The Lumineers “Ho Hey!” In The Streets In The Debut Episode Of CMT’s Concrete Country

by (@zaragolden)

Looks like we’re not the only ones hooked on July and August’s VH1 You Oughta Know artists The Lumineers! Our sister station, the Country Music Channel, tapped the roots-revivalist trio for the kick-off episode of their gritty new online performance and interview series called Concrete Country. The band played their debut hit “Ho Hey,” along with “Classy Girls” and “Stubborn Love,” live from the streets of Nashville while traffic and pedestrians passed behind them. “We used to play that song at an open mic at the Metal Arc in Denver, and sometimes people would talk very loudly so I would scream ‘Ho!’ and ‘Hey!’” Jeremiah Fraites joked of the bustle. “It was a good song to get people’s attention.”

Green River Ordinance, Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Infamous Stringdusters, Yarn and Trampled by Turtles will follow in their footsteps later this summer with Concrete Country episodes of their own, and surely all with as much enthusiasm to their toe-tapping.

The Lumineers on Concrete Country [CMT]

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A Year Since Amy Winehouse’s Death: Dad Says It’s Difficult To Listen To Back To Black


She was a young 27 when she passed away a year ago today. Amy Winehouse was the bluesy soulful British singer, songwriter who was already being considered a musical genius, or at least on her way to becoming one. Only two albums in she became a household name–one that rappers collaborated with and singers admired. Her second album Back to Black led to five Grammy awards making her the first British female singer to win that many. There were definitely some troubled days in Amy’s life as she battled with drugs and alcohol. However, in Spin’s rare behind the scenes footage of Amy during a photo shoot in 2007 shot by then-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, her troubled days seem to be washed away with nothing but remnants of happiness. Read more…

Mariah Carey Has Signed On As American Idol Judge

by (@zaragolden)

Mariah Carey is back to business, and officially on board to judge American Idol‘s twelve season. Today Fox president Kevin Reilly confirmed the good news before dialing Mariah up on her cell phone to tell the star himself. “I’m so excited to be joining Idol,” she gushed, thrilled no doubt by the opportunity to put her industry experience to work, as well as the reported $12 million-plus salary she will be earning.

There has been much debate as to who could possibly fill the seats left open by Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler‘s exit. Not only does that someone have to be worthy of brassy Idol judges past, he or she will also have to stand their own against The X Factor‘s Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on The Voice. Mariah and her five-octave vocal range should do just the trick. We only worry that, as it did for Lopez, who left “to get back to doing the other things that I do that I’ve put kind of on hold because I love Idol so much,” judging will slow down her recently announced return to music. Otherwise, we’re thrilled to have a diva of her caliber back in the spotlight on the regular.

And our apologies to Aretha Franklin, who was hoping to earn a seat — the diva quotient for this season has likely been reached. However, the scramble is not over yet, and as for the others whose names have been bantered about — like Idol‘s own Adam Lambert — Tyler’s and possibly Randy Jackson‘s seats still remain to be filled.

Mariah Carey Joins ‘American Idol’ [EW]

Future, Diddy And Ludacris Rap And Show Off Money At The “Same Damn Time”


With Future‘s “Same Damn Time” catchy summer track, he pretty much has anyone that’s cool writing, talking or tweeting “at the same damn time” in the context of their conversation. For example, Rihanna tweeted an Instagram photo with the caption: “Last year, same damn time!” Frank Ocean tweeted, “at the same damn time” as its own sentence. So you see where we’re going with this. It’s a catchphrase phenomenon! For the remix Future enlisted the number one badboy, Diddy himself, and Ludacris. Diddy snapped in a way we haven’t heard him spit since “All About the Benjamins.” Read more…

Song Of The Summer 2012: Your Votes Propel Katy Perry Ahead Of Carly Rae Jepsen!

by (@unclegrambo)

Welcome to Week 2 of VH1′s Song Of The Summer Countdown, and boy oh boy, we’ve already got ourselves a huge upset in the making!

Propelled by a large number of user votes, Katy Perry‘s “Wide Awake” overtook the presumptive Song Of The Summer favorite, Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe,” as the frontrunner for this year’s crown. In fact, as you’ll see in the chart above, there was lots of movement from where we were sitting at this time last week; 15 of the 20 songs in our chart either moved up or down in the rankings, and three new songs — One Direction‘s “One Thing,” P!nk‘s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” and Carrie Underwood‘s “Good Girl”— entered the chart for the first time!

As a reminder, here’s how our Song Of The Summer countdown works.
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Young The Giant Take Us Behind The Scenes At Firefly Music Festival

by (@zaragolden)

To Pitchfork two weekends ago for Kendrick Lamar and Vampire Weekend, and then back again for Red Hot Chili Peppers and Flo at Lollapolooza next. Summer’s busy festival season draws fans to corners of the country far and wide with line-ups that bundle all their favorite acts into one great go. But what does it take to get those artists here and there and onstage, week in and week out? VH1 News caught up with California indie rockers Young The Giant at Dover, Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival this past weekend to see. There’s their big-red bus decked with beer cubbies (“It’s like living on a submarine”), friends (“It’s like working summer camp”), and dressing rooms stocked with soda pop and candy (although one day, they hope to find “a room filled with tiny wolverines, like Mariah Carey and her puppies). And most of all there is the crowd. “When we can get the audience to kind of move around and dance and just look happy? That’s pretty much it,” says drummer Francois Comtois. Read more…

Carly Rae Jepsen Defers On Song of the Summer, Chooses “We Are Young” Instead Of “Call Me Maybe”

by (@zaragolden)

If early front-runner Carly Rae Jepsen was rooting for her own “Call Me Maybe” for Song of the Summer, we wouldn’t have held it against her. Big Sean has got her back, and she would hardly be alone in her vote. But when we caught-up her last night on the red carpet at of the Teen Choice Awards she instead deferred the title to a fellow nominee. “I mean, I have a lot of songs that I love about summer,” she offered diplomatically before admitting, that this time around, she’s really into the fun.‘s indie-pop anthem “We Are Young.” She also showed some love “for sure” for No Doubt, who returned to the stage last night. “I want to shake their hands, say thank you for the amazing music,” she gushed. No shame in either choice!

It’s nice that, even though there were Summer Song and Breakout Artist boards waiting for her, Jepsen is still feeling all “I-just-met-you” about her quick rise to fame. “I’m not quite used to it yet,” she said, looking and sounding truly demure in a satin-white blazer and palm-tree covered skirt. “But I don’t think I ever want to become used to it, because it’s really fun to be here and be like, ‘Ah! This is crazy!’”

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Big Sean Thinks “Mercy” Should Be The Song Of The Summer Because…It’s Music You Can Literally Do Everything To


If there’s one place to see fresh faced young talent it’s the annual Teen Choice Awards. Always filled with fun surprises and performances, this year the five cutest moments, which was pretty hard to narrow down, and the worst dressed celebs who get an A for effort, were some of the highlights. But on the red carpet is where the special magic happened when we chatted with Carly Rae Jepsen and Big Sean about their picks for VH1‘s Song of the Summer. Read more…

Mariah Carey Is Poised For A “Triumphant” Return

by (@zaragolden)

Mariah Carey is poised for a “Triumphant” return next month — August, for an august diva like she! — with the help MMG comrades Rick Ross and Meek Mill. Mimi shared the good news yesterday on Twitter, where she explained also that, “I wrote TRIUMPHANT when I was going through a difficult time & it helped me get through it. When you hear it, pay attention 2 the lyrics.” An intriguing tease, as she sure has had quite the year or two between Dem Babies and her husband Nick Cannon’s health issues. It’s not like she needs a reason to sing it out, but if it gets her back to the studio? We’ll always be here to listen, Mimi.

Mariah has worked with Ross in the past on that “Touch My Body (Remix)”, and she bares an impressive catalog of rap collaborations past — who could forget that Bad Boy Remix of “Honey” or Jay’s verse on “Heartbreaker”? It’s exciting to see her hooking up with two of today’s biggest gets, but we worry that her comeback might get lost in the bunches of other Maybach Music branded singles currently dominating radio waves. We won’t worry too much, though, because Mimi’s no mere hook-girl, and one of her trade mark vocal runs and a twinkle of that whistle register will be quick to remind us of why she always “Triumphs.”

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Will Rita Ora’s “Roc The Life” Prove She’s Not All Hype?


Rita Ora's new single "Roc The Life"

People hellbent on comparing Rita Ora to her Roc Nation label mate, Rihanna may have a stronger argument with Rita Ora’s third single “Roc The Life.” Here in the office it was noted that “Roc The Life” sounded similar to Rihanna’s “Breakin’ Dishes” from Good Girl Gone Bad. Rita Ora teamed up with hitmaker The Dream to co-write “Roc The Life,” which is a pop tune ode to living the good life. For those that may have no connection to the glamorous life, Ora threw in a more relatable note for those chasing a dream– making it one day. “Maybe one day I’ll live there/Beyond the stars I can see it/Now put your diamonds in the air/You can hate this all you want/But roc is everywhere,” she croons. Read more…