In Alicia Keys’ VH1 Storytellers Performance, She’s A “Girl On Fire”

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Alicia Keys is passionate about her music. Whether it’s her riveting VMA performance of “Girl On Fire” or her more stripped down version of the same song from VH1 Storytellers, this passion is what drives her on-stage persona. Almost in a shout, Alicia sings to the tune of the piano keys she is stroking. Her energy is highest when she wails, “This girl is on fire.” She sings each note like they all mean something to her. The back story behind the song, which is not shown in the clip, is that the title was inspired by a New York Times article she read about herself. The writer used “girl on fire” as a descriptor. From that moment Keys was determined to write a song of the same title. Read more…

Bananarama Launch Their First U.S. Tour In 23 Years

by (@JordanRuntagh)

Bananarama are back! After bringing us hit after hit in the 1980s, the group has returned to U.S. soil after 23 long years, and it’s all for a good cause. Singers Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward launched their first American tour since 1989 in support of Hard Rock’s PINKTOBER breast cancer campaign that will fund the work and pay the salaries of three cancer researchers for an entire year. October being breast cancer awareness month, it’s the perfect time to amp up the fight for a cure…with guitar amps. Plus it allows for U.S. fans to see the pair of pop Venuses live and in person for the first time in two decades. Double win!

The 8-city concert series kicked off Tuesday night at Hard Rock’s massive Times Square location, formerly the home of the legendary Paramount Theater. Not a bad place to stage a comeback. Sadly, the reunion did not feature original third member Siobhan Fahey, who left the band in 1989. But Sara and Keren did just fine on their own as they took to the stage with their stellar band and two rubber-limbed backup dancers who bore the brunt of the girls’ musical flirtations.

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Nicki and Mariah American Idol Feud Is Getting Nasty, Barbara Walters Gets Involved

by (@zaragolden)

The Idol rumor mill is spinning out extra-nasty news today, with reports that Mariah Carey-Nicki Minaj drama have escalated from the initial maybe a little side-eye and screaming matches to alleged gun taunts. That’s right, according to Barbara Walters, Mariah says Nicki said, “If I had a gun, I would shoot the bitch.” Barbara versus the Barbz, dem babies and guns — has it really come to this?

As today’s story goes: Walters called her “good friend” Mariah this morning to hear her side of the story, and then reported back on their conversation this morning on The View, saying that the video is “troublesome, but that’s not what really worried her.” As Walters relays it:

“She said that when Nicki walked off the set, she heard multiple say, ‘If I had a gun, I would shoot the [bleep] bitch.’ [audience gasp] And she said there were staff members who heard, there were hairdressers, producers, other people. She said she is is very concerned, she is with her twins, she doesn’t feel that anything would happen. I am quoting now, but “nicki is unpredictable and Mariah says she can’t take a chance and she has hired extra security.” Read more…

T.I. Saved Creed Frontman Scott Stapp’s Life

by (@zaragolden)

Creed frontman Scott Stapp was on Big Morning Buzz yesterday, talking inspiration and chatting about his new tell-all, Sinner’s Creed. And at the gentle urging of host Carrie Keagan, he opened up about an unlikely and life-saving moment he shared with T.I.

As Stapp tells us, he was cooped up in an all-white-everything penthouse suite at Delano hotel in Miami, several days deep into a binge — “that prism of alcohol and drug addiction,” he calls it — and looking for an end or out. He climbed over the balcony and fell the forty feet to the ground, really doing “some damage” along the way. “I couldn’t move, I laid out there for about two and a half hours and a guardian angel showed up,” he recalls.

The “guardian angel” was wearing an Alabama hat that tipped Stapp off to his identity: Stapp and T.I. first met while working on Passion of the Christ: Original Songs Inspired By The Film, and had discussed their shared love for the ‘Bama ballers. “I said, ‘Roll Tide’ and he looked at me and put two and two together. He really saved my life,” Stapp said, recalling the blood dripped on T.I.’s feet and adding with a laugh that “there’s more details in the book.” Sinner’s Creed is out now.

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Rick Ross Is A Boss On The Black Bar Mitzvah Mixtape Cover

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Rick Ross' Black Bar Mitzvah Mixtape Cover

There are stranger occurrences, but none quite like the treat of Rick Ross‘ upcoming The Black Bar Mitzvah mixtape cover. Hey, he’s made reference to being the “only fat n—- in a sauna with Jews,” and maybe he was inspired by Drake‘s bar mitzvah themed “HYFR” video, which in turn led to Ross’ head protruding from the Star of David. But since it’s a “black” bar mitzvah celebration, in Rozay’s mind this equates to flashiness. The fox fur draped across his shoulder, the blinged out shades, the gold pinky ring, these are all signs of success for a crop of rappers like Ross who grew up with nearly nothing. Leave it to Ricky to put a hood tale spin on God’s “chosen people” like only a boss could. Read more…

Not Just For Tweens Anymore, Celebs Skip The Presidential Debate For Justin Bieber Concert

by (@zaragolden)

Justin Bieber‘s Believe tour has gotten off to a shaky start, Justin letting bad milk get the better of him onstage the first night — twice. But that didn’t stop a sold-out and star-studded audience from swarming  his show at L.A.’s Staples center last night, potential for vomit disregarded. Everyone from Katy Perry to Khloe Kardashian, Lena Dunham to Heidi Klum showed up, ditching the evening’s wine-and-presidential debate parties to brave a stadium’s worth of screaming tweens for the Biebs. And from what we can tell, they have no regrets. Justin Bieber concerts are no longer the province of the young, and everyone seemed to have a great time: Read more…

Which Of The 2013 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominees Is Most Deserving Of Induction? (POLL)

by (@unclegrambo)

Public Enemy, Rush, N.W.A. And Heart Lead 2013 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominees

The nominees for the 2013 Class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame were announced this morning. The group is, as it has been for the last few years, an eclectic bunch made up of artists from a wide variety of musical genres: First-time nominees this year include prog-rock legends Rush (who finally made the ballot after being inexplicably snubbed for years), heavy metal originators Deep Purple, politically-charged hip-hop pioneers Public Enemy, gangsta rap stalwarts N.W.A., Motown trendsetters The Marvelettes, moody British rockers Procol Harum, and blues guitar aficionado Albert King.

Returning to the bill are disco pioneers Chic (their seventh nom), the late, great Donna Summer (her fifth), and a whole slew of second-time nominees: Heart, Joan Jett, Kraftwerk, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Randy Newman, and The Meters.

The RRHOF’s induction process is mysterious and secretive, so you don’t see the same kind of public campaigning by nominees for induction that you see in, say, the sports world. However, that doesn’t mean that the committee off 600 or so people who makes the decisions of who gets honored and who gets snubbed isn’t reading this blog post. So, with that in mind, vote for the act that you feel is most deserving of the honor in our poll below, and maybe, just maybe, Jann Wenner and his band of choosy cronies will pay heed!

[Photo: Getty Images]

Taylor Swift Shows Off The Less Cute Alternative To “Surprise Face” On Nightline

by (@zaragolden)

On Nightline this week, Cynthia McFadden confronted Taylor Swift a question about “Surprise Face” — that inevitable wide-eyed, jaw-dropped look she gets each time her name is drawn at an awards ceremony, she gets a compliment, she sees something cute, etc. — and Taylor responded not with her “Surprise Face,” but rather with the less cute alternative.

Taylor’s now famous so-called “Surprise Face” has been mocked by country king Blake Shelton at the Academy of Country Music Awards and Kristen Wiig on Saturday Night Live, and has become fun fodder for the internet-at-large. Some wonder if its a sign of false modesty, others say it’s tired, but Taylor insists otherwise. Confronted directly, she explained that her semi-permanent “surprise face” is a result of — you guessed it! — a life that’s still frequently surprising. And so if good things keep happening, and she has to keep making that face, and then she gets stuck like that — so be it! Because the alternative, as she demonstrates, is much less pretty: Read more…

Maroon 5 And PSY Battle It Out For No. 1 Spot While Mumford And Sons Land Biggest Debut Album Of The Year

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PSY, Mumford & Sons And Maroon 5 Score Big on Billboard Charts

PSY is slowly but surely becoming the next big phenomenon in music with the growing popularity of “Gangnam Style,” which climbed the charts due to its viral YouTube hit. Despite the song’s success it couldn’t ease its way pass Maroon 5‘s “One More Night” to take the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. In the closest race between Nos. 1 and 2 since February, “One More Night” kept its No. 1 spot for the third week in a row. “Gangnam Style” was nearly 500 overall chart points away from the coveted head position. Considering how close it was we think PSY should still honor his promise to perform “topless in a place where everyone can watch.” Read more…

Music Seen: Go Behind The Scenes Of Delta Rae’s You Oughta Know Live Session

by (@zaragolden)

Our November You Oughta Know artist Delta Rae runs with a crew six deep, bonded in part by blood and in total as a band. The Hölljes siblings make themselves apparent (see: all that fair blonde hair), but when the count runs down and the music kicks in, the connection between the band as a whole is so strong it suggests a family anew. And their gravity, when they are in-synch like that, is seriously strong. Just watch them perform their gripping and gospel inflected “Bottom of the River,” like they have recently on Big Morning Buzz Live and Conan, and you will feel the strong pull of their orbit, too. And you might just like it.

Our tremendous photographer Michele Crowe spent the day with Delta Rae, snapping away as they warmed up for and then rocked their You Oughta Know Live session last month. You’ll see the love they have for each other and their music — and hear it and feel it, too.

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