Beyoncé is the most polarizing contemporary artist in the game. The stans who make up the core of the BeyHive are the some most vocally supportive fans of any artist, but for every person who has pledged their undying fealty to King Bey, Beyoncé haters are just as fervent in their dislike for Miss Knowles. Regardless of which side you rep, tonight’s Super Bowl halftime show had something for everyone.
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THE STANS: The last time we saw Bey perform something other than the National Anthem was in May of 2012, when she performed a five night stand at Atlantic City’s Revel casino. That said, this is her first nationally televised performance since she gave birth to Blue Ivy Carter just over a year ago and, if tonight was any indication, she hasn’t lost a single step. Coming out to an abridged version of “Love On Top” while silhoutted against a backdrop of a 40 foot tall flaming Bey, she quickly broke into “Crazy In Love,” putting her vaunted, high energy dance moves on showcase. Her hair looked FLAWLESS, and her body looked positively SICK. She was also gracious enough to share the spotlight with her Destiny’s Child brethren Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, which included a three-song medley of “Bootylicious,” “Independent Women Pt. 1″ and “Single Ladies,” once again proving that despite her superstar status, she remains one of the most gracious and selfless performers in the game.
THE HATERS: Ugh, BEYONCÉ! America’s least favorite robot had the AUDACITY to start off her Super Bowl set by lip-synching “Love On Top,” despite her claims that she would “absolutely” be singing live tonight. TYPICAL! She relied WAY too heavily on backing tracks and piped in vocals (Jay-Z’s verse on “Crazy In Love,” Sean Paul’s on “Baby Boy”), and refused to cede the spotlight AT ALL when Kelly and Michelle came out to share the stage with her. You’re meaning to tell us that of ALL the songs in the Destiny’s Child canon that they could have performed, she forced them to do one of her solo songs (“Single Ladies”)!!! And what, praytell, was WITH that finale? She spent the last three minutes of her set on her knees, not even dancing, pretending to sing “Halo.” Bring back the Black Eyed Peas, yeesh!
SETLIST: “Love On Top” / “Crazy In Love” / “End Of Time” / “Baby Boy” / “Bootylicious” (with Kelly Rowland & Michelle Williams) / “Independent Women #1″ (w/Kelly & Michelle) / “Single Ladies” / “Halo”
After the Beyontroversial performance of the National Anthem at President Obama’s inauguration, there has been an incredible amount of focus on whether or not performers are singing the “Star Spangled Banner” without the aid of a backing track, the likes of which have not seen since the days of Milli Vanilli. Beyoncé came under extreme fire for lip-synching the Francis Scott Key’s patriotic ode to our revolutionary brethren, and after watching Alicia Keys perform the anthem tonight just before the start of Super Bowl XLVII, she clearly wanted to avoid any such controversy.
Although only the Superdome’s sound operator knows for sure whether or not there was any audio tomfoolery going on before kickoff tonight, to our ears, Keys’ version of the “Star Spangled Banner” seemed like it was sung AND played live (on the piano, no less). Why do we feel like this performance was “real”? For one, it was one of the slowest renditions of the song that we’ve ever heard. Secondly, much like Mrs. Carter’s defiant version at her press conference on Thursday, Keys deliberately paused in certain, semi-unorthodox spots of the song to verbally riff in such a way that seemed almost pre-calculated to ward off lip-synching accusations. Her voice, which some have been saying has been a bit pitchy of late, sounded as good as we’ve heard it in some time. But that’s just our take. What do YOU think?
Watch Alicia Keys sing the “Star Spangled Banner” below!
The 2012 Summer Olympics officially kicked off with an opening ceremony conceived by the Academy Award winning British film director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later). One of the sections of tonight’s broadcast bore the unusual name Frankie And June Say Thanks Tim, a love story that contained what NBC’s Matt Lauer described as “a tribute to the best British musical acts of the last 40 years.” Well, although Boyle and his musical supervisors managed to include a decent selection of bands that could be considered canon-worthy, we’d like to call your attention to this (quite undefinitive!) list of 29 highly respected bands that got royally snubbed (in alpha order*):
Elton John (!!!) Read more…
And the winner of the Official Song of the 2012 London Olympics is … British prog-rock trio Muse! Their new song, “Survivor,” will be played during sports sessions, as athletes enter stadiums, and before medal ceremonies. So, basically, all the time. They won’t get a medal for this big score, but they can rest assured that you, Olympic viewers, will have their song stuck on loop in your head between the opening ceremony on July 27th and the closing ceremony on August 12th.
According to Muse frontman Matt Bellamy, the song was written with the games in mind and is intended to “express a sense of conviction and determination to win.” It was scheduled to make its official radio debut tonight on BBC Radio tonight, but Warner Bros released the song on their official Soundcloud page today. Muse is also set to release their next album, The 2nd Law, in September. You can check out the dramatic preview for that album here.
In the post-Nipplegate era of Super Bowl halftime shows, a majority of the performers have been stadium rock acts, carefully chosen by the NFL because they, to borrow a political expression, play to the base. Acts like Bruce Springsteen, The Who and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are all Rock And Roll Hall of Famers with undeniable chops and impressive catalogs, but also artists that are unquestionably “safe” (meaning, no one’s gonna get pissed and flip the channel when The Boss launches into “Born To Run”). However, this year’s selection of Madonna —one of the most controversial artists of the Eighties and Nineties— might very well push some of Joe Six-Pack’s buttons.
Seemingly everywhere you turn your head these days, Steven Tyler is standing there. Leno on Friday night? Check. American Idol on Fox? Check. On the victory podium with AFC champions the New England Patriots? Check. Wait, what???
Yes, that’s right, the Aerosmith lead singer is buddy buddy with billionaire businessman and owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots franchise, Robert Kraft. He brought some good luck to his hometown team by singing the National Anthem at yesterday’s AFC Championship game, a performance that his Idol co-hort Randy Jackson would describe as “pitchy.” Depending on how many cups of CLAM CHOWDA you ingested yesterday afternoon, you’ll either love it or hate it.
Oh, and after the seventeen hours of football that was on yesterday (only a slight exaggeration), there was a new episode of American Idol on, too. We don’t know what’s going on with the water in San Diego, but Tyler didn’t score very high on our new Dude Is Acting Shady Meter (which now come complete with an ACTUAL meter, designed by our own Lauren Deiman). He didn’t so much as bat an eyelash with Jim Carrey‘s 24 year-old daughter, Jane, but he did turn on the charm a smidge for two of yesterday’s female contestants.
It’s official! After months of rumors, Madonna has been confirmed to be the guest performer at next year’s Super Bowl halftime show. Obviously our whole morning has been dedicated to speculation — we want to know what Madge will play! Considering the release of her new album is expected next spring, hot on the heels of the February 5 Super Bowl, we’re expecting Madonna to play a few new tracks, but there’s got to be room for a few classics too, right? We’ve put together our dream set list, what’s yours?
Shakira’s so hot, she even looks great in sweatpants, s?? As part of her Tour Blog video series, the clip above aids in chronicling the Columbian cantante’s day-to-day activities during her “The Sun Comes Out” world tour. We already know that she’s got powerful pipes and hips that don’t lie, but while taking a break on a golf course in Mexico, Shakira puts those joints between the femur and acetabulum of the pelvis to good use!
“It’s all in the hips,” she says of her solid golf swing, breaking the mechanics to an on-camera pal. In between goofing off with the parrot club head cover, the fiery singer provides fundamentally sound instructions on driving the ball, and you if you watch the entire clip, you’ll see Shakira cruising around in a golf cart, practicing her short game, and most importantly, being stunning and adorable while demonstrating her proficiency in the sport. Quite a departure from belly dancing and performing in front of crowds in the tens of thousands, we’re quite fond of this stripped-down, girl next door presentation of Shakira, and you will too! Next order of business? Trying to get her in your scoring zone.
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:
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.