[Photo: Getty Images]
[Photo: Getty Images]
The 54th Annual Grammy Awards won’t be televised until 8 p.m. ET/PT tonight, but just because CBS hasn’t turned their cameras yet doesn’t mean that the festivities haven’t already gotten underway. A handful of awards have already been given away this evening at the Pre-Telecast Grammy ceremony, and the evening’s big winners so far include controversial rap genius Kanye West and the electronic dubstep artist Skrillex.
Ye has pocketed three Grammys thus far, winning Best Rap Album for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (where it topped his collaboration with Jay-Z, Watch The Throne) and Best Rap Collaboration and Best Rap Song for that album’s single “All of the Lights.” The ultra buzzy DJ Skrillex has taken home three awards, too (Best Dance/Electronica Album, Best Dance Recording, and Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical). This early trifecta of trophies bodes well for his chances to pull an upset in the Best New Artist category later tonight, and he just posted this inspirational tweet to his official @skrillex account.
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[Photo: Getty Images]
VH1 News correspondent Janell Snowden was in Los Angeles last night, where she attended the annual pre-Grammy party thrown by music mogul Clive Davis. The mood at last night’s gala event was more somber than in years past due to the sudden passing of Whitney Houston. Before the party got going, Janell caught up with legendary record executive and new X Factor judge L.A. Reid. Reid worked with Whitney on the #1 track “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” a song that he co-wrote with his partner in LaFace Records, Babyface. “I had the great honor of producing Whitney Houston and working with her as a record executive,” he told Janell. “And spent I so much time [with her], she’s like my sister, so I have so many memories. Right now, it’s just that beautiful face and that beautiful voice that’s in my mind.”
When Whitney Houston passed away yesterday, we lost a once-in-a-generation talent, a singer whose voice was so pure and emotive that it was heralded by people of of all ages, races and nationalities. During a remarkable stretch from December of 1985 until March of 1988, Whitney scored a record seven consecutive #1 Billboard singles in a row; she ultimately finished her career with 11 #1 songs, good for 7th place on the all-time list of history’s most popular recording artists.
As we all struggle to cope with the sudden loss of Whitney Houston, we put together the following Spotify playlist as a way to remember Whitney at her finest — Dance With Me Baby: All Of Whitney Houston’s Top 40 hits. The playlist consists of 31 tracks, and is organized in order of chart success. It ranges from “I Will Always Love You”, which spent an astounding 14 weeks at #1 in 1992-1993, to “Queen Of The Night”, a deep cut from The Bodyguard that peaked at #36 on the Billboard charts.
The playlist’s tracklist is as follows:
Song: “I Will Always Love You”
Released: November 14, 1992
Peak Position: #1 for 14 weeks
Song: “Greatest Love Of All”
Released: April 5, 1986
Peak Position: #1 for 3 weeks
Song: “How Will I Know”
Released: December 28, 1985
Peak Position: #1 for 2 weeks
“How Will I Know” wasn’t the first single to be released from Whitney Houston‘s self-titled, 1985 debut album; in fact, it wasn’t the second, either (those honors belong to “You Give Good Love” and “Saving All My Love For You”, respectively). However, when the music video for “How Will I Know” hit MTV in November 1985, it helped Whitney “cross over” and ultimately launched her into the stratosphere of superstardom.
Tonight, as the world struggles to come to terms with Whitney Houston’s untimely death at the age of 48, audio of her isolated vocal track from “How Will I Know” has surfaced online. It’s a powerful reminder of her once-in-a-generation vocal talents, and a mesmerizing performance of the song that VH1 named as the #12 song in our countdown of the 100 Greatest Songs Of The ’80s.
Glory, indeed! Proud parents Beyoncé and Jay-Z capped off a historic week by releasing pictures of their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, on their brand new HelloBlueIvyCarter Tumblr site (!!!) this evening. “We welcome you to share in our joy,” the couple posted in a hand-written note on the site. “Thank you for respecting our privacy during this beautiful time in our lives.”
The photos are undated, but they appear as if they were taken from the couple’s luxury birthing suite at New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital, where Baby Blue was born back on January 7. Thankfully, The Notorious B.I.C. looks nothing like 50 Cent insinuated, but she certainly does have a thick head of hair!
We think that it’s pretty cool that Bey and Hov, who could’ve raked in close to $2 million if they had sold these photos to one of the tabloid magazines, decided to release the photos on a Tumblr site where everyone is free to enjoy them. Considering all of the scrutiny and bad press they encountered after their controversial hospital stay back in January, though, it was a very savvy move to get the fans (and the press alike) fully back on their side. As we alluded to above, these baby pictures are the icing on an incredible week for the Carter family: Not only did Jay-Z perform two historic shows at Carnegie Hall, but Bey stepped out in public for the first time since Blue Ivy’s birth to universal praise. SWAG!
Continuing on with our Grammys predictions, we’re now ready to discuss the Album Of The Year category (after previously taking on the Best New Artist and Record Of The Year noms). So far, we’ve surmised that the Grammys are going to be the Adele show — the breakthrough artist is more than likely to walk away with a whole army of new statues to add to an already thriving collection. So again, we’re going to pretend for a moment that the other nominees have a chance of scoring Album Of The Year over Adele, and talk about what that would be like.
Adele – 21
Yeah we get it, after all the industry and audience accolades Adele won for 21 last year, which sold 5.82 million copies, it would be an absolute upset if she didn’t walk away with at least album of the year. But in the interests of the rest of this article, let’s pretend she’s not going to win and everyone else has a fighting chance.
Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops & Hooligans
While Bruno Mars didn’t make it into the top 10 in album sales last year, Doo-Wops & Hooligans was still considered a fan and critic favorite, although as far as winning over Adele, might not be the likeliest candidate, although makes a close second to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way.
Ah, the Grammys! The conversation, the speculation, the anxiety! We’re gearing up to this Sunday’s awards ceremony the same way that we’re sure the rest of North America is — putting our tips on who we think will be a winner. Yesterday, we gave our opinion on who would take home the Best New Artist award, but today we’re wondering about Record Of The Year. With Adele nominated in the category, it would seem that no one is safe, but we know stranger things have happened, so let’s pretend for a second that the “Rolling In The Deep” singer isn’t a shoo in, and weigh up the odds on the other contenders.
Adele – “Rolling In The Deep”
Look, let’s just pretend Adele isn’t going to win everything at the Grammys — because the alternative is that we succumb to the fact that she’s going to win everything and that’s just no fun because it doesn’t give anyone else a fighting chance. Realistically though, “Rolling In The Deep” dominated the number one chart position last year and was a very clear favorite with critics and fans. Yeah, who are we kidding — it’s going to be really strange if “Rolling In The Deep” doesn’t win.
Bon Iver – “Holocene”
If Bon Iver front man Justin Vernon hadn’t stuck both his middle fingers up at the Grammys we would have said “Holocene” was the best bet for usurping the “Rolling In The Deep” throne. Like “Rolling In The Deep,” “Holocene” found its way to the top of almost everyone’s best of 2011 list, so who knows — maybe “Holocene” will be the song to strip Adele of her crown.
Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.As I peer into my crystal ball, here are three surprises to look out for at the Grammy Awards this Sunday night:
1. Nicki Minaj Won’t Win Best New Artist
Does she deserve it? Probably, but voters are prone to give the award to an act they think of as a potential career artist, more so than what they deem as a current mainstream phenomenon. Look for The Band Perry to win.
One of VH1′s favorite DIVAS, Estelle, took a moment to say “Thank You” on Leno last night. In a glittering gown, Estelle looked every part the diva in floor length black satin and sparkling silver bustier. She sang “Thank You”, from her third album All Of Me. Estelle’s performance was vibrant, sassy and every now and then gave us a little spine tingle as she hit the hard notes.