Category: Justin Timberlake

RCA to close Jive, Arista and J label imprints [Updated]

Britney Spears
 RCA Music Group is slimming down for the holidays by shuttering its Arista, Jive and J Records subsidiaries, a move by new label execs to strengthen the identity of the RCA brand. Artists who have been with those three imprints, which have been home to Britney Spears, Alicia Keys, Rod Stewart, Pitbull, Whitney Houston, Justin Timberlake, Barry Manilow, R. Kelly, Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia, Dido, Jennifer Hudson, Leona Lewis and others, will be shifted to RCA.

[Updated at 11:11 a.m. Oct. 7: "In an effort to refresh RCA Records, all label imprints -- J Records, Arista Records and Jive -- will now be under the the iconic RCA Records label," according to a statement RCA issued Friday.]

Jive produced several of the biggest-selling albums of all time in the midst of the youth pop boom a decade ago, including the multiplatinum hits for 'N Sync, the Backstreet Boys and Spears.

There’s no mention so far of what role under the new arrangement will be played by Davis, who in recent years had continued to sign and develop artists on J.

On Friday morning, there was no indication of the change evident on Jive Records official website, but sites for both J and Arista now default to the RCA Music Group site.

[Updated at 1:27 a.m. Oct. 7: The changes do not affect the Arista Nashville label, or the other three country music labels that are under the Sony Music Nashville umbrella: RCA, Columbia and BNA.  "Arista Nashville and its respective roster are not impacted in any way," Gary Overton, Chairman and CEO, Sony Music Nashville, said Friday in a statement. "Our four-label Sony Music Nashville operations remain unchanged."]

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"Steve Jobs gave the blind eyes; the deaf ears" -- Stevie Wonder

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Britney Spears. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Emmy nominations show music programming love, just in case you didn't know

Emmy

Sure, the news of HBO scoring 104 Emmy nods Thursday morning dominated headlines covering the annual awards show. But music-based programming got a dose of love too.

Lady Gaga helped boost HBO’s staggering tally, when her concert special "The Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden" snagged five nominations, including variety, music or comedy special, which is up against Bette Midler’s HBO music special.

Justin Timberlake proved that not working on music won’t stop him from getting recognition for it. He landed three nominations for his numerous appearances on “Saturday Night Live’s” always hilarious digital shorts.

The singer-turned-mostly-actor was nominated once for guest actor in a comedy series and twice for original music and lyrics for "Justin Timberlake Monologue" and "3-Way (The Golden Rule)," which featured Andy Samberg and Lady Gaga. Gaga wasn’t nominated for the spot because she didn’t co-write the music or lyrics.

It came as no surprise that ratings juggernauts "Glee" and "American Idol" led the pack of nods when it came to music-based programming.
 
“Glee,” which continues to be as big a hit on the Billboard charts as it is on television, scored 12 nominations, including comedy series, supporting actor in a comedy series for Chris Colfer and supporting actress in a comedy series for Jane Lynch. And “American Idol” landed 10 nods, including one in the reality -- competition series category.

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-- Gerrick D. Kennedy
Twitter.com/gerrickkennedy

Photo: Screenshot from "Saturday Night Live's" season finale, which featured Justin Timberlake, left, Lady Gaga and Andy Samberg in the Lonely Island's "3-Way (The Golden Rule)."

An additional 11 Eleven more came for “Too Big to Fail,” HBO’s dramatization of the 2008 financial meltdown on Wall Street.

Justin Timberlake still not jumping back into music

Timberlake

For the umpteenth time, Justin Timberlake still has no solid plans to return to music anytime soon.

Though the Grammy-winner is top-lining two upcoming summer films, “Bad Teacher” with ex-girlfriend Cameron Diaz and “Friends With Benefits” alongside Mila Kunis, he is still being quizzed about his largely dormant recording career. And the answer remains the same.

“I don’t have a single song ready to go,” Timberlake told Playboy in a recent interview. “People keep asking me when a new song or album is coming out, and I don’t know what to say. Music is not my focus right now. It may be someday. It could happen next month or next year but right now it’s not where it’s at for me.”

Timberlake has become a mainstay on “Saturday Night Live's" digital shorts, but hasn’t released a disc since 2006′s platinum-selling “FutureSex/LoveSounds.”

Last year, Timberlake told The Times that his acting success -- the singer garnered critical acclaim for his role in “The Social Network” -- had created a backlash among some of his loyal fans.

"They're looking at me like, 'Why aren't you staying with one path?'" he said. "They look at me like I'm ungrateful for my music career because I want to do film."

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-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

Twitter.com/gerrickkennedy

Photo: Justin Timberlake. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Personal Playlist: Justin Timberlake

The performer might be concentrating more on his acting career than singing right now, but he's still plugged into music — N.E.R.D and Kings of Leon are current favorites.

JUSTIN_TIMBERLAKE_LAT_6_

Just because Justin Timberlake is on indefinite hiatus from recording and performing music (in order to focus on stardom in such movies as “The Social Network” and the upcoming romantic comedy “Friends With Benefits” and the sci-fi thriller “Now”), don't assume he's unplugged his stereo for the duration too.

The former 'N Sync heartthrob and erstwhile Mr. SexyBack stays keenly aware of modern pop, even if he isn't making any. And these days, Timberlake feels particularly moved by the 2010 album “Nothing” from N.E.R.D. — the hip-hop/rock-funk side project of the hit-making duo Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, who produced much of the singer's 2002 album, “Justified.”

Timberlake warmed to the subject when Pop & Hiss asked him what's in heavy rotation on his iPod:
“‘Come Around Sundown' is really good — the latest Kings of Leon,” Timberlake said.

“I really feel inspired by what Pharrell and Chad did with the new N.E.R.D. album,” he continued. “Those producers care a lot about sonics. I hear the Doors and Queen a lot on that album. Pharrell has a way of being cryptic with his lyrics, though, so I'm still trying to decipher what he's talking about.”

 

-- Chris Lee

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Justin Timberlake is focused on film

Photo: Ricardo DeArata / Los Angeles Times

Justin Timberlake's 'new song' is actually a Danish knock-off

Lctfmmnc The dawn of 2011 held special promise, it seemed, for fans of Justin Timberlake's music. Though the nearly thirtysomething star recently told Times reporter Chris Lee that he's taking a break from music to pursue the presumably more serious goal of Oscar-nabbing, a shiny new sign to the contrary popped up late last week, in the form of a leaked new song, the frenetically finger-poppin' "Take You Down."

JT devotees greeted the song, supposedly produced by JT's old pals the Neptunes, with cautious excitement. Some bloggers noted that the vocals didn't really live up to the high standards of the falsetto-wielding future action hero, and most sources threw around the word "demo" to describe the song, which has a rump-shaking beat and some cute vocal effects, but doesn't exactly vault into the stratosphere.

Still, some of us were fooled. Such is the hunger for new material from the guy who's played a crucial role in helping 21st-century teen pop grow up.

Continue reading »

Justin Timberlake on leaving music for movies: 'People look at me like I'm ungrateful'

 JTims

In a story in this Sunday’s Calendar section, Justin Timberlake comes clean about his decision to go on indefinite hiatus from making music in lieu of a newer –- and in light of the Oscar buzz surrounding his performance in “The Social Network” -- suddenly viable pursuit: movie stardom.

“My first two albums, I woke up and it was undeniable what I had to be doing. I had to be making an album,” Timberlake said. “It’s not undeniable to me now.”

The pop superstar has remained mostly schtum about his choice to forgo recording and performing music for the last few years (apart from the occasional guest verse or late-night performance) and even got a bit testy when buttonholed by Entertainment Weekly on the subject.

But in a wide-ranging interview with Pop & Hiss, it became clear Timberlake is abundantly aware that his career choices don’t sit well with everybody –- even while he refuses to let such outward perceptions sway his creative resolve.

“Sometimes people look at me like I’m ungrateful for my music career because I’m not putting out an album every year,” said Timberlake. “I don’t know what to say to that. There’s nothing I can say that sounds genuine to those people because I’m subject to their projections at me. I try not to be a prisoner of that. If I engage in that, then I’m not an artist.”

Continue reading »
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