Remember when you were so emotionally disturbed by Miley Cyrus’ twerking at the VMAs you wanted to remove your eyeballs with a rusty spoon? Or the time you rushed your family down to your homemade bomb shelter after viewing her “Wrecking Ball” video? Nope, me neither. But, as previously reported, earlier today the pop star continued her year of Offending People Who Enjoy Being Offended By Things Miley Cyrus Does when she lit up what most definitely did not look like a cigarette at the MTV European Music Awards in Amsterdam, birthplace of the marijuana-dispensing coffee shop and Kirk Douglas (although only one of those facts seems relevant to this story).
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The real winners were announced Wednesday night at the 47th Annual Country Music Association Awards. But here are a few more honors from the telecast you should feel free to weigh in on:
Best “Suck it, haters” Taylor Swift moment ever: So not only did George Strait, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Brad Paisley, and Rascal Flatts — all people for whom Swift opened at the start of her career — come out onstage to present the 23-year-old with the Pinnacle Award, there was also a video including kind messages from Mick Jagger, Justin Timberlake, Carly Simon, Julia Roberts, and Ethel Kennedy, among others. Watch it below. It’s might have been the best acceptance speech of Swift’s career, as she paid respect to each of the artists onstage with her. READ FULL STORY
CMA Awards co-host Brad Paisley talks preparations, George Jones tribute, and poking fun at country-music feuds
For the sixth straight year, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will cohost the CMA Awards, airing tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. (See our predictions for who we think will win, and who we’d vote for.)
There’s a long list of performances, which include Taylor Swift collaborating with Alison Krauss and Vince Gill, Dave Grohl joining the Zac Brown Band, and George Strait and Alan Jackson paying tribute to the late, great George Jones. Back in August, when Paisley began talking to exec producer Robert Deaton about this year’s show, one of their first conversations was about how the broadcast would honor Jones. “It ought to be the best you can have with those two doing it,” Paisley told EW last month. “They’re the heirs to the torch. If anybody’s close to the stratosphere that George Jones was cruising in, it’s them. That’s who it needs to be.”
Fans will also tune in to see what Paisley and Underwood come up with for their opening monologue. When we spoke to Paisley, he expected them to have fun with the genre’s current identity crisis, epitomized by Brown referring to Entertainer of the Year nominee and fellow performer Luke Bryan’s bro-country chart-topper ”That’s My Kind of Night” as ”the worst song I’ve ever heard.” ”You’ve got people in our industry all fired up on each side of that issue, and then you’ve got me — I’m just happy about it,” Paisley says, laughing. ”It’s like I’m this sadist when we’re writing this show. I’m like, ‘Oh, that looks painful… That’s great!” READ FULL STORY
Katy Perry’s new album Prism (out 10/22; read EW critic Nick Catucci’s take here) is full of the bouncy, joyous pop tunes that she’s known for. But perhaps the most surprising aspect is her bluntness when writing about her 2012 divorce from Russell Brand in the poignant-but-hopeful closing track “By the Grace of God.” In it, Perry sings that post-break-up she could be found on her bathroom floor crying.
“Well, imagine what you go through,” she tells EW. “Imagine what happens when you go through a break up. We all go through break ups and we all get very depressed and desperate. The lyrics are very exact and autobiographical. That’s how I write. But the one thing about those lyrics is you can hear me finding my strength throughout the song. It starts off really low and then I kind of stand up for myself and say, ‘No!'”
Perry adds: “Sometimes you look in the mirror when you’re crying and if you look in the mirror it will make you cry more because you’re feeling sorry for yourself. And then sometimes you look in the mirror and you cry and I’ve been like: ‘Snap out of it! It’s time to — come on — grow up! No!’ There’s almost like this inner warfare that comes out, this inner battle between the good angel and the bad devil.”
Perry, who says her recent single “Unconditionally” was partially influenced by current boyfriend John Mayer, specifies that “By the Grace of God” is the lone track from Prism specifically about her relationship with Brand. “All the other songs are stories from different times in my life,” she says. “It’s people making assumptions. It’s kind of hard because I am so vulnerable and I am [such an] open book, but I don’t feel like I want to hand over a specific story about each and every song. I don’t feel like I want every song to come with a little package, a little tabloid-al package because it’s like, ‘Why don’t you let the song be a little unspecific to the listener? Then the listener can use it and relate to it in their own way. So, not every song comes up with an excerpt. They’re biographical but all you’re going to get in the songs is just that.”
For much more from Katy Perry, look for EW’s intimate all-access profile of the star on newsstands Nov. 1.
Whip out your pink tux and pierce your left ear — Taylor Swift wants to take you to a 1980s prom.
The pop-country star (and future The Giver actress) teamed up with fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff to pen “Sweeter Than Fiction,” a New Wavey track for the upcoming British biopic One Chance, which tells the story of Paul Potts, the down-on-his-luck store clerk who became an opera-singing sensation after winning Britain’s Got Talent in 2007.
Swift sings from the point of view of a longtime fan who believed in a performer’s talent long before anyone else did. “I’ve seen you fall, I’ve seen you crawl on your knees, eh eh” she sings during the opening verse. “I’ve seen you lost in a crowd, seen your colors fade.” The song’s main subject doesn’t mire for too long, though, and the tone of the lyrics quickly shifts to match the fizzy musical arrangement. “There you’ll stand ten feet tall, and I will say, ‘I knew it all along,'” Swift beams in the chorus. “I’ll be one of the many saying, ‘You made us proud.'”
The track, which will play over the end-credits of One Chance, is uplifting without being hokey and sweet without being cloying. It’s as light and airy as cotton candy — and just as addictive, too. Give it a listen below: READ FULL STORY
Katy Perry reveals how John Mayer (and Africa!) inspired her emotional new single 'Unconditionally' -- EXCLUSIVE
Pop superstar Katy Perry’s new album Prism comes out next Tuesday, Oct. 22 (you can stream the full album now at katyperry.com and read EW music critic Nick Catucci’s review here) but the singer has now officially released the second single, “Unconditionally.” An emotional, soaring ballad, the song is Perry’s favorite on the album and was actually inspired by Perry’s current love, John Mayer, and a recent trip she took. “‘Unconditionally’ was influenced by my boyfriend and also really influenced by Africa,” Perry reveals to EW. “I went to Madagascar and did a UNICEF trip that changed my life and gave me this song. It’s just a simple message about loving someone and accepting them and kind of driving at you don’t have to be so self-conscious, you don’t have to fear, because essentially, everybody has their stuff. Nobody comes stuff-free. Everybody has their things and you’re never going to be perfect, and accepting that and understanding that, especially in a relationship, it makes room for a real, genuine kind of love.”
For much more from Katy Perry, look for EW’s intimate all-access profile of the star on newsstands Nov. 1.
Sinead O'Connor pens open letter to Miley Cyrus: 'Don't let the music business make a prostitute of you'
Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O’Connor is no stranger to controversy (she famously tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II while saying, “Fight the real enemy!” on Saturday Night Live in 1992), but the 46-year-old musician finds nothing amusing about Miley Cyrus’ headline-grabbing antics — or her recent willingness to strip off her clothes.
O’Connor has penned an open letter to the artist formerly known as Hannah Montana in response to Cyrus’ recent Rolling Stone cover story, in which she explained that O’Connor’s iconic music video for “Nothing Compares 2 U” helped inspire her own “Wrecking Ball” clip — you know, the one that features Cyrus licking a sledgehammer and swinging naked on a wrecking ball.
“Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited,” O’Connor warns, “and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent.”
“The music business doesn’t give a sh– about you, or any of us,” she continues. “They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think it’s what YOU wanted… None of the men oggling you give a sh– about you either, do not be fooled.”
O’Connor’s words are harsh, but she weaves in moments of sincere admiration for Cyrus’ musical ability throughout the piece. “You have enough talent that you don’t need to let the music business make a prostitute of you,” O’Connor argues. “Your records are good enough for you not to need any shedding of Hannah Montana. She’s waaaaaaay gone by now. Not because you got naked but because you make great records.”
Read the full letter below:
READ FULL STORY
Last night’s Breaking Bad finale brought about plenty of surprises — especially for Joey Molland, the guitarist and sole surviving member of the British power-pop band Badfinger.
As you certainly know by now (and if not, SPOILERS AHEAD), the group’s 1972 hit “Baby Blue” pointedly soundtracked the episode’s final scene, and the song has since shot up the charts (and seen a 9000% stream increase on Spotify) accordingly. We called the 66-year-old Molland at his home in Minnesota to catch up and ask him about his thoughts on the whole thing.
EW: Did you know beforehand that “Baby Blue” was going to be used in the finale?
Joey Molland: No. It’s a Peter Ham song, so Pete’s estate and the record label, publishing house — they’d communicate with them about it. So we had no idea it was going to happen. I was actually just catching the end of the show, really. I was working around the house all day, packing up stuff for the Goodwill, and just doing mundane stuff like that. READ FULL STORY
M.I.A. is not afraid of the NFL. Instead, she calls the league’s lawsuit demanding $1.5 million from her for flipping the bird during last year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show “completely ridiculous.”
In a YouTube video, the singer born Maya Arulpragasam calls the league’s lawsuit “powerful corporation d–k shaking” and that the cheerleaders who performed with her were more offensive to family audiences than her middle finger.
“If you look at them, they’re all wearing cheerleader outfits, hips in the air, legs wide open in this very sexually provocative position,” she says in the video. “Is my finger offensive or is an underage black girl with her legs wide open more offensive to the family audience?”
And yes, M.I.A. flips the bird to the camera in the video, saying the league wants her to say sorry and show that “it’s okay for me to promote being sexually exploited as a female than to display female empowerment through being punk rock.”
Watch her statement below: READ FULL STORY
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