Donna Summer, Etta James and Whitney Houston are arguably three of the biggest names the music industry lost in 2012. That’s just the tip of the iceberg as they say. I had no idea just how many artists passed away this year until I saw this video posted by the New York Times. Their four-minute long clip titled “The Music They Made” perfectly captures the enormity of talent lost.
Included in the clip are Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, Norah Jones’ dad sitar player Ravi Shankar, Davy Jones of the Monkees and Fleetwood Mac member Bob Welch to name a few. There are plenty more talented individuals featured in the clip. Check out the video montage below to hear some of the music these legends made throughout their career.
I have to admit when I first heard what initial acts were headlining this year’s VH1 Divas Live concert, I was a tad underwhelmed. Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus and Ciara? I rest my case. To be fair, each lady has a respectable recording career, but their names just don’t pop up when I think of the annual VH1 fundraiser. The trio aside, I found myself pleasantly surprised by last night’s show.
The telecast kicked off with a cute clip of Adam Lambert trying to unleash his inner diva. With the help of Real Housewives of Atlanta star Nene Leakes and American Idol’s Paula Abdul, Lambert successfully found it and worked it throughout the concert. Correction, most of the night he did. The Madonna “Ray of Light” homage was a bit of a trainwreck. From the outfit to the sound, it just seemed a little off. Thankfully, his David Bowie “Let’s Dance” and group performance with Kelly Rowland and Keri Hilson rocked.
Another mild disappointment was Kelly Clarkson. While she was vocally pitch perfect as usual, I was a little bummed she didn’t perform a cover. The recently-engaged singer was there to promote her song, “Catch My Breath“, and not pay tribute to dance music. Demi Lovato also just sang from her catalogue. Even Miley Cyrus got in the spirit and performed Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell“. Clarkson could’ve also done a medley like Ciara who paid homage to Michael Jackson before segueing into her own track. Check out my five favorite moments from last night’s show, along with my two least favorite.
At first glance, this year’s performers might have you scratching your head. Miley Cyrus a Diva? Demi Lovato a Diva? Jordin Sparks a Diva? While talented in their own right, they’re a far cry from the hey day of the VH1 annual event when Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, Tina Turner and Whitney Houston headlined the show. But when you delve into this year’s theme for the show, the line-up makes perfect sense.
Last year, VH1 Divas Live paid tribute to the great cities of Soul Music. This time, the Divas are heading to the dance floor. Ciara, Kelly Rowland, Cyrus, Lovato and Sparks will pay homage to the greatest divas of dance music with performances featuring current and classic dance hits.
In the spirit of celebration and appreciation, the concert special will include a tribute to two divas we lost this past year, whose voices always lead us straight to the dance floor, Whitney Houston and Donna Summer. FIERCE. Side note, how many tribute specials have there been since Whit’s untimely death in February? Given the dance theme of the evening, have any guesses on who’ll host the event? Here’s a hint. It’s not a DIVA but a DIVO. Find out below.
Some sad news today… Music legend, Donna Summer has passed away today at her home in Florida at the age of 63. According to TMZ, she had quietly been battling breast cancer and trying to keep her illness under wraps. They had even spoke to her a couple weeks ago and she seemed fine.
The five-time Grammy Award winner was also working on a new album. Some of her biggest hits include “Last Dance,” and “She Works Hard For The Money” and she was referred to as the Queen of Disco.
She inspired so many people and so many other artists and her legacy will live on. So sad to see another great artist pass away. In her memory, I decided to list my five favorite Donna Summer songs below. Check them out and share your favorite song in the comments.
The second I heard Keri Hilson’s “Pretty Girl Rock“, I immediately fell in love. As weeks have gone by, I love it even more now. Miss Keri has found success when collaborating with others like Timbaland on “The Way You Are” and “Knock You Down” with Ne-Yo, but the underrated R&B singer hasn’t hit big on her own yet. Hopefully with this track, her time has come.
When “Pretty Girl Rock” first leaked online, rumors had it just being a promo single and not intended to be a track on her forthcoming album, “No Boys Allowed“. Now that a music video has been shot, that may all change. The Joseph Khan-directed music video is a bit budget, but I love the homages Hilson gives to some of R&B’s biggest names. She pays tributes to various pretty girls throughout the past century.
Keri starts off as a flapper girl, then makes her way to iconic R&B imagery from the past fifty years. She pays tributes to Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” look, T-Boz in TLC’s “Creep“, Diana Ross and Donna Summer. Take a stroll down memory lane with Keri, and celebrate some great female singers while enjoying a hot new track from Hilson. Her album, “No Boys Allowed” is scheduled to hit stores on December 21, 2010.
Man, Wynter Gordon is on fi-yah. She’s working overtime to establish herself as the new Queen Bee of dance music. If she keeps this up, she very well might succeed. Just last week, she was featured in the Freemasons‘ “Believer” and today another hot group of DJs are utilizing her mesmerizing vocals. Rhythm Masters & MYNC enlisted the “Dirty Talk” singer for their cover of one Donna Summer’s iconic disco tracks. “I Feel Love” was not only a huge it, but it is considered to have pioneered the electro music genre.
The production by Rhythm Masters & MYNC is fantastic. It stays true to the original by keeping the electronic disco beats, but give it a modern makeover with subtle nuances. Wynter is absolutely fantastic emulating Donna Summer’s sublime falsetto vocals on this historical track that helped redefine the dance genre. This is why Gordon is one of my current obsessions. In 1978, a fifteen minute extended remix of the track became a huge underground hit. If her cover of “I Feel Love” does half as much for Wynter’s career as it did for Summer, expect Wynter’s star to rise significantly.