Television

by (@unclegrambo)

Tuned In: Lionel Richie Shares His Dream (His Awesome Dream) To Go Country On Letterman With “Say You, Say Me”

The true test of determining which songs will stand the test of time is their adaptability. If you were to change the arrangement —or even the genre— of a given song, does it still resonate with audiences? Lionel Richie took the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater last night with country music superstar Jason Aldean to prove that his 1985 smash, “Say You, Say Me” is one of the all-time greats by giving it a countryfied spin. The song went all the way to #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts when it was originally released, and even took home an Oscar for Best Original Song, and hasn’t aged a bit in 25 years.

This track, along with other Richie classics like “Stuck On You” and “Endless Love”, appear on Richie’s new jawn, Tuskegee. This is not a greatest hits record, though — Richie has gone back into the studio and put a twangy, country spin on the most beloved songs in his catalog. Thanks to the undeniably ace songwriting skills, this LP doesn’t feel like a shameless attempt to pander to Nashville audiences (who still buy albums in droves) like recent crossover attempts from the likes of Jessica Simpson and Jon Bon Jovi. Richie has experimented with many musical styles in his nearly 40-year career, from funk to pop to R&B, so this album feels more like a natural evolution and less like a calculated attempt to line his coiffers. Good on ya, LR!

Elsewhere in late night…
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by (@unclegrambo)

Behind The Music: T-Pain’s Adolescent Struggles Get Resolved Thanks To A Strong Father And A Discarded Keyboard

The first few episodes of the latest season of Behind The Music have been hip hop focused, and this week is no exception. After profiling Pitbull and Game, this Thursday night we’ll profile Florida autotune whiz T-Pain. In this special sneak preview, you’ll get a taste of what life was like for T-Pain (real name: Faheem Najm) growing up in Tallahassee, Florida. You’ll see how a shy kid who experienced what he himself described as a “terrible” childhood broke out of his rut, thanks to his strong father (who enrolled him in a program called “Homeboys To Men”) and a keyboard that was salvaged from the side of the road.

Be sure to tune in to Behind The Music on Thursday, March 22nd at 9/8c on VH1.
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by (@unclegrambo)

Tuned In: Mad Men Pays Homage To The French New Wave With “Zou Bisou Bisou”

Last night’s fifth season premiere of Mad Men laid a lot of groundwork of what’s to come this year: Among other things, it appears this season will focus on the escalating power struggle between Pete Campbell and Roger Sterling, the desire of Lane Pryce to break free of his uptight British upbringing, Peggy Olsen‘s diminishing faith in her boss/mentor Don Draper, Sally Draper‘s continued ascent into womanhood (her new voice FTW!), and the effect that motherhood will have on Joan Holloway. Oh yeah, and there’s also the matter of Don Draper’s seemingly spontaneous marriage to his sultry, sex kitten secretary-cum-wife, Megan Draper (née Calvert, played by the actress Jessice Paré).

The most memorable scene of last night’s highly anticipated episode occurred during Don Draper’s surprise 40th birthday party, which was organized by his coquettish new wife (who, we must add, enjoys doing housekeeping in her unmentionables!). The swinging Sixties are starting to blossom in full, and as a means of demonstrating the sexual hold she has over her new spouse in a room full of his business associates, Megan performed a startling, part-karoake, part-striptease version of Gillian Hills‘ 1961 French pop song, “Zou Bisou Bisou.” There seems to be some debate as to the song’s origins, but we’re going to include Sophia Loren‘s English-language version of “Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo” below (which appears on a duets album she recorded with Peter Sellers!), mainly because our French is a little rusty.

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by (@unclegrambo)

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul To Pay Special Tribute To Amy Winehouse

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul is set to air on Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and as we inch ever close to the show’s air date, we’re starting to learn more and more about the contents of the show itself. We already know that it will feature performances from superstars like Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J, and more, we already know that they’ll be honoring the great cities of soul (Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis, Philly), but now we’re starting to learn what people will actually be performing.

This morning, VH1 announced that Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Florence Welch (of +The Machine fame) and Wanda Jackson will be paying special tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, who tragically passed away in July at the age of only 27 years-old. Full details about the performance are included in the following press release…

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul Includes Special Tribute to Amy Winehouse with Performances by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Florence Welch and Wanda Jackson

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul Pays Tribute to the Great Cities of Soul Music Including Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia

Special will air Monday, December 19 at 9 PM/8c on VH1

NEW YORK – December 15, 2011 – VH1’s beloved, popular franchise, VH1 DIVAS, has announced a special tribute to Amy Winehouse at this year’s VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul with performances by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine) and Wanda Jackson. VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul premieres Monday, December 19 at 9 PM/8c on VH1.

The tribute will reflect Winehouse’s contribution to modern, London soul music. Some highlights of the tribute will include Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings performing “You Know I’m No Good,” and Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine) and Wanda Jackson will perform her song “Back to Black.” The Dap-Kings contributed a number of tracks for Winehouse’s Grammy Award-winning album “Back to Black.” In addition, Nas, who collaborated with Winehouse on the first single of her current posthumous album, will introduce the tribute medley.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Video Premiere: T.I. Featuring Sk8brd, “Here Ye, Hear Ye”

On tonight’s episode of T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle, Tip and Tiny spend some quality time with T-Swizzle (aka Taylor Swift) at the Atlanta stop of her Speak Now tour, which culminates in the two duetting on a killer version of “Live Your Life.” Well, that isn’t T.I.’s only duet of the night; we’re excited to be premiering the video for “Here Ye, Hear Ye,” which T.I. cut with Sk8brd (who is also known as Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes).

“Here Ye, Hear Ye” was one of the first songs that Tip recorded after he got sprung from the Big House back in October, and it’s a real window into T.I.’s state of mind during the 11 months that he spent incarcerated in the federal prison system (“Still baffled how my life unraveled / In the meantime time just traveled.”) As for how it came together, Pharrell told Hot 97′s Funkmaster Flex back in October that “My man came home and I just sent him something. And he got to it. You know what it is? He just got home. He’s in training. He’s getting ready. These are pull-ups, push-ups for Tip.”

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by (@kat_george)

Florence Welch Flexes Her Funny Bone As Flow-Diggity Flow-Doubt On SNL

Florence + The Machine frontwoman Florence Welch flexed her funny bone on Saturday Night Live this weekend, performing in a sketch as Flow-Diggity Flow-Doubt in a satirical take on New Jack Swing. The sketch features parody characters like Sweaty Keith and Cross Cris, performing hilarious “turkey themed r’n’b rap fusion songs.” Florence shines in the first comedic role that we’ve ever seen her perform, showing her lighter side after taking a noticeably darker turn with Florence + The Machine’s new album, Ceremonials. Belting out a hilarious tune about the “adult table,” Flo croons about forgetting footsies and going straight for “full on sex.” Her deadpan expression is priceless and she stares down the camera with her best bedroom eyes, hand on hip and declares “it’s time to grow up.” The clip has not only got us giggling, but sort of hoping Flo will consider releasing an R & B album in the future … We can only dream!

Florence also appeared in another sketch as an enthusiastic dancing groupie for Jason Segel’s fictional band, The Blue Jean Committee (below), but the Florence Fest didn’t stop there. The performer took to the stage with The Machine for “No Light, No Light” and “Shake It Out.” A far cry from the irreverence with which she played Flow-Diggity, Florence was poised, graceful and elegant as she sang both songs. Not to mention divine, first while wearing Balmain, and second in a floor length black and lace cascading gown in signature Florence style. Keep an eye out for the impeccable Florence performing with The Machine for VH1′s DIVAS Celebrates Soul on Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/8 CT on VH1.

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by (@unclegrambo)

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul Adds Chaka Khan, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, And More To List Of This Year’s Performers

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul is set to premiere on Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/ 8 CT, and will feature performances by legends like Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson and Jessie J. This morning, though, we got some incredible news! In addition to the already outstanding roster of talent we have previously announced, we’re psyched to annouce that Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Boyz II Men, Estelle, Marsha Ambrosius and Travie McCoy have also agreed to pay tribute to soul music hubs we’ll be celebrating that night: Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia.

We’ve got the full press release for you below.

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul Adds Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Boyz II Men, Estelle, Marsha Ambrosius and Travie McCoy as Performers

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul Pays Tribute to the Great Cities of Soul Music Including Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia

Special will air Monday, December 19 at 9 PM/8c on VH1

NEW YORK – November 21, 2011 – VH1′s beloved, popular franchise, VH1 DIVAS, announced today additional performers to join this year’s tribute to soul music. Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Boyz II Men, Estelle, Marsha Ambrosius and Travie McCoy will join VH1′s “divas” in paying homage to these cities and soul music’s timeless classics at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom. “VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul” premieres Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/8 CT on VH1.

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by (@unclegrambo)

2011 American Music Awards: Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez Know All The Words To “Super Bass”

The American Music Awards are to the Grammy Awards what the Golden Globes are to the Oscars — they’re slightly looser, filled with more frivolity and slightly less consequential in the grand scheme of things. However, when it comes to generating viral moments, score one for the producers of the AMAs.

Tonight’s show opened with Nicki Minaj performing her a medley of her song with David Guetta, “Turn Me On,” and her 2011 Song Of The Summer contender, “Super Bass.” While she was performing, someone in the truck noticed that Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez were rapping along to the song in the crowd and wisely cut to that shot, which we have for you above courtesy of @mattchew03.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that T-Swizzle has publicly professed her love for the Queen of the Barbies. Back in February, she rapped a few bars of “Super Bass” during a trip to a Los Angeles area radio station, and Nicki returned the favor by duetting with Taylor at a concert over the summer.

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by (@unclegrambo)

The World Television Premiere Of The iHeartRadio Festival Is Coming To VH1 On November 23

VH1 is excited to announce the world television premiere of the iHeartRadio Festival, which will be airing next Wednesday, November 23. As you’ll recall, this festival took place back in late September of this year, and featured performances by the likes of Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Coldplay. You’ll be able to catch all the highlights from that two-night spectacular beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT next week.

For the complete details of our Thanksgiving Music Festival, check out this press release that just went over the wires…

VH1 GIVES VIEWERS A THANKSGIVING CORNUCOPIA OF MUSIC PROGRAMMING WITH THE WORLD PREMIERE OF “IHEARTRADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL,” MICHAEL JACKSON’S THIS IS IT, “THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION”

AND “QUEEN ROCK MONTREAL”

New York, NY- November 17, 2011- The music harvest is bountiful at VH1 this Thanksgiving with exclusive events featuring today’s biggest artists! Beginning Wednesday, November 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, music lovers can begin their Thanksgiving feast with a hearty portion of music by their favorite artists with the world television premiere of Clear Channel’s “iHeartRadio Music Festival” taped September 23rd and 24th, 2011at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This show-stopping concert, which celebrated the launch of the new iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s free, industry-leading digital radio product, includes performances by Carrie Underwood, Coldplay, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Steven Tyler and many more.

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by (@kat_george)

Ellen Interviews Dancer From The Black Keys’ Viral “Lonely Boy” Video, More Awesome Dancing Ensues

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Since we first saw The Black Keysvideo for “Lonely Boy”, the first release from their forthcoming album El Camino, we’ve been dancing around our bedrooms in the wee-hours of the morning, trying to get our moves as flawless as the video’s star, Derrick Tuggle. And now, our second favorite dancer in the world, Ellen Degeneres, has interviewed Tuggle on her show, and yes, the two danced together and we basically lost our minds with excitement. It was awesome.

Tuggle was visibly uncomfortable during the interview, which made him even more endearing; it turns out that he’s just a regular guy with some mean moves who stumbled upon his moment in the spotlight completely unexpectedly. His earnestness about his dreams, his family, and his dancing just made us love him even more. And even though Tuggle looked like he was trying desperately not to fall off his seat while chatting to Ellen, he was completely at home on the dance floor, where he reprised the moves that made him a viral sensation for The Black Keys.

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