Drake has caused quite a stir today by giving his management team the boot. The New York Post initially reported this morning that that he’d split from both his management team, Hop Hop Since 1978, and his agency, International Creative Management. However, Billboard.biz has since been confirmed that the Canadian rapper has only parted ways with the latter. So, while Drake is still very much under the representation of Hip Hop Since 1987 (who also manage Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and Kayne West), he no longer has an ongoing affiliation with ICM and an official statement of this move is expected to be forthcoming.
Understandably, the whispers have already started with fans and industry folk alike spouting off a million and one questions. Why has Drake made such a dramatic move, especially at such a pivotal time in his career? His sophomore album, Take Care, just debuted at Number One and sold over 630,000 copies in its first week, which has a number of people wondering what would prompted Drake to drop his team when they’ve achieved so much together. With big names covering his songs and an appearance on Saturday Night Live recently (forget that chart rubbish, everyone knows you’ve really made it when you’re on SNL), Drake’s popularity is skyrocketing, so why now? What’s going on, Drake? It’s a confusing maneuver from the eternally emo star, and we’re anxious to see how this story ends up shaking out.
Drake Fires Managers, Agents, Moves On [NY Post via Prefix]
Drake Leaves ICM But Stays With Hip Hop Since 1978, Contrary to Reports [Billboard]
American Idol runner-up and super duper pop star supreme Adam Lambert has revealed he’s pulling out the big guns for his next album, Trespassing. Enlisting the services of A-list producers Pharrell Williams and Dr. Luke, Lambert is taking his music in a new direction, and we’ve been warned — there will be dancing.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Lambert describes his new musical direction as a bit of dubstep, a bit of electronica, and even some “Nine Inch Nails meets Saturday Night Fever” sounds mixed in there. It’s not all about partying and clubbing, though, as Lambert makes it patently clear that his album will retain his trademark depth and boundary-pushing material. “There’s party music, sex music, f****d-up-relationship S&M music,” he tells RS. “But every song explores something real.”
Although his sophomore effort has been delayed a few times now, things seem to be on track for the album to come out sometime early next year. As much as we love the holiday season, 2012 can’t get here quickly enough! After all, we love us some Glambert!
Adam Lambert Storms the Dance Floor on New LP [Rolling Stone]
We hate to say we told you so, but… we told you so! All year we’ve been bringing you the best new music so you can stay aurally informed, and if you’ve been doing your homework and keeping abreast of the hottest new acts with us, you’ll notice more than a few of our amazing You Oughta Know artists on the 2012 Grammy Nominees list. We made our predictions for nominees for Song of the Year and Record of the Year, Best New Artist, and Album of the Year yesterday, and now we’re pretty excited to see some of the artists that we’ve introduced to you succeeding so decisively in their different genres. Here’s a little recap of the members of the VH1 family that were awarded Grammy nominations last night:
As we predicted, Adele was a shoo-in for a fistful of nominations, given that her fandom is almost universal and that she’s widely regarded by the industry as seminal in the singer/songwriter field. “Rolling In The Deep” scored nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video, while “Someone Like You” was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance. Adele’s album, 21, was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album. You can check out Adele exclusively answering 5 intimate questions for VH1′s You Oughta Know here.
Talking to Common is like being sucked into a sexy, soulful vortex filled with sensitive, meaningful eye contact and Miles Davis shout 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?
To Iron & Wine fans, “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” might be deemed a bit old for Sam Beam to be promoting (it’s two albums old), but for Twilight fans, it all makes perfect sense. The song, chosen specifically by Kristen Stewart herself (fan girl!) for the film, features in Twilight: Breaking Dawn (Part 1), as the “Wedding Version.” Beam played this version of the classic song last night on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and in true Iron & Wine style, the song was simply moving. With Beam’s mesmerising vocals, the soft lighting and live strings, the performance left our romantic hearts skipping a beat or two.
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.
The nominees for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards were announced in Los Angeles tonight during a live special that aired on CBS. The 2012 Grammys will be broadcast on CBS February 12th at 8/7c. Kanye West led all nominees with 7 nods, despite being royally snubbed in the Album of the Year category, closely followed by Adele, Foo Fighters and Bruno Mars (who each snagged six nominations).
However, big surprise of the evening was certainly the recognition bestowed upon Bon Iver, who scored nominations in three of the “Big 4″ categories (Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best New Artist). He is a virtual unknown to most Americans, and not even presenter and fellow Best New Artist nominee Nicki Minaj knew how to pronounce his name (she probably should’ve watched this YouTube video with the correct pronunciation of Bon Iver before heading out on stage). However, music industry insiders clearly know of him, and his performance at the awards in February will likely be the most lovably awkward televised performed since Elliott Smith showed up at the Oscars in 1998.
Here’s a (mostly) complete list of the 2012 Grammy Nominations:
RECORD OF THE YEAR
Adele, “Rolling In The Deep” [WATCH]
Bon Iver, “Holocene” [WATCH]
Bruno Mars, “Grenade” [WATCH]
Mumford & Sons, “The Cave” [WATCH]
Katy Perry, “Firework” [WATCH]
SONG OF THE YEAR
Adele, “Rolling In The Deep”
Bon Iver, “Holocene”
Bruno Mars, “Grenade”
Kanye West, “All Of The Lights”
Mumford & Sons, “The Cave”
BEST NEW ARTIST
The Band Perry
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops & Hooligans
Foo Fighters, Wasting Light
Lady Gaga, Born This Way
Of all the Grammy Awards, the one that artists covet the most is the Album of the Year prize. The nominees for the 54th annual ceremony are being released live tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS, and a number of artists, producers and record label executives are currently feeling a rush of butterflies go through their stomachs. Thanks to the confusing timeline in the Grammys universe, this year’s Album Of The Year nominees will be LPs that were released between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011. With that in mind, here are some of the frontrunners:
If there’s one shoo-in for this year’s Album Of The Year prize, it’s 21. Debuting at Number One on both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200 Chart, 21 took on the number one chart position in a total of 19 countries across the world, which was good enough for a spot in the Guinness Book Of World Records. With two Grammys already under her belt (taking the awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2009 Grammys), Adele is a fan and industry favorite.
Year in and year out, people watching the Grammy Awards find themselves asking the same question: What is the difference between Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year? What makes this especially confusing is that different songs are usually nominated in each category; in the past five years, only 10 out of the 50 total songs nominated in each of these categories have made both categories (three of those, however, have ended up winning both prizes: “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum, “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse and “Not Ready To Make Nice” by Dixie Chicks).
To answer the question we posed above, the Grammy for Record Of The Year is awarded to the artist and production team responsible for how the song sounds, while the Grammy for Song Of The Year is given to the songwriters responsible for the composition of the song (meaning: lyrics and melodic structure). With that in mind, here are a few likely candidates to be nominated in these two categories when the 2012 Grammy nominations are announced live on CBS at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Adele, “Rolling In The Deep”
The smoky-voiced siren is the favorite to sweep this year’s major awards, and “Rolling In The Deep” has proven to be MASSIVE in terms of its sound and its popularity; it’s been sitting in the Billboard Hot 100 for 46 weeks and counting.
Bruno Mars, “Grenade”
Bruno was incredibly well-respected as a songwriter in music industry circles long before he became a solo performer; in the Grammys game, respect from one’s peers is equally important as commercial success.
The Best New Artist prize is one of the more divisive categories at the annual Grammy Awards. The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS) has been famously hit or miss with their selections, which include a healthy dose of monster talents (Adele, Alicia Keys, Sade) as well as a startling number of embarrassing, wholly forgettable choices (Milli Vanilli, Arrested Development, Starland Vocal Band).
Well, while it’s still a few hours until we learn who the 2012 Grammy nominees for Best New Artist are going to be—we’ll have the nominees for you tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT—we thought we’d pull together a few of the most likely contenders for you. This year, they include:
It’s been Nicki Minaj‘s year to shine, as the young star has been party to high profile collaborations with superstars like Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Birdman, Drake and Britney Spears. Not only does she got that boom-ba-doo-doom, boom-ba-doo-doom super bass, this melding of Lady Gaga, Lil Kim and an anime princess is the most exciting thing to happen to hip hop this year.