Published as part of a weekly column on September 10, 2012 in The Quad.
The 2012 MTV Video Music Awards serendipitously kicks off a new semester of Newsic Music, bringing the biggest stories in pop music every week. Other headlines breaking as students headed back to class include big announcements from Nicki Minaj and Rihanna, with pop up-and-comer One Direction showing their American counterpart who’s boss.
The VMAs Fail to Deliver with Ratings Drop, Lady Gaga’s Absence
With a pretty uneventful show and a predictable roster of winners (not to mention a little thing called the Democratic National Convention, which ran simultaneously), this year’s Video Music Awards ratings dropped over 50 percent. The awards show aired on Thursday to the lowest viewership since 1994, the year MTV first started tracking ratings. With last year’s record-breaking broadcast, it isn’t surprising that the network just couldn’t outdo itself.
This year’s VMAs were a lot more about what wasn’t there than what actually did happen. Among a laundry list of no-shows was Lady Gaga, who famously took the stage as her alter ego, Jo Calderone, in one of the many enticing performances of the 2011 Awards. “Surprise” appearances were limited, and the whole thing ended in a painfully backing-tracked (read: lip-synched) performance by Taylor Swift, to whom MTV is clearly still paying their debts after 2009′s Kanye West incident. Let’s hope it’s only up from here…
One Direction Settles Name Dispute, Sweeps VMAs
The British boy band first hit American airwaves last spring, but the summer brought their reign to a new level–including their first high-profile lawsuit by a Californian punk band of the same name. News dropped this week that the groups have reached an agreement, which means a name change for the U.S. band. Meanwhile, One Direction swept their VMA categories, winning every award for which they were nominated (and a kiss from Katy Perry).
Nicki Minaj to Re-Release Roman Reloaded
The songstress announced plans this week to re-release her current album, which includes hits like “Starships,” “Beez in the Trap,” and “Pound the Alarm.” Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded: The Re-Up will hit shelves in November and, according to Minaj, include a handful of new tracks. Also on deck for the songstress is a rumored spot on American Idol, which is in the process of re-casting its entire judging panel in competition with The X Factor‘s acquisition of pop icon Britney Spears and reigning singing show The Voice‘s Christina Aguilera.
Rihanna Announces 2013 Tour Dates
Rihanna will be hitting the road next year on her Diamonds World Tour, set to kick off in March. Presales start this week, with more details and opener announcements to come. RiRi comes to Boston on March 10 at the TD Garden. Check out the full list of tour dates below:
Mar 8 Buffalo, NY First Niagara Center
Mar 10 Boston, MA TD Garden
Mar 12 Baltimore, MD 1st Mariner Arena
Mar 14 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
Mar 15 Hartford, CT XL Center
Mar 17 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
Mar 18 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Mar 21 Detroit, MI Joe Louis Arena
Mar 22 Chicago, IL United Center
Mar 24 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
Mar 25 Winnipeg, MB MTS Centre
Mar 27 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place
Mar 30 Calgary, AB Scotiabank Saddledome
Apr 1 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena
Apr 3 Seattle, WA Key Arena
Apr 6 San Jose, CA HP Pavilion
Apr 8 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center
Apr 11 San Diego, CA Valley View Casino Center
Apr 12 Las Vegas, NV Mandalay Bay
Apr 15 Houston, TX Toyota Center
Apr 16 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
Apr 19 Tampa, FL Tampa Bay Times Forum
Apr 20 Ft. Lauderdale, FL BankAtlantic Center
Apr 22 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena
Apr 29 Washington, D.C. Verizon Center
May 2 Ottawa, ON Scotiabank Place
May 4 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center