By Sterling Wong
America and Britain have historically enjoyed a special relationship that was forged by Churchill and Roosevelt during World War II, and this even extends to the realm of music. George Bernard Shaw once famously remarked, “England and America are two countries separated by a common language,” and the language he was referring to could actually be music.
For decades, British acts have found massive success here, including the Beatles, the Spice Girls and Coldplay. In the spring, I wrote about the success of Adele and Mumford and Sons here kicking off a new British invasion. But this special relationship works both ways. Hop across the Atlantic and you’ll notice that there are American artists who’ve managed to find great success that eclipses their achievements here at home. It’s as if the British public was somehow more receptive to their music or has adopted them as de facto countrymen (think Madonna during her Guy Ritchie days). MTV News looks at three American artists who’ve hit in big in the UK.
Ms. Kelly is the best example of a domestic artist who’s struggled a little here, but has found her feet in the UK. Since she’s embarked on her solo career, Kelly has enjoyed some success in the U.S. Her duet with Nelly, “Dilemma,” for example, was a Hot 100 No. 1 hit. However, Kelly’s enjoyed far greater success in the UK, with no less than six top 10 hits there, including Euro-friendly dance tracks like “When Love Takes Over” and “Commander.” Kelly also managed to snag a prestigious spot on the judging panel of this season’s “X Factor” in the UK. With the show averaging 10 million viewers each week, Kelly is sure to see her profile rise further over there.
Meanwhile, her career here is also finally taking off, with “Motivation” becoming a radio hit and the parent album, Here I Am, becoming Kelly’s highest charting album ever. Looks like Kelly’s found a successful bi-continental musical strategy: Go dance-heavy in the UK, and focus on urban, hip-hop grooves over here.
By Zachary Swickey
Kings of Leon are clearly going through some inner turmoil with the recent cancellation of their national tour, and fellow Okie Isaac Hanson, who fronts a family-band himself, has no problem voicing his disapproval of KOL’s actions.
In a conversation with WENN, Isaac said, “I have a hard time with musicians who act like pricks because it just makes me mad.” He also feels that artists should be more humble. He continued, “If you’re actually making a living doing it, pinch yourself every day, because it goes if you don’t love it and people will eventually get pissed off.”
Echoing the sentiment of some downtrodden fans, Isaac took on KOL specifically. “I’m gonna call somebody out on it – the Kings of Leon are running some risks,” he said. “They’re irritating people and you can’t do that too much. Eventually the bad boy image affects fans’ willingness to show up.”
Isaac then focused his discontent on another band known to have sibling issues – Oasis. “Oasis got that too and it hurt them ultimately, because it made it hard for people to have a lot of fun at their shows – because they were worried that Noel was gonna get pissed off and walk off,” he explained. Read More...
Over the weekend, things got a little testy at a Kings of Leon show in Dallas, Texas, after singer Caleb Followill walked off stage complaining of voice problems related to the heat in the Gexa Energy Pavilion. Followill told fans he was going to vomit and grab another beer, after which he would return to the stage to perform three more songs.
When Caleb didn’t come back, brother and KOL bassist Jared Followill informed the crowd that Caleb was “a little unfit” to perform and that fans should “F**king hate Caleb, not us.” After the show, Jared apologized on Twitter, saying, “Dallas, I cannot begin to tell you how sorry I am. There are internal sicknesses & problems that have needed to be addressed. No words.”
A show at Houston’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion the following night was also cancelled, prompting yet another response from Jared. “I love our fans so much. I know you guys aren't stupid,” he tweeted. “I can't lie. There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade.”
While the band certainly owed disappointed fans a reason for the truncated and cancelled shows, making a band’s private troubles public is rarely a good idea. In the past, public tensions have led a variety of bands, including Guns N’ Roses and Oasis, to the brink and ultimately stained their legacies because their legendary troubles are remembered as much as their music. Read More...
Posted 7/7/11 10:54 am EST by Gil Kaufman in Britney Spears, fleet foxes, Foo-Fighters, kings of leon, Lil Wayne, Live Music, Newsroom Poll, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Tour Dates, U2
One shoots whipped cream out of her boobs and changes outfits seven times in one song. Another writhes on a giant guitar and closes her show by donning giant angel wings. Whether you're a Katy Perry fan or a Britney booster, the fact is these divas are leading a parade of major stars hitting stages this summer, and since we told you who our experts predict will rule the road during bikini season, now we want you to tell us who you've invested your cash in.
Will you plunk down your hard-earned cash to see Taylor Swift's country cutie act (once she gets over that nasty case of bronchitis, that is), will it be U2's gargantuan 360 Tour that will drain your bank account, or is your money on Perry and Spears?
If you're more of a hip-head, Lil Wayne is a lock to be somewhere near your neck of the woods this summer and Wiz Khalifa will surely burn one down within driving distance. If high-energy pop-punk is the thing, the Blink-182/My Chemical Romance double-bill aims to please, unless you prefer your rock more uncut, in which case Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket and Kings of Leon may be the right choice.
And, for the first time, glowstick-loving dance fans are not being left out in the cold thanks to the first-ever touring electronica festival, IDentity, which will hit amphitheaters in major markets with a host of big beat stars like Skrillex, Afrojack and Kaskade.
Then again, maybe we left someone off the list and there's some other tour your totally jacked about. We've done our homework, now it's your turn. Vote in our summer tours poll below. Read More...
CINCINNATI — There's something bittersweet about watching something you thought of as a secret leaking out into the real world. Nashville's Kings of Leon haven't been a secret for a long time. The three brawling, skirt-chasing brothers and their guitarist cousin have been making marble-mouthed, sex-drenched arena rock for way longer than they've actually been playing arenas.
Well, in the U.S., anyway. European audiences, and specifically British audiences, long ago fell for the quartet's uniquely sleazy/sexy allure, and they've been playing major venues and huge festivals overseas for years.
But now, thanks to a hit single with the provocative "Sex on Fire" (a song my wife refers to as "the more obvious" version of the bleary-eyed erotic poetry found in an earlier song, "Soft"), Kings of Leon are playing their first arena tour on these shores. The show rolled into the PNC Pavilion on Monday night — for the first sellout in the 4,100-seat venue's one-year history — and while the preacher's kids put on a hard-driving, sweaty, 80-minute Southern-rock clinic, for me, something had changed. Read More...