One thing we’ve noticed among our VH1 talents is that celebrity begets celebrity. Which is basically our way of saying “Hey, look at all the stars who appear on our network hanging out with other celebs!” It’s no secret that some friendships have a high profile, like Evelyn Lozada and Rihanna‘s hang sessions, and others actually appear on our shows, like La La Anthony and her many A-list friends like Serena Williams and Kelly Rowland. So what other VH1 stars have celebrity best buds? Take a look at our gallery below to find out.
Also scoring a big milestone this week is Kelly Clarkson, whose new single “Mr. Know It All” has just become her ninth Top Ten hit. We were lucky enough to see Kelly perform this song (and a few as-yet-unnamed others) when she taped VH1 Unplugged last week, and we’re giddy with excitement over the rocketing success of her new single and album, Stronger. You’ll be able to catch Kelly’s full Unplugged performance when it premieres exclusively on VH1.com at 7 p.m. ET on November 17, which is just one day before the 11 p.m. premiere on VH1.
With Coldplay‘s cover of Rihanna‘s “We Found Love” currently going viral online, we’ve taken the spirit of the song to heart and revisited our favorite covers of RiRi’s songs. And yes, we’ve found love in hopeless places, falling head over heels for renditions of songs we didn’t think we could possibly love coming from anyone’s mouth but hers.
COLDPLAY – “We Found Love”
Coldplay covered Rihanna’s latest release “We Found Love” for BBC Radio 1′s Live Lounge series and we’re afraid to say this but… it might just be as good, or better than, the original! Earning Coldplay some serious points in the wake of their new album Mylo Xyloto‘s growing momentum, the cover replaces the Calvin Harris club banging beats with a more chilled out vibe. As such, the sentiment in Coldplay’s version is far more pervasive than in RiRi’s self-conscious original, in which the accompanying adds elements of superficiality to (what Coldplay has proved to be) the wonderful lyricism of the track. Read more…
Rihanna and director Melina Matsoukas reduce the love-story drug movie to its under-five-minute essence, while tweaking no shortage of noses, in the extraordinary music video for “We Found Love,” which premiered today. Loosely based on Trainspotting, albeit transplanted to Belfast (complete with introductory narration in a slightly dodgy Irish accent from Mancunian-born Agyness Deyn) the video features enough skin, crime, violence, and drug use for culture-watchers to cry controversy even before broadcast censors get hold of the clip. Rihanna and video beau Dudley O’Shaughnessy pop pills and rave their way through a greatest-hits of such doomed-love stories; aside from the eye-dilation insert shot made iconic in Requiem For A Dream and reused in Spun, we saw shades of Jia Zhang-Ke’sUnknown Pleasures and the skate-punk Kids. The clip also has a clever way of showing the worst of drug use without really showing it, both by including a needle, but in the context of an amateur tattoo (more on that in a second), and by portraying Rihanna bent over and vomiting…ribbons. Plus a ton of stock shots and superimpositions of police lights, fireworks, crowds moving in time-lapse à la Koyaanisqatsi, a controlled demolition, and a burning house.
The tattoo is a black-ink “MINE” branded on Rihanna’s left butt cheek, an almost too on-the-nose contrast with the bright-light “YOURS” she writes in the air earlier in the video, and one of a number of signals that the self-destructiveness of O’Shaughnessy’s character is turning just as equally towards Rihanna’s. Much is being made of a physical resemblance between him and Chris Brown, which we can sort of see. But what makes the comparison really stick is O’Shaughnessy’s bleached-blond hair—which is either another stylistic callback to a drugged-nineties moment (like the mud rave halfway through the video) or else it’s a pointed reference to the dye job Brown unveiled earlier this year—two years after his and Rihanna’s notorious confrontation. Or, more likely, it’s both. If people are going to circumscribe Rihanna’s work with the specter of Chris Brown anyway, why not play it up for attention? There’s a lot more to unpack here, not least the global vs. the local, the “art” of post-industrial decay, and the coolness level of doing donuts in a Trans Am. Needless to say, we love it. Watch it now!
In advance of three shows this weekend at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Rihanna came to nearby Bangor to film a video for her new single “We Found Love”—and ended up running afoul of the farmer and local politician on whose land she was filming. The Sunday shoot for the single, produced by her Belfast opener Calvin Harris, drew hundreds of fans, and not a few paparazzi. Apparently, most of the filming was on public land, but a brief sequence was filmed on land owned by Alan Graham. In an interview with Nuala McCann of BBC News, Graham explained that while he didn’t object to Rihanna’s outfit, as seen in candid photographs of the more public part of the shoot, the sequence filmed on his land got “inappropriate”—so he requested that the shoot relocate. Billboard cites unnamed Irish and British news reports in stating that at one point the singer was topless, though it’s unclear whether Graham witnessed a bit of the video or a between-scenes costume change when he happened to be fetching his tractor near the shoot. Whatever he saw, we’re betting paparazzi wish they’d seen too—which is probably why the shoot moved away from the road in the first place.
The MGM Grand played host to a plethora of pop stars this weekend for the Clear Channel-sponsored iHeartRadio Festival, two nights of genre-spanning, crowd-pleasing pop music. A mix of veterans and newcomers thrilled the (reportedlyvery drunk) crowd on both nights. The most successful performers were those who stuck to a setlist of hits, like Jay-Z, who may have performed “On To The Next One” but didn’t take its advice about his old songs, including favorites from The Blueprint and The Black Album alongside newer singles like “Empire State of Mind” (with a guest appearance by earlier performer Alicia Keys). Those whose songs were less well-known by the crowd, like Sublime with Rome, were less well-received.
Perhaps the big surprise of the weekend, according to reports, was Jennifer Lopez, who, in a set that spanned her musical career, proved supremely capable of standing among the pop titans of today (with a Pitbull feature on “On the Floor”). Saturday’s “special guest” Sting also more than pulled his weight, backing Steven Tyler on bass early in the evening, then joining Lady Gaga for performances of “Stand By Me” and his own “King of Pain.”
Hardest-working and fan-friendliest pop-star Rihanna premiered the Calvin Harris produced “We Found Love,” the lead single off her upcoming album, this morning via Facebook and radio. (For the moment, the song is available for purchase exclusively on iTunes, where it’s been tearing up the singles chart all day.) It’s a major (or as the singer would say, MAJAH) house track—less trance-y than “Only Girl (In The World)” but certainly along the same Euro-dance lines. (More than one critic has made a reference to glow sticks, possibly unaware that the singer had beaten them to the punchline on Twitter.) That mentality resonates throughout, from the song’s refrain, “We found love in a hopeless place,” to the melodic line (not as punishingly Ibiza-esque as many recent hits but hardly airy either) to Rihanna’s perfectly-suited vocal delivery. Top 40 is going to keep on raving into the fall.
Rihanna‘s work ethic of late is astonishing. The 23-year-old vocalist is currently preparing the release of her sixth studio album—her third in three years—and announced the title of its lead single, the Calvin Harris-produced “We Found Love,” yesterday evening on Twitter, prior to its radio premiere on Friday. Meanwhile she’s six singles deep into 2010′s eleven-track Loud—seven if you count “Raining Men,” released to radio in 2010 but lacking enough traction to even garner a music video—without the aid of a deluxe reissue (Beyoncé, we’re looking at you) nor a holdover EP (Lady Gaga‘s The Fame Monster, Ke$ha‘s Cannibal (which is actually better than Animal), both “halves” of Justin Bieber‘s debut “LP”). And she’s featured on Nicki Minaj‘s current single “Fly,” and “Princess of China” on Coldplay‘s upcoming Mylo Xyloto.
Certainly, this constant stream of productivity has allowed the Bajan singer to achieve the pop-cultural ubiquity that is apparently a competitive necessity of late without having to resort as often to the more annoying types of promotional tricks. (In this she can perhaps be matched only by her friend Katy Perry.) But her decision to release a full-fledged followup to Loud sets her apart in particular. Rihanna has used the stopgap approach before, reissuing 2007′s Good Girl Gone Bad after a year to extend its run of singles with “Take A Bow” and “Disturbia.” And 2009′s Rated R under-performed, so the decision to record a new LP (Loud) rather than a reissue was practically a foregone conclusion. Read more…
Late yesterday afternoon, popular gossip mill MediaTakeOut dropped one of their patented “MTO WORLD EXCLUSIVES” claiming that Rihanna has, and we quote, “decided to DROP Jay Z . . . and his RocNation team as her managers.” They cited a “ROCK SOLID INSIDER” who claimed that Rihanna was preparing to part ways with her mentor/svengali J-Hova, citing “FINANCIAL IRREGULARITIES” and insinuating that Beyoncé‘s relationship with Jigga Man was getting in the way of RiRi landing primo endorsement deals.
Well, even though we should’ve left for the Labor Day weekend “HOURS” ago—this writing in “ALL CAPS” thing is kinda fun, we’re going to try it “MORE OFTEN”!—we decided to go straight to the source instead of simply re-reporting unsubstantiated gossip. We reached out to reps at Def Jam who confirmed to us just moments ago that the news is simply “not true.”
Adding weight to this statement is a Tweet that Rihanna herself sent out. It pretty much speaks for itself: