The Knack Music News

Mr. Sean and Ms. Grande are no more

Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea To Perform 'Pretty Girls' at 2015 Billboard Music Awards

Calvin Harris is Following Taylor Swift on Instagram

Sam Smith Says Comments About His Weight Affect Him More Than Homophobic Insults


Ariana GrandeMr. Sean and Ms. Grande are no more

billboard.com

True love took a blow on Monday (Apr. 20) when it was confirmed that Ariana Grande and Big Sean had broken up. The pop singer and hip-hop star had been close collaborators before declaring their coupledom last October, recording songs like "Best Mistake" and "Right There" while presenting themselves as a power couple at the Grammys. "They both deeply care for each other and remain close friends," read a joint statement yesterday, while a source told Us Weekly that the split was partially due to "conflicting touring schedules" in the near future.

Yes, the Ariana-Sean breakup is depressing from a celeb-watching standpoint -- but it's potentially promising from a music-loving standpoint. Ariana Grande is one of the most promising stars in pop, and she's going through a high-profile breakup at the tail-end of an album cycle. The next move should be obvious: Grande needs to deliver an emotionally gripping breakup album.

Grande has already reached the Top 10 with songs about troubled romance -- "Problem" was about being drawn to the wrong guy, and "Break Free" was about, er, breaking free from that guy. An Ariana Grande breakup album would not necessarily have to be a mope-fest: imagine Grande belting out a handful of "I Will Survive's" or "Since U Been Gone's" or "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together's" on her next album, emerging from the (amicable) wreckage of a celebrity romance stronger than when she dove into it. Why wallow in your sorrow when you can stand up and sing the "Single Ladies" for a new generation?

Or maybe reveling in melancholy is the way Grande should play this hand. Wouldn't it be sort of incredible to watch Grande attempt to pull off her own 21? She certainly possesses the vocal ability to target Adele levels of critical renown, and exceeds at thoughtful, mid-tempo R&B tracks like "Why Try" and "Love Me Harder." As noted at the time of My Everything's release last year, Grande needs to add a show-stopping ballad to her oeuvre, and a breakup album would be the ideal platform for her own "Someone Like You." Seriously, someone get songwriter Dan Wilson on the phone right now and have him draft a version of "Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead" that somehow includes the phrase "conflicting touring schedules."

Here's the best part of a potential Ariana breakup LP: we'd all know who she would be singing about. The Rumours Rule still holds, decades later: done in the right way, public art about a private situation is always completely fascinating. Imagine the fun of guessing which Taylor Swift song is about which Taylor Swift ex, multiplied by the juicy insight into the Ariana-Sean relationship! Imagine Grande casting a Big Sean lookalike in her music video, a la Justin Timberlake in his "Cry Me a River" clip! Maybe Grande is actually angrier than the joint statement lets on, and writes a scorching "You Oughta Know" that makes Big Sean look lamer than Dave Coulier.

Okay, let's hope that Grande and Big Sean aren't on such bad terms that another "I Don't F-- With You" is warranted. We've all been through nasty splits, but Grande is the one with the opportunity to turn her pain into musical power. Last year's My Everything was an expansive breakthrough, but Grande's third album could be the laser-focused diary entry fans and critics are waiting to hear. Purge your feelings, Ariana, and set forth on the tremendous breakup album you have inside of you.

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Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea To Perform 'Pretty Girls' at 2015 Billboard Music Awards

billboard.com

It’s official: Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea are coming to the 2015 Billboard Music Awards for the debut TV performance of “Pretty Girls.”
Billboard and dick clark productions today announced Britney and Iggy would perform their new single in what will surely go down as one of the biggest pop moments of the year so far.

Iggy overturned her self-imposed social media ban earlier this month to tweet how “extremely excited” she was about the release of “Pretty Girls” and that she was “going to perform it.” The latter comment started a global guessing game as fans tried to figure where the track would get its live showcase. Now we all know.

The two superstars join a glittering line-up of performers that already includes Kelly Clarkson, Fall Out Boy featuring Wiz Khalifa, Hozier, Nick Jonas, Ed Sheeran, Sam SmithMeghan Trainor and John Legend.

Britney and Iggy have each made strong impressions on the Billboard charts. Britney, a veteran of the BBMAs with six career wins, has charted six No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 and five No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100.

Iggy’s career has got off to a fast start. Last year she became the first act since The Beatles to chart at Nos. 1 and 2 simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 with their first two hits, "Fancy" and Ariana Grande's "Problem,” on which she featured.

This year, Iggy is a finalist in 11 BBMAs categories with 12 entries. Leading all artists for the ceremony is Taylor Swift with 14 nominations in 13 categories, followed closely by Sam Smith with 13.

The 2015 Billboard Music Awards returns to ABC on Sunday, May 17 at 8pm ET and will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

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Calvin Harris is Following Taylor Swift on Instagram

billboard.com

After weeks of swirling rumors and suggestive paparazzi photos, Calvin Harris has decided to go public with his admiration for Taylor Swift -- or at the very least, for her Instagram curatorial skills.

The producer, who only follows 123 people (the horror!), followed Taylor yesterday (April 21), and even liked one of her videos. Is the notification chime the 2015 version of wedding bells? 

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Sam Smith Says Comments About His Weight Affect Him More Than Homophobic Insults

billboard.com

"Lay Me Down" singer Sam Smith has been extremely open about his struggles with weight, recently sharing the dramatic lifestyle changes that helped him drop 14 pounds in 14 days on Instagram. But that doesn't mean that comments about his looks don't affect him.

"If someone called me fat," Smith told the Australian edition of 60 Minutes on Sunday (April 19), "that affects me way more than someone calling me a f----t."

Smith described always feeling comfortable with his sexuality in a way that he hasn't with his figure. "If someone calls you fat," he added, "that's something I would want to change -- that's something I can change -- so that will affect me more."

"Food has controlled me," Smith said. From a young age, the singer turned to food for comfort. "When I was at school and I wasn't having a great time or when music wasn't going very well, I would eat -- eating made me feel better."

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