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The Top 3 Performances At The 2012 BET Awards

BET Awards 2012 Whitney Houston Tribute

Yes, the royal couple of hip-hop and R&B were at last night’s BET Awards, front and center. Beyonce and Jay-Z were the second and third most nominated artists (respectively) of the night, only behind their play brother Kanye West. Although the Carters didn’t perform it was a great night for both hip-hop and R&B. Usher, Chris Brown, Melanie Fiona, Maybach Music Group crew, Nicki Minaj and countless others brought their A game. As hard as it was to choose only three, here are our top three performances from BET Awards 2012.

3. G.O.O.D. Music swerved on everybody.

Nothing gets a crowd hype like dropping the beat to one of the hottest songs of the summer. Big Sean emerges on top of a neon lit Lamborghini to the beat of “Mercy.” Pusha T delivers his verse followed by 2 Chainz. The crowd explodes when 2 Chainz hits the stage. It’s safe to say 2 Chainz is the latest rap phenomenon. Being Kanye he skips his “Mercy” verse and appears as the beat changes to “Way Too Cold.”  When he finishes his first verse, he raps an acapella freestyle before dropping the mic. It doesn’t get much better than that for an opener. Read more…

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Beyonce And Jay-Z Are Headed To The BET Awards, Will Bey Give A Surprise Tribute To Whitney Houston?

Beyonce & Jay-Z To Attend BET Awards

For the rest of the year the most anticipated moment of any music award show is going to be the Whitney Houston tribute. It’s no different with this Sunday’s BET Awards. The Associated Press reported that both Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z have been confirmed as guests for the big night. The power couple haven’t attended the award show in years. This year the Carters will be in the building ladies and gentleman. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Summer Jams: Zara Golden Picks Three Of Her Fave “Song of the Summer” Candidates

Music sounds better in the summer, everyone knows this. It gets bigger, so we can bang it from our cars; and other times it gets weirder, because the sun’s got us spinning anyways. Most of all, the promise of Labor Day —when we can put away our “Call Me Maybes” with our white pants— begs repeat listening. Thusly, if you need me, I’ll be listening to one of these Song Of The Summer this summer:

NOMINATION: Justin Bieber, “Boyfriend”
EXPLANATION: So what if it’s not really “chilling by the fire while we’re eating fondue” season? There is nothing this season so sweet as this falsetto bridge “I like to be everything you want / hey girl let me talk to you.” While being a little amateurish, his breathy rapping recalls the Ying Yang Twins’ “Whistle Song” in all the right ways; and the Justin Timberlake-like guitar picked chorus isn’t so bad, either.
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In Honor Of Father’s Day We Present A Playlist Of Songs By Dads For Their Kids

Father's Day Spotify Playlist

New dad Jay-Z hit the studio to record a dedication song to his new baby girl, Blue Ivy. Hearing the baby cry on the track made it all the more adorable. Over the years a number of daddy musicians have expressed heartfelt feelings about their kids on wax. Everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Eminem to most recently Nas. Here at VH1 we believe dads are worthy of appreciation every day of the year. However, this Sunday is the official day we celebrate the awesome dads in our lives. Hearing male artists gush over their children in a song makes our hearts melt. Enjoy the Spotify playlist of our all-time favorite songs by fathers dedicated to their children.

1. “Daughters”- Nas
Nas gets real about the difficulties of raising a teenage daughter in this soulful ode to his daughter Destiny who makes a cameo at the end of the video. Read more…

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“Scream” For Usher Using The Greatness That Is Fuerza Bruta In New Video

Usher joining forces with Fuerza Bruta for a Cirque du Soleil of sorts experience for the Looking 4 Myself listening party was both innovative and a wonderful production. It was so incredible Usher decided the video to his second single “Scream” would piece together his performances from the night of his Fuerza Bruta collaboration. If you are looking for a more concrete video that correlates with the song you may wonder what’s going on. But once you’ve made it to the end you understand why this was the perfect concept. Read more…

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Justin Bieber And Drake Want You To Know They’re “Right Here”

Justin Bieber & Drake "Right Here"

There are few things that get us more giddy than a new Justin Bieber song or album on the horizon. Luckily for us it’s officially Bieber season with Believe dropping on Tuesday, June 19. So far we’ve zoned out to “Boyfriend,” “Die in Your Arms” and “All Around the World.” Today Idolator posted a leak of “Right Here” featuring Drake, which is only a snippet of the full song. Sounding like Chris Brown, Bieber is definitely on his grown man swag despite being barely legal. Drake raps about one thing he cares a lot about–love. As a team the duo deliver a hot song.

Usher’s influence on the 18-year-old pop star is apparent in both Bieber’s sound and lyrics. It’d only make sense that Usher’s protege pick up the very things that made Usher great and apply them to his own style. Bieber’s first album as an adult sounds like it’s laced with maturity and experience. The slow ballads touch on feelings and love while the more upbeat songs deal with partying and Biebs singing, “I can take you home.” His growth into adulthood not only means he’s legal (for all the cougars out there), but it also means the content of his music has expanded. And it’s Believable.

Listen To Justin Bieber And Drake’s ‘Right Here’ [Idolator.com]

[Photo: Getty Images]

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…

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The Top 5 Most Anticipated Billboard Music Awards Performances

Billboard Music Awards 2012 Performances

The Billboard Music Awards may not be known for scandalous surprise girl-on-girl kisses like the VMAs or interesting collaborations like the Grammys, but the 2012 Billboard Music Awards is offering performances by the hottest artists of today. Carrie Underwood, Linkin Park, Nelly Furtado and Kelly Clarkson are only a few of the A-listers hitting the stage this Sunday at MGM in Las Vegas. We’re curious to find out if BMA can pull off a tribute to the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer, in just three days. Watching how artists bring their songs to life at a major award show is always exhilarating, but here’s the five singers we’re most excited to see and why.

1. John Legend and Jordin Sparks honoring Whitney Houston.

Finally, a full Whitney Houston tribute. Jennifer Hudson did an amazing job at the Grammy Awards, but we were left wanting so much more. Thanks to Billboard, our wish came true in the form of John Legend and Jordin Sparks (who actually co-starred with Houston in the remake of Sparkle). It’s no easy feat to cover The Voice’s songs for even the best vocalists in the business. We’d love to hear the two sing “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” or “How Will I Know” as they are Houston’s earlier songs that are light and fun. It was announced that Bobbi Kristina and Cissy Houston are making special guest appearances to accept awards on Houston’s behalf. Will the gospel legend sing and take everybody to church? A lot is riding on this tribute, we’re hoping they nail it. Read more…

by (@unclegrambo)

Tuned In: Usher Makes The SNL Audience “Scream”, Then “Climax”

Usher‘s new album, Looking For Myself, isn’t set to be released until June 12, but he’s already pulling out all the stops to make sure his fans know that he’s got a new collection of his patented sexytime jams on the way. Two weeks ago, he collaborated with the cast of Fuerza Bruta for a special, one-night only multimedia spectacle, and this weekend, he appeared on Saturday Night Live to perform the first two singles from the record, “Scream” (video above) and “Climax.”

“Got no drink in my hand but I’m wasted/Getting drunk on the thought of you naked,” Usher declares early on his newest club banger, “Scream.” This energetic track seems poised to join the likes of Usher’s previous smash singles like “Yeah!” and “OMG” as huge summer radio hits, while his slow-burning, Diplo-collab “Climax” —which has been out for a few months now— is currently sitting at #1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Is this going to be the Summer of Usher? We have yet to hit Memorial Day, but at this point, it sure looks like it. Read more…

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Usher Uses Aerobics, Water And Stunts For Looking for Myself Preview With Fuerza Bruta

Usher "Looking For Myself" Preview Fuerza Bruta

When musicians are preparing to release a new album, one of the necessary steps on the promotional docket is the album listening party. Most of the time, journalists and other music executives are invited to either a rented out club or a conference room at the record label headquarters to hear the new tracks. That tactic is certainly effective, but doesn’t always lend itself to really “experiencing” the music in the fullest sense of the word. Record label veteran Usher, who has been churning out albums for nearly two decades now, must’ve sat through more than a few boring listening parties over the years, so he decided to step his game up now that he’s getting ready to release his seventh studio album, Looking For Myself. Instead of holding court in some conference room somewhere, Usher instead collaborated with the off-Broadway Fuerza Bruta cast for a one time only night of interactive surprises.

This past Friday night, April 27, a group of invite-only guests gathered in the heart of NYC’s Union Square at the Daryl Roth Theater, unsure of exactly what to expect from this unlikely mash-up. For the unfamiliar, Fuerza Bruta — which is Spanish for “brute force” — is sort of reminiscent of Cirque du Soleil in that they both have incredibly athletic performers, but Fuerza differs in that there’s more crowd participation in the program. This particular show began with “Climax” blaring through the speakers, when Usher suddenly appeared on an elevated treadmill wearing a crisp white suit paired with a turquoise tie, accented with bright socks. Usher ran and ran at top speed until he was noticeably out of breath and perspiring. At first, it was unclear who or what he was running from, but then, out of nowhere, a loud “bang, bang” sound rang through our ears, and Usher fell over with a blood drenched shirt from two apparent gunshot wounds. (Perhaps at that moment he reached the climax the song alludes to?) Like Superman, he quickly jumped back to his feet, removing the shirt (thankfully he had a clean tank top underneath) and presumed running, only this time he was joined by a partner. The two ran while dodging chairs and running through paper walls.

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