Friday, May 27, 2011

NEW Beyonce Billboard Magazine Cover plus Article

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Ring the Alarm: Beyonce Runs The World

By Phil Gallo

On a night filled with intense star power, Beyoncé delivered the first live performance of her current single, "Run the World (Girls)." The bodacious set that married technological wonderment with the singer's athletic movements and an army of dancers brought down the house at the sold-out MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. Not to mention a metallic macramé-ish dress that had the audience-and Twitter-on fire.

Beyoncé was honored with the Billboard Millennium Award after her unannounced performance (the news did leak, the day before) at the May 22 awards show, which recognized her career achievements and influence in the music industry. Her mother, Tina Knowles, presented the award after the audience watched a videotape of tributes from Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, the-Dream, Bono, her parents and others, all of whom spoke of the power of her music and personality.

"I'm very proud of her," Obama said, "very proud of the woman she is and the role model she provides to so many women. And I truly congratulate her on all her success." Barbra Streisand: "Great performers have a sound and style that is all their own and that's why so many people love Beyoncé. And so do I."

Stevie Wonder said, "She's able to go to many places but keep still that class. I like that." Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds gushed, "She inspired me to want to be more of an artist." Bono's prediction? "She makes songs that will live forever."

While catching her breath after the physically strenuous performance, Beyoncé thanked her family, current and former members of Destiny's Child and her husband-"I love me some Jay-Z," she said. And the audience roared. He was in the front row, standing, like everyone else in the venue. Twitter seemed on the verge of overdrive. The tags were #bbma and #Beyonce, and it seemed tweeters couldn't type fast enough.

"I thank all the legends who said all those beautiful things to me," Beyoncé said. "I grew up loving and admiring all the people who were on that tape. This is a moment I have to soak in because it is one of the best memories of my life.

"Her version of "Run the World (Girls)" featured 50 female dancers with the star's choreography synchronized to videotaped elements. She caught and tossed a red spear; grabbed a floating globe, put it in her mouth and then exhaled it out; she made lines dip and curve based on her hand movements. Beyoncé based her stage set on an Italian TV performance by Lorella Cuccarini that the artist's makeup artist had shown her on YouTube a year ago.

"It inspired me so much," Beyoncé told AOL Music a few days after the awards. "The technology and concept were so genius . . . I never worked so hard on anything in my life as that performance for the Billboard awards."

One of the designers of Cuccarini's video, Kenzo Digital, worked on Beyoncé's video as well. "She took that idea and blew it up to an epic level," said Don Mischer Productions' Charlie Haykel, co-executive producer of the Billboard Music Awards. "She put her whole team on it and the great thing about them is they leave no stone unturned."

During rehearsal, Beyoncé politely went back and forth with Mischer and director Louis J. Horvitz over everything from microphone placement to camera angles to the direction her mother was facing when the award presentation was made on a small stage in the center of the arena.

"In the professional-and perfectionist-way she pushes herself, she does something like nothing you've ever seen on television," said Mark Bracco, VP of alternative series and specials at ABC Entertainment. "She's amazing. Watching her during rehearsal you saw how difficult it was to line up with the screen and how much she wanted it to be perfect."

Thanks to Beyoncé's performance and the May 18 release of the "Run the World (Girls)" video, the song's digital track sales totaled 41,000 units in the week ended May 22, more than tripling from sales of 13,000 in the prior week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Billboard editorial director Bill Werde, who participated in the booking of the show, saw Beyoncé's performance as a highlight in a well-rounded night. "It's great," he said, "when you can recognize a truly singular talent, in this case Beyoncé, also give an Icon Award to Neil Diamond for the length and stability of his career and, at the same time, give an opportunity to [ Cruze-ing to Las Vegas battle of the bands winner] Gentleman Hall-all of it breaking in real time."

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Billboard Music Awards 2011 performance review: Beyonce wins, Nicki Minaj loses Continue reading on Billboard Music Awards 2011 perform

It’s called the “Billboard Music Awards,” but clocking in at a hefty three hours (come on, ABC, we have jobs), this show is all about the on-stage performances. And as expected, we got a ton of them.

From Rihanna to Beyonce, Cee Lo Green to Nicki Minaj, let’s break down the best and worst performances of the night.


3) Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo: A fun, party song classed-up thanks to Pitbull’s tux and Ne-Yo’s trademark hat. The performance wasn’t flashy (we’ll get to that later), but it was a solid, enjoyable effort.

2) Cee Lo Green: The man rotated 360 degrees while never leaving his seat at the piano. ‘Nuff said. Had it not been for the person who snatched the No.1 slot, Cee Lo’s three song performance of “Crazy,” “Bright Lights Big City,” and “Forget You” would’ve easily been the best of the night.

1) Beyonce: The biggest pop star in the world always puts on a show, but this was even more unique than we’re used to. Aided by a large screen blasting graphics and shapes, Bey danced in rhythm to styles, colors, and dozens and dozens of animated Beyonce’s. She then brought out what looked like 50 female dancers, all dancing in unison to “Run the World (Girls).”Photobucket


3) Rihanna: It’s not so much that Rihanna was bad, but when you trot out a lip-synching Britney Spears, one who grabs a stripper pole mid-song and half-heartedly gyrates like a depressed stripper bogged down by student loans, it ultimately hurts your entire performance of “S&M.”

2) Far East Movement f/Snoop Dogg: Can we put an end to songs that seem written by 13-year-olds? In “If I Was You,” we get FEM yelling “OMG” and spelling out simple words like “C-O-N-D-O.” Even Snoop, with his hair beads, dangling earrings and bright red gloves, looked ridiculous.

1) Nicki Minaj: How long would it have taken you to demand your money back from that performance had you paid to see it in concert? Performing “Super Bass,” Nicki Minaj looked lazy, performing half-hearted dance steps and, quite literally, growling and grunting her words like a motha f----- “Monster.” Yeah, we all get that Minaj is “different,” which is part of what makes her fun. But that performance was embarrassing.


Rihanna Feat. Britney Spears - S&M Remix Billboard Music Awards 2011! (HD)

Beyonce performs "Run The World" at the BillBoard Awards 2011 (HD 720p)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Beyoncé: The Billboard Music Awards Q&A

Our Millennium Award Recipient Discusses Her Amazing Career & Anticipated New Album

In the next chapter of her career, Beyoncé certainly seems dedicated to breaking new ground. It takes guts for one of the world's biggest pop stars to release such a stridently unconventional single as the militaristic, beat-driven "Run the World (Girls)," built around a freaky sample from relatively obscure indie favorites Major Lazer's club hit, "Pon de Floor." That's just the first salvo in the unexpected collage of sonic textures and unique song structures on her new album, which features edgy new collaborators like Switch (who makes up half of Major Lazer) along with established hitmakers like The-Dream. "There's nothing safe about it, I know that much," says The-Dream, who cowrote Beyoncé's career-redefining anthem, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," and was called in to help pen the new album's lead single. "That [kind of song treatment] would never happen with any other artist of her stature, male or female."

Click above to see the Beyonce Fashion Evolution Photo Gallery

It's a sentiment Beyoncé seems keenly aware of herself. "I feel like my job in the industry is to push the limits, and I have to constantly evolve," Beyoncé explains of her new direction, while she's being chauffeured from a photo shoot on Long Island to a Manhattan recording studio for a meeting with the new creative team she's assembled. This independent woman, rounding the corner to the big 3-0 this year, happily married to Jay-Z, has taken the reins of her career like never before, and she wants it known that she is the one calling the shots. Her forthcoming solo album, "4," was made this past year without the guidance of Matthew Knowles, her father and longtime manager. She announced on March 28 this year that the two parted ways "on a business level." Raising a clenched fist on the cover of her new single, "Run the World (Girls)," Beyoncé clearly transmits her trademark message of female empowerment.

In this exclusive first interview about her next phase, the star took a look ahead at the thrilling new sounds and creative endeavors in store for her, while also reminiscing about the many milestones along the way that have earned her Billboard's Millennium Award.

Beyoncé To Be Honored With Billboard Millennium Award At BBMAs

Whenever you put out a new song, it seems to generate a catchphrase. Is that something you think about?

That's what I always want to do - I'm attracted to songs that will become a dinner conversation! [laughs] With "Single Ladies," clearly I'd just gotten married, and people want to get married every day - then there was the whole Justin Timberlake thing [recreating the video] on "Saturday Night Live," and it was also the year YouTube blew up. With "Irreplaceable," the aggressive lyrics, the acoustic guitar, and the 808 [drum machine] - those things don't typically go together, and it sounded fresh. "Crazy in Love" was another one of those classic
moments in pop culture that none of us expected. I asked Jay to get on the song the night before I had to turn my album in - thank God he did. It still never gets old, no matter how many times I sing it.

Vote For the Billboard Music Awards' Fan Award

The new single, "Run the World (Girls)," is a very bold statement for you.

It's definitely riskier than something a bit more...simple. I just heard the track and loved that it was so different: it felt a bit African, a bit electronic and futuristic. It reminded me of what I love, which is mixing different cultures and eras -- things that typically don't go together -- to create a new sound. I can never be safe; I always try and go against the grain. As soon as I accomplish one thing, I just set a higher goal. That's how I've gotten to where I am

Beyoncé: The Billboard Music Awards Q&A

The new album is called "4." Aside from this being your fourth solo album, what significance does that number hold?

We all have special numbers in our lives, and 4 is that for me. It's the day I was born. My mother's birthday, and a lot of my friends' birthdays, are on the fourth; April 4 is my wedding date.

How did the creative process begin with the new body of work?

I recorded more than 60 songs: everything I ever wanted to try, I just did it. I started off being inspired by [Afrobeat music pioneer] Fela Kuti. I actually worked with the band from "Fela!" [the hit Broadway musical based on his life] for a couple of days, just to get the feel for the soul and heart of his music; it's so sexy, and has a great groove you get lost in. I loved his drums, all the horns, how everything was on the one. What I learned most from Fela was artistic freedom: he just felt the spirit. I also found a lot of inspiration in '90s R&B, Earth, Wind & Fire, DeBarge, Lionel Richie, Teena Marie... I listened to a lot of Jackson 5 and New Edition, but also Adele, Florence + the Machine, and Prince. Add in my hip-hop influences, and you can hear how broad it is. I also gave myself more freedom to really belt out some songs, and bring soul singing back: I used a lot of the brassiness and grittiness in my voice that people hear in my live performances, but not necessarily on my records.

You're an icon of female empowerment. What does power mean to you?

Power means happiness, power means hard work and sacrifice. To me, it's about setting a good example, and not abusing your power! You still have to have humility: I've seen how you can lead by example, and not by fear. My visit to Egypt was a really big inspiration for me. Once the sun went down, I saw not one woman; it was shocking and fascinating to me, because it was so extreme. I saw thousands of men walking down the street, socializing in bars, praying in mosques - and no women. I felt really proud when I performed and saw the strength that the women were getting through the music. I remember being in Japan when Destiny's Child put out "Independent Women," and women there were saying how proud they were to have their own jobs, their own independent thinking, their own goals. It made me feel so good, and I realized that one of my responsibilities was to inspire women in a deeper way.

Beyoncé: The Billboard Music Awards Q&A

You're always on the go. Do you ever get downtime?

I got a day off to take my nephew to Disneyland, which was so much fun. I haven't done anything like that in probably 10 years - the last time I was at a theme park was with Destiny's Child! We rode all the rides, some of them twice, and it was my nephew's first time on a roller coaster. There were thousands of people there because it was Easter, but everyone was really polite and respectful, and let us walk around and have a great time. I had on the biggest Goofy hat! [laughs] It was supposed to be a disguise, with this big brim that covered my face, and floppy ears on the sides, but by the end of the trip I realized that people knew I was making a fool of myself in this hat. [laughs] It was a really nice memory for me.

This is your first record that you've made without your father managing you. What sort of options opened up that may be different than before?

It's not that anything bad happened between us. My family has my support always, and they support me, but when you've been working with the same people for 15 years, it's natural to eventually have your own ideas. I believe that parents prepare their kids for the moment that they're on their own: at this point, I'm taking everything my dad and my mother have taught me, and I'm able to do things my way. We were at a point where we'd learned so much from each other, and now it's exciting for me to do this on my own and hire my own team. I've started managing myself.

Your film career recently took an interesting turn. You've gone from "Dreamgirls" to "Cadillac Records" to "Obsessed," and now you're working with Clint Eastwood on the latest remake of "A Star is Born."

It's a dream come true; I'm still in shock that it's really going to happen. Clint Eastwood is clearly the absolute best, and I'm so honored and humbled. I was in no rush to do another movie unless it was the right film, and I didn't even want to touch "A Star is Born" unless it was with him. I actually learned that this project was in existence, and kind of claimed it. I want to get to work right now!

"A Star is Born" is an appropriate choice, as it follows the rise of a female singer to stardom. What have been your milestones on the way up?

I would say when Destiny's Child worked with Wyclef Jean on "No, No, No Part 2" - we were so young and green and in awe of everything, and couldn't wait to sing for him. And winning our Grammy for "Say My Name" was incredible. I remember hearing the song on the radio for the first time: I felt like "Wow, this sounds like a classic - something that will be around forever." Those melodies and that fast, staccato way of singing created a new style; it inspired a whole movement in R&B. Being part of that was amazing.

After all those achievements, what was it like going solo?

Scary and empowering! Everyone in the group was very nervous, and terrified to do things on our own. We missed each other; it was hard having to make your own decisions and not have someone there to say, "I agree" or "I don't agree." But going through that is a part of life; it was a big first step for me, but one of many first steps I'm sure I'll have. I kind of feel like that now again.

I'm approaching 30, and finally took a break in my life, which I've never had. I took more than a year off: I traveled around, spent time with my husband, woke up in my own bed, ate whatever I wanted, went to museums and Broadway plays, watched documentaries, and just had life experiences. I never get to go to concerts because I'm usually performing, so I saw so many shows - great bands, like Muse and Rage Against the Machine, that also inspired the album. There were a lot of artists I'd never been exposed to: I'm like a sponge and soak everything up, and I learned so much from watching these great performers. Having time to grow as a human being was really inspiring, and gave me a lot to pull from. I'm excited about growing: I can just have fun, and the artistic freedom to do whatever I want. At this point, I really know who I am, and don't feel like I have to put myself in a box. I'm not afraid of taking risks - no one can define me.

Beyoncé RunTheWorld Teaser.

Sunday, May 1, 2011