2 Chainz‘s rap game takeover has been a long time coming. The Georgia rapper that had us all screaming, “2 Chaaaaainnnnz” was a coveted feature artist in the way Nicki Minaj was in 2009. Those days are long gone and the wait was certainly worth it. His debut album Based on a T.R.U. Story topped the charts for the No.1 spot on the Billboard 200. According to Nielsen SoundScan the album sold 147,000 copies. For a little perspective: that’s almost 20,000 more units sold than pop star Chris Brown‘s Fortune. Talk about coming out the gate swinging. Read more…
Pull out your black leather jackets and get ready to moonwalk for the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson‘s BAD album. VH1 is sending a few lucky fans to the Pepsi Billboard Summer Beats Celebrates BAD25 & Michael Jackson, King of Pop event in NYC to take photos for VH1. On August 29 at New York City’s Gotham Hall you have the chance to groove to A-list performers who are all coming together for one reason: to celebrate the King. Are you so excited you’re singing “You know I’m bad, I’m bad, you know it” yet?
To enter to win it’s as simple as tagging your summer photos on Instagram and Twitter with #playnow. Easy breezy. Once you’ve tagged your photos with the hashtag you’re automatically entered in the contest. If you’re the lucky chosen fans you will win flight accommodations to NYC, exclusive access to take pictures from the event for VH1 and the opportunity to star in a VH1 News Hit. There’s no better way to celebrate MJ’s 25th BAD anniversary. So get to tagging those photos with #playnow. To learn more visit www.vh1livefornow.com.
TRENT REZNOR COMPOSED THEME SONG FOR NEW CALL OF DUTY GAME
With the success of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network past, we are grateful that there is nary a soundtrack project that the Nine Inch Nails frontman will turn down. [USAToday]
A letter writer consummate, Beyoncé has penned a sweet-as-ever note to the late King of Pop. “When I was just starting out, my first producer used to make me listen to Michael Jackson,” she wrote in the note posted to her Tumblr on the third anniversary of his death, citing a live recording of “Who’s Loving You” that she would listen to “for hours back to back.” She goes on to recall Jackson’s audible soul and unimpeachable swag, and to thank him for the influence he has had on her as a performer. No longer on earthly stages himself, Bey makes it clear that he lives on through her every performance.
“Michael taught me that sometimes you have to forget technique, forget what you have on. If you feel silly, you have to go from the gut and just let it go,” she writes. “Michael Jackson changed me, and helped me to become the artist that I am – thank you Michael.”
Our letter from the Queen B is coming soon, we just know it. Until then, read Beyoncé’s full tribute below:
We still have a hard time believing its been almost three years since the incomparable Michael Jackson passed away. To think it has been 25 years since the King of Pop’s seventh album Bad, makes us feel, let’s just say, wiser. Epic/Legacy Recordings and the Michael Jackson estate has partnered together to release the Bad 25 deluxe package on September 18 to honor its 25th anniversary. This is like having Christmas in September! Read more…
The Billboard Music Awards may not be known for scandalous surprise girl-on-girl kisses like the VMAs or interesting collaborations like the Grammys, but the 2012 Billboard Music Awards is offering performances by the hottest artists of today. Carrie Underwood, Linkin Park, Nelly Furtado and Kelly Clarkson are only a few of the A-listers hitting the stage this Sunday at MGM in Las Vegas. We’re curious to find out if BMA can pull off a tribute to the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer, in just three days. Watching how artists bring their songs to life at a major award show is always exhilarating, but here’s the five singers we’re most excited to see and why.
Finally, a full Whitney Houston tribute. Jennifer Hudson did an amazing job at the Grammy Awards, but we were left wanting so much more. Thanks to Billboard, our wish came true in the form of John Legend and Jordin Sparks (who actually co-starred with Houston in the remake of Sparkle). It’s no easy feat to cover The Voice’s songs for even the best vocalists in the business. We’d love to hear the two sing “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” or “How Will I Know” as they are Houston’s earlier songs that are light and fun. It was announced that Bobbi Kristina and Cissy Houston are making special guest appearances to accept awards on Houston’s behalf. Will the gospel legend sing and take everybody to church? A lot is riding on this tribute, we’re hoping they nail it. Read more…
Following Chris Brown’s shocking yet successful collaboration with ex-girlfriend Rihanna on “Birthday Cake,” Brown is working in overdrive to regain his popularity since that dreadful incident in 2009. With electrifying performances like last night’s appearance on Dancing with the Stars, he’s heading back to the top, passing go without collecting $200 (we know you loved Monopoly). The pop star performed “Turn Up the Music” from his upcoming fifth studio album Fortune. Like the high energy dance tune, Brown poured everything in pleasing the crowd with complex footwork, jumps and mini moonwalks. Read more…
When musicians are preparing to release a new album, one of the necessary steps on the promotional docket is the album listening party. Most of the time, journalists and other music executives are invited to either a rented out club or a conference room at the record label headquarters to hear the new tracks. That tactic is certainly effective, but doesn’t always lend itself to really “experiencing” the music in the fullest sense of the word. Record label veteran Usher, who has been churning out albums for nearly two decades now, must’ve sat through more than a few boring listening parties over the years, so he decided to step his game up now that he’s getting ready to release his seventh studio album, Looking For Myself. Instead of holding court in some conference room somewhere, Usher instead collaborated with the off-Broadway Fuerza Bruta cast for a one time only night of interactive surprises.
This past Friday night, April 27, a group of invite-only guests gathered in the heart of NYC’s Union Square at the Daryl Roth Theater, unsure of exactly what to expect from this unlikely mash-up. For the unfamiliar, Fuerza Bruta — which is Spanish for “brute force” — is sort of reminiscent of Cirque du Soleil in that they both have incredibly athletic performers, but Fuerza differs in that there’s more crowd participation in the program. This particular show began with “Climax” blaring through the speakers, when Usher suddenly appeared on an elevated treadmill wearing a crisp white suit paired with a turquoise tie, accented with bright socks. Usher ran and ran at top speed until he was noticeably out of breath and perspiring. At first, it was unclear who or what he was running from, but then, out of nowhere, a loud “bang, bang” sound rang through our ears, and Usher fell over with a blood drenched shirt from two apparent gunshot wounds. (Perhaps at that moment he reached the climax the song alludes to?) Like Superman, he quickly jumped back to his feet, removing the shirt (thankfully he had a clean tank top underneath) and presumed running, only this time he was joined by a partner. The two ran while dodging chairs and running through paper walls.
Sony Music has been hacked — and 50,000 songs have been stolen, including Michael Jackson‘s entire back catalog and a reportedly large amount of his unreleased work. Despite the attack occurring in April last year (when hackers stole the personal data of 77 million registered PlayStation Network users), the event has only now come to light. At the time of the attack, over 50,000 music files were simultaneously stolen, and while it remains unknown exactly what artists and songs were included, reports are suggest that Jackson’s entire back catalogue including previously unreleased duets with Will.i.am and Freddie Mercury were stolen.
And Sony owns a lot of Jackson material — in 2010 they paid the Jackson estate a $200 million guaranteed contract for 10 projects over seven years which included unreleased material from Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad studio sessions, and according to a source, “Everything Sony purchased from the Michael Jackson estate was compromised.” While Sony has not commented, the Jackson estate has been alerted to the breach, and two men have been charged in connection with the breach but both have pleaded innocent, released on bail to stand trail next January.
[Photos: Getty Images]
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.