This week, MTV revealed itsplans to shake things up at the Video Music Awards. Controversial, undergroundrapper Tyler The Creator joins superstars Adele, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, andthe Beastie Boys as a nominee in the award show's top category--Video Of TheYear.
Tyler's "Yonkers"video uploaded to his group's YouTube page in April has been streamed more than15 million times. In the low budget, black and white clip Tyler wrote and directed himself, he eats ahissing cockroach, and simulates hanging himself.
The song could be called"Bonkers," as he disses everyone from fellow VMA contender Bruno Mars, Jesus,and his mother, and then brags about popping pills.
Tyler performed on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" inFebruary, and headlined with his group Odd Future mtvU's Woddie Awards thefollowing month, but he's yet to penetrate mainstream audiences.
The other nominees have soldmore than a million copies of their albums while Tyler's "Goblin," whichincludes the VMA nominated "Yonkers," has sold just 91,000 copies since its Mayrelease on XL Recordings. According to SoundScan, seven of Tyler's singles have sold a combined 50,000downloads. The "Yonkers"track has only sold 246 CDs, not including additional copies downloaded or shared online.
This marks the first time inVMA's 27 year history that such an underdog was nominated for Video Of TheYear. Last year, heavyweights Lady Gaga, Eminem, B.o.B., Florence And TheMachine, and 30 Seconds To Mars competed for the honor.
The VMA nomination will helpup Tyler's fast-risingprofile. Kanye West, who has taken a break from Twitter, retweeted a link tovote for the rapper in the competition. A spokesperson for Tyler told Yahoo! Music that the VMA news isa reflection of how the music business is embracing the young star.
"Everyone in the industry issupporting him right now," the spokesperson said via email. "The VMA nominationis basically a culmination of everything happening right now."
Tyler said he was overwhelmed when he heard his nameannounced. "I kinda stopped breathing, I was just sitting there. I was kindashaking," he told MTV. "I don't know. It was surreal."
The night the nominees wererevealed, Tylertweeted that he cried.In addition to the Video OfThe Year nom, Tyleris also listed in the Best New Artist field. But he's not the only brandspanking new artist up for that title. Aside from Wiz Khalifa, Foster ThePeople, and Big Sean, comes Kreayshawn, a 21-year-old female rapper from Oakland.
The rookie, who signed withColumbia Records two months ago, is nominated on the heels of her brand newvideo, "Gucci Gucci," a diss to the materialistic girls, that has generated morethan 5 million YouTube plays and sold 35,000 downloads.This week's music news becametragic Saturday when troubled soul singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment. Thecause of death has not yet been determined. We send our condolences out to herfamily. R&B star R. Kelly had a medical scare this week and was required tohave an abscess on one of his tonsils drained. Lady Gaga came under fire byveteran entertainer Bette Middler who claimed via Twitter that the "Born ThisWay" singer stole one of her routines, an accusation Gaga later denied. And thedefense attorneys for Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray have requestedthat the jurors for the September trial be sequestered as to not be influencedby the media coverage.
Yahoo! Music can't expressenough how saddened we are about the loss of Amy Winehouse. She was a truetalent and among our favorite contemporaries. Please see a link below to a verycomprehensive Associated Press story on her life. Otherwise, we'll see you nextweek for another roundup of music news.
THIS WEEK'S TOP 5 MUSIC NEWS STORIES
1) No,No, No -- Amy Winehouse is found dead.
2) The Voice -- R. Kelly undergoes emergency throat surgery.
3) Déjàvu -- Lady Gaga denies copying BetteMiddler's mermaid in wheelchair act.
4) Un-amazing Grace -- Jackson doc's defense wantsto shield jurors from Nancy Grace.
5) TeenageDream -- Katy Perry leads with most VMA nominations.
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