Jay Z, Justin Timberlake bring chemistry, hit formula to sold-out Ford Field

Image

Providing the yin to the other’s yang, Jay Z and Justin Timberlake dropped a potent one-two punch onto Ford Field Tuesday night.

With Timberlake laying down smooth dance moves alongside Jay Z’s seasoned laid-back swagger, the superstar duo lived up to one of the summer’s premier concert billings for a roaring, engaged audience of more than 40,000.

In a show that was intricately orchestrated but still loose enough to give the whole thing a freewheeling mood, the nearly 2½-hour set was a marathon party, a rat-a-tat-tat of hits and high energy.

Detroit was one of just a dozen cities to luck out on one the duo’s Legends of the Summer tour stops, and the football stadium was bristling with buzz well before the two appeared onstage at about 9:20 p.m. The last time we’d seen each of these guys in a stadium-sized setting here, it was across the street at Comerica Park: Timberlake in 2001 with ’N Sync, and Jay Z in 2010 when he co-headlined with Eminem.

Related: Jay Z, Justin Timberlake rock Ford Field, fans buzz on social media

They opened Tuesday with their new collaboration “Holy Grail,” appearing astride risers at opposite ends of the mammoth, lavish stage before making their way to the middle for the first of many side-by-side musical moments.

From there it was on through a rapid-fire selection of tunes to rev up the party: Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body,” a sprightly “I Want You Back” in its natural pairing with Jay Z’s “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” Timberlake’s “Senorita,” Jay’s “On to the Next One.”

It was all gloriously bombastic, the kind of night when having two drummers (and a percussionist), three keyboardists and a pair of video screens big enough to beam images to Canada all made perfect sense. And anyway, it wasn’t all just for show: The 14-piece band — complete with a feisty horn section and topped with four stylish backup singers — was tight, dense and nimble enough to serve both performers well.

Sure, this tour is a gimmick of sorts, teaming up two of the era’s biggest stars — and periodic studio collaborators — for a high-powered festival of hip-hop, R&B and pop. But Tuesday night, it was a gimmick that really worked: Jay Z and JT looked liked they’d been doing this together for years, sporting an affable chemistry as they played to one another and handed off the mic between comings and goings.

They’d arrived at Ford Field in dichotomous career spots: Jay Z the veteran rap kingpin on cruise control, Timberlake the comeback kid who seems to have remembered that he really digs this whole music thing. The latter was the harder working performer of the night, jumping from keyboard to piano to acoustic guitar when he wasn’t serving up his Michael Jackson-inspired maneuvers up front (and calling out to Detroit “Rock City” all night).

That certainly doesn’t mean Jay Z was second fiddle, and it was his litany of hits (“99 Problems,” “Hard Knock Life,” the stacatto-rapped “Jigga What, Jigga Who” and “Big Pimpin’”) that consistently drove the show. It’s old news at this point that the 43-year-old emcee has singlehandedly elevated the standards for live hip-hop in a big-stage production. But it’s still impressive to see it in action, and he prowled the Ford Field stage Tuesday night a larger-than-life showman, fully occupying his moment.

The set never dwelled too long in one musical place. The night’s most straightforward stretch came with Timberlake’s relatively lengthy midshow run of lush-grooved pop (“Summer Love,” “What Goes Around … Comes Around”), with “Cry Me a River” intensifying into a twin-guitar climax.

The only real awkward moment came with Timberlake’s rickety cover of “New York New York,” buttressing Jay’s “Empire State of Mind.” It was a lone clunker in a potent homestretch as the show began to hit its climatic run.

By the time they got to the encore, clad in tux jackets and hoisting glasses of champagne as they ran through a solid “Suit & Tie” and even better “Young Forever,” it was clear they’d accomplished something worth toasting themselves for. And don’t be suprised if 2013 isn’t the last time you see them doing it.

 

Simon Cowell’s Baby Mama Lauren Silverman to Lose Prenup Payout? Get the Details

Image

Simon Cowell is staying mum about his baby-to-be, but the rest of the world sure is talking about the future daddy!

There have been rumors that the X Factor judge is “angry” with baby mama Lauren Silverman, but a source tells E! News exclusively this is “not true,” explaining that the twosome are “fine” and “in constant touch.”

Simon, 53, is vacationing at the moment—something he “always” does this time of year, per a source. Lauren, 36, on the other hand, has stayed close to home in New York, taking care of her and Andrew Silverman‘s 7-year-old child. “Her main priority is her son,” says a source. “She wants to disrupt his life as little as possible during this transition.”

NEWS: 5 things to know about Simon’s baby mama, Lauren Silverman

Andrew Silverman, Lauren Silverman McMullan/Sipa USA

Both Lauren and Andrew issued statements last week expressing their commitment to protecting their son’s best interests. There hasn’t been any public mud-slinging between the spouses of 10 years, but that doesn’t mean things couldn’t get dirty.

A prenup signed by the former couple reportedly states that Lauren is entitled to a $4 million payout if she and Andrew were married 10 years prior to the time of their divorce. One source tells E! News Andrew didn’t find out about the affair and pregnancy until he and Lauren had “passed the 10-year mark of marriage,” noting that the mom of one would tell her husband she was visiting her mother to keep her visits with Simon under wraps.

But a decade as husband and wife might not necessarily guarantee any prenup payout. A source tells E! News that Andrew, who filed for divorce two weeks ago citing “adultery” as a reason for the breakdown of his marriage to Lauren, is going to fight the reported prenup terms “based on the ground she cheated.”

But don’t think Lauren is planning to run to Simon for support. A source tells E! News that even though things are fine between the NYC socialite and her baby daddy, they’re “in no rush to see each other.”

 

Beyoncé and Jay Z Attend Trayvon Martin Rally in NYC

Image

Beyoncé and Jay Z joined a rally in New York City honoring Trayvon Martin on Saturday.

The two stood alongside activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton, who spoke at the peaceful protest and introduced the the couple as “two of the baddest artists of all time.”

“Jay Z and Beyoncé said they didn’t want to speak and they didn’t come for a photo op,” he announced to the crowd of hundreds of thousands.

“Jay Z told me, ‘I’m a father. Beyoncé is a mother.’ We all feel the pain and apprehension—the laws must protect everybody, or it doesn’t protect anybody. We do not come from hate, we come from love of children,” Sharpton continued.

The “Grown Woman” singer went with a more demure ensemble for the event, a black sundress and conservative heels. Her rapper hubby donned a suit and white T-shirt for his public appearance.

NEWS: Stars react the the George Zimmerman verdict

Beyonce, JayZ, Reverend Al Twitter

Both music industry heavyweights have been outspoken about their feelings on the trial.

On July 19, Bey tweeted, “#actnow4Travyon” and attached a link asking fans to sign a petition on MoveOn.org to join the protest.

“Trayvon Martin’s most basic civil right, the right to live, was violated,” she wrote on her Tumblr.

She also shared a photograph of herself, Jay and Travyon Martin’s parents on her website earlier today and asked for a moment of silence at a Miami concert last week following the verdict announcement.

Meanwhile, last night at the Legends of the Summer tour with Justin Timberlake, Jay dedicated the song “Forever Young” to the slain teenager.

“This is for Trayvon, so light up your cell phones New York!” he shouted at the crowd.

NEWS: President Barack Obama weighs-in on the Travyon Martin case

Bey’s sister, Solange, also spoke out publicly regarding the death of Martin.

Last week, she held a peaceful protest in Brooklyn and spoke in front of a crowd of hundreds.

She carried a homemade sign that quoted the late human rights leader and Muslim minister Malcom X that read, “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against. Malcolm X”

The singer took to Twitter to further vent about the trial that rocked the nation and the peaceful protest.

“Seeing & gathering with people today/tonight all for the same fight helped to restore my faith in humanity…” she said.

She added: “I am optimistic…I am sick of racism & want to do something about it.”

Alleged Kanye West rant targeting Taylor Swift, Pink

ImageMTV announced the nominees for the 2013 Video Music Awards on Wednesday, but the talk of the town is still the infamous incident during the 2009 show when West ripped the Moon Man trophy out of winner Taylor Swift’s hands during her acceptance speech.

Why?

Because the website Gawker.com published an audio recording Thursday they say is Kanye West unloading on Swift, Pink, and the recording industry in general at the Corner Bistro in Manhattan’s West Village, some time after the 2009 kerfuffle.

“I was happy to be in a situation where people couldn’t say, oh, I was trying to promote my own song. For the times that I’ve, like, defended myself… I’m pushing the envelope! I wrote my fu**in’ ‘Run This Town’ verse for a fu**in’ month! When I heard Eminem’s verse on the Drake s**t, I went back and rewrote my s**t for two days,” a man they say is West says in the recording. “I canceled appointments to rewrite! I fu**in’ care! You know what I’m saying? And that’s what I’m saying. Because I did that, Taylor Swift cannot win over Beyoncé! Because I wrote my verse in two days, Taylor Swift cannot beat Beyoncé.”

The voice purported to be West’s then pulled the race card: “As long as I’m alive! And if I’m alive, kill me then! Kill me then! As long as I’m alive, you gon’ have to deal with it. ‘Cause there ain’t gonna be no more motherfu**ing Elvises with no James Browns.”

When asked by a woman in his group why he was so angry, the voice on the recording brings up West’s mom, Donda West, who died in 2007 as a result of complications after undergoing liposuction, saying: “My mother got arrested for the f**in’ sit-ins. My mother died for this fame shit! I moved to f**kin’ Hollywood chasing this shit. My mother died because of this shit. F**k MTV.”

Then, it was Pink’s turn in the crosshairs.

“What the f**k was Pink performing? Don’t nobody know that song. Pink performed twice! Two songs? How the f**k Pink perform two songs and I didn’t even get asked to perform ‘Heartless,’” the audio continues. “‘Heartless’ is the biggest song of the year! It had the most spins of the first quarter! I don’t know that Pink song! But I noticed that she’s Pink!”

The eyebrow-raising audio had many expressing their distaste for the artist, who recently referred to himself as “God” and claimed “ego is my drug” in an interview with W magazine. Last month he released his sixth album “Yeezus,” and it quickly became his sixth consecutive number one debut.

“Disgusting” many tweeted, as others questioned how anyone can stand to even be around him.

But according to the PR experts, the audio isn’t likely to damage West’s reputation.

“Although Kanye’s behavior appears to be increasingly erratic, ultimately he will always continue to have a strong fan base due to the fact that he’s such a talented artist,” said New York-based publicist, Elissa Buchter. “The public is so desensitized to his outrageous comments by now, to the point where its almost become his calling card. A lesser musician may not be able to sustain it however definitely Kanye can.”

And pop culture writer Michael Cohen said simply that it “will never be the end of Kanye West.”

“Fans, including those in the industry, have a love and hate relationship with him. He says really inappropriate disgusting comments that get everyone irritate and remind us just how immature and classless he really is, but then he comes out with an over-the-top album so everyone forgets his last rant,” he said.

And although Swift was said to be deeply upset by the 2009 VMAs humiliation – these days she is the one having the last laugh.

“Two VMA nominations!! If you vote and get us one, I promise to keep a firmer grip on the mic this time ;),” she tweeted following the nomination announcement this week.

Reps for West, Swift, and MTV did not immediately respond to a request for comment.