As news broke this morning of Adam Yauch‘s death, countless fans and celebs shared memories of MCA on Twitter — sparking trending topics like “Paul’s Boutique” and “No Sleep Til Brooklyn.” But VH1 also wanted to take to the streets of New York City, where the Beastie Boys were born and bred, to talk to people face to face. We can’t say we were surprised to hear how sad New Yorkers are to lose someone so “legendary” and “iconic.”
“Everybody from New York can identify with the Beastie Boys,” said one passerby. “They represented New York so well.” Many mentioned how “shocked” they were to hear the news of Adam’s passing, also unsurprising as there were rumors last year that he had beaten the salivary gland cancer that he was diagnosed with in 2009. One man pleaded, “I hope all his fans will keep him alive.” We definitely will.
VH1 Classic will air two Beastie Boys video blocks on Saturday, May 5 from 7 – 8PM*, and on Sunday, May 6 from 11 AM – 12PM*. Additionally, VH1.com will post special interviews, features and memories over the weekend and is currently calling on fans to tweet their memories of Yauch with the hashtag #MCAmemories.
Levon Helm decided he would become a musician when he was six years old after catching a Bill Monroe bluegrass show. Today, he died a legend. Levon was known mostly as the drummer of The Band, a band that first gained major exposure by playing backup for Bob Dylan, then became a force in its own right with two seminal ’60s country-rock albums (Music from Big Pink and The Band). But Levan also used his twangy southern tenor to double at times as a lead singer, and periodically played mandolin, guitar and bass.
Levon had battled throat cancer since the late ’90s, but the seriousness of his current condition was only made public earlier this week when his daughter and wife posted a message to his website saying that he was in the “final stages of his battle with cancer” and to “please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey.”
Madonna‘s MDNA is set to take the top spot on Billboard next week by selling an estimated 300,000 to 350,000 copies. This will be her fifth consecutive album to debut at No. 1 and her eighth overall. According to Billboard, MDNA‘s sales have been bolstered by a promotion tied to her world tour — fans who buy concert tickets in the U.S. may also buy the album as part of their purchase. But we wonder whether controversies tied to MDNA — albeit, relatively small on the Madonna Controversy Scale — have helped with the sales spike.
If anything is in Madonna’s “DNA” (the stated inspiration for her album title), it’s stoking controversy and using the press as a marketing machine. This time around, the pop provocateur had her “Girls Gone Wild” video, featuring shirtless men grinding in mantyhose, age restricted by YouTube for nudity and implied masturbation.
Madonna joined Twitter using the handle @MadonnaMDNAday for one day only yesterday to promote her new album MDNA, and it could not have been a more fruitfull stunt.
Not only did Madonna manage to cool Deadmau5‘s anger for what he saw as encouraging drug use, she may have booked an opening act for her upcoming tour. When asked by a fan for her opinion on Justin Bieber, Madge responded: “He’s awesome. I’m a huge fan. I love it when he raps.” The Biebs, who’s bringing sexy back with his new single “Boyfriend” (let’s call him JB), responded to Madonna as any tween sensation would: “Seeing that is a huge honor. Yours is a career artists dream of. Congrats on the new album!” Madonna then upped the ante in the twosome’s love fest by tweeting, “Come and join me on stage when I’m on tour when we are in the same city and congrats on your new single.” Is this Madonna’s way of ensuring her popularity with the prepubescent set?
One would think that a world-famous DJ who wears a Mickey Mouse hat and spins electronic music against a backdrop of psychedelic lights would not object to a pop star like Madonna making a drug reference. With Deadmau5, not the case. Making a surprise appearance at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival on Saturday to introduce the ultra-hot Swedish DJ Avicii, Madge asked the audience: “How many people in this crowd have seen Molly?” Molly is a slang term for MDMA (found in ecstasy). The crowd cheered while Deadmau5 took to his Facebook page:
HUR DUR HAS ANYONE SEEN MOLLY???” such a great message for the young music lovers at ultra. quite the f’n philanthropist. but hey, at least yer HIP AND TRENDY! f*cking cant smack my head hard enough right now.
It seems to us that Deadmau5 has as much of a problem with Madonna trying to be hip by referencing ecstasy as he does with the reference itself. Madge, of course, has a long history of stoking controversy at just the right moment, and she does have an album to promote, MDNA — short for Madonna or a drug reference or both?
Jennifer, who looked stunning in thigh-high boots and a super short dress, explained that Mary J. is the “epitomy of soul music today.” She continued: “She feels like a homegirl and I also look at her as an influence.” As much as we’d love to hear the powerhouse voices of these two ladies in one Watch the Throne-type effort, Jennifer doesn’t seem to be the only one that wants a big piece of Mary. La La asked quite a few celebs on the red carpet to name the next Aretha Frank, and Mary J.’s name kept getting dropped.
If VH1 were to have its own zodiac, it would be the year of Kelly Clarkson. Tomorrow (November 17), we’re premiering VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson on VH1.com at 7 p.m. ET. In December, Kelly returns to VH1 for a performance on VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul. And today, we’re happy to present our first-ever weekly VH1 Tuner Podcast, hosted by Jim Shearer of VH1 Top 20 Countdown fame, with an all-Kelly Clarkson edition. In this episode, Jim chats with Kelly about Stronger, her relationship status, wanting to collaborate with Adele, her video for “Mr. Know It All,” and how she feels about being our very first podcast guest. Enjoy the audio now and look for us soon in iTunes.
We have a lot of artists stopping by our office at VH1 to chat and perform, and we often ask them questions we think you’ll want to hear. But with the debut of our new Pass the Bowl feature, we’re flipping this dynamic by letting the artists themselves do the asking. For each edition of Pass the Bowl, an artist will answer a question and then replenish the bowl with another.
First up was Tinie Tempah, the UK rapper who landed on our Song of the Summer countdown for his hit single “Written In The Stars.”?As his name suggests, Tinie has a sense of humor, and he showed it off when leaving his question: “Have you ever farted whilst having sex?” Nashvilled-based pop act Hot Chelle Rae, which also has a summer hit with its single “Tonight Tonight,” left a zinger as well: “If you could punch one celeb in the face… who would it be?”
We can’t wait to hear how these questions are answered. Stay tuned.
“Rehab” singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment today. The cause has not yet been determined. For those who have followed her longstanding battle with depression, eating disorders and substance abuse (a constant source of fodder for tabloids), this sad news may not come as a huge surprise. In August of 2007, Amy came close to death after overdosing on a cocktail of heroin, ecstasy and cocaine – and later that year was found wondering barefoot outside in nothing but a bra and jeans. These incidents were preceded by Amy’s marriage in May of 2007 to Blake Fielder-Civil, who was quoted by a British tabloid as saying he introduced Amy to heroin and crack cocaine. Earlier that same year, Amy performed for VH1 Unplugged. Blake and Amy divorced in 2009.
The singer dominated the 2008 Grammys with five awards for Back to Black, her sophomore album, winning in the categories of Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Known for her singular voice and unorthodox retro look (tattoos, extreme cat-eye makeup and beehive hairdo), Amy is said to have paved the way for artists who wouldn’t previously have fit into the mainstream. Lady Gaga, for one, famously told AOL: “Because of Amy, very strange girls like me go to prom with very good-looking guys. She’s a different kind of woman. I don’t believe that what I do is very digestible, and somehow Amy was the flu for pop music.” Regardless of whether this is true, Winehouse certainly seemed to pave the way for fellow British songbirds Adele and Duffy, both of whom share Amy’s ’60s soul vibe.
In June, YouTube videos surfaced of an intoxicated and discombobulated-looking Winehouse forgetting her own lyrics and getting booed off stage in the first stop of a European tour, which subsequently had to be canceled. Amy was reportedly working on a third album. She joins a long list of musicians who have died at 27. A phenomenon known as The 27 Club, Brian Jones, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain are among those who died at the same age. Let her legend begin.