Inside Rihanna’s incredible 30th birthday

RIHANNA rang in her 30th birthday with an elegant dinner in New York with close family and friends — followed by a champagne-flushed party with a performance from Toni Braxton.

New York Post’s Page Six reports, RiRi celebrated her milestone birthday at the luxuriant Landmark Rooms with stars including Paris Hilton and Leonardo DiCaprio, who snuck into the party later.

Also, there was Rihanna’s billionaire Saudi boyfriend, Hassan Jameel, whom sources say she looked “very close with” all night.

REVEALED: Duchess Kate sports new ‘tattoo’

Rihanna’s group shared a four-course meal at The Grill, before moving to the landmarked Pool space for the afterparty, where Braxton performed.

An insider exclusively told Page Six TV: “It was a really elegant black-tie event. Rihanna and her guests dined on gnudi with caviar and peppered filet mignon, washed down with a lot of champagne.

“The dinner was followed by a big party at The Pool. Rihanna was with her new boyfriend, who was at her side all night, and Toni Braxton performed.”

Other sources say Braxton is revered among RiRi’s circle of friends, and the birthday girl “is a huge fan” who was “clearly delighted” to have the recently engaged singer perform six songs.

CHRIS CORNELL: singer ‘wasn’t a junkie’

“They crushed hundreds of bottles of champagne, and Leo DiCaprio snuck into the afterparty through a side door.”

DiCaprio, 43, has remained friends with Rihanna after she briefly dated one of his friends in 2015, we’re told.

Other guests included Rihanna’s family and executives from Roc Nation including Shawn Pecas and OG Juan Perez, who was looking pretty sharp considering it was for his birthday that Jay-Z racked up that epic US$91,135 (A$117,000) bar tab just days earlier on Sunday, as exclusively revealed by Page Six.

Meanwhile, other sources tell us that Rihanna, who wore a vibrant purple gown for the party, is “really into her boyfriend Hassan. They seemed to be really close all night.”

Earlier in the day, Rihanna had shared a sweet shoutout to her mother Monica on Instagram along with a throwback photo from her childhood.

Monica also gushed about her daughter on Instagram, writing, “Happy 30th. God’s blessings to my 1st born. The sweetest, most humble person I know, and most loving daughter ever. Lots of love back to you on your special day.”

Rihanna’s former ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, who assaulted her in 2009, posted a birthday message to her on Instagram. But RiRi is reported “tired of the whole Chris Brown thing”.

This article first appeared in Page Six and is republished here with permission.

Liam Gallagher Vs Cute Kids

[unable to retrieve full-text content]

Jackson family lashes out at Jones

QUINCY JONES has a history of dropping hits — having produced Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” “Thriller” and countless other iconic songs.

But the music legend dropped a bomb when he recently spoke to Vulture.com.

“Michael stole a lot of stuff. He stole a lot of songs. [Donna Summer’s] ‘State of Independence’ and ‘Billie Jean.’ The notes don’t lie, man. He was as Machiavellian as they come … Greedy, man. Greedy.”

Jackson’s family isn’t taking the comments of his mentor and longtime collaborator sitting down.

“He must have the first stages of dementia,” a family member said of the 84-year-old Jones.

Joe Jackson, Michael’s father, has a different take.

According to the Post he told Page Six that he believed Jones was “quite jealous of Michael because he’s never worked with someone with all of that talent.”

However, aside from Jackson, Jones has produced and worked with Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Count Basie, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin and many others.

Jackson added that if there is a similarity between his son Michael and Donna Summer’s songs, Jones himself is to blame.

“He says my son stole it, but he was the producer on both [‘Billie Jean’ and ‘State of Independence’], so if anybody is wrong it would be Quincy,” Jackson said, reiterating that he believed that no part of “Billie Jean” was lifted.

Another relative believes Jones has “quietly carried a vendetta” against Michael Jackson, who died in 2009, for a while.

“It goes way back, and [Jones] recently got money from Michael’s estate,” the relative said, alluding to the producer’s recent $9.4 million court victory against the late singer’s estate, recovering past unpaid royalties.

But the fallout between Jackson and Jones really began more than 30 years ago, the relative said. Back then, the musical pair disagreed on whether Jones deserved a shot at a Grammy for having produced the 1982 smash-hit album Thriller.

“Michael did all of the work. It’s his music and everyone knows Michael’s sound — and ‘Thriller’ was all Michael Jackson,” the family source said.

So Michael Jackson allegedly went directly to Grammys officials and requested that any producer award go directly to him and not Jones — who, of course, was credited in the liner notes as the album’s producer along with Jackson.

Bob Jones, Jackson’s late spokesman, wrote in his 2005 memoir that “The King lobbied hard against Quincy getting that Grammy. He didn’t want to share the spotlight at all with Quincy Jones or anyone else.”

Jones ultimately received the award but he and Jackson “fell out for good,” according to the family member, in 1987 after Jones arranged for Prince to duet with Jackson on the song “Bad.”

“Michael kind of looked up to Quincy almost like he looked at [Motown founder] Berry Gordy,” the family member said of the once-close relationship.

“So when Quincy got Prince to agree to the song, Michael felt that it would be good only because that’s what Quincy promised. But he didn’t know that Quincy had agreed to give Prince top billing on Michael’s own song.”

The duet was then killed, although it’s unclear who did so. But the family member said that Michael “absolutely lost it” when Prince went public about the almost collaboration.

Asked in an interview why the song didn’t happen, Prince said: “The first line of that song is ‘Your butt is mine.’

“I said [to Michael], ‘Who’s gonna sing that to whom? Cause you ain’t singing that to me and I ain’t singing that to you, so right there we’ve got a problem.’ ”

The incident caused irreparable damage to Jackson’s and Jones’ relationship. The singer’s 1991 album, Dangerous, would be produced by Jackson with help from Teddy Riley and Bill Bottrell.

Jones did not return calls for comment.

When asked if the producer could be forgiven for his attack on Michael’s legacy, the family member didn’t hedge.

“Forgive? S — t. Michael is not here to defend himself. The world knows that Michael was the No. 1 artist in the world, and he didn’t need to steal from anyone.”

This story first appeared in the New York Post and is republished with permission.

Celine leads stellar line-up of live shows

THE biggest-selling Canadian artist of all time, Celine Dion, will be returning to Brisbane for the first time in a decade, playing the Entertainment Centre on July 30.

With limited tickets left for his November 10 show at the same venue, English singer Sam Smithhas also announced a new show the following night, with tickets available now. Visit frontiertouring.com.

Country superstar Shania Twain has proved she’s still the one fans want, with demand encouraging promoters to announce a second show, also at BEC, on December 6. Visit livenation.com.au.

Free music in store

Did you know some of Brisbane’s best independent music stores are also home to some of the city’s best all-ages shows? On March 2, Tym Guitars will host Brisbane’s Turnpike and Burning Circuits, which features Regurgitator’s Ben Elyon guitar and Tim Rix and Cameron Rickettson bass and drums respectively. Check Tym Guitars’ Facebook for more details.

Whole new ball park

If you missed out on tickets to beloved Brisbane indie-pop band Ball Park Music’sfirst over-18s show at the Tivoli, in Fortitude Valley, news that they have announced a new show at the same venue for next Sunday should put you in a good mood. Incidentally, their new album – Good Mood – has just been released a week ahead of schedule.

Dave’s not here

It’s been just over two years since David Bowie left Earth for his home planet, but there is some good news for those still feeling blue about the Thin White Duke’s departure. Parlophone has just announced 180g vinyl reissues of some of Bowie’s best-loved albums – Low, Heroes, Stage, Lodger and Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) – will be available from Friday.

Spotify top 10

  1. God’s Plan, Drake
  2. I Fall Apart, Post Malone
  3. River, Eminem ft. Ed Sheeran
  4. Finesse (Remix), Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B
  5. IDGAF, Dua Lipa
  6. Let You Down, NF
  7. Never Be the Same, Camilla Cabello
  8. Meant to Be, Bebe Rexha ft. Florida Georgia Line
  9. Silence, Marshmellow
  10. Rockstar, Post Malone

Drake gives away $1 million

RAPPER Drake has dropped a music video to match his new song God’s Plan, giving away almost $US1 million ($A1.4 million) in cash to people in the US state of Florida.

The Canadian rapper followed it up with a challenge on Instagram urging his fans to “go out and be nice to each other”.

The God’s Plan video up-ended the usual lavish efforts from music production companies, and instead showed Drake handing out wads of cash to struggling families, toys to children, scholarships to students and cheques to a women’s shelter and a youth club in Miami.

“The budget for this video was $US996,631.90. We gave it all away. Don’t tell the label,” a message at the start of the video says.

Before its release, Drake, 31, called the video “the most important thing I have ever done in my career”.

Hours later, the Grammy-winning singer issued a challenge on his Instagram saying, “let’s all watch the world be nice to each other even if it’s for 24 hours”.

Drake then posted a video on his Instagram story showing off a card his neighbour gave him, with a bag of chocolates, saying the random gift made his day.

Fans fume at sky-high price to meet Kylie

KYLIE Minogue will launch her upcoming fourteenth studio album Golden with a handful of intimate shows across the UK and Europe.

For any Kylie fan, it sounds like heaven – a chance to see the pop princess performing in venues that hold mere hundreds of patrons, rather than the arenas she usually packs out.

But while the venues may be small, the price tag is not.

Fans eager to attend Minogue’s London concert at the exclusive Cafe De Paris have baulked at the price for a Meet & Greet ticket to the show, which includes a photo opportunity with the woman herself.

That’ll set you back £965 – or just over $1700 in Aussie dollars.

Regular tickets to the show are going for £110 ($AU 194), while those who’d like early entry to the venue to get a good spot up the front will have to pay an eye-watering £265 ($AU 468) for the privilege.

As word spread that those who want a brief meeting with Ms Minogue will need to shell out close to a thousand pounds, fans took to social media to voice their anger – many tweeting Kylie directly:

Minogue’s certainly not the first pop star to cash in on fans’ desire to get up close and personal with their idol. Miley Cyrus charged fans $US950 for meet and greet tickets to her Bangerz tour, while Justin Bieber charged $US650 for a brief photo opportunity at his Believe tour.

Meet and greet tickets seem a less popular offering here in Australia, where upcoming tours by pop divas Shania Twain and Celine Dion both come with high-priced VIP ticket offers – without a chance to meet the singers.

$999 for a ‘Signature VIP’ ticket to Dion’s show will give you a seat in or near the front row, as well as a gift bag, digital photo book and ‘limited edition lithograph’ – but no face time with Dion.

The ‘Ultimate VIP’ ticket to Twain’s tour will give you a front-row seat, tour gift, VIP pass – but not a meeting with the country pop star herself. Oh, and it’ll cost you $1,249.

For those with the cash to splash, here’s what a 965-pound ticket to Kylie’s London show will get you, according to the UK Ticketmaster website:

-One seated ticket on the balcony to see Kylie live (ticket face value £100)

-Pre-show Meet & Greet with Kylie

-Individual photo opportunity with Kylie

-Red carpet entrance into the venue

-Champagne reception

-Bowl food and canapés served pre -show

-Complimentary drinks pre-show (beers, selected spirits and soft drinks)

-Merchandise item designed exclusively for package purchasers

-Souvenir Kylie tour laminate + lanyard

-Designated check-in with our on-site concert host

… Better make the most of your bowl food and selected spirits.

Hardest 100: the poll for metalheads

MUSIC fans have had their say in the Hottest 100 and Ozzest 100; now for those who like their rock turned up to 11 comes the Hardest 100.

The countdown has been launched by Australia’s heavy music enthusiasts who have become frustrated with hard rock being marginalised on the airwaves and the recent Triple M and Triple J polls.

The poll is the brainchild of Tim Price, who launched The Faction digital heavy music station last year, and coincides with the 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, who are acknowledged as the founders of the heavy metal genre.

Price said the poll was planned months before Triple J revealed their Hottest 100 in January to a howl of protest from hard rock fans about the lack of heavy metal artists to make the cut.

This was despite a raft of successful hard rock albums released last year including Mesmer from wildly popular metalcore band Northlane, which peaked at No. 3 on the ARIA charts and the much-anticipated debut The Rhapsody Tapes from nu metal outfit Ocean Grove, which went straight to No. 5 on the mainstream top 50.

Price said the Hardest 100 wasn’t so much a reaction to hard rock losing its presence on the Hottest 100 as it was to spotlight just how strong the audience for heavy music is in Australia.

There has always been a strong fanbase for rock music as evidenced by the success of the sold-out annual Unify Gathering festival in Victoria and the debut of the long-running British festival Download at Flemington Racecourse next month featuring Limp Bizkit, Prophets of Rage and Good Charlotte.

Before its demise in 2015, the annual Soundwave Festival which hosted hard rock acts was the biggest music event in the country.

Price said there was no doubting the appetite for live hard rock music in Australia with three or four tours announced each week.

He decided to launch The Faction station in an attempt to make heavy music hits.

“The idea was to make hits for heavy music in the same way commercial radio make hits for mainstream music by playing those songs on rotation because there aren’t that many outlets for this sort of music in Australia,” Price said.

“There is a weird thing where the fans do kind of thrive on this music being the outsider to the mainstream but there are hundreds of bands out there who always land in the top 5 whether it’s Metallica or Amity Affliction or Parkway Drive.”

The Faction programs 50 per cent Australian music and Price set himself a target of making his playlist 25 per cent female fronted acts.

The inaugural Hardest 100 is likely to become a battleground between heritage acts from AC/DC to Black Sabbath through to local artists including Tonight Alive and Northlane.

“We have put together a reasonably sized library of about 3000 songs but people can nominate whatever they want,” Price said.

“Metal fans love to vote for the most obscure band they can find,” he said.

“But my hope is also to be pleasantly surprised to see a bunch of female voice sin there as well.”

Voting opens today via themusic.com.au and the countdown will be broadcast on The Faction via their website and app on March 17.

Here are 10 tracks Australian metalheads could vote for on the Hardest 100

Metallica — One

Tonight Alive — Temple

AC/DC — Back in Black

Parkway Drive — Vice Grip

Black Sabbath — Iron Man

Dio — Holy Diver

Northlane — Quantum Flux

The Amity Affliction — Youngbloods

Evanescence — Bring Me to Life

Korn — Got The Life