The MGM Grand played host to a plethora of pop stars this weekend for the Clear Channel-sponsored iHeartRadio Festival, two nights of genre-spanning, crowd-pleasing pop music. A mix of veterans and newcomers thrilled the (reportedly very drunk) crowd on both nights. The most successful performers were those who stuck to a setlist of hits, like Jay-Z, who may have performed “On To The Next One” but didn’t take its advice about his old songs, including favorites from The Blueprint and The Black Album alongside newer singles like “Empire State of Mind” (with a guest appearance by earlier performer Alicia Keys). Those whose songs were less well-known by the crowd, like Sublime with Rome, were less well-received.
Perhaps the big surprise of the weekend, according to reports, was Jennifer Lopez, who, in a set that spanned her musical career, proved supremely capable of standing among the pop titans of today (with a Pitbull feature on “On the Floor”). Saturday’s “special guest” Sting also more than pulled his weight, backing Steven Tyler on bass early in the evening, then joining Lady Gaga for performances of “Stand By Me” and his own “King of Pain.”
Jeff Bhasker has worked with a slew of talented artists, penning and producing songs for Drake’s Thank Me Later, Alicia Keys’ The Element of Freedom, Jay-z’s Blueprint III, and Kanye’s 808s and Heartbreaks and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. With legit hits under his belt, it should be no surprise that his discerning ear also has some strong opinions. But sometimes, opinions are like a-holes, are they not??
Yesterday, when the producer who most recently worked on Beyonc?’s 4 album (“I Care,” “Party,” and “Rather Die Young”) took to Twitter to?criticize former Destiny’s Child vocalist Kelly Rowland’s current hit “Motivation,” you could almost hear the record player come to a screeching stop. Confused as to why a song “with the weakest beat and melody of all time” could catapult Kelly to #1 on the Urban chart, Bhasker wound up justifying the feat by crediting at the song’s featured verse from rapper Lil Wayne.
[Click here for a larger image]
You know the moment when, near the end of horror movies, the seemingly-dead killer pops back to life, only to be shot/stabbed/poked-in-the-eye-with-a-wire-clothes-hanger by the protagonist? Well, if the Song of the Summer Countdown were a horror movie –this analogy is admittedly a stretch, but just follow us here for a sec– and Katy Perry were the doe-eyed Final Girl, then Adele would have to be the villain of our race.
Last week, after being unseated the week prior by “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” “Rolling In The Deep” came back from the grave to make one final (?) run at the #1 position. However, on this week’s just-updated Song of the Summer countdown, Katy Perry once again asserted her dominance as the Queen of the Summer Songs to claim the top spot back from the British songbird. However, the race is nowhere near over yet.
Pitbull and Ne-Yo’s ode to joys of pre-apocalyptic nookie, “Give Me Everything,” continues to climb its way up the charts; its third-place position this week marks the song’s best performance on the charts to date. LMFAO‘s “Party Rock Anthem” is currently sitting atop the Billboard and iTunes charts, and OneRepublic‘s “Good Life” burst into the Top 10 in its first week on this chart, no doubt propelled by Ryan Tedder’s recent appearances on NBC/Universal linear properties, The Voice, Platinum Hit and the Today Show (corporate synergy at its finest!). It’s entirely possible that the zeitgeist could blow in the direction of any of these songs and put some serious wind behind their sails (and sales), but at this point, it sure seems like Katy is once again the girl to beat!