It’s been an incredible season of Behind The Music so far, with powerful episodes featuring the likes of Aaliyah, T-Pain, Game, Pitbull, and Nelly. This week, we put the spotlight on Akon, the multi-platinum recording artist who spent his formative years in Senegal.
In this exclusive preview of the show’s first act, we trace Akon’s roots growing up as the son of a famous musician, which led him to meet a teenage Michael Jackson when he was only 5 years-old. His world got turned upside down when he moved to America at the age of 7, where he was treated like an outcast and bullied because of his heritage, which ultimately led him down some dark paths as a youngster. However, he overcame the odds and turned his life around, eventually hooking up with Wyclef Jean and The Fugees. As Akon himself puts it in the clip above, “I love the fact that music is the vehicle to allow me to do what I’m doin’, because that’s all I’m in for: Changing the world.”
You can watch Behind The Music: Akon when it airs tomorrow night, Wednesday, April 11, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Read more…
In this week’s episode of Behind The Music, we takes a look back at the brief yet remarkable career of Aaliyah, whose life was cut tragically short at the tender age of 22 when her plane crashed shortly after takeoff in the Bahamas.
This episode, which originally aired back in 2001, has been updated with brand new and never before seen interviews, including her friend and mentor, Missy Elliott. This special sneak preview of the entire first act of the show features some incredible footage of Aaliyah, who couldn’t have been more than 10 at the time, singing a haunting cover of Gloria Estefan’s “Anything For You,” as well as a candid interview with Aaliyah herself about how her Star Search molded her into the performer that she would one day become.
Tune-in to VH1 tomorrow night, Thursday, April 5 to catch the full episode of Behind The Music: Aaliyah when it airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
If you weren’t a TLC fan in the 90s, you were either asleep for a decade or not born yet, and for both we’re willing to forgive you (and we hope you’re well-rested or enjoying your youth, respectively). Needless to say, we were massive TLC creeps and still are, so we’re pretty excited that our network, in collaboration with surviving band members, Chilli and T-Boz, have announced they’ll be making a scripted TLC bio-pic that will air on VH1. Obviously, we’re absolutely thrilled at the news, and have already started speculating as to what events in the history of TLC that this highly anticipated movie will cover. For now, though, we’re going to play casting director and make some suggestions as to who should play the some of the CraziestSexiestCoolest singers in music history…
CHILLI – SOLANGE KNOWLES
Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas was the quiet one, as far as quiet goes when you’re part of TLC. Solange is much the same, the quiet sister, or as quiet as a sister can be when she’s a Knowles. Not to be confused with shy, Chilli has this cool nonchalance that made her slightly enigmatic with this completely intriguing, subtle sex appeal. And she still had attitude, buckets of it — but she gave you this sense that she wasn’t giving you everything, although what she was giving was so beguiling you were always hankering for more. Enter Solange, whose soft harmonies we’d love to hear accompanying T-Boz’s gravelly voice. Both women give the impression that there’s so much more to them than meets the eye…
Miranda Lambert may have a forthcoming album (Four The Record, due out November 1) and a moderately successful side project (Pistol Annies, whose album Hell On Heels was released last week) but she continues to face charges (in so many words) of breaking up the first marriage of her husband Blake Shelton. As those who are well-versed in country lore know, Lambert met Shelton on June 8, 2005, when they sang “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” for the CMT special 100 Greatest Duets. In Lambert’s episode from this season of Behind the Music (available to stream in full on our site), she, her family, and Shelton talked about the unforgettable performance. “Looking back on that,” Shelton said, “I was falling in love with her, right there on stage”?and it’s plain to see. The problem? “I was a married guy, you know?” (Shelton had married his high school sweetheart Kaynette Williams two years earlier.) “Standing up there and singing with somebody and going, ‘Man, this shouldn?t be happening.’”
Last night when Lambert appeared on Dateline, she faced a similar line of questioning from Hoda Kotb, and she stuck to her story?that sparks flew during the 2005 special, but that she kept her distance until Shelton was divorced. “I had seen their wedding picture in Country Weekly,” she told Kotb. “I knew better, like, this is off limits. My parents are private investigators, for God?s sake. I?ve seen this my whole life?affairs. Of all people to know better, I know better than this.”
With specials focused on the lives and careers of music industry powerhouses like Adam Lambert, Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, it’s been quite an outstanding season of Behind The Music thus far. That hot streak continues this weekend with the premiere of Behind The Music: Ricky Martin (which, sadly, is the last episode of this season).
In this special sneak preview from the show that debuts this Sunday, August 14, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, international superstar Ricky Martin finally seems to be at peace. After having to deal with gossipmongers trying to reveal secrets about his sexuality ever since he rose to fame as a member of Menudo, he’s now living his life openly and honestly. He’s been in a steady relationship with Puerto Rican financier Carlos Gonzalez, which has helped give him the strength to lead the fight for equality on both the sexual and cultural fronts. “Who wants to feel like a second class citizen?”, he explains. “That’s why I say about equality, ‘I don’t want more rights than you. I want the same. That’s all.’”
And with the debut of Behind The Music: Adam Lambert now just three days away—it premieres this Sunday, August 7, at 10 p.m. ET/PT—we’ve got another sneak to share with you. In the video above, Adam discusses the early stages of when he “realized that I was probably not the same as the other boys.? This was around the time that he was 12, and he confesses that “to me, it was a deep secret … I didn?t know how my parents would react, and I didn?t know what that would be like, and I think, at at that age, it was something that I was ashamed of because it was so different.” For Glamberts the world over, this is a special not-to-be missed.
In this sneak peek that we shared exclusively with EW’s Music Mix, Enrique Iglesias recalls the overnight celebrity (especially among women) that accompanied the year following the release of his eponymous debut in November 1995. The record sold over nearly two million copies in the United States alone, going platinum faster even than Selena‘s Amor Prohibido. In both new and archival interviews, Iglesias discusses the magnitude and intensity of female attention that attended his newfound fame. (“Before I was a singer, I was getting dumped all the time,” he recalled in 1999.)
Others speak more frankly. Andres Restrepo, who toured with Iglesias during this period, characterized exactly how wild the mobs of female fans, hanging out of cars going upwards of fifty miles an hour, could be: “I felt like I was on a safari in Africa, getting attacked by all these lions and stuff!”
CORRECTION: The Adam Lambert episode of Behind The Music will air on Sunday, August 7, not Sunday, July 30 as originally stated.
The next episode of Behind The Music, premiering Sunday, August 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, looks into the life of American Idol star Adam Lambert. In this sneak peek, Lambert talks about his behind-the-scenes struggle with the public debate about his sexuality?and his inability to respond, thanks to the Idol contestant contract, which forbids contestants from giving one-on-one interviews before the competition is over.
This episode is sure to be a highlight of an already great season, so don’t miss it!
Behind The Music is moving to Sundays starting with this week’s premiere of the can’t-miss Mary J. Blige episode. In this sneak peek, Blige reveals how her budding romance with now-husband Kendu Isaacs inspired her to combat her worsening alcohol abuse. “The best thing you can do to me? Challenge me to challenge myself,” she says, and that’s exactly what Isaacs apparently did for her. She attributes her success to “willpower” and “prayer,” and admits, “It was hard.”
Make sure to catch the full episode on Behind The Music‘s new night, Sunday, July 24th at 10 p.m. ET/PT.