Let’s hear it for the girls! Adele and Katy Perry are topping the Billboard charts post Grammys, rolling over their historical successes from 2011 into what looks to be an equally successful 2012 for both young women. Katy Perry’s new single from Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, “Part Of Me”, which she performed for the first time live at the Grammys, debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 — making it the 20th number one entry in the chart’s 53-year life. How’s that for sticking it to the man? The last artist to debut at number one was Lady Gaga with “Born This Way,” which followed last year’s Grammys where she performed the hit, adding some pretty hefty weight to the importance of being able to grace that illustrious stage for performers. Unfortunately for Katy however, singles from The Complete Confection will not count to her record for number one singles from Teenage Dream — so she’ll remain tied with Michael Jackson at a legendary 5 number one songs from the same album. On the bright side, “Part Of Me” sold 411,000 downloads, marking Perry’s best sales week to date in her career.
As for Adele, it doesn’t look like the reign of 21 is ending any time soon. After picking up six Grammys last week, Adele’s “Set Fire To The Rain” follows “Part Of Me” at number two on the Hot 100 chart, with “Rolling In The Deep” jumping back up to number five and “Someone Like You” at number seven, making her the first woman in history to place three songs in the top 10 as the lead artist. But it doesn’t stop there for Adele — over on the Billboard 200 chart, 21 is still breaking records with it’s 21st (ha!) nonconsecutive week on top. Usurping the late Whitney Houston‘s throne, Adele now has the record for the longest held number one album spot for a female performer. The numbers tell a very vivid story — that for Adele, it definitely isn’t over, she won’t stay away, and we can’t fight it (not that we’d want to).
Katy Perry’s ‘Part of Me’ Debuts Atop Hot 100 [Billboard] Katy Perry to Release ‘Teenage Dream’ Special Edition in March [Billboard]
In our 100 Greatest Women in Music series that aired on VH1 last week, we declared Madonna as the greatest female artist of the last 20 years. Now we’ve decided to let the fans have their say — yep, it’s your turn to tell us who YOU think is the Greatest Woman In Pop. The first round sees Lady Gaga pitted against Madonna, Britney Spears vs. Rihanna, Katy Perry fighting Mariah Carey, and Jennifer Lopez weighing in against Beyoncé.
So far, Madonna is ahead of Gaga, 53% to 47%, but it’s a damn tight margin! We’re biting our nails to see if Mother Monster comes out on top of the Queen Of Pop. Also going head to head are Katy Perry and Mariah, with a mere 3% separating them and Katy ahead by just a pinch! On the other side of the scale, Britney is absolutely crushing Rihanna with 67% of votes to RiRi’s 33%. And in the battle between J-Lo and Beyoncé, Mamma Bey looks like she’s going to take out the round with a huge 68% of votes compared to Jenny’s 32%. If you’re not happy with the results so far don’t worry — it’s not over yet! You still have time to get your vote in for the first round, so be sure to click on your favorite pop lady before 11:59 p.m. EST tonight!
On Friday night, we aired the last installment of our five-part, 100 Greatest Women in Music series. If you happened to miss the countdown, it’s spoiler alert time: VH1 crowned Madonna as the greatest female artist of the last 20 years.
While it’s tough to argue with the musical legacy of Madonna, we received an incredible number of comments, emails, and tweets from our VH1 audience asking about their ability to participate in this countdown. Well, we listened and worked to put together the following bracket-style tournament of The 8 Greatest Women In Pop where you, the reader, will be able to select the most accomplished female artist in the pop music game right now. (Sorry, Adele fans: We figured that since she just swept the Grammys, she has enough awards for the moment, so we left her out of this tournament).
Our tournament will run today through next Monday, February 27, and our first round matchups are pretty outrageous: Lady Gaga vs. Madonna, Britney Spears vs. Rihanna, Katy Perry vs. Mariah Carey, and Jennifer Lopez vs. Beyoncé. One tiny administrative note: Be sure and get your first-round vote in by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, 2/22.
You thought it was weird when Katy Perry‘s Grammys performance started with “E.T.” too, right? We certainly did. And being the Perryphiles that we are, it took us only moments to start pointing at the screen and indignantly yelling “That’s not Katy Perry!” as a strategically shrouded figure took to the stage. Cue a faux electrical glitch that had all those around us gasping, “But how could the Grammys mess up like that,” and we were rubbing our hands together in Mr. Burns style excellency — “This is it, here she comes! Excellent.”
And come she did! Appearing in a futuristic box descending from the ceiling, Perry wore blue hair and an ensemble that looked like a cheap version of Leeloo’s iconic Fifth Element get up — but we’re going to forgive her for the ill-chosen costuming because what followed was an impassioned performance of her fine new single (yes, we smell that 6th number one!), “Part Of Me” (one of the new tracks on the re-release of Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection). The opening lines of the song, “You chewed me and spit me out like I was poison in your mouth,” were poignantly at odds with “E.T.”‘s “Infect me with your poison,” and as Katy slowly rose to standing from her crouched feline perch, it became clear that she had something very important to say, and that we were all going to listen. And if there was any doubt about whether or not we’d be paying attention, Katy sang the emphatic, rage driven lyric “Now look at me!” before punching out the front of her cube, which shattered dramatically in cascading glass.
Yep, dancing in her cube, Katy made a very definitive statement, “This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me.” We can only speculate that the track is a stiff middle finger in the face of ex-hubby Russell Brand, but marital politics aside, the performance showed us a part of Katy that we’ve never really seen before. Sure, we’ve seen a lot of flirty, sexy Katy, a bit of controversial Katy and some reflective, sad Katy, but when it comes to chart toppers, we haven’t ever seen angry Katy. There’s “Circle The Drain” from Teenage Dream, but the brutality of emotion of that song seems to wane in comparison to “Part Of Me,” which is driven, unwavering and anthemic. Watching Katy perform it live for the first time was almost chilling — the emotion she put into her spectacular, flame engulfed show was raw and powerful, showing the angsty side of a girl that is so much more than boob-shooting fireworks.
Ah, the Grammys! The conversation, the speculation, the anxiety! We’re gearing up to this Sunday’s awards ceremony the same way that we’re sure the rest of North America is — putting our tips on who we think will be a winner. Yesterday, we gave our opinion on who would take home the Best New Artist award, but today we’re wondering about Record Of The Year. With Adele nominated in the category, it would seem that no one is safe, but we know stranger things have happened, so let’s pretend for a second that the “Rolling In The Deep” singer isn’t a shoo in, and weigh up the odds on the other contenders.
Adele – “Rolling In The Deep”
Look, let’s just pretend Adele isn’t going to win everything at the Grammys — because the alternative is that we succumb to the fact that she’s going to win everything and that’s just no fun because it doesn’t give anyone else a fighting chance. Realistically though, “Rolling In The Deep” dominated the number one chart position last year and was a very clear favorite with critics and fans. Yeah, who are we kidding — it’s going to be really strange if “Rolling In The Deep” doesn’t win.
Bon Iver – “Holocene”
If Bon Iver front man Justin Vernon hadn’t stuck both his middle fingers up at the Grammys we would have said “Holocene” was the best bet for usurping the “Rolling In The Deep” throne. Like “Rolling In The Deep,” “Holocene” found its way to the top of almost everyone’s best of 2011 list, so who knows — maybe “Holocene” will be the song to strip Adele of her crown.
Oh, heartbreak! We’ve all felt it’s cruel pincers nipping at our heart at one time or another, and we’ve all at some point cried the devastated tears of loss. And let’s be real — we’ve probably listened to one of our favorite pop stars sing about the whole sordid palaver while we’ve wallowed in our own despair. So that got us to thinking of the expressiveness of sadness in music videos, and the one motif that seems consistent across the songs of different artists — black mascara tears. Because musicians are not always the best actors, and because of the highly visual spectacle of pop music, dramatic smudged raccoon eyes in scenes where the stars are crying seems like a go to for the more melancholy songs. With that in mind, we’ve selected our favorite runny raccoon eyes — have we missed any? What are your faves?
1. Beyoncé – “Why Don’t You Love Me?”
Beyoncé wins best panda eyes on the strength of melodrama. Oh, and because she looks really hot in vintage style lingerie. Clearly tortured, Beyoncé’s panda eyes are paired with martinis, cigarettes, and just the right amount of crazy to make the whole thing unbearably sexy.
2. Katy Perry – “The One That Got Away”
There’s so much emotion in the scene where Katy Perry is crying in her future self’s wardrobe in “The One That Got Away” that we just want to give the girl a big hug. Katy gets points for realism — we’re pretty sure that even without the panda eyes we’d still feel the heartbreak.
Madonna Announces Her Love And Admiration For Nicki Minaj And M.I.A.
Madonna‘s new single, “Give Me All Your Luvin’” and forthcoming appearance at the Super Bowl both feature appearances by M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj, of whom Madonna has said “They’re not conventional pop stars and I really admire them both. I love both of them actually.” We’re guessing having the Queen Of Pop say things like that about you is going to be both humbling and ego boosting, so a big round of applause for the “non-conventional” gals! [NME]
Katy Perry Added To Already Impressive List Of Grammys Performers
Katy Perry is the latest artist to be added to the ever growing list of impressive names set to play at the Grammys. As if we weren’t already excited enough about Adele and Rihanna et al, well, let’s just say there may or may have not been an impromptu sing-a-long to “Teenage Dream” in one writer’s cubicle this afternoon upon hearing the news… [Neon Limelight]
Azealia Banks Has The 2.55, Performing At Karl Lagerfeld’s House
Apparently it’s not the “212″ that Azealia Banks has, but the 2.55. Banks played at Chanel Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld‘s house in Paris and got all those very serious Parisian fashion types dancing. Yep, they even fist pumped. [Complex]
Disney Discontinues Joy Division Inspired T-Shirt
Disney controversially released a t-shirt inspired by Joy Division‘s Unknown Pleasures album, with the original visual skewed into the shape of Mickey’s face. Under mounting pressure from fans and commentators, Disney has now pulled the t-shirt from sale to review the situation further. [Time News Feed]
It’s true that money doesn’t grow on trees, but it does, apparently, grow on Katy Perry. In what is a fairly bleak landscape for recording artists, where record sales are declining and file share is abounding, it’s a rare commodity to be a musician who can produce the green stuff. Indeed, some artists, like the Black Keys, are now opting to absent their music from file sharing devices like Spotify in an attempt to fill the cash cow with as many sales as possible. But not Katy Perry — it’s all mo’ money for the unstoppable pop star.
NPR did some investigating on Katy Perry’s (who had five number one hit singles from the same record last year) earning capacity, and came up with some very big hypothetical numbers based on their research. Speaking to Katy’s label, Captial (part of EMI), NPR estimated that Teenage Dream cost around 4 million to make (with 2 million being Katy’s advance, which she would then pay back out of royalties). However, the cost seemed to be a relative scratch in comparison to the return on the album. Based on record sales in the US alone, NPR’s research estimates that Katy made around 8 million for her label. Yep, that’s excluding all overseas sales, and any other form of revenue not derived from sales.
Obviously, Katy Perry’s capacity to sell records isn’t a reflection on the record industry right now — nor would be the sales of artists like Adele, who sold 5.82 million copies of 21 in 2011, or Lady Gaga, who, according to Forbes made around $90 million dollars all up last year. With a small handful of musicians dominating in sales, what does this mean for the rest? And does it make decisions like the Black Keys to withhold music from sharing services somewhat more understandable? It seems like in the rat race that is becoming music sales, those at the top are many echelons above the rest — is this a disparity that will continue to grow as record sales decline, or will government crack downs on file sharing (like the recent closure of Megaupload) see a swelling in sales?
Katy Perry’s Perfect Game [NPR]
[Photo: Getty Images]
Katy Perry Gets Her Own Video Game, Katy Perry Sims 3: Showtime
We’re not entirely sure what the story line is, but this sweet animated trailer for Katy Perry‘s forthcoming video game, Katy Perry Sims 3: Showtime, makes a cute, and sort of trippy, mini-video for “The One That Got Away.” [Prefix]
Kanye West Is In The New Kobe System Ad
Along with a slew of famous faces, Kanye West is in the new Kobe System commercial, and gets his 5 seconds of fame asking the pertinent and deeply philosophical question, “what if you’re really successful?” [Rap Radar]