Yesterday was the first-ever World Humanitarian Day, how did you celebrate? As previously announced, Beyonce teamed up with the United Nations and humanitarian aid organizations to launch a global campaign to celebrate the day and to encourage people worldwide to get involved. For her part, she released this video of her powerful performance of “I Was Here,” as filmed live last month at the United Nations’ General Assembly Hall.
Looking glamorous in a glittering white gown, she sang the 4 track like the whole world might vibrate with her declarations of “I did”‘s and “I done”‘s. Even she was dwarfed, though, by a montage of recent humanitarian efforts playing on the towering, IMAX-proportion screen behind her, because the day was not meant to be hers alone.
Speaking with Anderson Cooper last week, she explained that, “I feel like we all have our purpose and we all have our strengths; and I don’t know if it’s selfish or unselfish, but it feels so wonderful to do something for someone else. And I think for the UN to want to include the whole world was something important, and that’s what I represent.” Did you do something to leave a foot print?
Neon Hitch made her television debut as a solo artist on Jimmy Fallon, where she performed her new single, “Gold.” Co-written by Claude Kelly, Bruno Mars and Hitch herself, “Gold” is a equal parts club banger and lush pop anthem, aggressive beat and pretty vocals. Whomever she’s singing about may shine like gold, but last night Neon shined quite literally neon. In a glowing bra and with a set of glowing phoenix wings to match, she bounced around the stage while her neon-tibal painted back-up dancers pulsed around her. We find that artists generally keep things simple when they perform on late night, but no, not Hitch — she goes Lady Gaga-lite. The raunch may have been toned down a bit by her standards, but neon never fades and Hitch was as provocative as ever.
Stephen Colbert has been celebrating his “StePhest Colbchella ‘012 — Rocktaugustfest” all week. Last night he brought VH1 stapleSantigold aboard for a perplexing “gut mouth” versus “face mouth” discussion (Santigold, for what it’s worth, figures she sings from both: “the impulse is from the gut, there’s no thought in it at all.”), and then a three song set on the USS Intrepid stage. She was joined on stage by a troupe of dancers, who Colbert thought might have been raised by wolves. “I feel like they give physical life to the song, and the songs have a little bit of aggression,” she told him, assuring him otherwise. And so, all on stage together, they “gave physical life” to “The Keepers,” the funky and confident new single off of Master Of My Make-Believe. “One tough move, throw your hands up,” she sings, “Say I don’t make no rules, No one even knows I am here.” Santigold’s boat rocks to her own tune, and last night her tune surely rocked Colbert’s boat.
Jay Leno was in good company last night on his Tonight Show, with First Lady Michelle Obama and Olympic gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas on as guests, and then the always lovely Norah Jones to play “Say Goodbye” as FLOTUS flitted away. The stage was warm lit like a swanky retro lounge, and the slinky Little Broken Hearts cut went down like a night cap. “It’s all right, it’s okay, I don’t need you anyways,” she sasses over the woozy guitar line. We like this new Norah.
Of the many Brits who took the stage last night to pay homage to their homeland during the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony, two were You Oughta Know artists past. Emeli Sande and Ed Sheeran did VH1 proud with shining performances in front of the whole world wide. You Oughta Know no more, we say gold medals all around!
Sande’s really run these Games, kicking off both the Opening Ceremony and last night’s Closing Ceremony with stunning performances. The Scottish singer showed up to last night’s spectacular wearing Alexander McQueen and posed atop a newsprint covered stage, where she sang a cover of Professor Green‘s “Read All About It.” She was followed by the percussionists from Stomp and the entrance of Prince Harry, who was there in place of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. Sande was back on stage later in the night, finishing up “Read All About It” while a montage of memorable moments played and flags from the competing nations were brought in. Read more…
You Oughta Know artist Emeli Sandé won Olympic glory before the games even began with her stunning Olympic opening ceremony performance, but stateside viewers missed it, because the NBC broadcast cut the segment for reasons that still aren’t entirely clear. This morning, the network made up for it by inviting the opening ceremony star to the Today Show‘s Olympic Village set-up for a quick chat and to sing a brand new song. “The sun’s shining, we are in the amazing Olympic Village, and we are full of wonder,” she said before jumping into the triumphant “Wonder.” Her voice buoyed by soul and her hair swooped high with hope, she claimed her spotlight, singing confidently, “I am full of light, yes I am full of wonder.” And truly she is. This was the perfect song to lead-off this last weekend of the games, because even we, who are not competing, were left feeling inspired.
Last night on Conan, Bob Marley‘s eldest son Ziggy Marley celebrated LA’s newly anointed Bob Marley Day and the DVD release of Marley with a lovely performance of his father’s classic hit “Jammin’.” Ziggy summoned his father’s spirit, jamming out on a red-yellow-and-red guitar and with a smooth backing band behind him. It’s like his father knew when he wrote the song in 1977 that we would still be enjoying it all these years later, and that his progeny would assure that this jam is going to last. Who needs a holograph when you’ve got a flesh and blood son that can keep your spirit alive for you? To think that jamming was a thing of the past…
Last night on Conan, Grouplove and an army of cardboard cutout lookalikes shook all the sleepy out of the late night with an all-out performance of “Itchin’ on a Photograph,” the bright and catchy new single off their rising 2011 album Never Trust a Happy Song. The vibrant pop-rock crew spun and jammed and yelped things like “I’m living loud and I’m living now” until almost all of their two-dimensional counterparts were all knocked down.
Things don’t end so well for Miriam, we know that now. So it’s with a certain anticipation that we watch when Norah Jones performs the lurking Little Broken Heart lullaby, and all the more so when she plays it live, like she did last night on Conan. Seated at her piano in a pretty blue dress, Jones kept her eyes trained to the audience while she pleaded, “Miriam, was it a game to you? Was it a game to him? Don’t tell me lies.” This is a perfect song for late night, when all is dark and quiet and it lulls you to sleep and then haunt your dreams with it’s eery beauty. Oh, Miriam, that’s such a pretty name…
And below, watch her web-only performance of “Out On the Road”
“This next song I am going to play I guess is pretty important to me because of some of the things I’ve said in the past month. Just kind of taking some freedom for my self, you know?” announced Frank Ocean at his Lollapalooza set this weekend, to a crowd soggy from the rain but in high-spirits nonetheless. And, mostly still at the front of the stage, wearing what seems to be his Channel Orange uniform — a crimson cardigan and a red, white and blue handkerchief around his forehead — he performed “Bad Religion,” a harrowing love song that has also come to mark his coming-out. The rain delay had pushed Ocean’s set back in the night, meaning he would have to compete with headlining sets from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Avicii sets. The promise of such intimacy and emotion were enough, though, to draw an audience. “I am grateful for that love,” he said, and the crowd roared.