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.
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.
“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!
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!
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
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
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!
Proving their hearts are in the right place, the members of Maroon 5 have donated a signed guitar along with two meet-and-greet opportunities – one with frontman Adam Levine on the set of “The Voice” and the other with the full band, including four concert tickets – to a charity auction to raise money for a sick toddler.
The money raised will help pay the medical bills for Zoe Feldman, who turns 3-years-old this month. Zoe was diagnosed with sarcoma botryoides – a form of muscle cancer – and must undergo chemotherapy to treat the condition.
The auction is set up at CharityBuzz.com, and Levine tweeted a link to the auction’s page earlier today (August 6), urging fans to bid.
“Hey guys. Auctioning some sweet M5 items @Charitybuzz to benefit our friend #zoefeldman,” Levine wrote. “You can bid here … thank you!!!”
Bidding on the Maroon 5 items closes on August 21. The concert meet-and-greet with the band is currently going for $3,800, while the separate opportunity to meet Levine and attend a taping of “The Voice” is up to $3,250.
By Bryant Gilmore
Everyone knows by now that when you hit up a Kelly Clarkson show, it’s become a tradition for fans to tweet their requests for cover songs that they want the Grammy winner to perform at the show that night.
Recently, she gave us an amazing rendition of Katy Perry’s current chart-topper “Wide Awake” and now, she’s tackled No Doubt with an acoustic version of “Don’t Speak” – and for a few moments after she was finished, we couldn’t. Before she began, Clarkson took time to thank the lucky tweeter because “Don’t Speak” is “one of her favorite No Doubt songs.” She then effortlessly tackled the song with such raw emotion that we almost got confused as to whose song she was singing. Almost.
Check it out:
Clarkson is having quite a year. When she’s not killing it in concert, she’s slaying her fellow “American Idol” alums on the charts. Her song “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” was recently named the best-selling single by an “Idol” alum and spent three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year.
But there’s even more great news for Kelly. Last week, she received a 2012 MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Video With a Message for the video to “Dark Side,” which is currently working its way up the charts. Make sure you tune in to see if Kelly walks away with her fourth Moonman when the VMAs air live on September 6 at 8 p.m.
Check out the “Dark Side” video below.
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