Despite Lady Gaga’s notoriously lavish stage show, the most impressive piece of onstage magic at her October 6 Barcelona show was the pop singer’s incredible ability to expel the full contents of her stomach while continuing to sing and dance. Wow! How does she do it? Mother Monster would never use pre-recorded lip synch tracks, so it can only be concluded that Gaga is simply an incredible multitasker. She can probably even vomit while eating breakfast and reading the newspaper at the same time. Truly incredible.
In a fan-captured video, Gaga is seen walking down an onstage staircase during “The Edge of Glory.” She vomits once, begins to dance, vomits again, continues to dance, and vomits once more, just to get her point across. Though her trusty, sexily-clad backup dancer seems gravely worried about Gaga’s condition, his anxiety vanishes once she begins to dance again. Sure, she resumes puking uncontrollably behind him once he turns around, but the man dutifully does his job and continues to dance sexily. Ignorance is truly bliss, little monsters. Though some overly critical pop pundits might suggest that Gaga’s vomiting was an unintentional consequence of poor aerobic conditioning or negligent tour hygiene, there is surely a more generous interpretation of Gaga putting her body on the line like a good old sideshow act of yore: she was probably just trying to best Justin Bieber. That kid can barely even dance and vomit at the same time.
Gaga fans: want some more tracks to add to your pop playlist? Check out OurStage act Casey Desmond!
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No. 1 with a bullet: Ah, that once-relatively elusive and exclusive room at the top. The holy grail for the pop single, it used to be as high an honor and as highly desirable as gold and platinum albums. But what does it mean when a star as marginally talented as Katy Perry can hit No. 1 five times on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the space of one album (six times in one and a half albums, if you count Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection)? Or when Rihanna, who still hasn’t scored a chart-topping album in six tries, can do in less than six years what took Madonna a dozen (hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 one time short of a dozen)?
Does Teenage Dream have, well, a dream of ever being as iconic as Michael Jackson’s Bad (which spawned five No. 1 hits and thus shares the record for most No. 1 singles from one album with Teenage Dream), George Michael’s Faith (which produced four) or even Adele’s 21 (a contemporary that launched three), none of which had to be re-released as a special expanded edition in order to pad its hit list and sales tally? For all her No. 1 singles, will any Rihanna album thus far ever be considered as landmark as Madonna’s 1983 self-titled debut through 1989′s Like a Prayer, which covered a comparable career time frame? Rihanna’s yet to even break through the double-platinum glass ceiling.
Then there’s Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” which just spent nine weeks atop Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart, making it the biggest song of the summer, if not 2012. It also makes her a surefire nominee for Best New Artist at the 2013 GRAMMY Awards ceremony. She’ll face stiff-ish competition from Gotye and fun., who spent eight and six weeks at No. 1, respectively, with their respective singles, “Somebody That I Used to Know” and “We Are Young.” Continue reading ‘Sound And Vision: The Diminishing Returns of the No. 1 Single’
While performing “Basket Case,” frontman Billie Joe Armstrong noticed the one minute warning sign flashing, signifying that the band wrap up their set. He quickly halted the band’s performance to make room for an outlandish tantrum.
“One fucking minute!,” Armstrong screamed, “Let me tell you something. I’ve been around since 19 fucking 88! And you’re gonna give me one fucking minute? You’ve got to be kidding me! I’m not fucking Justin Bieber, you motherfuckers!”
As the teleprompter flashed that time was now up, Armstrong continued on with his outburst.
Forget cars, computers, and costly petrochemicals. These days, South Korea’s most famous export is pop star PSY, who has just set the Guinness World Record for the most liked YouTube video of all time. It only took a few weeks for the rapper/producer’s massive hit “Gagnam Style” to become a viral sensation with millions of hits, hundreds of parody videos, and, surprisingly, several workout routines. By nabbing the Guinness record, PSY’s colorful montage of explosions, invisible horse riding, and sketchy yoga voyeurism has outstripped former YouTube record holders Adele, Justin Bieber, and LMFAO. While “Gagnam Style” is generally regarded as a much–loved worldwide sensation, some have questioned its reproduction of negative Asian stereotypes in the West. Others are just comfortable with emphatically screaming “You know what I’m saying!” while sitting on the toilet in a public restroom.
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News flash! Eminem is really popular. But how popular is he, really? Sure he’s won a number of GRAMMYs. He’s scored hit after hit during a long, illustrious career that isn’t over yet. The guy even had a movie made about his life in which he played the lead role, himself. But now we have hard numbers and metrics from social media, the true measure of popularity in our digital age.
According to Facebook tracking service PageData, Eminem has more likes then any other person on Facebook. 60.1 million likes to be exact. That staggering number puts him ahead of fellow pop stars – and plugged-in social media mavens – like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber, amongst others. And by others, I mean every single human in the world that isn’t Marshall Mathers.
Eminem’s spot as the top public figure on Facebook looks to be secure for now. The rapper has the 96th overall fastest growing like count as of press time, with nearly 27,000 new daily likes. That position puts him at the 5th fastest growing like count for musicians, bested only by Train, Pitbull, Adele, and Black Moth Super Rainbow (?!).
Eminem can also boast of having the 5th most liked page on Facebook overall, though it doesn’t look like he’ll get the most liked page any time soon. To do that he would need to surpass the pages for Youtube (61.3 million likes), Texas HoldEm Poker (63.8 million likes), Facebook (70.3 million likes), and Facebook For Every Phone (117.5 million likes). That’s a lot of thumbs up.
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The producers and the Fox network already have to worry about sagging ratings (the average viewership in season 11 dropped 23 percent to below 20 million for the first time in nine years, and the show fell from No. 1 for the season—to No. 2—for the first time since 2005), not to mention less commercially viable Idols and external competition from The Voice, The X Factor, and pretty much any reality show that promises to make a nobody a star.
Now, the producers have to deal with pleasing Mariah Carey, who has signed on as a judge next season, replacing either Jennifer Lopez or Steven Tyler, both of whom left after two years in order to focus full-time on their music careers (and in the case of Lopez, her “acting” career, too).
I once interviewed Carey for an Us Weekly cover story, and I found her to be warm, intelligent and surprisingly funny, but she’s a diva through and through. (She actually walked into the living room of her New York City hotel suite cradling her miniature dog!) Idol will reportedly pay her a very diva-like sum of between $12 and $17 million a season (a hefty and not altogether worthwhile expense, considering that Carey is well past her pop heyday), and I don’t even want to think about her list of perks and demands.
Meanwhile, there are murmurings that Randy Jackson, the last remaining original judge, currently in contract negotiations, might be moving from the judge’s table into more of a mentoring role, in an attempt to revamp the show for season 12, launching in January of 2013. Sadly, that restructuring doesn’t extend to Ryan Seacrest, the inexplicably still-highly employable host, who has signed up for another two years at a pay rate of $15 million per season. Is it too late to invite ex-judge Ellen DeGeneres back for the job they should have offered her in the first place?
Carly Rae Jepsen is in luck. It looks like she won’t have to ensure the continuation of her celebrity run after “Call Me Maybe” falls from its current summit by relying on the hoopla generated by her own Nipplegate—nude photos that ended up being someone else’s.
Thanks to a call from Adam Young, the one-man band behind Owl City, Jepsen is about to relight the fire under her rising star the old-fashioned way: with a new hit. “Good Time,” her duet with Owl City, just debuted at No. 18 on Billboard’s Hot 100, which means that her breakout No. 1 single won’t forever be alone on her hit list.
It’s pop symbiosis at its most effective: He saves her from that pop purgatory known as one-hit wonderdom, where he had been languishing since 2009, when the Owl City single “Fireflies” hit No. 1 on the Hot 100, and she helps get him out of it. Sure Katy Perry could have accomplished the same thing in the middle of a dead sleep, but that hardly would have been a meeting of near-equals.