We officially declare 2011 the year of Adele (as if there was even any question in the first place!). Not only has she made the “top” and “best” lists of both critics and the industry, but she’s also been a favorite with audiences globally, dominating the charts and generally just being played and gushed over absolutely everywhere. As if all the Grammy nominations and accolades weren’t enough, Adele has also made the record of most digital sales in a calendar year for “Rolling In The Deep,” selling more than any song in digital history — 5,572,000 copies so far, to be exact! Of course, there’s still a few weeks left in the year, but nothing short of a freak occurrence could topple Adele, as second place holder, LMFAO‘s “Party Rock Anthem” is still way behind the singer-songwriter, having sold (only?) 4,878,000 copies.
Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” Sold More Digital Copies Than Any Song Ever [Idolator]
[Photo: Getty Images]
2011 was the year of Watch The Throne, the universally hyped phenomenon that took on a life of its own. Yes, it was ‘just’ an album, but how could it have been any less than Biblical with Hov and the prodigal son joining forces for one of the biggest hip hop collaborations in history? The epic collab has got us thinking, as it seems like one really isn’t enough these days (unless you’re Beyoncé, of course) to keep public interest piqued for long, so the high-profile are increasingly joining forces with the high-profile, wingman-ing each other for the hits. After all, doesn’t everyone need a Goose? We’ve put together some of our favorite superstars for the mindboggling collaborations we’d like to see come to fruition in 2012 (hint, hint!).
Lana Del Rey and Nicki Minaj
We already know Nicki Minaj loves a good collaboration, and from what we’ve seen of Lana Del Rey so far, our suspicion tell us her “machine” have the buzz artist pegged for super stardom. Collaborating with LDR would give Nicki the kind of edge she got from “Monster” while for LDR the partnership would open her up to a whole new — not to mention powerful — army of fans/Barbz. We’re imagining this as super dark and sexy with a muddy bass line; lyrically, it would be largely Lana crooning about doing filthy things with her dirt bag lover and having her heart broken, while Nicki’s verse would be a no-holds barred, expletive laden, grimy scratching on Lana’s melancholy. It would probably only be a suitable formula for one song, but we’re anticipating it would be a cross-genre hit, captivating mainstream audiences and the more subversively inclined simultaneously.
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. Your regularly scheduled Top 20 Video Countdown show is on a break until 2012, but be sure to tune into the Top 40 Videos of 2011 tomorrow evening when it airs on VH1 at 7 p.m. ET/PT. This week Jim gives us his top 10 albums of 2011.
10.) Love & Rockets, Vol. 1: The Transformation, Murs
Sometimes Murs’ albums have the propensity of being too laid back, but on Love & Rockets he strikes a nice balance, weaving between more chilled out tracks like “Remember 2 Forget” and heavier callouts like “Let’s Go.” The highlight of the album though is its closing track “Animal Style,” the boldest hip-hop song I’ve heard about homosexuality (which sadly, is traditionally never discussed in hip-hop).
9.) The Road From Memphis, Booker T. Jones
Indeed, this is the same Booker T. from Booker T. & the MG’s, an outfit responsible for making one of the greatest instrumentals in modern music: “Green Onions.” Jones’ trademark Hammond organ licks backed by The Roots’ rhythm section and legendary funk/soul guitarist, Dennis Coffey, play out splendidly on the all-too-fun covers of Lauryn Hill’s “Everything Is Everything,” Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” and Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend.” And not to diss, but Lou Reed’s collaboration with Jones on “The Bronx” sounds better than anything he did with Metallica this year.
8.) Watch The Throne, Kanye West & Jay Z
At the beginning of 2011 word on the street was that Kanye West & Jay Z were going to release an album together, while Dr. Dre was set to put out the final recording of his stellar career. I was skeptical of both, but at year’s end I’m happy to say we did get a solid debut from hip-hop’s premiere super-group, although I’m still waiting for Dre’s Detox, which is quickly, or slowly, becoming hip-hop’s version of Chinese Democracy.
So close! VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul is set to air on VH1 on Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and our excitement is palpable. The show will feature performances by Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J and other lovely ladies. For the past 10 days we’ve been getting in the DIVAS mood by revisiting performances from DIVAS past including Jill Scott, Beyoncé, Gladys Knight, Whitney Houston, Donna Summer (twice!), a duet between Joss Stone and Gladys Knight, Destiny’s Child and Mariah Carey.
Today, for the 10th day of DIVAS, we’re going back one year and finding ourselves in the midst of rock’n’roll heaven. In a cacophony of live instruments and piercing voices, You Oughta Know artists Grace Potter & The Nocturnals perform “Crazy On You” with Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. The performance is a high octane, rock-driven spectacle, with Potter and Wilson’s voices cutting through the stratosphere in the way that only legendary rock voices can. Not to mention the girl power overload (and doesn’t Grace look adorable in that flatter style party dress?).
VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul will premiere exclusively on VH1 on Monday, December 19, 2011, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
Robin Thicke‘s “Love After War,” is pretty clearly about a relationship, although the title is rather pertinent following the end of the Iraq War yesterday. Last night on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Robin Thicke performed the sexy song — and we think if his voice was reincarnated as a physical thing it would be bedroom eyes. (Speaking of bedroom eyes, why are you hiding them with those sunglasses at night, Robin?) Either way, his performance of the title track off his new LP was vibrant, and Thicke laid on the signature charm that has all the ladies swooning, as we saw at his live show in New York last week.
Jay-Z Is Being Sued For Using A Sample Without Permission In “Big Pimpin'”
Seems like hubby Jay-Z is following in the footsteps of wifey Beyoncé and is being sued for using a sample in his track “Big Pimpin'” without permission. We hope there’s still enough of a parent team left after all the legal action to look after Baby Bey-Z! [Prefix]
Courtney Love To Be Evicted From Her New York Rental Pad
Courtney Love has allegedly trashed her New York rental pad to the point where the owner is taking action to have the petulant rock star forcibly removed. She’s also apparently way behind of rent payments — get it together, Courtney! [NME]
VH1 is getting ready for a chilly winter by cozying up with some good tunes; to wit, check out our neat new promo video for the holiday season. Set to the sounds of The Black Keys‘ “Lonely Boy,” the video is a fast-paced, energetic montage of all your favorites from You Oughta Know‘s Bruno Mars to Daughtry. The best part is watching the stars transform from humans into illuminated cartoons — our favorite is “Countdown” Beyoncé finger clicking as a fluorescent illustration.
We’re starting to gear up to awards season following the announcement of the 2012 Grammy Award nominees last month, and now we’re really getting into the spirit of things with the 2012 Golden Globe nominations, announced earlier this morning. We’re excited to see some of our favorite ladies getting a nod for Best Original Song, including high earning Lady Gaga for her collaboration with Elton John on “Hello Hello” (Gnomeo & Juliet), DIVAS‘ Mary J. Blige for “The Living Proof” (The Help), and matriarch Madonna for “Masterpiece” (from her movie W.E). Also nominated are Chris Cornell for “The Keeper” (Machine Gun Preacher) and Brian Byrne and Glenn Close for “Lay Your Head Down” (Albert Nobbs).
Strangely enough, The Muppets was not acknowledged in the nominations despite the film being a musical extravaganza. The Muppets were, however, nominated for a Critic’s Choice Movie Award for Best Song for “Man Or Muppet,” so it does seem a bit odd that the obviously critically acclaimed track should be snubbed here.
HFPA Nominations & Winners [Official Website Of the Golden Globe Awards]
Dynamic duo Karmin popped by the VH1 studios for a hang, and it was as vibrant, colorful and fun filled as you would expect from Karmin! Our photographer, Colin Gray, followed the pair around and got plenty of snaps of them goofing off (after the jump). We were also lucky enough to be able to head behind the scenes for the shoot of their new video “Crash Your Party,” which is Karmin’s first ever professionally-shot clip, and the two appear in awe of the whole process, saying, “only 6 months ago we were just in our living room making home videos!” Well, home videos no longer — Karmin are about to hit the big time!