Davy Jones, the pint-sized Englishman who became a teen idol for the Baby Boom generation as the lead singer of The Monkees, died today at the age of 66. TMZ is reporting that Jones, whose lead vocal propelled “Daydream Believer” to the top of the pop charts in December of 1967, suffered a heart attack in his Florida home.
Jones rose to fame in 1965 when he was selected to become a member of The Monkees, a group that was originally constructed to be a made-for-TV replica of The Beatles. Jones, along with Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, proved to be a hit on both the small screen and the radio; the group churned out a number of wildly successful pop songs, including the #1 hits “Daydream Believer”, “Last Train To Clarksville” and “I’m A Believer.” Despite their prefabricated origins, The Monkees were eventually able to break free from their pop shackles; aided by the heady times and hallucinogens, the group released the experimental film and album Head in 1968, which has come to be recognized as essential documentation of the psychedelic era.
As if you weren’t excited enough about seeing Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band playing their new single, “We Take Care Of Our Own” live, add to that Jimmy Fallon’s giddy introduction to the performance on his show last night and you’ll be positively psyched. As usual, Bruce and the band bring high rock energy to the stage, and Bruce himself is simply charismatic. Maybe your heart is racing after watching the performance — we know ours are. Sometimes it’s hard to grasp the import of a song until you hear it live, and the life the The Boss and Band breathe into the stage is nothing less than essential to their All-American rock music. Watch it, and feel yourself being taken to the good place.
Rihanna Is Being Considered To Play Whitney Houston In A Biopic About The Singer’s Life
Apparently a biopic about Whitney Houston‘s life is in the works, a mere week after the late legend was buried. Reportedly, Rihanna is a candidate to play the role, although some of the parallels in the two performers’ lives (can anyone say abuse at the hand of a man named Brown?) hit a little bit too close to home for our liking. [Pop Dust]
Azealia Banks Reveals Details Of Debut Album Azealia Banks‘ debut album will be called Broke With Expensive Taste and it will be out this September. She said, “I’m not trying to withdraw, but I am trying to find that personal space again because I have an album to finish… All the praise from the fashion world is great but now everybody wants a piece and everybody wants an interview, but I need to step away and get my music done.” We can’t wait! [Pitchfork]
Remember when you were a baby and your mom’s bestie, Gwyneth Paltrow, said you were going to be a star one day? No? Neither do we. Probably because it never happened. But when baby Blue Ivy Carter learns to read and starts perusing Tuner, she’ll be able to answer, “Yes, yes! I remember that! That happened to me!” Gushing aunt Gwyn has told Hollywood Life that Blue Ivy “Is going to be an entertainer. She just has this glow around her like her mother.” Phew. We’re glad we’re not the only ones who thought Beyoncé looked a little bit radioactive. Gwyneth also added that “Beyoncé is doing great… She’s just a natural at being a mom. And Blue Ivy is stunning, she has the most beautiful eyes.” Before we deem Gwyneth to be a future-teller, however, we should note that Blue Ivy is already a star, with the most hyped birth since that one by that virgin in the manger that time, and already making history as the youngest ever “artist” to chart after she lent her vocals to dad Jay-Z‘s track “Glory”.
There seems to be some kind of story to Waka Flocka Flame‘s “Round Of Applause” video that begins with his childhood sweetheart falling in with a bad crowd, but listening to the lyrics it feels like the song is mostly just about him partying with various different women and tipping strippers. Waka Flocka Flame is surrounded by beautiful women in the clip (one is even naked and painted with graffiti to camouflage her against the wall she’s gyrating on) as money falls from the ceiling (is this Waka Flocka Flame’s money? Why doesn’t it ever run out?) inside a club where “scanty” appears to be the dress code.
So we’re not really sure about a story line per se, but there is an appearance by Drake, which is always pretty cool. The two dance around in a red room decorated with hanging light blubs, that give off a sense of how important these two rappers really are, all aglow in Hollywood style lighting. The story seems to recommence at the end of the video when Waka Flocka Flame follows his girlfriend out of the club — maybe the moral of the story being that we all have really complicated lives until we step into a club seething with bikini clad women, a space in which nothing really makes sense and there is no plot, but which we have to leave sometime.
If you need a laugh after the Oscars’ cringe-worthy attempts at humor, then you should watch Seth Rogen‘s speech at the Independent Spirit Awards from the weekend (but be warned, it’s NSFW). Hosting the awards ceremony, Rogen threw in a dig at Chris Brown and the Grammys, which was met with a roar of laughter, cheers and applause by the star studded audience. Making a reference to Brett Ratner’s firing as Oscars Producer due to homophobic comments, Rogen said, “You say a few hateful things, they don’t let you within a few hundred yards of the Oscars; You can literally beat the shit out of a nominee and they’ll ask you to perform twice at the Grammys.”
The dig was made in reference to Chris Brown’s controversial Grammys performances earlier this year, a mere three years after he brutally assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna, forcing both parties to cancel their Grammys appearances in 2009. While it seems that Rihanna has made her peace with ex-boyfriend and attacker Chris Brown (showing this to the world by collaborating on two tracks with him), some people clearly continue to be perturbed by the incident and with the forgiveness that has been shown to Chris Brown by popular media outlets like the Grammys. So far, neither RiRi and Brown, who are known for being quite vocal on Twitter, have commented on Rogan’s joke.
You, the public, have spoken, and it’s our pleasure to announce that you’ve declared Lady Gaga to be the Greatest Woman In Pop Music. Last week we launched our 8 Greatest Women In Pop Video Bracket Countdown Extravaganza, pitting Lady Gaga against Madonna, Britney Spears against Rihanna, Katy Perry against Mariah Carey, and Jennifer Lopez against Beyoncé to kick the voting off, and now, thanks to your votes, Mother Monster has come out on top!
Closely beating Madonna in round one and Britney in round two, Lady Gaga made it all the way to the end, beating Mariah Carey 56% (with 39714 votes) to 44% (with 30578 votes) in the final round. In our 100 Greatest Women in Music series that aired on VH1 last week we chose Madonna as the top lady in pop, but it seems in the great debate of which daring lady rules, you guys prefer Gaga after all. So three cheers for Lady Gaga as we crown her the Greatest Woman In Pop, as voted by you! You can watch comedian Bex Schwartz’s cute acceptance speech below.
While the Oscars didn’t have any musical performances by any of the nominated songs, music still played an important roll as the night unfolded — from the walk on songs to the fades in and out from commercials to the touching moments of montages, music drove the anticipation and drama of the evening. And it was all thanks to Pharrell Williams and Hans Zimmer, who co-wrote all the music for the ceremony as musical consultants for the Oscars. We were lucky enough to catch Pharrell on the red carpet where he joked that he’d been hired by the Oscars to, “Hand out water and pass out the peanuts and popcorn.” Decked out in dashing Lanvin, Pharrell excitedly described the huge process of creating the score for the Oscars; “To be able to do the music it’s 120 different pieces, we had a huge team and piles and piles of sheet music, it reminded me of high school,” and added, “I’m very appreciative of this opportunity, it’s an experience you cant pay for.” If you want to see more of our Oscars coverage head over to The Fab Life!
Unfortunately, there were no performances at the Oscars by the two Music (Original Song) nominees. With Bret McKenzie winning the award for “Man Or Muppet” from The Muppets, we would have liked to see Jason Segel and his felt friends on stage for a rendition of the song (the Oscars thought they could satiate us with a very bizarre Cirque de Soleil performance, but they were wrong). McKenzie beat out musicians Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown and lyricist by Siedah Garrett for their song “Real In Rio” from Rio. In his acceptance speech, McKenzie thanked Jim Henson and co. for the “magical world” of the Muppets, saying it was “a true honor to work in the shadows of such legends.” McKenzie also adorably gave a shout out to Kermit The Frog, saying, “He’s just a normal frog, and like many stars here, he’s a lot shorter in real life.”
Nicki Minaj gave a high energy performance of “Starships” and “Super Bass” at the NBA All Star game over the weekend. Beginning with her new single, “Starships,” Nicki bought euro-dance and flashing lights to the stage in a colorful performance. Surrounded by white and silver clad dancers, Nicki’s performance was full of joy and life as she and her crew bounded about the stage under flashing lights. After a quick wig chance from green to pink, Nicki also performed her smash hit “Super Bass,” to a roaring reception from the crowd. It seems like Nicki’s made a successful transition from rap to pop, and watching her on the futuristic set it’s easy to forget her darker beginnings as one of Kanye West‘s “Monster” collaborators.