by (@zaragolden)

Alicia Keys Dropped Two Versions Of “Girl On Fire,” And There’s Still A Third To Come

It’s been three years since The Element of Freedom, and with the next on the burner, set for release November 27th, Alicia Keys is turning up the heat. “New Day,” the first single off of Girl On Fire, was a banging and inspiring thing. And now we get the title track, which is actually going to be a three song suite. As such, Keys dropped the suites first two segments yesterday: the chilled out “Girl on Fire (Blue Light)” mix and the Nicki Minaj assisted “Girl on Fire (Inferno)” remix. Still not about actually about Katniss Everdeen, “Girl on Fire” is instead a hot ode to females strong and mighty. “She got her head in the clouds and she’s not backing down,” goes the anthem, “This girl is on fire.”

The “Inferno” version features a booming, mid-tempo drum beat derived from rocker Billy Squire’s 1980 breakbeat classic “The Big Beat,” and two rapped Nicki verses. Theatrics turned down and focus turned up, Nicki opens the track with a meditation on Marilyn Monroe (“Spirit of Marilyn callin’ me, audibly/ Ballin’ she/ Said that she would never leave/ Continue to torture me”) and a Gabby Douglas name check (“But I got ‘em aggy, cause I win the gold like Gabby”). Keys, meanwhile, does her usual singing thing, sounding strong as ever when she lets the “this girl is on fire” refrain soar.


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by (@zaragolden)

Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne And A$AP Rocky Will Perform Tomorrow At The MTV VMAs

The countdown clock is ticking, and the MTV Video Music Awards bill of performers is still growing. We already knew that Rihanna would be there to perform, but good word now has it that she’ll be joined by her cocky collaborator and VMA nominee A$AP Rocky for the show’s opening act. What’s more, hip-hop heavyweights Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, and YMCMB leading lady Nicki Minaj in the company of a secret guest — anybody seen Mitt’s schedule for the night? — have also been added to the lineup, which already includes previously announced performances from One Direction, Frank Ocean, Green Day, and VH1 Storytellers trio Taylor Swift, P!nk and Alicia Keys.

And, best news of all: the wait just got shorter yet. MTV has moved the Video Music Awards start time up one hour so as to avoid running up against President Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, and causing conflict for those equally engaged with pop as with politic. The show will now run from 8 PM to 10 PM, at which point you can switch over to your news channel of choice to watch Obama. Maybe you can have it all.

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Frank Ocean Joins List Of Heavyweights To Perform At This Year’s VMAs

Frank Ocean Set to Perform at VMAs

The anticipated outrageous and unpredictable moments of the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards are upon us, folks. This year viewers can expect one thing for sure: to laugh until their stomach hurts with funny man Kevin Hart as host. But what is the VMAs without its all-star lineup of performers? Most recently added to the roster is talented newcomer Frank Ocean. Imagine him singing “Pyramids” with the visual stage set-up to accompany the song. This could mean actual faux pyramids, stripper poles, a stripper–oh my, the possibilities! Read more…

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Taylor Swift To Debut “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” Plus Performing At VMAs

Taylor Swift

America’s sweetheart, Taylor Swift, has some great things on the horizon. This Thursday the country singer will debut the video to “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together on MTV First: Taylor Swift at 7:49 p.m. On Thursday, September 6 she will grace the stage with a live performance at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. We’re bubbling over with excitement and anticipation to see what she’ll do. And there’s her set for this season’s VH1 Storytellers, including confirmed singers P!nk and Alicia Keys. It’s officially Taylor Swift season, actually, every season is Swift’s season. Read on for the official press release. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Everything We Know So Far About Alicia Keys’ Girl On Fire

It’s been three years since Alicia Keys last album The Element of Freedom, but this fall she’ll returning with a fury, a new album, a VMA performance, a VH1 Storytellers and all! Bit by bit, she’s been dropping information and giving hints as to what we might expect from this return. Like, for example: although the title might suggest otherwise, her new album has nothing to do with a certain Miss Everdeen, and maybe because after giving birth to her son Egypt she feels like a “full-on f****ing grown up.” Here is what else we’ve got so far: Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Taylor Swift Will “Never Ever” Live For The First Time At The VMAs

Already, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” the lead single off of Taylor Swift’s forthcoming Red, has climbed the Billboard 100, broken sales records, and become the anthem of strong-willed girls nationwide. And now, we get word that Taylor will give it the big-stage, live debut it deserves next month at the MTV Video Music Awards! There, she’ll be joining Green Day, One Direction, P!nk and Alicia Keys, which means all three of our strong, VH1 Storytelling women will be representing!

Taylor VMA appearances past have been nothing if not memorable, as she was the first country music star to win the award and of course there was that “I’ma let you finish” moment that so famously followed. And if Taylor’s hair-flipping and finger-wagging lip-synch of “Never Ever” is any indication, this performance too will be a show to be seen. So if you haven’t already, now would be a good time to mark your calenders: September 6 at 8 PM. We-eeeee!

Taylor Swift To Perform New Song For The First Time At VMAs! [MTV]

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

 

by (@unclegrambo)

Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys And P!nk Set To Headline Next Season Of VH1 Storytellers

VH1 Storytellers Taylor Swift P!nk And Alicia Keys

During the last few seasons of VH1 Storytellers, we have been fortunate that some truly amazing artists have taken the stage and shared their stories with us. Earlier this year, Jason Mraz, Norah Jones and Grace Potter blew us all away by opening themselves up and giving us the emotional backstories to the songs in their respective catalogs. This November, though, the VH1 Storytellers franchise is taking things to the next level.

We’re excited to announce that the 17th season of VH1 Storytellers will feature appearances from bona fide music industry superstars Taylor Swift, P!nk, and Alicia Keys. Collectively, these three women have sold more than 80 million albums worldwide and have over 20 Grammys sitting on their respective shelves, and they have more more hits than we can count. We cannot possibly be more psyched to share these sessions with you in November, but before that, we have some even more exciting news: Take it away, Taylor!

In case you missed any of that, be sure to head to TaylorSwiftOnCampus.com to enter YOUR school. Who knows, maybe your vote will be the one that sends Taylor Swift to your school to record her episode of VH1 Storytellers!

And now, here’s the rest of the press release!
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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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Alicia Keys Is Like ‘A Caged Animal That’s Dying To Escape’ With New Single “New Day”

Alicia Keys new music "New Day"

It’s been three years since Alicia Keys last album The Element of Freedom, and in those three years Keys married producer Swizz Beats and welcomed her first child into the world. With all of the exciting changes in her life she is ready to tell her story through the untitled upcoming album. To connect with her fans Keys posted a touching video to YouTube to talk about the journey of making new music. She says she’s been in the studio eight months working on the album because she’s a whole new person. “It’s like I’m a different person, a new person,” she explains. “Everything is new, from being married and having a baby, and what that’s done for me in just giving me a sense of real stability, real connection, grounding, reason, and purpose. So much of the music that you’re going to hear is talking about what that feels like, what we’re all going through, all of us,” she said. Read more…

by (@unclegrambo)

The Top 5 Moments At The 2012 Billboard Music Awards

2012 Billboard Music Awards

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…