The highly anticipated debut episode of VH1 Storytellers: Jill Scott premieres tonight at 11 p.m. ET/PT. You’re in for a treat with the musical act Scott has put together, including her awesomely talented band and the soulful sounds of both new and old music. VH1 captured a peek of Jill’s preparation prior the show, and when we tell you she goes all out, it’s not an exaggeration. The beautiful gold architecture inside the Hammerstein Ballroom is off set by the intimate lights and candles on stage.
Her most recent album, Light of the Sun, reached #1 on the Billboard 200 charts, but expect her to take you back to the songs that made this Philadelphia spoken word poet became such a timeless artist. Below you can check out her hair and makeup preparation, the band sharing a laugh and Jill getting into character. Once you see the show you’ll understand why Scott is one of the best artists of our time. Tune in tonight for VH1 Storytellers: Jill Scott at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
Sad news to pass along today. We’ve just learned that Donna Summer has passed away at the age of 63. TMZ reports the Queen of Disco was battling cancer, but chose to keep her illness under wraps. She was in Florida at the time of her death.
Summer’s career began in the mid 70s when she met producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. Summer rose to fame in the 70s with disco hits like “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.” She climbed the charts with 20 Top 40 hits and 4 No. 1s: “MacArthur Park,” “Hot Stuff,” “Bad Girls and “No More Tears.”
At the beginning of her career Summer signed to European label Groovy Records creating her first album Lady of the Night in 1974. Her first American hit, “Love to Love You Baby,” was what would lead to a successful international career. In the UK “Love to Love You Baby” charted in the Top 5, and by 1976 reached the No. 2 spot on the US Billboard 100. The album of the same name sold over one million copies. “I Feel Love” from her 1977 album I Remember Yesterday led to the second Top 10 single for the Queen of Disco. Nearly a year later she landed her first US No. 1 hit with “McArthur Park” featured on her first live album Live and More. It was also her first album to top the charts at No. 1 on Billboard. Live and More went platinum becoming one of the stand out records of her early career. Read more…
Singer, songwriter, poet and actress Jill Scott is a woman of many looks. From her various hairstyles to versatile fashion styles, this dynamic soul artist always keeps it fresh. Kicking off the 16th season of VH1 Storytellers, Jill Scott shows us a few of the outfits she’ll be wearing during her highly anticipated performance (video above, complete photo gallery below!). Since Jilly from Philly is performing her music in a theatrical theme, her different characters need the appropriate look to match. For example, Banji is the eccentric, “ghetto” girl, one whose attire is “handmade” and consists of cut-up jeans and a black t-shirt with bouffant shoulders. “Most girls from the hood, we make our own stuff,” said Scott. “So we add things and change things to make it fit us.” She tops this look off with a perfect black wedge sneaker. Read more…
We have to be totally honest, we still haven’t fully come to grips with the tragic death of Whitney Houston earlier this year. There’s still a tiny part of us that refuses to believe that we’ll never hear her heavenly voice sing another new song, even though we know that to be the case. On top of that, we still have a bad taste in our mouths about the way that the Grammys failed honor Whitney’s memory in the way that she deserved. Thankfully, this year’s VH1 DIVAS program will remedy all that.
We just got wind of a few details about this year’s program, and although details are scant, we wanted to share with you what we’ve heard so far. Namely, that this year’s VH1 Divas — which will air live from Los Angeles in December — will be framed as a salute to the musical legacy of Whitney Houston. Of course, Whitney had appeared on three prior telecasts of VH1 DIVAS, back in 1999, 2002 and 2003 — you can watch her performance of “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay” from the 1999 show below! Additionally, Rickey Minor —who worked with Whitney for a number of years— will be the evening’s musical director. We don’t have any other concrete details to share with you at this moment, but as soon as those deets become available, you can bet you’ll hear them here first!
Many of our favorite musicians were all about glitz and glam at last night’s annual Met Gala in New York City. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, hosted by Vogue, is a night celebrating the opening of the museum’s fashion exhibit. Celebrity, fashion, couture, oh my! Think of the Oscars mixed with NYC Fashion Week and you have the visual of the red carpet at the Met Gala.
Artists from Beyoncé to Mick Jagger to Lana Del Rey to Kanye West turned heads on the red carpet with their stunning attire. It’s totally cool to see your favorite musicians taking a break from their walk-around-the-streets-of-LA gear and see them dolled up in Valentino and Rachel Zoe and Givenchy. Beyoncé, in particular, was a show stopper for the night in her sheer Givenchy gown. Solange was absolutely stunning in an all yellow Rachel Roy dress. Justin Timberlake kept it classic with an all black tux. Take a peek at some of our favorite musicians that put the “S” in stunning.
[Photos: Getty Images]
VH1’s latest You Oughta Know artist is 21-year-old Ed Sheeran, a U.K. based troubadour whose appreciation of musical theory and craft is light years beyond most artists his age. He’s a real throwback to singer-songwriters of yore, the kind of artist who crafts highly detailed and personal stories, as well as someone appreciates those musicians that paved the way for people like him to be successful many, many years before he was even born.
Take, for example, his cover of Nina Simone‘s “Feeling Good.” The song has undergone a bit of a rebirth of late, thanks to being sampled by Jay-Z and Kanye West on the RZA-produced Watch The Throne track “New Day.” Sheeran is able to successfully channel the raw emotion of Simone original, utilizing nothing but his soulful voice and trusty acoustic guitar. It showcases his vocal range in a way that we had not really witnessed before, and is easily one of our all-time favorite You Oughta Know Live performances.
We paired this incredible cover with a series of incredible photographs by VH1’s own Michele Crowe, who trailed Ed for an entire day here in New York a few weeks back to produce the latest addition in our long-running Music Seen series. Enjoy!
Ten years ago today, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was taken from the world far too soon in a tragic car accident in La Ceiba, Honduras. She lived a vibrant life in her short 30 years. Left Eye was the eclectic rapper in the influential trio TLC with members Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins. Selling over 50 million records worldwide, TLC is the second best selling American female girl group of all time. Outspoken and incredibly cool, the tattooed bad girl was captivating from the moment we laid eyes on her. She was among the new wave of female artists who determined for herself what identity she wanted in the industry. And we loved her for her unapologetic authenticity.
In 2002, Left Eye traveled to Honduras for a spiritual retreat away to take a break red carpets, media and her troubled relationship. Surrounded by close friends, Left Eye recorded the journey of what would be her last days. Lopes’ family granted VH1 her personal film archive, which was used to make the Last Days of Left Eye documentary in May 2007. For her musical contributions, accomplishments and fearlessness to be herself, we honor her. Gone too soon but never forgotten.
[Photo: Getty Images]
We’re not sure exactly where you live, but here in New York City, there’s a palpable feeling of excitement coursing through the streets. After dealing with (an admittedly mild) winter for the last few months, the sun has begun to creep out, resulting in people shedding their winter coats and gearing up for warm weather. With the summer months rapidly approaching, the jockeying for this year’s Song Of The Summer has already begun. British singer Rita Ora is one of the first artists out of the gate to stake a claim in the race with her infectious hit, “How We Do (Party),” a song that is built off the Notorious B.I.G.‘s high-life anthem “Party And Bullsh*t.” (We’ve got the official video for “How We Do” below.)
“To me, ‘party’ and ‘bullsh*t’ summed up a party,” Rita told us when she swung by our VH1 headquarters a few weeks ago. “So we took the quote and turned it into a summer jam.”
The song, which made a huge splash when Jay-Z and Rita showed up to debut in on Z100 back in February, is already stirring up a significant amount of heat, particularly it’s refrain of “Cause when the sun sets baby, on the avenue/I get that drunk sex feeling, yeah when I’m with you.” The hashtag #drunksexfeeling has been popping up on Twitter repeatedly, so we asked the Roc Nation artist if she was ever concerned with that phrase becoming a lightning rod for controversy.
It’s been a little bit over a year since The Civil Wars were named VH1’s You Oughta Know artist, and what a year it’s been! The duo, made up of John Paul White and Joy Williams, went from being virtual unknowns to two-time Grammy winners thanks to the outstanding batch of songs that appears on their debut LP, Barton Hollow. Still riding high after their Grammy success back in February, they’re on a bit of a victory lap at the moment: They have not one but TWO songs on the super successful soundtrack for The Hunger Games, they’re in the early phases of writing for their follow-up, and they just taped a brand new episode of VH1 Unplugged, which is scheduled to make its online debut on May 1.
As a means of whetting your appetite in advance of next Tuesday’s Unplugged premiere, we’d like to present to you the latest installment of our exclusive photographic series here on VH1 Tuner, Music Seen. A lot has changed since Joy and John Paul shot their last Music Seen here at our VH1 headquarters in Times Square last May, and we’re not just talking about the critical and industry acclaim. Joy and her husband, Nate Yetton, are expecting their first child in June, which makes Joy the first person to perform an Unplugged set while pregnant in the show’s 22 year history. She definitely had the radiant glow that you always hear about, which you can see in our set of amazing photographs that Colin Gray shot in Harlem’s Metropolis Studios last week.
If you didn’t already know, this is K’naan! We caught up with our You Oughta Know artist of the month at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC’s Greenwich Village earlier this month, where he performed a sultry set featuring his songs “Take a Minute” (which you can watch below), “Bulletproof Pride” and “Is Anybody Out There?” (which you can watch here). Hearing his passionate vocals over live acoustics was musical heaven, and seeing him perform in such an intimate setting really accentuated both the power and poetical flow of his lyrics.
Before, during and after his performance, K’naan proved to be a super friendly and very chill guy. Our ace photographer Colin Gray got to spend some extra time with him for the latest installment of our on-going Music Seen series. Enjoy!