38. In October Justin Bieber’s manager caused a boo-boo by claiming the singer’s “balls have dropped.” Scooter Braunt, who looks after the pint-sized popstar, said that Bieber had found recording a duet of ‘All I Want For Christmas’ with Mariah Carey difficult as his voice had broken and was not as high as it used to be. Braunt told Billboard.com: “Vocally, his balls have dropped.”
37. In August it was reported that the troubled former Queens Of The Stone Age bassist Nick Oliver faced up to 15 years in jail after being charged with firearm and drug offences. He had been charged after a suspected domestic violence incident along with drug and firearm possession. The case is currently unresolved.
36. In October, Alex Turner has revealed that he thought Arctic Monkeys was a “bad” name for a band. He said: “There might have been other ideas for offshoots at the time, but the Monkeys was the first one. It sound like a first band name, doesn’t it? It’s so bad that the tribute bands don’t sound worse. I saw there’s an Aertex Monkeys, that’s pretty clever.”
Credit: Dean Chalkley/NME
35. Back in September it was revealed that scientists found Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’ to be the catchiest song ever written. Goldsmiths University scientists conducted new research into what makes a song memorable and compiled a list of the ten catchiest songs of all time. They found that ‘We Are The Champions’ was the track most were able to sing along to.
34. In June Damon Albarn debuted a new song from his forthcoming opera Doctor Dee on The Andrew Marr Show. He played ‘Apple Carts’ from the opera, which detailed the life of 16th century scientist John Dee. The whole opera was performed at the Manchester Palace Theatre at the start of July as part of the Manchester International Festival.
Credit: Howard Barlow/Press
32. In November the metal community was left shocked as it was announced that Gwar guitarist, Cory Smoot had been found dead The band’s frontman Dave Brockie wrote: ” It is with a sense of profound loss and tragedy that the members of Gwar must announce the passing of their longtime guitarist and beloved friend Cory Smoot.” It was later revealed that he died of heart disease.
31. Perhaps the saddest news came in July when Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home. The 27 year old singer’s body was found by police in her Camden flat. It’s was widely reported that Winehouse died from a drugs overdose, although the official coroner’s report revealed that her death was due to alcohol poisoning.
Credit: Andy Willsher/NME
29. In May Mick Jagger’s eldest daughter Lizzie Jagger stripped nude for the cover of Playboy. A provocative, six-page pictorial with The Rolling Stones frontman’s daughter was featured in the June issue of the magazine. The shoot was promoted with the tagline: “Elizabeth Scarlett Jagger – she’s half supermodel, half rock and roll royalty and 100 percent smoking hot.”
Credit: Sasha Eisenman/Playboy
28. In June came the shocking news that a member of a top Japanese pop group was not actually a real human being. Eguchi Aimi was supposed to be the newest member of all-girl group AKB48, but she was actually a composite of six of her bandmates. A video was released showing how the girls’ features were blended together for the rather convincing publicity stunt.
27. In September Bloc Party claimed to have parted ways with singer Kele Okereke and to be auditioning new singers. However, in December, the whole thing was revealed to be a hoax with the band confirming they were recording their fourth album with all their original members.
Credit: Dean Chalkley/NME
26 In May Pete Doherty was been sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty to cocaine possession. Judge David Radford, sentencing Doherty said: “You have an appalling record of committed offences of the kind for which you fall to be sentenced today.” However he walked free in June after serving just six weeks of his sentence.
25. In July the ‘nicest guy in rock’, Dave Grohl threw an unruly fan out of the Foo Fighters’ moshpit. Upon spotting the man Grohl said, “You don’t fucking fight at my show you asshole. Let me see him, who’s fighting right now? It’s that guy in the striped shirt. Hey motherfucker look at me, get the fuck out of my show right now.” Eek!
24. In September, The Foo Fighters responded to a planned protest by the Westboro Baptist Church by donning redneck beards, wigs, trucker hats and singing the specially penned ‘Keep It Clean’, their ode to same-sex loving. With Dave Grohl singing:
“I’ve got a hankering for something, think I’m in the mood for some hot man-muffins“
23 In October, Radiohead’s ‘Paranoid Android’ was named as NME.COM’s choice as the best song of the last 15 years. The track, which was released in 1997, beat competition from Arcade Fire, who came in second with ‘Rebellion (Lies)’, Outkast who were third with ‘Hey Ya!’, The Strokes who came fourth with ‘Last Nite’ and The Killers, who round off the top five with ‘Mr Brightside’.
22. In June Paul McCartney hinted that he could be on the verge of collaborating with Gorillaz. McCartney told TheQuietus.com: “We have kind of talked – nothing serious but I like what they do. It’s got near a couple of times but we never had the time.” Gorillaz released ‘The Singles Collection: 2001-2011’ in November.
21. Kings Of Leon had a troubled summer. The band cancelled gigs, leading to Jared Followill writing on Twitter: “I know you guys aren’t stupid. I can’t lie. There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade.” In August Beth Ann Murphy, mother of two of the members, denied suggestions that Caleb needed to go to rehab saying they will return “better than ever.”
19. In August Nicki Minaj suffered a nip slip during a live taping of TV show Good Morning America, prompting the Parents Television Council to argued that the racy footage should never even have made it to air, as the programme could have used a five-second delay to prevent such problems.
18. In September Beyonce was accused of wearing a prosthetic baby bump during her recent appearance at the MTV VMAs. Then in October she was accused of faking her entire pregnancy and using a surrogate after suspect footage of her baby bump appeared on Australian TV show Sunday Night. The singer made light of the claims during on-set footage shot on her ‘Countdown’ video.
17. In October Metallica guitarist Kirk Hamett defended their much maligned collaboration with Lou Reed ‘Lulu’. He said: “I think it’s one of the best things we’ve ever done. It showed me that we could still be truly spontaneous and in the moment. We haven’t been spontaneous like that for years and years and years, probably since the ’80s.”
16. In April, the Arctic Monkeys revealed their minimal design for the cover for their new album ‘Suck It And See’. The artwork, pictured above, features nothing more than a white background with the album title written in black capital letters. Fans on NME.com called it both “brilliant” and “pure crap”.
13 Gorillaz marked their 10 year anniversary as a band by releasing 15-track collection of their singles, videos and remixes. ‘The Singles Collection: 2001-2011’ was released on November 28. The announcement came a day after Gorillaz character Murdoc tweeted: “Gorillaz are TEN. Ten years old, eh? T.E.N. What’s that stand for? The End is Nigh…!”
12. Just a few weeks after the February release of ‘The King Of Limbs’, Liam Gallagher laid into Radiohead for writing music “about a fucking tree”. He told Thequietus: “I heard that fucking Radiohead record and I just go, ‘What?!'” he said. “I like to think that what we do, we do fucking well. Them writing a song about a fucking tree? A thousand year old tree? Go fuck yourself!”
Credit: Dean Chalkley/NME
11. In November Damon Albarn confirmed Blur were meeting up “regularly” and recording again. The Gorillaz man also revealed that the band recorded a spoken word piece with poet Michael Horovitz earlier this year in response to the brief threat that this year’s Notting Hill Carnival would be cancelled.
10. In May Mick Jagger confirmed that he formed a new group called Super Heavy. The Rolling Stones frontman revealed he’d been rehearsing with Dave Stewart, Joss Stone and Damian Marley. Discussing the formation of the new band, Jagger said: “The four of us got together and see what would happen, if we’d have fun.” Their debut album was released in September.
Credit: Kristen Burns/Press
8. In July Noel Gallagher claimed that Oasis’ show was pulled because Liam had a hangover. Liam started legal proceedings against his brother for this ‘lie’. In August pictures appeared showing Liam apparently drinking into the early hours in the Staffordshire site. By November the lawsuit was back on with Noel claiming his brother tried to attack him with a guitar.
Credit: Dean Chalkley
7. In May AC/DC said they believe their continued success is down their ability to “survive every fashion of music.” Speaking in The Sun about the success of the band’s 2008 album ‘Black Ice’, guitarist Angus Young said: “We have such diehard fans, old and new. We’ve survived many changing fashions of music – we’ve outlived the lot of them.”
4. In October Muse’s ‘Hysteria’ was been voted as the track which features the best bassline of all time. In a poll the bassline from the Devon trio’s 2003 hit single came out on top, with Rush’s ‘YYZ’ in second place. Queen held the next two places in the top ten, with ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ and ‘Under Pressure’ at Number Three and Four respectively.
Credit: Dean Chalkley/NME
3. In October The Stone Roses confirmed the original line-up will reunite for a world tour in 2012, starting with three homecoming shows in Manchester. They also plan to record a third album in the future. At the press conference Ian Brown declared: “This is a live resurrection, and you’re invited, so you’d better be there.”
Credit: Pennie Smith
2. In June, Dave Grohl spoke of the the time he, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and live guitarist Pat Smear played ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ for the first time in 17 years. He recalled: “Krist is on bass, Pat’s on guitar. I’m on drums. Krist says, ‘You wanna run through some oldies?’ Me and Pat look at each other. I mean, that’s something I’ve never considered before. I was like ‘OK.'”
1. In July Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner and Alexa Chung announced they had split up. The couple called time on the four-year relationship with Liz Matthews, Alexa’s spokeswoman, confirming the split to the Sunday Mirror, commenting: “It’s completely amicable – but yes it’s true. They have split.” In September it was announced Chung was seeing Hurts’ Leo Hutchcraft.