Alicia Keys Performs On ‘Today’, Sidesteps Blender Controversy

Alicia Keys visited the ‘Today’ show on Monday (April 21), where the singer was asked about comments in Blender magazine where she suggested gangsta rap “didn’t exist” and suggested it was “a plot to convince black people to kill each other.” Keys had earlier issued a press release stating: “Anyone who knows me and my character knows that I am not a conspiracy theorist or, by implication, a racist. My comments about ‘gangsta rap’ were in no way trying to suggest that the government is responsible for creating this genre of rap music. The point that I was trying to make was that the term was over-sloganized by some of the media causing reactions that were not always positive. Many of the ‘gangsta rap’ lyrics articulate the problems of the artists’ experiences and I think all of us, including our leaders, could be doing more to address these problems including drugs, gang violence, crime, and other related social issues.” When ‘Today’ co-host Matt Lauer asked if she would like to elaborate on those comments, Keys responded, “I’ve already addressed this issue, and I would like to really move on to more positive things. When things have been misunderstood or misrepresented, I don’t think they deserve as much attention.” Read more, watch the interview, and watch her performances of ‘No One’ and ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ at

On TV: Alicia Keys, Estelle

R&B acts on television this week include:

Alicia Keys, who performs on ‘Today’ on Monday.

Estelle, who performs on ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’ on Thursday.

Alicia Keys’ Conspiracy Theories On Gangsta Rap, East Coast Vs. West Coast

Alicia Keys wearing a cap

Alicia Keys is offering up some interesting conspiracy theory in the new issue of Blender magazine. “‘Gangsta rap’ was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other. ‘Gangsta rap’ didn’t exist,” the 27-year-old singer insisted, showing off a gold AK-47 pendant around her neck “to symbolize strength, power and killing ’em dead”. She added that the East Coast vs. West Coast hip hop feud was fueled “by the government and the media, to stop another great black leader from existing.” Blender said Alicia’s mother responded to the news by saying, “She wears what? That doesn’t sound like Alicia.”

On TV: Danity Kane, Leona Lewis, Alicia Keys

Recording artist Leona Lewis

R&B acts on television this week include:

Danity Kane, who perform on ‘The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet’ on Monday and ‘The Tyra Banks Show’ on Wednesday.

Leona Lewis, who performs on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ and ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ on Monday.

Day26, who perform on ‘The Tyra Banks Show’ on Wednesday.

Alicia Keys, who is on ‘The Tyra Banks Show’ for the hour on Friday.

Aretha Franklin In MusiCares Opening Act Power Play?

At the MusiCares event at the Convention Center in Los Angeles, Aretha Franklin was in full diva mode, according to a New York Post source. The Queen of Soul “refused to have Alicia Keys or Mary J. Blige perform,” fearing she’d be upstaged, according to a source. Instead, a “C-list lineup” of Corinne Bailey Rae, pianist Lang Lang, BeBe and CeCe Ledisi, and Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi provided the opening entertainment.

Alicia Keys Ready For Sunday’s Super Bowl

Ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl, ‘Access Hollwood’ spoke with Alicia Keys about the game which pits the New England Patriots against the New York Giants. “I can’t say I really know everything about football,” the singer admitted. “But good games like this one, you just can’t go wrong.” As for her pregame performance, Keys said, “Giving me eight minutes, is like, you’re in trouble cause I’m gonna give it to you.” Watch the clip below the fold.

On TV: Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Omarion

R&B acts on television this week include:

Mary J. Blige, who performs on MTV’s ‘Tila Tequila’s New Year’s Eve Masquerade 2008’ on Monday

Sean Kingston, who performs on ABC’s ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2008′ on Monday

Alicia Keys, who performs on NBC’s ‘New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly’ on Monday

Omarion, who performs on BET’s ‘106 & Party: New Year’s Eve’ on Monday

Babyface, who performs on ‘Today’ on Tuesday

The late night shows return on Wednesday, with musical guests still TBD

Gabi Wilson Covers Alicia Keys On ‘Today’

Ten-year-old musical prodigy Gabi Wilson is back on ‘Today’. The child tells co-host Hoda Kotb why she loves to sing and then performed a cover of Alicia Keys’ ‘No One’. Watch the interview and performance, aired Wednesday (December 19), below the fold.

On TV: Boyz II Men, Ne-Yo, Alicia Keys

R&B acts on television this week include:

Boyz II Men, who perform on ‘The View’ on Monday

Omarion, who promotes the release of ‘Face Off’ on ‘Total Request Live’ on Tuesday

Ne-Yo and Heather Headley perform on TNT’s ‘Christmas In Washington 2007’ on Wednesday

Alicia Keys, who performs on ‘Last Call with Carson Daly’ on Wednesday

Rihanna, Bobby Brown, Sean Kingston, and Ray J are featured on VH1’s ‘What Perez Sez About 2007’ on Thursday