Adam Lambert was in town this weekend warming up for his 2012 VH1 Diva hosting duties with an appearance at the Home For The Holidays benefit at New York City’s Beacon Theater, where he was joined for a duet by none less than Cyndi Lauper. “I can’t believe she asked me to do this! This is amazing,” he gushed, welcoming his idol to the stage for a very special rendition of Tears for Fears oft covered “Mad World.” Adam took the first eerie verse and Lauper took the next, and of course they each sounded their best, but we began to wonder why these two firecrackers chose such a moody and haunted song to duet on. But then they harmonized (and held hands!) for a particularly powerful final act, lending it plenty of emotion and there it was: the glam. Not blown out, but just enough to really make the song theirs and to make sure Glamberts were left with nothing to mad about.
Posts By Zara Golden
This morning on Ellen, Christina Aguilera unwrapped “Just A Fool,” a lazy belter off of Lotus, an album we actually quit liked, that has her duet-ing with country superstar and her fellow The Voice judge Blake Shelton. Aguilera has tried a lot of genres and styles in her many years of pop stardom, and one thing that’s remained true through it all is that the woman can sing. “Just A Fool” makes good use of that talent, giving her (and Shelton!) space to hit all the really big notes. And hit them they did on Ellen’s festive sound-stage today. Mostly they kept things casual — both wearing jeans, neither letting go of their mics — but there is nothing casual about how good they sounded.
There are two big Psy stories floating around today, one that’s nice and another that’s other less so. Let’s start with the good news, shall we?
Apparently Psy is on track to end the year nearly 1 billion YouTube views and $8.1 million dollars richer. According this AP report, the the South Korean pop star that taught the world to giddy-up dance has been seriously racking in the revenue from YouTube ads and iTunes downloads. So there we have it: there’s plenty of money to be made in music, you just have to be Taylor Swift and/or a viral sensation.
This next story is less expected, and unfortunately it’s significantly less heart warming, too:
This new, black-and-white shot video for Emeli Sandé‘s “Clown” is no laughing matter. The Scottish songstress’s sharp vocals are weighted with emotion, because like she recently told a sold-out crowd at the Royal Albert Hall in London, “the lyrics of this song are so important to me. No matter how kind you are to people someone is always looking for a clown and sometimes you can be that clown.” But as the bookers for the London Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Rihanna and Alicia Keys and we (– Sandé is a former You Oughta Know artist! — will tell you: her talent is not joke. Read more…
Last night, Ke$ha debuted her new single “C’Mon” on The X Factor in a pair of leather thigh high boots and with her bottle-blonde mane teased big. For most of the performance she stood alone on a platform, rolling around on the ground and performing stripper moves while singing astoundingly well. There were some lasers and projections of planets and tigers, but it seemed pretty pared down for a natural maximalist like K$. Until the song’s final breakdown that is, at which point her glowing palms summoned a troupe of foxes and a flurry of glitter. Phew! That’s our girl — a little rowdy, a little raunchy and a lot rock star. If Ke$ha wanted to do this every night we would certainly watch.
Like Santa down a chimney, A Very Special Christmas 25th Anniversary album dropped last month and it was like Christmas come early. The double-disc, sixteen song compilation has all our favorite acts — Jewel, Michael Bublé, Jordin Sparks, OneRepublic, Jason Mraz, Christina Aguilera, for just a few — singing all the classic Christmas carols, but sounding all the more angelic because proceeds from the album go to the Special Olympics. So basically, if you’re not watching these 5 off-beat holiday videos, you should probably be listening to this Very Special compilation.
Train‘s contribution, a rock-infused rendition of “Joy To The World,” shows off everything that’s fun about the collections. The video inter-cuts footage of the band hard at work in the studio, scenes from the Special Olympics and festive Christmastime imagery. And Train interweave their “Calling All Angels” seamlessly into their otherwise faithful interpretation of the holiday season classic, giving good (not that you should need one) reason for adding yet another version of this song to the collection.
Wendy Williams has gone and done what few before her have been brave enough to do: she dissed Beyoncé. The vaunted talk show host went in this morning, telling her loyal daytime audience that she’ll be tuned-in when the Queen B’s HBO documentary airs in February, but confessing that she’ll have to turn the closed captioning on because “She can’t talk.” Ouch!
Having survived nearly two years of nonstop promo for Teenage Dream — an album that just kept giving, more hits and videos and tour dates — and a fall busy with do-gooding, we understand that Katy Perry has hard earned the low-profile she’s keeping these days. But the rabid Katycat residing inside us less so, and so we are pleased to find an extended cut of her video for “The One That Got Away” (originally shown exclusively at a My Week With Marilyn advanced screening, for some reason) has found its way online to fill the void she’s created with her absence.
Directed by Floria Sigismondi, this seven-minute cut goes deeper into “Sad Katy” than the original cut could in five, as well as some Stevie Nicks Old (but still hot) Woman Perry voice-overs, a pair of American flag pants and even more dreamy moments with Diego “The One That Got Away” Luna. It’s not the new Katy we were hoping for, but it’s more Katy, and while she rests up and gears up for whatever is next, it’ll more than do. But we have to ask, is there no extended cut of the “California Gurls” video in that candy-colored vault?
Maroon 5 never really get fancy with their performances, probably because they don’t really need to. They are practiced at what they do, and even in the least desirable of circumstances — the SNL soundstage, for one, is notorious for warbling even the most adept of vocalists but Adam Levine sounded just fine there — they put on a tight and enjoyable show. No pomp or circus necessary, and usually Levine just wears a t-shirt. And so it’s no surprise that the medley of hits they performed last night at the Grammy Nomination Ceremony was very laid back but everything it needed to be, and then a little more. Taylor and LL Cool J, we hope you are watching closely, because this is how you do it.
Another day closer to 2013, another load of Best Of lists to parse! And so we’re back, today with Rolling Stone, NPR, Time and Idolator and a whole bunch more tallies for Frank Ocean, Japandroids, Kendrick Lamar and Fiona Apple. A trend emerges…