Benefit Features News

Musicians & Media Get Involved In Haiti

By now you’ve heard about the devastation in Haiti and the aftermath of the earthquake. Many musicians and media outlets have been doing their part to raise money and I thought I’d fill you in on two music related ventures — Paste Magazine‘s “Songs For Haiti” and MTV’s “Hope For Haiti.”

Paste Magazine is offering those who donate money to the Haiti earthquake relief unreleased songs from diverse artists including Ludacris, Of Montreal, Andrew Bird, Hanson, Low Anthem, Umphrey’s McGee, Switchfoot, Derek Webb and over 200 others. If you’ve already donated you still can still participate (just say where you made your donation) as all will have access to “Songs For Haiti” MP3s. All the money raised through Paste will be spread equally among three charities active in Haiti relief: Doctors Without Borders, The Red Cross and Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund.

“We obviously don’t think people would need incentive to donate in this effort, but perhaps the campaign will inspire more music fans to get involved, or to encourage people who have already donated, to donate again,” said Josh Jackson, Paste Magazine Editor-In-Chief. “Music has always been a force that brings people together, and to have so many fantastic artists drop everything to contribute to this effort was very touching,” Jackson added.

I couldn’t agree more. For more information on “Songs For Haiti” and to donate click here.

Friday night, at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT and 7:00 p.m. CT, MTV along with many other networks will host a night of performances to raise money for Haiti relief. The lineup includes Madonna, Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Wyclef Jean, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Keith Urban, Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock, Sting, Coldplay, Bono, the Edge, Jay-Z and Rihanna.

Additional appearances include former President Bill Clinton, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Robert Pattinson, Will Smith, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Muhammad Ali, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Jon Stewart, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman, Nicole Kidman, Samuel L. Jackson and more.

“Hope for Haiti Now” will begin accepting donations at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on Friday, January 22 via the following methods:

Phone: 877-99-HAITI
Text: Text “GIVE” to 50555
Mail: Hope For Haiti Now Fund, Entertainment Industry Foundation, 1201 West 5th Street, Suite T-700, Los Angeles, CA 90017

All musical performances will be available for purchase for 99 cents per song through iTunes beginning Saturday, January 23. iTunes customers will be able to exclusively pre-order both the “Hope for Haiti Now” full performance album ($7.99) and the full two-hour video telecast ($1.99). Pre-orders will be delivered in the days following the telethon. All proceeds will benefit relief funds managed by Hope for Haiti Now charities.


Grammy’s Tonight!

Tonight is the most important night of the year for many musicians — the 51st Grammy Awards! Who do you think will walk away with the most awards? Here‘s a list of all the nominations.

One of the most anticipated award each year is Best New Artist, this year’s nominees include:

* Adele

* Duffy

* Jonas Brothers

* Lady Antebellum

* Jazmine Sullivan

Tough choice! Be sure to tune in tonight on CBS at 8 p.m. for the results as well as performances by U2, Radiohead, Coldplay, Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Katy Perry, John Mayer, B.B. King and many, many more! I’ll be updating the results throughout the show on Twitter, so be sure to follow me if you’re not yet!

New Justin Timberlake Track!

Justin Timberlake can do no wrong. From his impeccable “SNL” skits to his growing movie roles, Timberlake is the full package. Check out his latest single, “If I” here featuring T.I. courtesy of Yo! Raps Magazine.

Having that Prince vibe, “If I” is sure to be playing in the clubs pretty soon, if it hasn’t already. Give it a listen and let me know what you think! The newest music since Timberlake’s well received sophomore solo effort, 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds, “If I” is sure to make the girls swoon with his smooth and sultry vocals as only JT can do.

CD Reviews

Album Review From the Archives: Justin Timberlake’s “FutureSex/LoveSounds”

I remember getting a lot of criticism for this review, specifically for giving Justin Timberlake a B+ when everyone else thought it deserved better. In actuality, B+ is a pretty decent rating for any album review. I really did like the album at the time, just didn’t find it A worthy. Let me know what you think! Feel free to read below for yet another blast from my writing past.

No More Bubblegum
With high expectations, Justin almost fully delivers

‘N Sync who? Justin Timberlake, formerly known for being a member of boy band ‘N Sync, has finally established himself as a talented solo artist with his sophomore solo album, FutureSex/LoveSounds. Timberlake’s album has had high expectations from everywhere — comparisons have been made to both Michael Jackson and Prince.

Although he hasn’t reached that level just yet, the new album is still impressive. While each song is completely different from the next, they flow into each other smoothly. His current hit single, “Sexy Back,” is the second song on the album, segueing nicely from the first track, “FutureSex/LoveSound.”

Many of the tracks have interludes after each song. “What Goes Around” is comparable to his previous single, “Cry Me a River,” while this interlude and many of the others portray Timberlake’s slower rap style. “Chop Me Up” has a slow, rap feel and features Timbaland and Three 6 Mafia. “Losing My Way” sounds similar to a gospel song. Many of his tracks feature Timberlake’s high falsetto singing range, such as “Damn Girl” and “My Love.” Admist all the club anthems are mellow soul ballads, such as “Until the End of Time.”

Timberlake has moved on from the teeny-bopper icon that he used to be and this album portrays how much of an all-around artist he is.

Album: FutureSex/LoveSounds
Label: Def Jam
Sounds Like: mix of urban, rap, club, R&B;, pop and gospel
Best Songs: “SexyBack,” “My Love,” “Losing My Way”