The Week In Music: President Barack Obama Sings The Blues
It's no secret President Barack Obama is a big music fan (after all, his Spotify playlist reveals a love of everything from REO Speedwagon and U2 to Aretha Franklin and No Doubt), but is he also a closet singer? On Feb. 21 Obama joined an all-star cast of artists, including B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Mick Jagger, at the White House to sing a few bars of the classic Robert Johnson blues standard "Sweet Home Chicago." This wasn't Obama's first turn at the mic — just one month prior he belted out Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" at a fundraiser in Harlem, N.Y. "We were trying to get you to sing that," prodded Guy. "Because I heard you had sung Al Green, so you started something so you gotta keep it up." While Guy was the instigator to get Obama to sing this time around, it was actually Jagger who handed him the mic. "I thought he was courageous, because there was some element of reluctance," Jagger said following the event. Though he is a GRAMMY winner, a music career for the president does seem unlikely. However, we wouldn't count out anyone for whom Jagger gives up his mic.
Fresh from winning a record-tying six statues at the 54th GRAMMY Awards, an acceptance speech with a bit of snot and her album sitting atop the Billboard 200 for 21 weeks and counting, it may prove difficult for Adele to top herself. The golden-voiced artist did her best at the Brit Awards 2012 this past Tuesday in taking a page from the M.I.A. Super Bowl playbook and flashing a middle finger. No, this wasn't a message to the muse for songs such as "Someone Like You," but a reaction to being cut off during her acceptance speech for British Album of the Year by host James Corden. "I was about to thank the British public for their support and they cut me off, and I'm sorry if I offended anyone," said Adele. How this incident will impact her Album Of The Year GRAMMY-winning 21 should prove interesting. While we're betting sales will not be as robust as the 207 percent sales increase spurred by the GRAMMY Effect, the Middle Finger Effect may be enough to keep her at No. 1.
While the candles between Chris Brown and then-girlfriend Rihanna were quickly blown out after an altercation that left Brown in custody in 2009, the two artists are making amends in the form of a musical collaboration. Following a performance with Coldplay on the 54th GRAMMY Awards telecast, on Feb. 21 Rihanna released a remix of "Birthday Cake," a track from her 2011 album Talk That Talk, featuring vocals from none other than Brown. Returning the favor, Rihanna appears on a remix for Brown's "Turn Up The Music," which dropped the same day as her "Birthday Cake" remix. Is this a rekindling of longing hearts, or merely musical minds? Or, to quote Rihanna, have the two found love (again) in (what some thought was) a hopeless place?
Adam Lambert recently asked the musical question, "Whataya want from me?" Well, Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor know the answer. They want Adam to be in Queen for a day. Lambert will fill the role of late legendary vocalist Freddie Mercury for the band's July 7 set at the Sonisphere festival in Stevenage, north of London. It will actually be Lambert's third stint with the band following an eight-minute set at the MTV Europe Awards last November to celebrate Queen's Global Icon Award, and a 2009 performance of "We Are The Champions" on "American Idol." A longtime fan of Mercury, Lambert says his goal is not to try to be Freddie, but to pay tribute. Will Adam be a killer Queen? Let us know your thoughts below.
And before we close, what have some of our other favorite stars been up to this week? The TWIM Twittertable says: @katyperry: Thank U to all the AMAZING radio stations playing "Part Of Me" & the Katycats that keep requesting the ish out of it! #ioweuandiwilldeliver; @ladygaga: Oh the irony of winning "Most Pretentious Album Ever" from none other than NME. *eyeroll* I might laugh forever + then return to narcissism; @BrunoMars: You gotsta chiilllllll......; @rihanna: Fold under pressure, I would never ever ever ever!; @MileyCyrus: What a rad Wednesday! Puppy class, tanning, pilates, more tanning, then Mexican food with @CheyneThomas woop wooppp!!!!
Katy Perry's "Part Of Me" is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Fun's "We Are Young" featuring Janelle Monáe is tops on the iTunes singles chart.
Any news we've missed? Comment below.