For the last 8 weeks, VH1 and our friends at Dove Clinical Fresh Deodorant have been keeping close tabs on the tracks in the running for the 2012 Song Of The Summer crown. We monitored SIX different data sources —the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, the Billboard Hot 100, Spotify‘s most streamed songs, the iTunes Singles Chart, YouTube’s Music Chart, and votes from you guys, THE FANS, to determine what song will go down in history as this summer’s most memorable song. Well folks, after crunching the numbers, we have ourselves a winner…
A huge congratulations goes out to Katy Perry, whose relationship rebound anthem “Wide Awake” bested all of the competitors for the 2012 Song Of The Summer title! You might remember that Katy took home the 2011 Song Of The Summer prize, too, for “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.).” And, just like last summer, we have a very special acceptance speech from Katy herself, in which she accepts our supremely summery VH1 Snow Cone Trophy and thanks all the Katycats out there.
Continue along for more details about the Song of the Summer voting!
Anyone who is anyone who was at Lollapalooza this past weekend talked to VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown‘s Jim Shearer. Or maybe Jim Shearer just made sure to talk to anyone who is anyone who was at Lollapalooza this past weekend, so as to provide you with as thorough a recap of what went down as ever was. Really, the above five minutes tell the whole story: he got Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to laugh, Gaslight Anthem to punch him, fun. to talk about their summer jams, Aaron Paul to spoil Breaking Bad season 5 part 2 (just kidding!), Chairlift mourning their rained-out set, and he even gained access to headliners the Red Hot Chili Peppers — well, the sign on their trailer. Very fun, and not a moment un-capped. Check it out!
You Oughta Know artist Christina Perri first let us on to this wistful duet last January when, while speaking with our own Jim Shearer, she mentioned that she was rerecording the melancholy lovestrong cut, “Distance,” with an artist that is as many parts Justin Bieber as he is Tony Bennett. Well, that someone turned out to be the ever-likeable Jason Mraz, and their reworking? Even more vulnerable and beautiful than the original. And now she shares with us again, this time the music video for “Distance,” which is ours exclusively to share with you over the next 24-hours.
“Distance” is the story of love kept at bay. “I will make sure to keep my distance, say I love you when you’re not listening,” she sings on the chorus, where she is met by Mraz, vocals in harmony. But then the wrench is thrown and she wonders, “How long can we keep this up?”
In the video, director Elliott Sellers captures this tension by drawing the two apart, hiding Mraz the farthest corner of the beautiful mansion through which Perri wanders. Drawing the sunlight in behind her, she checks room after room. Is he in the library? The garden? At the top of the staircase? Well, you will have to watch to find out.
If you were to take a quick glance at the Billboard Hot 100, you would have no idea that our country is still digging its way out from the biggest pile of economic rubble since the Great Depression. Now, that’s not to say that pop music needs to be anything other than escapist in nature, or that people should be turning to the radio when they feel the need to wallow in depression; after all, that’s what cable news is for! Rather, it’s more to note that most pop-leaning artists (and the labels that support them) have largely turned a blind eye to the recent woes of our country, certainly more so than, say, country-leaning artists have.
Enter B.o.B and Taylor Swift, who collaborated on the song “Both Of Us,” which is the third single of Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr.’s latest LP, Strange Clouds. On an album chock full of supsterstar cameos —shout-out to Morgan Freeman!— this particular pairing on this particular pairing is nothing less than inspired. The song revolves around regular day folk undergoing hardships, like not having enough food in the fridge, or having to make the difficult choice between having their cars repossessed or paying their rent on time, and B.o.B’s hard scrabble rhymes are perfectly accentuated by Taylor’s uplifting lilt on the hook. It’s not exactly what most would describe as a “summer jam,” but truth be told, the way it stands in such contrast to today’s fluffier material is exactly what makes it stand out.
Back on December 25th in the year 2001, before Regina Spektor was signed to a major label deal, she decided to spend her Christmas Day in the recording studio. Over the course of the day, she recorded 12 original songs — ones that featured no other instrumentation besides her vocals and her piano — which ultimately became her Songs LP. This was a particularly fertile period for Spektor, creatively, and many of these songs remain fan favorites to this day. She decided to re-record that album’s first track, “Samson,” on her breakout 2006 LP Begin To Hope, and now she has decided to revisit another one of those early Lower East Side anthems that propelled her into the spotlight in the first place.
“Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)” was the closing track on Songs, but in its new incarnation, it’s the second single from Spektor’s brand new album, What We Saw From The Cheap Seats. We’ve been singing and dancing along with the original for years, but there’s no denying that the song has been tremendously improved by the addition of a more robust sonic palette, which includes adorable percussion (bells, a Casio Keyboard style drumbeat), a much needed bassline and even a rollicking horn breakdown. As for the video, it’s our favorite of Spektor’s since 2006′s “Better” (the one that propelled her to VH1 You Oughta Know status) — with its stately interior shots, slightly surreal imagery and continued use of slow focus, it’s the kind of music video that we imagine Stanley Kubrick might’ve been inspired to shoot. In it, Spektor remains as beautiful, quirky and ebuillient as ever, and thanks to the recent tide of interest in yé yé-style pop songs, perhaps this song —with its chorus of “Ne me quitte pas” — might land Spektor in the race for Song Of The Summer.
Each week here on VH1 Tuner, 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 VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown Saturday morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.
Last week, Phillip Phillips became our new American Idol. As confetti fell and bright lights shone upon his face —one that doesn’t look much different from last year’s winner, Scotty McCreery— a dark, Sasquatch-sized monster peaked through the curtains of the Kodak Theater.
The creature has no name, but is commonly referred to as the American Idol Shadow. Besides a few select performers, the Shadow haunts winners, losers, runners-up and even judges. Read more…
We’re totally swooning over how fine Adam Levine looks in the “Payphone” video featuring Wiz Khalifa. (Admittedly, the repeat button was abused.) It’s all shoot ‘em up bang bang in this hot new vid, which is the lead single off Maroon 5′s upcoming Overexposed album. The story begins at the ending. A scraggly Levine attempts to reach a woman on the payphone. Although this happens first in the video, in the timeline of events this really occurs after he plays superman at the bank to save the woman he loves from robbers. He escapes a hail of gunfire only to find the police outside, and guess who they think is the culprit of the robber? Surprise (not really): Levine.
Shortly after Wiz valet parks his drop top Levine steals the car and take the cops on a high speed chase leaving his lucky woman behind. Hence the “I’m at a payphone, trying to call home” chorus. He eludes the cops and makes it to the desperately needed payphone. “Payphone” is without a doubt action packed — a gun fight, police chase and exploding cars all withing less than five minutes. Is Levine trying to tell us something regarding acting aspirations? We totally envisioned this as a movie. A predictable one, but a movie nonetheless.
Each week here on VH1 Tuner, 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 VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.
Last week I saw Jack White perform live at Webster Hall (New York City), and throughout the concert one word came to mind (fittingly in all capital letters): FASCINATING.
In the age of social media and TMZ, where nothing is a secret anymore, how can one of today’s most respected/popular musicians—one who just scored a #1 album—manage to keep his mystique as alluring as a leprechaun riding bareback on a unicorn?
The Dos Equis man may claim to be the “most interesting person in the world,” but Jack White is currently the most fascinating man in music.
Here are 10 reasons why:
10. Divorce Party
When Jack White divorced his model/singer wife Karen Elson, not only did they do so amicably, but they threw a party to celebrate. Invitations were even made for the event billing it as a “humdinger.”
9. Ice, Ice Baby
While many musicians make public their sports allegiances, it’s not known if Jack White even likes sports. Nashville’s professional hockey team the Predators are currently still alive in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and now that he calls Nashville home, I wonder if Jack White ever goes to a game, wears a replica jersey, or checks the box-score in the morning paper? (I also wonder if he’s sad that his hometown Detroit Red Wings were knocked out by the Predators in the first round?)
Usher’s smash hit “Climax”, produced by Diplo, shot all the way to #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart shortly after it was released. It was a burning slow jam with electronic flourishes, but with his second single from his upcoming album Looking For Myself, Usher’s looking to switch things up a bit. No stranger to making songs that appeal to your inner dancer, “Scream” reminds us a bit of his past hits like “OMG”, “Hey Daddy” and “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love.” In other words, his latest will surely be a club banger.
Sonically, it’s closely similar to “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” where Usher’s voice rides the uptempo beat. We can totally imagine people doing the Jersey fist pump when this comes on in the club. For a pop sounding dance track, it has all the essentials. And although his R&B ballads tickle our fancy a bit more than this, an Usher album isn’t complete without something to dance to in the mirror when you’re home alone. We can’t wait to hear the rest of the record.
New Song: Usher, ‘Scream’ [MTV Buzzworthy]
[Photo: Usherworld.com, Getty Images]
We’ve all been there: You see a pretty girl at a sidewalk café, but before you can muster up the nerve to give her your digits, she abruptly takes off, which then leads you to totally ignore some friends of yours, nearly get run over by a blue haired grandmother while jaywalking, and finally commandeer a tasty Mustang so you can chase the girl down. Wait, that’s never happened to you? Then your name must not be Chris Daughtry.
Daughtry’s new music video for “Outta My Head”, the third single off the Breaking The Spell LP, is a real hoot. Directed with verve by Shane C. Drake, the video’s got something for everyone: a hot babe, a renegade hero (Daughtry, duh!), a car chase through the freeways and sidestreets of Los Angeles, a healthy dose of intrigue, a reminder that chivalry is not dead, and even a surprise plot twist! It’s one part “Bittersweet Symphony”, one part Drive, and all parts awesome.
If you liked this video but wish you could watch it in high-definition on your flatscreen while sitting on your couch, you’re in luck: Tune into this weekend’s Top 20 Video Countdown to catch the television premiere of Daughtry’s “Outta My Head” video.