R&B crooner let his vocals do the dancing with a simple, stripped-down performance.
By Kelley L. Carter
<P>With two spotlights shining down on him, a sleeveless <MTVNLINK type="artist" id="1270">Usher</MTVNLINK> belted out the first notes of his summer hit, "Climax," at Sunday's <a href="http://www.bet.com/shows/bet-awards/2012.html" target="_blank">2012 BET Awards</a>.</P><P>The R&B crooner stood center stage, wearing all black, save for a pair of hot-colored shoes, and sang the ballad with the electro-beat from his seventh studio album, <i>Looking 4 Myself,</i> in front of a live band. Some wicked, black-and-white animation danced behind him on a large screen that backlit the auditorium.</P><P>This was the first time Usher has performed at the awards show since 2010, where he also sang another ballad, "There Goes My Baby," from his <i>Raymond v. Raymond</i> album.</P><P><object width='440' height='360' id='kickWidget_176704_509145' name='kickWidget_176704_509145' type='application/x-shockwave-flash' data='http://serve.a-widget.com/service/getWidgetSwf.kickAction'> <param name='movie' value='http://serve.a-widget.com/service/getWidgetSwf.kickAction'></param> <param name='FlashVars' value='preselectedPlaylistItem=guid_2243923589&affiliateSiteId=176704&widgetId=509145&width=440&height=360&noScale=1&playOnLoad=0&mediaURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bet.com%2Fvideo%2Fbetawards%2F2012%2Fperformances%2Fplaylist%2F_jcr_content%2Fleftcol%2Fvideoplaylist.mrss%3Fpt%3DEmbedFullPage%26type%3Dembedplaylist%26ordts%3Dy%3Ftype%3Dembedplaylist%26pt%3Dembedplaylist%26&revision=178&autoPlay=0' ></param> <param name='wmode' value='transparent' ></param><param name='allowFullScreen' value='true' ></param> <param name='allowScriptAccess' value='always' ></param></object></P><P>The Sunday night (July 1) performance came in the first half-hour of the show and was apropos, considering that Usher's latest studio album is topping <i>Billboard</i>'s charts for the second week in a row (and his fourth #1-debuting album in a row). The dance-friendly album was just released last month. "Climax" hit #17 on the singles chart, while second track "Scream" has peaked at #13.</P><P>For his BET Awards performance, the multiplatinum, multi-Grammy-winning R&B singer kept it fairly muted. Save for a few quick microphone movements, he let his vocals dance during the performance. Even his attire was muted compared to what we've seen Usher turn out at awards shows in years past; a lone, shiny timepiece decorated his wrist.</P><P>Usher concluded his performance with a quick wave of his hand to the fans down in front.</P><P><b>Stick with MTV News as we bring you all the scoop from the <a href="http://www.bet.com/shows/bet-awards/2012.html" target="_blank">2012 BET Awards</a>, including winners and must-see performances!</b></P>
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On ‘Late Night with Seth Meyers,’ Kanye West gave a compelling, wide ranging interview on music, fashion, art, being a father and more, and delivered a showstopping performance of a seven-song medley of career spanning hits. Kanye West was the sole guest on the second night of the premiere week of ‘Late Night’ with its new host, Seth Meyers the former head writer and anchor of ‘Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. On what is obviously a closely watched make-or-break week, Meyers has scored a win with yet another A-list guest after Amy Poehler and Vice President Joe Biden on the inaugural edition of the show. While Kanye West may live in the minds of many for his numerous rants and eyebrow raising quotes and run-ins with paparazzi and, not least his high profile engagement to Kim Kardashian, the mother of his daughter, North West, viewers can always anticipating seeing and hearing a compelling discussion when he is given free reign on a television talk show. Much as he did with his appearance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ Kanye West took the opportunity to expound on his artistic vision as well as to dish on the expected topics. As for breaking into [...]
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Them Crooked Vultures make their debut with a post-Lollapalooza set.
By James Montgomery
<P>Officially, <a href="/news/articles/1617945/janes-addiction-killers-turn-up-heat-on-lollapaloozas-last-day.jhtml">Lollapalooza ended Sunday night</a> in Chicago's Grant Park, with dueling sets from <MTVNLINK type="artist" id="1244299">the Killers</MTVNLINK> and <MTVNLINK type="artist" id="702">Jane's Addiction</MTVNLINK>. Unofficially, it ended <i>very</i> early Monday morning, across town at venerable rock club the Metro, with a surprise show by Them Crooked Vultures.</P><P>To the unfamiliar, the Vultures might seem like an odd choice to close out Lolla weekend … until you realize that they're made up of <MTVNLINK type="artist" id="986">Foo Fighters</MTVNLINK> frontman/ former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, <MTVNLINK type="artist" id="503135">Queens of the Stone Age</MTVNLINK> mastermind Josh Homme and <MTVNLINK type="artist" id="993">Led Zeppelin</MTVNLINK> legend John Paul Jones. And their gig at the Metro was their world premiere.</P><P>According to <a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/derogatis/2009/08/them_crooked_vultures_at_metro.html" target="_blank">some reports</a>, the Vultures actually turned <i>down</i> Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell's request to replace the Beastie Boys as headliners at the festival, opting to debut in front of some 1,100 super-psyched fans at the Metro, rather than 75,000 in Grant Park (tickets for the gig were announced via Foo Fighter/ QOTSA fan clubs). Meaning that, in a lot of ways, this was the most sought-after ticket in town.</P><P>Taking the stage just after midnight, the Vultures — Grohl on drums (of course), Homme on guitar and vocals, Jones on bass and keys and frequent QOTSA contributor Alain Johannes on guitar — ripped through 12 songs in 80 minutes, all taken from their upcoming debut, which may or may not be called <i>Never Deserved the Future,</i> and may or may not be hitting stores on October 23 (early "promo" videos touting both those facts were revealed over the weekend to be hoaxes perpetrated by QOTSA fans).</P><P>The songs, with appropriately Homme-ian titles like "Scumbag Blues," "Mind Eraser (No Chaser)," "Caligulove" and "Interlude w/Ludes," sounded pretty much how you'd expect, given the band's pedigree. They rocked, hard — <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/turn_it_up/2009/08/concert-review-them-crooked-vultures-at-metro.html" target="_blank"><i>Chicago Tribune</i></a> critic Greg Kot described them as "fresh, invigorating and just plain nasty" — delving off into psychedelic, reverb-filled excursions and exploring proggy territory, "both of the old-school Yes variety, and the more modern Tool flavor," according to the <i>Chicago Sun-Times'</i> Jim DeRogatis.</P><P>It's not known if Monday's Metro performance was a one-off event for the Vultures — there have been whispers of a full-blown tour, but a spokesperson for Homme had not responded to MTV News' request for comment at press time. Nor was it clear whether or not they'll have an album out in October.</P><P>Early Monday, a <a href="http://twitter.com/crookedvultures" target="_blank">Crooked Vultures Twitter account</a>, which had previously posted links to the band's <a href="http://www.themcrookedvultures.com/" target="_blank">official-looking Web site</a> and the Metro's online ticketing site — posted a link to what appears to be the group's first bit of official merchandise: a <i>Deserve the Future</i> T-shirt. Cost: $30.</P>
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