The 8 Most Viral Music Sensations Of 2012

The days of summer beach hopping and brunching outside of lofty restaurant patios in the sun seem like only days ago. Now Christmas is two weeks away, which means 2012 is winding down and 2013 is on the horizon. VH1 Tuner is excited to present to you with a myriad of fun end-of-year lists for the rest of December, as we reflect back on the year that was. And what would 2012 be without the music YouTube phenomenons that made us laugh, scratch our head and dance? Without further ado, here’s to the rising crop of music stars (or at least popular for the moment) who can credit “going viral” for their success.

8. Austin Mahone, “Say Somethin”

He’s not the next Justin Bieber. We’re only writing it because the comparison has been made a zillion times. Austin’s teeny bopper song “Say Somethin” spread quickly in the cyber world after his popularity grew from his covers of pop stars’ hit songs. The kid’s YouTube page of 90 million views and over 500,000 subscribers ultimately led to one of his biggest opportunities to date. From YouTube sensation to opening for Taylor Swift’s her RED tour, another one bites the good ol’ YouTube dust.

7. Rap Battle Royale: Loaded Lux vs. Calicoe

One rap battle, two MCs, lyrically spar for bragging rights as the dopest rapper. This year’s most noteworthy battle birthed the infamous quote: “You gon’ get this work.” Loaded Lux and Calicoe battled for over 30 minutes in front of an anxious crowd vigilantly waiting to decide which rapper would hold the championship belt. The video quickly made its way to hip-hop sites galore where Loaded Lux’s “you gon’ get this work” had even Jay-Z tweeting the line. Shoutout to Lux for one of the hottest catchphrases of 2012.

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by (@zaragolden)

The 9 Most Unexpectedly Delightful Musical Collaborations Of 2012

The year is running down, and like everyone else, we are bundling up our most memorable musical moments from the year into a slew of Best Of’s. Before we get to the more obvious lists — the best albums, the best songs — we thought we would have a little fun. First up: 9 delightful collaborations, made all the more so for their unexpectedness. We aren’t talking Watch The Throne-style of-course-they-would team-ups, we’re talking collaborations that we couldn’t in our wildest dreams have imagined or that we thought we would never see, like — well, these nine:

9. Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars, “Safe & Sound”

Barton Hollow is totally “an indie record much cooler than mine,” but more careful observer might have predicted this unlikely but delightful collaboration, as Swift began yammering about her fellow Nashville transplants The Civil Wars on twitter long before this was even a possibility. We, however, were left breathless upon learning that one of the day’s biggest pop stars had teamed-up with one of our favorite You Oughta Know acts — and for a song for such a pivotal moment in the Hunger Games movie, no less! Joy Williams harmonizing turns Taylor’s girlish coo haunting, and John Paul White‘s patient guitar plucking gets the whole thing swirling.  See also: “The Last Time,” Taylor’s distressed duet with Gary Lightbody of Northern Ireland’s mostly absent as of late folk rock set Snow Patrol. Taylor is a slick machine when it comes to her music, and it was a surprise to see her reaching out of bounds for this one.

8. Ke$ha and Iggy Pop, “Dirty Pop”

Hard to believe as it may be given the boom box beats and all the sing-rapping that resulted, Warrior is allegedly a tribute to the genre Ke$ha loves the most: rock and roll. If you really strain your ears, you may hear some of that “old hippie rock” in the breakdown of “Die Young.” You won’t have to try so hard with “Dirty Pop,” which features Iggy Pop, a true and blue rock star and someone Ke$ha has spent a lot of time talking about through the years. The joy she must have felt the first time she heard him call her “Wild Child” on her own song is evident. See also: “2012,” K$’s duet with fellow weirdos The Flaming Lips.

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by (@zaragolden)

Taylor Swift Is Never Ever Getting A Grammy For Her Beat Boxing

Last night, Taylor Swift revived T-Swizzle for a bout of beat boxing at the Grammy Nominations Concert. Her co-host for the evening, actual rapper LL Cool J, wanted to sing Taylor’s “Mean,” but insisted that he would need a beat. “I can’t sing, so we’re even,” he reasoned, warming Taylor up to the idea. Unfortunately and despite their best efforts, we have to admit: Taylor was on the money when she wagered afterwards that she is “like, 100 percent sure” that their rework will never ever ever get them nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. It was not that good. But look, the effort was cute and they promised to have something better for February’s award ceremony, so no harm no foul? We-eeeEE!

Related: 2013 Grammy Nominations: The Complete List (In All The Categories That You Care About)
VH1 You Oughta Know Artists Score An Impressive 17 Grammy Nominations

Taylor Swift Is Not Very Good at Beatboxing [Gawker]

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by (@unclegrambo)

2013 Grammy Nominations: The Complete List (In All The Categories That You Care About)

The nominees for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards were announced in Los Angeles tonight during a live special that aired on CBS. Hosted by LL Cool J and Taylor Swift, the show featured performances from the likes of fun., Maroon 5, Ne-Yo and more. The 2013 Grammys will be broadcast on CBS February 10th at 8/7c.

This year’s nominations were dominated by a few big names: The Black KeysDan Auerbach, fun., Jay-Z, Mumford & Sons, Frank Ocean, and Kanye West top the nominations with six each; the Black Keys, Chick Corea and Miguel each garner five nods; and producer Jeff Bhasker, mastering engineer Bob Ludwig and Nas are each up for four awards. [via]

RELATED: VH1 You Oughta Know Artists Score An Impressive 16 Grammy Nominations

Here’s a (mostly) complete list of the 2013 Grammy Nominations!

The Black Keys, “Lonely Boy”
Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger”
fun., “We Are Young”
Gotye, “Somebody I Used To Know”
Frank Ocean, “Thinkin Bout You”
Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

The Black Keys, El Camino
fun., Some Nights
Mumford & Sons, Babel
Frank Ocean, Channel Orange
Jack White, Blunderbuss

Alabama Shakes
Hunter Hayes
The Lumineers
Frank Ocean

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by (@zaragolden)

Ed Sheeran Joins One Direction For “Little Things” At Madison Square Garden

If you were somewhere near midtown Manhattan and felt your ears ringing with the sound of thousands of teenage girls screaming, worry not that something terrible was going down. We have answers for you.

At some point during their headlining gig at Madison Square Garden. The dashing boys of One Direction hunkered down at the edge of the stage and plucked their way through their heart-swollen single, “Little Things.” And then, around 2:03, VH1 You Oughta Know artist Ed Sheeran — the song’s co-writer and 1D’s BFF (also, the one most likely to have hooked Harry Styles up with his new GF, Taylor Swift) — walks out and the arena’s already insistent shrieking dials up (the girl with or near the camera, for one: “There’s Ed! That’s Ed! NO WAY!”)  as he helps the boys out with one last round of the chorus. “Can we just give a massive cheer to Ed for writing that?” someone asked when it was done, as if the cheer he had already received wasn’t downright rapturous.

The only thing that might have been better? If Swift and Styles had taken their late night Backstreet Boys karaoke session to the big stage. We’re fairly certain that human ears aren’t prepared for the shrieks the fledgling lovebird’s “I Want It That Way” duet might have elicited, but can you just imagine?

One Direction & Ed Sheeran Perform “Little Things” Live At Madison Square Garden: Watch [Idolator]
Taylor Swift and Harry Styles Hold Hands After One Direction Concert [UsWeekly]

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by (@zaragolden)

Taylor Swift’s Busy Week: Ellen, The ARIA Awards, Fifi & Jules and TODAY Performances

All fall Taylor Swift has worked hard — like, her face on pizza boxes and every magazine and in your pharmacy and on your television every day hard — to promote Red‘s release, and even though she has already moved more albums than everybody not named Adele this year, she’s still keeping on working hard. This week alone she made stops at the 2012 ARIA Awards, on Fifi & Jules and TODAY in Australia, and then back stateside today on Ellen. Whew! We’re exhausted just thinking about Taylor’s schedule, but we’re definitely not tired of watching her perform. In these weeks since Red‘s release she’s been really good at mixing up her song choice, alternating between “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “Begin Again,” “Red,” “State of Grace” and “I Knew You Were Trouble,” new to the mix after last week’s American Music Awards.

All that in short: Taylor stays being all over our televisions and we stay being interested. Here’s a quick rundown of this week in Taylor Swift televised performances.

Trouble, ohhh!

by (@zaragolden)

Watch Taylor Swift Get Herself Into “Trouble” At The AMAs

Don’t let the pretty white dress and bare-lips (a rare sighting during this Red-promo round!) fool you, Taylor Swift brought plenty of “Trouble” to the American Music Awards tonight. Performing it for the first time live, tonight’s mix of the Red standout came complete with some digi hand-clapping and an orchestral undertow that the album version doesn’t have, but all the same charge when the “oh oohs” come in and the bass drops. And for the song’s final act, Taylor stripped her flouncy white dress to reveal a red and black corseted dress. Trouble? Throw in some close dancing with her masked men and a little writhing and oh, ohh, yes — this is certainly a place Tayor has never been, and we think we like it?

by (@zaragolden)

Taylor Swift Dressed Like Joni Mitchell And Found Her “State Of Grace” On The X-Factor

Last night on The X FactorTaylor Swift traded the top hat she donned for the MTV European Music Awards last weekend for a fedora; and rather then her go-to as of late, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” she opted to perform Red stand-out “State of Grace.” She stood alone at center stage –  looking, we might add, a whole lot like Joni Mitchell, who she is rumored to be playing in an upcoming biopic — for a quiet first verse, while the audience shrieked impatiently. At the first chorus the song blows out into something much bigger, and the lights flashed on behind and she really, really began to sing. There were a few moments where her voice sounded a little shaky, but by the time she got around to explaining that “this is a worthwhile fight” while the lights flickered behind her, we were in full agreement that this just might be her golden age, good and right and real.

“State of Grace” may not be as obviously radio friendly as “Never Ever” or “I Knew You Were Trouble,” but this first live performance of it proved that it’s a sure crowd pleaser. What did you think of Taylor’s Joni Mitchell style? Do you think “State of Grace” could be a single?

Taylor Swift Performs “State Of Grace” Live On ‘The X Factor’: Watch [Idolator]

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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: