FOB Heads to 90210: Fall Out Boy – who recently announced a comeback album/tour after a three year break – is set to perform on 90210 for an episode slated for April 29. The performance will be a part of a big concert event on the CW drama. The band will perform their new single, "My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up)," off their sixth studio album, Save Rock and Roll, which hits stores worldwide on May 6, 2013. [E!]
Pilot Castings Galore: The CW cast Arrow's Stephen Amell's cousin Robbie Amell as the lead in The Tomorrow People, the drama pilot from Arrow boss Greg Berlanti and The Vampire Diaries EP Julie Plec based on the 1970s UK series. [TVLine] Nicole Beharie landed the lead in Sleepy Hollow, Fox's drama pilot. The modern-day supernatural thriller is based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Daniel Stern has been cast in NBC's single-camera comedy pilot Girlfriend In a Coma as the father of the titular woman who wakes up from a coma to discover she has a 17-year-old daughter (Miranda Cosgrove). [Deadline] Joey McIntyre and Jessica Chaffin have been cast in CBS/Sony TV single-camera comedy pilot The McCarthys. Directed by Fred Savage, the comedy revolves around an Irish-Catholic, sports-crazed Boston clan and the gay son whose greatest sin is not his sexuality but his desire to spend less time with his family. The CW is bringing back another member from the original cast of The Selection. Australian actress Peta Sergeant has been added to the retooled pilot, reprising her role as Gaia, a rebel leader who is working to overthrow the monarchy. Sean Patrick Thomas is also reprising his role. Set 300 years in the future, The Selection is an epic romance centering on a working class young woman chosen by lottery to participate in a competition with 25 other women for the royal prince’s hand to become the nation’s next queen. [Deadline] Veronica Mars alum Ryan Hansen has signed on to CBS’ Bad Teacher, the single-camera comedy based on the 2011 Cameron Diaz movie about a sexy, foul-mouthed divorcee who becomes a teacher to find her next husband. Hansen will play Joel, the shorts-sporting athletic coach at Nixon Middle School. [TVLine] Mira Sorvino landed a starring role opposite Jim Gaffigan in his CBS comedy pilot. Written by Gaffigan and Peter Tolan, the project centers on Jim (Gaffigan) a guy who lives with his wife Jeannie (Sorvino) and five kids in a 2-bedroom New York apartment. Sorvino’s Jeannie is a super-wife and super-mom. [Deadline]
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Dwight Gets a Nemesis: Sopranos alum Michael Imperioli has been cast as a nemesis for The Office’s Dwight. He will play Sensei Billy, the karate instructor who's about ready to commit hara-kiri over Dwight’s inimitable "presence" in his dojo. Imperioli’s episode is slated to air in the spring. [TVLine]
Entourage Lady Heads to The Newsroom: Entourage’s Constance Zimmer has just been cast to recur on Aaron Sorkin's drama The Newsroom. On the upcoming Season 2, which reflects on the recent presidential campaign, Zimmer will play Taylor, a press spokesperson for the Mitt Romney campaign. [Deadline]
VH1 Picks Up 3 New Shows, Renews 1: VH1 has ordered three news shows for spring 2013: The Gossip Game, which follows ambitious women covering the urban entertainment beat; I’m Married To A…, a documentary series that examines some unusual couples in love; and 100 Sexiest Artists, a five-part countdown special. The network has also has picked up a third season of T.I. And Tiny: The Family Hustle, featuring rapper T.I. "Tip" Harris, his wife, entrepreneur and singer Tameka "Tiny" Harris, and their six children. [Deadline]
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Aruna Gilbert/Wenn]
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Michael Strahan is having a wardrobe malfunction. He’s backstage at the set of Live! With Kelly & Michael a week before Christmas, and the ex-NFL star, three months into his gig as co-host of the chat show, is struggling to slip on a pair of “meggings.” That is, leggings designed for men. “I’m not so spindly!” he says. But he eventually succeeds, pulls them on, and trots on set looking like a defensive end who’s been forced into becoming an understudy for Mikhail Baryshnikov. Needless to say, the audience loves it.
This is about as chaotic as it ever gets at Live! Entering its 25th year of nationwide broadcast, it’s about the only daytime talk show currently on-air that qualifies as an institution, an irreplaceable part of the morning TV landscape. Watching from backstage, there’s a streamlined effortlessness that belies the hard work and dedication of its behind-the-scenes crew, like senior talent booker Kelly Burkhard. She’s largely responsible for maintaining the best ongoing lineup of celebrity talent of any daytime show, the crucial component that keeps the well-oiled machine that is the production of Live! functioning on all cylinders.
“We pretty much have gotten everyone,” Burkhard says, when asked about their roster of A-List guests. Even Robert De Niro, who remained elusive for years, finally appeared on the show a couple years back. “I work really hard at that. To me, a ‘no’ is never a permanent ‘no.’ It’s just a ‘no’ for right that minute. But if you remain persistent, if you keep pressing it, that ‘no’ will become a ‘yes’ eventually.” It’s because of the efforts of Burkhard that a backstage struggle with meggings is the biggest issue the ‘Live!’ production ever typically has to face—and not, say, having to fill dead air because a celebrity dropped out at the last minute.
Hosts Strahan and Kelly Ripa are grateful for that. “Kelly is one of the hearts and souls of our show,” Ripa says of Burkhard. “It cannot be undervalued what she does. Not only does she get the big celebrities to come on, they do it willingly because she has such a great rapport with everyone behind the scenes.”
Burkhard took us behind the scenes of Live! to show us what a typical day is like when you’re the senior talent booker for the No. 1 show on daytime TV.
Going Live! Is Just the Beginning
If there’s one word that sums up the business of being a talent booker it’s this: relationships. It’s a matter of acquiring contacts, then deepening and developing those connections, something Burkhard began when she was the assistant to a prominent talent manager at 3 Arts Entertainment in Los Angeles. “20 years ago all the huge names I met are still huge names,” she says. “And also, the people I came up with have become huge. So those relationships from all those years ago still help me tremendously.” She moved back to New York to take a booking gig with The Charlie Rose Show, then, in 1997, Live! came a calling.
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On average, Burkhard arrives at Live!’s Upper West Side studio about an hour before the start of the show to greet the celebrity guests and their publicists. With her blond hair and small frame, she could easily be mistaken for Kelly Ripa’s sister. Not to mention she shares with Ripa an enviable skill: to be perky and energetic at an ungodly hour. That’s something Burkhard needs in abundance, because possibly the most important part of her job takes place during the show. Or rather, during its commercial breaks. She watches the show backstage with the publicists for whatever actors, reality TV personalities, or musical artists she’s booked to appear that day. And during the commercial breaks Burkhard discusses with the publicists what other clients of theirs could be available for future bookings.
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The entertainment industry is actually a pretty small world. The publicist for one actor or musician could represent a couple dozen other celebrities. The day of my visit, Seth Rogen is the guest, and his publicist also represents Jack Black, Judd Apatow, Jason Segel, Steve Carell, and Jon Stewart, among others. “You have to keep those relationships very strong, because each rep has twenty other people that you want on your show.” And the Live! studio is a homey enough environment—one flight of stairs is even called “The Brady Bunch Staircase”—that the puzzle-piece planning of matching talent availability with open guest slots can feel like building a relationship rather than just businesslike wheeling and dealing.
One Show Ends, but Planning for Future Eps Never Does
Immediately after the broadcast wraps, longtime executive producer Michael Gelman convenes Live!’s daily production meeting. They discuss the schedule for the next day’s show and start planning ahead for some of their hugely popular themed and holiday episodes. The annual Halloween extravaganza, involving multiple guests and many costume changes for Kelly & Michael, requires particular planning. Not to mention that talent availability for some of the biggest tentpole movies needs to be lined up fast.
NEXT: How far in advance does Burkhard book Kelly & Michael’s guests? And what happens when a guest drops out at the last minute?
After the meeting, the day really begins. Which means Burkhard hits the phone. She likes to book Live! as far in advance as she can, based on what she knows about the hottest upcoming films and TV shows and who’s being buzzed about as a possible breakout star. Burkhard wants to make one thing very clear. “I never ever wait for my phone to ring,” she says. “I like to be way ahead. I’m on the phone constantly. I never sit back. Even though we’ve been the top show for so many years. You have to be on top of everything, ahead of the curve, researching and calling.” And that means doing a lot of research first: reading trade publications and entertainment websites, talking to insiders, attending screenings. “The minute the last Twilight film wrapped production I reached out about booking the cast,” she says. “That was in May of 2012, and we knew the movie wouldn’t be coming out until November.” For a movie that big with talent that in demand, a six-month lead time on booking Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner would be typical. “Six months in advance is really just to talk dates, though. As soon as we had the cast on when the first film debuted, I immediately arranged to have them return to promote the second, third, and fourth movies. Six months out for Breaking Dawn was just a matter of getting timing set.” In fact, she tries to stay in touch with each of her publicity and talent management contacts at least once a week to maintain the strength of those relationships. “I like to do most of my job by phone, because I think you can better further a relationship by actually speaking. Things can get misconstrued so very easily when you’re communicating by email. Over the phone, everything’s much more clear.”
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Though Burkhard never waits for her phone to ring, it still does. A lot. And her Inbox fills up fast. In fact, she estimates that she gets up to a thousand pitches a week for talent bookings, and sometimes more. She’ll review some of those with Gelman, who has final sign-off on her proposed lineup of guests.
Crisis Time: What Happens When a Guest Drops Out Last Minute?
“It rarely happens,” Burkhard says. “But if it does, we have several back-up plans.” To start with, they can extend the segment of the guest who’s still booked. Or they extend the opening host chat. (“Host chat can go on forever!”) They can also throw together a last-minute audience participation segment. But Burkhard also keeps a stable of backups, of alternate guests, in case they get word about a scheduled guest backing out with at least a day to spare. “These are actors or musicians who we know are in town promoting a project and who had wanted to be on the show, and who we really wanted to have on the show but couldn’t because we were already booked. Now they have an opening and can make an appearance. ‘Great, we can get you in!’”
The week of Hurricane Sandy represents a perfect example. Reba McEntire had been scheduled for Monday October 29, the day the storm hit, to promote her new sitcom Malibu Country. Her flight was cancelled, and she couldn’t make it to New York. Luckily, Jimmy Kimmel was already in the city, because he had brought his late night show to Brooklyn. He was scheduled to appear on Live! that Tuesday but was able to make his appearance a day early. Tuesday, with much of the city lacking power, saw the show cancelled outright. Wednesday, the show resumed, but again, its guests weren’t able to make it. So on Tuesday Burkhard reached out to Diane Sawyer, who was known to be in New York, and who could talk about the storm. But, considering how far in advance the show is booked, it can be difficult to reschedule a guest who was unexpectedly bumped. Reba wasn’t able to appear on Live! after her Sandy-related cancellation until Feb. 6.
The Cycle Continues
But those kinds of emergencies are pretty rare. A typical day continues with Kelly reaching out to her contacts throughout the afternoon. She leaves the studio in the early evening, and keeps checking her blackberry and cell until her head hits the pillow. “They stay right by my bed all night long.”
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credit: David Steele/ABC, Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC]
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There are certain elements of the James Bond films that are just as iconic as the suave super spy himself: Bond girls, well-tailored suits, fast cars, martinis that are shaken, not stirred, and of course, the Bond theme. But along with not just the iconic jazzy opening theme with its memorable and instantly recognizable ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-daaaaa, each movie comes with its own James Bond theme song, recorded by the likes of Madonna, Paul McCartney, Sheena Easton, Duran Duran, and most recently, Adele
The powerhouse Grammy-winning singer has joined the annals of Bond history with her contribution to Skyfall, the hit single aptly titled, "Skyfall." The song, which already had high expectations thanks to the long-awaited return of Adele, has moved 661,000 units to date and it currently sits at no. 25 on the Digital Song Sales chart.
While the numbers will likely continue to rise when Bond fans experience the sleek ballad during Skyfall's exciting opening credits, moviegoers ready to listen to the song again won't find it in the place they'd most expect to: the Skyfall soundtrack. Instead, the Adele theme song — which is currently no. 56 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart — is only available as a single, while the Skyfall soundtrack is entirely composed of Thomas Newman's thrilling Bond score.
So why omit Adele on the soundtrack and only release the song as a single? Is it a mere executive decision or a true sign of the times? Has the digital age now altered the way soundtracks will be made and released? "It's very possible in the digital age, where you do have soundtracks that are really driven by one massive hit, the consumers [have the] ability to go in and say, 'I've got … the one big smash hit that I want and that's all I need," says David Bakula, SVP Client Relations of Nielsen.
Take, for instance, the Titanic soundtrack, the fifth highest-selling soundtrack of all time. The album's massive sales (11 million to date) were all but carried entirely by the popularity of Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On." Imagine if the multi-platinum Titanic had been released in the digital age — would consumers have downloaded all of James Horner's sweeping score, or would they have simply clicked on Dion's sweeping love song alone?
To determine the future of the soundtrack, we first have to examine the different types of soundtracks that are on the market. Bakula explains there are essentially three kinds of soundtracks, "a soundtrack that is driven by a major single, a compilation of a bunch of great songs that work perfectly within the movie, and the background music/score [like the Skyfall soundtrack]." While Bakula says that score-based soundtracks like Skyfall remain "fairly consistent" in sales ("You still have a small niche of people that like to go in and just want to have a nice John Williams-penned score soundtrack"), what of soundtracks that stick with the format of a radio single from a A-list performer leading the way?
The last time a soundtrack that was propelled by a smash single was the 8 Mile album back in 2002, which was propelled by Eminem's Oscar-winning anthem "Lose Yourself." (The album is currently the 20th highest-selling soundtrack of all time.) Since then, a soundtrack of that particular variety hasn't quite reached the same heights as say, the Armageddon soundtrack or the City of Angels soundtrack, but that doesn't mean star power or the soundtracks to popular movies haven't been making an impact. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Case in point: the popularity of the smartly executed compilation soundtracks like those for Twilight and The Hunger Games, which appeal to the film's core fan base by using artists like Paramore and Taylor Swift, respectively, and appealing to a wider audience with the use of artists like Iron & Wine or The Decemberists.
No one knows the success of that better than Lionsgate's Head of Film Music Tracy McKnight, the music supervisor behind such soundtracks as the nostalgia-infused Adventureland and studio executive for the versatile, chart-topping soundtrack to The Hunger Games. While McKnight acknowledges "that how we digest music and how we buy music [has changed] in a strong digital market," it hasn't changed the way she approaches compiling a soundtrack. "It's art first, it's music first, it's what's right for the movie and you work to that. That's not to say that we don't think about singles and new songs and how to generate that type of experience, but once you have it then you know what to do with it," she says, adding, " You have to wrap your head around doing it differently and marketing it differently. How do you make yourself stand out? I think that's more of the challenge."
McKnight, who has worked as a music supervisor on over a hundred films, has taken on those challenges in different ways. "With something like Adventureland, all the songs had been out before and it was so much fun to revisit that music," she says. "With compilations, because you can go on iTunes and create your own playlist, it's a different sell. Where if you're doing something like The Hunger Games soundtrack with original songs… that makes it special for the fans, a musical souvenir."
The gamble of putting a mix bag of artists like Arcade Fire, The Civil Wars, Kid Cudi, Glen Hansard, Maroon 5, and Miranda Lambert on a soundtrack together paid off. The album — which featured Swift's song "Eyes Open", but wasn't necessarily carried by it — debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard 100 back in March in its first week, moving an impressive 175,000 units. (To date, the soundtrack has since been certified Gold.) McKnight explains that when it came to making The Hunger Games soundtrack, "It was very important to tell a story that cohesively had a vision ... If I told you about [who was on] it before you heard you might wonder, will that work together, and yet it does. The story hangs together as a collective piece."
In fact, using soundtracks as part of the storytelling advice and making an unorthodox, but cohesive compilation continues to whet the appetite of soundtrack enthusiasts. For a music supervisor like McKnight, it comes down to something simple: "It's about putting the best soundtrack together that makes a statement." No soundtrack subgenre has seen more proof of that than modern favorites like Garden State, (500) Days of Summer, and Where the Wild Things Are, which struck a chord with their mix tape mentality and honoring its material.
Take, for instance, the cult darling Drive soundtrack. As Bakula puts it, "It's sold about 100,000 units so far this year. The soundtrack as a whole works as a compilation of great indie artists. It's a great movie and the performances are great, but the music really took it to a different level and that's the kind of thing that gets that cult following — that second wind, that demand for people to see it after its left the theaters."
It's that very longevity — along with the consumer's desire for a great soundtrack ("I think there's always going to be a place, and I think it's a very stable place, with music that works perfectly with the movie. Consumers tend to see that as a complete package," Bakula says) — that will continue to keep the art form afloat in the digital age. In fact, the new model works to the advantage of soundtracks. "Before people have may skipped on buying a soundtrack for liking one song," Bakula says. "Regardless of whether a single [like Adele's "Skyfall"] is on the soundtrack or not, when people see the movie in droves, there's going to be demand for it. That's the other advantage a soundtrack has. They get a second and third life. First it comes out in theaters so it gets a spike, then it comes out on DVD so it gets another spike, then it's on cable and it gets another spike. Soundtracks like Grease and Footloose and Purple Rain sell as well as they do because every time they show up on cable, somebody else goes, 'Wow, I forgot how great that soundtrack was,'"
No matter what the climate, it seems soundtracks never truly go out style, nor do they great ones age. Sort of like Bond himself. As Bakula puts it, "The Bond music has become kind of a franchise in itself."
[Photo credit: Columbia]
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What happens when you mix Taylor Swift and the musical genre dubstep? That may sound like the beginning of a joke, but thanks to Tuesday's release of Swift's latest single, it’s actually a legitimate question.
"I Knew You Were Trouble," another song from Swift’s upcoming album, Red, debuted last night and it sounds nothing like what you’d expect. Fresh on the heels of the Max Martin-produced pop hit “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” the new release includes dubstep elements in the chorus.
For those of you unfamiliar with the genre, here's a brief history of dubstep (you're welcome). Dubstep is a type of electronic dance music that is known for its heavier sound and reliance on bass and drums, sometimes incorporating vocals. Originating in the U.K. in the late ‘90s, dubstep rose to popularity in the U.S. in the last few years when producers began to fuse elements of dubstep with heavy metal to create the style Brostep, for which Grammy-winning artist Skrillex is known. As dubstep began to influence some pop artists’ work, the genre enjoyed a rising mainstream popularity. For example, the dubstep fanbase loved pop artist Ellie Goulding way before “Lights” ever hit the radio in the U.S. (thanks to DJ/producer Bassnectar’s dubstep remix of her hit), Alex Clare’s dubstep-influenced "Too Close" hit No. 8 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and more and more commercials are now getting the dubstep treatment.
Now that we've got that out of the way, let’s get back to Swift’s surprising foray into the genre. When Swift tweeted last night that “I Knew You Were Trouble” was being released on iTunes, I had no idea what to expect. Certainly another epic story of a failed romance, maybe a couple “Wheeee’s” thrown in for good measure. But when the chorus hit, and I heard that unmistakable wobbling bass, I was speechless. Taylor Swift, and... dubstep? Those were two words I never thought I would utter in the same sentence — ever!
Once I got over my initial shock, I was impressed. This works. But before all you lovers of dubstep and/or haters of Swift jump down my throat, let me explain my reasoning.
First of all, there is just the right amount of dubstep influence in the song (not too much, not too little). This isn’t straight-up dubstep, this is a pop song with dubstep influences. Swift uses certain elements of dubstep in specific parts. For instance, by containing the heavier bass to the chorus, she gives the words an extra oomph, which is appropriate for the message she’s conveying. When Swift debuted a teaser of the song on Good Morning America, she explained the inspiration behind it. “It sounds just as chaotic as the feeling was when I wrote it,” Swift said. It’s about “being frustrated with yourself” for falling for a person you know you shouldn’t have. The dubstep elements add an edgier, harder sound that complements the words she sings.
Another reason why “I Knew You Were Trouble” works is because it shows how Swift is growing as a musician. She is trying out new genres and taking chances. According to Rolling Stone, after 2010’s Speak Now, which she wrote all herself, Red is being co-written with hit-making scribes like Max Martin and Adele collaborator Dan Wilson. Swift wrote all the lyrics, but the resulting album is a mixture of many different genres, including this bass-heavy dubstep anthem. The eclectic nature of the upcoming album will surely keep on surprising listeners, and Swift certainly can’t be accused of doing the same thing over and over.
And last, but certainly not least, this song works simply because it sounds great. Swift doesn’t sound like she’s trying something totally out of her skill set. It sounds natural; it makes me want to get up and dance. It’s catchy... and it’s been on repeat all day.
Watch Swift explain the inspiration behind “I Knew You Were Trouble” on GMA:
Give the new song a listen below and let us know in the comments if you think that Swift’s foray into dubstep works for her:
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Frederick Breedon IV/Getty Images]
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Making a name for yourself in the music business is hard enough in itself, but to make such a worldwide impression at a young age is a huge feat -- yet something Rihanna seems to handle with ease. After making her professional musical debut back in 2005, this singer's popularity has only continued to grow, earning her some of the biggest acknowledgments this generation of artists has ever seen. And she's only 24 years old! Crazy, right? Accomplishing so much at such a young age definitely deserves some recognition, so in honor of Rihanna's 24th birthday, here's a look back at some of her biggest accomplishments in her career thus far. And at this rate, who knows where she'll be by the age of 25! Sky's the limit for this superstar.
Named the Most Liked Celebrity on Facebook in 2011
Sure every celebrity has a huge band of follows thanks to the overwhelming amount of social media sites these days, but Rihanna continues to be a standout among all the rest. As of now, the singer has 51,711,204 fans on Facebook, over three million more than Lady Gaga (48,128,783), and over eleven million more than the likes of Justin Bieber (40,507,655). But it is not only Rihanna's Facebook page which garnered such extreme popularity on the site. Her "We Found Love" single featuring Calvin Harris was the most listened to song of 2011, beating singles from other singing sensations, including Katy Perry and Adele. A huge accomplishment to say the least.
Ranked As One of Forbes Magazine's Top-Earning Women in Music in 2011
Though Gaga ranked the No. 1 spot on the list, grossing a whopping $90 million in profits, Rihanna managed to rake in a highly respectable $29 million for the year, earning her a well-deserved fifth place. She beat out the likes of Britney Spears ($10 million), Carrie Underwood ($20 million), and even Adele ($18 million), who received major praise last year for her hit album, 21. Adele may be Rolling in the Deep, but as of last year Rihanna was certainly rolling in the dough.
Third Most Googled Celebrity Woman of 2011
Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites we are able to stalk our favorite celebrities as fast and as often as we like. So who's getting more cpms (clicks per minute)? Good old Google always has the answer and according to its results, Rihanna was ranked the third most Googled celebrity woman of last year. This is a praise certainly worth mentioning given that people resort to Google to search for basically everything, so the fact that Rihanna is one of the hottest topics among female celebs is definitely a commendable accomplishment. And again, it needs to be stressed that she's only 24 years old! Is anyone else feeling extremely lazy right about now?
Named Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive in 2011
Though her artistic accomplishments are impressive in and of themselves, Rihanna has also been praised for her looks as well as her talents. In October 2011, Esquire declared the singer the Sexiest Woman Alive for 2011, singling her out amid a number of other candidates. Sure you could see it as just one magazine's opinion, but it's definitely an honor any female celeb would be happy to receive. In a business where beautiful people are never in short supply, it's definitely an accomplishment to be able to stand out among the rest and be acknowledged.
Helped Guest Judge on The X Factor
As most of the world already knows, Simon Cowell demands to work with the best and the brightest of talent. So when he decided to have Rihanna help judge which contestants should be eliminated at the Judges' Homes, you know it means he trusts in her artistic opinion. Can you believe that? At the age of 24 she's already earned professional praise from one of the most critical people in the music business. The fact that Simon's deemed her talented enough to help find new talent proves that she really has "made it" in the industry. And given everything we've learned about her, she's only just beginning.