As big as Adele‘s “Rolling In The Deep” was, her follow-up single, “Someone Like You,” is in a position to become the most memorable song from 21. Whereas “Rolling In The Deep” was defiant in its tone, “Someone Like You”—which, we should mention, is currently the #1 song on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown—instead allows Adele (and, by natural extension, the listeners) to wallow a bit in the feelings of anguish, hurt and regret that come on the heels of a difficult breakup. Well, the writers of Saturday Night Live recognized the seismic emotional impact that the song has had on people of all ages, shapes and sizes (even Coldplay!), and devoted a whole sketch to it on this weekend’s show.
Warning: The sketch might make you laugh, it might make you cry, and it very well make you do both at the same time. It’s one of the most memorable sketches of the season to this point, not just because it’s built around a song that everyone knows and adores, but because it recognizes a fundamental truth in today’s culture—no matter who you are, “Someone Like You” packs one hell of an emotional wallop!—and spins it for comedic gold. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go into the supply closet and have ourselves a good cry.
It’s safe to say that the genre of music known as metal might not have happened if John Michael Osbourne, Francis Anthony Melby Iommi, Terence Michael Joseph Butler and William Thomas Ward hadn’t met as teenagers in Birmingham, England (not to mention adopting nicknames like Ozzy and Geezer). The foursome, better known as Black Sabbath, formed in the late sixties and forever transformed the landscape of music with their sludgy riffs, foreboding lyrics and totally bad ass attitude. After releasing five platinum albums, the group disbanded in 1978, but the impact they made was undeniable, so much so that VH1 named them the #2 artist on our list of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
Black Sabbath briefly reformed in the summer of 1997 (sans drummer Bill Ward) for the Ozzfest tour and the 1998 album Reunion, but outside of that, the group has been dormant since the late seventies. However, earlier today at a press conference held in Los Angeles, the band announced that all four of the band’s original members have committed to recording their first album of original material since 1978, and will be embarking on a 2012 World Tour. (The rumors were true!)
Many metalheads and music fans are really excited about this news, because, well, how could you not be? It’s Black Sabbath! (Not to mention, their record is set to be produced by Rick Rubin.) However, some cynics out there might be curious about the band’s motives for deciding to bury the hatchet after 30+ years of acrimony, and here’s what they’re wondering:
We’re just one week and oh, say, six hours away from the premiere of VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson! Her five-song Unplugged set will debut exclusively on VH1.com at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, November 17, but we absolutely, positively couldn’t wait that long to share the above clip with you.
As part of her set, Kelly decided to cover “I Know You Won’t,” which was originally recorded by another American Idol winner, Carrie Underwood, on her 2007 LP Carnival Ride . Carrie’s version is gorgeous, no doubt, but whereas her version is languid to the point of being passive, Kelly infuses her take—which, we should add, is brought to you by our friends at Starburst—with her trademark combination of dignity, strength, and a touch of heartbreak. Try to listen to the whole thing and not get goosebumps, we dare you.
However, the evening’s best moment didn’t involve pandering to Hollywood (Blake Shelton’s raucous version of “Footloose”) or even a huge, pyro-laden production number (sorry, Miranda Lambert!). It occured when Kenny Chesney and VH1 fave Grace Potter each slung an acoustic guitar over their shoulders, hopped on a stool and duetted on a positively gorgeous version of their hit, “You And Tequila.” Of course, we’re suckers for any and all things Grace (those stems!), but the way these two harmonized last night reminded us why we listen to country music in the first place. There’s no slick production, no glossy radio sound, just two great voices (and some palpable chemistry) blending together to make something special. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
There is a line in Bruno Mars‘s new single, “It Will Rain,” that goes like this: “There’ll be no sunlight/If I lose you baby.” A romantic line, to be sure, but one that shouldn’t be read too literally, especially considering the song’s inclusion on the Breaking Dawn soundtrack. After all, as any Twi-Hard worth their salt would tell you, Edward Cullen would probably prefer it if there were no direct sunlight ever again! That way, he and Bella could live out their days without worrying about spending money on silly things like 1000 SPF sunblock and Ray-Bans, and could instead make half-human, half-vampire babies underneath the moonlight for all eternity.
But what we REALLY wanna know is this: How did Bruno and his ladyfriend get their hands on a film canister containing a print of Breaking Dawn a full nine days before the movie hits theaters? We know some peeps down in Chinatown that would pay top dollars to get themselves a bootleg of that reel. Regardless, enjoy this video on your computer monitor for now, but be sure to tune into VH1’s Top 20 Video Countdown this weekend to be able to see it in glorious HD on your flatscreen at home!
Actually, scratch that. Rihanna‘s new record, Talk That Talk, is the dirtiest “pop” record we have ever heard. We listened to the entirety of the 11-song album, which will hit stores on Monday, November 21, earlier this afternoon here at our Times Square headquarters and can confirm that everyone in attendance left the room with flushed cheeks after experiencing extensive periods of blushing.
Now, this is not to say that Rihanna has gone out and recorded the female As Nasty As They Wanna Be; it’s not simply a sexually-explicit affair (although, at one point during The-Dream produced track “Birthday Cake,” she does proclaim “I wanna f*** you right now”). Rather, Talk That Talk continues the conversation that Rihanna began with her single “S&M” (off Loud) and, if you’ll pardon the Spinal Tap reference, turns it up to 11. Rihanna and her chief partner-in-crime, songwriter Ester Dean (who either wrote or co-wrote at least six songs on the LP), have put together a record that not only oozes sex, but also revolves almost exclusively around it.
Yesterday, two tiny snippets of Madonna’s next single, “Give Me All Of Your Love,” leaked online. It goes without saying that people IMMEDIATELY began critiquing the song’s merits in forums, blog posts and on social networks, despite the fact that this wasn’t a full, finished song, but rather, a DEMO.
Perhaps more impressive, though, are Beyoncé’s five nominations, especially her nod from the monoculture for 4 in the Favorite Album Of The Year category. 4 has been one of the more maligned records of the year, thanks to the fact that it has yet to produce a hit single on par with “Crazy In Love” (off Dangerously In Love), “Irreplaceable” (B’Day) or “Single Ladies” (I Am Sasha Fierce), not to mention the torrent of juicy scuttlebutt regarding Sony’s alleged disappointment in the album before consumers even had a chance to hear the full thing. Still, this morning’s nominations signal that the public-at-large appears to be unfazed by the industry chatter People’s Choice Awards nominations may not be as prestigious as those bestowed by the Grammys, but we’re guessing that Beyoncé’s camp is celebrating a minor victory this morning.
The People’s Choice Awards will air on CBS on January 12, 2012, and we’ve got the complete list of all of the music-related nominations for you below:
Heavy D, pictured at right (alongside Sandy "Pepa" Denton and Flavor Flav), passed away today at the age of 44.
Sad news to pass along. TMZ is reporting that rapper/actor Dwight “Heavy D” Arrington died earlier this afternoon after collapsing outside his Beverly Hills home. He was 44 years old.
“The Overweight Lover Heavy D” rose to prominence as the frontman of Heavy D & The Boyz in the late 80s after being signed to Uptown Records, which was perhaps the preeminent practitioner of the New Jack Swing sound that dominated that era. The group released Livin Large to some fanfare in 1987, but the group really saw their exposure grow when they were tapped to write the theme song to the hit show In Living Color in 1990. Shortly thereafter, Heavy D experienced his greatest commercial success with his 1991 cover of “Now That We Found Love,” which ended up spending 15 weeks in the Billboard Top 40 in the summer of 1991, peaking at #11.
The cause of Heavy D’s death has yet to be revealed. We’d like to extend our condolences to Heavy D’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time.