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]
It’s being reported that superstar Adele is getting her larynx ready for a return to the stage following her vocal cord surgery late last year. Now, Radar Online is reporting that Adele will not only be attending next month’s Grammy Awards in Los Angeles — for which she has 6 nominations — but also that there’s a chance that she will perform for the first time since the surgery that forced her to cancel her remaining 2011 commitments. According to the report, Adele won’t confirm the performance until the beginning of February, until which point we’ll be eagerly biting our nails. Either way, it’s great to see the young star making a speedy recovery, and we’ve got an inkling that performance or not, she’s going to clean up at the Grammys.
Adele Planning To Attend & Perform At The Grammys Next Month [Radar Online]
Last week, we predicted that Adele would start 2012 with her 14th (non-consecutive) week at #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, and lo! the prediction came true. Now that the final numbers are in for 2011 (full singles and album sales lists after the jump), Adele’s dominance has never been clearer. Selling 5.82 million copies of 21 during the calendar year 2011, Adele outsold second place holder Michael Bublé‘s Christmas by over 3 million copies, and marked the most sales of any album since 2004 when Usher‘s Confessions sold 7.98 million copies. “Rolling In The Deep” was also at the top of the singles sales list, with 5.81 million copies sold, the first single to ever exceed 5 million paid downloads in a year.
It will be interesting to see what 2012 holds for Adele, given that the singer/songwriter isn’t planning to turn out another album any time soon, and has been quoted as saying she wants to “lay low” for a while, and only release a new album when it’s perfect. Adele was the only artist in 2011 to have Top 10 sales for two singles (“Someone Like You” was #7), and was joined by Lady Gaga as the only other artist to have both a Top 10 sales ranking album and single. Given that Forbes named Lady Gaga the highest earning female artist in 2011, and that she’s set to release another album in 2012 when Adele could quite possibly drop off the radar entirely, could 2012 be Mother Monster’s year to shoot to number one? And if not, who will rise to the top of the pack in Adele’s absence? Will they be able to come close to Adele’s behemoth sales?
Happy New Year! As we usher in 2012, it’s time for everyone to sit back and reflect on the past, and make adjustments for a brighter future. You know what we’re talking about; the unavoidable, almost-reprehensible-but-not-reprehensible-enough-that-you-won’t-do-it task of setting resolutions for one’s self. No matter how vehemently you oppose New Year’s resolutions —we’re looking at you, Simon Cowell— you can’t help but make them, even if you do it on the sly. Yep, we know how much of a chore coming up with resolutions can be, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to create some for our favorite artists…
Lady Gaga: Instead of taking it off, try putting it on. What we’re trying to say is less peacocking, more clothes — we want to see a real human for once (not that we don’t love Mother Monster, it would just be a welcome change to see the girl underneath).
Kanye West: Do not collaborate with Lana Del Rey. No seriously, we know she’s new, but what we like about you is that you are not only adept at picking “new” artists to collaborate with, you consistently find both the subversive and undiscovered.
Beyonce: Don’t spend too much time with the baby. OK that one’s entirely selfish and unreasonable on our part, but what will we do without at least 7 new Beyonce videos in 2012? WHAT WILL WE DO?
2011 has been a big year in music, and between the Grammys, new babies, viral artists and some great losses, the music world has been rocked over and over again. With only a few days left until we wave goodbye to 2011, we’re reflecting on the 10 biggest stories of the year…
1. Beyoncé’s Pregnancy
Forget actual music — who cares about music when the Queen Of Everything is pregnant? It seemed like all anyone was talking about in 2011 was Beyoncé‘s pregnancy, from the initial, dramatic reveal during her VMAs performance of “Love On Top,” to the controversy surrounding the realness of her baby bump. And now the world waits with baited breath for the chosen one to emerge from the most revered womb on earth.
Yesterday we reported that Adele sold 5 million copies of 21 this year, and now we’re back with more Adele news because just when it seems that the girl has reached the top, she outdoes herself (again). In the latest Adele-centric news, Billboard has predicted, based on their projections, that 21 will re-claim the number one spot on their Billboard 200 chart next week (the album is currently at number two). If this happens, it will be Adele’s 14th non-consecutive week at number one (not to mention a great start to the new year), the only album beating her being the Titanic soundtrack which topped the charts for 16 weeks in 1998. It’s been a big year for Adele, and we’re wondering what will happen to her powerhouse, chart dominating prowess, given that the singer/songwriter has proclaimed we wont be hearing another album from her for around four or five years.
Adele’s ’21′ Aiming for 14th Week at No. 1, LMFAO Headed For First Top 10 Album [Billboard]
[Photo: Getty Images]
It’s almost New Year’s Eve, that one, glorious, most hopeful night of the year. It’s also that one night you’re going to party like it’s 1999, so let this week be dedicated to mani-pedis, haircuts, outfit buying, midnight kiss daydreaming, preemptive sleeping and playlist making. When it comes to partying, everyone has a distinctive song, an anthem, if you will — and we’re here to tell you what your New Year’s Eve theme song, that banger you’re going to be cranking at midnight, says about your party style, and what kind of New Year’s Eve you can expect…
Britney Spears – “Til The World Ends”
You’re either a strong believer in Mayan mythology or you just really, really love dancing. Chances are you’re going to be on the dance floor all night — forget about everything else, you just want to dance (until the world ends, heh). We’re going to take a punt and guess that you were going through puberty the first time you heard “… Baby One More Time,” and that Britney just so, like, makes you feel like a teenager again! If you’re anything like us (a Britney stalwart since the start), you’re just completely ecstatic to see Britney get her groove back.