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Week in Review: Remembering the Artists We Lost in 2011

Plus: Jay-Z and Kanye's 'Ni**as in Paris' by the numbers, R. Kelly, Beach Boys and more

December 23, 2011 4:00 PM ET
Week in Review: Remembering the Artists We Lost in 2011

As 2011 draws to a close, Rolling Stone took a moment to memorialize the artists we lost over the past year, including sax legends Clarence Clemons and Gerry Rafferty, soul icon Amy Winehouse, hip-hop poet Gil Scott-Heron and rapper Heavy D.

We also learned more about the Beach Boys' upcoming reunion tour from Mike Love, chatted with R. Kelly about his plans to expand his Trapped in the Closet saga, and talked with rapper Danny Brown about why he can't stand bubblegum emcee Mac Miller. Also, we crunched the numbers behind Jay-Z and Kanye West's smash hit "Ni**as in Paris," reported from the VH1 Divas concert taping, caught Scott Weiland's Christmas show in New York and danced at Swedish House Mafia's history-making night at Madison Square Garden.

Photos: Rockers Celebrate Christmas, Then and Now

Plus, Rob Sheffield offered up his personal favorite songs and albums of 2011, our critics shared their favorite musical discoveries of the year and we shared some good tips for rock-centric Christmas gifts. We also analyzed this week's pop charts and looked back on this week in rock history.

Photos: Christmas Albums We Wish Existed

In pop culture, Peter Travers raved about the Christmas season's six must-see movies, we caught up with Girl with the Dragon Tattoo screenwriter Steven Zaillian, and we recapped the finale of the X Factor.

Photos: Random Notes

We also posted your favorite songs of 2011, as determined by a readers poll. Our question for you this week is: What is your favorite new artist of the year? You can answer on our website, at facebook.com/rollingstone or on Twitter using the #weekendrock hashtag.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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