The Super Bowl Halftime Show has become an overblown spectacle of such proportions and delusionary grasping at the straws of musical-artistic relevancy that it quite simply may never be good again. Yet there have been some standout performances – mostly those that concentrate on actually performing. There were some very dark years here and there that were not very focused on the artists and their music as much as the pageantry (I’m looking at you Disney), and I didn’t even count those. There were also a lot of ‘meh’ moments that are not really worth getting into.
2000: PHIL COLLINS, CHRISTINA AGUILERA, ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, TONI BRAXTON
I don’t remember this and I’m not going to watch it, but it’s awful. It’s literally the worst thing I’ve never seen.
No need for a Little Red Corvette that travels through time in order to appreciate this bit of news! Prince, the one and only artist to ever referred to publicly as “the artist formerly known as” before returning to his original stage name, has returned to the rock world with the release of his new single, “Screwdriver.” The song is the first new material to be released from the “Purple Rain” hitmaker since 2010′s 20Ten, and it blasts through the speakers with the as much energy as any of the aging star’s earlier work. You can stream the single below.
Prince has yet to announce any plans for an album or tour, but it seems very likely such plans could be revealed in his upcoming Billboard cover story. We’ll keep an eye out for updates and let you know as soon as something changes. Until then, comment below and let us know what you think of Prince’s latest.
Supported by a massive backing band, Prince took to the outdoor stage on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night to play his funky new single “Rock ‘n’ Roll Love Affair.” Honky–tonk piano, swelling horn lines and bluesy guitar lines sizzle throughout the bluesy rock tune. With Prince’s noted aversion to YouTube, who knows how long this clip might stay online, so check it out while it lasts.
Prince isn’t the only funk rocker to perform on the Kimmel stage recently, though. OurStage’s own Eclectic Approach took the show by storm with their fiery performance on October 1st. The band was the first featured OurStage act to play on Kimmel after being selected from the OurStage Panel Competition. Check out some backstage footage of the band before their Kimmel performance and keep your eyes peeled for more performances from OurStage acts coming up on the show!
These are exciting times for Darius Rucker. Not only is he out on the “Own the Night” tour with Lady Antebellum but he’s ready to release his third album. The hotly-anticipated record will follow the much-loved 2010 release Charleston SC 1966 that debuted at the top of the country charts and his now-platinum debut album Learn to Live, which was released in 2008. And that’s just the beginning.
He’s musically partnered with a host of other artists, including Lionel Richie for a duet of “Stuck on You” which is on Richie’s album Tuskegee. He also remains very involved in several high-profile charity events, including this month’s Third Annual ”Darius and Friends” benefit show in Nashville which raised money for St. Jude Children Research Hospital.
Rucker took time out from his busy schedule to talk to OurStage about his new album, his current tour, and just what inspired him to become a musician, anyway.
OS: So what can audiences expect at your upcoming shows?
DR: We will probably be playing the new single soon. When I play, audiences can expect a lot of music from both records [Learn to Live released in 2008 and Charleston SC 1066] and some cool cover songs. I’m just trying to have fun.
OS: On the fan boards, some folks say you always play Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Why do you play it so often?
DR: I always wanted to play it! The funny thing was, I was rehearsing with the band and my drummer (the band leader) said “Have you ever wanted to play ‘Purple Rain?’” I had never played it because I didn’t know if it would work in a country set. Now we always play it. If I don’t play it, I get nasty emails. So we are always playing it now.
Life is full of surprises, and sometimes, so is pop music. In recent weeks, it’s recovered its long-dormant ability to shock, or at least catch us off guard with the unlikely hit, or the unexpected comeback.
Several months ago, I never dreamed I would ever ask the question that is the title of this article. It had been more than twenty-five years since Lionel Richie’s commercial heyday, and on the charts, he had been succeeded by younger romantic leads in pop and R&B many times over (Babyface, Usher, Ne-Yo, among others).
Then came one of those surprise developments seldom seen in pop anymore: On Billboard magazine’s Top 200 album chart for the week following the March 26 release of Tuskegee, Richie’s first studio album since 2009’s Just Go (which didn’t make the US Top 20 and failed to go gold), he debuted at No. 2 with first-week sales of 199,000 copies, right behind Madonna’s latest, MDNA.
The ex-wives of Hollywood stars Prince, R. Kelly, Will Smith, Jose Canseco and Eddie Murphy are set to star in their own television series, creatively titled Hollywood Exes. The show will run for ten summer episodes and will follow the five women as they go about their daily lives create their own success. As of now, none of the women’s former significant others are scheduled to make an appearance. Hollywood Exes is set to air on VH1 sometime this summer.
The Super Bowl’s iconic halftime show has certainly come a long way from the drill teams and college marching bands of its early years. Since the early ‘90s, the event has turned into a full-on showcase of the biggest names in music, featuring performances by such classics as Michael Jackson, Prince and Paul McCartney, as well as… not-so-classics like *NSYNC and the Black Eyed Peas. This year, halftime was dominated by none other than Madonna herself, featuring performances with Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee Lo Green and LMFAO. So how did it compare to the halftimes of the past?
Super Bowl 2012 vs. Super Bowl 2002 (U2) As many may remember, halftime 2002 wasn’t just a performance, it was a tribute to the victims and survivors of the 9/11 attacks. While the concept itself could have easily gone wrong in many ways, U2 gave a stunning, energetic performance, making it arguably one of the best halftime shows to date. So how did Madonna’s performance fare against the rock and roll titans? While it may not have exactly been an empowering performance, this year’s show certainly provided us with some fun, guilty-pleasure enjoyment.
Super Bowl 2012 vs. Super Bowl 2007 (Prince) An undeniable superstar, Prince certainly delivered at Super Bowl 2007 with covers of the Foo Fighters, Bob Dylan and Creedence Clearwater Revival, finishing off with his song “Purple Rain.” Madonna is pop icon of the same caliber, but could she match Prince’s powerful voice and gripping stage presence? Personally, we feel that the slack-lining cupid and Cee Lo Green’s bedazzled choir get-up stole this show.
Super Bowl 2012 vs. Super Bowl 2011 (Black Eyed Peas feat. Slash and Usher) While U2’s performance for halftime 2002 was arguably one of the best shows to date, it could be said that the Black Eyed Peas’ performance was one of the worst. With their mediocre musicianship and Fergie’s aimless belting to “Where is the Love” and “Sweet Child of Mine,” the group could only leave the crowd hanging. Say what you will about Madonna’s performance; it doesn’t get any worse than this.
When it comes to half time, it seems we’ve learned that classic is the way to go. The Super Bowl XLVI stuck to a proven formula – whether or not the decision was a good one is up to you to decide. As for us, we’re just grateful that this performance didn’t involve another Madge-Brit-Xtina lip-locking episode, circa the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.
“I get high with a little help from my friends,” Ringo Starr sang on the Beatles‘ 1967 classic. These days, so do many of music’s top stars. Two’s company, and so is three and sometimes four. The more the merrier, the higher and higher they get.
On the charts, that is.
In the Top 40 of Billboard’s Hot 100 for the week ending December 10, seventeen songs were collaborations between separate recording entities. Four of them featured Drake, and three apiece featured Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, who both appeared on tracks with Drake and with each other. But will.i.am featuring Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger—and debuting at No. 36 with “T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever),” which the threesome performed on the November 20 American Music Awards—was probably the one that nobody saw coming.
Old-school Rolling Stones fans must be cringing at the idea of Jagger going anywhere near Lopez and will.i.am so soon after Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera went to No. 1 by invoking his hallowed name on “Moves Like Jagger.” But for a sixty-something legend like him, hit records—even if in name only, a la Duck Sauce‘s GRAMMY-nominated “Barbra Streisand—are a near-impossible dream unless they’re in tandem with other, often younger, stars.