Tag Archives: successful celebrities

Justin Timberlake’s ‘The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2’ Review: Album Of The Year?

13 Jul

The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2

Not many musicians would release a second album just six months after a massively successful one and a sold-out stadium tour with the reigning King of Hip Hop, Jay Z. But most musicians aren’t Justin Timberlake. “The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2” unfathomably tops its predecessor with an operatic exploration of soul, country, funk, R&B swaddled in JT’s legendary charisma.

If “The 20/20 Experience” was about the simple act of falling in love, 2 of 2 encapsulates the complicated work of sustaining it. The initial seduction is explored in the “Thriller”-esque “True Blood” and the ode to bedroom stripteases “Cabaret” featuring Drake. The darker times when love and hate are one in the same are referenced in the pain-smudged bluesy stunner “Drink You Away” and the scathingly badass rock-soul hybrid “Only When I Walk Away.” The sunny “Not A Bad Thing” details the happily ever after.

As with Experience, most songs are at least five minutes long with extended outros, which can enhance a track’s strengths or exaggerate its weakenesses. The last minutes of “Only When I Walk Away” is the audible equivalent to cubism, a raw, wild exploration of sound with robust drums and a funked up vocals. The closing riffs of “Not A Bad Thing” is another song entirely about flitting off in a cocoon of love, featuring Timberlake’s caramel voices, an acoustic guitar and a lush orchestra. On the flipside, the additional minutes renders the monstrous banger “True Blood” a little anemic.

Timberlake may rely a little too heavily on uber-producer Timbaland’s mad-scientist production, however, he also proves that beyond the smoke and mirrors burns an inferno of talent. 2 of 2 features Timberlake’s freest and strongest vocals of his career. The frills-free “Drink You Away” is unabashed Memphis soul steeped in a gritty country riff. And “You Got It On”-a showcase of Timberlake’s golden falsetto that rivals that of Maxwell and even the King of Pop himself-is a throwback to classic babymaking R&B. Along with the haunting “Amnesia,” these songs provide the ballads and slow tempos that the breezy “The 20/20 Experience” lacked.

As a whole, “The 20/20 Experience” is undoubtedly a platinum gem in Timberlake’s treasure-trove of a career, and more than likely the best album of the year. It also emphatically solidifies JT as an iconic musician among the greats that influenced him. Most artists directly reference their idols, but Timberlake’s varied inspirations resonate in the space between beats and the breaths between notes. While the musicality and vocals pay homage to Michael Jackson, Queen, Al Green, Marvin Gaye and others, the provocative execution is entirely Timberlake.

Grade: A+

Check out Timberlake’s video for “Take Back The Night.” “The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2” is available on iTunes and in stores now.

Photo Credits: RCA Recrods

‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ Leads 2013 Saturn Awards Nominations

5 Jun

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will lead the way at the 2013 Saturn Awards after landing nine nominations.

The Lord of the Rings prequel is up for the Best Fantasy prize alongside The Amazing Spider-Man, Life of Pi and Snow White and the Huntsman, while Jackson is shortlisted in the Best Director category with Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises), Joss Whedon (The Avengers) and Ang Lee (Life of Pi).

Best Picture Oscar favorites Argo and Zero Dark Thirty make unexpected appearances among the Best Horror/Thriller nominees – a group which also features The Impossible, The Woman in Black, Seven Psychopaths and The Cabin in the Woods, while hit movie musical Les Miserables has earned a surprise mention as a contender for the Best Action/Adventure honor.

The other nominees in that category are The Bourne Legacy, The Dark Knight Rises, Django Unchained, Skyfall and Taken 2.

In the TV categories, Fringe scored six nominations, just ahead of Dexter with five, while Breaking Bad, Falling Skies, Revolution and The Walking Dead are also among the frontrunners.

The Saturn Awards, compiled by officials from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, will be announced at a Hollywood ceremony in June.

Photo Credits: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Karyn White Makes Her Comeback with ‘Carpe Diem’

4 May

Karyn White

“I couldn’t even think or dream of anything else,” said Karyn White of what drew her to music. A multiple Grammy nominee and NAACP Image Award winner, she stepped away from performing in 1994 to focus on her family, but now she’s roaring back with the new album Carpe Diem. The singer and entrepreneur recently spoke to BFTV about what made it the right time for her to return, and what she’s learned from the journey of her career.

Karyn was not only a successful singer, but also writer and producer from the 80’s to mid 90’s, She released her self-titled debut EP in 1988, and it was certified Platinum, reaching the top spot on the Billboard R&B chart. Another album, 1991’s Ritual of Love, went Gold. She cultivated a fan base both domestic and international, including Japan, the UK and Canada. Yet she put down the microphone and found a second career in interior design and real estate. Once her daughter went off to college at Howard University, however, Karyn decided upon a return to music – one that’s kicked off by the arrival of her new album, Carpe Diem.

“I’ve grown and so it was more of an excitement,” she said when asked if she felt any pressure stepping back into the spotlight. “I know who I am even more. I’m living what I’m speaking about in my music. [That] just gave me a whole other confidence. I feel like there’s a whole bunch of ladies in their 30’s and 40’s that can identify with me.”

Yet Karyn is also quick to point out that for all the things she’s accomplished, she could not be as successful as she is alone. “”I have a great team,” she explained. “A great manager, assistant, publicist, my daughter helps me – and I think it starts there. It’s not just me.”

She’s definitely ready to make her presence felt. Carpe Diem is a reflection of Karyn’s growth as both an artist and a woman. There’s the motivating song “Seize the Day” and the empowerment track “Unbreakable,” which she says “is really where I am. I’m never going to let anyone or anything break my spirit.” She’s also proud of “My Heart Cries,” which is “an amazing composition about being a woman.” The disc also contains her cover version of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.”

The album showcases her identity as a strong woman with the benefit of both professional and life experience. “People don’t realize your youth is hard because you’re trying to find it. We really compete with ourselves,” she explained. “My production, my whole brand, I knew who I was. And it was easier than ever.”

The new Karyn White is not just a musical artist, but continues to be a multi-hyphenate, with a brand that goes across countries and platforms. With the release of the album, she’s also going back out on tour, having visited Japan and on her way to Africa and Europe before she travels the United States. In addition to that, she’s hitting the small screen, with both a TV pilot and a reality TV series. And there’s a companion book to the new album, also entitled Carpe Diem. There’s nothing Karyn won’t try, and she encourages other artists to not let anything hold them back, either.

“I definitely want to always encourage entrepreneurship and ownership,” she said. “I have a heart for people in this industry trying to make it. Always believe in yourself and don’t rely on anyone else for that. Don’t measure your success based on finances, measure it based on the happiness in your heart.”

“Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t do anything. Go after your dreams. I don’t care if you’ve had it all, been there, made mistakes, you have to seize the day. It is the time,” she continued. “I’m so excited because there’s so many talented musicians and entertainers who never get the opportunity in today’s world. Now you can create the opportunity. I respect that, I honor it and I’m excited. Music can only get better because it’s in the right hands of true artists.”

Artists like Karyn White, who is back in a big way, and this time she’s going to be making headlines for a long while to come.

You can keep up with Karyn at her official website (karynwhite.me), on Twitter (@Karyns_World), and on Facebook (KarynWhiteMusic). Carpe Diem is on iTunes and Amazon now.

For more from Brittany Frederick, visit my official website and follow me on Twitter (@tvbrittanyf).

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.

Photo Credits: PR Photos

Charlie Sheen Covers Costs Of Injured Girl’s Therapy Dog

3 May

Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen has offered to cover the costs of a therapy dog for a young teen, who was injured when she fell from an amusement park ride in 2010.

Teagan Marti suffered brain, spine, pelvis and internal injuries when she plummeted 100 feet from the Terminal Velocity attraction at Extreme World in Wisconsin after the ride’s safety nets failed.

On Thursday, the Anger Management star shelled out $10,000 to aid her in her recovery by supplying the 15 year old with a specially-trained Golden Retriever puppy, who will help her during rehabilitation.

Marti tells the Associated Press, “I think he’s a very kind person for helping me and my family and very generous.”

And her mother, Julie, insists she is beyond thankful because the family has been dealing with money problems as a result of her daughter’s high medical bills: “I’m in such disbelief. I was crying… What a guy.”

Sheen is just glad he could help, adding, “I like to pay it forward. People come into your orbit for a reason. You don’t always know what that is ahead of time, but if I ignore these requests then I don’t have any opportunity to see where these things lead us, or lead me.”

This isn’t the actor’s first random act of kindness – earlier this year he helped cover the funeral costs of a paparazzo who was killed in a car accident while trying to photograph Justin Bieber.

Photo Credits: PR Photos

The CW Renews ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ ‘Supernatural’ and ‘Arrow’

10 Apr

The Vampire Diaries

Sci-fi is the new black! The CW has renewed its strongest series in the fangtastic “The Vampire Diaries,” the superhero saga “Arrow,” and the downright demonic “Supernatural,” TVLine.com reports.

Diaries’ renewal for a fifth season was the safest best as it is the network’s most-watched show, and a spin-off called “The Originals” slated to air in April.

“Arrow,” the action-packed freshman drama based on DC Comics’ Green Arrow, was an instant hit, thanks to the talents of star Stephen Amell and those gratuitous work-out sequences.

“Supernatural,” starring Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, is The CW’s longest running show, and will be returning for its ninth season in the fall.

“We said last year that one of our goals was to establish building blocks to grow on, and now with our new hit Arrow and fan favorite Supernatural on Wednesday night, and the continued success of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, we’ve been able to do that. Not only do [all three] perform well on-air, they’re also extremely successful for us both digitally and socially. I’m thrilled to have all three shows returning to our schedule next season,” newtork president Mark Pedowitz said in a statement.

The verdicts for other shows, like “Nikita” and “90210,” will be decided this spring.

Arrow

Supernatural

Photo Credits: The CW Network

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