2012 — The Year In Music News

Rob O'Connor
List Of The Day (NEW)

No matter how many ways new companies assault the music business' 'business model,' they can't stop the music news! Nope! Listed below are 25 awesome moments of 2012. Some are crucial. Others are nearly important. But it's all news to us! In fact, keep tuning in to Y! Music's Stop the Presses blog if you want to know about things as they happen! Or just flirt shamelessly with Wendy Geller.

25) Van Halen Reunite With David Lee Roth: David Lee Roth's Uncle Manny gave an open slot at his club Cafe Wha? in New York City's West Village one Thursday night to his nephew David and his old pals the Van Halen brothers who decided to give a VIP crowd a look at what the unstoppable, unflappable, indestructible and mighty Van Halen would be up to in 2012, in support of their new album A Different Kind of Truth. Anyone have any idea how the tour turned out?

24) Kenny G's Wife Files For Divorce: Could it be after 20 years of marriage to Kenny G,  Lyndie Benson-Gorelick finally listened to one of her husband's albums and realized the sad, awful truth that music critics tried to warn her about for years? Or maybe it was something else entirely. In any case, Ms. Lydia lawyered up with Nikki Sixx's old lawyer Gary Fishbein and went the Tammy Wynette D-I-V-O-R-C-E way. No word on how much she can sue for pain and suffering, but I kind of hope we can all file a class-action suit.

23) Seal Announces Divorce and Releases Breakup Album!: What's the point of marrying a celebrity if you can't get something out of it when you have a new album to promote? Sure, being married to Heidi Klum looks like a sweet deal, but Seal's 2012 album Soul 2 needed an extra push. Using true celebrity synergy, Seal and Klum announced the end of their seven-year marriage just as Seal's new album dropped!

22) Whitney Houston Dies: On February 11, 2012, in Beverly Hills, California, Whitney Houston died at the age of 48 years old. Considering Billie Holiday only made it to 44, Whitney added a few years to the life expectancy of blues and soul singers.

21) Adele Wins Six Grammys: As my father would surely ask, "Why not seven?" ANYWAY, Adele, the only musician making any money, won Record, Song, Album and, uh, Human Being of the Year awards at the Sunday night broadcast, making Adele's 21 to albums what Fifty Shades of Grey is to books.

20) Bruce Springsteen Installs Shiny New Clemons Into E Street Band: Understanding his peerless 'E Street' brand, the Boss installed Jake Clemons, a talented saxophonist, where the late great Clarence Clemons once stood. Jake Clemons got the job through insidious family ties. He is the late Clemons' nephew. No word if Bruce has found a spare Federici.

19) Rihanna Defends Collaboration With Hitmaker Chris Brown: He hit her and it felt like a kiss? Despite Chris Brown still being on probation for his assault on Rihanna three years ago, Rihanna maintained it was her idea for Brown to appear on a remix of her song "Birthday Cake." He, in turn, had her appear on a song of his. Since Brown is "the hottest R&B artist" of the moment, Rihanna felt it was a dandy idea. "It's music, and it's innocent," she told Ryan the Seacrest on his radio show.

18) Keith Richards Apologizes to Mick "Tiny Todger" Jagger: Sensing that his lifelong friend and bandmate may have taken issue with having his private part described as a "tiny todger" in the autobiography Life, Keith Richards apologized to Mick Jagger for any offense he may have taken. "I know some parts of (the book) and some of the publicity really offended Mick and I regret that," said Richards. As of press time, no firm measurements were made public for fans to come to their own conclusions regarding what constitutes 'tiny' vs. 'average'.

17) Willie Nelson Unveils Statue of Himself: On Friday, April 20, a date long reserved for celebrated use of the pot (according to Associated Press), Willie Nelson, the country music legend whose music is more popular than chia pets, helped unveil a statue of himself in downtown Austin and sang "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die" at 4:20 p.m. The Associated Press also claimed 4/20 is slang for smoking the weeds.

16) Nicki Minaj Deleted Twitter Account: On Monday, April 16 at 8:40 a.m., Rolling Stone on Y! Music reported that sometime during the previous Saturday night the unthinkable happened. Popular popularity-maven Nicki Minaj deleted her account from the Twitter. The rapper was reportedly highly upset at the Minaj fan site NickDaily.com for posting snippets from her then-new album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. In the name of world peace, she has since reactivated her account. Millions wept.

15) Tupac Shakur Performs At Coachella: With a career still going strong with new albums ever since he inconveniently died in 1996, Tupac Shakur made his first post-life stage performance with the still-living Dr. Dre and also breathing counterpart Snoop Dogg at Coachella for a few tunes. What this means for other dead musicians is still not fully exploited. The Doors, for example,still plan to re-release their studio albums and new Greatest Hits configurations three times a year.

14) John Mayer Unhappy: John Mayer claimed in a Rolling Stone interview he was "really humiliated" by what he called "cheap songwriting" by Taylor Swift, who penned "Dear John" to let him know she wasn't amused by what she saw as his poor relationship skills. Facts say Swift's songwriting is anything but cheap. Swift led the list of Highest Paid Stars Under 30 with an estimated $57 million being earned between May 2011 and May 2012.

13) Gwyneth Paltrow Tweets N-Word, World Collapses: Is a white woman a racist if she tweets a song title that has the 'N word' in it? The guy in Coldplay's wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, a caucasian woman, did just that while attending a Kanye West and Jay-Z musical performance. Both performers are African-American. Former-Players star Ice-T, who is also African-American, settled the score by telling Y! Music to tell haters to "Leave Gwyneth Paltrow alone."

12) Axl Rose Robbed of $200,000 of Jewelry: OK, let's try this: A thief in Paris welcomed himself to Axl Rose's jewelry jungle, stealing three gold and diamond necklaces valued at $200,000. Perhaps it was karma, considering Rose previously exercised his own 'Chinese Democracy' when he forced fans who attended his May 31st show wearing Slash T-shirts to change their shirts before entering the venue.

11) Lauryn Hill Accused Of Refusing To Pay Her Taxes: Former Fugees singer Lauryn Hill was charged by federal prosecutors for 'willfully failing to file income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service'. Hill responded to the federal charges on her Tumblr page, saying, "My intention has always been to get this situation rectified. When I was working consistently…I filed and paid my taxes. This only stopped when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family." That's right, kids! Safety first!

10) Cher Takes Her Mom To Meet the President: Everyone's favorite infomercial star and singer Cher took her 86-year old mother Georgia Holt as her date to meet President Obama. The President, impressed by Holt's slender and youthful appearance, inquired about Holt's diet. Cher tweeted that the Prez was "warm, funny" and "so sweet." Republicans disagreed.

9) Adele Announces Pregnancy On Her Website: The only musician who still sells her music, Adele announced on her website that she and her boyfriend, 36-year-old Drop4Drop charity CEO Simon Konecki, are expecting a baby. Adele described herself and Konecki as being "over the moon and very excited," while requesting that fans "respect our privacy at this precious time." How this will affect her music remains to be seen.  Her record company should be very concerned about what to do with a happy Adele.

8) John Mayer Happy: Taylor Swift may have distressed "Dear John" Mayer with her songwriting, but Katy Perry took a night off from kissing a girl to kissing the 34-year-old musician who has a penchant for collecting celebrity girlfriends, ranging from Jessica Simpson to Jennifer Aniston. Perry's no slouch herself, having been married to Russell Brand. Us Weekly reported the couple had pizza at Perry's house. Toppings were unavailable at press time.

7) Randy Travis Arrested While Nude For DWI: Randy Travis is proving to be his own personal Lady Gaga in the bad publicity department. In February, he was arrested when police found him parked in front of a church with an open bottle of wine, but in August, he upped the ante considerably, by crashing his car and being found lying in the road naked. Reports followed that Travis had also attempted to buy cigarettes while nude. Weeks later, he was stopped from brawling in a church parking lot.

6) Marilyn Manson Goes Through LAX Security With Obscenity Written On Face: In an attempt to foil the paparazzi who make a living selling pictures of Marilyn Manson walking through airports, Brian Hugh Warner, aka MM, took what appeared to be a grease pencil and scrawled the "F" word across the bottom of his face. Folks described him as being polite. He assured them the message was not aimed at them.

5) Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger Engaged: There's at least one person who doesn't hate Nickelback! Avril Lavigne surprised everyone upon announcing her engagement to Nickelback's Chad Kroeger. The two flew under the radar for six months, having met in February 2012 when Kroeger collaborated with Lavigne on a track for her next album. Lavigne was previously married to Sum 41's Deryck Whibley from 2006 until 2009.

4) Motley Crue's Tommy Lee Turns 50: Many musicians don't make it past 27, so Tommy Lee's 50th birthday seems like a modern miracle. Perhaps, his extensive tattoo collection has shielded his body from the years of indulgence, or maybe he's just a well-behaved choirboy who stays home and reads the Bible behind that wild public image. Whatever has kept Mr. Lee vertical all these years should be examined carefully by scientists everywhere.

3) Rolling Stones Tickets Fetch Big Money: As the actuarial tables continue to look grimmer with each passing year, the Rolling Stones are taking full advantage of the 'scarcity principle' by announcing just four shows in 2012, with a core lineup that is collectively over 270 years old. Though it's generally figured the Stones will play more shows in 2013, the chance to see them with Jeff Beck, original bassist Bill Wyman and hardcore fan favorite guitarist Mick Taylor led to prices well north of the top face value ticket of $601 in the U.K.

2) Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez Break Up!: Nearly two years of being America's Young, Cute Celebrity Couple came to an end this November when Selena Gomez and Justin "Tall Hair" Bieber called it quits. While this isn't quite the end of the world, it does put two attractive young people into the free agent pool where they're likely to hook up with many other fabulous celebrities before settling down and raising families in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

1) "Gangnam Style" Infects Everyone!: What The Twist was to the early 1960s, what John Travolta's disco moves were to the late 1970s, what The Macarena was to the 1990s, so "Gangnam Style" is to 2012. The phrase, according to Wikipedia, is a "Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul." The video, by South Korean musician PSY, has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most "liked" video in YouTube history, beating out Justin Bieber's "Baby," bands covering Pink Floyd ineptly and 16,241 lovably cute videos of cats.

Photos by (L to R): Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Bill McCay/WireImage; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic