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Rick Astley, Nicki Minaj

20 Mar

Rick Astley – it has been announced that the singer will be one of a number of Stock Aitken & Waterman (SAW) acts appearing at a special concert this summer.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the PWL record label which the acts were signed to and it seems that Pete Waterman and a number of the acts have finally bowed to pressure from fans to get the SAW acts together on stage to celebrate. SAW was responsible for some of the most recognisable of the 80’s sounds and it looks like there will be more SAW acts performing together this summer than at any time before.

Confirmed for the concert at Hyde Park in London on 11 July are Bananarama, Pepsi & Shirlie, Steps, Sinitta, Dead or Alive, Hazel Dean, Sonia and Rick Astley. You will notice that a certain Kylie Minogue is missing from this line-up but that may not be the case on the day as the promotional material mentions that there will be a “very special duet” on the day and the smart money is on this being a Jason/Kylie number.

Rick Astley had a resurgence in interest in his music in 2007 when there were a number of links from Internet sites which led people to a video of him singing his 1987 classic “Never Gonna Give You Up.” People who had this trick played on them were said to have been “rickrolled.” Figures in 2008 suggested that at least 18m Americans had been rickrolled. You can see how big a phenomenon rickrolling became by the fact that on April Fool’s Day 2008 all of the top featured video links on YouTube led you to the rickrolling video when they were clicked. Any thoughts that he has made a fortune from all those plays on YouTube are somewhat dampened by the fact that he is said to have only received $12 in royalties from all those views!

In a campaign linked in with the whole rickrolling thing Astley was voted the “Best Act Ever” by viewers in the MTV Europe Music Awards. Rick did not turn up to collect the award himself and Perez Hilton accepted it on his behalf.

Pete Waterman said of the upcoming SAW concert:”I’ve been saying no for years to a Hit Factory concert but now, 25 years on, the timing feels right. It’s time to celebrate the hit single and we have a tremendous line-up of our classic artists confirmed to play Hit Factory Live in Hyde Park on July 11. More surprises will be announced over the coming months – it’s set to be the biggest and best-ever celebration of SAW and PWL.”

Tickets for the July concert go on sale this Friday (23 March).

Nicki Minaj – it is a busy time for the curvy US rapper as she announces upcoming UK dates for her tour, a tracklist for her new album and also news emerges that she has been signed up for a lucrative sponsorship deal by Pepsi.

There have been many photos released of her video shoot in Hawaii, where she rolled around in the surf and sand in a pink bikini showing off her bootylicious behind. There has been talk for a long time that her behind has been surgically enhanced but Minaj has remained tight-lipped, refusing to confirm or deny the rumours.

The 29-year old Trinidadian born rapper will appear at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo for 2 dates on 24 & 25 June this year with a date at Birmingham’s Apollo on 26 June and a final UK date on 28 June at the O2 Apollo in Manchester.

She had her big break after fellow US rapper Lil Wayne discovered her in 2009 and she holds the record for the first female solo artist to have 7 singles on the Billboard Top 100 at the same time. She achieved this feat in 2010, just a year after she signed to Young Money Entertainment.

Her deal with Pepsi has seen her record a promotional video in South America to help launch the new product called “Pop.” It is not the first time a rap artist has been signed to Pepsi as Lil Wayne previously signed a deal to promote their Mountain Dew drink. The exact value of Minaj’s deal has not been revealed but it is said to be in the 7 figure territory.

Her new album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is due to be released on 02 April. There are 19 tracks on the standard release with a deluxe version having an additional 3 tracks. Guesting on the album with Minaj are Lil Wayne, Chris Brown and Drake.

 
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