Top 10 Super Bowl Halftime Performances
Credit: AP Photo

Top 10 Super Bowl Halftime Performances

Who belongs in the Halftime Hall of Fame?

Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers will take the field at  halftime during Super Bowl XLVIII this Sunday, Feb. 2, as the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks.

When it comes to the long list of Super Bowl entertainers, Mars is definitely punching above his weight: most acts, such as Bruce Springsteen, The Who, U2, or Prince, had far more than two albums under their belts before they took that halftime stage. What Mars has going for him, however, is an already strong list of hits and he has already proven to be a nimble, engaging live performer..

As far as ratings, if he wants to claim the top spot, he'll have to top Madonna's 2012 appearance, which drew 114 million, according to Nielsen. Beyonce's 2013 stint is in second place. 

Oh, and if you're going to be at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., it looks like the weather is going to be a decent 44 degrees at kick off.

Here's a look at whom the editors at Hitfix believe deserve a spot in the Super Bowl Halftime Hall of Fame:



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<p>Katy Perry</p>

Katy Perry

Credit: Alexandra Wyman/Invision for Universal Music Group/AP Images

Katy Perry's 'Dark Horse' rides into the winner's circle as top song in the land

What other song with 'horse' in the title has reached No. 1?

Katy Perry snags her ninth No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 as “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J, trots into the top spot, rising 2-1.

This marks the third consecutive No. 1 by a makeshift co-ed duo, following Eminem and Rhianna with “The Monster,” and Pitbull & Ke$ha, which Perry and Juicy J push aside.  “Timber” falls 1-2, while “The Monster” stays at No. 5.

Perry’s feat puts her in a tie with five other artists for 10th place for most No. 1s on the Billboard Hot 100 (The Beatles are No. 1 with 20, followed by Mariah Carey with 18).

“Dark Horse” is Perry’s second No. 1 from “Prism,” following “Roar.” We’ll see if she can match the five No. 1s she scored from “Teenage Dream.” That achievement tied Michael Jackson’s “Bad” for the Most No. 1s from a single album.

Billboard supplied the following fun fact: “Dark Horse” is only the second song to reach No. 1 with “horse” in the title. Can you think of the other one? I’ll post it at the end of this piece.

OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” remains at No. 3, while A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera’s “Say Something” stays at No. 4.

Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty,” featuring 2 Chainz, is the only new entry into the top 10, soaring 15-6, giving Derulo his fourth Top 10 and first since 2010.

Passenger’s “Let Her Go”  falls 6-7 (though it may get a boost from its usage in Budweiser’s Super Bowl commercial), Lorde’s “Team” hangs out at No. 8, followed by “Royals, which slides 7-9. Bastille’s “Pompeii” is at No. 10 for a second week.

*The other song to go to No. 1 with "horse" in the title? America's "A Horse With No Name" in 1972. Did you get it right? 

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<p>Bruce Springsteen</p>

Bruce Springsteen

Credit: AP Photo

Bruce Springsteen pays moving tribute to 'hero' Pete Seeger in concert

Who will fill Seeger's shoes?

Bruce Springsteen paid tribute to Pete Seeger during his concert in Cape Town last night.

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<p>Katy Perry at The Beatles' Grammy tribute for CBS</p>

Katy Perry at The Beatles' Grammy tribute for CBS

Credit: AP Photo

Katy Perry, Dave Grohl, Imagine Dragons, Pharrell star in Beatles tribute

Salute to the Fab Four, featuring Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, is a fun ticket to ride

LOS ANGELES—Even before Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr took the stage Monday night to close out the taping of “The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles,” the audience had already gotten nearly three hours of tasty Fab Four covers by some of today’s top artists.

The CBS special, which airs Feb. 9, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” It airs a half-century later —to the day and time— of that momentous occasion. The country was still mourning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the excitement over the Beatles is credited with helping lift the  nation’s collective spirit.

{SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read any further if you don’t want to know about the artists on the program)

The taping at the Los Angeles Convention Center kicked off with footage of The Beatles playing “All My Loving” on the Sullivan show and all the attendant screaming girls (Fun Fact: The Sullivan show used a fifth camera, focused solely on the audience, for the first time. Plus, the crowd was so loud, none of the cameramen could hear the director so their shots were by guess work and memory from the rehearsals).
The Beatles performance segued into Maroon 5, dressed in similar black suits and skinny ties as the four lads, finishing the song.

Hosted by Grammy go-to guy LL Cool J, the show interspersed classic Beatles footage and short bios on John, Paul, George and Ringo with new interpretations of the Beatle classics. As is usually the case, some versions worked better than other: The Eurythmics’ take on “Fool On the Hill,”  Stevie Wonder’s funkified “We Can Work It Out,” John Mayer and Keith Urban’s rooftop re-creation of “Don’t Let Me Down,” and Alicia Keys and John Legend’s “Let It Be” were stand outs. Katy Perry’s “Yesterday” hit all the right emotional notes, although her voice would have been better suited for “Penny Lane” or something more upbeat. Pharrell Williams seemed the wrong fit for “Here Comes the Sun,” although Brad Paisley’s guitar work on the tune was, as always, stellar. Imagine Dragons took the biggest risk: restyling “Revolution” as if channeling Elvis Presley, sitting on four stools, clad in black leather, complete with Scotty Moore-type guitar licks.
The production values greatly enhanced the performances, with each act playing before an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colorful images: some familiar from Beatles’ movies, such as “Yellow Submarine,” and some brand new, but just as entertaining.

Ken Ehrlich, who executive produced the show (he also helms the Grammys), kept the taping moving quickly. During any downtime, clips from Beatles movies, such as “Help” and “A Hard Day’s Night” made things lively…though those were most likely for the benefit of the studio audience and won’t make the two-hour special.

The special included taped interviews with four “Sullivan Show” staffers, recounting in glorious detail the Beatles appearances (they made three) . The oral history is endearing, informative, and wildly entertaining, especially from Vince Calandra, who found himself filling in for a sick George Harrison during rehearsals.

Both Starr and McCartney, looking tremendously healthy and spry,  performed mini-sets on their own before joining together for “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “Hey Jude” (with Starr on drums).
Whether you were born when the Beatles appeared on “Sullivan” or have only heard about it from your parents, the CBS special brings it all back alive in a way that will have you diving into the Beatles catalog as soon as the show is over.

Below is a rundown of the performances. Clearly, some of them (probably some of Starr and McCartney’s tunes) will have to be cut for the two-hour running time, but will hopefully be included in what is sure to be a forthcoming DVD of the event.

“All My Loving” (partial) – Maroon 5
“Ticket to Ride” – Maroon 5
“Don’t Let Me Down” – John Mayer and Keith Urban
“In My Life” – Ed Sheeran
“Let It Be” – Alicia Keys and John Legend
“Revolution” – Imagine Dragons
“Yesterday” – Katy Perry
“Fool on the Hill” – Eurythmics
“Here Comes the Sun” -- Brad Paisley and Pharrell Williams
“Hey Bulldog” --- Dave Grohl and Jeff Lynne
“Something” –  Jeff Lynne, Joe Walsh, and Dhani Harrison
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – Joe Walsh, Gary Clark Jr. , and Dave Grohl (on drums)
“We Can Work It Out” – Stevie Wonder
“Matchbox” – Ringo Starr
“Boys” – Ringo Starr
“Yellow Submarine” – Ringo Starr
“Magical Mystery Tour” – Paul McCartney
“Birthday” – Paul McCartney
“Get Back” – Paul McCartney
"I Saw Her Standing There" -- Paul McCartney
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”/”With a Little Help From My Friends” – Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr
“Hey Jude” – Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr (on drums)

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<p>Madonna on the red carpet for the Grammys this weekend</p>

Madonna on the red carpet for the Grammys this weekend

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Madonna to join Miley Cyrus for 'Unplugged' taping

MTV episode airs Wednesday night

Maybe they’ll twerk together.

Madonna will join Miley Cyrus at the taping of the “Wrecking Ball” singer’s “MTV Unplugged” today (28), according to E!. The special airs Wednesday (29) at 9 p.m.

The pair were spotted at a Hollywood soundstage on Monday rehearsing, although it is unknown which song they will do together. Maybe they can then marry all the couples in the audience... Oops, wrong show.

Like all episodes of “Unplugged,” the episode will highlight Cyrus’ material in a primarily acoustic reinvention, so get ready for “We Can’t Stop” as a slowed-down ballad (which we’ve already seen her do quite effectively). “The ‘Unplugged’ stage will serve as the perfect platform for [Cyrus] to show viewers what inspires and ignite her music and her passions,” MTV said in a statement.

What song do you hope Miley and Madge perform together?


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Kylie Minogue slinks through new lyric video for 'Into the Blue': Watch
Credit: Warner Bros. Records

Kylie Minogue slinks through new lyric video for 'Into the Blue': Watch

Check out the track listing for her new album

Kylie Minogue, whose new album, “Kiss Me Once” will come out  March 18, shows she still has it in the lyric video for first single, dreamy dance track,“Into the Blue.” She frolics in the background as the words scroll across.

Minogue, who is a coach on the U.K. version of “The Voice,” released the track listing for “Kiss Me Once.”  And if the titles such as “Sexy Love,” “Sexercize,” and “Feels So Good,” are any indication, we’re in for a fun, flirty set.

Among the producers on the album, her first since 2010’s “Aphrodite,” are Pharrell and Greg Kurstin.

Kiss Me Once track listing

1. Into The Blue
2. Million Miles
3. I Was Gonna Cancel
4. Sexy Love
5. Sexercize
6. Feels So Good
7. If Only
8. Les Sex
9. Kiss Me Once
10. Beautiful
11. Fine
Bonus Tracks
12. Mr President
13. Sleeping With The Enemy



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<p>The cover the new Afghan Whigs album</p>

The cover the new Afghan Whigs album

Credit: SubPop

Afghan Whigs set to release first new album in 16 years

'Do to the Beast' reunites band with SubPop

The Afghan Whigs, who have already been announced as headliners at this year’s Coachella, will release their first album in 16 years on April 15….That should make tax day a little less painful.

Do To The Beast” will reunite the Greg Dulli-led band with SubPop, its home for such releases as 1990’s “Up In It” and 1992’s “Congregation.” The group’s last new studio release was “1965,” on Columbia Records, which came out in 1998, three years before the band broke up. They reunited in 2012 for live shows.

The band has posted a logo for the album, which looks quite scary indeed, on its website.

Bob Odenkirk broke the news on Twitter when the actor/comedian posted a photo of Dulli and himself, adding, “The great Greg Dulli, of whom I am a fan, tells me new Afghan Whigs album coming soon. 1st in 16 years! Kickass.” 

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<p>Steve Martin and Edie Brickell</p>

Steve Martin and Edie Brickell

Steve Martin on his new musical 'Bright Star' with Edie Brickell

The pair also talk about their Grammy-winning writing style

Is Broadway the next stop for Steve Martin? Last night, the comedian/actor snagged a Grammy, his fifth, for “Love Has Come For You,” which was named Best American Roots Song. The song is the title track on his album with Edie Brickell. But will a Tony be his next award?

Backstage, Martin talked about the pair’s next collaboration, a musical called “Bright Star,” for which they have written more than 20 songs. 

“We’re work shopping it next month in New York and then we’re actually doing it at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego in the fall,” he said. Walter Bobbie, who directed “Chicago,” will helm “Bright Star.”

The play is set in 1945 in North Carolina and jumps back and forth  between 1923 and 1945.  “It tells the secret of a woman’s life and we’ll leave it at that,” Martin said.

The two elaborated on their working relationship in the print press room and how they write. “I have this raft of banjo melodies. Edie and I met and I would email her banjo tunes and within 24 hours, she would send back a completed song. That’s exactly what happen with ‘Love Has Come For You’,” Martin said.

Brickell, who is married to fellow singer/songwriter Paul Simon, noted that Martin’s melodies “inspire images. And all I had to do was say what I saw.”

Martin’s previous Broadway credits include producing “The Elephant Man” in 2002.

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<p>Ryan Lewis and Macklemore accept the best new artist Grammy Award Sunday night.</p>

Ryan Lewis and Macklemore accept the best new artist Grammy Award Sunday night.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Macklemore says the Grammys handed best rap album out to the wrong act

You won't be surprised by whom Macklemore feels was more deserving

Guess who is very upset that Kendrick Lamar didn’t win the Grammy for best rap album for “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City?”  No, not Lamar.

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Queen Latifah on marrying 33 couples, Macklemore & Lewis and her new nickname

Queen Latifah on marrying 33 couples, Macklemore & Lewis and her new nickname

She stands up for rap's history of handling social issues

While some are crediting Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with bringing a new openness to rap music for their same-sex anthem, “Same Love,” Queen Latifah, who performed with the duo on the Grammys, says rap has always addressed topical issues.

“I don’t think this is new ground for hip hop,” she said in the print press room. “When I started rapping it was much more common for rappers to speak about different  things going on in the world. We’re part of the reason that apartheid was changed, according to the attention of a lot of people who didn’t know what was going on or  violence in the communities anything that was some time of social justice, we’ve always been able to talk about through hip hop i hope this is inspiration to all the rappers out there and all the hip hop artists out there that they can continue to tackle any subject that they want. Tackle what may seem like a difficult subject to start.”

As far as presiding over the marriage of 33 same-sex and heterosexual couples, Queen Latifah took her duties very seriously. “I had to get sworn in as a commissioner by the state of California, so you can call me Queen Commish.”  She was touched by the participants’ courage to get married on TV, regardless of their orientation.  “It wouldn’t matter whether it was same sex couples, heterosexual couples, bi-racial couples…this is someone’s life commitment. You want to make sure you do it right. That was what sunk in for me.”

And with that, she was off to sign the 33 marriage certificates.

The video embedded in this piece is from the TV room, so it says some great stuff beyond what Queen Latifah said in the print room.




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