If you have any experience in the entertainment industry, then you know how deeply difficult it is for an artist to share the spotlight. While some are generous and humble, others are not and even if that spotlight is occupied by an absolute legend — it’s no matter. Such was the case for Katy Perry, who simply could not pare back her performance during 10-minute all-star tribute to Dolly Parton at The Grammy’s.
Instead of highlighting Dolly alongside the Kacey Musgraves (who I’m told has a stellar reputation for kindness), she railroaded Musgraves with pitchy trills and cartoonish facial expressions — everything Dolly Parton IS NOT. I laughed when Perry held out her hands to introduce one of greatest singer/songwriters of all time, as if this was somehow a generous move.
It’s absolutely unclear why Katy Perry was chosen in the first place. Unlike the other artists, including Dolly’s Goddaughter Miley Cyrus (who had a killer night), she has zero connection to country music. She previously sang with Dolly at the 2016 ACMs, but that performance had far more deference to the superstar and was seemingly before the American Idol judge began to believe her own hype. To be fair, it’s possible Perry just had a bad night. But there’s a difference between being pitchy and a show off.
Before closing this post, I’d like to take a moment of silence to think about the greatness that is Dolly Parton. Even her newest material, most recently from the Netflix original film, Dumplin’, is incredible. And if that’s not enough, she is never, under any circumstances, above a good shout out. Watch the performance by clicking HERE, and notice how she always takes the time to introduce her band and her fellow singers.
We live in a new world, folks. And that world doesn’t include hitting on people who are simply trying to break into the industry. That world also doesn’t include double standards, so when Katy Perry uncomfortably flirts with eager American Idol contestants, it’s the same violation as if it was done by a man. What if Harry Connick Jr. used his post to playfully flirt with 19-year-old contestants? He wouldn’t get a pass, and Perry shouldn’t either. In fact, she even stole a first kiss from a non-consenting teenager (Benjamin Glaze) who later said the moment made him uncomfortable. Though he didn’t feel it rose to the level of harassment, that does not make it okay. Nor is it okay to suggest he should feel lucky for the kiss because of Katy’s star stature. Another contestant, named Trevor Holmes, lamented about making ends meet to support his family, only to be interrupted by Perry who exclaimed, “You’re so hot.” Imagine if a woman in a casting audition, who was trying to win a role, had the same demeaning interruption while others, who could come to her defense, sat there in silence. We don’t need to imagine it, because it’s been mentioned many times in the #MeToo movement.
It’s also worth noting that there was a time when American Idol was an unbeatable force in the industry. The show’s reign lasted far longer than expected, and its decline was due more to audience fatigue than content. But it’s important to remember exactly why the show was a success. Though Simon Cowell’s barbs were a consistent point of conversation, they represented more than schadenfreude or voyeuristic bullying. You see — Simon Cowell actually had a record label, and the man knew what made a star. Who could forget when he proudly predicted Carrie Underwood’s massive success extremely early in the game. Without an A&R person on the panel, the show loses it’s ever-present edge over its competitors. This is a show about making a star and to date, it’s the only show that has made a star. To make up for that absence by playing up Perry’s flirtation, is not only a dated ploy, it’s inappropriate.
Though I’m not a massive fan of Katy Perry’s music, I’ve always liked her character, Sure I don’t know her personally, but she seems exceptionally shrewd in interviews and her barbs at other stars seem more thoughtful than petty. One such star is Taylor Swift, who accused Katy Perry of “sabotaging” her arena tour by poaching her dancers, a thought that later inspired the song “Bad Blood.” Instead of exchanging more passive aggressive barbs, Perry clarified the details with a curt account of the facts. Here they are. Three of Perry’s loyal backup dancers joined Swift’s tour. Before committing, they called Perry who said that although she was not currently touring, she’d hit the road in about a year, so the dancers should place a contingency clause inside their contracts. When the dancers approached the Swift staff about exiting, they were immediately fired. Perry tried to call Swift to straighten out the mess, but according to Perry, she never answered and instead opted to talk about it in the press.
I’m team Perry on this one. First, in almost every industry two weeks notice is an acceptable method of leaving. If an exit would tank a tour, that’s why you create contracts. If the contract has a contingency clause, that’s on your for allowing it. Second, it’s okay to vent through music, but when you identify a party involve and therefore individually assault their character, that moves from venting to bad-mouthing, and I’d like to think we’re more adult. Third, I hate to jump on the feminism band-wagon, but you can’t champion women’s rights and then create a song and video called “Bad Blood.” It’s just hypocrisy.
It’s interesting that Katy Perry is singing about a “Dark Horse,” after being vomited on by high-voltage hues, but who cares, right? In fact, as long as she’s not rolling around the stage performing gross-out gestures (see Miley Cyrus), I’d say her less than desirable aesthetic choices get a pass. Watch below.
There’s a fire in Lady Gaga’s pants, and this time it’s not for show. Gaga and Perez Hilton have engaged in a full-on twitter war, with Gaga accusing Perez of stalking her after a twitter fan spotted the celebrity blogger in her building. Perez subsequently defended himself, explaining that he was simply in search of some new digs, which Gaga called a blatant lie. She also referenced a text Perez sent her at the time of her hip injury, which she alleges included a message about Karma and an image of Madonna pointing a gun at the singer’s head.
There’s no indication as to what caused the initial feud, but it’s clear it began prior to Gaga’s hip injury, and Perez claims he “chose to [no longer] make her a part of [his] life.” But whatever the source, that tension increased exponentially when Perez consistently posted accolades of Katy Perry’s ‘Roar,’ while subsequently pointing out that Gaga’s ‘Applause’ paled in comparison. It’s clear he had an ax to grind, and used his site to sharpen his tool.
There’s a larger lesson to be learned from these circus clowns though, and I’d like my readers to take a seat while I preach. Perez Hilton had a huge hand in launching Lady Gaga’s career, and when she became an international superstar, she paid him back with a friendship that included public appearances and mutual promotion. If karma exists, the only case of it is befriending an evil blogger who called celebrity children ugly and got paid for it. Many celebrities who complained about abusive paparazzi (Gaga included) had no problem appearing beside someone who perpetuated the problem. They liked the attention, and when it no longer suited them, they turned. Hypocrisy cuts deep. And Gaga needs a bandaid.
To my naked ear, these songs sound nearly identical. In case you missed it, there’s controversy surrounding Katy Perry’s new single, ‘Roar,’ and whether it sounds a little too similar to Sara Bareilles’ ‘Brave.’ After listening multiple times, I also came to the unkind conclusion that Sara Bareilles’ voice isn’t strong enough for a powerhouse pop tune. Had I not listened against Katy Perry, perhaps I would have thought otherwise. Judge for yourself below.
Though this is cute in concept and the lyrics pull my heartstrings, the music just isn’t up to par for both their standards. Katy Perry and John Mayer have exceptionally different genres, and Perry just doesn’t fit into Mayer’s very specific balladeer style. It sure will be cute for the kids, though. Listen below.
Well this is one for the record books. An A-list celebrity actually disclosed something personal without slinging mud. When asked about her ex-husband, Russell Brand, Katy Perry told Vogue, “He’s a very smart man, a magical man and I was in love with him when I married him. Let’s just say I haven’t heard from him since he texted me saying he was divorcing me December 31, 2011.” I’m sure Brand has his own side, but that certainly makes me feel better about some of my own personal breakup stories.
“I got married because I fell in love, and I got divorced because it wasn’t working.” Russell Brand’s very astute yet simple explanation to Howard Stern on why his marriage ended, in response to Stern’s inquiry about the truth behind the many tabloid rumors about his relationship.