In a nationally televised concert that included some of the biggest names in pop (Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj), a smaller rock band from Vermont with a vintage blues/soul twist grabbed the spotlight and turned it on its head. The event was VH1 Divas Salute the Troops, the band Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. We asked the Nocturnals’ gorgeous frontwoman Grace Potter about her show-stealing experience, and she told us performing at VH1 Divas is “by far the biggest thing we’ve ever done.” Apparently, the social media and search engine stratospheres agreed. Almost immediately after their high-energy set aired, including their recent hit “Paris (Ooh La La)” and a duet with veteran rockers Heart (“Crazy On You“), the term “Grace Potter” shot to #5 on Google’s hot searches and lit up Facebook and Twitter, ultimately crashing Grace Potter’s website under a strain of heavy referrals.
VH1 Divas 2010
When we first tweeted from VH1 Divas Salute the Troops rehearsals and then for the taping of the show last Friday, it was Nicki Minaj fans who seemed most hungry for details. Known sometimes as barbz, her fans were happy (and unsurprised) to that hear Nicki killed it in rehearsals, sounding so good on the mic it was easy to see why she’s already earned the Queen of Hip-Hop title in a relatively short time on the scene.
Her fans also lapped it up when we reported that Nicki Minaj would duet with Katy Perry (“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”) and perform “Right Thru Me” for TV and do “Roman’s Revenge” and “Moment 4 Life” just for the troops. But they also wanted to know what she wore, what she said, and what her hair looked like (a giant blond wig).
So it’s not surprising that Nicki fans were not too pleased after the show aired last night and we couldn’t release any of her performances online due to rights issues. This 10-second clip of Nicki rapping will give you a small taste of her VH1 Divas gig, and a chance to glimpse that behind move in a mini-dress! Catch VH1 Divas on repeat airings (tomorrow at 11:30am and 4pm EST) to see Nicki’s full set.
Bonus #2: Nicki Minaj’s VH1 News interview (and pics) after the jump!
Entertainment Tonight hung out with us yesterday at rehearsals for VH1 Divas Salute the Troops and talked to the performers to find out what the show means to them and why they’ve decided to be a part of it. Aside from having always wanted to visit a base, Katy Perry said it’s not like a “regular” concert.? “It’s a concert with heart and with purpose and I love doing things with purpose.” Katy’s Divas duet partner Nicki Minaj (SPOILER: They’re teaming up for “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”) is performing for her aunt, who’s a career army gal, and all troops because they “risk their lives for us.” Said Nicki: “This is definitely one of my most meaningful performances.”
Host Kathy Griffin, who became a veteran at entertaining troops by touring the Middle East, said the men and women in uniform “just want to let off some steam.”?Judging by Kathy’s stand-up routine at rehearsals, we’re pretty sure she’ll help them let of plenty of steam when the show tapes tonight. (SPOILER ALERT TWO: Lindsay Lohan and Bristol Palin are definitely on Kathy’s hit list!) [Photo: Getty Images]
Watch VH1 Divas Salute the Troops on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 9/8c. Entertainment Tonight clips after the jump!
As we lead up to this weekend’s airing of the VH1 Divas 2010 special on Sunday night at 9/8c, we thought we’d give you a sneak peak at a sketch of the outfits that Keri Hilson, Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj will be wearing during the event’s opening performance. These dresses were designed by the renowned duo The Blonds, a hot fashion team perhaps best known for dressing Katy in her “California Gurls” video and making Miley’s giant peacockian bird of prey costume come to life in the video for “Can’t Be Tamed.” If these outfits look this cool in a sketch, we can’t wait to see the ladies wearing them on stage on Sunday night!
Be sure to follow @thefablife on Twitter all weekend long for VH1 Divas 2010 exclusive sneak previews of rehearsals, behind the scenes commentary and more, all coming to you live from San Diego.
VH1 Divas Salute the Troops, airing Sunday at 9/8c, just got a little more interesting with Snooki and The Situation joining the lineup as presenters. Also presenting are VH1′s Brandy, hottie Marisa Miller and comedian Jeffrey Ross.
Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart are new additions to the performer lineup, which includes Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Keri Hilson, Paramore, Sugarland and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. Kathy Griffin will serve as host. Full press release after the jump.
In other Divas-related goodness, Old Navy is calling upon its customers to help keep U.S. troops stationed around the world connected to their loved ones at home during the holidays. As part of Operation Phone Home, minutes can be bought in-store or online at OldNavy.com from Dec. 3-9. Get all the details.
While gearing up to perform for VH1 Divas Salute the Troops on Dec. 5, Keri Hilson swung by VH1′s offices to school us in fashion and take us through her outfit — from head to toe. We were a little bit surprised to hear the “Pretty Girl Rock” singer say she never likes to be “too girly.” Sure, we remember how stunning Keri looked rocking cut-off jeans and a wife-beater in the video for “Knock You Down.” But never?
“My fashion philosophy is to be myself, which is the tomboy within,” she says. “Even when I’m wearing heels there’s a certain masculine meets feminine factor.”
Even more surprising: the Grammy Award-winning Avon spokesmodel claims to “love” discount stores, including Marshalls, Ross Dress for Less and T.J. Max. “I’ll be looking through the racks right next to you,” she says. “And shoot you a smile.” Whoa, now that would knock us down. [Photos: Jen Marigliano]
VH1 Divas Salute the troops will air Sunday, Dec. 5 at 9/8c. Additional performers include Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Paramore, Sugarland, and Grace Potter?& the Nocturnals. Keri’s new album, No Boys Allowed, will be released Dec. 21.
Since we’re keeping tabs on our VH1 Divas Salute the Troops performers (tune in Dec. 5), we can’t ignore all of the fuss surrounding Nicki Minaj‘s debut Pink Friday, released today to mixed reviews. Some critics are praising Nicki for taking listeners of her alter ego-packed album on a fantastical journey that fuses hip-hop and pop. And while Nicki has been the equivalent to a pinch hitter as a guest rapper, hip-hop purists say Nicki’s bringing too much sugary pop to Lil Wayne‘s Young Money record label.
Judging from a recent VH1 News interview, we’re guessing Rihanna will not be among those in the hip-hop community that have a gripe. “Nicki is a rapper … and has all of these quirky melodies and lyrics,” said Rihanna, who first worked with Nicki while making Rated R. “Then she started sending me these crazy ballads. It just made me say, ‘What the heck, you wrote that s*** too?’”
Have thoughts on Nicki Minaj or Pink Friday? Leave them in the comments section. And don’t miss VH1 Divas on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 9/8c.
If you pay attention to country music, you already know Sugarland, the platinum duo that’s part of the lineup of VH1 Divas Salute The Troops, which airs Dec. 5 at 9/8c. Or maybe you’ve just heard about them for the first time when singer Jennifer Nettles made her way onto worst-dressed lists for performing in a tutu at the CMA Awards.
To be fair, Jennifer also made best-dressed lists for her red carpet outfit to the same event — not to mention Sugarland took home the award for Vocal Duo of the Year. Still, Jennifer and her partner Kristian Bush have fully redeemed their fashion cred by stopping by our offices and running through their outfits, head to toe. This country act has style. Just watch.
[All Photos: Jen Marigliano]
We couldn’t resist sharing these brand new, WWII-inspired promo shots of the lineup for The USO Presents: VH1 Divas Salute the Troops (premiering Sunday, Dec. 5 at 9/8c). In the gallery below are pin-up sized individual shots of Sugarland‘s Jennifer Nettles, Nicki Minaj, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals‘ Grace Potter, Keri Hilson, Katy Perry and Paramore‘s Hayley Williams. Print them out, hang them up and you’re guaranteed to feel a rise in your…patriotism.
In other Diva-related news, VH1 is partnering with Glamour Shots to bring out your inner DIVA with a pin-up or patriotic-themed photo session. This free session includes: makeover and hairstyling; photo session; free 10×13 portrait; and a special Divas gift with purchase! The offer ends Dec. 10th. Book now at www.glamourshots.com/Divas.
You might already know VH1′s latest You Oughta Know act, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. The band’s new album hit #6 on iTunes’ most downloaded list. They’ve appeared on Ellen and Jay Leno. Their songs have been featured on ER and Grey’s Anatomy. They performed on Tim Burton‘s Alice in Wonderland soundtrack. And VH1 just announced that they’re part of this year’s VH1 Divas Salute the Troops lineup with Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj. So why all the hoopla?
For starters, the Vermont-based quartet has attracted a loyal fan base by releasing three well-reviewed albums since forming in 2002 and paying some serious dues on the tour circuit (up to 200 gigs a year). But of course Grace Potter’s sound is the main draw. It recalls the soulful side of 70′s rock, and we’re guessing that some fans are latching onto it partially as an alternative to the prevalence of auto-tune. It also doesn’t hurt that frontwoman Grace Potter has a powerful bluesy voice and happens to be more than a little attractive.
Speaking of attractive, we caught up with Grace at Austin City Limits music fest last month and she posed for some pics. Click the jump to see.