If it was your super sweet 16 again, and you could have anything in the world, we know it would be a live performance by Jay-Z and Kanye West at your party. Although if you’re anything like us your parents would probably call in a magician, tell you it was pretty much the same thing, save themselves a lazy million or so, and call it a day. But not the parents of a little girl in Dubai — proving that money is no object in their daughter’s happiness, some unnamed Arab billionaires paid Jay and Yeez £1.9 million each ($2.9 million) to perform at her 16th birthday party, held just before Christmas. Now that we know the Watch The Throne duo do private parties, we’re going to start saving all our pennies to see if we can collectively raise enough to have them perform for us!
Yesterday, we successfully bought you the VH1 staff’s favorite songs of 2011 without any bloodshed, and we’re happy to report that no one’s brain exploded while trying to narrow down the amazing albums of 2011 into a concise list. Again, what VH1 staffers enjoyed in 2011 was a rich and vibrant tapestry of genres, new comers and veterans, and Adele. Just kidding — while there’s a lot of love for Adele in the VH1 offices, Ye & Hov’s Watch The Throne came out as a dominant force at Times Square. The list also reveals how anti-authoritarian we are, as more than one staffer stuck it to the man and enumerated a mixtape or two in their favorites. Bad ass.
As if you needed any more proof that you shouldn’t f**k with Madonna, a fan has been arrested over the leaked demo for Madge’s forthcoming single, “Gimme All Your Luvin’.” Madonna expressed her exasperation at the time of the leak, with her manager Guy Oseary taking to Twitter to declare, “Madonna told me this morning ‘my true fans wouldn’t do this’… whoever is responsible for this leak, we ask that you please stop!”. It seems that exasperation is putting it lightly, as the culprit has been tracked to Spain, arrested and charged.
The 31-year-old known only by the initials JMR professed to being a “big Madonna fan,” but according to Madonna, ain’t no fan of hers going to be leaking her work on the Internet. Nope, Madonna is so in control of her work and her profile that she’ll choose exactly who her fans are, and how they will behave. And although intellectual property theft is deeply wrong and illegal, it’s always a shock when someone is arrested for it as a crime, because it’s something that in the digital age, we’ve becoming quite blasé about. We know unequivocally that Madonna deserves justice and we’re not saying the offender should go unpunished, but we can’t help but wonder about the changing duty of the law when the Internet blurs the boundaries of theft — as in some cases (obviously not this one) a leak is purposefully used by artists to gain hype (which has inadvertently occurred here). What do you think? Let us know in our poll below!
Adam Lambert has landed himself in somewhat of a pickle this morning in Helsinki, having been arrested for brawling with his reality TV star boyfriend, Sauli Koskinen. The disagreement allegedly began around 4am outside the gay bar Don’t Tell Momma and has been described by Finland’s media as a “huge fight,” culminating in the arrest and incarceration of both men.
While it’s yet to be seen what will come of the arrest or if the two will continue to be held and charged, what remains is a blister on Lambert’s public profile and, indeed, his character — an unfortunate event not only so soon after the release of his latest single, but more importantly in terms of his responsibility as a human functioning in a compassionate and peaceful way within society. Indeed, all reports point to the fight involving an element of physicality, not only between Lambert and Koskinen but from Lambert towards bystanders who attempted to break up the fight. While there were reportedly no serious injuries, violence, whether domestic or otherwise, is completely unacceptable. We hope that this was a one time incident for Lambert and that he expresses regret and apology — we might change our opinion of one of our favorite pop stars if such unruly, dangerous behavior were to be repeated.
When we began compiling our Best Songs of 2011 list, there were many differing opinions, and after briefly toying with the idea of pitting all our staff against one another in a Hunger Games fight-to-the-death scenario against the backdrop of Times Square, we conceded that the most diplomatic and least murderous thing to do would be to each submit our own list. You know, in the name of preserving a civil work environment and whatnot (not to mention our longstanding policy of avoiding contact with the human resources department). So while we didn’t battle it out in a conference room or some such nonsense, each one of us faced an internal battle — choosing our favorite songs of the year. As you can see, it wasn’t easy (some of us got a little greedy with 20 strong lists), and while the usual suspects like “Rolling In The Deep” and “Holocene” made appearances, there were a few surprises in the music tastes of the VH1 office folk…
(Btw, before we get into this, we’d like to note that we put together the following Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure: VH1 Staffers Pick Their Favorite Songs Of 2011. It’s sequenced in alpha order by artist first name, so we wholeheartedly recommend you hit Shuffle while listening to this 120 track playlist. Now, on with the show…)
Last night on The X Factor, special guest R. Kelly joined Melanie Amaro on stage to back her up in her performance of “I Believe I Can Fly,” the first time he’s ever sang the classic song as a duet. But we think back up is the wrong word — if it weren’t for Melanie’s powerful, ballad-prone voice, R. Kelly would have completely stolen the show. You can see Melanie’s awed, almost-disbelief as she meets R. Kelly’s veteran presence, and you really can’t help getting a few goose bumps of pride for her, regardless of whether or not you’re familiar with the program. And as glitter falls from the ceiling and the two hold notes for marathon lengths, there’s no doubt as to the inspirational, soaring grandeur of the performance.
Next April will see legends Guns N’ Roses inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and there’s been some speculation as to whether or not the band will get back together for the event. Even with Steven Adler’s misgivings and Axl Rose’s beef with several band members, both haven’t entirely ruled out the possibility of a reunion, although they have remained generally cagey. Now, Axl Rose has stirred up even more speculation telling the L.A. Times that while he would chose to snub Adler and Izzy Stradlin in a reunion, he would consider playing with Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, stating, “The only thing that would make it would be Duff and Slash, really… It’s nothing against Izzy and it’s nothing against Steven, or anything like that. Steven may want it, but these guys I’m working with right now, they work really hard and it’s hard work. I’ve toured with the other guys and I’ve also seen what they’ve done since, and I just know the difficulties. So it’s not really even a full reunion.” We think it would be nice to see the boys lay down their arms and get together for the award ceremony, even if they choose not to tour — they earned the accolades together, after all!
In one of the best parodies of the year, the Cunningham brothers (Chip Chantry and Tommy Pope) have donned Christmas sweaters, a Santa hat and one amazing handlebar mustache for their Hall & Oates satire album Deck The Hall & Oates. With lyrics like, “He’s a reindeer and his nose is red and the other reindeer well they don’t play / You can’t deny you’re a misfit Rudolph!” set to the tune of “Rich Girl,” the album is full of clever adaptations, cheesy retro throwback montages and plenty of giggles (yours, of course). Other favorite tracks of ours include “King Of The Jews” and “Your Kiss (Is On My Christmas List).” But really, we just can’t get our eyes off that handlebar mo — the Cunningham brothers make a delightfully realistic (while being just a tiny bit off) version of pop legends Daryl Hall & John Oates.
And if that’s not enough Hall & Oates for you this Christmas, you can get the full, immersive experience by calling the Hall & Oates hotline. Yep, you read right. So dial 719-26-OATES to complete the Hall & Oates Christmas experience — you’ll then be prompted to pick out of 4 Hall & Oates songs to listen to. Who needs Spotify?
It sort of makes sense… On “Friday” we want to get “On The Floor”… Right? Right? It’s all about the party for 2011′s most viewed YouTube videos, with Rebecca Black’s “Friday” racking up a whopping 180 million views (when you combine the original Ark Factory release and the independent release of the video) — the most of any non-major music label release on YouTube. 2011 will henceforth always be the year in which Rebecca Black gave a new meaning to the word “viral.”
As popular as Rebecca Black was, though, she couldn’t compete with the likes of J. Lo; her beat- and booty-heavy video “On The Floor” came in at number one with over 450 million views. Pitbull also featured at #5 and #6 with “Give Me Everything” featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer, and “Rain Over Me” featuring JLo’s ex-hubby Marc Anthony, respectively. See the top 10 list below. Read more…
Last night Mariachi El Bronx performed “Revolution Girls” on Letterman, and it was just as evocative of sunshine and romance as one would expect. With joyful trumpets bellowing and the humble cowbell knocking its recognizable head bopping sound, the performance was punctuated with an impeccable vocal and violin instrumentals. Just closing our eyes we could imagine ourselves sipping from coconuts by the sea and falling in love, or out on some blossoming, sun drenched farm in the spring, again, falling in love. We also absolutely loved the band’s matching jackets and bright red neck-kerchiefs.