Nelly attends the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles
*A “Nelly and Nelly” collaboration has taken place.
The St. Louis rapper hit the studio with Canadian pop singer Nelly Furtado to record a joint track for his upcoming release “M.O.,” due in June.
Singer/songwriter Nelly Furtado poses in the press room during the 13th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on November 15, 2012 in Las Vegas
“The new album is full of great collaborations,” the MC told The Hollywood Reporter. “I have the first ever Nelly and Nelly collaboration, myself and Nelly Furtado. Also Trey Songz is on my album, T.I. is on my album… Lot of people, Wiz Khalifa. It’s a great album.”
*As previously reported, Gloria Gaynor, Gladys Knight, Thelma Houston and Sheila E. were due to honor the late Donna Summer during Wednesday’s “American Idol” finale, but the all-star moment never happened – with zero explanation from producers.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the salute, which also included Jennifer Holliday and Nelly Furtado, was scheduled for the first half of the two-hour show, but was pulled last-minute by the network.
Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe tells THR that the reason the medley was cut was “purely and simply time [constraints].”
However, some in the audience had seen a portion of the tribute taped at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater on Tuesday, when Kristin Chenoweth and “Idol” runner-up Jessica Sanchez teamed for “Enough is Enough,” Summer’s chart-topping single with Barbra Streisand. The performance was described by one observer as “weak,” notes THR.
Some of the tribute participants were also heard rehearsing a medley on Tuesday night. In fact, according to a THR source, “Idol” had already paid for several of the artists’ travel and accommodations. Still, another insider tells THR that at least one of the women — Furtado — was never confirmed for the finale in the first place.
In related news, ratings for this year’s “American Idol” finale were the lowest in its 11-year history – and down 32% compared to season 10′s last show.
American Idol finalists Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez
*Tonight’s “American Idol” season 11 finale will feature all-star musical tributes to the late Donna Summer and Robin Gibb.
Helping the contestants translate Summer’s classic songbook (the disco queen appeared on the season 7 finale) will be a group performance with ’70s icons Gloria Gaynor, Thelma Houston and Gladys Knight joined by Nelly Furtado, Sheila E., Jennifer Holliday and, of course, the Season 11 girls (later in the show, they perform with Chaka Khan).
In addition, Broadway and “Glee” star Kristin Chenoweth will trade vocals with finalist Jessica Sanchez on the Summer-Barbra Streisand girl power anthem, “Enough is Enough.”
Among the other stars set to perform with the finalists are John Fogerty, who will duet with Phillip Phillips, Reba McEntire, who will kick up her boots with Skylar Laine and the long-awaited Fantasia-Mantasia mash-up for second runner-up Joshua Ledet.
Sanchez will join “Dreamgirls” soul-mate Holliday for an encore performance of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” and the boys will sing with Neil Diamond for yet another group number.
Latin superstars Wisin and Yendel will salsa with touring partner and “Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez, while Hollie Cavanagh will team with Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks for a Broadway show tune.
Previously announced performers include hitmaker Rihanna and rockers Aerosmith.
The season finale airs tonight from 8 to 10:07 p.m. on FOX.
*Mariah Carey has broken her silence on being paid handsome fees to perform for Moammar Gadhafi’s clan, telling the Associated Press she was unaware that the people who booked the concert were linked to the Libyan strongman and is embarrassed “to have participated in this mess.”
This week, Nelly Furtado announced she is giving the $1 million fee she was paid in 2007 to charity; and Beyonce said in a statement Wednesday that she donated her fees for a 2009 New Year’s Eve performance in St. Bart’s to Haiti earthquake relief once she discovered the Gadhafi link.
Carey performed in St. Bart’s in 2008, but in a statement released to The Associated Press on Thursday, she said she didn’t know she was performing for an infamous family.
“I was naive and unaware of who I was booked to perform for. I feel horrible and embarrassed to have participated in this mess,” the 40-year-old singer said. “Going forward, this is a lesson for all artists to learn from. We need to be more aware and take more responsibility regardless of who books our shows. Ultimately, we as artists are to be held accountable.”
Carey’s representative, Cindi Berger, would not comment on how much Carey was paid for the performance. But she noted that Carey has donated millions throughout the years to charity, from royalties from her hits “Hero” and “One Sweet Day” to her own foundation, Camp Mariah.
Berger said Carey will also donate royalties for the song “Save the Day,” which she has written for her upcoming album, to charities that create awareness for human-rights issues.
The album is not due out anytime soon; Carey is pregnant with a boy and girl, and she and husband Nick Cannon are expecting the babies in the spring.
“Mariah has and continues to donate her time, money and countless hours of personal service to many organizations both here and abroad,” Berger said.
*The hefty paycheck singer Beyonce Knowles reportedly earned for performing at a party hosted by the son of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi’s was donated to a Haiti earthquake relief fund “over a year ago,” the pop star’s publicist said today.
“All monies paid to Beyoncé for her performance at a private party at Nikki Beach St. Barts on New Year’s Eve 2009, including the commissions paid to her booking agency, were donated to the earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, over a year ago,” Beyonce spokesperson Yvette Noel-Schure said in a statement. “Once it became known that the third party promoter was linked to the [Gadhafi] family, the decision was made to put that payment to a good cause.”
The announcement was made a day after fellow singer Nelly Furtado told fans that she was donating the $1 million she had been paid for performing for the “Gadhafi clan” at an Italian hotel in 2007, and fans began calling for other celebrities to do the same.
According to leaked U.S. State Department documents, Beyonce was part of a $1 million bash thrown by Gadhafi’s son, Mutassim, on New Years Eve 2009 on St. Barts Island in the Caribbean that also featured a performance by Usher and other unnamed musicians.
The year before, Mariah Carey had been paid $1 million to perform at the same party for Mutassim, according to the documents.
Video of the New Year’s 2009 party, shot by a party-goer, is shown below.