Move over Drake, there’s a new emotional rapper in town, and it’s one you never would have expected — Lil Wayne! Weezy is showing us his softer side with his new track “Mirror” featuring Bruno Mars. The rapper, who has spent time behind bars and is better known for his aggressive hip hop, has teamed up with the pop-soul singer for a little bit of self reflection. The emotional video sees Wayne and Mars back lit in a cinematic setting, with pristine close ups of Wayne’s tattoos as he splashes red paint against an unseen canvas. Finally, the canvas is revealed in a dramatic moment, but we wont give it away — let’s just say it looks like Weezy is a deeper character than we first thought him to be.
Turns out Bruno Mars isn’t just good at catching grenades; he dodges them pretty well, too. Mars managed to avoid a conviction after being busted with a not insubstantial amount of cocaine — 2.6 grams, to be precise — after performing at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas back in September of 2010, and he’s about to walk away from the ordeal conviction free after strictly adhering to the terms of his plea deal. At the time, he was apprehended after a toilet attendant informed security that someone might be taking drugs in the stall — doing it hard, just like a the rest of us.
Mars pleaded guilty to the possession charge (telling police he had never done drugs before), and was given a probationary sentence that included a $2,000 fine, 200 hours of community service for a non-profit organization and eight hours of drug counseling. And now that Mars has fulfilled all these “punishments,” and kept himself out of the powder room for an entire year, it looks like he’s going to walk off with a completely unmarred criminal record. So what have we learned here folks? We’d like to think the message is “Don’t do drugs,” but it seems more to the tune of “Don’t get caught doing drugs, and if you do, you better be rich enough that you can afford a lawyer who will get you off with little more than a slap on the wrist.” Although, we can’t quite imagine Mars spending 4 years in a state prison (which would have been his punishment if he were convicted), so the outcome is definitely lucky for both Mars and his fans.
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.
[Photos: Getty Images]
VH1 is getting ready for a chilly winter by cozying up with some good tunes; to wit, check out our neat new promo video for the holiday season. Set to the sounds of The Black Keys‘ “Lonely Boy,” the video is a fast-paced, energetic montage of all your favorites from You Oughta Know‘s Bruno Mars to Daughtry. The best part is watching the stars transform from humans into illuminated cartoons — our favorite is “Countdown” Beyoncé finger clicking as a fluorescent illustration.
Are you sick of “top” and “best of” lists for 2011 yet? Surprisingly enough, we’re not — even though they are getting a bit repetitive in the Adele/Iver global back pat that’s happening right now. With all the glory being attributed to musicians for songs and albums, Songtrust have come right out of left field to say, “Yeah, kudos guys, but let’s have a round of applause for the people who are actually writing these songs.”
Some of our favorite hit machines — including You Oughta Know artists Adele and Bruno Mars, as well as Katy Perry — are seasoned song writers in their own right, but what about the guys and gals behind the music that aren’t also household names? Using data from Billboard Radio Songs and Digital Songs charts, Songtrust have compiled a list of 2011′s most seminal writers — yep, that’s right, these are the people responsible for all those songs you’re putting on your favorites lists. So three cheers for the writers! Songtrust’s Top 20 Songwriters Of 2011 after the jump.
If you missed this week’s VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, you’re in luck. Not only is it re-airing tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. on VH1, but we’ve got this week’s complete list of the week’s 20 hottest videos for you. After narrowly missing out on the top spot to Usher and David Guetta last week, Katy Perry‘s wistful “The One That Got Away” has snatched this week’s top spot. Check out the complete list of videos in the final Top 20 Video Countdown episode of 2011 below.
A reminder: VH1′s Top 40 videos of 2011 will be airing at a special time: Wednesday night, December 14, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. Watch this space for more details!
1. Katy Perry, “The One That Got Away” [WATCH]
2. Kelly Clarkson – “Mr Know It All” [WATCH]
3. Daughtry – “Crawling Back To You”
4. Bruno Mars, “It Will Rain” [WATCH]
5. David Guetta featuring Usher – “Without You” [WATCH]
6. Rihanna, “We Found Love”
7. Coldplay – “Paradise” [WATCH]
8. Safetysuit, “Let Go”
9. Adele – “Someone Like You” [WATCH]
10. The Fray, “Heartbeat” [WATCH]
The results are in! And it’s not just a matter of opinion either — Billboard has compiled the Hot 100 Songs of 2011 according to radio airplay audience impressions and sales data provided by Nielsen, as well as streaming data from other online sources. And the winner is…
Adele! (Duh.) The hottest song, from what is indubitably one of the most highly appreciated, universally loved albums of the year, “Rolling In The Deep” is number one on Billboard‘s Hot 100 Songs list. Katy Perry may have scored more #1s this year than Adele, but by Billboard’s count, “Firework” and “E.T” came in at #3 and #4, respectively. We’re pretty proud to see You Oughta Know artists Bruno Mars at #6 with “Grenade,” #15 with “Just The Way You Are” and at #26 with “The Lazy Song”, and Foster The People at #13 with “Pumped Up Kicks.”
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 more than a few of our amazing You Oughta Know artists on the 2012 Grammy Nominees list. We made our predictions for nominees for Song of the Year and Record of the Year, Best New Artist, and Album of the Year yesterday, and now we’re pretty excited to see some of the artists that we’ve introduced to you succeeding so decisively in their different genres. Here’s a little recap of the members of the VH1 family that were awarded Grammy nominations last night:
As we predicted, Adele was a shoo-in for a fistful of nominations, given that her fandom is almost universal and that she’s widely regarded by the industry as seminal in the singer/songwriter field. “Rolling In The Deep” scored nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video, while “Someone Like You” was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance. Adele’s album, 21, was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album. You can check out Adele exclusively answering 5 intimate questions for VH1′s You Oughta Know here.
If our pants weren’t already charmed off by Bruno Mars they sure are now. We spoke with the crooner with the killer cheekbones (did we just write that?) at the Grammy Nominations Concert, and he serenaded us with Whitney Houston‘s “Greatest Love of All” when we asked how it felt to pocket six nominations. We understand his ecstatic and adorably ridiculous reaction – it’s not everyday an artist gets nod for Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album and Producer Of The Year (Non-Classical). The competition is obviously stiff — Kanye West is on top with seven nominations and Adele, the woman to beat, has six too. But check out Bruno’s song and plea to the Grammys and then try not root for him. It’ll be impossible, trust us.
The nominees for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards were announced in Los Angeles tonight during a live special that aired on CBS. The 2012 Grammys will be broadcast on CBS February 12th at 8/7c. Kanye West led all nominees with 7 nods, despite being royally snubbed in the Album of the Year category, closely followed by Adele, Foo Fighters and Bruno Mars (who each snagged six nominations).
However, big surprise of the evening was certainly the recognition bestowed upon Bon Iver, who scored nominations in three of the “Big 4″ categories (Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best New Artist). He is a virtual unknown to most Americans, and not even presenter and fellow Best New Artist nominee Nicki Minaj knew how to pronounce his name (she probably should’ve watched this YouTube video with the correct pronunciation of Bon Iver before heading out on stage). However, music industry insiders clearly know of him, and his performance at the awards in February will likely be the most lovably awkward televised performed since Elliott Smith showed up at the Oscars in 1998.
Here’s a (mostly) complete list of the 2012 Grammy Nominations:
SONG OF THE YEAR
Adele, “Rolling In The Deep”
Bon Iver, “Holocene”
Bruno Mars, “Grenade”
Kanye West, “All Of The Lights”
Mumford & Sons, “The Cave”