So far, Madonna is ahead of Gaga, 53% to 47%, but it’s a damn tight margin! We’re biting our nails to see if Mother Monster comes out on top of the Queen Of Pop. Also going head to head are Katy Perry and Mariah, with a mere 3% separating them and Katy ahead by just a pinch! On the other side of the scale, Britney is absolutely crushing Rihanna with 67% of votes to RiRi’s 33%. And in the battle between J-Lo and Beyoncé, Mamma Bey looks like she’s going to take out the round with a huge 68% of votes compared to Jenny’s 32%. If you’re not happy with the results so far don’t worry — it’s not over yet! You still have time to get your vote in for the first round, so be sure to click on your favorite pop lady before 11:59 p.m. EST tonight!
Ronnie Wood has got the rumor mill spinning with comments that have only served to fan a flame that was already burning. With 2012 marking The Rolling Stones‘ 50th anniversary, speculation as to whether or not they will tour seems more than warranted — and now that Wood has expressed his desire to see this happen, fans might just be flipping into an anticipatory frenzy. Wood said of a possible tour, “Be lovely, wouldn’t it? That’s what we’re on the verge of. I dunno what the hell is gonna happen yet but we all feel we owe it to ourselves and to the people to do something… Basically, get the boys feeling comfortable with each other, ’cause we’re all ready to go individually. It’s just a matter of tying up loose ends and coming together as a unit.” Apparently there’s a bit of beef between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards after the latter made fun of the former’s er… family jewels. We hope the boys can make nice and set off on the road for what we’re sure would be an explosive tour!
President Obama has flexed his larynx yet again, this time singing a few lines of Robert Johnson‘s “Sweet Home Chicago” during a concert at the White House yesterday. We first heard the President sing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” at a fundraiser last month, and admittedly, the snippet of Obama’s vocal ability left us, and apparently even American Idol, hankering for more. So when he was baited by Buddy Guy (who was part of an All Star Band including B.B. King, Booker T. Jones, Mick Jagger and Derek Trucks), who said “I heard you had sung Al Green, so you started something so you gotta keep it up!” Obama, although reluctant at first, had little choice but to belt out a few lines from “Sweet Home Chicago”. Look out for the pretty amazing moment when Obama holds the microphone out to B.B. King, and the two have a brief back-and-forth style sing-a-long.
Adele got caught up in her very own M.I.A. moment at the Brits last night when she gave everyone the bird on live television. After winning album of the year, an emotional Adele, obviously composing herself and fighting tears, began a heartfelt, humble acceptance speech in which she expressed her pride at “coming home with six Grammys,” and “being British and flying our flag.” But almost as soon as she began her rousing speech, she was cut short by presenter James Corden who seemed to follow his direction to cut her off rather reluctantly. As Corden welcomed Blur to the stage, Adele expressed her frustration with a very clear gesture, flipping a giant bird at the room. But unlike M.I.A. who made her apologies, Adele had nothing to apologize for, and instead it was ITV and the Brit Awards apologizing to her.
Adele did clarify that her middle finger was for “The suits, not the fans,” and she was “Sorry if I offended anyone but the suits offended me.” ITV came back with a statement saying, “The Brits is a live event. Unfortunately the programme was over-running and we had to move on. We would like to apologise to Adele for the interruption,” while a spokesperson for the Brit Awards said, “We regret this happened and we send our deepest apologies to Adele that her big moment was cut short this evening due to the live show over-running. We don’t want this to undermine her incredible achievement in winning our night’s biggest award. It tops off what’s been an incredible year for her.” Corden was equally horrified and said, “I just feel bad about having to cut Adele off. I really don’t understand quite why I was made to, but it’s not a very nice way to end… She’s the biggest star in the world. I don’t understand what happened but I’m upset about it. Blur played for 11 minutes and she didn’t get a chance to say thank you once.”
Speaking of Blur, the band gave a rousing, five song strong set including the iconic Brit Pop hit “Parklife” (which you can watch after the jump). Damon Albarn looked pretty excited to be there, jumping around the stage like a kid who’d eaten too much sugar. Blur were presented an Outstanding Contribution To Music award, and their closing set proved just why — Brit Pop really is a very Blur-y thing.
Our featured You Oughta Know artist, Gotye, is really turning heads with his hit single “Somebody That I Used To Know.” The Australian artist, whose collaboration with Kimbra has only just become ubiquitous the world over, isn’t just looking at critical success anymore as “Somebody That I Used To Know” climbs the charts. We love to say we told you so!
This week the track takes number one spot on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart, and Gotye told Billboard he struggled when writing the song; “When I got to the end of (writing) the first chorus, I hit a real brick wall. I didn’t seem to have any way to take the song further… After struggling with what to do with it, it kind of struck me that I needed a different perspective. It should be the other side of the relationship. I wrote that part and then went about looking for the female vocalist I thought could really give it something edgy.” Gotye’s chart success is just another reason You Oughta Know the budding artist who kicks off his US tour in March, including a date with Coachella’s iconic festival.
Robin Thicke has paid heartfelt tribute to Whitney Houston by covering her beautiful 1995 song, “Exhale (Shoop, Shoop)”. His soft, gentle vocal compliments the track perfectly, and the stripped back arrangement gives the song an utter poignancy that will bring a tear to your eye. “Exhale” was the late Houston’s 11th number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 and was awarded a Grammy in 1997 for Best R&B Song. The heart wrenching cover will have you grabbing for the Kleenex as the subject matter — inspiring yourself to push on despite hurt or disappointment — resonates with the ultimate tragedy of Houston’s early passing. Robin himself Tweeted of the track:
And what a moving tribute. Robin’s vocals bring out a sense of nostalgia and whimsy, in a respect filled ode to the musical great.
Well, the “Birthday Cake (Remix)” leaked last night (you can listen to it here) and it’s exactly as dirty as anyone who heard the original, 78-second version that appears on Talk That Talk would expect: There are lots illicit references to pleasures both carnal and confectionary, some metaphorical (licking icing off, blowing candles out) and some quite literal (“I wanna f*** you right now”). The album version became a fan fave due in no small part to its brevity; it’s the sexual equivalent of a tease. This single version, though, feels bloated and more than a little bit gross; it’s the sexual equivalent of watching a porno being filmed. In other words, all the mystery is gone.
In addition to the disappointing “Birthday Cake (Remix)” that leaked last night, the internets were shocked to discover that these two had also collaborated on ANOTHER song: a remix of Chris Brown’s newest single, “Turn Up The Music” (you can listen to it here). The song seems poised to do well on the charts, but its generic EDM beat and (we’re guessing literally) phoned-in RiRi verse sort of makes us want to turn the volume down on “Turn Up The Music.”
In an impressive front row line up, Lana Del Rey sat with Michelle Williams, Elizabeth Olsen, Pixie Geldof and Azealia Banks at the Mulberry FW12 show in London over the weekend. While we’re not sure that this automatically qualifies her for “fashion icon” status (the girls around her are tabloid virtuosos when it comes to style, and hopefully their penchant for high fashion will rub off on Lana, who is still finding her feet, aesthetically at least), it seems that regardless of her fashion status the Internet sensation is a Mulberry favorite already. The iconic brand the iconic brand had even named a bag after her, the “Del Rey” tote, which she sported at the event. She also performed at Mulberry’s dinner party (see images of the performance and the bag in the gallery below!). It will be interesting to watch her style evolution now that she’s been invited to sit front row for one of the world’s biggest fashion houses — surely designers will be clamoring to dress her.
And it’s not just high fashion at stake here — Lana is reportedly working on a collaboration with other Hottest New Music Thing Of The Moment, Azealia Banks, who has fallen into the good graces of the ice-cold Karl Lagerfeld. The pair of hype-machines are apparently working on a song together, and already we can hear the accumulated Internet buzz intensifying to what will no doubt be a deafening roar by the time the single actually drops. Between Azealia’s aggressive rap vocal and Lana’s stubbornly coy broken romanticism, it will be interesting to see what the pair come up with. Will Lana bring out Azealia’s softer side? Or will we get to see Lana harden up and show the “Video Games” heart-breaker what for?
Over the weekend two rare videos of Prince performing surfaced online, and one has already been taken down, so make sure you watch this one fast before it too disappears! In this haunting footage, Prince sings “Purple Rain,” which is the vocal take used for the song on the album, recorded live in 1983. It really makes you think about the power of Price as a performer — there’s nothing manufactured about it, as the legendary artist relies on nothing but natural talent for his music.
As The Lefsetz Letter puts it, “It doesn’t sink in until Prince hits the mic at 3:51. You start to tingle. You’re witnessing history. You don’t believe someone, that a band can be this good. In a year where seemingly every Grammy appearance was lip-synched, you’d think the ability to deliver sans crutches is a lost art. But it’s not. That’s why Prince owns the Super Bowl crown, that’s why he still does great business today.” The performance itself is emotional and raw, and there’s no way you wont be moved by this intimate, exclusive footage.