Despite selling more than a million copies during its first week of release, Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way is being whispered about in many industry circles as both a creative and commercial disappointment. Some have even bandied around the theory that the record is suffering because the videos for the Born This Way singles thus far (“Born This Way,” “Judas” and “The Edge Of Glory”) haven’t scaled the same heights as her previous videos, like 2010’s Video Music Award winner for Video Of The year “Bad Romance.” And if the nominations for the 2011 VMAs are any indication, this theory may not be far off.
Four other artists (Katy Perry, Adele, Kanye West, and Bruno Mars) racked up more VMA nominations this year than the Mother Monster. Katy led the way with nine total nominations (including Video Of The Year and Best Female Video), followed by Adele with seven, Kanye with six and Bruno with four.
Gaga, too, must be feeling the pressure; how else to explain the recent media blitz of the last few days? As the summer progresses, no doubt more theories will emerge as to why Gaga didn’t (an idea that our own Nick Minichino touched on recently in his essay, “Ten Years Of The Strokes And The White Stripes, And The Question Of What’s Next”). But for now, we’ll leave the Gaga analysis alone, and instead share with you the complete list of nominations for the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, which will air live on Sunday, August 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Adele – “Rolling in the Deep”
Katy Perry – “Firework”
Beastie Boys – “Make Some Noise”
Tyler the Creator – “Yonkers”
Bruno Mars – “Grenade”
Every now and then, somebody needs a little therapy, and ten years ago today, that somebody was Mariah Carey. When the pop diva decided to make a surprise guest appearance on MTV ‘s TRL (Total Request Live), it was already being reported that she was undergoing a tragic mental breakdown, coping with being overworked and recently single, post-breakup with latin singer Luis Miguel. Taking the impromptu entrance as well as anyone could, host Carson Daly couldn’t help but roll with the punches and point out the obvious (“Mariah Carey’s lost her mind!”) as the Glitter-promoting diva erratically moved around the Times Square studio, attempting to hand out popsicles to fans.
The best part? Before removing an over-sized, shamelessly plugging “Loverboy” t-shirt and gifting it to Carson by way of a PG striptease, Mimi pushed the frozen treats into the studio herself and requested that Carson give her a therapy session. No good deed goes unpunished! But don’t worry, underneath her shirt, Mariah revealed a tank top that read “SUPERGIRL” and a pair of teeny-tiny gold shorts that she then requested not get in the shot since they were so, well, short.
Of course, this event forebode the career disaster that was the theatrical release of Glitter (which, it should be noted, opened on 9/11), but as we all know, Mariah was able to turn her life around when The Emancipation of Mimi went multi-platinum a few years later and all was once again well in MC’s world. However, between her random, wild comments, constant running out of breath, and seemingly “medicated” mania, this clip is one to be cherished, even ten years later. And don’t forget, y’all: “If you don’t have ice cream in your life, sometimes you just might go a little bit crazy.” Mimi taught me!
When NBC’s a capella singing competition The Sing-Off returns this fall, there will be some changes to the judging panel since the series last aired. With Nicole Scherzinger departing for a spot on Simon Cowell’s X-Factor panel, the Peacock Network made the wise decision that longtime VH1 fave Sara Bareilles was the perfect person to join Ben Folds and Boyz II Men‘s Shawn Stockman on the judging panel. Once we heard the news, we decided to give Sara a ring to congratulate her. We caught up with her by phone this afternoon while she was in Missoula, Montana, preparing for a sold-out show this evening. Sara spoke to us about whether her judging style on The Sing-Off will lean more towards Simon or Paula, her new “old soul/kind of Motown feeling” EP that she’s about to record with Ben Folds in the fall, and what director Jonah Hill brought to the next video she’s going to make for her single, “Gonna Get Over You.” (Hint: It may have a “kind of a ’50s greaser vibe.”)
VH1: When did you first hear that becoming a judge on The Sing-Off might be a possibility, and what was it about the project that appealed to you?
Sara Bareilles: I’ve been a fan of the show since the beginning, so it was really exciting to me to have the opportunity to even be considered as a potential judge. A couple of weeks ago, my manager came to me to gauge my interest in doing it. And I was like, “Oh my God, yes, of course.” Then I had a meeting with the executive producers, who are super sweet, and it felt like I was a really good fit for the show. Because I have a background in a capella, it just felt like a very organic, natural, worlds colliding kind of thing. It’s very exciting.
Did you ever harbor any desire to be on television in any capacity other than as a performer?
It didn’t really cross my mind until this show. This is the only way I would sort of consider it, because I can bring something to the show in terms of a level of expertise with a capella performing. I get a little nervous about being put in the position of having to judge people, but I know from experience that we can always improve in our craft. I really love getting constructive criticism from people I respect when it’s put in a good way. To me, it’s all about how you phrase things and how you deliver your opinions. It’s something that I’m going to have to feel out and test the waters a little bit, but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. The best part is that I still get to watch the show, but now I get to watch it closer.
If you were to describe your judging style, would you say you?re more of a Simon or a Paula?
Any media savvy celebrity worth their Q rating knows that the best time to release bad news is late on a Friday afternoon during the summertime, when most media-types are off in the Hamptons doing whatever it is people do when they’re out in the Hamptons. Latino power couple (or should we say EX power couple) Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are nothing if not media savvy, which is why they chose to release the news that they’re getting divorced to People at 5:20 p.m. on a Friday. Well, lucky for you, we don’t even know where the Hamptons are, so we’re bringing you the shocking news while it’s still piping hot.
In a statement released exclusively to People this afternoon (Side Note: I wonder how much People paid for this scoop?), they wrote: “We have decided to end our marriage. This was a very difficult decision. We have come to an amicable conclusion on all matters. It is a painful time for all involved, and we appreciate the respect of our privacy at this time.”
The couple looked really happy together as recently as the American Idol finale in May (pictured above), in which J. Lo shook her tailfeather while Marc “Don’t Call Me Skeletor” Anthony crooned in his inimitable style. We suppose we’ll learn more about this split of two music industry powerhouses in the coming days and weeks, but for now, it looks like Jenny From The Block and her baby daddy couldn’t figure out a way to stop scratching themselves after the dreaded Seven Year Itch set in.
Early on during last night’s MLB All-Star Game on Fox, the network took advantage of the number of eyeballs watching the game to debut their very first promo spot for The X-Factor, their new singing competition debuting this fall. And if there were any doubts before last night as to how Simon Cowell’s new show would attempt to differentiate itself from the newly nice —some would say toothless— American Idol and NBC’s ultra-positive show The Voice, they were eradicated approximately one-minute and seventeen seconds into this two-and-a-half minute long promo.
The promo begins in a hazy, fog-like state, with The X Factor judges Cowell, Paula Abdul (who, btw, is Botoxed to the gills), L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger presiding over a parade of terrible singers. If things don’t seem quite right, it’s because they aren’t: No, the X-Factor contestants aren’t going to be horrible, and no, Simon Cowell hasn’t traded in his trademark skintight crewneck tees for a cabled pink sweater because this is all a nightmare! By now, the spot intimates that we should know that Cowell would NEVER be seen driving a wussy, electric Chevy Volt (Side note: weirdest product placement in a long time, right?); rather, he’s the kind of guy who rolls around downtown L.A. with X-FACTOR vanity plates on his $1.5 million Bugatti Veyron EB. And while he’s working, he’s not here to make friends; instead, he’s here to roll his eyes condescendingly at Paula Abdul! In short, he’s still the same A-hole S.O.B. he’s always been (which is something that Cheryl Cole would certainly confirm).
And that, Fox is betting, will be enough to get people to tune-in when The X-Factor debuts on Wednesday, September 21. Will they be right? Well, we’ll have to see now, won’t we?
After delving into the histories of two hip-hop icons, this season of Behind the Music takes a left turn tonight with a look into the life of country star Miranda Lambert. In this sneak peek, she describes her 2009 album Revolution as a document of “what I’m living for now” and looks back at her first meeting with lifelong idol Loretta Lynn at the 2010 CMAs in November (where she won in four categories). To see the story of how she got there, watch Behind the Music: Miranda Lambert tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Exciting news hot off the wires: Radiohead‘s 55-minute King of Limbs special, recorded for BBC’s From the Basement, will premiere in North America on Palladia on Saturday, July 23 at 9PM ET. The band plays the entirety of the album plus b-sides “Staircase,” previewed above, and “The Daily Mail.”
Scotty McCreery’s Walmart-exclusive five-songs-for-five-dollars American Idol Season 10 Highlights EP sold 40,000 copies in the past week?enough to hit #10 on the Billboard 200?but even though he won American Idol, the big news today isn’t his chart performance but the official announcement that Interscope Chairman Jimmy Iovine signed ninth-place finisher Pia Toscano. Iovine’s in-house mentoring was a strong guide for this season’s contestants?at least, until the voters at home voted Toscano, an Iovine favorite who’d hewed closely to his guidance, off the show. Iovine was, in fact, rumored to have signed Toscano just days after being eliminated, but no confirmation existed until late yesterday.
Toscano has spent the three months since her elimination working on a debut single, “an acoustic guitar and beat-driven track” written by Esther Dean, composer of Rihanna’s “S&M,” “Rude Boy” and “What?s My Name.” The Hollywood Reporter had previously revealed that Toscano was hard at work on an album, with production from Rodney Jerkins. So even if the Interscope signing really was recent, one would assume the deal has been in the works since her elimination, as was rumored.
What does that mean for Scotty McCreery (not to mention second-place finisher Lauren Alaina)? Both artists signed to Interscope’s country imprint, Mercury Nashville, which certainly means they’ll have their shots at a music career, but not as the crossover artist Iovine was hoping Idol would produce this year. Under his guidance, Interscope has been hard at work to break Pia Toscano in the pop world. If their plans succeed, McCreery could be an American Idol in name only.
Some hip-hop heads like to talk about the “four pillars” of hip hop, as defined by Afrika Bambaataa: rapping, DJing, breakdancing, and graffiti painting, as an all-encompassing view of hip-hop as a culture (and sometimes, a nostalgic lament for what’s been lost). But for a kid nearly three thousand miles away from hip-hop’s South Bronx birthplace, like, say, Ice Cube in South Central Los Angeles, the pillars were signifiers for those seeking information about the nascent musical style. In this exclusive sneak peek of Behind the Music: Ice Cube, which premieres Wednesday, July 6 at 10PM ET/PT, Ice Cube talks about being a curious kid in those days, after first hearing “Rapper’s Delight” and becoming obsessed with rap: “I used to be in the TV Guide, looking for anything that had anything to do with graffiti, breakdancing, rapping, scratching.”
Javier Colon got a fresh shot at music superstardom when he was announced as the winner of NBC’s The Voice last night. But before he caught his (second) big break, he recorded two albums with Capitol Records, 2003’s Javier and 2006’s Left Of Center. While he was working the promotional circuit in support of his eponymous self-titled album back in ’03, he stopped by our VH1 offices for a lively Unplugged show. We decided to unearth two of the clips from this session, his cover of Bill Withers’ “Use Me” (above) and his very first single as a major label recording artist, “Crazy” (which is below). As you’ll see, even then, his trademark cap was in place.