Nicki Minaj gave a high energy performance of “Starships” and “Super Bass” at the NBA All Star game over the weekend. Beginning with her new single, “Starships,” Nicki bought euro-dance and flashing lights to the stage in a colorful performance. Surrounded by white and silver clad dancers, Nicki’s performance was full of joy and life as she and her crew bounded about the stage under flashing lights. After a quick wig chance from green to pink, Nicki also performed her smash hit “Super Bass,” to a roaring reception from the crowd. It seems like Nicki’s made a successful transition from rap to pop, and watching her on the futuristic set it’s easy to forget her darker beginnings as one of Kanye West‘s “Monster” collaborators.
K’naan and Nelly Furtado teamed up on The Late Show With David Letterman last night to play their decidedly summery track “Is Anybody Out There?”. With a Gym Class Heroes “Stereo Hearts” vibe, the song is infectious and thought provoking. Nelly Furtado showed a more demure side in a trench and glasses, but that didn’t stop her from pulling some big dance moves the whole way through the performance. The song is from K’nann’s new EP More Beautiful Than Silence, and we think it might be a bit of a favorite for sunny spring afternoons.
Adele got caught up in her very own M.I.A. moment at the Brits last night when she gave everyone the bird on live television. After winning album of the year, an emotional Adele, obviously composing herself and fighting tears, began a heartfelt, humble acceptance speech in which she expressed her pride at “coming home with six Grammys,” and “being British and flying our flag.” But almost as soon as she began her rousing speech, she was cut short by presenter James Corden who seemed to follow his direction to cut her off rather reluctantly. As Corden welcomed Blur to the stage, Adele expressed her frustration with a very clear gesture, flipping a giant bird at the room. But unlike M.I.A. who made her apologies, Adele had nothing to apologize for, and instead it was ITV and the Brit Awards apologizing to her.
Adele did clarify that her middle finger was for “The suits, not the fans,” and she was “Sorry if I offended anyone but the suits offended me.” ITV came back with a statement saying, “The Brits is a live event. Unfortunately the programme was over-running and we had to move on. We would like to apologise to Adele for the interruption,” while a spokesperson for the Brit Awards said, “We regret this happened and we send our deepest apologies to Adele that her big moment was cut short this evening due to the live show over-running. We don’t want this to undermine her incredible achievement in winning our night’s biggest award. It tops off what’s been an incredible year for her.” Corden was equally horrified and said, “I just feel bad about having to cut Adele off. I really don’t understand quite why I was made to, but it’s not a very nice way to end… She’s the biggest star in the world. I don’t understand what happened but I’m upset about it. Blur played for 11 minutes and she didn’t get a chance to say thank you once.”
Speaking of Blur, the band gave a rousing, five song strong set including the iconic Brit Pop hit “Parklife” (which you can watch after the jump). Damon Albarn looked pretty excited to be there, jumping around the stage like a kid who’d eaten too much sugar. Blur were presented an Outstanding Contribution To Music award, and their closing set proved just why — Brit Pop really is a very Blur-y thing.
Sleigh Bells are back, and their sophomore effort, Reign Of Terror, is a neat second chapter to Treats. The energetic duo performed “Comeback Kid” on Saturday Night Live over the weekend, and while Alexis Krauss did what she does best, bounding with a certain chaotic orderliness around the stage, we know that half of what makes Sleigh Bells great is getting sweaty in the mosh. But no matter — their quirky noise pop surprisingly translated very well to the refined setting, which probably has a lot to do with the perfect vocals and instrumentation, not to mention the joy that emanates from a Sleigh Bells show. They also played “End Of The Line” which you can watch after the jump.
We absolutely loved Jason Mraz‘s new video for “I Won’t Give Up” and now we’re loving his live performance of the song on Letterman. Mraz played a stripped down version of the song, strumming his guitar along with one female back up singer who added dynamism to the lyrics. Emotionally charged as always, Mraz’s performance didn’t fail to convey the romantic sentiment of the song. The live performance was perfect in every way, from Mraz’s gentle vocal to the emphatic emotion he played out.
Miley Cyrus really is growing up, and it’s absolutely delightful to watch. The young star appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night looking decidedly more mature with a sleek long-bob (we’re booking our hairdresser appointments right now!), to perform her cover of Bob Dylan‘s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.” The song appears on Chimes Of Freedom, a compilation of Bob Dylan covers celebrating his career as well as Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary with all proceeds from sales going, naturally, to Amnesty. Miley’s rendition of “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” is absolutely beautiful, and at only 19 years old, Miley’s emotion when she sings it is wholly convincing. With her raspy country vocal and the already gorgeous music, it’s pretty hard not to fall in love with this performance.
Erykah Badu is compelling on her own, charismatic and natural, with a voice that soaks into your skin and leaves you wanting more. Put Mark Ronson, The Dap Kings and Zigaboo Modeliste behind her, and you’ll be swooning for days. Performing their collaborative track, “A La Modeliste,” last night on The Late Show With David Letterman, Letterman himself summed it up to perfection at the end of the show, saying, “That’s it, that’s all you want, right there. That’s all we’re looking for!” And it really is. Start your day listening to the soul-filled song, from the joyful brass section, to Badu’s arresting voice and Ronson’s modest guitar and genius production skills. It’s all you need.
One of VH1’s favorite DIVAS, Estelle, took a moment to say “Thank You” on Leno last night. In a glittering gown, Estelle looked every part the diva in floor length black satin and sparkling silver bustier. She sang “Thank You”, from her third album All Of Me. Estelle’s performance was vibrant, sassy and every now and then gave us a little spine tingle as she hit the hard notes.