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T.I. Tells The Story Behind “No Matter What”

In this exclusive outtake performance that was recorded for (but won’t end up making the final cut of) VH1 Storytellers: T.I. (premiering Friday, December 10 at 11/10c), our man talks about the origin of the Paper Trail ballad “No Matter What.” As he relays to the crowd, he wrote the track in light of the shabby treatment he received from people he considered friends after his weapons arrest in 2007. Instead of writing the typical T.I.P. “ghetto anthem,” he went for something “that no matter how much you don’t like T.I., you have to sit and listen and learn from it.” So do that now, if you haven’t already.

by (@unclegrambo)

VH1 Divas 2010 Sneak Preview: Here’s What The Dresses For The Opening Number Look Like

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As we lead up to this weekend’s airing of the VH1 Divas 2010 special on Sunday night at 9/8c, we thought we’d give you a sneak peak at a sketch of the outfits that Keri Hilson, Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj will be wearing during the event’s opening performance. These dresses were designed by the renowned duo The Blonds, a hot fashion team perhaps best known for dressing Katy in her “California Gurls” video and making Miley’s giant peacockian bird of prey costume come to life in the video for “Can’t Be Tamed.” If these outfits look this cool in a sketch, we can’t wait to see the ladies wearing them on stage on Sunday night!

Be sure to follow @thefablife on Twitter all weekend long for VH1 Divas 2010 exclusive sneak previews of rehearsals, behind the scenes commentary and more, all coming to you live from San Diego.

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VH1 Storytellers: T.I. – Watch A Preview

Above is a clip of T.I. explaining and performing his classic “Rubber Band Man” for his VH1 Storytellers special, which airs Friday, December 10 at 11/10c. If you thought that his song was about a dude obsessed with office supplies, you thought wrong! Really wrong.

But admit it: you thought that.

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VH1 Divas Adds Brandy, Snooki and The Situation

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VH1 Divas Salute the Troops, airing Sunday at 9/8c, just got a little more interesting with Snooki and The Situation joining the lineup as presenters. Also presenting are VH1′s Brandy, hottie Marisa Miller and comedian Jeffrey Ross.

Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart are new additions to the performer lineup, which includes Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Keri Hilson, Paramore, Sugarland and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. Kathy Griffin will serve as host. Full press release after the jump.

In other Divas-related goodness, Old Navy is calling upon its customers to help keep U.S. troops stationed around the world connected to their loved ones at home during the holidays. As part of Operation Phone Home, minutes can be bought in-store or online at OldNavy.com from Dec. 3-9. Get all the details.

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Keri Hilson Talks About Her Tomboy Style, Loving Discount Stores

While gearing up to perform for VH1 Divas Salute the Troops on Dec. 5, Keri Hilson swung by VH1′s offices to school us in fashion and take us through her outfit — from head to toe. We were a little bit surprised to hear the “Pretty Girl Rock” singer say she never likes to be “too girly.” Sure, we remember how stunning Keri looked rocking cut-off jeans and a wife-beater in the video for “Knock You Down.” But never?

“My fashion philosophy is to be myself, which is the tomboy within,” she says. “Even when I’m wearing heels there’s a certain masculine meets feminine factor.”

Even more surprising: the Grammy Award-winning Avon spokesmodel claims to “love” discount stores, including Marshalls, Ross Dress for Less and T.J. Max. “I’ll be looking through the racks right next to you,” she says. “And shoot you a smile.” Whoa, now that would knock us down. [Photos: Jen Marigliano]

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VH1 Divas Salute the troops will air Sunday, Dec. 5 at 9/8c. Additional performers include Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Paramore, Sugarland, and Grace Potter?& the Nocturnals. Keri’s new album, No Boys Allowed, will be released Dec. 21.

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Nicki Minaj Blows Rihanna’s Mind. Does She Blow Yours?

Since we’re keeping tabs on our VH1 Divas Salute the Troops performers (tune in Dec. 5), we can’t ignore all of the fuss surrounding Nicki Minaj‘s debut Pink Friday, released today to mixed reviews. Some critics are praising Nicki for taking listeners of her alter ego-packed album on a fantastical journey that fuses hip-hop and pop. And while Nicki has been the equivalent to a pinch hitter as a guest rapper, hip-hop purists say Nicki’s bringing too much sugary pop to Lil Wayne‘s Young Money record label.

Judging from a recent VH1 News interview, we’re guessing Rihanna will not be among those in the hip-hop community that have a gripe. “Nicki is a rapper … and has all of these quirky melodies and lyrics,” said Rihanna, who first worked with Nicki while making Rated R. “Then she started sending me these crazy ballads. It just made me say, ‘What the heck, you wrote that s*** too?’”

Have thoughts on Nicki Minaj or Pink Friday? Leave them in the comments section. And don’t miss VH1 Divas on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 9/8c.

by (@unclegrambo)

Live In LA: My Chemical Romance Coming To VH1.com On November 22

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It’s been a big week for My Chemical Romance fans, but next week promises to be even more exciting. The band’s highly anticipated new album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, hits stores on Monday and, as a means of celebrating, VH1.com and MTV.com will host an exclusive global live stream of the Live Nation event, Live in LA: My Chemical Romance. The band will be debuting tracks from Danger Days, as well as dipping into their back catalog to play some fan faves. Be sure to swing by VH1.com on Monday night beginning at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST to catch all of the action.

Oh, and in case you missed it, Gerard and the fellas stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. We’ve got their performances of both “SING” and “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)” for you below.
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VH1 Divas Performer Sugarland Sets Right A Fashion Wrong

If you pay attention to country music, you already know Sugarland, the platinum duo that’s part of the lineup of VH1 Divas Salute The Troops, which airs Dec. 5 at 9/8c. Or maybe you’ve just heard about them for the first time when singer Jennifer Nettles made her way onto worst-dressed lists for performing in a tutu at the CMA Awards.

To be fair, Jennifer also made best-dressed lists for her red carpet outfit to the same event — not to mention Sugarland took home the award for Vocal Duo of the Year. Still, Jennifer and her partner Kristian Bush have fully redeemed their fashion cred by stopping by our offices and running through their outfits, head to toe. This country act has style. Just watch.

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[All Photos: Jen Marigliano]

by (@unclegrambo)

Video Premiere: Bruno Mars Pulls The Pin On His Own Personal “Grenade”

After getting a taste of chart success penning hits for the likes of B.o.B., Cee-Lo Green and Travie McCoy, VH1 You Oughta Know artist Bruno Mars figured it finally was high time to step out of the shadows and soak up the spotlight himself. His first solo single, the sentimental ballad “Just The Way You Are,” quickly became one of this year’s most ubiquitous hits. Thanks to its subject matter, it stands a pretty good shot at being one of next spring’s most popular choices for Prom theme.

The same cannot be said for “Grenade,” Bruno’s latest single off Doo-Wops & Hooligans. But, mind you, this is not a bad thing! As sunshine-y and sweet as “Just The Way You Are” was, “Grenade” — which, thankfully, has nothing to do with The Situation’s description of girls who won’t sleep with him — is equally dark and depressing. That doesn’t mean that it’s not catchy, though: this song’s got one of those propulsive piano loops that will stay in your head for hours and hours. And, of course, Bruno’s voice is as silky smooth as its ever been. What do you think? Be sure and let us know.

One last thing! Do you notice any similarities between this video and the one we debuted last night, My Chemical Romance’s “SING”? First person to note the similarity correctly in the comments below wins NOT a prize, but rather, our undying admiration. It’s not as good as a cash prize or swag, we know, but it’s gotta count for something, right?
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by (@unclegrambo)

My Chemical Romance Embrace Dystopia In Their Video For “SING”

After we gave you My Chemical Romance fans a tantalizing tease of what their new video, “SING,” would look like on Monday, it’s finally time to let you see the whole shebang. Here’s the quickie synopsis: In a dystopian future that’s kind of reminiscent of the worlds of Watchmen and A Clockwork Orange, Gerard Way and his cohorts in MCR hop in a vintage (and totally bitchin’) Trans-Am and storm the headquarters of Better Living Industries (“Blind,” get it?) in an attempt to rescue what must be the world’s most important pre-teen (who, for the olds out there reading this, looks a lot like Cool from the original Parenthood). Along the way, they encounter creepy guys in vampire masks and Sonny Crockett’s left-over sportjackets who try to thwart their rescue attempt with laser pistols. Fortunately, My Chemical Romance is also armed with laser pistols and, as you might expect, an epic battle — which comes complete with a duel between Gerard and some incubated bald baddy! — for the kid dressed like Mork from Ork ensues.

What does it all mean, people? We’ll leave the theorizing up to you in the comments below. If you want to see how this video looks on your big screen at home, be sure to tune into VH1′s Top 20 Video Countdown this weekend.