Award show season is just around the corner, meaning red carpet season is just around the corner—and if celebrities know how to do one thing perfectly, it’s to wear designer duds and a full face of make up. Case in point: Selena Gomez’s dramatic back, and the Jenner Sister’s looking like pin-up dolls 5 years their senior. Who gets your vote for best dressed?
While you were suffering from a case of the Mondays, America, the United Kingdom had the day off for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, or the 60th anniversary of her coronation as ruler of the Commonwealth / face on currency and stamps and touristy trinkets. Naturally, this involved a big, all-star televised concert, with flags and bunting everywhere and at least two former members of Take That. Here are some of the key highlights/lowlights, depending on your taste:
To go from bedazzling her teeth and infecting brains all over the UK with her first earworm, “Do It Like A Dude,” to performing for the entire country and its royals in less than two years is one heck of an accomplishment. We can’t help but wonder if Liz herself will be bopping around the palace in the days to come, singing, “One can taste the tension like a cloud of smoke in the air/now one’s breathing like one’s running ‘cause you’re taking one there…” (With apologies to @Queen_UK.) She and Stevie Wonder both performed with will.i.am, who is apparently a coach on the UK version of The Voice.
In an evening all about pageantry, bunting, heavily produced pop and insane outfits, 21-year-old, flame-haired singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran broke the pattern with a gentle, subdued version of his hit “The A-Team.” As one YouTube commenter pointed out, Sheeran was singing a song about a serious hard drug addiction to the Queen of England. But hey, life goes on outside Buckingham Palace. Maybe Ed Sheeran just ushered in a new age.
Well, someone had to represent for Wales! And Tom Jones brought the house down with a powerful rendition of “Delilah,” complete with crowd sing-along. Seriously though, this is one of the best performances of the whole night. Eat your heart out, Robbie Williams.
Gary Barlow, Andrew Lloyd Webber and The Commonwealth Band
Why yes, that is Gary Barlow (frontman of popular English boy band Take That and X-Factor judge) and Andrew Lloyd Webber sharing the stage. With a giant choir. This is the sentimental montage moment that will send single, solemn tears down the cheeks of the diehard Royalists. As for the rest of you, make of it what you will.
One of the few non-Commonwealth performers of the night was the legendary Stevie Wonder. And of course, he showed everybody else up. “Sir Duke,” with its royally-appropriate name, will always and forever be enough to get even the most stiff-upper-lipped dignitary—of any nation—moving.
Macca closed out the night with a few classics, including “All My Loving” and “Live And Let Die,” and even got Her Majesty going a bit. Also noteworthy was Peter Kay’s introduction, which involved getting everyone to sing along to “We Are Family” (unity!) and wearing a Beefeater costume, because Paul McCartney is a vegetarian. Get it… Beefeater? Vegetarian? Aw, you’re no fun.
The lineup for VH1’s Divas was announced today. In addition to Clarkson, Blige, and Florence, Jessie J, Jennifer Hudson, and Jill Scott are also slated to perform at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom; the concert will air on VH1 on December 19.
In a press release, the cable network announced that the show will “celebrate soul” and pay tribute to the musical output of Detroit, Chicago, Memphis, Philadelphia, and London.
VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul will bring together some of the best singers across the globe, men and women alike, to honor the soulful cities that inspired these divas and their art. The cities honored include: Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia. Accompanied by one of the most exciting groups of modern soul, The Roots, with ?uestlove as musical director, each diva will pay tribute through not only their own soul-inspired songs, but some of the greatest classics that have shaped a genre.
As in previous years, this edition of VH1 Divas will benefit VH1 Save The Music Foundation and its programs to restore music education in public schools. For more information, please visit vh1savethemusic.org.