Ah, the Grammys! The conversation, the speculation, the anxiety! We’re gearing up to this Sunday’s awards ceremony the same way that we’re sure the rest of North America is — putting our tips on who we think will be a winner. Yesterday, we gave our opinion on who would take home the Best New Artist award, but today we’re wondering about Record Of The Year. With Adele nominated in the category, it would seem that no one is safe, but we know stranger things have happened, so let’s pretend for a second that the “Rolling In The Deep” singer isn’t a shoo in, and weigh up the odds on the other contenders.
Adele – “Rolling In The Deep”
Look, let’s just pretend Adele isn’t going to win everything at the Grammys — because the alternative is that we succumb to the fact that she’s going to win everything and that’s just no fun because it doesn’t give anyone else a fighting chance. Realistically though, “Rolling In The Deep” dominated the number one chart position last year and was a very clear favorite with critics and fans. Yeah, who are we kidding — it’s going to be really strange if “Rolling In The Deep” doesn’t win.
Bon Iver – “Holocene”
If Bon Iver front man Justin Vernon hadn’t stuck both his middle fingers up at the Grammys we would have said “Holocene” was the best bet for usurping the “Rolling In The Deep” throne. Like “Rolling In The Deep,” “Holocene” found its way to the top of almost everyone’s best of 2011 list, so who knows — maybe “Holocene” will be the song to strip Adele of her crown.
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.
As I peer into my crystal ball, here are three surprises to look out for at the Grammy Awards this Sunday night:
1. Nicki Minaj Won’t Win Best New Artist
Does she deserve it? Probably, but voters are prone to give the award to an act they think of as a potential career artist, more so than what they deem as a current mainstream phenomenon. Look for The Band Perry to win.
Adele Bites Back At Karl Lagerfeld’s Insensitive “Fat” Comments
Recovered from vocal surgery, Adele is talking again, and it seems she has a thing or two to say about Uncle Karl’s “fat” taunts. Adele said, “I’ve never wanted to look like models on the covers of magazines. I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that. It’s just never been an issue – at least, I’ve never hung out with the sort of horrible people who make it an issue. I have insecurities of course, but I don’t hang out with anyone who points them out to me.” Yew! Go girl! [Refinery29]
Lady Gaga Launches Her Own Social Networking Site
Because we haven’t got enough social networking sites to keep up with already, Lady Gaga has decided to launch yet another. Littlemosters.com is currently in invite only beta mode, but will allow users to post content including videos and photos, and like the posts of other users. Sounds… familiar? [Littlemosters.com]
Last week we wondered if Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” could topple Adele’s “Set Fire To The Rain” to take the number one spot on the Billboard 100, after the song snuck up to number two, just behind the dominating Adele. Well, our Kelly has done us proud in the chart battle of the divas, usurping the as yet undefeated Adele to steal first. “Stronger” is Kelly’s third number one hit after 2002′s “A Moment Like This” and 2009′s “My Life Would Suck Without You.” We’re huge Adele fans, but we’re also pretty stoked to see Kelly take the lead — it’s wonderful that the top spot is getting shared amongst such deserving ladies! And the icing on the cake? Both ladies will be performing at this weekend’s Grammy awards show — it will be Adele’s first live performance since recovering from vocal chord surgery, and for Kelly the show will follow her moving rendition of the national anthem at last weekend’s Super Bowl.
54th Annual Grammy Awards will air on Sunday February 12th at 8 PM ET on CBS.
Kelly Clarkson Drives ‘Stronger’ to Hot 100 Summit [Billboard]
[Photos: Getty Images]
“Conclusive” Proof That Nicki Minaj Is Actually Jay-Z
Vice Magazine has slowed down “Super Bass,” providing conclusive proof that Nicki Minaj is actually Jay-Z. Have a listen, and prepare to be amazed. [Vice]
Lana Del Rey Says There Might Not Be A Second Record
Lana Del Rey told Vogue “I don’t think I’ll write another record. What would I say? I feel like everything I wanted to say, I’ve said already.” No Born To Die 2? [Prefix]
Rumor mongers rejoice! You have been proven right, for once! It has been announced that Adele will be performing at the Grammys after almost a month of rampant speculation. The performance will mark Adele’s first live appearance since undergoing vocal cord surgery, and being nominated for 6 Grammys herself, the event will be somewhat of a momentous one for Adele. Joining Adele on stage will be fellow nominees Coldplay and Rihanna for a highly anticipated duet, as well as the Foo Fighters, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Bruno Mars and Jason Aldean, while LL Cool J will act as the first Grammys host in seven years.
Adele Will Return to Live Performance at the Grammys [Rolling Stone]
Pazz + Jop, The Village Voice‘s annual music poll that aggregates the opinions of thousands of music critics based on their votes for single and album of the year, has just been released, and it’s very similar to all the other ‘Best Of 2011′ lists we’ve read. That is to say, there aren’t really any surprises, maybe just a slight reshuffling of the order. In that vein, Adele appears on both lists, with 21 ranking at number 6 for albums, and “Rolling In The Deep,” and “Someone Like You,” featuring at number one and nine respectively on the singles list.
Perhaps the most unexpected thing about the lists is the order itself — while Adele sits snugly where she’s always sat, several pop stars have found their way into Pazz + Jop’s top ten singles, where other end of year lists had them pulling up the ranks much further down the line. For instance, Beyoncé‘s “Countdown” makes it to number two on the singles list, with Nicki Minaj‘s “Super Bass” at number three and Britney Spears’ “Til The World Ends” at number seven. All in all, however, the top 10 singles featured the usual suspects, from Azealia Banks, Jay-Z and Kayne West, M83, Lana Del Rey, Tyler The Creator and Foster The People, there was nothing particularly shocking about the ballot-topping artists.
It was a similar story in the albums list, which, as already mentioned, saw Adele near the top, followed closely by Bon Iver‘s Bon Iver at number nine. Perhaps of a slightly “buzzier” lien than the singles, the albums list saw critically acclaimed tUnE-yArDs‘, w h o k i l l come in at number one, with PJ Harvey‘s fawned over artwork, Let England Shake at number two, and Wild Flag‘s unexpected success, Wild Flag, at number four. Jay-Z and Kayne West, Destroyer, Drake, Tom Waits and Shabazz Palaces also make the top ten albums but again, no surprises other than ranking — these are names we heard all through 2011 and that at the end of the year were plastered across the lists we saw online in both blogs and music industry and expert websites.
Pazz + Jop [The Village Voice]
You might think that after selling 5.8 million copies of 21 in 2011, everyone who had any sort of interest in buying Adele’s sophomore LP would have already done so. Well, you’d be wrong: Adele is still #1 on the Billboard 200 and iTunes charts, and now rumor has it that she’ll be performing at the 2012 Grammy Awards in February, an event which she is virtually guaranteed to win ALL of the awards. Adele has already warned that it will be a few years before she releases her next album, but word out of the UK leads us to believe that her next LP might be significantly happier.
The Daily Mail is reporting today that the 23-year-old Adele has found love in a swampy place; specifically, in the arms of Simon “Swampy” Konecki. However, much like the troubled relationship that fueled the narrative of 21, this burgeoning relationship is not without its own bit of controversy. You see, “Swampy” is not only a wealthy investment manager 14 years her senior, but —gulp— is also a married (ED.NOTE—Or is he? See our update below!) man with a 5-year-old daughter of his own. Lest you place the “homewrecker” tag on Adele, though, reports seem to suggest his marriage is all but kaput; he’s “in the process of divorcing” his current wife (the pair has been separated since 2010). Either way, we’re happy for Adele and excited for the possibility of her penning a bunch of lovestruck anthems.
UPDATE: According to a post on Adele’s personal site, Swampy is actually divorced. Here’s what Adele herself wrote about the situation: “This is the first and last time I will comment on the details of my relationship with Simon. Contrary to reports and headlines in the press today, Simon is divorced and has been for 4 years. Everyone in our lives separately and together wish us nothing but the best, and vice versa. These are the facts. Take care and see you all in February xx”
Revealed: Adele’s Old Etonian lover Simon Konecki is a married dad [Daily Mail]
[Photo: 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.
As you know, 2012 is still an infant — yes, just like Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s baby girl — so while January welcomes us with open arms, here is a list of things that need to happen in the next 12 months to help ensure a high-quality year of music:
1. Adele Needs To Sing
No word yet if Adele will be performing at the Grammys, but she will be singing at the Brit Awards in March. You can’t have an album as big as 21 and not tour. And because Adele’s sophomore album was so huge, she may have to play arenas, the type of venue she fears playing (ironically, her voice is made for such big places).
2. Buy A Ticket To See Madonna
Every young pop star needs to buy a ticket to see Madonna when she inevitably goes out on tour this year in support of her forthcoming album, MDNA. Yes, there are pop stars younger, sexier and more talented than Madonna, but this is a lesson in longevity and consistency. Madonna is 53 years old and is going to put on a high-energy, non-stop show that will humble the artists who drive on the pop-highway she paved.
While speculation around Adele’s possible Grammy performance has been causing a flutter, several other artists have been officially announced as performers for the prestigious music industry ceremony. Playing at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards (airing February 12) will be nominees the Foo Fighters (six nominations), Nicki Minaj (four nominations), Taylor Swift (three nominations), Kelly Clarkson (one nomination), Bruno Mars (six nominations) and Jason Aldean (three nominations).
These artists have been announced as the “first” performers on the Grammy’s website, which means that there’s still hope that big names like Adele (six nominations), Kanye West (who has the most nominations of all, with seven nods), and Lady Gaga (three nominations) will perform on the night. Even though there are rumors abounding that Adele will play, she’s still recovering from throat surgery, so we’ve got our money on Lady Gaga to be announced as a performer given her strong presence and dedication to the stage, evidenced by her complete saturation of 2011. We’d also like to see our You Oughta Know artist Foster The People (2 nominations) take to the stage, as they were the dark horse of the previous year, their tracks “Pumped Up Kicks,” and “Helena Beat” bringing up the rear to find an overwhelmingly positive critical reception.
Foo Fighters, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift Playing the Grammys [Spin]
[Photos: Getty Images]