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Is Madonna’s Kiss Her Way Of Anointing The Next Big Thing?

Posted by John Mitchell On December - 8 - 2011

Madonna

So everyone’s going crazy because Nicki Minaj tweeted that she locked lips with the Queen of Pop, Madonna, on the set of the music video for “Give Me All Your Love,” the buzzed about first single from Madonna’s forthcoming 12th studio album.

Apparently, kissing Her Madgesty is oh-so good … “OH MY f’ingggg Gahhhh!!!!! MADONNA jus kissed me!!!!! On the lips!!!!!!! It felt sooooo good. Soooo soft!!!! *passes out* aaahhhhh!!!!!!!!!” Nicki tweet-screamed to all of her Brabz and Kenz late last night. She continued her swoon-athon with a series of tweets (which you can check out after the jump!) for over an hour after.

Which got us thinking about what a kiss from Madonna really means. Of course, any time Madge locks lips with another lady, our mind is immediately drawn back to the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, where the Queen and the Princesses – that’s Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, for those who don’t know (and how is life under that rock?) – performed a “Like A Virgin” medley that included one of the most famous lip locks of all time.

In its own weird way, a lot of people read the performance and kiss and Madonna’s way of anointing Spears as her pop successor. Sure, she kissed Christina too, but that’s not what anyone remembers. They remember that jaw-dropping lip lock with Spears, who was then at the height of her global fame and still a few years removed from the personal drama that nearly consumed her career (blessedly, she got the help she needed and is back and as good as ever today).

Does that mean she sees something special in Nicki too?

Minaj has had a very big year. She had a multi-platinum record with Pink Friday and earned a ubiquitous radio and chart hit with “Super Bass.” And everyone loves her – from Taylor Swift to Justin Bieber’s number one girl Selena Gomez to Britney Spears herself, who handpicked Nicki for her Femme Fatale tour, everyone is gaga for Nicki. Minaj is also beloved by critics and the hip-hop community.

So maybe getting a publicized smooch from Madonna is her way of showing faith in a young performer. After all, when Spears returned to the big time for her comeback album Circus and appeared in the MTV documentary “Britney: For the Record,” Madge was there to lend a hand to the resurgent superstar, proving her support for Spears wasn’t fair-weather. Spears went on to release the best album of her career this year with Femme Fatale, which at least one MTV Newser thinks was the best album of the year.

Perhaps puckering up with Nicki means something similar. We can see Madonna taking a liking to the sexy and sassy rapper. Nicki seems exactly like Madonna’s kind of girl. Or maybe it was just her way of wishing her a happy birthday!

Check out Nicki’s Twitter-based Madonna love-fest below:

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Happy 30th Birthday, Britney Spears!

Posted by John Mitchell On December - 2 - 2011

Today is the big day!

Our girl Britney Spears turns 30 today and we’re pretty excited! MTV News has been hosting a March Madness-style tournament, Britney Spears: 30 Videos For 30 Years, to find out which of Britney’s legendary clips is her fans’ favorite in the lead-up to her big birthday (we’ll have the results later, stay tuned!), so it’s been a pretty Britney-riffic two weeks in the MTV Newsroom. We wouldn’t have it any other way – the tournament gave us all an opportunity to revisit Britney’s classics and take a second look at her recent work, and I think I speak for the room when I say it was a pretty fantastic walk down memory lane.

Spears has released some of the most memorable videos of the last 12 years, songs that have provided a soundtrack for the big defining moments for a certain generation. I can remember being in high school and getting into heated debates about whether the video for “…Baby One More Time” was too sexy. (It wasn’t! But that Rolling Stone cover … Woo hoo!) When I turned 21 and hit the bar/club scene for the first time, “Toxic” was the white-hot song of the moment.

I can also remember how excited and relieved I was when she slammed back onto the scene with “Womanizer.” It was refreshing, after a very difficult couple of years, to see my old friend back and looking beautiful and healthy and surrounded by people who cared about her again. I know it’s kind of strange to actually worry about and be earnestly happy about the welfare of a celebrity, but such is the power of Britney Spears. She’s the perfect celebrity in that respect … she’s all things to all people.

Her return-to-form album – Circus – brought with it what I believe to be the best Britney song ever, “Unusual You.” It’s a haunting electro pop ballad about finding unexpected love and it’s fantastic. If you haven’t heard the song, I suggest you give it a listen. Two other non-singles you should check out if you are only a casual Britney fan: “Breathe on Me” and “Heaven on Earth.”

And things only continue to get better. Her most recent album, Femme Fatale, is probably her best, earning the best reviews of her multiplatinum career. (It also should have earned her some Grammy nominations, but I tackled that subject yesterday.) Spears is currently in Mexico on the final stretch of her successful tour behind the album. The tour wraps in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Dec. 10.

Britney is taking today off (she returns to the stage tomorrow night in Mexico City) and hopefully has big plans to celebrate her big day. So happy 30th birthday, Britney, and thanks for all the fun and fantastic tunes that made the last decade so much more enjoyable than it would have been otherwise!

What’s your favorite Britney memory? Tell us in the comments below!

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Grammy Snubs: Beyonce And Britney Were Robbed, Kanye West, Lady Gaga And Taylor Swift Should Have Gotten Even More Love

Posted by John Mitchell On December - 1 - 2011

Last night’s announcement of the nominees for the 2012 Grammys came with them few surprises: Kanye West earned a leading seven nominations for his solo work on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and the Jay-Z collaboration Watch the Throne and Adele’s mega-selling 21 and its ubiquitous lead single “Rolling in the Deep” dominated the top categories. There were, however, several notable snubs among the nominations, the most glaring of which we’ve cataloged below.

Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Album of the Year

How Kanye West could score the most nominations, including Best Song for “All of the Lights,” and not see his critically adored Fantasy nominated for Album of the Year is beyond us. The set enjoys a 94 out of 100 rating on album review aggregator Metacritic, a full 18 points better than the highest-rated album to make the Grammy cut (Adele’s 21 with a 76).

Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory,” Song of the Year

Lady Gaga has released so many singles off her hit album Born This Way that we sometimes lose track, but the one track that has really stuck is “The Edge of Glory.” Lyrically inspired by the death of her grandfather, the song features soaring hooks and the most anthemic chorus to hit Top 40 radio this year. That the Academy chose to honor only four songs with nominations in this category rather than the usual five while overlooking the highlight of an album it chose to award a nomination for Album of the Year is silly business.

Read on for more.

Beyonce

Beyonce’s 4, Best R&B Album

Perhaps the Recording Academy thinks Beyonce has enough Grammys? It would be easy enough to make a case that 4 should be a contender for Album of the Year – it’s Metacritic rating of 73 is better than four of the nominated albums, and while music critics are far from definitive, consensus acclaim shouldn’t be overlooked – but we would have settled for Best R&B Album because, well, it’s the perfect R&B album. On 4 Beyonce eschewed club bangers for soulful and complex ballads and insanely catchy mid-tempo jams (like “Love on Top” and “Countdown”). In its review, New York Magazine commented on the album’s throw-back vibe, writing, “There’s a streak of nostalgia running through the sound, whether it’s the kind of traditionalist R&B that sells Adele albums or the cheery funk of a track like ‘Love on Top,’ which feels as cozy as seventies Stevie Wonder or eighties Michael Jackson.” And when it comes to R&B, does a higher compliment exist than a comparison to seventies Stevie Wonder and eighties Michael Jackson?

Britney Spears’ “Till The World Ends,” Best Dance Recording

Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale album brought her the best reviews of her career, earning the pop superstar the same Metacritic rating as Rihanna’s Album of the Year-nominated Loud, and became the first album of Spears’ 12-year multi-platinum career to yield three top-ten hits (“Till The World Ends,” “I Wanna Go,” and the #1 “Hold It Against Me”). “Till The World Ends” was one of the year’s biggest radio hits, giving Spears the largest weekly audience of her career in mid-May, and topped Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart the week of May 28. Spears’ sole Grammy win came in the Best Dance Recording category in 2005 for “Toxic,” and she should have scored a nod in the same category this year because, as Rolling Stone said in its three-and-a-half star review, “You want a party song, call a partier. Written by Ke$ha (with Max Martin and Dr. Luke), the second single from Femme Fatale is ginormously pumping uber-Euro uber-disco: sky-sucking synth streaks, a beat that sounds like blimps f**king and a thousand shirtless drunken sailors chanting along on the chorus.” In dance music language, that’s a pretty huge compliment.

Taylor Swift’s Speak Now, Album of the Year

Taylor Swift may have caught a case of the Beyonces. Swift swept through the 2009 Grammys and took home the Album of the Year prize for Fearless, in addition to three other prizes in the country categories. With that win, she became the first female country soloist to win the top prize at the Grammys. And, sure, Speak is up for a number of country-centric prizes this year and that’s nothing to scoff at. But the acclaimed set failed to receive a nod for Album of the Year, despite widespread and near-universal praise. Perhaps the Academy missed all of the subtleties that the New York Times picked up on in its rave review. “It’s [Speak Now] the most savage of her career, and also the most musically diverse. And it’s excellent too, possibly her best,” the Times writes. “In these new songs relationships are no longer fantasies, or neutered; they’re lived-in places, where bodies share space.”

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The Final Two! ‘I’m A Slave 4 U’ And ‘Criminal’ Go Head-To-Head In Britney Spears: 30 Videos For 30 Years

Posted by John Mitchell On December - 1 - 2011

It’s time for the Britney Spears Tournament: 30 Videos for 30 Years, MTV News’ celebration of all things Britney to honor the pop star’s 30th birthday! In the lead up to the big day, we’re asking you, Brit’s most loyal fans, to help us decide which video from her legendary career is your favorite by participating in a winner-take-all tournament. MTV News’ resident Britney experts assigned 30 of Britney’s videos seeds and put them up against one another in a series of single-elimination match-ups. Fan voting will determine which of her amazing clips is named the fan-favorite. So vote now and vote often for your favorite video. The winner will be announced on December 2 – Britney’s 30th birthday!

It’s down to the Final Two!

This is it, Britney fiends. We are down to the final two videos in MTV News’ Britney Spears Tournament: 30 Videos for 30 Years. Each new round has brought fantastic surprises to the MTV Newsroom, as videos we assumed to be sure things got knocked out of the race early and clips we thought might get left in the dust dominated.

Our showdown to find out which video is the Britney fan favorite comes down to “I’m A Slave 4 U” and “Criminal,” two of the pop star’s sexiest clips ever. “Slave” is classic Britney – a “TRL” favorite from her third album, Britney – while “Criminal,” the most recent single from her hit album Femme Fatale, showcases Britney Version 2011, as our girl goes on a crime spree with her real-life boyfriend Jason Trawick (and hits the showers for a particularly steamy sequence).

It’s getting down to the wire and we only have one day to go until Britney’s big day. Our winner will be determined on Friday, Dec. 2 – Britney’s 30th birthday! Cast your vote below now through tomorrow at 7AM and be sure to check back tomorrow to see which video takes the title of Best Britney Video of All Time!

Watch both videos after the jump!

“I’m A Slave 4 U”

“Criminal”

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It’s Time for the Final Four In Britney Spears: 30 videos For 30 Years

Posted by John Mitchell On November - 30 - 2011

Britney Spears

It’s time for the Britney Spears Tournament: 30 Videos for 30 Years, MTV News’ celebration of all things Britney to honor the pop star’s 30th birthday! In the lead up to the big day, we’re asking you, Brit’s most loyal fans, to help us decide which video from her legendary career is your favorite by participating in a winner-take-all tournament. MTV News’ resident Britney experts assigned 30 of Britney’s videos seeds and put them up against one another in a series of single-elimination match-ups. Fan voting will determine which of her amazing clips is named the fan-favorite. So vote now and vote often for your favorite video. The winner will be announced on December 2 – Britney’s 30th birthday!

Man, you Britney fans are a surprising bunch!

We’ve pretty much given up trying to forecast the outcome of MTV News’ Britney Spears Tournament: 30 Videos For 30 Years because as we go into the Final Four things look nothing like we expected … with one notable exception!

From the beginning, we had a feeling “I’m A Slave 4 U” would be one of the clips to survive the intense competition and we were right. The sexy clip marked a major transition in the Princess of Pop’s career as she moved away from the wholesome image she’d carved out with her first two albums, …Baby One More Time and Oops! I Did It Again, and moved into more adult territory with her third album, Britney, and was one of her biggest “TRL” hits.

The other remaining videos indicate fans’ affection for Britney Spears: Version 2011. Early on, we thought nostalgia would rule the day and her older videos would dominate the competition. That hasn’t been the case as newer clips have proven themselves to be Britney fan favorites. So much so that two of the final four videos come from her most recent album, Femme Fatale. One of the biggest surprises of the whole competition – as far as the Britney experts here in the MTV Newsroom are concerned – has been the incredibly strong performance of Brit’s latest clip “Criminal.” It’s a great video (and we know she loves it), but we are shocked that such a recent clip has destroyed Britney classics like “Baby” and “Stronger” to make it to the final four.

It’s getting down to the wire and we only have three days and two rounds to go until Britney’s big day. Our winner will be determined on Friday, Dec. 2 – Britney’s 30th birthday! Cast your vote now through tomorrow, Dec. 1 at 7AM in the Final Four showdown after the jump.

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