The 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards — A Complete Recap


To quote a personal friend about this year’s Grammys, “There’s so much amazing music out there. The Grammys are idiotic in general. Imagine how terrible the Oscars would be if it was always the two highest grossing films battling for best film.” It’s no secret that this party is run by old, white men, and the performances and awards reflect that lack of imagination. After all, if you’re going to a music show, you better burn the house down, and that’s not what happened. Read below for my individual critiques.

STURGILL SIMPSON

As the only artist nominated for Album of the Year who actually wrote his entire album ALONE, Sturgill Simpson deserves special recognition. The country music outlaw also gets special cred for breaking into a category dominated by the typical pop-music stars, including Beyonce, Drake, Justin Bieber, and Adele. He has never compromised his integrity for fame, and he therefore deserved that Best Country Album win for ‘A Sailor’s Guide to Earth.’ Too bad they didn’t televise his award.

KATY PERRY

For a pop star that does not dance, Katy Perry’s capability will always be behind her cohorts,which makes her performance at the Grammys surprisingly good. This is the best she’s looked and she seemed extremely comfortable on stage. As for her new song, “Chained to the Rhythm,” it’s repetitive, unoriginal, and moderately grating, and the message is a tad ridiculous. We need to stand for something, remove our rose-colored glasses, but ALSO party? I’m confused. Watch below.

BEYONCE

I get that she’s pregnant, but Beyonce’s seated deity-style performance felt more like a painting than an actual song. Did she take that “Queen Bey” thing literally? This is a MUSIC show, and every move she’s made since announcing her pregnancy feels indulgent (see pregnancy pics), especially given the current state of affairs. Watch below.

ADELE

After an off-key start that is being attributed to the same technical difficulties that marred other performers that night, Adele proved her prowess by stopping the tune and asking for a do-over. She solidified her authenticity, stayed true to her claim that she would never again relive last year’s debacle, and showed Mariah a thing or two about how to climb out of a sticky on-stage mess. Plus, she swore, which is always fun. Having said all that, I HATED the arrangement of George Michael’s “Fastlove.” It’s so boring I almost fell asleep. Watch below.

METALLICA + LADY GAGA

I’m going to come down hard on Gaga for her handling of the technical problems during her performance with Metallica. When the lead singer’s mic went out, she should have immediately walked over to him with her own mic. She spent three verses on her side of the stage, until James Hetfield finally walked over to share her mic. At that point, she still hogged it, and she did not even tilt it in his direction. To quote my friend, “If you’re not giving light, you’re taking it.” As for the Grammys, there’s no excuse that mic went out. I understand a technical difficulty here and there, but there were FAR TOO MANY. Furthermore, I resent Gaga’s presence at all. Metallica does’t need an assist from a pop-star, and adding glitter to a rock G-D to keep people entertained is an insulting use of their stage time. I love Gaga, but I don’t need a side of shiny with my grits.

Jane Lynch Hosts the Red Dress Awards

To honor those who have made key contributions to Heart Health Awareness, the Red Dress Awards entered its 14th year with Jane Lynch as host and some special guests, including a performance from Grammy® Award and Oscar winner Melissa Etheridge, who headlined the event. The Awards featured additional performances from rock all-female string-quartet Bella Electric Strings, and teen singer Carly Rose Sonenclar of The X Factor. Enjoy pictures from the event below. All photos courtesy of Rabbani & Solimene Photography. 

Lena Hall
Tamron Hall
Joy Bauer & Hoda Kotb
Carson Kressley
Jane Lynch
Star Jones
Kym Johnson
Laila Ali
Honda Kotb

Ed Sheeran Covers British GQ: Read Quotes Now

Ed Sheeran covered the March issue of British GQ to promote his upcoming album, and the hit singer/songwriter brought out his competitive side. Though I’m not sure it’s the best idea for sweet, nice guy to show his salty side, Sheeran is currently on top of the world. His two new singles are topping the charts, and he shockingly has a cut off Justin Bieber’s record, which was nominated for Album of the Year at this year’s Grammy Awards. Check out some choice quotes below, and head on over to GQ for more. It’s available now for digital download, and it hits newsstands Thursday.

On his biggest competition:

“Adele is the one person who’s sold more records than me in the past ten years. She’s the only person I need to sell more records than. That’s a big f***ing feat because her last album sold 20 million. But if I don’t set her as the benchmark then I’m selling myself short. I’m not in competition [creatively] because we all sit in our own lanes, but once the creative product is out there is a race to the finish line.”

On whether he’s aware of Sheeran-lite copycats on the scene:

“There are a lot of singer-songwriters around now. I’m not the first but there are more than before. I’m very happy for everyone to be in the same race as me, even if they copy every single thing I’ve done. In a 100m sprint to get a No1 album I just know I’m going to win. I don’t care who’s doing what. I just know I’m going to win. I’m going to make sure I come first.”

On why he’s so driven:

“There’s an underdog element to it. Taylor [Swift] was never the popular kid in school. I was never the popular kid in school. Then you get to the point when you become the most popular kid in school – and we both take it a bit too far. She wants to be the biggest female artist in the world and I want to be the biggest male artist in the world. It also comes from always being told that you can’t do something and being like, ‘F*** you. I can.’”

Sturgill Simpson Takes On ‘Saturday Night Live’

Photo by Will Heath/NBC

When Sturgill Simpson’s album, ‘A Sailor’s Guide to Earth,’ was nominated for Album of the Year for the 59th Grammy Awards, he humbly proclaimed that he “would’ve liked to see Frank Ocean’s name where [his] is,” because he thought Ocean’s record, ‘Blonde,’ was “really groundbreaking.” Funny enough, Ocean did not submit his album for consideration, thereby removing him from contention. Ocean believes the “infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated,” and he might be right, but Simpson’s nomination represents a much bigger movement in the music industry, and here’s hoping it sends a message. First and foremost, he’s the only artist who wrote his entire album. Adele is a close second, with just one co-songwriter, but Beyonce’s much-praised ‘Lemonade’ has more songwriters than bagels at Yom Kippur. The same goes for Drake. And though I’m not a Bieber hater, I need not explain the alarming juxtaposition between the two artists, and It begs a bigger question about the what the Grammys truly represent. If Starry Night had been a collaborative effort between Vincent van Gough and his 25 cohorts, would we see it through the same lens?

Simpson has long been called a country music outlaw, refusing to cater to the confines of what has now become a homogenized songwriting factory in Nashville. There’s no more Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, or Willie Nelson, and Simpson is therefore considered to be the “savior” of a dying genre. Simpson himself might not see himself this way, and judging by his performance on Saturday Night Live, all he really sees is the music. His blues riff on “Call to Arms” lets his 11-piece band make a tiny stage with a small audience seem like an amphitheater. Watch both performances below.

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Mariah Carey v. Dick Clark Productions: Who’s at Fault?

If Adele were on the stage for New Year’s Eve to perform for the world and her sound failed, absolutely no one would question whose fault it was. That’s the benefit of being a consummate professional who is always on point. You get a pass with production fails. But when you’re Mariah Carey, whose diva antics often make the news, you are not afforded that luxury. If you simply watch Mariah’s own reality show on E!, she showed up two hours late to a concert because no one on her team was aware that the city in which she was performing had a time change. In fact, the gaffe was realized on the plane, which means the concert began while in route to the venue. She was rightfully booed by her fans upon arrival. This type of behavior is unacceptable. She hired her team, and she is also capable of telling time, which means she either has bad judgment in her staff, or she is far too detached from her responsibilities as a business mogul. In fact, Ellen brought this up directly, and Mariah simply brushed it off.
I believe that Mariah’s sound failed on New Year’s. If her in-ears were not working, it makes sense that the on-stage monitors were not loud enough to serve as a supplement. That being said, she doesn’t get a pass from me. Mariah claims it was sabotage for ratings, and Dick Clark Productions was predictably pissed, saying:

As the premier producer of live television events for nearly 50 years, we pride ourselves on our reputation and long-standing relationships with artists. To suggest that DCP, as producer of music shows including the American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and Academy of Country Music Awards, would ever intentionally compromise the success of any artist is defamatory, outrageous and frankly absurd. In very rare instances there are of course technical errors that can occur with live television, however, an initial investigation has indicated that [Dick Clark Productions] had no involvement in the challenges associated with Ms. Carey’s New Year’s Eve performance. We want to be clear that we have the utmost respect for Ms. Carey as an artist and acknowledge her tremendous accomplishments in the industry.

I’d encourage Mariah to put her tatas away, ditch the dated sparkly leotards, and remind everyone who she is and how she got there. People will forgive you for just about everything but entitled, diva behavior.

Tabloid Gossip: Your Week of News


hilaryEmma Roberts
and Evan Peters are going strong. Pop Sugar

Bristol Palin is going to pop out baby #3. TMZ

Renee Zellweger got dragged into court via her boyfriend’s ex. Wonderwall

Jersey Shore’s Ronnie Magro is dating Khloe Kardashian’s BFF.

Sofia Vergara is being sued by her embryos. The Superficial

Paula Patton is back on twitter. Hip Hollywood

Sia  and her husband of two years are divorcing. Just Jared

Minka Kelly and Josh Radnor are dating. Celebuzz

The Brangelina divorce nightmare just got worse for Brad Pitt. E! Online

Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner are taking it up a notch. People

Jimmel Kimmel is having his fourth child. Yahoo!

Hilary Duff and her trainer are dunzo. Wet Paint

Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk are having a baby. USA Today

Dancing With the Stars’ Mark Ballas got married. Reality TV World

Naomi Watts talked about her split from Liev Schreiber. Contact Music

T.J. Miller was arrested for a brawl with his Uber driver. Deadline

Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom finalized their divorce. CNN

Amber Rose and Val Chmerkovskiy stepped out hand in hand. Us Weekly

Blac Chyna is having trouble trademarking the Kardashian name. TMZ

Five Times Justin Bieber Made Actual Sense

Justin Bieber recently denounced Instagram, solidifying his intent to stay off the social media platform following the harsh treatment of his then girlfriend, Sofia Richie. In a babbling rant, Bieber said, “Nah, I don’t want to get my Instagram back. Instagram is for the devil. I’m sure … I think hell is Instagram. I’m, like, 90 percent sure. We get sent to hell and we get, like, locked in the Instagram server. Like, I’m stuck in the DMs. I’m trying to climb my way out and I can’t.” If you can decipher his rant you might realize he’s making a decent point. Why would someone of his stature voluntarily submit themselves to hateful comments while sharing his happy photos? Once a certain level of fame is achieved, the backlash is sometimes too tough to take. But has Bieber turned a corner? Though some have suggested he’s an entitled punk, I posit that the pop tart is growing up, judging by some select quotes below.

1. He’s drained by fan energy

Many celebrities thrive on meeting their fans, but their tour meet-and-greets seem like a personal nightmare. After all, I get a throbbing headache after talking for hours at a group dinner, so I simply can’t imagine the exhaustion of a one-on-one with rabid fans. Of his sound decision, Bieber said, “Want to make people smile and happy but not at my expense and I always leave feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted to the point of depression .. The pressure of meeting people’s expectations of what I’m supposed to be is so much for me to handle and a lot on my shoulders.”

2. He doesn’t like to perform at awards shows

Though it never occurred to me before, artists that perform at awards shows are actually hitting the stage for a group of non-fans, thus likening the experience to just starting out in the industry. While the audience is trained to smile and clap, that’s precisely why The Biebs resents the experience, saying, “I try to think of it as a celebration but can’t help feeling like people are rating and grading my performance. A lot of people in the audience there [seem to be] worried about how much camera time they will get or who they can network with. When I’m doing a regular show I feel they are there for the right reasons and to strictly have a good time! But these award shows seem so hollow.” Something tells me he will break his promise, but it sure seems like a sensible choice. His fan base is big enough to withhold from the “hollow” pandering.

3. He protects his love interests

Bieber’s choice to quit Instagram began with his bold bid to protect his new lady love. Though he and Sofia Richie have since broken up, he left the world with a thoughtful, short statement, saying, “If you guys are really fans you wouldn’t be so mean to people that I like.”

4. He’s never bashed Selena Gomez

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez have had a very well-known, on-and-off relationship, and though Gomez has publicly picked on her ex, once telling Letterman that she “made him cry” and later saying that he exhausted her, Bieber has always taken the high road.

5. Sometimes he’s not in the mood for pictures

Celebrities have often likened fame to being a zoo animal, and Bieber is no exception. But when his desire for privacy was misconstrued as ungratefulness, he was Swift to counter with, “If I’m walking somewhere or arriving somewhere and you guys are asking me to take a photo, if I don’t respond, if I continue to keep walking, the likelihood is that I probably don’t want to take a photo at that moment. If you start screaming louder that’s not going to make me want to take a photo more.” Can’t a guy just take a barefoot stroll in peace?

Fences at the Los Angeles Guild Screening — See Pictures

Directed by Denzel Washington with a screenplay by August Wilson, FENCES is adapted from Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play and stars stars Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, and Saniyya Sydney. The film is produced by Denzel Washington, Todd Black and Scott Rudin. It follows former professional baseball player (Denzel Washington) who denies his teenage son’s dream of playing college football and comes home with the baby he had through an affair.





Did the CMAs Scrub Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks?

If you missed the CMAs, there’s one performance worth watching, and it’s Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks’ rendition of “Daddy Lessons,” off Beyonce’s album ‘Lemonade.’ The crossover cut off Queen Bey’s record has been covered by the Dixie Chicks in concert, so it’s a fitting on-stage collaboration. They also threw in a piece of the Chicks’ “Long Time Gone,” which gives a subtle nod to the trio’s tumultuous history with the country music establishment, who rejected them after their much-maligned critique of President George W. Bush.
The killer pop-culture moment was; however, met with alarming criticism, as “fans” of the 50th annual Country Music Awards pointed out that Beyonce’s support of Black Lives Matter, along with her “cop-hatred” and “dislike for white people” should disqualify her from the stage. If that’s not enough, there is of course the residual animosity for the Dixie Chicks, and their “anti-America” stance. According to TMZ, instead of standing firm against these racist, twitter trolls, the CMA’s began to systematically delete pictures of the performance. They have since changed their stance once again, presumably in reaction to TMZ’s post.

It goes without saying that we need to live in a country that tolerates multiple points of view without spitting vile hatred at one another and resorting to violence. Need I also point out that one can be anti-unnecessary killings AND support cops at the same time. It’s also worth noting that if Twitter wants to grow, they need a policy against hate-speech. And before I get comments about the First Amendment, I’d like to preemptively say that I’m a lawyer, and trust me when I tell you that deleting racist comments DOES.NOT.VIOLATE. the First Amendment. I’d explain it, but it will waste your time and mine. And nobody wants that.

SCORSESE: American Crime Requiem: Full Review

I’ve long been a fan of the For the Record series, having already seen their Tarantino and John Hughes shows, but SCORSESE: American Crime Requiem solidified their status as one of the best shows to see in Los Angeles. The series previously played at a Hollywood bar, offering a unique in-the-round experience that made me feel as if I’d discovered something small, yet magical, fulling knowing that others might soon join the party and ruin what felt like an underground, hidden secret. Sure enough, what the LA Times called a “renegade little troupe” has now made it’s way to a 500-seat experience at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. It’s no longer a secret, but last night’s show made me feel like that’s a good thing.
The Scorsese show is now a co-production between For the Record and the Wallis, and the cast includes Tony Award-winner John Lloyd Young (“Jersey Boys”), Tony nominee Carmen Cusack (“Bright Star”), Pia Toscano (“American Idol”) and two-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter B. Slade. Directed by Anderson Davis, who also co-created For the Record with Shane Scheel and Christopher Lloyd Bratten, the show offers four decades of Martin Scorsese, with mash-ups of unforgettable scenes from each film set against familiar songs from the movies. The movie moments are not necessarily connected for one, solid narrative, but that adds to the excitement, because each nostalgia-inducing scene also offers the audience a fresh take on their favorite movie moments. This show is not to be missed, and I’d encourage everyone to see it before the ticket prices skyrocket.