Entertainment Round-up: Ne-Yo becomes Motown Executive…with more from Gaga, RiRi and Chris Breezy


by Ade Dee

Our own Nigerian born Chimere a.k.a Ne-Yo Leaves Def Jam to Become Motown Exec 

Ne-Yo joins the legendary list of soul and R&B singers that will record under the iconic brand Motown Records, created in 1959. Over the years, Motown Records has brought a range of classics and soul serenading vocals with performances from favourites like Diana Ross, Boyz II men, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5 and Smokey Robinson, just to name a few.  

 According to a statement released by Neyo’s publicist, the Grammy Award-winning singer, song writer and performer moved from Def Jam to Motown Records  and will also take over as the label’s senior vice president of A&R. 

In the statements released, he said: “I’m honoured that I¹ve been given such a prestigious title and trusted with such responsibility; terrified because I know that playing this role in the fashion of one of my career role models, these are big shoes to fill. But trust, I can handle it.”  

Senior Vice President of Motown, Ethiopia Habtemariam added that signing Ne-Yo, who wrote Rihanna’s ‘Take A Bow’, Beyoncé’s ‘Irreplaceable’ and Mario’s ‘Let Me Love You’, will only bolster Motown’s historical reputation for making great R&B.  “We are committed to discovering, developing and nurturing R&B/soul superstars here at Motown. In Ne-Yo we have both a global superstar and arguably one of the best songwriters in music. His presence on the executive team only strengthens our commitment to be the very best in R&B,” she said. 

Whitney Houston calls claims she’s broke ‘ridiculous’ 

Rumours that soul singer, Whitney Houston’s bank accounts are not as loftily stocked as they supposedly once were has been circulating entertainment news platforms. While we all know that there is no smoke without fire remembering her expensive drug habit that almost cost her life, her publicist told CNN in a statement that the reports are “totally false and ridiculous. She just made a movie with Jordin Sparks – ‘Sparkle’.”In case you didn’t know and people get paid to make movies, our dear Houston is not broke.”

It all began some days back when an anonymous source in the US revealed that Houston was “flat broke,” saying that her “fortune is gone.” The loose-lipped insider alleges that “music industry heavy hitters have been supporting her to save face” and that “the 48-year-old singer/actress has had to call to ask to borrow $100 the source also included “She might be homeless if not for people saving her.” 

Rihanna’s thug life makes headlines 

Rihanna raised a lot of eyebrows recently with her latest body modification: a tattoo that reads: “Thug Life”, in honour of late hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur. While Tu Pac had the words emblazoned across his abdomen, Rihanna opted to write them across her knuckles in what appears to be glow-in-the-dark ink. Say what you will about whether the pop princess is living the kind of rising-up-from-the-streets life Shakur was honouring by splashing the name of his crew across his stomach, but she joins a long list of musicians who’ve used body art to pay homage to fallen homeys or musical inspirations. 

When hip-hip hookmaster Nate Dogg died last year, his old friend and collaborator Snoop Dogg had an image of Nate’s face with the legend “All Doggs Go to Heaven” written on his arm as a remembrance of the G-funk singer. And while Faith Evans once proudly bore a heart-shaped tattoo that read “B.I.G.” in honour of her then-husband Biggie Smalls. (After the couple split, however, she added some ink so it read “B.I.G. FAYE.”) 

After his best friend and fellow D12 member was shot and killed in 2006, Eminem filled the space on his left forearm with a giant “Proof” tat encircled with flames. Drake got in the game last year when he reportedly added a portrait of late singer, Aaliyah to his collection of black ink. Well before that, Nas paid a sideways tribute to Tupac with his “God’s Son” stomach piece, which paid homage to both the fallen MC. 

Lady Gaga Opens Italian Restaurant With Her Dad. 

Lady Gaga is known for being ostentatious, outrageous and making the biggest entrance possible. But for a star that has made her name for shocking our senses, Mother Monster’s newest venture unlike her fashion statement and videos is decidedly low-key. After dropping several mentions in interviews over the past few months about a new restaurant she planned to launch with her father, Joseph Germanotta, the restaurant named Joanne Trattoria will finally open its doors on Wednesday.

The lovely Italian neighbourhood eatery on West 68th Street in New York boasts of a well-stocked bar, a cosy back patio and seating for about 70 people. The walls are covered with scenes of the Tuscan countryside, and near a fireplace at the entrance, diners will see some Germanotta family photos hanging by a front booth. The restaurant will be run by Joseph and Gaga’s mother, Cynthia. The chef and partner in the business is Art Smith, who met Gaga at a taping for the “Oprah Winfrey Show.” Smith was Winfrey’s personal chef for several years.

Chris Brown revisits electric dance sound in “Turn up the music” 

Chris Brown is getting the club banging with his latest effort; “Turn Up the Music.” The first single off the upcoming album; ‘Fortune’, was released Thursday (January 26), and much like his 2010 hit, “Yeah 3x,” Brown revisits an electronic-dance sound that is destined to get people in the clubs and on the dance floor. The track, which was written and produced by electronic dance heavy weights, the Underdogs and will be available at all digital music stores February 14 2012.



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