Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” Is The 2011 VH1 Song Of The Summer

by (@unclegrambo)

For the last 14 weeks, we’ve been tracking the race to see which track would become this year’s Song Of The Summer. Since people consume music in so many different ways these days, our goal was to put together a democratic formula that compared how a group of over 70 songs performed across five of the primary channels that people frequently use to listen to their favorite jams: the Billboard Hot 100 (radio play & sales), the iTunes charts (pure sales), Last.fm scrobbles (listening on computer and mobile devices), the YouTube music charts (streams) and, of course, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown. Each week, we tracked how our group of competitors fared in each of these different platforms, and then added up the results.

So, without any further ado, we are psyched to announce that Katy Perry has taken home the first place prize in VH1′s first annual Song Of The Summer competition! When the summer began, it looked like Adele‘s “Rolling In The Deep” was going to be an unstoppable force, but as soon as Katy dropped her 80s-tastic “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” video during the week of June 27th, she dominated the countdown from there on out. Katy was gracious enough to film an quick speech for us while she accepted our totally awesome Song Of The Summer trophy, which we’ve got for you above.

For you completists, here is our final Song Of The Summer countdown chart (that is, until Memorial Day 2012 rolls around!). And you’re on Spotify, you can subscribe to our VH1 Song Of The Summer 2011 playlist and re-live the summer whenever you want.

[Click here for a larger image]

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


My Chemical Romance Drummer Fired For Stealing
Drummer Michael Pedicone, who joined My Chemical Romance last year, following the departure of Bob Bryar, was abruptly fired on Thursday night. According to a blog post by guitarist Frank Iero, Pedicone “was caught red handed stealing from the band and confessed to police after our show.” Iero also stated that the band does not intend to press charges. This afternoon, Pedicone released a statement via Kerrang! that stated, in essence, that he’d actually been caught attempting to frame a member of the band’s crew for the supposed theft. “I made what was certainly the poorest decision of my life,” he wrote. “Rather than address the issues that I had with the crew member in an open and honest manner, I tried to make them look irresponsible.” And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those pesky Fabulous Killjoys. [AV Club]

Madonna Is Working On A New Album
Madonna just premiered W.E., the historical drama she directed, on Thursday at the Venice Film Festival, but she’s already talking about new music. She’s re-teaming with her Ray of Light collaborator William Orbit and other producers including Martin Solveig (if his name doesn’t ring a bell, “Hello” might). She hopes to have a single ready for January or February and an album in the spring, and whether she hits those marks or not, she’ll certainly be disappearing into the studio for a while after the promotional push for W.E. wraps. [Popdust]
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VH1.com To Stream The Concert For New York City: 10 Years Later On Sunday, September 11

by (@unclegrambo)

Last week, we filled you in on our plans to re-air The Concert For New York City in its entirety, commercial-free, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this Sunday. We are also excited to announce that we’ll also be simultaneously be streaming this event on VH1.com beginning at 4 p.m. ET. Featuring emotionally charged performances by the likes of Paul McCartney, The Who, Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child and more, this one-time only replay will also benefit our friends at the Robin Hood Relief foundation. More details, including a complete list of exactly what time the performances from your favorite artists and actors will be airing, to follow as the week progresses.

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Pearl Jam Celebrate Twentieth Anniversary Live With Friends And Fans


Twenty years ago last month, Pearl Jam‘s Ten was released, and its slow-burn first single “Alive” (not to mention members’ pedigrees from Mother Love Bone and Temple Of The Dog) built the band’s buzz until they exploded with “Even Flow” and “Jeremy.” The rest is history?but certainly worth celebrating, no? Cameron Crowe thinks so: he’s made PJ20, a documentary about the band from inception to present; it hits theaters in two weeks.

Pearl Jam thinks so too. To celebrate the anniversary, Pearl Jam hosted a two-day concert this weekend outside Milwaukee, WI. (It’s not Seattle, but as tickets and lodging go, it beats a cruise!) Each of the bands who participated (including The Strokes, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Mudhoney) played two sets?one each day?and many musicians guested during other bands’ sets. For example, Eddie Vedder turned up during Glen Hansard‘s set to sing the female vocals on the Once duet “Falling Slowly”:
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Newly Lefsetz-Approved Dawes Cover Vic Chesnutt


Since we named Dawes our latest You Oughta Know artist last week, they’ve continued to gain buzz. Example: After seeing the band for the second time in two days, self-styled music industry prognosticator Bob Lefsetz raved about Dawes in his much-read blog The Lefsetz Letter. (It helps that Jackson Browne was an unannounced special guest the second night.)

Meanwhile, we’ve got a bonus clip from the band’s You Oughta Know Live set: a cover of “Where Were You,” by Vic Chesnutt (from the late songwriter’s Michael Stipe-produced 1991 album West of Rome). The band’s rendition gives the alt-country lament a California sheen without losing its plaintiveness. Watch it above!
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Adele’s Pre-Performance Ritual: Puking?


Adele‘s banner year continues with a banner week in British press. She’s on the cover of the September 2011 British Vogue, which hits UK newsstands on Thursday, and though she skipped the red carpet and won’t be performing, she’s at the ceremony for tonight’s 2011 Mercury Prize, which she could very well win. All this acclaim apparently hasn’t done anything for her stage fright, though. In the Vogue interview, she reveals the extent of her pre-show anxiety: “I puke quite a lot before going on stage.”

She is quick to clarify that it isn’t merely performing that has her jittery (“I s?t myself before everything”) but nevertheless insists that throwing up eases her mind: “The bigger the freak-out, the more I enjoy the show!” With this level of performance anxiety, it’s a relief, at least, that she continues not to worry about her body image (no matter how often interviewers raise the specter of it). “I’ve seen people where it rules their lives, …and I don’t want that in my life,” she tells the magazine. Despite a brief romance in May, she insists to the magazine that she hasn’t time for a relationship. “I do get massively distracted when I’ve got someone in my life, which I can’t afford to do right now.”

One thing that may be keeping her busy: recording the latest James Bond theme song. On Saturday she appeared on the debut episode of The Jonathan Ross Show, and Vulture reports that the host got the singer to all but confirm that she would be recording a Bond theme in November for next year’s installment in the film franchise.

[Cover Image: British Vogue; Performance Image: Getty Images]

Lauryn Hill And Pras Reunite Onstage (Without Wyclef) At Rock The Bells


We don’t expect to see a full reunion of The Fugees anytime soon (as you may recall, the trio’s 2007 attempt to re-form fizzled), but we were excited to hear about, and disappointed to have missed, the re-teaming of two of the three members on Saturday at the New York City date of the Rock the Bells festival mini-tour. Lauryn Hill was the main-stage headliner, slated to perform The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill start-to-finish (though she only played ten of the album’s thirteen songs?the first nine and then “Everything Is Everything”).

Then Pras took the stage. If this was a planned surprise, it went off perfectly: no one knew beforehand that Pras would be making an appearance. Sowmya Krishnamurthy‘s Village Voice review suggests it may have been genuinely impromptu: “‘This is how Fugees do it. They just show up!’ Hill proclaimed, clearly not thrilled.” She and Pras have had their differences over the years, but under the circumstances, what could Hill do but oblige his request and perform “Ready Or Not” and “Killing Me Softly”? Hill may not have been thrilled, but everyone else on Governor’s Island seemed to be.

Live: Lauryn Hill Gives Her Debut A Makeover At Rock The Bells [Sound of the City]
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Aretha Franklin Sings And Flirts Before Obama’s Labor Day Speech


Aretha Franklin has apparently rebounded completely from last December’s health scare (rumored to be pancreatic cancer) that led to surgery, not to mention death rumors on Twitter. Yesterday morning in Detroit she performed a four-song set?”I Came to Lift Him Up,” “Chain of Fools,” “Moody’s Mood For Love,” and “Respect”?prior to a Labor Day speech by President Barack Obama. Franklin riffed with the band and the crowd throughout, joking, during the last song, “Who do I respect? Well, let’s see. I sure like Denzel. He’s married though. I respect that.” She also shouted out Will Smith, local NAACP President Rev. Wendell Anthony, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Rev. Jesse Jackson, and complemented Obama’s “fine, fine stroll,” remarking, “Nobody walks like the brothers.” Her reinvigorated performance is further indication that her hometown set at the DTE Energy Music Theater last month may not be her last headlining show.

Detroit’s WXYZ News has posted the whole performance on YouTube. Watch it below:
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The Top 30 Moments That Shaped Beyonce (Also: Happy B’Day, Bey!)

by (@unclegrambo)

Beyoncé is, without a question, a once-in-a-generation talent. Blessed with a wonderful singing voice, incredible athleticism, striking beauty and, most importantly, an unrivaled competitive spirit, she has established herself as a star of both stage and screen. In honor of her 30th birthday today, we decided to take a look back at the thirty most important moments in Beyoncé’s life that made her the person she is today. Enjoy!

DATE: September 4, 1981
EVENT: Thirty years ago today, Houston resident and aspiring music manager Matthew Knowles and his costume designer wife Tina welcomed a bouncing baby girl into the world, one they named Beyoncé Giselle Knowles. If this had never happened, well, you wouldn’t be reading this list, that’s for sure!

DATE: 1988
EVENT: At the tender age of 7, Beyoncé competed in her very first talent show. She sang a stirring rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” which earned her a standing ovation, a first place prize, and the seething jealousy of the 15- and 16-year-olds she competed against.

DATE: 1990-1991
EVENT: Gaining confidence after her talent show victory, Beyoncé and five other girls were recruited to join a Houston-based group called Girl’s Tyme. It was during this time that she met her future Destiny’s Child group members Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson, and LeToya Luckett (who joined in 1993). After gaining local acclaim, things turned sour after the group unsuccessfully tried out for Star Search. This would mark the first of many times that personality clashes would lead to fractures in Beyoncé’s personal and professional life.

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VH1 Exclusive: Rihanna Did NOT Fire Jay-Z As Her Manager!

by (@unclegrambo)

Late yesterday afternoon, popular gossip mill MediaTakeOut dropped one of their patented “MTO WORLD EXCLUSIVES” claiming that Rihanna has, and we quote, “decided to DROP Jay Z . . . and his RocNation team as her managers.” They cited a “ROCK SOLID INSIDER” who claimed that Rihanna was preparing to part ways with her mentor/svengali J-Hova, citing “FINANCIAL IRREGULARITIES” and insinuating that Beyoncé‘s relationship with Jigga Man was getting in the way of RiRi landing primo endorsement deals.

Well, even though we should’ve left for the Labor Day weekend “HOURS” ago—this writing in “ALL CAPS” thing is kinda fun, we’re going to try it “MORE OFTEN”!—we decided to go straight to the source instead of simply re-reporting unsubstantiated gossip. We reached out to reps at Def Jam who confirmed to us just moments ago that the news is simply “not true.”

Adding weight to this statement is a Tweet that Rihanna herself sent out. It pretty much speaks for itself: