18 Stories

Roy Hargrove Dead at 49

Winner of two Grammies played vast array of styles

(Newser) - Trumpeter Roy Hargrove, a prolific player who provided his jazz sound to records across a vast range of styles and won two Grammys, has died at age 49, his manager said Saturday. Hargrove died in New York on Friday of cardiac arrest stemming from a longtime fight with kidney disease,... More »

Joe Jackson Dead at 89

Joe Jackson launched the Jackson 5 to stardom, but not without controversy

(Newser) - Joe Jackson, the iron-fisted Jackson family patriarch and manager, died Wednesday at age 89 from cancer, reports Billboard and TMZ . The father of Michael Jackson, Joe Jackson launched the Jackson 5—which included Michael and brothers Jackie, Marlon, Jermaine, and Tito—in Gary, Ind., in the 1960s. The group... More »

Jazz Great Al Jarreau Is Dead at 76

He was a 7-time Grammy winner

(Newser) - The Grammy's will surely be scrambling to pull together a tribute to a seven-time winner in time for Sunday night's show. R&B and jazz great Al Jarreau died Sunday morning at age 76, reports Rolling Stone , whose obituary notes that he was dubbed the "Acrobat of... More »

'Rescue Me' Singer Fontella Bass Dead at 72

Her big hit in 1965 endures

(Newser) - R&B singer Fontella Bass, whose "Rescue Me" became a No. 1 hit in 1965 and remains in play today, died yesterday at 72 after a heart attack, reports the AP . The St. Louis native had modest success with other songs, but "Rescue Me," which she co-wrote,... More »

R&B Great Teddy Pendergrass Dead at 59

Colon cancer kills wheelchair-bound singer

(Newser) - R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass, who had been one of the most electric and successful figures in music until a car crash 28 years ago left him in a wheelchair, has died of colon cancer. He was 59. Before the crash, Pendergrass established a new era of R&B with... More »

Bad News: Chris Brown's New Song Is Good

Is it OK to like the music but hate the abusive jerk behind it?

(Newser) - Chris Brown may be a reprehensible guy, but unfortunately, he can still sing. With the ink barely dry on his guilty plea, Brown released the lead single on his upcoming album last month, and it’s actually good, Jonah Weiner is sad to report. The instrumentals from Swizz Beatz lay... More »

Pink Is Ridiculously Underrated

She can out-sing all those pop starlets, so why isn't she getting the same hype?

(Newser) - After watching Pink dangle from a trapeze 60 feet above the Radio City Music Hall stage—while belting out "Sober" perfectly—James Montgomery had a revelation: "Pink is totally underrated." She's "the total pop-star package,” he writes for MTV: tattooed, clever, confrontational, and a damn... More »

British R&B Star Climbs US Charts

Jay Sean finds a home on Lil Wayne's Cash Money label

(Newser) - “It doesn't matter if we're from a little place called Hounslow,” Jay Sean tells the BBC. “If you have some good music, you can make it anywhere.” That’s how the British R&B singer found himself collaborating with Lil Wayne, and climbing to No. 2... More »

Brown Begins Community Service

Singer cleans up in Va. as punishment for Rihanna beating

(Newser) - Singer Chris Brown today began the community labor that’s part of his sentence for beating girlfriend Rihanna, MTV reports, with the singer posting a photo from the work to his Twitter feed. His 6 months of labor will include picking up trash in his native Virginia; Brown, 20, also... More »

Woman of the Year: Beyonce

(Newser) - How fierce: Beyoncé has been named Billboard's Woman of the Year. The magazine singled her out as the most inspirational female recording artist of the last 12 months. The honor comes on the heels of a world tour to promote I Am...Sasha Fierce that saw the singer's philanthropic alter... More »

Chris Brown Sentenced to 5 Years' Probation

(Newser) - A judge today sentenced Chris Brown to five years' probation and six months' community labor for the beating of Rihanna, then ordered the R&B singer to stay away from his former girlfriend for the next five years. The judge told Brown he could be sent to state prison if... More »

Maxwell and K'Jon Force Soul Music to Grow Up

Maxwell, K'Jon lead return to classical soul era's adult themes and sound

(Newser) - Soul music has always been adult, conveying mature themes like financial insecurity and emotional anxiety. Now, with the emergence of K’Jon and the return of Maxwell, it finally sounds adult, too, Jon Caramanica writes in the New York Times. “K’Jon and Maxwell represent a strain of R&... More »

Ghostface on New Album: No 'Slinging Crack' in R&B

Rapper will still be in the game when he's 70, he says

(Newser) - Ghostface Killah is one of today’s most critically acclaimed rappers, and he doesn’t plan on quitting any time soon: “I’ma definitely be old in hip-hop. This is a mental thing. You can write music till you 70,” he tells New York. His new album, Wizard ... More »

Brown Apologizes for Rihanna Assault

'No one is more disappointed in me than I am,' singer says in YouTube video

(Newser) - Chris Brown breaks the silence on his alleged assault on Rihanna with a YouTube confessional posted today, E! reports. “I felt it was time that you heard directly from me that I am sorry,” the singer said, explaining that he had remained silent since the February incident on... More »

Ciara Lost on Fantasy Ride

(Newser) - Ciara's tiny voice can't survive in the spaces her producers leave on her new album, Fantasy Ride, but the disc does provide a few fascinating diversions. Some critical opinions:
  • "That's what you get with Fantasy Ride," Tom Breihan writes on Pitchfork. "A few brilliant left turns that
... More »

Beyoncé Hit Is Soundtrack for More Market Chaos: Prof

Analysis of pop charts finds steady songs predict turbulent finance

(Newser) - Beyoncé’s smash hit "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" might be the harbinger of continued chaos in the financial markets, the Guardian reports. Hit songs with steady, regular rhythms—or “low beat variance”—throughout correlate with volatility in the American markets, an NYU professor... More »

Rihanna Sporting a Diamond

But Chris Brown's rep says they're not engaged

(Newser) - Rihanna got the rumor mill going when she was spotted wearing a large diamond ring over the holidays, the Daily News reports. But boyfriend Chris Brown's rep says the two aren't engaged. The couple have dated since 2007, but Rihanna is tight-lipped on their relationship: “People always want to... More »

Thicke's Blue-Eyed Soul Hits Big Across Racial Divide

Hollywood-raised Canadian R&B star proud his fans are 'mostly grown black women'

(Newser) - In a society that says white men can't dance, Robin Thicke has surmounted the race barrier: His single, Lost Without U, topped Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for 11 weeks last year, outperforming songs by Beyonce, Usher, and Alicia Keys. "Eighty or 90% of my fans are... More »

18 Stories