Mary J. Blige tried to hide her emotion at finally getting to perform with her musical idol, Anita Baker, at the 2011 BET Awards last week, but the hip-hop soul diva couldn’t help herself. “I wanted to cryâ¦ I wanted to cry so bad, because that woman is so special,” she told ESSENCE.com during the ESSENCE Music Festival. Singing “Rapture” with Baker was extra special for Blige since it was the song she recorded on a demo that was eventually given to Uptown Records CEO Andre Harrell, who signed Blige in the early ’90s. Read the full story on Essence.com
Jill Scott is voicing her satisfaction after earning her first career album chart topper. The R&B songstress knows the moment will only last a week due to Beyonce’s latest release ‘4,’ but she is glad for the personal achievement. “I know I only got a week! You know, Beyonce’s coming out and she’s amazing,” she tells MTV News. “I’m so glad I got my week. I’m enjoying. I’m lavishing in it.” She continues, “I didn’t see that coming. I guess every artist hopes that people will appreciate what they do and enjoy them, but I didn’t see it coming.”
Speaking of Beyonce, the R&B superstars fourth solo album ‘4,’ took the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart as expected, selling 310,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. The set also marks Beyonce’s fourth No.1 as a solo artist, making her the third act and second woman outside of Britney Spears to accomplish the feat (DMX was the other artist). According to Billboard, ‘4’s’ sales is lowest of her four releases: 2008’s “I Am … Sasha Fierce” entered with 482,000; 2006’s “B’Day” bowed with 541,000 and 2003’s “Dangerously In Love” started with 317,000 but the set is still one of the top 3 selling albums of 2011. Only Adele and Lady Gaga have sold more in the first week.
American Idol alum Jordin Sparks, who is currently touring with the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block, says she feels “lucky” that she continues to find success in her career. The 21-year-old tells Parade, “”I just feel lucky that five years later I’m still touring and people still want to talk to me. For me, I just keep going and say yes to things that I think are going to be really important.” Sparks also says having a good foundation and picking the right songs has helped her longevity. “I don’t want to get bogged down saying yes to things just because I can,” she says. “I want it to mean something. Trying to keep your head on straight and having a good foundation and base back at home and around you is key.”