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Forget pimpin’… tweetin’ ain’t easy these days – even if you’re an international superstar with over 20,000 followers on the social networking site.

Shontelle Layne found that out the hard way – as imposter after imposter created accounts on Twitter claiming that they were the real Shontelle. But, there’s only one (@Shontelle_Layne), and now that is undisputable, as Layne’s account is “Verified.”

Twitter Verification is the process by which Twitter puts its official stamp of approval on an account’s claim that he/she/it represents what the user claims. A baby blue and white “check mark” along with the words “Verified Account” appears in the upper right hand corner of the profile. There’s only one form of verification, yet a number of methods to obtaining it. Layne broke it down during an interview on “The Ralphie Radio Show,” prefacing the story by admitting the processes can be both complicated and frustrating.

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“There’s two ways you can do it – if you know people on the inside, like you can contact Caroline or whoever that are on the inside,” Shontelle revealed, with a quick name-drop in the process. “Or you can just do what everyone else has to do, which is go to (Twitter’s) support on-line, and submit one of those verification request forms.”

Layne admits her management took care of the process, although she has a hunch that her “twarmy” – passionate stable of fans on Twitter – played a role in the outcome.

“My management had been on it for a minute, and then suddenly my followers got really annoyed ‘cause of all the imposters,” she recalled. “They literally did this thing called a ‘twitition.’ I don’t know what that is, but it spams everyone out.”

Shontelle said that the Twitter petition spread quickly, and soon her followers were “at replying” the artist, requesting that she check her profile to see the change. Layne finally received her blue and white check mark, and suddenly tweetin’ became a little easier for the Barbados-born singer.

The artist is currently finishing up her sophomore LP, No Gravity. “Impossible” is gaining airplay on mainstream stations across the country.

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Barbados-born Jaicko stopped by “The Ralphie Radio Show” to chat and perform an acoustic version of his new single, “Fast Forward (FFWD)” – off his forthcoming LP, Can I.


Yes, another talented pop singer, from Barbados, on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” Meet 18 year-old Jaicko, who checked in to “The RRS” to chat about his new track, “Fast Forward (FFWD).”

Part 1: “Fast Forward (FFWD)”

Part 2: Barbados, Valentine’s Day


Universal Motown/SRP Recording Artist Vita Chambers swung through The RRS to talk about her Thanksgiving Day performance to celebrate 50 years of Motown, as well as her new track, “Young Money”, which is available now on iTunes.

Part 1: Barbados, Thanksgiving Performance


Part 2: “Young Money”


The following can be read in this Wednesday’s edition of The Weekender.

Surely while growing up in Barbados, neither Shontelle Layne nor Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty pictured how their careers would eventually shake out.

Rewind back to a time when both Bajan teenagers were enrolled as “Cadets”, a young Army program in the country. Rihanna may be the current pop music princess, but at the time the roles were reversed. Shontelle was in charge as a drill sergeant, even at one point ordering Fenty to drop and give her 10.

“It was a whole group, and they were late,” explained Shontelle, who is still friends with the “Umbrella” singer. “As drill sergeant, there are people above me who are expecting me to discipline people who are straggling.”

But Layne insists, the incident was isolated.

“Funny enough, Rihanna was a really good cadet. Real good. Super sharp. But that day was just not a good day for her.”

Certainly RiRi’s ups and downs have been well-chronicled since – the latest set of events related to the alleged abuse by R&B singer Chris Brown on the night before the Grammy’s. The Barbados natives have spoken since the incident.

“She is doing good,” says Layne. “She’s looking super-fly. I’m really happy.”

Meanwhile, the 23 year-old songstress isn’t doing too bad herself. Shontelle gained global notoriety with her smash hit, “T-Shirt” – which leads off her debut LP, Shontelligence.

Turns out there was a specific shirt to ignite the song, and the singer still owns it. But she would not reveal the shirt’s original purchaser.

“He doesn’t matter anymore. Music is my boyfriend.”And music treats Shontelle well – affording her black diamonds, a couple pairs of the now infamous Jimmy Choo’s, and a Louis Vuitton bag or three.

Layne told me this – but she’s also told countless others using Twitter. Many celebrities allow both fans and journalists unprecedented access in to their inner lives and thoughts with the micro-blogging service. But in a growing trend, reporters are now integrating a person’s tweets in to questions and stories. So of course, I asked Shontelle what inspired tears of joy a few nights ago.

“I cannot believe he has a list of my tweets!” she exclaimed before attempting to change the subject by pointing out that not all of her posts are personal – some are meant to inspire.

“Right now times are hard and I feel like yunno, if I’m in a position where I can make someone’s day or make them feel better or make them smile or give them some hope, I’m totally down for that.”

Her intentions are well placed within the Twitter-verse, but I continued to inquire as to the source of the crying.

“Well, you see… well, uh, I mean…”

So much for that 140 character limit.

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