The Week In Music: The TWIM Top 10
As 2010 draws to an end, it's time to look back and reminisce on all the fun and surprising news this last year in music has brought. From the Beatles' long-awaited arrival at iTunes to Kings Of Leon's Jared Followill's onstage avian mishap, we're bringing you the Top 10 stories from The Week In Music in 2010.
1. The Beatles: Fab Four And ITunes Come Together
The Beatles made a big splash on Nov. 16 with their long-anticipated arrival at iTunes. In their first week of release, the Fab Four inhabited more than 25 percent of the iTunes top 200 song chart, and accounted for 17 of iTunes' 100 top-selling albums. Reactions were literally mixed in terms of what the Beatles' digital debut meant, evidenced by Billboard.biz's "Five Reasons Why The Beatles' Arrival On iTunes Still Matters" report and the Los Angeles Times' contrasting "Five Reasons It's Not All That Exciting" report. Regardless of what side you're on — and as they say in "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" — life goes on brah.
2. Kings Of Leon: Poohed Off Stage
Kings Of Leon may have legions of fans and three GRAMMY Awards, but they could have used somebody to help them out at their St. Louis concert on July 23. After just three songs, bassist Jared Followill was on the receiving end of a present, dropped off in his mouth courtesy of a pigeon flying overhead. The Kings exited the stage immediately, after which a venue spokesman told the crowd the show would not continue due to fears for the band's safety. Regarding the doo-doo incident, drummer/brother Nathan Followill tweeted: "So sorry St. Louis. We had to bail….Too unsanitary to continue." Thankfully concertgoers were given a full refund. What did we learn from this? Birds now rank behind pyro on the concert danger list.
3. Prince: The Internet's Dead
It may be time to cancel your Internet service, unload the laptop and MP3 player, and even do away with the number system entirely. According to Prince, technological Armageddon is upon us. "The Internet's completely over," his purple majesty said in July. "The Internet's like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers, and that can't be good for you." Kenny G responded to the artist formerly known as a symbol's declaration with a countering viewpoint, saying if the Internet is dead "then I must be dead, too, 'cause I use it all the time. Maybe I've got a sixth sense, and I only see dead people. I don't know." We don't think the jury's out on this one yet.
4. John Legend: The GRAMMY Do-Over
GRAMMY Awards are truly prized hardware, but they certainly aren't toys for kids. John Legend learned this lesson the hard way when his nephew broke one of his six GRAMMY Awards during a trip to Uncle John's apartment in August. Legend tweeted about the incident, including a photo of the fractured statue. While some of his followers suggested disciplinary action for the guilty culprit, Legend calmly replied: "It was truly an accident. I'm just gonna have to nephew-proof my apt. a little better." While a new nephew-proof GRAMMY design is pending, on Aug. 19 The Recording Academy presented Legend with a fresh GRAMMY.
5. President Barack Obama: The Presidential ITunes Playlist
President Barack Obama was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone in October. Aside from discussing politics, the two-time GRAMMY winner also talked music in the issue's feature. "My iPod now has about 2,000 songs, and it is a source of great pleasure to me," said Obama. "There's still a lot of Stevie Wonder, a lot of Bob Dylan, a lot of Rolling Stones, a lot of R&B, a lot of Miles Davis and John Coltrane." Showing even more diversity, Obama cited a growing interest for rap. "My rap palate has greatly improved. Jay-Z used to be sort of what predominated, but now I've got a little Nas and a little Lil Wayne…but I would not claim to be an expert." Finally, the president dropped some words to remember for anyone, regardless of political affiliation. "Music is still a great source of joy and occasional solace in the midst of what can be some difficult days," said Obama.
6. The Imperial Stars: Traffic Jam
In Caltrans/music news, the Imperial Stars — a Southern California outfit of "hard core hip-hop heads" — wreaked a bit of freeway havoc on Oct. 12. The band blocked all but one lane on Interstate 101 in Hollywood, Calif., for what appeared to be a performance on top of a large truck advertising the band. Unfortunately, the California Highway Patrol was not amused by the stunt and arrested the band members and had the truck towed, all while traffic had extended into the San Fernando Valley. As for the Stars? "Imperial Stars OUT OF JAIL we will be having dinner in hollywood tonight. Who wants to join us??? Stay tuned for location...," the band tweeted the day after. It would seem this elaborate scheme was an effort to promote the band's latest video for the aptly titled "Traffic Jam 101." Pretty savvy for a bunch of hip-hop heads, but while the video has received more than 158,000 views to date, one viewer offered the Stars a bit of A&R advice: "WTF? They should have sent a demo team out to the 101 rather than a tow truck."
7. Katy Perry: Fireworks On "Sesame Street"
Katy Perry is one California gurl that ran a little too hot for Bert and Ernie, Grover, Big Bird, Snuffleupagus, and the gang over at "Sesame Street." In September the show issued a statement saying it would not air a taped segment featuring Perry and everyone's favorite tickle buddy, Elmo, due to "feedback" they received. It appears Perry's wardrobe choice during her skit with Elmo and a performance of "Hot 'N Cold" was deemed too revealing for the kids. A representative for Perry said the singer/songwriter enjoyed her time on the show. Elmo could not be reached for comment but did exclaim, "That tickles!" Meanwhile, the clip in question is available to view on YouTube.
8. 50 Cent: Dropping Beats And Pounds
In June this was the latest skinny on rapper 50 Cent. Literally. The normally well-muscled rapper — a former GRAMMY Best New Artist nominee and GRAMMY winner last year with Eminem and Dr. Dre in the Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group category — shed about 50 pounds (or roughly a pound per Cent) to play a dying cancer patient in the film Things Fall Apart (gird yourself for the shocking skinny fiddy photos). Losing the weight is nothing new to the Get Rich Or Die Tryin' rapper. In 2000, after being shot in the jaw, he dropped to 157 pounds on a liquid diet. Fiddy modeled his weight loss after actors Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, Christian Bale, and Renée Zellweger, all of whom have dropped bulk for movie roles.
9. Jon Bon Jovi: A Good Name From The White House
Jon Bon Jovi may have been shot down in a blaze of glory by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but he's in good with the White House. On Dec. 14 President Barack Obama announced the establishment of the White House Council for Community Solutions. Bon Jovi was the sole music artist appointed to the council, which will advise the president on effective ways to mobilize citizens, nonprofits, businesses, and government to work to solve specific community needs. "These impressive men and women have dedicated their lives and careers to civic engagement and social innovation," said Obama. "I commend them for their outstanding contributions to their communities, and I am confident that they will serve the American people well in their new roles on the White House Council for Community Solutions." In addition to his day job as a musician, Bon Jovi is chairman of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the lives of those in need. Under his leadership, the foundation has provided affordable housing to hundreds of low-income individuals and families. Now that's giving Bon Jovi a good name.
10. John Mayer: Twitter Was No Wonderland
There is no such thing as a verified John Mayer Twitter account following the GRAMMY winner's unceremonious exit from the social networking site on Sept. 13. What gives? According to a Rolling Stone report, Mayer ceased all Twitter activity due to a planned return to the studio. Maybe he found himself writing 140-character lyrics. Or perhaps Mayer's waiting on Twitter to change?
Ke$ha's "TiK ToK" was the No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 song of the year while Susan Boyle's I Dreamed A Dream was the top Billboard 200 album of the year.
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