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Mariah Carey

6 producers who should work with Mariah Carey now that Jermaine Dupri is out

What would it sound like if Rick Rubin produced Mariah Carey?

There’s more chaos in Mariah Carey Land as she and her manager Jermaine Dupri have parted  ways and veteran label executive Kevin Liles is now handling Team Mariah.

As you’ll recall, Dupri was only on board as her official manager since last fall, but he and Carey have a very long history as musical collaborators, going back to 1995’s “Daydream.” He served as executive producer on Carey’s latest set, “Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse," and co-produced five tracks on the album.

As you know, that album continues to circle the drain. It’s worst than if she’d never released an album because she now has this huge commercial failure around her neck. “Mariah” sold 58,000 in its first week of release in May, which was by far her poorest showing in her 25-year career.  It’s a shame because the album, as overstuffed and scattered as it was, had some strong cuts that got thrown out there, but didn't really get their due, like "You Don't Know What To Do," featuring Wale or "Make It Look Good."

But I would never, ever count Carey out. She has too much talent and too much determination. She can rise again. The question is who is the right partner to help her do so.

It’s unclear from today’s news if Dupri will continue working with Carey musically, despite his noting that it’s a possibility in his statement to Billboard about the management shift. It read, in part, “I put my all into every project. But when I’m not allowed to do what I do, then it’s time for me to move on. Mariah and I enjoy working together and will continue to make great music together in the future.” I'm not so sure the first part of that sentence doesn't overrule the second part. Regardless, they may need a break.

So if we take Dupri out of the picture, here are six potential producers for Carey’s next album and what they would bring to the table.

Pharrell: They’ve worked together before, including on 2005’s mega-successful “The Emancipation of Mimi,” when he co-wrote “Say Somethin’,” featuring Snoop Dogg, and co-produced the tune with Chad Hugo, his Neptunes partner-in-crime. Along with his newfound superstar status, Pharrell has become the most mainstream of producers: he makes songs that appeal to tweens and soccer moms and everyone inbetween. Carey’s known for her ballads and they could throw a few on here, but what if they just went for a sunny, upbeat, fun album that showed off her pipes, but also made it all seem effortless?

Don Was: Hey, if he’s good enough for the Rolling Stones, he’s good enough for Mariah, but we imagine him giving Carey the Bonnie Raitt treatment. His work with Raitt on 1989’s “Nick Of Time” catapulted her into stardom after she’d been dropped by Warner Bros. The album went on to sweep the Grammys. Was probably couldn’t get Carey back on the charts, but he could probably nab her some great taste-maker press and some Grammy noms if they made a record with stripped-down production and really confessional, heartfelt lyrics that reflected where she is in her mid-40s.

Dr. Luke: This is the most obvious choice if she wants to try to get back on Top 40 radio, but I don’t think it’s really a good fit. At this point, it would feel like a desperation play by Carey and she’s too good for that.

Dann Huff: Carey has a ragged determination to prove that she’s still street on every album and it’s hard to do that when you’re looking down from the penthouse. She also likes to pair with current hip hop or R&B acts to keep her credibility in those genres. What if she let all that go and just made a contemporary pop album that aimed for AC. Look at what Huff has done with acts like Faith Hill and Keith Urban…or even his work on Whitney Houston’s debut. He’s found a way to highlight their pop sensibilities without sacrificing their personalities. Carey would have to be willing to let go of her R&B side.

Walter Afanasieff: Yep. Take it back to the beginning. Afanasieff was there at the start and the songs the two created from “Vision Of Love” to “Love Takes Time,”  “Dreamlover” and “One Sweet Day,” remain among the best in her catalog. Afanaseiff also co-produced her most notable covers, including “Endless Love,” I’ll Be There,” and “Open Arms.” What if they put together a tasty album of covers? To be sure, the reality of this one is very slim since Carey's ex, Tommy Mottola, got Afanasieff in the divorce, but it's a thought.

Rick Rubin: This would probably be a clash of the titans and we’d never hear what they worked on before it all went down in flames, but Carey may need someone who totally takes the reins, does not let her co-produce and she just sings (and if she wants to, writes). Rubin would be completely in charge of the sound of the record. If we had our druthers, he even choose all the songs.  

Who did I leave out? Who would you like to see produce Carey?

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Azealia Banks revs up in her new 'Heavy Metal and Reflective' music video

Azealia Banks revs up in her new 'Heavy Metal and Reflective' music video

Gee, I wonder if it's a metaphor

Azealia Banks arrives in the desert bound and hooded at the beginning of her "Heavy Metal and Reflective" music video. But like a lilting butterfly -- unfettered by the scorching heat and the wild band of motocross bikers -- she escapes her ties to rule the crew.

You'd think that's a metaphor or something.

The rapper became loosed from her contract with Interscope last month, leaving way for her to finally maybe perhaps release a full-length record, which never came to pass for her "Broke with Expensive Taste" LP when she was with the major.

"Heavy Metal..." is the first taste of what she's been up to since then. I like what I'm hearing.

Her low drone bounces off of steep low ends and a similarly "cheeky" clap to Big Sean's "A$$"; the violent neons and flaming reds of her riding gear in the video is echoed in the bright and mean production overall.

I was also caught unawares that there was such a thing as a thong motocross bodysuit in the world. I did, however, know that it's difficult to make anybody look cool in double-plated riding goggles.

Check out the video below: does Banks have a fighting chance now that she has no label home? Want to hear more?

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Simon Cowell returning to American TV — British 'X Factor' to be shown on cable

Simon Cowell returning to American TV — British “X Factor” to be shown on cable
Mark Cuban’s AXS TV will show the 11th season of the hit competition series, which also stars fired Fox “X Factor” judge Cheryl Cole and “America’s Got Talent’s” Mel B.


Female YouTube comedian could replace Chelsea Handler on E!
The cable network has ordered a talk show pilot starring Grace Helbig, who has more than 1.8 million subscribers to her it’sGrace YouTube channel.


“Big Bang” cast returns to work
Kaley Cuoco this morning posted a photo from outside Warner Bros. Stage 25. "Happy happy! We're baaaaaaack!!!!!!!” she wrote.


Petition calls for “Weird Al” Yankovic to be next year’s Super Bowl halftime performer
Change.org user “Ed Ball” admits he was drunk when he submitted the petition, which has more than 5,000 signatures. He explains: “The theatrics alone would be hilarious and a welcoming change, and draw  a wider audience of fans that typically would not tune into the championship game or half-time show.”


Watch the 1st promo for "The Meredith Vieira Show”
“It doesn’t get better” is the theme of Vieira’s first promo.


Super Bowl champion, 3-time Olympic gold medalist among the new “Biggest Loser” contestants
Damien Woody, who won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, will be competing this season, as will former softball Olympian Lori Harrigan-Mack.


St. Vincent to take over Seth Meyers’ “Late Night” band for 2 nights next week
She’ll fill in for Fred Armisen, who’s been gone all summer shooting “Portlandia."


Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood to host the CMA Awards for the 7th straight year
“Carrie and Brad are unmatched as a hosting team,” says the CEO of the Country Music Awards.

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<p>&quot;Calvary&quot;</p>

"Calvary"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Brendan Gleeson recalls his 'High Noon' moment in the dark and bold 'Calvary'

Plus: What can we expect from Ron Howard's 'Heart of the Sea?'

John Michael McDonagh's "Calvary" is a gorgeously photographed, exquisitely acted, richly written tale of the underbelly of faith. At the end of a lackluster summer that seemed full of more malnourished product than normal, it's wonderful to sink your teeth into something like this that has so much to say and does so in so efficient a manner.

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Stevie Nicks

Listen to Stevie Nicks' confessional new tune, 'The Dealer'

She doesn't play it close to the vest on love song

Stevie Nicks knows when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. In “The Dealer,” the first single from her new album “24 Karat Gold — Songs From The Vault,” Nicks fires a warning shot to her current lover as she details her wanton past:  “If I’d really known you then/You’d had to watch out.”

In the mid-tempo track, she compares her love life to a card game where she is fully in charge: “I was the mistress of my fate, I was the card shark,” as she looks back with wisdom she didn’t have at the time.

“24 Karat Gold,” out Oct. 7, contains previously unreleased songs written by Nicks between 1969 and 1995. “The Dealer” was written around 1979, according to Rolling Stone, initially for Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” album.

Each song is a love story,” Nicks said in a statement.  “They represent my life behind the scenes, the secrets, the broken hearts, the broken hearted and the survivors. These songs are the memories—the 24-karat gold rings in the blue box.”

She and Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham were over by the time she wrote "The Dealer,"  so any guesses to whom she’s talking in the song?

 

 

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<p>&quot;The Theory of Everything&quot;</p>

"The Theory of Everything"

Credit: Focus Features

Eddie Redmayne delivers a brief history of Stephen Hawking in 'Theory of Everything' trailer

Focus Features' big awards play will premiere at TIFF in September

It seems rather surprising that a biopic tackling the life of famed physicist Stephen Hawking is just now making its way to the big screen, but courtesy of director James Marsh ("Man on Wire," "Red Riding") and actor Eddie Redmayne ("My Week with Marilyn," "Les Misérables"), it's finally doing just that. And ahead of a world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, Focus Features has launched the first trailer for the film.

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Les Moonves: James Corden is 'one of the people we’re talking to' for the 12:30 spot

Les Moonves: James Corden is “one of the people we’re talking to” for the 12:30 spot
The CBS boss was asked by TMZ last night about the reports Corden was replacing Craig Ferguson.


Kevin Spacey transforms into “Veep's" Selina Meyer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is "House of Cards'" Frank Underwood
The TV presidents swapped roles for the cover of EW.


Ryan Hansen to play Kate Walsh’s “sex buddy” on “Bad Judge”
Hansen is going from “Bad Teacher” to “Bad Judge.”


“Orange is the New Black” creator: Monica Lewinsky should "have a sense of humor about” us using her name as a “vulgar" joke
While Jenji Kohan responded to Lewinsky's Vanity Fair article, Natasha Lyonne said before an "OITNB" panel, "Hey, Lewinsky, we love you. Take it easy” and Taylor Schilling apologized “if you were offended.”


Read an oral history of “The Wonder Years”
Fred Savage and Danica McKellar recall the first time they met in this exhaustive oral history.


Tracy Morgan was more excited to get calls from LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes than from Obama
That’s according to “Chappelle Show” co-creator Neal Brennan, who tells Seth Meyers: “The fact that Tracy put LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes above the president let's me know that Tracy is back.”


Kate Burton will be back on “Grey’s Anatomy”
Ellis Grey will return next season via flashbacks.


Mischa Barton sometimes wishes she never did “The O.C.”
"It’s something I came so close to not doing,” she says. "I had a really great thing with film. People say be grateful for what you have but it certainly not the kind of thing I was expecting it to be…I’ve kind of seen it all.”


Watch the “Community” Season 5 blooper reel
Six minutes of hilarity.


“Girl Meets World” renewed
Disney Channel has ordered a 2nd season of the “Boy Meets World” spinoff.


See Chris Pratt’s high school yearbook photos
This is how Pratt actually looked like in high school — the “Parks and Rec” star was in his early-to-mid 20s when he played a teenager on “Everwood."


“Sesame Street” spoofs Comic-Con
Welcome to Numeric Con.


“The Flash” adding Girder
The CW is casting for the role of Tony Woodward, the steelworker who gets dunked in a vat of molten metal.

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<p>&quot;CMA Music Festival: Country&#39;s Night To Rock&quot;</p>

"CMA Music Festival: Country's Night To Rock"

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Country's Night To Rock' rolls ABC to Tuesday split

'America's Got Talent' and 'Food Fighters' are both down for NBC

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, August 5, 2014. 

ABC's three-hour broadcast of "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night To Rock" helped the network to a slim Tuesday win among young viewers and put ABC in a close second to NBC among young viewers.

NBC still won the key demo despite week-to-week drops for both "Food Fighters" and "America's Got Talent."

On to the numbers...

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<p>The Knick</p>

The Knick

Credit: Cinemax

Review: Steven Soderbergh and Clive Owen go back in time with Cinemax's 'The Knick'

1900 hospital drama not an instant classic, but very promising

Early in the new Cinemax drama "The Knick," Dr. John Thackery boasts of "the astonishing modern world in which we live," insisting that "We now live in a time of endless possibility. More has been learned about the human body in the last five years than in the previous 500."

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Hillary Clinton pays 'The Colbert Report' a surprise visit

Hillary Clinton pays "The Colbert Report" a surprise visit
Watch the former first lady name-drop with Stephen Colbert.


5 major new characters are joining "Glee's" final season
They include male and female twin Cheerios and a "football stud" who is "post-Glee gay -- no one messes with him about his sexuality because he will kick their asses if they do.”

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FX’s 'Partners' has an okay debut

FX’s “Partners” has an okay debut
The Kelsey Grammer-Martin Lawrence debuted to a little over 1 million viewers.


James Corden: Another white guy getting a late-night gig
Even with Craig Ferguson endorsing a female as his “Late Late Show” replacement, CBS is apparently going with another white male host. As Kara Brown notes, "No one is arguing that he's not talented or capable, but why aren't we tired of this bullsh*t assumption that white men are the only people capable of hosting late night television shows?” PLUS: Comedian Julie Klausner goes on an anti-Corden rant, Corden has small shoes to fill when it comes to ratings, a primer on who is James Corden, and he is unavoidable in England and has 4.4 million followers despite rarely tweeting.


50 Cent’s “Power” has had the biggest black viewership among premium cable shows; "The Wire" No. 2
Here’s a list of what black people have watched on premium cable over most of the past decade.


Martha Stewart’s younger sister dies
Laura Plimpton, 59, who worked for Stewart’s lifestyle empire, reportedly suffered a brain aneurysm.


Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” will be shown in color on Epix channel
The Oscar-nominated black-and-white film starring Will Fort, June Squibb Bruce Dern had a colorized version made for countries that forbade showing non-color programming.


Netflix got Chelsea Handler to moderate an “OITNB” panel
The free-flowing panel was set up directly after the cast appeared on Conan. PLUS: Uzo Aduba writes about her name and her long journey to success.


“Halt & Catch Fire” ends its 1st season with just 574,000 viewers
That’s the AMC series’ 2nd-worst viewership.


Chelsea Handler gets a positive portrayal in comic book form
A new biographical comic book leaves out some of the E! star’s controversies.


Why is “Big Brother” so boring this season?
There’s something lacking this year, and that is momentum. PLUS: Aaryn Gries gets engaged.


Comedy Central orders “Straight to Mouth” magic variety show pilot from Chris Hardwick
Comedian/magician Justin Willman will star in a variety show in which he will use magic and comedy to tackle various topics.


Here’s a rundown of all the “True Detective” rumors
From Season 2 having three leads to Season 2 having four leads.


HBO’s “The Brink” adds Jaimie Alexander
She’ll play a public affairs rep aboard an aircraft carrier on the HBO dark comedy.


George R.R. Martin addresses diversity on “Game of Thrones”
What about the black characters from the novels who don’t appear on the TV series?


Check out “Daredevil’s” Matt Murdock
The “Boardwalk Empire” star was captured filming scenes for his Netflix role.


Nickelodeon is developing shows for kids that could work on TV, mobile or the web
“Welcome to The Wayne,” released online Monday, is one such show that is trying to appeal to young viewers who don’t distinguish their many screens.


Terri Seymour is leaving “Extra”
Seymour, who famously dated Simon Cowell for six years, has seen her role diminished since “Extra” hired Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo.

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Review: 'The Hundred Foot Journey' is pretty, but largely drama-free
Credit: Walt Disney Studios/Dreamworks Pictures

Review: 'The Hundred Foot Journey' is pretty, but largely drama-free

Just because Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey signed off doesn't mean it works

When you say someone in Hollywood is a hard-working actor, they might have over 100 films on their filmography, an astounding feat these days. When you say someone in Bollywood is a hard-working actor, you can multiply that by two or even three times, easily. In the case of Om Puri, one of the stars of Lasse Hallstrom's film version of "The Hundred-Foot Journey," a novel by Richard C. Morais, he's an institution, the star of over 11,000 movies.

I may be off by 10,800 or so, but the point remains… Puri is an icon, and if only to watch him play opposite Helen Mirren, the two of them throwing attitude back and forth at one another, I would have to recommend a viewing. As it turns out, the film is a mild pleasure at best. There's nothing necessarily wrong with it, and it's well-crafted, but the screenplay by Steven Knight is so remarkably free of anything resembling actual drama that I'm almost mystified by it.

Basically, the film tells the story of a young man named Hassan (Manish Dayal) who decides he wants to be the best chef in the world, and then he is, and nothing really gets in his way or slows him down at all, and he also gets the girl and everything else he wants. The end.

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