Paying tribute to the late Etta James live in concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall this weekend, Kelly Clarkson gave a beautiful performance of “I’d Rather Go Blind.” It was a poignant enough moment in the face of James’ tragic passing, but also given that 10 years ago Kelly sang “At Last,” for her first ever appearance on American Idol, which she went on to win, the performance was a rather weighty one. While most of the videos we tracked down of the performance were rather shaky (see above, which was the least shaky but unfortunately from a distance), the poor visual was negligible in light of Kelly’s spine tingling vocal. Even on fan-filmed, amateur film, there’s no mistaking the distinct power of Kelly’s voice as she sings the words of the great Etta James.
Kelly Clarkson is all set to get patriotic for the Super Bowl on February 5th. While it hasn’t been officially announced, a source has confirmed that the “Mr. Know It All” singer will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and we can’t think of anyone better than the vibrant Kelly to sing the National Anthem. Joining Kelly in the festivities is Madonna, whose much anticipated half time show will include guest appearances from M.I.A and Nicki Minaj. Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton will also perform a duet version of “America The Beautiful,” so really, what is there not to be excited about? Sports and stars — bring it on!
Kelly Clarkson to Sing National Anthem at Super Bowl XLVI [Rolling Stone]
[Photo: Getty Images]
While speculation around Adele’s possible Grammy performance has been causing a flutter, several other artists have been officially announced as performers for the prestigious music industry ceremony. Playing at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards (airing February 12) will be nominees the Foo Fighters (six nominations), Nicki Minaj (four nominations), Taylor Swift (three nominations), Kelly Clarkson (one nomination), Bruno Mars (six nominations) and Jason Aldean (three nominations).
These artists have been announced as the “first” performers on the Grammy’s website, which means that there’s still hope that big names like Adele (six nominations), Kanye West (who has the most nominations of all, with seven nods), and Lady Gaga (three nominations) will perform on the night. Even though there are rumors abounding that Adele will play, she’s still recovering from throat surgery, so we’ve got our money on Lady Gaga to be announced as a performer given her strong presence and dedication to the stage, evidenced by her complete saturation of 2011. We’d also like to see our You Oughta Know artist Foster The People (2 nominations) take to the stage, as they were the dark horse of the previous year, their tracks “Pumped Up Kicks,” and “Helena Beat” bringing up the rear to find an overwhelmingly positive critical reception.
[Photos: Getty Images]
This weekend on Saturday Night Live, Kelly Clarkson tore the stage down (not literally, that would be vandalism and so not cool) performing “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”. Glamorous as always in smoky eye makeup and a spangly tank top, our girl Kelly didn’t miss a beat as she belted out her latest hit. Taking the power anthem to another level, “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)” sums up Kelly almost perfectly — she’s our favorite soldier, and an inspiration to anyone who’s ever been down on love. We’re so proud of her for being the first musical performer on SNL for 2012 — it looks like this might just be Kelly’s year, as it’s already off to a roaring start!
Happy New Year! As we usher in 2012, it’s time for everyone to sit back and reflect on the past, and make adjustments for a brighter future. You know what we’re talking about; the unavoidable, almost-reprehensible-but-not-reprehensible-enough-that-you-won’t-do-it task of setting resolutions for one’s self. No matter how vehemently you oppose New Year’s resolutions —we’re looking at you, Simon Cowell— you can’t help but make them, even if you do it on the sly. Yep, we know how much of a chore coming up with resolutions can be, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to create some for our favorite artists…
Lady Gaga: Instead of taking it off, try putting it on. What we’re trying to say is less peacocking, more clothes — we want to see a real human for once (not that we don’t love Mother Monster, it would just be a welcome change to see the girl underneath).
Kanye West: Do not collaborate with Lana Del Rey. No seriously, we know she’s new, but what we like about you is that you are not only adept at picking “new” artists to collaborate with, you consistently find both the subversive and undiscovered.
Beyonce: Don’t spend too much time with the baby. OK that one’s entirely selfish and unreasonable on our part, but what will we do without at least 7 new Beyonce videos in 2012? WHAT WILL WE DO?
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.
One of the most memorable moments from last night’s taping of VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul ended up being one that had never even been rehearsed before the cameras started rolling. When you watch Ledisi and Marsha Ambrosius duet on “Sweet Love” tonight at 9 p.m. ET on VH1, you’re gonna think that the two singers had been practicing together for weeks. However, the truth of the matter is that the whole number came together just over an hour before showtime. Say what?
“I was headed to go to the red carpet and the producers and the music director and my manager all came rushing to my room,” Ledisi explained to us on a phone call earlier this afternoon. “I was asked ‘Can you sing ‘Sweet Love’?” and I was like, ‘Stop playin! [laughs] Anita Baker’s singing that’. But then they told me ‘No, this is serious.’ And I was like “Oh my God, yeah sure, sure, if you need me, I’ll do it.’ I didn’t ask what happened because I didn’t want to be in the middle of that — you know, I’m just new, I just want to sing my little two songs and get off stage. But then all of a sudden here’s a third song, so I just wanted to pay proper respect to Miss Anita Baker and not do too much and you know, share in the moment, so it was a lot of fun. I really was honored to be asked, they could have asked someone else but they asked me and Marsha sand the first verse and I was so appreciative of the whole experience, it was like a dream. Like, is this real? Like I left there — ‘Did that just really happen’?”
Just moments before the taping of VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul last night, our girl Kelly Clarkson managed to sprain her ankle. Never one to let a broken thing deter her —ankles, hearts, it’s all the same, really!— Kelly powered on through the entire show, performing like a true professional. Even Questlove gave Kelly props for her stoicism when he tweeted, “Shoutout to Kelly Clarkson for goin in like a mofo trooper and with twisted ankle & all kickin arse & takin names. #vh1divas.”
So what happened? Well, Kelly took to WhoSay last night to explain. “Funny part of the evening is I twisted my ankle in a pair of heels right before the show started in a freakin pot hole on the street!,” she wrote. “Hurt like hell but still one of my favorite shows I’ve ever been a part of!” That’s why we love our Kelly — instead of indulging in self-pity, she powers through and gives every single one of her performances 100% energy and effort.
Hey, have you heard the news? VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul is premiering tonight on VH1 at 9 p.m. ET, and take it from us (because we were there): It is a DOOZY of a show. However, what we’re going to share with you right now isn’t something that you’re going to see tonight. Our VH1 Tuner photographer extraordinaire, Miss Lauren Deiman, was the ONLY photographer on hand during yesterday afternoon’s dress rehearsals at midtown Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom, and she was able to capture these stunning images of world class talents like Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson, and Jessie J practicing their performances one final time before the big show kicked off. Enjoy this exclusive and truly intimated look behind the scenes of VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul.