In many ways, 2014 was the year of the celebrity nude. Never before has ditching your clothes in the name of artistic expression — and free publicity — been so accepted and common-place. The leading ladies of pop took turns upping the ante in raunchy magazine shoots (let’s be honest, Rihanna won), while guys also got in on the act — posing in underwear and, in the case of one extremely popular boy band, sending a dick pic to fans.
To celebrate the nude achievements of our beloved pop divas, I’ve curated a gallery of their best topless moments. (Don’t worry, ladies. An equivalent male gallery is on the way!) Special mention must go to Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Rita Ora, Nicki Minaj, Madonna and RiRi for their tireless dedication to nudity. All of them went above and beyond — posing for multiple semi-clothed photo shoots. Peruse their finest pics up top. More »
Ingrid Michaelson covered Taylor Swift‘s “Clean” at Billboard‘s Women in Music event, held on December 12. As she explains, this performance was the closest she’ll come to claiming the 1989 song as her own.
“Taylor played me a few songs off her new record in her apartment,” Michaelson says. “We danced around and drank wine — and had pillow fights, yes. And this one song was just so beautiful that I begged her to send it to me, and she said no. I said, ‘Please?’ and she said, ‘No.’”
The original “Clean,” co-written by Imogen Heap, gently whirrs and ticks along — to quote music writer Jamieson Cox, like “an IKEA kitchen commercial come to life.” Michaelson sings her take at the piano, her voice wavering slightly. So when she says that line about an ex being a wine-stained dress she can’t wear anymore, she sounds like she’s still trying to convince herself that she’ll be okay.
Swift was there to accept the night’s top honor as Billboard Woman of the Year. One reason why, of course, was how 1989 made her gradual transition from homespun country to slick pop seem complete. Smash single “Shake It Off” has served as the most obvious example, though closer “Clean” has been her favorite. Watch Michaelson’s cover up top, then see Swift’s Woman of the Year speech below. More »
Epic Records is celebrating a banner year by releasing their first-ever festive EP I’ll Be Home For Christmas (due November 24) — curated by legendary producer/head honcho L.A. Reid. The seven-track stocking filler features a number of the label’s breakout stars including “All About That Bass” hitmaker Meghan Trainor and pop’s hottest girl band Fifth Harmony.
They cover Mariah Carey‘s yuletide classic “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, while Meghan contributes an original track called “I’ll Be Home”. The rest of the EP features a mix of new and previously released material. It’s nice to see Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson‘s beautiful “Winter Song” make the cut, while Tamar Braxton‘s “Sleigh Ride” is always worth a spin. See the full tracklist after the jump. More »
Ingrid Michaelson sneakily gave herself a winning pop makeover on new LP Lights Out and nobody seemed to notice until infectious lead single “Girls Chase Boys” caught fire on radio and slowly rose the Billboard Hot 100 — eventually becoming the 34-year-old’s second biggest hit. She looks get to repeat that success with uplifting anthem “Afterlife”.
After teasing the project with a topless cover, Ingrid finally unveiled the video today (October 29) and it’s a surprisingly moving affair that finds the bespectacled diva helping fans overcome their fears. It sounds corny and, to a certain extent, it is but you have to be made of rock not to be affected by the feel-good shenanigans. The pop game is an infinitely better place with the singer/songwriter in it. Watch up top. More »
It’s time for our quarterly round-up of raunchy pop diva pics! And, as usual, the leading ladies of music did not disappoint. In further proof that 2014 is the year of the nude, it was almost an embarrassment of the riches with everyone from 19-year-old newcomer Niykee Heaton to 56-year-old pop legend Madonna losing their clothes in the name of self expression/free publicity.
The usual candidates are all represented. Outtakes from Rihanna‘s iconic Lui magazine shoot surfaced online and got everyone clicking, while Miley Cyrus‘ Instagram account remains a valid alternative to PornHub. Honorable mentions go to Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea for proving that rap divas do it better. Peruse the (semi-NSFW) gallery up top. More »
Ingrid Michaelson is tastefully topless on the cover of new single “Afterlife”. There’s no explanation needed. Anything goes in 2014, so I’d be more shocked if the veteran singer/songwriter was fully clothed. Enough about the glamorous artwork. More importantly, the song is really, really good and should find love at radio like surprise hit “Girls Chase Boys”.
A collaboration with Brian Lee (Lady Gaga‘s “Americano”) and Adam Pallin, “Afterlife” is a feel-good anthem in the mold of Sara Bareilles‘ “Brave”. Which is a big compliment. “We all (we all), we’re gonna be alright, we’ve got (we got) we always got the fight in us,” Ingrid sings in the genuinely anthemic chorus. “We all (we all), we’re gonna live tonight, like there’s no tomorrow because we’re the afterlife.” Check it out after the jump. More »
slyly released one of the year’s best pop songs way back in February and it’s taken half a year for most of us to realize it. The 34-year-old singer/songwriter is currently enjoying the second biggest hit of her long career with “Girls Chase Boys”, which is hovering just outside the top 50 of the Billboard Hot 100. (Only 2007 smash “The Way I Am”
has charted higher).
What makes the lead single from Lights Out so good? Well, it’s possibly the most nonchalant break-up anthem of all time (“all the broken hearts in the world still beat, let’s not make it harder than it has to be”). It’s the musical equivalent of breaking up with someone by texting “lol bye”, which gives it universal appeal. Oh and the gender-bending video — a cute homage to Robert Palmer‘s iconic “Simply Irresistible” visual — doesn’t hurt. Watch up top. More »
Did You Hear?
:: A minor-league baseball team plans to destroy Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus records due to their “musical disease.” The event has been dubbed “Disco Demolition 2: You Better Belieb It,” as inspired by the 1979 event in Chicago. [Los Angeles Times]
:: David Bowie hints that he will release new music soon. His last album, 2013′s The Next Day, was his first in a decade. [Pitchfork]
:: T.I. performed in the premiere episode of VH1′s new Soundclash series, produced by Questlove and hosted by Diplo. When the Atlanta rapper performed “Live Your Life,” Fall Out Boy and London Grammar filled in for Rihanna. [Stereogum]
:: Rihanna apologized for a contentious tweet she sent with the hashtag “#FreePalestine.” She says that she sent the tweet out on accident, without intending to take sides on the international conflict. [Billboard]
:: Girls creator Lena Dunham has one nagging question about MAGIC!‘s #1 hit “Rude” – has the girl mentioned “even consented to marrying a Canadian reggae singer?” Ingrid Michaelson‘s got answers. [Billboard]
Find out what music you can catch on TV today after the jump. More »
Yesterday, Colbie Caillat
surprised fans by pulling a small-scale Beyonce
and releasing Gypsy Heart Side A
, a five-track EP that is to precede the singer-songwriter’s full-length Gypsy Heart
album (due out later this year). The Babyface
-produced “Try” serves as a single for this particular appetizer of Caillat’s.
“We did four or five songs. I love him as a producer and writer,” Caillat told Idolator a few months back while discussing her work with Babyface. “I just tell him any style that I’m in the mood for and we write it. It’s not like he’s pigeonholed in being an R&B producer.”
The lyric video for “Try” features Caillat, her fans and other famous faces — like Sheryl Crow, Miranda Lambert, Kelly Osbourne, Sara Bareilles, Lady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott, Natasha Bedingfield, Christina Perri and Jessie J — going sans makeup in an effort to spread the message that beauty truly is on the inside. More »
At the domestic box office, Disney’s Oscar-winning Frozen
is currently about $93,000 shy of hitting the $400 million mark. And on the Billboard 200
, the movie’s soundtrack has now racked up an 11th week at the top, thus surpassing the 10-week run of The Lion King in 1994
to become the longest-reigning #1 soundtrack from an animated feature in the chart’s history. And, thanks to Easter holiday shopping, Frozen
sold another 259,000 copies — the album’s best sales week since its November 2013 release.
This leaves the Top 10′s new entries to debut in the #2 through #5 positions, including Jason Derulo‘s third LP Talk Dirty at #4 (his first Top 10 album, with 44,000 sold) and Ingrid Michaelson at #5 with Lights Out (37,000).
Anyone think Iggy Azalea‘s The New Classic is posing any kind of threat to a 12th week the top for Frozen? Nah, probably not. More »