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Jessie Ware performs "Say You Love Me"

Jessie Ware performs “Say You Love Me”

Jessie Ware’s “Say You Love Me” was one of my favorite love songs from 2014, which isn’t surprising since Ed Sheeran co-wrote it.

The UK star appeared on CBS’ Late Late Show with James Corden recently to perform the emotional track and she definitely did not disappoint.

Ware kept the performance simple, focusing on emoting and singing, but that’s all that was needed for this type of song.

“Say You Love Me” is a single from Ware’s 2014 sophomore album Tough Love

Watch the performance and share your thoughts below. Continue reading

Taylor Swift performs on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Taylor Swift performs on Jimmy Kimmel Live

The week before a new Taylor’s Swift album drops is a lot like the week before Christmas. It doesn’t feel like something major is right around the corner, but eventually you start receiving gifts and hints of what’s to come and by the time the actual day comes around you’re pretty much bursting with excitement.

1989, Swift’s fifth studio album will be released on Monday, Oct. 27, and, according to critics it’s pretty amazing. So far fans have only heard three songs from the singer’s first official pop album, two of which she performed last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Wearing a black outfit that I may or may not have text my friends to obsess over and her signature red lip, Swift performed her hit single “Shake It Off” and “Out of the Woods,” a song that my or may not be about Harry Styles and his airplane necklace.

The performances weren’t anything spectacular, but it’s a warning that something new is looming right around the corner. Continue reading

Ariana Grande performs on Saturday Night Live

Ariana Grande performs on Saturday Night Live

Ariana Grande made her debut on Saturday Night Live last night and she brought The Weeknd along for the ride.

For her first song, “Break Free,” Grande sported her now signature cat ears and thigh-high boots. The singer focused on singing, sitting down for the first half of the performance before joining her backup dancers for the remainder of the Zedd-produced EDM hit.

She brought out The Weekend during her second performance to perform their collaboration “Love Me Harder,” one of the standout cuts from her sophomore album My Everything.

This era’s releases and performances are definitely proving that Grande is a mainstay in pop music. Continue reading

Chris Brown performs on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Chris Brown performs on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

It seems like people are definitely embracing Chris Brown a little more these days. The singer appeared on The Tonight Show last night and absolutely killed his performance.

Breezy performed chunks of his new album’s title track “X” and his hit single “Loyal.” Brown’s vocals were pretty good, but, as usual, his dancing was the draw here.

X leaked a few days ago, although it’s not scheduled to be released until Tuesday, Sept. 16.

As usual, I try not to post new songs once an album has leaked in full and I hold my review until the official release date. BUT, I will say I have been listening to “X” nonstop since the album leaked. The explosive, synth-heavy song about a on-again, off-again relationship is super addictive.

Watch the performance over on Rap-Up.

Instagram (Miley Cyrus)

Instagram (Miley Cyrus)

The VMAs didn’t have any majorly controversial moments this year. Miley Cyrus relinquished some of her spotlight for charity instead of bringing more awareness to her twerking cause when she won Video of the Year for “Wrecking Ball.” Kim Kardashian West introduced Sam Smith as her friend and absolutely no one believed her. People wondered why 5 Seconds of Summer wasn’t playing old punk covers instead of their new material. Some guy (SNL’s Jay Pharoah) kept doing annoying impersonating rappers. And, as usual, some of the winners were questionable, although not necessarily surprising.

At least for me, the awards themselves have never been the draw when it comes to the MTV VMAs. The categories are fan voted so the best artist doesn’t always win, but the one with the most stans do. Which is fine. I’m just saying take these awards as a sign of popularity, not merit. (For instance, I love Fifth Harmony, but there’s no way they’re the “Artist to Watch” out of Sam Smith, Charli XCX, Schoolboy Q and 5 Seconds of Summer.)

Mostly, everyone was only sitting through the awards to get to Beyonce…

Check out the full list of winners below. Continue reading

The Carters at the MTV VMAs

The Carters at the MTV VMAs

Last year ‘N Sync reunited at the MTV VMAs for Justin Timberlake’s Video Vanguard performance. This year, Beyonce sang all but one song off her 2013 self-titled visual album. The 15-minute set included bits of “Blow,” “Drunk In Love,” Partition,” “Flawless,” “Blue” and more and, while one of the highlights was definitely footage of Beyonce’s daughter dancing along in the audience, it’s safe to say Bey definitely stole the show and lived up to her husband’s claim that she’s the “greatest living entertainer.”

Everything from the video displays to the dancers and the transitions were a reflection of the effort Beyonce puts into every single one of her shows so that each detail is a memorable experience for fans. If you haven’t seen her live yet, this performance should convince you to tap into your piggy bank and make it happen ASAP.

The only thing that even came close to touching Beyonce’s performance was her acceptance speech. The singer was presented the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award by her husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy, who couldn’t stop clapping and cheering her mother on. It was a touching moment, especially considering Blue first made her world debut from her mother’s belly on the VMA stage back in 2011.

(Also, a simple embrace and kiss from Jay Z and Beyonce was a stronger statement about their marriage than any PR statement addressing the rumors could ever be…)

And, thus, the Carters continue to rule the land.

Blue woke up like this...

Blue woke up like this…

Continue reading

Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj perform "Bang Bang" at the MTV VMAs

Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj perform “Bang Bang” at the MTV VMAs

The MTV VMAs wasn’t spectacular this year, but it wasn’t terrible either. It was fun, but not particularly memorable (Beyonce aside). Honestly, we all know that how well an awards show is received is directly related to acceptance speech antics and performances. This year, everyone kept their acceptance speeches short and shade-free and the performances, while good, weren’t instant classics, either.

Ariana Grande opened the show by coming out of a spaceship and performing her intergalactic Zedd-assisted hit single “Break Free” from her sophomore album My Everything, which is out today. Ironically, Grande’s kid friendly performance gave way to Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” where the singer humped the floor and recreated the video’s chair sequence in a green two piece. Minaj ran off the stage to change as Grande joined Jessie J on the stage for their major collaboration “Bang Bang” just minutes after the product placement-heavy video debuted online. The rapper made it to the stage for her verse, but she didn’t have time to zip up her dress so she just held is shut with her hands for the end of their set. Aside from Beyonce’s 15-minute-long performance, this was the performance highlight of the night. Wardrobe malfunction and all. Sam Smith, 5 Seconds of Summer, Maroon 5, Usher and Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora all delivered solid, albeit conventional, performances, too.

Surprisingly the night’s biggest disappointment performance-wise was Taylor Swift. The good news is she didn’t twerk. The bad news is she just twisted around the stage with a bunch of men in suits to her new single “Shake It Off”. If it wasn’t for the commentary about the dancer who was bitten by a snake during Nicki Minaj’s rehearsal the day before (The anaconda boa constrictor DID…), the performance would’ve been a total snooze. Swift, you’re a full on pop star now. It’s time to step completely outside of the box.

Watch the performances below. Continue reading



Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande and 5 Seconds of Summer are among this year’s VMA performers that will be taking the awards show’s stage for the first time this Sunday (August 24). Nicki Minaj will also make her solo debut at the awards show.

It’s a big deal for the artists and, if done right, it could be the topic of everyone’s conversations for years to come. (I’m looking at you, Miley Cyrus.)

To celebrate the¬†newcomers I’ve compiled a list of my favorite VMA debuts.

From Madonna to Lady Gaga (haha, sorry), check out the memorable performances below. Continue reading

Big Machine Records

Big Machine Records

On August 18 Yahoo will host a worldwide live stream where Taylor Swift will reveal “big secrets” and, likely, release a new single from her forthcoming highly-anticipated album. On August 24 she will perform at the MTV VMAs.

The singer has remained mum on the details of both events following their announcements.

All we know is the Queen of snarky, shady, slightly immature, but significantly irresistible songwriting is about to return.

Other VMA performers include Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora, 5 Seconds of Summer and Usher.

Instagram (Nicki Minaj)

Instagram (Nicki Minaj)

Nicki Minaj has been added to the growing list of MTV VMA performers.

My initial thought was that Minaj could be joining Beyonce for a performance of the new “Flawless Remix,” but, according to MTV, Minaj will be delivering her first solo performance during the awards show.

Still, this doesn’t mean the rapper won’t join Beyonce at a different time in the show. After all, Bey is up for the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, so she has to have something special up her sleeve for her performance. (And by special I don’t mean playing a performance from this year’s On the Run tour, either.)

Other performers include Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora, Usher, 5 Seconds of Summer, Maroon 5 and Ariana Grande.

The MTV VMAs will air on August 24 at 9 p.m. EST.

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