A Rose is Still A Rose: Checking for Aretha Franklin’s 90s and 00s material

OG diva and “the undisputed Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin announced earlier this week she was hanging up her microphone after one final album of originals this year, which will be produced by another influential music legend no less, Stevie Wonder.

For a generation that didn’t grow up with Aretha topping the charts and being a mainstay in the spotlight, she is probably better known for that wig-snatching gif and various viral moments. There’s the iconic Inauguration Hat memes and that time we gagged at Cissy Houston rolling her eyes and half-arsing her way through Aretha’s performance of ‘Rolling In The Deep’. The internet has also kept a catalogue of her shadiest moments like when she snatched her arm away from Patti Labelle when the singer tried to congratulate her and let’s not forget that masterclass in top shelf shade when Aretha was asked her opinion on Taylor Swift and only offered: “Okay… um. Great gowns. Beautiful gowns.”

In a time where ‘icon’, ‘diva’ and ‘queen’ titles are thrown at anyone with a big enough Gay Twitter following, I like to think that individuals of cultural impact on Aretha’s stratosphere (of which there aren’t many) are still regarded with a special, untouchable kind of status.

When we think of Aretha Franklin, we think ‘Empress Diva of Soul with zero fucks to give’, we think of ‘Respect‘, we think of ‘Think‘, we think of the 98’ VH1 Divas Live concert (which also featured other greats like Mariah, Celine, Shania, Gloria Estefan and Carole King). But we don’t seem to check for the latter part of her career as much. Sure she’s not as active as she was in her hey-day but Aunt ReRe was definitely still putting down some moments in music over the last 20 years or so.

So, in light of this retirement announcement, I’ve decided to sift through some of her original records from the 90s onwards and see what we might’ve missed.

‘A Rose Is Still A Rose’ (1998)

A poetic feminist jam written and produced by Lauryn Hill especially for Aretha’s 1998 album of the same name. Now, I actually remember this one because there was a time where MTV played music videos and there was a time where music video stations played the latest hot hit by Aretha Franklin.

Looking back, this video is like the most amazingly 90s thing I’ve ever seen. Those massive bomber jackets that were a staple in mainstream R&B music videos, and Queen Aretha posted up in some of the best wigs of her career, looking like Earth Mother draped in luxurious fabrics, trilling life advice by the piano in some kind of synthetic Garden of Eden in the projects? I live.

The album, which also featured songs written by Puff Daddy, Faith Evans, Jermaine Dupri and Dallas Austin, was a remarkable exercise in modernising the diva’s sound and reconnecting her with a younger audience. It remains Aretha’s most critically acclaimed and best-selling album of the 90s.

 

‘Never Gonna Break My Faith’ with Mary J. Blige (2006)

A stirring gospel anguish written by Bryan Adams for the Bobby soundtrack. This Golden Globe-nominated song is a powerful meeting of two of America’s most prominent female soul singers. It also showed us that while demand for a full album of Aretha’s originals were at an all time low, you could still 100 per cent count on her to deliver that one king-hit performance. One big performance is all it takes. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am!

 

‘Don’t Waste My Time’ – Mary J. Blige with Aretha Franklin (1999)

From Mary J. Blige‘s critically-acclaimed album Mary, this hefty, angst-filled duet where a larger-than-life Aretha urges Mary to move on from a deadbeat relationship is mostly the former diva hollering over the latter. But for lovers of this kind of over the top and gospel-derived style of singing, it really doesn’t get any better than this. The pair even picked up a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo. It really makes me yearn to see more female artists coming together and showing solidarity and sisterhood in songs.

‘Put You Up On Game’ with Fantasia (2007)

I’ve always enjoyed the back-and-forth kind of duets Aretha’s done in her career. Check the sassy and brashly 80s pop shakedown with Whitney in ‘It Isn’t, It Wasn’t, It Ain’t Never Gonna Be‘. Here the OG diva plays a nosy, older woman giving a young and seemingly naive-in-love Fantasia some relationship advice on a modern R&B ballad format, produced by The Underdogs.

Fantasia is without question one of the most brilliant and under-appreciated old school soul singers we have today. She is part of a dying breed and I fear almost daily that she’ll never achieve the mainstream recognition she deserves. The ad-libs at the end of this song gives us just a hint of what could have been had these ladies been able to perform this live and just jam with no restrictions.

‘Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool’ (2003)

A pensive ballad, written and produced by Janet Jackson‘s hitmakers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, where Aretha shakes off a shady frenemy who constantly pokes at her relationship, questioning if she knows where her man’s been and what he’s up to etc. LOL. Sounds like a scene straight out of Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Despite appearing blind to his bullshit, Aretha reasons, “a little bit of my man’s sweet love is a whole lot better than none of it”. Queen of Drama and Real Talk.

‘Mary Goes Round’ (1991)

Aretha’s brief and poorly-received foray into New Jack Swing is probably best left in the crypt of the 90s but this What You See Is What You Sweat (I know right?!) album track is nonetheless an interesting showcase of what happens when you infuse her style of spirited soul with the exuberant, dominant dance music style of the time. Here ReRe manages to throw everything at you, from deep growls to even a hint of vampy dance captain realness in the spoken word bits (“Turn the corner right! Turn the corner left!”). Very much a product of its time, as they would say.

 

Until next time, you can catch me tweeting here at @feedlimmy.

 

Chart Feed – 18.07.11

Lady Gaga‘s ‘The Edge of Glory’ bullets after last week’s Australian promo stopover. The single shoots from #22 to a new peak of #6 here while ‘Born This Way’ jumps from #42 to #18. The album also picked up some a few copies, ascending to #2 on our ARIA charts. Yes, still no match for Adele’s 21 album which is effortlessly turning over chart-reigning sales with no promo. Elsewhere, Gaga‘s The Fame rises to #31 while The Fame Monster EP re-enters the Top 50 at #34.

Adele‘s ‘Someone Like You’ might’ve been rushed to local radios last month but they’re already playing catch up with the third single ‘Set Fire to The Rain’. The latter is the third most added track to Aussie radios this week and makes its ARIA Top 50 entry at #50.

Christina Perri‘s Lovestrong album debuts at #5 in Australia, making it the highest selling new album in the country. On the flip side, her breakthrough single ‘Jar of Hearts’ rises to #2. No shade to the Perri Perri but I don’t understand how some girl who appeared of nowhere with one hit single can manage at Top 5 entry when her label mate Wynter Gordon, who came out for a week-long promo trip and had two smash singles under her belt couldn’t even get an album in the Top 20. This is bothering me big time.

Wynter‘s With The Music I Die exits the ARIA Top 50 this week just after a month on the shelves. While I recognise that it’s still early days and they’re still laying foundations, it still bothers me that an amazing album like this gets slept on. I look forward to the next single campaign because something creative needs to happen online. Wynter is pretty hands on with her Twitter and Facebook – she’s got fans connecting with her all over the interwebs. If her label can build a site just for Christina Perri‘s ‘Jar of Hearts’, I don’t see why they can’t do something to promote ‘Buy My Love’ or the album. Over in the States, ‘Til Death’ climbs to a new peak of #5 on the US Billboard Dance/Club charts.

Nicole Scherzinger scores another Australian Top 20 smash with ‘Right There’ climbing to #20 this week. Y’all better send the bitch some flowers because she is totally winning right now. ‘Right There’ is scaling the US Billboard Hot 100, moving to a new peak of #52 and over in Europe, they’re chugging on with a fourth single: ‘Wet’.

Have y’all seen Nicole shake, wind and roll on the American So You Think You Can Dance? Warning: they’ve replaced some of the lyrics with more family friendly lines.

 

Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera‘s ‘Moves Like Jagger’ leaps to #10 this week in Australia. This is Xtina‘s first time in the confines of the Australian Top 20 since ‘Candyman’ tore it up at #2 position in 2007. Her previous efforts ‘Not Myself Tonight’ and Burlesque‘s ‘Show Me How Your Burlesque’ went as high as #22 and #29. It’s also Maroon 5‘s biggest hit here in a while. Their last Top 20 smash here was 2008’s ‘If I Never See Your Face Again’ with Rihanna and following that, ‘Misery’ from their last album Hands All Over flopped at #39.

Gotye featuring Kimbra‘s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ debuts at #27, making it the highest selling new single in Australia this week. What a dynamite vocal performance by both parties! You can tell the Triple J crowd would be all over this collabo like Oxford Street queens to Kylie. Check out the nu-di-ty teasing video here, which iTunes is giving away for free this week:

 

Darren Hayes‘Talk Talk Talk’ jumps back up to #8 on the Australian ARIA charts this week after dipping to #18 in its second week. When will it crack the ARIA Top 50, y’all? On the promo side, our Dazza has been confirmed as a guest mentor on the upcoming series of X Factor Australia. Should be a treat for the contestants! Meanwhile, another Aussie pop single yet to impact the ARIA Top 50 – Vanessa Amorosi‘s ‘Gossip’ – is currently charting at #145 on iTunes.

Jessica Mauboy‘s new single ‘Inescapable (Youngboyz Remix)’ is perched at #29 on our iTunes charts. It only came out on Friday so we’ll have to wait ’til next Monday to see where it lands on the ARIA charts. Another new digital single Blink 182‘s ‘Up All Night’ is currently placed at #21 on the Australian iTunes charts.

Beyonce‘s ‘Best Thing I Never Had’ rises to #25 in Australia while the album 4 dips a little to #6 in its third week. Over in the UK, ‘BTINH’ moves to #4 while the album relinquishes its #1 position to none other than Adele‘s almighty 21. Looking over at the States, 4 spends its second week on top of the Billboard Hot 200 while ‘BTINH’ moves up to #23. I’ll have y’all know, the most downloaded and therefore, if we can deduce, most popular 4 album track is ‘End of Time’ – should be a no-brainer for single number three, right?

Benny Benassi featuring Gary Go‘s ‘Cinema’ rises a little to #47 this week. I have a feeling this could well propel into the Top 30 or, dare we dream, Top 20 next week. It’s the most added new song to Australian radios this week. Look out for another club to mainstream crossover potential in Wolfgang Gartner featuring will.i.am‘s ‘Forever’. The track was just serviced to our radios last week. The remixes moved to a new peak of #15 on the ARIA club charts this week.

The Wanted‘s ‘Glad You Came’ debuts at #1 in the UK this week and for once, I am approving. There’s something immediate and sexy about this single that grabs me in a way that their previous releases could never. I can’t explain it. [Editor’s note: maybe it’s the sly “come” entendre?] The quintet’s self-titled debut album shoots up to #45 in the UK this week. Expect the sophomore album to be out in November.

Check out the spunky lads in the ‘Glad You Came’ video here:

 

Nicola Roberts‘Beat of My Drum’ cops a sale boost thanks to her T4 On The Beach performance and fresh bout of TV promos last week. The single leaps from #76 to #50. I have to say, I’m really proud of Nicola’s efforts. She appears to be more confident with the live performances and her forthcoming debut Cinderella’s Eyes is shaping up to be a real hipster pop treat. Read her interview with Popjustice where she describes the creative control she is afforded now versus what she was relegated to do when recording Girls Aloud material.

Kelly Rowland‘s ‘Motivation’ has gone Top 20 in the US Billboard Hot 100, y’all! The sexy slow jam climbs up to #19, making it Kelendria’s first solo entry in that stratosphere since ‘Dilemma’ went #1 in 2002. The album Here I Am will arrive in the States next week and luckily for her the shit hadn’t leaked yet. Unlike some people’s record that got out three weeks early.

Jennifer Lopez‘s ‘I’m Into You’ ascends to #1 on the US Billboard Dance/Club charts and moves to a new peak of #72 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Look, the rest of the world is ready to move on to ‘Papi’ already. I think the time has certainly passed for ‘I’m Into You’ here in Australia. I know over in the US and UK, they’re still holding back somewhat because ‘On The Floor’ is still so huge but really, can we rush out ‘Papi’ here already?

Kylie Minogue‘s ‘Put Your Hands Up’ rises to #16 on the US Billboard Dance charts. Hold up, is MinMin doing a video for this jam or what? Let’s get on with it. Elsewhere, another fave with the gays Dolly Parton sees her new album Better Daysink to #88 after debuting at #51 last week.

Jennifer Hudson‘s ‘No One Gonna Love You’ ascends to #36 on the US Billboard R&B charts while her fellow Idol alumni and queen of hood rat soul Fantasia finds her ‘Collard Greens and Cornbread’ winding up at #47. Watch Fanny glam it up for her American Idol performance. I’ll have you know, this is not typical of her. She is usually running all over the stage barefoot and sweating like a roast on the spit. Having said that, I’ve still got crazy love for her voice.

 

Avril Lavigne‘s ‘Smile’ finally cracks the US Billboard Hot 100 at #94 this week while the album moves back up to #169. Shit, I forgot the ho was still flogging that Goodbye Lullaby of hers. The album is definitely bigger in Japan than it is anywhere else in the world. As of last week, it was certified platinum sales with over 340,000 copies sold. Back in March when it debuted, its first week sales there was over 135,000 copies. Compare that to the 15,000 first week sales she made here in Australia and 13,000 in her home country Canada. The Japanese are fervent record buyers fo’ sho.

 

53rd Annual Grammy Awards Nominees

Hark! We have the list of nominees for next year’s 53rd annual Grammy awards. Are you ready for this?

Feed Limmy posted some of the submissions for nominations a few months back and now, let’s have a peek at who’s made the shortlist.

The wigs are coming off at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry prepare for a showdown. Pop’s newest leading ladies are up against each other in four major categories – Album of The Year, Best Pop Album, Best Female Pop and Best Pop Collaboration.

Gaga’s Fame Monster will challenge Katy’s Teenage Dream in the album categories while their singles ‘Bad Romance’ and ‘Teenage Dream’ face off for the Best Female Pop gong. Elsewhere, Gaga and Beyonce’s almighty ‘Telephone’ is up against Katy and Snoop Dogg’s ‘California Gurls’ in the Best Pop Collaboration category.

Eminem leads the race with ten nominations including Record of The Year, Song of The Year and Best Rap for his global smash ‘Love The Way You Lie’ with Rihanna, while his comeback album Recovery is up for Album of The Year. Bruno Mars is the next on the nominations tally with seven nods. Cee Lo Green‘s ever-popular ‘Fuck You’ is up for three major Grammy’s including Record of The Year, Song of The Year and Best Urban/Alternative.

The Glee gang makes their Grammy debut with two nominations for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Glee: The Music, Volume 1 and Best Pop Vocals by Duo/Group for ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ (Regionals Version)’.

In the dance music sphere, Robyn‘s ‘Dancing On My Own’ is up for Best Dance Recording, alongside Lady Gaga‘s ‘Dance In The Dark’.

Over in the R&B stakes, ghetto petal Fantasia has done us proud garnering three noms including Best Female R&B, Best R&B song and Best R&B album – where she’s up against Monica‘s Still Standing.

Elsewhere, Beyonce technically hasn’t dropped any new music in 2010 but you’ve got another thought coming if you think that would stop her from still nominating herself. The diva had submitted tracks from her I Am… Yours live disc, which saw her performance of ‘Halo’ qualify for the Best Female Pop category.

Special thanks to our friends at SameSame for forwarding the official Grammy Nomination presser.

[Editor’s note: 13 February update – winners of the categories now included.] 

RECORD of THE YEAR:

‘Nothing on You’ by B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars
‘Love The Way You Lie’ by Eminem feat. Rihanna
‘Fuck You’ by Cee Lo Green
‘Empire State of Mind’ by Jay Z and Alicia Keys
‘Need You Now’ by Lady Antebellum [WINNER]

ALBUM of THE YEAR:

The Fame Monster by Lady Gaga
Teenage Dream by Katy Perry
Recovery by
Eminem
The Suburbs by Arcade Fire [WINNER]
Need You Now by Lady Antebellum

 

SONG of THE YEAR:

‘Fuck You’ by Cee Lo Green
‘Love The Way You Lie’ by
Eminem feat. Rihanna
‘Need You Now’ by Lady Antebellum [WINNER]
‘The House That Built Me’ by Miranda Lambert
‘Beg Steal or Borrow’ by
Ray LaMontagne and The Pariah Dogs

BEST NEW ARTIST:

Justin Bieber
Drake
Florence & The Machine
Mumford & Sons
Esperanza Spalding [WINNER]

BEST FEMALE POP:

‘Bad Romance’ by Lady Gaga [WINNER]
‘Teenage Dream’ by Katy Perry
‘Halo (Live)’ by Beyonce
‘King of Anything’ by Sara Bareilles
‘Chasing Pirates’ by Norah Jones

BEST MALE POP:

‘This Is It’ by Michael Jackson
‘Whataya Want From Me’ by Adam Lambert
‘Haven’t Met You Yet’ by Michael Buble
‘Just The Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars [WINNER]
‘Half of My Heart’ by John Mayer

BEST POP PERFORMANCE BY A DUO/GROUP:

‘Don’t Stop Believin’ (Regionals Version)’ by Glee Cast
‘Misery’ by Maroon 5
‘The Only Exception’ by Paramore
‘Hey, Soul Sister (Live)’ by Train [WINNER]
‘Babyfather’ by Sade

BEST POP COLLABORATION:

‘Telephone’ by Lady Gaga and Beyonce
‘California Gurls’ by Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg
‘Airplanes Part II’ by B.o.B, Eminem and Hayley Williams
‘If It Wasn’t For Bad’ by Elton John and Leon Russell
‘Imagine’ by Herbie Hancock, Pink, India.Arie, Konono No 1, Jeff Beck and Oumou Sangare [WINNER]

BEST POP ALBUM:

The Fame Monster by Lady Gaga [WINNER]
Teenage Dream by Katy Perry
My World 2.0 by Justin Bieber
I Dreamed A Dream by Susan Boyle
Battle Studies by John Mayer

BEST DANCE RECORDING:

‘Dancing On My Own’ by Robyn
‘Dance In The Dark’ by Lady Gaga
‘Rocket’ by Goldfrapp
‘In For The Kill’ by La Roux
‘Only Girl (In The World)’ by Rihanna [WINNER]

BEST ELECTRONIC/DANCE ALBUM:

La Roux by La Roux [WINNER]
Head First by Goldfrapp
Further by Chemical Brothers
Black Light by Groove Armada
These Hopeful Machines by BT

BEST ALTERNATIVE ALBUM:

Broken Bells by Broken Bells
Contra by Vampire Weekend
Brothers by The Black Keys [WINNER]
Infinite Arms by Band of Horses
The Suburbs by Arcade Fire

BEST FEMALE R&B:

‘Everything to Me’ by Monica
‘Bittersweet’ by Fantasia [WINNER]
‘Tired’ by Kelly Price
‘Holding You Down (Going In Circles)’ by Jazmine Sullivan
‘Gone Already’ by Faith Evans

BEST MALE R&B:

‘There Goes My Baby’ by Usher [WINNER]
‘We’re Still Friends’ by Musiq Soulchild
‘Why Would You Stay’ by Kem
‘Finding My Way Back’ by Jaheim
‘Second Chance’ by El DeBarge

BEST R&B BY DUO/GROUP:

‘Soldier of Love’ by Sade [WINNER]
‘Shine’ by John Legend and The Roots
‘You’ve Got A Friend’ by Ronald Isley and Aretha Franklin
‘Love’ by Chuck Brown, Jill Scott and Marcus Miller
‘Take My Time’ by Chris Brown and Tank

BEST R&B SONG:

‘Bittersweet’ by Fantasia
‘Finding My Way Back’ by Jaheim
‘Second Chance’ by El DeBarge
‘Shine’ by John Legend and The Roots [WINNER]
‘Why Would You Stay’ by Kem

BEST CONTEMPORARY R&B ALBUM:

The ArchAndroid by Janelle Monae
Raymond V Raymond by Usher [WINNER]
Transition by Ryan Leslie
Untitled by R Kelly
Graffiti by Chris Brown

BEST R&B ALBUM:

Still Standing by Monica
Back to Me by Fantasia
Wake Up! by John Legend & The Roots [WINNER]
Another Round by Jaheim
The Love & War Masterpeace by Raheem DeVaughn

PRODUCER of THE YEAR:

RedOne (Lady Gaga, Usher and Enrique Iglesias)
The Smeezingtons (Bruno Mars, Cee Lo Green)
Dr Luke (Ke$ha, Katy Perry)
Danger
Mouse (Broken Bells, The Black Keys) [WINNER]
Rob Cavallo (Adam Lambert, Paramore)

Footnote:

The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards was held on 13 February 2011.

Fantasia ‘I’m Doin Me’ Music Video

Everyone’s favourite ghetto petal has returned with a feel good jam for the ladies. Somehow I’m not convinced that Fanny would be this well behaved should there be a run-in with a real ex.

Director Benny Boom (the man behind Nelly and Kelly‘s ‘Dilemma’ and Ciara‘s ‘Goodies’ videos) gives us a sneak peak into Fantasia‘s leisurely Sunday arvo activities.

It’s no different to what you and I do, really – catch up with the gurls, clock an ex and give him the side-eye, and then go shake it off in a park.

Here are three highlights of Fantasia‘s ‘I’m Doin Me’ video:

1) Fanny Sets The Bait.

This is where she got me. Aretha and I are all eyes and ears now, gurl, you go head.

2) I’mma-Cut-A-Bitch Face.

My friends all know this look. The minute they see this flash across my dial, they know to hide all sharp objects and glasses, and start reaching out for prayer support.

3) Fanny Is A Ford Type of Girl.

It’d be absurd to have Bentleigh or BMW sponsoring this video. Totally goes against Fantasia‘s image and demographic. Fans would be accusing her of selling out, but no risk of that with a Ford automobile.

Footnote:

The album Back To Me has reportedly only sold over 283,000 copies since it dropped in August. Look, I really want her to do well. Fanny captured my heart when she belted the shit out of her debut title track, ‘Free Yourself’. Can we take it back to that exorcist-baiting unbridled soul?

Chart Feed – 06.09.10

My friends, we’re about to see some raw nekkid arse. X Factor alumni Olly Murs‘ debut single ‘Please Don’t Let Me Go’ has gone straight to #1 this week in the UK and if Olly‘s a man of his words, he should be dropping them daks any time now to celebrate this momentus occasion.

Olly‘s is the ninth UK X Factor contestant to have achieved a #1 single debut. Keep a tab on this and see where his second single ends up.

We’ve got three new albums debut in our Top 3 this week – Katy Perry‘s cotton candy-scented disc ‘Teenage Dream takes #1 (not just here but world over), Disturbed‘s Asylum makes silver #2 and local legend Jimmy Barnes scores a #3 entry for Rage & Ruin.

Katy Perry‘s Teenage Dream album sold 192,000 copies in its first week in the US and over 14,600 copies in Australia. The title track contends with a #2 debut in the UK behind Olly Murs while a popular album track, ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)’ charts at #67 in the US.

Miami Horror‘s Illumination album tumbles out of our Top 20 after making #10 last week and similarly, Clare Bowditch‘s Modern Day Addiction leaves the Top 30 after clinging to #19.

John Butler Trio‘s April Uprising flies back up the chart as they continue touring the country this month. Their new single  ‘Revolution’ debuts at #33 on the digital charts this week.

Cee-Lo‘s ‘Fuck You’ came in at #26 in Australia, despite making the iTunes Top 10 its first few days. ‘F U’ – as it is mannerly retitled – is the most added new song on local radio this week.

Urban Kiwi artist Dane Rumble‘s ‘Always Be Here’ debuts at #19 on our Aussie dance charts this week. The track – being Dane‘s first solo single – was first released in New Zealand last February where it made #13. Check out Dane’s recent interview with JOY 94.9′s Sound Museum.

Pretty Reckless is bound to rub more conservative folks up the wrong way now that their Light Me Up album has hit shelves. The cute – still  probably not the response they were going for – album cover featuring a kid playing with a lighter will probably make this week’s mother’s club meeting minutes.

The band’s front bitch Taylor Momsen – who’s also the face of Madonna‘s “Material Girl” collection – is constantly in the press about how hard rock she is. So go figure.

Adele‘s cover of ‘Make You Feel My Love’ is still travelling back up the UK charts, leaping to #24 this week after Annastacia‘s tear-jerking rendition on X Factor.

Mumford & Sons‘ single ‘Little Lion Man’ creeps up to #91 in the US this week. The track remains as the band’s biggest single to date in Australia, where it peaked at #3. Come to think of it, Australia gave ‘Little Lion Man’ its best ever chart position any where in the world.

Kid Cudi and Kanye West‘s ‘Erase Me’ is the highest charting new single in the US this week, entering at #22. Golf claps, all around.

If I had known that the US market really had Fantasia‘s back, I would’ve dropped this album a week earlier. The messy mami saw her new LP Back To Me sell 117,000 copies to debut at #2, sadly eclipsed by Katy Perry‘s album release on the same day.

On paper, this is Fanny‘s best charting album to date. But check the fine print: her 2004 post-Idol debut sold twice the amount of copies in its first week but only managed to chart at #8. Elsewhere, Fantasia‘s wail of a lead single ‘Bittersweet’ rises to #74 in the US this week.

Usher is out to make that money. He’s not waiting around for the champagne to dry up after celebrating his US #1 album. No, Usher has mouths to feed and so he’s bundled up a few left over tracks and released a spin-off EP to Raymond v. Raymond, titled Versus. The EP debuts at #4 in the US this week and it features the hit singles ‘DJ Got Us Falling In Love’ and ‘Hottie Tottie’.

Feed Limmy Top 20 Most Played:
#1 davidlim – Running Away
#2 Alex Gardner – I’m Not Mad*
#3 Hurts – Wonderful Life*
#4 Hurts – Sunday*
#5 Miami Horror – Holidays*
#6 Brandy – Right Here (Departed)
#7 RaVaughn – Revolver
#8 Miami Horror – I Look To You*
#9 Alex Gardner – You See With Me*
#10 Miami Horror – Illuminated*
#11 Ace of Base – All For You
#12 Miami Horror – Imagination*
#13 Her Majesty & The Wolves – Glaciers*
#14 Kanye West – Monster (feat. Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Bon Iver)
#15 BoA – Crazy About
#16 Hurts – Better Than Love*
#17 Sia – Clap Your Hands
#18 Jordin Sparks – No Parade
#19 Hurts – Illuminated*
#20 Robyn – Include Me Out
* = Added to playlist this week

Headlines – 11.08.2010

Making headlines in pop music this week…

My favourite messy mami Fantasia Barrino has overdosed on aspirin and sleeping pills. This is not a good turn for the American Idol winner who’s had to face rumours of a sex tape circulating and accusations of being a home wrecker. Fanny was hospitalised on Monday night and is said to be recovering. Her new comeback single ‘Bittersweet’ is sitting at arse end of the US Hot 100 this week.

Kelly Rowland has filmed her ‘Rose Coloured Glasses’ video in 3D. I shouldn’t have to explain what kind of genius idea she’s sitting on here. Connect the dots: song title and 3D visuals.

Pop’s fresh-faced newcomer Florrie has uploaded two new tracks this week. Head to her website to download her music for free, especially the latest: original mix – yes, you read that right. This is not a remix – of ‘Give Me Your Love’. Be insatiable and just grab all her tunes.

Australians can now download the iTunes London Festival live EPs of Scissor Sisters, Ellie Goulding, Florence + The Machines, Marina & The DiamondsPaloma Faith, Kate NashKeane and Amy MacDonald. One is spoilt for choice.

Alesha Dixon has dropped the video for her new single ‘Drummer Boy’. The colourful and unsurprisingly percussion-ridden clip is directed by Ray Kay (the man behind Cheryl Cole‘s ‘Fight For This Love’ and Amerie‘s ‘Why R U’ clips).

Pop producer du jour RedOne is launching his own label under Universal Music. Here comes the twist: the acts he signs, writes and produces for will have their album up for bids by Universal Music’s subsidiary labels. A clever move to omit the label from the creative process, bringing the focus back to the music and giving each artist the space to develop their brand.

Dance maestros Freemasons teams up with upcoming pop identity Wynter Gordon for their new single ‘Believer’. Compared to the dramatic ‘Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)’ with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, ‘Believer’ actually borderlines on snoozefest. In any case, this coveted association with the Freemasons works for Wynter as she gears up to release her debut album With The Music I Die later this year.

Chart Feed – 26.07.10

I predict a riot of gays burning shit up after our goddess Kylie failed to reach #1 on the album charts this week. Despite her extensively-covered homecoming tour, Aphrodite remains at #2, unable to dislodge Eminem from the top spot.

You’ve seen the mouth-frothing state these queens work themselves into at Kylie‘s TV studio performances. Perhaps their passion is best channeled into door-knocking and cold calling homes who are yet to receive their Aphrodite Experience (TM)?

Florence + The Machines has finally scored themselves a Top 10 album in Australia. Lungs edged up to #8 this week, no doubt thanks to local radio’s pick up of the year-old single: ‘Rabbit Heart’. Now treat yourselves to this surprisingly decent Radio 1 Live Lounge cover by Sugababes.

M.I.A.‘s catheter bag of noise pollution Maya plummets from #21 to #43 in Australia this week. I see the record company has released a deluxe edition package with a holographic cover. That’s nice. If only she had invested just as much care factor into making the album.

Little Monsters have seen this coming from the beginning but Universal Music Australia had validated our moistest wet dreams by confirming ‘Dance In The Dark’ as Lady Gaga‘s fourth single here. The oracle that is Auspop dropped the news last week and a fan has already tried to get some Wiki-verification on this.

Apparently, since  Mother Monster’s official website has yet to make an announcement, the Wikipedia gatekeepers aren’t putting up any details. Just take pride in knowing Australian radio’s finally going to be ahead of the crowd with something.

The scruffy Michael Paynter sees his new single ‘Love The Fall’ debut at #33 in Australia this week despite being the #1 selling CD single in the country. The music video features Jess and Lisa (The Veronicas) play, what one can only imagine to be, his angel and demon.

Professor Green‘s debut album Alive Till I’m Dead comes in at #2 in the UK this week, making it an absolute hip hop top three with Eminem‘s Recovery on top and Plan B‘s The Defamation of Strickland Banks at #3. Elsewhere, Sheryl Crow‘s 100 Miles From Memphis debuts at #34.

Usher and Pitbull‘s new single ‘DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love’ debuts at #19 in the US, making it the highest new entry there this week. Is Pitbull everyone’s feature bitch of the year? The cameo just keeps going, from Jennifer Lopez – sorry, LoLa – to Enrique and Alexandra Burke. He is the Flo Rida of 2010.

Monica‘s saccharine new track ‘Love All Over Me’ debuts at #94 this week in the States, not far off from Fantasia‘s comeback single ‘Bittersweet’ which sits at #92. While I love me some Fanny, I must say, these lightweight R&B ballads are doing her no justice. Wake me when she reverts to her signature vocal cord-ripping soul.

Feed Limmy’s Top 20 Most Played:

#1 Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Not Giving Up (Acoustic Live)*
#2 davidlim – Into You*
#3 Wonder Girls – Nobody (Jason Nevins Remix)
#5 Anatasia – Absolutely Positively
#6 Kelly Rowland – Commander (Acoustic Live)
#7 Robyn – Hang With Me (Single Version)*
#8 Ace of Base – All For You*
#9 Mark Sholtez – All Four Seasons*
#10 Mark Sholtez – This Perfect Day*
#11 Mark Sholtez – A Thousand Lies*
#12 Mark Sholtez – No Kind of Love*
#13 Mark Sholtez – Little Tings*
#14 Mini Viva – One Touch (Wideboys Edit)*
#15 Robyn – Hang With Me (Acoustic)
#16 Sheryl Crow – Sign Your Name
#17 Kelis – Brave (Acoustic Live)*
#18 Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Getting Away With It (Acoustic Live)
#19 Kelis – Song For The Baby
#20 Kylie Minogue – Mighty Rivers
* = Added to playlist this week.