It’s official. Nicki Minaj has joined the judges’ panel on “American Idol.”
Fox made the official announcement Sunday, confirming rumors just hours before the first round of auditions were to begin.
The “Starships” rapper will take a seat alongside previously announced judge Mariah Carey and returning judge Randy Jackson, while country superstar Keith Urban fills out the fourth chair.
“It’s official, your new #IdolJudges are @MariahCarey, @NickiMinaj, @KeithUrban & @Yo_RandyJackson!” tweeted “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest.
Nicki will be looking for “a superstar,” which is “something that can’t be defined in words.”
Meanwhile, Mariah is not sure what kind of judge she will be yet. “Am I the mean one? Am I the nice one? … It’s not about me, me, me, it’s about them [the contestants] and what I can bring to them to help guide them in the right direction,” she told the AP.
The new judges got to know one another at a dinner last night. “Everyone gave a heartfelt toast about being on the show after we ate last night. Cant wait to see the first contestants today,” said Seacrest.
Auditions begin today in New York, while the 12th season of “American Idol” premieres in January.
This morning, a French tabloid will publish topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. The magazine called “Closer” teases the exclusive on their website (quote) “Discover the incredible pictures of the future Queen of England as you've never seen before … and as you'll never see again.”
Earlier this month, she and Prince William took a vacation in France, staying at a luxurious chateau owned by the Royal Family. The paparazzi apparently snapped photos of the couple during a private moment, rubbing sunscreen on each other at the pool (quote) “And to avoid tan lines, Kate thought it all the way through … and took off her bathing suit.” There are four pages of photos of the couple.
Only last month, Prince Harry was caught partying in Las Vegas while completely naked. His punishment was to be shipped off to Afghanistan for a 4-month tour-of-duty.
[UPDATE] The Royal Family released a statement this morning to the media (quote) "The Duke and Duchess have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner. The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to the Duke and Duchess for being so."
By Nadeska Alexis with reporting by Dino Speelberg
Bronx rapper, Chi-Ali, returned home at the end of August after serving 12 years out of a 14-year prison sentence and MTV News caught up with the former Native Tongues MC out in Miami (where he kicked back with Fat Joe) for a special "RapFix Live" segment. Ali was 16 when he released his debut '92 The Fabulous Chi-Ali with the hit "Age Ain't Nothin' but a #" but, a second-degree murder charge cut his career short. Upon his return, Chi-Ali admits, "The feeling is surreal to be back."
In 2000 Chi-Ali, born Chi Ali Griffith, spent over a year eluding capture after the shooting death of his then-girlfriend's brother Sean Raymond, and he was eventually arrested on March 5, 2001 in the Bronx, New York. This week he told MTV News that those months on the road got him ready for the reality of life behind bars.
"My preparation for the bid, I believe, was done [during] the 15 months that I was on the run," he said. "I wasn't technically a fugitive, because it wasn't like I got locked up and jumped bail or anything. When the situation happened, I just left--but I knew what it was. [During] that time I spent a lot of time up and down the East Coast, and I was alone most of the time and that time really helped me prepare."
The 36-year-old says he was able to cut down a little bit of his sentence, but still tried to put some of his incarcerated time to use. "I was charged with a homicide, I ended up taking a plea deal and they lessend the charge to manslaughter in the first degree," he explained. "I was sentenced to 14 years and I did 12 years out of the 14. I got a little time off for good behavior and I got my associate's degree while I was away so they gave me six monthsextra time off."
After more than a decade behind bars, Chi-Ali had trouble explaining exactly how it felt to be free, but he tried his best. "The feeling is surreal to be back in the free world, to be among my family, kids, wife, parents, siblings...it's a feeling that words can't really describe properly, so I don't think I can do it the proper justice. Being incarcetaed is a whole different world--it's a world within itself."
It's been 16 years since Tupac Shakur died on September 13, 1996, at the age of 25, and this year's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival only reinforced the fact that the West Coast rapper has become a mythical figure--not solely for hip-hop diehards, but in the history of popular culture. Pac's hologram, appearing alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg to perform in the California desert, was alarming to some fans and a welcome sight to others, but whatever your stance, it's clear that Pac has left more than a lasting impression.
Tupac's 1996 shooting and death was the final act in a life often overshadowed by drama and controversy. On September 7, 1996, after attending a Mike Tyson heavyweight championship fight in Las Vegas (and then getting into a fight himself afterwards), the rap star was shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting. It wasn't the first time the enigmatic street poet came under fire. On November 30, 1994, Shakur was shot five times and, like a mythical urban superhero, checked himself out of the hospital against the doctor's orders, living to tell his tales through rap.
Through his music, storied acting career and overall public persona, Tupac Shakur had proved resilient, so his fans held hope that he would survive the 1996 attack that left him hospitalized for six days. But this time would be different. On Friday September 13, 1996, Tupac Amaru Shakur died due to respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. Authorities have yet to find his killer.
Born to two Black Panthers, Tupac understood poverty and black struggle, and he wasn't afraid to express it through his music. As intelligent, profound and articulate as he was in song, 'Pac also remained relatable, controversial and contradictory. So while tracks like "Brenda's Got a Baby," "Keep Ya Head Up" and "Dear Mama" were made to uplift, fiery anthems like "Hit 'Em Up," "Ambitionz Az a Ridah" and "Against All Odds" stood as chest-pounding, testosterone-filled thug anthems. Other hits like "I Get Around," "How Do U Want It" and "Toss It Up" celebrated Tupac's flirtatious side.
A double-threat, 'Pac went on to conquer Hollywood as well, beginning with a brief appearance in 1991's "Nothing But Trouble," starring Chevy Chase and Demi Moore. It was his 1992 role in the movie "Juice," however, that certified him a star. Playing the maniacal and villainous Bishop, 'Pac put his Thug Life persona on full display on the silver screen. He went on to land roles in films like "Poetic Justice" with Janet Jackson, "Above the Rim" and "Bullet," alongside Mickey Rourke.
In February 1995, the rapper/actor began serving a prison sentence at Clinton Correctional Facility in New York after he was sentenced on a sexual abuse charge in a rape case he faced the previous year. When he released his third solo album, Me Against the World, a month later, 'Pac became the first artist to score a #1 album on the Billboard 200 albums chart from behind bars.
Later that year, Death Row Records CEO Marion "Suge" Knight posted bail pending Tupac's appeal and signed the rapper to his label, where he went on to release his first double LP All Eyez on Meand, under the alias Makaveli, his The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory(which came out months after his death). While he was creating what many agree was the best music of his career, this period in 'Pac's life was marked by the feud he ignited with the Notorious B.I.G. and Diddy's Bad Boy Records. B.I.G. was gunned down six months after Shakur, on March 9, 1997. While many speak of the two rap deaths in the same regard, there is no concrete evidence to link the two. B.I.G.'s murder is also unsolved.
After his death, Tupac's legacy lives, particularly with the eight posthumous albums that have been released, including a double-disc greatest hits collection. He has been immortalized in film, books and even college courses, as well as through the works of musicians who have come after him. Traces of 'Pac can be found in nearly almost every rapper from 50 Cent to T.I. Jay-Z, Eminem, Fabolous and Cam'ron have all sampled from Shakur, and non-rap artists like Justin Bieber have claimed to be fans.
In his death he has remained firmly rooted as a hip-hop legend, but at the same time his legend has surpassed musical genre. Tupac Shakur was more than a rapper or poet or a thespian; he is a motivator, an inspiration and an American classic — even in death.
Rihanna doesn't let much time elapse between her album releases, but is the Talk That Talk singer really ready to roll out a new album before the year wraps?
The French branch of her record label, Def Jam, may have accidentally spilled the beans about her next release when they tweeted out that the singer will drop her forthcoming album in November, with a single reportedly hitting the streets as soon as Monday.
The tweet has since been deleted, Billboard.com reports, but the label has since tweeted out a new message, teasing that an announcement would be made this week. The site has translated the tweet to read, "New announcement this Thursday about Rihanna on our account."
A rep for the singer confirmed to MTV News that Rihanna does have a new album coming out but didn't provide any further details. So, it seems that fans might have to wait to learn if the rumor is true. The November release would also mean she might be going head-to-head with Christina Aguilera, who announced Wednesday (September 12) that her next album, Lotus, comes out that same month.
The release certainly does fit the Rihanna record-release formula. If the rumor ends up being true, it would mark her fourth one in as many years to come out in November. In 2009, she released Rated R, one year later she gave fans Loud and then in 2011 she released Talk That Talk.
The news comes hot on the heels of her VMA win last week, where she also took the stage and performed her Talk That Talk tracks, the A$AP Rocky-featured remix of "Cockiness (Love It)" and her winning "We Found Love." She also announced her 2013 Diamonds World Tour. The trek will kick off in March. She's only announced dates through May, but more are expected to be released soon.