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Adele’s Pre-Performance Ritual: Puking?

Adele‘s banner year continues with a banner week in British press. She’s on the cover of the September 2011 British Vogue, which hits UK newsstands on Thursday, and though she skipped the red carpet and won’t be performing, she’s at the ceremony for tonight’s 2011 Mercury Prize, which she could very well win. All this acclaim apparently hasn’t done anything for her stage fright, though. In the Vogue interview, she reveals the extent of her pre-show anxiety: “I puke quite a lot before going on stage.”

She is quick to clarify that it isn’t merely performing that has her jittery (“I s?t myself before everything”) but nevertheless insists that throwing up eases her mind: “The bigger the freak-out, the more I enjoy the show!” With this level of performance anxiety, it’s a relief, at least, that she continues not to worry about her body image (no matter how often interviewers raise the specter of it). “I’ve seen people where it rules their lives, …and I don’t want that in my life,” she tells the magazine. Despite a brief romance in May, she insists to the magazine that she hasn’t time for a relationship. “I do get massively distracted when I’ve got someone in my life, which I can’t afford to do right now.”

One thing that may be keeping her busy: recording the latest James Bond theme song. On Saturday she appeared on the debut episode of The Jonathan Ross Show, and Vulture reports that the host got the singer to all but confirm that she would be recording a Bond theme in November for next year’s installment in the film franchise.

[Cover Image: British Vogue; Performance Image: Getty Images]

by (@unclegrambo)

Song Of The Summer Countdown: What Was Your Favorite Song Of Summer 2011? (POLL)


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Sad to say, but the impending arrival of Labor Day weekend means it’s time to put another summer in the books. All summer long, we’ve been keeping a close eye on the race to determine this year’s Song Of The Summer, following how songs have performed in terms of the Billboard Hot 100, iTunes sales, Last.fm scrobbles, YouTube streams and, of course, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown.

We’re going to announce this summer’s winner here on the VH1 Blog on Tuesday, but before we do that, we’d love to find out what YOU, the VH1 audience, felt was this year’s Song Of The Summer. What song did you jam the most on the beach? Which track was blasting when you put your ragtop down so your hair can blow? What jam got you and your friends pumped up for a night out on the town? Vote as many times as you like in our poll below. (Oh, and congrats to You Oughta Know artist Foster The People for being only the third song all summer long to hold the top spot in our countdown with their zeitgeisty smash, “Pumped Up Kicks”!)

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Adele’s Vice When She’s On The Road? Basketball Wives, Of Course

It’s not like we needed another reason to love Adele, but she gave us one anyway. During a recent show in Las Vegas, Adele revealed that her post-show routine involves watching Basketball Wives in her hotel room. We can totally get on board with that!

While bantering during a show at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan in Vegas, the singer told her fans “My band was out all night getting drunk, while I stayed in my room like a true rock star and watched Basketball Wives.” And for good reason — it was hard to pull away from that season three reunion, wasn’t it? We wonder if she plans to tune into Basketball Wives LA, too?

Adele Turns To Basketball Wives In Lieu Of Rock-Star Partying [LA Times Blog]

[Photos: Getty Images/VH1]

by (@unclegrambo)

Song Of The Summer Countdown: Adam Levine Reaps The Benefits Of His TV Hosting Gig

At this time last year, hopes for Maroon 5‘s third studio album, Hands All Over, were high. The lead single, “Misery,” had hit #1 on Billboard‘s Adult Pop chart, and since the band had convinced famed superproducer Robert “Mutt” Lange to come out of semi-retirement to produce their album, everyone looked for the band to take the leap from a well-liked, fairly popular M.O.R. band to the next level and a spot among the world’s most commercially successful bands. However, once the album finally hit streets in October 2010, the masses shrugged their shoulders and largely ignored the album. The record was certified gold by the RIAA for shipping over 500,000 copies, but worldwide sales stalled out at just 529,000 total units.

Perceived failures like this have sunk many a band in the past, but thanks to charismatic frontman Adam Levine and ten weeks of national TV exposure courtesy of NBC/Universal’s The Voice (corporate synergy at its finest!), the band has totally reversed their fortunes in less than a year. Their new track, “Moves Like Jagger,” hit #1 on the iTunes chart this week, and Levine’s featured hook on Gym Class Heroes“Stereo Hearts” propelled the song to a Top 20 finish in this week’s Song Of The Summer countdown. No wonder artists like Mariah Carey (The X-Factor), Sara Bareilles (The Sing Off) and more are looking to land prime positions as judges on televised singing competition shows; it’s exactly the kind of exposure to Middle America that the flagging music business is no longer in a position to give these artists using “traditional” music channels. As Maroon 5 has proved, it’s great work if you can get it!

As for the rest of our Song Of The Summer chart —only two more weeks until we crown a champion!— kudos to Katy Perry for her ninth consecutive week in the #1 spot.


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by (@unclegrambo)

Song Of The Summer Countdown: Foster The People Make A Late Run For The Crown

With only three more weeks left in our 2011 Song Of The Summer Countdown, sadly, there’s little drama left as to who will take home the crown. For the eighth consecutive week, Katy Perry‘s saxoriffic “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” is sitting atop our charts, closely followed by LMFAO‘s “Party Rock Anthem” (which, as we wrote last week, could make its own claim for S.O.T.S.). However, don’t count out Foster The People quite yet!

The You Oughta Know artist’s single, “Pumped Up Kicks,” has been making an impressive late summer run at the top spot. It first entered our charts back on July 11, but buoyed by a standout set at this year’s Lollapalooza festival, the first single off the band’s Torches LP seems to have really captured the attention of the nation. Will they be able to unseat either Perry or LMFAO before Labor Day rolls around?


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Military Rendition Proves There’s Room For One More “Rolling In The Deep” Cover

The long reign of Adele‘s “Rolling in the Deep”?on the radio and on the charts?may soon be coming to an end, but even though it seems like everyone has tried their hand at a cover of the song, this performance by a group of American military personnel serving in the Middle East is well-executed enough that the song seemed almost fresh again. The video was uploaded by AreYouSuprised [sic], an anonymous serviceman who has been anonymously video-blogging his struggle with coming out in the military as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell winds down. Judging from his friend’s non-reaction, the uploader might get more flak (pardon the pun) for capturing some of his peers on film not wearing their requisite reflective safety belts.

Military Band’s “Rolling in the Deep” Cover Sure Beats Those Annoying Techno Remixes [EW Popwatch]
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by (@unclegrambo)

Song Of The Summer Countdown: LMFAO Puts Up An Argument That They, Not Katy Perry, Have The Song Of The Summer

Electro-sleaze goofballs LMFAO are, at this moment, the only thing standing between Katy Perry and the history books. As we told you last week, their smash single “Party Rock Anthem” is blocking “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” from ascending to the top of the Billboard 100 chart (which would be Perry’s fifth Number One off her Teenage Dream LP). LMFAO is also currently besting Perry on the YouTube and iTunes charts, while Katy is maintaining dominance on Last.fm as well as airplay on our station. And our friends over at New York Magazine‘s Vulture just named “Party Rock Anthem”—a song they described as “a contrived, effective bit of nonsense about how ‘everybody?s gonna have a good time’”—as their current Song of the Summer.

Despite this onslaught from the progeny of Motown records founder Berry Gordy, our highly scientific formula still shows Perry atop our charts for the seventh consecutive week. While it will be incredibly difficult to topple her, it’s good to see Foster The People making a run at the Top Five. After a standout performance at Lollapalooza this weekend, their outstanding single “Pumped Up Kicks” is quickly climbing the charts; if the word “alternative” still carried any weight as a genre, there’s little doubt that Mark Foster could lay claim to the “alternative” Song of the Summer crown.


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by (@unclegrambo)

Song Of The Summer Countdown: Katy Perry’s Still On Top, Celebrates By Doing The Running Man

The dog days of summer are upon us, people. It’s August, it’s hot outside, and the news cycle is starting to slow to a crawl. The general sluggishness of the season is even affecting the music industry, as music fans don’t seem to be gravitating towards any new material. Instead, they seem to be content to play the same songs that they’ve had on repeat all summer long.

Case in point: Katy Perry‘s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F),” which has exhibited a stranglehold on the top of our Song of the Summer Countdown for six consecutive weeks. Her song looks to have a lock on the prize at this point, but then again, maybe The Throne (aka Jay-Z and Kanye West) can mount a last-minute challenge when their highly anticipated collaboration Watch The Throne drops next week? Stay tuned!


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by (@unclegrambo)

Song Of The Summer Countdown: Will Amy Winehouse Become This Year’s Michael Jackson?

When Michael Jackson tragically and unexpectedly passed away two summers ago after an overdose of Propofol (which may or may not have been administered by Dr. Conrad Murray), the primary coping mechanism that people utilized while dealing with their grief was rekindling their love of his extensive musical legacy. People who hadn’t visited record stores in years flocked to purchase his back catalog, radio stations worldwide spun his songs for months on end and, as a result, Michael Jackson became a bigger star in death than he had been during the last 15 years of his life.

Well, in terms of her cultural relevance, it’s safe to say that Amy Winehouse was no Michael Jackson. However, her untimely (if somewhat expected) death this weekend at the age of 27 has done a lot to rekindle people’s interest in her musical output, which consists of two studio albums (2003′s Frank and 2006′s Back To Black) and a handful of B-sides. Not surprisingly, she currently occupies three of the top six spots on the iTunes album charts (see below), and “Rehab” —sadly, the song that will now forever define her career— has sold enough and been spun enough in the past three days to land it at #15 on this week’s Song Of The Summer Countdown.

As for the rest of the chart, there’s not much to say this week. The top seven spots in this week’s countdown are identical to the top seven songs from last week’s countdown; Katy Perry is still holding court at the top of the charts, and Adele is still nipping at her heels, closely trailed by Pitbull, LMFAO and Lady Gaga.


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News Of Amy Winehouse’s Passing Continues To Ripple Through Community Of Performers, Fans

Ever since news broke that Amy Winehouse had been found dead at 27, the outpouring of grief (including dozens of comments on our announcement) has been a stark reminder of how much, and to how many people, Winehouse continued to matter as an artist. Fans have left tribute comments not only on Winehouse’s own videos on YouTube, but also barely-related ones like Britney Spears’s “If You Seek Amy,” just because they’re looking for any outlet to grieve. As we noted earlier, a range of performers voiced tribute on Twitter, but for some, 140 characters wasn’t enough.

Big Boi shared a previously unreleased Dungeon Family remix of her song “Tears Dry On Their Own”:

Another musical tribute came courtesy of M.I.A., who’d recorded a demo of a tribute to friends who’d died at 27, and when she heard about Amy Winehouse, tweeted a link to the (unfinished and unreleased) track as a tribute to Winehouse, yet another friend who’d passed at that age:

Several performers blogged touching tributes. Adele‘s “Amy Flies in Paradise xx”, praised the way in which both her sheer talent and her unwillingness to compromise led to a minor sea change in British pop: “Amy paved the way for artists like me and made people excited about British music again whilst being fearlessly hilarious and blas? about the whole thing. I don?t think she ever realised just how brilliant she was and how important she is, but that just makes her even more charming.”

And although the autopsy has just begun today, and toxicology reports will take weeks, the popular consensus is that Winehouse’s death was caused, directly or indirectly, by her struggles with addiction. Dr. Drew tweeted, “SO sad, another lost to addiction. A reminder this is often a fatal condition. Recovery is possible, but sadly not for Amy Winehouse.” But perhaps the most touching tribute on this subject comes from Russell Brand, a fellow performer who famously struggled with issues of addiction. His post For Amy, about the inevitability of one of two types of “the phone call,” is a must-read. We recommend you click through to it, but the multitude of hits has swamped his site, so just in case you can’t get through, we’ve reposted his tribute in its entirety below.

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