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by (@unclegrambo)

Follow 30 Seconds To Mars All Month Long With VH1′s Posted

We believe it was Billy Shakespeare who once said “Parting from Travie McCoy is such sweet sorrow.” Yes, that’s right, check your calendar, it’s October 1! As we wave buh bye to our September Posted Artist of the Month, Travie McCoy, we could not be any more psyched to say hello to 30 Seconds To Mars, who’ll be spending the rest of the month with us! Or, more accurately, with YOU.

Jared Leto and the guys are coming off one of their biggest months ever, a month that saw them play in front of tens of thousands of adoring fans and capture a Video Music Award for Best Rock Video for “Kings And Queens.” And as they continue to tour in support of their 2009 LP This Is War during the month of October, they’ll be giving us an inside look at their lives exclusively at posted.vh1.com.

As we have done in past months, we encourage you to leave any questions you have for the band in the comments section below and we’ll be sure that they see them. So go ahead, fire away and enjoy spending October with 30 Seconds To Mars.

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Fantasia Announces Headlining Tour Dates

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One of the hardest working women in showbiz will work a little harder come November 4, when Fantasia kicks off her first headlining tour in Richmond, Virginia. Over the course of 30 shows, the Fantasia for Real star will play all over the U.S., landing in St. Louis, Missouri for her tour’s final concert on January 1, 2011. Hopefully, Fantasia’s moves onstage will be as exciting as they are on screen:

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The first round of pre-sale tickets (for subscribers of Fantasia’s newsletter) go on sale tomorrow (Thursday, September 30) at 10 am ET. The sale opens up to the general public the day after.

Fantasia’s full itinerary is below…

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by (@unclegrambo)

When Faced With The Chance Of Dancing Or Dying, Shakira Chooses Dancing In Steamy “Loca” Video

Shakira, Shakira! On Monday, we gave you a 30-second glimpse of Shakira’s latest hip-shaking anthem “Loca,” but now we’ve got the whole enchilada for you. There isn’t much in the way of plot, but considering the manner in which Shakira is able to connect with the camera (and, by extension, the viewers of the video), who cares? But, if you’re looking for a summary, here goes: Under some seriously foreboding Barcelona skies, Shakira straps on a pair of old school roller skates, boogies her way down a beachside boardwalk, climbs on the back of a motorcycle and then shimmies so saucily that we found ourselves surprised that the ominous clouds above didn’t shoot out bolts of lightning in response.

As we’ve come to expect from Shakira, the song is filled with catchy choruses, worldly horns and charmingly broken English. She’s also joined by the UK grime legend Dizzee Rascal, who contributes some spirited raps to the song. Speaking of raps, Shakira even takes the time to spit out a few verses in this song, which, we believe, is a first for her. Enjoy this video on your computer monitor for the next few days, but be sure to tune into VH1′s Top 20 Video Countdown this weekend to catch it in the comfort of your own living room.

by (@unclegrambo)

Five Questions With Trey Songz (AKA Mr. Steal Your Girl)

While it may not be as catchy of a nickname as “The Situation,” there’s no denying that Trey Songz’s self-given moniker, Mr. Steal Your Girl, informs his work on wax. After bragging that he “invented sex” just a little over a year ago, Trey is back on the scene with a whole set of sexually driven material on his fourth studio album, Passion, Pain & Pleasure. Right out of the gate, his collaboration with Nicki Minaj, “Bottoms Up,” blew up on the club circuit — Rest in peace, Anna Nicole Smith! — and now his second single, “Can’t Be Friends,” is also starting to climb the charts. We caught up with Trey here in NYC a few days ago and asked him 5 Questions; take a look at the video above to find out what songs are in heavy rotation on his iPod and who his dream collaborator would be.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Sneak Peek: Shakira Goes “Loca” In Her New Video

So you thought that videos didn’t get any sexier than Shakira’s “She Wolf”? It’s entirely possible that you’re right, but then again, we haven’t seen the entire video for her new single “Loca” yet! Based on the :30 sneak preview that we’ve got for you above, though, it’s going to be a close race (which, really, makes us all winners). In these thirty quick seconds, Shakira is seen on rollerskates, dropping trou in a crowded Barcelona street corner before changing into skintight leather pants, riding a motorcycle in a bikini top and frolicking in a water fountain. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we need to catch our breath. Look for the full video to debut online at midnight on September 29 and on our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown show this weekend.

by (@unclegrambo)

Want To Go To Taylor Swift’s Album Release Parties In New York And L.A.?

…Then you should enter the Speak Now with Taylor Swift contest! In anticipation of her eagerly awaited album, Speak Now, we’re partnering with our friends over at CMT to send four lucky fans to the album release party in New York City next month, who will then fly to LA with Taylor Swift herself (!) and interview her while on the plane. Between her new music video for “Mine”, her romantic dalliances with teen celebrities, and her widely debated performance on the VMAs last weekend, we can’t imagine you’d run out of things to talk about! Good luck.

by (@unclegrambo)

Sia Stops By Live At VH1, Proceeds To Dazzle Everyone In Attendance

Those of us who work here at VH1 realize how fortunate we are that so many talented musicians decide to stop by our office and perform for us. As a means of sharing the love with you, our readers/viewers, we created the Live At VH1 series, which showcases artists performing right here on the 20th floor of 1515 Broadway. Just a few weeks back, Fantasia knocked our socks off. Then, a week ago Wednesday, the Australian songbird Sia stopped by our humble elevator lobby and took everyone’s breath away with her incredibly powerful, emotionally rich vocals. Above, we’ve got a clip of her new single, “I’m In Here.” And below, you’ll see her singing “Breathe Me,” the song that was famously used a few years back to score the devastating final scene of Six Feet Under. Enjoy!

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by (@unclegrambo)

The Anthemic “Radioactive” Proves That The Kings Of Leon Are Here To Stay

In an era where the Billboard and iTunes Top 10 is dominated by with same-y sounding, club-friendly, largely disposable AutoTune jams, the Kings of Leon are outliers. Their last album, Only By The Night, was released nearly two full years ago and is still firmly entrenched in the Billboard 200 (currently #115), and you would be hard-pressed to take a spin up and down the radio dial without coming across either “Sex On Fire” or “Use Somebody.” Their anthemic twist on Southern fried rock music is unique in the music industry today, which is just one of the many reasons that people are nine kinds of excited for the release of the Grammy-winning band’s fifth studio release, Come Around Sundown, next month.

The LP’s first single, “Radioactive,” picks up right where their two monster singles left off. While the formula of song — a slinky, way-down-the-neck guitar riff sits on top of a propulsive bass line, all the while building up to a monsterous, sing-along chorus — may seem familiar, we are forced to recall the wise idiom, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Followill brothers seem quite comfortable to live by those wise words, and we have very little doubt that their growing legion of fans will object. This song will no doubt be perched in our weekly VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown for weeks and months to come.

What do you think of the song? Will this be in heavy rotation on your iPod? Or were you hoping that the band would stretch in another direction? Any and all opinions are welcome, natch!

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by (@unclegrambo)

R.I.P. Rich Cronin (1975-2010)

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Sad news to pass along this evening. LFO lead singer and member of the VH1 family Rich Cronin passed away earlier this evening of leukemia.

Cronin first rose to fame as the lead singer of the 90s era boy band success story LFO, a group perhaps best known for their 1999 hit, “Summer Girls” (which would be on the short list for songs of that particular summer). After the band’s popularity waned in the early aughts, Cronin then joined up with Chris Kirkpatrick, Jeff Timmons, and Bryan Abrams on the inspirational reality show that aired right here on VH1, Mission: Man Band.

On Rich Cronin’s official Facebook page, his manager, Michelle Holland, left the following statement: “On behalf of the Cronin family and all at the Hope Foundation and [his record label] Orange Freeze, thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts. Continue to post them as a tribute to a great man, a better artist and the best friend I could ever have.”

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

by (@unclegrambo)

Bruno Mars Is VH1′s Latest “You Oughta Know” Artist

After helping to pen three of this year’s biggest hit singles — “Billionare” for Travie McCoy, “Nothin On You” for B.o.B. and “F*ck You” for Cee-Lo Green — the time has finally come for R&B crooner Bruno Mars to step into the spotlight as a solo performer. He is hoping to follow in the footsteps of legendary artists like Carole King and Neil Diamond, both of whom were able to achieve widespread recognition first as songwriters, then as singers. The 23 year-old’s debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, doesn’t drop until next month, but if the lead single “Just The Way You Are” is any indicator, the record is going to be a smash and Mars will be an ongoing fixture on our weekly VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown for months to come.

We’ve got such high hopes for Bruno Mars that we’ve put him alongside the likes of Mumford & Sons, Daniel Merriweather, The Script, Alpha Rev and Angel Taylor as members of the elite group of VH1 “You Oughta Know” artists. Be sure to let us know your thoughts about his first solo song in the comments below!