This Thanksgiving, we all have something to be thankful for. Just as you’re waking up from your post-meal nap to snag some second-plate leftovers from the fridge, Spike Lee’sBad 25 will hit ABC’s airwaves to make it’s nationally televised debut at 9:30/8:30c. Chronicaling Michael Jackson’s 45-million-copies-sold second album and corresponding tour, I can say with full conviction that the documentary is not to be missed. Trust me, I saw it twice. For those who may not be MJ fans or perhaps need some convincing, I present you with a list of 25 Reasons You Should Be Watching Spike Lee’s Bad 25. Not completely spoiler-free, however, I urge all the purists out there to tread lightly with this list if you’d prefer to see the film without advance info!
1. Mariah Carey makes an LOL-worthy joke about being a fuss-causing diva when she threatens to scold Clive Davis.
2. The film summons nostalgia for an era when music was successfully flourishing and record sales were at their peak. Ah, those were the days.
3. Viewers receive a non-verbal explanation of the infamous “Smooth Criminal” dance-lean.
4. Martin Scorsese watches his old footage and breaks down the making of the “Bad” video short film.
5. Quincy Jones’ wacky 80s sweater during an interview. You’ll see what I mean.
VH1 DIVAS will be airing live on Sunday, December 16 at 9PM ET/8C, and after having to keep our lips zipped for the last few weeks, we’re excited to finally start letting you in on some of the details. We could not be more psyched to announce that the one and only Adam Lambert will be hosting, and the evening will be led by outstanding performances by the likes of Ciara, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland and Jordin Sparks. And yes, the evening will be featuring special and memorable tributes to the late legends Whitney Houston and Donna Summer, both of whom were VH1 Divas alumni.
We’ll have more details to share with you over the coming weeks leading up to Sunday, December 16, but until then, here’s the complete press release that JUST hit the wires.
VH1 DIVAS HITS THE DANCE FLOOR WITH GRAMMY AWARD-NOMINATED HOST ADAM LAMBERT LIVE ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16 AT 9PM ET/8C
DIVAS Dance Party To Include Tribute to Legends Whitney Houston and Donna Summer
NEW YORK, NY –November 8, 2012 – VH1’s beloved, popular franchise VH1 Divas is throwing the hottest dance party of 2012 LIVE on Sunday, December 16 at 9PM/8c with Grammy Award-nominated host Adam Lambert. This year’s show will celebrate the dance-inducing music that is the vibrant soundtrack to every major blowout bash, unforgettable party and night out on the town. VH1 is bringing together Ciara, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland and Jordin Sparks to pay homage to the greatest divas of dance music with performances featuring current and classic dance hits.
Nine months later and this writer, on occasion, still gets a little misty eyed when hearing Whitney Houston‘s voice. Not to be dramatic as if any of us actually knew her, but through her music we felt like we did.
Time has passed since the unfortunate day in February when Whitney left the world with her angelic voice to hold onto. One thing time hasn’t changed is the unique marker that sets Whitney in a class of her own. Despite the rough patches, Whitney still had it. “Never Give Up” proves that. Produced by Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox, the unreleased song is the last track on the November 13th greatest hits album I Will Always Love You – The Best of Whitney Houston. Whitney delivers an inspiring message meant to encourage us all with lyrics like, “Never, never give up/Never, never give up/No matter how many times somebody tells you it ain’t working.” A message we’ve all needed to hear at some point. Read more…
Every generation romanticizes the quality of music of their youth, particularly when compared to what’s presently ruling the radio. This statement certainly holds true for 80s babies that came of age in the 90s —like myself— who remember the legion of R&B artists who made soulful music, and to this day yearn for the return of true rhythm and blues. Brandy was among that elite class that shaped my musical memories, and one of the few who has managed to stay around.
As with any artist interested in evolving, Brandy experimented with different sounds on both 2004’s Afrodisiac and 2008’s Human. Diehard fans, who connected so deeply with her debut Brandy and its follow-up Never Say Never, yearned to see Brandy reconnect with the genre and pump some new life into the weakened heart of R&B. The 33-year-old singer wasn’t oblivious to this when she started creating her sixth album, Two Eleven. “I wanted to give my fans something that they’ve been waiting for, that they deserve,” Brandy told me when we spoke in the days immediately following her new album’s release. “For so long they really wanted me to get back to the root of R&B.” Read more…
Almost ten months after her death and since his moving performance at her funeral, the late Whitney Houston and R. Kelly have released a duet version of “I Look To You,” a song R. Kelly originally wrote for Houston’s 2009 album by the same name. Posthumous reworks are not always so easy — let Draketell you about that — but this rework is both respectful in remembering her legacy and impressively successful in keeping her spirit alive.
This new version of “I Look To You” remembers Whitney with apparently tearful gasps strewn throughout, with a quiet “Whitney” chant and with a nice eulogy from Kelly at the end: “We love you, Whitney. Rest in peace.” What’s more, though, is the way it works to keep Whitney’s spirit alive as well. Maybe it’s because they were originally his words, or maybe it’s because he really means it (as you’ll remember, performed a heartfelt rendition of this song at Houston’s funeral earlier this year, tears choked back and with a tissue clenched tight in hand just in case), but Kelly’s involvement seems to draw forth a Whitney that sounds stronger and fuller than she did even on the original. It’s chilling to hear Whitney sing “I don’t know if I am going to make it, nothing to do but lift my head” at this point, but Kelly’s insistence that “when melodies are gone, in you I hear a song” soothes, making her instead the song’s beacon of hope. Read more…
For every Michael, Beyoncé and Usher, there’s a Christina, Mariah or Rihanna. Try as they might, the latter group of hot pop acts just can’t coordinate that whole singing-while-dancing thing. Their beats and belting may be tight on the radio, but when it comes to rocking dance moves in a music video, even some of the best sirens fall flat. For your amusement, check out these hilarious GIFs (you’re welcome) of crooners we adore who demonstrate some of the worst rump shaking we’ve ever seen. Debate our list in the comments below and, more importantly, let us know whose lack of rhythm we failed to catch.
Moroccan and Monroe weren’t even zygotes yet, but Mariah looks like she was practicing serious mom moves in this video. Luckily, Mimi’s vocal acrobatics helped us shake off the memory of her awful wannabe thug life bleacher rocking, so all is forgiven.
In an ideal world we’d celebrate Whiney Houston‘s legacy every day. On her 49th birthday today we’re obviously grooving to the 11 videos of her No. 1 hits. As we dance as much as we can in our chairs to “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” we also think about how loved Whitney was by her fans and everyone that knew her. We chatted with Jordin Sparks about working with Whitney on Sparkle. She reveled in Whitney’s ability to light up a room any room she walked in. The two formed a bond on the set of 1976 remake of Sparkle, which debuts August 17th, and led to the duet “Celebrate.” Read more…
Whitney Houston would have celebrated her 49th birthday today. Six months after her sudden death and we’re still coping with the loss of a tremendous once-in-a-lifetime vocal talent. On her born day we’re going to celebrate the life she lived through her music. Her flawless voice carried her hit singles to the top of Billboard charts, breaking records once held by only The Beatles and The Bee Gees. Through Whitney’s incomparable gift she touched millions. Whether it was the uptempo feel good “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” or the love ballad “I Will Always Love You,” Whitney’s beautiful spirit shined through and made us feel as bright of a star as she was. Enjoy the videos to her 11 No. 1 hits. Happy Birthday, Whitney!
Song: “Saving All My Love For You” Released: August 24, 1985 Peak Position: #1 for 1 week
Song: “How Will I Know” Released: December 28, 1985 Peak Position: #1 for 2 weeks
Song: “Greatest Love Of All” Released: April 5, 1986 Peak Position: #1 for 3 weeks
Song: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” Released: May 16, 1987 Peak Position: #1 for 2 weeks
Song: “Didn’t We Almost Have It All” Released: August 8, 1987 Peak Position: #1 for 2 weeks
Song: “So Emotional” Released: November 12, 1987 Peak Position: #1 for 3 weeks
Song: “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” Released: November 14, 1992 Peak Position: #1 for 2 weeks
Song: “I’m Your Baby Tonight” Released: October 27, 1990 Peak Position: #1 for 1 week
Song: “All The Man That I Need” Released: January 5, 1991 Peak Position: #1 for 1 week
Song: “I Will Always Love You” Released: November 14, 1992 Peak Position: #1 for 14 weeks
Song: “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” Released: November 25, 1995 Peak Position: #1 for 1 week
It doesn’t matter if Kelly Clarkson were to sing the phone book. We’d want to hear it. When Clarkson put out the call to fans asking what songs they’d like her to cover the online requests flooded in. The Stronger tour that ended in April produced amazing covers of an array of musical genres. And like the great vocalist she is, Clarkson showed her range nailing everything from the Rolling Stones‘ “Wild Horses” to Bruno Mars‘ “It Will Rain.” When the tour ended our sad faces began, but luckily for us her Summer 2012 tour with The Fray has reignited the covers we were so obsessed with. Because we know you love the covers as much as we do, we’ve chosen the best five covers from Kelly Clarkson’s tour and concerts this year. Enjoy! Read more…