Celebrities who emerge as teen idols rarely stay that way. It’s one of the immutable laws of celebrity nature. They get older, their fans get older, and generally, everyone eventually moves on.
That, however, has not been the case for Jordan Knight, who began his run as a heartthrob way back in 1986 and is showing no signs of slowing down. Whether performing as part of the New Kids On The Block, NKOTBSB, or as a solo artist, Jordan Knight remains culturally relevant to this day not just because he’s a handsome devil or because his falsetto instantly causes listeners’ knees to weaken, but because he continues to record songs that resonate with audiences of all ages.
Jordan popped by our offices here in Times Square not too long ago while on a publicity tour for his new solo album, Unfinished. We asked him to be the latest artist to participate in our ongoing Music Seen feature, and he kindly obliged. Enjoy!—Mark Graham
When Michael Jackson tragically and unexpectedly passed away two summers ago after an overdose of Propofol (which may or may not have been administered by Dr. Conrad Murray), the primary coping mechanism that people utilized while dealing with their grief was rekindling their love of his extensive musical legacy. People who hadn’t visited record stores in years flocked to purchase his back catalog, radio stations worldwide spun his songs for months on end and, as a result, Michael Jackson became a bigger star in death than he had been during the last 15 years of his life.
Well, in terms of her cultural relevance, it’s safe to say that Amy Winehouse was no Michael Jackson. However, her untimely (if somewhat expected) death this weekend at the age of 27 has done a lot to rekindle people’s interest in her musical output, which consists of two studio albums (2003′s Frank and 2006′s Back To Black) and a handful of B-sides. Not surprisingly, she currently occupies three of the top six spots on the iTunes album charts (see below), and “Rehab” —sadly, the song that will now forever define her career— has sold enough and been spun enough in the past three days to land it at #15 on this week’s Song Of The Summer Countdown.
As for the rest of the chart, there’s not much to say this week. The top seven spots in this week’s countdown are identical to the top seven songs from last week’s countdown; Katy Perry is still holding court at the top of the charts, and Adele is still nipping at her heels, closely trailed by Pitbull, LMFAO and Lady Gaga.
Boyz II Men Join NKOTBSB Onstage For 2-Song Medley
The combined forces of over a decade of talented-vocalist guy-groups sang “I’ll Make Love To You” and “End Of The Road” and turned an entire generation into mush for four and a half minutes Friday night in Orlando. [Vulture]
Noel Gallagher Debuts Single And Video
Watch and hear “The Death of You And Me” from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds above. [Guardian] Read more…
With such an oversaturation of music from ?up-and-coming? rappers these days, it?s a constant struggle to differentiate the rookies with potential from the mediocre flashes in the pan. Every day, it seems, there?s a new solo artist, duo or squad that you’re compelled to listen to, and just keeping track of the influx of talent calls can be exhausting for listeners. If you?re a rapper or emcee trying to penetrate ?the game,? it must be intimidating, right? Now imagine you?ve got an extra handicap: You?re British.
With an alley-oop assist from Eric Turner?s booming ?Written In The Stars? chorus, the Capitol-drafted English import rapper Tinie Tempah is gaining early momentum on this side of the pond, and remains determined to do something that very few UK spitters have done before: “break” in America. Tinie has done quite well for himself in his native U.K., as his most recent album Disc-Overy debuted at #1 on the British charts and launched four Top Five singles (including two number ones), and was England’s top-selling debut album by a Brit in 2010. Two BRIT Awards, a recent BET Award for Best International UK Artist and a well-reviewed performance at Glastonbury later, it appears the young rapper is getting on the board fast. But even with those accolades under his belt, finding quick success in America isn?t a given, and Tinie knows that. Between breaking the barriers at crossover radio without getting “too pop” while also getting acclimated with our snooty, regionally-structured hip hop scene, it would appear that his path is a bit steep.
When we sat down to interview Tinie earlier this month, he told us all about his transitional journey from overseas thus far. Lucky for him, some friends of ours helped him mentally prepare for this moment. While supporting The Script on tour in Australia, Tinie received a much-needed pep talk from the band that had experienced some tough American crowds of their own when they first made the North Atlantic journey. ?Just brace yourself,? they told him, ?some of the shows are going to be a little bit gun-wrenching.? The coached warning was helpful and wound up serving as an airbag when Tinie performed before crowds of ten to twenty thousand people one night, and then under one hundred the next. ?It has been fun, and more than anything, it?s a humbling experience ?cause is just shows that, you know, that you?ve never really made it until you?ve made it, and there?s always something more you can be doing, so, yeah, I like it? it?s all part of the game.?
Lady Gaga‘s new music video shoot finds her someplace unexpected. We’re not referring to Nebraska, where the “Yo? and I” video is being filmed, but to the local nightly news. The Mother Monster herself did not appear in the report from Nebraska’s NBC affiliate WOWT (nor its follow-up story about fans hoping to get a glimpse of the star), but plenty of information about the video was revealed.
A crew member identified the new single to WOWT as “Yo? and I,” which makes sense given that song’s references to a “cool Nebraska guy,” and its exhortation to “put your drinks up for Nebraska.” A sequence inside a barn may feature Gaga’s mermaid character Yuyi, who, it’s been reported, will appear in this video. Another sequence will feature Gaga playing piano in the middle of a cornfield. As to whether the apparently very literal tribute to the hometown of Gaga’s old beau L?c Carl (the reason for the umlaut in “yo?”) has anything to do with a rekindled romance is anyone’s guess. As per any Gaga-related material, though, the news segment has been rehosted on YouTube on a new Gaga-themed account that may or may not be another web-promotional arm of her Haus.
Ever since news broke that Amy Winehouse had been found dead at 27, the outpouring of grief (including dozens of comments on our announcement) has been a stark reminder of how much, and to how many people, Winehouse continued to matter as an artist. Fans have left tribute comments not only on Winehouse’s own videos on YouTube, but also barely-related ones like Britney Spears’s “If You Seek Amy,” just because they’re looking for any outlet to grieve. As we noted earlier, a range of performers voiced tribute on Twitter, but for some, 140 characters wasn’t enough.
Big Boishared a previously unreleased Dungeon Family remix of her song “Tears Dry On Their Own”:
Several performers blogged touching tributes. Adele‘s “Amy Flies in Paradise xx”, praised the way in which both her sheer talent and her unwillingness to compromise led to a minor sea change in British pop: “Amy paved the way for artists like me and made people excited about British music again whilst being fearlessly hilarious and blas? about the whole thing. I don?t think she ever realised just how brilliant she was and how important she is, but that just makes her even more charming.”
And although the autopsy has just begun today, and toxicology reports will take weeks, the popular consensus is that Winehouse’s death was caused, directly or indirectly, by her struggles with addiction. Dr. Drewtweeted, “SO sad, another lost to addiction. A reminder this is often a fatal condition. Recovery is possible, but sadly not for Amy Winehouse.” But perhaps the most touching tribute on this subject comes from Russell Brand, a fellow performer who famously struggled with issues of addiction. His post For Amy, about the inevitability of one of two types of “the phone call,” is a must-read. We recommend you click through to it, but the multitude of hits has swamped his site, so just in case you can’t get through, we’ve reposted his tribute in its entirety below.
Fueled by the exuberant response to last week’s premiere of “Otis,” (a marked departure from the mixed reviews “H.A.M.” got in January,) Jay-Z and Kanye West have announced that their Watch the Throne collaboration has a name?fittingly, The Throne?and that the duo will be touring together this fall to support the album. Tickets for the tour dates will go on sale the same day that the album becomes available for digital purchase: Monday, August 8, and online ticket purchases will come with a copy of the album. The Throne must not be too concerned with first-week album sales, because any albums that come with a ticket purchase won’t count towards their sales total. Then again, The Throne will probably hit #1 on the Billboard charts even without these “sales.”
Full list of confirmed tour dates below (with more likely to be added). Read more…
Unless you’re an android, breakups are never easy. Although a bit tumultuous, The Script’sfirst video from Science & Faith was predominantly romantic and lovey-dovey (which matched with the song’s themes). But for the album’s second single, it seems the the Irish imports decided to go in a different direction.
A boys night out gets a little sloppy when lead singer Danny O’Donaghue drunkenly exits a bar with his loyal bandmates behind him. Stumbling and wasted, Danny surfs the wave of intoxication, screaming the lovesick lyrics to “Nothing” down the street to his (presumable) recent ex, who in this clip, doesn’t appear to be present. And hey, we’ve all been guilty of engaging in or receiving such behavior before, right? Drunk dialing, bitter Facebook posts, longing latenight email drafts… it happens! But what will come of the boys’ debauchery-ridden evening, Script fans? Come back on Thursday morning to see, when we’ll have the exclusive premiere for the full “Nothing” video here for you.
“Rehab” singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment today. The cause has not yet been determined. For those who have followed her longstanding battle with depression, eating disorders and substance abuse (a constant source of fodder for tabloids), this sad news may not come as a huge surprise. In August of 2007, Amy came close to death after overdosing on a cocktail of heroin, ecstasy and cocaine – and later that year was found wondering barefoot outside in nothing but a bra and jeans. These incidents were preceded by Amy’s marriage in May of 2007 to Blake Fielder-Civil, who was quoted by a British tabloid as saying he introduced Amy to heroin and crack cocaine. Earlier that same year, Amy performed for VH1 Unplugged. Blake and Amy divorced in 2009.
The singer dominated the 2008 Grammys with five awards for Back to Black, her sophomore album, winning in the categories of Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Known for her singular voice and unorthodox retro look (tattoos, extreme cat-eye makeup and beehive hairdo), Amy is said to have paved the way for artists who wouldn’t previously have fit into the mainstream. Lady Gaga, for one, famously told AOL: “Because of Amy, very strange girls like me go to prom with very good-looking guys. She’s a different kind of woman. I don’t believe that what I do is very digestible, and somehow Amy was the flu for pop music.” Regardless of whether this is true, Winehouse certainly seemed to pave the way for fellow British songbirds Adele and Duffy, both of whom share Amy’s ’60s soul vibe.
In June, YouTube videos surfaced of an intoxicated and discombobulated-looking Winehouse forgetting her own lyrics and getting booed off stage in the first stop of a European tour, which subsequently had to be canceled. Amy was reportedly working on a third album. She joins a long list of musicians who have died at 27. A phenomenon known as The 27 Club, Brian Jones, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain are among those who died at the same age. Let her legend begin.
1.) VIDEO OF THE YEAR
?Rolling In The Deep,? Adele
?Yonkers,? Tyler The Creator
?Firework,? Katy Perry
?Grenade,? Bruno Mars
?Make Some Noise,? Beastie Boys
If you?re going to hand out an award based purely on song alone, than Adele?s ?Rolling In The Deep? will have no problem winning. Video-wise, ?Make Some Noise? seems to be the most eye-catching clip of the bunch. I?m not thrilled with the other three nominees: the poignancy of Katy Perry?s ?Firework? evaporates once sparklers start exploding from her bosoms; Tyler The Creator?s ?Yonkers? video is Nine Inch Nails-lite, and Bruno Mars? ?Grenade? lacks the bigness to be distinguished as Video of the Year (although I do give him props for dragging that piano all around town).