Beyoncé, Kanye and almost all of pop music show up in Madonna's new video
If you're a pop singer today, one must not be content to simply appear in one's own videos. Now a video needs a certain magnitude of star power that illuminates the depths of one's Rolodex.
Madonna's new clip for her assertive single "Bitch I'm Madonna" calls in all her favors for a candy-hued romp. The list is as formidible as it is varied - Kanye West, Chris Rock, Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, fashion designer Alexander Wang and Madonna's two kids all pop up. Nicki Minaj shows up for her guest verse, as does the single's producer, Diplo (alas, however, there's no cameo from his great co-producer SOPHIE as far as we can tell).
Director Jonas Ackerlund deserved credit not just for its fizzy high spirits, but for his human resources skills as well. The song was a standout on her LP "Rebel Heart," which was a generally well-received mix of modern experimental pop aimed at restating her relevance for contemporary audiences. The Times' Randall Roberts said “'Rebel Heart' stands sturdily because those foundations have been fortified by producers and as such are thick and modern, with heavy bass, lots of tweaky snare and high-hats and a midrange action that snakes through songs like locomotives winding through mountainous tracks."
The record had a white-knuckle few weeks after early versions of its tracks were leaked, an experience Madonna described to The Times as still being "Very fresh on my mind, and I’m still very upset about it. ... I think their brains have been contaminated by what they’ve heard. And because I was continuously being hacked into – with all the different versions from all the different producers I was working with in all the different recording studios — it started making me second-guess everything. I had extreme anxiety."
If nothing else, this video proves that Madonna's famous fans and friends are still more than willing to show up for the party.
Lady Gaga Wore Her Formal Underwear to Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards
Lady Gaga is a dazzling performer, and a style chameleon - just a few days ago she sported an understated look to sing John Lennon’s “Imagine” in Europe. She’s also a Contemporary Icon, as the Songwriters Hall of Fame presented her with the honor last night (June 18).
The singer inducted fellow songwriter Linda Perry, and sang Perry’s ’90s hit with 4 Non Blondes, “What’s Up.” Clad in a leather bra, underwear, ripped fishnets and a red velvet jacket, the overall look was very “Playboy bunny wakes up in the mansion after a rough night, steals Hugh Hefner’s robe and becomes a rock star.”
Billboard reports that Perry performed a slowed-down piano version of “Bad Romance” before introducing Gaga’s Cheek to Cheek collaborator Tony Bennett to present her with her award. Gaga changed into a striped suit for her speech, because Gaga’s average day probably involves 8-10 costume changes.
In her speech, Gaga said how touched she was by Perry’s cover. “It was something out of a childhood dream or a fantasy, because what I was thinking when I was sitting there and my mom was handing me napkins: ‘If they only knew how many bad songs I wrote before that one.”
Among the other award winners were Cyndi Lauper, inducted by Carly Rae Jepsen, and Nate Ruess of fun. accepting the Starlight Award for up-and-coming songwriter.
Gaga thanked the Songwriters Hall of Fame for the honor in an a humble Instagram post, saying, “This has to be my favorite award I’ve ever gotten. I still remember dragging my keyboard up the stair of my walk up to play songwriter showcases and apply to be in songwriting forums where I could play my music for other artists and we’d critique each other. I was 15 then.”
She continued, “I’m 29 now. In my head this is how I planned it, following all the roads I thought were right. But i’m not sure I thought about what I’d do if I never made it. Cuz I’d forever be trying.”
Iggy Azalea Does Carpool Karaoke, Says Demi Lovato Will Be a Bridesmaid
Iggy Azalea joined James Corden for some carpool karaoke last night (June 19), and the two also discussed her upcoming wedding details.
“So you’re Iggy, but that’s not your name,” the Late Late Show host says.
“No, my name’s Amethyst,” Iggy replies. She seems a bit reticent here, as if she’s bracing to be teased. The rapper has had a real rollercoaster of a year so far, between her Britney Spears collaboration, canceling her tour, getting engaged and having to pull out of Pittsburgh Pride after local protests, so it’s understandable if she’s a little defensive.
Iggy reveals that she came up with her rap alias using, as James says, “the porn star thing” of combining the name of your first pet with the street you grew up on. Yes, seriously.
James and Iggy proceed to take on her 2014 hit “Fancy” - Iggy says “you obviously have to be me,” and then gives him stage directions on when to clap and snap like some overenthusiastic pageant mom.
The two talk about her upcoming wedding, and Iggy shares what few details there seem to be so far, assuring James she won’t become a “bridezilla.” She says her fiancé, L.A. Laker Nick Young, wants R. Kelly to perform at the ceremony, and she even promises James he can play a major role in the ceremony. Then she shares that Demi Lovato will be in the wedding party — Demi was present at Iggy’s surprise engagement, so apparently they are good friends!
Carly Rae Jepsen Reveals Her Favorite Songs On Her New Album, ‘Emotion’: Exclusive
From über-giddy comeback track “I Really Like You” to her left-lane collabo with Dev Hynes and Ariel Rechtshaid (“All That”) to fizzy title track “Emotion,” Carly Rae Jepsen continues to provide hard-hitting proof that she’s packing an equally brilliant follow-up to her underrated 2012 record in E·MO·TION, due out this August.
Before performing at the Songwriters Hall of Fame last night in New York City in the presence of fellow pop diva honorees Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper, the singer hit the red carpet, where we briefly caught up with her once again as she was made her way down the red carpet. Hey, it’s been less than a month since our last Carly Rae Jepsinterview, after all - we needed more.
And since we were at the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, we wanted to talk songwriting. Specifically, her favorite song she’s written for E·MO·TION.
“My favorite song…I’m really excited about ‘Run Away With Me’, which is going to be the next single,” she told PopCrush. It’s not hard to see (or hear) why: The Canadian singer-songwriter has been casually teasing the track live - and it sounds like a massive earworm of a pop anthem already.
And that’s not the only song she’s looking forward to sharing with the world this August. “I’m equally excited by the B-sides, which aren’t singles,” she revealed. “There’s a song called ‘Warm Blood’ that I did with Rostam [Batmanglij] from Vampire Weekend. It’s kind of a really strange combination, but it worked really well. I could see myself wanting to work with him more in the future.”
While she’s yet to tease the track live, The Guardian referred to “Warm Blood” as “lyrically dark” in a recent interview with the singer. Considering her inextricable association with sparkly pop tunes (“Call Me Maybe”, anyone?), we’re more than ready to explore the dark side with Jepsen.
Check out Carly performing her upcoming single “Run Away With Me” live below.
Lorde and Lena Dunham Talk About Feminism and Taylor Swift
Lorde is featured on the cover of Dazed Magazine‘s Girls Who Rule the World issue, and was interviewed by incessant interrupter Lena Dunham. Thankfully, the conversation made up for Dunham’s paragraphs-long interjections, as they spoke about intersectional feminism, navigating pop music as an artist in a largely male-driven industry and how Taylor Swift welcomed them both into the wonderful world of supportive female friendships.
Speaking to the beginnings of her career, Lorde noted that she asserted herself and her vision from the start and, in doing so, avoided the typical over-sexualization suffered by so many pop stars. She says, “I sometimes get asked, ‘Did people try to sexualise you early on in your career?’ But I came into this with such a strong viewpoint – even when I was 13 or 14, my sense of self felt too permanent for anyone to f— with. You know, whenever there was a makeover suggestion or like, ‘Do you wanna try this push- up bra?’ I think I freaked enough people out – or intimidated enough people – that it didn’t happen. But also, does that still happen these days? Is that a thing? I feel like people think more of teenage girls than that.”
And while Lorde cites her mother as a strong influence on her life and she doesn’t shy away from the feminist label, she says that she has mostly male friends. But her reasoning has nothing to do with being just too different from your average girl to be able to relate. It’s because guys are simple. She said, “I feel like teenage boys, all their emotions are really simple and diluted. Teenage girls feel everything so intensely and are so multi-faceted. Boys are just like, they’ll rest a head on your shoulder and you know exactly what that means.”
But then in swooped Taylor Swift, and she welcomed Lorde into her clique of famous female friends, despite her lack of at-the-ready boy advice. “She definitely brought me into this amazing world of supportive female friendship,” she says. “For me, someone starts talking about boys and I’m like, ‘I just don’t know what to say.’ I’m useless in that capacity and that was why I thought, ‘Well, I can’t have girl friends (because) I don’t know how to talk about boys.’ But Taylor just glosses over the fact that I’m terrible at that and she’s just like, ‘It’s OK, I’ll love you for your other qualities.’”
And just in case you’re not already impressed with Lorde, who has shown herself to be wiser than your average famous 18-year-old, she also talks about how important it is to not just be a feminist, but for your brand of feminism to be intersectional and all-encompassing. She said, “One thing I hadn’t come face-to-face with until I was about 16 was thinking really hard about whiteness and what it means to be white, and all these questions around race and sexuality, which are incredibly important. For a long time, I wasn’t aware of how important it was to be a feminist for all women.”
Being able to examine yourself in a critical manner, not only recognizing your shortcomings but actively working to change them, is something that doesn’t typically happen until you’re older (if it happens at all). Lorde is surprisingly self-aware, and it’s refreshing.