Watch Ashley Tisdale Perform Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’ Unplugged

There’s a good reason why Britney Spears “Toxic” causes memories of your youth to come flooding back. Brit’s hit will turn 15 next year! So what better time to give the pop standard a makeover ahead of its big milestone?  

High School Musical alum Ashley Tisdale does just that by stripping down Spears’ 2003 pop wonder and turning it into something, well, mature. 

Tisdale covered the song as part of her “Music Sessions” series with her husband Chris French accompanying on guitar. “I grew up with Britney Spears and ‘Toxic’ is one of my favorite songs,” gushes Tisdale.  

The dance beats and Bollywood strings are gone, and an all-grown-up song emerges. Check it out below.

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Chainsmokers Respond to Nickelback Comparison With Epic ‘Paris’/’How You Remind Me’ Mash-Up

Love them or hate them, the Chainsmokers are chart-topping hit-makers ruling EDM’s crossover into the mainstream. But, coincidentally, one could have said the same about the much maligned Nickelback more than a decade ago. 

Esquire recently published an article likening the two acts’ “genre cliches,” “shameless sexism” and “schmaltz.” (Their words, not ours.) In it, writer Matt Miller suggested that just as Nickelback signaled the end of post-grunge arena rock, the Chainsmokers too are the perfect scapegoats for the downfall of EDM. 

The Chainsmokers were quick to respond in a pretty devastating fashion, mashing up their hit “Paris” with Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me.” 

It looks like if the EDM ship is going down, the duo Drew Taggart and Alex Pall are going to have a good time sinking it. 

Watch here:

Zion.T’s Smooth ‘Your Song’ Livens Up Korean R&B

In 2015, Zion.T made his mark on the Korean R&B world with hit after hit. After moving companies last year, he returned on Tuesday (Jan. 31) with his OO EP, led by the single “Your Song.”

While maintaining his typical croons, Zion.T refreshed his sound on “Your Song” with the lively piano-based melody. The tune is jazzier than sentimental past hits like “No Make Up” and “Just,” but the singer’s latest is a refreshing, poppish update to his sonic style. With snapping, playful strings and a rock-tinged chorus, “Your Song” is a tightly produced track that complements Zion.T’s lush vocals.

The accompanying pastel-hued music video features the artist as a carefree romantic, dancing on rooftops in a Beetlejuice-like suit while trying to win over the object of his affection.

Although “Your Song” is a bit bouncier than his past singles, Zion.T returns to more languid pacing on other OO tracks, although the EP is dominated by an overall positive, upbeat sound; “Cinema” draws on boss nova music with its strings and percussion, while “Comedian” is standard Zion.T fare with its gentle rhythm and unhurried pace — but opens with sinister, Joker-esque laughter. And for anyone who really wants to relive Zion.T’s earlier hits, there’s “Complex.” The singer’s collaboration with BIGBANG’s G-Dragon blatantly references Zion.T’s past hits and samples music from his 2015 single “Yanghwa Bridge,” all while referencing the American magazine of the same name.

OO also features “Sorry,” a midtempo jam with rapper Beenzino, the groovy “Bad Guys” and indie-rock closer “Wind.” An instrumental version of “Cinema” completes the album at seven songs.

The new EP is produced by The Black Label, a subsidiary under YG Entertainment. Managed by producer Teddy Park, Zion.T is the only act currently signed to The Black Label.   

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Cool & Dre on Crafting Fat Joe & Remy Ma’s Grammy-Nominated ‘All the Way Up,’ Working With Lil Wayne

For Marcello “Cool” Valenzano and Andre “Dre” Lyon, music reigns supreme. The production duo’s voracious appetite for success began in Lyon’s mother’s garage, where they crafted bangers for a young Rick Ross in their native Miami. In 2001, the production tandem landed on Fat Joe’s album Jealous Ones Still Envy. With aspirations of charting on Billboard, they produced The Game’s 2005 record “Hate It or Love it,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. They also swerved into R&B by producing Christina Milian‘s 2007 song “Say I,” which hit No. 21 on the same chart.

Cool & Dre then began expanding their résumé by producing records for Lil Wayne, Nas, Chris Brown, DJ Khaled, Wale and more. This year, they scored two Grammy nominations when Fat Joe and Remy Ma’s street anthem “All the Way Up” was nominated for best rap song and best rap performance. It also earned the remix treatment from Jay Z. (Cool & Dre are also serving as executive producers for the rap duo’s forthcoming Plata O Plomo album.)

Billboard recently spoke to the duo about their creative process behind “All the Way Up” and more:

Congratulations on being nominated for two Grammys for Fat Joe and Remy Ma’s “All the Way Up.” How did the record come to fruition?

Cool: It started out with the elements of the track with our guy Exclusive. We put the beat together with him, and the whole sh– came together. We had the beat sitting for a little bit and then we had a session with Joe. Joe had been coming to the studio and he was like, “Play me some new vibes.” We played him the joint, and Joe was like, “That’s it right there.” We just thought it was a hot joint. Joe definitely heard something that we didn’t hear in the beginning process. Then, once we heard he hooked up with Infared and they put the hook on it, me and Dre were still kinda like, “I don’t know, man.” [Laughs] 

Dre: I think the one thing that we’ve always respected about Joe is the fact that we say that he has the golden ear. He knows when he hears a hit. When he heard the hook [for “All the Way Up”], he was very animated about it. He was like, “Yo, this is gonna be bigger than ‘Lean Back.'” The way he was promoting it even before the verses got on there made me tell him to ease back on his expectations, because “Lean Back” was on the Hot 100 forever. But the theory of what he was saying did come to fruition, because it was definitely the biggest record in 2016 culturally. It grabbed the club, the radio and the people. The remix got Hov on there, which was something people thought they would never see. For Cool & Dre, we’re so appreciative to Jay Z for participating on this record with us and for giving us the biggest shout-out of our career. 

Did you have another artist in mind for that particular record initially?

Cool: Nah. The beat was sitting there. He heard it, took it immediately, and that was day one. I think what was great about “All the Way Up” was the horn sample. It was a throwback to New York hip-hop with all the horn samples from back in the day, like ’90s Fugees. Joe knew what he was doing. 

Do you ever feel as if the newer generation sleeps on Joe’s legacy and hitmaking abilities because he’s from the ’90s era?

Dre: This is something we’ve always spoke to Joe about. He’s found a way to make massive hits and still maintain his teeth in the mud, which we call the culture and hip-hop. Usually, when you come from that era and make massive hits like “Lean Back,” “Make It Rain” or “What’s Luv?,” what tends to happen is people continue making those kinds of records. Then people call you the biggest hitmaker. What Joe has done is that he’s kept a balance and still makes the hard-core hip-hop. I feel as though his talent as a hitmaker does get overshadowed. I think that’s what’s been the fuel to his career, because whenever his back is against the wall and people are counting him out, he always comes with something.

So now that we have the flame lit, the key is to keep it lit. Joe makes hits effortlessly, so it’s like let’s just keep feeding him the hits. This album that we’re executive producing with him, Plata O Plamo, has so much hard-core gritty beats. The subject matter is ill as hell, but we still gave you a hit record with “Money Showers” with Ty Dolla $ign. There’s another hit record on there with The-Dream that’s amazing. He does get overlooked as one of the biggest hitmakers, but if you think about the era of the ’90s and the year that he came out in 1993 with “Flow Joe,” think about all the artists that was around in ’93. They’re no longer here. 

Rick Ross is currently prepping his ninth album Rather You Than Me and you both have worked with him from the beginning, since Port of Miami. What has Ross’ success meant to the city of Miami?

Dre: It’s been unbelievable. We’ve known Rick Ross since 1999, 2000. Cool and I kind of broke through in 2001. When we did [The Game’s] “Hate It or Love It,” Ross was still on the come-up. Our brother DJ Khaled was still on the come-up. So, you know, two years later, “Hustlin'” came out and pushed the culture in Miami when it came to music and what you can expect from the city. Ross showed the country, hip-hop and the world that we got some serious MCs out here. What he’s done outside of music as an entrepreneur and as a businessman, creating so many opportunities for people to feed their families whether it be through Checkers, Wingstop or now Pizza Hut, he’s a boss. We’re excited about his new album. We sent some stuff in. We can’t say whether it’s on the album or not, but it’s hard as hell. [The song’s] called “Hope to Pray.” If Rozay is reading this, it’s called a movement.

Is there an artist that still gives you goosebumps whenever you work with them in the studio?

Dre: That’s a good question. I think whenever we’re in the studio with Lil Wayne, it’s always a surreal moment, man. He’s like an icon. He’s a special force. I think he’s one of the most gifted rappers to ever step into a vocal booth. If he was the frontman of a rap group, he’d be the greatest frontman ever. He’s that unbelievable. Whenever we’re in the studio with Lil Wayne, I always soak up the moment.

Cool: I think there’s been several times where I have gotten goosebumps on records that we’ve done with Game. We’ve done so much music with him and we have so many studio experiences with him. I remember we did “My Life” with him. When he jumped in that booth and laid that first verse, it was just chills. It had Wayne on it, as well. Game and Wayne are both special. 

Mentioning Lil Wayne, what are your thoughts on his label situation and the holding out of the release of Tha Carter V? Were you able to produce some records for his upcoming album?

Dre: Cash Money Records is family. We don’t really weigh in too much with whatever is going on. It’s gonna get figured out because it’s all love. As far as Carter V is concerned, I can’t wait for that to come out. The next time we get in the studio with Wayne or speak with Mack Maine — because we speak to him all the time — we’ll get him music. Wayne is in the studio all the time. That’s where me and Cool picked up some of our own work ethic, by just watching Wayne live in the studio nonstop, 24/7. That’s why he’s so great. We’re gonna get in the studio with him soon once we get back to Miami. Hopefully, we’re on C5 because we know it’s gonna be fire. 

You’re both in London working with Lily Allen. What made you guys decide to step outside of hip-hop?

Cool: At the end of the day, me and Dre has always been fans of music before anything. We’ve been fans of multiple genres. We listen to it for inspiration and just vibe. For us, these different transitions and different sessions with these different genres and super talented artists comes second nature to us. We can pretty much get with anybody and make something special.

Dre: We’ve had the honor of working with groups like Linkin Park and Gym Class Heroes, just to name a few. We love great music. To be able to blend in and bring what we have to the table with whatever a great artist or songwriter has to offer, we just believe that good music trumps everything. Today, we had a great meeting with Rudimental. They’re like massive out here and they started playing their music. It just felt good. It’s live instrumentation, but it has some hip-hop and soul elements. We’re just fans of great music, and that can be on the rock side, the gospel side, the R&B side or the hip-hop side. As long as it’s great music, we always find ourselves attracted to it. 

Justin Timberlake Shares Classy Preview of His Bai Super Bowl Ad: Watch

While Justin Timberlake won’t be performing at this year’s Super Bowl in Houston, he will make an appearance in a commercial for Bai during the game.

The 37-year-old singer tweeted an eight-second preview of the ad along with the caption, “What are you doing this weekend?” It’s hard to tell from the wordless clip what the commercial will be about, but Timberlake looks quite fancy, in a burgundy velvet suit and slicked-back hair, sitting in front of a roaring fire.

The commercial is scheduled to appear during the Super Bowl broadcast Sunday on Fox.

Lady Gaga will perform during the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday, while Luke Bryan will sing “America the Beautiful” and Hamilton stars Phillipa Soo, Renee Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones will perform the national anthem before the game.

Taylor Swift’s 2016 Album of the Year Speech Becomes Girl-Power Grammy Ad: Watch

Taylor Swift‘s famous 2016 Grammys speech is empowering women all over again.

A commercial for the 2017 Grammy Awards released Tuesday (Jan. 31) paid homage to the 1989 singer’s album of the year acceptance speech from last year’s ceremony, with young girls delivering Swift’s girl-power message. 

Starting off with a girl looking at herself in the mirror, reciting Swift’s opening, the commercial (titled “It Was You”) shows girls engaging in their musical talents as they continue to say lines from the singer’s speech. From a girl climbing stairs with her tuba to another drumming her heart out, the ad provided quite the visual representation of the inspiring words the singer shared.

Take a look at the Grammy ad below:

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The Grammys air Sunday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS.

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Marc Anthony’s Magnus Media Launches Talent Division: Exclusive

Magnus Media, the Miami-based, entertainment company launched by superstar Marc Anthony and Michel Vega, has now added a booking division to its roster of operations, Billboard has learned. 

Magnus, which was launched in early 2015 and already includes a label, management, publishing, merchandising and distribution divisions, will now officially open the Magnus Talent Agency. 
The new division will be directly run by Vega, Magnus’ CEO, who as the longtime former head of Latin music at WME booked some of Latin music’s premiere acts, including Juanes and Pitbull.

Magnus Talent has also hired Rosa Guzmán, as a talent agent. Guzman, who was most recently at CAA in Miami, previously worked with Vega at WME.

The new agency will announce a roster shortly that will include musical artists, comedians and athletes, who are a big part of Magnus’ overall roster. Aside from booking Latin talent, Magnus will also offer booking services to general market artists who want to expand their business to Latin America. One of the new company’s selling points is that it will be able leverage its multiple capabilities — including setting up brand partnerships and VIP ticketing programs — to its booking clients.

Anthony and Vega launched Magnus Media in 2015 as an entertainment, branding, marketing, social media and content development company with a roster of top influencers, and built around his own expertise as a global star. 

The company has grown steadily and its roster includes successful musical acts like Gente de Zona, Venezuelan duo Chino y Nacho and superstar Alejandro Sanz (signed to a strategic marketing deal) plus radio personality Enrique Santos, who last year was named chairman and Chief Creative Officer of the new iHeartLatino division of iHeartMedia, in a deal brokered by Magnus.

Magnus also includes Magnus Sports, a fully integrated division whose clients include four-time Major League pitcher Aroldis Chapman, plus a publishing division launched as a joint venture relationship with Pulse Music Group.

The company’s relationship with CMN, which has long booked Anthony as well as Gente de Zona, will not change. 

Maluma Achieves Rare Feat: Nos. 1 & 2 on Latin Airplay Chart

Only five other acts have simultaneously scored the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the 23-year history of the chart.

Maluma becomes only the sixth act to concurrently hold the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the Latin Airplay chart as “Sin Contrato” soars 7-1 on the Feb. 11-dated chart. At the same time, the singer remains at No. 2 as a featured act on Shakira’s “Chantaje” for a third straight week. At 23-years-old, he is the youngest artist to rule the top two spots on the chart, and the first to do so since 2011.

Previous to Maluma, the youngest artist to conquer the No. 1 and No. 2 spots was Alejandro Fernandez, who at 25 ruled the chart for two straight weeks in January of 1998 with “En El Jardin,” featuring Gloria Estefan, at No. 1, while “Si Tu Supieras” was No. 2.

Selena spent the most weeks holding both top spots. Beginning four months after the Tejano superstar died, she spent six non-consecutive weeks at the top with “Tu Solo Tu” and “I Could Fall In Love,” between July and September in 1995. She would have been 24-years-old.

The most recent artist to achieve the feat was Pitbull on the Oct. 15, 2011-dated list. He crowned the chart with “Rain On Me,” featuring Marc Anthony, while “Give Me Everything,” featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer, held the No. 2 slot.

The other acts to simultaneously hold the top two spots are Juan Luis Guerra and Juanes. 

Maluma’s No. 1s on Latin Airplay
Title, peak date (weeks at No. 1)
“Borro Cassette,” Nov. 21, 2015 (three weeks)
“El Perdedor,” featuring Yandel, Aug. 13, 2016 (one week)
“Vente Pa’ Ca” (Ricky Martin featuring Maluma), Oct. 15, 2016 (two weeks)
“Chantaje” (Shakira featuring Maluma), Nov. 19, 2016 (three weeks)
“Sin Contrato,” featuring Fifth Harmony or Don Omar and Wisin, Feb. 11, 2017 (one week, so far)

“Sin Contrato,” which boasts a version featuring Fifth Harmony and one featuring Don Omar and Wisin, as well as Maluma’s original solo version, rises to te top boosted by a 38 percent at the radio format (to 15.1 million audience impressions in the week ending Jan. 29, according to Nielsen Music).

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Meanwhile, on Hot Latin Songs (which blends airplay, sales and streams), “Sin Contrato” earns a new peak hopping 13-7, reaching the top 10 for the first time in its 22nd charting frame. In addition to the on-air increase, 1.4 million U.S. streams (down 1 percent, in the week ending Jan. 26) also support the climb, which marks the singer’s fifth top 10.

Elsewhere on the charts, Maluma vaults 25-5 on Top Latin Albums with Pretty Boy Dirty Boy, with 2,000 equivalent album units earned, during the chart’s first week as a consumption based ranking. The updated chart switched to a multi-metric methodology, blending pure album sales, track equivalent album (TEA) units, and streaming equivalent album (SEA) units. Under the previous album-sales-only formula, the set debuted at No. 1 on the Nov. 21, 2015 chart. The jump marks the first time that the set returns to the top five since its arrival.

Finally, Maluma also lifts 14-10 on the Social 50 chart, which is powered by data tracked by music analytics company Next Big Sound, and ranks the most popular artists on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Tumblr. He previously peaked at No. 7 on the Dec. 24 ranking.

Dave Chappelle, Cast of BET’s ‘The New Edition Story’ Drop In For Chance the Rapper’s Latest ‘Open Mike’ Night

Chance the Rapper‘s latest “Open Mike” event in Chicago featured some serious surprises for attendees on Monday night (Jan. 30). In addition to sets from aspiring teen singers and comedians, the crowd was treated to a surprise appearance from comedian Dave Chappelle, as well as the cast of BET smash mini-series The New Edition Story and Chicago Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler.

The hometown MC really appreciated the effort, revealing to the crowd that the New Edition actors hopped on a plane at a moment’s notice to help teach the youngsters about the game during the packed event at the Pritzker Auditorium in the Harold Washington Library. “I told them I had some young creatives in Chicago that needed to be around vocalists, actors, singers, dancers… and that they need to be in this space and all these guys without getting any money from me or anything hopped on a plane and came out to be in front of you guys,” Chance told the audience. 

Chappelle also did a short set during which he did some crowd work, chatting up an exchange student from Tunisia while making some jokes about President Trump’s controversial immigration ban.

Check out some other scenes from the special night:

Paris Jackson to Make Acting Debut on Fox TV drama ‘Star’

Paris Jackson is ready for her close-up.

Fox TV said Monday that the daughter of the late Michael Jackson will make her acting debut this season on the drama series Star.

Paris Jackson will play an intimidating social media guru, Rachel, who has an impact on the show’s lead characters.

The 18-year-old Jackson was born to the pop star and then-wife Debbie Rowe.

Star, from Empire creator Lee Daniels, is set in the music industry and features Queen Latifah as a surrogate mom to aspiring young singers.

A date for the episode with Paris Jackson wasn’t announced. The show airs 9 p.m. EST Wednesday on Fox.

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