Shearer’s Spotlight: Jim’s Favorite Singles Of 2011


Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the Top 20 Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Because December is a month full of year-end lists, for your blog-viewing pleasure, today I give you my favorite singles of 2011:

10.) “Blow,” Ke$ha
Yes, this single was featured on Ke$ha’s 2010 mini-LP, Cannibal, but the track didn’t fully explode (or blow-ow-ow) until the beginning of this year. Because “Blow” stayed away from Ke$ha’s polarizing sing-annunciate-rap formula, it became her first single that I couldn’t stop listening to.

9.) “Michael Jackson,” Das Racist
For some reason, underground/indie-minded hip-hoppers tend to shy away from slick production and repetitive hooks, but on “Michael Jackson” Das Racist embrace these elements with fantastic results.

8.) “Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys
Dan and Pat of The Black Keys add bass and keys to their two-man sound, creating one of the most fun rock tracks of the year (which will surely still be in heavy rotation come 2012).

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Oy Bey! Beyonce Is Being Sued For $100 Million Dollars

by (@kat_george)

A video game company, Gate Five, is suing Beyoncé for $100 million dollars, and our first question to them is: do you hate yourselves? Why would you sue Beyoncé? Is it even OK to sue a pregnant woman? Would it not be slightly more decent to at least wait until she’s given birth? The company (ergh) alleges that they lost $7 million when Beyoncé pulled out of producing a dance-based video game, “Starpower: Beyoncé,” with them in 2010. Yes, we know — we said they were suing for $100 million, not $7 million. Apparently, Gate Five believes they’re entitled to the hefty sum of $100 million due to the projected profits they would have made, but failed to make, because Beyoncé pulled out. We hope this doesn’t spell the end of time for Beyoncé!

Beyonce Being Sued For $100 Million By Video Game Company [Prefix]

Aziz Ansari Is Jay-Z And Kayne’s Most Millennial Friend As He Re-imagines “N****s In Paris” With Emoji

by (@kat_george)

You probably know Aziz Anzari best as Tom Haverford on Parks & Recreation, but what you don’t know is that there’s actually a triumvirate of thrones — that’s right, Aziz Anzari is the silent monarch of the Watch The Throne kingdom. Appearing in Jay-Z and Kayne‘s video for “Otis,” we’re not really sure who is more lucky to be friends with who, but we do know that our brains are probably going to explode if we think too hard about the three legends hanging out. Aziz showed his love for Hov and Yeez by affectionately turning their hit song “N****s In Paris” into an Emoji narrative, using the extra special, more detailed than every day emoticons, to re-imagine the song. Our favorite part is the “ball so hard” interpretation — clever indeed! See the whole thing at Aziz’s Tumblr and after the jump.

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12 Days Of DIVAS: Donna Summer Reflects On The Supremes

by (@kat_george)

Can I get a “DIVAS!”? VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul, is set to air on VH1 on Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, with what are set to be epic performances by Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J and other lovely ladies. In anticipation of the huge event, we’re playing the role of Ghost Of DIVAS past, and bringing you some of our favourite performances as we take a trip through the archive. So far, we’ve revisited Jill Scott, Beyoncé, Gladys Knight and Whitney Houston, remembering their earth shattering performances on the DIVAS stage.

Today, for the 5th day of DIVAS, my true love gave to me, reflections of the way life used to be! We have Donna Summer singing The Supremes“Reflections” in 2000, and not only is she divine in full curls and fishtailed black gown, she is absolutely commanding. Taking on the classic song with poise and control, Summer makes performing look easy. Hitting spine tingling high notes, and adding an element of husky bedroom-eye undertones to the verses, Summer’s rendition, in the same vein of The Supremes is joyful despite the nostalgic, melancholy subject matter.

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul will premiere exclusively on VH1 on Monday, December 19, 2011, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.

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Billboard Releases Their Hot 100 List For The Year 2011

by (@kat_george)

The results are in! And it’s not just a matter of opinion either — Billboard has compiled the Hot 100 Songs of 2011 according to radio airplay audience impressions and sales data provided by Nielsen, as well as streaming data from other online sources. And the winner is…

Adele! (Duh.) The hottest song, from what is indubitably one of the most highly appreciated, universally loved albums of the year, “Rolling In The Deep” is number one on Billboard‘s Hot 100 Songs list. Katy Perry may have scored more #1s this year than Adele, but by Billboard’s count, “Firework” and “E.T” came in at #3 and #4, respectively. We’re pretty proud to see You Oughta Know artists Bruno Mars at #6 with “Grenade,” #15 with “Just The Way You Are” and at #26 with “The Lazy Song”, and Foster The People at #13 with “Pumped Up Kicks.”

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Tuned In: Blink-182 Make Us Feel 14 Again With “After Midnight” On Conan

by (@kat_george)

Remember your Blink-182 obsession in the ’90s and early Naughties? We remember ours, that’s why we were so excited to see our favorite pop-punk band take to the stage on Conan last night to perform “After Midnight” from their new LP Neighborhoods. “After Midnight” took us for a trip down memory lane, with the sentiment of “Going Away To College” and the dynamic, roof shaking sounds of “Feeling This.” While it doesn’t have the attitude of the kind of stuff Blink-182 gave us in Dude Ranch and Enema Of The State, “After Midnight” is what we’ve come to expect from a more mature, grown up Blink-182, and we love it (plus, there’s nothing we adore more than Travis Barker smashing a drum kit). “After Midnight” is draws on the tortured elements of the Blink-182 persona, retaining hints of teenage romanticism and the absurdist whimsy-realism dichotomy Blink-182 creates with their lyrics and layered beats. After all, how long can grown men sing about alien invasions and doing untoward things to dogs and pirates?

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Last Lap: Coldplay Announce Mylo Xyloto Tour Dates For North America!

by (@kat_george)

Coldplay Announce Mylo Xyloto Tour Dates For North America!
Excited much? Coldplay have announced the first round of tour dates for Mylo Xyloto rounds of North America. We’ll be lining up, camping out and generally doing whatever we can to get our tickets — will you? [Neon Limelight]

Janelle Monae Is Getting Ready To Drop Not One, But Two Albums In 2012
If you love Janelle Monae, have we got news for you! The “Tightrope” singer has been m.i.a recently because she’s been working on not one, but two (!) albums for release in 2012. So far this is all the information that’s been released, so keep your ear to the ground for updates! [Prefix]

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Steven Adler Discusses the Likelihood of a Guns N’ Roses Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Reunion: “Unfortunately, I Don’t Foresee It”

by (@unclegrambo)

Guns N’ Roses is headed for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in April, and since Wednesday’s announcement, nary a critic has debated their worthiness for inclusion. Instead, the conversation around G N’R this week has mainly revolved around speculation as to whether or not Axl and Slash will be able to put aside 20 years worth of acrimony and actually show up in the same place at the same time. No one has been able to get either Axl or Slash to go on the record with their intentions, but Rolling Stone was able to get former G N’R drummer (and Celebrity Rehab cast member) Steven Adler to dish on whether or not they’ll be getting the band back together for one last night, as well as what he thought about Axl’s recent interview on VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show.

“Unfortunately, I don’t foresee it,” Adler explained to Rolling Stone‘s Andy Greene. “You figure that time could heal all wounds, but some people just REALLY hold a crazy grudge.” Greene pressed Adler further on the issue, and being the eminently quotable guy that he is, Adler delivered:

If the Police could do a reunion … One of the biggest jerks I ever met was Sting,” Adler dished. “If he can do it, then anyone can do it. It’s not that big a deal. And the Eagles! They did it! They severely hated each other. It’s just rock and roll. It’s not like anyone has f***ed anyone’s wife or stole their wife, like the Rolling Stones with Brian Jones and Keith Richards. None of that crap happened.”

During Axl Rose’s interview with That Metal Show, he pretty much said the same thing. At the time of the interview, the band was only on the short list of nominees and they had not been informed of their eventual induction, but Axl still weighed in:
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Fitz And The Tantrums Drives Hertz’s Movin’ With Music Campaign

by (@fdot415)

If any member of the six-piece, retro-soul phenom Fitz and the Tantrums offers to write you a note to ditch work the next day “if you cut loose tonight,” take it because you know you’re in for some intense “booty shaking” (believe us, we were trying). Wish we took vocalist Noelle Scaggs up on her offer, because the crowd’s frenzy reached a cardio workout levels by the end of the Tantrum’s six-song set at New York’s Irving Plaza, and who could go home after that?

The You Oughta Know alums burst onto the stage with an animated intro to “Don’t Gotta Work It Out,” courtesy of keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna, while the act’s namesake vocalist Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick cranked up the energy level up further with just a two-note belting of “Baby.” They bookended the showcase with equally hyper hit “MoneyGrabber,” in all working it through half of their outstanding Pickin’ Up The Pieces LP start to finish. Noelle’s pervasive dance moves (made dazzling by a sparkly silver top) and her charismatic harmonies with Fitz were on full display, while James King’s horns raised the swagger quotient especially during their cover of Eurhythmics classic “Sweet Dreams.” As a fan let rip from the audience, “Dig that horn, mannnnn!” Indeed.

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Madonna Becomes The Bajillionth Artist To Feature A Guest Appearance By Nicki Minaj (Ok, Only The 35th, But Still…)

by (@unclegrambo)

The Internet was set ablaze last night when word began spreading that Madonna and Nicki Minaj were on-set at an undisclosed location filming a video for “Give Me All Your Love,” the new single from Madonna’s forthcoming LP (yes, the one that leaked last month and got Madge’s camp in a tizzy). Twitter nearly melted when word of a Madge/Minaj kiss leaked out, news of which came straight from the Queen of the Barbz herself: “OH MY f’ingggg Gahhhh!!!!! MADONNA jus kissed me!!!!! On the lips!!!!!!! It felt sooooo good. Soooo soft!!!! *passes out* aaahhhhh!!!!!!!!!”

Well, Madonna has been known to suck the life force from delicately smooch up-and-coming pop starlets in the past, and this kiss element definitely lends a level of excitement to the upcoming collaboration between Her Madgesty and Nicki Minaj that might otherwise have been a bit lacking. By that, we mean that Madonna has always taken great pride in being ahead of the curve and pushing the envelope, creatively speaking, and at this point, trading verses with Nicki Minaj is, quite frankly, something that has been done before. 39 times before, to be precise, with 34 different artists. (See our complete timeline of Nicki Minaj guest appearances below.)

So, what we’re wondering is this:

Below, we’ve got the complete timeline of Nicki Minaj collaborations!

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