Last month, we announced that 21-year-old British troubadour Ed Sheeran was embarking on not just his very first U.S. headlining tour, but also on the very first VH1 You Oughta Know tour! The first batch of tour dates that our May You Oughta Know artist released sold out lickety-split, so we’re adding more. Sheeran’s debut album, +, made an impressive debut at #5 on the Billboard charts last month, and his lead single “The A-Team” (see our YOK Live video below!) has been steadily making a huge impact at radio stations nationwide. And don’t even get us started on his awesome live covers of songs like Ginuwine’s “Pony” and Lil Kim’s “Lighters Up”! Take a gander at the complete press release, which includes the new tour dates, below…
ED SHEERAN LIGHTING IT UP IN THE U.S.
NEW DATES AND LARGER VENUES ADDED TO BRITISH STAR’S FIRST-EVER HEADLINING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR
THANKS TO ENORMOUS POPULAR DEMAND
“VH1 YOU OUGHTA KNOW TOUR WITH ED SHEERAN” GETS UNDERWAY SEPTEMBER 8TH IN ORLANDO
INTIMATE NYC DATE SET FOR JULY 24TH AT IRVING PLAZA COMPLETELY SOLD OUT
“THE A TEAM” SCORES AT MULTI FORMAT RADIO NATIONWIDE AFTER“+” ENTERS SOUNDSCAN/BILLBOARD 200 AT #5
Elektra recording artist Ed Sheeran is proving to be as much a phenomenon here in the U.S. as he is in his native England. In response to his rapidly increasing popularity, the British troubadour has just added a number of new dates to his upcoming North American headline tour, much of which had already sold out within minutes of going on sale.
We’d like you to say “Hey” (or even “Ho Hey!”) to July and August’s You Oughta Know artists, The Lumineers. Childhood friends Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites began writing music together after the tragic loss of Jeremiah’s brother and Wesley’s friend, Josh. Eventually growing tired of the Brooklyn gruel, they turned west to Colorado. The move, it turns out, was fruitful. Once there, they picked up cellist Neyla Perkarek and released their eponymous debut album, which has since seen rise on the Billboard charts. “I don’t know where I belong,” goes “Ho Hey!”, “but I can write a song.” And that they can. Like the Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons and many roots-revivalists before them, The Lumineers provide solace from the imposing woomp-woomp of radio these days, favoring instead the thump-thump of their feet and hearts. We think you really oughta know these guys, and here’s five reasons why:
1. That Bing Commercial
Many folks first got wind of these guys during this year’s NBA Finals, when a Bing spot with an infectiously hopeful song played during every commercial break. One internet search for “what is that song in the Bing commercial” later, and before the game was even over, many found themselves officially intrigued by The Lumineers.
Meet Rebecca Ferguson, one of our two You Oughta Know artists for July and August. Hailing from Liverpool, the 25-year-old singer made her first big splash on Britain’s The X Factor‘s seventh season, where she won-over the usually salty Simon Cowell and placed second overall. Her successful showing subsequently earned her a record deal. And although her debut album Heaven only hit shelves stateside in May, the lead single “Nothing’s Real But Love” has already found its way to both the top of the UK charts and deep into our hearts. Ferguson’s belting recalls the classic soul of Aretha Franklin as well as that of the quirkier Macy Gray, but she cites also acts like Mike Posner and rockers Kings Of Leon as influences. Here are five things that make us proud to have her as our latest You Oughta Know artist:
1. Earning It On The X Factor
As she explains in her audition tape for The X Factor, Ferguson assumed her dreams derailed when she got pregnant at the age of 17. “I thought, well, maybe I won’t be able to become a singer. Who’s going to want me, now I’ve got a kid? I lost me confidence,” she shared through tears. Not yet ready to put aside her life long dream of being a singer, she climbed the audition stage and hasn’t looked back since.
For her audition, she sang “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and, oh boy, did a change come. Not even the notoriously difficult Simon Cowell could say no to a voice like hers. “You’re voice is totally on the money,” he said. “Let me try to restore that confidence for you,” he told her, sending her forward to reclaim her spirit as well. It was a long time coming, but she knew a change was going to come.
Emeli Sandé’s Our Version of Events has been a constant fixture in the iPod for weeks now. The beauty of her voice matches her incredible songwriting that has the power to make random strangers cry for no other reason than her magical sound. As our June YOK artist we’re happy to share some of our favorite cuts from the album like “Next to Me” or style photos that show her boisterous personality. Today we gift you with her cover of Blur’s “Country House.” Read more…
When our June You Oughta Know artist Emeli Sandé isn’t making people cry from the beauty of her voice and lyrics, her cool, mellow demeanor makes you feel at ease. On the day she stopped by VH1 Headquarters she was spunky and full of energy. Her smile was radiant, her laughter infectious. There was no inner diva with this British soul singer whose debut album topped the UK charts at #1. Our photographer Michele Crowe captured a range of Emeli, from the songstress cackling with laughter before a pose for her live set to prepping for a show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg earlier this month. Speaking of live sets, the strength of her vocals are exemplified in her performance of “Heaven.” The clarity and sound of her voice, yes, heavenly indeed.
When 25-year-old British singer Emeli Sandé visited the VH1 offices a few months back, her performance left several employees in tears. Her live performance of “Clown” at Williamsburg Music Hall moved me to tears as well. Her poignant voice coupled with the mastery she possesses of writing beautiful songs is why she’s our June You Oughta Know artist. Her debut album, Our Version of Events, may be new to the U.S. audiences, but it has already topped the UK Album Charts at number one. Within the first two weeks of release in the UK the album sold 300,000 copies, and has already reached platinum status according to the British Phonographic Industry. Her official U.S. first single, “Next to Me,” is an ode to her boyfriend. Sandé wrote the song because she wanted a radio hit that uplifted good men, which she says there isn’t enough of. Read more…
Lil’ Kim‘ probably didn’t imagine that, when she rapped “no matter where you from, put your lighters up” in “Lighters Up,” a young troubador from England would eventually take heed. But, here we have it: Ed Sheeran, putting his lighter up, so to speak, during a set last night at New York’s Bowery Ballroom. In town to celebrate the stateside release of his debut album +, the 21-year-old You Oughta Know artist who hails from Halifax, England skillfully wove a cover of the Queen Bee’s ode to Brooklyn into his own “Grade 8.” And, of course, the crowd went wild.
In the above video, Keernan sets up with a little beat boxing and then transitions into his half-rapped “Grade 8,” at one point dropping in (at around 2:40) a few lines borrowed from Kim. “It’s the land of trouble / Brooklyn home of the greatest rappers / Big comes first then the queen comes after,” he rhymes, leaving —at least for now— himself out of it.
Country cutie Taylor Swift and You Oughta Know artist Ed Sheeran have been logging lots of studio hours together, working hard — mostly! — on the follow-up to Swift’s Speak Now. Last night, the two took a break from whatever they’ve got cooking there to record this acoustic duet of Sheeran’s hit, “Lego House.” And it’s pretty much the sweetest thing you will see today.
Posted to Twitter late last night by Swift, the Viddy finds the two in her kitchen, on the floor in front of the stove, where Sheeran strums an acoustic version of his hit, “Lego House,” while Swift harmonizes. We’ll have to wait to hear what more they’ve got in the works, but, for now, this glimpse shows a promising chemistry between the two.
And as for Sheeran, he will be on VH1′s Big Morning Buzz Live tomorrow to celebrate the stateside release of his debut album, +.
It’s been a long, long time since “alternative” songs have dominated the Billboard charts like they have this year. After Katy Perry, Adele and LMFAO locked down the uppermost reaches of the Hot 100 last year, this year has belonged to artists like fun. and Gotye, who have managed to fend off pop powerhouses like Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna from hitting that #1 spot.
Perhaps as a sign of solidarity with their alternative brethren, perhaps as a show of mutual admiration, fun. decided to cover “Somebody That I Used To Know” for BBC Radio 1′s Live Lounge series. This British program is best known for their ability to get huge pop stars to do semi-unlikely covers —you might recall that Florence Welch covered Drake’s “Take Care” for the program late last year— and this proves no exception. fun. even recruited Paramore‘s Hayley Williams, herself a former VH1 Diva, to sing the Kimbra portion of the song. Let us know whose version you prefer in the comments below!
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!