by (@zaragolden)

Behind The Song: Ne-Yo On Writing “Irreplaceable” For Beyonce


Are you on a mobile device? Click here to watch Behind The Song: Ne-Yo, “Irreplaceable.”

This Sunday, VH1′s Behind The Music delves into sweet crooning singer-songwriter Ne-Yo‘s story. Before we get into that, though, we’d like to set the scene by first going Behind The Song with Ne-Yo’s “Irreplaceable,” the chart-topping smash he wrote for Beyoncé.

“There’s a multitude of points throughout my career that re-inspired,” says Ne-Yo, counting as one of them “Irreplaceable,” the country-tinged hip-hop hit he penned for none-less-than Beyoncé to perform. A shining performer in his own right, the song proved Ne-Yo a talented songwriter as well, able to worm his way into the hearts and souls of others with his writing. “Everybody will start telling you that this will never work, that will never work, probably don’t want to experiment, give people what they don’t know, don’t go too far outside of the box,” he says. “We experimented with something and it worked.” And as for that killer “to the left, to the left” line? He got that from his aunt.

Be sure to tune-in when Behind The Music: Ne-Yo premieres on Sunday, September 23 at 9/8c on VH1.

RELATED: Behind The Song: Train, “Drops Of Jupiter”

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by (@zaragolden)

Tuned In: Justin Bieber, Big Sean and Ne-Yo Show Battle Lasers On America’s Got Talent Finale

This season of America’s Got Talent went out with a great big and certainly talented bang last night, with Canadian Justin Bieber and Big Sean hitting the stage for a monstrous performance of their “As Long As You Love Me” and Ne-Yo battling lasers to show us why he should “Let Me Love You.”

Justin’s stage set looked like O-Town’s “Liquid Dreams” set (or maybe a little like a Bose iPod doc), and — lasers, an army of dancers, and metallic galore — the performance was a real event. Justin has been performing “As Long As You Love Me” since Believe‘s release back in June, and at last he seems comfortable nailing the dance moves and hitting the high notes at the same time. They also let him have a moment with one of the female dancers. #stillkidrauhl, maybe, but Kid Rauhl’s growing up. Read more…

by (@Lacezilla)

Artists As Executives: Young Jeezy Joins The Atlantic Records Staff

Over the last few weeks, Executive Vice President of A&R at Atlantic Records Mike Caren has been making noise about a new Director position open in his department. While news of the Urban/Rhythmic-focused gig spread through re-tweets and industry word-of-mouth, it appears a different role in Atlantic’s A&R department was also up for grabs: Senior Vice President.

Late last night, Atlanta DJ Greg Street of V103 announced over the air that Jeezy was joining forces with Atlantic Records; not added to their artist roster, the Snow Man would instead be considered an addition to their staff, lending his expertise to Mike Caren’s A&R group by landing the role of Senior VP.

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by (@kat_george)

Tuned In: Estelle Says An Elegant “Thank You” On Letterman

Estelle gave an elegant performance of her track “Thank You” on The Late Show With David Letterman last night. Promoting her new album, All Of Me, which dropped yesterday, Estelle looked stunning with a simple slicked back hair-do and long white halterneck gown. With little aside from her stunning get-up in showmanship, Estelle’s performance was beautifully measured and displayed her strong vocal capabilities. As one of our favorite DIVAS, we love listening to Estelle’s flawless, captivating vocal every time she takes to the stage.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” Is The 2011 VH1 Song Of The Summer

For the last 14 weeks, we’ve been tracking the race to see which track would become this year’s Song Of The Summer. Since people consume music in so many different ways these days, our goal was to put together a democratic formula that compared how a group of over 70 songs performed across five of the primary channels that people frequently use to listen to their favorite jams: the Billboard Hot 100 (radio play & sales), the iTunes charts (pure sales), Last.fm scrobbles (listening on computer and mobile devices), the YouTube music charts (streams) and, of course, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown. Each week, we tracked how our group of competitors fared in each of these different platforms, and then added up the results.

So, without any further ado, we are psyched to announce that Katy Perry has taken home the first place prize in VH1′s first annual Song Of The Summer competition! When the summer began, it looked like Adele‘s “Rolling In The Deep” was going to be an unstoppable force, but as soon as Katy dropped her 80s-tastic “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” video during the week of June 27th, she dominated the countdown from there on out. Katy was gracious enough to film an quick speech for us while she accepted our totally awesome Song Of The Summer trophy, which we’ve got for you above.

For you completists, here is our final Song Of The Summer countdown chart (that is, until Memorial Day 2012 rolls around!). And you’re on Spotify, you can subscribe to our VH1 Song Of The Summer 2011 playlist and re-live the summer whenever you want.


[Click here for a larger image]

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by (@Lacezilla)

Concert Review: Beyonce Delivers a Dynamic, If Somewhat Robotic, Second “Intimate” Night at Roseland

Beyonce Live 4 Intimate Nights

If you haven’t already caught the scoop, Beyonc? has an affinity for numbers; specifically, the number four. Front and center at last night?s second of “4 Intimate Nights with Beyonc?” at Roseland Ballroom (the first of which took place on Sunday, the FOURteenth), the lady of the hour took the stage to break down the numerological fondness and dazzle superfans and music industry elite alike. Because she usually performs for audiences ten times the size of the 2,500 capacity venue, tickets for this coveted concert series were a hot commodity, and with VIPs like Diddy, Russell Simmons, Ne-Yo, and The-Dream looking on the balcony, a ravenous crowd chanted the singer’s name repeatedly before the show?s 10 p.m. start time. Homegirl has unwavering disciples, and as we were soon reminded, she deserves each and every one of them.

The well-rehearsed, ninety-minute show —whose setlist was identical to Sunday night’s show—began with Beyonc? narrating the initial chapters of her career?s autobiography. From militaristic practice sessions at nine-years-old with the initial members of Destiny?s Child to securing their deal with Columbia Records in 1995, Bey? ran through the timeline of her passionate path, stitching performance snippets into the fabric of her tales. Cut-down, crowd-pleasing hits like ?Bills, Bills Bills,? ?Say My Name,? and ?Independent Women Part I? perpetuated a roar of approval that crescendoed when the introduction to ?Survivor? was liberated by the diva?s all-female band. ?With a lot of success comes a lot of negativity,? admitted the star as she launched into the female-empowerment anthem, graciously crediting her former cohorts Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams while also justifying the song?s endurance-focused sentiments.

There is often calm after a tumultuous storm, however, and once Beyonc? was finished discussing the uneven footing of her early days as an artist, she shared with the audience how powerful it was when she finally ?found love.? Right on cue, the opening notes to the then-new couple’s very public relationship confirmation, Jay-Z?s ??03 Bonnie and Clyde,? hit our nostalgic radars, and as you might imagine, the crowd lost their minds. Before transitioning into a quick Dreamgirls story, Bey? also performed her other Hov-centric hit, ?Crazy in Love,? graduating from a slower, re-worked, funk version of the song into the full, familiar rendition, showcasing the video?s stomping strut that we all know and love. By also revisiting other iconic choreography that fans relentlessly study and mimic throughout the show, Bey? managed to create a sea of ?Single Ladies? hand-twirling and, once she got to the material from 4, lots of attempts at her ?Run The World (Girls)? stankyleg-riverdancing.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Last Lap: Tuesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

DEAD JUGGALO FOUND IN OHIO RIVER AND OTHER LESS HARROWING GATHERING OF THE JUGGALOS UPDATES
The body of a 24 year-old Insane Clown Posse fan was found in a section of the Ohio River located in Western Kentucky on Sunday afternoon. He was wearing a Gathering Of The Juggalos wristband, which leads the Kentucky state police to surmise that he was attending the festival. Meanwhile, over at Deadspin, writer Emma Carmichael went undercover and transformed herself into a Juggalette and traveled to Cave-in-Rock, Illinois this weekend; she just published a hilarious and fascinating exposé of the festival largely comprised of “t*tties and drugs.” [Rolling Stone, Deadspin]

BLACK SABBATH PLANS REUNION TOUR, STUDIO ALBUM
Don’t call it a comeback! Original Black Sabbath members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward have reunited. Since the band’s split in 1979, Geezer has actually become a geezer, which is something we suppose is both ironic and inevitable. Nobody is talking about how much money they’re getting to do this, but we imagine it’s a lot. [Birmingham Mail via The Quietus]

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by (@unclegrambo)

Song Of The Summer Countdown: Adele, America Can’t Quit You


[Click here for a larger image.]

Well, for those of you who thought you had heard the last of Adele‘s “Rolling In The Deep” after it was bested by Katy Perry‘s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” in last week’s Song Of The Summer Countdown, Adele will have you know that she’s not the type to go out quietly. Adele’s composite S.O.T.S. score slipped by one point from last week, but thanks to Katy Perry’s slippage of four points, we have ourselves the first ever tie in this here humble countdown!

In other chart insights, the summer of Pitbull continues to roll along nicely. “Give Me Everything,” which features Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer, just hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, which factors both sales and radio airplay in its formula. The song seems unescapable at the moment; Pitbull and Ne-Yo performed it both on the Today Show and The Voice last week alone, continuing to give it some much needed momentum as we begin to approach the dog days. But as huge as this song is in its current incarnation, we can’t help but wonder how big it would’ve gotten if Shakira had sang the hook (as she was originally supposed to)?

One other interesting factoid for you S.O.T.S. watchers out there. If you check out the Top 100 songs on Metrolyrics, a site that is solely dedicated to helping readers find out what some of their favorite vocalists are actually singing, their current number one is “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj (which seems to be making a nice run of its own right now). If we were to take a guess as to why this song is popping over the rest, we would have to say that the speed at which Nicki raps probably confuses a lot of her listeners, so getting a helping hand with the lyrics really comes in handy when, like Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez, someone asks you to start spontaneously rapping!

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Tuned In: Pitbull and Ne-Yo Give “Everything” On Kimmel


 
When Pitbull and Ne-Yo teamed to perform their single “Give Me Everything” at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards last month, we didn’t even think it worth a mention in our roundup of the show’s highlights; the slightly out-of-breath Pitbull and a seemingly off-his-game Ne-Yo turned out a solidly mediocre performance. Their appearance last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, though, was an entirely different story.
 
Sure, the backing tracks didn’t exactly sound stellar through the booming outdoor soundsystem, but it didn’t matter, because both performers brought their best to a performance of what in the last month has climbed the charts to top out at #2 (just beneath the ever-present “Rolling In the Deep”). Sometimes, victory-lap performances like this one can be marked by indolence, but being as near the top of the charts as Adele will allow is apparently no reason for either performer to slack off. Pitbull, in particular, is all over our Song of the Summer charts, and he was similarly dominating onstage last night (so much so that Ne-Yo was not even announced beforehand as a musical guest). The Miami rapper has quietly become a chart monster over the last few years, and it’s great to see him enjoy the heck out of it.

Elsewhere on late night?
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by (@unclegrambo)

Exclusive: Ne-Yo Discusses The Reasons Why He Decided Not To Cancel His Recent Concerts In Japan

neyo-screenshot

UPDATE (5:37 p.m.): Follow along for not one but two videos of Janell’s exclusive chat with Ne-Yo earlier today.

In the wake of the disaster that struck Japan some twelve days ago, some musicians made the difficult decision to postpone previously planned tours to the island nation until the situation over there became more stable. Not Ne-Yo, though! He’s been over in Japan for well over a week now, performing in front of thousands of thrilled fans and helping to restore a sense of normalcy to the tragedy-ridden country. Well, our own VH1 News correspondent Janell Snowden was able to speak with Ne-Yo exclusively earlier today via Skype. We’ll be bringing you select clips from that interview very soon, but for now, here’s a quick summary of what they discussed:

  • While the fact that Ne-Yo has a four month-old daughter initially gave him pause about going to Japan during such a tumultuous time, he ultimately felt like he had her blessing. As he explained to us, if she could talk, she would’ve told him to solider on.

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