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.
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.’ “
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 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.
“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?
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
Want to roll like the stars do at the Video Music Awards? Of course you do! We can’t get you a Moonman — hard work, practice, a good publicist will help you there — but we can help you try and win some of items in the fabulous VMA Celebrity Gift Bag. Here’s how:
-Keep watching their feeds between now and the VMA Pre-Show, airing live Thursday at 7/6c.
-Each one will clue you into their VMA secret word. Be sure to write them down and don’t forget which word belongs to each of our correspondents.
-Be sure to watch the MTV Video Music Awards Pre-Show Thursday night at 7/6c to see which one of our correspondents drops their secret word.
-As soon as you hear it, tweet the word back to @MTVNews and the correct correspondent with the hashtag #VMAGiftBag.
Here are just some of the fabulous items you might win!
A 2-night stay at your choice of: Andaz 5th Avenue, Andaz Wall Street, Andaz Savannah, Andaz Napa, Andaz West Hollywood, Andaz San Diego, Andaz Maui at Wailea or Andaz Shanghai
Calvin Klein’s CK One fragrance
Case-Mate Tortoiseshell and Glam iPhone 4/4S cases
COVERGIRL Blast Flipstick Lip Color
A Crabtree & Evelyn pomegranate grove poured candle
LACOSTE Fragrances’ EAU DE LACOSTE L.12.12 men’s scents
4 VIP admission tickets and 2 complimentary drinks per guest at the world-famous Laugh Factory
Designer eyewear by Marchon
Monster® DNA™ headphones
A two year Netflix streaming membership
Original & Mineral’s Maintain the Mane Shampoo & Conditioner
“Perks of Being a Wallflower” book and CD
Robbie French Designs vintage belts
Terry’s Toffee chocolate covered gourmet toffee & other toffee confections
Timbuk2 messenger bags
Don’t forget to read the rules, watch the VMA Pre-Show on Thursday at 7/6c and tweet the answers. GOOD LUCK!
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 Cory Midgarden
With all the excitement surrounding the release of the “Hunger Games” Blu-Ray and DVD this Saturday (August 18) and in celebration of Jennifer Lawrence’s birthday (August 15) we dug through our archives and pulled out two retro MTV commercials you will not want to miss!
Back in 2005, way before she volunteered as tribute, Lawrence played a very sassy Sweet Sixteener in a couple of on-air promos for MTV. The now-22-year-old actress was just 15 at the time, but clearly caught our eye as a star-in-the-making.
Do you have a favorite throwback MTV memory? Let us know in the comments below!
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….
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