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 Top 20 Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.
Because December is a month full of year-end lists, for your blog-viewing pleasure, today I give you my favorite singles of 2011:
10.) “Blow,” Ke$ha
Yes, this single was featured on Ke$ha’s 2010 mini-LP, Cannibal, but the track didn’t fully explode (or blow-ow-ow) until the beginning of this year. Because “Blow” stayed away from Ke$ha’s polarizing sing-annunciate-rap formula, it became her first single that I couldn’t stop listening to.
9.) “Michael Jackson,” Das Racist
For some reason, underground/indie-minded hip-hoppers tend to shy away from slick production and repetitive hooks, but on “Michael Jackson” Das Racist embrace these elements with fantastic results.
8.) “Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys
Dan and Pat of The Black Keys add bass and keys to their two-man sound, creating one of the most fun rock tracks of the year (which will surely still be in heavy rotation come 2012).
The results are in! And it’s not just a matter of opinion either — Billboard has compiled the Hot 100 Songs of 2011 according to radio airplay audience impressions and sales data provided by Nielsen, as well as streaming data from other online sources. And the winner is…
Adele! (Duh.) The hottest song, from what is indubitably one of the most highly appreciated, universally loved albums of the year, “Rolling In The Deep” is number one on Billboard‘s Hot 100 Songs list. Katy Perry may have scored more #1s this year than Adele, but by Billboard’s count, “Firework” and “E.T” came in at #3 and #4, respectively. We’re pretty proud to see You Oughta Know artists Bruno Mars at #6 with “Grenade,” #15 with “Just The Way You Are” and at #26 with “The Lazy Song”, and Foster The People at #13 with “Pumped Up Kicks.”
At this stage, it would be hard to argue that there was a better, more universally acclaimed and globally received album than Adele‘s 21, featuring consistently on “Best” and “Top” lists for 2011. Rolling Stone named the album #1 in their 50 Best Albums Of 2011 list that came out today, saying that the magic of 21 was all in the voice, both literally and figuratively; “More than any other album this year, 21 made you feel its pain – from the triple-hankie tear-jerker ‘Someone Like You’ to ripsnorting revenge songs like ‘Rumour Has It,’ where Adele rides a roiling groove and flattens everything in her path.”
Strangely enough, however, Rolling Stone gave the #2 spot to Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s Watch The Throne which, while possibly being the most hyped album of the year, wasn’t as well received as Kayne’s 2010 effort, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The Top 10 also features Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way at #6, which also failed to strike a chord with the critics this year, despite its epic release and subsequent run of artful, shock-value Gagaist videos. Predictably enough however, Rolling Stone fit Radiohead‘s King Of Limbs in at #5, controversial because it was considered a sub-par Radiohead offering, but believable enough given that despite criticism, the album has still found its way into an overwhelming number of Top 50 lists.
OK, OK, so a more apt title would have been Adele poses with PICTURE of Beyoncé, but what can we say? We got so excited about the prospect of the divas together we even started making them moniker mash-ups like Beydele and Adeloncé. After taking over her own Twitter account (!), Adele posted a photo of herself posing with Beyoncé’s Live At Roseland DVD poster, adding, “I’m in bed, watchin Gladiator, eatin an apple. Heres a pic of me & Queen B last wk in NYC! X.” And she looks hawt (that’s extra hot) as she mimics Bey’s seductive pose. The Twitpic is making us love Adele even more — here’s the world’s number one superstar unaffectedly fan-girling over the world’s other number one superstar. It doesn’t get much more real than that.
Star Spotting: Adele Stans Out For Beyonce, Remains Flawless [MTV Buzzworthy]
We hate to say we told you so, but… we told you so! All year we’ve been bringing you the best new music so you can stay aurally informed, and if you’ve been doing your homework and keeping abreast of the hottest new acts with us, you’ll notice more than a few of our amazing You Oughta Know artists on the 2012 Grammy Nominees list. We made our predictions for nominees for Song of the Year and Record of the Year, Best New Artist, and Album of the Year yesterday, and now we’re pretty excited to see some of the artists that we’ve introduced to you succeeding so decisively in their different genres. Here’s a little recap of the members of the VH1 family that were awarded Grammy nominations last night:
As we predicted, Adele was a shoo-in for a fistful of nominations, given that her fandom is almost universal and that she’s widely regarded by the industry as seminal in the singer/songwriter field. “Rolling In The Deep” scored nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video, while “Someone Like You” was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance. Adele’s album, 21, was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album. You can check out Adele exclusively answering 5 intimate questions for VH1’s You Oughta Know here.
The nominees for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards were announced in Los Angeles tonight during a live special that aired on CBS. The 2012 Grammys will be broadcast on CBS February 12th at 8/7c. Kanye West led all nominees with 7 nods, despite being royally snubbed in the Album of the Year category, closely followed by Adele, Foo Fighters and Bruno Mars (who each snagged six nominations).
However, big surprise of the evening was certainly the recognition bestowed upon Bon Iver, who scored nominations in three of the “Big 4″ categories (Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best New Artist). He is a virtual unknown to most Americans, and not even presenter and fellow Best New Artist nominee Nicki Minaj knew how to pronounce his name (she probably should’ve watched this YouTube video with the correct pronunciation of Bon Iver before heading out on stage). However, music industry insiders clearly know of him, and his performance at the awards in February will likely be the most lovably awkward televised performed since Elliott Smith showed up at the Oscars in 1998.
Here’s a (mostly) complete list of the 2012 Grammy Nominations:
RECORD OF THE YEAR
Adele, “Rolling In The Deep” [WATCH]
Bon Iver, “Holocene” [WATCH]
Bruno Mars, “Grenade” [WATCH]
Mumford & Sons, “The Cave” [WATCH]
Katy Perry, “Firework” [WATCH]
SONG OF THE YEAR
Adele, “Rolling In The Deep”
Bon Iver, “Holocene”
Bruno Mars, “Grenade”
Kanye West, “All Of The Lights”
Mumford & Sons, “The Cave”
BEST NEW ARTIST
The Band Perry
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops & Hooligans
Foo Fighters, Wasting Light
Lady Gaga, Born This Way
Of all the Grammy Awards, the one that artists covet the most is the Album of the Year prize. The nominees for the 54th annual ceremony are being released live tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS, and a number of artists, producers and record label executives are currently feeling a rush of butterflies go through their stomachs. Thanks to the confusing timeline in the Grammys universe, this year’s Album Of The Year nominees will be LPs that were released between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011. With that in mind, here are some of the frontrunners:
If there’s one shoo-in for this year’s Album Of The Year prize, it’s 21. Debuting at Number One on both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200 Chart, 21 took on the number one chart position in a total of 19 countries across the world, which was good enough for a spot in the Guinness Book Of World Records. With two Grammys already under her belt (taking the awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2009 Grammys), Adele is a fan and industry favorite.
Year in and year out, people watching the Grammy Awards find themselves asking the same question: What is the difference between Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year? What makes this especially confusing is that different songs are usually nominated in each category; in the past five years, only 10 out of the 50 total songs nominated in each of these categories have made both categories (three of those, however, have ended up winning both prizes: “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum, “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse and “Not Ready To Make Nice” by Dixie Chicks).
To answer the question we posed above, the Grammy for Record Of The Year is awarded to the artist and production team responsible for how the song sounds, while the Grammy for Song Of The Year is given to the songwriters responsible for the composition of the song (meaning: lyrics and melodic structure). With that in mind, here are a few likely candidates to be nominated in these two categories when the 2012 Grammy nominations are announced live on CBS at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Adele, “Rolling In The Deep”
The smoky-voiced siren is the favorite to sweep this year’s major awards, and “Rolling In The Deep” has proven to be MASSIVE in terms of its sound and its popularity; it’s been sitting in the Billboard Hot 100 for 46 weeks and counting.
Bruno Mars, “Grenade”
Bruno was incredibly well-respected as a songwriter in music industry circles long before he became a solo performer; in the Grammys game, respect from one’s peers is equally important as commercial success.
Florence + The Machine Cover Drake’s “Take Care”
Florence + The Machine covered Drake‘s “Take Care” on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, and while the cover featured all the soaring, atmospheric vocals we love Florence Welch for, it missed the brooding darkness of Drake and Rihanna‘s original. [Spin]
Wyclef Jean’s Haiti Charity May Have Been Involved In Some Shady Spending
The books are allegedly failing to add up for Wyclef‘s Yele Haiti relief fund. The charity reportedly made $16 million in 2010, but only an alleged $5.1 million was spent on the relief effort. Wyclef is being defensive, and for Haiti’s sake, we hope he doesn’t turn out to be a swindler. [Billboard]
If you missed this week’s VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, you’re in luck. Not only is it re-airing tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. on VH1, but we’ve got this week’s complete list of the week’s 20 hottest videos for you. After losing the top spot to Adele last week, our brand new VH1 Unplugged star Kelly Clarkson is sitting pretty in the top spot of this week’s countdown with “Mr. Know It All.” Check out the complete list of videos below, and be sure to visit Top20.VH1.com to vote for your favorite videos all week long.
1. Kelly Clarkson – “Mr Know It All” [WATCH]
2. Britney Spears – “Criminal” [WATCH]
3. David Guetta featuring Usher – “Without You” [WATCH]
4. Daughtry – “Crawling Back To You”
5. Bush – “The Sounds of Winter”
6. Adele – “Someone Like You” [WATCH]
7. Coldplay – “Paradise” [WATCH]
8. Katy Perry, “The One That Got Away” [WATCH]
9. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” [WATCH]
10. Bruno Mars, “It Will Rain” [WATCH]