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.
Adele Bites Back At Karl Lagerfeld’s Insensitive “Fat” Comments
Recovered from vocal surgery, Adele is talking again, and it seems she has a thing or two to say about Uncle Karl’s “fat” taunts. Adele said, “I’ve never wanted to look like models on the covers of magazines. I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that. It’s just never been an issue – at least, I’ve never hung out with the sort of horrible people who make it an issue. I have insecurities of course, but I don’t hang out with anyone who points them out to me.” Yew! Go girl! [Refinery29]
Lady Gaga Launches Her Own Social Networking Site
Because we haven’t got enough social networking sites to keep up with already, Lady Gaga has decided to launch yet another. Littlemosters.com is currently in invite only beta mode, but will allow users to post content including videos and photos, and like the posts of other users. Sounds… familiar? [Littlemosters.com]
The Grammys are almost upon us and it’s time to start wagering on winners. We’ve been speculating over one of the most talked about — and important in terms of a young star’s career — categories, and that’s the Best New Artist. Obviously, whoever wins is going to steal the spotlight, and with the fickle nature of music consumption it’s an all too important spotlight that’s up for the taking. With a smorgasbord of acts up for the award, covering genres from country to rap to dub to indie-pop, it’s tough to put the finger on a winner. We’ve weighed up the odds below, and given our opinion on the likelihood of each nominee taking home the illustrious award.
The Band Perry
There’s no doubt that The Band Perry are the best new country act of the year, winning Best New Act at the Country Music Awards as well as Single and Song Of The Year with “If I Die Young.” We think The Band Perry are hot favorites for the win after their winning year in 2011, and because they’ve bought some youthful fun to country music.
Bon Iver has been a controversial nominee at best, first with front man Justin Vernon lambasting the Grammys and then refusing to perform on the night. It seems like with the popularity and critical acclaim that “Holocene” found in 2011, they may have been strong contenders, but unfortunately took themselves out of the race with their petulant behavior. They’re not really a “new artist” anyway, so it might be nice to see someone fresh off the block win the award, even though we do love the music of Bon Iver.
Kelly Clarkson is taking a leaf out of Taylor Swift’s book and including cover songs in her set while she’s on tour promoting Stronger. But unlike Swift, she’s not following a city-by-city guide to pop-stars — instead she’s letting the fans choose! She said on stage at the Riverdome in Bossier City, “‘Cause I got here by fans voting for me 10 years ago, so it’s still cool that y’all are still involved in the show,” before proceeding to play Madonna‘s “Crazy For You.” Kelly’s version of the song was heartfelt and reverent, and if we didn’t know better we would have assumed it was one of her own songs!
In Texas, Kelly covered Pistol Annies‘ “Hell On Heels,” (watch it after the jump) to a clearly ecstatic audience. Like Madonna’s pop classic, Kelly covered the country track to perfection, and we’re quietly impressed by her ability to slip between genres with such ease. Her sultry performance was just perfect for the sexy track, and we’re even thinking she could join the Annie’s for a duet. Earlier in the tour, Kelly also gave great performances of Coldplay’s “Fix You”, Carrie Underwood’s “I Know You Won’t” and Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You”, proving definitively that the girl can sing just about anything. We’re looking forward to seeing what else she throws out on tour, and wouldn’t mind making a few requests of our own!
Our friends over at Popdust came up with a fairly ingenious (if also a wee bit insane) way to educate themselves with the contenders for this year’s Grammy Awards. Since 10 a.m. this morning, they have been hosting a Grammy Listening Marathon, during which they have been playing all 108 of the songs that have been nominated for Grammys this year in alphabetical order. VH1’s own Carrie Keagan, host of Big Morning Buzz Live, is joining their conversation from 4-5 p.m. today, as should you! (As of 4 p.m., they’re at the “R” section of the alphabet.)
Below, you can find a USTREAM player so you can listen to the songs, as well as a way to join in on the chatting festivities. Enjoy!
Hot on the campaign trail pending this year’s election, President Obama is yet again proving why he’s a cut above the rest by releasing a Spotify playlist to soundtrack his campaign. No matter what you think of the Obama presidency, you can’t accuse the man and his minions of being inept when it comes to new technologies and social media. Indeed, the Spotify playlist, which itself is the primary “of the moment” device for music sharing, was promoted using Obama’s Facebook page and Twitter feed, giving the incumbent somewhat of a modern edge against would-be Presidential candidates. Not to mention making him unspeakably cool, which counts for almost everything to the social media generation.
The list has some notable inclusions as well — especially Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together”, which the President recently worked out his vocal cords to. Bruce Springsteen seems like a must for any “all American” campaign, and The Boss’s new track “We Take Care Of Our Own” is right at home in a play list that covers the USA’s musical heart from the middle to the coasts — from soul to country to indie-pop. Showing that he’s “down with the kids” Obama’s playlist includes Arcade Fire and Wilco and even some of our favorite DIVAS: Ledisi, Florence + The Machine, Sugarland and Jennifer Hudson. The only minor criticisms we have of the list is that there’s no representation for Watch The Throne — it seems that Jay-Z and Kayne West‘s Frank Ocean chorused “Made In America” would have been the perfect track to accompany Obama’s campaign. Also, where’s Beyoncé?
You can see the full track listing after the jump.
After her widely-maligned performance on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago, many bloodthirsty people pronounced Lana Del Rey‘s career over before it even began, utilizing everything from thousand-plus word thinkpieces to snarktastic 140 character tweets to make their opinions heard. Much like we saw in the initial hours after LDR appeared on SNL, though, all the controversy ended up working in her favor. According to a press release issued by her record label, Born To Die sold 77,000 copies in the United States last week, good enough for a #2 debut on the Billboard charts (and significantly outpacing early projections of a 55-60K sales week). The record also debuted at #1 in the UK, where it sold 117,000 copies, and ended up moving some 800,000 copies worldwide. Somewhere in Los Angeles, we hope that Juliette Lewis is scarfing down a plate of crow and chasing it with a slice of humble pie!
However, it isn’t all peaches and cream in Lana Del Rey’s world this week. Despite the fact that she played a well-received set on Letterman last week and performed an intimate gig for her passionate fanbase at the Los Angeles outpost of Amoeba Records yesterday, it seems that Interscope is determined to limit her exposure at this point in time. Earlier this week, the New York Post erroneously reported that she had cancelled a planned Spring tour of the United States; her reps firmly denied this to be the case, but then confirmed to Pitchfork that LDR had indeed cancelled a planned outing to Australia, as well as her highly-anticipated SXSW dates in March. So, for now, LDR fans will have to make do with repeated listens to Born To Die, as well as a still unscheduled appearance on Ellen, to get their Lana fix.
Lana Del Rey Denies Tour Cancellation Rumors [Pitchfork]
[Photo: Getty Images]
Have you ever wondered exactly what’s going on inside Kayne West‘s brain? There’s been at least one occasion where we’ve lost sleep over it, but now we can put our questions to rest once and for all, as the Kanye directed video for his Watch The Throne hit “Paris” with Jay-Z gives us a glimpse into the cray goings on inside the West cranial cavity. And it’s exactly what we’d pictured — a kaleidoscopic, ordered chaos in which buxom women are commodified and appear in double while regal black panthers lurk in the shadows.
Comprised mostly of footage of Hov and Ye playing to an audience, there’s a cameo from Will Ferrell and plenty avant-bricolage consisting of found images of Paris, digital geometry and the same kaleidoscopic effects that are used throughout. There are the requisite thrown up diamonds by the audience’s hands; but our favorite part is an almost poignant moment where Kanye looks out over the crowd. We can only see the back of his head — his vantage point becomes ours as the crowd, for blink-and-you’ll-miss-it split seconds turns to a thrilling kaleidoscope and back. A visual narrative that accompanies the banging “ball so hard” themed track, the video brings elements of the surreal and the absurd to Kanye and Jay’s world of money, fame, and Paris.
VH1’s February Posted artist The Fray stopped by Big Morning Buzz Live today to play their new single “Heartbeat.” After their high energy performance of the song on Letterman, The Fray gave us a stripped back performance of the song, which was just as moving as the inspiring show they put on for Letterman. The guys also took the chance to give us the second installment of their Posted blog, and after the first poetic and intimate entry, this second post by lead guitarist Dave Welsh tells the story of the band’s Super Bowl experience. Read the post from February 6th after the jump.
Ahead of the Grammys this weekend, for which they’re nominated for Best New Artist, The Band Perry stopped by The Ellen Degeneres Show to play their song “All Your Life.” Melodic and sweet, The Band Perry played their soft, rolling country track to perfection, not putting a single note wrong. Their stirring harmonies and gently strumming guitar added dynamism to the romantic love song. The Band Perry will also be performing at the Grammys, with a whole host of new stars and old legends.