by (@unclegrambo)

Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” Is The 2011 VH1 Song Of The Summer

For the last 14 weeks, we’ve been tracking the race to see which track would become this year’s Song Of The Summer. Since people consume music in so many different ways these days, our goal was to put together a democratic formula that compared how a group of over 70 songs performed across five of the primary channels that people frequently use to listen to their favorite jams: the Billboard Hot 100 (radio play & sales), the iTunes charts (pure sales), Last.fm scrobbles (listening on computer and mobile devices), the YouTube music charts (streams) and, of course, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown. Each week, we tracked how our group of competitors fared in each of these different platforms, and then added up the results.

So, without any further ado, we are psyched to announce that Katy Perry has taken home the first place prize in VH1′s first annual Song Of The Summer competition! When the summer began, it looked like Adele‘s “Rolling In The Deep” was going to be an unstoppable force, but as soon as Katy dropped her 80s-tastic “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” video during the week of June 27th, she dominated the countdown from there on out. Katy was gracious enough to film an quick speech for us while she accepted our totally awesome Song Of The Summer trophy, which we’ve got for you above.

For you completists, here is our final Song Of The Summer countdown chart (that is, until Memorial Day 2012 rolls around!). And you’re on Spotify, you can subscribe to our VH1 Song Of The Summer 2011 playlist and re-live the summer whenever you want.


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by (@unclegrambo)

Song Of The Summer Countdown: Adam Levine Reaps The Benefits Of His TV Hosting Gig

At this time last year, hopes for Maroon 5‘s third studio album, Hands All Over, were high. The lead single, “Misery,” had hit #1 on Billboard‘s Adult Pop chart, and since the band had convinced famed superproducer Robert “Mutt” Lange to come out of semi-retirement to produce their album, everyone looked for the band to take the leap from a well-liked, fairly popular M.O.R. band to the next level and a spot among the world’s most commercially successful bands. However, once the album finally hit streets in October 2010, the masses shrugged their shoulders and largely ignored the album. The record was certified gold by the RIAA for shipping over 500,000 copies, but worldwide sales stalled out at just 529,000 total units.

Perceived failures like this have sunk many a band in the past, but thanks to charismatic frontman Adam Levine and ten weeks of national TV exposure courtesy of NBC/Universal’s The Voice (corporate synergy at its finest!), the band has totally reversed their fortunes in less than a year. Their new track, “Moves Like Jagger,” hit #1 on the iTunes chart this week, and Levine’s featured hook on Gym Class Heroes“Stereo Hearts” propelled the song to a Top 20 finish in this week’s Song Of The Summer countdown. No wonder artists like Mariah Carey (The X-Factor), Sara Bareilles (The Sing Off) and more are looking to land prime positions as judges on televised singing competition shows; it’s exactly the kind of exposure to Middle America that the flagging music business is no longer in a position to give these artists using “traditional” music channels. As Maroon 5 has proved, it’s great work if you can get it!

As for the rest of our Song Of The Summer chart —only two more weeks until we crown a champion!— kudos to Katy Perry for her ninth consecutive week in the #1 spot.


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American Idol Producer Responds To Adam Levine’s Idol Closet Claim

Earlier this week Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine (of late a judge on NBC’s The Voice) went off on American Idol for not allowing contestants to be openly gay on the show. It didn’t take long for someone at Idol?producer Nigel Lythgoe, talking to Entertainment Weekly about the Emmys?to fire back. “There?s no reason that I would see why anybody that goes on television should start coming out with who they are, what they are, what their sexuality is, who they’re going to vote for or what their religion is,” the producer told James Hibberd when asked about Levine’s comments.

Lythgoe’s plea for privacy rings true, but it doesn’t address the particulars of the situation. Specifically, his claim, “If somebody wants to say they’re gay, it’s up to them” contradicts what Idol contestant Adam Lambert has said. In his episode of Behind The Music, Lambert recalls reading Mark Harris‘s cover story (coincidentally, for Entertainment Weekly) and wondering in regards to its speculation on his sexuality, “Why does it matter? But I guess it does.” (In this he agrees with Lythgoe.) But he goes on to claim that he was contractually unable to respond except on Idol or in an Idol-sanctioned group interview. So to an extend it wasn’t really “up to him.” We hardly expect Lythgoe to respond to a question he was not asked, but his remarks nevertheless fail to adequately defend the show from Levine’s criticisms.

Idol Producer Talks Emmy Odds, X-Factor, Openly Gay Contestants [EW Inside TV]

[Image: Getty Images]

by (@unclegrambo)

Last Lap: Tuesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

DEAD JUGGALO FOUND IN OHIO RIVER AND OTHER LESS HARROWING GATHERING OF THE JUGGALOS UPDATES
The body of a 24 year-old Insane Clown Posse fan was found in a section of the Ohio River located in Western Kentucky on Sunday afternoon. He was wearing a Gathering Of The Juggalos wristband, which leads the Kentucky state police to surmise that he was attending the festival. Meanwhile, over at Deadspin, writer Emma Carmichael went undercover and transformed herself into a Juggalette and traveled to Cave-in-Rock, Illinois this weekend; she just published a hilarious and fascinating exposé of the festival largely comprised of “t*tties and drugs.” [Rolling Stone, Deadspin]

BLACK SABBATH PLANS REUNION TOUR, STUDIO ALBUM
Don’t call it a comeback! Original Black Sabbath members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward have reunited. Since the band’s split in 1979, Geezer has actually become a geezer, which is something we suppose is both ironic and inevitable. Nobody is talking about how much money they’re getting to do this, but we imagine it’s a lot. [Birmingham Mail via The Quietus]

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by (@unclegrambo)

Song Of The Summer Countdown: Foster The People Make A Late Run For The Crown

With only three more weeks left in our 2011 Song Of The Summer Countdown, sadly, there’s little drama left as to who will take home the crown. For the eighth consecutive week, Katy Perry‘s saxoriffic “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” is sitting atop our charts, closely followed by LMFAO‘s “Party Rock Anthem” (which, as we wrote last week, could make its own claim for S.O.T.S.). However, don’t count out Foster The People quite yet!

The You Oughta Know artist’s single, “Pumped Up Kicks,” has been making an impressive late summer run at the top spot. It first entered our charts back on July 11, but buoyed by a standout set at this year’s Lollapalooza festival, the first single off the band’s Torches LP seems to have really captured the attention of the nation. Will they be able to unseat either Perry or LMFAO before Labor Day rolls around?


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by (@Lacezilla)

Gym Class Heroes Return To Warm Our “Stereo Hearts”

Get More: Gym Class Heroes, Top 20 Countdown, Stereo Hearts, Music Videos

Currently creeping its way up the iTunes and pop radio charts, Gym Class Heroes’ debut single off of The Papercut Chronicles II now has a video! After a three-year hiatus, Travie, Disashi, Eric and Matt are back at it with “Stereo Hearts,” attempting to tug at our heartstrings via the alternative hip-hop sound that first met our ears on “Cupid’s Chokehold” in 2006, a video which included a then-unknown Katy Perry. In this Top 20 Video Countdownpremiere video, the band’s shadows come alive and help bring to life their sonic palate, ever-present while the clip incorporates imagery that spans breakdancing and The BeatlesAbbey Road references.

Front man Travie McCoy’s verses on “Stereo Hearts” sort of remind us of a 2011 take on 50 Cent’s “21 Questions,” gauging a lover’s loyalty, but doing so while feeding the stereo/love analogy that’s sweetly woven into the song. And even though we’re talking about boomboxes here, Maroon 5′s Adam Levine is transmitted through television screens in the window of a pawn shop in the vid, singing the chorus that will most assuredly get stuck in your head. With the sun shining brightly and leaves on the ground, this visual is seasonally appropriate and perfect for the transition from summer to autumn, the latter of which is precisely when their fifth studio LP drops.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Song Of The Summer Countdown: LMFAO Puts Up An Argument That They, Not Katy Perry, Have The Song Of The Summer

Electro-sleaze goofballs LMFAO are, at this moment, the only thing standing between Katy Perry and the history books. As we told you last week, their smash single “Party Rock Anthem” is blocking “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” from ascending to the top of the Billboard 100 chart (which would be Perry’s fifth Number One off her Teenage Dream LP). LMFAO is also currently besting Perry on the YouTube and iTunes charts, while Katy is maintaining dominance on Last.fm as well as airplay on our station. And our friends over at New York Magazine‘s Vulture just named “Party Rock Anthem”—a song they described as “a contrived, effective bit of nonsense about how ‘everybody?s gonna have a good time’”—as their current Song of the Summer.

Despite this onslaught from the progeny of Motown records founder Berry Gordy, our highly scientific formula still shows Perry atop our charts for the seventh consecutive week. While it will be incredibly difficult to topple her, it’s good to see Foster The People making a run at the Top Five. After a standout performance at Lollapalooza this weekend, their outstanding single “Pumped Up Kicks” is quickly climbing the charts; if the word “alternative” still carried any weight as a genre, there’s little doubt that Mark Foster could lay claim to the “alternative” Song of the Summer crown.


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Last Lap: Tuesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

“Moves Like Jagger” Video Premieres Online
Lots of quick cuts between file footage of Jagger himself, performance clips of Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera, a number of mostly-female, mostly-scantily-clad Jagger impersonators dancing?was that a boob? This one’s not going to clear our standards board without edits. [YouTube]

Sony Warehouse Packed With Independent Labels’ Stock Burns In North London
One of the many and far-reaching consequences of the civil unrest in the United Kingdom is the effect the destruction of a distribution warehouse will have on the independent labels who housed stock there. A follow-up report by Pitchfork suggests that physical losses will be covered by insurance, but many labels (listed in full in both reports) will simply not have physical stock to sell for the foreseeable future. [The Guardian]
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by (@unclegrambo)

New Sing-Off Judge Sara Bareilles Looks To Cee Lo As Her Reality Show Role Model

When NBC’s a capella singing competition The Sing-Off returns this fall, there will be some changes to the judging panel since the series last aired. With Nicole Scherzinger departing for a spot on Simon Cowell’s X-Factor panel, the Peacock Network made the wise decision that longtime VH1 fave Sara Bareilles was the perfect person to join Ben Folds and Boyz II Men‘s Shawn Stockman on the judging panel. Once we heard the news, we decided to give Sara a ring to congratulate her. We caught up with her by phone this afternoon while she was in Missoula, Montana, preparing for a sold-out show this evening. Sara spoke to us about whether her judging style on The Sing-Off will lean more towards Simon or Paula, her new “old soul/kind of Motown feeling” EP that she’s about to record with Ben Folds in the fall, and what director Jonah Hill brought to the next video she’s going to make for her single, “Gonna Get Over You.” (Hint: It may have a “kind of a ’50s greaser vibe.”)

VH1: When did you first hear that becoming a judge on The Sing-Off might be a possibility, and what was it about the project that appealed to you?

Sara Bareilles: I’ve been a fan of the show since the beginning, so it was really exciting to me to have the opportunity to even be considered as a potential judge. A couple of weeks ago, my manager came to me to gauge my interest in doing it. And I was like, “Oh my God, yes, of course.” Then I had a meeting with the executive producers, who are super sweet, and it felt like I was a really good fit for the show. Because I have a background in a capella, it just felt like a very organic, natural, worlds colliding kind of thing. It’s very exciting.

Did you ever harbor any desire to be on television in any capacity other than as a performer?

It didn’t really cross my mind until this show. This is the only way I would sort of consider it, because I can bring something to the show in terms of a level of expertise with a capella performing. I get a little nervous about being put in the position of having to judge people, but I know from experience that we can always improve in our craft. I really love getting constructive criticism from people I respect when it’s put in a good way. To me, it’s all about how you phrase things and how you deliver your opinions. It’s something that I’m going to have to feel out and test the waters a little bit, but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. The best part is that I still get to watch the show, but now I get to watch it closer.

If you were to describe your judging style, would you say you?re more of a Simon or a Paula?

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Last Lap: Friday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

“MOVES LIKE JAGGER” VIDEO TO FEATURE JAGGER
According to Adam Levine, Mick Jagger himself will appear in the music video for “Moves Like Jagger.” We wrote a treatment, which the band can have free of charge: Jagger teaches the members of Maroon 5 (and Christina Aguilera, of course) the “moves” from his David Bowie duet video “Dancing in the Street.” [Rolling Stone]

NSFW OF THE DAY
Lloyd‘s new album King of Hearts dropped on Tuesday, and he’s already got a video for lead single “Cupid,” but today he premiered a new video for “Naked.” Don’t expect this one to play on television, though: it’s just Kamille Leai, aka Hot Wings from Real Chance of Love, being naked for over five minutes of the 5:22 running time. The camera angles keep the clip mostly PG-13-by-technicality, but we are talking about a video in which she takes a bath, and then takes a shower for good measure (before sexting with Lloyd, who doesn’t even appear in the video). If only this video had premiered a week ago! We could have made a good “teaser” pun. [Rap Radar]

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