We thought we were lucky simply by having a chance to watch the superwoman that is Adele return to the stage, trading high-fives with 007 and making other nominees cringe at their own acceptance speeches. The Academy Awards is typically Hollywood’s night, showering films and their respective performers with love and a 360 GlamCam, but more recently, music has been finding a way in to the big show more and more.
Part of that trend is the Academy’s planned tribute to the movie musical (amazing, amazing idea) which will take place at this year’s show on Sunday, February 24 (ugh, not soon enough!). Despite the rich canon of excellent examples–do everyone a favor and rid your mind of Nine and Rent–the focus will fall largely on recent screen adaptations. So don’t expect Hugh Jackman to launch into “Trouble,” although I am willing to lend this idea to a casting record for a price to be determined later.
Films like Chicago and Dreamgirls will be featured in the tribute, as well as one of this year’s big contenders, Les Misérables. The former arguably brought the genre–barreling–into the 21st century, while Dreamgirls put Beyoncé on the big screen and made us forget Jennifer Hudson was an American Idol reject–still hard to believe after this. Yes, Harold Hill may have to wait, but if you’ve dreamed a dream that Wolverine and Queen Bey might one day share the stage, you could be in luck.
Yesterday was indeed a day to celebrate American political traditions and tremendous achievements in civil rights, but there were also plenty of fashions to covet and musical performances to look forward to in between the peaceful transfer of power. Capping off a long week of celebrity events in support of Barack Obama‘s second term, Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor had the honor of performing during the official inauguration ceremony, live from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. Taylor kicked things off with “America the Beautiful,” defending the right to wear fleece in public (and later providing astute political analysis for NBC), while Kelly dazzled and impressed the likes of Senator Chuck Schumer with her powerful version of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.”
“Wow” is right! Season 12 American Idol hopefuls take note: the AI OG remains the gold standard.
For the rest of the year the most anticipated moment of any music award show is going to be the Whitney Houston tribute. It’s no different with this Sunday’s BET Awards. The Associated Press reported that both Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z have been confirmed as guests for the big night. The power couple haven’t attended the award show in years. This year the Carters will be in the building ladies and gentleman. Read more…
Queen Bey is back, baby! In her first performance in four months– since the birth of Blue Ivy– Beyoncé Knowles returned to the stage for a Memorial Day weekend extravaganza at Revel Resort & Casino in Atlantic City for four nights of exhilarating performances. During the two hour set one of the biggest stars in the world performed nearly two dozen crowd favorites like “Single Ladies,” “Get Me Bodied,” “Halo,” “Love On Top” and others. Celebrities from near and far traveled to Atlantic City to see the return of the Queen. It’s not like we didn’t know pals Michelle Obama and Beyoncé gush over one another all the time, but we weren’t expecting the First Lady to show up to Bey’s concert with daughters Sasha and Malia. It’s pretty major when the First Lady of the United States, with Secret Service in tow, comes to see you. Read more…
For each and every show that airs on VH1, a team of music supervisors here at the network have spent countless hours determining exactly what pieces of music best complement the footage that we have shot. This team—the CMI (Creative Music Integration) group—listen to thousands of songs each month in an attempt to figure out how best to utilize musical cues to reinforce the emotion and drama on shows like Mob Wives and Basketball Wives, so we thought it would be a cool idea to give you an inside glimpse into their world.
Each month, we’ll put together a list of all the songs that have been featured on the programs and promos that you see on VH1, which will be accompanied by two things: Specific commentary from the music supervisor as to why they selected a particular song for a particular scene in a show, as well as a Spotify playlist for you to sample these songs. Without further ado, here are all the songs that we featured on VH1 during the month of April!
VH1 SHOWS PLAYLIST: APRIL 2012
(Listen to the playlist on Spotify)
B.o.B “So Good” in Single Ladies Promo
In a tragic turn of events the music industry lost one of its biggest legends, Whitney Houston, over the weekend. In a last minute reshuffle, the Grammys made an effort to pay tribute to the great star, with LL Cool J giving an eulogy at the start of the show, and big names like Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Stevie Wonder commemorating their hero (Alicia Keys performed a tribute to the recently passed Etta James with Bonnie Raitt but didn’t fail to acknowledge Whitney). But perhaps the most stirring tribute of all was Jennifer Hudson‘s emotional performance of Whitney’s iconic song “I Will Always Love You.”
While Jennifer’s beautiful vocal soared through the song, and physically she appeared to embody the ghost of Whitney, she didn’t quite hit the high notes with the same easy power as Whitney — so as she paid rousing tribute, she also reminded us of the awesome talent of the late performer, whose natural voice is unparalleled, even by someone who is considered one of the great contemporary vocalists of today. Jennifer’s performance was a deeply emotional one, and it seemed like the singer had some difficulty getting through as she was overcome by tears at the end.
So while it seemed like the Grammys did everything they could at the last minute to ensure Whitney was paid proper respect, some were still perturbed by the closing act, hoping for a Whitney tribute as opposed to Paul McCartney‘s Beatles Medley and the ensuing dad rock guitar-off. What do you think? Do you think the Grammy’s did enough in honor of Whitney? Or do you think there could have been more, for instance a closing ensemble cast Whitney Medley? Let us know in the poll below!
Hot on the campaign trail pending this year’s election, President Obama is yet again proving why he’s a cut above the rest by releasing a Spotify playlist to soundtrack his campaign. No matter what you think of the Obama presidency, you can’t accuse the man and his minions of being inept when it comes to new technologies and social media. Indeed, the Spotify playlist, which itself is the primary “of the moment” device for music sharing, was promoted using Obama’s Facebook page and Twitter feed, giving the incumbent somewhat of a modern edge against would-be Presidential candidates. Not to mention making him unspeakably cool, which counts for almost everything to the social media generation.
The list has some notable inclusions as well — especially Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together”, which the President recently worked out his vocal cords to. Bruce Springsteen seems like a must for any “all American” campaign, and The Boss’s new track “We Take Care Of Our Own” is right at home in a play list that covers the USA’s musical heart from the middle to the coasts — from soul to country to indie-pop. Showing that he’s “down with the kids” Obama’s playlist includes Arcade Fire and Wilco and even some of our favorite DIVAS: Ledisi, Florence + The Machine, Sugarland and Jennifer Hudson. The only minor criticisms we have of the list is that there’s no representation for Watch The Throne — it seems that Jay-Z and Kayne West‘s Frank Ocean chorused “Made In America” would have been the perfect track to accompany Obama’s campaign. Also, where’s Beyoncé?
You can see the full track listing after the jump.
Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.
Madonna’s halftime performance at this year’s Super Bowl may very well make this list, but it hasn’t happened yet, so until it does, here are my five favorite Super Bowl Music Moments:
5. “The Super Bowl Shuffle” (Super Bowl XX, 1985-86)
A pump-up rap anthem made by the Chicago Bears leading up to Super Bowl XX. Looking back, it’s hard not to wince at football players trying to dance, but back then the song (and accompanying music video) was awesome, charting at #41 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
4. Michael Jackson Doing Absolutely Nothing (Super Bowl XXVII, 1993)
Dangerous-Era Michael Jackson did perform a handful of songs, but what I remember most is his frozen-in-time pose at the beginning of the halftime show. If you’re Michel Jackson you can use some of your allotted set time doing absolutely nothing.
We told you so! Earlier today, we gave you a sneak peak at the cold open of VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul and told you it was the hottness. Well, now that you’ve all seen the whole clip —the show is on RIGHT NOW, people!— you seem to agree. We just checked Twitter a few seconds ago and we saw that Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige and Kelly Clarkson‘s performance of “You Keep Me Hanging On,” “Spotlight,” “Real Love,” and “Since U Been Gone” was dominating five of the Top 10 trending topics.
By popular demand, here’s the video of this historic moment that you can watch over and over and over again. Remember, if you’re gonna tweet about the show tonight, be sure to use the hashtag #VH1DIVAS.