ABC has a new talent show in the works, and Kelly Clarkson has signed on to the new project. The TV show, Duets, will be a talent quest in the same vein as American Idol, but will be based on competitors performing duets with all ready famous super stars — enter Kelly Clarkson. The basic premise is that pop stars will trawl the country for the perfect duet partner, with ABC stating that the celebrities “Will individually set out on a journey across America looking for undiscovered talent worthy to be their protégés.” Joining Kelly in the quest will be Robin Thicke, Lionel Richie, and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland.
The show will work as most reality talent shows do, with eight separate pairings and a weekly singing battle to the death. Well, not the death, it’s not the Hunger Games, but you know what we mean — contestants will be eliminated (in the most friendly, still living way possible) until there’s a winner. The prize is a contract with Disney-owned Hollywood Records, and depending on the success of the show, probably a charting single with the dueting pop star. Duets is set to debut this summer, so if you still haven’t got your fill of talent quests, then you’re in luck, because this one promises to be pretty fun with the stars getting hands on. We wonder if there will be any uber-fan experiences with contestants?
In a performance that could melt the heart of even the biggest talent show skeptic, Jessica Sanchez bought America to it’s knees last night with her rendition of Whitney Houston‘s “I Will Always Love You” on Idol. Jessica’s version of the song was a seamless tribute to the original, and she hit every note with such grace and ease it was hard not to get a little misty eyed as she memorialized the late, great legend with one of the most moving covers we’ve ever heard. And we weren’t the only ones — all three judges were completely ecstatic, and both Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler seemed to have shed a tear or two during the stirring performance. Randy Jackson proclaimed, “Give it all to her! Jessica Sanchez is legit… This is one of the best talents in the whole country!” Jenny was equally gushing, but it was Steven who said what we were all thinking, “Jessica, you may be The One. You just made 40 million people cry.”
You know how you always dreamed of Metallica making a film in 3D? Well, it’s now officially a reality, with the band announcing that they’ll begin shooting this summer for a 3D film due for release in 2013. Metallica will be working with Hungarian director Nimrod Antal, and Lars Ulrich had this to say about the project: “I’ve been a fan of Nimrod’s since his first Hungarian film, Kontroll, showed up at Cannes in 2004 and blew everybody away… I’ve watched with excitement his career in Hollywood blossom over the last few years. Within five minutes of meeting him I was addicted to his enthusiasm, his take on the creative process and his ‘thinking outside of the box’ personality. Let’s get on with it!” And while it’s unclear what form the film will take (i.e. will it be a behind the scenes documentary? A concert film?), we’re willing to bet good money that it will be a grand spectacle fueled by the band’s high energy performance style and loud metal noise.
Fiona Apple’s New Album Title Is 23 Words Long
Fiona Apple has seconded herself, announcing the name of her new album which — while not as long as the eight line poem that denoted her sophomore effort, When The Pawn… — is healthily fleshed out with 23 words. The title: The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do. Try saying that fast three times. [Idolator]
Kanye West Unveils His Second Fashion Collection In Paris Kanye‘s second collection is stronger and more concise than his first, but whispers of something borrowed… Givenchy, maybe? Suspicious that pal Riccardo Tisci was spotted front row? Kanye really is a jack of all trades but apparently only a master of music. [Stereogum]
One of our favorite new bands, fun., has become the first rock outfit in more than a decade to send a debut single to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The band’s track “We Are Young,” featuring Janelle Monae, which we were lucky enough to hear live when the boys stopped by Big Morning Buzz Live, has shot to the number one spot from number three, boasting 1.1 million downloads sold since its release, a spot at number 41 on Radio Songs with the Hot 100′s top Airplay Gainer award, and a spot at number two on the Alternative Songs radio airplay chart. Basically, all you need to take away from this is that fun. rules, in a completely literal sense. The last time a multi-member rock band ruled this hard and topped the charts with a debut single was in December 2001/January 2002 when Nickelback burst onto the charts with “How You Remind Me.” Pushing Kelly Clarkson‘s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” to number two, and Adele‘s “Set Fire To The Rain” to number three, fun. are beginning to look like a force to be reckoned with. Indeed, their album, Some Nights, has sneaked up to number three on the Billboard 200 behind the dominating Queens, Adele and Whitney Houston? Should Adele be scared that her previously unshakable number one might be, well, shakable?
Neon Hitch’s new video for “Love U Betta” opens with the metaphorical blossoming of a flower, but for us the meaning is twofold — sure there’s an easy likeness to draw with female anatomy which is in keeping with the “Love U Betta” thematics, but there’s also the blooming of Neon Hitch as a performer who is coming into her own at this very moment. Then there’s the sugar/spice dichotomy which has Neon Hitch pulling some incredibly sexy, NSFW moves, on a chair in a bare room (reminiscent of Britney’s “Stronger”), in a dark cemetery and rubbing up against a lifelike mannequin. This video is definitely not for the faint of heart, as it sees Neon Hitch gyrating, bending and pulling some extremely provocative shapes, and dammit, she’s pretty sexy all the while. We’re also bopping along to the infectious clubby beat, and we’re sure we’ll be doing so even as we hum the tune this evening as we head home on the subway. Yeah, OK, we concede — Neon Hitch CAN love you better.
Adam Lambert fans, at the ready, on your marks, get set — jump up and down filled with glee! The NewNowNext Awards have announced that Lambert will be performing live at their next ceremony on April 5th, and we’ve got our little hearts set on hearing some tracks from his forthcoming album, Trespassing. Joining Adam on stage will be the inimitable Neon Hitch, whose star is quickly rising following her collaboration with Gym Class Heroes on “Ass Back Home”, and who is nominated for a Brink-of-Fame: Music Artist Award. The whole affair will be hosted by the progeny of rock royalty, Kelly Osbourne, so there’s more than enough to get excited about.
The NewNowNext Awards is essentially a showcase of pop culture, and it’s up to YOU to decide who will be deemed a winner for 2012. At NewNowNext’s website, you can vote for nominees in categories as diverse and crazy as “Cause You’re Hot” and “Beyond Style” or “TV You Betta Watch,” or if you’re as Twitter-head you can simply Tweet your vote and include the #NNNAwards hashtag — does it get any more interactive than that? More performers will be announced over the coming weeks, so keep your ear to the ground. This is the award show that hosted Lady Gaga‘s first televised performance, so you never know — you may get to witness the birth of the next big thing at the NewNowNext Awards!
The NewNowNext Awards Premiers on Monday, April 9th at 10/9C on Logo. Visit NewNowNext.com for more information or to vote for the winners!
President Obama continues to be down with the kids, at least where it concerns his musical references. After getting down to “Sweet Home Chicago” last month and releasing a Spotify playlist to soundtrack his campaign, the President has shown his love of music on several occasions. In his latest cultural reference, the Pres name-dropped the Lollapalooza festival amidst his talk on more pressing campaign issues. But unfortunately for Obama, he fumbled on his words, and in an uncharacteristic turn, garbled the word “Lollapalooza,” saying instead “Lapalooza,” although we all still knew what he was talking about, and that’s all that really matters anyway.
The divisive Lana Del Rey has spoken out on LA radio station KROQ about her viral rise to fame, her fans and detractors, and the nature of Internet criticism. Speaking candidly, Lana addressed the way her persona has been treated an dissected online, saying, “I’m not naturally a polarizing or controversial person. What I sing about is pretty normal, pretty balanced. What people have to say about me, the really amazing things and the really terrible things, none of them are true.” Not usually vocal on the issue of her controversial rise to fame as Hype Queen, Lana said in the interview, “The internet right now is creating their own person for themselves to play with, but I’ve been an artist for a long time and I’ve been a writer since I was 7. I can’t do much else. I wrote every word on my album. There’s only one line I didn’t write in ‘Diet Mountain Dew’ and one in ‘Lolita’.”
She also talked about why she is able to connect with her zealous fans so intensely through her music, “I never compromise with anything that I do in my life, not lyrically, not in reality. I think the people who sort of feel like they know me, know me from my lyrics, and I think that they feel what I write about is what really went down and how I really feel about it. I never say anything just to rhyme over sugary pop songs. I really care about documenting my life in a musical fashion.” There you have it — on this rare occasion, the hyper aware Lana has pinpointed the gripes of her detractors, from her extraordinary perspective. Moreover, it seems the young star has quite the handle on what makes her so appealing to her fans, and her commitment to that is rather appealing.
Our March You Oughta Know artist, Graffiti6, headed down to VH1 headquarters last week to hang out with us. We had a great day with Jamie and Tommy, the duo that make up our new favorite band. With our photographer Colin Gray following them around the studios, we got to be privy to some fun, some candid, and some exciting moments all captured on film. And let’s not mention the swoon factor in our offices that day — as the dreamy duo played live for us, there was a collective knee buckling in the room, and we’re only just starting to get our balance back!