Stop The Presses!

Jan.25-31: Tough Lessons & Helping Hands

Stop The Presses!


What is with all the sadnews? Music news typically isn't the place where heavy hitting, world changingtopics dwell. We are consumed with band breakups, celeb dating, and artistrivalries. But we do have hearts. So this week, we send out thoughts of hopefor some of our favorite personalities, Rihanna, Etta James, and Susan Boyle, who are amidstdifficult times.

This was an emotional weekfor Rihanna, who will be making her return to the Grammys. Last year, sheabruptly canceled her scheduled performance after being assaulted by her thenboyfriend, Chris Brown.Though she is nominated for two awards this year for her "We Run This"collaboration with Jay-Z and Kanye West, she will not bepresenting or singing.

When she stopped by Carson Daly's radio show on AMP97.1, she explained her rationale for not being booked to hit the stage atSunday's broadcast. "We messed up their show really bad last year," Rihannasaid with a laugh. "So they're probably a little mad at me right now."

Rihanna has been photographedvacationing with Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp, but in aninterview wit Ellen DeGeneresthat airs Monday, she says that she is single. Also, don't expect Kemp to joinRihanna at the Grammys. The singer told Los Angeles station 104.3MY FM that she would be going alone "as always."

While Rihanna maintained alighthearted outlook about the biggest night in music, she expressed sorrow forthe loss of a young acquaintance. Rihanna had befriended 7-year-old Leukemiapatient Jasmina Anema. Anema succumbed to the disease Wednesday.

Rihanna felt heartbroken whenshe learned the news. "She was such a brave and special child," Rihanna said ina statement."She showed me more strength and spirit that many adults I have met."

The children of MichaelJackson have also displayed tremendous strength. When the King of Pop'sdaughter Paris spoke athis memorial last July, the world was stunned by her composure andmaturity. She was just 11-years-old.

CNNreports that Paris and older brother PrinceMichael II will attend the Grammys and accept a Lifetime Achievement Awardin their father's honor. The Grammys have announced a special 3D MichaelJackson tribute that will feature performances from Celine Dion, Smokey Robinson, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, and Carrie Underwood.

Underwood told VH1that she is excited to be involved. "I'm just honored theyasked me," Underwood said. "Of course, we said yes before we knew the details.I'm there, and I think it will be a really cool moment on the show."

Jackson's legacy will also live onthrough a newline of dolls. The dolls which will be manufactured by U.K. toycompany Character Group will come in four different 10-inch figures. The firsttwo dolls are expected to be available by August, and the remaining two byChristmas.

CharacterGroup has not released photos of the dolls or revealed which costumes or posesthe replicas will embody. (The Character Group dolls are not pictured in theaccompanying photo.)

"We AreThe World," a song Jacksonco-wrote with Lionel Richie,will be re-recorded, producer QuincyJones has confirmed, APreports. Jones did not confirm any of the featured artists but said therecording would take place Monday in a Los Angeles studio.

Theoriginal recording helped fight famine in Africa.The 25th anniversary version will benefit the victims of Haiti'searthquake.

Another Haiti benefit,the Hope For Haiti Now telethon, raised more than $60 million last Friday.Hosted by GeorgeClooney and Wyclef Jean,the event featured performances from Madonna, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Jean, Justin Timberlake,among others.

Thealbum debuted No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 171,000 copies.This is the first time an album solely released through digital sales toppedthe chart.

A group of artists fromvarious Caribbean islands have also united to support Haiti. Shaggy, Sean Paul, Sean Kingston, Shontelle, and others recordedthe moving song "RiseAgain." Shaggy was recruited by the Caribbean'sleading mobile telecommunications company Digicel to pen the record. Onehundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Haitians affected by the 7.0earthquake.

We also want to send out getwell wishes to Blues legend EttaJames who has been hospitalized for nearly a month, her son Donto James told the PressEnterprise. According to Donto, the "At Last" singer has been "battling forher life and sanity."

James is suffering fromvarious ailments, including a bacterial infection. Donto said his mother hasbeen in a detox program to overcome her addiction to painkillers andover-the-counter medicines. Last week, she was transferred to Riverside Community Hospital as her conditionworsened. Donto said she could be hospitalized for three weeks.

And if that is not enoughheartbreaking news, sales chart heroine Susan Boyle has come underverbal attack from her idol, ElainePage. In a rant that makes Kanye West's dismissal of Taylor Swift look tame,Page referred to Boyle as a "virusthat swept the world."

Though Page and Boyleperformed together on the televised "I Dreamed A Dream: The Susan Boyle Story,"Page was completely dismissive when asked about the newcomer. "She is a girlwith no experience of anything to do with theatrics, the music business, or artin any way."

Maybe Page could take Simon'splace when he leaves American Idol? She clearly does not have a problem holdingher tongue.

Hey guys, don't let thisweek's somber news get you down. Have some faith. We bet next week is going tobe more upbeat. With the Grammys alone, we should be back to our usualbackstage cat fights, performance nightmares, and red carpet mistakes. See youthen.

THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 NEWS STORIES

1) Fatherof the Year - Jackson's eldest kids are rumored to receiveGrammy in his honor.

2) Rememberthe Time - Is LeAnn Rimes admittinginfidelity in new song?

3) Weare the World - Haiti telethon raises charityestimate to $61 million.

4) GlobalAnthem - Quincy Jones wants 'WeAre the World' Haitiredo.

5) Boyle-ingPoint - Susan Boyle's idol callsher a "virus."

6) Singingthe Blues - Singer Etta James hospitalized with infection.

7) Keepthe Faith - Caribbean artists recordtribute to Haiti.

8) Super Bowl Shuffle - TheWho and CarrieUnderwood to play the Super Bowl.

9) Papawas a Rolling Stone - KeithRichards gets sober.

10) Manin the Mirror - New MichaelJackson dolls coming soon.

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