The 14 Best Pop EPs Released In 2014

10 Best Of 2014, As Chosen By You
10 Best Of 2014, As Chosen By You
We asked Idolator readers to vote for their favorite albums from 2014.

Album sales have dropped precipitously in the last few years, but the format isn’t dead yet, at least when our biggest stars like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Justin Timberlake are concerned. But what about a stretch when most of those stars don’t release an album? In a year when Billboard replaced the album with “album equivalent units,” the biggest storyline in pop music was the absence of albums from the likes of Rihanna, Adele, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne. Think back to the buzziest pop moments of the year, and most of them were entirely separate from the album cycle: the “7/11″ video, the Shmoney Dance. Hell, Drake dominated his genre by releasing a few loosies and features.

With this changing role of the LP, the EP has seen a boost in relevance. Once the realm of half-formed ideas, album session scraps, and stopgap material for diehards, the EP is more important than ever as a statement of artistic purpose. For acts fighting to reach that top tier, the EP can help refine an aesthetic or identity, while labels can invest in a viral star and test the waters with an EP instead of rushing to production on a full-length flop for a Kreayshawn scenario.

So big-picture, it may have been a down year for pop, but at the increasingly vibrant EP level, some stellar things happened. Here’s our list of our 14 favorite EPs from 2014. More »

Miley Cyrus Is The Undisputed Queen Of Nudes: See The 18 Sexiest Pics She Posed For In 2014

Miley Cyrus Strips For Terry Richardson
Miley Cyrus Strips For Terry Richardson
Miley's iconic Terry Richardson photo shoot is still shocking. See 16 of the diva's sexiest NSFW pics.

“I’m a female rebel, can’t you tell?” sang Miley Cyrus on Bangerz highlight “4×4,” and we all know she wasn’t lying. The 22-year-old has been flying through a fucks-free zone since dropping the aforementioned LP. The diva records what she likes (from ’70s folk covers to quirky collaborations with alt-rockers The Flaming Lips), shops at the same place as Courtney Stodden and gets naked as often as possible. All of which makes her utterly iconic.

Even by Miley’s lofty standards, 2014 was a banner year for nudity. While she will never beat Terry Richardson‘s soft-porn shoot for sheer shock value, the pop star makes up for it with consistency. The “Adore You” hitmaker flashed a nipple for W magazine, shared nude Bangerz tour booklet outtakes and stripped off completely for V magazine. She also flooded Instagram with an avalanche of raunchy edits that made life worth living. See the social media pioneer’s sexiest snaps up top. More »

Justin Timberlake & Jessica Biel Are Really Having A Baby! (According To Joey Fatone): Morning Mix

Did You Hear?

:: There has been speculation that Jessica Biel is expecting a baby with Justin Timberlake, but Joey Fatone just spilled the beans! In an interview with InTouch Weekly, he told the magazine “[Justin] told me a while ago, and I kept my mouth shut. But now I can talk about it!” Well, there’s that! Congratulations to the couple! [Billboard]

:: James Franco is clearing up a rumor that he had sex with Lana Del Rey. Instead, the actor wants to have a coital experience to the singer’s music. The two are actually good friends: “There’s a weird thing with creative types. Sometimes I love a person’s work and, like, I’m just so enamored with that and their persona in their work. But outside of that, it’s like, our dynamic is we’re just kind of friends, we get along so well. But all this sexual attraction is for the person and the work,” Franco said. Thanks for the clarification! [E! News]

:: In today’s hilarious news, NME magazine announced Taylor Swift and Harry Styles are up for Villian Of The Year in their annual music awards! What makes it even better is that the artists used to date. Other people in the category are Russell Brand, Bono and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Oh, One Direction is also up for Worst Band Of The Year. Ouch! [NME]

:: All parents who had to suffer through Frozen with your kids, you can now breathe a sigh of relief! The animated film’s director Jennifer Lee is now apologizing for the inescapable anthem, “Let It Go.” She said, “A year ago, I’d meet people who, when they found out who I was, they’d say, ‘Oh, we love the songs! We sing them all the time.’ Now they’re like, ‘Yep, we’re still listening to those songs.’ I’ve gone from, ‘Thank you,’ to, ‘Sorry!’” [THR]

Find out what music you can catch on TV today below. More »

Vance Joy Performs Breakthrough Hit “Riptide” On ‘Conan’

vance-joy-riptide
Your Left Hand Man
Vance Joy Interview
Vance Joy Interview
We spoke to Vance Joy about his smash hit "Riptide" and killer debut LP 'Dream Your Life Away.'

Vance Joy is one of 2014′s unlikelier success stories. While the rest of the game seems to be doing more, the Australian singer/songwriter did less. All he needed was a ukelele and a demo that had been sitting on his computer for several years to land a global hit. “Riptide” reached number one in James’ (his real name) homeland and eventually sold quadruple platinum. It wasn’t long before the song was a smash across Europe.

That leaves American chart domination and Vance is working on it. “Riptide” is hovering just outside the top 30 on the Billboard Hot 100, while his debut LP Dream Your Life Away reached the top 20. His campaign should get a substantial boost when he hits the road as the opening act for Taylor Swift‘s 1989 world tour. To get some idea of what the Aussie sounds like live, check out his typically brilliant performance on Conan up top. More »

Carly Rae Jepsen’s New Single Is Called “I Really Like You” According To Interscope’s Promotional Website

Carly Rae Covers "Part Of Your World"
Carly Rae Covers "Part Of Your World"
Carly Rae Jepsen covers "Part Of Your World" from 'The little Mermaid'. Have a listen.

Say what you like about Carly Rae Jepsen (one-hit wonder, 2012′s Meghan Trainor etc.), the Canadian songbird’s Kiss LP is still a near-perfect pop record. Which other diva could chirp convincingly about holding hands and making wedding rings of string while staring 30 in the face? Anyway, the “Call Me Maybe” diva could be on the brink of 2014′s most relevant comeback. According to Interscope’s promo website, she has a new single on the way called “I Really Like You.”

So when does this gem drop? Early 2015 is as specific as the listing gets. That’s still pretty exciting news. For a while there, I wondered if we would ever get new music. It will be interesting to see which direction Carly takes. In June 2013, the 29-year-old said she was hoping to mix folk music with electronica. “I have a folky side in my blood from what I used to listen to with my parents,” the pop princess said. “And it’ll be fun to incorporate that more in the verses of the pop songs.” Can’t wait. More »

Janet Jackson Makes A Rare Public Appearance, Visits Children At Unicef Refugee Camp In Syria

Beyonce Dressed Up As Janet For Halloween
Beyonce Dressed Up As Janet For Halloween
Beyonce rocked a Janet Jackson costume for Halloween, while Blue Ivy went as Michael.

Janet Jackson has become something of a recluse since marrying Wissam Al Mana. The pop legend shut down rumors of a comeback and has dedicated her time to charitable causes. The baby-faced 48-year-old (how is this possible?) was recently snapped visiting children at Zaatari refugee camp with her billionaire hubby, and she looks absolutely radiant and at peace with her new lifestyle.

While I’m glad Janet has found contentment, I feel like pop music needs her more than ever. A batch of new artists have started to emerge that channel her trademark sound (hello, Tinashe) but nobody has been able to do it as well as Miss Jackson. In fact, you can’t help but think a comeback would be very well-received at the moment given that her speciality — electro-tinged R&B — is now a radio staple. See more pics of the much-missed diva after the jump. More »

Bebe Rexha Unveils Her “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy” Cover Art And Shares Two New Snippets: Listen

Bebe Rexha Shows Us Crazy In New Snippet
Bebe Rexha Shows Us Crazy In New Snippet
Bebe Rexha shared a brief preview of new single "I'm Gonna Show You Crazy," due late Dec.

If seasonal fare makes you gaga, Bebe Rexha‘s new single “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy” (due December 23) is the perfect antidote. A fiery fuck-you anthem, the rising diva’s follow-up to “I Can’t Stop Drinking About You” is a ferocious dance/rock concoction that could be just the radio hit she needs to make the leap from Next Big Thing to chart-busting pop sensation.

Today (December 17), the 25-year-old unveiled the cover and it finds her looking like she’s about to cut a bitch. Bebe is crouched on the ground next to a no-trespass sign with a mean look on her face. I love it. The newcomer, who also appears on Pitbull and David Guetta‘s new albums, also shared two new snippets of her new single — one of them accompanied by footage of Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted. Watch after the jump. More »

Cher’s Camp Christmas Merchandise Is Absolutely Everything: 10 Gifts That Keep On Giving (Long After December)

Cher Loves Lady Gaga's Jazz Album
Cher Loves Lady Gaga's Jazz Album
Cher and Lady Gaga have obviously kissed and made up. They can't stop raving about each other.

Struggling to find the perfect gift for someone special? Looking for a way to jazz up your apartment? Hoping to come out in style? Well, stop stressing because Cher‘s got you! The legendary diva’s online store has been updated with Christmas merchandise and let’s just say she makes Santa redundant with her glittering, glamorous and cost-effective wares.

Where to start? There’s a variety of fashionable t-shirts (the one with Cher perched on a candy cane is pure gold), a hoodie for the edgier fan and a selection of coffee mugs. Imagine how jealous your colleagues are going to be when they see you sipping from one of these future collector’s items! Personally, I need the Christmas sweater — a bargain at $55 — and one of those striking tree ornaments. Peruse the 68-year-old’s Xmas goodies up top. More »

FKA Twigs Is Fresh-Faced In The January Issue Of ‘Vogue’: See All Four Photos

2014's Best Pop Singles
2014's Best Pop Singles
Idolator's editors choose their favorite tunes from this year!

FKA Twigs has become known for her artistic and unique image, but for the January 2015 issue of Vogue US the singer strips down to reveal a fresh face! In the fashion editorial, the UK native loses her signature slicked-down baby hairs (yet still has her bushy brows) and flaunts a natural and super-cute girly look.

The new editorial spread (shot by legendary photographer Patrick Demarcheliertops off FKA Twigs’ awesome year in music, as she released her debut album LP1 (which features “Video Girl” and “Two Weeks”), teamed up with Google Glass, is dating Robert Pattinson and even made our list of Pop’s Class of 2014! More »

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” Gets An Unofficial (But Very Cute) Acoustic Remix: Listen

Mariah Carey's Christmas Concert Review
Mariah Carey's Christmas Concert Review
Mariah Carey kicked off the first of six Christmas concerts in New York City in flawless style.

Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Still a steady seller 20 years after its initial release (it’s the highest-selling festive anthem on iTunes this year — sorry, Ariana Grande), the Xmas classic is near indestructible. I mean, it even survived that abominable rehash with Justin Bieber. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise then, that song also sounds great stripped right back to basics.

Kudos to the DJ that decided to give “All I Want For Christmas” an acoustic remix. Instead of using a live performance, the mellow interpretation plays around with the original stems. That means the vocal is absolutely on-point and we’re treated to goosebump-inducing vocal runs. Trust me, the big finale will push Lambs to the very edge of sanity. This is a great idea. Maybe Mimi can treat us to an acoustic Xmas album next year? Listen after the jump. More »