Last Friday (December 11) night's Z100 Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden in New York City brought together stars some of the biggest stars in music, including Taylor Swift, Kris Allen, Jordin Sparks, Justin Bieber, Ke$ha and John Mayer. It delivered some incredible performances and some great collaborations, but the occasion also provided the opportunity for some feuding stars to bury the hatchet.
Well, sort of. When MTV News' Jim Cantiello caught up with Allen backstage at the show, the "American Idol" winner explained the story behind a tweet he sent out that read "What if Justin Bieber punched you? What would you do?" As it turned out, Bieber did deliver a blow to Allen at another radio show, though it was hardly malicious. "We were about to go on, and he was like 'BAM!" Allen explained. "And he said, 'Kill it man!'" The 15-year-old Canadian singing sensation was merely trying to get Allen pumped up for the show that night, though that's not to say he didn't have some impact.
"It was a nice punch, but it hurt," he admitted. "He's not big, but he can punch pretty hard." Bieber didn't mean to slug Allen, though if he did leave him sore, perhaps the Usher protege should send Allen a "One Less Lonely Girl Bouquet" as an apology.
Allen has two shows left on his holiday radio crawl (he's in Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday night and in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on Friday), while the end of Bieber's holiday tour takes him to Duluth, Georgia on Thursday and Houston, Texas on Friday. Both Kris Allen's self-titled debut and Justin Bieber's My World are in stores now and make great stocking stuffers.
When Jesse McCartney stopped by the MTV News offices on Tuesday, the pop star talked about wanting to work with Ludacris again for his next album. He even would like to go a little edgier than his last release, 2008's Departure. But in one of the more candid portions of the interview, the actor/singer also sat down and answered your question (submitted via the MTV News Twitter page) about everything from alternative life choices to finding the right lady!
Maya (who tweets as @BuHBye3e3) wanted to know what Jesse would be doing if he weren't a famous singer who moonlights in flicks like the upcoming "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel." Apparently, he might like to compete on the next season of "Top Chef." "I would probably be a chef," he said. "I would probably want to be in the kitchen cooking my whole life."
Candice also dropped us a line (she's known in the Twitter universe as @NicktasticCandi) and wanted to find out what Jesse looked for in a lady. (If the rumors are true, her initials probably aren't HP.) We have a feeling that Candice is going to be a big fan of what McCartney had to say in response to that question.
Check out the video of McCartney answering your Twitter inquiries below, and stay tuned to the MTV News Twitter feed (you can find it @MTVNews) for more opportunities to get personal with your favorite stars.
By Justin Chon
Hello. This is Justin Chon from "The Twilight Saga" (you may know me better as Eric). MTV invited to interview Muse and hang back stage at KROQ's annual Almost Acoustic Christmas concert. It was my first time being backstage at any concert, so I was extremely excited to see what it was all about. I have to say that I haven't had that much fun in a long long time.
I left my place at around 7 p.m. and headed over the the Gibson Amphitheater. When I got there, I was able to park in the VIP area because I was with the one and only MTV.
Once I got to the event, it was absolute mayhem. There were so many people in the backstage reception area. Famous people were just perusing about like nobody's business. I met up with the MTV crew and we started our little adventure. I saw my friend Joe Hahn from Linkin Park. Right away had a little problem because he heard me mention my favorite band was Muse. (I settled it by saying they were my second-favorite.)
Once we got inside, I was able to interview people like Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin from "Superbad"), Dr. Drew, Deryck Whibley from Sum 41 and a bunch of others. However, the fun really didn't start until I went back to where the band dressing rooms were. I ended up taking shots with Slightly Stoopid and hanging with the members of Phoenix. Chris from Vampire Weekend came up to me and asked, "Are you that guy from 'Twilight?'" and I said yes. He then said "Let's take a picture." I was like, "What?! You're the rock star!"
Later, I got to catch 311 and, at long last, Muse's performance. They were absolutely amazing. After their set, I went backstage and there was a whole mess of people outside the dressing room trying to get a chance to talk or take a picture with them. But of course because I was with MTV, I got full access to the band and interviewed them. I was a little nervous before I went in but I did my tantric breathing and ended up being fine.
The interview went smooth as butter. After the interview was over I took a picture with them and tried not to look too excited. All in all, it was a night I won't soon forget.
Anybody who has downloaded "A Song for a Son," the first track from Smashing Pumpkins' newest epic opus Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, knows that it's a stellar slab of rock, complete with a pair of features that are somewhat endangered on the rock scene: Guitar solos. The two six-string diversions on "A Song for a Son" are the type of blistering burners that recall guitar greats of the past like Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page and Slash. When Corgan stopped by the MTV Newsroom last week to give us a preview of the first song and an explanation of the 44-track free album, I asked him where the inspiration to dive back into guitar heroics came from, and apparently we have Jane's Addiction axeman Dave Navarro to thank.
"I'm having a strange renaissance with the guitar solo," he said. "I think playing with Dave Navarro on the Spirits in the Sky tour reignited my desire to totally go there. He was just kicking my rear all over the place. He's so good, and it made me get competitive."
As Corgan points out, you have to go toe-to-toe with Navarro on the guitar because it's difficult to compete with him in other areas. "You can't compete with the abs," he said. "He's about the handsomest guy ever — girls are melting over railings to get to him. The solo is the only way to compete!"
"A Song for a Son" is currently available for free on the official Smashing Pumpkins Web site, with more tracks from the album coming soon.
By Nuzhat Naoreen
The first time I heard about the was in the summer of 2008. My little cousin Zayan, who was eight at the time, was visiting our house and promptly took control of both my room and TV. Before she arrived, I'd spend most of my time watching movies, but whenever she was over, it was all Disney, all the time. She watched nearly all the shows and specials regardless of how many times they were repeated, but when the Jonas Brothers were on, her interest peaked. She liked them all, and soon enough, so did I. There was something both innocent and charming about the band of brothers, who reminded me of the old-school boy bands I grew up with, like the Backstreet Boys or 'NSYNC.
So today, when Nick dropped by the office to chat with MTV News correspondent Tim Kash, I just had to sit in, if only so the little one (she's nine now, but still a huge fan) could vicariously live through my experience.
Fresh off his Grammy nomination show performance, Nick came into the studio to talk about his upcoming solo album Who I Am (which hits stores February 2).
I actually wrote about Nick's new venture when the news broke back in October. I remember calling my cousin to tell her about the story. She wasn't surprised. Apparently, she has better JoBro sources than I do, so I figured this time around, I better get some real scoops.
Nick talked about everything from whether he would ever run for president (his nickname among his brothers is "Mr. President") to how he is influenced by Prince (members of his backing band the Administration played with the Purple One) to if the Jonas Brothers plan to embark on another tour this summer. I would love to go into more detail, but there will be plenty from the interview rolled out on MTV News. Besides, I've got a certain fourth-grader I need to call first. Let's hope she's actually impressed this time.
Friday afternoons at MTV News tend to get a little hectic. Most people are trying to get out the door to get the weekend started, but there will always be plenty to do before everybody can check out. Stories need to be written. Blogs need to be updated. Video needs to be cut. And sometimes, icons need to be interviewed. That was the case on Friday (December 4) when Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan visited the MTV Newsroom to chat about his new single "A Song for a Son," the first track from his epic new project Teargarden by Kaleidyscope.
Since the song just premiered today, I had no prior knowledge of the tune before Corgan showed up for our interview. Luckily, he brought along a copy of it, and we sat together (along with the handful of Friday afternoon stragglers in the Newsroom) listening to the song's six minutes of tonal shifts, crescendos and big-ass guitar solos. It's a track that recalls Corgan's best work from the Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness era.
Teargarden by Kaleidyscope is a hell of a project to undertake. Corgan plans on releasing the 44 song album four tracks at a time as a part of 11 separate releases over the next three years. In addition to the new song and the album project, we talked a lot about the process of giving away free music, his focus on spiritualism and what we both think about Dave Navarro's abs.
Plenty more nuggets will emerge from the nearly 30-minute sit-down, but for now, enjoy Corgan trying to explain the whole project. And in case Billy is reading this: Your gloves are on your way back to you (the poor guy left the Newsroom without them, which must have been quite the bear in the frosty New York winter).
I always wondered what it would be like to work at CNN. While that won't be happening any time soon, I did get the chance to play pundit for a little while. CNN's Tom Foreman interviewed me about the years craziest topics in entertainment, politics and music culture for an end of the year special. Initially, I was hesitant to do so because I believe as news correspondents, we tend to take ourselves too seriously. However, in this case, CNN created a very fun platform to televise some interesting perspectives on events that impacted our lives in the past year, and it was great!
One of the standout moments was when I realized I was being interviewed with Larry King's background props right beside me. Some of the issues covered included Tiger Woods, President Obama, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga and a bunch more. Some other people featured on this special include comedians Joy Behar and Margaret Cho.
This year-end show should be a treat to watch. Be on the lookout for me on CNN's end-of-year special "AC360's All the Best, All the Worst: 2009." And for more retrospectives on the year that was, don't miss MTV News' "Top Nine of '09," which counts down the biggest stories of the year, from Michael Jackson to Miley Cyrus to Eminem and everything in between. Check it out on New Year's Eve at 11 p.m. on MTV.
A week ago, a group of David Archuleta fans surprised me (and my co-workers) with a stream of goodies, from flowers to gourmet cupcakes to Kenny G Christmas albums.
Kris Allen fans decided to take a page from "Teen Witch" and play "Top That," metaphorically speaking. The result was a delicious early birthday cake that read "Happy Birthday Jim! #KrimForever."
Since Krim (the nickname Kris Allen gave our little tag team) was about to have another playdate in the form of an interview, I figured I should wait for Mr. Allen's arrival before I dug in. This caused a lot of angry sighs from my mooching co-workers (who now act way too entitled when it comes to tasty treats from "Idol" fans, if you ask me).
After Kris spoke about his fantastic new CD (in stores now), it was time to indulge! Now if only we had silverware.
Watch the video below to watch Krim devour the cakey goodness in a particularly animalistic way.
Thanks again Kris Allen fans! Archie fans need to step up their game if they want to be back in the running for the "Sweetest Ever" title! (Just kidding! You all win! Please stop sending gifts! Save your money for "Idol" CDs!)
By Rya Backer
Being an MTV employee has its perks: Access to concerts, meeting famous people you like, spending your day just yards away from Tim Kash. But the greatest gift MTV has given its workers is a large room on the seventh floor with a balcony the length of half a city block. It may look like little more than a cafeteria, but it's called the Lodge, and sometimes it's like a second home.
For those at 1515 Broadway, the Lodge has become the place to eat in midtown Manhattan. The staff is friendly, there's an amazing mac and cheese station, and most importantly, they have a wing bar every Friday which has made me gain approximately 40 pounds solely because of my blue cheese dressing intake.
So when my co-worker Steven and I hit the red carpet for the grand opening of the American Eagle store across the street from our building in Times Square, we had the chance to talk to fellow MTV-er Adrienne Bailon for her thoughts on the corporate canteen.
It turns out that while she enjoys some of its offerings ("I'm actually a fan of the pizza section and the sandwiches. I'm really into that," she told us), she's a bigger fan of Times Square Bagel, a hole-in-the-wall, mom-and-pop store right across the stree. I can order from there every single morning when I'm in hair and makeup," she revealed. "I order a bagel every morning. I try to go pumpernickel. It's less carbs."
Check out the clip below. And seriously Adrienne: I'm on 29, and any time you get bored of wearing that top, I'll happily take it off your hands.
By Chad Bullock
Do you like it clean, dirty or chopped & screwed? Take your pick, because that's how the guys of Pretty Ricky are giving it to you with their new album. The Bluestars themselves stopped by MTV News and hung out on our multi(million) purpose red couch to talk everything from their new music to who they’d appreciate a lap dance from.
Diamond "Baby Blue" Smith, Spectacular Smith, Corey "Slick 'Em" Mathis and newest member Lingerie sat down with MTV News correspondent Jim Cantiello to let us in on what they have in store for us. The super down-to-earth guys talked about the album and how the "melodies are gonna wrap around your body." The guys are hoping to make this album the comeback album of 2009 and to solidify themselves as the top hip-hop and R&B group of the year (with the help of some body-wrapping melodies, of course).
The "Grind With Me" singers/rappers also schooled us on how to turn our red couch into a lovemaking device. In fact, they made the couch pregnant. And yes, Jim Cantiello got in on the action.
The group discussed other things, including current social issues and what things would be like if they ran the country. They talked about the awesomeness of Twitter and we all became Twitter friends.
Their self-titled new album was just released this week and their new single is "Say a Command." And in case you were still wondering: R&B singer Ciara is who they would appreciate a lap dance from.