By Kara Warner
We're a little biased here at MTV News, but throughout the course of its 28 years in existence, the MTV Video Music Awards have provided music fans with some of the most memorable moments in award-show and pop-culture history. As part of our countdown to the 2012 VMAs, which air live on Thursday, September 6, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, we've been looking back at some of the show's best and brightest moments and asking our readers to choose their favorite moments in categories like Hottest VMA Debut and today's subject: Most Epic VMA Moment.
Now, because of the sheer number of epic VMA moments in the show's storied history, we narrowed the polling field to encompass the most memorable performance moments in the last five years. What makes a VMA moment truly epic? Is it the number of performers or guests you can manage to fit onstage? Is it theatrics? The emotional message behind the performance? The raw display of original and undisputable talent? YOU get to decide what "Epic VMA Moment" means to you.
If you're into epic collaborations, Timbaland's 2007 end-of-show number that featured Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, Keri Hilson, D.O.E. and Sebastian might get your vote. If you're into jaw-dropping, high-flying acrobatics as demonstrated by Pink during her 2009 performance of "Sober," then she'll get your vote. If epic means "heart-wrenching storytelling by song" for you, then Eminem and Rihanna's emotional performance of "Love the Way You Lie" should win your vote.
Now it's your turn to tell us which moment has been the most unforgettable and epic in the last five years. Cast your vote and be sure to check back for results on AMTV Wednesday, September 5.
Tonight, a very different kind of reality singing competition debuts on the Hub. On "Majors & Minors," 12 talented young performers get the chance to be mentored by some of the biggest and most established artists in music, including Leona Lewis, Jordin Sparks, Avril Lavigne, Sean Kingston, One Republic's Ryan Tedder, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson and will.i.am. The kids range in age kids ages 10-16, and though no one is ever voted off the series, one lucky kid will score a recording deal with RCA/Jive and be featured in a cross-country concert tour.
The series' first mentor is Grammy-winner Brandy, and we were lucky enough to talk to the R&B songbird about the show and even got some early news on her buzzed-about upcoming album.
"I was blown away by the idea and they are celebrating kids and their art and their journey into becoming, you know, the artists they already are within, and it just took me back to my youth, 15-years-old trying to become a great artist and I immediately wanted to get involved," Brandy told MTV News about the show. "When I met the kids I was just completely blown away, just really moved very deeply. And from there, I just wanted to stay as involved as I could because I wanted to be a part of their experience. I actually wanted to see them grow and how far they will go and how far they have come, so far, has been so amazing."
The pop star admitted that, for her, one of the reasons she was so drawn to "Majors & Minors" was because it celebrates the contestants' talent and provides constructive criticism without being overly judgmental, something many other reality competitions thrive on. It's a topic Brandy has plenty of experience with, having been a judge on "America's got Talent" and a contestant on "Dancing With The Stars."
Read on for more of our interview and for an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip from "Majors & Minors." Read More...
"I'm lovin' what you're doing," Demi Lovato proclaims on her latest released track, "Up All Night," off her album Unbroken, which drops in just a few days.
In addition to Demi's sassy, flirty self, the song also features Timbaland and Missy Elliott, who also produced/wrote the song for the pop princess. The track isn't bubble gum pop. It's a pure R&B party jam that would sound perfect on 90's radio.
The track's chorus is super infectious and fun. Demi tells her love interest, "Don't make plans / Come home we'll stay up all night long / I want you bad / Let's keep the party going all night long." Her vocals play well with Tim's vocoded beat box that runs through the entire track. And, Demi's sassy lyrics are only matched by Missy's sassier rhyme, where she spits lines like "You talking how I like / You play daddy, I'll play wife."
While it's certainly a step toward a more mature sound for the 19-year-old, she recently insisted to MTV News that her sound is still intended for her fans of all ages. "The song that Missy and I did together, Timbaland's actually on it, too, and it's fun," she said. "It's about staying up all night long and singing it to the boy that you like, and it's flirty and fun and it's not too grown-up, but it's grown-up enough." Read More...
By Zachary Swickey
Thanks to the lyrical abilities of rhyme-spitters like Lil Wayne, Kanye West and Jay-Z, the rap game is alive and well in 2011. Weezy is reportedly on track to sell around 850-900k copies of Tha Carter IV, and Watch the Throne is one of rap’s most talked about albums ever (not to mention it’s pretty damn good). With such astute rappers in today’s fast-paced music world, it’s easy to forget some of the past heavy-hitters.
Some rappers inexplicably lose their luster or disappear from the public eye altogether, but occasionally they revive their careers from the grave. Take Dr. Dre, for example. The Doc released the legendary hip-hop album The Chronic way back in ’92, but his career was basically nonexistent for most of the mid-to-late 90s. That is until he met a lanky white boy from Detroit named Eminem. Finally, seven years later – after signing one of rap’s hottest new artists – he released his follow up, 2001, which was a huge success, selling more than twice as many copies as his debut. And who knows, maybe the doctor will have yet another comeback with the eventual release of his third album, Detox, which is quickly becoming the Chinese Democracy of rap.
There are several rappers who we’d like to strongly encourage dusting the cobwebs off their mic and giving us the swagger-filled comeback albums we’re hurting for. Here are the top five hip-hop comebacks that we find ourselves craving the most. Read More...
In a sea of events related to the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards (which, if you haven’t heard happen THIS SUNDAY), MTV News took some time out of the VMA schedule to catch up with Demi Lovato in Santa Monica, where she was holding a meet and greet for her fans.
We knew fans would show up for the chance to catch up with the star, but we didn’t know it would be THAT MANY! Fans lined up for blocks and blocks for the chance to meet their favorite singer and get their picture taken with her. While her hit ballad “Skyscraper” played in the background, Demi took time out to talk to her loyal devotees who have stuck by her through thick and thin.
Post-event, Demi spoke to MTV News about everything: her new album, working with the legendary Missy Elliot and Timbaland and, of course, her fans. “I had just really found out about the in-store like a week ago so we just told the fans just a few days ago and then there was fans lined up blocks outside the in-store so I was really, really thankful and really, really surprised and it turned out to be a really awesome turn out,” she dished. “So I was really, really excited.” Read More...
Proof that Demi Lovato is stepping up her music game appeared when producer/rapper/collaborator extraordinare posted this photo above to his Twitter account (and special thanks to our pals at Buzzworthy for pinging this to us in the newsroom).
Timbaland tweeted, "me and demi @demilovato workin on a hit baby!" Buzzworthy pals were quick to note that photo was snapped in front of what seems like an endless supply of platinum records. Nice catch (and maybe extra inspiration for Lovato). Read More...
Demi Lovato is working hard on her new, as-yet-untitled album. The first single from the Sept. 20 release, “Skyscraper,” dropped earlier this month and was a hit with fans and supporters of the recovering young singer, debuting in the Billboard top ten. Its buzzed-about video was directed by Mark Pellington, the man behind clips from Alice in Chains, Bruce Springsteen, INXS, Nine Inch Nails, Public Enemy and, most famously, Pearl Jam’s 1993 MTV VMA Best Video-winning “Jeremy.”
So that’s weird (in a good way)!
The former Disney diva is currently in the studio working on tracks with Timbaland and Missy Elliott. That’s right, not Dr. Luke or RedOne or The-Dream … Timbaland and Missy Elliott. (Which is also kind of strange, isn’t it?)
These guys are pros, of course, and are sure to deliver the goods, but the entire endeavor feels straight out of the early aughts. Maybe that’s what she’s going for? After years of crafting very successful teen pop, Lovato is ready to change things up, and let’s face it, moving from the “Camp Rock” soundtrack to a Dr. Luke jam isn’t much of a change. (It’s pretty much the same trajectory Britney Spears et al took after leaving their Disney days behind … except the Dr. Luke of 1999 was Max Martin.) So she decided to go in a different direction. Go, Demi!
But it got us thinking about where young Lovato was when her most recent collaborators were first making their mark on the music industry. Let’s take a look. Read More...
Timbaland and Missy Elliott are kind of a dream team, having put their spastic, edgy stamp on artists like Aaliyah and Destiny's Child. So when Demi Lovato tweeted on Monday night that she was hitting the studio with them, her fans responded with delight that the "Skyscraper" singer was working with the two masterminds on her September release.
"@ddlovato Nice meeting u at the studio tonight! I know ya gonna do ya thang! Working the late hrs! Lol Have fun!" Missy tweeted after the late night jam fest, before taking some questions from fans about what it was like working with the singer.
"@DaRealsebastian she cool peeps! Like we go way bk! Lol! Sweet person! Very talented! Thanks 4 introducing us G!" she told one fan. She also shared, "@ddlovatofan55 Thank u LOVATICS! I C yall *BIGHUGS* 2 all yall!" And had this nugget, "@ddlovatofan55 yes she is very talented. And cool peeps!"
Timbaland was equally enchanted by the singer and what she brought to the session, even sharing that the pair had recorded vocals for the track. "4 this demi and timbo duet yall really need 2 thank my brother @darealsebastian and @byrd757 4 makin this happen. now lets make history," he wrote on Twitter. "yo @ddlovato you killed dat song i gave u. i just pick 2 more for you from one of the producer out my camp @wizz_dumb for u to do 2morrow."
So, how did the song turn out? Read More...
A few weeks ago, Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary took to Twitter to announce that the Queen of Pop was about to hit the studio to begin work on her twelfth studio album – her first since 2008’s Hard Candy. At the time, we had a few suggestions for Madge. We recommended she A.) stay away from “hot” producers like RedOne or Dr. Luke, B.) make some real dance music, and C.) use the ups and downs of the last few years to write about something substantial.
And guess what? She’s taking our advice!
Oseary tweeted that Her Madgesty began work on the untitled album on the Fourth of July. Now the first producer has been named and he’s someone to get excited about: Martin Solveig. Solveig is a French electronic music DJ and producer best known for work with Canadian electropop group Dragonette and the song “Hello,” which became a hit in the U.S. after being featured in commercials for Trident.
Remember what happened the last time Madonna worked with a lesser-known French DJ? Music happened. Read More...
Madonna’s manager, Guy Oseary, took to Twitter yesterday to announce that the Queen of Pop would be hitting the studio next month to begin work on her twelfth studio album – her first since 2008’s Hard Candy. “Madonna goes into the recording studio next month to begin work on new album,” he wrote. Soon after, a fan asked who M would be hitting the studio with, and Oseary responded, saying, “She has a good idea on which producers she will be working with.”
He did not elaborate further.
Which got us thinking about what we’d like to hear from the pop trendsetter who’s done it all. More than 28 years into her record shattering career, Madonna really doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone – she’s the top-selling female artist ever, has had more top ten hits than Elvis (or anyone else, alive or dead) and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. But with Lady Gaga hotter on her heels than any other diva who’s made a play for her throne, Madge does have a reason to put out a killer album.
As longtime fans, we know what has and hasn’t worked for Madonna over the years. Read on for our thought on how she should approach her next record. Read More...