Pop rocker Avril Lavigne is suing concert organisers over allegations she has yet to be paid for a gig she performed in New York City last year (13). The Sk8er Boi star alleges bosses at live streaming company 2VLive agreed to pay her $500,000 (£294,118) in three installments to perform the gig on 25 September (13) and carry out a number of promotional appearances.
In legal documents, filed at a court in Los Angeles and obtained by TMZ.com, Lavigne claims she received the first payment of $125,000 (£75,529), but has yet to be handed the rest of the money.
She is suing to recoup the cash.
"Jesus, it's all about Jesus... The family that prays together, stays together." Rapper Big Boi tells TMZ.com he credits his Christian faith with helping him repair his 12-year marriage to his wife Sherlita Patton after she filed for divorce last year (13). The couple reconciled and called off its divorce earlier this month (Jun14).
Bobby Womack's friend and collaborator Damon Albarn has joined stars including Ronnie Wood, Justin Timberlake and Ronald Isley to pay tribute to the soul legend following his death on Friday (27Jun14). The music veteran, who had suffered from Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer, passed away at the age of 70, but no further details were available as WENN went to press.
Womack's death sent the music world into mourning, prompting tributes from his famous friends and fans, including Blur star Albarn, who helped the music veteran achieve a career revival in recent years by collaborating with him on a Gorillaz track and inviting him on tour.
Albarn mourned his friend's loss in a post on Twitter.com, writing, "I will see my brother in church @RealBobbyWomack."
Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood was among the first to pay tribute to Womack, tweeting, "I'm so sad to hear about my friend Bobby Womack - the man who could make you cry when he sang has brought tears to my eyes with his passing.
"My heart goes out to his family & friends and everyone who loved his music. Bobby you will be greatly missed."
The Rolling Stones recorded Womack's song It's All Over Now.
Pop star Justin Timberlake also marked the sad news by taking to Twitter to write, "One of THE BEST to ever do it. You've inspired so much out of me and will continue to do so... #RIPBobbyWomack," while CeeLo Green added, "RIP Bobby Womack... Heroes get remembered, but legends never die #RIPBobbyWomack."
Funk legend George Clinton offered up an online message to remember Womack, along with Anita Baker and Angie Stone and fellow soul icon Ronald Isley, of the Isley Brothers, who wrote, "I am sad to hear of the passing of my long time friend Bobby Womack. He was a special person with a special talent. I will truly miss him."
Rockers including Red Hot Chili Peppers star Flea, Matt Sorum and Gerard Way also joined the flood of tributes, along with stars from the hip-hop world, led by Wyclef Jean, OutKast's Big Boi, 50 Cent, Q-Tip and Public Enemy.
Womack was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, and his passing prompted a statement from organisation officials. The message reads, "Sad to learn that soul legend and 2009 Rock and Roll HOF Inductee Bobby Womack has passed away."
Rapper Big Boi's divorce has been called off. Sherlita Patton filed for divorce from the Outkast star last year (13) and requested child support, spousal support, a split of the marital assets and attorney's fees.
However, the couple has reportedly reunited and the Ms. Jackson star and his wife were granted a request to have the divorce dropped earlier this month (Jun14), according to TMZ.com.
Big Boi, real name Antwan Andre Patton, and Sherlita were married in 2002 and have two children, aged 18 and 12.
Outkast are returning to their native Atlanta, Georgia to curate and headline a homecoming show in September (14). The duo reformed earlier this year (14) for a series of summer festivals and now Andre 3000 and Big Boi have announced plans for a huge gig in their home city.
They will front a concert at Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park on 27 September (14). Additional artists will be announced in the coming weeks.
Announcing the news on Friday (13Jun14), Big Boi says, "It's only right that we give the hometown what we've been giving the rest of the world, Atliens in ATL, homecoming! Festival Killers!"
And Andre 3000 adds, "Coming from Atlanta gave us the freedom to be whatever we ever wanted to be because no one was paying attention. Now that everyone is, we want to say thank you."
Outkast star Big Boi has signed a solo record deal with Epic Records, reuniting him with his mentor, label boss L.A. Reid. Although the rapper is back on the road with Andre 3000 as part of the hip-hop duo's reunion tour, Big Boi is already looking forward to his next solo project, in which he will reteam with Reid, who first signed the star back in 1992.
Big Boi discussed his new deal and lauded his mentor in an interview with The Huffington Post, saying, "I'm back with L.A. Reid... Got a brand new situation." He continues, "That's my mentor. He understands my music. And one thing about L.A. Reid, there are no creative restraints. He trusts my ear and lets me make the music I want to make. We love being in business together. That's my big brother."
But Big Boi is taking his time with the follow-up to his 2012 Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumours record, as Outkast's 20th anniversary tour continues through to October (14). He explains, "The album, I'm not gonna rush. I wanted to put something out before the end of the year. It depends, because me and Dre (Andre) got a lot of work to do from now until the end of October. But you're definitely going to get some brand new Big Boi material. Two or three singles before the fall."
Organisers of the CounterPoint Music and Arts Festival in Georgia were forced to keep Outkast fans waiting on Sunday (27Apr14) after heavy rain delayed the reunited rap duo's set by over an hour. Andre 3000 and Big Boi returned to their home state for the third date on their comeback tour, but the gig was almost a washout due to the inclement weather, which prompted officials to temporarily suspend performances during the final day of the festival.
The hip-hop stars finally took the stage more than an hour later than scheduled and delivered a high-energy set to help lift soaked fans' spirits, performing hits like B.O.B., Ms. Jackson, So Fresh, So Clean and Player's Ball, and bringing out special guests including singer Janelle Monae and rappers Sleepy Brown and Killer Mike.
Sympathising with the wet crowd during the show, Andre 3000 said, "I know you're all muddy and dirty. And I know y'all are going to want to go home and take a shower."
Outkast's homecoming concert also featured a tribute to late pal Pimp C, who died in 2007. The duo played a snippet of his band UGK's track International Player's Anthem (I Choose You).
Outkast kicked off their reunion tour at the Coachella music festival in Indio, California earlier this month (Apr14).
Japanese officials have thrown their support behind Avril Lavigne after she was accused of promoting racial stereotypes in her new music video. The Sk8er Boi hitmaker released the promo for Hello Kitty on Wednesday (23Apr14) and Lavigne received a negative backlash over her depiction of Japanese culture in the music video, which features expressionless Asian girls posing as her backing dancers.
Lavigne defended her work on Twitter.com, insisting the promo is not "racist" and she simply wanted to express her love for the country, and now officials at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. have given their support to the singer. A spokesman tells TMZ.com that Lavigne had "only good intentions when making the video," adding that they hope the "discussions surrounding her song and music video results in more people discovering the beautiful and rich culture of Japan."
When Avril Lavigne's video for her new single "Hello Kitty" hit the net, the reaction was swift and unkind. There was the claims of racism for Lavigne's objectification of expressionless Asian backup dancers to claims of intellectual plagiarism for the similarities with Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" video.
The video, with its candy-colored (one sequence is set in what looks like a Sanrio store) backgrounds and funhouse props, is about as misguided an attempt at trying to be hip as you'll ever find. And one giant problem is the song itself.
Come, Come, Kitty, Kitty
With lyrics like "Come, come, kitty, kitty," and "Let's play truth or dare now, we can roll around in our underwear," it might be the worst use of double entendre and sexual innuendo in the history of music.
When asked about the song's meaning by Digital Spy in October, and whether or not the "kitty" in question was meant to represent a part of her anatomy, Lavigne said, "Obviously it's flirtatious and somewhat sexual, but it's genuinely about my love for Hello Kitty!"
Well, sure, because the line "I wanna do everything with you together, come play with Kitty and me" sounds like it's referring to a Japanese cat with a hair ribbon.
WWMD (What Would Miley Do)
The problem is that Lavigne is trying to have her cupcake and eat it too, which doesn't work in a world where Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus fight for social media attention. Lavigne didn't need to be as overt as hard rockers like The Who ("Squeeze Box") or AC/DC ("Big Balls") but she at least needed to commit as much as Madonna or Pink.
The lyrics of the song call for one thing: winking knowledge of the innuendo at play. But the way that Lavigne handles it, both in the song and the video, provide nothing. In the video, Lavigne is frequently just as expressionless as her dancers; apart for a bounce here or there, she barely moves. If Cyrus were doing the song, for instance, there would be no doubt of the double-meaning. The video would've featured a slumber party orgy with the entire cast of a touring production of Cats.
Why, Avril, Why?
What's sad is that Lavigne feels the need to play this game at all. When she first started out, she was the pop antithesis to Britney Spears, singing about her "Sk8ter Boi." She's been down this road before with trying to find a niche somewhere between Stefani and Pink, most noticeably on her "Girlfriend."
You wish that Lavigne would work harder to find a niche that's separate and different from her contemporaries. Putting out something that appears to be nothing more than an attention grab — how else do you explain releasing the weakest track from her eponymous album as a single? — she's made herself look a little bit desperate.
At the very least, if she's going to do a video for a song with a double entendre title and sexual innuendo lyrics, then she needs to really commit to it. In today's musical landscape, female artists don't straddle the fence anymore. They jump into everything with everything they have. Hopefully, Lavigne won't do anything as egregiously bad as "Hello Kitty" again, but if she does, here's hoping that she at least fully owns it.
Pop star Avril Lavigne has defended the Japanese-themed music video for her new song Hello Kitty after she was accused of racism. The Sk8er Boi hitmaker released a teaser for the promo online on Tuesday (22Apr14), and the clip features Lavigne in a candy store as four expressionless Asian girls pose as her backing dancers, exaggerating Japan's kawaii (cute) culture.
The footage quickly became a talking point on Twitter.com, with some critics accusing the star of using racial stereotypes. Hours after the release, the hashtag #avrilracist became a trending topic on the social media site. Lavigne was left baffled by the allegations and took to her own Twitter page on Wednesday (23Apr14) to explain her decision to focus on Japanese culture.
She wrote, "Racist??? LOLOLOL (laugh out loud)!!! I love Japanese culture and I spend half of my time in Japan. "I flew to Tokyo to shoot this video specifically for my Japanese fans, WITH my Japanese label, Japanese choreographers AND a Japanese director IN Japan."