Music Lists

by (@unclegrambo)

Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” Is The 2011 VH1 Song Of The Summer

For the last 14 weeks, we’ve been tracking the race to see which track would become this year’s Song Of The Summer. Since people consume music in so many different ways these days, our goal was to put together a democratic formula that compared how a group of over 70 songs performed across five of the primary channels that people frequently use to listen to their favorite jams: the Billboard Hot 100 (radio play & sales), the iTunes charts (pure sales), Last.fm scrobbles (listening on computer and mobile devices), the YouTube music charts (streams) and, of course, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown. Each week, we tracked how our group of competitors fared in each of these different platforms, and then added up the results.

So, without any further ado, we are psyched to announce that Katy Perry has taken home the first place prize in VH1′s first annual Song Of The Summer competition! When the summer began, it looked like Adele‘s “Rolling In The Deep” was going to be an unstoppable force, but as soon as Katy dropped her 80s-tastic “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” video during the week of June 27th, she dominated the countdown from there on out. Katy was gracious enough to film an quick speech for us while she accepted our totally awesome Song Of The Summer trophy, which we’ve got for you above.

For you completists, here is our final Song Of The Summer countdown chart (that is, until Memorial Day 2012 rolls around!). And you’re on Spotify, you can subscribe to our VH1 Song Of The Summer 2011 playlist and re-live the summer whenever you want.


[Click here for a larger image]

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by (@unclegrambo)

The Top 30 Moments That Shaped Beyonce (Also: Happy B’Day, Bey!)

Beyoncé is, without a question, a once-in-a-generation talent. Blessed with a wonderful singing voice, incredible athleticism, striking beauty and, most importantly, an unrivaled competitive spirit, she has established herself as a star of both stage and screen. In honor of her 30th birthday today, we decided to take a look back at the thirty most important moments in Beyoncé’s life that made her the person she is today. Enjoy!

DATE: September 4, 1981
EVENT: Thirty years ago today, Houston resident and aspiring music manager Matthew Knowles and his costume designer wife Tina welcomed a bouncing baby girl into the world, one they named Beyoncé Giselle Knowles. If this had never happened, well, you wouldn’t be reading this list, that’s for sure!

DATE: 1988
EVENT: At the tender age of 7, Beyoncé competed in her very first talent show. She sang a stirring rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” which earned her a standing ovation, a first place prize, and the seething jealousy of the 15- and 16-year-olds she competed against.

DATE: 1990-1991
EVENT: Gaining confidence after her talent show victory, Beyoncé and five other girls were recruited to join a Houston-based group called Girl’s Tyme. It was during this time that she met her future Destiny’s Child group members Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson, and LeToya Luckett (who joined in 1993). After gaining local acclaim, things turned sour after the group unsuccessfully tried out for Star Search. This would mark the first of many times that personality clashes would lead to fractures in Beyoncé’s personal and professional life.

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by (@Lacezilla)

Fine Wine: 15 Men in Music Who’ve Aged Remarkably Well

As the Red Hot Chili Peppers release their tenth studio album this week, we can’t help but daydream ruminate about how much of a sex symbol frontman Anthony Kiedis was—who could forget the sock?!—and still is. Time has been kind to Mr. Suck My Kiss, and he is definitely not alone in that regard; there’s an entire legion of men in music whose good looks and sex appeal have fermented in the manner of a perfectly-mature wine.

Whether you grew up with one of their faces taped to your Trapper Keeper or you’re old enough to be their mom, there’s a hunk on this list for you. From rock to hip hop, songwriters to bass players, we’ve got Arena Gods, men who are Good With Their Hands, Smooth Operators, International Flavors, and like the Chili Peppers’ singer, Spicy Sex Symbols. Keeping it simple, we’re celebrating the 45 to 70-year-old vintages by exhibiting their physical evolution through their respective careers. You’ll be taking in images from when they got their start, their “middle years,” and how they look in the present. Take a moment to step into the wine cellar and relish in each man’s beauty of the past and, at the end,?toast to their continued maturing in the future by weighing in on who you think has aged best. Apologies in advance for the ladyboners!

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by (@unclegrambo)

Quakin’ – Songs To Help You Cope With Today’s Eastern Seaboard Earthquake

If you were anywhere on the Eastern seaboard in the last hour or so, you no doubt felt the effect of an earthquake that registered 5.9 on the Richter Scale. Here in Times Square at VH1 HQ, we felt the building sway and bounce uncomfortably for a good five or six seconds. Everyone seems to be okay, if a bit freaked out.

In order to help you (and us!) calm down on this hectic afternoon, we just created the following playlist of earthquake-themed songs for all you Spotify users out there:
Quakin’ – Songs To Help You Cope With The 2011 New York City Earthquake

(If you’re not on Spotify, this room on Turntable.fm also just cropped up: Earthquake 2K11.)

Full playlist for you after the jump:

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by (@unclegrambo)

Who Is The Strongest Of Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” Competition?

The down home diva Kelly Clarkson announced a release date (October 25) and a title (Stronger) for her fifth LP yesterday. Clarkson’s fans have been foaming at the mouth for months wondering when this album would officially come out, especially since a few songs (including “Dark Side” and “Let Me Down”) leaked last month and were well-received by her acolytes.

That said, when we first heard that she’d be titling her record Stronger, we couldn’t help but feel like, well, it had been done before. After all, it was only March of this year when country artist Sara Evans released an album bearing the same name. A little bit more research revealed that a handful of other well-known musicians have recorded tracks called “Stronger” in recent years, artists running the gamut from Kanye West to Britney Spears to Mary J. Blige to Faith Hill (the latter two of whom are, like Clarkson, former VH1 Divas). While it is still unclear if Clarkson’s new LP will have a title track of the same name, here’s a look at Kelly’s competition for becoming the strongest of the “Stronger” pack.

Artist: Mary J. Blige, “Stronger” (Listen to the song)
Album: More Than A Game (2009)
Refrain: “I’m stronger, stronger, stronger / I’m stronger, stronger, stronger”
Analysis: This song has very impressive DNA; it was written by Esther Dean, produced by Polow da Don, and sung by one of the best singers in the biz. However, it suffers retroactively because it’s so closely tied to the disappointing career arc of Miami Heat supervillain/choke artist LeBron James. The song first appeared on the soundtrack to the documentary about James’ high school years, More Than A Game, and feels overwhelmingly melodramatic and stripped of its potential anthemic power because of that association.
Rating:

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Do The Red Hot Chili Peppers Measure Up To These Five Iconic Rooftop Performances?

The Beatles‘ last public performance, on the roof of 3 Savile Row on January 30, 1969, has become iconic since being included in the Let It Be film, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are the latest to pay homage to the Beatles’ performance, in the Marc Klasfeld-helmed video for “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie.” It takes more than just a rooftop and a PA to make a truly iconic rooftop performance, and five have stood above the rest; we’ve listed them chronologically. Check them out, and let us know in the comments if you think Kiedis and co. measure up!

1987: U2, “Where The Streets Have No Name”
U2 were deep in Beatle-appreciation mode when they shot the video for “Where The Streets Have No Name” on a roof in Los Angeles, at the corner of Seventh and Main, which a radio announcer in the video describes as “not one of your more fun neighborhoods.” (Oh, 1987.) The video is a pretty direct homage, down to the shots of police trying to shut the performance down, though Bono looks less like a Lennon and more like an Eddie Vedder style icon. On U2′s tour that same year, the band covered “Helter Skelter,” which Bono introduced, (as heard on live album Rattle and Hum,) “This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles. We’re stealing it back.”

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by (@unclegrambo)

My 53 Favorite Madonna Songs (In Honor Of Her 53rd Birthday)

We’d like to extend our fond birthday wishes to a true American icon, one Madonna Louise Ciccone, who was born 53 years ago today in the small town of Bay City, Michigan. In the space we have here, it would be impossible to adequately communicate the full extent of the impact that Madonna has had on popular culture, but suffice to say, there’s never been anyone quite like her before or since.

Just like I did for Bob Dylan on his 70th birthday, I put together the following list of my 53 favorite Madonna songs as a way for us all to celebrate the birthday of this music pioneer. These are not her “best” songs, or even her “most popular” songs, but simply, my favorites. Unlike the Song Of The Summer Countdown, this list is not pegged to any quantitative data; rather, it was generated based on conversations with my co-workers, an exhaustive deep dive into Madonna’s catalog over the past few weeks (both her songs and videos), and my own (sometimes hazy) recollection of each of these song’s influence on the culture-at-large.

We’ve got the full list for you below, but if you’re signed up for Spotify, you can also listen to the full compilation here:
My 53 Favorite Madonna Songs (On Her 53rd Birthday)

53) “Sorry” (Confessions On A Dance Floor, 2005)
52) “Everybody” (Madonna, 1983)
51) “Hanky Panky” (I’m Breathless, 1990)
50) “4 Minutes” (featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland)” (Hard Candy, 2008)
49) “Spotlight” (You Can Dance, 1987)

48) “Oh Father” (Like A Prayer, 1989)
47) “Amazing” ( Music, 2000)
46) “Hollywood” (American Life, 2003)
45) “Angel” (Like A Virgin, 1984)
44) “Bad Girl” (Erotica, 1992)
43) “Keep It Together” (Like A Prayer, 1989)
42) “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” (Evita, 1996)
41) “Fever” (Erotica, 1992)

For the Top 40 Madonna songs, follow along!

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Tearin’ Up My Heart: The Top Five Emotive Music Video Performances

Demi Lovato unleashes the waterworks in the video for her new single “Skyscraper” (which just debuted at #10 in the Billboard Hot 100)?a rare appearance of tears in a video that is about overcoming a struggle. (More often, the performer in such a song is the supportive voice for a crying actor, as Pink does for Tina Majorino‘s character in the video for “F?king Perfect.”) Of course, despite plenty of crossover into film and television by musical artists, singers are not usually the most emotive actors in their videos. Here are five notable exceptions:


5. Demi Lovato “Don’t Forget”
“Skyscraper” is the big single today, but in the video for her 2009 single “Don’t Forget,” co-written by the Jonas Brothers, Lovato gets out of the rain, only to shed a tear over the lost love she sings about.

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Shearer’s Spotlight: A Special Playlist Dedicated To The USA Women’s World Cup Team

Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer?s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the Top 20 countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT, when the Top 20 Spotlight will be shining on none other than Beyoncé!

If you?re not watching the USA vs. Japan Women?s World Cup finals match this Sunday at 2 p.m., I don?t think we can be friends (unless, of course, you have a really good excuse).

Here are three songs that will be included on my pre-game playlist:

?Ridin? Solo,? Jason Derulo

I?m sending this one out to USA?s Hope Solo. I decided to go with this Jason Derulo tune, because in sports, you always pin your hopes on your star player, and ?ride? them through the finals. And because Solo plays the lonely position of goalkeeper, she is ?ridin? solo? in many ways. For any of you taking this song title out of a sports context and bringing it into, say, the bedroom; shame on you, what a dirty mind you have.

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by (@Lacezilla)

VH1′s Top 100 Videos of 2011… So Far, Part III: The Top Ten

For those of you who haven’t been following along this week, welcome! We are in the home stretch of counting down the Top 100 Videos of 2011 … So Far, and for those of you who been riding shotgun, scanning through #100-51 and #50-11 of our list of the most-watched videos on VH1.com, we salute your dedication and loyalty! Now, it’s onto the Top Ten. Drums, please…

10. Cee Lo Green, “F*** You”
What a year it’s been for Cee Lo! Kicking off his The Lady Killer album release with a powerful single that even had your grandma using cuss words, it was only right that he delivered a visual that packed the same punch. Co-written by Bruno Mars, the video for the happily hostile post-breakup anthem chronicles Cee Lo in a diner from childhood to adulthood, dealing with the hardships that often plague those looking for love. In case you can’t get enough of him, hold on to his sweet, nasty and sarcastic Valentine’s Day messages for next year, and check out his incredible Storytellers performance, too!

9. Christina Perri, “Jar of Hearts”
In a much more intense version of Cee Lo’s #10 video, You Oughta Know songstress Christina Perri airs some love-related greivances of her own. Stating very plainly that she refuses to become a notch on someone’s belt, the tattooed beauty opts to avoid an unhealthy romantic encounter with an ex. In the dark video, the male antagonist is literally running around leaving scars, sucking womens souls from their bodies. Eek! Who does he think he is? In any event, we’re proud of Christina for abstaining and staying strong. If you want to catch more of her, check out her Posted content and a super special YOK Live performance she graced us with.

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