Just a few short weeks ago, we brought you an exclusive clip of Ronnie James Dio talking to our own Eddie Trunk on the Black Carpet of the Revolver Golden Gods Awards (airing this Saturday, May 22). Dio spoke bravely about the chemotherapy he had been enduring, as well as his desire to get back on the road and play again for his fans. Sadly, Dio passed away yesterday at the age of 67 after a valiant fight against stomach cancer.
This is a blog post I truly wish I was not writing. My hands are shaking on the keyboard, so excuse the typos. I lost a dear friend today, someone who I loved way beyond just the brilliant music he gave the world for decades.
Sadly, it has been confirmed that Ronnie James Dio has lost his battle with cancer. In my 27 years in the business, I have never met anyone like Ronnie. I am fully aware of people that I deal with, and people that deal with me, because it’s the business and what we do, but Ronnie was way beyond that. Nobody ever gave me the public show of support and respect back like Ronnie, and our friendship went way beyond the business.
Even though it’s only been one week since Bret Michaels was released from the hospital, the hard-rocking Poison frontman is making good on his promise to “continue to rock the world.” TMZ is reporting that Bret is planning on resuming his tour on May 28 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, MS. As you’ll recall, Bret was on tour when he was rushed to the hospital back in mid-April for an emergency appendectomy, a tour which was obviously postponed again after he suffered a life-threatening brain hemorrhage less than a month ago. It remains to be seen whether or not Michaels will be healthy enough to appear on the live finale of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice on May 23, but either way, it’s amazing that he’s been able to recover so quickly.
When Train’s three-year hiatus ended late last year with the release of their Save Me San Francisco LP, it was uncertain whether or not the group would be able to recapture the kind of popularity they experienced in the early aughts, back when hits like “Drops of Jupiter” and “Meet Virginia” dominated the charts. Despite this long absence from the scene, Train proved that they’ve still got star power in spades when their lead-off single, “Hey, Soul Sister”, not only became their highest charting Billboard hit ever, but also spent the last few months firmly ensconced in our Top 20 Video Countdown.
Hot on the heels of that song’s tremendous success comes “If It’s Love,” an up-tempo, heartwarming tune that we’re pleased to be exclusively premiering online on 5/11 and on-air during our Top 20 show on Saturday, 5/15. Directed by Fall Out Boy’s own Pete Wentz, the clip will capture more playful and silly sides of the band, so be sure to check out some behind the scenes footage above!
A hearty congratulations are due to the Boys & Girls Club of St. Lucie County from Port St. Lucie, Florida, as they’ve taken home the first place prize in VH1 and DoSomething.org’s Battle of the Bands contest! Well over 850 bands entered at a chance to take home the $5,000 first prize and a chance to perform at the legendary Apollo Theater and, at the end of the day, the Boys & Girls Club of St. Lucie stood above the rest. They will be making the trek up from Florida to participate in the annual awards ceremony on May 24.
In addition to the success of the Boys & Girls Club of St. Lucie, four additional bands were also selected to receive $1,000 for their school music program, concert tickets, Fender guitars, and Rock Band video games.
Both VH1 and DoSomething.org would like to thank everyone who participated in this event and helped raise awareness of the importance of music education in our schools. If you’re looking for more information or ways that you can help, please take a moment to check out VH1’s Save The Music Foundation website.
One of the things I was most excited about while shooting the fifth season of That Metal Show was the chance to see my longtime friend, Ronnie James Dio. I had last seen Ronnie just a few months prior when the Heaven & Hell camp bought me to LA to do an interview with them for an upcoming DVD. At that time, Ronnie had just started his chemo for stomach cancer. I was very curious to see how Ronnie was doing now that a couple months had passed since our last encounter.
Needless to say, I was thrilled to see him well enough to attend the Golden Gods Awards (airing on VH1 Classic on Saturday, May 22 at 10 p.m./9c) and approach our broadcast position on the Black Carpet. He has been a great friend and supporter of mine for many years now, and not only is he one of my favorite musicians, he’s also truly one of my favorite people. As you can see, he is positive about his prognosis, thankful for his many fans and their support, and looking great. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers as he continues to battle this illness, and enjoy this clip as proof of what positive vibes and support from us all (along, of course, with the help of all the great doctors working on his case) can do. Get well, RJD!
After seeing such an overwhelming show of support from all of you Bret Michaels fans out there, we here at VH1 have decided to work a fresh batch of your well-wishes for the Poison frontman and Rock of Love into another re-airing of his Behind The Music special on VH1 Classic tonight at 9 p.m./8c. Sadly, there isn’t enough room to squeeze everyone’s message into the show, but we did want to find a way to extend our thanks to all of you who took time out of your busy schedules to send such inspirational messages to Bret and his family. So be sure and tune in tonight to see if your message made it to air!
Speaking of Bret, TMZ is reporting that he has recovered to the point that he is “now speaking well and plans to hit the stage on May 26.” That’s truly outstanding news, don’t you think?
When Christina Aguilera released her video for “Dirrty” back in 2002, her assless chaps and aggressively sexual come-ons made it patently clear that she had no desire to live out the rest of her career as a cookie-cutter pop star. That overtly adult gamble paid off in spades; not only did her legions of fans stick by her as she matured as both a woman and an artist, but it went a long way towards proving that she could successfully emulate the career path that Madonna chose, trying out different personas as society’s taste in musical styles undulated.
Speaking of Madonna, there are more than a few nods to the Material Girl in Aguilera’s new boundary-pushing (and slightly NSFW) video for “Not Myself Tonight,” the first single off her highly anticipated Bionic LP. Over a club-friendly bed of pounding Polow da Don synths, Aguilera brandishes S&M fetish gear (whips, diamond-studded crotch flaps, leather masks!) in a way that recalls Madge’s “Human Nature” video. At other points, she leads a bevy of shirtless hunks in a series of vaguely militaristic series of dance moves that pay homage to “Express Yourself” (by way of the rain-soaked finale of Step Up 2: The Streets). Oh, and while we’re cataloging some of this video’s influences, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out Christina and director Hype Williams’s visual shout-out to George Michael and his landmark “Freedom 90″ video.
So, we want to hear your thoughts. What do you think of this video? How do you feel about Christina’s new musical direction? Are you going to be blasting this from your car radio all summer long? And don’t forget, if this song (or any of her others) serves to inspire you, we encourage you to share your story over on our VH1 Storytellers site.
Where were you when you first heard “Genie in a Bottle”? If you’re a Christina Aguilera fan, you can probably recall that very moment — and many others throughout her career — when her star power truly spoke to you.
Here at VH1, we have been following her career since those very early days, which is why we’re so thrilled to have her on tap for the next chapter of VH1 Storytellers: Christina Aguilera. Now, here’s the part where YOU come in. Share your own story with us about the Christina Aguilera songs you love most, and your video or written submission may become part of the Storytellers legacy and make their way into the program, which premieres on June 13!
Was an Xtina song ever your anthem? With so many amazing hits and videos to choose from, we’re guessing that there has to be at least one that holds special meaning for you. Did the self confidence-building mantra from “Beautiful” lift your spirits when you were down? Did you stay strong after a bad breakup because “Fighter” helped to pull you through? Did “Ain’t No Other Man” make you realize how much you loved that someone special in your life? Let us know! Read more…
“We are all thinking of our friend Bret Michaels and his family at this difficult time. Everyone in the VH1 family sends him our best wishes for a speedy recovery and hopes to hear him rock our worlds again very soon.”