by (@unclegrambo)

Bruno Mars Is VH1’s Latest “You Oughta Know” Artist

After helping to pen three of this year’s biggest hit singles — “Billionare” for Travie McCoy, “Nothin On You” for B.o.B. and “F*ck You” for Cee-Lo Green — the time has finally come for R&B crooner Bruno Mars to step into the spotlight as a solo performer. He is hoping to follow in the footsteps of legendary artists like Carole King and Neil Diamond, both of whom were able to achieve widespread recognition first as songwriters, then as singers. The 23 year-old’s debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, doesn’t drop until next month, but if the lead single “Just The Way You Are” is any indicator, the record is going to be a smash and Mars will be an ongoing fixture on our weekly VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown for months to come.

We’ve got such high hopes for Bruno Mars that we’ve put him alongside the likes of Mumford & Sons, Daniel Merriweather, The Script, Alpha Rev and Angel Taylor as members of the elite group of VH1 “You Oughta Know” artists. Be sure to let us know your thoughts about his first solo song in the comments below!

by (@unclegrambo)

Fantasia Gets Emotional During Live At VH1 Performance Of “Bittersweet”

Just over one week ago, Fantasia popped by the VH1 offices here in Times Square, mere days after she was hospitalized following her overdose. Late last week, we brought you a clip of Fantasia performing “Free Yourself” as part of our Live At VH1 series, and today we’ve got two brand new clips for you. Above, you’ll find Fantasia’s emotional performance of “Bittersweet,” and below you can watch “Even Angels.” Each song is a testament to the strength and resolve she has as both an artist and a person.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Video Premiere: Taylor Swift’s “Mine”

It’s finally here! After showing you a :30 sneak one week ago and taking you behind the scenes yesterday, we’re excited to debut the first music video from Taylor Swift’s latest album, “Mine.” Whereas most of the songs on her last album had a distinctly autobiographical feel, this single shows Taylor extending her storytelling prowess to the third person.

This glossy pop number tells the (not always sunshine-y!) story of how romance changed a “careless man’s careful daughter” into a “rebel”; unlike some of her breezy teenage tales from the past, this song has the narrator singing about fights at 2:30 in the morning and stressing out about “paying the bills.” We’re excited to see Taylor stretching her creative muscles and taking her music in a slightly new direction (lyrically if not sonically), all the while ensuring not to offend her base (as you might expect, the song ends with true love conquering all).

So, what did you think of the song and the video? Be sure and let us know in the comments below! Oh, and when you do, don’t forget to check out the new behind-the-scenes clip of the video shoot that we’ve posted below.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Fantasia Performs “Free Yourself” Live At VH1

Everyone knows that it’s been a difficult couple of weeks for Fantasia. But, as anyone who has ever followed showbiz understands, “The show must go on!” Fantasia, the trouper that she is, popped by our offices here in the heart of Times Square on Monday and performed a few dazzling numbers for us as part of our Live At VH1 series. And, being the good people that we are, we’d love to share them with you!

Today, we’ve got a great performance of the title track from her 2004 debut album, Free Yourself. We’ll have some more cuts for you from this intimate performance here at VH1 next week. Oh, and don’t forget that her new album, Back To Me, came out on Tuesday! Enjoy.

by (@unclegrambo)

Go Behind The Scenes Of “Mine” With Taylor Swift

Last week, we brought you a :30 sneak peek of Taylor Swift’s new video, “Mine.” And with the official debut of the video right around the corner — remember, it will premiere online tomorrow night, August 27, at 8:30pm! — we thought you’d be excited to see this behind the scenes clip of Taylor discussing what it was like to shoot this video on location in Portland and Kennebunkport, Maine. As one excited onlooker described, “It’s the biggest thing to happen [to Kennebunkport residents] since George Bush.” Well, having seen the whole video ourselves, we can say with a great deal of confidence that Taylor’s new video will certainly end up being more popular than the controversial president!

Also, we added two new pictures to our photo gallery of the “Mine” video shoot. Check them out below.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Linkin Park Is Bringing Heavy Back With “The Catalyst”

For better or worse, most of the songs that have topped the pop charts during the Obama presidency have been of the light, fluffy variety (think “I Gotta Feeling,” think “Single Ladies,” think “California Gurls”). However, if you’ve been craving a return to Bush-era heaviness on the radio, look no further than Linkin Park’s new video for “The Catalyst,” the first single off their upcoming A Thousand Suns LP. We showed you a :30 sneak earlier this week, but now we’ve got the whole, mega-intense 4 minute and 42 second clip for you to watch above!

In it, Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda and the rest of the boys in Linkin Park warn that “We’re broken people living under loaded gun” and that “We’re oceans bleeding to the sky” against a backdrop of violent floods, ominous smoke-filled rooms and crumbling cities. So much for “Yes We Can”, right?

So, do you think that it’s high time that nu metal jams like these returned to the top of the charts, or do you prefer your music to be catchy and carefree? Either way, be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown this and every weekend to find out what music videos are ruling the roost.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Sneak Peek: Linkin Park’s “Catalyst” For A Comeback

Last week, we gave you a taste of what Linkin Park’s video for “The Catalyst” would look like by way of a few still photos (which, if you missed them, are also included below). Now, in advance of the video debut of their first single off their forthcoming A Thousand Suns LP on Thursday at midnight, we’ve got a thirty(ish) second sneak peek of this super intense video for all of you Linkin Park fans out there. We’re still trying to figure out the concept for the video, but we now know that our prediction that it would be a tribute to Gotcha! was off the mark. Instead of a lighthearted romp featuring a friendly game of paintball, this clip shows Chester and the boys passionately trying to communicate to a hoard of hoodie-clad teens while surrounded by scary-looking dudes in gas masks. While we’re still not quite sure what’s going on here, we know one thing for certain — “California Gurls” this ain’t!

Also! Don’t forget to tune in to the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown this weekend to see what Linkin Park’s new video looks like on something larger than your computer monitor!

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by (@unclegrambo)

Christina Aguilera Debuts Video For “Not Myself Tonight”

When Christina Aguilera released her video for “Dirrty” back in 2002, her assless chaps and aggressively sexual come-ons made it patently clear that she had no desire to live out the rest of her career as a cookie-cutter pop star. That overtly adult gamble paid off in spades; not only did her legions of fans stick by her as she matured as both a woman and an artist, but it went a long way towards proving that she could successfully emulate the career path that Madonna chose, trying out different personas as society’s taste in musical styles undulated.

Speaking of Madonna, there are more than a few nods to the Material Girl in Aguilera’s new boundary-pushing (and slightly NSFW) video for “Not Myself Tonight,” the first single off her highly anticipated Bionic LP. Over a club-friendly bed of pounding Polow da Don synths, Aguilera brandishes S&M fetish gear (whips, diamond-studded crotch flaps, leather masks!) in a way that recalls Madge’s “Human Nature” video. At other points, she leads a bevy of shirtless hunks in a series of vaguely militaristic series of dance moves that pay homage to “Express Yourself” (by way of the rain-soaked finale of Step Up 2: The Streets). Oh, and while we’re cataloging some of this video’s influences, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out Christina and director Hype Williams’s visual shout-out to George Michael and his landmark “Freedom 90″ video.

So, we want to hear your thoughts. What do you think of this video? How do you feel about Christina’s new musical direction? Are you going to be blasting this from your car radio all summer long? And don’t forget, if this song (or any of her others) serves to inspire you, we encourage you to share your story over on our VH1 Storytellers site.


Chrisette Michele: Get News About Her Chart-Topping Breakup Disc

Guess bad news is good news. Chrisette Michele recently went to the top of the charts with her new disc, Epiphany, even though the CD’s songs are all about a particularly heart wrenching breakup. Stylistically, the young soul singer is ultra impressive, bringing a variety of approaches to the tunes on the record. Some are sweaty, some are wispy, a couple feel like a kick in the gut. Without question, she sees R&B from a number of perspectives.

We’ve been documenting Chrisette’s gorgeous rasp and passionate performances for awhile now. Check out the way she recently glided through our “SoulStage” presentation, and watch her get intimate with her tunes during one of our Unplugged shows.



Grammys: Miley & Taylor Stalk Radiohead

Janell Snowden and the VH1 News team were roaming around the Grammys Sunday night, and they connected with lots of artists. Check out what Jason Mraz says about his signature hat, What Miley Cyrus says about she and Taylor Swift chasing down Coldplay and Radiohead, and John Mayer getting high on the beautiful essence of Snoop Dogg.

Check our Grammys Photo Gallery

Read a list of Grammys winners here.

Check Scandalist coverage of the Grammys.

Watch a video playlist of Grammy winners.