The days of summer beach hopping and brunching outside of lofty restaurant patios in the sun seem like only days ago. Now Christmas is two weeks away, which means 2012 is winding down and 2013 is on the horizon. VH1 Tuner is excited to present to you with a myriad of fun end-of-year lists for the rest of December, as we reflect back on the year that was. And what would 2012 be without the music YouTube phenomenons that made us laugh, scratch our head and dance? Without further ado, here’s to the rising crop of music stars (or at least popular for the moment) who can credit “going viral” for their success.
He’s not the next Justin Bieber. We’re only writing it because the comparison has been made a zillion times. Austin’s teeny bopper song “Say Somethin” spread quickly in the cyber world after his popularity grew from his covers of pop stars’ hit songs. The kid’s YouTube page of 90 million views and over 500,000 subscribers ultimately led to one of his biggest opportunities to date. From YouTube sensation to opening for Taylor Swift’s her RED tour, another one bites the good ol’ YouTube dust.
7. Rap BattleRoyale: Loaded Lux vs. Calicoe
One rap battle, two MCs, lyrically spar for bragging rights as the dopest rapper. This year’s most noteworthy battle birthed the infamous quote: “You gon’ get this work.” Loaded Lux and Calicoe battled for over 30 minutes in front of an anxious crowd vigilantly waiting to decide which rapper would hold the championship belt. The video quickly made its way to hip-hop sites galore where Loaded Lux’s “you gon’ get this work” had even Jay-Ztweeting the line. Shoutout to Lux for one of the hottest catchphrases of 2012.
Songwriter Skylar Grey is breaking out on her own with a little help from Eminem. “C’mon Let Me Ride” is a girl’s plea for her crush to let her ride…his bicycle. Only this boy and his two-wheel choice of transportation lives in the trailer park. Skylar’s grunge, edgy vibe causes her to stick out like a sore thumb from the other girls in the neighborhood with their faux tans and skimpy bikinis. Read more…
This year’s class includes an eclectic mix — a disco diva, lady rockers, prog-rock legends, hip-hop pioneers, a guitar hero and, um, Randy Newman (none like him!) among them — and they make for worthy bunch, to be sure. We’re particularly thrilled to see that first time nominees Public Enemy and Rush, as well as VH1 Divas honoree Donna Summer and our favorite female rockers, have made the cut. But we have to ask, what about those who were passed over?
The Best Of‘s continue, today with Spin, Complex, FACT and Gorilla vs. Bear picking their favorite tracks from the year that’s almost past us. Singles lists are always fun because it’s easier to make a good single than a good album, and because there are so many to chose between. So these lists still have a lot of the Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean action that we’ve come to except, as well as love for viral phenomenons like the Carly Rae Jepsen‘s and radio thumpers like G.O.O.D. Music‘s “Mercy.” And because FACT and Gorilla vs. Bear’s tastes tend to run left-of-center, you might even find there’s something new for you to love on one of these lists.
Jessie Ware isn’t cut from the same cloth as most of today’s powerhouse female singers. Rather than aping the melismatic overtures and excessively dramatic runs made famous by the Mariahs and Christinas of the world (and that, sadly, have become omnipresent in shows like The Voice and The X Factor), Ware fully understands when the time is right to lay back in the pocket, vocally, and when to unleash her seductively strong voice. This ability has earned her many well-deserved comparisons to Sade, and propelled her debut LP, Devotion, to the top of many critics’ Best of 2012 write-ups.
The 28-year-old British soul singer launched a whirlwind, two-stop, cross-country showcase at The Box in New York City last night —she’ll perform in Los Angeles on December 13 before returning to the United States for a proper tour this January— and was the recipient of rapturous applause throughout the course of her 10 song, 50 minute set (including some from You Oughta Know artist Sia, who we spotted sitting in a booth directly adjacent to the stage). Her sound fuses Blue Lines era Massive Attack style atmospherics with sultry R&B grooves which, on wax, serves as the perfect backdrop for those evenings when it’s imperative to chill. Live, however, Ware’s voice reaches dimensions that aren’t entirely present on her album. On “Swan Song,” for instance, her pleas of “Help me to escape” were given entirely new emotional resonance when Ware shifted her pitch in a dramatically different way than she does on the record, specifically as a means of intensifying the feelings coursing through her veins. Read more…
Here’s how you warm a winter’s late night. Last night little sister, shining star Solange dropped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform her most lovely single “Losing You.” Her hair worn big and with her partner in quirky charm Dev Hynes by her side, she lit up the stage (and also our hearts). The song’s a bit lanky, but she’s so cool and so calm and she just takes her time, seeming to be oh, it’s no big deal about the very good performance she was giving. There was an adorably bouncy choreographed dance break at the end, matching retro-y outfits for everyone onstage and a hipness that just radiates throughout the whole thing. Those Knowles girls, they’re stars, you know?
“You ain’t got no Jodeci? What is a Radiohead anyway?” Last Thursday the six-time Grammy-nominatedFrank Ocean proved once and for all that he knows exactly what “A Radiohead” is, slipping an affecting but so-sweet cover of their 1995 classic “Fake Plastic Trees” into a short set he played for a Spotify event in New York. Ocean skipped straight to the song’s final verse — the bit about “I can’t help the feeling / I could blow through the ceiling” seeming resonant right about now — and only got about a minute and a half of the song in before getting back to his own “Voodoo,” but it was enough to get the crowd whoop-ing and us hoping that he might someday do more like this. This is sure to leave you with all sorts of feelings.
VH1 Divas host Adam Lambert spilled some major beans in the office today when pumped for info about the event! Wearing remnants of a Movember ‘stache and some serious wrist candy, Adam let slip that he was “allegedly” chosen by Madonna‘s camp to cover one of her songs for the show. Yup, just like a prayer, Adam’s voice will be taking us there next Sunday.
The “proud Madonna fan” stopped short of revealing which Madge hit he’ll perform, but Adam did give us the low-down on what tackling a track by that iconic diva means to him. Which Madonna song do you think he’ll glam rock the best? Tell us in the comments, and watch December 16 at 9PM ET/8C to see the performance along with the rest of Divas lineup. Adam talking Madonna Divas news on Big Morning Buzz Live after the jump.
Gwen Stefani and her husband Gavin Rossdale found themselves sharing a stage last night at the KROQ radio’s Almost Acoustic Christmas show in Los Angeles — an event made all the more special by the fact that Almost Acoustic Christmas show is the very show where the rock-star power couple met 17 years ago. Together they performed Bush‘s “Glycerine,” a song that Rossdale correctly figured “would be so powerful, the two of us on stage like that.” The the No Doubt frontwoman — who showed up looking like she probably did that night in 1995 in red-plaid pants and a sheer black top — joined her Bush frontman after the first verse, and the crowd went wild. And we would have done the same, because Aww! There aren’t many songs so good nor rock couples so cute.