by (@emilyexton)

10 Famous People Who Don’t Care If Beyonce Did Or Didn’t Lip-Synch At The Inauguration

Beyonce Lip-Synch Controversy

Beyoncé definitely lip-synched during her performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Monday’s presidential inauguration. Er, maybe she didn’t? No, she most certainly did. Hmmm. Better ask an expert. The constant back-and-forth over whether one of our most beloved national treasures sang a sacred, patriotic tune live or with assistance from a pre-recorded backing track has hijacked most of our attention at a time when we should probably be focusing on Barack Obama‘s second term, or complaining about the sudden frozen tundra we’re forced to walk across just to check the mail. Everyone has an opinion–and Beyoncé has remained quiet– so if you’re conflicted about what to feel about the Beyontroversy, perhaps your allegiance to some of these famous folks will help you out.

ALICIA KEYS
“The one thing that you cannot doubt is that she can sing. She absolutely can sing,” Keys told Capital FM. “All the rest of the ‘whys’ or ‘whatever,’ we know that she can deliver and she did deliver that song really beautifully.”

BETTE MIDLER
After inadvertently getting wrapped up in a misunderstanding between Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep obsessives following the Oscars, Midler was quick to remind us (and nearly 400,000 Twitter followers) of what’s important: “Ok #beyonce fudged. Get a grip. Men are raping and urinating on young girls in Steubenville Ohio. Priorities, people!”

ARETHA FRANKLIN
“I thought it was funny because the weather down there was about 46 or 44 degrees and for most singers that is just not good singing weather… she did a beautiful job with the pre-record… next time I’ll probably do the same,” the Queen of Soul, who performed at Obama’s 2009 inauguration, told ABC News.

PATTI LuPONE
The legendary Broadway star fielded only the toughest of questions (how could one possibly say something mean about Mandy Patinkin?!) from Bravo’s Andy Cohen. “SHE WAS SINGING LIVE I DON’T CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS!” she said on Wednesday’s episode of Watch What Happens Live.

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by (@fdot415)

Adam Lambert Teaches Us How To Dance In Our VH1 DIVAS GIF Wall

We’re only two days out from the biggest dance party in VH1 Divas history! Now I like to think I can rock hips, sway and sip with the best of them, but don’t worry if you’re not as confident. Our host Adam Lambert was kind enough to lead a tutorial for a simple but fierce head snap move you can use in a pinch. Need more tips? Check out our GIF wall of past Divas performers’ dancing for inspiration before you watch the show live this Sunday, December 16. The red carpet live stream kicks off right here at 8PM/7C.

Dancing divas GIF wall after the jump.

by (@lindseyweber)

From Last Night’s Soul Train Awards All You Need Are Miguel And Elle Varner

You might not have caught The Soul Train Awards on Centric last night. In a flurry of Sunday night programming (plus Liz & Dick Lifetime!) it would’ve been easy to skip the award show dedicated to awarding the best in hip-hop and R&B. If you did choose another route, here’s your tl;dw (That’s “too long, didn’t watch.”) rundown: Cedric the Entertainer hosted, Anthony Hamilton did “Lovely Day”, Leah LaBelle did Teena Marie’s “Square Biz”, Fantasia paid tribute to Aretha with “Don’t Play That Song For Me”. There was a New Edition tribute (in which Bobby Brown failed to thank his departed former wife Whitney Houston?), Keyshia Cole performed “Enough of No Love” from her new album Woman to Woman, and X-Factor winner Marcus Canty did Luther Vandross‘ “Never Too Much”. On the hip-hop side, 2 Chainz was there. Naturally.

Perhaps in the strangest moment, Tyrese‘s “Stay” won Song Of The Year, despite being released independently from his album, Open Invitation. It beat out John Legend, Trey Songz, Estelle, Wale, AND Usher–making it a true underdog. Tyrese most likely knew this, stating in his acceptance speech that today’s R&B is “insecure, since everyone is doing house and techno music” (a weird nod to Usher, perhaps?) But tonight, he continued, “Real R&B is winning”.

And now for the best performances…

by (@zaragolden)

Last Lap: 50 Cent Shows Love For Frank Ocean

50 CENT SHOWS SUPPORT FOR FRANK OCEAN
Haters be warned that, unless you want a taste of that famous 50 beef, you may want to give the Channel Orange artist a second chance, because 50 thinks that “Anyone that has an issue with Frank Ocean is an idiot.” [MTV]

ARETHA FRANKLIN WANTS TO BE AN IDOL JUDGE
Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are both out, and so Aretha Franklin figures she and Patti LaBelle should have in at the Idol judging table. Why not! [CNN]
Read more…

by (@Lacezilla)

The Top 5 Most Entertaining Essence Music Festival Moments

Beside’s Kevin Hart’s hilarious set Saturday night, there were some pretty LOL-worthy instances at Essence Music Festival in New Orleans this past weekend, and even though it was impossible to be everywhere and see everything, we put together a short list of our Top 5 Most Entertaining Moments for you all to experience vicariously.

1. LisaRaye McCoy Makes A Ca$h Out Joke
If you haven’t heard Ca$h Out’s “Cashin’ Out,” you’re missing out. Luckily for us, LisaRaye is hipper than most and made a delightful joke to VH1 News’ Janell Snowden on Friday morning, that went something like this:
Janell: I wish I had all the men that you do, LisaRaye.
LisaRaye: Shoot, I do too. We all need to be “smokin’ on that Keisha.”
If you don’t watch Single Ladies, this may not seem funny, but I assure you, it was. LisaRaye plays a Keisha Green on the show, and in real life, can pun on the character by referencing one of the most ratchet tunes of the summer; adding to the growing list of reasons that she’s a true she-ro of mine.

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by (@Lacezilla)

Music Royalty And Heartfelt Tributes Close Out Essence Music Fest


After an already action-packed weekend of Superlounge performances, empowerment panels, and headline-grabbing mainstage sets, Essence Music Festival came to a close last night in New Orleans. Like many other festivals, Essence is notorious for headlining sets extending late into the early morning of the next day, but when the artists performing are esteemed members of music’s nobility, you stay put!

Kirk Franklin kicked off the festival’s third and final night, handing the mic off to VH1 star Fantasia before soulful crooner Anthony Hamilton and his phenomenal back-up vocalists transformed the Mercedes Benz Superdome into a refreshing gospel experience. The big-ticket performers – Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin and Queen of Funk Chaka Khan – would soon follow.

As the first woman inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Aretha Franklin has free reign to pretty much do whatever she wants on stage, and did just that. She’d open her mouth, and magic would pour out; graciously bestowing gifts like “(Your Love has Lifted me) Higher and Higher,” “Natural Woman,” “Think,” and “Something He Can Feel,” the 18-time Grammy winner who sang at President Obama’s inauguration was met with a respectful, hyper-attentive audience that contrasted the normal bustling-in-and-out-of-their-seats EMF crowd. Despite the fact that she would at times meander into telling stories and jokes, appropriating an audience-member’s fedora, complaining about the venue’s sound, and acknowledging friends of hers that were in the crowd by asking them to stand, Franklin’s lengthy 90-minute set was any music fan’s dream even that late in the evening.

While Franklin changed her wardrobe from an orange gown to a green and gold frock mid-performance, a presentation was held in her honor, giving Queen of Soul a key to the city of New Orleans by its mayor Mitch Landrieu, a state award by Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, and the Essence Power Award from Essence Communications President, Michelle Ebanks. Representing “entertainment, empowerment and elegance,” Franklin was clearly the ideal choice for this year’s awards, and once the Queen of Soul returned to the EMF stage, she performed crowd favorite “Chain of Fools,” sang from what she called “the book of Simon and Garfunkel,” performing a cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and even found time to pay tribute to the late and legendary Whitney Houston. “She was beautiful, she was warm, she was real,” recounted Franklin of her beloved “Christian sister” as she took to the piano to execute a rendition of Houston’s heart-wrenching “I Will Always Love You.”

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by (@Lacezilla)

Mary J. Blige’s Emotional Set Crowns Essence Music Festival’s Second Night

For the fifth time in as many years, Mary J. Blige graced the Essence Music Festival stage last night in New Orleans. Galvanizing her legion of ravenous fans during a set that followed main-stage performances from Tank, Mary Mary, Ledisi and comedian Kevin Hart, even the ushers were two-stepping unapologetically; in between performing a number of hits that spanned her entire twenty-year career, Blige also made time to unleash covers of Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody” and Charlie Wilson’s “Outstanding” for the Mercedes Benz Superdome crowd.

When the beat dropped for songs like “Real Love,” “Family Affair,” “Just Fine,” and “Not Gon’ Cry,” audience members took to their feet and assisted the sequin-clad star with lyrics and adlibs alike, creating an energetic exchange with their heroine that was, on more than one occasion, acknowledged by a grateful, “so pleased” Mary J. Blige. Read more…

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Happy Mother’s Day From VH1! (Spotify Playlist)

Happy Mother's Day From VH1

We here at VH1 are strong believers that mothers are worthy of appreciation 365 days a year. That said, this Sunday is the official day we honor those special women in our lives. Seeing as how music has always been expressive and a reflection of the artist’s own life, it only makes sense that everyone from Tupac to Taylor Swift have created songs expressing their love for the woman that brought them into the world. Those songs cover the entire spectrum, from light and fun to heartfelt and emotional. In honor of Mother’s Day, we’ve put together a Spotify playlist of our all-time favorite songs dedicated to moms. Since we don’t sing or rap, we’re leaving it to those that do to honor all the mamas. Happy Mother’s Day!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY FROM VH1

1. “Dear Mama”- Tupac
Tupac’s ode to his mother Afeni Shakur has to be one of the most touching and well known dedication songs in music.

2. “Mama’s Song” – Carrie Underwood
In this guitar heavy country song, Underwood reassures her mom that her husband to be is a great man, and marrying him doesn’t mean her mom is losing her.

3. “Hey Mama”- Kanye West
“It don’t got to be Mother’s Day or your birthday for me to call and say, ‘Hey, mama.’” When Kanye made this fun track for his mother, we never imagined it’d be the very song he’d perform in her honor after her death. Counting our lucky stars that she was able to hear it before she passed.

4. “The Best Day” – Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift probably has a lot of great days seeing as how she’s one of the biggest country singers and all. But spending quality time with her mom tops the list of best days she’s ever had.

5. “A Song For Mama” – Boyz II Men

When Boyz II Men’s “A Song For Mama” played on the popular late 90s movie Soul Food, eyes welled with tears. Soulful voices singing lyrics that helms mothers as Queens would make any mama proud. Read more…

by (@kat_george)

Tuned In: Robyn Dances On Her Own For Saturday Night Live Hosted By Katy Perry

On a Katy Perry hosted episode of Saturday Night Live, Robyn gave an impeccable performance of her songs “Dancing On My Own” and “Call Your Girlfriend.” One of the few solo performers that can carry a live act alone, Robyn manages to captivate with high energy, perfect vocals and killer dance moves that require no extra fuss or frills. The best part is, while Robyn is a joy to watch, her lyrics are… well… a tad depressing! Despite that Robyn still makes toes tap, even when she’s be jilted by her lover and is left dancing on her own. Add an introduction by the adorable, newly blonde-bobbed Katy Perry, and you’ve got a recipe for pop deliciousness.

WATCH: Robyn performing “Call Your Girlfriend” on Saturday Night Live.
WATCH: Robyn performing “Dancing On My Own” on Saturday Night Live.

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Aretha Franklin Sings And Flirts Before Obama’s Labor Day Speech

Aretha Franklin has apparently rebounded completely from last December’s health scare (rumored to be pancreatic cancer) that led to surgery, not to mention death rumors on Twitter. Yesterday morning in Detroit she performed a four-song set?”I Came to Lift Him Up,” “Chain of Fools,” “Moody’s Mood For Love,” and “Respect”?prior to a Labor Day speech by President Barack Obama. Franklin riffed with the band and the crowd throughout, joking, during the last song, “Who do I respect? Well, let’s see. I sure like Denzel. He’s married though. I respect that.” She also shouted out Will Smith, local NAACP President Rev. Wendell Anthony, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Rev. Jesse Jackson, and complemented Obama’s “fine, fine stroll,” remarking, “Nobody walks like the brothers.” Her reinvigorated performance is further indication that her hometown set at the DTE Energy Music Theater last month may not be her last headlining show.

Detroit’s WXYZ News has posted the whole performance on YouTube. Watch it below:
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