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.
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.
The singer touched down in a helicopter at on a Downtown Los Angeles rooftop Monday afternoon en route to a top-secret rehearsal for her big show performance Thursday night. Not exactly a subtle, silent entrance to VMA central.
We don’t know what Pink’s going to do this year to top her previous, high-flying VMA performances, but if her aerial arrival is any indication of its scope or spectacle, it’s going to be big.
Don’t forget to watch the Video Music Awards Thursday night at 8/7c to find out what Pink — plus Rihanna, Frank Ocean, Green Day, One Direction, Alicia Keys and more — have in store.
By Kara Warner
We’re a little biased here at MTV News, but throughout the course of its 28 years in existence, the MTV Video Music Awards have provided music fans with some of the most memorable moments in award-show and pop-culture history. As part of our countdown to the 2012 VMAs, which air live on Thursday, September 6, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, we’ve been looking back at some of the show’s best and brightest moments and asking our readers to choose their favorite moments in categories like Hottest VMA Debut and today’s subject: Most Epic VMA Moment.
Now, because of the sheer number of epic VMA moments in the show’s storied history, we narrowed the polling field to encompass the most memorable performance moments in the last five years. What makes a VMA moment truly epic? Is it the number of performers or guests you can manage to fit onstage? Is it theatrics? The emotional message behind the performance? The raw display of original and undisputable talent? YOU get to decide what “Epic VMA Moment” means to you.
If you’re into epic collaborations, Timbaland’s 2007 end-of-show number that featured Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, Keri Hilson, D.O.E. and Sebastian might get your vote. If you’re into jaw-dropping, high-flying acrobatics as demonstrated by Pink during her 2009 performance of “Sober,” then she’ll get your vote. If epic means “heart-wrenching storytelling by song” for you, then Eminem and Rihanna’s emotional performance of “Love the Way You Lie” should win your vote.
Now it’s your turn to tell us which moment has been the most unforgettable and epic in the last five years. Cast your vote and be sure to check back for results on AMTV Wednesday, September 5.
By Kara Warner
As we inch closer and closer to the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards , our favorite way to while away the hours and temper our excitement for this year’s star-studded, highly anticipated show is to look back upon highlights and “Best Of” moments from VMA year’s past.
This year, we’re focusing on footage from the last five years of Video Music Award history as the foundation for our “Best Of” polls. Today’s installment asks you to select the hottest VMA debut and the competition is as fierce as it is diverse. In narrowing down and naming the contenders, it’s amazing to see how new some of our artists are to the show, despite the fact that they seem like they’ve been around forever.
So whose inaugural appearance was the best? Adele’s stripped-down, goose bump-inducing vocal fireworks on display with last year’s performance of “Someone Like You?” Lady Gaga’s jaw-dropping and bloody theatrics on display in her 2009 performance of “Paparazzi?” What about Justin Bieber’s squeal-invoking drum solo during his “U Smile” medley in 2010? And Katy Perry’s VMA introduction via her smash hit “I Kissed a Girl” and a cover of “Like a Virgin?”
As we mentioned previously, the competition is fierce. Now it’s your turn to tell us which artist had the hottest VMA debut.
Cast your vote and be sure to watch for results on AMTV Tuesday, Sept. 4.
By Christina Garibaldi
On Wednesday (August 15), I met up with 15-year-old Australian pop star Cody Simpson, who was nice enough to take a break from his tour with Big Time Rush and hang out with me. When trying to figure out a place to meet up for an interview, we thought long and hard, but quickly discovered that we had something in common: We love frozen yogurt!
We headed over to Flavaboom in New York City, where you have to make your own frozen yogurt sundae. Wanting to make sure Cody enjoyed his fro-yo, and to test out my sundae making skills, I offered to make Cody’s sundae. Spoiler alert fans, he loves cookies and cream and may or may not have put his head under the yogurt dispenser.
Cody returned the favor and made my sundae as well, and we ended up having a lengthy chat about everything going on in his life. From his new album, to his Olympic dreams to Justin Bieber, we covered it all!
Make sure you check out our fro-yo party with Cody Simpson next week on MTVNews.com.
By James Lacsina
We caught up with JoJo in a mansion in Beverly Hills, CA where she was busy filming the video for her new R&B laced track “Demonstrate.”
The 21-year-old “Leave (Get Out)” singer is all grown up, and is showing a lot of skin these days. We arrived towards the end of the day-long shoot and watched as she lip-synced to the track while writhing on a mirrored floor wearing tightie-whities and a tuxedo jacket. She was later joined by a chiseled male actor and things got even steamier. The last shot of the day called for JoJo to perform on a chandelier about 15 feet off the ground wearing nothing but black lingerie. If the video turns out to be anything like the weather that day, it’s gonna be a scorcher.
Stay tuned for more from the “Demonstrate” set….
By Cory Midgarden
What brought Carly Rae Jepsen, Justin Bieber and Kelly Clarkson together for this photo op earlier this summer? Well, let her tell the story!
“We were at the Capital Ball in London,” Jepsen told MTV News. “I met up with Scooter and I went to go say hello to Justin Bieber because we hadn’t seen each other in a couple weeks, and I go into his dressing room and I’m like, ‘Hey, Justin,’ and Kelly Clarkson is there.”
And while we don’t have the deets behind the following pics we here at MTV News deemed these five our favorite Instagrams of the week:
Is anyone else wondering what she is doing for bottoms?
Which star had your favorite Instagram photo this week? Let us know in the comments below
By Cory Midgarden
If you haven’t heard of Cher Lloyd yet, hold on to your seats because she’s about to take the U.S. by storm. She got her start on “The X Factor” U.K. and is currently promoting her single “Want U Back” (which is sitting pretty at #13 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart) in the States.
“I feel like ‘Want U Back’ explains me,’ she told MTV News when visiting nearly 1,000 fans (or, as she likes to call them, “Bratz”) at the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York. “I feel like it has a lot of attitude but in a good way, it’s cheeky, I’m quite cheeky and it’s young and it’s fun.”
By Christina Garibaldi
On Wednesday (August 8), a group of us from the MTV News crew traveled out to Jones Beach on Long Island to meet up with Big Time Rush. The guys gave us an exclusive tour of the venue before their concert that night, and Logan, James, Kendall and Carlos couldn’t have been more fun. We got a backstage look, hung out a little bit in their dressing room … and the foursome just may have stolen a BTR T-shirt for me!
Big Time Rush then brought me onstage (pre-show), where they officially made me an honorary member of the group. But they may have had to rethink that decision after they tried to teach me some dance moves. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty!
Be sure to check out our full behind-the-scenes tour coverage with Big Time Rush next week on MTVNews.com!
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