Enter The “You Oughta Lolla” Sweepstakes And Win Tickets And VIP Access To Lollapalooza

by (@unclegrambo)

Less than a month from now, dozens of bands and tens of thousands of music fans will be making their way to Chicago’s Grant Park for the annual Lollapalooza music festival. If you currently find yourself on the outside looking in—three-day passes to the festival are currently sold out—well then, we have some good news to share with you.

With a click of your mouse and some light typing by your fingers, you can enter the You Oughta Lolla sweepstakes. Five grand-prize winners will receive 1) A pair of General Admission 3-Day Passes, 2) VIP, front-of-line access to the You Oughta Know FYE Autograph Tent for each day of the Festival and 3) Side-stage access to select You Oughta Know performances for each day of the Festival. Of course, VH1 Top 20 and VH1 News crews will be on hand in the Windy City to cover performances from VH1 You Oughta Know artists like Foster The People, Fitz And The Tantrums, Christina Perri, Lissie, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals and Two Door Cinema Club, among others. But really, what could be better than actually being there yourself to see all of these amazing artists live and in the flesh?

To enter the contest, all you have to do is head over to the You Oughta Lolla contest entry page and fill out the required information. Complete contest rules and regulations are on that site as well. GOOD LUCK!

Tuned In: Chris Brown Might Have Broken The Today Show Attendance Record

by (@Lacezilla)

Sporting a handsome suit and a shiny pink bow tie, Chris Brown took to the stage this morning before upwards of 18,000 fans (!), performing “Forever” (video above), “She Ain’t You” (video below) and “I Can Transform Ya” on NBC’s TODAY in New York City. While a string of recent controversies seem to follow the troubled young singer, the large audience may serve as a band-aid step in the right direction.

NBC stated on their site that the show was “one of their biggest concert events ever,” but OK Magazine is reporting that this concert was, in fact, the largest in TODAY history, beating out pop force of nature Lady Gaga. However, Jezebel claims that 20,000 Little Monsters showed up to watch their Mother Monster perform, so

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Shearer’s Spotlight: A Special Playlist Dedicated To The USA Women’s World Cup Team

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Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, 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, when the Top 20 Spotlight will be shining on none other than Beyoncé!

If you?re not watching the USA vs. Japan Women?s World Cup finals match this Sunday at 2 p.m., I don?t think we can be friends (unless, of course, you have a really good excuse).

Here are three songs that will be included on my pre-game playlist:

?Ridin? Solo,? Jason Derulo

I?m sending this one out to USA?s Hope Solo. I decided to go with this Jason Derulo tune, because in sports, you always pin your hopes on your star player, and ?ride? them through the finals. And because Solo plays the lonely position of goalkeeper, she is ?ridin? solo? in many ways. For any of you taking this song title out of a sports context and bringing it into, say, the bedroom; shame on you, what a dirty mind you have.

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Ameriie’s Fifth Album Is 80% Done, But Probably Going To Be No Less Underrated

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R&B is a tough business, and anyone with even a passing interest in the genre has a favorite artist who had one hit single but hasn’t been able to catch a break since. (A popular choice in this category is Cassie.) But no artist has hit bigger, and then followed up with such high quality material only that was met with lackluster commercial response as Ameriie (formerly Amerie). “1 Thing” topped the R&B/Hip-Hop charts in 2005 and placed second in the year-end Pazz & Jop critics’ poll, behind only “Gold Digger” (and ahead of even “Since U Been Gone”), but her fantastic follow-up record Because I Love It failed to chart a single in the United States, as a result of which Columbia held back the album’s release for nearly a year and a half. Ameriie and her boyfriend/manager/executive producer Lenny Nicholson cut their losses and parted with the label, but her 2009 album In Love and War hardly performed better (so from a business perspective, Columbia may have been right all along).

Fans who are hoping Ameriie’s forthcoming album will be a commercial success will likely be discouraged by the interview Billboard published today. Ameriie has continued following her muse into interesting artistic territory, but she’s likely off the map commercially. The first clue is the album title, Cymatika Vol. 1. The title refers to cymatics, the study of visible sound and vibration. Or as Ameriie explained on Twitter, “It’s some spiritual, metaphysical, literally outer space s?t.”

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

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Another Side To The Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest Story
A main source of the tension on A Tribe Called Quest‘s 2008 tour, as documented in the new film Beats, Rhymes, & Life (directed by Michael Rappaport, pictured above with Phife Dawg), is an interview Q-Tip gave to Spin. Today the Awl ran a complementary piece by the author of that Q-Tip profile. [The Awl]

Morrissey Prefers Edith Piaf To “McDonna” And Has “No Love For” Himself But Plenty For His Music
Also among the unsurprising quotes in the interview Billboard published today: “The word ‘indie’ is meaningless now.” We’d say, “Never change,” but Morrissey certainly isn’t in danger of that. [Billboard]
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VH1′s Top 100 Videos of 2011… So Far, Part III: The Top Ten

by (@Lacezilla)

For those of you who haven’t been following along this week, welcome! We are in the home stretch of counting down the Top 100 Videos of 2011 … So Far, and for those of you who been riding shotgun, scanning through #100-51 and #50-11 of our list of the most-watched videos on VH1.com, we salute your dedication and loyalty! Now, it’s onto the Top Ten. Drums, please…

10. Cee Lo Green, “F*** You”
What a year it’s been for Cee Lo! Kicking off his The Lady Killer album release with a powerful single that even had your grandma using cuss words, it was only right that he delivered a visual that packed the same punch. Co-written by Bruno Mars, the video for the happily hostile post-breakup anthem chronicles Cee Lo in a diner from childhood to adulthood, dealing with the hardships that often plague those looking for love. In case you can’t get enough of him, hold on to his sweet, nasty and sarcastic Valentine’s Day messages for next year, and check out his incredible Storytellers performance, too!

9. Christina Perri, “Jar of Hearts”
In a much more intense version of Cee Lo’s #10 video, You Oughta Know songstress Christina Perri airs some love-related greivances of her own. Stating very plainly that she refuses to become a notch on someone’s belt, the tattooed beauty opts to avoid an unhealthy romantic encounter with an ex. In the dark video, the male antagonist is literally running around leaving scars, sucking womens souls from their bodies. Eek! Who does he think he is? In any event, we’re proud of Christina for abstaining and staying strong. If you want to catch more of her, check out her Posted content and a super special YOK Live performance she graced us with.

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Warren G. Hawks Penile Enhancement Pills (“Regulate” Puns Ahoy!)

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Have you ever found in a situation where you want to get down, but can’t, erm, get it up? In one of the more bizarre paid endorsements we’ve ever seen, “legendary recording artist” Warren G has some advice on the topic: “You need to take your Affirm XL and regulate.”

This series of ads has been around for a minute (inauspiciously enough, they were all uploaded within 48 hours of the passing of Warren G’s primary musical collaborator, Nate Dogg). But they just came to our attention today, thanks to ego trip (with whom we partnered in 2007 to produce The (White) Rapper Show) and we had to share them with you. The rapper is featured in four spots: “Warren G in the Bathroom,” above; “Bedroom Scene,” “Shower Scene,” and “Beach.” ego trip is polling its readers on which is their favorite of the four. And yes, they all contain references to, erm, regulating.

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Cher Re-Records The Fame Outtake, And Other Gaga News Of The Day

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Cher, who counts among her pop innovations the origin, with “Believe,” of Auto-Tune-as-aesthetic, is recording a new album, and its lead track is written by none other than Lady Gaga and her writing partner RedOne:

“The Greatest Thing” was written, and recorded by Gaga, for The Fame, but ultimately not officially released. Naturally, that demo is on YouTube.

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Spotify Launches In America! Does It Live Up To The Hype?

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Cloud-based streaming music service Spotify has launched in the United States, and you can sign up for their “unlimited” or “premium” monthly subscriptions or, with an invite, listen for free, with advertising. The hype machine is in full force, but how does the service stack up against other available options? We broke down the aspects of Spotify’s appeal to cut through the hype and look at what the service offers.

Spotify is streaming-only, so it does not allow users to download from its music catalog. This allows the service to license the music at a lower rate (and is part of what makes the advertising-supported service possible). As a free option, Spotify improves on Pandora by allowing listeners to choose what songs they hear, rather than having a playlist programmed for them. Its subscription service is not dissimilar to Rhapsody‘s or Rdio‘s streaming services, but both of those allow subscribers to download songs, so they can only offer free trials rather than a full-fledged advertising-supported service, and their subscription services start at a higher price point than Spotify’s $4.99/mo. “Unlimited” subscription.

Spotify is also touted for being cloud-based, which is to say that music is provided by content owners and stored by the service, not by the user. This allows users to have access to a larger catalog than they would able to store on their computers, phones, etc. However, control of the music is ultimately out of the user’s hands, so it can become unavailable. For example, even the services that have licenses with Sony do not stream Milli Vanilli songs, because that music has been deliberately removed from circulation by the company.

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Exclusive Video: Watch Javier Colon Watch Himself Perform On A 2003 Episode Of VH1 Unplugged

by (@unclegrambo)

Ever since being crowned the winner of The Voice two weeks ago, Javier Colon‘s life has been a whirlwind of interviews, press junkets, and plane flights (nine of them, to be exact). We here at VH1 have been fans of his going all the way back to 2003, when Javier performed on VH1 Unplugged. So when he popped by our offices the other day to chat, we took the opportunity to show him video from that 2003 Unplugged session, which just so happened to be the first time he had seen the video in eight years. We captured the moment on our iPhone cam, and we’ve got it for you above.

Javier was also cool enough to answer some of our questions about his experience on The Voice, what it was like to duet with the legendary Stevie Nicks, the strategy that came into play when it came to ditching his trademark cap, and what his new album is going to sound like.

VH1: Well, first things first. Congratulations on winning The Voice! What has your life been like for the last two weeks since winning it all?

Javier: The first week I had nine flights, it was a lot of back and fourth, a lot of press and stuff. It’s been amazing, it’s been a whirlwind. I felt like I was living someone else’s life. Walking as someone else, walking through the mall or through the airport with people are yelling ‘Congratulations!’ from across the concourse, or you see people looking at you funny or doing a double take. It feels like your out of your own skin.

It seems like one of the big things that came through on the show, aside from your incredible talent and incredible voice, is that people really seemed to make a connection to your choice of headwear.

I got a lot of hats man, I got a lot of hats, I mean all types of hats. From Kangols to fedoras, all kinds of stuff. On the show, I only did baseball hats for the most part. But I’ve got a lot of different hats.

Do you consider that to be one of your trademarks?

Yeah, it is! I mean, the hat is definitely one of my things, there is a lot of people that actually took issue with the fact that I didn?t take it off, in the beginning and I was like ?You know what? I’ll take it off actually in the middle of a song,? so I took it off in the middle of a Coldplay song.

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