Alicia Keys Presented with Recording Artists’ Coalition Award at 2015 Grammys On The Hill


On Wednesday night music and politics united at The Recording Academy’s 2015 “GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards” where Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/producer Alicia Keys was presented with the Recording Artists’ Coalition Award.

“We are proud to honor Alicia Keys for her artistry, philanthropy and her passion for creators’ rights as a founding member of The Academy’s brand-new Grammy Creators Alliance,” said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. “We know that she will bring the same dedication to creators’ rights as she does to her global philanthropic efforts.”

First Lady Michelle Obama was in the building to present Alicia with the prestigious award. “She simply is who she is and she does what she knows is right, no matter what anyone else might think,” said the First Lady. “With her example Alicia has truly set a new standard for us all, that’s why I’m here – I love this woman.”

The GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards are sponsored by SESAC, and proceeds from the event benefit the GRAMMY Foundation’s GRAMMY Signature Schools program, which provides support for underserved music programs throughout the country.

Grammy-nominated songstress Ledisi was also in the building and performed a tribute to Alicia.

Check out photos and video footage from the event below:

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Ciara Reveals ‘Jackie’ Album Packaging

Ciara Jackie Cover

With the album hitting stores in only 3 weeks, Ciara is giving fans an early look at the album packaging for ‘Jackie.’

The R&B star’s sixth studio LP has been lead by the heartfelt ballad “I Bet,” which she just remixed with a bouncy new beat and guest feature from T.I. (listen here). The album hits store on May 4 and comes in a 11-track standard edition and 16-track deluxe.

Revealing the album packaging in an Instagram video, CiCi opens the CD booklet to show off her stunning photoshoot, which includes a shot of her and son Future Zahir, along with some sexy and fashionable new shots.

Check it out below!

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First Look : Brandy as Roxie Hart for ‘Chicago’ on Broadway


As previously reported, R&B starlet Brandy is getting ready to storm Broadway for the first time, starring as Roxie Hart in CHICAGO.

Kicking off on April 28 the award winning singer/actress will play an 8-week limited engagement at the Ambassador Theatre in NYC through Sunday, June 21.

Brandy has now given fans an early look at her transformation into Roxie with a new interview on the role for Vanity Fair.

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ThisisRnB Nights: Eric Benét & Friends Live at The Conga Room L.A. (Starring CeeLo, Goapele, V. Bozeman, Angie Fisher & Lalah Hathaway)

David Foster, Eric Benet

Los Angeles R&B fans enjoyed a night to remember on Friday at The Conga Room.  Kicking off the brand new showcase series ‘Neo-Soul Concerts Presents: Eric Benét & Friends,’ the Grammy nominated singer gave the packed house their monies worth and then some!

Set up as a special monthly concert for Eric and his fellow artist fiends to celebrate “real R&B music” with a live band, last night’s show brought out CeeLo Green, Goapele, Angie Fisher, V. Bozeman from the hit television show “Empire,” and special surprise guests David Foster and Lalah Hathaway.

“I’m really excited to kick off this monthly showcase in the city where I live! I can’t remember a time when LA had a consistent home to showcase talent and performances of this caliber and we need to bring it back,” said Benét.

The evening kicked off with host Chris Spencer (comedian and executive producer of BET’s “Real Husbands of Hollywood”) getting the crowd warmed up for a great night of music and entertainment. Eric wasted no time hitting the stage performing some of his fan favorites before bringing out the first guest of the night, Angie Fisher (Hear her amazing song “IRS” here). Next up was rising vocalist V. Bozeman who delighted the crowd with her talents. The vocals ran heavy last night as Goapele followed V and soothed everyone with her sultry tone, performing solo material as well as her duet “My Love” with Eric Benét.

The main headliner was the incomparable CeeLo Green who rocked the crowd with his many hits, but Eric had some surprises in store for the audience when he invited legendary singer/songwriter/composer David Foster on stage. Eric performed samples of David’s many classic hits while he laid the background on piano. As if that wasn’t enough Eric also brought out vocalist Lalah Hathaway for a brief performance, and rapper YoYo hit the stage as well.

What a great night it was! Check out our exclusive photos below:

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Kelly Rowland & Son Cover ESSENCE Magazine

Kelly Rowland Essence 1

Kelly Rowland beams radiantly on the cover of ESSENCE Magazine’s new April issue, as she proudly displays her baby son Titan Jewell, alongside her husband Tim Weatherspoon.

The new mom has had a lot of personal highs and lows recently, and she opens up about a lot of it in the new interview.

“My road to my happiness hasn’t been an easy one. It hasn’t been peachy all the time, but I am so, so happy,” she says, reflecting on a year that saw her get married, give birth to her son, and suddenly lose her mother. She remains strong and positive, and even with her thriving career, it’s all about the family.

“My priority is my husband first,” she says. “That’s how the baby got there.”

For more on how Kelly juggles motherhood, marriage and her career, pick up the April issue of ESSENCE, on newsstands March 20.

Peep a few more pics from her gorgeous cover spread below:

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ThisisRnB Nights: Luke James, BJ The Chicago Kid, & Ro James Perform at Highline Ballroom (NYC)


On another bitter cold night in NYC, Highline Ballroom provided plenty of heat for R&B fans on Wednesday.  As the first show on their mini tour, Luke James and BJ the Chicago Kid brought their soulful talents to the stage, and delivered riveting sets for the packed crowd.

Expected on the bill, but due to illness rising singer George Tandy Jr. was unable to perform. As the stand alone opening act, NYC native and buzz-worthy singer/songwriter, Ro James, delighted the crowd, of previous fans and new, with his unique tone and charisma.

BJ was up next, and he went right into his set with covers and originals, including his buzzed about remake of Fabolous and Jeremih’s “Thim Slick.” Promoting his recently released mixtape “The M.A.F.E. Project,” BJ showed why he is one of R&B/Soul’s most exciting up and comers with his song, “Soul of a Woman,” and in closing he had the crowd singing along to his Grammy nominated collaboration with SchoolBoy Q, “Studio.”

Anyone that’s been to a Luke James show knows that he is one of the best in the business live, right up against veterans, the 2x Grammy nominated crooner exudes poise and showmanship. Opening with uptempos from his self-titled debut album, including “Love XYZ” and “Dancing In The Dark,” Luke performed many of his album cuts for the first time and past fan favorites from his previous EPs.

Some of his standout moments came from covers as well, including a new hard knocking remake of “Sexual Healing,” which he segued into a cover of Rae Sremmurd’s club hit “No Type,” sending the crowd into full turn-up mode. He surprised with a cover of Carl Thomas’ “I Wish,” and debuted his brand new song “Bad News.” Proving why his records resonate so well with fans, Luke delivered an outstanding live version of his single “Exit Wounds,” getting the whole audience to put their middle finger in the air and scream ‘F U’ to anyone who ever broke their heart. He closed with his Grammy nominated songs “Options,” and the now classic “I Want You.”

Another great night for R&B in NYC. Check out our exclusive photo recap below!

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Rihanna Covers ‘W Korea’ 3x for 10 Year Anniversary

Rihanna W Korea 1

Rihanna spent Valentine’s Day evening watching the NBA All-Star Saturday Night at the Barclays Center in NYC, and shortly afterward she revealed her triple cover spread for W Magazine Korea.

The 26-year-old singer looks incredible on the three covers, shot by Dennis Leupold, which celebrate the fashion publications 10th anniversary.

In the first, she looks elegant wearing a satin, mustard colored top and custom jewelery including bangles and necklaces. In the second she seduces the camera sitting in a wooden restaurant booth wearing a royal blue coat and contrasting red strappy sandals with little bows on them. On the third she wears a sexy white dress with a zip detail at the front, and white tuxedo jacket over her shoulders.

It’s not just the magazine who is celebrating a ten year milestone though, as Rihanna tweeted that it’s been 10 years since she first signed her record deal.

“And @ciarrap helped me celebrate 10 years yesterday since getting signed!! God is powerful! #trailerparkAfterDark,” she said, posting a snap of cupcakes and balloons.

Check out the other covers, and an additional shot from the issue below:

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Beyoncé, John Legend, Pharrell Williams and More Pay Tribute to Stevie Wonder


Music’s biggest stars came out to honor the incomparable Stevie Wonder for the tribute special “Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life — An All-Star Grammy Salute” at L.A.’s Nokia Theatre on Tuesday night. Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams, John Legend, Jennifer Hudson and many more hit the stage to salute the iconic singer with musical performances from his songbook.

Beyoncé kicked off the celebration with a performance of Wonder’s 1963 hit “Fingertips, Pt. 2″ before singing “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” with Ed Sheeran. Gary Clark Jr. helped them close out the medley with “Higher Ground.”

John Legend serenaded the crowd with “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever),” Lady Gaga paid tribute to Stevie with “I Wish,” and Ariana Grande and Babyface dueted on “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.”

Janelle Monáe, India.Arie, and Jill Scott, teamed up for a rousing rendition of “As,” and Pharrell Williams and Ryan Tedder jammed on “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing.”

Jennifer Hudson belted out “All Is Fair in Love,” and Ne-Yo joined Stevie’s daughter Aisha Wonder for “Isn’t She Lovely.”

Stevie himself closed out the show with a medley of hits including “Contusion,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” “Ribbon in the Sky,” and “Superstition,” and was joined onstage by his famous friends for the finale of “Happy Birthday” and “Another Star.”

The concert special will air Monday, Feb. 16, at 9 p.m. EST on CBS. Check out some photos and video clips below!

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Welcome to the new ThisIsRnB!

Welcome to the new ThisIsRnB theme!