Piano-playing siren Alicia Keys recently opened up to Blender magazine on everything from her conspiracy theories to her sexual side on her latest album, As I Am. Here are a few of the things we learned from Blender‘s cover story.
1. Alicia Keys almost lost her mind to make this record. “I’m the best wall builder that ever lived. These people were coming at me, asking me things, and they really didn’t care about me, but I had to give them everything. What did I have left for myself?” The result was that both Keys and her music got dark and weird. “I was hanging off the edge of a cliff. Something had to give, or I was gonna lose my mind.”
2. Gangsta Rap is a government tool. “Gangsta rap was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other,” says Keys.
3. Alicia’s discovered her sexual side. “I’m discovering my sexual side. I recorded this song – it’s supersimple: just piano, Rhodes keyboard and a kick drum. It’s so sensual. It moves you,” she says. Jeff Robinson, her manager, wasn’t exactly a fan: “he popped out of his seat halfway through. He said: ‘we do not record songs like this!'”
Just like we promised, Stone Temple Pilots are reuniting to hit the road this summer. VH1 was there when the band discussed the decision, and revealed that this is no ordinary jaunt: starting at the end of May, the rockers are embarking on a whopping 65-date tour. Take the jump to find out the city they’re playing near you.
First Mary J. let the cat out of the bag, now Jay and Bey‘s florist is talking: UsWeekly‘s latest cover story features a lengthy story on the first couple of hip-hop’s wedding. According to florist Amy Vongpitaka (who probably won’t be hired for any future celeb weddings after opening her big mouth), Mr. and Mrs. Z had an almost six-foot wedding cake, 750 pounds of flowers, and an intimate guest list at their 9,000 square foot apartment. While the couple have refused to confirm or deny their marriage, Beyonce did keep her ring finger covered on Tuesday when the singer stepped out in Manhattan.
After watching the awesome-but-hard-to-follow video for “Stop and Stare” by OneRepublic, we were left with some questions. For example — who’s the old guy? Where’s that creepy motel? Did this cost as much as a movie? Luckily, OneRepublic lead singer Ryan Tedder is such a nice fellow, he stopped by to walk us through the imagery-laden musical epic, plus fill us in on the band’s next video.
1. This video almost didn’t happen.
“We had written a treatment originally, and it just got too complicated and over-budget,” Tedder said. Originally set on the Lower East Side, the band settled for the desert locale when director Anthony Mandler submitted his treatment. “We got [the expense of the video] down from $620,000 to $450,000…which for a new band – no bands are getting that kind of budget right now.”
2. Don’t worry; you’re not the only one confused.
“A lot of people have questions as to what [the video’s] about,” says Tedder. “Any time you see a shot of me, it’s me contemplating where I’m at in my life when the song was written. The grave and the priest represent death, and the girl who’s later pregnant represents birth and life.”
It’s been a whirlwind few months for Sarah Larson. After crossing paths with professional movie star George Clooney, Larson was able to quit her job as a cocktail waitress/go-go dancer/embarassing-photo-taker. Now, apparently, she lives wherever George does, on hiatus as a Vegas waitress, and, if this brand new New Yorker profile on Clooney is to be believed, checking her e-mail.
As reported in said New Yorker story, Clooney recently received a threatening phone call, a voice mail stating, “Dump the bitch before you’re sorry.” Ms. Larson reacts with little alarm, but does go on to clear the air about her reputation, which has recently come into question after some seriously revealing photos surfaced. “They say that I’m a stripper. There’s a ton of stuff about that. I’ve never been a stripper. You know, just because I’m from Las Vegas I must be a stripper. Because I’m a cocktail server that means I’m an escort.”
Good points all, Sarah. We decided, given her newfound lifestyle, to do a side-by-side comparison of Larson’s life as Professional Bar Candy and life as Professional Arm Candy.
Pre-George: Magazine licking
Post-George: Magazine features
Pre-George: Staff dinners before shift at the Palms for waitresses
Post-George: Dinners with Brangelina
Pre-George: Fear Factor try-outs
Post-George: Red carpet premieres
Pre-George: Serving guys twice your age because they tip you
Post-George: Serving a guy twice your age because they take you to Italy
Pre-George: Getting called an escort because you are a Vegas waitress
Post-George: Getting called an escort because you sleep with a movie star
The talented, whipsmart Sara Bareilles — who you may know from…oh, pretty much everywhere — let’s us behind the scenes for her brand new video “Bottle It Up.” Shot over two days in 22 locations, our You Oughta Know artist was kind enough to make this visual postcard from the set. “Bottle It Up” premieres online on April 8th, so come back then to watch!
The Rolling Stones‘ live concert film Shine A Light opens at select theaters today. The film premiered earlier this week, and as you can see in the above clip, the AARP rockers can still charm. Working with director Martin Scorsese, the band transferred the energy of their live show to a two-hour experience in the theaters, with none of the astronomical ticket prices!
Not playing at a theater near you? You can still listen to the soundtrack for free on Rhapsody, here.
But it’s not all about the music for the band. In a recent interview, guitarist Ron Wood expressed concern for Hollywood starlets Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan. “The poor things. I’d love to help them. You’ve got to go through it to get to it. You have to experience all the lows because life is hard.” And head over to GQ if you’re in the mood to see what Keith Richards has to say about groupies and paparazzi.
Lots of fun live footage is floating around regarding the Shine a Light project. Check the sweet live take of a key Stones hit after the jump.
Madonna may only have “4 Minutes to Save The World,” but we’ve got twenty seconds of her new video! Luckily she’s got a little help from Mr. Timberlake. Check back on Monday to find out whether they succeed — we’ll have the full video for your viewing pleasure.
You know the vitriolic anthem you love to sing along to in your car, the one that could just have easily been called “The Break-Up Song.” Now hear it performed like never before. In the above clip, Ms. Morissette makes her point in a chilling, voice-only performance. Still not clear on what precisely she’s saying? Check out our lyrics.vh1.com, where you can find the answers to all your sing-along questions.
A few days back, 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears sported a controversial t-shirt on a trip to Babies “R” Us — a trip made no doubt in preparation for the upcoming birth of her child. In addition to an engagement ring, Britney‘s lil’ sis (who’s taking after her sister in making statements with t-shirts) rocked a shirt stating “The Rumors Are True” — which was further made clear by her belly. This got us thinking about some other t-shirts Jamie Lynn could wear on future shopping excursions.