Hard to believe, but it’s been two whole years since Katy Perry‘s video for “California Gurls” premiered. During that time, Perry has experienced a number of highs (see: her six #1 songs) and lows (see: her divorce from Russell Brand), so it only makes sense that her new music video for “Wide Awake” starts off where her whole Teenage Dream run began: The video shoot for “California Gurls.”
Our story begins at the end of the “California Gurls” video shoot with the director calling it a wrap, at which time Katy heads back to her dressing room to remove her pink cotton candy colored wig. As she briefly contemplates her own reflection in the mirror — we are to presume that this is one of the few moments in her life where she is truly alone, not flanked by PR flunkies/makeup artists/record label suits/various hangers-on, and therefore free to get a little introspective — she is whisked through the looking glass (so to speak) and transported into a magical realm that blends elements of Snow White, Zach Snyder‘s Sucker Punch, Jim Henson‘s Labyrinth and the Lord Of The Rings. You see, she’s on a quest to find true love, but as you can tell from an exceptionally dramatic crane shot, it’s not going to be easy.
There are no maybes about it, Carly Rae Jepsen owned last night’s MuchMusic Video Awards. Performing early in Canadian music channel’s annual awards show, Jepsen sang her Billboard-topping “Call Me Maybe” from a giant, colorful telephone-shaped swing while wearing a too-cute TopShop dress. After picking up a hefty load of awards —the Video of the Year, the MuchMusic.com Most Watched Video, and the crowd-sourced UR Fave Video of the Year all for her “Call Me Maybe” video— she joined non-Canadian Flo Rida for “Wild Ones,” filling in for the absent You Oughta Know‘s Sia and proving herself more than “Maybe” capable.
Her “Wild Ones” cameo, though, was for many of us the first time hearing her do anything other than “Call Me Maybe.” If she hopes to be celebrated again in years to come, she will soon need to start harnessing some of the excitement around her into something new. Her EP Curiosity has yet to see release in the States, but has been well received in Canada — why not start not start with that, and in front of a hometown crowd?
Yoann Lemoine, aka Woodkid, is a man of many great talents. You may not know the name yet, but you’ve seen his work in the form of music videos from Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” and Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans” to Drake and Rihanna’s“Take Care” and Taylor Swift’s “Back to December.” The French indie musician, graphic designer and music video director released his first EP Iron last year. More recently he directed “Run Boy Run,” which is the video to his new single. And we’re running alright– our finger over the replay button.
It’s an entire black and white video, which makes the cinematography that much more impressive. A young boy runs with tears streaming down his face into another world because the world he’s in “isn’t meant for [him].” Nature and an obscure white building are the only other things in sight until eagles and a monster made of hay suddenly appear. We won’t tell you what happens next because you have to watch the video!
With minimum props Woodkid creates a phenomenal graphic piece of art. We were hypnotized by the beautiful simplicity of a little boy running with a sword with not much else going on. We predict his phone to be ringing off the hook with the biggest stars putting in a bid for his music video direction. At least that’s what we’d do if we were musicians.
At the moment, there is no more formidable team in music than Katy Perry, Bonnie McKee, Dr. Luke and Max Martin. During the 2009-2010 writing/recording sessions for Perry’s Teenage Dream album, this group wrote four songs together — “California Gurls”, “Teenage Dream”, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” and “Part Of Me”. All four of those songs went to #1.
So when it came time for Katy to put together Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection earlier this year, she made sure to enlist the help of her dream team when it came to writing the sole “new” track for the record, which ultimately was titled “Wide Awake.” Back in March, she told our friends over at MTV News that the team wrote and recorded the track over the course of just four days. “I can’t wait eight months to be able to put out this feeling that I’m feeling right now,” she explained. “Not only did I write the song because I needed to flush that out of my system, but I wrote it for the film as well.”
Katy debuted “Wide Awake” at the Billboard Music Awards last night, and then dropped a brand new lyric video for the emotional track after the show. There is a “real” video for the track on the way, but as a way to satiate the masses until its release, this lyric video was released. It does not refer to the lyrics of the song directly — lyrics in which Katy comes to painful grips with her recent divorce from Russell Brand — but is notable in that it’s the first video to take on the look and feel of Facebook’s new(ish) timeline feature. And hey, if you pay close enough attention, you’ll see that VH1.com even gets a shout-out in it. Look ma, we’re finally famous! Read more…
Now we all know Pink has never been one to bite her tongue about, well, anything. Unimpressed by Chris Brown’s lip-syncing Billboard Music Awards performance last night, Pink tweeted, “one day if i lipsync, i hope i do it as well as him….” GossipCop.com reports that her husband Carey Hart added his two cents, “Im pretty sure i saw my wife did [sic] that same performance, but she was 3 months pregnant and actually sang the song.” Ouch. The Harts are ruthless. Although neither Pink or hubby ever mentioned any names, it was pretty clear they were referring to Brown’s motor bike, sans live singing set.
For once in his life Brown took the high road tweeting an indirect response, “Must be too bright outside! I’m finding the “shade” and keeping cool! Love and blessings!” How mature of Chris! (No, we really mean it.) Chris wasn’t the only one lip-syncing last night and rumors spread like wildfire that Pink may have been referring to Katy Perry. This morning Pink cleared up the rumor by tweeting:
Two snaps for live singing. Brown’s performance was lackluster at best. It’s totally possible he wanted to focus on the dance performance and not worry about breath and vocal control. But if people insist on referring to Brown as the new MJ, other artists are going to call him out when he’s not living up to such a big honor. What do you think? Is lip-syncing ever ok? Watch Breezy’s performance below and you be the judge.
Last night’s Billboard Music Awards was an exhausting extravaganza, one that lasted for three full hours and still managed to feel a bit incomplete. Of course, it didn’t help the show’s cause that many of the biggest names in the music world — Adele, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Lady Gaga, to name just a few — decided that they had better places to be last night than at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and the show caught some Twitter backlash for last-minute(ish) tributes to Donna Summer and Adam “MCA” Yauch that fell flat.
That said, there were certainly more than a few memorable moments at last night’s show (which we hope you watched while following our @VH1Music Twitter feed). Here are our Top 5 Moments from the 2012 Billboard Music Awards! (Apologies in advance to all the Beliebers, for young Justin’s mostly lip-synced performance of “Boyfriend” did not make the cut.)
5. Kelly Clarkson’s live television debut of “Dark Side”
Presenter Robin Thicke introduced Kelly’s performance of her new single, “Dark Side,” by stating that she was performing the song “for the first time ever.” Of course, that was not entirely accurate, as Kelly performed an AMAZING version of “Dark Side” on VH1 Storytellers last fall. Still, Kelly looked incredibly gorgeous and, not surprisingly, used her powerhouse vocals to blow the roof off the place. Read more…
The Billboard Music Awards may not be known for scandalous surprise girl-on-girl kisses like the VMAs or interesting collaborations like the Grammys, but the 2012 Billboard Music Awards is offering performances by the hottest artists of today. Carrie Underwood, Linkin Park, Nelly Furtado and Kelly Clarkson are only a few of the A-listers hitting the stage this Sunday at MGM in Las Vegas. We’re curious to find out if BMA can pull off a tribute to the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer, in just three days. Watching how artists bring their songs to life at a major award show is always exhilarating, but here’s the five singers we’re most excited to see and why.
Finally, a full Whitney Houston tribute. Jennifer Hudson did an amazing job at the Grammy Awards, but we were left wanting so much more. Thanks to Billboard, our wish came true in the form of John Legend and Jordin Sparks (who actually co-starred with Houston in the remake of Sparkle). It’s no easy feat to cover The Voice’s songs for even the best vocalists in the business. We’d love to hear the two sing “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” or “How Will I Know” as they are Houston’s earlier songs that are light and fun. It was announced that Bobbi Kristina and Cissy Houston are making special guest appearances to accept awards on Houston’s behalf. Will the gospel legend sing and take everybody to church? A lot is riding on this tribute, we’re hoping they nail it. Read more…
No one but Jay-Z can host a press conference with the mayor of a major city standing next to Freeway and have people in the audience yelling, “Hova, Hova, Hova.” Today, the Brooklyn bred rapper, introduced by Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, announced in a press conference that he would not only headline Budweiser’s “Made In America” two day concert in Philadelphia, but that he’s also curating the event.
As the curator, Jay-Z will select all of the musical acts, which puts the power in his own hands for presenting the type of show he’d want to see if he was an attendee. As someone who has been in the music industry for over 15 years and collaborated with artists that reach all across the spectrum, the choices are limitless. On September 1 and September 2, the festival will take place in Fairmount Park and will include other musical acts that haven’t been announced. Tight lipped as usual, Jay would only say that 70% of the musical guests have been confirmed. According to the New York Times, the “concert will assemble an eclectic lineup of rock, hip-hop, R&B, Latin and dance musicians, according to a news release from its organizers.” Read more…
“Thank you so much for believing in my weirdness!”
This seems to be the key line in the brand new trailer for Katy Perry‘s upcoming 3-D movie, Katy Perry: Part Of Me. The film appears to be part concert film, part documentary about the life and times of America’s favorite sprayer of whipped cream. It promises to cover hot button topics like her strict Christian upbringing and her recent divorce from Russell Brand, in addition to all the shenanigans that went down on her year-long California Dreams World Tour. The film doesn’t have a release date yet, but we’d assume the film will be out sometime this summer. There’s also no rating on the film yet, but the filmmakers clearly didn’t shy away from Katy’s famous cleavage, which millions of teenage boys will surely line up in droves to see in three glorious dimensions.
Unless you have a couple of children running around your household, we’re betting there’s a very good chance that you missed the Kids Choice Awards that aired on Nickelodeon on Saturday night. We’ve got all of the coverage of who got slimed (hint: The Biebs!) over at our sister site TheFABLife, but we’re here to focus on the musicians that strutted their stuff for the kid set.