Music Lists

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Madonna’s Top 11 Controversies (And How They Helped Her Succeed Commercially)

Madonna‘s MDNA is set to take the top spot on Billboard next week by selling an estimated 300,000 to 350,000 copies. This will be her fifth consecutive album to debut at No. 1 and her eighth overall. According to Billboard, MDNA‘s sales have been bolstered by a promotion tied to her world tour — fans who buy concert tickets in the U.S. may also buy the album as part of their purchase. But we wonder whether controversies tied to MDNA — albeit, relatively small on the Madonna Controversy Scale — have helped with the sales spike.

If anything is in Madonna’s “DNA” (the stated inspiration for her album title), it’s stoking controversy and using the press as a marketing machine. This time around, the pop provocateur had her “Girls Gone Wild” video, featuring shirtless men grinding in mantyhose, age restricted by YouTube for nudity and implied masturbation.

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Playlist: Listen To All Of The Songs Featured On Your Favorite VH1 Shows During The Month Of February

VH1 CMI Playlist for February 2012

For each and every show that airs on VH1, a team of music supervisors here at the network have spent countless hours determining exactly what pieces of music best complement the footage that we have shot. This team —the CMI (Creative Music Integration) group— listen to thousands of songs each month in an attempt to figure out how best to utilize musical cues to reinforce the emotion and drama on shows like Mob Wives and Basketball Wives, so we thought it would be a cool idea to give you an inside glimpse into their world.

Each month, we’ll put together a list of all the songs that have been featured on the programs and promos that you see on VH1, which will be accompanied by two things: Specific commentary from the music supervisor as to why they selected a particular song for a particular scene in a show, as well as a Spotify playlist for you to sample these songs. Without further ado, here are all the songs that we featured on VH1 during the month of February!

VH1 SHOWS PLAYLIST: FEBRUARY 2012
(Listen to the playlist on Spotify)

VH1 PROMOS

  • Deluka‘s “OMFG” in the theme for 40 Greatest TRL Moments
  • Ellie Goulding‘s “Starry Eyed” is featured in VH1′s 100 Greatest Women in Music promo
  • Carmen Liana’s “Who I Am” in Black History Month Promo
    “When the promos department approached us for ideas on a song to be used in several Black History Month promos, Carmen Liana’s ‘Who I Am’ immediately came to mind. It’s a driving track with a touch of attitude in the hook that catches your attention. Lyrically, the theme of the song, which celebrates embracing your identity, ties in nicely with Black History Month.“—Lacey, VH1/CMI Department Assistant

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by (@kat_george)

Jimmy Fallon’s Top 5 Musical Impressions, From Neil Young To Tebowie

Jimmy Fallon is a vocal chameleon — and he’s got us hooked to his ever changing colors. From the pop-tastic Justin Beiber to the folksy Neil Young to his own incredible inventions like the “Tebowie” mashup, Fallon is a convincing parody artist. Pulling off an array of voices so accurate you’d think it was the real deal, Fallon never ceases to amaze with his daring and precision — like he did last night when he sang about New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin in the guise of Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder. Going where no other contemporary comedian so expertly goes, Fallon is who is isn’t, and gives some amazing performances in the meantime. Here are our top five Jimmy Fallon musical impersonations.

by (@unclegrambo)

The 8 Greatest Women In Pop – Video Bracket Countdown Extravaganza!

On Friday night, we aired the last installment of our five-part, 100 Greatest Women in Music series. If you happened to miss the countdown, it’s spoiler alert time: VH1 crowned Madonna as the greatest female artist of the last 20 years.

While it’s tough to argue with the musical legacy of Madonna, we received an incredible number of comments, emails, and tweets from our VH1 audience asking about their ability to participate in this countdown. Well, we listened and worked to put together the following bracket-style tournament of The 8 Greatest Women In Pop where you, the reader, will be able to select the most accomplished female artist in the pop music game right now. (Sorry, Adele fans: We figured that since she just swept the Grammys, she has enough awards for the moment, so we left her out of this tournament).

Our tournament will run today through next Monday, February 27, and our first round matchups are pretty outrageous: Lady Gaga vs. Madonna, Britney Spears vs. Rihanna, Katy Perry vs. Mariah Carey, and Jennifer Lopez vs. Beyoncé. One tiny administrative note: Be sure and get your first-round vote in by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, 2/22.

by (@unclegrambo)

The 100 Greatest Women In Music

VH1′s is debuting our list of the “100 Greatest Women in Music” this evening at 10 p.m. ET/PT. These five, one-hour specials are the latest in our on-going series, The Greatest, and are focused on the last twenty years of music history. Last Friday, we gave you a preview by way of our Almost Greatest list, but now VH1 Tuner is proud to exclusively reveal the entire list for you in advance of tonight’s first episode, which will cover #100 (the Pussycat Dolls) through #81 (the Spice Girls).

So, what artist ended up being named the Greatest Woman In Music for their career accomplisments over the last 20 years? Read along to find out!

by (@unclegrambo)

Dance With Me Baby: A Special Spotify Playlist Featuring All Of Whitney Houston’s Top 40 Hits

When Whitney Houston passed away yesterday, we lost a once-in-a-generation talent, a singer whose voice was so pure and emotive that it was heralded by people of of all ages, races and nationalities. During a remarkable stretch from December of 1985 until March of 1988, Whitney scored a record seven consecutive #1 Billboard singles in a row; she ultimately finished her career with 11 #1 songs, good for 7th place on the all-time list of history’s most popular recording artists.

As we all struggle to cope with the sudden loss of Whitney Houston, we put together the following Spotify playlist as a way to remember Whitney at her finest — Dance With Me Baby: All Of Whitney Houston’s Top 40 hits. The playlist consists of 31 tracks, and is organized in order of chart success. It ranges from “I Will Always Love You”, which spent an astounding 14 weeks at #1 in 1992-1993, to “Queen Of The Night”, a deep cut from The Bodyguard that peaked at #36 on the Billboard charts.

The playlist’s tracklist is as follows:

Song: “I Will Always Love You”
Released: November 14, 1992
Peak Position: #1 for 14 weeks

Song: “Greatest Love Of All”
Released: April 5, 1986
Peak Position: #1 for 3 weeks

Song: “How Will I Know”
Released: December 28, 1985
Peak Position: #1 for 2 weeks

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by (@unclegrambo)

R.I.P. Whitney Houston (1963-2012): Remember Her Unforgettable Legacy With Her 9 Greatest Musical Moments

The music world lost one of its all-time greats when Whitney Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles earlier today. The six-time Grammy Award winner passed away from as yet undetermined causes at the far too young age of 48. While we are all attempting to process this tremendous loss, we decided to take look back at some of the most memorable moments that defined her unforgettable career.

9. Whitney’s performance of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” at Nelson Mandela’s 70th Birthday Tribute Concert in 1988.

8. Whitney performs alongside her mom, Cissy Houston, on the Merv Griffin Show in 1983.

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Almost Greatest: 14 Near Misses From The List Of VH1′s 100 Greatest Women In Music

All next week, VH1 will be counting down a list of the 100 Greatest Women In Music. Each weeknight at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning on Monday, February 13, a new hour-long episode of The Greatest will air on VH1, each show focusing in on the merits of the best female artists of the last 20 years and change.

As a precursor to the next week’s reveal, we thought that we’d kick off the discussion by revealing this list of 14 women who ALMOST made the list. They’re all terrific artists in their own right, which just goes to show how amazing the full list is going to be next week. This list of the Almost Greatest goes, as follows (in alphabetical order, natch):

Christina Perri, Ciara, The Corrs, The Cranberries, Danity Kane, Duffy, Enya, Jessica Simpson, Lily Allen, Michelle Branch, Selena, Sinead O’Connor, Sugarland, and Vanessa Carlton.

To find out who DID make the list, be sure to watch VH1′s 100 Greatest Women in Music special (brought to you by Summer’s Eve) all next week on VH1! And be sure to make your voice heard by tweeting your support for your favorite female musician by voting in our new poll, Who Is The Greatest Female Artist of ALL TIME?

by (@kat_george)

President Obama Releases His 28 Song Campaign Playlist On Spotify

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.
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by (@kat_george)

The 6 Best Sets Of Devastated Raccoon Eyes In Music Video History

Oh, heartbreak! We’ve all felt it’s cruel pincers nipping at our heart at one time or another, and we’ve all at some point cried the devastated tears of loss. And let’s be real — we’ve probably listened to one of our favorite pop stars sing about the whole sordid palaver while we’ve wallowed in our own despair. So that got us to thinking of the expressiveness of sadness in music videos, and the one motif that seems consistent across the songs of different artists — black mascara tears. Because musicians are not always the best actors, and because of the highly visual spectacle of pop music, dramatic smudged raccoon eyes in scenes where the stars are crying seems like a go to for the more melancholy songs. With that in mind, we’ve selected our favorite runny raccoon eyes — have we missed any? What are your faves?

1. Beyoncé – “Why Don’t You Love Me?”
Beyoncé wins best panda eyes on the strength of melodrama. Oh, and because she looks really hot in vintage style lingerie. Clearly tortured, Beyoncé’s panda eyes are paired with martinis, cigarettes, and just the right amount of crazy to make the whole thing unbearably sexy.

2. Katy Perry – “The One That Got Away”

There’s so much emotion in the scene where Katy Perry is crying in her future self’s wardrobe in “The One That Got Away” that we just want to give the girl a big hug. Katy gets points for realism — we’re pretty sure that even without the panda eyes we’d still feel the heartbreak.

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