Candid and Truthful or Crazy In Love? Jay-Z Calls Wife Beyonce The “Second Coming” of Michael Jackson

by (@Lacezilla)

Back in June, the world mourned as the two-year anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death hit the calendar. If he was still alive today, he, like Madonna, would be celebrating his 53rd birthday in just two weeks. It’s a universal truth that MJ was one of the top entertainers to ever grace us with his talents, if not the best, so whether you’re a superfan or just casually appreciate his impact on the culture-at-large, it’s always a bit off-putting to hear people compare him to other artists (or, to be fair, compare other artists to him).

On Sunday afternoon, before partying the night away at Liv in Miami, Jay-Z called into Southern Florida’s urban radio station 99 Jamz to discuss new album Watch The Throne, and did just that. He didn’t have the audacity to compare himself or other half of The Throne to the King of Pop though; instead, he graciously compared MJ to his otherother half, wife and international superstar, Beyonc?. Making the disclaimer that the comparison could be construed as blasphemous “because Mike was such an innovator,” Hova took the time to carefully explain that what he’s learned from her is similar to what he’s learned from MJ, and that it’s his wife’s work ethic that makes him feel like she’s “the second coming” of the deceased entertainer. “You know, the hard work and dedication that she puts into her shows. It just makes you want to work harder at your own craft. She’s like a machine,” said Jay in the interview.

Like the King of Pop, Beyonc?’s career began as the lead singer of a group, Destiny’s Child. Now a solo artist for about eight years, the experienced and stunning star has achieved many successes, including 16 Grammys (13 solo, 3 with Destiny’s Child), the RIAA’s top certified artist nod for the decade between 2000 and 2010, and ranked #52 on our list of VH1′s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Those achievements noted, it’s no secret that Queen B is catching a tough break with the singles and sales for her latest album release, 4, so it’s absurdly sweet of her “Crazy In Love” hubby to speak about her so enthusiastically while she battles to reclaim the domination she’s seen on past projects. But Jay’s also been around the block too many times and rocked too many rhymes to not be aware of the power in his proclamation, and minimally, should know that his words would be press fodder during her week of intimate New York shows. Because of that reality, perspective is important to maintain here, so like Jay says on WTT track “Welcome To The Jungle,” rest in peace to the leader of The Jackson 5.

Jay-Z Calls Beyonc? ‘Second Coming’ Of Michael Jackson[RapFix]

Adam Levine: American Idol Tries To “Mask” Homosexuality

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Adam Levine graces the cover of the August 2011 issue Out, and shoots from the hip throughout his interview. The Maroon 5 singer talks about the importance of queerness in rock frontmen (“Look at the best ones, guys whose sexuality was always questioned. Bowie. Jagger. Freddie Mercury. I wouldn?t be the front man of a band if that question hadn?t come up at some point”), calls the music industry “extremely intimidating and also completely dismantled,” and, when asked about his involvement with It Gets Better, takes shots at Perez Hilton before turning around and giving him credit:

“Perez asked me to do it,” he says. “I found it strange that one of the biggest bullies on Earth is asking me. I was really not a fan of his. I thought he was part of the problem. In doing this, I was hoping for a change in him, and I saw one. The guy has changed his tune quite a bit. I respect that.”

The harshest words from “the breakout star of The Voice” (Out‘s words) were reserved for American Idol. “I can’t f?k with American Idol. It’s a cultural institution,” Levine begins, before proceeding to do exactly that.
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“You And I” Video Leaks, Possibly Thanks To Lady Gaga Herself

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Lady Gaga‘s video “Yoü and I,” set to premiere Thursday at 7:49PM as an MTV First presentation, surfaced today, possibly leaked by Gaga herself. Her three tweets “F?K,” “THURS,” and “DAY,” (meeting the quota to fulfill he promise that the “Yoü and I” video would be her 1,000th tweet,) popped up just after 12:00 p.m. ET, but the official YouTube upload only followed the “unauthorized” uploads.

Conceptually speaking, the video boils down to “The Cornfield Of Love-Doctor Moreau.” The sculpted, shirtless mad scientist is the only “man” in the video (other than Jo Calderone, an alter ego of Gaga’s) and the female-coded characters in this video, which run the gamut from the black-clad Alexander McQueen (RIP) by way of Lars von Trier‘s Antichrist owl-woman to “Yuyi,” the mermaid, are his creations, and all walk the Gaga line between the biological and the constructed.

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Watch A Sneak Peek Of Demi Lovato Singing “Skyscraper” At The Do Something! Awards

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Earlier today we mentioned that Demi Lovato brought the house down during her performance at the 2011 Do Something! Awards, which were taped on Sunday night. Well, here’s a little teaser from that performance, including an introduction by Demi’s pal Kim Kardashian. It’s just a little snippet of what’s to come on Thursday night’s broadcast of the awards, but we’re getting chills anyway.

The Do Something! Awards air Thursday, August 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
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VH1 Exclusive: Gavin DeGraw Speaks Out For First Time After Leaving Hospital

by (@unclegrambo)

Gavin DeGraw is currently recovering at home after being discharged from the hospital a little over a week ago, following a night which saw him get assaulted by a group of men AND subsequently hit by a taxi cab. He’s sent out a handful of tweets over the last week and some change, but we just got this exclusive update on his condition from our August Posted artist and wanted to pass it along to you guys as quickly as possible:

“Instead of checking in from the tour, I’m writing as I recover at home. I’m feeling much better, but it will take a little bit more time to be back to 100%! I’m overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from my fans, friends, and family. I can’t wait to get back out on tour and look forward to seeing you on the road sometime soon. I?ll keep you POSTED.?

Again, we’d like to extend our best wishes to Gavin as he recuperates from this senseless assault. We look forward to seeing him get back on the road as soon as he’s back to 100%. Get well soon, buddy!

[Photo: Getty Images]

Jeff Bridges Plays His Blue Note Single For Today

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The almost preternaturally laid-back Jeff Bridges appeared on the Today show this morning to promote his self-titled major label debut, perhaps the highest-profile record in this, a very quiet week for new releases. He and his band, The Abiders (no, really) performed “What a Little Bit of Love Can Do,” a song written by the late Stephen Bruton for Bad Blake, the character Bridges played in the 2009 film Crazy Heart. Certainly, the film (and its soundtrack’s T-Bone Burnett bonafides) gives Bridges more musical credibility, but his 2000 album is plenty evidence that this new record isn’t merely a film-inspired spinoff. Click through for Matt Lauer‘s brief interview with Bridges before the performance.
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My 53 Favorite Madonna Songs (In Honor Of Her 53rd Birthday)

by (@unclegrambo)

We’d like to extend our fond birthday wishes to a true American icon, one Madonna Louise Ciccone, who was born 53 years ago today in the small town of Bay City, Michigan. In the space we have here, it would be impossible to adequately communicate the full extent of the impact that Madonna has had on popular culture, but suffice to say, there’s never been anyone quite like her before or since.

Just like I did for Bob Dylan on his 70th birthday, I put together the following list of my 53 favorite Madonna songs as a way for us all to celebrate the birthday of this music pioneer. These are not her “best” songs, or even her “most popular” songs, but simply, my favorites. Unlike the Song Of The Summer Countdown, this list is not pegged to any quantitative data; rather, it was generated based on conversations with my co-workers, an exhaustive deep dive into Madonna’s catalog over the past few weeks (both her songs and videos), and my own (sometimes hazy) recollection of each of these song’s influence on the culture-at-large.

We’ve got the full list for you below, but if you’re signed up for Spotify, you can also listen to the full compilation here:
My 53 Favorite Madonna Songs (On Her 53rd Birthday)

53) “Sorry” (Confessions On A Dance Floor, 2005)
52) “Everybody” (Madonna, 1983)
51) “Hanky Panky” (I’m Breathless, 1990)
50) “4 Minutes” (featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland)” (Hard Candy, 2008)
49) “Spotlight” (You Can Dance, 1987)

48) “Oh Father” (Like A Prayer, 1989)
47) “Amazing” ( Music, 2000)
46) “Hollywood” (American Life, 2003)
45) “Angel” (Like A Virgin, 1984)
44) “Bad Girl” (Erotica, 1992)
43) “Keep It Together” (Like A Prayer, 1989)
42) “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” (Evita, 1996)
41) “Fever” (Erotica, 1992)

For the Top 40 Madonna songs, follow along!

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Green Day Debut An Amy Winehouse Tribute And Nearly Twenty Other New Songs

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Green Day took a break from working on their new album last week to road-test what they’d written?sort of. On Tuesday the band announced a last-minute, Thursday night benefit show for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at the 250-capacity Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa, CA, and their set that night included, by some accounts, nineteen unreleased songs. Despite the “STRICT NO CAMERA, NO CELL PHONE POLICY,” a recording of “Amy” made it onto YouTube, and judging from the lyrics, later posted on the band’s website, the song is a tribute to the late Amy Winehouse (“27, gone without a trace/ And you walked away from your drink”).

“Amy” kicked off the encore, which also included a cover of Ozzy Osbourne‘s “Goodbye to Romance” and eight Green Day fan favorites. The band has provided no information on the timeline of their upcoming studio album, nor any word on which of the new songs will even make the cut.

Green Day Debuts Amy Winehouse Tribute, “Amy,” at California Show [Billboard]

[Image: Getty Images]

Last Lap: Monday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

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Lady Gaga Video To Premiere Thursday On MTV
As part of the “Yoü and I” premiere (set for 7:49PM ET), Lady Gaga will sit down with Sway for an interview, before a fan Q&A at MTV.com, with questions sourced from those submitted via Twitter using the hashtag #MTVGaga. Speaking of Twitter, Gaga’s Twitter contains “Yoü and I” stills and teasers. [MTV]

Jay-Z Reportedly Spent $250K On Champagne in Miami
Jay-Z may not be King of Rap as stat-crunched by Chris Molanphy for Rolling Stone (that honor went to EminemKanye set a new record for iTunes single week sales (which is what he was celebrating). Plus he tipped an additional $50K! [Radar]
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Jay-Z and Kanye West Smash iTunes Sales Record, Steal Throne From Coldplay

by (@Lacezilla)

We won’t have the final numbers until Wednesday morning when physical album sales are also included in Soundscan’s calculations, but iTunes has released the first-week sales totals for Watch The Throne, and the figures are quite impressive. For over three years, Coldplay’s Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends held the record for first-week copies sold in the online music store with 155,000, but swooping in with nearly double that amount is Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaborative supergroup, The Throne, cashing in with a whopping 290,000 digital purchases. (For comparison’s sake, Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way sold 440,000 downloads in the Amazon.com MP3 store back in June, but that was also priced to move at only $0.99 for the entire album.)

Aside from the fact that Jay and ‘Ye are arguably two of the hottest rappers in the game right now, there are a few things to consider when digesting this news. First of all, Watch The Throne has been heavily promoted and buzzed about over the past few weeks and months, and the iTunes release was an exclusive one, which certainly spiked first week sales. Secondly, and perhaps even more shockingly, is the fact that the album didn’t leak beforehand. For a genre that falls victim to digital assaults via hackers on a regular basis, a feat such as this is almost unheard-of. In their forthcoming August 20th issue, Billboard takes a closer look at the Mission Impossible-like process of keeping one of the year’s most anticipated albums under digital-fingerprint-protected lock and key. Let’s just say that many precautionary strategies were agreed upon and executed, all in the name of safeguarding digital files as they were created; in-person meetings replaced email correspondence, wi-fi signals were disabled during recording sessions, and hard drives were protected 24-hours a day like homeland security secrets.

Despite this impressive sales figure, it remains to be seen whether or not this album will have the same sort of cultural impact that solo records from these two individuals tend to have. Reviews of Watch The Throne have so far been mixed, and lead single “Otis” hasn’t quite taken off in the way that many foresaw. Will this record mimic the arc of Lady Gaga’s latest release –huge first week sales, followed by sharp decline– or chart its own course? Tough to say at this point, but we’ll certainly be watching.

Jay-Z & Kanye West’s “Watch The Throne” Breaks iTunes Sales Record [HipHopDX]