Beth GarrabrantWhen Taylor Swift released her surprise album folklore, she also released a music video she directed for her first single, "cardigan." Now an article in Vanity Fairdetails how she managed to make the video despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oscar-nominated cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, who's also worked with Taylor on her video for "The Man," teamed up with her again for "cardigan." The clip has three settings: A cabin, a forest and a stormy sea. But shooting on location wasn't a possibility, mostly because Taylor didn't want anyone to find out what she was doing.
So, Prieto tells Vanity Fair, the whole thing was done indoors on an L.A. soundstage, and everyone involved wore a mask and a face shield. Parts of the cameras were controlled remotely, so Taylor could be shot in close-up without breaking social distancing rules.
The whole thing was conceptualized and shot in a few days, under such secrecy that the song wasn't even playing during the shoot.
"I had heard it myself, but it was a very, very private, a very secure little thing,” Prieto said of the song. “So that’s why I knew where the scenes were happening, but the crane operator and everybody else wasn’t really privy to it.”
“I really like it when a director like Taylor has a very specific perspective and yet, she’s always listening to what others have to say...," Prieto says, adding, "[S]he doesn’t have this sort of fragile ego where...the director...is a little dictator. She’s not like that.”
Meanwhile, folklore has sold more than two million copies worldwide so far. It debuted at number-one in the U.K., making Taylor the first and only female artist to score five number-one studio albums in that country in the 21st century.
Sony Music EntertainmentAs part of her ongoing series of Friday releases commemorating the 30th anniversary of her debut album, Mariah Carey has dropped a bunch of nostalgic content featuring three hits from her second album: "Emotions," "Make It Happen" and "Can't Let Go".
First, there are new Emotions and Make It Happen remix EPs on all the streaming services right now. The Make It Happen one features three different versions of the song, as well as two live takes: One from New York's Madison Square Garden and one from one of theVH1 Divas Live specials.
The Emotions EP features five different versions of the song, including a nearly eight-minute-long club mix by C&C Music Factory's David Cole and Robert Clivillés.
In addition, Mariah has released a video of her performance of "Can't Let Go" on the British TV show Top of the Pops. It's available on YouTube now. Mariah calls it "Still one of my favorite songs to this day."
Norbert SchoernerLady Gaga was supposed to make a surprise appearance today at a big event at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, but it was canceled at the last minute for fear that people wouldn't follow social distancing rules, reports Page Six.
Gaga and her "Rain on Me" duet partner Ariana Grande were supposed to surprise fans at Voss Events' "Drive 'N Drag," where fans are invited to remain in or on top of their cars to watch a lineup of top drag performers. However, the Rose Bowl nixed the appearance because of a similar event starring The Chainsmokers that got out of hand in New York's Hamptons.
“Gaga really wanted to do it, but the Rose Bowl pulled the plug because of what happened in the Hamptons,” an insider tells Page Six. "They feared that once the crowd realized who it was, they would run toward the stage, not social distance, and they [were afraid] they’d lose their license.”
The event will proceed as planned, except without the pop divas.
On Thursday, Gaga and Ariana were nominated for nine MTV VMAs each, with "Rain On Me," earning multiple nods, including Video of the Year.
"I am so grateful and so blessed to have 9 #VMAs nominations this year for my album Chromatica, for 'Rain On' Me, and other performances I’ve given," Gaga wrote on Instagram. "This is such a difficult time for people all over the world, I really honor how lucky I am to have a day like today."
"I hope you all will celebrate yourselves in this moment, everyone should be nominated for an award right now," she continued. "For bravery, for courage, for the strong human spirit. God bless you and I love you thank you for this gift today."
Warner Music NashvilleHot on the heels of their new single’s release on Friday, Dan Shay dropped a gravity-defying video to match the dazzling vocal acrobatics of “I Should Probably Go to Bed.”
The clip begins inside an old mansion filled with vintage appliances and a recurring aesthetic theme of red and yellow. Bandmates Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney find themselves lost in different sections of the house, and before long, things start to go sidewise -- literally.
Whiskey glasses topple, furniture levitates, a hallway fills with fluttering sheets of loose paper and the two country stars find themselves sliding from wall to wall, as the song’s emotion ramps up to a climax. Meanwhile, in the town below, people stop at intersections and basketball courts to stare up at the sky in amazement, as the old house floats in the air above them.
“I Should Probably Go to Bed” follows “10,000 Hours,” the duo’s 2019 hit duet with pop superstar Justin Bieber. Dan Shay have been teasing their new single for several days, dropping short trailer teasers of the track and music video on social media.
If the duo plan on following a traditional album release format, then “I Should Probably Go to Bed” is likely the second single from an upcoming, as-yet-unannounced fourth album.
While the original song had a country twang, this new version contains rocking guitars and pounding drums. It also features some slight tweaks to the lyrics, though the straightforward chorus stays the same.
“Don't you think it's time we put a woman in the White House/With a whole new attitude/We could use a little female common sense/Down on Pennsylvania Avenue,” Sheryl sings.
“When I first recorded this song 8 years ago, I was hopeful that we, as a nation, would seize the moment and put a Woman in the White House,” she says in a statement. “That did not happen - but our movement of strength grows as we take to the streets and make our voices heard.”
She adds, “We must not stop there. It is time for us to show up to the polls, be seen and heard as the great leaders we are.”
While there isn't a female presidential candidate this year, Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden has vowed to choose a woman as his running mate.
Liza VoloshinOn July 14, Katy Perry tweeted that all her niece wanted for her fourth birthday was something special to dip her chicken nuggets in. Well, mission accomplished.
"The only thing my 3 year old niece has request for her 4th birthday is a personalized bottle of her OWN @HVRanch to dip her nuggets in...so she doesn’t have to share w/her 6 year sister...or me tbh," Katy tweeted. "This request has not only warmed my heart but also confirms that she is family."
Well, Hidden Valley Ranch has now come through for Katy's niece. The company tweeted a photo of a bottle of the dressing in a gift box with a birthday-themed label featuring a rainbow and a dog wearing a party hat, plus the words "Happy Birthday" on the neck of the bottle.
The photo also featured a special message from the company as part of the gift wrapping: "Happy Birthday! Your favorite aunt got you your very own bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch for your birthday nuggets! Don't worry, you don't have to share. We hope you have the tastiest day ever!"
"OMG I WIN BEST AUNTIE! THANK YOUUU @HVRanch," a delighted Katy responded. "VEGA IS GONNA FREAK OUT WHEN SHE GETS TO POUR THIS OVER HER CHICKEN NUGS LOL."
Samir Hussein/WireImageMichael Bublé is a proud Canadian, and so it's no surprise he's a huge hockey fan. That's why the NHL has tapped him to perform the Canadian national anthem tomorrow as the National Hockey League returns to the ice.
On August 1, the start of the 2020 Stanley Cup qualifiers will begin with a slate of five games, originating from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto and Rogers Place in Edmonton, and airing worldwide on networks including NBC, NBCSN, NHL Network and NHL.TV in the U.S.
Michael will sing "O Canada" before the Blackhawks-Oilers and the Canadiens-Pittsburgh games; the U.S. national anthem will be performed by NHL team anthem singers. There will be no fans in the arenas.
All players will wear helmet decals reading #WeSkateFor, to recognize League's new initiative of that name, which will honor and support community heroes, racial justice activists, front-line and healthcare workers.
Courtesy ABCSince filling hotel ballrooms or stadiums with screaming -- and singing -- hopefuls is no longer an option amid the COVID-19 pandemic, American Idol is taking its auditions on the road virtually for the spring 2021 edition of the show.
Starting August 10, the show will kick off its "Idol Across America" remote auditions, which will take place in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C. for the first time ever. To sign up for a chance to virtually audition for an American Idol producer, visit www.americanidol.com/auditions.
All the details are there -- you just need to be between the ages of 15 and 28. You're allowed to audition during any date, regardless of where you actually live. The show will use "custom-built Zoom technology" to hold the auditions.
Earlier this year, American Idol became the first reality competition series to air remotely, with contestants performing and judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry commenting from their respective homes. Singer Just Sam was crowned the winner on May 17.
The audition dates are as follows:
Delaware, Florida and Ohio (Aug 10) Louisiana, Missouri and Wisconsin (Aug 12) Arizona, Oregon and Washington (Aug. 14) Georgia, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Rhode Island (Aug 16) Open Call Auditions (Aug 17) Alabama, Arkansas and Kansas (Aug 18) Idaho, New Mexico and Utah (Aug. 20) Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas (Aug 22) Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia (Aug 24) Open Call Auditions (Aug 25) Iowa, Mississippi and Oklahoma (Aug 26) Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota (Aug 28) Connecticut, New Jersey and New York (Aug 30) Colorado, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming (Sep 1) Maine, South Carolina and West Virginia (Sep 3) Alaska, California and Hawaii (Sep 5) Kentucky, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania (Sep 7) Massachusetts, North Carolina and Vermont (Sep 9)
Frank Micelotta/ImageDirectElton John's classic concert series, which he's been hosting on his YouTube channel for the past few weeks, is wrapping up later in the day on Friday with a show that Elton calls "one of the most memorable concerts of my career."
This classic concert video is a combination of two nights that Elton did in 2000 at New York's Madison Square Garden, one of his favorite places to play. Joining him for the show were a slew of famous guests, including Billy Joel, Bryan Adams, Mary J. Blige, Kiki Dee, Irish pop star Ronan Keating and more.
In addition to performing hits from his entire career, Elton also performed a version of The Beatles' "Come Together," a song he'd never before played live.
Among the performances you'll see: Bryan Adams joining Elton for "Sad Songs (Say So Much)," "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" with Kiki Dee, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" with Billy Joel, "You Song" with Ronan Keating, and "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" with Mary J. Blige.
The show premieres today -- Friday, July 30 -- at 3 p.m. ET on Elton's YouTube channel. As with all of the shows in Elton's classic concert series, fans are asked to raise funds for the Elton John AIDS Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Fund, either with a direct donation or by buying exclusive merch.
EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty ImagesLady Gaga has been engaged twice, but both engagements ended before she could walk down the aisle. Now, according to a new report, Gaga is going to skip the engagement and go straight to the wedding.
An insider tells OK!that Gaga plans to elope to Las Vegas with entrepreneur Michael Polansky, who's been her boyfriend since December of 2019.
“She’s finally found someone she can see herself spending the rest of her life with,” dishes the insider. “They’ve been talking about marriage and decided what they both want is to elope. It’s totally Gaga’s style.”
This same insider claims the couple, who made it Instagram official on Super Bowl Weekend, plan a short ceremony at a Vegas chapel, during which Gaga will sing a new song to her groom. A "wild party and some gambling" will follow.
Even the details of Gaga's outfit are apparently known to this so-called insider: They claim, "Gaga wants to wear a hot pink dress, heels and a feather boa, and the rings are being designed as we speak by a Beverly Hills jeweler. It’ll be a fun, lively and memorable night.”
But considering that artists returning to Las Vegas to resume their residencies is something for which nobody knows the timeline, it looks like it'll be impossible to confirm this rumor for quite some time.
ABC AudioIn a new post on her official Facebook page, Stevie Nicks shares a recent journal entry in which she implores people to wear masks and take action to help speed the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the note, dated July 17 though just posted, the Fleetwood Mac singer writes that she's just recovered from a stomach ache and, as she listens to music, is happy to be "feeling slightly euphoric and inspired to be alive and still be able to feel young and safe here in my house."
She then notes that while she currently feels hopeful, happy and safe, "Tomorrow when I wake in the afternoon, the news will negate all this goodness until tomorrow night, late when I come back to this place where everything is possible."
Nicks then encourages people to "wear a mask and stay in as much as possible," and to "make it your mission to do all that you can to stop the virus before someone you know falls really ill."
She continues, "In order for us all to get back to our former lives -- we must all change into spiritual warriors -- we must make it our mission to fight this virus."
Stevie adds, "I want to sing for you again. I want to put on those high black suede platform boots and dance for you again. I want you to forget the world and sing with me. Please don't give up on humanity and let this virus win this war. It's up to us now…because nobody is helping us. Nobody is coming to our rescue."
Nicks finishes her entry by paraphrasing the Rolling Stones song "Wild Horses": "I may have my freedom…But I don't have a lot of time."
Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BETIn the past, Brie Larson has posted videos of herself covering songs by the likes of Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus. Now, she’s adding Taylor Swift to her repertoire.
The Captain Marvel actress shared a video of herself strumming a blue electric guitar and singing a stripped-down "the 1," the opening track on Taylor's new album folklore. She dedicated the track to one of her Swiftie friends.
A couple of weeks ago, Brie posted a video covering Ariana’s song “Be Alright.” She’d previously covered Ariana’s “God Is a Woman” and Miley’s “Slide Away.”
For those who don’t remember, before Brie was an Oscar-winner, she was signed to Casablanca Records. In 2005, she released her debut solo album, called Finally Out of P.E.
Alasdair McLellanAs promised, Sam Smith has released their new single, "My Oasis," featuring Grammy-nominated Nigerian Afro-fusion star Burna Boy. There's also a lyric video to go with it.
In the midtempo song, Sam imagines being in an emotional desert, and sings, "Oh, babe, I really need you/My feelings gettin' deeper/My mind is in a free fall/But there's nothing I can do when it comes to you/You play with my emotions/I'm flowin' like the ocean/I pray for your devotion/My oasis."
"This track has been a beautiful release of emotions for me during this time,” says Sam. "I’ve been a fan of Burna Boy for years now and am so happy to have a tune with him.”
On Instagram, they wrote of the song, "I hope you love it like I do. Miss you and sending buckets of cyber love to you all."
"My Oasis" follows Sam's recent singles "To Die For" and "I'm Ready," the latter a collaboration with Demi Lovato. Their third album was delayed due to COVID-19; we're still waiting for a release date.
ABC/Craig SjodinElton John celebrated 30 years of sobriety this week and remarked on how far he's come.
"Reflecting on the most magical day having celebrated my 30th Sobriety Birthday," the 73-year-old wrote in an Instagram post Wednesday. "So many lovely cards, flowers and chips from my sons, David, friends in the Program, staff at the office and in our homes."
"I’m truly a blessed man. If I hadn’t finally taken the big step of asking for help 30 years ago, I’d be dead," Elton continued. "Thank-you from the bottom of my heart to all the people who have inspired and supported me along the way."
Elton included photos of cards he received commending him for the achievement, a 30-years cake and his AA sobriety medallion.
The five-time Grammy award winner last year reflected on battling alcoholism and getting help in a moving conversation with Variety.
"After I finally surrendered and decided to seek treatment for my addiction, there came a point when I wondered if I would ever go back to work as Elton John again," he shared, before opening up about his feelings of self-loathing and reaching "the absolute bottom" of his life.
"All I wanted to do was get well," he said. "I put all of the energy I had left toward my recovery. For the first time in a very long time, I listened to others intently as I came to understand that I had so much to learn."
Reflecting on the most magical day having celebrated my 30th Sobriety Birthday. So many lovely cards, flowers and chips from my sons, David, friends in the Program, staff at the office and in our homes. I’m truly a blessed man. pic.twitter.com/Oxkp0uwpbb
AdaChristopher/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesCalifornians in the San Fernando area were shaken by a magnitude 4.2 earthquake at 4:30 a.m. Thursday morning. While many young kids were probably scared out of their minds, Kelly Clarkson says her two little ones took it all in stride.
"My children are in my arms and we are awake too early because of that earthquake but now they’re discussing how their ninja skills would totally help in this time," she tweeted. "I’m just happy they’re more interested and curious about it and less scared. Hallelujah!"
Kelly followed that up with a tweet saying, "Me after earthquake: We have to go back to bed. My children:" and then posted a GIF of a cat pawing someone sleeping, with the caption, "HI ARE YOU AWAKE."
One fan responded, "it’s over. Get up, throw down some frozen waffles & pray for a nap later."
The earthquake is just one more unneeded complication of 2020 for Kelly, who's already gone through months of quarantine in a small cabin in Montana, and filed for divorce from her husband of nearly seven years.
My children are in my arms and we are awake too early because of that earthquake but now they’re discussing how their ninja skills would totally help in this time 🤣💁🏼♀️ I’m just happy they’re more interested and curious about it and less scared. Hallelujah! https://t.co/MHm925Ezd6
Beth GarrabrantTaylor Swift has dropped yet another version of her latest single, "cardigan." The official version, along with the video, came first, and then she offered fans a limited edition version that includes the original voice memo she sent to her co-writer, Aaron Dessner of The National, complete with alternate lyrics. Now, there's a third version.
The "cardigan (cabin in candlelight)" version is now available on streaming services, as well as on Taylor's website, in a variety of different formats and bundles. This version strips away the electronic flourishes of the original song, with Taylor's vocals right up front, backed with what sounds like an electric piano and maybe a guitar.
You only have until 11:59pm E.T. today to purchase this version of "cardigan." The offer for the voice memo version ends tonight at that time as well.
"cardigan" is the first single from Taylor's surprise release, folklore, which is on track to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart.
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty ImagesIf you've been scrolling through Instagram over the past week, chances are you've come across a series of black and white photos from women along with the phrase "#ChallengeAccepted." While many have happily joined the empowering trend, not many know how it initially started.
Leave it to Pink, who used her platform to educate her 7.9 million followers about the challenge's distressing objective.
As it turns out, the challenge was created to raise awareness about women being murdered in Turkey.
"These murders are so called 'honor' killings and are deeply rooted in Turkey's history," the post explains. "Victims are often blamed; accused of being disloyal, impure or somehow deserving. Their killers are mostly let off or given a 'slap on the wrist.'"
The campaign originated after the murder of a 27-year-old woman named Pinar Gültekin, who was killed by "her jealous former partner." Protests have swept across Turkey in response to her and other women's unjust killings -- calling it "femicide."
As these protests are going on, the Turkish government is reportedly "moving to abolish the 'Istanbul Convention' which is the only thing protecting women from widespread harm."
So, why are women being challenged to post a black and white photo? The post reveals that it was "a way for the women of Turkey to band together with a B&W picture to say that any one of them could be next on the front page of the newspaper."
In response to the new information, Pink urged her fans to learn more about the disturbing violence in Turkey and shared a handful of organizations, like American University's Turkish Cultural Club, that they can support.
AristaCanadian artist JP Saxe and singer/songwriter Julia Michaels' hit duet "If the World Was Ending" isn't about COVID-19, but feels like it could be. It was the first song they ever wrote together, and JP remembers how quickly Julia made the song sound "dark and romantic."
At first, JP only had one line of the song -- "If the world was ending, you'd come over, right?" -- but Julia picked right up on it.
"Very shortly after hearing [the line], she [sang], 'You'd come over and you'd stay the night,'" he recalls. "And then we talked a little more about the idea, and I will never forget her singing...the last line of the chorus: 'There wouldn't be a reason why/we would even have to say goodbye.'"
"I got chills in my whole body," JP remembers. "Like, 'Oh, my God, it's so dark and so romantic...I love it so much.'"
JP explains why the song, originally released in October, captures our present moment.
"When we wrote the song, we had no idea anything like this was going to happen," he says. "But I think the song speaks to the part of you that wants to put love before everything else. And I think we are living in that kinda time."
Speaking of love: JP and Julia didn't just click musically, they also ended up falling for each other.
"I think we both just had a lot of mutual respect for each other's craft. And I think we both really just wanted to impress each other," Julia tells ABC Audio about why she thinks she and JP connected so well.
"That's crazy for her to say," laughs JP. "Because I walked into that session like, 'I'm about to write with my favorite songwriter in the world. I better bring my ["A"] game!'"
Acrobat RecordsAfter releasing a live double album last week, Matt Nathanson has announced he’ll be hosting his first livestream concert on August 21.
Fans who purchased the bundle for his 61-track live album, Live in Paradise: Boston, will get a free ticket. All other tickets are available for purchase for $15.
Nathanson is encouraging fans to create their own playlists from the songs on the new live album. He’ll pick a winner and their playlist will serve as that night’s set list.
“I miss the s*** out of playing live… and since the next year of concerts is such a huge unknown, I wanted to be able to hit you with something a little more substantial than the old ‘one-show’ live album,” Matt says in a statement.
“Think of it as a ‘thank you’ for all the good love you’ve shown me over the years.”
The first disc of Live in Paradise: Boston was recorded during his Song Wheel Extravaganza Tour in the winter of 2019 at the legendary Paradise Rock Club in his hometown of Boston. Disc 2 includes 36 additional songs from various other tour stops.
The livestream concert will take place on August 21 at 8pm ET/5pm PT via his webstore. Visit MattNathanson.com to find out how to submit your playlist.
Red Girl RecordsSpice Girl Melanie C is releasing a new self-titled album this fall.
The album, her eighth full-length solo effort, is due out October 2 and features her latest single, “In and Out of Love.” The single and its music video are out today.
“It’s so brilliant to release a pure pop, up-beat, positive fun tune,” Mel C, aka Sporty Spice, says in a statement about the song. “I think it’s exactly what the world needs right now!"
“In and Out of Love” follows the previously released tracks “Blame It on Me” and “Who I Am.”
Melanie C will be available digitally, on CD and on vinyl, both in standard edition and as a deluxe CD edition with bonus tracks, exclusive colored vinyl, and special limited deluxe vinyl with exclusive 12” singles.
Here is the album’s track list:
“Who I Am” “Blame It on Me” “Good Enough” “Escape” “Overload” “Fearless” “Here I Am” “Nowhere to Run” “In and Out of Love” “End of Everything”