Beyonce v. Lorella Cuccarini — Inspiration or Ripping Off?

My mother used to say that copying is the greatest form of flattery. Then I’d tell my mother she’s ridiculous. I’m not one of those people who enjoys when others copy my work. In fact, you probably don’t want to be on the other end of that accusation. It isn’t pretty. So when Beyonce was accused of copying Lorella Cuccarini’s 2010 performance during the Billboard Music Awards, she insisted that she was merely inspired by it, and didn’t directly copy it. Hey, at least she admitted to having seen the performance. Most artists would dismiss it as a strange coincidence. Lorella’s performance is so original, it’s only fair to say that Beyonce liked the idea and took it on as her own. So does it matter? If I were Lorella, it would infuriate me, especially since no credit was given to her idea during the performance. She only admitted to the similarity after the copy-cat accusations surfaced. Watch below and judge for yourself.
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Rihanna & Britney Spears Perform at Billboard Music Awards — Leotards Galore!

Tonight was a big night for Britney Spears. Though she’s appeared on different shows, she has yet to perform at an awards show since the MTV Video Music Awards debacle. When I first heard she’d be performing at the Billboard Music Awards, I thought it was a tabloid rumor. Then I heard the details, and it immediately became clear. Rihanna carried it, and Britney did a brief, one minute performance. Overall, it was fine. Since I’ve attacked Britney Spears for her lack of choreography, I’d like to note that Rihanna’s performance indicates that choreography isn’t essential to success.
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Music Spotlight On: Vampire Weekend

I recently discovered Vampire Weekend, but I’m told by musician friends that “they’re huge.” After looking them up, I seem to be the only person that didn’t get the memo. Their debut self-titled album reached #17 on the Billboard 200, and their song, A-Punk, was voted the fourth best song of 2008 by Rolling Stone magazine. Their second album, Contra, reached #1 on the Billboard 200. The indie rock band formed in 2006, and its members include: Ezra Koenig; Rostam Batmanglij; Chris Thomson; and Chris Baio. Perhaps I like them so much because the lead singer, Ezra Koenig sounds strikingly similar to Paul Simon. I told this to my musician friend, insisting that my discovery means I have a “musical ear.” He shook his head in disapproval saying, “it’s pretty obvious they sound alike.” Listen to White Sky and Holiday from their second album, Contra, below.

Pat Monahan of ‘Train’ Thanks Howard Stern at the Grammys — I Love Him

Jerry Seinfeld once said that you appear on Howard Stern’s radio show when “you’re career is on it’s way up and when it’s on its way down.” Pat Monahan of ‘Train’ might be the only entertainer to contradict that theory. If you’re a Howard Stern fan, then you know that Stern frequently has Pat on his show, even when the band was basically down and out. When Hey, Soul Sister made its way on the Billboard charts and revived the band’s pop culture status, Pat returned to Howard Stern’s show to thank him for his support. So it didn’t surprise me that Monahan thanked him at the end of his Grammy acceptance speech, even though it surprised the rest of America. Watch the video below.

Did Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ Rip-Off Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’

Katy Perry just topped the Billboard top 100 chart with her new single, Firework, and she might have to send Coldplay a bouquet of flowers for the achievement.  Why?  Because the song  is a blatant rip-off of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida.  The overlap is so insane I actually looked it up to see if Coldplay consented to letting her cover their song.  They didn’t.  This isn’t the first Katy Perry “overlap.”  Her song, California Gurls, sounds like Ke$ha’s Tik Tok, except those two songs were written by the same guy, which explains the similarity.  That excuse doesn’t fly this time around.  Listen below and judge for yourself (hint: listen to the chorus).

Bret Michaels Naked Billboard Cover — I’m Disturbed

I’ve been in Bret Michaels’ corner since his Rock of Love days, where I overlooked his STD-filled bachelor pad, because the show was so darn entertaining. I even turned a blind eye to his ridiculous hair extensions. But this Billboard Magazine cover has officially crossed the line. He’s completely naked, and covered in some kind of goo. He also looks manorexic. Perhaps I should take back all my female-driven attacks about gratuitously posing naked. Apparently, men can do it too. To see the cover in question, click the link below.

Bret Michaels Covered in Goo

UPDATE: Billboard released the un-airbrushed version of the cover to prove that Bret’s abs are real.  Click here to see it.

Lady Antebellum is #1 Again

Lady Antebellum’s album has already sold 93,000 copies, and their single, ‘Need You Now,’ is #1 on the Billboard charts.  That is a pretty big deal, considering their album has been out for 8 weeks now.  Times sure have changed in the music industry though.  Years ago, selling 93,000 records was nothing to write home about.  To put things in perspective, Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ album sold 110 million copies.  I realize he is the best of the best, but Britney Spears’ debut album sold 25 million copies.  How’s that for some perspective?  See them perform the song at the Country Music Awards below.