Pop Shots – Centers of Attention
Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week Pop Shots is hitting you with thoughts on everything from One Direction being seen in a big way on YouTube, to Bob Dylan, Dave Matthews Band, and Avril Lavigne all coming to a city near you (but not together), to Ludacris getting his own show on BET+, and since this is Pop Shots you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
* One Direction’s video for their mega-hit “Story of My Life” has joined the one billion views club on YouTube. Some of those views – perhaps even upwards of 15 to 20 – may have actually been for the music.
* In Boy George’s recently released memoir, Karma: My Autobiography, he wrote about a number of negative run-ins he’s had with Madonna over the years. I guess when she heard “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” she answered, “Yes.”
* Dave Matthews Band announced a 32-date U.S. tour that will run from May 22nd through September 1st. The band is also continuing its partnership with The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees campaign by pledging to plant another one million trees … the forest kind, not the kind their fans consume in large amounts, although after the tour I’m sure those will need to be replenished, as well.
* Justin Timberlake released a new single titled “Selfish.” Based on the title, I’m sure Britney Spears agrees.
* Bob Dylan will once again be hitting the road, this time for a run of dates from March 1st through April 4th. At 82 years of age, I’m guessing his tour rider has very different list of drugs than it did in the past.
* Avril Lavigne announced a Greatest Hits tour that will run from May 22nd through September 16th, but since I was denied an interview with her this time around, we’ll all just have to revisit the time I spoke with her back in 2013 (yes, that’s some shameless self-promotion!).
* With Ariana Grande’s “Yes, And?” landing atop the Billboard Hot 100, Max Martin now has 24 #1 songs as a producer. This means he’s surpassed the late George Martin – whose 23 #1s include 19 songs he produced for The Beatles – for the most #1 songs for a producer in chart history. In a wild misunderstanding of the record, Nick Cannon heard Max Martin reached #24, and said, “Damn, I’m only halfway there. Gotta get to work!”
* Billy Joel will be returning to pop music with the February 1st release of a new single titled “Turn the Lights Back On.” To say it’s been a while for Billy Joel would be an understatement – the last time he released a pop song Max Martin didn’t have a #1 on his resume yet.
* BET+ is reportedly developing a half-hour dramedy inspired by the life of Ludacris. Personally, I can’t wait until they get to the BET: Uncut years!
* The Recording Academy is getting stingy with tickets. Having decided to ditch their longstanding tradition of giving all Grammy nominees two free tickets to the event, they will now only provide one, making artists pay if they want to take anyone with them. I guess they’re going with the Spotify model of “Congrats! Go f*ck yourself.”
* Frank Farian, the producer, and mastermind behind Milli Vanilli, and Boney M, passed away at the age of 82. Everyone knows the Milli Vanilli story, but if you haven’t heard Boney M, Farian created some real disco magic with them in the ‘70s.
That’s all for this edition of Pop Shots, but come back next Monday for more shots on all things pop.