Remember Lost in Space? What a timeless film: William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Heather Graham, and TV greats Lacey Chabert and Matt LeBlanc. Back in 1998, there was such excitement for this cinematic recreation of the classic ’60s CBS series.
What’s that? You say you don’t remember this bit of Clinton-era movie magic? Or…you do, vaguely — but you seem to recall that it kind of blew chunks?
Well, how could that be? After all, Lost in Space was the movie that evicted Titanic, the highest-grossing and Oscar-winningest movie of all time, from the top of the U.S. box office after a record-setting, still unbeaten run.
This bit of throwaway trivia (regarding a movie that, all kidding aside, was a serious flop) leaps to mind as I consider the song that finally terminates the Black Eyed Peas’ half-year run atop the Billboard Hot 100.
Jay Sean’s “Down,” to be fair, isn’t half as bad a song as Lost in Space was a movie. It’s a pleasant little ditty, a Chris Brown‒like midtempo jam with a not-embarrassing supporting rap from prodigal chart hero Lil Wayne. London native Sean — born Kamaljit Singh Jhooti — also earns the happy status as one of the few people of South Asian descent to top our singles chart, after a successful half-decade career hitting charts in the United Kingdom and India.
Still, there’s no question that the Hot 100 win by “Down,” over a very competitive field of songs-in-waiting, has less to do with love for the track than with the Peas at last letting go. Jay Sean should enjoy the victory he’s eked out, because it will likely be short-lived. More »
Beach-loving troubadour Kenny Chesney, American Idol winner Carrie Underwood, and pop darling Taylor Swift have already nabbed multiple nominations for this year’s CMA Awards, despite the Country Music Association only announcing five categories as they trickle out the nominees over two time slots on two networks. (Five categories were announced by nominees Darius Rucker and Lee Ann Womack on Good Morning America; the remainder of the categories will be announced on CMT in the 10 a.m. ET hour. Hey, something has to make news on International Beatles Day, right?) The biggest prize of the night—Entertainer Of The Year—will be a contest between Swift, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, George Strait, and Chesney, who’s nabbed the trophy four times already. Also, Jack White is probably verystoked, since the Raconteurs’ collaboration with Ricky Skaggs and Austin Monroe, “Old Enough,” got a Music Event Of The Year nod. The full list of nominees so far after the jump. More »
Obviously, we need to talk about the new song that takes over the top of Billboard‘s Hot 100, and the mind-blowing record it sets.
But before we do that, let’s talk about Hilary Swank.
I find Swank’s movie career totally incomprehensible: She either wins Oscars, or she tanks. Not even Meryl Streep has won two Best Actress statues, yet in under a decade Swank has gone to that podium twice, like some kind of modern-day Katharine Hepburn. You’d think that would make her one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, or at least its most respected. Sure, she wins roles in some blockbuster-type stuff (The Core) or prestige-like stuff (The Black Dahlia), but these movies are invariably flops. Swank’s successes seem to have had no impact on her career, or the way she’s regarded by the general public. She’s some kind of metaphor for the in-and-out nature of post-millennial fame.
All this leaps to my mind when I consider Flo Rida, the rapper who reaches No. 1 on the Hot 100 for the second time, with the kind of sales total that you’d think would make Lil Wayne, Kanye West or Jay-Z bow respectfully.
But if I were them, I wouldn’t. Because after all, who is this clown? How did Flo Rida become the Hilary Swank of pop music?
Welcome to Idolator’s liveblog of the 2009 Grammy Awards, a year in which there will be more spectacle and less award-doling than ever. Well, at least it seems that way: The 3 1/2-hour telecast will have no more than 10 brass gramophones handed out during its running time, presumably because the music industry decided that what it really needed to give it a shot in the arm was a slightly more pretentious version of the Video Music Awards. (And yes, that is Paul McCartney being That Guy—or rather, the Bret Michaels-pioneered variation on That Guy who wears a shirt advertising his own projects—above.) Full minute-by-minute coverage after the jump!
The numbers for the year’s biggest tours are in, and it looks like Bon Jovi’s country-tinged Lost Highway Tour is 2008’s top grosser, pulling in $210.6 million and two million fans. And they didn’t just drive back and forth in New Jersey! They totally left the state!* In fact, New Jersey kept on rocking at No. 2: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band’s Magic Tour conjured $204.5 million dollars (plus $31 million not counted from last year). That’s a lot of Camaros! Full list after the jump:
The first big festival announcement for the 2009 season has come down now that Stagecoach–the country counterpart to Coachella, which next year will take place April 25-26 at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, Calif.–has released its first slew of performers: Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, the last-name-less “Reba,” and Kid Rock will headline, and for what I’m pretty sure is the first time ever, Darius “Hootie” Rucker and the Reverend Horton Heat will share a bill. And Poco is playing, too! Yes, really! Full lineup via the show’s official poster after the jump.
“Okay, it’s official,” I wrote to Maura midday on Thursday, when Billboard released the new Hot 100. “I have seriously underestimated ‘Whatever You Like.’”
That durable smash by Atlanta rap deity T.I. moves into the penthouse for the third time since late August. Directly behind it is T.I.’s simultaneous hit, the Rihanna duet “Live Your Life,” which moves up to No. 2 two weeks after it spent a sole week in the top spot.
After I bravely predicted a few weeks ago that the irresistible “Life” would dominate the fall and make “Whatever” a distant memory, the T-and-Ri pairing has had a hard time holding onto the top spot. Last week’s coup by Britney Spears’s well-hyped “Womanizer” was pretty predictable. But the idea that T.I.’s new hit would also have to fight off his older one—a loping, sluggish song that’s neither a ballad nor a club jam—was a development few saw coming, least of all me.
If there’s one thing it shows, it’s that for all our talk here in recent weeks about the dominance of digital sales on the charts these days, airplay still matters. “Whatever” wouldn’t still be competing for the top slot without radio’s fervent support.
This week’s No. 1 album is Kenny Chesney’s bummed-out Lucky Old Sun, which sold 176,000 copies in its first week on shelves–not a bad number by current standards, although slightly off from his 387,000-copy first week total of last fall’s Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates. But as it turns out, the official release date for the album was yesterday, at least, if you’re going by the day on which the plain old, bell-and-whistle-free version of Sun hit stores. It’s a tactic that Sugarland employed earlier this year for the release of Love On The Inside, and to great effect: It came thisclose to outselling Miley Cyrus’ Breakout in its first week. But in these hard times, will people wait for the plain old edition to hit the shops, and cause Chesney to be the rare recipient of a second-week uptick in sales–if they buy it at all?