Justin Bieber

2011 GRAMMYS – The other night LL Cool J hosted the Grammy Nominations Concert Live featuring Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, B.o.B., Miranda Lambert and Bruno Mars; some of who should indeed be selected for awards on the show on February 13. As the year draws to a close, I thought about my own personal picks for the year. In my opinion, Bruno Mars is one of the most definitive artists of the year; he writes, produces, and performs. Katy Perry continues to be just a stellar performer and personality all around. I think her current single “Firework” just might be her best yet and signals the arrival of a major, new superstar. Elton John’s collaboration with Leon Russell (“The Union”) is just unexpectedly perfect. Yes, it does make you think you’re back in 1972, but its tremendous stuff; the writing, performance and production. Many have mentioned to me the latest album from Sade called Soldier Of Love, but, other than that title track, I found it rather weak. Sure, nice to listen to, but the same stuff she’s always done. Other notable nods must be: Arcade Fire’s Suburb; Kanye West’s Dark Twisted Fantasy; Micky Dolenz’s King For A Day; Flamingo from Killer’s front man Brandon Flowers; Mojo from Tom Petty; the terrific CD-compilation from Apple Records called Come And Get It; and, perhaps my favorite of the year, Lungs from the terrific Florence + The Machine. To me, this album was the breakout hit from the U.K., much like the terrific Amy Winehouse debut of several years back. What a voice (and, production) on this gal Florence Welch. Pretty awesome.


Ryan Murphy

GLEE-FULL – This show continues to amaze and delight me. Not only with the terrific songs they’re performing; but, the tremendous acting and writing. The newest member of the ensemble Darren Criss (as Blaine) is just spot-on sensational. He hasn’t been on every show just yet (though he is confirmed as a regular for the rest of this season … and, next), but, when he shows up onscreen, as the lead member of rival-Glee group The Warblers and as Kurt’s new paramour, you can’t take your eyes off him. His debut came when he and his boys performed Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” A somewhat, slowed-down, a cappella treatment, it worked perfectly. Criss started out as the host of That Media Show, a San Francisco production which discussed Hollywood and filmmaking in particular. He is part of the theater production group Team Star Kid, formed by several theater students from the University of Michigan. He performed as Harry Potter in the YouTube viral hit A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel. His first Glee-episode was “Never Been Kissed” as a gay student at the rival Dalton school. Ironically, he had originally auditioned for the role of Finn when the show was first begun. Creator Ryan Murphy says, “Darren has a major, major arc; he sort of becomes Kurt's mentor and then maybe love. He had to leave his own school because of bullying and goes to an all-boys academy and finds acceptance there because that school has a zero-tolerance no bullying policy." He’s also just released his own self-produced EP via iTunes. Quite a career already; he’s stunning on the show.

JULIAN CAN YOU HEAR ME? – Every so often we're tipped about an upcoming new presence in the music industry. From South Florida comes Julian Sundby and his JLM Music. The indefatigable 26-year old has started his own production company; which encompasses everything from writing to production and, management. His fist three artists Chris Spann, Zach Tracy, and Brian Holtz, are just finishing their debut works. Regarding the often-maligned industry, Julian says, "I don't know why people are saying the music industry is in shambles. It's a very exciting time for the industry I feel. I understand the business models have changed, but I feel that it raises the bar for quality live performances. The Internet leveled the playing field; write a great tune and it can reach millions of people in a day. I have realized from working in radio 'radio plays what they want you to hear'." Sundby is also excited by his work with 14-year old Ravyn Clark. "Unlike many performers her age, I am confident that she's ready and she'll dazzle everyone. We're currently working on three singles and a full album which will be done this month."


Kim Kardashian

A SIXER FIXER? – When our fave Richard Johnson formally left the New York Post’s Page Six last month (although it was actually in the works for months), Brit-Emily Smith was announced as his successor. Since Smith took over (revamping her entire staff), there have been a multitude of Kardashian-items and many, many items that Richard wouldn't have even finished reading before tossing in his circular file. Page Six for many years reigned as the first-and-only thing in the paper that the media-elite would read. It was a must-read for everyone in the industry. When you went on a job interview and asked what five media columns to you read on a daily basis; if Page Six wasn't #1 on your list … the interview was quickly over. However, with the rise of the Internet in the last five years, as well as other columns like TMZ, the column fell from grace. I know Richard was frustrated, yet he was able to keep the column interesting and fresh on a daily basis. The other day, Smith has run exactly the type of item that her predecessor would have; on the surprisingly nasty split between Burlesque-director Steve Antin and Clint Culpepper, head of Sony Pictures/ Screen Gems. It’s a terrific item, and one that immediately skyrockets Smith back to the hallowed heights she deserves and needs to be at. Of course, the item might just have been planted to encourage more heat on the movie which did not do well in its first week … but, that’s Hollyweird!

Editors Note: We worked with Richard Johnson for many-many years and he was always on the top of his game. We also have in the past worked with Emily Smith from time to time when she was with the London papers and she is the up-most professional in this business. We are sure she will keep Page Six at the top!

Photos By: RD/Kabik/Kirkland/Retna