by (@zaragolden)

Taylor Swift Joins The Circus, And 4 More MTV Euproean Music Awards Performances You Can’t Miss

Like much of the past few weeks, last night’s MVT European Music Awards were in large part a celebration of our VH1 Storyteller Taylor Swift. Taylor spent much of the night flexing her Surprise Face muscles for each of the three awards she won — for Best Female, Best Live Act and Best Look — and gabbing about how excited she is to have clocked her first EMA win. Of the other winners, a broken hearted Justin Bieber took three of his own (Best Male, Best Pop and Beste World Stage), Carly Rae Jepsen took Best Song, One Direction took Best New and Biggest Fans, and PSY of course won for Best Video; Rihanna meanwhile went 0 for 6 nominations, leaving empty handed.

And perhaps we’ve caught the Red fever, but we really enjoyed the old time-y circus act that was Taylor’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” performance (which the evening’s host, Heidi Klum, made way for by floating away with a balloon in hand). She donned a big black top hat and a red sequined jacket, and was joined on stage by clowns on tiny bikes, a harem of ballerina clowns and some fire breathers (pyrotechnics were big with all the performers last night). It was maybe not her strongest vocal showing, but after all the time she spent twirling round the circus ring of a stage, who could blame her for being a little short of breath by the end? Red has only just come out, and award show season is just around the corner, and there’s sure to be more winning night’s like this in the near future of Taylor

We also dug these performances:

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VH1 Storytellers: Alicia Keys Sneak Peek: Kanye West And John Legend Were Instrumental In The Making Of “You Don’t Know My Name”

There’s no way that Alicia Keys has the problem of a guy not knowing her name. That is, if she wanted him to know her name, which she obviously wouldn’t as a married woman. But we’re talking the single Alicia Keys days. We don’t want to spoil tonight’s VH1 Storytellers: Alicia Keys by giving all the intriguing tidbits on how some of her greatest songs were created, but the sneak peek of “You Don’t Know My Name” is too good not to share. Alicia tells the story of working in the studio with relatively unknown artists Kanye West and John Legend. Yes, think back to the time Kanye was unknown. In the studio John and Kanye sang on one mic together, like the ol’ school artists–before the days one could send in their verse to be pieced together with fancy equipment. Read more…

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VH1 Storytellers: Alicia Keys Sneak Peek: “No One” Will Get In The Way Of What She’s Feeling

Until watching Alicia Keys‘ very own VH1 Storytellers we’d almost forgotten the number of hits this woman has under her belt. Song after song the audience sung the lyrics only hoping to hit a note even remotely close to Alicia’s pitch. The wait to hear the story behind a handful of her classics is almost over. On Monday, November 12 at 11PM EST you’ll have the chance to witness her piano playing greatness on VH1 Storytellers: Alicia Keys. Read more…

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VH1 Storytellers: Alicia Keys Is Coming, But For Now Get Lost In A Timeline Of Her Greatest Career Milestones

A Timeline Of Alicia Keys Great Musical Moments

Alicia Keys is a musical force to reckon with considering her magical fingers stroke white and black piano keys while she sings powerfully into the mic. Since her introduction to the world in 2001 with the chart topping hit “Fallin’” she’s continued to wow us with relatable music that will get spins decades from now. As we gear up for VH1 Storytellers: Alicia Keys, which airs Monday, November 12 at 11PM, we excitedly dug through her 11 year music history for her greatest career milestones. Read more…

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A Very Brady Storytellers

You guys! Starting this Sunday night, November 12, we’ve got three consecutive nights of VH1 Storytellers amazingness coming your way. When we first found out that we’d have back-to-back-to-back nights of Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys and P!nk coming our way, the first thing that popped into our heads was a twist on the famous Brady Bunch theme. “Here’s a story of some lovely ladies.” And, well, we couldn’t resist…



Read more…

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BET’s Black Girls Rock Awards Wows With Performances By Ciara, Brandy, Alicia Keys And Surprise Guest Missy Elliott

Black Girls Rock founder Beverly Bond created magic when the former DJ started BGR to inspire young girls of color. What started out as a non-profit for youth empowerment and mentoring, while also promoting positive images of black women in the media, has expanded into an annual BET awards ceremony honoring black women in arts, entertainment, education and other fields who are using their gifts to change the world. This year’s seventh annual star-studded event held at Paradise Theater in the Bronx, NY was hosted by actresses Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King–whose wardrobe changes gave us life! Read more…

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Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dream Puts The Soul Back In R&B, Despite His Feeling That The Genre Has Become A ‘Caricature Of Itself’

Kaleidoscope Dream is the magical sophomore album by Miguel, an LP in which he infuses the sounds of rock, soul and funk into the expanding box that is modern R&B. On “Adorn,” which is currently No. 1 on the Hip-Hop/R&B charts, he croons about love and intimacy over the funky bass line. “‘Adorn’ is romantic, but it’s dirty at the same time,” he told us the day his album dropped. “It’s all the highs of love with all the coolness of the party.” Then there’s “Use Me,” “Do You,” “Arch & Point,” and “Pussy Is Mine” that explore the beauty of intimacy. While “Do You” is as much about the sensuality (“Do you like hugs? Do you like love?”) as it is about sex (“I wanna do you like drugs tonight”), the provocative “Pussy Is Mine” is completely about Miguel’s friend with benefits making him feel like it is all his. Read more…

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In Alicia Keys’ VH1 Storytellers Performance, She’s A “Girl On Fire”

Alicia Keys is passionate about her music. Whether it’s her riveting VMA performance of “Girl On Fire” or her more stripped down version of the same song from VH1 Storytellers, this passion is what drives her on-stage persona. Almost in a shout, Alicia sings to the tune of the piano keys she is stroking. Her energy is highest when she wails, “This girl is on fire.” She sings each note like they all mean something to her. The back story behind the song, which is not shown in the clip, is that the title was inspired by a New York Times article she read about herself. The writer used “girl on fire” as a descriptor. From that moment Keys was determined to write a song of the same title. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

How To Write A Hit In 8 Simple Steps: Alicia Keys Breaks Down The Evolution Of “Girl On Fire” (VIDEO)

Making hits is no easy thing, not even for a seasoned star like Alicia Keys herself. It had been several years since her last album and she’s a new mother and a busy business woman, too, so for this next round, she figured she would take things slow: “An easy vibe, not to put too much pressure on it,” she tells the New York Times. Before getting to work each day on The Element of Freedom, which is out November 27th, she would take time to listen to other people’s music — Nina Simone and Frank Ocean (!) — and work out her thoughts. You can almost hear this patience in the album’s new single, “Girl on Fire,” a fully realized and empowering anthem replete with crashing drums and a soaring chorus.

Keys brought the Times into the studio to show them — very, very excitedly! — her writing process, from the moment of inspiration to the post-release regrets. Want to write a song like “Girl on Fire”? Here’s what you need to do: Read more…

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More Of Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded With New Songs Coming Your Way

Nicki Minaj said she hadn’t planned on attending the VMAs until her good friend– Alicia Keys–asked her to join her on stage. Nicki rapped her verse to Keys’ new single “Girl On Fire.” US Olympic gold winner Gabrielle Douglas wowed the crowd with a cameo of cartwheels and flips. A 16-year-old US Olympics gold winner on stage with Nicki Minaj and A. Keys has to be one of the best moments of the night. Before Nicki hit the stage she told E! she was re-releasing Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded in November calling it The Re-Up. “I’m putting lots of new songs on there and I’m actually going to drop my new single next week,” she told E! on the red carpet. Read more…