When Demi Lovato came to our offices last week to record a Top 20 Live set, she not only surprised us with a Lil Wayne cover, but also proved extremely genial. “Hey guys, thanks for having me! I’m Demi. What’s your name?” she introduced herself, before kicking her set off with the medley, above, of “Catch Me,” a deep cut from 2009’s Here We Go Again, and “Don’t Forget,” the title track from her 2008 debut. That same temperament shines through in the series of photographs our own Jen Marigliano snapped for our Music Seen feature, as she followed Lovato during her day in New York City. After the jump, look behind the scenes at VH1’s Top 20 and check out the elements of Lovato’s bohemian-chic style, and be sure to check back for the rest of her Top 20 Live set.
“Moves Like Jagger” is big right now. The Maroon 5/Christina Aguilera collaboration may not have hit #1 quickly enough to prevent Katy Perry from tying the once-untouchable record set by Michael Jackson, but the song has since been topping the charts (not to mention placing well in VH1’s Top 20) for a month?except for the week after the VMAs, when “Someone Like You” briefly unseated it. With the video for that Adele single set to premiere tonight on MTV, the Los Angeles quintet has recruited a guest rapper for an official remix?either in an attempt to hold off Adele on the charts, or maybe just for the heck of it. The guest? Mac Miller. (Hey, Maroon 5 and VH1’s Single Ladies have something in common!) The band premiered the remix via Twitter; it’s available to stream at HipHopDX before it officially hits radio (and iTunes) next week.
[Adam Levine Image: Getty Images]
If we ever become wealthy enough to have a personal physician, the #1 thing we would least want the doctor to say might just be “Does anyone know CPR?” And yet this is exactly what Michael Jackson’s head of security Faheem Muhammad testifies that Dr. Conrad Murray asked on the day of Jackson’s death. Muhammad took the stand yesterday in the manslaughter trial against Murray, and provided his recollections of that day for the prosecutors. The real emotional gut-punch is his description of Jackson’s children, in the room at the time. “Paris [was] on the ground, balled up, crying. And Prince was just standing there, and he was just, he had a real shock, just slowly crying.”
The prosecution’s eyewitnesses are, in essence, testifying that Murray consistently failed to take necessary decisive action, except when it pertained to protecting himself from being held responsible. Today, Jackson bodyguard Alberto Alvarez took the stand and repeated his recollection, first shared at a preliminary hearing, that Murray told him to hide vials of propofol before calling 911. These staff members were not generally permitted into Jackson’s bedroom, so their immediate observations comprise the majority of prosecutors’ eyewitness evidence.
[Image: Getty Images]
Kings Of Leon defied rumors and returned to the road as planned last night, kicking off the Canadian leg of their 2011 tour in Vancouver. The band had cancelled the remainder of their American tour after lead singer Caleb Followill, complaining of heat and dehydration, abandoned the stage in Dallas on July 29. Last night’s show reportedly went off without a hitch. Bassist Jared Followill, who’d remarked in July (via Twitter), “There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade,” was much more enthusiastic this time around, tweeting afterward, “The Kings are back in business. Business is good. Really good.” The Kings have eight more dates scheduled in Canada before heading to South Africa and Australia in November. They have not announced plans to reschedule their United States shows.
[Image: Getty Images]
Last night’s episode of Bravo cooking show Top Chef: Just Desserts was Beastie Boys-themed, as contestants had to prepare concessions for a street art fair using ingredients mentioned in Beastie rhymes?two that they chose for themselves, and one each that was chosen for them by their competitors in the “Sabotage” round. (Get it?) The theme was occasioned by the appearance of guest judge Ad-Rock. While some of the desserts inspired by the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees looked potentially tasty, the real gem of the episode was the above web exclusive, in which Ad-Rock demonstrates his talents in the kitchen by revealing his top-secret sandwich recipe: peanut butter, jelly, Nutella, and a banana. What cooking brilliance! Also worth noting: he uses his hand to spread ingredients, and he thinks almond butter is kind of nasty.
VH1’s latest entry in The Greatest series is one that’s sure to stir up plenty of debate! Counting down The 100 Greatest Songs of the ’00s, host Pete Wentz (whose own “Sugar, We’re Going Down” comes in at #40 on the list!) and a murderer’s row of your favorite comedians and musicians provide their expert analysis (and a few jokes along the way) on songs that made the aughts such a memorable decade, musically speaking. Read more…
VH1 Classic Celebrates The Jewish New Year With 24-Hour Rush Marathon
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown tonight, and on VH1 Classic, that means one thing: the return of Rush Hashanah! Classic Albums: Rush 2112 & Moving Pictures kicks off the celebration at 7PM ET/PT, followed by the premiere of Rush: Time Machine, a brand-new concert film in which the band plays Moving Pictures in its entirety, at 8PM ET/PT. The Rush marathon continues with Beyond the Lighted Stage, R30, Rush In Rio, and more. [VH1 Classic]
Hold On For New Music From En Vogue
After being stunned by continuing fan support after their appearance at the 2008 BET Music Awards, En Vogue reunited in earnest, but after a successful tour, their appearances got more sporadic. But rumors of new recordings got a big corroboration when the quartet was named as one of the performers at New York’s CMJ Music Marathon next month. [Sound of the City]
We didn’t get a chance to see Rosanna Scotto’s interview with Jay-Z on Monday’s Good Day New York until this afternoon, but once we did, we knew we had to share it here. In the live interview, Jay-Z revealed, prior to the press conference, that the New Jersey Nets would be renamed the Brooklyn Nets when they relocated to the Atlantic Yards Arena, and that he would inaugurate the arena’s opening, scheduled for September 2012, with a series of concerts. News That much we knew. What MTV News didn’t mention is that, after pressing the rapper on the sex of his and Beyoncé’s child (they know but aren’t saying), and the new colors of the Brooklyn Nets (same answer), Scotto excitedly sang the hook of “Empire State of Mind,” changing “New York” to “Brooklyn.” (This happens three minutes into the interview.) “Alright, alright,” Jay-Z discouraged her good-naturedly. Scotto bounced right back, and by the end of the interview Jay-Z was complimenting her on her cellphone’s bunny-eared protective case.
When Tanning Goes Wrong: News Reporter Sings “Empire State of Mind” For Jay-Z [Tanning of America]
Everclear was one of those bands from the mid-nineties that were all over the radio for a couple of years, then promptly forgotten. They were signed by legendary A&R man Gary Gersh during the great “alternative music” explosion, and scored enough Top 40 hits (“Santa Monica,” “Everything To Everyone,” “I Will Buy You A New Life”) to earn themselves an exemption from being inducted in the dreaded one-hit wonder club. However, once the 2000s rolled around, mainstream audiences largely turned their back on the genre, choosing to spend their disposable income on hip hop and boy bands instead of the grungy bands that rose to prominence in the nineties.
For some reason, Everclear released a new record this week called Return To Santa Monica, which features re-recorded versions of their biggest hits and a handful of covers. This news would’ve entirely evaded me, had I not been poking around on Spotify earlier today and saw it featured in their “What’s New” section. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on the album and saw that one of their covers was “The Joker,” the 1973 classic rock staple by the Steve Miller Band (perhaps they were inspired by the chart success of Seal’s 1996 cover of “Fly Like An Eagle”?). I unapologetically love “The Joker,” so I decided to give it a listen. Not the best move I’ve ever made. Rather than putting an interesting musical spin on the pot smoking anthem, it instead features lead singer Art Alexakis speaking in free verse about atrocities he suffered in high school at the hands of jocks and cheerleaders and, in a bizarre turn, also makes reference to his cat tearing out his nipple ring. (!!!)
Now, I’m not saying that this is the worst cover song I’ve ever heard, but I’m also not saying it’s not NOT the worst cover song I’ve ever heard, either. Give it a listen, make up your mind, and let us know if you can think of any covers that are worse than this in the comments below.
The last time Frankie Lons crossed our radar was five months ago, when the Celebrity Rehab 4 cast member was booked by Atlanta police for a probation violation and “drug-related material.” Once her daughter, Keyshia Cole, posted bail, Lons fell off the radar for a bit, and we were a little concerned.
Apparently we needn’t have worried, because Lons attended her biological daughter’s vow-renewal “dream wedding”?and she’s preparing novelty hip-hop dance single “Do The Frankie Leg.” Two weeks ago, footage of Lons previewing the track for Shawty Lo of D4L appeared on WorldStar, and Monday a teaser for the song’s video was posted to YouTube by the song’s producer, T-Storm. In the clip, Lons leads a bunch of kids through her dance, which, in addition to the “Frankie Leg,” features steps such as the “tiptoe,” the “old folks,” and of course “Man down code 10.” Some of the video’s commenters are less than charitable, but we’re happy to see her doing her thing instead of showing up in TMZ’s celebri-blotter. Not to mention that it’s particularly inspired of Lons to riff lyrically on “Stanky Legg,” since her outsized personality is not far removed from that of GS Boyz’s members. (Need proof? Check out the results of a snake infestation at Prince Charming’s house.)