Taylor Swift Was Bummed About Her Summer Plans Not Panning Out, So She’s Releasing A New Album… Tonight

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Taylor Swift
Rich Fury/Getty Images for Billboard

Taylor Swift accepts the Woman of the Decade award onstage during Billboard Women In Music 2019, presented by YouTube Music, on Dec. 12, 2019 in Los Angeles.

Surprise!

Taylor Swift was so bummed that all her big summer plans didn’t pan out that she went into the studio to work out her emotions. And, as it turns out, she recorded a whole new album, Folklore, which will drop at midnight tonight (July 23).

«Most of the things I had planned this summer didn’t end up happening, but there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen,» she wrote on Instagram, announcing the surprise release with a series of images of a fog-enshrouded forest. «And that thing is my 8th studio album, folklore. Surprise Tonight at midnight I’ll be releasing my entire brand new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into. I wrote and recorded this music in isolation but got to collaborate with some musical heroes of mine.»

Among the people Taylor worked with are producer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Aaron Dessner of The National, who co-wrote or produced 11 of the 16 songs on the album, as well as Bon Iver, who co-wrote and sings on one of the tracks, William Bowery, who co-wrote two songs and, of course, Swift’s frequent collaborator producer/songwriter/singer Jack Antonoff, who she said «is basically musical family at this point.»

«Before this year I probably would’ve overthought when to release this music at the ‘perfect’ time, but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed,» Swift said. «My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with. Love you guys so much.»

Folklore is the follow-up to last year’s Lover; at press time no additional information was available on the track list.

View this post on Instagram

Most of the things I had planned this summer didn’t end up happening, but there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen. And that thing is my 8th studio album, folklore. Surprise 🤗Tonight at midnight I’ll be releasing my entire brand new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into. I wrote and recorded this music in isolation but got to collaborate with some musical heroes of mine; @aarondessner (who has co-written or produced 11 of the 16 songs), @boniver (who co-wrote and was kind enough to sing on one with me), William Bowery (who co-wrote two with me) and @jackantonoff (who is basically musical family at this point). Engineered by Laura Sisk and Jon Low, mixed by Serban Ghenea & Jon Low. The album photos were shot by the amazing @bethgarrabrant. Before this year I probably would’ve overthought when to release this music at the ‘perfect’ time, but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed. My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with. Love you guys so much ♥️

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

This article is originally from Billboard 

Selena Gomez Wants a ‘Boyfriend’ on New Track from ‘Rare’ Deluxe Edition

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Thursday, Selena Gomez released her Rare Deluxe Album, featuring several new tracks. Gomez’s Rare debuted at Number One on the Rolling Stone 200 album chart upon its release earlier this year.

Gomez’s new tracks include “Boyfriend,” a song she has been teasing since the Rarealbum rollout. The clubby track has Gomez laying out the difference between a want and a need — and right now what she wants is a good guy by her side.

Prior to its official release this week, she made clear that a boyfriend is no longer what she wants as the world deals with the coronavirus pandemic. “We wrote it long before our current crisis, but in the context of today, I want to be clear that a boyfriend is nowhere near the top of my list of priorities,” she wrote on Instagram earlier this week.

Along with “Boyfriend,” the deluxe edition of Rare includes a studio version of “Feel Me,” a song she debuted on her Revival tour. On “Souvenir,” she sings about an overwhelming, bicoastal romance with a blue-eyed paramour who gives her chills and is “better than pills how you put me to sleep.” The song “She” is a modern take on Britney Spears’ “Lucky” with Gomez detailing the life of a young woman who succumbs to bad decisions, unable to fulfill her role as a “Hollywood type.”

Gomez is donating all money from merch available in her official store to two different COVID-19 relief funds. All proceeds from merch related to her song “Dance Again” will go toward MusiCares, while $1 from every purchase of other items in her store will benefit PLUS1 COVID-19 Relief Fund, which works with a variety of nonprofit organizations.

 

Sam Smith & Demi Lovato Tease Upcoming Song Collaboration

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Demi Lovato, Sam Smith
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Demi Lovato and Sam Smith attend 102.7 KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball 2017 presented by Capital One at The Forum on Dec. 1, 2017 in Inglewood, Calif.

Sam Smith and Demi Lovato fans rejoice, the wait for a musical collaboration between the two pop stars is almost over.

On Sunday (April 12), Smith and Lovato teased the upcoming duet on social media. «YOU READY,» the British crooner tweeted, tagging Lovato. «I’M READY,» the songstress responded, attaching a GIF with their initials.

The superstar singers didn’t reveal a specific date for the song’s release, but Lovato’s manager, Scooter Braun, retweeted the exchange, adding, «This week!! #SamxDemi.»

In late March, Smith shared a note on social media, informing fans that they would be pushing the May 1 release date of their third album to a later date, and renaming the release, which was originally titled To Die For.

«There will be an album this year, I promise!» Smith wrote. «But until then, I am still going to bring out some new music over the next few months, which I’m incredibly excited about.»

It’s no secret that Smith and Lovato are big fans of each other. Back in 2017, Lovato nailed a cover of Smith’s «Too Good at Goodbyes» during a BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge session. Smith took notice of the cover and praised it on social media.

«YES @ddlovato ❤️ SAAAAAAANG IT,» they tweeted.

Lovato also revealed that she was «dying to collaborate with him.»

Check out their recent twitter exchange below.

Later they post this selfie on Instagram:

 

 

Alesso & Liam Payne Filmed The Transatlantic ‘Midnight’ Video From Quarantine

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Alesso ft. Liam Payne "Midnight"
Courtesy Photo

Alesso ft. Liam Payne «Midnight»

From L.A. to London.

The coronavirus has halted many plans in the music industry, from tour cancellations to album pushbacks, but it didn’t stop Grammy-nominated DJ-producer Alesso and former One Direction singer Liam Payne from filming a new music video. The pair joined forces for the new dance song “Midnight” but couldn’t film a typical music video because of social distancing, quarantining and being homebound due to the spreading virus.

So Alesso went into the Los Angeles studio where he originally created the track to film his portion while Payne, who lives in London, had a friend film him singing on his balcony.

The result is a clean, simple clip that could pass for a video that was not made with limitations. “Midnight” was released Wednesday(April 8). “It was nice just to make a video with a lot less noise around it — music videos are always so busy,” Payne said in a phone interview with The Associated Press this week. “For me personally, just to be able to go outside my house, perform a song on the balcony and just sing it the way I wanted to perform it rather than have people telling me how to move or what to do, or anything like that. It was very much our video and I’m proud of that.”

“It’s kind of refreshing to just see Liam perform and me just working on the song,” Alesso added. “That’s really how we do it, you know? And kind of let the song have the shine. For me, it was refreshing.”

“Midnight” is relationship song about coming together. But the performers said with the impact the coronavirus has had around the world, the song has taken on a special meaning. “It definitely gives it a bigger meaning. We’re always going to listen to this song, at least me and Liam, and think about these times,” Alesso said. “I think it definitely gives it a special feeling to it.”

“We’re all learning new things about our spouses and spending so much time together with them, people overcoming such massive things in the world together. I think that definitely lends a hand toward the song as well and how you overcome these sorts of things,” Payne added. “Midnight” is one of many songs the 26-year-old Payne has released since One Direction went on hiatus in 2015. He dropped his debut album LP1 in December and hit the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart with multi-platinum hit, “Strip It Down.” The English singer has also collaborated with J Balvin, Zedd, French Montana, A Boogie wit da Hoodie and Rita Ora.

Alesso, who is Swedish, has cracked the Top 40 with the platinum hits “Heroes (We Could Be),” featuring Tove Lo, and “Let Me Go,” with Hailee Steinfeld, Florida Georgia Line and Watt. The 28-year-old has also had success as a remixer, even earning a Grammy nomination for his house version of OneRepublic’s “If I Lose Myself.”

Alesso had been looking for a singer to perform on “Midnight” and was happy Payne jumped onboard: “He added his incredible flavor to it. It really turned out incredible.” The artists say while at home, they’re continuing to be creative. Alesso is working tirelessly in the same studio where he produced “Midnight” and filmed the song’s video. “I work like 10 times more now because I have more free time. My creativity really flows better now because I’m just home and I’m not distracted by touring and that kind of stuff,” said Alesso, who added: “I also, of course, sit and play a lot of video games and watch a lot of Netflix.”

Payne says he’s been busy “drawing, sketching artwork, painting stuff.” He’s also been giving back to his community by donating 360,000 meals to food banks in need during the pandemic through the charity The Trussell Trust. He hopes “Midnight” — the song and video — can have a positive impact on people. “It’s important at this time to step out there for our fans. While everyone’s stuck at home and self-isolating, I just think it’s important to still have stuff coming through to bring a little bit of sunshine to everybody’s day,” Payne said.

Watch the video below.

Kesha Is Ready to ‘Inspire Joy’ — And Write Huge Pop Songs Again

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Singing about her personal trauma, Kesha became a #MeToo heroine and an industry symbol. But with a new album on the way, she’s focused firmly on the present — and on ‘writing the fuck out of some pop songs.’

«Follow me!” says Kesha, her long, newly brunette tresses blowing in the wind.

She’s biking a few feet ahead of me, leading us through a residential stretch of Venice, Calif. Every so often, she calls out a direction, pointing to the “killer palm trees” on one street we turn down — a human GPS wearing a fuzzy cheetah-print backpack with a tail that wags as she pedals. Ten minutes later, we arrive at a surprisingly empty stretch of Venice Beach that she calls her “secret hideaway.”

We lock up our bikes — hers is the same turquoise cruiser that paparazzi have photographed her on since at least 2017 — and walk toward the ocean, settling down on a blanket and towels she has brought. “I always have a bathing suit and a passport — always,” she says. “You never know when you’re going to find yourself wanting to go to a different country or a body of water.” The latter is, apparently, often: After she finished her most recent tour, Kesha went swimming with whales off the coast of a small island in the middle of nowhere.

When she’s home and has a rare day off, though, she’s usually here. “I just do this, pray for animals and jump in,” she says. Kicking off her slides and settling down on the sand, the artist born Kesha Rose Sebert looks much like any beachgoer, the tiger head on her one-piece peeking out from under a red Hawaiian shirt. “This is the only place I usually don’t get paparazzi,” she says — and over the hours we spend on the beach, and even on our ride later to her favorite dive bar near the fishing pier, no one seems to recognize her. Thanks in part to her decision to dye her signature wild blond waves, she can go incognito, “happy and free — no anxiety.”

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It’s a welcome and still unfamiliar feeling for Kesha, 32, who has spent the past decade in an often glaring spotlight. Her debut album, 2010’s Animal, established both her talent for churning out hits (it became Kesha’s first Billboard 200 No. 1, and she has earned 2.5 billion U.S. streams to date, according to Nielsen Music) and her brash wild-child image. As her bombastic pop bangers climbed the charts — she has scored 10 Billboard Hot 100 top 10s, including the No. 1s “We R Who We R,” “TikTok” and “Timber” — the media started to equate their lyrical content with Kesha herself, painting her as a perma-plastered party girl. “Men glorify going out, getting drunk and hooking up,” she says. “As a woman, I came out and did it, and I was like Satan’s little helper.”

By 2013, she had her own MTV show, Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life, directed by her older brother, Lagan. A year later, everything changed: On Oct. 14, 2014, Kesha filed a civil suit against Lukasz Gottwald — the mega-producer known as Dr. Luke with whom she had collaborated on her biggest hits — accusing him of abusing her physically, sexually, verbally and emotionally over a 10-year period. He, in turn, denied the accusations and sued her for more than $50 million, alleging defamation and breach of contract for failing to turn in recordings she owed him under her contract on his label, Kemosabe Records. (Kemosabe started out in 2011 as a joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment; though Sony won’t disclose specific financial details of that arrangement, major labels typically finance JVs and then, after expenses, split proceeds 50/50. SME now refers to Kemosabe, which in 2017 went dormant, as an imprint.)

It was only the beginning of what would become a lengthy, ugly legal battle. But in the crucible of that turmoil, Kesha experienced a creative transformation. Long before the explosion of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, artists like Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson expressed their support for her as part of #FreeKesha, an ongoing social media campaign aimed at getting her out of her contract. And then in 2017 — just months after news broke that Gottwald was no longer CEO at Kemosabe — she released Rainbow, an album of emotionally raw songs that showcased her stunning vocal range, no Animal-era Auto-Tune necessary. Though it still bore the Kemosabe imprint — and, at the time, a spokesman for Gottwald said it was “released with Dr. Luke’s approval” — Kesha says Rainbow was the first album on which she had full creative control, and it showed. The most poignant track, “Praying,” which chronicled how she overcame years of trauma, became an anthem for survivors of abuse and earned Kesha one of her first two Grammy Award nominations.

On Rainbow, a new Kesha emerged, and the industry embraced her. “I did the therapy,” she says on the beach today. And now, after this “huge purge of emotions,” she’s prepping her fourth album, due this December on Kemosabe/RCA, on which she revisits some of the big-pop sounds that launched her career. Largely co-written with her best friend and longtime collaborator, Wrabel (they met through Lagan when Kesha left rehab in 2014 after receiving treatment for an eating disorder — after which she also dropped the dollar sign from her name), as well as her songwriter mom, Pebe; Justin Tranter, Tayla Parx, Nate Ruess, and Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds; with production from Jeff Bhasker and Ryan Lewis, “it’s the happiness that I began my career with,” says Kesha. “But it feels more earned and healthier than ever.”

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In going from good-time pop star to symbol for an industry — and a movement — Kesha made the kind of personal, and creative, pivot that few artists manage to accomplish intact. Remaining an artist on her own terms will be a different kind of challenge entirely, especially when a handful of tracks from her new album can’t help but call to mind the now-fraught sounds of her time working with Gottwald.

And with the trial date for his defamation and breach-of-contract suit not yet confirmed, a great deal of uncertainty still hangs over Kesha’s future. A jury will decide whether she is liable, and if so, how much she might owe Gottwald in damages for, as he sees it, irrevocably hurting his career.

“There are so many what-ifs, and quite honestly, I’m not allowed to talk about it,” says Kesha. “And I’m really not used to not being an open book about everything — but I do have to defer to my lawyers on this one, and they’re just like, ‘Focus on the music, focus on your happiness and mental health, and we’ll deal with this.’ Doing that has been greatly helpful.”

And right now, she says, “writing the fuck out of some pop songs” is precisely what she needs to stay focused on the present. “I dug through the emotional wreckage, and now…” She trails off, perhaps momentarily caught in the past. “I can go back to talking a little bit of shit. I really wanted to put a solid footprint back into pop music, like, ‘I can do this, and I can do this on my own.’ I don’t know if this is my last pop record, but I want to have one where I go out with a bang.”

The day before Kesha met with Reynolds at Los Angeles’ Village Studios, she planned to write a slow song with him. But when she told Lagan, he suggested something totally different: something “big and epic.” (This was the Imagine Dragons guy, after all.)

She took his advice and ended up writing one of the album’s most epically IDGAF pop-rock anthems — with lyrics that feel like a pointed rebuke of the world’s perception of her both before and after the Gottwald legal suits: “We get it that you’ve been through a lot of shit, but life’s a bitch, so come and shake your tits and fuck it/You’re the party girl, you’re the tragedy, but the funny thing is, I’m fucking everything.” (While the album goes through final mixing, Kesha and her team cannot disclose song titles.)

“She’s not taking the high road, which is kind of the point,” says Lagan. “That’s originally what people really noticed about her, and I felt like her fans wanted that from her right now, especially when the world is so fucked up.” Or, as Kesha more succinctly puts it: “I got my balls back, and they’re bigger than ever.”

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At first, Kesha was hesitant to return to her early sound — one reminiscent of the earwormy hits Gottwald had crafted alongside Max Martin for the likes of Clarkson and P!nk by the time he heard Kesha’s demo. In 2005, she signed with Gottwald’s production company, Kasz Money, and his publishing company, Prescription Songs. He landed her a feature on Flo Rida’s “Right Round,” a Hot 100 No. 1, and major labels came knocking. By 2009, she had signed a recording contract with RCA; in 2011, when Gottwald founded Kemosabe, she joined the Sony imprint.

Kesha says that her earlier hits’ connection to that time in her life hasn’t tainted them for her. “When I play some of the poppier songs, people lose their shit, and those songs are my babies too,” she says. “It brings me so much joy to see people boogie and have the best time with their friends, and I shouldn’t take that away from myself.” But songs like “Die Young” in particular — as she has claimed in a since-deleted tweet — she felt forced to record and include on her albums, often in place of ones she felt better aligned with her own vision.

Over the course of making the new album, Kesha says, she proved to herself that she could find a balance between her early style and her more recent, introspective inclinations. “Emotions are forever,” she says. “Part of this album is resurrecting the fact that you can be a fucking mess in your head one day, and then you can also be glittered-up and have the best night of your life.”

Speaking of which: Kesha may have matured beyond her early brush-my-teeth-with-a-bottle-of-Jack vibe, but she’s not entirely tamed. Since finishing the Rainbow tour, she has caught bucket-list shows by Neil Young and Willie Nelson (she calls both the “real deal”) and enjoyed the occasional night out. “They are more few and far between than they were, let’s say, at 21 years old,” she admits. “But I’m not dead.”

One night in particular, Kesha and her crew went to see Elton John’s farewell tour in Los Angeles. The experience inspired a song with a piano intro that morphs into a bass-thumping anthem for a girls’ night. “I, of course, stand for so many things,” says Kesha. “But sometimes you just want to escape into a happy motherfucking song. It’s like a three-minute vacation, and I want to give that to people because I know I need that sometimes. Every time I’m sad, I put on [Carly Rae Jepsen’s] ‘Call Me Maybe.’ Every single time.” Lately, she has been listening to “positive, badass women” like Cardi B, Lizzo, Ariana Grande and Swift, who in 2016 donated $250,000 to help Kesha with her legal fees. (The two remain close friends.) “She has amazing integrity,” says Kesha of Swift.

RCA president of A&R Keith Naftaly has worked with Kesha for her entire career, and he believes that she can easily return to the same pop stratosphere that these women currently rule. “Even in a hip-hop-dominated landscape, Kesha will strike a chord with a contemporary global pop audience because her lyrics are right on time,” he says, pointing to how honest and specific storytelling like hers has been crucial to the success of RCA artists like Khalid, SZA and H.E.R.Plus, notes Naftaly, Kesha’s audience is still incredibly young.

“When ‘Tik Tok’ and ‘Your Love Is My Drug’ and ‘Take It Off’ came out, her audience was like, 9,” he says. “So now, a lot of her die-hard fans are in their early 20s, while a lot of her peers and their audiences have shifted into more of an adult-contemporary context.” Kesha, for her part, admits that she’s “not a 21-year-old bitch anymore, [but] I can still go onstage in assless chaps because I want to. And maybe one day, when everything is sagging and I don’t want to wear assless chaps anymore, I can sit on a stool and play country music.”

This article was originally published by: Billboard

Louis Tomlinson Rocks Out in Flashy ‘Kill My Mind’ Video: Watchhttps://www.billboard.com/files/styles/1500x992_gallery/public/media/Louis-Tomlinson-may-4-2019-england-billboard-1548.jpg

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The guy gets the girl, but how does it end?

Louis Tomlinson is all in on the rock thing in the video for his «Kill My Mind» single. The high-energy clip directed by the aptly named Charlie Lightening (Paul McCartney, Liam Gallagher) that debuted on Friday morning (Sept. 13) finds Liam blazing through the uptempo track in a packed club in front of an enthusiastic audience that includes a particular blonde woman that the camera seems to love.

The live scenes are intercut with images of a man bombing down a country road on a motorcycle, leading one to believe that said road hog might be Louis and the woman might be his video love interest. But that’s where the plot twist comes in, as the man is revealed to be a buzz-cut rider excited to check out a Louis Tom show with his crush. As Tomlinson hypes the crowd with his Gallagher-esque stage moves on the song the former One Direction star co-wrote and co-produced with Jamie Hartman, the couple hop on the man’s bike and take off.

And that’s where the plot twist comes in. Watch the video below to see how it ends, and stick around after the surprise for a sneak preview of Tomlinson’s next chapter in the couple’s love story. «Kill My Mind» is the second song released to date from Tomlinson’s upcoming debut solo album, following the pop ballad «Two of Us.» The release date and title of the album has not yet been announced.

Watch «Kill My Mind.»

 

This article was originally published by: Billboard

Miley Cyrus will give her new song, “Malibu,”

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Miley Cyrus will give her new song, “Malibu,” its television debut when she performs at the Billboard Music Awards, the event announced Wednesday. The broadcast will air May 21 — a week after Cyrus releases the new song.

“Miley Cyrus is and always has been an artist that makes an impact. Her incredible talent and imprint on pop culture are undeniable,” BBMAs executive producer Mark Bracco said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have her debut ‘Malibu’ at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and look forward to a raw and honest performance that will likely surprise many.”

Cyrus, whose last album was 2015’s Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, previously told Billboard that “Malibu” was partly inspired by her rekindled relationship with Liam Hemsworth. “I never would’ve believed you if three years ago you told me I’d be here writing this song,” she said. “[People are] going to talk about me if I come out of a restaurant with Liam. So why not put the power back in my relationship and say, ‘This is how I feel’?”

 

This article originally appeared on Billboard

 

Miley Cyrus Breaks Silence

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Well above California’s Pacific Coast Highway, just off a canyon road, sits a small house with a wooden porch painted in the colors of the Pride flag. The outside is decorated with frog planters, ­butterfly chairs, a hot-pink pig-shaped grill, ­sunflowers and daisies. This is Rainbow Land, the boho recording studio whose owner, Miley Cyrus, is on this sunny April afternoon sitting cross-legged in a swivel chair before a sound board, dressed way down with unruly long hair, cutoffs and a vintage tee that reads “Malibu” on the front.

Cyrus — who’s about to play me 10 songs off a new album that promises to (yet again) transform one of the most inimitable, unpredictable careers in recent pop ­history — is somehow animated and serene at the same time. It’s clear from the way her words tumble forth that she’s ­breaking a months long self-imposed “media blackout” and eager to unpack her latest thinking on everything from her alienation from hip-hop to engaging with Donald Trump’s supporters.

While Bangerz and Petz bore the unmistakable stamps of their respective collaborators, Mike Will Made-It and Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, the new album will be Cyrus’ most DIY to date. She wrote the lyrics and melodies ­herself, and producer-writer Oren Yoel (who co-wrote the Bangerz track “Adore You,” which hit No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100) plays all the ­instruments. Cyrus wrote one song for Hillary Clinton and another for women in the workplace, but overall, the album’s less explicitly political than it is personal. That extends to the music, which adds an unprecedented dose of twang to a mix that includes quiet acoustic turns and epic pop. “This is Miley leaning into her roots more than I’ve ever heard,” says her father, country singer and actor Billy Ray Cyrus, who tells a story of Waylon Jenningsteaching a young Miley guitar chords at the kitchen table. “For her, this is honest.” It’s also a showcase for her voice, one of the most expressive in music. “My main concern isn’t radio,” says Cyrus, whose “Wrecking Ball” spent three weeks at No. 1 in 2013. “I truly don’t even listen to it.”

Cyrus was first inspired to reach beyond her circle of “outspoken liberals” and ­cultivate ­country fans and red staters in 2016, when she began as a coach on NBC’s stalwart talent competition The Voice. (She will rejoin for season 13 this fall.) “I like talking to people that don’t agree with me, but I don’t think I can do that in an aggressive way,” says Cyrus. “I don’t think those people are going to listen to me when I’m sitting there in nipple pasties, you know?”

After Trump was elected ­president, Cyrus — who first ­supported Bernie Sanders and, when she won the Democratic ­nomination, Clinton — launched #HopefulHippies, an initiative of her Happy Hippie youth-activism nonprofit that ­encourages people to “turn emotion into action.” “I have to ask myself, ‘How am I going to create real change?’” she says, “and not just ­fucking preach to the choir anymore.” With the new album, Cyrus hopes to reach the other side of the aisle. “This record is a reflection of the fact that yes, I don’t give a fuck, but right now is not a time to not give a fuck about people,” she says. “I’m ­giving the world a hug and saying, ‘Hey, look. We’re good — I love you.’ And I hope you can say you love me back.”

Where exactly did you write ­“Malibu”?

On the way to The Voice. I drive myself everywhere, but that day I decided to Uber, and I was trying not to sing out loud because someone else was in the car.

People might call it sentimental.

They’re going to talk about me if I come out of a restaurant with Liam. So why not put the power back in my relationship and say, “This is how I feel”?

After you guys broke up, you said something like, “I’m so immersed in work, I can’t even think about it.”

Yeah, but also ’cause I needed to change so much. And changing with someone else not changing like that is too hard. Suddenly you’re like, “I don’t recognize you anymore.” We had to refall for each other.

“I don’t do red carpets, and I just don’t put myself in positions where I feel uncomfortable anymore. I don’t have to.”
Brian Bowen Smith
“I don’t do red carpets, and I just don’t put myself in positions where I feel uncomfortable anymore. I don’t have to.”

The new album is pretty singer-­songwriter-y, no?

Yeah. But not granola. I don’t listen to Ed Sheeran and John Mayer and stuff.

Did folk singer Melanie Safka [with whom Cyrus performed in 2015] ­influence you?

She did, and I grew up with her. But I also love that new Kendrick [Lamar] song [“Humble”]: “Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretch marks.” I love that because it’s not “Come sit on my dick, suck on my cock.” I can’t listen to that anymore. That’s what pushed me out of the hip-hop scene a little. It was too much “Lamborghini, got my Rolex, got a girl on my cock” — I am so not that.

I was torn on whether I was going to work with certain producers that I really like. But I feel if we’re not on the same page ­politically … My record is political, but the sound bite doesn’t stop there. Because you can write something beautiful and you know E! News will ruin our lives and say, “This is a political record.” Because then I’m the Dixie Chicks and I’m getting my album smashed in the streets, and that’s not what I want. I want to talk to people in a compassionate, understanding way — which people aren’t doing.

What appealed to you about The Voice?

I’m down for hanging with Blake [Shelton]. I actually want to take ­advantage of the fact that he’s there, [because] his fans don’t really take me seriously as a ­country artist. One, I haven’t given them that music. But I’ve got a tattoo of Johnny Cash’s autograph that he gave me when I was a ­little girl that says, “I’m in your corner.” Dolly Parton is my ­fucking ­godmother. The fact that ­country music fans are scared of me, that hurts me. All the ­nipple pastie shit, that’s what I did because I felt it was part of my political movement, and that got me to where I am now. I’m evolving, and I surround myself with smart people that are evolved

I think [Madonna and Gaga] are ­enlightened. I ­fucking hate it when people can’t adjust. I used to [resist changing]. But I haven’t smoked weed in three weeks, which is the longest I’ve ever [gone without it]. I’m not doing drugs, I’m not drinking, I’m completely clean right now! That was just something that I wanted to do.

Is it hard to not smoke?

It’s easy, dude. When I want something, it’s fucking easy for me. But if anyone told me not to smoke, I would have not done it. It’s because it was on my time. I know exactly where I am right now. I know what I want this record to be. And not in the sense of manipulation — wanting something from my fans or the audience, like some slimy thing — “How do I get attention?” I never thought about that. Dude, I was shocked that ­people gave a fuck about the [MTV Video Music Awards in 2013, when she ­performed with Robin Thicke] — the ­twerking, the teddy bear. It’s a totally ­different time, and I don’t think that would freak people out anymore.

Cyrus with Mike WiLL Made-It at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage
Cyrus with Mike WiLL Made-It at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

Our perceptions of a lot of things are changing at lightning speed. Still, there’s an audience that’s maybe a little scared of you, those who might have a tendency to vilify the “other.”

I was talking about this with my sister [Noah], who’s 17, and she’s doing music right now. She basically grew up in L.A. She’s never known anything different. She doesn’t even know she’s open-minded, it’s the only kind of mind she has ever known. It’s mind-boggling to me that there was even a controversy around me having black dancers. That became a thing, where people said I was taking advantage of black culture, and with Mike [WiLL Made-It] — what the fuck? That wasn’t true. Those were the dancers I liked!

Miley Cyrus at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, Calif. in 2006.

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Miley Cyrus’ Fashion Evolution

When I met Pharrell [Williams], before “Blurred Lines,” before “Happy,” people wouldn’t take meetings with me because they said, “He hasn’t had a hit in 10 years.” They wanted to put me with the Dr. Lukes of the world, the Max Martins, and put me through the fucking assembly line, and I said, “No. This is someone who actually cares about me. This is someone I feel safe with.” I got completely shut out, and I had to just trust myself. What feels right to me feels right to my fans, because they know some dude in a suit didn’t tell me to do it. And by the way, I brought “Wrecking Ball” to Luke. No one put me in the room with Luke. I had done “Party in the U.S.A.” with him, and that’s just someone I thought could handle that sound. Did you ever get to come to a Bangerz show?

Yeah, I did.

I was crazy about making the tongue slide work. I was so ­embarrassed to be on the red carpet and so many of those fucking disgusting ­photographers would tell me to blow a kiss, and that’s not me! I don’t want to blow you a kiss. I didn’t know what to do with my face, so I stuck my tongue out, and it became a rebellious, punk-rock thing.

The Dead Petz track “BB Talk,” which calls out a man for his “baby ­talking,” seems to reject a similar kind of ­gender standard.

I wish it would’ve gotten some ­attention. No one saw the video! It was a real rant. Dating a musician [like me] is probably the worst thing ever, because you always end up ­having your shit in songs. It’s just ­inevitable. But I’m just that way. I’m a little bit boyish. But I can also be super femme and dress as a bunny rabbit. Who I’m with has nothing to do with sex — I’m super open, pansexual, that’s just me.

Do you want your dudes to be dudes?

Not even. That really grosses me out. I always get in trouble for ­generalizing straight men, ’cause straight men can be my worst nightmare ­sometimes. And I’m with a straight dude. But he’s always like, “Well, don’t call me that!” I ask him sometimes, “Do you like being a boy?” And he’s like, “I don’t really think about it.” And that’s crazy to me, because I think about being a girl all the time. I’m always like, “It’s weird that I’m a girl, because I just don’t feel like a girl, and I don’t feel like a boy. I just feel like nothing.” So when someone’s too ­masculine, that really grosses me out.

But then, girls really make me sad a lot of the time too, especially right now. I think fashion has taken us a little bit downhill. I can only speak for the years that I’ve been alive, but I don’t know if it has ever been so important to “fit in.” It’s not about standing out right now. Which is so weird, because it seems like for the really unique, smart kids in this generation, it’s all about standing out. I love seeing these kids on Instagram that dress fucking dope. This whole world right now is so divided, in the arts, fashion — everything.

“I love my family!” says Cyrus (right). “My dad was standing beside me at the VMAs when I was wearing a thong. He was like, ‘This is creepy!’ ”From left: mother Tish, brother Braison, sister Noah, father Billy Ray and sister Brandi Glenn Cyrus at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. 
Larry Busacca/Getty Images
“I love my family!” says Cyrus (right). “My dad was standing beside me at the VMAs when I was wearing a thong. He was like, ‘This is creepy!’ ”From left: mother Tish, brother Braison, sister Noah, father Billy Ray and sister Brandi Glenn Cyrus at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

The country is certainly very divided.

I like the way I think right now. But don’t Trump supporters like the way they think? So I’ve also got to be open with the way I approach people with my opinions. That’s the only way to make real change. And it’s not because I want to sell records! I know now the ways that don’t work. Because I went really hard during the ­election. But at the end of the day, we lost. We won, but because the system is fucked up, we lost. I thought, “OK. I learned my lesson on this one.”

Did you have to go into The Voice right after Election Day?

That next day, dude. I wanted to go to rehearsals. Liam was like, “Just don’t go. You’re not there. And you don’t know how everyone feels on that set.” Everyone’s from all different parts of the country, so he was like, “Don’t go and get into it with ­people right now.” Because clearly ­unity is what we need.

Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana

You posted a tearful Instagram video the day after the election, and I tweeted, “Love you, Miley.” And so many alt-right dudes responded, “Are you just trying to fuck her?”

That’s them sexualizing me, because they think that you couldn’t take me seriously. The first thing I got on my Instagram when I posted that was people saying, “You said you were going to move. When are you going to move?” It’s not time for me to leave now, dude. I’ve got to be here. I’ve got to glue this place back together, because I’m from Tennessee — that state [went to] Donald Trump. I’m such a dreamer, and I know a lot of things that I’ve wanted to do people said weren’t possible. When I started Happy Hippie — this is before Caitlyn Jenner transitioned, before this became something that is a part of the culture…

Leelah Alcorn — a 17-year-old ­transgender girl who committed ­suicide in December 2014 — brought a new awareness to transgender issues.

Yes. I was on a Christmas trip, and I was like, “How am I sitting here about to open presents and someone has taken their own life?” I started Happy Hippie because I never thought we would see this day where you have the Laverne Coxes of the world get not only trans roles, but female roles. And I realized the voice I had. That’s why I brought Jesse [Helt, a homeless man, to the 2014 VMAs], because it felt wrong for me to go and get an award, celebrating me getting naked and riding a fucking wrecking ball around for a day. I mean, what would I have said? “Thanks, uh… thanks to [“Wrecking Ball” video ­director] Terry Richardson”? That would have been so weird.

Do you think you’ve managed to bring your politics into The Voice?

By sitting there after the election in head-to-toe pink, while on the inside being a gender-neutral, ­sexually fluid person, hopefully that was saying ­something. I needed some sparkle in my life, to make me able to deal. Radiating love is ­something that is important to me — ­hopefully, that is being political.

 

 

 

 

This article originally appeared on Hollywood Reporter

 

 

Kygo and Ellie second collaboration.

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Ellie Goulding returns on Friday (April 28) as the featured artist on Kygo’s new single, “First Time.” This is the Brit’s first single since “Still Falling For You,” which appeared on the Bridget Jones’s Baby soundtrack. It’s also an indication that her off-cycle is official over. After this track has run its course (probably late summer or early fall), she will start rolling out music from her 4th album. At least, that seems to be the current model for pop divas — release a club feature, then your single.

As for the Norwegian DJ, he’s on something of a roll. His collaboration with Selena Gomez, “It Ain’t Me,” has been the biggest hit of his career by some margin. The moody banger cracked the top 10 in dozens of markets across Europe and Australia, and looks set to repeat that feat on the Billboard Hot 100 next week. With the video dropping yesterday, it will benefit from increased YouTube streams and an iTunes discount. See Ellie’s announcement below.

 

 This article originally appeared on Idolator

Lana Del Rey & The Weeknd’s Majestic “Lust For Life” Arrives

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The title track of Lana Del Rey’s upcoming 4th LP, Lust For Life, premiered today as MistaJam’s Hottest Record In The World on BBC Radio 1 and it’s breathtakingly ambitious. A duet with The Weeknd, the grandiose anthem is a throwback to the wall of sound production of the ’60s mixed with the lush, beautiful harmonies associated with acts like The Shangri-Las. Impressively, the dream-pop goddess doesn’t get lost in the mix. This is epic on every level, but lyrically, it’s quintessentially LDR.

“They say only the good die young, that just ain’t right cause we’re having too much fun,” The Weeknd sings on the gorgeous chorus, “Too much fun tonight.” That’s when Lana chimes in, “And a lust for life keeps us alive, keeps us alive.” Lana opened up about soaring track in her Q&A with Courtney Love for Dazed magazine, revealing that she consulted Max Martin for advice on the song. “I felt like it was a big song but… it wasn’t right.” So she flew to Sweden to play it for pop’s human hit-machine.

“He said that he felt really strongly that the best part was the verse and that he wanted to hear it more than once, so I should think about making it the chorus,” Lana confided. “So I went back to [producer] Rick Nowels’ place the next day and I was like, ‘Let’s try and make the verse the chorus,’ and we did, and it sounded perfect. That’s when I felt like I really wanted to hear [The Weeknd] sing the chorus… but then I was feeling like it was missing a little bit of the Shangri-Las element, so I went back for a fourth time and layered it up with harmonies.”

Apart from introducing her new song, Lana also gave BBC Radio 1 listeners a couple of tidbits about the album. Namely, that there’s an acoustic track called “Yosemite,” which she recorded in one take. She also named Sean Lennon collaboration, “Tomorrow Never Came,” as one of her top 3 favorite songs on Lust For Life. Listen to the title track below.

 

This article originally appeared on Idolator