorgeously sung ballads interrupted by several overworked anthems about the value of perseverance.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 9, 2013 | Mikael Wood
Whitney Houston, the superstar vocalist whose hit tunes helped bridge the gap between pop and soul music, was born 50 years ago Friday, on Aug. 9, 1963, in Newark, N.J. The birthday, of course, is one she didn't live to see: Houston died last year in Beverly Hills at the age of 48, plunging the music industry into turmoil the night before the Grammy Awards, which she so often dominated over the course of her nearly three-decade career. Yet Houston's music lives on in recorded form -- Sirius XM is in the midst of a day-long tribute to the singer's work -- and in renditions by younger artists, including Beyoncé, whose Mrs. Carter Show tour has her tackling "I Will Always Love You," the Dolly Parton song Houston all but made her own. PHOTOS: Celebrities react to the death of Whitney Houston Listen to that classic -- along with four of Houston's other finest moments -- below.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 21, 2013 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy, Los Angeles Times
When Eve's last album was released, Kanye West was known only as a producer, Drake was playing an awkward teenager on Canadian TV and waitress Nicki Minaj was slinging Red Lobster's famous cheddar biscuits. To say a lot has changed is an understatement. More than 11 years after that album, countless delays, a focus on acting and more than a few growing pains, the Grammy Award winner's long gestating fourth album, "Lip Lock," dropped last week. "For some reason it all came together at this moment.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 27, 2012 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy, Los Angeles Times
Within the first few moments of Alicia Keys' new album, "Girl on Fire," it's clear that this artist once labeled the new queen of Soul is now emulating the confidence needed to fulfill that role. "It's been a while, I'm not who I was before / You looked surprised, your words don't burn me anymore," she sings in "Brand New Me" over her trademark R&B piano playing. "Been meaning to tell you, but I guess it's clear to see / Don't be mad, it's just the brand new kind of me. " "There is no mystery … it's severely honest.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 28, 2010
Gary Coleman is reportedly in critical condition after a fall ( Los Angeles Times) " American Idol's" finale ratings were down 16% (Los Angeles Times) James McAvoy has joined the cast of "X-Men: First Class" as Professor Charles Xavier (Los Angeles Times) Violent video games are excellent teaching tools (Huffington Post) AMC is closing the country's first megaplex (Los Angeles Times) M.I.A. was miffed about a New York Times profile of her, so she tweeted the reporter's phone number (New York Times, Spin)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 2012
What happens when a jazz piano trio releases a dance record in 2012? Before any seizure-inducing thoughts of a Swizz Beatz-produced take on "Body and Soul" come to life, listen to pianist Vijay Iyer's modern vision of jazz's body-moving roots. A head-bobbing step forward for a trio that topped year-end lists with 2009's "Historicity," "Accelerando" is a rambunctious yet nimble celebration of the groove that turns as much on the fulcrum of drummer Marcus Gilmore and bassist Stephan Crump as it does on Iyer's restlessly inventive piano.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 27, 2012 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy, Los Angeles Times
Within the first few moments of Alicia Keys' new album, "Girl on Fire," it's clear that this artist once labeled the new queen of Soul is now emulating the confidence needed to fulfill that role. "It's been a while, I'm not who I was before / You looked surprised, your words don't burn me anymore," she sings in "Brand New Me" over her trademark R&B piano playing. "Been meaning to tell you, but I guess it's clear to see / Don't be mad, it's just the brand new kind of me. " "There is no mystery … it's severely honest.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 26, 2012 | By Mikael Wood
"New Day. " "101. " "Brand New Me. " The song titles on Alicia Keys' fifth studio album suggest she's exploring previously untouched ground: perhaps her life with producer Swizz Beatz, whom she married in 2010, or the son she gave birth to later that year. What's more, "Girl on Fire" finds Keys assembling an impressive new crew of forward-looking collaborators, including Emeli Sandé, Frank Ocean and Jamie Smith of the xx. In the slow-burning "Fire We Make," she doubles down on the here-and-now vibe, trading breathy vocal lines with Maxwell over fuzzy soul-blues guitar by Gary Clark Jr. Yet in spite of that fresh blood, "Girl on Fire" basically delivers the same payload as Keys' other albums; it's a collection of handsomely crafted, gorgeously sung ballads interrupted by several overworked anthems about the value of perseverance.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2012 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Alicia Keys has been relatively mum on the details of her upcoming album, but on Thursday, the multi-platinum Grammy winner wanted to tease fans with what she's been up to. “I got something fresh for you, something fresh for the summer. I'm feeling good, and I'm thinking, 'Let me be the one to kinda just play you a little bit,' ” she said in a YouTube message to her fans before playing just a quick snippet of a track. Keys couldn't hold onto the track much longer and shortly after the teaser, the singer tweeted the full track, “New Day.” She didn't say whether the drum-heavy single was the lead of her as-yet-untitled album, but with husband Swizz Beatz's trademark club beats pushing Keys' simple and catchy hooks, “New Day” sounds crafted for summer dance-offs.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 15, 1999 | SOREN BAKER
** Memphis Bleek, "Coming of Age," Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam. After appearing on a throng of high-octane, million-selling albums, this Jay-Z protege emerges with a ho-hum debut set. His assembly-line street chronicles are too mundane to draw attention, as is his less than commanding voice. A few stellar soundscapes from Swizz Beatz, Irv Gotti and others give the collection its punch. * Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four stars (excellent).
ENTERTAINMENT
February 10, 2011
The Early Show (N) 7 a.m. KCBS Today Elton John. (N) 7 a.m. KNBC Good Morning America Jennifer Aniston; author Susan Engel. (N) 7 a.m. KABC Live With Regis and Kelly Elton John. (N) 9 a.m. KABC The View Jennifer Aniston; Michael Oher. (N) 10 a.m. KABC The Doctors Wrinkle treatment. (N) 11 a.m. KCAL The Talk Dr. Phil McGraw; Vanessa Marcil. (N) 1 p.m. KCBS The Oprah Winfrey Show Jennifer Hudson talks about her weight loss and performs. (N) 3 p.m. KABC Dr. Phil A woman lives in fear of attack; a man has 50 plastic surgeries; a groomless bride.
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