Spring is here, but all these April showers may send me into a rage. Luckily our friend Meghan O’Keefe over at VH1 Celebrity reminded me that a little seasonal rain can be sexy. So today’s Face-Off is between Usher‘s “U Got It Bad” and Justin Timberlake‘s “Cry Me A River.” Read more…
So, we were sitting around the VH1.com offices, discussing the various merits of Britney’s bad-good hit “Till the World Ends,” when we remembered that pop tart Ke$ha actually wrote the song (yep, the gin-soaked starlet is a total wordsmith)! Which begged the question — how many other pop stars in their own right had penned huge smashes for other artists?
One of the men responsible for the best-selling album of all time (Thriller) turns 80 today. We’re honoring the legendary Quincy Jones by taking a look at his legacy in the music industry over the years. Read more…
No, you’re not having a nightmare. Valentine’s Day is officially here, a day when we’re encouraged to binge on cutely shaped chocolates and cry into our wine glasses. Don’t have someone special lined up this year? Me either… but we could! It’s never too late to snag someone for the night–sorry, Mom–and Usher, One Direction, Madonna, and JC Chasez are among the many famous friends who are going to show us how it’s done.
Jermaine Dupri‘s been making hits and superstars since the early 90s when you couldn’t escape hearing his voice on a record dropping the infamous “So So Def” tag. When the music mogul talks you listen. After sitting down with him here in New York City yesterday, we learned how his feelings on how the Grammys recognize hip-hop and R&B are too (un)politically correct for Twitter. Read more…
Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor are already booked to perform at President Obama’s upcoming inauguration ceremony but because there’s likely no limit to how many diverse musical offerings Barack and Michelle blast behind closed doors, even more talent has been acquired for Inauguration Weekend 2013. According to the AP, Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, Smokey Robinson and Usher have been added to the inaugural ball on Monday, January 21 as well as a children’s concert on the 19th.
Hosted by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden (there to make sure Leslie Knope doesn’t make a move on her husband) Saturday’s children’s event will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and will also feature performances from the likes of Far*East Movement, fun., John Legend, Marc Anthony, Mindless Behavior and members of the Glee cast. Despite the wide cross-section of musical talent, all eyes will be on Katy to see what political piece of clothing she could possibly wiggle herself into this time.
This year a handful of artists surprised us by up and changing their lanes. There were rap stars gone skate stars, name changes, game changes and bass drops, and (mostly!) better. Four, for example:
The Year Of 2 Chainz; or, The Most Successful Rap Name Change Ever
Nobody was more productive than Tauheed Epps in 2012, who, according to some records, tallied something like 98 singles, a BET Rookie of The Year trophy, a No. 1 album and three Grammy nominations to his new name. To his new name, 2 Chainz, that is. Prior to this year, he was going by Tity Boi, one half of Playaz Circle or “Duffle Bag Boy,” or he was simply hanging somewhere off our radar. So why the name change that wrought this best year ever? As he explained once and for all to Shade 45 — “Every single interview I do they like, ‘What’s up with the name change?’ This is the universal answer,” he said — earlier this year, the motivation for the moniker change was threefold: 1. He likes jewelry; 2. It’s more “family friendly;” and, 3. He was ready for a second act. “You know,” he said, “like 2 Chainz, second chance. So I thought that that would have a little more substance.” And what a substantive second chance it has been. 2 CHAAAAINZ!
When we began compiling our Best Songs of 2012 list, there were many differing opinions, and after briefly toying with the idea of pitting all our staff against one another in a Hunger Games fight-to-the-death scenario against the backdrop of Times Square, we conceded that the most diplomatic and least murderous thing to do would be to each submit our own list. You know, in the name of preserving a civil work environment and whatnot (not to mention our longstanding policy of avoiding contact with the human resources department). So while we didn’t battle it out in a conference room or some such nonsense, each one of us faced an internal battle — choosing our favorite songs of the year.
As far as consensus is concerned, there were 21 songs that appeared on multiple ballots, but only eight that appeared on three or more lists: Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe” (4 ballots), Frank Ocean‘s “Pyramids” (4 ballots), fun.‘s “We Are Young” (4 ballots), Gotye‘s “Somebody I Used To Know” (3 ballots), P!nk‘s “Just Give Me A Reason” (3 ballots), Usher‘s “Climax” (3 ballots), Azealia Banks‘ “212″ (3 ballots), and Miguel‘s “Adorn” (3 ballots).
(Btw, before we get into this, we’d like to note that we put together the following Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure: VH1 Staffers Pick Their Favorite Songs Of 2012. It’s sequenced in alpha order by artist first name, so we wholeheartedly recommend you hit Shuffle while listening to this 92 track playlist. Now, on with the show…)