The unsung hero of last night’s Super Bowl was Kelly Clarkson. Between Madonna’s spectacular visual assault at the half time show and M.I.A.’s controversy wielding middle finger, Clarkson barely got a look in for her moving rendition of the National Anthem. And how! Meticulously groomed, Kelly appeared like a glamourpuss in a form fitting black dress, smokey eyes and a sleek hairstyle. Her perfect look matched her flawless vocal — Kelly hit every note with stirring accuracy. Dynamic and moving, the performance show cased Kelly’s beautiful voice and the ease with which she employs it, doing extreme justice to both her talent and the country’s National Anthem.
How much controversy can one empty gesture cause? If today’s Internet furor is anything to go by, a lot. In a blink-and-you’ll miss it moment (we didn’t even blink and we missed it the first time around!) during last night’s Super Bowl half time performance, rapper M.I.A. gave cameras the middle finger live on stage, as she suggestively sang “I don’t give a shhhh…” during Madonna‘s “Give Me All Your Luvin'”. In an vain attempt to erase the ‘obscene’ gesture, the broadcast blurred seconds later — but it was too late! We already saw it! That dreaded, awful… Middle finger! GASP!
Of the ‘incident’, Brian McCarthy, spokesman for the NFL said, “The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans,” while NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey said, “The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show. Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.” We feel like we really missed something here — on the spectrum of one to controversial in the Madonna-sphere, a flipped bird seems pretty weak.
We were really expecting the show to yield some real controversy — Madonna stealing a kiss with Nicki perchance (not that we think there’s anything wrong with that, but we imagine it really would have caused a stir!), or something along the lines of a boundary-pushing, 80s Madonna. Instead what we got was a half-baked push of the button, and not even by Madonna herself. It’s unclear whether or not the action was staged; if it was orchestrated by Madonna, we think it’s a cop out on her part to have the non-white, UK artist make the move. However, if it was an impromptu movement on M.I.A’s part, it seems like a fairly desperate attempt to reclaim the title of “edgy” pop star after the truffle fries incident.
Either way, the flipped bird was school-yard level offensive at best — and it seems like detractors were expecting to have something to gripe about before they even saw the show, so are grasping at straws to find something perturbing about the performance. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and in this case, the complaint-mongers are milking that bird for all it’s worth.
Drake Is Being Sued Over “Marvin’s Room”
Drake is being sued for royalties by Ericka Lee, his ex-girlfriend and ex-collaborator, who is responsible for the “Are you drunk right now?” part on his song “Marvin’s Room.” Poor Drake, no luck with the ladies! [NME]
Chicago Starts A Soul Train Dance Line To Pay Tribute To Don Cornelius
This is pretty touching, so maybe don’t watch if you tear up easily. In Wicker Park, Chicago, residents hit the streets en masse to pay their respects to the late legend, Don Cornelius, the only way they knew how — with a Soul Train inspired dance line. [Pop Dust]
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. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.
Madonna’s halftime performance at this year’s Super Bowl may very well make this list, but it hasn’t happened yet, so until it does, here are my five favorite Super Bowl Music Moments:
5. “The Super Bowl Shuffle” (Super Bowl XX, 1985-86)
A pump-up rap anthem made by the Chicago Bears leading up to Super Bowl XX. Looking back, it’s hard not to wince at football players trying to dance, but back then the song (and accompanying music video) was awesome, charting at #41 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
4. Michael Jackson Doing Absolutely Nothing (Super Bowl XXVII, 1993)
Dangerous-Era Michael Jackson did perform a handful of songs, but what I remember most is his frozen-in-time pose at the beginning of the halftime show. If you’re Michel Jackson you can use some of your allotted set time doing absolutely nothing.
It’s Friday, and more than any other week, we’re extra excited about the weekend — it’s the Super Bowl! While we’re looking forward to Kelly Clarkson singing the national anthem for us, and Madonna’s hyped half time show, we threw a little party of our own to get in the mood. In anticipation of this weeks Super Bowl, VH1 and Pepsi put on the annual Fan Jam concert last night, and it really was a night to remember! Gym Class Heroes and rising star Neon Hitch played their hit single “Ass Back Home,” to a roaring reception from the audience. Neon Hitch looked sexy in a sparkling gold leotard and flame red hair and she danced around the stage, while Travie McCoy was his usual laid back self. We can’t get the tune out of our heads, and feel that it’s pertinent for Sunday — get your ass back home in time to watch the big game! Check out our gallery of images from the performance after the jump.
It might be Madonna Week, but it seems like there’s a generous helping of Kelly Clarkson scooped on top of the Madonna madness. While Madge is taking care of half time entertainment at the Super Bowl, Kelly has been tasked with the honor of singing the national anthem, and we’re just as excited to see her belt it out as we are to see Madonna leaping across the stage in a sparkly catsuit. And it looks like it’s not only us jumping on the Clarkson band wagon — Kelly is shooting up the charts with some impressive steam.
Kelly’s track “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” (watch the video after the jump) has made it to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 today, and if we were in primary school we’d be singing something like “First is the worst, second is the best!” (although number one placeholder, Adele, is most certainly not the worst!). And speaking of Adele, will Kelly be able to topple her this week? We learned the power of an Adele number one last year; and as we’re learning this year, her reign is absolutely unassailable. Adele’s latest number one “Set Fire To The Rain” will be a tough one to beat, especially with Adele’s record at the top, and her forthcoming first post-surgery performance at the Grammys (where Kelly is also performing, albeit less momentously). But interest in Kelly has certainly been piqued this week — will she prove to be the stronger of the two?
You haven’t seen excitement until you’ve seen us talking about Madonna’s Super Bowl half time show. It’s palpable, electric, maybe a little bit Pointer Sisters — basically, we’re doing all that we can to stay calm for the next 72 hours or so. In order to curb our energy into something a bit more productive, we’ve spent the morning playing Madonna‘s Musical Director and coming up with both predicted and dream setlists for her roughly 12-15 minute show. See what you think and if you agree — let us know what your dream set is in the comments section!
PREDICTED SET LIST by Mark Graham (@unclegrambo):
“Ray Of Light” / “Give Me All Your Luvin’ (featuring Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.)” / “Express Yourself” / “Vogue” / “Music”
Billions of people will be watching Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show, so there’s no doubt that she’ll be feeling the adrenaline and deliver a high energy, dance-y set for the fans. “Ray Of Light” is a very recognizable track that will get fans out of their seats and grooving from the get-go, at which point she can safely transition into the requisite “Go buy my new single!” part of the show. After she welcomes (and then quickly boots) Nicki Minaj and M.I.A to/from the stage, she’ll move into the portion of her set that, to paraphrase her backup dancer, “brings the gay.” Playing “Express Yourself” will be a subtle “In your face!” to Lady Gaga, and “Vogue” (maybe with Cee Lo?) would get both the fans in Indianapolis and on their couches all over the world going berserk. Closing with “Music” —featuring its anthemic chorus of “Music makes the people get together”— would be the most frenzied way to end her short set, and send everyone who’s watching off thinking “I LOVE MADONNA!”
Madonna Announces Her Love And Admiration For Nicki Minaj And M.I.A.
Madonna‘s new single, “Give Me All Your Luvin'” and forthcoming appearance at the Super Bowl both feature appearances by M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj, of whom Madonna has said “They’re not conventional pop stars and I really admire them both. I love both of them actually.” We’re guessing having the Queen Of Pop say things like that about you is going to be both humbling and ego boosting, so a big round of applause for the “non-conventional” gals! [NME]
Katy Perry Added To Already Impressive List Of Grammys Performers
Katy Perry is the latest artist to be added to the ever growing list of impressive names set to play at the Grammys. As if we weren’t already excited enough about Adele and Rihanna et al, well, let’s just say there may or may have not been an impromptu sing-a-long to “Teenage Dream” in one writer’s cubicle this afternoon upon hearing the news… [Neon Limelight]
Beef Alert! Elton John Gives Madonna Some Snarky Super Bowl Advice
It seems like Elton John might still harbor some bitterness over Madonna‘s Golden Globe win, offering her the following advice for her Super Bowl performance this weekend: “Make sure you lip-sync good.” Reow! [Billboard]
Lana Del Rey’s Career Summarized In A Taiwanese Animation
Lana Del Rey‘s controversial career has been summarized in a Taiwanese animation, so if you’ve ever wanted to see Lana as a virtual character, now’s your chance. It’s pretty accurate / funny, too. [Hipster Runoff]
What’s more valuable to 50 Cent: his jewels or, um… his jewels? It seems that maybe neither are that important to him, as he’s willing to wager both on the Super Bowl result. Over the weekend, 50 Tweeted that he’d be willing to post a picture of his special bits to Twitter if the giants lost:
Where the first Tweet trails off the challenger says that if the Giants win, she’ll post a photo of her more northern regions to Twitter — so 50 clearly isn’t the only one laying down high stakes. But late last night 50 upped the stakes even higher, throwing a cool one million into the mix:
The bet comes after the high rolling over the weekend where 50 bet $500,000 on the Giants and won, which was followed by Birdman putting down a whopping $5 million on the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl. So 50 is challenging Birdman with his million dollar bet, and we want to know if hip hop beef has officially spilled over into sports, or if this is an entirely new genre of beef? One of these guys is going to lose — and we can only hope they can afford to part with the money, although it seems with 50’s recent flaunting (see Twit Pic above) he’s got at least a few stacks of cash laying about.
Is 50 Cent Really Betting Full Frontal On The Giants? [The Fab Life]
Birdman Bets $5 Million On Patriots Super Bowl XLVI Win [MTV News]
[Photos: 50 Cent]