The most exciting recent musical development in R&B has less to do with its beat than what's floating above it. The synth-led humidity the genre has absorbed via the likes of Frank Ocean, Drake (and his producer, Noah "40" Shebib), the Weeknd, and Miguel is shaping the commercial genre before our ears in a way that hasn't happened since Timbaland revolutionized it by making it skitter during the last half of the ‘90s. Mood music actually sounds moody again.
Tonight, Dancing with the Stars began its two-day finale with the season's last performance episode. After doing "redemption" dances, the final three performed freestyle routines. Predictably, Bristol Palin's effort—a Chicago cage dancing copycat—failed on multiple levels. Watch inside.
Tonight, we witnessed possibly the most shocking—and controversial—elimination in Dancing with the Stars history when Brandy was sent home, making way for Bristol Palin to compete in next week's final. Also: the audience booed. Loudly! The video, inside.
Jennifer Aniston turns 41 today (even though she celebrated the occasion last weekend with Gerard Butler). The woman who could have been a heartbeat away from becoming president, still thinks she has a chance in 2012, and whose name we cannot even type without feeling nauseous, is turning 46. Sheryl Crow is 48. Brandy is turning 31. Mr. Burt Reynolds will be blowing out 74 candles on top of his cake today. Kelly Rowland is celebrating her 29th. Actress Carey Lowell is 49. Legendary British fashion designer Mary Quant is 76. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is turning 57. The always classy Aubrey O'Day turns 26. And Twilight actor and tween hearthrob Taylor Lautner turns 18 today.
Barry Diller riding his bike around town yesterday ... Rachel Weisz walking in the East Village ... Mario Batali hanging out with son Benno in the Village ... Dustin Hoffman and his daughter shopping in Soho ...Tobey Maguire pushing daughter Ruby in a stroller down Fifth Avenue ... Brad Pitt taking Pax and Maddox to lunch at Mars 2112 in Times Square ... Russell Brand shopping in SoHo ... Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger walking downtown ... Hugh Jackman tossing around a ball in the Village ... Robert Redford and Sibylle Szaggars shopping on Madison Avenue ... Angelina Jolie shooting scenes for Salt outside St. Barth's Church on Park ... Fergie leaving a building in Midtown ... Taylor Momsen standing on the set of Gossip Girl ... Alec Baldwin leaving the Waverly Inn ... and Rihanna, Jay-Z, Beyonce and Brandy going to dinner at the Spotted Pig.
It's a day that tabloids have been counting down to for months now—Jennifer Aniston turns 40 today. Others celebrating: Sarah Palin is 45. Jeb Bush is 56. Sheryl Crow is 47. Brandy is turning 30. Kelly Rowland is celebrating her 28th. Carey Lowell, the actress and wife of Richard Gere, is turning 48. BMG chief exec Barry Weiss is 50. IAC's Michael Jackson is 51. Interior designer Kitty Hawks is 63. British fashion designer Mary Quant is 75. Aubrey O'Day is celebrating her 25th. And Burt Reynolds is 73.
From Vibe magazine: "The December 2008 issue also features an exclusive interview with R&B superstar Brandy, providing the first look into her life after her fatal car accident and a four-year hiatus from the spotlight. 'I really didn’t know what to do. I was in limbo for a long time,' she says of the tragedy. 'I didn’t go outside for months.'" Coffins are hard to claw out of.
That's a relief! Brandy won't face charges for involuntary vehicular manslaughter, so says the Los Angeles City Attorney's office. Brandy is no doubt relieved that she won't have to hire an army of lawyers to defend her in court against criminal charges, and can instead put it all towards the civil suit, a possible settlement, and a medium Pinkberry with no toppings purchased with what's left.[MSNBC]
Great news for everyone who knew deep in their hearts that beloved Moesha star Brandy would never intentionally mow down someone on the highway: She may not have! Potentially exculpatory evidence in her ongoing fatal fender-render investigation might have her appraising the talents of mother-and-son plate spinning teams on America's Got Talent faster than you can say "Hey, that guy's selling oranges. I've been meaning to get some—OH MY GOD!" TMZ reports:
Today, TMZ broke the news that Moesha star and sometime filler of the token seat on the View Brandy had struck another car with her Land Rover, which then struck another car whose driver was killed. We joked that everyone would soon forget all about the incident, just like they did when sometime Noxema spokesgal and wife of someone on Grey's Anatomy Rebecca Gayheart hit and killed a 9 year old in 2001. But that's just the tip of the 'famous people who have killed with their cars then gone on to be famous like nothing ever happened' iceberg . . .
Enjoy this cringe-inducing Best Week Ever montage of Barbara Walters's inability to keep her hands off the hair of recent guests of color on The View. Both popstar/starlet Brandy and TV hostess Tanika Ray get the business, enduring creepy hair-tugging and light caresses. Black people are different in all kinds of ways!
Brandy's life, which after Moesha had seemingly peaked with her current judging position on America's Got Talent, is about to take a turn for the worst: the otherwise forgettable young lady will assume the role of "token" on The View both today and Friday. Barbara Walters is implementing an awkward rotation of women to make up for the absence of Star Jones (may she rest in peace), and those proverbial "insiders" tell People that Brandy's turn in the henhouse is "for consideration for the permanent gig." While we've no idea who the other candidates are (aside from last week's Substitute Star, Renee Elise Goldsberry), Brandy certainly stands a chance as the show's next smiley and innocuous African-American, sure to create great, boring television with the smiley and innocuous Elizabeth Hasselbeck.