We’re only two days out from the biggest dance party in VH1 Divas history! Now I like to think I can rock hips, sway and sip with the best of them, but don’t worry if you’re not as confident. Our host Adam Lambert was kind enough to lead a tutorial for a simple but fierce head snap move you can use in a pinch. Need more tips? Check out our GIF wall of past Divas performers’ dancing for inspiration before you watch the show live this Sunday, December 16. The red carpet live stream kicks off right here at 8PM/7C.
Earlier this week Bruno Mars‘ slick “Locked Out of Heaven” bumped Rihanna‘s “Diamonds” from the top spot to take #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and last night he took it out for a celebratory spin on The X Factor, a show that seems to have played host to many of our favorite live performances as of late. Artists seem to have embraced competition show’s stage as a place to put on flashy show (see: Taylor Swift‘s Joni Mitchell biopic audition) and a place to sing exceptionally well (see: Rihanna’s rave, Ke$ha’s glitter storm). Mars, an artist who is as good at performing hits as he is at writing them, proved no exception, blowing “Locked” to epic proportions and executing it perfectly on last night’s results show.
Mars brought with him his dancing backing band and a vivid red and green and yellow light show, as well his calling card fedora and his A-game. Mars is the sort of artist who sticks to the script, but last night he indulged some of the song’s more gripping moments. See for example the “you bring me to my knees / you make me testify” bit, which had him really flexing. Probably he earned himself another week at the top of the charts!
If his recent performances can be counted as evidence, Usher won’t leave home without a juiced-up fog machine in tow and promise of a laser show waiting for him at whichever stage he’s headed to. And even though most artists tone things down for their day time television performances (Christina Aguilera, for example), Ursh is not one to compromise when it comes to his pyrotechnics. And so today he showed up for Ellen with his calling-card smoke and lasers, a team of dancers and his impressive stamina for another highly athletic performance of “Numb.” His vocals were a bit shaky, but hey! His dance moves were really on point.
Afterwards he hung around and challenged Ellen to a little dance-off. They picked moves off his Dance Central 3 video game and he was almost convincing when he told Ellen that she was beating him. Check out the pretty cute video below the jump.
Uh oh, Taylor Swift‘s in trouble. Like, a lot of trouble. So much trouble that she’s been forced to act. And act she shall–putting all the emotion in her now-23 year old body into the “I Knew You Were Trouble” video. It’s perfect, actually–those dip-dyed locks were made to roll around on the desert floor. Even a meaningful key drop is made dramatic by Taylor, who is a huge fan of metaphors. Want to see what we mean?
This new video for Taylor Swift‘s dubbed-out new single, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” is a curious thing. Gone are her pretty ballet flats and handsome fellas, the woodland creatures and Parisian skyline; and that cutesy Dirty Dancing routine she did with Harry Styles this is certainly not. Rather, we get Taylor with messy, pink ombre hair and a love interest who looks an awful lot like Pete Doherty, a crusty looking motel room and several ratty t-shirt changes, a long opening monologue ala Lana Del Rey‘s “Ride” video and lots of other moments that will have you thinking Taylor may not be such a goody two-shoes after all.
The mini-epic begins with Taylor alone and in the desert, just woken up in the detritus of some festival — if we had to guess which we would say Coachella, because she’s in the desert and too clothed to have just attended Burning Man –and all alone. An ominous score plays, and to the thumping of a heartbeat she delivers this dozy of a speech about her “kaleidoscope of memories” and “how can the devil be pulling you towards someone who looks so much like an angel” and the meaning of life, just in general:
Nominations for the 70th Annual Golden Globes were announced this morning, and this year’s nominees for Best Original Song include two former You Oughta Know artists — The Civil Wars and Adele — as well as Taylor Swift, who will likely to be loaded down with awards after the year she’s had. All of the nominees are as follows:
“For You,” by Keith Urban for Act of Valor
“Not Running Anymore,” by Jon Bon Jovi for Stand Up Guys
“Safe and Sound,” by Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars for The Hunger Games
“Skyfall,” by Adele for Skyfall
“Suddenly,” by Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables
We’ve already expressed our love for Swift and the War’s stormy and unexpected collaboration “Safe and Sound,” as well as for Adele’s towering “Skyfall,” and we just listened to Keith Urban’s Act of Valor contribution for the first time and can assure that it is also quite the scorcher. This is, by our best judgments, a pretty solid list. But what about all those other songs we heard in movies this year? Fiona Apple‘s “Dull Tool” from This Is 40, The Black Keys‘ “Baddest Man Alive” from The Man With the Iron Fists, Rick Ross‘ “100 Black Coffins” from Django Unchained and Katy Perry‘s “Wide Awake” from her biopic Part of Me all got the Golden Globe snub. Each has made the Oscar’s Best Original Song longlist, however, so there’s still reason to believe we may get at least one big and bawse-y Rick Ross podium grunt before this awards season’s out. RUH!
Last night’s momentous date made for an equally momentous musical event: The Big & Best of 2012. The all-live, all-fun event collected the best music from the year, having some of our favorites perform in honor of the special date. 12/12/12 is a once in a lifetime date and The Big & Best of 2012 was a once in a lifetime event. Check out the top five performances from yesterday, and be sure to watch it all in its entirety over at MTV.
1. With 5(!) Grammy nominations this year, Miguel blowing up. Here’s “The Thrill” from his album, Kaleidescope Dream.
Hip hop caught a really big L at last night’s 12.12.12 Concert For Sandy Relief. In a perfect world, where music fans’ interests were in harmonious alignment, Kanye West performing between The Who and Billy Joel would have been a well-received and seamless transition. In reality, however, Yeezy seemed to hit wall with the big-ticket 12.12.12 audience, performing a set that — for an artist known for cultivating fan enthusiam at his shows — was not only incapable of fully forming a connection, but also appeared to drain Kanye and chip away at his normal passionate delivery. There solely to raise money for victims of Hurricane Sandy, it soon became clear that the G.O.O.D. Music capo was frustrated with the room.
Back in February, Kanye’s big brother Jay-Z hosted two consecutive nights in New York City’s distinguished Carnegie Hall. Bringing out the city’s uppercrust, Beyonce’s husband joined hands with the United Way and sold out both shows to raise money for a cause of his own, the Shawn Carter Foundation. But last night was different. The baby boomer crowd at MSG didn’t buy tickets to see Kanye West like folks did for Hov at Carnegie — they came to bathe in the nostalgia of beloved rock acts that they’ve been playing for decades. Unfortunately for Kanye, the booking itself was a recipe for rejection.
Last night Paul McCartney and the surviving members of Nirvana took to the Madison Square Garden stage together to perform a new song they wrote together called “Cut Me Some Slack,” all of which was unthinkable before yesterday when a rogue report suggesting that the former Beatle had been tapped to be the new Kurt Cobain showed up in The Sun. And so of the many cool things that went down at last night’s 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief — Kanye’s skit, included — that this “reunion” even happened is far and away the biggest and the most surprising news to come out of the evening.
This, though, is less surprising: TMZ reports that Courtney Love was “not amused” by this so-called “Nirvana Reunion,” and was particularly nonplussed by McCartney’s involvement (which seems to have flared some sort of personal qualm, because she apparently also said: “Look, if John were alive it would be cool.”) Love tends to be eager for attention, and so to nobody’s great shock she picked up when she saw TMZ on the caller ID. She is also protective of her late husband’s legacy, and so once again to nobody’s great surprised, she’s understandably a bit peeved by all this “reunion talk.”
Adam Lambert is just like us! No, really. Okay, so, we’re not hosting VH1 Divas, selling multi-platinum records or breaking glass with our voices. But, when it comes to recalling music lyrics, Adam has the same problem we do: “I forget the words to my own songs!”
Adam tested his self-proclaimed forgetfulness in our “Name That Divas’ Song” game. He read lines from well-known hits by Whitney Houston, Donna Summer and Kelly Rowland then tried to match the lyrics to the song and artist. How did he do? See for yourself. And watch Divas live Sunday, December 16 9PM/8C to see if Adam got the words right as show host and performer.