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For the Record

Hard Rock Cancun Throws One Heck Of A Grand Opening Party

Hard Rock Cancun Throws One Heck Of A Grand Opening Party

Posted on 24 Oct 2012 at 9:09pm

Here’s a pro tip: If a publicist emails you and asks if you’d be interested in attending the grand opening of a Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun, all expenses paid, for three days of laying out by the pool, watching Rumer Willis slam champagne, eating more food than Honey Boo Boo’s mom at a buffet and generally behaving like a Kanye West/Kim Dotcom hybrid … all sandwiched in-between concerts from Flo Rida and the Goo Goo Dolls, well, then you should most definitely say “Yes.”

Because that’s what I did. For three days this weekend, I checked my journalistic integrity at the door and partied like a genuine rock star at the sparkly new Hard Rock in Cancun, a 12-story gem that juts out into the Caribbean Sea, features some 600 rooms, five international restaurants, five bars (including two of the “swim-up” variety) and a lobby packed with enough memorabilia to give the Rock Hall pause (checking out John Bonham’s kit up close was a thrill … what can I say, I’m a rock nerd). There were parties and after-parties, booming DJ sets by the pool, white sand beaches, endless Hors d’oeuvres and at one point, they christened the thing with a guitar-smash, one attended by a little person dressed up like Gene Simmons. Needless to say, one of the better work-cations I’ve ever been on.

For the grand opening, the folks at Hard Rock pulled out all the stops, which meant, that, in addition to the fashion show I attended — I wore a button-up shirt and everything — there were also two nights of concerts. Flo Rida provided the perfect soundtrack to a very loose first night, ripping through a set of his patented party-starters (“Low,” “In The Ayer,” “Right Round,” etc) and even bringing a bunch of ladies up on stage at one point for an impromptu dance-off. Shoot, he had such a good time that he even stuck around the next day, and was seen by this reporter wading out into the crystal-blue ocean in a pair of gigantic red trunks.

The Goo Goo Dolls performed on night two, and served reminder that they possess a back catalog as formidable as, well, anyone, leading a fired-up crowd through rousing sing-alongs on hits like “Name,” “Iris,” “Black Balloon” and “Slide.” And despite forming in Buffalo, New York, they seemed at home on the Hard Rock’s beach stage, rocking long into the night.

There were also celebrity cameos by the aforementioned Willis (who, it should be noted, was definitely feeling the Goo Goo Dolls) and Wilmer Valderrama, who hosted a Saturday afternoon pool party from high-atop a DJ booth, staged a “Dougie” competition and posed for about a bazillion photos. Oh, and then I got an “organic facial” from the Hard Rock spa. It definitely helped with the hangover.

All-in-all, it was a pretty tremendous weekend, and now that I’m sitting here back in gloomy New York, typing this with my tan slowly peeling away (it’s seriously gross), I can tell you without a doubt that you should definitely make your way down to the Hard Rock in Cancun sometime … even if a publicist isn’t paying your way, it’s sure to be a trip you won’t forget. Even if you can’t remember most of it.

Karmin's Best Cover Yet

Karmin’s Best Cover Yet

Posted on 17 Oct 2012 at 10:49pm

By Cory Midgarden

I love cover songs. I don’t know what it is about them, but one of my favorite pastimes — a guilty pleasure if you will — is to log onto YouTube, type in the name of a song I’m digging and watch someone other than the original artist sing their rendition of the tune.

I’m sure this is why I’ve always been such a big fan of TV singing competitions as well, but that isn’t the point. The point of this post is that last April I was introduced to, maybe, one of the most amazing covers I’d ever experienced in my entire life. And that’s saying a lot, since I spend much of my free time and weekends doing nothing but looking for these videos (I’m only kind of exaggerating).

Anyway, the introduction came via email from my friend, who is aware of my obsession, with the text “You’re going to DIE” in the subject line. I clicked on the link, which maybe had a few hundred views at the time, and there was Karmin. The song they were performing was Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now,” and the girl, whose name I thought was Karmin at the time, pretty much killed me when I got to 1:16 in the video.

My friend was right; they were so good I almost died. But since I didn’t, I knew my newfound mission in life was to get them on the MTV show I was working on at the time. “The Seven” was a countdown of the seven things (hence the title) we needed our audience to know about each day. And these two were something people needed to know about — if they hadn’t already.

I got in touch with the pair, and within a few days, Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan were in New York City getting ready to perform for our studio audience. I was so excited! And they were too. They were awesome during sound check and looking as cute as can be, both wearing V-neck tees and jeans… but something was missing.

As I looked at the twosome before they took our Times Square stage, I realized what was off. The woman standing in front of me had a stick-straight ‘do, while the one from the video had some extra flair to her hair. I asked Amy if she’d be interested in recreating her look from the video, and she was more than happy to accept. With only a few minutes to spare, we hooked her up with one of our stylists and before our very eyes, her signature “suicide roll” was born.

Karmin then took the stage performing “Look at Me Now,” Weezy’s “6 Foot 7 Foot,” and original track “On Your Side.”

Since then, I’ve worked with Karmin (and Amy’s suicide roll) on several occasions (they even gave me a very special birthday shout-out while I worked on VH1′s “Big Morning Buzz Live”), watching them grow into the stars they are today. As proud of them as I’ve been over these past months, it wasn’t until last night, when I saw Amy on the cover of Rolling Stone that I really realized how far the two have come.

To be recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as a woman who rocks is an amazing achievement. Karmin has come so far in such a short period of time and if anyone deserves such an accolade, it’s them.

Congratulations, Amy and Nick! I look forward to following your careers for years to come.

From Snooki's Mini Meatball To Fergie's First Photo: This Week In Instagrams

From Snooki’s Mini Meatball To Fergie’s First Photo: This Week In Instagrams

Posted on 10 Oct 2012 at 10:58pm

By Cory Midgarden

Who is Olly Murs saving a seat for in this Instagab photo? Well, according to the Murs, his “X Factor” U.K. castmate Zayn Malik has a thing for motorized bikes.

“Zayn was tweeting about Vespas and how much he likes them and I heard him talking about it and I was talking to him about it and so I took the picture and I just tweeted him,” Murs told MTV News. “Zayn never replies, so kind of a waste of time.”

See Olly Murs’ scooter riding Instagram story!

So, even though we do not know much about these next Instagram photos, they grabbed our attention nonetheless and are MTV News’ five faves from the week:


Snooki
If you can’t get enough of Snooki’s baby boy Lorenzo you’re not alone. The little meatball is just coming up on two months, and thanks to Instagram, the “Jersey Shore” star has been able to keep friends and fans, alike, up-to-date on her life as a new mommy.


Kelly Osbourne
Here’s another MTV family that just warms our hearts. Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne “cuddle” up in this Instagram snapshot. While Kelly seems enamored by her dad, the pup in her lap doesn’t seem nearly as charmed by the Black Sabbath frontman.


Snoop Dogg
While Instagram doesn’t usually give followers full details behind a pic, a little cross investigation via other social media outlets, i.e., Twitter and Facebook can usually get you a few more tidbits. Take this photo Snoop Dogg posted with Machine Gun Kelly. By just looking at the post you know nothing other than the fact the two posed for this picture. But a Google search here and a Twitter scroll there and viola: A little bit more info on the story.


Shay Mitchell
Ever wonder how those “Pretty Little Liars” look so fabulous day after day? Shay Mitchell, who plays Emily in the ABC Family series, gave us a sneak peek at her beauty regime. While the face mask in this photo looks pampered, being up at 5:30 AM (as mentioned in her Instagram caption) to have the service sounds far from relaxing.


Fergie
Fergie Ferg posted her very first Instagram this week! The Black Eyed Peas singer needs a little help deciding what to wear for Halloween this year. It’s hard to tell what she’s going for thus far but if it comes close to what she wore last year, we’re sold!

Who took your favorite Instagram shot of the week? Let us know in the comments below!

Ryan Beatty Gives 'Hey L.A.' A Big Apple Remix

Ryan Beatty Gives ‘Hey L.A.’ A Big Apple Remix

Posted on 10 Oct 2012 at 10:48pm

By Cory Midgarden

After hearing his single “Hey L.A.,” it is crystal clear Ryan Beatty is a huge fan of the Golden State, but it was not until the MTV News team spent the day with the YouTube sensation that we learned he is a New York enthusiast as well.

While we were pretty sure our Big Apple tour, where MTV News’ Christina Garibaldi took him to Times Square, the Empire State Building and Central Park, had something to do with his newfound love for the city, it turned out our sightseeing adventure was not the only thing that won Beatty over.

See more from Ryan Beatty’s journey through New York

“I love Serendipity,” he told MTV News. “Their frozen hot chocolates are the best. Anyone that ever comes to New York, go to Serendipity. I can vouch for that. It’s amazing.”

To celebrate his admiration for NYC, the 17-year-old from Clovis, California, made a few changes to his ever-so-catchy new song especially for us!

What do you think of Ryan Beatty’s “Hey L.A.” New York remix? Let us know in the comments below!

Usher's BFF Obama And More: The Week In Instagrams

Usher’s BFF Obama And More: The Week In Instagrams

Posted on 02 Oct 2012 at 8:35pm


By Cory Midgarden

What gave Cody Simpson this lizard-like tongue?

“I had, like, five blue Warheads,” Simpson told MTV News. “After, like, three, I saw my tongue obviously started getting blue, and I was like, ‘I might as well have two more.’ “

Check out Cody Simpson’s sweet-and-sour story here!

Although we don’t know the entire story behind these next five Instagrams, they’re the MTV News team’s favorite from the week:

Zac Efron
Zac Efron posted this pic from the Philippines. The “Lucky One” star four-wheeled up the side of Mayon Volcano, an active volcano in the province of Albay, on the island of Luzon.

Lucy Hale
“Pretty Little Liars” star Lucy Hale snapped this Instagram with castmates Julian Morris, Keegan Allen and Tyler Blackburn. She captioned the photo “4 of my favorite gents,” which is a little confusing, since we only count three dudes in the picture … unless?

Usher
This political pic of Usher and President Obama received a lot of attention for the R&B superstar. Not only did it grace Instagram’s Popular feed, but it also obtained more than 13,000 likes and 737 comments and counting.

Tom Daley
It’s not all about diving for Tom Daley. The 18-year-old Olympian showed off his tobogganing skills in this Instagram picture earlier in the week. While the athlete proved he has what it takes to compete in the Summer Olympics, we’re taking bets that he won’t be joining Great Britain in bobsledding during the 2014 Winter Games.

Khlo

Kim Kardashian's Kitty And More: The Week In Instagrams

Kim Kardashian’s Kitty And More: The Week In Instagrams

Posted on 25 Sep 2012 at 2:05am

By Cory Midgarden

What’s Victoria Justice doing in the middle of the Big Apple dressed liked the Statue of Liberty?

“I was in New York doing — I don’t remember what I was doing, press for something, interviews and meetings and stuff — and whenever I have to work, I like to be able to explore the city I’m in as well and have some fun,” the “Victorious” star told MTV News. “So there was a guy on the street dressed up like the Statue of Liberty with some sunglasses looking pretty cool, and I was like, ‘That looks like a fun time!’ “

Victoria Justice tells the full story behind her patriotic Instagram!

Now, while we don’t know everything about these next five Instagram photos, they sure caught our eye and are MTV News’ favorite posts from the week:


Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian has been blowing up our Instagram feed with photos of the latest addition to the Kardashian klan. No, we’re not referring to last week’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” finale where Kourtney pulled out daughter Penelope during child birth (that did happen and is worth a Google search if you haven’t seen it yet), but instead a photo of Kim’s new teacup Persian cat Mercy. Not as intriguing as Kourtney’s delivery, but so adorable nonetheless.


Diddy
Also extremely adorable from this week is a photo Sean “Diddy” Combs posted of him and his son Justin. Puffy showered the UCLA freshman with love, captioning the pic: “No matter how big you get, your always gonna be my little boy @princejdc ….love you boy.”


Justin Bieber
The Biebs uploaded this photo a week ago today with the caption: “Don’t play.” And all we have to say in response to that is: “Don’t break your neck … PLEASE!?!”


Big Sean
Through the power of Instagram, we were on the set with Meek Mill and Big Sean while they shot their new music video for “Burn.” The photo featured a crocodile and received more than 26,000 likes and 527 comments and counting.


Ke$ha
Ke$ha used the social-media site to tease the title of her upcoming album with a series of letters. The last clue was a photo of her with the letter “W” written on her hand, revealing her EP will be called Warrior. Leave it to Ke$ha to spell things out for us.

What was your favorite Instagram photo from the week? Share your choices in the comments!

Mr. DMX, Will You Sign My Blog? Love, Annie

Mr. DMX, Will You Sign My Blog? Love, Annie

Posted on 13 Sep 2012 at 3:49pm

By Annie Schoening

I patiently waited for DMX among a small crowd that had gathered outside the “RapFix Live” studio for a glimpse of the performer, who was interviewing with Sway on Wednesday. When Mr. X emerged from the green room, he was in a playful mood.

“Will you take a picture with me, Mr. X?” I asked. “I am a GIANT fan. Really.” I had even written an open letter to him on my blog in 2008! I wanted to shout, “Sign my blog!” but the Internet has yet to invent a way to do this.

DMX then looked at me with a slow, quiet smile and said: “You are… You are… Can I pinch your cheeks?”

I laughed, a little surprised, and said yes. This is not something you say no to. He grasped the flesh underneath my eyeglasses with both hands. Who knew DMX was such a bubbe, wanting to pinch cheeks like a grandmother? Then we hugged like old friends as a consort snapped away. I finally let go of his dark, wool jacket emblazoned with “Champion” on the back and stood aside for the others.

Another fan asked him to sign DMX’s yearbook, somehow procured on the Internet, which prompted the rapper to ask him: “What was the second line from my first track ever?” The fan stumbled and couldn’t remember, but the charismatic “I Don’t Dance” singer laughed it off and the playful exchange delighted everyone watching. He was very gracious to everyone, which I knew he would be.

What would you do if you met DMX? Comment below and tell us what you’d say!

Well Wishes For Wiz And Amber: My Week At The VMAs

Well Wishes For Wiz And Amber: My Week At The VMAs

Posted on 10 Sep 2012 at 11:04pm

By Rya Backer

Last week, to say the least, was a little crazy. As a producer here at MTV News, I was the very funny/talented/whipsmart Jim Cantiello’s right-hand-lady. Together, we worked to pitch, execute, and create great content around all things VMAs as the week ramped up (and I helped pick out his suit). I was also Jim’s eyes and ears for Thursday’s pre-show as well as the backstage Livestream which took place during the show, capturing all the craziness that occurred behind the scenes and talking to artists after they’d presented (hi, Mac Miller!) or won (Rihanna!).

One couple who I was so excited to see were the in-love and engaged Amber Rose and Wiz Khalifa, who I’d talked to on “BFFs” and “First Date,” respectively. I’d heard rumors about Ms. Rose being with child (and then there was the tweet Wiz sent to our Rob Markman), but nothing confirmed it quite like seeing the pair in well-dressed, nesting bliss. I first caught up with them during the pre-show, where in addition to the announcement with Sway, Rose’s form-fitting black lace number and general glow only confirmed everyone’s suspicions.

Later, as Jim and I were parked backstage, riffing and gawking at every celebrity (side note: Hi, Drake! I’m the girl in the tuxedo t-shirt who said “congratulations!” out of nowhere), Wiz caught my eye. I asked his manager, Benjy, if Wiz could spare a minute to talk to Jim for all of the Internet to see. He agreed, but not long after, they’d disappeared! I was assured by our ace talent wranger, Sandra, that it was only because he wanted to bring Amber backstage as well. Amber appeared a bit tired considering her circumstances, but so happy to be with her man — I can assure you this couple is very much in love. And so herewith was Jim’s chat with the pair … and my Jewish-mother interjection to wish them well.

Now if any of you have any suggestions for (non-paraphernalia-related) baby gifts, please speak up! I need ideas!

Joe Jonas Explains Playing Hollywood Tour Guide In Instagram Photo

Joe Jonas Explains Playing Hollywood Tour Guide In Instagram Photo

Posted on 10 Sep 2012 at 5:24pm

By Cory Midgarden

LOS ANGELES — The Jonas Brothers are men of many trades.

And with Kevin focusing on his new reality television show, “Married to Jonas” and Nick campaigning for a seat next to Mariah Carey on the “American Idol” judges panel, one might have seen a recent photo from Joe’s Instagram account and thought he too had a new gig in the works.


Turns out the group’s middle child, is still concentrating on his priorities, i.e., new music and mentoring rising stars on “The Next,” but took a day out of his extremely busy schedule to try his hand at something completely different.

“I was actually a tour guide on a, like, star tour,” Joe told MTV News about the Instagram snapshot. “It was really funny because it was like, I was having way too much fun with that microphone and it kept cutting out so I was getting really frustrated but somehow we caught the Hollywood sign in the background, it’s like, a perfect photo.”

With all of the excitement during their ride through Hollywood, passengers of the double decker bus almost missed one of the biggest names on their star-studded tour. That is until their journey came to the end.

“Once we stopped, yes, because we had to like, literally say, hey, I’m Joe Jonas,” he explained. “I think that kind of freaked people out, but it was fun.

Which celebrity Instagram account are you obsessed with? Let us know in the comments below!

The Wanted, Pink, Miley Cyrus Make My First-Ever VMAs Incredible!

The Wanted, Pink, Miley Cyrus Make My First-Ever VMAs Incredible!

Posted on 07 Sep 2012 at 5:37am

By Christina Garibaldi

What an incredible night! On Thursday, I co-hosted my very first VMA pre-show on the red carpet and words can’t really express what an amazing experience it was.

After rehearsing for the show for a few hours this morning, it finally really sunk in that it was really all happening when I put on my dress and walked up to take my position.

The preshow kicked off and my first guest who was none other than VMA performer Pink and her husband Carey Hart (The two of them are adorable together and were sneaking kisses and hugging before we went live.) Pink looked stunning in her rocker chic gown and it was the perfect way to kick off the night.

Yet, it was just getting started. I also got the chance to talk to the super stylish Rita Ora who showed off what was in her clutch … a blow torch, I can only imagine what that was for!

Next up were the guys of The Wanted (happy birthday, Max!), who are always so much fun to talk to, since you never really know what’s going to happen when you interview them!

And the night concluded with a fun chat with the lovely Miley Cyrus. She revealed that she is releasing new music soon and trust me, I saw her engagement ring up close; Liam did a great job!

I still have to pinch myself that this really happened, but I have to say I couldn’t have done it without Sway Calloway, Jim Cantiello, James Montgomery and of course the entire MTV News team. Thanks for making this such a memorable night!

Which red carpet interview was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
What an incredible night! On Thursday, I co-hosted my very first VMA pre-show on the red carpet and words can’t really express what an amazing experience it was.

After rehearsing for the show for a few hours this morning, it finally really sunk in that it was really all happening when I put on my dress and walked up to take my position.

The preshow kicked off and my first guest who was none other than VMA performer Pink and her husband Carey Hart (The two of them are adorable together and were sneaking kisses and hugging before we went live.) Pink looked stunning in her rocker chic gown and it was the perfect way to kick off the night.

Yet, it was just getting started. I also got the chance to talk to the super stylish Rita Ora who showed off what was in her clutch … a blow torch, I can only imagine what that was for!

Next up were the guys of The Wanted (happy birthday, Max!), who are always so much fun to talk to, since you never really know what’s going to happen when you interview them!

And the night concluded with a fun chat with the lovely Miley Cyrus. She revealed that she is releasing new music soon and trust me, I saw her engagement ring up close; Liam did a great job!

I still have to pinch myself that this really happened, but I have to say I couldn’t have done it without Sway Calloway, Jim Cantiello, James Montgomery and of course the entire MTV News team. Thanks for making this such a memorable night!

Which red carpet interview was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!