When you first heard Jay-Z‘s “Glory,” did you imagine Jay-Z penning the track as Beyoncé pushed and groaned, tiny baby Blue screaming as she emerged from the womb? Or did you imagine the little bundle of joy, peacefully sleeping in the nook of her glowing father’s arm as he whispered lyrics to her? Whatever fantasy you had, forget it, because “Glory” collaborator Pharrell Williams has just dropped a truth bomb, revealing that Jay-Z was working on the track before baby Blue was even born. Pharrell said, “[Jay-Z and Beyoncé], they live a different lifestyle, and it was important for him to stop everything that he had going on and just sort of make statement to his baby and his wife.” He added that when they wrote the song, they had Stevie Wonder‘s “Isn’t She Lovely” in mind, and that Jay-Z underwent a similar process for his first son, but that he’s “more quiet and private about his life”. We don’t think the dream need be entirely shattered though — now we’re imagining Hova in the evening, maybe by a fireplace, resting his head on Bey’s full belly while he jots down words about the bundle of joy inside.
Of the track itself, “R.I.P.” is set to be a pop anthem. With synth led beats, the song is a powerful dance number following in 2011’s trend towards club fueled pop, but this time with a grittier edge that takes shape with Ora’s sexy vocal and Tinie Tempah’s energetic verse. With a girl power theme, the track makes happy bedfellows with other hits of the season including Katy Perry‘s angry, moving on, triumph against heart break, “Part Of Me.” At only 21-years-old the British/Alabnian Ora should be both revered and feared. As Jay-Z’s newest protegee, it seems like Ora’s destiny is written, so prepare yourself for Ora to be the number one lady in pop this year.
Davy Jones, the pint-sized Englishman who became a teen idol for the Baby Boom generation as the lead singer of The Monkees, died today at the age of 66. TMZ is reporting that Jones, whose lead vocal propelled “Daydream Believer” to the top of the pop charts in December of 1967, suffered a heart attack in his Florida home.
Jones rose to fame in 1965 when he was selected to become a member of The Monkees, a group that was originally constructed to be a made-for-TV replica of The Beatles. Jones, along with Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, proved to be a hit on both the small screen and the radio; the group churned out a number of wildly successful pop songs, including the #1 hits “Daydream Believer”, “Last Train To Clarksville” and “I’m A Believer.” Despite their prefabricated origins, The Monkees were eventually able to break free from their pop shackles; aided by the heady times and hallucinogens, the group released the experimental film and album Head in 1968, which has come to be recognized as essential documentation of the psychedelic era.
Estelle gave an elegant performance of her track “Thank You” on The Late Show With David Letterman last night. Promoting her new album, All Of Me, which dropped yesterday, Estelle looked stunning with a simple slicked back hair-do and long white halterneck gown. With little aside from her stunning get-up in showmanship, Estelle’s performance was beautifully measured and displayed her strong vocal capabilities. As one of our favorite DIVAS, we love listening to Estelle’s flawless, captivating vocal every time she takes to the stage.
As if you weren’t excited enough about seeing Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band playing their new single, “We Take Care Of Our Own” live, add to that Jimmy Fallon’s giddy introduction to the performance on his show last night and you’ll be positively psyched. As usual, Bruce and the band bring high rock energy to the stage, and Bruce himself is simply charismatic. Maybe your heart is racing after watching the performance — we know ours are. Sometimes it’s hard to grasp the import of a song until you hear it live, and the life the The Boss and Band breathe into the stage is nothing less than essential to their All-American rock music. Watch it, and feel yourself being taken to the good place.
Rihanna Is Being Considered To Play Whitney Houston In A Biopic About The Singer’s Life
Apparently a biopic about Whitney Houston‘s life is in the works, a mere week after the late legend was buried. Reportedly, Rihanna is a candidate to play the role, although some of the parallels in the two performers’ lives (can anyone say abuse at the hand of a man named Brown?) hit a little bit too close to home for our liking. [Pop Dust]
Azealia Banks Reveals Details Of Debut Album Azealia Banks‘ debut album will be called Broke With Expensive Taste and it will be out this September. She said, “I’m not trying to withdraw, but I am trying to find that personal space again because I have an album to finish… All the praise from the fashion world is great but now everybody wants a piece and everybody wants an interview, but I need to step away and get my music done.” We can’t wait! [Pitchfork]
Remember when you were a baby and your mom’s bestie, Gwyneth Paltrow, said you were going to be a star one day? No? Neither do we. Probably because it never happened. But when baby Blue Ivy Carter learns to read and starts perusing Tuner, she’ll be able to answer, “Yes, yes! I remember that! That happened to me!” Gushing aunt Gwyn has told Hollywood Life that Blue Ivy “Is going to be an entertainer. She just has this glow around her like her mother.” Phew. We’re glad we’re not the only ones who thought Beyoncé looked a little bit radioactive. Gwyneth also added that “Beyoncé is doing great… She’s just a natural at being a mom. And Blue Ivy is stunning, she has the most beautiful eyes.” Before we deem Gwyneth to be a future-teller, however, we should note that Blue Ivy is already a star, with the most hyped birth since that one by that virgin in the manger that time, and already making history as the youngest ever “artist” to chart after she lent her vocals to dad Jay-Z‘s track “Glory”.
There seems to be some kind of story to Waka Flocka Flame‘s “Round Of Applause” video that begins with his childhood sweetheart falling in with a bad crowd, but listening to the lyrics it feels like the song is mostly just about him partying with various different women and tipping strippers. Waka Flocka Flame is surrounded by beautiful women in the clip (one is even naked and painted with graffiti to camouflage her against the wall she’s gyrating on) as money falls from the ceiling (is this Waka Flocka Flame’s money? Why doesn’t it ever run out?) inside a club where “scanty” appears to be the dress code.
So we’re not really sure about a story line per se, but there is an appearance by Drake, which is always pretty cool. The two dance around in a red room decorated with hanging light blubs, that give off a sense of how important these two rappers really are, all aglow in Hollywood style lighting. The story seems to recommence at the end of the video when Waka Flocka Flame follows his girlfriend out of the club — maybe the moral of the story being that we all have really complicated lives until we step into a club seething with bikini clad women, a space in which nothing really makes sense and there is no plot, but which we have to leave sometime.
If you need a laugh after the Oscars’ cringe-worthy attempts at humor, then you should watch Seth Rogen‘s speech at the Independent Spirit Awards from the weekend (but be warned, it’s NSFW). Hosting the awards ceremony, Rogen threw in a dig at Chris Brown and the Grammys, which was met with a roar of laughter, cheers and applause by the star studded audience. Making a reference to Brett Ratner’s firing as Oscars Producer due to homophobic comments, Rogen said, “You say a few hateful things, they don’t let you within a few hundred yards of the Oscars; You can literally beat the shit out of a nominee and they’ll ask you to perform twice at the Grammys.”
The dig was made in reference to Chris Brown’s controversial Grammys performances earlier this year, a mere three years after he brutally assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna, forcing both parties to cancel their Grammys appearances in 2009. While it seems that Rihanna has made her peace with ex-boyfriend and attacker Chris Brown (showing this to the world by collaborating on two tracks with him), some people clearly continue to be perturbed by the incident and with the forgiveness that has been shown to Chris Brown by popular media outlets like the Grammys. So far, neither RiRi and Brown, who are known for being quite vocal on Twitter, have commented on Rogan’s joke.
You, the public, have spoken, and it’s our pleasure to announce that you’ve declared Lady Gaga to be the Greatest Woman In Pop Music. Last week we launched our 8 Greatest Women In Pop Video Bracket Countdown Extravaganza, pitting Lady Gaga against Madonna, Britney Spears against Rihanna, Katy Perry against Mariah Carey, and Jennifer Lopez against Beyoncé to kick the voting off, and now, thanks to your votes, Mother Monster has come out on top!
Closely beating Madonna in round one and Britney in round two, Lady Gaga made it all the way to the end, beating Mariah Carey 56% (with 39714 votes) to 44% (with 30578 votes) in the final round. In our 100 Greatest Women in Music series that aired on VH1 last week we chose Madonna as the top lady in pop, but it seems in the great debate of which daring lady rules, you guys prefer Gaga after all. So three cheers for Lady Gaga as we crown her the Greatest Woman In Pop, as voted by you! You can watch comedian Bex Schwartz’s cute acceptance speech below.