Week’s End Digest: Anita Baker, Christina Aguilera, Prince, Cee Lo Green, Josh Groban, VEVO, Raz-B, ‘The View’ vs. Bill O’ Reilly

Posted October 15, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in News

News you can really use. This ‘Week’s End Digest’ features reports on Anita Baker’s money problems, Josh Groban’s unusual pairing with Rick Rubin, VEVO’s rumored venture to cable, Christina Aguilera’s break up, Raz-B vs. Omarion, ‘The View’ vs. Bill O’ Reilly and more news on Cee-Lo Green and Smokey Robinson

A lot can happen in a week. Here’s news you can really use.

Anita Baker Owes Thousands of Dollars in Federal Taxes, Unpaid Debt
R&B/soul singer Anita Baker is back in the news again. Reports are out that she’s due in court for a pending lawsuit dealing with an unpaid debt by her house painters. Ray A. Smith Painting and Decorating claims that Ms. Baker owes them $15,000 for work done in her Grosse Pointe, Michigan home. She also owes has other unpaid debts in her stable, including liens and unpaid state debts. [HipHopWired.com]

VEVO May Have Plans to Debut on TV
With MTV and other former music video networks focused on reality-TV shows, VEVO is planning on launching a music video cable channel that will only air music videos, live performances and special footage. Although ratings for these shows are low for the most part, with existing networks leaving their origins, VEVO hopes to fill in the void. “MTV walked the other way,” Ogilvy group planning director Mike Venables said. “Vevo is going to have to find a way to engage people for a longer period of time. I think they have the potential to overcome it by using interactive, Web-enabled TVs and offering customized programming like Pandora does with audio.” Executive at Vevo declined to comment further but didn’t question the report’s accuracy delivered by the New York Post. [Billboard.com]

Josh Groban Collaborates With Producer Rick Rubin
The unlikely pairing of classical-operatic pop sensation Josh Groban and legendary hip-hop/rock producer Rick Rubin has gotten major media attention. In Rolling Stone (Oct. 14), the pop singer claims “it was not a gimmick or a feeling of ‘Let’s do something different and change people’s minds about me.” The two just enjoyed one another’s company and decided to work together on Groban’s new album (Illuminations). The new single, “Hidden Away,” has just been released to radio. [Rolling Stone]

Prince Announces ‘Coming 2 America’ Tour
At a press conference at the legendary Apollo Theater, Prince announced he was working on “Coming 2 America,” a tour starting this December. Opening acts will include Janelle Monae, Mint Condition, Esperanza Spalding and Cassandra Wilson. [Details]

Christina Aguilera, Jordan Bratman Break Up
Reports surfaced this week from TMZ.com that pop singer Christina Aguilera was splitting up with hubby Jordan Bratman. She filed for divorce on Thursday from her husband of five years, citing “irreconcilable differences” as the cause of the break up. Some sources claim that Aguilera cheated on Bratman, and that she may be rebounding with Sam Ronson, Lindsey Lohan’s ex. The singer’s petition seeks to block Bratman’s ability to get spousal support. It also asks for joint physical and legal custody of their 2-year-old son, TMZ said. [TMZ.com]

Smokey Robinson Partners with Cracker Barrel for New CD
For the first time, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s exclusive music program will feature an R&B artist. According to Billboard magazine (Oct. 9), Smokey Robinson’s new album, Now And Then, will be available on sale at Crack Barrel beginning November 1. In addition to signaling the music program’s expansion beyond country and bluegrass, the move could make a turning point in Cracker Barrel’ sometimes chequered relationship with the African-American community. “it’s time to change that imagery of Cracker Barrel,” Robinson says of his decision to partner with the restaurant chain. The new album will feature six live performances of Motown classics and six tracks culled from Robinson’s 2009 album, Time Flies When You’re Having Fun. [Billboard.com, Cracker Barrel.com]

Cee Lo Green Hits the UK Charts at #1
What started out as a foul-mouth viral hit (“F*** You) has now surged its way to #1 on the UK Singles charts. The clean version, “Forget You,” is what saved the day. “Forget You” sold in excess of 100,000 copies to become the first U.K. solo hit for Cee Lo Green, a major chart artist in 2006 as one half of Gnarls Barkley. The radio edit was co-written by, among others, Green and Bruno Mars, who himself had the U.K.’s No. 1 single two weeks ago with “Just The Way You Are.” In other Cee Lo news, he is also working on his talk show to air on the Fuse network. [Billboard.com]

Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar Walks Off ‘The View’ During Bill O’ Reilly’s Segment
A protest segment began on ABC’s ‘The View’ on Thursday when FOX columnist Bill O’ Reilly visited the show. Comments about the controversial mosque on the 9/11 site and for generalizing Muslims as the source of the attack (“Muslims  killed us on 9/11”) disturbed Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar. The two walked off the set.  O’Reilly responded to the incident on his prime time show. [ABCNews.go.com]

Raz-B Snaps On Omarion, Marques Houston
An explosive tirade featuring former B2K poptart Raz-B has leaked to the Internet. The personal video, featuring Raz-B in an explosive argument with Marques Houston, accuses Houston and his former manager Chris Stokes for being a pedophile.


…And Omarion Fires Back
Omarion took to his Twitter page to respond to the allegations of Raz-B’s accusations:

still searching for attention?..& the fan’s wonder why there will NEVER be a reunion…’smdh’ your a joke bruh u and the glasses.”

Omarion also responded to gossip blog ThatGrapeJuice.net, alerting the public that the tirade is all about money.

In an older viral video from Raz-B, he commented on the Bishop Eddie Long gay sex scandal, while also hinting at his own alleged abuse, by stating:

“So for all you pedophiles out there, you Eddie Longs, you Marques Houstons, you Chris Stokes, you’re gonna burn in hell with gasoline draws on if you don’t repent. You’d be better off Mr. Eddie Long telling your congregation that you did it so they can forgive you…shame on you.”

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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