Lauryn Hill may be getting all the headlines right now, but her former Fugees band-mate Wyclef Jean is the one making waves in the music world once again, having just released his 33-track April Showers mixtape as a lead-up to his next album, The Carnival Begins. We chatted with Clef about the new projects in his New York City studio, where he says he’s been holed up “for literally six months,” churning out some 200-300 tracks. The first taste of what he’s calling his “Frankenstein project” is the sprawling mixtape, which includes everything from trap to dancehall to acoustic ballads.
“The best way I can explain to you how I do music is the way an author gets a bug in the middle of the night and he gets up with the ink and just starts to write,” Wyclef told us. “He can never stop writing until the book is complete. So I’m inspired right now, I’m doing all this music and I’m like, ‘I gave you 33 records, man I can give you 33 more tomorrow.’”
As for that proper sequel/prequel to The Carnival, Clef said it will be crazy. “It may have a lot of surprises. There’s a record with Pitbull. This is big because it’s Haiti and Cuba. Just the two generations getting together, it’s historic for both countries.” Clef also teased “Small Town Girls,” his collab with 2 Chainz that “fuses original dub with electro dub.” Watch up top for six more things you need to know about Clef’s comeback, including how Missy Elliott and Timbaland‘s proto-dubstep beats influenced him.
Are you ready or not for Wyclef’s next album?Tell us below, or hit us up on Facebook and Twitter!
Miley Cyrus earlier this month hinted that she’d unveil her new single during the Billboard Music Awards. Well, the show is just a couple days away, and now she has made it official. The single is called “We Can’t Stop” and it’ll premiere during Sunday’s BBMA broadcast. The song is presumably off her new album, which arrives later this year. After all the teases about collaborations we can’t believe we’re finally going to hear new, Snoop Lion-free Miley. Head below to see Miley’s tweet with the announcement.
Candice Glover was announced as the winner on “American Idol” Season 12 last night, beating out Kree Harrison. Glover, who had previously been told by Simon Cowell she’d never be more than a lounge singer, proved him wrong on her third attempt! Candice Glover, 23, an administrative assistant from South Carolina, was shocked to win, …
Our favorite part of American Idol is always that final moment when the winner is all verklempt and overwhelmed and forced to sing his or her (finally, this year, her!) winning song live under completely surreal circumstances. That’s the best part of the season, isn’t it? It’s why we let them put us through so much bloated programming leading up to that moment. So last night (May 16), Candice Glover was crowned our newest winner of Idol, and we got to see the her smile and cry her way through her coronation song, “I Am Beautiful.”
But as warm as that made us feel inside, we wanted to hear the real track, and now we’ve got it! The studio version of Glover’s official single doesn’t offer up any surprises — her vocals soar over the clean production — but it’s a solid showcase of the newest Idol’s talents. Hear the empowering track below.
Candice Glover — “I Am Beautiful”
The song is off Glover’s forthcoming debut album, Music Speaks, out July 16 on 19 Recordings/Interscope Records.
Do you think Candice has a smash on her hands with her new single?Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!
The Weeknd has premiered the title track from his forthcoming album Kiss Land, and it is an absolute monster. Clocking in at 7:41, “Kiss Land” takes Abel Tesfaye‘s sinister lothario thing to absurd new heights — lyrically, of course, but also because the beat uses a looped female scream. Combined with the creepy funhouse chimes, the whole first half of the song feels like the neon single artwork is advertising a seedy amusement park for groupies.
The Weeknd is no stranger to doing a long, two-in-one song (see: “House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls” or “The Party & After Party”), but the transition halfway through this Silkky Johnson-produced trackis a real stunner, the serrated beat that follows making for a “Pyramids”-level switch-up. And like that Frank Ocean suite, there’s talk of stripping here (“She grind hard for tuition”). The song closes out with the “this ain’t nothing to relate to” hook we first heard in Tesfaye’s “John Carpenter” teaser video. Take a tour through “Kiss Land” below.
What do you think of The Weeknd’s new song? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!
For the first one of the bunch, Yeezy is wearing a giant bandage on his forehead, which it isn’t there later, so he’s at least being a good sport about that whole paparazzi pratfall from earlier this week. The clips have an overall feeling like everyone’s trying to get out of the studio as soon as possible, so they’re either really uninspired or really impressive in their sense of forced awkwardness. Check them out up top.
Are you excited to watch Kanye on SNL? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!
In the world of LP drama, Demi Lovato‘s new album, Demi, was met with mixed reviews — while Daft Punk mania reached an all-time high as the French house duo released a live stream of Random Access Memories on iTunes. As always, our reliable readers had a lot to say about the latest pop news.
Check out some of this week’s best comments below!
:: Ross CMR raved about Daft Punk’s new album: ”No one can really get mad at Daft Punk. in the End eveyone loves their stuff. I agree with Fat Boy slim on this one. Its about time someone opened up the flood gates on the EDM scene. Plus their release of this vinyl gives me even more hope that physical music is not dead.”
:: Cindy, on the other hand, completely disagreed: “A big departure from the DP sound even the robot singing sucked. I pre-ordered from Itunes and canceled it too. I still love Daft Punk just not feeling this record. p.s. the drums were annoying…”
:: Many viewers were anxious about Adam Lambert’s big performance on AI‘s finale, including beab:“About time we see Adam perform, to bad he can’t do a solo. Remember when he sang the finale with Queen and blew Chris off the map ? Now THAT was when A.I. was at its greatest !!!”
:: Niwimi shared his excitement over Kelly Rowland’s “Dirty Laundry”: “Where do I Pre-Order!!!!? YES KELLY! Though I Stan for Bey, this is the first time in a while I’ve fallen in love with a song based off of lyrical content. YAAAAAAAAAASSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!”
:: Jay gave a well-rounded review of Demi Lovato’s new record: “This album, much like Unbroken, is very disappointing. She titled her album Demi complete with such a striking image on the cover (much like Christina Aguilera’s Stripped did) but it’s just another lightweight pop album. People make such a big deal about her, but why? Because she has survived personal demons? While thats commendable, on the music front she’s never really been a force to be dealt with. There’s not really anything here that really reveals who she is as a person…it sounds like just any other wannabe pop artist only with a decent voice and well-known producers.”
:: Finally, drew liked that Danity Kane is reuniting but didn’t want Dawn Richard to lose focus: “Cool, but I sincerely hope this doesn’t deter Dawn from working on her next album (BlackHeart)…. because she’s on a whole other level than these girls.”
Have something to say about our daily pop coverage? Be sure to chime in with your comments on each post, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter while you’re at it, music addicts!
The Billboard Music Awards are doled out based on chart success, sales and touring performance, so you have to respect that they’re the one awards show that’s at least up front about this whole spectacle being about money and not art. But because they’re based on readily available numbers, you know what you’re getting. That makes the BBMAs perhaps the most unnecessary of music awards shows (all of which are unnecessary on some level).
However! The Billboard Awards are also great because when you’re using the charts as the metric for quality, then you only hob-knob with the biggest of the big names in pop music. Thus, the collection of performers and presenters here comprises pretty much everyone who matters in music. That’s how you get Prince sharing the stage with peers like Pitbull. It’s ludicrous, but it’s also a show of music’s incredible reach. You’ve all heard almost all of this stuff. So that makes this a very populist awards ceremony, perhaps even one of the last hallmarks of the musical monoculture. Or maybe it’s just a cash-grab for acts who’ve already grabbed all the cash.
Whichever it is, you know you’ll watch it. So read on for everything you need to know about the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. (Oh, they air live on ABC from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 19 at 8 p.m. ET. You probably need to know that, too.)
YOUR HOST FOR THE NIGHT
Former SNL and 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan is handling hosting duties. Did we mention it’s a live broadcast? Nobody is more nervous for this show than the dude in the control room commanding the censor button.
MOST-NOMINATED ARTISTS Taylor Swift, fun. and Maroon 5 are tops with nominations in 11 categories each. They’re followed closely by Rihanna with 10 nods. Behind her is Carly Rae Jepsen with nine and One Direction closes out the top tier with eight.
A giant roster of giant names was released in several giant waves over the past few weeks, so it’s been hard to keep track of all the performers on this most grand celebration of commercially celebrated pop. There’s something for everyone, and something for everyone to hate on. And there’s Icona Pop! How’d they get in there?! Best not to ask questions and just luxuriate in the beauty of it. Anyway, here’s the handy list of acts scheduled to grace the stage on Sunday night, in order of most to least hair:
*Lil Wayne & Nicki Minaj
*The Band Perry
*Akon, Ne-Yo & David Guetta
*Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Lots to keep an eye on, but the biggest story may have nothing to do with the actual ceremony: Miley Cyrus will unveil a new single during the show. Either that or she has epically trolled her Twitter followers. What else? Oh, there’s Prince and Madonna, who are both being honored among the gaggle of youngsters. Prince is getting the Billboard Icon Award, which has previously been given to Stevie Wonder and Neil Diamond. As for Madge, she’s getting the Top Touring Artist award. Her 2012 MDNA tour grossed over $305 million spread over 88 sold-out shows in front of a combined 2.2 million people. Like a veteran.
Another interesting storyline is rap, as in, what happened to it? For the past 10-15 years, rap has been the new rock, dominating radio and the charts. But this past year seems to have been a particularly off year, in terms of hip-hop smashes. In the big awards we’ve really only got Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida, a dash of Drake and a bunch of viral hits representing the genre. Guess that’s what happens when hip-hop titans like Kanye West, Jay-Z and Eminem stay on the sidelines.
*Will Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez interact? Will they shock the world and attend together?
*Will Chris Brown shock the world and unveil his Aaliyah-assisted song, complete with an Aaliyogram?
*Which lucky lady will get to perform with Pitbull: JLo or Xtina?
*Are we gonna see quiet, timid Prince or shredding, sex freak Prince?
*Will Queen Carly Rae catch a break and take home some hardware?
*Will Tracy Morgan lift up his shirt to reveal his gut, as is the Tracy Morgan tradition?
What are you looking forward to at Sunday’s BBMAs? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter.
By now, you’ve likely already read the big news that Candice Gloverwas crowned winner of season 12′s American Idol, with fellow finalist Kree Harrison placing as runner-up after America voted on their Wednesday night finale performances. The two-hour finale came exactly four months after this season kicked off with new judges, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban.
It’s been an eventful season, and not just on stage. Spats between panelists Mariah and Nicki typified almost every episode, and the only original Idol judge, Randy Jackson announced that after 12 seasons, this would be his last. Auditions for the next season are already gearing up and it’s still up in the air who will be sitting on the judges panel. But I have to say, I’ve enjoyed the ups and downs this year, and hope the next is just as strange.
But more importantly, let’s talk about the finale! This was a star-studded event, with performances from the golden honey angel princess, Mariah Carey, as well as Keith Urban, former judge Jennifer Lopez (accompanied by Pitbull), The Band Perry, Adam Lambert, Frankie Valli, Adam Lambert and Jessie J.
Surprised? I mean, how else were they supposed to fill up two hours of “…and the winner is…”?
The show kicks off by welcoming all of the Top 10 contestants with a performance of “Glad You Came” by The Wanted. Everybody’s decked out in white suits and dresses. Angie Miller is taking full advantage of this opportunity to show off her best hair whips. I have no idea how Kree and Candice are managing to look like they’re having fun. They have to be so over singing at this point. I know I would be.
Ryan Seacrest reminds us that tonight there can only be one Idol to rule them all. Candice and Kree, who genuinely appear to be good buds at this point, tell him that regardless of the outcome, “We’re going to celebrate tonight.” Call me later, ladies. I’ll be the designated driver.
Now, to kick off the guest performances are The Band Perry performing their single, “DONE.” And, remember country girl, Janelle Arthur? She joins them on stage and is doing just fine, thanks. If it weren’t for Janelle’s gold country boots, I would have thought from her head-banging that I was at an authentic ’80s heavy metal performance.
Next Idol tries to get cute with the former five male contestants from the Top 10, Burnell Taylor, Devin Velez, Paul Jolley, Lazaro Arbos, and Curtis Finch Jr., joking that there was some kind of conspiracy to boot them early so there could finally be another female winner this year. I would grow weary of this, except that I’m just so happy this isn’t a Ford Fiesta commercial or reminder of Carly Rae Jepsen‘s new single. So I let it slide. Then the producers decide to have season 6 winner Jordin Sparks take a jab at The Voice. Look here, Idol, with your ratings in the toilet, I would think the last thing you’d want to do is remind viewers there are other singing competition shows on TV, but that’s just me.
Then, the boys take to the stage to sing a medley of Frankie Valli’s hits. And don’t fret, Lazaro’s pants are just as ill-fitting as ever. Awww, I forgot how much I missed Curtis Finch Jr. and Burnell. When the boys croon, “No woman’s worth crawling on the earth,” from “Walk Like A Man,” I give each one of them a knowing wink. At the end, Frankie himself takes to the stage and, damn, if he doesn’t still sound good. And I want Keith Urban to never stop dancing.
And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Screw the results, I’m talking about Mariah’s performance of a medley of her biggest hits. And to address any talk about lip-syncing, I have it on good authority from a credible source who attended her pre-taped performance that Ms. Carey was undoubtedly singing live. And I believe it. As wacky as her judging critiques might have been, Mimi can SANG. And I have to say, she looked great in her white dress and diamonds. This is a woman who knows how to find her wind. She ends with a performance of her catchy new single “#Beautiful.” And with this, we are all reminded that this judging thing is merely a side gig for Sparkle Angel Bunny. Did I mention that I love her?
Oh, look, my sweet Amber Holcomb returns to the stage for a duet with Emeli Sande to perform the the latter singer’s “Next To Me.” Baby Whitney, you were truly robbed. She definitely should have been in that Top 3. And, can I get a round of applause for the lady trombonist straight working it in the band?
Ugh, I’m choosing to ignore this Ford Fiesta nonsense. PSY is now on stage for a performance of his single “Gentleman.” I’m sad there are no lady pistachio dancers in sight. Squee! My husband, Keith Urban, has returned to the stage for some sexy chicken dancing and guitar picking of his song, “Little Bit Of Everything.” Guys, do you think our relationship will work, even if he has better hair than me? Don’t answer that.
This pairing of former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson and Candice Glover of Natalie Cole’s “Inseparable” is, of course, genius. When super-svelte J-Hud descends the staircase rocking some hot bangs, I die from joy. It is my personal fantasy that both these women agree to attend Weight Watchers meetings with me with Tina Fey, as our team leader, natch.
Yet another past Idol contestant joins one of this season’s hopefuls when Adam Lambert and Angie Miller team up for a duet of “Titanium” by Sia and David Guetta. These two sound good together and should take their show on the road. I anticipate their black leather and mascara budget would be off the hook. Then, Angie enjoys the treat of singing with her idol Jessie J. The two share the spotlight for a rendition of Jessie’s “Domino.” That Jesse seems like a good time. I suspect a girls’ night out with Jess and Nicki would be the stuff of which legends are made.
Idol is getting cute again, now having the Top 10 ten contestants make fun of the judges. Hey, that’s my job. We get a Randy Jackson “in it to win it” montage. I hate when they try to be funny on this show. We’re back to another performance with an interesting combo of Kree Harrison on vocals, Travis Barker on drums and Randy Jackson and Keith Urban on guitar for their version of Keith’s “Where The Blacktop Ends.” This is so bizarro, but it’s fun to see Kree getting sassy.
It’s now time for Randy Jackson to get a tribute, commemorating his twelve years on the show. We get some fantastic vintage footage of the last remaining original judge, reminding us just how much weight he’s lost. Awww, Simon and Paula. So many blazers. Hey guys, remember when there were still crazy people auditioning for the show? Back when Nicki was auditioning for a boyfriend? And Zoanette? Where is she, BTW? And Charlie Askew?
After a message from Aretha Franklin,in which she accidentally prematurely congratulates Candice on winning, the Queen Of Soul joins the Top 5 ladies via satellite for a medley of some of her classics. Well, that’s what they get for making her do this on Skype. Former Idol judge, Jennifer Lopez, is no stranger to this stage. She and Pitbull team up for their new song “Live It Up.” Jennifer says, “Nothing lasts forever, so live it up.” Could she be referring to Mimi’s tenure as judge?
For the final round of torturing the two remaining finalists before they learn their fate, Candice and Kree sing two duets: “One Less Bell To Answer” and “A House Not A Home.”
Finally, Ryan announces that yes, Aretha was right, Candice did win season 12 of American Idol. Candice looks stunned and Kree appears genuinely happy for her friend. The rest of the Top 10 rush to the stage and hug her, hoping she’ll remember how nice they were to her throughout the season. Candice is a delightful, emotional wreck on stage. Ryan lets us know that Candice’s album is available on pre-order tonight. Dang, that was fast. Now, it’s time for Candice’s coronation single, “I Am Beautiful.” It’s a miracle she doesn’t choke on some confetti.
Guys, thanks for taking this journey with me. It’s been a long road filled with tears, laughter, smoke machines and captain’s hats. I’ll love you long after you’re gone, etc.
Let’s make a date to meet up next season, shall we?
That’s a wrap! Let us know your thoughts on the Season 12 Idol finale below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter.
:: Lady Gaga is back on her feet and out of her golden wheelchair. And she’s back on social media, too. The signer posted the above photo, along with the message, “It is a dangerous place where we put ART, but sacred where we make it.” [Little Monsters]
:: Demi Lovato has a five-year plan, in that she wants to be a mom in five years. “At the end of the day, yes, I want to be a musician and I have a lot of goals, but my biggest goal in life is having a family,” she told MTV News. [MTV]
:: Choreographer Wade Robson broke his silence about his Michael Jackson molestation claims. Robson told Matt Lauer, ”This is not a case of repressed memory. I have never forgotten one moment of what Michael did to me, but I was psychologically and emotionally completely unable and unwilling to understand that it was sexual abuse.” [TODAY]
:: Remember Tyrese (before he signed a lifetime exclusivity contract with Fast & Furious)? Remember Ginuwine? Remember Tank? Well the three R&B studs have teamed up as TGT for the album 3 Kings. And they’ve just premiered the video for “Sex Never Felt Better” to hold you over until the LP arrives later this year. [Vibe]
After the jump, find out which music acts you can catch on TV today.
Music On TV:
:: Late Show with David Letterman (CBS) — Kurt Vile
:: Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC) — Adam Levine, Bad Rabbits
:: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC) — De La Soul
:: Last Call with Carson Daly (NBC) — Big Black Delta
:: Tavis Smiley (PBS) — Talib Kweli
:: The View (ABC) — Roger Daltrey