Last night at the 2012 Grammy Awards, Bon Iver won the prestigious award for Best New Artist, but there was still a question on everyone’s lips, or at least trending on their Twitter feed — Who is Bon Iver? While it seems strange to us that you could own a Twitter account and somehow have missed the Internet hype train that was “Holocene” last year, #whoisboniver was one of the top trending topics of conversation on the social networking device last night (a lot of people seemed to think his name was Bonny Bear).
We took to the red carpet before the ceremony to find out if anyone there knew who Bon Iver was, and we got some interesting results! Everyone we talked to, from 3-time Grammy winner Skrillex to Wilco and Mumford & Sons to Malin Ackerman, seemed to have two different pronunciations for the band’s name. The most interesting response, however, came from Snooki, who managed to throw in a penis reference and made this statement for the ages: “Well, I don’t know anybody if you’re not Rihanna.”
VH1 spoke with Grammy-nominated singer Kelly Price on the Grammys red carpet last night, and chatted with her in depth about close friend Whitney Houston‘s final performance. Kelly was not only present when Whitney sang one final time on Thursday night, she performed alongside her. (Video is below).
The close friends sang “Jesus Loves Me” for a packed crowd at Price’s pre-Grammy celebration, with A-List onlookers like 2011 VH1 DIVA Ledisi, Anthony Hamilton, El Debarge and Ray-J watching from the audience. Kelly adamantly defended Whitney’s behavior that night, telling us “she came out to celebrate a friend…in doing nothing wrong, she’s being vilified.”
Hear more of Kelly’s passionate defense of Whitney, above. And be sure to tune into VH1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT tonight for our brand VH1 News Special, Whitney Houston: Death of a Diva (also repeating at 9:30 p.m. as well), which will feature interviews with celebrities on the 2012 Grammys Red Carpet last night, as well as previously unseen 2010 interview footage with Whitney Houston herself.
Nicki Minaj‘s Grammys performance, entitled “The Exorcism Of Roman” was a treat for the senses — from a sumptuous set, decadent choreography, a vivid, if not chaotic plot, and Nicki actually singing (a singer singing, can you imagine!), the whole shebang was nothing less than a show stopper. The performance began with Nicki in a confessional booth, the priest she walked the red carpet with listening to her candid rap from his side of the booth, both of them appearing to lose more and more of their minds as Nicki writhed manically and pulled several of her patented insane faces. The back story, from what a pre-recorded clip then told us, appeared to be that Nicki was possessed by the spirit of her alter ego, Roman Zolanski, and a priest was sent to exorcise her.
Once the video cut back to the stage, Nicki appeared shackled at the top of a pyre in some sort of cathedral that toed a line between Catholic and cult that might have been somewhat uncomfortable for any zealots watching (although we’re pretty sure the Grammys is mostly for heathens anyway). In this Roman Catholic Church meets Illuminati-esque environment, the story hit a glitch and became somewhat stunted in development — basically, Nicki was at war with Roman, and her internal monologue, the song, flipped between the two personas in an insane battle for the body. While a tormented Nicki staggered around the stage, weird contortionists and occultist dancers put on a pretty impressive show of physical agility in the Laurieann Gibson choreographed extravaganza (that’s probably why you have a lingering taste of Gaga).
In “Rolling In The Deep”, Adele sang “We could have had it all.” Well, at the 2012 Grammy Awards tonight, she did end up having it all — all the awards, that is. The English songbird completed a year of total dominance on the Billboard song and album charts by sweeping the three major categories at this year’s awards: Album of the Year for 21, Song of the Year for “Rolling In The Deep”, and Record of the Year (also for “Rolling In The Deep”). All in all, the 23-year-old took home six Grammys tonight, bringing her career total to eight.
Adele also performed “Rolling In The Deep” in front of a hushed crowd, her first public singing performance since she underwent vocal cord surgery back in 2011. We haven’t seen any video of that performance emerge on the web yet, but we DID see her knock Anderson Cooper‘s socks off with an a Capella performance of her Grammy-winning smash on 60 Minutes earlier tonight. We’ve got that performance for you below.
With her historic “Triple Crown” win tonight, Yahoo Music noted that Adele became only the sixth artist in history to accomplish that feat. Her peers in this exclusive group include Simon & Garfunkel (1971), Carole King (1972), Christopher Cross (1981), Eric Clapton (1993) and the Dixie Chicks (2007).
The 54th Annual Grammy Awards won’t be televised until 8 p.m. ET/PT tonight, but just because CBS hasn’t turned their cameras yet doesn’t mean that the festivities haven’t already gotten underway. A handful of awards have already been given away this evening at the Pre-Telecast Grammy ceremony, and the evening’s big winners so far include controversial rap genius Kanye West and the electronic dubstep artist Skrillex.
Ye has pocketed three Grammys thus far, winning Best Rap Album for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (where it topped his collaboration with Jay-Z, Watch The Throne) and Best Rap Collaboration and Best Rap Song for that album’s single “All of the Lights.” The ultra buzzy DJ Skrillex has taken home three awards, too (Best Dance/Electronica Album, Best Dance Recording, and Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical). This early trifecta of trophies bodes well for his chances to pull an upset in the Best New Artist category later tonight, and he just posted this inspirational tweet to his official @skrillex account.
VH1 News correspondent Janell Snowden was in Los Angeles last night, where she attended the annual pre-Grammy party thrown by music mogul Clive Davis. The mood at last night’s gala event was more somber than in years past due to the sudden passing of Whitney Houston. Before the party got going, Janell caught up with legendary record executive and new X Factor judge L.A. Reid. Reid worked with Whitney on the #1 track “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” a song that he co-wrote with his partner in LaFace Records, Babyface. “I had the great honor of producing Whitney Houston and working with her as a record executive,” he told Janell. “And spent I so much time [with her], she’s like my sister, so I have so many memories. Right now, it’s just that beautiful face and that beautiful voice that’s in my mind.”
When Whitney Houstonpassed away yesterday, we lost a once-in-a-generation talent, a singer whose voice was so pure and emotive that it was heralded by people of of all ages, races and nationalities. During a remarkable stretch from December of 1985 until March of 1988, Whitney scored a record seven consecutive #1 Billboard singles in a row; she ultimately finished her career with 11 #1 songs, good for 7th place on the all-time list of history’s most popular recording artists.
As we all struggle to cope with the sudden loss of Whitney Houston, we put together the following Spotify playlist as a way to remember Whitney at her finest — Dance With Me Baby: All Of Whitney Houston’s Top 40 hits. The playlist consists of 31 tracks, and is organized in order of chart success. It ranges from “I Will Always Love You”, which spent an astounding 14 weeks at #1 in 1992-1993, to “Queen Of The Night”, a deep cut from The Bodyguard that peaked at #36 on the Billboard charts.
The playlist’s tracklist is as follows:
Song: “I Will Always Love You” Released: November 14, 1992 Peak Position: #1 for 14 weeks
Song: “Greatest Love Of All” Released: April 5, 1986 Peak Position: #1 for 3 weeks
Song: “How Will I Know” Released: December 28, 1985 Peak Position: #1 for 2 weeks
“How Will I Know” wasn’t the first single to be released from Whitney Houston‘s self-titled, 1985 debut album; in fact, it wasn’t the second, either (those honors belong to “You Give Good Love” and “Saving All My Love For You”, respectively). However, when the music video for “How Will I Know” hit MTV in November 1985, it helped Whitney “cross over” and ultimately launched her into the stratosphere of superstardom.
Tonight, as the world struggles to come to terms with Whitney Houston’s untimely death at the age of 48, audio of her isolated vocal track from “How Will I Know” has surfaced online. It’s a powerful reminder of her once-in-a-generation vocal talents, and a mesmerizing performance of the song that VH1 named as the #12 song in our countdown of the 100 Greatest Songs Of The ’80s.
The music world lost one of its all-time greats when Whitney Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles earlier today. The six-time Grammy Award winner passed away from as yet undetermined causes at the far too young age of 48. While we are all attempting to process this tremendous loss, we decided to take look back at some of the most memorable moments that defined her unforgettable career.
9. Whitney’s performance of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” at Nelson Mandela’s 70th Birthday Tribute Concert in 1988.
8. Whitney performs alongside her mom, Cissy Houston, on the Merv Griffin Show in 1983.