Neither Ke$ha nor the song have got anything to do with it, but you can’t blame a nation left in shock by the unimaginably tragic shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, last week if they would rather not have to stomach her exuberantly morbid “Die Young” right about now. This morning TMZ reports that Ke$ha’s party-all-night-because-YOLO anthem has seen a sharp decrease in radio play since last week, losing 19 million listeners between Friday and Monday. According to their expert, the last time a song’s play dipped so drastically was in 2003, when the Dixie Chicks‘ anti-George W. Bush remarks had country fans up in arms.
It’s a shame because “Die Young” is one of the year’s most heartfelt pop songs, and all K$ ever really wants is for everyone to have fun while they live their life to the fullest. Really, this drop came down to bad timing. We also suspect that this might be a sign that “Die Young” has run it’s course, and that it is time to bump “C’Mon” up in the rotations. But what do you think?
If Rita Ora was “really upset” about that little #ritawhora incident, she sure didn’t let it show during last night’s packed show at the Highline Ballroom in New York. The only possible nod to the drama came at the end of “Fair,” a bold Ester Dean-penned ballad about letting go, when she joked, “I should, right?” The aside may have made for a juicy gossip item, but we were too busy thinking she was sounding like Beyoncé to care.
Over the past few years Ora has become quite a celebrity, often seen out on the arm of Jay-Z or Rob Kardashian, a regular presence at fashion weeks round the world and a frequent subject on our Tumblr dashboards. And so its easy to forget that most of all she fancies herself a musician, and though you can’t buy it in American stores yet (next year, she promised), that she’s got a whole album full of songs that are generally pretty good. A bunch of them were written by the same people that write all the hits (Sia, Deen, Stargate, The-Dream, Drake), and more than a few of them might have her sounding an awful like Rihanna if it weren’t for one thing: Rita Ora can really sing.
Between his critically acclaimed album and his live-giving “Adorned,” all those stylish music videos and captivating performances and those — all five of them! — Grammy nods, Miguel has without a doubt enjoyed an incredible year. Over the weekend he moved to capped it off with two news tracks, released from his vaults and uploaded to YouTube for our listening pleasure just in time for Best of 2012 consideration. Because with the days quickly ticking down to 2013 (or, the Mayan apocalypse, if you’re into that), why not?
Vice’s Noisey saved Christmas by wrangling the great Big Boi – or, as he’ll tell you: aka Sir Lucious L Left Foot aka Daddy Fat Sax aka Hot Tub Tony aka Sylvester the Unskippable aka One Half Of The Mighty Outkast — into reading Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the full edition, for children and adults and rap fans with internet access and nine or so minutes to spare the world wide.
Being the adept rapper that he is, Big Boi moved easily through the particularly tongue-twisty bits (“snarl with a sneer that tomorrow’s Christmas, it’s practically here”), but did get thrown off his game for a second when a stray car horn blared from the streets into his cute little Christmas scene. Once Christmas was saved — in the story, and with his reading, he offered a warm, ATLien greeting: “I would like to wish you and yours a very happy holidays — or, seasons skeetings from the one and only Big Boi.” Read more…
Two super-charged performances of “Cut Me Some Slack” and one leaked studio version later, we are fully prepared to accept what was totally unthinkable not one week ago: that the Paul McCartney/Nirvana collaboration is a real and rocking thing.
When word of the team-up first broke last week, there were cries of heresy — Courtney Love, reasonably distressed by the thought of a Kurt Cobain-less Nirvana, leading that charge — and implausibility, but then Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear (aka the surviving members of Nirvana) all showed up with Macca to play their new song at the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief and it rocked so hard that it seemed totally reasonable to cut them some slack, if you will.
The new crew turned up again over the weekend, performing “Cut Me Some Slack” underneath tinsel and besides a Christmas tree on Saturday Night Live, and and handily killing it once more and making it even harder for us to deny that this whole McVana thing might actually be sort of awesome. And then the very good studio-version that found its way to the internet this weekend and now we know for sure that this collaboration is a thing we love, most of all because of that nice moment halfway through the song when the harmony hits and breathes a little Beatles into the otherwise shattering rock song. Consider our calenders marked for Grohl’s forthcoming Nirvana documentary Sound City, which is slated to feature “Cut Me Some Slack” on the soundtrack.
Frank Ocean thinks it’s “really tight” that you all liked channel ORANGE, and is appreciative of his 6 Grammy nods, but it sounds like he might be gunning for a National Book Award or a spot on Michiko Kakutani’s Top Ten in the next round. In a sit-down with the Guardian, the breakout R&B star and talented lyricist teased that, rather than an album, his next project may be a book: Read more…
Lady Gaga made a grand and unforgettable appearance halfway through “Gimme Shelter.” Unlike the onstage-chemistry he shared with Florence Welcha few weeks back, Jagger seemed a little unsure what to do with the unusual pop star, who spent most of her turn skittering about in her trademark towering heels and wailing with great bursts of energy about how “it’s just a shout away!” It’s really hard to look away, and that she could throw a rock star so seasoned as Jagger off his game is probably a testament to just how good her weirdo pop-star game is. This is really fun to watch.
Happy Holidaze! In lieu of the traditional advent calender stocked with stale chocolates or tiny toys, VH1, MTV and CMT are gearing up and counting down the days to Christmas with 12 Holidaze worth of cheer. Each day until the 25th, we will unveil a new holiday-themed performance from some of your favorite artists. Already we’ve enjoyed Paloma Faith‘s retro “Santa Baby” and Austin Mahone’s “Jingle Bells;” and on the fourth day of Holidaze, we at VH1 want to share with thee the traditional four calling birds as well as Gavin DeGraw singing Christmas carols in a blustery CGI-snowstorm.
DeGraw fedora donned and with just his buddy Billy on the guitar to back him up, the “Not Over You” star performed a spiced up cover of the Christmas classic “Holy Night.” Lending it his trademark grit, DeGraw really glosses a song we’ve heard a million times up with a new romance. Night divine indeed, no?
And with this fourth video, a perfect Christmas playlist has begun to emerge! And there are still eight more days of videos to enjoy. Happy Holidaze!
Adam Lambert took a break from his VH1 DIVAS hosting duties to channel his inner Queen of Pop for smashing performance of Madonna‘s “Ray of Light.” Last week, he told us that he was “really excited” about performing a Madge song because he’s a “proud Madonna fan.” She is “somebody that knew how to put on a number,” he raved, and — oh boy! — did he show that he can do just that tonight. Lambert performed the 1998 hit in a graphic tunic get-up that would certainly make Madonna proud (seriously, we could not have predicted anything so wild as this robe, and will definitely be doing some decrypting in the coming days!), and he managed to capture all the song’s emotions just right. Between this, his best Bowie and that Donna Summer, he might need an entire VH1 DIVAS show to himself next year!