Posts By Mark Graham

by (@unclegrambo)

Behind The Music Sneak Preview: Ricky Martin’s Fight For Equality

With specials focused on the lives and careers of music industry powerhouses like Adam Lambert, Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, it’s been quite an outstanding season of Behind The Music thus far. That hot streak continues this weekend with the premiere of Behind The Music: Ricky Martin (which, sadly, is the last episode of this season).

In this special sneak preview from the show that debuts this Sunday, August 14, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, international superstar Ricky Martin finally seems to be at peace. After having to deal with gossipmongers trying to reveal secrets about his sexuality ever since he rose to fame as a member of Menudo, he’s now living his life openly and honestly. He’s been in a steady relationship with Puerto Rican financier Carlos Gonzalez, which has helped give him the strength to lead the fight for equality on both the sexual and cultural fronts. “Who wants to feel like a second class citizen?”, he explains. “That’s why I say about equality, ‘I don’t want more rights than you. I want the same. That’s all.’”

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by (@unclegrambo)

You Oughta Know Alums Grace Potter, Two Door Cinema Club, And Fitz And The Tantrums Perform Together At Lollapalooza Afterparty [PHOTOS]

If you attended the 2011 Lollapalooza Festival this weekend, you had to battle the elements AND a throng of 270,000 people in order to see your favorite acts. However, on Friday night at the W Hotel in Chicago, some of our most famous You Oughta Know alumni gathered for a very special VH1 You Oughta Know Night at the Belve Music Lounge. Retro soul powerhouses Fitz And The Tantrums and electro power poppers Two Door Cinema Club each performed for the fans lucky enough to score an invite (which included celebs like Twilight’s Kellan Lutz, Christopher “McLovin” Mintz-Plasse), and the one and only Grace Potter hopped on the ones and twos for an inspired DJ set. Our photogs were on hand to catch all the action, and we’d love to share the results with you!

View Photo Gallery

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by (@unclegrambo)

Gavin DeGraw Takes To Twitter After Being Discharged From Hospital

After reportedly suffering a late night (early morning?) beatdown from a group of hooligans and THEN getting struck by a taxi cab, singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw was discharged from New York City’s Bellevue Hospital yesterday afternoon. Although he suffered a broken nose and is recovering from a concussion, his thumbs apparently escaped the incident unharmed; he presumably used them to tweet the message you see above from his Blackberry yesterday afternoon.

While police are still investigating the mysterious incident, a few more details about the evening have emerged. Initial reports pegged DeGraw as being quite inebriated when the incident occurred around 4 a.m. on Sunday night, but Gavin’s brother Joseph told Fox News that Gavin “had nothing but cranberry juice to drink” on the night in question (a night, mind you, that was spent at National Underground, a bar that the brothers co-own). Additionally, People is reporting that Gavin’s assault took place after “some kind of argument” broke out between himself and a group of people he didn’t know. DeGraw also told police that he “can’t clearly recall” how the disagreement got started or any events of the night in question. To help piece the events of the evening together, police are attempting to collect security camera footage from the neighborhood in question.

We continue to wish Gavin a speedy recovery from his injuries, and we’ll bring you more information about this scary incident as it emerges.

Gavin DeGraw Can’t Remember Much From Attack, Cancels Shows, Report Says [Fox News]
Gavin DeGraw Beating Mystery Deepens [People]

by (@unclegrambo)

Song Of The Summer Countdown: LMFAO Puts Up An Argument That They, Not Katy Perry, Have The Song Of The Summer

Electro-sleaze goofballs LMFAO are, at this moment, the only thing standing between Katy Perry and the history books. As we told you last week, their smash single “Party Rock Anthem” is blocking “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” from ascending to the top of the Billboard 100 chart (which would be Perry’s fifth Number One off her Teenage Dream LP). LMFAO is also currently besting Perry on the YouTube and iTunes charts, while Katy is maintaining dominance on Last.fm as well as airplay on our station. And our friends over at New York Magazine‘s Vulture just named “Party Rock Anthem”—a song they described as “a contrived, effective bit of nonsense about how ‘everybody?s gonna have a good time’”—as their current Song of the Summer.

Despite this onslaught from the progeny of Motown records founder Berry Gordy, our highly scientific formula still shows Perry atop our charts for the seventh consecutive week. While it will be incredibly difficult to topple her, it’s good to see Foster The People making a run at the Top Five. After a standout performance at Lollapalooza this weekend, their outstanding single “Pumped Up Kicks” is quickly climbing the charts; if the word “alternative” still carried any weight as a genre, there’s little doubt that Mark Foster could lay claim to the “alternative” Song of the Summer crown.


[Click here for a larger image]

by (@unclegrambo)

Lollapalooza 2011 Fashion: Form Follows Function For Casual Hipster Masses [PHOTOS]

Over 270,000 fans (!) braved the elements and attended this year’s Lollapalooza festival in downtown Chicago, which was held this past weekend. Attendees got to enjoy a wide variety of musical performances from the 100+ acts that were on the bill, but as anyone who has ever attended a musical festival will attest, that’s only one of the many benefits of ponying up the 200 or so American dollars it costs to gain entrance. Of course, there’s the whole bonding with your friends thing, there’s the life experience of sharing a collective moment with tens of thousands of strangers, and then there’s the people watching.

Each music festival we’ve attended has had its own signature sense of style. At Bonnaroo, scantily-clad hippies freely roam the grounds in Manchester, Tennessee, and at SXSW, ticketholders and performers alike opted for more “of the moment” fashions. This weekend’s Lollapalooza ticketholders, however, tended to lean more towards a casual hipster aesthetic, which made plenty of functional sense considering the variety of weather conditions (heat, dust, rain) concertgoers had to deal with. Take a spin through our photo gallery for a sample of what people wore knowing that they were going to see and be seen!

View Photo Gallery

by (@unclegrambo)

Gavin DeGraw Hospitalized After Being Beaten And Hit By A Cab In Manhattan

We’d like to pass along our sincere wishes for a speedy recovery to Gavin DeGraw this morning, who is currently recovering in Bellevue Hospital after a night in which he was beaten up by thugs and then hit by a taxi. Both the New York Post and New York Daily News are reporting that popular singer, who is in stable condition, was out drinking with a group of friends in New York’s East Village late Sunday night when he was attacked by a group of men sometime around 4 a.m. He suffered a broken nose and other facial lacerations, but somehow managed to escape. Then, in an unfortunate twist, he got hit by a taxi cab, at which point he was transported by ambulance to the hospital.

His reps released the following statement:

“Gavin DeGraw is currently recovering and in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital where he was taken late Sunday night by ambulance after he was attacked by a group of assailants. He suffers from a concussion, broken nose, black eyes, cuts and bruises. The police are conducting an investigation of the attack.

Gavin and his family appreciate everyone’s concern at this time. We have no information yet regarding his upcoming concert dates and promotion for his new album.”

If you’d like to leave your well wishes with Gavin, our August Posted artist, please do so in the comments below and we’ll make sure to send them along to him as he recuperates. Again, everyone here at VH1 wishes Gavin a speedy and full recovery, and we’ll be sure to share more information on this incident with you as it emerges.

East Village thugs beat pop star [NYP]
Singer Gavin DeGraw brutally beaten then hit by cab after night out drinking in East Village [NYDN]

by (@unclegrambo)

Beyoncé Takes New Tact To Build Buzz For 4

Any way you slice it, Beyoncé‘s camp has been plagued with turmoil in the months leading up to and following the release of her fourth LP, 4. Before the record even dropped, rumors about the label’s unhappiness with the finished product swirled, Queen B was accused of plagiarising her widely-lauded Billboard Music Awards performance, and she endured a messy split with her manager (and father), Matthew Knowles. Then 4 came out and sold only moderately well when compared to the past performance of her other blockbuster albums, something that it has never really recovered from. Neither of the album’s first two singles, “Run The World (Girls)” or “Best Thing I Never Had,” have been able to grab the cultural zeitgeist, and while the album has been certified platinum by the RIAA for shipping over one million units to retail stores, the album’s actual Stateside sales have yet to approach that magical million mark. So, the question remains: What other levels do Beyoncé and her team have left to pull to make this album a quote-unquote “success”?

Well, it seems that their answer is to build the buzz around the strength of the entire album, not just the singles. Beyoncé just announced that she’ll be doing a four-night residency at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom next week, a run in which she’ll be performing her latest album in its entirety. 4 Intimate Nights With Beyoncé will be just that; while Bey usually performs in arenas that hold 20,000 or more people, Roseland’s maximum capacity is just 3,200 peeps, which will make the show the hottest ticket in this town since Kanye West performed My Dark Twisted Fantasy to an audience of just 1,100 at the Bowery Ballroom back in November.

So, will it work? Tough to say! To her credit, Beyoncé is widely regarded for her electrifying live performances; just two months ago, we named her Glastonbury set as that festival’s best. And by gathering the East Coast media world’s biggest tastemakers all in one room over a series of four nights, you can be assured that her album will get a fresh look from critics and a lot of ink devoted to it. As for whether or not that will translate into sales, though, only time will tell!

Beyonc? to Perform Four Intimate Shows in NYC [BET]

by (@unclegrambo)

Bad Weekend For “Big” Rappers: Big Boi, Big Sean Arrested In Separate Incidents

While many of the biggest names in music were playing for 270,000 (!) fans in Chicago this weekend at the 2011 Lollapalooza festival, two members of the hip hop community—one an established vet, one an up-and-comer— found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

On Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported that New York state police arrested Big Sean, Kanye West’s newest protoge, after performing a concert at Artpark State Park in Lewiston, NY. The 23 year-old was charged with misdemeanor counts of forcible touching, unlawful imprisonment and sex abuse after an unnamed woman phoned police complaining of sexual assault. Big Sean and a member of his entourage, Willie ?Sayitainttone? Hansbro, were jailed and released on a $500 bond. Big Sean isn’t speaking, but his lawyer released a statement saying “both men vehemently deny the charges” and that “I am confident, that after further investigation, both men will be vindicated.” This case will go to court on September 6.

Then, on Sunday, Antwan “Big Boi” Patton (of Outkast fame) was pinched by the Miami po-po’s on felony drug possession charges. Apparently, drug-sniffing dogs got the best of Big Boi after he exited an unnamed cruise ship, and police found ecstasy pills, molly (which is ecstasy in powder form) and a whole bunch of Viagra in his luggage. He spent some time in the Miami-Dade Correctional Facility, but was released after posting $16,000 bond. His lawyer later explained to CNN that “a small amount of contraband was found in the collective luggage,” before adding that “I am confident when the entire facts are aired Big Boi will be completely exonerated.”

As a precautionary measure, we are advising that anyone who happens to perform either solo or in a band that has the name “Big” in the title— we’re looking at you, Big Daddy Kane, as well as members of Mr. Big and Reel Big Fish—avoid leaving their homes until this big bad mojo blows over.

Big Sean faces sexual abuse charges following concert [LAT]
Big Boi from Outkast ARRESTED FOR DRUG POSSESSION [TMZ]

[Photo Credits: Getty Images, TMZ]

by (@unclegrambo)

Good Morning, America! Nicki Minaj Slips A Nip On GMA [PHOTOS]

Like millions of Americans, we tuned into our local ABC affiliate to watch Nicki Minaj perform this morning live from Central Park on Good Morning America. However, unlike a lot of other eagle-eyed viewers (like our pals over at Mediaite), we initially didn’t notice that the Queen Barbie slipped a nip on national television. However, when we saw the term “GMA Nip Slip” begin trending on Twitter, we did some investigation and yep, there it is! To put it in perspective, it’s nowhere near as controversial as the infamous Janet/Justin wardrobe malfunction, but still, talk about a Moment that will last 4 Life!

Turn your eyes away if you don’t want to see it. Warning, what you’re about to see is strictly NSFW (Not Safe For Work):

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by (@unclegrambo)

Taylor Swift Wins Some New Fans By Covering “Lose Yourself”

Taylor Swift catches a lot of heat for her prissy tendencies (not to mention her constant state of surprise), but is there a secret gangsta persona hiding beneath her precious exterior? Earlier this year, Tay made viral waves when she demonstrated during a radio segment that she not only knew the words to Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass,” but that she could spit them in Minaj’s trademark lickity-split style.

Now, thanks to our friends at Vulture, we find out that Taylor Swift’s knowledge of hip hop history extends beyond today’s Top 40. At a recent performance in Grand Rapids, Michigan, T-Swizzle broke out her acoustic guitar and, much to the delight of the crowd, tore into the first verse of Eminem‘s Mitten State anthem, “Lose Yourself.” And you know what? Even the most vehement Swift haters would agree that she didn’t totally embarrass herself; her performance, while understandably less intense than Em’s in 8 Mile, is delivered in a manner that’s both playful and convincing. Color us impressed. Next stop: “Yonkers”!

Taylor Swift Can Rap the First Verse of ?Lose Yourself? [Vulture]

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