2011 was undoubtedly the year of Adele, with the young singer/songwriter proving that she is, indeed, boss of everything. She was on everyone’s “best of 2011″ list from industry observers, to fans, to VH1’s own staff; she cleaned up in Grammy nominations and sold the most digital copies of any song ever with “Rolling In The Deep.” Now Reuters has reported that Adele’s 21 is not only the top selling album of 2011, but it’s the top selling album since 2004! 21 has sold 5 million copies this year, and is the first album to reach over 5 million in sales since Usher‘s Confessions moved 7.9 million copies in 2004. According to Reuters, Adele’s amazing feat has coincided with a three per cent spike in music sales since 2010, which has us thinking that maybe Adele’s awesome success is partly responsible for stimulating the music consumer market. Given the advent of music sharing devices like Spotify, it’s a wonder that people are buying music at all, given the relative ease and inexpensive nature of sharing, and that there are now perfectly legal ways in which to file share. Reuters speculates that agressive sales tactics by artists and retailers has helped move records this year, but we’ve got an inkling that some of the merit can be attributed to the greatness of this year’s music releases, acting as a testament that fans will still spend hard earned dollars on their favorite artists and on high quality music.
Adele Sells Most Albums In A Year Since 2004 [Reuters]
[Photo: Getty Images]
First, a Drake fan in LA got his name controversially tattooed across her forehead, and now a young girl from Glasgow has had lyrics from Lana Del Rey‘s “Video Games” tattooed to her thigh. 23 year old Nadine Walker posted images of the tattoo on her blog along with the simple description, “I got a new (huge) tattoo from the bf of Lana Del Rey’s ‘video games’ lyrics! Ouch! Love it.” Ouch indeed. Let’s hope the words (and her boyfriend) mean as much to her in 10, or even two years from now. We recognise that tattoos have long been a means for fans to express their commitment to their favorite artists. Now, we’re no experts, but we normally associate such hardcore enthusiasm with more… antiauthoritarian artists, like rock stars and hip hop artists who embody a certain timelessness. We never really though that such sentimental and buzz-y music could illicit such zealous fandom, but like we said, we’re not the experts!
[Photo: Bimbo Beautiful]
Apparently, the moment we've all been waiting for well may be upon us. Reports are rushing in from all over the Internet that last night nurses and security at New York’s St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital were placed on high alert with the imminent arrival of a high profile patient — and given that Beyoncé‘s pregnancy is the most high profile pregnancy in New York this year, tongues have been sent wagging. Rumours say that half the floor of the hospital’s “Labor And Delivery Suite” has been booked by the special mystery guest, and while there’s no actual confirmation yet that Baby Bey-Z is on his/her way out of the womb, speculation is rife given that the booked ward is the exact same ones Knowles-Carter close friend Alicia Keys gave birth in. While Beyoncé has been cryptic about her due date, first announcing she was due in February then releasing a video in which she declared herself 6 months pregnant in September, it seems that our Pregoncé was simply throwing the paps off the scent. And while fans and critics alike have been questioning whether Bey might be faking her pregnancy, everything is starting to add up, and if she is indeed giving birth as you read this, well then, naysayers be damned! King B has been pregnant all along! We’ll be on the case all day, so watch this space for updates…
MTO World Exclusive: Beyonce Set To Give Birth . . . At Any Moment!!! (We Got All The Details . . . And Updates) [Media Take Out]
Beyonce To Give Birth At Any Moment [24 Hour Hip Hop]
Drake’s Got Aaliyah’s Face Tattooed To His Back
Drake is the late Aaliyah‘s biggest fan boy, with her face tattooed on his back. Sorry Drake, but since that girl got your name tattooed to her forehead your gesture of eternal fandom just seems weak by comparison.
Kanye West Debuts New Music In London
Kanye West hosted a party at Le Baron London last night, and not only did he spin a mean DJ set, he dropped in some new material from his forthcoming 2012 solo album and G.O.O.D Music compilation. [Rap Up]
Britney Spears and Lady Gaga both played Santa this weekend with new material for their fans. A new vocal version of Britney’s “Don’t Keep Me Waiting” (a bonus track from the deluxe edition of Femme Fatale) was leaked and we caught wind from this Tweet by Bradley Stern (you can listen to the track here). We’re absolutely loving the pared back acoustic parts and heavy beat — it feels like forever since we actually heard Britney’s voice minus auto tune and cowbells! And in Mother Monster’s corner, things were just as exciting with Gaga herself Tweeting, “Merry Christmas! Here’s a SoundCloud download of my unreleased song “Stuck On F*ckin’ You”: http://bit.ly/uCS27x For your IPODS!! I love u!” (you can listen to the track here). It’s funky and infectious, and much like Brit’s “Don’t Keep Me Waiting,” gives us a dose of something a bit more raw and organic than the club led classics Gaga has produced this year. And we’re crazy about Gaga’s freestyle towards the end of the track — the girl is not only multitalented, but has a great sense of humor to boot!
Britney Spears – “Don’t Keep Me Waiting” (Main Vocals)
Lady Gaga – “Stuck On F*ckin’ You”
[Photo: Getty Images]
It seems all is peaceful again at camp Adam Lambert after his public bust up with boyfriend, Sauli Koskinen, last week. Following the fight outside a Helsinki gay bar in the early hours of the morning, the two were arrested and subsequently released without charge. And it seems that following their release, the two kissed and made up, as Lambert Tweeted over the weekend, “Xmas Eve with the Koskinens! Just had a huge traditional Finnish feast and now opening gifts! Merry and bright! Hyvää ja rauhallista joulua!”, posting the above image of him and Sauli posing happily in Santa hats. Of the incident itself, Lambert Tweeted, “Jetlag+Vodka=blackout. Us÷blackout=irrational confusion. jail+guilt+press=lesson learned. Sauli+Adam+hangover burgers= laughing bout it. :).” The popstar seemed remorseful via Twitter, writing, “Violence is not to be taken lightly. Embarrassed by drunkenness. No punches thrown, no injuries and no charges. Media always exaggerates.” We certainly hope Adam doesn’t find himself in a similar situation again, and we’re happy to see that the normally low key couple are back to their adorable antics, rather than warring in the streets of Helsinki.
Adam Lambert Returns To US, ‘Embarrassed’ By Arrest [Wonder Wall]
[Image: Adam Lambert]
Demi Lovato lashed out at Disney on her Twitter after some insensitive programming included an eating disorder joke. The former Disney star, who was admitted to rehab last year after struggling with bulimia, was enraged by a line jokingly delivered by a female character in the show Shake It Up: “I could eat you up, well, if I ate.” Demi’s tweets reflected the irresponsibility of Disney airing the joke, especially in light of her illness.
Demi later Tweeted, “And is it just me or are the actress’ getting THINNER AND THINNER… I miss the days of RAVEN, and LIZZIE MCGUIRE,” before finishing with the clear statement, “Dear Disney Channel, EATING DISORDERS ARE NOT SOMETHING TO JOKE ABOUT.” The Disney Channel, obviously keeping up with Demi’s Twitter feed, was quick to react, pulling the offending episode from the air and Tweeting, “we hear you & are pulling both episodes as quickly as possible & reevaluating them,” and, “It’s NEVER our intention to make light of eating disorders!”
The incident is yet another example of the power of artists to draw attention to social injustices and even to make serious changes. Demi speaking out against the joke puts her in the ranks with Lady Gaga (who was vocal in the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, and has taken her fight against bullying all the way to the White House), and Rihanna, who recently took to Twitter to defend against racist comments made in a Dutch magazine. We’d love to give Demi a high five for standing up for what she believes in and using her power to give a public voice to those who might be suffering through the same illness she has struggled with.
Demi Lovato gets Disney to remove eating disorder joke [PopWatch]
[Photo: Getty Images]
It’s been a big year for newcomer Frank Ocean, what with the fledgling performer’s first solo tour, collaborating with the kings on Watch The Throne and being named in GQ’s Men Of The Year awards. Ocean also earned accolades for his debut mix tape, Nostalgia, Ultra, and our staff even flouted the laws of album vs mix tape to put the creation on their best albums of 2011 lists. Now, Ocean has released new material on his Tumblr along with the simple explanation, “i just listened to this a few times for myself. figured maybe some else needed to hear it. it’s called ‘4 tears’ [sic].” The track starts with a beat reminiscent of “Songs For Women,” before Ocean’s sweeter-than-honey vocal does what it does best and stops you dead in your tracks. The subject matter is just as reflective and emotion-addled as Ocean’s previous material, but with a dirty “swag, swag” at the start of the song assuring us that Ocean’s self-aware irreverence hasn’t abated despite the fact that he’s on the road to superstardom.
Frank Ocean [Tumblr]
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!
Jay-Z and Kanye West earn almost £4 million for playing 16 year old’s birthday bash [NME]
[Photo: Getty Images]
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.