Oh say can you see… the American public turning on Queen B? After a generally stunning appearance at Monday’s presidential inauguration, Beyoncé has found herself in a place both Ashlee Simpson and Christina Aguilera know all too well. No, sadly “Shadow” didn’t earn any Grammy Awards so we’re obviously talking about a quote-unquote scandal over the public lip-synching of a beloved national tune. We oohed and aahed at Beyoncé’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” just hours ago, commenting on everything from her fierce runs to those gorgeous green earrings. But is there such a thing as “too good to be true”? According to the London Times, Bey opted to go with a backing track and chose to lip-synch the song rather than perform it live on the Capitol lawn. Photos posted to her official Instagram reveal what we originally thought were rehearsals with the Marine Corp Band on Sunday, but an official spokeswoman for the band tells the UK paper that Bey decided to use this studio version “shortly before her performance.” “A backing track? Really?” asks the otherwise flawless Kelly Clarkson.
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.
Not only is Monday the climax of your three-day weekend, it’s an important moment in American history. Barack Obama will officially take office for his second term as President of the United States, with all sorts of pomp and circumstance that demands your full attention–so you can tell your friends and family members that you are sitting at home in your jammies in the name of patriotism. Plus, Beyoncé will be there.
Yes, you did it again, team!
Now that 2012 is firmly in the rearviewmirror, it’s time to look forward with hope and optimism as to what the year 2013 holds in store for music fans like us. Considering that we’re not even three weeks into January and we’ve already been blessed with two delightful surprises —A new Destiny’s Child song! A new Timberlake jam!— we feel confident that this is going to be another banner year filled with an abundance of both monster pop smashes and crossover gems.
With that in mind, the VH1 Tuner team has put together this list of 13 of our most anticipated albums for 2013, which includes a healthy mix of familiar faces (Beyoncé, Lady Gaga) and artists on the come-up (Big Sean, Diane Birch), brought to you in the order of when we expect them to release their new material.
Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob (Expected Release Date: January 29): Sisters Tegan and Sara Quin have long been staples at alternative radio, but the synth-driven Heartthrob appears like it might be the LP that finally breaks them into the mainstream consciousness. “We really look at this as an opportunity to stretch into a world that we’ve been just outside of for a long time,” Sara recently told our VH1 News crew, and one listen to the album’s lead single, “Closer,” seems to be indicative of the fact that they’ve reached their goal.—Mark Graham
It will never not be sad remembering the great Aaliyah whose life was taken far too soon in the tragic plane crash in 2001. Today the R&B singer with such an angelic voice would’ve turned 34. VH1 re-aired Aaliyah’s 2001 Behind The Music with new interviews including her dear friend Missy Elliott. During the hour special you’re reminded why her life and music touched people in the way it did. Aaliyah was the voice of a new generation of women while not alienating men. Read more…
Life Is But a Dream, the forthcoming HBO documentary written, produced and starring Beyoncé, is the perfect subject to satisfy the needs of any pop culture viewing party during the off weekend between the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. Suggested party attire includes, but is not limited to: leotards, heels and anything with the Brooklyn Nets logo.
Along with entertainment value, the project is also the 31-year-old superstar’s attempt to slightly debunk the notion of perfection so many photo spreads and carefully calibrated interviews have created, or at the very least get us to believe that famous people have occasional moments of self-doubt and/or eat junk food on camera. Bug-eyed shots of Beyoncé pontificating out loud illustrate the personal testaments that she, too, feels insecure, particularly when forced to conform an ever-expanding, baby vessel into tiny stage ensembles. It is painful, we’re sure, but is it enough to get you to tune in?
So much for waiting for the Super Bowl. The first new Destiny’s Child single since 2005 has arrived, ready to remind the world of why they might be considered one of the greatest female groups of all-time or that Beyoncé gets far too many of the solos. “Nuclear” sneakily premiered on Mashable on Friday afternoon, making us cancel any after-work plans in exchange for launching full DC3 retrospective. (Hot Friday night, yes?) You can check out the song in full, below, but first, we’ve jotted down our initial reactions to this monumental offering.
0:01 “I love you,” Beyonce coos. No, Bey. We love YOU. And now we’re blushing. You don’t know how long we’ve been waiting for you to say that to us!
0:18 Bring the beat in. Pharrell (who produced and co-wrote, along with Michelle, James Fauntleroy and Lonny Bereal) seems to be channeling some early ’90s R&B here.
0:30 “They want to know how we keep our sh-t together.” BRB amending our “Beyonce has a potty mouth” assessment now. Destiny’s children no more!
0:43 Bey is mostly interested in “when the two become one, on a quantum level.” Who say physics isn’t sexy? We’re somewhat unconvinced by this interesting use of wordplay, but we commend Michelle for brushing up on science (don’t forget the magnets next time!) during DC3′s hiatus.
0:52 “It’s nuuuu-cleee-arrr/With youuuuuu hereee.” Three syllable words can be tricky, and is this really the most romantic or sexy of adjectives to include in a song about love? We just think of explosions (sorry!).
1:22 (Maybe it helps if you add some grunts?)
1:41 Kelly! We live for moments like this.
1:58 So, this beat is crazy good.
2:25 We are now toe-tapping and shimmying, should you need suggestions for appropriate choreography.
2:50 Finally, Michelle’s last-minute solo contribution has arrived!
3:18 Here’s where thing start to get ominous: “There’s nowhere left to run, why run, why would you run?”
3:38 And it doesn’t stop there: “Blow it all away,” ladies? Is DC3 finished? (Is this their swan song?) Do we need to worry about certain relationships? Is Blue Ivy going to have two bedrooms?! Nah, they’re probably just trying to set the mood. When you’re in love nothing else matters–or so we hear.
New music from Destiny’s Child is always welcome, and although this isn’t the empowering sound that makes us want to blow an entire paycheck on shoes just to prove our own self-worth as independent women, it’s a silky throwback that’s slowly but surely ingrained itself into our brains. But that doesn’t mean it’s the kind of track millions of drunk and rowdy football fans will want to get down to during halftime. That’s just our opinion, any way. How about you? Is this the triumphant return of Destiny’s Child you’ve been waiting patiently for? Let us know, while we go back to rehearsing “Jumpin’ Jumpin’” choreography in our cubicle.
Listen to the World Premiere of Destiny’s Child’s “Nuclear” [Mashable]
[Photo: Getty Images]
Exciting news! Those prayer circles you’ve held and the many vision boards you’ve been working on for the past seven years have finally paid off: Justin Timberlake is releasing music! Of his own! Without any ties to MySpace! (We hope.) Pause for reflection, brief celebration and be sure to clear your schedule for the next three hours of so. The new song is dropping at 12:01 p.m. EST today and you’ll clearly need a few minutes to dry your happy tears and think about what this all means.
For those who need a refresher, this is the first solo material from Timberlake since his 2006 sophomore album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, released back in a time when iPhones had yet to be invented and our minds hadn’t been cluttered by the terms “Kardashian” or “YOLO.” We’ve been teased before, but this time it sounds legit: the infrequent Twitter user posted an ominous update on Wednesday night (“Thursday, January 10th, 2013 at 9:01 am PST… “) stirring speculation that something big was on its way in just a few hours.
Weeks before Beyonce drops it low during the Super Bowl’s halftime show she has presidential matters to tend to. The avid Obama supporter will return to the president’s second inauguration to perform on stage at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. During the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball at the 2009 inauguration Bey sang Etta James‘ “At Last” while the president and First Lady slow danced. Topping “At Last” will be no easy task. Read more…
Who will honestly admit that “baddiebey” seemed like an unusual, slightly puzzling Instagram name for Beyonce? Now we know where it originated from and it makes perfect sense. Through a thank you handwritten note–yes, another one–she credits the teen girl group The OMG Girlz as the reason she chose the handle.
The trio group managed by Tameka “Tiny” Cottle (T.I.‘s wife and former Xscape member) were featured on the Ishlist 36 to countdown the 7 reasons Bey is a “baddie.” Among the seven reasons Bey reigns supreme were she can actually sing and dance, and always exhibits such grace. Now that Bey has joined the rest of the world on Tumblr and Instagram she’s made a habit of writing handwritten letters whenever she’s moved enough to do so. Frank Ocean was on the receiving end of a handwritten note after his brave transparency. Of course both President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have received congratulatory and thank you handwritten notes respectively.
It was no different for the OMG Girlz whom Bey wanted to thank personally for the kind things they said in the video. “You named my Instagram !!!FYI!!!,” she wrote. Cute concept that Bey has made all her own. But please, no more handwritten letters Bey. Let writers write while you continue dominating music.
Beyonce Credits The OMG Girlz For Naming Her ‘Baddie’ [Necole Bitchie]
[Photos: Instagram/Necole Bitchie]