What a year, right? As we get ready to put the finishing touches on the year that was, it’s time to look back at the music videos that define the year 2011. Tonight, we’ll be airing a supersized edition of the VH1 Top 20 Music Video Countdown that takes a look back at the Top 40 music videos of the year. Be sure to tune-in to VH1 tonight at 7 p.m. ET/PT to see your favorite videos of the year in all of their widescreen, HD glory, but we couldn’t resist giving you guys a sneak peek at the list here on VH1 Tuner this morning.
So, without further ado, here is our list of the Top 40 Videos of 2011…
Of the moment band Hot Chelle Rae dropped their second album, Whatever, last week, and spoke candidly to VH1 about serious things like the album title, writing music, singing karaoke and… playing the kazoo! If you like your pop stars relatable and irreverent, then Hot Chelle Rae are the guys for you, especially if you like an extra helping of super cute thrown into the mix. With sparkling smiles and an infectious energy, the guys told us that when it comes to making music, they’re just doing what they love. “We definitely want people to be humming it but it’s not like every time we sit down to write a song we’re like let’s make the catchiest thing known to mankind, we kind of just really write what we love,” offers HCR front man, Ryan Follese. Ryan also acknowledges that the band, even though their work is largely a labor of love, work incredibly hard and that it’s “ironic” that given their efforts, they decided to call the album Whatever on a whim.
But HCR know that all work and no play will make them dull boys — which is probably why they’re so charming! Of their leisure time, Ryan chuckles, “There is a good chance that you will find me at around 11.30 at night singing Bon Jovi at the top of my lungs,” to which Nash Overstreet replies, “Nashville is full of karaoke bars, and it’s full of us running crazy!” Becoming jovial, Ryan reveals that the only instrument he played on the entire album was the kazoo, “On “Downtown Girl” I am ripping that kazoo up.” We love that the boys have a kazoo on their album, if only because we love saying kazoo so much! Kazoo, kazoo, kazoo!
Check out their performance of their new hit single, “I Like It Like That,” from a recent episode of Big Morning Buzz Live below…
To Iron & Wine fans, “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” might be deemed a bit old for Sam Beam to be promoting (it’s two albums old), but for Twilight fans, it all makes perfect sense. The song, chosen specifically by Kristen Stewart herself (fan girl!) for the film, features in Twilight: Breaking Dawn (Part 1), as the “Wedding Version.” Beam played this version of the classic song last night on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and in true Iron & Wine style, the song was simply moving. With Beam’s mesmerising vocals, the soft lighting and live strings, the performance left our romantic hearts skipping a beat or two.
We’ve had Nickelback fever since we previewed the band’s video for “When We Stand Together” last month. Nickelback’s performance last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live did nothing to abate our fever, either — with Chad Kroeger‘s raw vocal and a stage literally set alight by theatrical flame throwers, Nickelback burned the house to the ground. With their awesome performance of “Burn It To The Ground,” not because they actually set fire to anything (other than our hearts, figuratively speaking). Nickelback’s roaring, metal sound was decidedly harder than their post-grunge beginnings, and even from behind a screen we couldn’t help but do a sneaky head bang.
For the last 14 weeks, we’ve been tracking the race to see which track would become this year’s Song Of The Summer. Since people consume music in so many different ways these days, our goal was to put together a democratic formula that compared how a group of over 70 songs performed across five of the primary channels that people frequently use to listen to their favorite jams: the Billboard Hot 100 (radio play & sales), the iTunes charts (pure sales), Last.fm scrobbles (listening on computer and mobile devices), the YouTube music charts (streams) and, of course, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown. Each week, we tracked how our group of competitors fared in each of these different platforms, and then added up the results.
So, without any further ado, we are psyched to announce that Katy Perry has taken home the first place prize in VH1′s first annual Song Of The Summer competition! When the summer began, it looked like Adele‘s “Rolling In The Deep” was going to be an unstoppable force, but as soon as Katy dropped her 80s-tastic “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” video during the week of June 27th, she dominated the countdown from there on out. Katy was gracious enough to film an quick speech for us while she accepted our totally awesome Song Of The Summer trophy, which we’ve got for you above.
For you completists, here is our final Song Of The Summer countdown chart (that is, until Memorial Day 2012 rolls around!). And you’re on Spotify, you can subscribe to our VH1 Song Of The Summer 2011 playlist and re-live the summer whenever you want.
We’re going to announce this summer’s winner here on the VH1 Blog on Tuesday, but before we do that, we’d love to find out what YOU, the VH1 audience, felt was this year’s Song Of The Summer. What song did you jam the most on the beach? Which track was blasting when you put your ragtop down so your hair can blow? What jam got you and your friends pumped up for a night out on the town? Vote as many times as you like in our poll below. (Oh, and congrats to You Oughta Know artist Foster The People for being only the third song all summer long to hold the top spot in our countdown with their zeitgeisty smash, “Pumped Up Kicks”!)
At this time last year, hopes for Maroon 5‘s third studio album, Hands All Over, were high. The lead single, “Misery,” had hit #1 on Billboard‘s Adult Pop chart, and since the band had convinced famed superproducer Robert “Mutt” Lange to come out of semi-retirement to produce their album, everyone looked for the band to take the leap from a well-liked, fairly popular M.O.R. band to the next level and a spot among the world’s most commercially successful bands. However, once the album finally hit streets in October 2010, the masses shrugged their shoulders and largely ignored the album. The record was certified gold by the RIAA for shipping over 500,000 copies, but worldwide sales stalled out at just 529,000 total units.
Perceived failures like this have sunk many a band in the past, but thanks to charismatic frontman Adam Levine and ten weeks of national TV exposure courtesy of NBC/Universal’s The Voice (corporate synergy at its finest!), the band has totally reversed their fortunes in less than a year. Their new track, “Moves Like Jagger,” hit #1 on the iTunes chart this week, and Levine’s featured hook on Gym Class Heroes‘ “Stereo Hearts” propelled the song to a Top 20 finish in this week’s Song Of The Summer countdown. No wonder artists like Mariah Carey (The X-Factor), Sara Bareilles (The Sing Off) and more are looking to land prime positions as judges on televised singing competition shows; it’s exactly the kind of exposure to Middle America that the flagging music business is no longer in a position to give these artists using “traditional” music channels. As Maroon 5 has proved, it’s great work if you can get it!
As for the rest of our Song Of The Summer chart —only two more weeks until we crown a champion!— kudos to Katy Perry for her ninth consecutive week in the #1 spot.
Electro-sleaze goofballs LMFAO are, at this moment, the only thing standing between Katy Perry and the history books. As we told you last week, their smash single “Party Rock Anthem” is blocking “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” from ascending to the top of the Billboard 100 chart (which would be Perry’s fifth Number One off her Teenage Dream LP). LMFAO is also currently besting Perry on the YouTube and iTunes charts, while Katy is maintaining dominance on Last.fm as well as airplay on our station. And our friends over at New York Magazine‘s Vulture just named “Party Rock Anthem”—a song they described as “a contrived, effective bit of nonsense about how ‘everybody?s gonna have a good time’”—as their current Song of the Summer.
Despite this onslaught from the progeny of Motown records founder Berry Gordy, our highly scientific formula still shows Perry atop our charts for the seventh consecutive week. While it will be incredibly difficult to topple her, it’s good to see Foster The People making a run at the Top Five. After a standout performance at Lollapalooza this weekend, their outstanding single “Pumped Up Kicks” is quickly climbing the charts; if the word “alternative” still carried any weight as a genre, there’s little doubt that Mark Foster could lay claim to the “alternative” Song of the Summer crown.
The dog days of summer are upon us, people. It’s August, it’s hot outside, and the news cycle is starting to slow to a crawl. The general sluggishness of the season is even affecting the music industry, as music fans don’t seem to be gravitating towards any new material. Instead, they seem to be content to play the same songs that they’ve had on repeat all summer long.
Case in point: Katy Perry‘s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F),” which has exhibited a stranglehold on the top of our Song of the Summer Countdown for six consecutive weeks. Her song looks to have a lock on the prize at this point, but then again, maybe The Throne (aka Jay-Z and Kanye West) can mount a last-minute challenge when their highly anticipated collaboration Watch The Throne drops next week? Stay tuned!