by (@unclegrambo)

SONG OF THE SUMMER: Can Flo Rida Capture Katy Perry’s Song Of The Summer Crown?

Welcome to Week 6 of VH1′s Song Of The Summer Countdown, presented by our friends at Dove Clinical Strength Deodorant. For the third consecutive summer, Katy Perry has managed to keep the #1 spot on lock (See: “California Gurls” in 2010, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” in 2011) with her post-divorce empowerment anthem, “Wide Awake.” That song has been dueling with Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe” for the crown all summer long, but as we near the conclusion of our Song Of The Summer race, a new challenger for the crown has emerged. That’s right, put your lips together for Flo Rida‘s “Whistle!”

Flo, who is performing on VH1′s Do Something Awards tomorrow night, is no stranger to SOTS success himself. Back in 2010, his collaboration with French house DJ supreme David Guetta and Nicole Scherzinger, “Club Can’t Handle Me,” made a run at Perry’s “California Gurls.” It went to #1 in five countries, including the U.K., and cracked the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 thanks in part to the prominent role it played in Step Up: 3D. This summer, his “Whistle” just ousted “Call Me Maybe” from the #1 spot on the Billboard charts, but does he have what it takes to topple Katy?

That, dear readers, is entirely up to YOU. Head over to SOTS.VH1.COM to vote for your the 2012 Song Of The Summer; hundreds of thousands of votes have been cast so far, but there’s still plenty of time to make sure your favorite artist gets their due!

by (@zaragolden)

Like Katy Perry, Marina and the Diamonds Play “The Starring Role”

Meet Marina and the Diamonds. This pretty, Welsh-Greek “Primadonna” has spent the past six weeks stateside touring with Coldplay, and she’s rounding out the trip out with a handful of New York dates to celebrate the release of her new record Electra Heart, including a special acoustic set on the roof of the Mondrian SoHo on Monday night. Marina arrived looking angelic in a beige crop top and glittery pencil skirt, and was awash in the twilight of the city sunset. Staked out in a corner of the roof where Brooklyn and Queens glowed behind her, she performed a five song set with only a keyboard and guitar to back her.

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by (@zaragolden)

SONG OF THE SUMMER: Katy Perry Can’t Be Touched, Justin Bieber Enjoys A Madsen Bump

Welcome to Week 5 of VH1′s Song Of The Summer Countdown, presented by our friends over at Dove Clinical Strength Deodorant. Having elbowed her way past presumptive frontrunner Carly Rae Jepsen to take the top spot early in the race, Katy Perry and “Wide Awake” have yet to budge from the top spot. “Call Me Maybe” keeps hold on that runner-up spot, while Flo Rida‘s impossibly catchy “Whistle” continued its rise, finally bumping Maroon 5‘s “Payphone” from the Top 3. Don’t see your favorite song near the top of the list? Vote for your Song Of The Summer over at sots.vh1.com! Summer’s not over yet, you know.

The biggest mover and shaker on this week’s chart was Justin Bieber, whose “As Long As You Love Me” tore up seven spots to land at #5. Might we call this the Madsen bump? David Guetta‘s “Titanium” (#8 up to #7), Owl City‘s all-fun-everything anthem “Good Time” (#14 to #11) and P!nk‘s no hold’s barred “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” (#17 to #13) also saw some upward momentum this week.

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by (@unclegrambo)

SONG OF THE SUMMER: Katy Perry Continues To Dominate, But Flo Rida and Cher Lloyd Make Big Leaps Towards The Top

Welcome to Week 4 of VH1′s Song Of The Summer Countdown, presented by our friends over at Dove Clinical Strength Deodorant. The top of this week’s chart remains unchanged from last week, with Katy Perry‘s triumphant breakup anthem “Wide Awake” continuing to hold court over Carly Rae Jepsen‘s impossibly catchy “Call Me Maybe” and Maroon 5‘s unstoppable “Payphone.” Don’t see your favorite song near the top of the list? Vote for your Song Of The Summer over at sots.vh1.com!

While the top of the chart didn’t see much movement this week, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some movers and shakers on the chart with their eyes on the Song Of The Summer prize. Flo Rida‘s latest jam, “Whistle,” jumped from #7 to #4 this week, and Cher Lloyd‘s girl power hit is gaining some serious momentum; it debuted at #11 on our weekly chart, propelled by strong sales in the iTunes Store and a rising spot on the Billboard 100 Chart.

When it came to our reader votes, though, the Directioners and Lovatics made their mark; One Direction‘s “That What Makes You Beautiful” lead all SOTS contenders, with Demi Lovato‘s “Give Your Heart A Break” coming in a close second. Your votes really do count, so keep those votes coming! Head over to SOTS.VH1.COM and vote for your favorite artist today.

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Kelly Clarkson’s Top Five Covers This Year

Kelly Clarkson Best Covers

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…

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Carly Rae Jepsen Ties With Gotye For Longest No. 1 Reign This Year

Carly Rae Jepsen Ties With Goyte For Longest No. 1

A nod from Justin Bieber on Twitter can literally change your whole life–it did for Carly Rae Jepsen. The popularity of the infectious pop tune “Call Me Maybe” has resulted in countless hilarious, good and bad covers of the 26-year-old Canadian’s song. From Katy Perry to .fun singers have taken a shot at covering the pop phenomenon of the year. CRJ gets major cool points in the form of Big Sean choosing “Call Me Maybe” as our Song of the Summer, which you can vote for here, but her latest accolade is measured by its rule on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Read more…

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The Top 10 Weirdos In Music (And Why We Love Them For It)

In a recent Rolling Stone article, A$AP Rocky explained that “nowadays, everybody wanna be weird. We know how to manifest being weird. We know we some weird-ass looking motherf**kers, and we know we do some weird sh*t.” He continued, “But at the same time, we some geniuses.”

While we’re not entirely sure that we agree with the “genius” tag, it does seem that suddenly every artist is out to “out-weird” each other. Whether it’s what Ke$ha‘s studding, what shoes Lil Wayne‘s rocking, or what Lil B‘s prophesizing, artists are competing to be the most unique and we just can’t get enough of it. Normal is just so boring, isn’t it? The art of music is all about expressing individuality in its purest form, and artists who don’t just let their tunes do the talking are the most appealing to us. We love these artists for embracing their individuality, their unique weirdness, that sets them apart. Brace yourself for our list of the Top 10 Weirdos in Music Today (And Why We Love Them For It).

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by (@zaragolden)

The 2012 VMA Nominations Are In, And It’s A Good Year To Be Drake Or Rihanna

The 2012 MTV Video Music Award nominations are in, and this year and among the nominees are the usual suspects (Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Usher, Justin Bieber, Kanye West), the internet raised (Carly Rae Jepsen, Gotye, Childish Gambino, Lana Del Rey), strong women (M.I.A., Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé), fresh faces (A$AP Rocky, Frank Ocean) and boy bands (One Direction, The Wanted). And all are led by Drake and Rihanna, with five nods a piece, who picked up four for their “Take Care” video (Video of the Year, Best Male Video, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography) and who will face off for Video of the Year (Drake’s “Take Care” versus Rihanna’s “We Found Love”). Quite the crew, don’t you think?

The show will live on September 6th at 8 p.m. EST from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and it will feature performances from Alicia Keys and One Direction, assuring that viewers will be the real winners that night.

See all the nominees in all the categories below:

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by (@unclegrambo)

Song Of The Summer 2012: Katy Perry May Have “Fallen From Cloud Nine” IRL, But “Wide Awake” Stays At #1

Welcome to Week 3 of VH1′s Song Of The Summer Countdown, brought to you by our good friends over at Dove Clinical Protection Deodorant. Each week from now until Labor Day, VH1 will be keeping tabs on which songs will ultimately come to define the summer of 2012, as measured by their performance across six categories: the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, Billboard‘s Hot 100, Spotify‘s most-streamed songs, the iTunes Singles Chart, YouTube’s music chart, and YOUR VOTES (which, btw, if you haven’t voted yet, you should totally vote now!).

Last week, Katy Perry outmuscled presumptive frontrunner Carly Rae Jepsen to overtake the #1 spot on our countdown, and the top of the chart remains the same this week. Buoyed by a strong number of votes from the Katycat contingent —only One Direction‘s “What Makes You Beautiful” and Pitbull and Shakira‘s “Get It Started” received more fan votes on sots.vh1.com— Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” is staying put in the #1 position this week. (Subscribe to our VH1 Song Of The Summer 2012 playlist on Spotify!)

That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have some challengers, though! In addition to Carly Rae Jepsen’s summer smash, Flo Rida’s “Whistle” lept up three spots to #7 this week, and the aforementioned One Direction climbed from #17 all the way to #7 with their irresistable hit, “What Makes You Beautiful.” Who will be on top next week? Be sure to check back with us all week for updates, and don’t forget to vote for the Song Of The Summer over at sots.vh1.com! (Oh, and if you want to see how this week’s chart was formulated, check out our super detailed/nerdy chart below.)
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by (@zaragolden)

Covers to Catch: Lana Del Rey Does Nirvana, Kelly Clarkson Does Katy Perry

It’s Friday, and the internet has so kindly graced us with two worthy covers to drive us into the weekend:

Last night in Sydney, Lana Del Rey gave Nirvana‘s “Heart Shaped Box” a stormy and orchestral cover. Nirvana has come to be considered sacred territory, just ask Miley Cyrus, who took serious flack for her “Smells Like Teen Spirit” cover, but Lana’s haunting voice makes for an interesting tribute. Her obsession with fame is not without understanding of Kurt Cobain’s obsession with escaping fame, and her belts of “Hey, wait, I’ve got a new complaint” feel almost as tortured as Kurt’s devastating originals, and she somehow managed to make the brutal “I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black” line sound feminine and delicate. This was a risk, but it seemed to work.

Kelly Clarkson‘s cover of Katy Perry‘s “Wide Awake” was far less of a stretch, and great nonetheless. Read more…