Demi Lovato lashed out at Disney on her Twitter after some insensitive programming included an eating disorder joke. The former Disney star, who was admitted to rehab last year after struggling with bulimia, was enraged by a line jokingly delivered by a female character in the show Shake It Up: “I could eat you up, well, if I ate.” Demi’s tweets reflected the irresponsibility of Disney airing the joke, especially in light of her illness.
Demi later Tweeted, “And is it just me or are the actress’ getting THINNER AND THINNER… I miss the days of RAVEN, and LIZZIE MCGUIRE,” before finishing with the clear statement, “Dear Disney Channel, EATING DISORDERS ARE NOT SOMETHING TO JOKE ABOUT.” The Disney Channel, obviously keeping up with Demi’s Twitter feed, was quick to react, pulling the offending episode from the air and Tweeting, “we hear you & are pulling both episodes as quickly as possible & reevaluating them,” and, “It’s NEVER our intention to make light of eating disorders!”
The incident is yet another example of the power of artists to draw attention to social injustices and even to make serious changes. Demi speaking out against the joke puts her in the ranks with Lady Gaga (who was vocal in the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, and has taken her fight against bullying all the way to the White House), and Rihanna, who recently took to Twitter to defend against racist comments made in a Dutch magazine. We’d love to give Demi a high five for standing up for what she believes in and using her power to give a public voice to those who might be suffering through the same illness she has struggled with.
It’s been a big year for newcomer Frank Ocean, what with the fledgling performer’s first solo tour, collaborating with the kings on Watch The Throne and being named in GQ’s Men Of The Year awards. Ocean also earned accolades for his debut mix tape, Nostalgia, Ultra, and our staff even flouted the laws of album vs mix tape to put the creation on their best albums of 2011 lists. Now, Ocean has released new material on his Tumblr along with the simple explanation, “i just listened to this a few times for myself. figured maybe some else needed to hear it. it’s called ‘4 tears’ [sic].” The track starts with a beat reminiscent of “Songs For Women,” before Ocean’s sweeter-than-honey vocal does what it does best and stops you dead in your tracks. The subject matter is just as reflective and emotion-addled as Ocean’s previous material, but with a dirty “swag, swag” at the start of the song assuring us that Ocean’s self-aware irreverence hasn’t abated despite the fact that he’s on the road to superstardom.
If it was your super sweet 16 again, and you could have anything in the world, we know it would be a live performance by Jay-Z and Kanye West at your party. Although if you’re anything like us your parents would probably call in a magician, tell you it was pretty much the same thing, save themselves a lazy million or so, and call it a day. But not the parents of a little girl in Dubai — proving that money is no object in their daughter’s happiness, some unnamed Arab billionaires paid Jay and Yeez £1.9 million each ($2.9 million) to perform at her 16th birthday party, held just before Christmas. Now that we know the Watch The Throne duo do private parties, we’re going to start saving all our pennies to see if we can collectively raise enough to have them perform for us!
Yesterday, we successfully bought you the VH1 staff’s favorite songs of 2011 without any bloodshed, and we’re happy to report that no one’s brain exploded while trying to narrow down the amazing albums of 2011 into a concise list. Again, what VH1 staffers enjoyed in 2011 was a rich and vibrant tapestry of genres, new comers and veterans, and Adele. Just kidding — while there’s a lot of love for Adele in the VH1 offices, Ye & Hov’s Watch The Throne came out as a dominant force at Times Square. The list also reveals how anti-authoritarian we are, as more than one staffer stuck it to the man and enumerated a mixtape or two in their favorites. Bad ass.
As if you needed any more proof that you shouldn’t f**k with Madonna, a fan has been arrested over the leaked demo for Madge’s forthcoming single, “Gimme All Your Luvin’.” Madonna expressed her exasperation at the time of the leak, with her manager Guy Oseary taking to Twitter to declare, “Madonna told me this morning ‘my true fans wouldn’t do this’… whoever is responsible for this leak, we ask that you please stop!”. It seems that exasperation is putting it lightly, as the culprit has been tracked to Spain, arrested and charged.
The 31-year-old known only by the initials JMR professed to being a “big Madonna fan,” but according to Madonna, ain’t no fan of hers going to be leaking her work on the Internet. Nope, Madonna is so in control of her work and her profile that she’ll choose exactly who her fans are, and how they will behave. And although intellectual property theft is deeply wrong and illegal, it’s always a shock when someone is arrested for it as a crime, because it’s something that in the digital age, we’ve becoming quite blasé about. We know unequivocally that Madonna deserves justice and we’re not saying the offender should go unpunished, but we can’t help but wonder about the changing duty of the law when the Internet blurs the boundaries of theft — as in some cases (obviously not this one) a leak is purposefully used by artists to gain hype (which has inadvertently occurred here). What do you think? Let us know in our poll below!
Adam Lambert has landed himself in somewhat of a pickle this morning in Helsinki, having been arrested for brawling with his reality TV star boyfriend, Sauli Koskinen. The disagreement allegedly began around 4am outside the gay bar Don’t Tell Momma and has been described by Finland’s media as a “huge fight,” culminating in the arrest and incarceration of both men.
While it’s yet to be seen what will come of the arrest or if the two will continue to be held and charged, what remains is a blister on Lambert’s public profile and, indeed, his character — an unfortunate event not only so soon after the release of his latest single, but more importantly in terms of his responsibility as a human functioning in a compassionate and peaceful way within society. Indeed, all reports point to the fight involving an element of physicality, not only between Lambert and Koskinen but from Lambert towards bystanders who attempted to break up the fight. While there were reportedly no serious injuries, violence, whether domestic or otherwise, is completely unacceptable. We hope that this was a one time incident for Lambert and that he expresses regret and apology — we might change our opinion of one of our favorite pop stars if such unruly, dangerous behavior were to be repeated.
When we began compiling our Best Songs of 2011 list, there were many differing opinions, and after briefly toying with the idea of pitting all our staff against one another in a Hunger Games fight-to-the-death scenario against the backdrop of Times Square, we conceded that the most diplomatic and least murderous thing to do would be to each submit our own list. You know, in the name of preserving a civil work environment and whatnot (not to mention our longstanding policy of avoiding contact with the human resources department). So while we didn’t battle it out in a conference room or some such nonsense, each one of us faced an internal battle — choosing our favorite songs of the year. As you can see, it wasn’t easy (some of us got a little greedy with 20 strong lists), and while the usual suspects like “Rolling In The Deep” and “Holocene” made appearances, there were a few surprises in the music tastes of the VH1 office folk…
(Btw, before we get into this, we’d like to note that we put together the following Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure: VH1 Staffers Pick Their Favorite Songs Of 2011. It’s sequenced in alpha order by artist first name, so we wholeheartedly recommend you hit Shuffle while listening to this 120 track playlist. Now, on with the show…)
Last night on The X Factor, special guest R. Kelly joined Melanie Amaro on stage to back her up in her performance of “I Believe I Can Fly,” the first time he’s ever sang the classic song as a duet. But we think back up is the wrong word — if it weren’t for Melanie’s powerful, ballad-prone voice, R. Kelly would have completely stolen the show. You can see Melanie’s awed, almost-disbelief as she meets R. Kelly’s veteran presence, and you really can’t help getting a few goose bumps of pride for her, regardless of whether or not you’re familiar with the program. And as glitter falls from the ceiling and the two hold notes for marathon lengths, there’s no doubt as to the inspirational, soaring grandeur of the performance.
Next April will see legends Guns N’ Roses inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and there’s been some speculation as to whether or not the band will get back together for the event. Even with Steven Adler’s misgivings and Axl Rose’s beef with several band members, both haven’t entirely ruled out the possibility of a reunion, although they have remained generally cagey. Now, Axl Rose has stirred up even more speculation telling the L.A. Times that while he would chose to snub Adler and Izzy Stradlin in a reunion, he would consider playing with Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, stating, “The only thing that would make it would be Duff and Slash, really… It’s nothing against Izzy and it’s nothing against Steven, or anything like that. Steven may want it, but these guys I’m working with right now, they work really hard and it’s hard work. I’ve toured with the other guys and I’ve also seen what they’ve done since, and I just know the difficulties. So it’s not really even a full reunion.” We think it would be nice to see the boys lay down their arms and get together for the award ceremony, even if they choose not to tour — they earned the accolades together, after all!
In one of the best parodies of the year, the Cunningham brothers (Chip Chantry and Tommy Pope) have donned Christmas sweaters, a Santa hat and one amazing handlebar mustache for their Hall & Oates satire album Deck The Hall & Oates. With lyrics like, “He’s a reindeer and his nose is red and the other reindeer well they don’t play / You can’t deny you’re a misfit Rudolph!” set to the tune of “Rich Girl,” the album is full of clever adaptations, cheesy retro throwback montages and plenty of giggles (yours, of course). Other favorite tracks of ours include “King Of The Jews” and “Your Kiss (Is On My Christmas List).” But really, we just can’t get our eyes off that handlebar mo — the Cunningham brothers make a delightfully realistic (while being just a tiny bit off) version of pop legends Daryl Hall & John Oates.
And if that’s not enough Hall & Oates for you this Christmas, you can get the full, immersive experience by calling the Hall & Oates hotline. Yep, you read right. So dial 719-26-OATES to complete the Hall & Oates Christmas experience — you’ll then be prompted to pick out of 4 Hall & Oates songs to listen to. Who needs Spotify?