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How did so many fails happen at the 2011 Grammys?

- January 22nd, 2014

The 56th annual Grammy Awards are around the corner. This is true. The performance by Daft Punk and Stevie Wonder should be awesome. But before we celebrate the year in music, let’s jump back in time, to three years ago. Don’t worry – this will be a fun history lesson.

Most people remember the 2011 Grammys as the year that Arcade Fire surprised everyone by snagging the Album of the Year award, or the year that Esperanza Spalding enraged hordes of Beliebers by winning Best New Artist, or the year that Lady Gaga hatched from an egg.

But it should also be remembered as the year of the fail.

Was there something in the air at the Staples Center that night? Even though cringe-inducing moments happen at every awards show, there seems to be a deluge of Internet-famous examples from that event. Here are my three favourites.

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CHRISTINA AGUILERA
It was tough week for Christina Aguilera. She had just flubbed the lyrics of The Star-Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl. And after delivering a powerful tribute to Aretha Franklin at the Grammys – accompanied by Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride and Florence Welch – Aguilera lost her balance and nearly fell to the ground. That epic final note was just too much.

JUSTIN BIEBER’S BACKUP DANCER
Wow, Justin Bieber’s grown a lot in three years. Remember when he wasn’t making it rain at strip clubs? Three years ago, the then-16-year-old delivered a medley of three songs at the Grammys – Baby, Never Say Never and Usher’s OMG – that will forever be remembered by Bieber bashers as the performance where his backup dancer fell off of a stage riser. My back hurts just watching this. Little did Bieber know that he’d grow up to face much bigger issues in the future (note to Bieber in 2011: Stay away from mop buckets, spray cans, eggs and rappers with the word “Lil” in their names).

SERENE BRANSON (REPORTER)
She had the look and the enthusiasm, but not the words. Reporter Serene Branson became immortalized on the Internet after she slurred through a live TV hit about the Grammys. Her embarrassing moment – using nonsense words like “burtation” – resulted in some hilarious online parodies. It feels slightly wrong laughing at this, though, when it’s obvious that Branson was having some sort of medical emergency at the time. It turns out that she was suffering from “migraine with aura”, which produces stroke-like symptoms. She’s okay now.

One thing’s for sure – watching people fail while wearing fancy clothes is entertaining. Why else would the 2011 show have the best viewership numbers in a decade? Let’s pray for more wince-inducing moments on Sunday.

The Polar Vortex music playlist

- January 8th, 2014

Are you getting tired of hearing about frost quakes? Want to stick winter up someone’s polar vortex?

Here are some chilly tunes that will act as an extra layer as you walk through the bitter, unrelenting cold, feeling like a freezer-burnt popsicle:

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Funky Cold Medina, Tone-Loc

And we go a little somethin’ like this… hit it: What better way to kick off the anti-freeze list and get the blood flowin’ through the lower extremities than this 1989 hip-hop staple about a love potion gone bad?

Ice Ice Baby, Vanilla ice

Listening to this may add some temporary relief from the elements for some, but for others, it may be like hot box torture. But hey, he still claims to rock a mic like a vandal and light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle.

She’s So Cold, The Rolling Stones

This smokin’ hot 1980 tune from Mick Jagger and the boys is as necessary as long johns in frigid temperatures. And when Sir Mick implores the female in the song to “put your hand on the heat, put your hand on the heat,” we don’t think he’s referring to his radiator. Or maybe he is.

Snow (Hey Oh), Red Hot Chili Peppers

There’s nothing like a serving of Hot Chilis to spice up the ol’ musical constitution. Did we mention we miss John Frusciante’s guitar work? We digress.

Cold As Ice, Foreigner

The British-American rockers’ 1977 signature hit is chilly in more ways than one: You’re digging for gold/Yet throwing away/A fortune in feelings/But someday you’ll pay. Bitterly good.

Cold Shot, Stevie Ray Vaughan

Need a warm blanket after a nasty cold shot? Try this slow blues burner from one of the greatest guitarists that ever lived.



Baby, It’s Cold Outside, Cee Lo (featuring Christina Aguilera)

The 1944 Christmas classic, which has been covered by hundreds of artists, may have some questionable lyrics (Say, what’s in this drink?), but Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera do their best to turn up the temperature with their rendition.

Cold Sweat, James Brown

You didn’t think we’d forget this 1967 No. 1 hit from the Godfather of Soul did you? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Against the Wind, Bob Seger

When you’re searching for shelter against the wind, we recommend this 1980 tune and his Silver Bullet Band, which features Eagles star Glenn Frey on backing vocals, for added protection.

Hot n Cold, Katy Perry

Katy can’t figure out whether she should have boots or flip flops on in this track, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying this pop hit.

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5 raciest live television performances

- August 26th, 2013

Just when you thought awards show performances couldn’t get any more controversial or racier, then someone ups the sleaze bar and dry humps a foam finger.

That someone is, of course (unless you’ve been on the moon), Miley Cyrus. Oh, Billy Ray, you must be a proud papa today.

Miley’s rather colourful tongue-out, twerk-filled (if you don’t know what twerking is, click here) showing at the MTV VMAs last night has everyone talking about whether it was the raciest one of all time on live television. It’s definitely up there. You’ll quickly notice that the same names end up showing up in a lot of examples below.

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Don’t forget, your opinion is the most important — tell us what you think in the comment section at the bottom.

Here are some others through the years that had tongues wagging:

Janet Jackson, 2004 Super Bowl halftime show

It became widely known as Nipplegate. It also coined the popular term “wardrobe malfunction.” During her halftime show in ’04, Justin Timberlake came out to do a duet with her, and as he sang the lyric “gonna have you naked by the end of this song” from his single “Rock Your Body,” he ripped off a piece of her clothing, exposing her right breast. Does anyone remember who won the game?

Madonna, Britney and Christina Aguilera kiss, 2003 MTV VMAs

The 20th annual Video Music Awards was a memorable one. In front of millions of viewers, the 45-year-old — nearly twice the age of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera — sucked face with the fellow pop stars, leaving the shocked audience with their mouths wide open as well.

Seth MacFarlane, 2013 Academy Awards

The uber-stuffy Oscars got a little taste of controversy when host Seth Macfarlane did a song-and-dance number in his monologue called “We saw Your Boobs.” The camera strategically focuses in on the stars he mentions, and a few of them, including Charlize Theron, are less than amused.

Madonna, 1984 MTV VMAs

While not controversial by today’s standards, Madge’s first appearance at the ’84 MTV VMAs was, at the time, considered extremely risque. Decked out in a wedding dress with a belt buckle that said “Boy Toy,” the singer grunted, moaned and groaned her way through the tune, while humping the stage floor.

Sinead O’Connor, Saturday Night Live, 1992

The Irish singer, who was at her peak of popularity at the time, ripped up a picture of the pope at the end of her performance, while saying defiantly, “Fight the real enemy.” She did it as a protest over the sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. The SNL brass had no idea she was going to do it, since she held up a picture of a refugee child during rehearsals. The incident caused a huge backlash for O’Connor, and her career was never the same.

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Rush, Dave Grohl to perform together at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction?

- March 26th, 2013

Some of rock’s greatest drummers be could be playing together at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Rolling Stone reports.

With final planning underway for the 28th Rock Hall ceremony on April 18 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, word is that Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who is inducting Rush this year, could be teaming up with the legendary Canadian rock trio during their live performance.

It remains to be seen whether Grohl will play drums or add a second guitar to the mix. Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins is also rumoured to be joining them – it may make for a very loud set.

rushgrohl

Other inductees taking the stage that night will be Randy Newman (playing alongside John Fogerty and Jackson Browne), Heart (the original lineup is still in question, but Ann and Nancy Wilson will be on stage) and Public Enemy.

John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr. will pay honour late blues great Albert King, likewise with Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Hudson singing for the late Donna Summer, and Usher will perform a tribute to Quincy Jones.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be broadcast on HBO on May 18.

Rush – consisting of singer/bassist Geddy Lee, drummer Neil Peart and guitarist Alex Lifeson – had been eligible for a Rock Hall nod since 1998 – their self-titled debut was released in 1974, and they’ve gone on to record 19 studio records in total, including last year’s critically acclaimed “Clockwork Angels.”

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Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl to induct Rush into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

- January 23rd, 2013

One of the busiest guys in music has added another item to his to-do list – he’s inducting Canrock legends Rush into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl (as well as bandmate Taylor Hawkins) will do the honours at the ceremony, which takes place on on April 18th at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live in Los Angeles, according to Rolling Stone. It will be broadcast on HBO on May 18.

rushgrohl

Other presenters include Don Henley, who will induct Randy Newman, John Mayer will fete the late Albert King, and Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Hudson will inaugurate Donna Summer. The inductor for Public Enemy has yet to be announced.

Tickets go on sale to the public on February 1st, but members of the Rush and Heart fan clubs can beat the box office in a special pre-sale.

Rush – consisting of singer/bassist Geddy Lee, drummer Neil Peart and guitarist Alex Lifeson – had been eligible for a Rock Hall nod since 1998 – their self-titled debut was released in 1974, and they’ve gone on to record 19 studio records in total, including last year’s critically acclaimed “Clockwork Angels.”

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