Friday, February 24, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
- Artist: Taylor Swift
- Label: Big Machine Records, Universal Republic
- Director: Philip Andelman
- Album: The Postman (Il Postino) [Original Soundtrack]
'Love is always going to be a huge theme in what I write about,' singer tells MTV News after premiering 'Safe & Sound' video.
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Sway Calloway
<P>In 2010, <a href="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/swift__taylor/artist.jhtml">Taylor Swift</a> released the <a href="/news/articles/1679095/grammys-2012-taylor-swift-performance.jhtml">Grammy-winning <i>Speak Now.</i></a> The album was a study in the complexities of love and life, full of ponderings on the romance of new love and the pain of a broken affair. Drawing inspiration from her own life, the album topped the charts and kept Swift ever-present. </p><div class="player-placeholder right" id="vid:733489.id:1678910" width="240" height="211"></div><p> As she embarks on her next album release, she tells MTV News that she's still got work to do, even if her bosses at the record label are ready to pull the trigger on it. "So far, I've been writing so much in the last year and the label keeps telling me, 'All right, we're finished; all right, we're satisfied; OK, this is done now.' And then I just keep writing and I keep turning it in in different versions," she told MTV News' Sway during <a href="/news/articles/1679207/taylor-swift-safe-and-sound-music-video-premiere.jhtml">"MTV First: Taylor Swift,"</a> when she dropped her video for her "The Hunger Games" track, <a href="/news/articles/1679213/taylor-swift-safe-and-sound-civil-wars.jhtml">"Safe & Sound."</a> "I'm going to work on it until I literally have zero time left to work on it, because I'm having so much fun working on this album," she explained. "I made my last album, <i>Speak Now,</i> with this idea I really wanted to make an album without writing with anyone else just because I always wanted to do that. And now I have a different approach to this record. I'm getting to work with people that I've always wanted to work with." That means that she's seeking out some assistance "from all different places in music." "I'm trying to be as much of a sponge as possible," she explained. "You have to evolve and try new things and change and that's what I've loved to do with this album." But just because she's trying some new things musically doesn't mean she's quite ready to move on from writing about love. "I think that love is always going to be a huge theme in what I write about just because there are no two similar relationships, there are no two times that you feel love the same way or hurt the same way or [feel] rejection [in] the same way. It's all different and I'm fascinated by that," she said. "I really love to go back to human interaction and the way we make each other feel. But that at 22 is different than it was at 18 or 19 when I made my last album and 16 and 17 when I made <i>Fearless.</i> As you grow, you change in the way you process emotion." <i>What are you hoping to hear on Taylor Swift's next album? Leave your comment below!</i></p>Related Videos
Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine spar during first round of blind auditions.
By John Mitchell
<P>"The Voice" returned to NBC for its second season immediately following Super Bowl XLVI and got right to business, kicking off the first round of blind auditions with coaches <a href="/music/artist/levine__adam/artist.jhtml">Adam Levine</a>, <a href="/music/artist/cee_lo/artist.jhtml">Cee Lo Green</a> and <a href="/music/artist/shelton_blake/artist.jhtml">Blake Shelton</a> each picking up one team member and <a href="/music/artist/aguilera_christina/artist.jhtml">Christina Aguilera</a> scoring two. </p><div class="player-placeholder right" id="vid:731358" width="240" height="211"></div><p> Seven hopefuls stepped in front of the judges' revolving chairs, each hoping at least one would turn and ask them to be on their team. Two contestants got all four judges' approval, but one, 24-year-old Daniel Rosa from Riverside, California, didn't get a single judge to turn their chair and was sent packing. <big><b>The Players:</b></big> <b>RaeLynn</b><br> A teenager raised on a Texas farm, RaeLynn entered the competition: with one thing in mind: to win over judge Blake Shelton, who is married to country singer Miranda Lambert, a big hero of RaeLynn's. She decided to sing Lambert's "Hell on Heels" despite being warned that last season Shelton didn't respond well when a contestant auditioned with one of his wife's songs. But confident in her choice, she did it anyway and wowed Shelton and Levine. Ultimately, she chose to stick with her roots and keep things country. <b>Team Blake</b> <b>Jesse Campbell</b><br> One of many inspiring stories told during the show, we were introduced to 42-year-old homeless father Jesse Campbell and his family. He'd barely uttered a few notes before Aguilera, Green and Levine swiveled around (Shelton followed soon after). "You followed through above and beyond my expectations," she told Campbell, promising to fight for him along the hard road to the "Voice" finals. Trusting that Aguilera knows a thing or two about how to get the most out of strong vocalists, Jesse picked the "Not Myself Tonight" singer. <b>Team Xtina</b> <b>Juliet Simms</b><br> Simms has been living the rock-and-roll life since she was a teen and is now, at 25, looking to take that next step. Simms tackled a big song too — "Oh! Darling" by the Beatles — but brought a rough, throaty edge and rocker swagger to the track that immediately attracted Levine, Cee Lo and, eventually, Aguilera. "You brought the house down," Christina said to Simms. Competing over the singer's affections even devolved into a bit of mudslinging between Aguilera and Levine, who bickered back and forth over who could better serve Simms in the contest. She decided to go with neither and picked the most eclectic guy on the panel. <b>Team Cee Lo</b> <b>Chris Mann</b><br> Another of the night's tear-jerker back stories came from Mann, a talented classical musician working in Nashville whose mother is fighting pancreatic cancer. The 29-year-old Wichita, Kansas, native was the second contestant of the competition to bowl over the judges with a big, classic voice. "Now that's a voice," Xtina proclaimed. "I love it!" Her enthusiasm led him to pick the "Beautiful" Grammy winner, and in the first night of competition, she nailed down the two best voices in the game so far. <b>Team Xtina</b> <b>Tony Lucca</b><br> Hey, that guy looks familiar! Lucca was at one time a Mouseketeer alongside Christina, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears on "The Mickey Mouse Club." But it was more important here that he tore the roof off the joint with a rocking rendition of "Trouble" that earned a swivel of approval from every judge on the panel. All pleaded with him to join their team, but Aguilera seemed oblivious to the fact that she knew him as a child (a lot has happened since then, we'll give her that). He went with Shelton, probably hoping a little of the country-rock cool that's kept him at the top of the charts for the last few years rubs off. <b>Team Adam</b> After he left the stage, Aguilera realized who Lucca was and ran backstage to greet him, his wife and young daughter. She also revealed, "Britney had the biggest crush on you!" Oh, what could have been... <i>Which "Voice" contestant was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.</i></p>Related Artists
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
TheWrap reports that Xtina is onboard for season three, which could debut in the fall opposite 'X Factor.'
By Kara Warner
<P>We are only two episodes into the <a href="/news/articles/1678668/the-voices-season-2-adam-levine-christina-aguilera-blake-shelton.jhtml">second season of "The Voice,"</a> and already there is some news about the hit NBC show's third season. </p><div class="player-placeholder right" id="vid:731240" width="240" height="211"></div><p> According to <a href="http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/voice-nbcs-midseason-hit-may-debut-3rd-season-fall-35186" target="_blank">TheWrap</a>, <a href="/music/artist/aguilera_christina/artist.jhtml">Christina Aguilera</a> has signed a contract to continue her stint on the judging panel for a third season of the singing competition. Aguilera is the first of the four judges to ink her deal, a payday for which is supposedly in the $10 million realm. TheWrap also reports that the third season could premiere in the fall rather than waiting until 2013; this would potentially put "The Voice" in direct competition with <a href="/news/articles/1678279/x-factor-exits-paula-abdul-nicole-scherzinger.jhtml">Fox's "X Factor."</a> When MTV News reached out for comment from NBC, a show insider said no decision has been made about season three. It is expected that Aguilera's fellow judges Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton will all renew their contracts in the coming weeks and that the third season will tape from September through December of this year. "The Voice" has proven to be a major hit for NBC. The <a href="/news/articles/1678569/the-voice-season-two-premiere.jhtml">season-two premiere following the Super Bowl</a> on Sunday earned NBC's best ratings for an entertainment show in six years. Monday's episode earned the network's best numbers for that particular timeslot in nearly eight years, save for broadcasts of the Olympics. </p><div class="player-placeholder right" id="vid:731711" width="240" height="211"></div><p> When MTV News caught up with the show's new <a href="/news/articles/1678536/voice-christina-milian.jhtml">social media correspondent Christina Milian</a> recently, the singer/actress gushed about the lovefest on set. "It's been fabulous. I've had fun working with the cast already," she said. "Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Cee Lo, Carson Daly — it's an awesome super team they have, and from day one, they treated me like family. "This show is about music, it's about talent, and it's about this passion and this dream of becoming a star," Milian added. "Still to this day, every day that I wake up, I have that same dream, so to be involved with the show, [it's amazing] to watch what they incorporate and how the coaches act as advisers and mentors to the artists and really truthfully help them and push them and want them to be the best so they can win." <i>Are you hoping all four "Voice" judges are back for season three? Let us know in the comments!</i></p>Related Artists
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Madge will preview 'Give Me All Your Luvin' ' clip on Thursday's 'Idol.'
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Jim Cantiello
<P>On Thursday (February 2) night, <a href="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/madonna/artist.jhtml">Madonna</a> will world-premiere a teaser for her highly anticipated new video on "American Idol." The preview of <a href="/news/articles/1678109/madonna-music-video-cheerleader.jhtml">"Give Me All Your Luvin' "</a> comes in advance of the clip's official Friday-morning debut. But if you think that the "Idol" judges are getting any special treatment and are seeing it first, think again. </p><div class="player-placeholder right" id="vid:730874" width="240" height="211"></div><p> "I have not seen it yet," <a href="/music/artist/lopez_jennifer/artist.jhtml">Jennifer Lopez</a> told MTV News earlier this week. "I'll see it with all you guys on Thursday." When asked whether she'd even heard any of the finished track, she further dished that she hasn't heard a thing — and that includes a <a href="/news/articles/1676410/madonna-gimme-all-your-luvin-arrest.jhtml">leaked version</a> of the song that hit the Internet last fall. "I hate when the demos leak," J. Lo added. "It's so unfair." Now that Madonna is in the "Idol" family, is there any chance she might come on the show to mentor the contestants before her <a href="/news/articles/1678009/madonna-mdna-masterpiece.jhtml">album, <i>MDNA,</i></a> drops in March? "I don't know. I mean, that would be awesome," Lopez said. "And if it was me, she would be the one person I'd probably want to come and mentor me if I was a contestant on 'Idol.' " With so much mystery surrounding the track and the video, which also feature Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., MTV News got some exclusive insight into the vibe of the clip from its <a href="/news/articles/1678352/madonna-give-me-all-your-luvin-video-directors.jhtml">directors, Megaforce</a>. "We said, 'Wow, it's quite interesting that it's a mix between these three artists.' They are not a part of the same universe for us," Raphael Rodriguez said of the Martin Solveig-produced track. "So it was interesting to hear this mix and different kind of music." He later described the video as "about happiness and something really sunny." <b>Get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' <a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/topic/american_idol/index.jhtml">"American Idol" page</a>, where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.</b></p>Related Artists
Monday, February 20, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Mac gives us an up-close-and-personal look at his hometown of Pittsburgh.Related Artists
Role of drug cartel 'godmother' Griselda Blanco is Oscar bait, actor tells 'Sway in the Morning.'
By Kara Warner, with reporting by Devi Dev
<P><a href="http://www.mtv.com/movies/person/166010/personmain.jhtml">Mark Wahlberg</a> always has a lot on his plate, juggling projects as both an actor and producer. One film he's been talking about for awhile now is <a href="http://www.mtv.com/movies/movie/297489/moviemain.jhtml">"Cocaine Cowboys,"</a> a feature film based on the 2006 documentary directed by Billy Corben. And when Wahlberg stopped by Sway Calloway's "Sway in the Morning" Sirius radio show on Tuesday (January 10), he hinted at some major news. "We're waiting on the script. It's going to be sooner rather than later," Wahlberg told Sway's Shade 45 co-host, Devi Dev. "We're going to shoot that in Miami, hopefully in the summer or the fall." <center><embed src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:uma:video:mtv.com:724209/cp~vid%3D724209%26uri%3Dmgid%3Auma%3Avideo%3Amtv.com%3A724209" width="460" height="260" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" base="."></embed></center> "Cocaine Cowboys" follows the rise of the cocaine trade and the subsequent crime epidemic and drug war that swept through Miami in the 1970s and '80s. The documentary featured first-person interviews with journalists, lawyers, former smugglers and gang members, many of whom argue that the criminal operations behind the trade can be traced to one prominent figure: infamous crime family matriarch Griselda Blanco. Wahlberg, who has expressed interest in teaming up with his director buddy David O. Russell on the project, joked that Devi Dev might have a shot at playing "godmother" Griselda Blanco. But the actor/director also said the co-host would have stiff competition from a well-known actress who's very interested in the part. "It's one of those characters that will go down in history. Jennifer Lopez is chasing that [role] like crazy," Wahlberg revealed. "It's the role — if I could play Griselda, I would. That's Academy Award [bait] right there." Wahlberg and Devi also discussed the fact that whoever lands the Blanco role will have to forget about being pretty. Getting into character will require a transformation à la Charlize Theron's Oscar-winning transformation for "Monster." <b>Catch MTV News' Sway Calloway on "Sway in the Morning," on <a href="http://www.siriusxm.com/shade45" target="_blank">SiriusXM Radio's Shade 45</a> Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon ET.</b></p>Related Artists
Christina Aguilera appears in new clip, along with archival footage of Mick Jagger himself.
By Kara Warner
<P><a href="/music/artist/maroon_5/artist.jhtml">Maroon 5</a> and <a href="/music/artist/aguilera_christina/artist.jhtml">Christina Aguilera</a> are taking viewers on a nostalgic romp through the '70s in their new video for "Moves Like Jagger." The four-and-a-half-minute clip, which debuted Tuesday (August 9), takes place at the historic L.A. Theatre and, as the song title suggests, features a lot of people trying to move like Mick Jagger. </p><div class="player-placeholder right" id="vid:673274" width="240" height="211"></div><p> The Jonas Åkerlund-directed clip opens with black-and-white footage of the theater, shots of work crews assembling lighting and equipment onstage and groups of extras getting into costume, warming up for a shoot. This is followed by classic footage of Jagger, during which a reporter asks the iconic Rolling Stones frontman how long he plans to make music. "I don't know. I never thought I'd be doing it for two years even," a young Jagger says, as the opening whistles of the Maroon 5 song kick in, throughout which a slew of Jagger look-alikes are shown dancing up to a central microphone, interlaced with archival footage of Jagger himself and shots of bandmembers James Valentine, Jesse Carmichael, Michael Madden and Matt Flynn rocking out on their instruments. Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine eventually takes center stage to start singing wearing nothing but snug-fitting polyester pants and his colorful tattoos. True to its name, the video is mostly a mash-up of people trying to move like Jagger, including Levine. When Aguilera makes her brief appearance, she fits right into the retro feel with mascara-heavy lashes and a floppy hat. We don't see her Jagger moves, though. For the eagle-eyed fans out there, watch out for the cheeky "Who the f--- is Mick Jagger?" T-shirt Levine and several extras sport at various moments in the clip. For Levine and his bandmates, the song and video are all about exposing a new generation to the rock legend. "We were lucky enough to get Mick's endorsement [for the video], as far as him giving us access to a bunch of different footage that's so cool," <a href="/news/articles/1667353/maroon-5--moves-like-jagger-music-video-set-visit.jhtml">Levine told MTV News</a> when we visited the video's set last month. "Not many people have seen [it], especially a newer generation of people that don't know so much about how incredible he was." <i>What do you think of the video? Share your reviews in the comments below!</i></p>Related Artists
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry also get AMA love, while Justin Bieber and Chris Brown rep for the fellas with their performances.
By Jocelyn Vena
<P>On Sunday night (November 20), the music industry's A-listers gathered inside Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre to celebrate some of 2011's most memorable musical moments. It was a night dominated by chart-toppers like <a href="/music/artist/swift__taylor/artist.jhtml">Taylor Swift</a>, <a href="/music/artist/minaj__nicki/artist.jhtml">Nicki Minaj</a> and <a href="/music/artist/lopez_jennifer/artist.jhtml">Jennifer Lopez</a>. Minaj and David Guetta were the first to electrify the stage. The two stars joined forces to get the room jumping with their track "Turn Me On," which transitioned into Nicki's breakthrough hit "Super Bass." Maroon 5 were the first big winners, taking home Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo or Group. "This is our first one. This is crazy. I think in order to get one of these, you have to have loyal fans," lead singer Adam Levine said. Next up, Swift nabbed a trophy for Favorite Country Female Artist. After hugging pal Selena Gomez, Taylor excitedly accepted her award wearing a glittering gown. "I want to thank my band and my crew and the fans for filling up stadiums," she said. "And my mom and my dad and my brother who came with me tonight, and my fans who continue to amaze me." Sean Kingston was onstage to welcome his "true friend" Justin Bieber, whom he noted kept in touch with him continually during his recovery earlier this year. <a href="/news/articles/1674722/justin-bieber-amas.jhtml">Bieber brought a little Christmas</a> to the stage, performing his <I>Under the Mistletoe</I> song "Mistletoe." </p><div class="player-placeholder right" id="vid:712975.id:1674723" width="240" height="211"></div><p> The flurry of performances continued, including one from the Band Perry (who appear on Bieber's <I>UTM</I>) singing their crossover track "If I Die Young." Then 50 Cent took the stage to proclaim the following about Chris Brown: "You haven't seen this guy till you've seen him perform onstage. It's the main event." <a href="/news/articles/1674724/chris-brown-amas.jhtml">Brown gave the room a little medley</a>, slowing it down with "All Back" then transitioning into "Say It With Me." Nicki Minaj took home her first award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist. She was the only girl up against Yeezy and Weezy. "I didn't think I was going to win it," she told the room. "I have to thank God ... and Taylor Swift, wherever you are. I want to thank my Barbz. There's power in your peace. Hold your peace." Kelly Clarkson performed a big-band-inspired version of her song "Mr. Know It All" before Favorite Soul/R&B Album was handed out to Rihanna for <I>Loud.</I> In a pre-taped message, Rihanna said, "This means a lot to me. I love you guys. Thanks to all my fans." Enrique Iglesias took the stage with a little help from a marching band to perform his feel-good track "I Like How It Feels" then recalled his performance last year when he <a href="/news/articles/1652669/enrique-iglesias-to-perform-raunchier-new-single-at-amas.jhtml">once again performed "Tonight."</a> Jennifer Lopez followed up her fellow Latin superstar, kicking off her performance in a very diva way, complete with a flowing gown and wind machine, before kicking into high gear with "Papi," for which she changed into a sparkly, body-hugging outfit. For her third costume change, Pitbull took the stage with her for "On the Floor." Lady Antebellum locked in the prize for Favorite Country Band, Duo or Group. Leading lady Hillary Scott said, "We just want to say thank you to the fans. It starts and ends with you." <a href="/news/articles/1626851/adam-lambert-says-ama-kiss-was-in-the-moment.jhtml">Adam Lambert made his return to the AMA stage</a> two years after his memorable (and <a href="/news/articles/1626886/adam-lamberts-ama-performance-divides-critics.jhtml">divisive</a>) debut performance, welcoming OneRepublic, who performed "Good Life" and had Bieber bopping his head from the audience. Then, Minaj was back again, winning Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album for <I>Pink Friday.</I> Swift handed it off to her before Minaj said, "This one can actually make me cry. I can't believe this is happening ... just chase your dreams," she told her fans. "Shout out to all the female rappers, past, present and future." Pitbull was joined by hypeman Lil Jon and Marc Anthony for "Rain Over Me" before <a href="/news/articles/1674725/katy-perry-amas.jhtml">Katy Perry took the stage</a>. All decked out in pink, she embraced the sadness of her track "The One That Got Away" by keeping it simple and acoustic. </p><div class="player-placeholder right" id="vid:712977.id:1674723" width="240" height="211"></div><p> Immediately after performing, Perry was surprised with a special award of achievement for being the first woman in the history of pop music to have <a href="/news/articles/1669214/katy-perry-michael-jackson-singles-record.jhtml">five #1 singles from one album</a>. "Can I just say, thank you so much for letting me be a chameleon this year. I love you so much, and I also love my fans. I want to thank my band and all of the people who came out to see me." Hot Chelle Rae won for New Artist of the Year before J.Lo took it home for Favorite Latin Artist. "I'm shaking," she said. "I didn't expect to win. It's been a really amazing year in so many ways. It's been up and down. It's been exciting and overwhelming. I'm just grateful for all my blessings." Mary J. Blige brought some swagger to the stage for "Mr. Wrong" before <a href="/news/articles/1674554/heavy-d-death-mary-j-blige.jhtml">paying homage to late MC Heavy D</a>. "Rest in peace to my dear friend, the lovable, the great Heavy D. I miss you so much, brother." The Favorite Soul R&B Female Artist went to Beyoncé, who accepted the trophy from NYC. "AMAs thank you very, very much. I'm so excited about this award because it was voted by all of my fans, and I have the best fans in the world. Actually, you're the only people I want to thank." "Moves Like Jagger" brought Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera out, and their rollicking rendition of the bouncy party track had Swift and Gomez dancing in the audience. That transitioned nicely into Maroon frontman Levine joining Gym Class Heroes for their performance of "Stereo Hearts," complete with a big boom box behind them. Drake brought some fire to the stage with his track "Headlines," which had the house going wild, including his Young Money sister Minaj and Swift, who seemed to know all the words to the <I>Take Care</I> track. Bruno Mars won for Favroite Pop/Rock Male Artist. "I want to thank the fans," he said. "You all mean everything to me. I want to say hi to my family at home in Hawaii." Daughtry brought power rock to the show with "Back to You," and then Swift took home another award: Favorite Country Album for <I>Speak Now.</I> "I want to thank all the fans for remembering the lyrics and caring about lyrics," she said. "This is so amazing." Next, will.i.am took the stage with Jennifer Lopez for the premiere of his track "T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)" for what turned out to be one very eye-popping performance, relying heavily on neon clothes and some assistance from Mick Jagger via video. Adele won for Favorite Pop/Rock Album for <I>21,</I> however, it was Swift who took home the big award for Artist of the Year, bringing her career AMA total to 10. "This is one of the craziest things that has ever happened to me," she said. "Thank you so much to the fans. I have no idea. I didn't think this was going to happen. I love you, Selena, my little sister I never had. Oh my God! Thank you for everything." But that was hardly the end. LMFAO were the show's big finale, and they rocked out with lasers, their party-boy demeanor and lots of smooth dance moves as they hit the stage for "Party Rock Anthem" and "Sexy and I Know It." Oh yeah: Bieber and David Hasselhoff also hit the stage with the guys. Apparently they really like to shuffle. And wiggle. <i>What did you think of the AMAs? Let us know in the comments below!</i></p>Related Videos
MTV News looks at what the artists have been up to since Spalding beat out Bieber for Best New Artist at the 2011 Grammys.
By Jocelyn Vena
<P>Last year, <a href="/news/articles/1657863/esperanza-spalding-best-new-artist.jhtml">Esperanza Spalding beat out</a> sure bets like Justin Bieber, Florence and the Machine and Drake when she won the Best New Artist prize at the 2011 <a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/grammys/">Grammy Awards</a>. The loss was particularly <a href="/news/articles/1657888/justin-bieber-esperanza-spalding.jhtml">hard on Bieber</a>, who spoke to MTV News shortly after the loss. "I had no clue what was going to happen; I worked really hard these past few years, and you know, I'm not going to lie — I was disappointed," <a href="/news/articles/1657878/justin-bieber-grammy-loss.jhtml">Bieber told MTV News</a> at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. "But, you know, I'm gonna come back [next year] and we'll take a few home. ... I'm inspired to work harder than I did last year. It's going to be hard, but I'm going to try." </p><div class="player-placeholder right" id="vid:622224.id:1657881" width="240" height="211"></div><p> <a href="/news/articles/1657892/esperanza-spalding-grammys-best-new-artist.jhtml">Spalding was nearly as floored</a> by the win as Bieber. "I really didn't think it was going to be me," she told MTV News backstage. "I was one of those [surprised] people. ... It was so unexpected, that's the truth. I'm grateful to all my people in my big musical family that have given me so much support and help over the years. I don't really think this is for me; it's for all of us. And I wish they could all be here to put one finger on this with me." In the 12 months since last year's Grammy show, <a href="/news/articles/1676395/justin-bieber-2011-news.jhtml">Bieber has been everywhere</a> and has certainly lived up to his promise to work hard. He's released new music as well as lots of splashy music videos, gone on an arena-filling world tour, dropped a box-office-busting 3-D concert film, hit the studio for his upcoming album <i>Believe</i> and kept teen girls screaming with an onslaught of various new hairstyles and photo ops. Spalding, on the other hand, has managed to fly under the radar in the time since she took home Grammy gold. However, this March she plans to get back on the scene and release her new album, <i>Radio Music Society,</i> her follow-up to <i>Chamber Music Society,</i> the 2010 album that helped bring national attention to her at the Grammys last year. </p><div class="player-placeholder right" id="vid:622257.id:1657881" width="240" height="211"></div><p> "Originally I thought it would be fun to release a double album," she said in a statement about the soon-to-be released album. "One disc with an intimate, subtle exploration of chamber works and a second one in which jazz musicians explore song forms and melodies that are formatted more along the lines of what we would categorize as pop songs. Those are the two things that really interest me, and it intrigues me to think about different presentation approaches while writing each kind of song." As she sets out to celebrate the anniversary of her win, Spalding dropped a new track, "Black Gold," to radio, and earlier this month she premiered the video for it. She'll also hit the road for a tour that kicks off in April and wraps up in June. Interestingly enough, <a href="/news/articles/1678841/justin-bieber-drake-collab-believe.jhtml">Bieber is also set</a> to drop his new album later this year, for which he's enlisted Drake, will.i.am, Pharrell and Lil Wayne. Could it mean there will be another Bieber/Spalding showdown at the 2013 Grammy Awards? Only time will tell. <b>Chaos! Profanity! Wardrobe malfunctions! Don't miss our <a href="/news/articles/1678706/grammy-awards-red-carpet-live-stream.jhtml">Grammy red-carpet live stream</a> this Sunday, February 12, for a full three hours of mayhem, starting at 5 p.m. ET on MTV.com. And the fun doesn't end Sunday: MTV News has you covered for all the <a href="http://style.mtv.com/category/awards-shows/">Grammy red-carpet fashion</a>, <a href="/news/articles/1678701/grammy-winners-list.jhtml">Grammy winners</a> and Grammy news until the hangover wears off!</b></p>Related Videos
Thursday, February 16, 2012
'American Idol' judge is the magazine's 'All-Star Woman.'
By Christina Garibaldi
<P><a href="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/lopez_jennifer/artist.jhtml">Jennifer Lopez</a> has had a roller coaster ride of a year. In January, the singer took over one of the vacant <a href="/news/articles/1656275/steven-tyler-and-jennifer-lopezs-american-idol-debut-how-did-they-do.jhtml">judges' seats on "American Idol,"</a> scored a hit single with "On the Floor" off her <a href="/news/articles/1663220/jennifer-lopez-love-album-release-party.jhtml">album <i>Love?</i></a> a few months later, and saw her seven-year <a href="/news/articles/1667375/jennifer-lopez-marc-anthony-split.jhtml">marriage to Marc Anthony</a> come to an end in the summer. </p><div class="player-placeholder right" id="vid:705892" width="240" height="211"></div><p> But it seems 2011 will end on a high note for Lopez as she'll grace the December cover of <i>Glamour</i>'s annual Women of the Year issue. Lopez is being honored as an "All-Star Woman" for her numerous achievements this year in television, music, fashion and charity. The singer/actress/fashionista was interviewed for the magazine by another inspiring woman, actress Jane Fonda. Lopez talked candidly about what she's learned about love and relationships over this past year. "I think I've finally learned the biggest lesson of all: You've got to love yourself first," Lopez says. "You've got to be OK on your own before you can be OK with someone else. You've got to value yourself and know that you're worth everything. And until you value yourself enough and love yourself enough to know that, you can't really have a healthy relationship." So does that mean Lopez is ready to date again? Possibly, but this time she plans to try to keep her love life out of the tabloids. "I think to give something a chance, to really get to know somebody, you want to do it out of the public eye," Lopez says. "You know the media — they want to rush everything." While Lopez's romances often make headlines, the <a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/topic/american_idol/index.jhtml">"American Idol"</a> judge has been also been known to turn heads with her style. "The things I liked when I was, like, 16 and in the Bronx — jeans, cut-up T-shirts — I still like," she admits. "But I've been exposed to so much now from traveling the world and seeing couture clothes," Lopez added. "I used all of that when I created my new line for Kohl's. My style has come from everything, from where I started to where I am today." Lopez and 10 other lucky ladies will be honored in <i>Glamour</i> magazine's Women of the Year issue, which hits newsstands November 1. <i>Who else do you think deserves </i>Glamour<i>'s Women of the Year honor? Tell us in the comments!</i></p>Related Artists
James' songs 'cut right to my soul,' Aguilera tells family, friends and fans at service.
By John Mitchell
<P>Family, friends and fans gathered to remember <a href="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/james_etta/artist.jhtml">Etta James</a> at a memorial service on Saturday at City of Refuge Church in Gardena, California. The legendary singer was eulogized by the Rev. Al Sharpton, and her most beloved songs were brought to life with <a href="http://www.billboard.com/#/news/etta-james-remembered-by-wonder-aguilera-1006025952.story" target="_blank">rousing performances</a> by <a href="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/aguilera_christina/artist.jhtml">Christina Aguilera</a> and <a href="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/wonder_stevie/artist.jhtml">Stevie Wonder</a>. </p><div class="player-placeholder right" id="vid:727109.id:1677649" width="240" height="211"></div><p> Sharpton opened the service by reading a statement from President Barack Obama, whose first inaugural-ball dance with First Lady Michelle Obama was famously accompanied by a rendition of James' classic "At Last" performed by Beyoncé. "Etta will be remembered for her legendary voice and her contributions to our nation's musical heritage," Obama's statement read. <a href="/news/articles/1677610/etta-james-dead.jhtml">James died</a> on January 20 after a long battle with leukemia and other health problems, including kidney failure and dementia. She was 73. Sharpton's eulogy of James recounted a difficult life of poverty and pain that was brought out in songs that influenced contemporary singers from Aguilera and Adele to Florence Welch and Amy Winehouse, who like James battled drug addiction but unlike her idol was never able to overcome it. James was also a favorite of Beyoncé, who portrayed the singer in the 2008 film "Cadillac Records." "Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I am so fortunate to have met such a queen," <a href="/news/articles/1677641/etta-james-beyonce.jhtml">Beyoncé said</a> in a statement following James' passing. "Her musical contributions will last a lifetime." "Out of all the singers that I've ever heard, she was the one that cut right to my soul and spoke to me," Aguilera said before her performance of "At Last" at the service. Wonder performed three songs, including "Shelter in the Rain," an a cappella version of "The Lord's Prayer" and a harmonica solo. Sharpton emphasized how the singer's music bolstered the civil rights movement. "Etta James helped break down the culture curtain of America before the Civil Rights Act of 1964," Sharpton said. "She was able to get us on the same rhythms and humming the same ballads and understanding each other's melodies way before we could even use the same hotels." James is survived by her husband of 42 years, Artis Mills, and two sons, Donto and Sametto James. "You beat 'em, Etta," Sharpton concluded. "At last, you can find peace now. At last, you can get the gratitude of the savior now. Etta, you made it, you're going home. At last. At last. At last."</p>Related Videos
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
'I feel like this may be one of the more scandalous seasons in 'Survivor' history,' two-time former contestant Rob Cesternino tells MTV News.
By Josh Wigler
Two tribes, one beach. That's the setup for the new season of "Survivor," titled "One World," premiering Wednesday (February 15). For the third time in "Survivor" history, the line will be drawn in the sand between one tribe of men and one tribe of women ... except this time, in a new twist, both teams will be forced to coexist on the very same beach right from the start.
So what happens when 18 men and women are forced to live together in the same tropical paradise while competing for a million-dollar prize? According to longtime "Survivor" commentator and two-time contestant Rob Cesternino — often described as "the smartest player who never won the game" — the end result could well be "one of the more scandalous seasons in 'Survivor' history."
"You have all these guys and girls living together on one beach, and somebody is bound to hook up ... and that's going to create problems, because that's the other team," Cesternino predicted to MTV News about the two same-sex tribes. "Not only are guys and girls going to hook up, but let's say that the guys catch a bunch of fish and the girls don't. They have to sit there and watch you eat. What if one of the guys has a girlfriend? Is he going to be sneaking off to give some of the guys' food to the girls? There's a lot of possibility for drama and conflict on this season."
Cesternino knows a thing or two about surviving a battle of the sexes. His debut season of "Survivor" was also the one that introduced the men-vs.-women twist, and he emerged in the end with an impressive third-place prize. But "One World" presents a very different challenge from Cesternino's "Amazon" days, as the men and women are forced to cohabitate in the same exact space this time around. But looking past the gender lines, Cesternino believes the new season of "Survivor" presents a very powerful opportunity for some lucky players.
"It seems like the players fit into one of two categories: people who look like popular kids in your high school, and the people who don't fit that description," he observed. "I wouldn't be surprised if some of these young, good-looking guys band together and start hanging out with the young, good-looking girls on the other tribe, and have some sort of super-alliance. 'You keep those guys together, you keep those girls together.' Normally you have alliances of four or so people promising to go all the way. Now there's a chance to merge with [an alliance of] eight people. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a high school alliance here."
Of course, nothing in "Survivor" is ever stable. Despite the initial men-vs.-women setup, Cesternino predicts an eventual tribal switch will shake up each team's roster. "The switch has become a little passé in modern 'Survivor,'" he said, "[but] the men-vs.-women seasons that they've done before, both times they switched up the tribes."
Even before the season's premiere, Cesternino has sized up some of the game's newest competitors. First and foremost is Leif Manson, a 27-year-old phlebotomist and the first little person in "Survivor" history. Already, Cesternino is worried about Leif's chances — but not for the reasons you might think.
"A couple of seasons ago, there was a contestant with one leg — and she was voted off because, 'Well, she's going to win if she gets to the end!' " Cesternino said, referring to Kelly Bruno of "Survivor Nicaragua" fame. "Leif's biggest challenge isn't a height disadvantage. It's that no one will want him to get close to the end of the game, because people will say he'll win if he gets there. It's almost like he needs to be such a bastard, such an unlikable character, in order to win ... if he's a nice guy at all, they have to get rid of him."
Two other players who have piqued Cesternino's curiosity are Greg "Tarzan" Smith, a 64-year-old plastic surgeon, and Troy "Troyzan" Robertson, a 50-year-old swimsuit photographer. "They both seem pretty nutty," he said. "Troyzan and Tarzan [are] going to go one of two ways: Those guys are going to be best friends, or they're going to hate each other. Judging by some of the commercials I've seen, I think they're going to hate each other," he laughed. "I think only one of them can survive this clash of the Tarzans."
It's not all doom and gloom in Cesternino's predictions, however. He has high hopes for 28-year-old Bill Posley, who comes to "Survivor" equipped with an often undervalued skill: a sense of humor.
"That's a very underrated trait in being a successful Survivor: being charismatic, making friends with people and rolling with the punches. Having a good sense of humor definitely helps with that," Cesternino said of Bill, who is a professional stand-up comedian. "Going back to the high school alliance, I think Bill being a comedian, he can get along with the young, hip crowd and also get along with some of the eccentrics [like the Tarzans]."
Still, even a longtime "Survivor" expert such as Cesternino is having some difficulty seeing how "One World" might play out. "It's been tough to pick a winner this season. I think I've pegged 15 out of 18 people as going out before the merge," he laughed. "I'm going to be wrong about some of them, but it should make for a very wild season."
"Survivor: One World" premieres Wednesday (February 15) at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. Find out more about Rob's "Survivor" predictions at his website.