Everyone’s favorite dysfunctional pop star, Britney Spears, posted a heartfelt letter to her fans (and foes) on her personal website today. The divorced mother-of-two went off on just about everything and everyone – from her former manager, to her family, to the countless times she was taken out to dinners and events, only to find out after that it was paid for with her moola. Ouch! Talk about being used.
Linkin Park are no strangers to selling a butt-load of albums. But they recently changed their sound (goodbye rap-rock, hello passion ballads) and some pundits wondered what the future would hold. Well, the future is now and the arrival of Minutes To Midnight brought some clarity to the question. The group had the biggest first week sales of 2007 (625,000 — Norah Jones had previously held the record at 418,000). We caught up with guitarist Brad Delson on the day he found out his band rocked the charts.
"My manager emailed me and it just didn’t seem possible. I’ve accepted that it’s true, but I’m still shocked and humbled. I’m ecstatic about the fact that this amount of people are going to hear it." In addition to the band’s monster sales, Delson also let us in on some surprises to expect from the Linkin Park curated Projekt Revolution tour…
Marilyn Manson is channeling his inner teenage girl. After covering pop pin-up Justin Timberlake during a live BBC performance last week, Manson told the venerable radio station that he has "a fascination with Justin Timberlake," and that he carries a picture of the pop star with him wherever he goes. This information goes far in explaining what he and 19-year-old girlfriend Evan Rachel Wood could possibly have to talk about.
And when he’s not canoodling with gorgeous movie stars or being toted around in creepy rock stars’ wallets? J-Timber’s starting his own record label, to be be distributed through Interscope Records. The label, named Tennman (an abbreviation of Tennessee Man, which he is) expects to announce new signings in the upcoming weeks.
Box Set: Justin Timberlake
Should 17-year-old Jordin Sparks have been barred from winning American Idol because of her weight? That seems to be the going concern of MeMe Roth, a very skinny, very blond pundit from an organization called National Action Against Obesity. Speaking on Fox News, MeMe called Jordin obese. Proving that Debbie Downer isn’t the only one lacking perspective, she also said, "When I look at Jordin what I see is diabetes, I see heart disease, I see high cholesterol." This makes us detest MeMe. What do you think?
Our ramp-up to Rock Honors (tonight at 9/8c) always includes revealing chats with the music’s stars. Road Tales focuses on some the antics that go down when artists are on tour.
Certain assumptions are made when one decides to get intimate with a new "pal" after a gig. Ann Wilson explains how one night many years ago, those assumptions made an ass out of…well, you know.
Lots of pop fans have been loving "Young Folks," the catchy hit by Swedish cool guys Peter, Bjorn & John, and the song that’s made whistling chic again. Fresh from playing the Coachella festival, we challenged the trio to a whistle-off?only to discover that not everyone can get the job done. Take a look, then go spin "Young Folks" one more time.
Dating a teenager can make you do crazy things, as Marilyn Manson can attest to. For instance, Manson recently found himself at the center of a brouhaha over whether he and 19-year-old girlfriend Evan Rachel Wood simulated the sex scenes in his video for "Heart Shaped Glasses" (fingers crossed). Now, Marilyn Manson, the self-proclaimed God of F*ck, is covering everybody’s favorite recovering Mousketeer (no, not Britney) — Justin Timberlake. Manson doesn’t quite hit the high ones in this acoustic cut from a live BBC session, but the subject matter (all-consuming jealousy and rage) isn’t exactly a departure. Manson’s no stranger to covers though; his 1995 rendition of the Eurythmics‘ "Sweet Dreams" jump-started his career.
Another report from the department of Bizarre Covers: Rock lads Arctic Monkeys do a faithful cover of Amy Winehouse‘s "You Know I’m No Good," a woman whose buzz is officially bigger than her hair.
Dead rock stars shilling shoes? That’s the idea behind Saatchi & Saatchi’s U.K. campaign, which features Kurt Cobain, Joey Ramone, Sid Vicious and Joe Strummer as they might appear in the afterlife, wearing Docs (Kurt had a preference for Converse One-Stars, but hey!, Photoshop is amazing). Said the campaign’s writer, Andrew Petch: ?We wanted to communicate that Dr. Martens boots are ?made to last, and we discovered that these idolized musicians wore them. Showing them still wearing their Docs in heaven dramatized the boots? durability perfectly. And, as images, they feel very iconic." Wondering how such a thing is possible? The images are legally cleared for use in the U.K. Courtney Love‘s not too pleased about it. Her rep told People that she "did not, and would not, approve of such a use of Kurt’s name and likeness." She did, however, license Cobain’s music to CSI: Miami. People in glass houses and all that. See the rest of the campaign after the jump.
The Shady One is back in the studio. After establishing himself in the pantheon of the singly-named pop stars and selling millions of records, Eminem all but disappeared for two years, popping up only to re-marry (and divorce) his ex-wife and guest on Akon‘s record. But all that’s over now, as Em pal 50 Cent told Blender that Slim is back in the studio, working on new material. "He?s got a new album coming. He?s not gonna tell people that, but he?s making new music. I?ve heard a few songs, and it?s hot. He won?t tell nobody he?s working on a new album, but I?ll tell you: he?s working on new music."
Now and then our Tour Survival Guide will check in with rockers about life on the road. Here’s Arctic Monkeys‘ Nick O’Malley and Matt Helders on Gary Coleman and the perils of Chinese food.
Judging Books by Covers Since 2006
Matt Helders: When we first started, we used to ask for a novel. We didn’t get any good ones. We never read them, but they just looked crap.
Gary Coleman’s a Fan
Nick O’Malley: [On the rider] we used to ask for a cardboard cutout of a different person. We wanted Gary Coleman. They [actually] made one in England — they just got a cardboard cutout of Yoda, and stuck [Gary Coleman]‘s face on. We asked for Steve Irwin, but he’s dead now, so it’s not funny.