We told you so! Earlier today, we gave you a sneak peak at the cold open of VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul and told you it was the hottness. Well, now that you’ve all seen the whole clip —the show is on RIGHT NOW, people!— you seem to agree. We just checked Twitter a few seconds ago and we saw that Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige and Kelly Clarkson‘s performance of “You Keep Me Hanging On,” “Spotlight,” “Real Love,” and “Since U Been Gone” was dominating five of the Top 10 trending topics.
By popular demand, here’s the video of this historic moment that you can watch over and over and over again. Remember, if you’re gonna tweet about the show tonight, be sure to use the hashtag #VH1DIVAS.
One of the most memorable moments from last night’s taping of VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul ended up being one that had never even been rehearsed before the cameras started rolling. When you watch Ledisi and Marsha Ambrosius duet on “Sweet Love” tonight at 9 p.m. ET on VH1, you’re gonna think that the two singers had been practicing together for weeks. However, the truth of the matter is that the whole number came together just over an hour before showtime. Say what?
“I was headed to go to the red carpet and the producers and the music director and my manager all came rushing to my room,” Ledisi explained to us on a phone call earlier this afternoon. “I was asked ‘Can you sing ‘Sweet Love’?” and I was like, ‘Stop playin! [laughs] Anita Baker’s singing that’. But then they told me ‘No, this is serious.’ And I was like “Oh my God, yeah sure, sure, if you need me, I’ll do it.’ I didn’t ask what happened because I didn’t want to be in the middle of that — you know, I’m just new, I just want to sing my little two songs and get off stage. But then all of a sudden here’s a third song, so I just wanted to pay proper respect to Miss Anita Baker and not do too much and you know, share in the moment, so it was a lot of fun. I really was honored to be asked, they could have asked someone else but they asked me and Marsha sand the first verse and I was so appreciative of the whole experience, it was like a dream. Like, is this real? Like I left there — ‘Did that just really happen’?”
We spent most of this weekend hanging around New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom, checking out the rehearsals for VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul (which, if you haven’t heard yet, is airing TONIGHT on VH1 at 9 p.m. ET). We were lucky enough to grab some time with some of this year’s featured performers as they prepared for the show, and one of the questions we were most curious about was what gave the cities that they hail from so much soul.
First up, we asked Philly natives Jill Scott, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Adam Blackstone their thoughts on why the City of Brotherly Love (the latter two of whom served as the Musical Directors of the show) was the most soulful city in the world. Jill Scott reckoned it has something to do with “dirty water” of the Schuylkill River, while Questlove and Adam explained that the city’s proximity to New York City forced the musical community to diversify their sound to establish their own unique identity.
You can see Jill’s response above, while we’ve got video of @questlove and @bassicblack below.
Hey, have you heard the news? VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul is premiering tonight on VH1 at 9 p.m. ET, and take it from us (because we were there): It is a DOOZY of a show. However, what we’re going to share with you right now isn’t something that you’re going to see tonight. Our VH1 Tuner photographer extraordinaire, Miss Lauren Deiman, was the ONLY photographer on hand during yesterday afternoon’s dress rehearsals at midtown Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom, and she was able to capture these stunning images of world class talents like Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson, and Jessie J practicing their performances one final time before the big show kicked off. Enjoy this exclusive and truly intimated look behind the scenes of VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul.
VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul is set to air this Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/8 CT, only on VH1. Yesterday was the first day of rehearsals at midtown Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom, and we here at VH1 Tuner were the only people on hand to not only catch some of the biggest names in music practicing their big numbers, but also spending some quality time bonding. Our ace photographer, Lauren Deiman, grabbed the following shots of stars like Florence Welch (of Florence + The Machine fame), Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, current You Oughta Know artist Sharon Jones, Marsha Ambrosius, Estelle, Ledisi, and last but by no means least, Motown legend Martha Reeves.
We can’t wait for you to see the whole show, it’s gonna be AMAZING. But for now, here’s a sneak peek at the this year’s outstanding DIVAS show.
VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul is set to air on Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and as we inch ever close to the show’s air date, we’re starting to learn more and more about the contents of the show itself. We already know that it will feature performances from superstars like Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J, and more, we already know that they’ll be honoring the great cities of soul (Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis, Philly), but now we’re starting to learn what people will actually be performing.
This morning, VH1 announced that Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Florence Welch (of +The Machine fame) and Wanda Jackson will be paying special tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, who tragically passed away in July at the age of only 27 years-old. Full details about the performance are included in the following press release…
VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul Includes Special Tribute to Amy Winehouse with Performances by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Florence Welch and Wanda Jackson
VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul Pays Tribute to the Great Cities of Soul Music Including Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia
Special will air Monday, December 19 at 9 PM/8c on VH1
NEW YORK – December 15, 2011 – VH1’s beloved, popular franchise, VH1 DIVAS, has announced a special tribute to Amy Winehouse at this year’s VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul with performances by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine) and Wanda Jackson. VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul premieres Monday, December 19 at 9 PM/8c on VH1.
The tribute will reflect Winehouse’s contribution to modern, London soul music. Some highlights of the tribute will include Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings performing “You Know I’m No Good,” and Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine) and Wanda Jackson will perform her song “Back to Black.” The Dap-Kings contributed a number of tracks for Winehouse’s Grammy Award-winning album “Back to Black.” In addition, Nas, who collaborated with Winehouse on the first single of her current posthumous album, will introduce the tribute medley.
YESSSSSS! We have barely been able to breathe for the last 12 hours or so, ever since Adam Lambert sent out this tweet earlier this morning: “Countdown begins…. 12 hrs until a big unveiling….” All day, we’ve been pacing around the office, staring at our watches every couple of minutes, constantly refreshing our Twitter feed, wondering what the one and only Glambert was going to offer up to us. Would it be a special holiday video message to his fans? News that he’s joining Queen on a full-time basis? A picture of him wearing nothing but a piece of mistletoe?
Well, it ended up being none of those things, but we’re not complaining because guess what? A NEW SINGLE IS ON THE WAY! Adam just dropped the cover art for his new song, “Better Than I Know Myself,” on Twitter and announced that “it drops on December 20th! avail on all digital music providers. Happy Holidays!!” We haven’t heard Adam’s version of this track yet, but we’re huge fans of the demo of this song that Claude Kelly cut back in 2009. This song was written by Dr. Luke and Claude, both of whom has a history with Glambert; they co-wrote the title track off Adam’s 2009 debut, For Your Entertainment. (Most versions of “Better Than I Know Myself” have been scraped off the Internet, but if you search hard enough, you’ll be able to find it.)
We’re going to do our best to stay calm until Adam’s release of “Better Than I Know Myself” in six days, but until then, check out his full cover art below!
What a year, right? As we get ready to put the finishing touches on the year that was, it’s time to look back at the music videos that define the year 2011. Tonight, we’ll be airing a supersized edition of the VH1 Top 20 Music Video Countdown that takes a look back at the Top 40 music videos of the year. Be sure to tune-in to VH1 tonight at 7 p.m. ET/PT to see your favorite videos of the year in all of their widescreen, HD glory, but we couldn’t resist giving you guys a sneak peek at the list here on VH1 Tuner this morning.
So, without further ado, here is our list of the Top 40 Videos of 2011…
40. Daughtry – “Crawling Back To You”
39. Jessie J – “Domino”
38. The Civil Wars – “Barton Hollow”
37. Demi Lovato – “Skyscraper”
36. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – “Paris (Ooh La La)”
35. Britney Spears – “Criminal”
34. Nickelback – “When We Stand Together”
33. Colbie Caillat – “Brighter Than The Sun”
32. Nicki Minaj – “Super Bass”
31. David Guetta featuring Usher – “Without You”
Continue along for the Top 30 videos of 2011!
The Black Keys just released their new record, El Camino, and are currently in the midst of a huge promotional push to get the word out about it. Still riding the crest of viral popularity of their video for first single “Lonely Boy,” the band has showcased their new songs on SNL and an MTV Hive livestream, but are currently causing waves with fans (including our own Kat George) by not allowing El Camino to appear on popular streaming sites like Spotify, Rdio and MOG.
Well, we were lucky enough to grab some time with The Black Keys singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney over the weekend and were able to ask them about this controversial decision. Carney told us that, “[Streaming services] are becoming more popular, but it still isn’t at a point where you’re able to replace royalties from record sales with the royalties from streams…For a band that makes a living selling music, it’s not at a point where it’s feasible for us.” He went on to explain that he endorses services like Pandora, where fans are able to sample and discover new music on a song-by-song basis, but commented that the Spotifys of the world are “set up to be a little more fair for the labels than for the artists.”
What say you guys, the music fans, about this hot button issue in the today’s music industry? Are you on the side of the Black Keys, and think that fans should support their favorite artists by buying their albums and singles through retail outlets? Or does the Black Keys’ decision not to allow El Camino to appear on streaming services like Spotify make you less likely to listen to their music? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
On tonight’s episode of T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle, Tip and Tiny spend some quality time with T-Swizzle (aka Taylor Swift) at the Atlanta stop of her Speak Now tour, which culminates in the two duetting on a killer version of “Live Your Life.” Well, that isn’t T.I.’s only duet of the night; we’re excited to be premiering the video for “Here Ye, Hear Ye,” which T.I. cut with Sk8brd (who is also known as Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes).
“Here Ye, Hear Ye” was one of the first songs that Tip recorded after he got sprung from the Big House back in October, and it’s a real window into T.I.’s state of mind during the 11 months that he spent incarcerated in the federal prison system (“Still baffled how my life unraveled / In the meantime time just traveled.”) As for how it came together, Pharrell told Hot 97′s Funkmaster Flex back in October that “My man came home and I just sent him something. And he got to it. You know what it is? He just got home. He’s in training. He’s getting ready. These are pull-ups, push-ups for Tip.”