Archive for the ‘Highlights’ Category

Popping Up: Shift K3Y

Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.

House-leaning dance-pop acts like Rudimental, Gorgon City and Jess Glynne are proving that North London is a currently one of the hottest hotbeds of new music right now, and throwing his hat into the arena is 21-year old Lewis Jankel. Recording as Shift K3Y, he landed a Top 5 hit in his home country of the UK earlier this year with his soulful garage-pop single “Touch.” (It’s now been released in the States — grab the song here.) And, yes, that’s Lewis, not a separate, featured vocalist, doing the singing on the track — something that makes him unique among many of his contemporaries.

We had lunch in the Big Apple with this young new pop force earlier this month, and he proved to be just as candid and sharp as he is savvy about music-making. Head below to find out more about Shift K3Y. More »

Nicki Minaj’s 2014 VMA Wardrobe Malfunction Was Staged: Morning Mix

:: While “Anaconda” rapstress Nicki Minaj claims that her VMA wardrobe malfunction was real, sources told TMZ that it was all for the show. Well, it totally worked because everyone seems to be talking about it. [TMZ]

:: Young Jeezy has been arrested on firearms charges, which may or may not be related to the shooting of 38-year-old male Eric Johnson at Wiz Khalifa‘s concert in California. [Entertainment Weekly]

:: Producer Aphex Twin opens up about “Avril 14,”  and how Kanye almost ripped him off when he sampled the song for the My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy-track “Blame Game.” [NME]

:: Justin Bieber is under investigation for allegedly stealing from a Dave & Buster’s and lunging at a “fan” when said person started taking pictures of Beiber  and Selena Gomez on his phone. Beibs, just stop. [Vulture]

:: Super-producer Rick Rubin sits in a bathtub full of ice for ALS and nominates Frank Ocean, Vincent Gallo and Owen Wilson to complete the challenge next. [Stereogum]

Find out what music you can catch on TV today after the jump. More »

MTV Video Music Awards 2014: Review Revue

Aww. It's Katy, Sam, Charli And...Dear God?!
With the dust now settling on the 31st MTV Video Music Awards, various sites have been dissecting the night’s performances and the overall spectacle in general. For instance, Beyonce‘s eye-popping finale, not to mention her touching on-stage moment with husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy while accepting the Video Vanguard Award, seemed to have captured the attention of most critics. Also being singled out is Miley Cyrus, for bringing a homeless 22-year-old as her date to the event.

The show was also shorter in time-length than usual, and a lot more tame when compared to recent years. So how did this all pan out as far as quality entertainment? Head below for our roundup of VMAs reviews. More »

Ariana Grande’s ‘My Everything’: Review Revue

She did it, Arianators: She’s finally gone and broken free.

Ariana Grande‘s highly anticipated, much-hyped second studio album My Everything is finally upon us.

After dishing out her horn-heavy summer smash “Problem” with Iggy Azalea, her EDM-tastic Zedd banger “Break Free” and “Bang Bang,” her powerhouse collaboration with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj, as well as an opening performance on last night’s 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, the pint-sized pop diva’s finally ready to give us all her love on her feature-filled follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2013 debut, Yours Truly.

Our own Kathy Iandoli concluded that Ari’s new album “diminishes any theory of a sophomore curse, as Ariana delivers a solid enough work — however, it’s done with the help of many,” giving the album a four out of five. But what did the rest of the critics have to say? More »

Christina Aguilera’s Debut Album Turns 15: Backtracking

Backtracking is our recurring look back at the pop music that shaped our lives. Our friends may come and go, but we’ll be spinning our favorite albums forever.

1999: the year when pop music ruled the world. From the United States to the UK, the genre was inescapable on music charts, televisions shows, the radio and even our favorite magazine covers. The brink of Y2k gave way to the fresh faces of pop that quickly became music legends of our time: Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, *NSYNC and Christina Aguilera. All but Aguilera were already dominating the international charts, with the singer being the last of the four to release her debut. She was introduced to the music scene as part of the 4 Pop Blondes, which included Spears, Jessica Simpson and Mandy Moore. The battle of becoming the the “It” girl in music at that time was a tough one, but nobody could hold the then-19-year-old down (never can, never will)!

Prior to her debut album, many knew Aguilera as a bright-eyed young girl from from 1993′s The New Mickey Mouse Club. Released just eight months after Britney Spears’ iconic …Baby One More Time, at first Christina’s debut was placed in the shadows of pop music’s first princess. But the worldwide success of the four singles that emerged from Christina Aguilera proved that she was a star all her own. While Spears was looked at as the sweet girl next door with her endearing personality, Aguilera showed early signs of her “Xtina” alter ego, as she was unafraid to be mainstream music’s sexualized and rebellious bad girl. Both stars may have had a lot on common at the time, but there was no doubt that Christina Aguilera was bound to achieve a status that placed her within the ranks of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.

During this musical era, record labels were focused on creating flash-in-the-pan pop phenomenons. Nonetheless, the raw talent that shone throughout Christina Aguilera saved the album from becoming too candy-coated.

Today we celebrate the 15th anniversary of Christina’s self-titled debut album, which was released on August 24, 1999, and gave rise to an international superstar — as well as the birth of Legendtina. (SAY!) More »

Kathy Griffin Challenges Nicki Minaj To A “Boo-Tay-Off”: Morning Mix

:: Comedian Kathy Griffin has officially nominated Nicki Minaj..not for the Ice Bucket Challenge, but a butt contest — “a boo-tay-off,” rather — after having seen Minaj’s “Anaconda” video. “It’s like the Ice Bucket Challenge, but it doesn’t even have any charity associated with it at all,” Griffin says. [AP]

:: One of Nicki Minaj‘s back-up dancers was bitten by a six-foot long, non-venomous snake during rehearsals for the MTV VMAs. (Yes, they were performing her Sir Mix-A-Lot-sampling “Anaconda.”) “It is in no way life-threatening, but scary,” a Viacom rep said. [MTV]

:: Speaking of the VMAs: Iggy Azalea fell off stage while performing at a pre-awards show benefit concert. Afterwards, The New Classic star posted a video of the incident herself. “Sorry, but it would be a crime not to share this with you all, I know I laughed,” she said. [Instagram]

:: Cat Power invited Sky Ferreira to perform at a concert benefiting Ferguson protesters. Ferreira says that while she’s scheduled to perform elsewhere, all proceeds from her own show will also go toward the same cause. [Rolling Stone]

:: Wiz Khalifa canceled a concert in Culta Vista, Calif., after finding out that a fan was fatally shot backstage at a show the night before. “This was a senseless tragedy. Violence is never the answer. My prayers go out to the victim’s family,” he said. [Billboard]

:: Shawn Mendes really digs Taylor Swift‘s new song. [Twitter]

Find out what music you can catch on TV today after the jump. More »

2014 MTV Video Music Awards: Recapping The Madness

The 2014 BeyMAs
I can’t stop crying. We did it, kids…we made it through another year of the MTV Video Music Awards!

The show kicked off with a bang (sort of!), as pint-sized pop tart Ariana Grande crash-landed onto the stage to merrily skip around for a rendition of “Break Free.” Cute! Then came a second bang — err, butt, as our beloved “Pills N Potions” rapstress Nicki Minaj took to her jungle-themed stage (which was snake-free by the way, thanks to an incident over the weekend) to deliver some spot-on booty-ography from her a$$-clapping “Anaconda” video. And then, an ACTUAL “Bang Bang,” as Jessie J arrived to the stage. The powerhouse trio then teamed up on stage, except — eek! Nicki was just barely zipped up into her dress, resulting in an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction. But even though the dress totally flopped, she expertly covered her bits and handled it like a total champ. More »

Eminem And Rihanna Accept The Ice Bucket Challenge During The Monster Tour: Watch

Eminem and Rihanna became the latest pop stars to accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge during the sixth and final date of their co-headlining Monster Tour. To cheers from the sold-out, 45,000 crowd at his hometown of Detroit, Eminem accepted mentor Dr. Dre‘s call and had Rihanna herself dump ice-cold water over his head. Eminem then challenged producer Rick Rubin, hypeman Mr. Porter and RiRi herself – though not without some protests from the latter.

“I’m from the islands. I don’t do this ice shit,” Rihanna said. (We know, Rihanna.) “This ice shit doesn’t work for me – wait. That’s a fucking pot!”

Watch the spectacle after the jump. More »

Whatcha Say: Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj And The Idolator Floppy Awards Got Our Readers Talking

Happy Friday, Idolator readers! Are you ready for your pop knowledge quiz? Let’s review what happened this week, shall we?

All eyes were on Taylor Swift as the country-pop diva held a Yahoo live-stream to reveal details about her fifth studio album 1989, which will be released in October. Tay also premiered her Max Martin/Shellback-produced single “Shake It Out” as well as the track’s dorky video. What’s more, Nicki Minaj dropped her jungle-themed, sweaty and ass-tastic visual for “Anaconda,” Scottish beatsmith Calvin Harris previewed a clip of “Blame” with British crooner John Newman, and Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett shared their tracklist for their jazz album, Cheek To Cheek.

Here on Idolator, we premiered Benny Benassi’s latest single “Shooting Helicopters” with System of a Down’s Serj Tankian and, in lieu of the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, held our first-ever glamour-filled Idolator Floppy Awards.

As always, you guys had plenty to say. Read the week’s best comments below! More »

Rapstress Remy Ma Talks About Her Kids, Her Marriage To Papoose And Prison: Morning Mix

:: Released from jail in July, femcee Remy Ma sits down with VIBE to talk about her kids, her marriage to fellow New York rapper Papoose and her fear of going back to prison. [VIBE]

:: Rapper Talib Kweli got in a shouting match with reporter Don Lemon over CNN’s coverage of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. [MTV]

:: Christian country songstress RaeLynn released a new song called “God Made Girls.” Enough said. [The Frisky]

:: Justin Bieber shaved off his ‘stache. All is right with the world again. [Gawker]

:: Swedish electronic duo The Knife announced that they will split up right after their November tour. [Dazed]

Find out what music you can catch on TV today after the jump. More »