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Pharrell (@Pharrell) Scores First Oscar Nomination

The singer-producer Pharrell has landed his first Oscar nomination at the 86th Annual Academy Awards.

The 40-year-old Neptunes hitmaker was nominated for Best Original Song for “Happy,” his contribution to the animated film Despicable Me 2.

The three-time Grammy winner, who is nominated seven times this year, is up against his peers including U2′s “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O’s “The Moon Song” from HER. Other nominees include Bruce Broughton’s “Alone Yet Not Alone” from the movie of the same name and “Let It Go” from the animated film Frozen.

“Happy” will also appear on Pharrell’s upcoming album, set for release this year on Columbia Records.

While it may be his first nomination, this is not his first encounter with the Oscars. In 2012, Pharrell supervised the music for the 84th Annual Academy Awards with composer Hans Zimmer.

Find out if he takes home the gold when the 86th Annual Academy Awards air live on ABC on March 2.

Riss & Ry (@Us2Music) – I Don’t Wanna (Aaliyah/Justine Sky Cover)

Bryan Michael Cox and J.Que new group Riss & Ry’s unleashes their latest visual of the cover to Aaliyah’s I Don’t Wanna.

NBA All-Star Jerseys Have Sleeves

View image on Twitter

The uniform designs for this season’s NBA All-Star Game, which will be played on Feb. 16 in New Orleans, leaked on the Internet on Thursday. And in a development that probably won’t surprise most fans, they feature sleeves.

The East and West designs both feature a large Fleur-de-lis on the chest and uniform numbers on the left sleeve — a format similar to the “Big Logo” jerseys that 10 NBA teams wore on Christmas Day. The East version is blue with greenish-teal trim, while the West version is red with purple trim.

The NBA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But both designs appear to be legitimate, as they match the images shown in an adidas All-Star catalog obtained by ESPN.com from an industry source.

The league hasn’t yet released the All-Star designs or announced an unveiling date. But a sales listing for a Swingman retail version of the East jersey was spotted Thursday on a French retail website called Basket4Ballers. The listing was quickly taken down, but not before it was tweeted and picked up by various media outlets.

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Happy Birthday Day Aaliyah

She would have turned 35 today. Whats your favorite Aaliyah song ???

DJ Cassidy’s ‘Paradise Royale’ Album Unites R&B Dance Legends With Newer Stars

CONGRATS HOMIE

DJ Cassidy

The ambitious passion project brings voices of Robin Thicke, R. Kelly and Kelly Rowland together with members of Chic, Earth, Wind & Fire and Kool & the Gang… Album due this spring on Columbia… First single “Calling All Hearts” out February

DJ Cassidy has made some sweet soul music for his artist debut album, “Paradise Royale,” which is slated to drop this spring on Columbia Records.

The superstar spinner’s 10-song set offers a collision of old and new schools as he pairs hot contemporary singers with players from R&B dance music’s glory years of, roughly 1978-82. The vocalists include the likes of Robin Thicke and Jessie J (on the first single, “Calling All Hearts,” due out next month – see the artwork below), R. Kelly (“Make the World Go Round”), Cee-Lo Green (“Light Up the Night”), Usher, Mary J. Blige, Ne-Yo, John Legend and Estelle (“When the Stars Come Out”), Passion Pit, Kelly Rowland and Chromeo. The musician roster, meanwhile, features luminaries such as: Nile Rodgers of Chic (and now Daft Punk); Earth, Wind & Fire’s Verdine White, Phillip Bailey and Larry Dunn; Kool & the Gang’s Robert “Kool” Bell, Khalis Bayyan and George Brown; Wah Wah Watson; Ray Parker Jr.; Freddie Washington; Marcus Miller; Ndugu Chancler; John “JR” Robinson; Ollie Brown; Will Lee; Patrice Rushen and others, with horn and string arrangements by Jerry Hey.

DJ Cassidy, Calling All Hearts single art

“Calling All Hearts” single artwork

Cassidy tells Billboard that the project is an outgrowth of his party DJ experiences and noticing that when he played the dance hits of that period “it simply called everyone to the dance floor. It made everyone smile. It made everyone move. I always wished when I played this music that there would be something new that I could play, too, something fresh to incorporate. So four years ago I stopped wishing and I made it my mission to bring what I believe the greatest and most universal dance music of all-time back to nightlife, back to the airwaves, back to the dance floor.”

Cassidy began the process by assembling a playlist of 25 of his favorite dance hits from that era and making notes about which musicians played on them. “What I saw was the same names repeating over and over again,” Cassidy recalls. “It became apparent that the recording artists and producers of these songs were recruiting the same session musicians. Those were the men behind the music, the architects of the sound. At that point I realized that in order to fulfill my mission I needed to go back to the source.” He ultimately recruited 22 musicians for the recording, while making a deliberate decision to use modern hit makers for the vocals.

“After I had channeled this sound, this spirit, this emotion, this energy (of the music), I knew I needed a fresh voice,” Cassidy explains. “Unlike the musicianship, the voices had to be derived for my era, from my generation, from my day — the voices not only had to represent my era but also had to represent all genres of music, coming together under this one sound.” Each song, he says, was its own adventure, though chasing R. Kelly for 20 months in order to complete his track was perhaps the most memorable.

“It’s a complicated endeavor, a very big undertaking,” Cassidy says. “People often ask me, ‘Were you discouraged?’…or ‘Were you ever going to quit?’ I’d like to say ‘yes;’ it builds the drama of any story. But that never happened. I was never actually discouraged. The music was coming to life beyond my wildest imagination and beyond my expectations. Any minor setbacks I had with various artists were part of the story and make the story more epic.”