On Friday night, we aired the last installment of our five-part, 100 Greatest Women in Music series. If you happened to miss the countdown, it’s spoiler alert time: VH1 crowned Madonna as the greatest female artist of the last 20 years.
While it’s tough to argue with the musical legacy of Madonna, we received an incredible number of comments, emails, and tweets from our VH1 audience asking about their ability to participate in this countdown. Well, we listened and worked to put together the following bracket-style tournament of The 8 Greatest Women In Pop where you, the reader, will be able to select the most accomplished female artist in the pop music game right now. (Sorry, Adele fans: We figured that since she just swept the Grammys, she has enough awards for the moment, so we left her out of this tournament).
Maya Rudolph and Sleigh Bells were the host and musical guest, respectively, on last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live. The standout sketch of the evening involved the world’s most famous new parents, Jay-Z (played by Jay Pharoah) and Beyoncé (Rudolph) welcoming a slew of famous musicians to their crib to welcome the newest member of the Carter family, Blue Ivy Carter (see: Photos of Blue Ivy Carter). Their guests at their Scarsdale, NY home included the mystery wrapped inside of a riddle wrapped inside of an enigma that is Prince (played to perfection by Fred Armisen), 2012 Grammys host LL Cool J (played by Kenan Thompson, a comedian whose many strengths do not include the ability to do a spot-on impression), a rambunctious Nicki Minaj (played more than adequately by Nasim Pedrad), Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (Taran Killam and Abby Elliott, respectively), and a VERY surprised Taylor Swift (Kristen Wiig).
There was one other surprise visitor to see the Notorious B.I.C. — the 2012 winner of the Best New Artist Grammy, Bon Iver! Frequent SNL cameo actor and former musician Justin Timberlake turned in a hilarious impression of the notoriously shy indie frontman, which included singing a parody version of “Holocene” that served as a lullaby that put both Blue Ivy AND Bon Iver himself to sleep. Justin (unnecessarily) went out of his way at the end of the show to make peace with the bearded Wisconsin native, holding up a sign that read “I (Heart) Bon Iver” as the show credits rolled, but we’re pretty sure that the recent SNL musical guest didn’t care. After all, unlike Snooki and Skrillex, everyone managed to pronounce his name correctly.
UPDATE (4:12 p.m.): Whitney Houston’s “Going Home” funeral service this afternoon, held at Newark, NJ’s New Hope Baptist Church, was a largely celebratory affair that lasted nearly four hours. There were a number of emotion-soaked moments — Alicia Keys’ performance, Kevin Costner’s eulogy — but the crowd at today’s service seemed to want to concentrate more on celebrating Whitney’s tremendous life than mourning her untimely loss one week ago today at the age of 48. When Whitney’s casket was carried out of the church today, “I Will Always Love You” rang out.
The day’s most controversial moment came 24 minutes into the service, which began at noon EST, when ABC News reported that Houston’s ex-husband, Bobby Brown, left the funeral and church unexpectedly. TMZ is reporting that Brown was asked to leave by Houston’s family due to a seating dispute; Bobby wanted to bring nine people into the service with him, but his invitation was only good for two people.
In an unrelated incident, Aretha Franklin did not perform today as originally expected;
We were lucky enough to spend an hour or so with Adam Lambert earlier this week when he swung by our New York City headquarters. We talked to him about a variety of topics, including his new video for “Better Than I Know Myself” and some of the thematic differences you’ll notice between For Your Entertainment and Trespassing, but we also got his thoughts on some recent goings-on in the pop culture world. We’ll be sharing the full interview with you over the coming weeks, but we wanted to get this clip out to the Glambert Nation as soon as it was humanly possible.
Since Adam is no stranger to controversial live television performances (*cough* the 2009 AMAs!!! *cough*), we thought we’d get his opinion on Nicki Minaj’s “Exorcism Of Roman” number from at the Grammys this past weekend. “It was a really intense idea,” he told us. “I was just trying to follow what the narrative was, I was a little lost. But it was interesting and she went for it.”
Lambert continued, “Being an artist, it doesn’t always work, whatever it is that you’re doing. But there’s something to be said about going for it. She has a point of view, and she’s bold, and she wanted to tell a story. I just wasn’t sure the story, but it looked rad.”
We’ll have more from our interview with Adam Lambert for you next week! (PS, only 32 more days until Trespassing comes out!)
Back in the late eighties, MTV broadcast a series of concerts called Live At The Ritz, which aired on Saturday nights and were filmed at the famous concert venue in New York City’s East Village. A number of notable acts appeared on the program (The Cult and The Smithereens are two examples), but there’s only one episode of the show that is considered canon-worthy: Guns N’ Roses‘ February 1988 visit to the intimate rock club. It’s an incredible time capsule of GNR performing while at the peak of their powers, having just released the stone classic Appetite For Destruction and having not yet succumbed to the jealousy, in-fighting and substance abuse that eventually tore the group apart. The concert is especially memorable because it was filmed just before the band graduated to stadium-sized shows; Watching the videos, it’s remarkable to witness the palpable sense of electricity that existed that night between the band and their rapturous audience.
Now, I don’t need to tell you that the Guns N’ Roses of 1988 bares little resemblance to the Guns N’ Roses of 2012. But you know what? That’s perfectly okay with us, in a whole “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” sort of way. (Translation: I, too, bare little resemblance to the 1988 version of me, and I’d bet you dollars to donuts that the same is true of you.) It’s true that the only constant between the two eras is one W. Axl Rose, but when news broke late last month that he would be taking Guns N’ Roses out on a rapidfire mini-tour of club-sized venues, rock and roll fans instantly snapped up tickets for a chance to re-connect with Axl in a way that has not been possible since the Reagan era.
In a nod to the famous concert that took place there 24 years ago, New York City’s Webster Hall rechristened itself as The Ritz for last night’s Guns N’ Roses concert (for one night only). The set time was billed only as starting “after 10 p.m.” and, true to form, the band didn’t take the stage until 11:54 p.m. The crowd didn’t seem to mind in the slightest, though; it was as if everyone in the audience stepped through a time portal as they entered the venue and were instantly granted the stamina (and alcohol tolerance) they had back in ’88. The crowd was well-lubricated and excited to connect with the mysterious enigma and consummate showman that is W. Axl Rose, so no one gave a rip about either the wait OR the fact that the band’s first song was “Chinese Democracy” and not their traditional show opener, “Welcome To The Jungle” (that song came second).
The controversy surrounding Nicki Minaj’s and Chris Brown’s respective performances this weekend have dominated most of the post-Grammy conversation over the past few days. However, now that the hubbub surrounding those performances is starting to die down, we here at VH1 want to take a few minutes to congratulate The Civil Wars on their two Grammy wins this weekend. Our April 2011 You Oughta Know artists beat out some stiff competition in the Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Folk Album categories, and stunned everyone with their totally-awesome-yet-all-too-brief performance of “Barton Hollow” during the live telecast. Thanks to the magic of the internet, now we’re able to see their acceptance speeches for their two wins which, sadly, were not shown during the CBS broadcast. Above, watch them accept the Best Country Duo/Group performance Grammy for “Barton Hollow” and below, check out their performance of that song here in the VH1 offices last May.
The VH1 News special Whitney Houston: Death Of A Diva premieres on VH1 tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and will repeat again at 9:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. The 30-minute program will honor the life and times of Whitney Houston, and feature the latest updates on events surrounding her death, plus reactions from attendees at her mentor music mogul Clive Davis’s annual pre-Grammy Awards music industry party on Saturday night (like L.A. Reid). Additionally, there will be tributes from officials, her peers (like Kelly Price), record executives and fans, as well as some previously unseen interview footage with Whitney Houston herself.
In the clip we have for you above, which was shot back in 2010 as part of the Jennifer Hudson episode of Behind The Music, Whitney discusses how she almost didn’t record the song “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” because she “hated” it. Ultimately, her mentor Clive Davis was able to convince her of the song’s merits, a track that would go on to be her seventh consecutive #1 single, a record that still stands to this day.
VH1′s is debuting our list of the “100 Greatest Women in Music” this evening at 10 p.m. ET/PT. These five, one-hour specials are the latest in our on-going series, The Greatest, and are focused on the last twenty years of music history. Last Friday, we gave you a preview by way of our Almost Greatest list, but now VH1 Tuner is proud to exclusively reveal the entire list for you in advance of tonight’s first episode, which will cover #100 (the Pussycat Dolls) through #81 (the Spice Girls).
So, what artist ended up being named the Greatest Woman In Music for their career accomplisments over the last 20 years? Read along to find out!
In “Rolling In The Deep”, Adele sang “We could have had it all.” Well, at the 2012 Grammy Awards tonight, she did end up having it all — all the awards, that is. The English songbird completed a year of total dominance on the Billboard song and album charts by sweeping the three major categories at this year’s awards: Album of the Year for 21, Song of the Year for “Rolling In The Deep”, and Record of the Year (also for “Rolling In The Deep”). All in all, the 23-year-old took home six Grammys tonight, bringing her career total to eight.
Adele also performed “Rolling In The Deep” in front of a hushed crowd, her first public singing performance since she underwent vocal cord surgery back in 2011. We haven’t seen any video of that performance emerge on the web yet, but we DID see her knock Anderson Cooper‘s socks off with an a Capella performance of her Grammy-winning smash on 60 Minutes earlier tonight. We’ve got that performance for you below.
With her historic “Triple Crown” win tonight, Yahoo Music noted that Adele became only the sixth artist in history to accomplish that feat. Her peers in this exclusive group include Simon & Garfunkel (1971), Carole King (1972), Christopher Cross (1981), Eric Clapton (1993) and the Dixie Chicks (2007).