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The 2012 MTV VMAs: Seven questions going into the show

About 20 years ago, everybody made the same joke: “How can MTV have a Video Music Awards when they don’t air videos anymore?” (And in our comments section, people still make that same joke every year.)

But think about it, has the show ever been about the actual Moonmen as much as it is about the zeitgeisty memes, outsized personalities, and general pageantry of the broadcast?

Think about last year’s show: While everybody remembers the Beyoncé baby-bump reveal, Lady Gaga’s drag show, and Adele’s tear-jerking triumph, does anybody recall what clip won Video of the Year? (It was Katy Perry’s “Firework.”) This year’s show, which beams live from Los Angeles’ massive Staples Center Thursday night at 8 PM Eastern, prides itself on first-run moments, including new tracks from Green Day and Alicia Keys and the first live performances of new singles by Taylor Swift and Pink.

But since there’s not a whole lot of investment in the winner of Best Male Video (unless you literally have invested something with your local bookie), here are the seven questions you should keep on your mind if you tune in. (And even if you don’t, you’re still invited to hang out with the Music Mix tomorrow evening, as we’ll have a live blog, photo galleries, and a full breakdown of the show’s best performances and biggest moments.)

How will host Kevin Hart do?
The VMAs have had some pretty big names host the show before, though there have really only been a handful of memorable ones (see: Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, and pre-Fox News Dennis Miller). In the last few years, the role of host has been either ignored completely (neither the 2011 or 2007 shows had hosts) or given to people ill-suited for the job (Russell Brand, Chelsea Handler, and Jack Black all sort of punted it). READ FULL STORY

Beyonce says 'I Was Here' in World Humanitarian Day performance

Today, the U.N. must be celebrating Bey Day: Beyonce just released a new video for her song “I Was Here” in order to mark World Humanitarian Day (August 19), which honors volunteers who risk their own safety to help others and encourages regular people to help someone in need.

Earlier this month, the singer performed at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, wearing a sleek, space-age white gown, and belting out her single before a giant wrap-around screen, which displayed footage of humanitarian efforts around the world. Directors Kenzo Digital (who has worked with Kanye West) and Sophie Muller (who recently helmed No Doubt’s “Settle Down” video) captured the footage for the video, which will premiere on big screens in across the globe, including Dubai, Geneva, New York’s Times Square.

Be warned: Just like in her Live at the Roseland performance of the song, there are tears. Watch below.

READ FULL STORY

Beyonce performs at United Nations

Superstar singer Beyonce has serenaded a different New York City venue: The United Nations.

Beyonce performed her song “I Was Here” on Friday in the UN’s General Assembly Hall in honor of World Humanitarian Day, which is Aug. 19. A music video of the performance will debut the same day.

Beyonce sang in front of hundreds, including Julia Stiles, R&B singer The-Dream and songwriter Diane Warren, who wrote the song.

Warren said in an interview that she initially called Beyonce’s husband, Jay-Z, and played the song for him over the phone. He quickly called Beyonce, and days later she recorded it. It appears on her album “4,” released last year.

Anderson Cooper hosted, saying with a laugh: “Is this what happens at the UN every Friday night?”

Read more:
Beyonce reads letter for Michelle Obama
People names Beyonce ‘Most Beautiful’
Beyonce unveils new Tumblr page

BET Awards 2012 winners: Jay-Z, Kanye West, Beyonce dominate

Blue Ivy Carter just got a bunch of shiny new toys to play with.

The BET Awards took place in Los Angeles on Sunday, and big winners included Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and, of course, Jay-Z and his wife Beyoncé.

The show kicked off with a Kanye-induced bang as the rapper, decked in all-white, joined 2 Chainz and eventual Best New Artist winner Big Sean to perform their runaway rap hit “Mercy,” which Music Mix can verify has been blaring from 90% of car stereos in Brooklyn all summer. West, who brought Kim Kardashian as his date to the awards, also ran through “Theraflu,” the cut that outed the couple in the first place.

That performance segued to host Samuel L. Jackson coming out with Red Hook Summer director Spike Lee to deliver a parody version of the Jay and Kanye single “N—-s in Paris”; we’ll include the video once it shows up online.

Other performances at the event came from the likes of Usher, Nicki Minaj and 2 Chainz, Melanie Fiona, D’angelo(!), Rick Ross and his on-fire Maybach Music Group, and Chris Brown.

The night also featured an extensive Whitney Houston tribute, which brought out a long list of guests to commemorate the late singer, including: Monica, Brandy (who sang “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”), Whitney’s mother Cissy Houston (singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water”), and none other than Chaka Khan, who took us home with “I’m Every Woman.”

As for the awards themselves, some people outside the Jay-‘Ye-Bey trinity managed to swipe prizes: Wale and Miguel won for Best Collaboration, Chris Brown took home the Best Male R&B Artist and the AOL Fandemonium awards, and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Check out the full list of the night’s winners below:

READ FULL STORY

Beyonce's post-baby concerts: Whitney Houston tribute, Goo Goo Dolls and Lauryn Hill songs

While you were spending your long weekend sitting in beach traffic, drinking too much, and watching the New York Mets show signs of life only to tank against a team that matters, Beyoncé was taking care of business.

In her first series of shows since the birth of her and husband Jay-Z’s daughter Blue Ivy Carter, The Most Beautiful Woman in the World took the stage at Revel’s Ovation Hall in Atlantic City. Boasting that she had lost 60 pounds since childbirth, Bey was in fighting shape, breezing through four nights of wickedly aggressive modern R&B.

The setting only allowed for Beyoncé, a handful of VIP attendees (including First Lady Michelle Obama and First Daughters Sasha and Malia), and Mrs. Carter’s staggering parade of hits, including “Single Ladies,” “Run the World (Girls),” and a medley of Destiny’s Child classics.

Perhaps the most attention-grabbing moments of the night (outside of that crazy weight-loss revelation) came when she dipped into other artists’ catalogs.

READ FULL STORY

BET Awards 2012: Kanye West, Beyonce, Jay-Z leads the nominations

Can’t tell him nothing — though Kanye might actually like to know that he leads the pack of nominations for this year’s BET Awards with seven nods, including six for his Watch the Throne collab with Jay-Z, and one for Director of the Year.

Mrs. Shawn Carter didn’t do too shabby either; Beyonce comes in a close second with six noms, for “Countdown” and “Love on Top.” Chris Brown, Drake, Lil Wayne and J.Cole are also multiple nominees.

Samuel L. Jackson will host, and Brown and Nicki Minaj are among those confirmed to perform at the ceremony July 1 in Los Angeles. For a full list of categories and nominees, see below: READ FULL STORY

President still thinks Kanye West is a jackass; Beyonce still thinks First Lady is the best

President Obama is no flip-flopper.

As the general election starts to shape up, our sitting commander in chief made sure to get a jump start on likely opponent and noted mind changer Mitt Romney by reassuring the public of his commitment to one of the most pressing matters of the day: Kanye West’s jackassitude.

In his in-depth profile of Yeezy for The Atlantic, David Samuels asked the president if he preferred Kanye West or Jay-Z, the hip-hop equivalent of “boxers or briefs?”

Of course, Obama replied as expected: “Jay-Z.”

READ FULL STORY

Beyonce unveils new Tumblr page

Any Beyoncé fan worth their leotard knows that “4” is a special number to the Carters. Besides being the title of Queen B’s fourth solo album, she’s been vocal about her special connection to the single digit.

(It’s the day both she and husband Jay-Z were born, the date of her mother’s birthday, and her wedding day. The couple even rocks matching IV tattoos on their wedding fingers to prove it.)

So there’s no way the couple’s four-year anniversary, on the fourth day of the fourth month, was going to pass by without a diva-sized celebration.

You can now feast your eyes on a Bey-Jay-apalooza. Beyoncé unveiled an official Tumblr today, chronicling the more personal part of her life. For the swarms in the Beyhive and soldiers of the Roc Nation (a.k.a. fans — to those of you less obsessed), it’s a special treat from the duo who’ve been notoriously mum about their private life.

Even Baby Blue made her official Tumblr debut before her mogul parent. Brace yourself; the 100+ intimate images might just send you into a Beyoncé-induced spiral — at least that’s my excuse for the revival of my search for the perfect freakum dress and a playlist heavily padded with 4 and B’Day. 

Tells us what you think — between sharing pictures of Baby Blue only a month after her birth to this new tumblr, are you crazy in love with this new more accessible Beyoncé? Or do you like your superstars to retain their mystery?

Read more:

Did Katy Perry just take a dig at Beyonce? You be the judge
Jay-Z burns through SXSW set, requires police escort to get there — see his performance
Beyonce books first post-birth concerts in Atlantic City

Did Katy Perry just take a dig at Beyonce? You be the judge

Don’t expect Katy Perry to pay tribute to Beyonce anytime soon. Though the singer just performed a cover of Kanye and Jay Z’s “N—s in Paris,” when it comes to Jay’s better half, she’s apparently got some reservations.

The same day Perry performed her rendition of the track during a visit to BBC Radio 1, she purportedly made a dig at Beyonce and Shakira’s 2007 hit “Beautiful Liar.” Perry let her feelings about the song slip while discussing a possible collaboration with Rihanna. READ FULL STORY

Beyonce books first post-birth concerts in Atlantic City

Just three months after the birth of Blue Ivy, Beyoncé is ready to get back to the business of being a pop star.

It was announced today that the star will be part of the grand opening of the Revel Resorts in Atlantic City, playing a trio of shows over Memorial Day weekend that will represent her first time onstage since she and husband Jay-Z welcomed their first-born back on January 7.

The shows are May 25-27, and tickets go on sale April 6.

Parenthood has not kept Jigga down, either — he’s played two high-profile shows since adding a new member of his family: One a historic concert at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, the other just last week at the annual South By Southwest Festival.

The last time Beyoncé performed a full concert was in August of last year during a run at New York’s Roseland Ballroom, just before she officially announced her pregnancy at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards.

These Atlantic City shows should answer a lot of questions: Has motherhood changed her voice? Does she still look great in all those shimmery dresses? Will she team up with Sleigh Bells to run through “Irreplaceable”? And what’s on Blue Ivy’s list of rider demands? (Our guesses: No, yes, highly unlikely, and hand-strained organic pears.)

Read more:
Blue Ivy Carter makes her photo debut. Commence your freak-out now.
Jay-Z and Beyonce both reportedly working on new music
Jay-Z burns through SXSW set, requires police escort to get there — see his performance

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