With Grammy performances, high profile rants, new fashion lines, and fresh songs, Kanye West is having one of the biggest weeks of all time, y’all! And tonight he kept the streak alive with an intensely passionate medley on the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special. Yeezus balanced the throwback College Dropout track “Jesus Walks” with a tender reading of “Only One,” his recent collaboration with Paul McCartney. But the real highlight came with the TV debut of new track “Wolves” alongside Sia and Vic Mensa.
After a brief cameo in the star-packed opening monologue, Miley Cyrus had her chance to shine with a show-stopping solo spot during the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special. Instead of the usual provocative antics that we’ve come to expect from the 22-year-old, she kept her massive pipes front and center to belt out a killer version of Paul Simon‘s classic “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover.” It’s hard enough to deliver the goods on live television, but it couldn’t have been easy knowing that Paul himself was sitting in the studio audience!
Paul McCartney was just one of the many megastars on hand to pay tribute to Saturday Night Live during its 40th anniversary television special. But the music legend was the first to perform a solo musical spot, delivering a raw but passionate rendition of “Maybe I’m Amazed.”
Drake served as both the host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live last night, marking the 27th time in the show’s 38 seasons that an individual was asked by Lorne Michaels to pull double duty; if you’re keeping score at home, Lady Gaga also did double duty back in November. It’s been a minute since we’ve seen Drake act, but any traces of rustiness were not apparent when he stepped on stage in Studio 8H last night. More on his work momentarily, but first, we’re curious: What other musicians did the best job of being hilarious during sketches AND singing their faces off?
Lady Gaga played both host and musical guest on last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live and, suffice to say, she won herself a newfound layer of respect from people who think of her solely as a weirdo. She’s caught a lot of flack during her seemingly endless promotional tour for ARTPOP, but both her sense of humor and outstanding musical talent were on full display last night, reaffirming just what a unique talent that she is. Both of those qualities were showcased during her first musical performance last night, “Do What U Want,” which featured a surprise cameo from none other than the Pied Piper of R&B himself, Mr. R.Kelly!
Lady Gaga served as both the host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live last night, marking the 26th time in the show’s 38 seasons that an individual was asked by Lorne Michaels to pull double duty. Gaga, ever the showstopper, did a tremendous job—more on her in a bit!—but what other musicians did the best job of being hilarious during sketches AND singing their faces off?
Usher‘s new album, Looking For Myself, isn’t set to be released until June 12, but he’s already pulling out all the stops to make sure his fans know that he’s got a new collection of his patented sexytime jams on the way. Two weeks ago, he collaborated with the cast of Fuerza Bruta for a special, one-night only multimedia spectacle, and this weekend, he appeared on Saturday Night Live to perform the first two singles from the record, “Scream” (video above) and “Climax.”
“Got no drink in my hand but I’m wasted/Getting drunk on the thought of you naked,” Usher declares early on his newest club banger, “Scream.” This energetic track seems poised to join the likes of Usher’s previous smash singles like “Yeah!” and “OMG” as huge summer radio hits, while his slow-burning, Diplo-collab “Climax” —which has been out for a few months now— is currently sitting at #1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Is this going to be the Summer of Usher? We have yet to hit Memorial Day, but at this point, it sure looks like it. Read more…
Today’s millenials are currently facing a rite of passage that every generation since the dawn of time has had to endure: Declaring their allegiance for the Boy Band Of The Moment. Boomers had it with The Beatles and The Monkees, Gen Xers were forced to choose between the NKOTB and New Edition, Gen Y still can’t decide between the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, and now, there’s a war brewing between the supporters of One Direction and The Wanted. While both acts currently have a song in the Billboard Top Ten (“What Makes You Beautiful” and “Glad You Came”, respectively), the boys in One Direction pulled ahead in the awareness game thanks to an appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend.
As is customary, the band performed two songs: Their current Top 10 hit, “What Makes You Beautiful” and their next thing, “One Thing” (the latter of which is a direct descendant of the BSB classic, “I Want It That Way”). The band impressed by singing their vocals live and not solely relying on backing tracks, but many a snarkster on Twitter gave them grief for their non-existent dance moves.
What say you? Are you impressed by the new generation of boy bands? Which one of the 1D boys is your fave? Are you forever loyal to [insert your generational boy band idols here]? Let us know in the comments below!
Maya Rudolph and Sleigh Bells were the host and musical guest, respectively, on last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live. The standout sketch of the evening involved the world’s most famous new parents, Jay-Z (played by Jay Pharoah) and Beyoncé (Rudolph) welcoming a slew of famous musicians to their crib to welcome the newest member of the Carter family, Blue Ivy Carter (see: Photos of Blue Ivy Carter). Their guests at their Scarsdale, NY home included the mystery wrapped inside of a riddle wrapped inside of an enigma that is Prince (played to perfection by Fred Armisen), 2012 Grammys host LL Cool J (played by Kenan Thompson, a comedian whose many strengths do not include the ability to do a spot-on impression), a rambunctious Nicki Minaj (played more than adequately by Nasim Pedrad), Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (Taran Killam and Abby Elliott, respectively), and a VERY surprised Taylor Swift (Kristen Wiig).
There was one other surprise visitor to see the Notorious B.I.C. — the 2012 winner of the Best New Artist Grammy, Bon Iver! Frequent SNL cameo actor and former musician Justin Timberlake turned in a hilarious impression of the notoriously shy indie frontman, which included singing a parody version of “Holocene” that served as a lullaby that put both Blue Ivy AND Bon Iver himself to sleep. Justin (unnecessarily) went out of his way at the end of the show to make peace with the bearded Wisconsin native, holding up a sign that read “I (Heart) Bon Iver” as the show credits rolled, but we’re pretty sure that the recent SNL musical guest didn’t care. After all, unlike Snooki and Skrillex, everyone managed to pronounce his name correctly.
Mere moments after Lana Del Rey completed her now infamous appearance on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago, we saw dozens of tweets in our feed comparing her performance to something that a weird Kristen Wiig character would do. Well, the rabid imagination of the Twitter community came to life on last night’s episode of SNL, when Wiig showed up unannounced during Weekend Update as Lana Del Rey.
Wiig’s impression, which was a very slight variation of her classic character in the series of Two A-Holes sketches, straddled the line between mocking and defending the 25-year-old singer. Wiig’s Del Rey described herself as “stiff, distant and weird,” but also addressed the “authenticity” argument by sarcastically (and sagely) noting that “No serious musician would ever change their name, except maybe for Sting, Cher, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, everyone else in hip hop, and of course Bob Dylan.” The segment was fairly meh, mainly because head writer Seth Meyers avoided the opportunity to poke fun at NBC News anchor Brian Williams. As you’ll recall, Williams went out of his way to criticize SNL and bash Del Rey in a controversial email to Gawker, and Weekend Update’s refusal to jab back at Williams demonstrated for the umpteenth time that this era of the show places a greater emphasis on playing nice in the corporate sandbox than it does on biting the hand that feeds.