During last night’s “X Factor” audition episode, 14-year-old Justin Bieber superfan Drew Ryniewicz stole the show with a haunting new take on her idol’s biggest hit, “Baby.”
If Justin’s original “Baby” is fluffy, flavorful bubblegum, Drew’s “Baby” is a three-course meal of teenage angst, yearning and obsession. The words “I thought you’d always be mine” are a lot heavier when the arrangement features minor chords on a mournful piano. The cleverest bit is Drew’s take on the chorus, where she flips the melody to include a devastating half-yodel, her voice cracking with each “Baby.”
In other words, the star of Bieber’s “Baby” is singing to a girl at recess. The protagonist in Drew’s version is in her room, anguished and maybe Facebook-stalking her ex. This is dark. And awesome.
All four “X Factor” judges – including LA Ried who signed Bieber to Island/Def Jam – were blown away. L.A. called it “soulful” and “believable.” Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell went further, saying they preferred Drew’s dark spin to Bieber’s recording. “This is exactly what I wanted a 14-year-old to do in this competition,” Cowell gushed. “Most importantly, people your age would buy your version of that song.”
(A-hem, Simon. People twice her age would buy it, too. Race that girl to a studio and release it on iTunes ASAP!)
So now that the professional industry execs have given it two (or eight?) thumbs up, we want to know which version you prefer: Bieber’s upbeat original or Drew’s heartbreaking lament? Vote, after the jump! Read More...
It's a big year for Boyz II Men. The guys who brought Motown Philly back again are all over the place in 2011. They appeared in Justin Bieber's "Never Say Never" flick earlier this year, then they popped up in sample-form on Beyonce's super fantastic 4 track "Countdown" and now the guys made the cut for Bieber's forthcoming holiday album.
In addition to working with some of the biggest artists of the new millennium, the guys will also be back with their own album next month, the aptly titled Twenty, celebrating their long and prosperous run in the industry. It's out October 25.
Having grown up listening to and loving the guys, we totally appreciate Bieber's fandom for them. In fact, their new album looks to the future, but also pays homage to their past thanks to some updated versions of their classic tunes. But where was Bieber when those tracks were released? Read More...
While we're pretty sure the "Justin" wrist tattoo that Selena Gomez rocked recently isn’t real, it got us thinking about the number of pop stars who have gotten tats over the years for various reasons, many of which are as personal as Selena's shout out to her boy, Justin Bieber.
Beyonce has an "IV" tattooed on her finger. Of course "IV" is the Roman numeral for "4," which just happens to be Queen B's favorite number, but we'll let her explain:
"We all have special numbers in our lives, and 4 is that for me," she said earlier this year. "It's the day I was born. My mother's birthday and a lot of my friends' birthdays are on the fourth; April 4 is my wedding date."
Lady Gaga has a lot of tats, but only on the left side of her body. Why the left side? "All of my tattoos are on one side of my body, per my father's request," she explained. "He asked that I remain, on one side, slightly normal, so I only have tattoos on my life side." Read More...
Justin Bieber recently shared with the world one of his personal goals: to be married with kids by 25. That means in the next 8 or so years, the Biebs wants to settle down. Selena Gomez, you hear that? No? Well, we found the quote for you!
The Biebs spoke to Women's Wear Daily about it saying, "Well, by 25 or 26, I want to see myself, like, married or start looking for a family. I want to be a young dad. I want to be able to have done what I wanted to do — to be successful, to do a movie or whatever. But if the time is right, I definitely want to be married by 25.”
Of course, a lot of pop stars (especially ones who were pretty young when they got their start) marry kind of young. By the time they're 25, they've already lived a lot of life, so settling down probably feels like the next right move. And if Bieber feels like he's going to be the only pop star on the block who married by his mid-twenties, well we've found some others who also settled down early. Read More...
VMA winner Justin Bieber is a young guy, so he might not be aware that by producing an entirely original Christmas album he is stepping into an arena dominated almost exclusively by one of pop's biggest divas, Santa's Helper outfit enthusiast Mariah Carey.
For all intents and purposes, Mariah Carey is the unofficial Queen of Christmas. She wears Santa hats in public (and has miniature ones on her dogs), puts together holiday music spectaculars and usually celebrates the holiday with a lavish vacation in Aspen. A Google search of "Mariah Carey Christmas" returns over 45 million results and the video for her 1994 single "All I Want For Christmas Is You" has over 28 million views on YouTube.
The pop star has released two Christmas albums, 1994's Merry Christmas and last year's Merry Christmas II You, and while neither is wholly original (the second is principally standards with only a few original tunes), Carey owns this niche. Merry Christmas is the biggest selling Christmas album of all time, with worldwide sales exceeding 15 million copies.
And if Biebs is taking the original song route, he should be aware that Carey has set a pretty high bar. In the 17 years since its release, "All I Want For Christmas Is You" has become a standard itself – the New Yorker called it "one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon." The track resurfaces on worldwide singles charts every holiday season, and topped the Billboard Hot 100 Re-currents Chart every year from 2005-08. The numbers for it are actually kind of staggering – "All I Want For Christmas Is You" is the best selling holiday digital single ever (and the nineteenth best-selling digital single of the 20th Century!), the most downloaded holiday ringtone of all time and is Carey's biggest single ever in the UK. Read More...
Justin Bieber hit Twitter on Wednesday to keep his fans abreast of his latest music dealings. He's currently in the studio working on his new album and he's got some interesting musical minds backing him up on it. He tweeted that he's working with Tricky Stewart and the lesser-known producer Soundz.
"in the studio writing with @TrickyStewart - last time this happened a song called BABY happened. LEGGO. #believe," he tweeted. "At the studio writing for my album with @trickystewart and @soundzdope follow them ... #BELIEVE."
As the recording session proceeded, a bit of a Twittermance started between the three fellas. Now that Bieber is 17 and moving out of Tweenville, working with an edgier production team is certainly the way to go to make the transition from cutie pie teen to full-fledged crossover adult sensation. Read More...
By Kara Warner
Inspired in large part by actress Anne Hathaway's Lil Wayne-style rant rap that she performed for Conan O'Brien, we got to thinking about all the other famous faces we've heard rap in public and/or via YouTube whose vocal talents "shine better elsewhere," so to speak.
In no particular order, here are five individuals whose lyrical stylings, while at times courageous, unique and sometimes really cute, shouldn't be repeated. With ONE surprise exception.
Who can forget the actor-turned-rapper-turned-trickster's hoax during which he had some folks convinced he was giving up acting in order to become a legit rap artist? It was all very confusing, even when he announced that his year of extraordinary eccentric behavior was part of filming the mockumentary, "I'm Still Here." Of all those on this list, Phoenix's attempts at rapping were the most unsettling.
When you think of Ms. Spears, there are visions of squeaky-clean, bubble-gum humble beginnings on Disney's "Mickey Mouse Club." Or the still-innocent-but-semi-scandalous Catholic school girl outfit she sported in the video for "Baby One More Time." Both interesting and excellent moments for a pop star - not a rapper. The evidence: Spears' impromptu ill-suited attempt filmed during an early episode of MTV's "Punk'd" with Ashton Kutcher (Hint: it's at the 4-minute mark). Read More...
It should come as no surprise that Justin Bieber made bank last year. After all, the teen phenom sold a bunch of albums, turned his concert film “Never Say Never” into a box office smash, launched a bestselling fragrance and filled arenas all over the world with his ongoing “My World” concert tour. That he raked in a staggering $53 million, however, is enough to make every PhD holder in the world weep over their silly decision to major in medicine instead of pop stardom.
(Ed note: How long do you think it will take for a college to offer pop stardom as a major? “Madonna Studies” is already a legit subgenre in many media studies departments and Bowling Green State University will award you a master’s degree in pop culture.)
Bieber wasn’t the only teen star making big money last year. Miley Cyrus came in second to Bieber (but not by much), earning $48 million. Often-shirtless “Twilight” wolf Taylor Lautner cashed checks totaling $16 million, while no-longer-jailbait (ogle accordingly) Nick Jonas did well for himself too, with $12.5 million in earnings. Jayden and Willow Smith added some coin to the family piggy bank too – Jayden made $5 million, and Willow whipped her hair to the tune of a cool $4 million.
How does that stack up against what regular people make? Read on to find out! Read More...
Sean Kingston is opening up for the first time about his headline-making Memorial Day jet-ski accident during "MTV First: Sean Kingston." Tonight, he'll open up to MTV News' Sway Calloway about how he's been working hard to heal after the life-changing accident.
Kingston will go into detail about the various medical procedures he underwent to treat his injuries and speak candidly about how the accident helped him focus on living a healthier lifestyle. And, of course, we'll find out what's up next in his music career. Read More...
The ever-growing Justin Bieber fan club has two new members. Please send Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis and legendary music producer (with an even more legendary beard) Rick Rubin their autographed poster.
In a recent chat, the rocker confessed to feeling a bit teary-eyed when he watched the Bieber documentary "Never Say Never," which takes an in-depth look at the teen's rise to fame and features him shaking his floppy hair in 3D and performing some of his biggest hits at Madison Square Garden.
One moment in particular really moved the man. "I sat on an airplane recently, coming from Hawaii to Los Angeles, with Rick Rubin just across the aisle, watching the Justin Bieber movie, 'Never Say Never.' I cried twice during that film and I want the world to know that!" he told Q magazine, via Spinner.
"They were doing this very cheesy giveaway of concert tickets to 16-year-old girls," he continued. "The cheesiness didn't matter – it was the reaction of the kids. When you saw those little girls crying deliriously, I lost it."
Tony and Ricky are only the latest members of a group of superstars that are surprising Bieber fans. Hip-hop heavyweights like RZA, Diddy, Ludacris, Kanye West and Chris Brown have stepped up and not only given props to the singer, but also, in a few cases, hooked up with him on tracks. Read More...