This weekend on Saturday Night Live, Kelly Clarkson tore the stage down (not literally, that would be vandalism and so not cool) performing “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”. Glamorous as always in smoky eye makeup and a spangly tank top, our girl Kelly didn’t miss a beat as she belted out her latest hit. Taking the power anthem to another level, “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)” sums up Kelly almost perfectly — she’s our favorite soldier, and an inspiration to anyone who’s ever been down on love. We’re so proud of her for being the first musical performer on SNL for 2012 — it looks like this might just be Kelly’s year, as it’s already off to a roaring start!
Last night Chris Cornell appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno to perform his hit song “The Keeper.” The song has been nominated for a Golden Globe award for the movie Machine Gun Preacher, and it’s not hard to see why. With Cornell’s gravelly vocal and a romantic string section backing him, the song is both revealing and captivating. The dimly lit stage on Leno, with it’s clean beams of light, assortment of gothic candles and Chris’ face surrounded in a halo-esque glow only added to the whimsical appeal of the track.
If there was ever a song to make you wish you were at a beach party in the middle of the summer, sun setting over the ocean and pina colada in hand, dancing until sunrise with your honey, it’s Shaggy‘s “Dame.” Performing last night on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Shaggy was joined on stage by Kat DeLuna who, aside from singing, did some pretty hypnotizing hip shaking. From Shaggy’s latest album Summer Kingston, we’re thinking “Dame” is going to be a dance floor hit — and with Shaggy and Kat’s moves for inspiration, there’s really no excuse not to get low.
Finally ready to release a new album after 1998’s Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star, Mos Def (who now goes by Yasiin Bey) and Talib Kweli are back as, you guessed it, Black Star. Backed by The Roots, Black Star performed “You Already Knew” from their Aretha Franklin-inspired mix tape, as well as a song called “Little Brother” (after the jump) on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Black Star performed “You Already Knew” with a raw, charged emotion, tapping into some of the issues Watch The Throne attempted to tackle with a sincerity and refinement that Hov and Ye didn’t quite pull off. A formidable hip-hop pairing indeed, we’ve been waiting years for the duo’s next album, and we can barely contain our excitement that it’s almost here!
Cee Lo Green rang in the New Year on Saturday night in controversial fashion, stirring up John Lennon fans by changing the words to the late Beatles‘ iconic song, “Imagine.” On stage at Times Square on New Year’s Eve, instead of singing the original, “Imagine there’s no countries / It isn’t hard to do / Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion too,” Cee Lo decided to change the last stanza to, “And all religion’s true.” Not only did Cee Lo take it upon himself to essentially change the whole meaning of the song — which envisages a world without any borders, including race, sex and religion, that relies on common humanity to bind people — he also did so wearing a lavish fur coat and sunglasses, which only added to the vitriol Cee Lo received.
Fans took to Twitter to vent their frustration; @ElayneBoosler Tweeted, “If Cee Lo Green is going to sing ‘nothing 2 kill or die 4′, he shouldn’t b wearing FUR when he does. Shallow asshat. #tailsofjoy,” while @Ash_Brew wrote, “John Lennon is turning over in his grave as Cee Lo Green butchers ‘Imagine’ in Times Square,” and @Franky_1189 said, “Thanks Cee Lo Green, you just destroyed an amazing song and ended 2011 on a horrible note. Literally. #imagine.” Cee Lo allegedly Tweeted an apology, “Yo I meant no disrespect by changing the lyric guys! I was trying to say a world were u could believe what u wanted that’s all,” however the remorseful Tweet appears to have been since taken down and replaced with a simple “Happy new year everyone!!!!!!”
Last night on The X Factor, special guest R. Kelly joined Melanie Amaro on stage to back her up in her performance of “I Believe I Can Fly,” the first time he’s ever sang the classic song as a duet. But we think back up is the wrong word — if it weren’t for Melanie’s powerful, ballad-prone voice, R. Kelly would have completely stolen the show. You can see Melanie’s awed, almost-disbelief as she meets R. Kelly’s veteran presence, and you really can’t help getting a few goose bumps of pride for her, regardless of whether or not you’re familiar with the program. And as glitter falls from the ceiling and the two hold notes for marathon lengths, there’s no doubt as to the inspirational, soaring grandeur of the performance.
Last night Mariachi El Bronx performed “Revolution Girls” on Letterman, and it was just as evocative of sunshine and romance as one would expect. With joyful trumpets bellowing and the humble cowbell knocking its recognizable head bopping sound, the performance was punctuated with an impeccable vocal and violin instrumentals. Just closing our eyes we could imagine ourselves sipping from coconuts by the sea and falling in love, or out on some blossoming, sun drenched farm in the spring, again, falling in love. We also absolutely loved the band’s matching jackets and bright red neck-kerchiefs.
We’re starting to think that maybe Michael Bublé is Christmas. Is that even possible? With his Christmas album holding tight at #1 on the charts, Michael Bublé is the only name you need to know this Christmas (apart from Santa, of course). This weekend on Saturday Night Live, Bublé not only performed a classy, romantic rendition of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” (after the jump), but he also got his very own sketch and imagined Duets album (above). It’s the perfect way to start your Monday morning, because if you don’t laugh out loud at the winking, dancing Justin Bieber (Jimmy Fallon) parody, or giggle at Taylor Swift‘s over awed gaping mouth (Kristen Wiig) then you’ve got a heart so cold not even Bublé can help you this holiday season.
Robin Thicke‘s “Love After War,” is pretty clearly about a relationship, although the title is rather pertinent following the end of the Iraq War yesterday. Last night on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Robin Thicke performed the sexy song — and we think if his voice was reincarnated as a physical thing it would be bedroom eyes. (Speaking of bedroom eyes, why are you hiding them with those sunglasses at night, Robin?) Either way, his performance of the title track off his new LP was vibrant, and Thicke laid on the signature charm that has all the ladies swooning, as we saw at his live show in New York last week.
If You’ve Ever Wanted To Be Lost At Sea With R. Kelly, Now’s Your Chance
R. Kelly has announced he will be hosting a six day cruise starting in Miami in October 2012. He will perform twice while the ship’s at sea, and will charge you between $999 and $2,999 for a ticket. [Rolling Stone]
Lana Del Rey’s “Born To Die” Video Leaks Online
Buzz artist Lana Del Rey‘s video for her new single “Born To Die” has leaked online, and you can forget the MacBook, pastiche-y style you’re used to from the big lipped singer — “Born To Die” is all sex. And tigers. [Spin]