Posts By Mark Graham

by (@unclegrambo)

Kanye West, Skrillex Tied For Early Lead With Three Grammys Apiece

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards won’t be televised until 8 p.m. ET/PT tonight, but just because CBS hasn’t turned their cameras yet doesn’t mean that the festivities haven’t already gotten underway. A handful of awards have already been given away this evening at the Pre-Telecast Grammy ceremony, and the evening’s big winners so far include controversial rap genius Kanye West and the electronic dubstep artist Skrillex.

Ye has pocketed three Grammys thus far, winning Best Rap Album for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (where it topped his collaboration with Jay-Z, Watch The Throne) and Best Rap Collaboration and Best Rap Song for that album’s single “All of the Lights.” The ultra buzzy DJ Skrillex has taken home three awards, too (Best Dance/Electronica Album, Best Dance Recording, and Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical). This early trifecta of trophies bodes well for his chances to pull an upset in the Best New Artist category later tonight, and he just posted this inspirational tweet to his official @skrillex account.

Other winners so far tonight include Tony Bennett, Amy Winehouse, Foo Fighters and Betty White. (Yes, that Betty White.)

For live Grammy commentary all night, be sure and follow us on Twitter at @vh1music!

Skrillex, Kanye West, Foo Fighters Among Pre-Telecast Grammy Winners [Billboard]

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@unclegrambo)

L.A. Reid Discusses The Devastating Loss Of Whitney Houston

VH1 News correspondent Janell Snowden was in Los Angeles last night, where she attended the annual pre-Grammy party thrown by music mogul Clive Davis. The mood at last night’s gala event was more somber than in years past due to the sudden passing of Whitney Houston. Before the party got going, Janell caught up with legendary record executive and new X Factor judge L.A. Reid. Reid worked with Whitney on the #1 track “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” a song that he co-wrote with his partner in LaFace Records, Babyface. “I had the great honor of producing Whitney Houston and working with her as a record executive,” he told Janell. “And spent I so much time [with her], she’s like my sister, so I have so many memories. Right now, it’s just that beautiful face and that beautiful voice that’s in my mind.”

by (@unclegrambo)

Dance With Me Baby: A Special Spotify Playlist Featuring All Of Whitney Houston’s Top 40 Hits

When Whitney Houston passed away yesterday, we lost a once-in-a-generation talent, a singer whose voice was so pure and emotive that it was heralded by people of of all ages, races and nationalities. During a remarkable stretch from December of 1985 until March of 1988, Whitney scored a record seven consecutive #1 Billboard singles in a row; she ultimately finished her career with 11 #1 songs, good for 7th place on the all-time list of history’s most popular recording artists.

As we all struggle to cope with the sudden loss of Whitney Houston, we put together the following Spotify playlist as a way to remember Whitney at her finest — Dance With Me Baby: All Of Whitney Houston’s Top 40 hits. The playlist consists of 31 tracks, and is organized in order of chart success. It ranges from “I Will Always Love You”, which spent an astounding 14 weeks at #1 in 1992-1993, to “Queen Of The Night”, a deep cut from The Bodyguard that peaked at #36 on the Billboard charts.

The playlist’s tracklist is as follows:

Song: “I Will Always Love You”
Released: November 14, 1992
Peak Position: #1 for 14 weeks

Song: “Greatest Love Of All”
Released: April 5, 1986
Peak Position: #1 for 3 weeks

Song: “How Will I Know”
Released: December 28, 1985
Peak Position: #1 for 2 weeks

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by (@unclegrambo)

Whitney Houston’s Isolated Vocal Track For “How Will I Know” Is Mesmerizing

“How Will I Know” wasn’t the first single to be released from Whitney Houston‘s self-titled, 1985 debut album; in fact, it wasn’t the second, either (those honors belong to “You Give Good Love” and “Saving All My Love For You”, respectively). However, when the music video for “How Will I Know” hit MTV in November 1985, it helped Whitney “cross over” and ultimately launched her into the stratosphere of superstardom.

Tonight, as the world struggles to come to terms with Whitney Houston’s untimely death at the age of 48, audio of her isolated vocal track from “How Will I Know” has surfaced online. It’s a powerful reminder of her once-in-a-generation vocal talents, and a mesmerizing performance of the song that VH1 named as the #12 song in our countdown of the 100 Greatest Songs Of The ’80s.

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by (@unclegrambo)

R.I.P. Whitney Houston (1963-2012): Remember Her Unforgettable Legacy With Her 9 Greatest Musical Moments

The music world lost one of its all-time greats when Whitney Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles the weekend of the 2012 Grammys. The six-time Grammy Award winner passed away at the far too young age of 48. While we are all still attempting to process this tremendous loss years later, we decided to take a look back at some of the most memorable moments that defined her unforgettable career.

9. Whitney’s performance of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” at Nelson Mandela’s 70th Birthday Tribute Concert in 1988.

8. Whitney performs alongside her mom, Cissy Houston, on the Merv Griffin Show in 1983.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Beyonce And Jay-Z Post The First Photos Of Blue Ivy Carter … ON TUMBLR!

Blue Ivy Carter Photos

Glory, indeed! Proud parents Beyoncé and Jay-Z capped off a historic week by releasing pictures of their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, on their brand new HelloBlueIvyCarter Tumblr site (!!!) this evening. “We welcome you to share in our joy,” the couple posted in a hand-written note on the site. “Thank you for respecting our privacy during this beautiful time in our lives.”

The photos are undated, but they appear as if they were taken from the couple’s luxury birthing suite at New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital, where Baby Blue was born back on January 7. Thankfully, The Notorious B.I.C. looks nothing like 50 Cent insinuated, but she certainly does have a thick head of hair!

We think that it’s pretty cool that Bey and Hov, who could’ve raked in close to $2 million if they had sold these photos to one of the tabloid magazines, decided to release the photos on a Tumblr site where everyone is free to enjoy them. Considering all of the scrutiny and bad press they encountered after their controversial hospital stay back in January, though, it was a very savvy move to get the fans (and the press alike) fully back on their side. As we alluded to above, these baby pictures are the icing on an incredible week for the Carter family: Not only did Jay-Z perform two historic shows at Carnegie Hall, but Bey stepped out in public for the first time since Blue Ivy’s birth to universal praise. SWAG!

View Photo Gallery


by (@unclegrambo)

The VH1 Tuner Podcast, Episode 4: The Fray & Village Voice Music Editor Maura Johnston

The Fray‘s new album, Scars & Stories, just hit stores on Tuesday and is already flying off the shelves. Early projections have the band selling 90,000 to 100,000 copies of their third studio album, which should land them in the Top 5 of the Billboard charts next week. The guys were in our office earlier this week, where they performed “Heartbeats” on Big Morning Buzz Live. Our own Jim Shearer, host of VH1’s Top 20 Video Countdown, was able to grab some time with them for the latest episode of the VH1 Tuner Podcast, where they discussed a myriad of topics ranging from Yo Gabba Gabba to U2 to, um, shrinkage. (Thankfully for all parties involved, these were all separate incidents.)

Also, as a special bonus, Jim and Village Voice music editor Maura Johnston (@maura on Twitter) conclude the podcast by discussing some of the big storylines at this year’s 2012 Grammy Awards.

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Subscribe to the VH1 Tuner Podcast on iTunes

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by (@unclegrambo)

Curious About This Year’s Grammy Nominees? Join Popdust’s Listening Party!

Our friends over at Popdust came up with a fairly ingenious (if also a wee bit insane) way to educate themselves with the contenders for this year’s Grammy Awards. Since 10 a.m. this morning, they have been hosting a Grammy Listening Marathon, during which they have been playing all 108 of the songs that have been nominated for Grammys this year in alphabetical order. VH1’s own Carrie Keagan, host of Big Morning Buzz Live, is joining their conversation from 4-5 p.m. today, as should you! (As of 4 p.m., they’re at the “R” section of the alphabet.)

Below, you can find a USTREAM player so you can listen to the songs, as well as a way to join in on the chatting festivities. Enjoy!
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by (@unclegrambo)

Good News, Bad News For Lana Del Rey: Born To Die Debuts At #2, But She Cancels SXSW

After her widely-maligned performance on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago, many bloodthirsty people pronounced Lana Del Rey‘s career over before it even began, utilizing everything from thousand-plus word thinkpieces to snarktastic 140 character tweets to make their opinions heard. Much like we saw in the initial hours after LDR appeared on SNL, though, all the controversy ended up working in her favor. According to a press release issued by her record label, Born To Die sold 77,000 copies in the United States last week, good enough for a #2 debut on the Billboard charts (and significantly outpacing early projections of a 55-60K sales week). The record also debuted at #1 in the UK, where it sold 117,000 copies, and ended up moving some 800,000 copies worldwide. Somewhere in Los Angeles, we hope that Juliette Lewis is scarfing down a plate of crow and chasing it with a slice of humble pie!

However, it isn’t all peaches and cream in Lana Del Rey’s world this week. Despite the fact that she played a well-received set on Letterman last week and performed an intimate gig for her passionate fanbase at the Los Angeles outpost of Amoeba Records yesterday, it seems that Interscope is determined to limit her exposure at this point in time. Earlier this week, the New York Post erroneously reported that she had cancelled a planned Spring tour of the United States; her reps firmly denied this to be the case, but then confirmed to Pitchfork that LDR had indeed cancelled a planned outing to Australia, as well as her highly-anticipated SXSW dates in March. So, for now, LDR fans will have to make do with repeated listens to Born To Die, as well as a still unscheduled appearance on Ellen, to get their Lana fix.

Lana Del Rey Denies Tour Cancellation Rumors [Pitchfork]

[Photo: Getty Images]