Posted in GQ, GQ British Magazine, GQ Magazine, Gracing Pages, magazine, newstands, photos, pictures, Rihanna

Gracing Pages: Unseen Photos of Rihanna in British GQ

Rihanna is the R&B sweetheart who bloomed into a multi-platinum pop bombshell. Check out GQ.com‘s exclusive photos from Simon Emmett‘s explosive shoot with the good girl gone bad after the jump.

To see more pictures and read the revelatory interview with the singer, buy the new issue of British GQ.

The January 2011 issue of British GQ is out now, priced £3.99.

Check out the sexy unseen photos of Rihanna below…

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Photo source: GQ.com

Posted in "Love The Way You Lie", 'Rude Boy', All On The Cover, Chris Brown, Marie Claire UK, Matt Kemp, newstands, Rihanna

All On The Cover: Rihanna Covers Marie Claire UK

Rihanna covers the December 2010 Issue of Marie Claire UK, and if I must say so myself, she looks stunning. In her interview she talks about when she realized it was really over between Chris Brown and herself. She also talks about the new man in her life, Matt Kemp and how she can never seems to stop smiling when she’s with him.

EXCLUSIVE Marie Claire UK Interview: Rihanna on surviving the bad times and how she is happier and stronger than ever

She’s the toast of the music industry and the hottest talent around. Introducing our stunning December cover star, Rihanna. We caught up with the “Rude Boy” superstar to talk about surviving the bad times, learning to love her imperfections, and how she is happier and stronger than ever.

And as she sparkles for the cameras, debuting new fiery red hair (‘she has been dying to go red for years,’ says make-up artist Karen Darnell) you’d certainly never guess it has been such a hard year for Rihanna.

On her on her much publicised romance with Chris Brown.

‘Eventually, I remember waking up one day and I knew I was over it.’

‘One day. I remember I was in New York at the Trump Hotel and I woke up and I just knew I was over it.’

But after coming out of it the other side, the songstress admits she’s a different person now.

On almost losing herself and how she bounced back

‘I was very lost. I have to say I felt really confused,’ she says, her eyes welling up.‘I hate talking about it but it was really crazy because I felt so out of touch with myself and when that happens… It’s scary because nothing you say or do feels like it’s you.

‘You just lose touch of everything that you love and everything that you would normally do; how you would dress or how you would say something… It just feels like it’s not coming from you. It’s just this one empty vase. I felt like an empty vessel.’

On recording with Eminem and how she related it to her own personal life

With all that she’s been through, some critics have questioned her recent appearance on the Eminem single, ‘Love The Way You Lie’ and how, in their view, it glamorises domestic violence. Rihanna has no regrets.

‘He [Eminem] confronted himself on it. He basically gives insight into what goes on in the mind of a couple in a domestically violent relationship. I love that in every verse it just gets to that point where she wants to leave, she wants to leave, she leaves, she leaves, she leaves… but then the hook always comes back’

Did she relate to that on a personal level? ‘Absolutely. Absolutely! Every word in that song is true. It would take somebody who’s been on the inside to understand how magical those lyrics are.

‘Everybody loves the song but the lyrics can never hit home until you’ve seen it, witnessed it, in your home or experienced it yourself.’

On her relationship with Matt Kemp

Despite it all, the drama and the tears, Rihanna is relieved to have finally come out the other side, adding

‘I’m just… I feel like… I smile for real this time.’

I’m so happy for Rihanna. She’s a real inspiration to a lot of young girls. I’m glad she finally set the record straight as to how she felt when she was going through a rough path in the past.

Source: Marie Claire UK

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Posted in 'Friday Night Lights', All On The Cover, Esquire Magazine, magazine, Minka Kelly, newstands

All On The Cover: Minka Kelly Covers Esquire

Minka Kelly named Sexiest Woman Alive 2010 by Esquire

‘Friday Night Lights’ star Minka Kelly is Esquire’s 2010 Sexiest Woman Alive. She is featured in a steamy phototshoot for Esquire magazine November 2010 issue in which actress talks about herself, growing up, what it’s like to be 30, and growing up the daughter of a stripper.

30-year-old Minka Kelly has posed in variety of sexy lingerie in provocative poses heating up the chilly season, showing off that she well deserves the title. Minka’s Esquire photos are so sexy and it perfectly shows why she was is entitled Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive 2010.

On cover page of Esquire, Minka Kelly dons gray crop top and low-rise jeans showing off her toned abs.

On Growing up, Minka Kelly says:

My mom lived a fast life. It was all about what we could do to have fun with nothing. She – for most of my life, she was a dancer. An exotic dancer. She was a stripper. Um, so she would come home at like three, four o’clock in the morning, and sometimes she would have a really great night, and so she would wake me up in the middle of the night and we’d go to Ralphs and go grocery shopping. And that was so much fun. We’d have the whole grocery store to ourselves, and we would have a blast and buy a hundred dollars in groceries. And it was just the best day ever. The best day.”

On Turning 30 Minka Kelly says:

It is a big one and I love it. I think it’s the most exciting birthday I think I’ve ever had. I’m so excited to be a woman. Done with the twenties. I’m confident – confident in my skin, and I’m cool with my flaws and all that stuff. It just feels nice to be at peace with yourself. I think my thirtieth birthday gave me permission to have all that. The twenties were a pain in the ass – figuring it all out. What am I doing? Where do I go?

 

Posted in "Last Girl on Earth Tour", "Loud", "Love The Way You Lie", "S&M”, 'Rated R', 'Doritos Late Night', 'Last Girl On Tour', 'Pon De Replay’, 'So Kodak', All On The Cover, Avril Lavigne, “Cheers”, “Fading Away”, “Firework”, “Hot Toddy”, “Man Down”, “Not Myself Tonight”, “Only Girl (In The World)”, “Only Girl”, “Peacock”, “rebelle fleur”, “What's My Name”, Battleship, Billboard Magazine, Currently Reading, Drake, Ester Dean, Gabriela Schwartz, IDJMG, Julie Pilat, Katy Perry, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, newstands, Nicki Minaj, Peter Berg, Reb’l Fleur, Rihanna, Saturday Night Live, Tor Erik Hermansen

All On The Cover: Rihanna Covers Billboard Magazine

This is definitely Rihanna‘s moment to shine. She has been spotted globally everywhere promoting her new album ‘LOUD’. She has also just  joined the Kodak team as its newest spokesperson for their ‘So Kodak’ campaign as well as the ‘Doritos Late Night’ campaign. You can now check her out gracing the the cover of Billboard Magazine. Below I have a few excerpts as well as photos magazine scans from her feature.

Excerpts after the jump….

It’s been just six weeks since Rihanna’s wax figure was unveiled, but already it needs a makeover. The creepily life-like sculpture, which assumed its place in Madame Tussaud’s Washington, D.C., outpost on Aug. 31, immortalizes the biker chick-meets-”Blade Runner” look that the pop star rocked this past winter: shoulder-padded blazer, airtight corset, shimmery makeup and a haircut that only she could pull off, part-buzz cut and part-blonde-streaked, sideways swoop.

But Rihanna has moved on since then, now sporting mostly shoulder-length, barrel-curled locks in a shade twice as fluorescent as fire-engine red. Her new look is less severe, more romantic. A day after the figure’s unveiling, a photograph of the Barbadian singer kissing her waxen self appeared on Twitter and made it abundantly clear how much she’s changed.

“A lot of people dress like Lady Gaga now. I’ve just stepped off into a whole new look and style,” Rihanna says calmly, phoning in just before a flight to London after a nonstop week of work and play in New York. “The whole shoulder pad thing, and the architectural look, is so sharp-edged and tough. I’m over that. I like floral prints now, which I never liked.

“Trends are boring,” she adds. “It’s boring to see everyone doing the same thing.”

On the bluntly titled, Stargate-produced and Ester Dean-penned “S&M,” for example, Rihanna proudly claims her vices: “I may be bad, but I’m perfectly good at it/Sex in the air, I don’t care, I love the smell of it/Sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me.” On “Cheers,” a twangy bar song that samples Avril Lavigne, she name-checks Jameson Irish whiskey and chants, “Cheers to the freakin’ weekend-drink to that!” “Man Down,” a reggae song featuring rap provocateur Nicki Minaj, turns her into the protagonist of her own murder fantasy. “I took his heart when I pulled out that gun . . . rum-puh-pah-pum, man down . . . oh mama, I just shot a man down.”

“At this point, there’s no denying that she’s more than a cool voice, a pretty face and a hot style,” says Stargate’s Tor Erik Hermansen, who with Mikkel Storleer Eriksen make up the Norwegian duo. “She has a swagger which is unbelievable.”

Hermansen says Rihanna pinpointed “Only Girl” as her lead single “the minute she heard the song. She picks and chooses everything, which to me is crucial. And she has good taste.”

“This is the truest Rihanna album yet because it sounds the most like her first one,” Reid continues. “[2005 debut single] ‘Pon De Replay,’ that was obviously Rihanna at her purest, with that Caribbean-flavored dance-pop music. After that, she went in many different directions only to find herself right back where she really started. Though I think the songs are much better now. Her growth as a vocalist is really evident.”

Rihanna Moves On from Chris Brown

While ‘Loud’ is a crucial album for Rihanna in the wake of lower-than-usual sales for ‘Rated R,’ Reid says the latter album was really her most pivotal. “The last one, to us, that was the one. She was brave. She was speaking what she felt at that moment, and it didn’t matter who came with a song that we thought was a hit. Every song had to tell the story she wanted to tell. ‘Loud’ is the album where she doesn’t have a point to prove. She can just have fun and be Rihanna.”

The singer wholeheartedly agrees. ” ‘Rated R’ showed that I wasn’t a shallow artist,” she says. “I have some depth. There was definitely some growth, going through that dark moment in my life.”

Rihanna never refers to her relationship with Brown in specifics and says she “definitely” prefers to let “Love the Way You Lie” speak for itself, which of course is made easier by the fact that it’s not on her own album. “It’s kind of like the closing to that chapter, and now we’re in a new stage,” she says.

“What happened in her personal life, the way she handled it and worked through it, is truly amazing,” Hermansen says. “As tragic as that was, just to see how she grew as a person and an artist, I think the whole world looked at that and said, ‘OK, this girl is no joke.’ ”

GETTING ‘LOUD’

This isn’t an accomplishment that her label takes lightly, though Reid believes there’s a catch. “She’s clearly multiformat, but the challenge is, which format is hers? As a recording artist, you can have a hit and be a visitor to each format, but to have true artistic success you have to own it. I think she owns rhythm and top 40, but we do suffer a little because we don’t have urban on lock. When you have a black girl from the islands, you want to have urban on lock. So one of the goals that we had was to not force that, but to try and make records we thought were hits and where she could shine.”

“The challenge is complicated when you’re making music that sonically appeals to a dance/top 40 audience,” WQHT (Hot 97) New York PD Ebro Darden says. “When Rihanna makes music that fits the appeal of hip-hop, we play it.”

Julie Pilat, assistant PD/music director for KIIS-FM Los Angeles, says that Rihanna’s multiformat appeal “seems like more of a strength than a weakness,” adding that the star is “welcomed with open arms wherever she goes.”

“I wanted songs that only I can do, not generic songs that everyone else could sing,” Rihanna says. Her collaborations with Dean went a long way in this regard, no doubt in part because both are young, successful female pop hitmakers of color in a heavily male-dominated field.

Dean, who specializes in rhythmic pop songs with a naughty streak (her most recent work includes Usher’s “Hot Toddy,” Katy Perry’s “Peacock” and “Firework,” and Aguilera’s “Not Myself Tonight”, co-wrote “S&M,” “Fading Away” and “What’s My Name,” which will be the second single off “Loud.” She says Rihanna’s biggest strength is that “she doesn’t try to sound like you; she sounds like herself. She’s not in there trying to figure out how she can beat you singing your song. She goes in there and says, ‘I’m going to sing this song because I fucking love it.’ ”

“She really captured me, everything I would say and how I would say it,” Rihanna says of Dean. “Some people get it halfway right. She just gets it and knows exactly what you want to hear.”

Rihanna may not do much of her own songwriting, but by all accounts she was more active than ever in guiding the creative choices for “Loud.” Writing camps took place several months ago in Los Angeles and Miami, where Rihanna, who nearly always uses “we” when discussing the making of her album, says about 100 writers and producers were invited to collaborate and craft songs for consideration. “We gave them guidelines and a bunch of topics,” she says. “We’d have 10 writers in one room and five writers in another room and put them with one producer, then split the group up and put them with another producer.”

“Obviously those are extreme conditions to create something under,” Hermansen says, “but we enjoyed the urgency of the whole project.”

Rihanna Hits the Studio With Drake

For her recent collaboration with Drake, a remix of “What’s My Name” that will appear on “Loud” as a bonus track, Rihanna personally presented the track to the Canadian MC. “She played the record to Drake backstage somewhere to try to get him on a verse,” Hermansen says. “She’s calling me up saying, ‘Where are the files?’ That’s one thing you don’t hear often from artists on her level.”

“Drake is the hottest rapper out right now,” Rihanna says, “and we’ve always been trying to work together. He’s the only person I thought could really understand the melody of the song, and the minute he heard it he said, ‘I know exactly what I’m going to do. I love it.’ And he did it like three days later.”

Much of the actual recording was done while Rihanna was on the road for her “Last Girl on Earth tour,” which kicked off in April in Europe and wrapped in August in the United States. (It will resume early next year in Australia.)

DIRECT TO FAN

Rihanna is the first to admit that making a personal connection with her fans hasn’t been her strong suit up to now. “I just felt like there was this big distance with us,” she says. “You know, they love me, they love how I dress and they move to my music, but they don’t really know who I am.”

That started to change in late August when Rihanna took over her Twitter account, which before had only been used to issue formal announcements. “No more corny label tweets!” she declared, and soon she was going even more direct, announcing the title of her new album in a live chat on fan site RihannaDaily.com. “I just got on there and started talking. Some of them didn’t believe that it was me, like, ‘Oh, fake Rihanna,’ ” she says of the first time she visited the chat. “So I got my best friend to Facebook RihannaDaily so they knew it was really me.”

Rihanna utilized Twitter and Facebook to debut her album cover at the end of September, posting partial images of the artwork on the social networks, then directing fans to her official website RihannaNow.com for the full reveal.

“Fan engagement is a huge driver for us,” IDJMG senior director of marketing Gabriela Schwartz says. “We had a lot of fun with our digital rollout for ‘Rated R,’ which was more about intrigue, countdowns, teasers and building anticipation. This is ‘Loud’ and it’s inclusive, it’s in your face and immediate, which is exactly what the album represents.”

As for other high-profile looks, Rihanna is booked to perform on ABC’s “Good Morning America” fall concert series Nov. 17, the day after “Loud” streets, and on the Halloween episode of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”

For the first time, Rihanna is also delving into other sectors of the industry. She’ll launch her first fragrance, titled Reb’l Fleur (a play on words from a tattoo on her neck that reads “rebelle fleur” next spring, and she’s currently filming scenes for “Battleship,” an action movie directed by Peter Berg.

“My favorite part has been shooting in the ocean,” Rihanna gushes, sounding her most excited. “We were going at top speed, and I had to shoot this really badass weapon off the front of the boat. There was gunpowder all in my mouth by the time it finished.”

Rihanna has a stuntwoman for her more daring scenes, but per usual, she’s more likely to take charge. “They always want me to sit down when the dangerous stuff happens, but I am a control freak,” Rihanna says. “So I said, ‘No.’ She doesn’t do it like I would do it.”

For full feature check out Billboard.com

Posted in All On The Cover, Complex Magazine, Currently Reading, Drake, Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne, newstands, Toshitaka Kondo, Young Money

All On The Cover: Nicki Minaj Covers Complex Magazine

It’s official: Complex has the fall on lock. On Friday they set the Internet ablaze with the infamous and oh so into depth cover story featuring none other than, Kid Cudi, and now it’s time to lace you with the other side of their October/November 2010 issue. For their first cover ever with Nicki Minaj, they stated:

“We wanted to do something different from her typical cartoonish caricatures—hence the sexy, understated black and white shoot”.

For the interview, Complex’s Toshitaka Kondo spoke with Nicki about questions surrounding her sexual orientation, her relationship with Drake, Wayne and on why she stopped saying “no homo” but still likes “pause.”

Check out some excerpts from the interview below after the jump….


About her success:

Absolutely. A lot of people don’t know I wrote all the hooks on the album. I arranged the music, did the transitions. [Other female rappers] are told what to do, but I run my entire empire; I don’t think people would expect that.”

Talks Wayne:

“He really hasn’t had any involvement on it. But to be honest, the album doesn’t sound like Wayne. I mean, he’s my biggest influence, but it doesn’t sound like Wayne’s stuff. It sounds like Nicki.”

I always keep Nicki Minaj separate from Young Money. I allow Wayne to call the shots when we do group albums, but when I do other things and have other choices, I don’t necessarily need everyone’s go-ahead. I write my own raps, I go in the studio by myself. There are some female rappers who can’t go in the studio unless they have a ghostwriter sitting right next to them. I’m the complete opposite—I’ll go in and ghostwrite for someone.”

He’s definitely told me, “Yo, leave that bullshit alone. That’s for people who ain’t got shit else to do.” I’ve watched Wayne handle himself so well. I’ve seen people take shot after shot after shot at him and if it fazed him, I never saw it. People take shots because they’re hoping for a little bit of your energy. They need fuel.”

Talks Drake:

He told me he said something about me on a verse, but I didn’t think it would be anything like that. He let me hear it for the first time when we did Jay’s show at Madison Square Garden, the day before Wayne had to go to jail—that night he let me hear it on the headphones. But you know what else he told me he wrote for me? The Alicia Keys song “I’m Ready.” I happen to love the song. I never told anyone that, I hope he won’t get mad that I said that.”

“You have no idea how much I love them. We joke around. That’s the thing about Young Money, we will say a lot of crazy shit in the press but we will get around each other and start cracking up laughing like brothers and sisters. Drake is a playboy. He probably told mad bitches he wrote them songs for ’em.”

They always ask me to hook them up with something!”

Well, no, Drake knows better. [Laughs.] Drake tries to be the suave dude and not seem pressed, but Wayne will straight-up ask: “Nick, you got something for me?”

About her sexuality:

When I rap, it’s just an extension of how I speak, and that’s how I talk. If you don’t like it, don’t listen. I’m also not going to explain something just because I said it in a rap. Take what you want from it. [In the press] I didn’t say [I don’t like women]. I said I don’t have sex with women. I don’t have sex with men right now either. If [bisexual is] what they wanna call me, then fine.”

Talks “pause” and “no homo”:

[Laughs.] I stopped saying “no homo” because a gay person said I was perpetuating homophobia, so I accepted that. I was just so used to being around my boys and them saying, “no homo,” it’s like second nature. With “pause,” it just means no sexual connotation intended. A guy can say “pause” to a girl and vice versa.”

Check out some more photos below….







Read the full interview here.

Posted in All On The Cover, Currently Reading, Kanye, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, MTV, newstands, VMA's, West’s G.O.O.D. Music family, Wiz Khalifa, XXL Magazine

All On The Cover: Kanye West Covers XXL Magazine


Kanye West will appear on the cover of XXL’s October issue, hitting newstands nationwide on September 28.

The Louis Vuitton Don penned the cover story on himself—his first article ever—and also served as the creative director of his own 40-page section in the special collector’s issue.

In his candid cover story, West speaks on the reaction he received from the infamous 2009 MTV Video Music Awards debacle.

“I stress that the incident wasn’t about Taylor personally,” he explains in the story. “And it definitely wasn’t about race. Where I messed up is, at the end of the day, it’s your show, Taylor. It’s your show, MTV.”

“The relationship with the public and with your fans is like the relationship with your girlfriend,” he adds. “How could I not, at a certain point, be like, ‘I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have been at the awards show. I’m sorry.’ Not that I don’t deserve to get beat up or change who I am inside, to make sure that that doesn’t happen again.”

Mr. West said that, following his VMA outburst, he immediately dedicated himself to the studio.

“I knew I wasn’t in a great spot publicly after the incident, but I would just block it out and work as hard as possible and let my work be my saving grace,” he shared. “In a way, I had thrown a Molotov cocktail at my own career, and it gave me an opportunity, for the first time, to go away and find out who I was. Because I felt very alone.”

In addition to Kanye’s cover story, XXL’s October issue features stories on Kid Cudi, West’s G.O.O.D. Music family, Wiz Khalifa and the top 10 producers turned rappers of all time.

Check out some more photos of Kanye below…


Be sure to pick up your copy on September 28.

Source: XXL

Posted in 'Wake Up!', ?uestlove, All On The Cover, Barack Obama, Billboard Magazine, Currently Reading, John Legend, newstands, President Barack Obama, The Roots

All On The Cover: ?uestlove & John Legend Cover Billboard Magazine

Billboard has done a cover story on the collaboration between John Legend and The Roots. The album is entitled ‘Wake Up!’ which drops on September 21st . The article mainly focus’ on how John Legend & ?uestlove decided to work together and give out a political message during a great time of need. This is the type of collaboration you dream of (another would be RZA and Nas which is also coming soon) and the timing is perfect considering how apathetic people right now. Even if you aren’t too political you will be rewarded with great music but if you listen carefully you’ll also get some messages on life that you may just need to hear. You can stream the entire album below so hopefully this holds us over until September 21st when we can actually pick up the album.

America seems to always be at war,” John Legend muses as he casually plinks the keys of his piano at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg. “While politicians go home safe to their families, we’ve got a government willing to sacrifice people’s lives every day.”

Check out a few excerpts from their interview below after the jump…

About the Album:

Legend: It is a different climate, but I think it makes the album even more relevant now. You would think now that we have a black president, everything’s all good, but there has been more racial tension than ever before. A lot of people feel like they’re losing grip of what America used to be. They long for a bygone era when America was whiter, when it was more Christian, when it was more this, more that — they long for a more traditional America. You see that conversation, that battle, being had in America right now, so it feels like these songs are super relevant, even more so than in 2008.

Thompson: Absolutely. There’s a song that deals with patriotism, which connects to what’s going on in New York with the mosque near ground zero. “Hang on in There” deals specifically with the definition of an American: “Do you consider me an African American like you consider yourself an American?” Every day, new subjects and ideas are being raised that make this album relevant.

About meeting President Obama:

Thompson: Every time I saw him, he ragged on me about my hair. The first words that came out of his mouth to me were, “Man, you haven’t cut that thing yet?” I’m almost certain that at the end of this project, a performance at the White House is in order. I’m putting that out there.

Legend: He’s a fan of hip-hop and R&B. He’s made that pretty clear in some of the conversations he’s had about his iPod, and he knew how to wipe the dirt off his shoulder, so clearly he’s pop culture aware. I think President Obama will dig this album.

Their Next Move:

Legend: I’m starting the next solo album now. Kanye and I are executive producers together. I also worked on Kanye’s album a little bit, on the “Power” remix and other stuff. But God only knows what Kanye is actually going to put on the album and what’s going to be on the other five-song album he’s putting out.

Thompson: We’re actually considering doing a children’s record next, with “Yo Gabba Gabba!” Kirk [Douglas], our guitarist, was a kindergarten teacher before he joined the group and he has at least 200 songs in his arsenal-great, noncondescending kid songs like the real smart stuff that came from “The Electric Company.” Kirk’s a genius about making kids songs.

Between that and “Wake Up!,” it seems like the Roots are consciously reaching out to a younger generation.

Thompson: When I was a kid listening to the stuff we cover on “Wake Up!,” I was 2 or 3 years old. My mom and dad and sister constantly fed me music, and that planted the seed. So I hope there’s a parent out there that takes to this record and plays it a lot for their kid, and that this becomes the soundtrack to some 3-year-old in 2010 who will be a 23-year-old in 2030 and say, “Man, I grew up on this record.”

Read the entire article here.

Listen To A Full Stream of “Wake Up!”:
{“Wake Up!” John Legend and The Roots by billboard}

Source: Billboard