Pharrell Williams has recruited R&B superstar Alicia Keys to join him as a guest mentor on U.S. reality show The Voice. Keys will help the Happy hitmaker turn his crop of talented wannabes into stars when the TV talent competition returns to the small screen in September (14).
The two stars will go up against fellow judges Adam Levine and his top advisor Stevie Nicks, Gwen Stefani and her rocker husband Gavin Rossdale, and Blake Shelton and Little Big Town.
Keys and Williams previously collaborated on It's On Again, the theme song for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie, while they also worked on the duet Know Who You Are, which featured on the superproducer and Oscar-nominated singer's recent album G I R L.
Gwen Stefani has recruited her husband, Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale, as her top adviser on U.S. talent show The Voice. The No Doubt star will be standing in for pregnant Christina Aguilera when the U.S. TV talent show returns later this year (22Sep14) and she has asked her man to help her make stars out of her group of wannabes.
Confirming the news in a tweet on Monday (14Jul14), Rossdale wrote, "This fall (autumn), honored to be part of #TheVoice w/ (with) the lovely & talented @gwenstefani."
Stefani will join old pal Pharrell Williams as the new judges on the show. Blake Shelton and Adam Levine will return.
Fleetwood Mac star Stevie Nicks has been hired as an adviser for coach Adam Levine's team on the U.S. version of TV talent show The Voice. Nicks will help the aspiring singers choose songs and work on their vocal techniques in preparation for the programme's battle rounds. The seventh season of The Voice premieres this September (14), and also marks the debut of new judges Pharrell WIlliams and Gwen Stefani.
Pop star and new mom-of-three Gwen Stefani is the latest star to join NBC's The Voice. She took to Instagram to share a photo of her first day at her new gig:
#workingit on the set @nbcthevoice gx
Stefani and Pharrell Williams will be the new judges/coaches on the block for Season Seven, joining Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. Christina Aguilera is expected to return in Season Eight.
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Bruno Mars and Pharrell Williams thrilled fans by teaming up at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Saturday night (31May14) for a hits-packed show. Williams was a late support slot addition for Mars' two-night stint at the fabled music mecca and he brought leading lady and new mum Gwen Stefani onstage for a rendition of their tune Hollaback Girl.
The couple has been teaming up a lot lately - Stefani joined Williams for his headlining set at the Coachella festival in California in April (14) and the two pals will join forces again as first-time judges on the next season of American TV talent show The Voice.
Mars, who was making his debut at the Bowl, stunned fans with an energetic hits-laced set and covers of Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love and Montell Jordan's This is How We Do It, among others.
But he left the best until last when he performed an encore featuring the hits Locked Out of Heaven and Gorilla and brought Pharrell back out onstage for a rendition of N.E.R.D.'s 2002 hit Rockstar.
Mars and Williams return to the Hollywood Bowl for a second show on Sunday night (01Jun14).
Trae Patton/NBC Universal Media
More than its counterparts in the singing competition wars, The Voice rises or falls based on the celebrity coaches that sit in its spinning chairs. While the bromance and prank wars between Adam Levine and Blake Shelton always seems to take center stage, whoever it is that fills the show's other two spots can make or break a season. The original line-up that included Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green had chemistry that is tough to match. Their replacements, Shakira and Usher, have plenty of credentials but have never quite developed a great rapport with Levine and Shelton.
That's why fans of The Voice should be excited about the additions next season of Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani. They might not be Xtina and CeeLo, but they have the potential to be significantly better than Shakira and Usher.
Pharrell has become a media sensation with his "Happy" video and his Arby's hat, but he's far from a flash in the pan. Before he was an artist in his own right, Pharrell partnered with Chad Hugo to form the superstar production team The Neptunes, working with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Britney Spears to Robin Thicke. Pharrell, Hugo, and Shay Haley also formed N.E.R.D. to essentially record avante garde hip-hop. His influences are so diverse it's hard not to believe that he'll have an interesting take on the singing auditions.
More than that, though, Pharrell doesn't shy away from controversy. He's 41 years old and he's comfortable with who he is and what he does. When the plagiarism accusations came up over Thicke's "Blurred Lines," which he cowrote, he didn't run away and he wasn't defensive. He was honest… which is always a welcome addition to a singing competition show.
Likewise, Stefani doesn’t have anything to prove at this point and should be particularly able to handle being the lone female in the boys club. Stefani was the lead singer of No Doubt, after all, so she's already been the only feminine voice in a room full of guys. Perhaps just as importantly, she's been married to Gavin Rossdale for more than a decade… so she's got plenty of experience with keeping a pretty boy rock star in his place. The key to dealing with Levine and Shelton is to be willing to give as much as you get, and you get the feeling that Stefani will have no problem taking them on.
Levine and Shelton will continue to be the focus of The Voice, as everyone watches to see how they will top Shelton giving out Levine's cell phone number and Levine dumping manure on Shelton's truck. The duo is basically a step away from having their own sitcom. But in Pharrell and Stefani, the producers have hit upon a pair that should be able to give The Voice a new and distinctive perspective… or at least a more interesting one than Usher and Shakira ever have.
Shakira is set to quit U.S. TV talent show The Voice after announcing the current season will be her last. The Colombian pop star has sat in the spinning red chair twice, but she won't be back when season six of the show wraps up next week (ends23May14).
In an interview with Synergistic Productions, Inc., she says she will be leaving the programme to focus on her music career and her role as mum to young son Milan.
She says, "I don't have any plans of coming back. This was always temporary, but you never know.
"I never thought I would be on a show like this one, but with the nature of the show, we're not just judges, but we're coaches. We're helping new talent flourish. That made me change my mind and say yes to being here."
She continues, "Honestly, I've had a blast. I love the show, I love the people here. I love the producers, the fellow coaches. It's been fun. But right now, I have to go on with my life as an artist. I'm not really a TV celebrity. I have to do a tour, and other stuff like being a mother."
Shakira first appeared on the show as Christina Aguilera's replacement, but the Genie in a Bottle singer will alternate with Gwen Stefani when the No Doubt star becomes a judge on The Voice later this year (14), joining another newcomer, hitmaker Pharrell Williams.
Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams made their official debut on American talent show The Voice on Monday (05May14) as they hit the stage to perform together on the No Doubt frontwoman's hit Hollaback Girl. They will replace Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green as coaches for the show's seventh season.
Rihanna was the toast of the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles on Thursday (01May14), despite arriving late and missing out on accepting the new prizegiving's first ever trophy.
The Umbrella singer found herself stuck in rush-hour traffic and wasn't even at the Shrine Auditorium when she won the night's Hip Hop/R&B Song of the Year for Pour it Up. She arrived shortly afterwards and was present to pick up her awards for Best Fan Army, Artist of the Year and Song of the Year (Stay). Sporting a gothic look with blue lipstick, a black lace dress, jewelled crucifixes and a new Tank Girl-style hairdo, Rihanna accepted the latter trophy by thanking radio producers for playing the ballad, stating, "This record would never have been this big if it wasn't for you." And accepting her Artist of the Year honour at the end of the night, she added, "Shout out to everybody who has ever worked on my project. I know I'm a pain in the a** - but it's worth it!"
It was also a huge night for Pharrell Williams, who picked up the first-ever iHeartRadio Innovator Award. Presenter Gwen Stefani called her pal "the coolest guy ever", before a series of tributes from stars like Lady Gaga, Usher, Beyonce, Shakira, Oprah Winfrey, and Rita Ora flashed up on video screens. The man of the hour then performed a hits medley, including Blurred Lines, Get Lucky and Happy. Accepting his Innovator Award, the singer/songwriter/producer thanked his wife Helen Lasichanh and son Rocket and added, "I never dreamt in a million years that I'd be standing here as an artist... All I did was write the songs and you guys (fans) did all the heavy lifting, all the hard work, all those millions of views on YouTube... Thank you guys so much for lifting me so high."
Pitbull opened the show by performing Wild Wild Love and Timber without his duet partner Kesha, who has yet to perform for the first time following a stint in rehab earlier this year (14). The track won the couple the Best Collaboration trophy.
Performance highlights also included sets from Bastille, Ariana Grande, Shakira, Kendrick Lamar and 30 Seconds to Mars, who played City of Angels as frontman Jared Leto's accompanying short film featuring stars like Kanye West, Selena Gomez and Lindsay Lohan talking about their love of Los Angeles flashed up on video screens on either side of the stage.
But the night's talking point came when Usher showed off his Michael Jackson moves as he danced along to the King of Pop's new single Love Never Felt So Good, which debuted during the ceremony. As images of the late Thriller star appeared on video screens on the stage and throughout the audience, Usher and a gang of dancers performed the pop superstar's moon walk and other signature moves.
The iHeartRadio Music Awards telecast also featured a series of pre-taped anecdotes about L.A. from the likes of Chris Martin, John Legend, Steven Tyler, Adam Lambert, Lady Gaga, Rita Ora, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Iggy Azalea. More than 60 million U.S. radio listeners voted for the awards.
The full list of prizewinners is: Hip Hop/R&B Song of the Year - Pour it Up by Rihanna Best Collaboration - Timber by Pitbull & Kesha Best Lyrics - Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus Best New Artist - Lorde Best Fan Army - Rihanna's Navy Song of the Year - Stay by Rihanna Alternative Rock Song of the Year - Demons by Imagine Dragons Young Influencer Award - Ariana Grande Instagram Award - Austin Mahone EDM (Electronic Dance Music) Song of the Year - Wake Me Up by Avicii & Aloe Blacc Country Song of the Year - Boys 'Round Here by Blake Shelton Artist of the Year - Rihanna
Gwen Stefani has been confirmed as Christina Aguilera's temporary replacement on U.S. singing contest The Voice. The No Doubt star is officially joining season seven of the show later this year (14), when she'll line up alongside judges Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams.
Announcing the worst kept secret on TV, the Hollaback Girl singer has posted a photo of herself flashing the V sign on Instagram, alongside the caption "It's true! @nbcthevoice." The new mum will make her The Voice debut on 5 May (14) when she performs on the current season of the show, alongside Williams, who she recently joined onstage at the Coachella festival in California.
Pregnant Aguilera will return for season eight of the talent contest next year (15).