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Phillip Phillips' debut album goes platinum -- so how are other singing-show winners doing?

American Idol takes a lot of flack for being past its prime — and given the weak chart performance of its reigning champ, Candice Glover, those criticisms make sense — but make no mistake, the show can still produce stars.

Take Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips: The gravelly-voiced folk-pop singer’s debut album The World from the Side of the Moon was just certified platinum by the RIAA for shipments of one million units. The disc, which was released in November 2012, wasn’t a blockbuster out of the gate. It sold 169,000 in its first week, driven primarily by the success of Phillips’ Olympic anthem “Home,” which sold over 4.6 million copies as a single.

But World has continued selling steadily thanks to the slow-burn success of his platinum follow-up single “Gone Gone Gone,” which has climbed to No. 24 on the Hot 100 and topped the Adult Contemporary chart. And it doesn’t hurt that Phillips nabbed the opening slot on John Mayer’s Born and Raised tour, which he joined in July and will continue with until mid-December. READ FULL STORY

Miley Cyrus on her VMA performance: I was trying to make history -- VIDEO

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Miley Cyrus: Pop pioneer?

That’s the vibe The Artist Formerly Known as Hannah Montana was going for at last month’s Video Music Awards, according to Miley herself. “Every VMA performance, anyone that performs, that’s what you’re looking for,” Cyrus tells an MTV documentary crew in a newly-released clip, looking much less wild than she did while grinding against Robin Thicke.  (Her tongue is barely even visible!)

“You’re wanting to make history,” the pop tart continued. “Me and Robin the whole time said, ‘You know we’re about to make history right now.'”

READ FULL STORY

MTV VMAs 2013: 10 things you didn't see on TV

Another MTV Video Music Awards is in the rearview, and this year brought us Katy Perry’s boxing pantomime, Lady Gaga’s seashells in the flesh, and Justin Timberlake’s 20 minutes of magic.

But not every great moment was found by the television cameras, which is why EW was inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to watch what happened in between, and to take notes while wiping away the sweat caused by Drake’s pyrotechnics. Check out some highlights from the view inside the building.

1. DJ Cassidy provided the pre-show and between-segment entertainment inside the Barclays Center, and while nobody cared much about him as they were taking their seats, he accidentally inspired some of the night’s biggest reactions. Case in point: During one commercial break, he spun Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” which inspired a pretty intense singalong even as the show was coming back on the air.

2. The stage crew working the MTV VMAs were super busy, as always: They hustled to deconstruct Lady Gaga’s elaborate set following her show-opening performance, and had to build what was essentially an entire third stage—the one that the other four members of NSYNC emerged from—over the course of a single commercial break. (It was mostly seamless.) READ FULL STORY

It's not too late for Lady Gaga: How to turn things around, starting at the VMAs

It may seem strange to say that it’s not too late for Lady Gaga. After all, her third album, ARTPOP, isn’t even out until Nov. 11—and we’ve only heard one song, “Applause,” which is selling decently and actually has a pretty neat video. But of course, the promotional cycle’s in full swing. And it seems like any minute, Gaga might go over the handlebars.

Her main problem—we won’t say mistake, because this wasn’t entirely up to her, and anyway, we’re loving it—is having fallen into competition with Katy Perry, whose Prism arrives Oct. 22. Perry gave us “Roar”; Gaga came back with “Applause.” Perry made some fun promo videos; Gaga made a serious promo video with Marina Abramovic.

Once it became clear “Roar” would outsell “Applause” in their first week out, Gaga did something truly tacky: Enticed her fans to buy multiple copies of the song—and then asked them to game up the pageviews on her video. Meanwhile, she jumped into an ugly grudge match with her old friend Perez Hilton.

READ FULL STORY

Report: Justin Timberlake and NSYNC will reunite at the VMAs

There was at least one group of people disappointed by Justin Timberlake’s remarkably successful return to music this year: Those hoping for an NSYNC reunion.

Enter the power of MTV. It was already announced that Timberlake would be receiving the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at this Sunday’s ceremony, but now, according to reports from sources within MTV, Timberlake will be joined by his old NSYNC compadres Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick, Lance Bass, and JC Chasez for a performance.

Despite the ongoing showdown between Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, this NSYNC news has now become one of the biggest stories of this weekend’s show. It seemed like an NSYNC reunion was an impossibility, mostly because Timberlake was doing just fine on his own, thank you very much. It’s doubtful that this will lead to any extended work together (Timberlake has two movies to promote, plus an arena tour supporting the entirety of The 20/20 Experience), but it’ll provide some satisfying closure in the great boy-band comeback of 2013 that has included Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block, and 98 Degrees.

MTV has yet to comment on these reports directly, though something like this happens just about every year—in 2009, the appearance by Janet Jackson memorializing her recently deceased brother Michael was the worst kept secret in the universe, as was the “surprise” appearance of Jay Z and Kanye West at 2011’s show.

So what do you hope to hear from NSYNC at this Sunday’s Video Music Awards? Do you think everybody still knows those awesome “Bye Bye Bye” moves? And will Timberlake resurrect his terrible hair from the NSYNC era? Pop and lock in the comments.

Daft Punk to be on 'The Colbert Report' -- luckily

Daft Punk, the French duo who pretend to be robots, will be  joining Stephen Colbert, the American personality who pretends to be a Republican, on The Colbert Report this coming Tuesday, August 6.

It’s unclear just what the French duo—whose song with Pharrell, “Get Lucky,” should not need to be explained here—will do on the show, although it is clear that we are supposed to be wondering this very thing. They might perform. Or maybe Colbert will interview them. (Their names are Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo.) Or maybe both of those things will happen. But if Colbert does interview one or both of them, he will have to contend with the fact that they always wear helmets in public.

More information: The episode will be part of the “ColbChella” series. (The show staged something similar last year and the year before.) Colbert has recently been asking his guests to dance to “Get Lucky.” READ FULL STORY

Lady Gaga announced as first VMA performer, will play new 'ARTPOP' single

Everybody better strap on a comfortable pair of shoes (so the Alexander McQueen lobster claw is out), because the march toward Lady Gaga’s new album ARTPOP is on.

Though we still do not know the name of ARTPOP‘s first single, that will not stop Ms. Germanotta from performing the new track for the first time at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards on August 25. (The single itself will roll out on August 19.)

Gaga is no stranger to the VMA stage—she memorably bled out while singing “Paparazzi” at the 2009 show, and in 2011 she treated the world to several hours of Jo Calderone. What wacky stagecraft will she break out this time? And will Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the site of this year’s VMA show, ever be the same again? We’ll have to wait until August 25 to find out.

Lady Gaga is the first performer announced for this year’s show, and since the Moonmen themselves are relatively pointless (nobody in EW’s offices could remember that Rihanna won last year’s Video of the Year for “We Found Love”), the performances are the real draw. The rest will be rolled out shortly, but there are a handful of people they could book that would make perfect sense.  READ FULL STORY

VMA Nominations: Justin Timberlake, Macklemore, Robin Thicke, and the usual suspects

MTV’s annual Video Music Awards always ends up being the last big event of the summer, so the announcement of the nominations always comes with the dread that we’re closer to the end of beach season than the beginning.

Still, despite the cold autumnal darkness on the horizon, there are still Moonman statuettes to give out. And this year, the most likely winners are Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, both of whom have picked up six nominations. (Timberlake got four for “Mirrors” and a pair for “Suit & Tie,” while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ noms are split between “Thrift Shop,” “Can’t Hold Us,” and “Same Love”).

“Mirrors” and “Thrift Shop” will be competing for Video of the Year in a category fleshed out by Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven,” and Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” Fans can vote for Video of the Year at the official VMA site.

The rest of the nominations are pretty predictable — Drake, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Pink, Chris Brown, and Beyoncé are all on the list. Check out the full slate of nominees below.  READ FULL STORY

Bruce Springsteen performs 'Born to Run' in honor of James Gandolfini

The celebrity tributes have been flowing for James Gandolfini, who died at the age of 51 on Wednesday, and on Thursday night, the Emmy-winning actor who came to great fame on The Sopranos as a crime boss received a nice one from another New Jersey icon — The Boss. During a concert in Coventry, England, Bruce Springsteen played Born to Run in its entirety after dedicating it to Gandolfini and calling him a “great friend.” Onstage with Springsteen was E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt, who was Gandolfini’s co-star on The Sopranos. Van Zandt expressed his sympathies yesterday, tweeting: “I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time. Maureen and I send our deepest sympathy and love to Deborah, Michael, Lily, and all of Jimmy’s family.” READ FULL STORY

'The Voice' champ Danielle Bradbery starts recording debut album next week

Danielle Bradbery, the season 4 winner of The Voice, is hitting the ground running — fast.

On Tuesday night after she was declared the winner, she told EW in a post-show interview that she was hoping to embrace the moment.

Well, she’s on to a new moment now: The 16-year-old will head out on a promo tour for The Voice, and she starts recording in Nashville on Monday for Big Machine Records, home to another blond singer with an audience of millions: Taylor Swift.

Follow Amanda on Twitter @amandataylor88.

Read more:
‘The Voice’ season finale recap: A women’s world
Is there beauty in Adam Levine’s neck beard?
‘The Voice': Why does America love Danielle Bradbery?
Will ‘The Voice’ ever find a Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood?

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