This weekend in Pilton, England, the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts thrilled more than 170,000 festivalgoers with sets from Coldplay, U2, Beyonce, Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, Morissey, Wu-Tang Clan, Paul Simon, Fleet Foxes, Bright Eyes, Lykke Li, Kesha, Cee-Lo Green, Big Boi, Crystal Castles and hundreds of other big-name musicians.
Founded by Michael Eavis, a now 75-year-old dairy farmer who had the idea after seeing Led Zeppelin perform at a music festival, Glastonbury has become one of the biggest festivals in the world and routinely lands some of the biggest stars in music as headliners.
The reviews for this year’s fest are in and apparently it was a banner year over in jolly ole England. Had there been a roof over the outdoor fest, it seems Beyonce would have blown it off. Check Queen B out above and read on for more action from Glastonbury. Read More...
Beyonce’s hotly anticipated new album 4 drops tomorrow, and word is that Bey has done it again. Well, kind of.
While some critics have mixed feelings about the number of ballads featured on 4, most of the reviews have skewed positive, with some outright raves sprinkled in for good measure. The Atlantic sums up 4 the best, saying, “The course of 4 documents a progression, a maturation, of Beyoncé's worldview” – apparently so much so that New York magazine posits an alternate title: I Am Sasha Happily Married and Thinking Seriously About the Joys and Tribulations of Making Long-Term Commitments in Life.
Indeed, almost every reviewer has noted that the album deals heavily with themes like commitment and the gravity of what it really means to settle down, suggesting Beyonce, now 29 and happily married to hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, is less interested in pushing broad generalizations about self-worth and its relation to independence and is now ready to examine the strength derived from being part of a team while not losing yourself in the process.
For the record, we love the album. The lyrics to some songs occasionally border on simple and she’s not breaking ground here, but you don’t get the impression that she’s really trying to either. This is top-notch R&B comfort food from the master of the game. The lack of theatrics on 4 is refreshing and the pared-down lyrics are more relatable than if she'd chosen to sing about how awesome she is (the way many singers and rappers do). You’d think it would be difficult to find common ground with Beyonce, but she’s uniquely able to connect with universally human things like love, loss, hope and her desire to leave a lasting impression. And when she does turn the tempo up, with the “Get Me Bodied”-like jam “Countdown” and “Party,” respectively, she brings a smooth groove absent from the current top 40, which has recently favored erratic Euro beats and dubstep breakdowns.
Check out a sampling of reviews below. Read More...
Beyonce, or as I like to call her, the Queen Of All Things Amazing and Sparkly, took the stage at Glastonbury on Sunday night and dazzled. She not only used it as her BET Awards performance, but once again she proved to the world how marvelous she can be. (Seriously, people, go out and buy 4.)
She also did something quite unexpected during the feisty performance. What was that? Well, read on to find out! Read More...
Here in MTV’s Newsroom, we love Beyonce. Perhaps a little too unconditionally for our own good, but that’s not the point. So it’s with a heavy heart that we report the first two singles from her much-anticipated album 4 have underperformed on the charts.
Fan reaction to the lead single, the Major Lazer-sampling “Run the World (Girls),” has been mixed (the song makes more sense in the context of the album, trust us), leading it to peak at No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100. After just eight weeks on the chart, it has already fallen to No. 64. The follow-up ballad, “Best Thing I Never Had,” isn’t fairing any better: Two weeks into its chart run, it has crept to only No. 75 after making its debut at 84.
But as those who have listened to the full record can attest, she has more than a few up-tempo jams up her sleeve to turn things around. The best has to be “Countdown,” an upbeat, horn-heavy track that is impossible to resist. It’s Beyonce at her best, and it needs to be her next single.
We’d love to embed it for your listening pleasure, but since the album hasn’t been released yet – it hits stores June 28; do what you must to prepare – there is no official source. The album leaked online earlier this month, though, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding it if you poke around the interwebs. So go find it, listen (we'll wait...) and then read on for why we think it would tear up the charts.
(Ed. Note: We do not condone the illegal downloading of music. The above link is to an MTV News article reporting on the album leak and not a downloading site. We streamed the song online, we did not download it, and our words were meant to reflect that. Perhaps they were not as clear as they should have been. Our apologies. And for the record, as mega-fans of B, we intend to buy the deluxe edition of the album so we can get not only the additional songs but the gorgeous album art as well.)
By Sterling Wong
Girls may run the world, but on the pop charts these days, Beyoncé isn't exactly running things. The diva has cemented her position as arguably the world's top female pop star, so expectations have been high for the first song off her much-anticipated fourth album, 4. But so far, her new single, "Run the World (Girls)," hasn't had an overwhelming reception, at least not by Beyoncé's meteoric standards. And last week, it was announced that the video's official release was being delayed because the singer is "perfecting it."
The song was released to iTunes nearly a month ago and it hit the top 10 for a day, before descending again. It's currently languishing at #157 on the iTunes top 200. Compare this to peers Lady Gaga and Britney whose recently released first singles, "Born This Way" and "Hold It Against Me," both shot to #1 just hours after being released to iTunes and maintained those positions for several days.
In fact, the chart performance of "Run the World (Girls)" is looking similar to that of Christina Aguilera's "Not Myself Tonight," which also fizzled upon its debut last year. (Both "Run The World" and "Not Myself Tonight" sold 77,000 downloads in their first week of digital release, maybe not the most flattering parallel.)
It seems Beyoncé and Britney Spears have a lot more in common than you might think. Sure, they're global superstars with legions of devoted fans, but aside from those few details, but that's not all these two in-demand performers share.
Let's start with the most basic: Both their names begin with the letter "B." And that brings us to our next point: They've both used the same insignia for that aforementioned letter. B seems to be using a font on a flag in her new music video that Spears once used during a performance way back when.
Also, let's not forget that both have recorded "Telephone." Brit recorded a demo version, while Beyoncé appeared on Gaga's album version of the song, and later paid homage to "Thelma and Louise" in the over-the-top video. (Not to cause any rifts in the Spears family but Brit's little sis, Jamie Lynn, was recently spotted hanging with B's "Telephone" co-conspirator Lady Gaga.) Read More...
By Angelique Smith and Kathleen Newman-Bremang
In honor of Britney Spears' return to the road, MTV takes you all the way back to 2004, when Brit last set out on her Onyx Hotel Tour.
The Jonas Brothers' road to pop-culture domination hit a rough patch this weekend. The boys' "3D Concert Experience" underperformed at the box office. Looks like Nick, Joe and Kevin will just have to settle for selling out arenas instead of theatres.
Paramore's leading lady is still on the market. Contrary to reports by a Canadian blogger, Hayley Williams is not engaged to Chad from New Found Glory.
Chris Brown was photographed on a jet ski just three weeks after the alleged altercation between him and Rih Rih. If this was before the domestic-violence case, no eyebrows would be raised; now, however, it creates concern and raises many questions.
Beyoncé, R&B's reigning diva, finally opens up about life with Jay-Z. While in the public eye, she is all put-together, but she reveals her messy side — a side that Jay-Z actually gets bothered by.
By Christina Garibaldi
The Golden Globes were back this year in a big way, and some of our favorite young stars joined their elder celebrity statesmen and -women for the festivities. From the Jonas Brothers to the "High School Musical" cast, the pop stars, small-screen beauties and blockbuster sweethearts were out in full force. So how did these fresh faces fare on the red carpet? Here is our opinion. (Click on the names for photos to refresh your memory.)
Blake Lively: Thumbs down. The "Gossip Girl" star is usually a hit on the red carpet, but this one was certainly a miss. The dress itself is beautiful, but it didn't seem to fit her and the color of the dress did not match her skin tone. Also, she could have done something with her hair. It seems this is the only style she is comfortable going for. Next time, take a risk, Blake!
The Jonas Brothers: Nick Jonas: Thumbs down. Velvet jacket, no tie — you should know better. It's the Golden Globes! Kevin Jonas: Thumbs up. Never can go wrong with a classic tux. Joe Jonas: Thumbs up. The red shirt underneath his suit was a good choice. Read More...
By Rachel Josue
It was a very exciting 2008 here in the MTV Newsroom. It was a year of triumph and tragedy, a year of secret weddings and pregnancies, a year of overcoming adversity and a year of inspiration and change.
2008 brought us everything from the shocking death of Heath Ledger and the tragedy that befell Jennifer Hudson and her family, to the reinvention of Britney Spears and the successes of "The Dark Knight" and Tha Carter III. Your favorite artists and celebrities eloped (is it legal yet, Speidi?), married overseas (nice tats, Mariah and Nick) and got hitched in secret (thanks for finally admitting to that, Jay and B). They had babies and — in true Hollywood style — named them strange things (I am available to babysit when Bronx befriends Brooklyn and they have a play-date in Manhattan. Just saying.). And, Chinese Democracy actually materialized, to the delight of Dr. Pepper fans.
We here at MTV News are a pretty diverse bunch, so the views expressed by some in our more official-type year-end lists (like James Montgomery's Top 25 Albums and Best Songs, and the Mixtape Monday Awards) are not necessarily shared by the rest of the newsroom. So, this week we gave everyone else a chance to chime in with their own lists and explain (or defend) their choices. You'll find the staff faves of 2008 all together here.
By Jocelyn Vena, Writer
Let's face it, 2008 was the year of the pop artist. And, since I am the resident pop expert around these parts, I decided to make my top 10 list all about the greatest pop albums to hit the charts in the last 12 months.
10. Pink, Funhouse: Her tough-girl attitude paid off with this album. She performed her single, "So What," at the VMAs and soon after, it was everywhere. Read More...