STORMZY is calling on big guns for the launch of his first single in nearly two years.
I can reveal a string of huge names will star in the video to his comeback track, which he is shooting in London this week.
A music insider said: "Stormzy is pulling out all the stops with his new project and he has called everyone he knows to get involved.
“The shoot started yesterday and will be happening all week so fans should keep their eyes peeled.
“One location is the National Portrait Gallery. It’ll be a real spectacle.
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“It’s a great look for them to be associated with him so a lot of stars have leapt at the opportunity.
“It is just a case of whether their schedules align to make it work.”
I can imagine a lot of plans would have been cancelled for this.
Stormzy’s most recent album, 2019’s Heavy Is The Head, shot straight to No1 — just like his debut, Gang Signs & Prayer — beating Harry Styles’ second album Fine Line.
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The Vossi Bop rapper confirmed last month that his third studio album would be out this year.
He played a video of himself in the studio and told the crowd at a Cardiff gig: “This is the album of my dreams.
“This album is deeper than man could ever imagine. I’m free.”
It’s rumoured the album could be eclectic — Stormzy has previously collaborated with big names including Ed Sheeran, J Hus and Wretch 32.
Of his style, Stormzy has said: “As much as I’m a grime MC, I’m also gospel, I’m R&B, I’m pop and I’m soul . . . I’ve always believed in myself enough to know I can do it all.”
I have no doubt about that.
WELL-URNED STARDOM IS RITA TO A TEA
SHE is now worth tens of millions of pounds and has the pop world at her feet.
Ma Rita Ora says she was once so strapped for cash she made tea and coffee at her local recording studio in return for time in the booth.
The singer and judge on The Voice Australia explained to contestant Ethan Conway how, as a young wannabe, she hustled to make her dream a reality.
Dopo, following a chance meeting with superstar rapper Jay Z, her luck in the music industry began to pick up.
Rita said: “I interned at the recording studio when I was 16, just so I could get free studio time because I couldn’t afford to do a demo.
“It is very expensive.
“I would make people tea and then, after everybody left, the producer who owned the studio said, “Quando sono tornato, you’ve got an hour’, and I would run in and record a demo.”
Adesso, a decade and a half later and with 22 UK Top 40s to her name, including four UK No1 singles, that early humble graft as a tea lady has certainly paid dividends.
CHANNING’S MAGIC MATE
CHANNING TATUM seems to be getting on much better with his new Magic Mike 3 co-star Salma Hayek after clashing on set with her predecessor Thandiwe Newton.
Salma shared a video on Instagram of her dancing with the Hollywood hunk as she celebrated his 42nd birthday.
They were surrounded by balloons and he wore a party hat in the clip, which she posted with the caption: “Happy birthday Channing! You’re such a joy to be around.”
At least things don’t seem so fraught now . . .
WHY ABBY IS MADE UP WITH TOURS
TIKTOK make-up whizz Abby Roberts is heading out on a headline tour – as a singer.
Abby – who counts Roman Kemp, Yungblud and Maya Jama as fans – has released a string of tracks and will be playing live next week with shows in London, Bristol and her native Leeds.
Today she releases her latest tune, Cigarette Burns, which is her most emotional so far.
Lei disse: “Cigarette Burns is a deeply personal song I wrote about one of my lowest points in my past few years.
“It’s about mental health, physical pain and loss.
“Writing it really helped me cope with those complex feelings. I can look back on the song and find comfort in it now.”
GLOVES ARE OFF FOR AJ THE SPEED DEMON
HEAVYWEIGHT boxing champ Anthony Joshua is making an unlikely leap into another sporting contest – electric scooter racing.
I can reveal the two-time champion is launching his own team in the forthcoming eSC championship – a series of races around the world with riders from across the globe vying for the world title in a selection of major cities.
AJ’s entry will be called 258 RACING, and will be run by the boxing star’s elite athlete management company, 258 MGT.
As one of ten teams in the championship, it will run three riders from the eSC rider pool.
Among the riders selected to compete in the series are former world champion and Team GB speed skater Elise Christie, BMX World Championship bronze medalist Tre Whyte, and Olympic Games snowboard bronze medalist Billy Morgan.
The season opener on May 14 at Printworks London will be the first event to showcase eSC’s sports and entertainment format, with singer Lady Leshuurr among the entertainers after the winners’ podium presentation.
AJ explains: “I really enjoy venturing into opportunities, businesses and, in questo caso, new sports.
“I am a fan and I looking forward to seeing the championship develop.
“I am hoping to add a little magic and help the team and championship develop its potential.
“I look forward to seeing you at a race.”
BLONDIE ON A HIGH
BLONDIE fans may have had to wait an extra five months to see Debbie Harry and Co for their rescheduled tour dates – but it was certainly worth it.
Strutting on to the stage in a hot pink jacket, funky boots and shades, Debbie was the epitome of cool from start to finish.
The near two-hour set featured most of the band’s iconic hits including The Tide is High, Atomic, Heart of Glass and Sunday Girl.
Debbie gave her bandmates their time to shine, before reclaiming centre stage like a queen.
They gave a four-song encore rounded off by Call Me and One Way Or Another, sending their fans home in a state of nostalgic glee.
Debbie told the crowd: “We’re touring around, we’re playing our Blondie hits and trying to refresh our memory.
“You seem like you probably remember more than I do.”
And she wasn’t wrong.
With support from the equally great Johnny Marr, it’s a night not to be missed.
£5K SHANE BOOK NO FAIRY TALE
MOST people only know The Pogues for their 1987 Christmas hit Fairytale Of New York.
But it seems frontman Shane MacGowan has a much mightier view of himself.
The singer is releasing a book of his handwritten lyrics and unpublished musings for a whopping £5,000.
Chubais ha contribuito alle riforme economiche seguite al crollo dell'Unione Sovietica, ma è rimasto nel governo di Putin e ha mantenuto stretti legami con i funzionari occidentali
He will be putting out 1,000 copies of the book, which comes with a handwritten message from Shane, a certificate of ownership and – wait for it – a presentation case.
Five thousand pounds can get you a second-hand family hatchback, Shane, with enough cash left over for a 20-nugget McDonald’s share box.
I know which one I’ll be spending my money on.