Shawn Mendes Is Jump-Starting MTV’s Unplugged Revival Series

Shawn Mendes already rules the radio, and now he’s bringing his catchy, chart-topping songs to television in a whole new way. On Thursday, September 8, he’s kicking off a fresh new season of MTV Unplugged — yep, MTV’s iconic franchise is back, and Mendes is the perfect pop star to launch the revival.

“I’m so thrilled and honored to be able to help bring the Unplugged series back,” the Illuminate singer said. “It’s a show that truly highlights artistry and brings unique performances to fans that they can’t see anywhere else.”

Classic MTV Unplugged performances were traditionally stripped-back, acoustic takes in a small live setting, but the 2017 version takes things up a notch. Each show will be held at a different location that has special significance for the musician, so get ready to travel around the country each time you tune in. (Don’t worry, Air MTV doesn’t have any baggage fees.)

As for Mendes, he’s in good company. This season promises a superstar lineup in keeping with MTV Unplugged‘s storied past across genres and artists, including Nirvana, Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, Adele, and Lil Wayne. Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry, who are set to perform at this year’s VMAs, have participated as well.

Speaking of the VMAs, Mendes will also take the stage at the big show, giving you a taste of what to expect when his Unplugged special airs a few days later on Thursday, September 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Prepare to have “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” stuck in your head for the next month or so.

Be sure to tune into the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, airing live from The Forum in Inglewood, California, on Sunday, August 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. See all the nominees here and get voting now!

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Aly & AJ Drop A Dreamy New Single Like It’s 2007

“Despacito” may have already claimed the coveted Song of the Summer title, but former Disney Channel stars Aly AJ just dropped a surprise new single that’s perfect for those breezy late summer ~vibes~.

“Take Me” sounds like something off Carly Rae Jepsen‘s synthpop masterpiece Emotion with its dreamy, anthemic hook. In other words, it’s perfect pop. Welcome back, Aly AJ. We’ve missed you.

This is the first sampling from Aly AJ’s forthcoming EP, which they’ve described as West Coast pop with a strong “80s influence.” It’s been nearly a decade since they’ve released new music under their Aly AJ moniker, and after taking some time away from the music scene to focus on acting, sisters Aly and AJ Michalka are ready to hit the road with their new sound.

Aly AJ previously announced that they were working in the studio on new music last year, and if “Take Me” is any indication, this record will be on heavy rotation.

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Miley Cyrus Upgrades The ‘Hoedown Throwdown’ In New Music Video

Miley Cyrus wants you to know she’s changed. At least, that’s what she’s singing about in her upbeat new single, “Younger Now,” the title track off her upcoming sixth album. After teasing fans with a slew of baby photos all week, she finally released the music video Friday (August 18), just in time to soundtrack your lazy weekend mornings.

The clip, which Cyrus co-directed, opens with her stretched out on a twin-size bed, a hallmark of most childhood bedrooms. “No one stays the same,” she sings through a vibrant montage that features a puppet show, a parade, a pole dancer, and an impressively choreographed dance that’s reminiscent of her Hannah Montana days. What a combination.

“I hope to always make people smile and shine light thru my work!” Cyrus wrote on Instagram when she first announced the song. “I look forward to making music for the rest of my life and I’m thankful everyday for those who listen! I am sending so much love and peace into the world right now because THATS what we need most! Love Love more LOVE!”

Younger Now, which also includes her breezy “Malibu” and “Inspired,” arrives September 29. In the meantime, expect an out-of-this-world performance from her (and many more of your faves) at next week’s MTV Video Music Awards.

The 2017 VMAs touch down at the Forum in Inglewood, California, on Sunday, August 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. See the full list of nominees here and get voting now!

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How Close Is Selena Gomez To The Drop Of Her Next Album?

Selenators, get ready: You’re going to have a whole lot more to listen to beyond “Bad Liar,” “It Ain’t Me,” and “Fetish” soon enough.

Selena Gomez revealed that the follow-up to 2015’s Revival is “on some level done” and that “there’s a lot more music that’s coming” in an interview with Energy 103.7 in San Diego.

She doesn’t go into too much detail about the new stuff, but she does confirm what we already knew thanks to a wink of a tweet from Marshmello earlier this summer: She’s teaming up with the DJ on a collaboration that’s going to fit squarely into his bass-thumping sets, and she’s really excited about it.

“It’s really cool,” she told Energy 103.7. “It’s kind of in that world, his world, and I’m stepping into it and bringing my style, too.”

She mentioned that it’s “one of [her] favorite songs,” and given her super danceable collab with Kygo, it’s clear to see that this EDM-leaning direction is definitely working for Gomez at the moment. Stay tuned for more details, but in the meantime: Yay.

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Girls Trip Is Officially This Year’s R-Rated Comedy Champion

Major congrats to Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, and citrus, because we will truly never look at a grapefruit the same way ever again.

Girls Trip continues to draw crowds to the theater weeks after its premiere to the point where it just secured a huge accomplishment at the box office.

Girls Trip has officially cleared the $100 million mark, making it the first R-rated comedy to do so since last summer’s Bad Moms. As The Hollywood Reporter points out, Girls Trip is the first adult-geared comedy to earn that distinction in 2017, as others in the category — Baywatch, The House, and Rough Night — haven’t lived up to the standard set by this raunchy, feel-good romp through New Orleans.

A round of applause for the Flossy Posse on this well-deserved honor, and may they celebrate with a rowdy second line down Bourbon Street and an absinthe toast. (Just not too much absinthe, as we’ve already seen how THAT goes down with this group of gals.)

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Jay Z Was ‘Really Hurt’ By Kanye West’s Comments About Beyoncé

Last fall, Kanye West hit the road for his Saint Pablo Tour and shocked audiences when he called out his longtime friend and collaborator, Jay-Z, and Beyoncé in a brief — and pointed — stage rant.

The rant was rattling enough, but the personal nature of West’s comments, specifically regarding how he “went down seven years” for his notorious outburst at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, cut a little deeper than your average bit of stage banter.

Jay-Z throws to the incident in 4:44 track “Kill Jay-Z” (“But you got hurt because you did cool by ‘Ye/You gave him 20 million without blinkin’/He gave you 20 minutes on stage, fuck was he thinkin’?/”), but explains to Rap Radar just how intensely West’s words affected him.

“What really hurt me, you can’t bring my kid or my wife into it. Kanye’s my little brother,” Jay-Z told Rap Radar. “We’ve gotten past bigger issues, but you brought my family into it, now it’s a problem with me.”

He continued by saying that he believes West is well aware of the betrayal, and that the distance growing between them is a testament to that: “He knows he crossed the line. I know him. He knows. And I know he knows, ’cause we’ve never let this much space go between one of our disagreements, and we’ve had many. That’s part of who we are. That’s what I like about him: He’s an honest person. He’s open, and he’ll say things, and he’s wrong a lot of times, and he’ll confront it.””

He points out that the “disagreement” isn’t the sole focus of “Kill Jay-Z,” but clearly this fractured friendship is one that’s hugely important to Hov — so maybe there’s hope that they’ll work things out now that they’re back in the same city and months away from that tense night on the Saint Pablo tour.

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Why Kendrick Lamar May Be The Greatest Rapper Alive In 2017

Before Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. arrived in April, he unleashed the pre-drop teaser “The Heart Part 4,” in which he declared, “I am the greatest rapper alive.” Three months later, he said the same thing during a radio interview with Real 92.3, answering, “I got to” when asked if he considers himself the greatest. Then he said it again in a Rolling Stone cover story last week, while discussing the touchy subject of ghostwriting in rap.

“I called myself the best rapper. I cannot call myself the best rapper if I have a ghostwriter,” he said. “If you’re saying you’re a different type of artist and you don’t really care about the art form of being the best rapper, then so be it. Make great music. But the title, it won’t be there.”

There’s no mincing words here: Kendrick believes he’s the best, period. And judging by the year he’s had so far, he may be right. Because on top of all the technical criteria that makes a rapper great — the flow, the storytelling, the energy, the influence, etc. — the VMA nominee has continued a six-year, four-album hot streak that doesn’t seem to be dimming anytime soon. So does this year really belong to him? Let’s break down seven reasons why it might.

  1. Getty Images

  2. As Kendrick himself said, being the greatest rapper requires that you write your own lyrics (a.k.a., no ghostwriters). The Compton native checks that box, and on top of that, the lyrics he crafts are brilliant. On DAMN., for instance, he publicly analyzes his character through his words, revealing critical pieces of his past, present, and future. The album plays as a statement, and it’s one that, vitally, Kendrick conceived himself.

  3. Getty Images

Will Kendrick’s videos take home a Moon Person trophy or two (or seven or eight)? We’ll find out when the VMAs touch down in Inglewood, California, on Sunday, August 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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Camila Cabello, P!nk, And Gal Gadot Send Their Love To Barcelona After Terror Attack

Spain is reeling from the horrific violence that unfolded Thursday (August 17), when two vehicle attacks, one in Barcelona and another in Cambrils, killed a total of 14 civilians and injured more than 100 more. An investigation is ongoing, but as more information comes in, people across the world — including celebrities like P!nk, Camila Cabello, Jennifer Lopez, and more — have offered their love and support to victims.

Here’s what some celebrities and musicians are sharing across social media:

  • Translation: “My heart is with you.”

  • Translation: “Sending much love and peace to the great city of #Barcelona and all its beautiful people.”

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Seth Rogen Spills That Superbad Inspired A Jersey Shore Catchphrase

Superbad — the coming-of-age buddy comedy that gave us McLovin, a reason to never, ever use a bottle of laundry detergent as a vehicle for beer, and the hilarious comedic chemistry of Jonah Hill and Michael Cera — came out ten years ago. (Yes, we’re truly that old.)

To celebrate a decade of Seth and Evan’s adventures, Seth Rogen (who wrote the movie with his own high school BFF, Evan Goldberg) revisited Superbad on Twitter by sharing his favorite, trivia-worthy factoids about his semi-autobiographical opus — and one of them involves the origin story of an iconic Jersey Shore abbreviation.

In addition to revealing that a pre-Eastbound Down Danny McBride was an extra in a party scene and that the movie was the first one to bring the word “fingerfuck” to the big screen, Rogen said that The Situation, Pauly D, and the rest of the Jersey Shore gang got “DTF,” one of their favorite phrases, from the flick.

Just think: If Seth and Evan never went to Jules’s party, or if Seth didn’t get period blood all over his leg from dancing too close with a stranger, or if they’d never attempted to get save that bottle of Goldslick, Jersey Shore would be without one of its most formative utterances and a key component to their cultural identity.

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10 Things You Never Knew About James Arthur

You may know British singer/songwriter James Arthur as the man responsible for making you ugly-cry to his emotional hit song “Say You Won’t Let Go.” But while the UK “The X Factor” season nine winner has received acclaim across the pond, he’s just beginning to make his name known Stateside. So, we’ve rounded up 10 things you might not know about him.

1. He Has Been Homeless In The Past And Spent Time In Foster Care

This past experience is what inspires a lot of his music and allows him to connect with fans who may be going through a hard time.

2. He Didn’t Make The Cut The First Time He Tried Out For “The X Factor”

I know, we’re shocked too. Second time’s the charm!

3. Then, He Almost Got Eliminated Once He Did Make It On The Show

The judges were torn, but fans at home voted to save him. We got your back, James!

4. “Say You Won’t Let Go” Is His First Big Hit In The U.S.

Released in September 2016, the single peaked at no. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100, James Arthur has completely wooed us Americans.

5. He Has His Initials Tattooed Behind His Ear

It looks so cool on him — is it weird if we get matching ones?

6. Out Of All The People He Admires, His Sisters Top His List

James Arthur once said at a performance, “My sisters are the most important people in my life, they’re everything to me.”

7. His Favorite Pizza Topping Is Extra Cheese

A classic choice.

8. He’s A Big Fan Of Boxing

You can often find him scrolling through UFC stats on his phone 👊

9. His Favorite Emoji Is The Eye Roll Emoji


10. He Loves Old School RB

It doesn’t get any better.

Be sure to tune in to the VMAs Sunday August 27 to watch James Arthur’s Special Performance. And don’t miss him as he stops by the VMA Fan Cam Live on MTV’s Facebook. All thanks to Extra® Gum.

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