All Articles Tagged "adele"
No one could dispute that being a celebrity certainly comes with privileges, but there’s a downside to everything. Unfortunately, because these stars spend so much time in the limelight, they’ve been the target of negative criticism after being bullied because their weight.
Ke$ha doesn’t fit the stereotype of how the average singer/rapper is supposed to look. Born and raised in Los Angeles, the 27-year-old marches to the beat of her own drum, so when it was revealed that the “Die Young” rapper checked into rehab for an eating disorder earlier this year, fans were shocked. Even worse, her mother revealed that Ke$ha was bullied to lose weight by people within her own inner circle. Soon after checking in, Ke$sha released a statement: “I’m a crusader for being yourself and loving yourself but I’ve found it hard to practice.” She continued that she was aiming “to learn to love myself again. Exactly as I am.”
For many celebrities, looking young is a priority. But though some have mastered the art of never aging (we’re looking at you Iman and Pharell!) others are already starting to weather way too soon. We don’t know if it’s the hard partying and fast living or just genetics, but either way, these 15 young celebrities who are aging badly better invest in some Oil of Olay — and soon!
Chris Brown, 24
As cute as Chris Brown was back in the day it’s hard to see what drinking, partying, and a few jail visits have done to him.
The truth is in the pudding. Cultural appropriation has been somewhat of an unfortunate thing for a while, but cultural MISappropriation has ascended to new heights in 2013. Cough… cough… Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, yeah you two be doing the most. And that’s why I think the lines that separate white artists identifying with culturally-significant genres of music and white artists appropriating and misappropriating black culture are blurred – while black and other artists of color are not getting the same love as white artists within the same genres.
Let’s start off by saying cultural appropriation and assimilation into another group’s culture is not necessarily the worst thing and is blurred with cultural MISappropriation — a clear disrespect to that culture, but it’s surely complex. There are many white artists that identify with musical genres and influences that have typically been culturally significant to black folks: Eminem, Adele and Justin Timberlake to name a few from modern day who have garnered much respect from black, mainstream and cross-cultural audiences. And in these modern times, music doesn’t have a color, which it shouldn’t! Therefore, there’s going to be some cultural appropriation, but now it’s gotten out of hand.
But before cultural appropriation became today’s issue, R&B was the most popular genre of music in the ’90′s. This is because of the many black fore-artists who fought for their civil rights by appealing to both black and mainstream audiences and making their music so distinctive that white artists could not copy it and change the record cover. Hence, they paved the way for so many black artists to easily crossover in modern-day music. This has shown our progression as mankind (specifically American music) — artists being able to crossover into popular music from Latin pop, to country and hip-hop/R&B artists.
Many white artists identify with black musical influences and even vice versa. You’ll notice music competition shows and social media platforms showcase contestants and aspiring music artists who 20 or 30 years ago wouldn’t be expected to have such soulful voices because they’re white. Black culturally-significant music hasn’t only broken down barriers, but has transcended into touching the masses. And this goes to show music is not simply about color or even culture, but is art of expression moving and unifying people who can identify with the emotions, lyrics, rhythm and voices behind songs and instruments.
But in the 2010s, music moved into a dance-pop sound, when crossover Urban music artists like Usher and Rihanna shifted into a David Guetta-like dance sound. That’s what popular now. R&B as a genre is no longer the most or even one of the most popular crossover musical genres anymore. There are clearly R&B influences in today’s music but it seems like the most popular crossover artists are now white instead of artists of color — specifically black artists.
In particular, I’m happy for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ success. They’ve worked hard and accomplished a lot with their own productions (without a label). But the American Music Awards winning list was dominated by white artists across genres with the exception of pop superstar Rihanna. And the Grammy’s nominations left off many talented black artists. It seems like the uphill battle black artists have gone through over the cross of music’s history is nowhere near done. White artists still outsell and garner more praise. Not only are these white artists talented, which most white artists who identify with R&B/soul and hip-hop music have to be in order to be taken seriously, but their mainstream-appealing skin color still works in their favor.
Eminem is an example of raw talent, perseverance and hard work — yet he has that mainstream appeal I was just talking about, which causes a complexity with cultural appropriation. Yes, he’s one of the greatest rappers of all time; he’s also the best-selling rapper of all time, and you know what he deserves his “Rap God” status. As lyrically and musically talented as he is, he once had to fight for respect as a white-male rapper. Hence, his true-life story inspired his starring movie role in 8 Mile. But how can one question his status of being the best selling rapper of all time without discrediting his talent and even his worthiness of his status? The truth of the matter he is deserving of his iconic success, but young white males identify with him and as huge consumers of hip-hop and rap music, they also make up a significant portion of mainstream American culture and society.
Within who’s left as popular soul-influenced artists, it’s clear some of Adele’s musical influences are black female artists who paved the way not only for Beyonce and Rihanna to be mainstream popular artists today, but for women in general. Hence, totally justifying why Adele relates to making soulful torch and love songs, and to artists like Aretha Franklin who existed within these sub-genres. But with the shift to somewhat R&B influenced dance-pop music of today, I wonder if Jennifer Hudson had written and sung “Rolling in the Deep” would it be as big of a hit? Adele is a pop-soul artist, but Hudson is equally as talented and a respected artist and award-winning musical actress with a soulful Whitney Houston-influenced voice. But Hudson is nowhere near selling as many albums or singles as Adele.
After years of having shouting matches with paparazzi in the streets and having to hold back her man Olivier Martinez from opening a can of whoop a** on them at the airport, Halle Berry and her daughter Nahla will finally get some peace and privacy from hounding photogs.
A bill (Senate bill 606) was signed into law this week by Gov. Jerry Brown in California that will keep paparazzi from getting too close to the children of celebrities. Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner both testified on behalf of the bill, sharing stories of having people who move along with the photographers threaten the stars and their children. Garner even recounted one story where a deranged man said he would harm Garner’s son who was still in her stomach at the time.
“There are violent, mentally ill stalkers, who can now get close to my kids by simply following mobs of photographers and blending in. Like the very man who threatened to cut the babies out of my belly, who was arrested, waiting behind our daughter’s preschool, standing among the throng of paparazzi.”
Berry even said that a pap asked her daughter Nahla, “How do you feel, Nahla? You may not see your father again. How do you feel about that?’
Luckily for both women, and Adele, who traveled to Sacramento to share their story, their children won’t have to be harassed for money.
According to E! News, the bill says that harassment includes “conduct in the course of the actual or attempted recording of children’s images and/or voices, without express parental consent, by following their activities or lying in wait.” If paparazzi are caught behaving in such a manner, they can spend up to a year in jail and possibly be fined $10,000 for their first violation, $20,000 for their second and up to $30,000 for their third. They are still allowed to take pictures from afar and publish images of the children, but all in all, they can’t be sitting and waiting at their schools, or coming close to mother and child without express parental consent.
Halle Berry has gone on to thank Garner and Adele since news broke that the bill was made a law, and had this to say in a statement:
“On behalf of my children, it is my hope that this is the beginning of the end for those overly aggressive paparazzi whose outrageous conduct has caused so much trauma and emotional distress.”
I can’t imagine having people follow me and my children around all day and night just to snap a picture, and then be threatening about it, so I know this is a major win for Berry and co. But what do you think? Is the law necessary? Or is this paparazzi treatment something that should be expected?
It’s 2013. Homosexuals can marry and a black man is president, we thought we were done discriminating. So why is the media so hard on overweight people? These celebrities have been shamed, called names and changed forever by this negative media attention. Do they have the right to complain? Or is this part of the price of being famous?
“A Lot Of People Wanted To Try To Make Me The White Nicki Minaj”: Miley Cyrus On Her New Sound And Love For “Hood Music”
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably noticed that Miley Cyrus and her music have undergone a big change over the last few months. As our writer pointed out on Friday about Miley, she went from not listening to Jay-Z and hip-hop music, to twerking on camera and at concerts, taking pictures with every black person she could find, and tooting “that thang” up in the air on the set of her music videos and posting pictures of herself doing so on Instagram. Rihanna is somewhere giving the side-eye since risque social media behavior and raunchy pop music has been her forte for a while now.
But in an interview with Billboard for the new issue’s cover story, Cyrus discussed her musical influences, as well as an alleged pressure put on her to rap and be a “white Nicki Minaj.” But she says she’s not trying to rap, but rather, to put on the map a new sound she calls “count-step” (like dubstep’s mix of styles), which is country music, dubstep and Southern “trap” music, which can be explained as Dolly Parton, Adele and Juicy J on a track together:
“I’ve always wanted country-rock influences, but now I’m moving over to a more urban side,” she says. “It’s not a hip-hop album, though-it’s a pop album. I’m not coming in trying to rap. It’s more like, ‘I don’t see any girls out there doing what Miguel and Frank Ocean are doing.’” Cyrus pauses, giggling. “We’ve been calling it ‘count-step,’ because it’s like country, dubstep and a little trap,” she says. “I love the Lumineers, but I also love French Montana, Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa and Dolly Parton. If you could put Dolly, some Adele and Juicy J together, you’d have that weird balance.”
Later in the article, she elaborates on why, even though she could probably spit a few bars if she wanted to, she’s not looking to rap as she takes on this new “urban” sound:
“A lot of people wanted to try to make me the white Nicki Minaj,” Cyrus says. “That’s not what I’m trying to do. I love ‘hood’ music, but my talent is as a singer.”
I’m just trying to see what makes Nicki “hood,” when she’s clearly out here trying to be the next pop star. But to each their own.
Also in the article, producer Mike WILL Made It (who is behind many jams, including Ciara’s “Body Party,” Rihanna’s “Pour It Up” and 2 Chainz’s “No Lie”) says Miley’s new song “We Can’t Stop,” which has lyrics like “To my homegirls with the big butts/Shaking it like we at the strip club,” is a “mature” version of her past hit, “Party in the U.S.A.”
If the track-which debuts this week at No. 11 on the Hot 100 and enters the Hot Digital Songs chart at No. 3 with 214,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan-sounds more like a downtempo Rihanna song, that’s because it was originally intended as one. “It’s like a mature version of ‘Party in the U.S.A.,’” Atlanta-based producer Mike WiLL Made It says. ‘That’s even how I described it when I presented it to Rihanna, before I’d even met Miley.’
Hmmm, maybe that’s why Ri Ri passed on that one…
We’ll have to wait and see if Miley’s young fans will be into her new “count-step” and “urban” sound as much as they were into her twerking in a onesie, but since “We Can’t Stop” debuted on the Billboard charts with big numbers, it’s safe to say they’re feeling it. But are you feeling her new sound and style (which looks awfully familiar)?
Just because you haven’t heard another rendition of Alicia Keys’ latest single lately doesn’t mean the girl isn’t still on fire. A. Keys is one of three talented ladies covering Elle magazine’s May “Women in Music” issue.
According to the mag’s site:
For this year’s Women in Music Issue, the ELLE team traveled from L.A. to London to capture three of today’s brightest stars—Adele, Alicia Keys, and Rita Ora—for our rotating covers. How did we pull it off? Photographer Thomas Whiteside: “We photographed Adele at L.A.’s iconic EastWest Studios, where Frank Sinatra recorded his greatest hits….
Assistant Fashion Editor Sarah Schussheim: “Across the street, we shot Alicia on the rooftop of Siren Studios. She radiated cool New York glamour, relaxing and singing along to a Grace Jones album.” Photographer Doug Inglish: “Alicia brought her two-year-old son, Egypt, and played with him constantly.”
So far, Elle has only released Adele’s final cover, but Alicia Keys looks pretty gorgeous in this shot from inside the mag. MTV Style got a few additional insider details on her shoot, writing:
For Alicia’s shoot, she went ALL. OUT in a fiery red Jean Paul Gaultier turtleneck with a matching pout. According to the mag, she sang along to a Grace Jones album during the shoot to really channel that ’90s vibe, and we can tell!
So can we! These issues should hit newsstands any day now, but if you can’t wait, check out the shots of Adele and Rita Ora on the next couple pages.
What do you think?
I usually never watch the Grammys and honestly wasn’t planning on doing so last night. But when my friend asked me if I was going to participate in the festivities at brunch, I decided since I was avoiding the cold, to check it out. The show itself had high and low moments. It wasn’t fabulous but it certainly wasn’t the most boring thing I’ve seen. So, whether you missed it or want to relive it, check out the most memorable moments. The asterisks represent high points of the night.
Women rule pop music. They hold the top spots for digital downloads, money earned and albums sold. For the most part, the female dynamos dominating the music scene manage to coexist without stepping on each other’s toes. Each has a unique brand that allows them stay in their own lane.
This is why so much emphasis is placed on branding. In a crowded market, your brand sets you apart and allows you to attract an audience, even when other brands offer a similar product.
Developing your brand is as simple as embracing who you are and allowing your identity to influence how you do business. Here are a few concepts to help you articulate your brand:
- Mission – What do you do? What is your purpose?
- Offer – What are you selling?
- Relevance – How do you meet your audience’s needs?
- Values – What’s your personality? What is important to your brand?
Let’s look at how today’s reigning divas epitomize their brands. Which diva best matches your personal brand?
Rihanna – The Vamp
Mission: Rihanna’s image has morphed through many phases since “Umbrella” launched the star into the pop stratosphere. In recent years, Rihanna has settled on being pop culture’s symbol of youth and sexuality. An unrelenting stream of singles and gossip ensure the singer’s flirtatious presence is constant.
Offer: A good time, and all the mistakes that come with it.
- Stay on trend. Rihanna molds her style and sound to mimic the pulse of pop culture.
- Stay on the scene. Rihanna doesn’t give her audience a chance to miss her. She constantly releases music, and her life provides endless fodder for entertainment outlets.
- Remove your filter. Rihanna’s potty mouth, suggestive lyrics, and unbridled sex appeal create an image of youthful rebellion her audience loves.
Values: unapologetic, open, risqué, trendy, fun
So last Friday, I was at the Liberation Tour featuring Mary J. Blige and D’Angelo–by myself. Yeah I know, it sounds pretty ambitious to go to a concert by yourself. However, Groupon was offering tickets to the show at a deeply discounted rate and this isn’t the first time, or even the second time, I have went alone to a concert, so I said why the heck not? And, once you get over the initial “Oh my God, I’m here jamming by myself,” it’s not so bad. Plus, little bottles of tequila that you ingeniously snuck in through one of the many zippers on your purse helps to settle nerves you may have too. But that’s a story for another time.
So I’m sipping on some tequila, passing the time until the show started, when the announcer told us to put our hands together for Melanie Fiona. The crowd let out a half-hearted clap – all except two older ladies, sitting three rows before me, who were hooting and screaming from excitement just a little too much to be believable. I suspect that they too had been indulging in too many well-hidden spirits.
Anyway, I’ve seen Fiona perform before – in Miami during this party for the American Black Film Festival, which I attended. And yet, I didn’t remember if I liked her or not. In fact, I was drawing a blank as to what songs she actually sung – or even what she looked like. But I think I liked her – I think. Back to this concert, Fiona hit the stage with blonde hair in an all black getup with a long black train. She did the whole, “how you doing Philly” introduction thing before the band started playing. Her first song was something I kind of knew and thought I heard before, but didn’t know (but later found out that the name of the song was “Wrong Side of Love“), which received small applause and attention from the audience, who were either still making their way to their seats – you know – CP time and all – or milling around too much to really pay attention. Undeterred, Fiona led into her second song, “It Kills Me,” and I swear to God, I heard a collective “Ooooh” like everyone had the same epitome about her identity at the same time. Now hands were swaying in the air and the folks who were still making their way to their seats put a little extra bop in their step. She followed that song with “Give it to Me Right” and then proceeded right into “4AM.” Now folks were standing, doing a little two step, talking about “that’s my song,” and mumbling through the lyrics that they didn’t know before busting out in full ensemble of the chorus, which they did know.
Man that girl can really sing. I mean her voice is on point and sounds just as it does on the radio. Not to mention her great stage presence and the undeniable catchiness of her songs. In fact, most of the songs she belted out at the concert receive great radio rotations. So why isn’t Fiona a bigger star than what she is?
This is a question that has always bewildered me. It seems that some singers like a Rihanna or a Beyoncé become household names while others like a Fiona or a Heather Hedley or even a Tamia, as demonstrated by this article, simply can’t break the ceiling of stardom – no matter how many number ones they have under their belts. Heck even Keri Hilson has more name recognition than Fiona and we all know that Hilson can’t sing her way out of a shower with great acoustics.