Producer and former Geffen Records chairman Ron Fair is in talks to take a presidential or chairman-level post at a revived Virgin Records, a source close to the situation confirmed to Billboard.biz. The source emphasized that the deal is still being negotiated and, if successful, could be struck imminently or within a few weeks.
Virgin is a division of the former EMI labels that were acquired by Universal last year, which are now united under the Capitol Music Group umbrella; Steve Barnett came over from Columbia to helm the group last fall. The labels in the group are Capitol, Virgin, Blue Note, Astralwerks, Harvest, Capitol Christian Music Group and Caroline. Dan McCarroll, most recently president of the Capitol & Virgin Label Group, is expected to remain at the helm of Capitol.
Fair, who was hired in a consultancy role at Front Line management in April of last year, has a 30-year track record as an A&R executive and record producer. He is known for shepherding the career of Aguilera and his contributions to producing and providing A&R services for the Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah and others. His recordings have won 18 Grammy Awards. He previously held positions at Chrysalis Records, RCA Records, Island Records and EMI Records. Fair’s recent projects include Matt Goss, children’s’ television show “The Gonnabeez,” The New Pussycat Dolls, and this season’s finalists from NBC and Universal Record’s hit show “The Voice.”
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New Pussycat Dolls lineup revealed as Robin Antin expands empire.
The new Pussycat Dolls lineup of singer-dancers is headed to the Strip. PCD founder Robin Antin has assembled five stunners to relaunch the group that shot Nicole Scherzinger to fame and fortune and then went their separate ways.
The five new beauties are Natalie Mejia, Lauren Bennett, Simone Battle, Paula van Oppen and Natasha Slayton, the daughter of regular Las Vegas comedy headliner Bobby Slayton.
“They’re all different and unique, but all have equally incredible voices and are talented dancers. They can sing together or any one or two can sing as a highlight,” Robin told me. “I’m not changing what wasn’t broken. I’m just enhancing the original. It’s a real challenge to find beautiful girls who can sing and dance so brilliantly, and these girls can do it all.
“Once we’ve got the music organized and the recording plans underway, I’ll bring them to Las Vegas for their first professional show. We’re finalizing the act’s contracts now and planning the studio dates, so once we’re underway later this fall, we’ll showcase them in their official debut at the Pussycat Dolls Burlesque Saloon at Gallery in Planet Hollywood.”
Robin told me that she’s known Natasha for a while and discovered Lauren in London and brought her to America to appear in Paradiso Girls. “She’s the real deal,” Robin said. “She was a standout with Paradiso and has gone on to do many shows with LMFAO and already has her own fan base.”
Robin also told me exclusively that she’s planning to roll out her Las Vegas Pussycat Dolls club in Miami, New York and Chicago. “Eventually, I would love to see clubs in London and other parts of Europe, and Asia.”
Fans received a sneak preview of the team of temptresses when Robin opened her Pussycat Dolls Dollhouse at the Keating Hotel in San Diego over the weekend with reality TV star Audrina Patridge as hostess. They lit up the Gaslamp District on the red carpet with as many photographers and TV crews as a Las Vegas premiere.
Also there: “Dance Moms” star Abby Lee Miller, who confirmed that she’s working on a new Lifetime show with Robin titled “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition.”
Robin also revealed that she’s going to add San Diego concepts to the Las Vegas venue. “In San Diego, we are more of a saloon than a club and with gorgeous Dolls everywhere you turn as entertainers, bartenders and servers. We will add some of those elements and attractions this fall in Las Vegas.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Another day, another Pussycat Dolls member shakeup!
The latest change in the soon-to-be relaunched pop group sees Amanda Branche (aka “the token black girl” in the recent rundown of the group’s new lineup) getting kicked to the curb and replaced with X Factor star Simone Battle.
Although not officially announced yet, the latest PCD lineup looks pretty certain after Robin Antin and the girls staged a fake paparazzi shoot in Manhattan last week.
There’s also been multiple pics of the new lineup popping up all over the web, and Simone inadvertently confirmed that she’s now working with Robin Antin by Instagramming this screencap.
Anybody who watched the last season of the US X Factor will no doubt remember the 23-year-old Battle, who made it through to the top 17 girls before getting the chop.
Next Pussycat Dolls: Purr-fectly cast.
Robin Antin is at it again. A new Pussycat Dolls recording group is on the way. And these sexy singers have some big stilettos to fill. The girls are replacing the five original members, who had hits with songs such as “Don’t Cha,” “Buttons,” “Stickwitu” and “When I Grow Up,” but have all left the group over the past few years.
Antin, who founded the Pussycat Dolls as a burlesque troupe in 1995, understands their departure. “It’s a platform,” Antin says. “As much as the other girls, especially [former lead singer] Nicole [Scherzinger], were the face of the Pussycat Dolls, I have to let them go and live their dreams so they can find what their destiny is. Now it’s time to do it again.”
So meet the new Dolls. Antin recruited Lauren Bennett from Paradiso Girls, who will share vocals with Girlicious’ Chrystina Sayers. Rounding out the group is former Los Angeles Lakers Girl Vanessa Curry, Paula Van Oppen from So You Think You Can Dance and ex-Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Erica Jenkins.
Antin calls the two-year selection process “Pussycat Dolls boot camp” and adds, “I have five very special, incredibly beautiful and talented girls.”
Bennett, who was featured on LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and Cee Lo Green’s “Love Gun” track, has a voice that, Antin says, is a “cross between Aretha Franklin and Adele”— plus, “she can dance. She has such swagger.” Meanwhile, Antin compares Sayers’ “big, belty, pop sound” to that of Rihanna, and says Van Oppen will likely rap on the album, which she expects will be released by the end of the year.
As for the Dolls’ new sound, “My motto is, don’t fix what isn’t broken. The Pussycat Dolls are sexy and gorgeous, and the music is fun and has an urban pop vibe. It’s going to fit the same mold.”
And as if that’s not enough, Antin is teaming up with Nigel Lythgoe and Kim Kardashian, who will work as an executive producer, on a reality show that will follow the launch of the band.
But will a Pussycat Dolls reincarnation work? “When people see the girls in action and hear our music, everyone is going to fall in love with them. People will be blown away. It’s the exact right recipe for the new Pussycat Dolls.”
Pussycat Dolls’ Post-Super Bowl Plans Include Kim Kardashian Robin Antin talks to MTV News about Kardashian-produced PCD reality show. One day after the new Pussycat Dolls lineup made debuted during a Go Daddy Super Bowl commercial, the Dolls are already working on their next small-screen project — and this time, it includes reality-TV queen Kim Kardashian. PCD creator Robin Antin stopped by the MTV Newsroom late last month, and she had some fun teases about what fans should expect from their in-the-works, forthcoming show. “We’re developing a reality show with Kim Kardashian as an executive producer and Nigel Lythgoe,” Antin said of Kim K. and the “American Idol” producer and “So You Think You Can Dance” judge. “He wanted to get into reality TV and was very interested in doing something with me. Obviously, with the Pussycat Dolls, he’s always been a big fan.” Antin appears on “So You Think You Can Dance” from time to time, and as for Kim, she performed as a Doll back in 2008. Also, Antin said, Kardashian “understands reality more than anyone I know.” “Kim is one of my best friends and has been for many, many years and so supportive and said, ‘I’d love to be a part of really showing your world, the empire of really what you have built and the world around you … and all the girls that revolve around that.’ ” With a new Doll lineup (which includes Chrystina Sayers from Girlicious, “So You Think You Can Dance” contestant Paula Van Oppen, Paradiso Girl and “Party Rock Anthem” collaborator Lauren Bennett, former Laker Girl Vanessa Curry and former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Erica Jenkins), Antin thinks now is as good a time as any to put their ups and downs on tape. “The engine of all Pussycat Dolls [projects] is the recording ground, and now having the new recording group, it made sense to focus on the launch of this new group and how that engine opens up all the doors for all the different things that I’m doing that are a part of the brand,” she said. “So it’s a really fun, interesting, wacky world inside what I do.” However, Antin noted, the show won’t be about catfights or exploiting the lows that come with the highs. “It’s not about showing all the drama and all the girls fighting,” she said. “I’m not interested in that — although the reality is, there are things that happen and we’re OK with showing the reality. We focus so much and want to inspire people to show that girls can work together and act like sisters and get along. And through dancing and singing, I want to inspire everyone. These girls are the next generation.” What do you want to see from a new PCD reality show?
Could Madonna Win The Super Bowl? Pussycat Dolls tell MTV News she’s the team they’re rooting for on Sunday. With so many people wondering if the New York Giants or the New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl on Sunday, there’s one team that could perhaps upset the whole game. That team? Well, it’s Team Madonna — and it’s a fierce, road-tested force that has proven it can stand the test of time. When the Pussycat Dolls stopped by the MTV News offices recently to chat about their Go Daddy ad airing during the big game, they noted that the only team they want to see win is Team Pop led by MVP Madonna, who will certainly dazzle everyone when she takes the stage during the halftime show. “I definitely say Madonna,” PCD creator Robin Antin said, with new Doll and U.K. native Lauren Bennett adding, “Madonna all the way! I can’t understand football. It just looks like they’re running into each other! Sorry guys, but it is a guy’s thing, I think, and leave it to them. That’s their time. I’m like, ‘Enjoy it.’ ” While that spirit may seem stoutly un-American, Antin joked, “She’s a Brit! We’ll be watching for the commercial … and Madonna. It’s exciting. Well, hopefully the Pussycat Dolls will be on the next Super Bowl performing, you know?” Does Bennett think that it could happen one day? “[You have] high hopes,” she said with a chuckle. Well, until the PCD get upgraded to halftime-performer status, they should take notes from Madge, who may be taking the stage with any number of folks, including her “Give Me All Your Luvin’ ” pals, Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., as well as Cee Lo Green and LMFAO. Could Madonna win the Super Bowl? Leave your comment below!
Pussycat Dolls’ New Lineup To Debut In Super Bowl Ad Go Daddy commercial will feature Lauren Bennett and Chrystina Sayers as ‘angels in heaven,’ PCD founder Robin Antin tells MTV News. The Pussycat Dolls have remained pretty much under the radar since some well-publicized lineup shifts back in 2009. With a new group of ladies all ready for their chance to shake it as a PCD, they are set to make their world debut Sunday during one of the biggest shows of the year: the Super Bowl. Recently, PCD creator Robin Antin and a newly instated Doll, Lauren Bennett, stopped by the MTV Newsroom to chat about the Go Daddy commercial that will launch the latest phase of all things PCD. So, what should fans expect? In the spot, Antin said, “The girls are on the Go Daddy cloud. They’re angels in heaven, and they’re very angelic.” The look of the commercial is not necessarily the new look of the group this time around, she said, adding, “It’s breathtakingly beautiful. It’s a fun, real-campy kind of sexy. It’s all of that, but again, what we’re doing for this next life of the Pussycat Dolls, the girls are all young. It’s a fresh, young energy. I want to appeal to our young fans.” Despite a lineup leak in early 2010, the new, official lineup now stands as Bennett (who you might remember from Antin’s other group, Paradiso Girls, as well as the LMFAO track “Party Rock Anthem”) along with Chrystina Sayers from Girlicious. More will be revealed Sunday in the shorter on-air version of the commercial, as well as the extended version that will go online after the spot debuts. “The dancing is spectacular. Everyone is amazing,” Antin said. “It’s the exact right recipe for the new Pussycat Dolls. We just did the Go Daddy commercial, Super Bowl spot — really excited about it. It’s sexy and all that. It’s a quick look for people to see the girls together for the first time.”