On this week’s episode of the VH1 Top 20 Countdown, we’re rolling out the Top 20 videos of the year from Herald Square, New York City. That’s right, all the videos that have led the countdown throughout the different seasons of the year will now battle it out for Top 20 supremacy. But before the show airs on Saturday at 9am EST, you can still cast your vote for the video you think should take the crown for 2012. Who will it be? You’ll have to tune-in and check back with us on Saturday to find out!
2012 has been an interesting year for the music business. As chart genres shift and technology continues to influence how and what we consume, in-flux trends seem to fly in out of nowhere.The viral sensation breakout star, for example. But can we go back to basics for just a moment? These people are here to entertain us and sing, right? Like, into microphones and send sound waves into the universe. Whether their songs permeated the charts all year or their pipes are ones to keep an eye out in the future, the following 15 voices were the most noteworthy in 2012.
In addition to being the voice behind David Guetta’s “Titanium” and Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” this year, Sia also wrote the lyrics and melody for Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and her talent should be recognized, damn it.
3. Kendrick Lamar
Through storytelling, K-Dot has the versatility to sound nervous, vulnerable and shrieky, macho and intimidating, soft and robotic, Compton tough, and instructively monotone.
Perhaps we should consider a new strategy. Adele‘s 21 hit shelves on January of 2011 and nearly two years later people are still clamoring over it. This year — both a full year out from its release and a year during which Adele kept a low profile — the sophomore effort earned Diamond status, and was also the top-selling album on iTunes for the second year in a row.
So Adele sold so, just so many albums in 2011 and there were still people left to buy so, just so many albums again in 2012. Will this happen again in 2013? She has already defied the physics of the music industry (namely the part where music doesn’t sell any more), so maybe! Presumably there are at least few of you out there who have worn through your first copy and are due for a second, and before you hit “purchase” we would like to propose an alternative: what everyone just stops buying 21 for a minute? Not because it’s not worth the $9.99 for download, but because if we stop buying 21 Adele might actually feel pressure to put out something new to buoy the music industry and anchor our iPods for the next two years. Deal?
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 that more than a few of our amazing You Oughta Know artists, both past and present, scored well-deserved props when the 2013 Grammy Nominees were announced tonight.
Our You Oughta Know alumni scored an impressive 17 nominations in total, including four nominations in the big four categories. Our February 2012 YOK artist Gotye picked up a nomination for Record Of The Year for his song “Somebody I Used To Know,” a song that he performed for a standing room only crowd in our 20th floor lobby earlier this year; our May 2012 You Oughta Know artist Ed Sheeran scored a nomination for Song Of The Year for his haunting ballad “The A Team”; our July pick, The Lumineers, were nominated for Best New Artist; and our YOK friends from way back in 2010, Mumford & Sons, picked up a nod in the Album Of The Year category for their massive new LP, Babel.
Here’s a complete list of the 2013 Grammy nominations that our awesome YOK alums took home tonight. #proud
As her 777 tour wound down last week, “Diamonds” became Rihanna’s 12th chart topping single, making Rihanna the pop star with the most No. 1 singles ever, an unusual honor when you consider that she had yet to put out a chart topping album to match. But this week that’s changed, as Unapologetic lands atop the charts this week, earning the star yet another plaque for her wall and her first ever No. 1 album. Seventh time’s a charm?
The good, bad and definitely about Chris Brown album debuts this week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with 238,000 copies sold. Which isn’t an incredible debut week, especially given Taylor Swift‘s insane 1.2 million or Mumford & Sons 600,000 or even Kendrick Lamar‘s none too shabby 242,122 albums sold showings, but it’s good enough to get Rihanna her first No. 1 album and to bring “legit” tears to her eyes. It’s a little bit hard to believe that this is the first time, but Unapologetic is also the first album release that she’s celebrated mid-air with hundreds of fans and journalists — so probably that Rihannairplane has paid itself off?
All the way from across the pond Later…With Jools Holland‘s got some of the most incredible musical talents — everyone from Bat for Lashes to Adele — performing stripped down performances of their greatest hits. Even if you don’t have BBC, you can still watch (in full HD glory!) on Palladia.
Upcoming guests include Mumford & Songs, Lisa Marie Presley, Bobby Womack, Savages and Kings of Leon so make sure you tune in on Thursdays at 10PM EST.
Few can sing with the ferocity of Adele, but that has yet to slow the masses from trying. Remember all those “Rolling In The Deep” covers? And only two weeks have passed since its release, and already her James Bond theme song “Skyfall” has gotten its first high-profile cover.
Just 11-years-old, Willow Smith will need Big Willy or Jada to accompany her to the PG-13 movie when it hits theater next month, but she didn’t let that stop her from channeling the 007-spirit for this one. Sitting out on a patio and looking cute with her head wrapped in a scarf, she plays the “Skyfall” melody on a keyboard and sings just the chorus, because “that’s all I know how to do,” she laughs. The future Bond girl sings it really really well, though — very soulful and sounding much older than her 11-years-old. Near the end you can hear her cell phone vibrate on the table, and then when she leans in to turn off the camera and you can see her braces — and only then are we reminded that she’s still just a kid.
Who will be next to cover “Skyfall”? Let the torrent of “Skyfall” covers begin!
If Big K.R.I.T. wasn’t so adamant about repping his hometown of Mississippi he may not be where he is today. Who was this young rapper from Mississippi who produced his own music? was the question posed two years ago when his mixtape K.R.I.T. Wuz Here surfaced. Where he was from was almost as big of a draw to him as his music. Sure, a southern rapper rapping about where you’re from isn’t uncommon. But the only other well-known rapper from Mississippi to “make it” was David Banner. Minutes before he took the stage at Austin’s ACL music festival he told us he believes the south has always been lyrical. Like us, he too was puzzled that anyone thinks otherwise. Read more…
Topping the charts, launching a global phenomenon, topping the charts, breaking records, and today the New York Daily News informs us that K-pop’s unassuming star Psy is working miracles now, too. Because, babies they just love him! As The New York Daily News has found, babies go “gaga for Gangnam,’” and so parents the world wide have turned to the satirical video to calm their cranky kids. As evidence, they present two such babes: the adorable Benjamin of London, who seems to figure lunch is best served with a little giddy-up; and little Claire of West Virginia, above, who knows that tears are a major “Gangnam Style” faux-pas. It’s hard to say what exactly these kids like — the bounce, the bright lights, the sharp satire of Korea’s nouveau riche — because the parents in the story seems most interested in the fact that it works, and every time. And who could blame them?
Because there’s nothing better than getting your groove on and your kid quiet at the same time, we’ve found five other artists that seem to possess the same magic that calms a cranky baby. Like all the parenting manuals say: YouTube, a real modern parents’ helper!
Adele‘s much anticipated Skyfall theme song is at last a mission accomplished. The titular song’s reveal has been less than stealthy, months of speculation as to Adele’s part in the project giving way to a Tweeted clue and then a substantial week earlier this week — a falter that we imagine 007 might have gotten a finger wagging for. But all is forgiven now that the thing’s landed, because the song does better than well to uphold the mission and is as Bond-y as a James Bond theme song need be. And as a bonus, it also serves well as a new Adele song, something we’ve all been jonesing for.
Adele sounds ever so glamorous singing over the cinematic strings and wide-screen orchestration, but she also plays it cool, saving the rousing “Rolling In The Deep”-scale vocal show until the end of the song. It’s like she spent the first two thirds of the song cooing over martinis — shaken, not stirred — in a dusky bar, just waiting for the right moment to break out the big guns. You know, Bond style.