Jessie Ware loves Sade. And Aaliyah. Her south London tight-knit Jewish family upbringing was a house filled with soul and R&B. It’s no wonder she digs the sultry Alicia Keys‘s spoken word bit on “You Don’t Know My Name.” Read more…
Ryan Gosling has a mighty sexy plus-one; so does Brad Pitt. But when you’re talking about the flyest wives and girlfriends, ever — we’re talking Beyonce, folks — they aren’t found in Hollywood, they’re in hip hop.
Next stop on the OWN celebrity train is Alicia Keys who in the 30 second clip says, “Literally I was running from pimps and prostitutes to ‘Boom!’ I was on the Oprah show.” Ms. Keys sure knows how to dramatize a narrative in the same way that Oprah realized the missing ingredients for OWN were herself and celebrities. Read more…
No one has ever accused Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine of lacking charisma, but it’s striking how much his profile as a sex symbol has been raised over the course of the last year and change. When the camera cut to Levine walking on stage as his group prepared to duet with Alicia Keys on “Daylight” and “Girl On Fire,” the screams were somehow even louder than anything we heard eminating from NBC’s Studio 8H last night when Justin Bieber hosted Saturday Night Live.
After the Beyontroversial performance of the National Anthem at President Obama’s inauguration, there has been an incredible amount of focus on whether or not performers are singing the “Star Spangled Banner” without the aid of a backing track, the likes of which have not seen since the days of Milli Vanilli. Beyoncé came under extreme fire for lip-synching the Francis Scott Key’s patriotic ode to our revolutionary brethren, and after watching Alicia Keys perform the anthem tonight just before the start of Super Bowl XLVII, she clearly wanted to avoid any such controversy.
Although only the Superdome’s sound operator knows for sure whether or not there was any audio tomfoolery going on before kickoff tonight, to our ears, Keys’ version of the “Star Spangled Banner” seemed like it was sung AND played live (on the piano, no less). Why do we feel like this performance was “real”? For one, it was one of the slowest renditions of the song that we’ve ever heard. Secondly, much like Mrs. Carter’s defiant version at her press conference on Thursday, Keys deliberately paused in certain, semi-unorthodox spots of the song to verbally riff in such a way that seemed almost pre-calculated to ward off lip-synching accusations. Her voice, which some have been saying has been a bit pitchy of late, sounded as good as we’ve heard it in some time. But that’s just our take. What do YOU think?
Watch Alicia Keys sing the “Star Spangled Banner” below!
Sadly, the answer to that question is “No.” Or, if you’re an optimist, “Not yet!” Country singer Gary Allan stormed the album charts at No. 1 this week, while You Oughta Know alumni the Lumineers are clapping and stomping right behind him at No. 2. Here’s a look at this week’s Nielsen SoundScan sales figures:
“HO HEY,” LET’S GO: The self-titled debut album from folky jangle-pop upstarts the Lumineers hits No. 2 on this week’s chart, a new high for the Denver trio. The sons of Mumford‘s performance on the Jan. 19 SNL certainly didn’t hurt, nor did “Ho Hey”’s prominence in all those Silver Linings Playbook TV ads. The band is up for Best New Artist at next month’s Grammy Awards, and they also landed a prime slot on this year’s Coachella bill. Meanwhile, “Ho Hey” has now crossed the 3 million sales mark, after selling 141,000 digital copies this week (good for #3 on the singles chart). No matter how big they get, we’ll always remember when they came by our office last summer for a You Oughta Know Live set.
SINK “FRIDAY”: While the beef between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj continues to be this year’s most propulsive American Idol narrative, it hasn’t done anything for Ms. Minaj’s sales. Her second album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded freefalls 29 spots on this week’s chart to No. 115, after falling seven spots the week prior. The set has sold 805,000 copies to date, which is certainly nothing to scoff at, but hearing Nicki bicker with Mimi hasn’t exactly sent new fans running to the stores to pick up her album. Neither Carey nor auxiliary judge Keith Urban —we keep forgetting he’s even on the show!— have current products they’re pushing, so their Idol sales impact has yet to be felt.
Beyoncé definitely lip-synched during her performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Monday’s presidential inauguration. Er, maybe she didn’t? No, she most certainly did. Hmmm. Better ask an expert. The constant back-and-forth over whether one of our most beloved national treasures sang a sacred, patriotic tune live or with assistance from a pre-recorded backing track has hijacked most of our attention at a time when we should probably be focusing on Barack Obama‘s second term, or complaining about the sudden frozen tundra we’re forced to walk across just to check the mail. Everyone has an opinion–and Beyoncé has remained quiet– so if you’re conflicted about what to feel about the Beyontroversy, perhaps your allegiance to some of these famous folks will help you out.
“The one thing that you cannot doubt is that she can sing. She absolutely can sing,” Keys told Capital FM. “All the rest of the ‘whys’ or ‘whatever,’ we know that she can deliver and she did deliver that song really beautifully.”
After inadvertently getting wrapped up in a misunderstanding between Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep obsessives following the Oscars, Midler was quick to remind us (and nearly 400,000 Twitter followers) of what’s important: “Ok
#beyonce fudged. Get a grip. Men are raping and urinating on young girls in Steubenville Ohio. Priorities, people!”
“I thought it was funny because the weather down there was about 46 or 44 degrees and for most singers that is just not good singing weather… she did a beautiful job with the pre-record… next time I’ll probably do the same,” the Queen of Soul, who performed at Obama’s 2009 inauguration, told ABC News.
The legendary Broadway star fielded only the toughest of questions (how could one possibly say something mean about Mandy Patinkin?!) from Bravo’s Andy Cohen. “SHE WAS SINGING LIVE I DON’T CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS!” she said on Wednesday’s episode of Watch What Happens Live.
Yesterday was indeed a day to celebrate American political traditions and tremendous achievements in civil rights, but there were also plenty of fashions to covet and musical performances to look forward to in between the peaceful transfer of power. Capping off a long week of celebrity events in support of Barack Obama‘s second term, Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor had the honor of performing during the official inauguration ceremony, live from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. Taylor kicked things off with “America the Beautiful,” defending the right to wear fleece in public (and later providing astute political analysis for NBC), while Kelly dazzled and impressed the likes of Senator Chuck Schumer with her powerful version of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.”
“Wow” is right! Season 12 American Idol hopefuls take note: the AI OG remains the gold standard.
Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor are already booked to perform at President Obama’s upcoming inauguration ceremony but because there’s likely no limit to how many diverse musical offerings Barack and Michelle blast behind closed doors, even more talent has been acquired for Inauguration Weekend 2013. According to the AP, Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, Smokey Robinson and Usher have been added to the inaugural ball on Monday, January 21 as well as a children’s concert on the 19th.
Hosted by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden (there to make sure Leslie Knope doesn’t make a move on her husband) Saturday’s children’s event will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and will also feature performances from the likes of Far*East Movement, fun., John Legend, Marc Anthony, Mindless Behavior and members of the Glee cast. Despite the wide cross-section of musical talent, all eyes will be on Katy to see what political piece of clothing she could possibly wiggle herself into this time.