Bruno Mars stepped out of the songwriting shadows and into the spotlight in a big way with his 2010 solo debut, Doo-Wops And Hooligans, an album that spawned two #1 singles (“Just The Way You Are” and “Grenade”), sold a few million copies worldwide and earned Mars eight Grammy nominations (including a win for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance). The album was a highly entertaining mélange of styles and sounds, which ran the gamut from bombastic ballads (like “Grenade”) to Motown-leaning tracks (“Just The Way You Are”) to crazy catchy lite reggae dittys (see “The Lazy Song”).
The song is clearly inspired by Outlandos d’Amour-era Police as, on first listen, we thought we were listening to the group’s stone classic, “Roxanne.” A clipped, almost staccato Andy Summers-ian guitar tone that’s paired up with a very Sting-like bassline provide the backbone for the song, but the song’s production is very of-the-moment*. The song’s structure is flawless, too, as we have come to expect from Bruno Mars; the verses are emotional, the bridge (“Your sex takes me to paradise”) provides the build, and the song pays off in a killer chorus (“You make me feel like I’ve been locked out of paradise/For too long-ong-ong”). We’re gonna have this one On Repeat all day and, if history is any indication, for the next few months to come.
Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, of the celebrated ’90s all-girl hip-hop crew TLC, announced this morning that she is getting a reality television of her own. The show will be called “Totally T-Boz,” and will air on — why not? — TLC beginning in 2013. According to TMZ’s report, the series will follow T-Boz as she juggles single motherhood and her recent health issues, and as she makes an attempt at relaunching her long dormant music career.
The greedy TLC fans that we are, we are thrilled to hear that T-Boz is staging a comeback; and given her recent financial troubles, the regular check the show could provide sounds like a fine bonus. However, we are not so confident that Go-Go juice can do for her career what it has done for that of Honey Boo Boo child, and so as cute as the TLC on TLC match-up may be, we do have to wonder if there might be a network more fit to suit her comeback needs. Read more…
If it’s here, it must be official! After letting us go on for weeks speculating, this morning Adele confirmed with one Tweeted picture that she has indeed been chosen to sing the theme song for Skyfall, the next installment in the James Bond series. The TwitPic shows her trademark claws, clutching the sheet music for “Skyfall,” as written by A. Adkins/P. Epworth — or, Adele and her “Rolling in the Deep” partner Paul Epsworth. That not being enough for the masses, who have been woefully without Adele for nine-months or so now, a 90-second clip from the song leaked to the Internet shortly thereafter. And — let whispered rumors give way to cries of joy — it sounds exactly as an Adele-spun Bond song should, with its sweeping strings, sultry vocals and gloriously cinematic references to crumbling worlds. Yep, sounds about right!
The notoriously press-shy Axl Rose made tsunami-sized waves today when it was revealed that he plans to swing by Jimmy Kimmel Live! on October 24 for his first live television interview in more than 20 years. Well, the “live” part might be true, but let’s not forget that VH1 Classic‘s own Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson scored Axl’s first televised interview in 20+ years last November when W. Axl himself appeared on That Metal Show. (Watch above!)
Of course, a lot has happened to Axl since he appeared on TMS last fall; there was the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame debacle, a legendary concert at the Ritz, and even a rumored dalliance with Lana del Rey. So, it’s not as if Jimmy will be struggling to come up with questions for the frontman of Guns N’ Roses. We just wanted to remind hard rock and heavy metal fans that VH1 Classic was the first TV network to score an interview with the media-phobic frontman since his band’s mid-90s meltdown, but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t already set our DVRs to tape JKL! on October 24.
Apple’s storied career boasts many dramatic moments — breakdowns, breakups, breakthroughs — but she’s never been of much interest to gossip sites, who tend to trade in headlines juicier than ‘Reclusive Singer-Songwriter Splits From Brooklyn Writer Boyfriend,’ say. And so they’ve mostly stayed out of her way, letting her go about her business and share what she likes through song. But her arrest for drug possession seems to have located her on their radars, because gossip sites who otherwise would have paid her no notice have taken to speculating about her slight weight, as well. And you know what? She’s had enough of the negative attention.
Apple begged her plea on on Saturday in Florida, sitting cross-legged on stage with a friend there to keep her from rambling (“I know I do that”). Addressing Perez Hilton — “and I’m sorry man, but you’re the only one that has the guts to be a person rather than just a bunch of people like TMZ or whatever” — directly and the gossip industry generally, she asked that everyone simply “lay off with that stuff because it hurts my feelings”:
Our ace photographer Lauren Weissler trailed Carrie as she prepared for and performed her five-song Unplugged set here in New York City back in August. Carrie’s radiant beauty and majestic voice was on full display all day, and we hope these pics help satiate your appetite for VH1 Unplugged: Carrie Underwood until tomorrow!
Young Jeezy and Rick Ross long-simmering feud hit a boil over the weekend when the two rappers ran into each other at the BET Hip-Hop Awards taping in Atlanta. The two rappers were said to have shared heated words when they met backstage, and eventually crews got involved and the scuffle spilled out into the parking lot.
As Hot 97′s revered DJ Funkmaster Flex reported live from the scene, breathlessly (though sans bomb-drops) via Twitter:
In Shanghai, China over the weekend, Adam Lambert was schooled in the local dialect live and on air while appearing on the popular talkshow 80′s Talkshow. Looking extra glam with his silver hair and in a borrowed studded leather jacket — “Don’t make me give it back!” — he listened attentively as the dear instructor went over a few useful phrases. As the show’s host attests to, Shanghainese is a tricky dialect, but Glam was down for the challenge. “Okay, I am going to do a really good job,” he said, sounding genuinely eager to learn.
You can learn, too! Just repeat after him, after he repeats after her: Read more…
Pop country sensation Taylor Swift wants to do her VH1 Storytellers a little different. She wants to bring the stripped down storytelling directly to you, and so with the help of Chegg and Papa Johns, and with additional support from Covergirl and American Greetings, she set up a contest that allowed high schools and colleges from across the country to vote in hopes of hosting the show. And today, we are excited to announce that the votes are in and the lucky winner of the Taylor SwiftVH1 Storytellers campus concert is Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California! Taylor will perform an intimate concert at the sunny southern California campus later this month, and the show will air on Sunday, November 11.
In addition, Harvey Mudd and the rest of the top five schools — Seton High School in Cincinnati, OH, Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, CA, Terra Environmental Research Institute in Miami, FL, and California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA — will receive a $10,000 music grant from Chegg for Good and Taylor herself.
Jack White was not a happy camper this weekend, performing for a sold-out and perhaps dull crowd in New York City at the Radio City Music Hall. After bickering with a shirtless man in the front row and complaining that, “Jesus Christ, is this an NPR convention?” (because you know how those NPR conventions can get, with all their shirtless goers and such), the former White Stripes frontman cut his set short and jumped-show. The audience stuck around hoping for a second act or encore, but were disappointed when the lights were turned on and ushers were sent in to explain that, “The show is over, we don’t know why.” Woomp woomp.
To the streets they poured, swarming around the backstage door where — rowdy like a Jack White incited mob wont be — they chanted things like “f*** Jack White!” and “Jack White kills puppies” and began tweeting angrily with the hashtag #JackWhiteDebacle. Some, according to the New York Observer, even returned the t-shirts and posters they had bought at the show. Read more…