When I first met Ryan O’Neal, who performs under the monniker Sleeping At Last, on the red carpet of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, I quite literally squealed in his face. His song “Turning Page” had landed a spot on the most exclusive soundtrack in town and was featured in the movie’s most crucial scenes. (The wedding and the sex scenes, duh.) “Oh my god, your song is ah-ma-zing.” I gushed, and he offered up a very gracious and humble reply. I spoke the truth; Twitter was filled with fans detailing the many ways in which “Turning Page” moved them to tears.
I sat down with O’Neal last month at my local Coffee Bean in Los Angeles, where we discussed what comes next after Twilight mania, his big break meeting Billy Corgan as a teen, and touring with songbird Christini Perri. He also refused to let me pay for our coffee — because in addition to being a talented musician, the dude’s also a gentleman. Enjoy our interview below (and his latest video for the song “Emphasis” above).
VH1: Let’s start where we left off – at the Breaking Dawn premiere. Did being featured on the soundtrack change the trajectory of your career? RO: You know it fit really well with what I was doing, so it didn’t really change the direction as much as it changed the audience. That was a really special thing. The Twilight fans are so sweet and so supportive. So, that’s been one of the biggest things. They’ve been so sweet and so nice about some of my other music as well, not just that song, which has been a really great thing. So I have this upcoming tour coming up, and they’ve been really sweet and supportive about that. I do feel like I’m a little bit a part of their Twilight world, which means a lot.
VH1 spoke with Grammy-nominated singer Kelly Price on the Grammys red carpet last night, and chatted with her in depth about close friend Whitney Houston‘s final performance. Kelly was not only present when Whitney sang one final time on Thursday night, she performed alongside her. (Video is below).
The close friends sang “Jesus Loves Me” for a packed crowd at Price’s pre-Grammy celebration, with A-List onlookers like 2011 VH1 DIVA Ledisi, Anthony Hamilton, El Debarge and Ray-J watching from the audience. Kelly adamantly defended Whitney’s behavior that night, telling us “she came out to celebrate a friend…in doing nothing wrong, she’s being vilified.”
Hear more of Kelly’s passionate defense of Whitney, above. And be sure to tune into VH1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT tonight for our brand VH1 News Special, Whitney Houston: Death of a Diva (also repeating at 9:30 p.m. as well), which will feature interviews with celebrities on the 2012 Grammys Red Carpet last night, as well as previously unseen 2010 interview footage with Whitney Houston herself.
Talking toCommon is like being sucked into a sexy, soulful vortex filled with sensitive, meaningful eye contact and Miles Davisshout outs. Really, this man is a creative god with out of this world good looks and a voice so deep it could hold all the creatures of the ocean inside it. Er, we’re not sure what that means either. It’s late. We hung out at the Grammy Nominations Concert all night. We talked to Common. Can you blame us for having a melty brain?
Gushing aside, Common’s an underground icon in the hip-hop community who performed “The Message” last night in a tribute to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. We wanted to know which nominated artists got under his skin and into his iPod. He name checked some of our faves – calling his pal Kanye West a “genius” and confessing that he’d like to collaborate with British folk hipsters Mumford & Sons. They’re featured on his new AMC show Hell On Wheels and he’s now a big fan. Common’s got an album coming out later this year – maybe there’s still time to get them on board?
If our pants weren’t already charmed off by Bruno Mars they sure are now. We spoke with the crooner with the killer cheekbones (did we just write that?) at the Grammy Nominations Concert, and he serenaded us with Whitney Houston‘s “Greatest Love of All” when we asked how it felt to pocket six nominations. We understand his ecstatic and adorably ridiculous reaction – it’s not everyday an artist gets nod for Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album and Producer Of The Year (Non-Classical). The competition is obviously stiff — Kanye West is on top with seven nominations and Adele, the woman to beat, has six too. But check out Bruno’s song and plea to the Grammys and then try not root for him. It’ll be impossible, trust us.
Last night, while standing on a riser in the middle of a sea of costumed, half-naked Angelinos gettin’ down to Robyn, I shouted to no one in particular, “This is so f*cking cool!” The ethereal Swedish singer was performing as part of MTV’s O Music Awards, which celebrates the best in online music with an interactive and strictly digital interface. Fans voted online (over 22.2 million times) in categories such as Digital Genius (Bjork) and Best Web Born Artist (Kina Grannis), and the show was streamed live on MTV.com, VH1.com and LOGOtv.com.
Usher has gone crawling back to his mama like the baby that he is. The singer, who was last heard cooing about banging us in a club, has booted celeb manager Benny Medina and rehired his mother Jonnetta Patton, who helped her son sell 1.1 million copies of his album Confessions in its first week. Full story at Scandalist.com
Amy Winehouse headed back to her home away from home last night – the hospital. The singer was packed up in an ambulance and whisked off as her dad looked on and friend Remi Nicole freaked out. The doctors released Amy this morning, and her dad summed up the drama, saying, “She’s fine, she just mixed up her medication.’
Sorry, regular peeps. There is absolutely no chance you’ll be considered for the role of god-father to the new golden gods, Knox and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt. Super famous kids need super famous godparents, and Bono‘s getting the job, soley for the reason that it’s pretty f*cking cool to get money on your birthday every year from the dude who sings “With Or Without You.” Also, Brad and Angie are star f*ckers. Need examples?
1. A source says: “They have been friends for years. Brad is a massive U2 fan and told Bono how much he admired him when they were introduced at a party a few years back.”
2. The same source reveals: “Angelina is inspired by Bono’s humanitarian work and gets on with his wife Ali Hewson. Ali’s given Angelina some clothes from her ethical clothing range Edun.”
Yup, it’s these two again, and now the rumors about Diddy and his 21-year old prot?g? Cassie have moved beyond just dating. Apparently they’re like, totally engaged! Did we mention Mr. Combs is almost 39 years old? The mogul/J. Lo ex supposedly told friends and family at his son Justin’s eighth grade graduation last month. “He told everyone to keep it extremely quiet because he didn’t want it to get out, but you could tell he was excited,” says a source who enjoys gossiping anonymously. “Diddy said they hadn’t set a date yet, but he wanted his family to hear the news first.”
Awesome! So this means they’ll be divorced by the time Cassie is 23, right? [Star]
Madame Tussauds wax museum unveiled yet another celebrity statue, and this time the plastic looks way better than the person. The artist, of course, is Amy Winehouse, who has mastered the zombie look better than the extras in Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller” video. But when made of plastic, she looks like the picture of health! Firm, glowing skin! Rosy cheeks! Clean hair! If only it could sing (and dump Blake).