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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 writes to Miley Cyrus again: 'It is not acceptable to mock any person for having suffered'

On Oct. 2, outspoken Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O’Connor posted an open letter to Miley Cyrus on her website that chided the starlet for getting naked in her “Wrecking Ball” video — which Cyrus had told Rolling Stone was partly inspired by O’Connor’s iconic “Nothing Compares 2U” clip. “Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited,” O’Connor wrote to Cyrus, “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.”

Cyrus didn’t take kindly to the harsh criticism, tweeting out a response that compared O’Connor to troubled starlet Amanda Bynes and included a screengrab of the bipolar singer’s very public Twitter meltdown from January 2012. Cyrus, who will host Saturday Night Live this weekend, then tweeted an image of O’Connor famously tearing up a photo of Pope John Paul II during her own Saturday Night Live gig in 1992.

O’Connor has now taken to her website to address Cyrus again — and she’s not playing nice this time around. “I mean really really… who advises you?” she asks. “Have you any idea how stupid and dangerous it is to mock people for suffering illness?”

She also takes issue with Cyrus’ tweet about O’Connor’s pope-tearing SNL stunt. “By mocking it you mock every child who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of priests and had it covered by the Vatican,” she says. “You could really do with educating yourself, that is if you’re not too busy getting your t–s out to read.” Yikes.

Once again, Cyrus has responded to O’Connor’s open letter on her Twitter:

Read O’Connor’s full letter below: READ FULL STORY

Sinead O'Connor pens open letter to Miley Cyrus: 'Don't let the music business make a prostitute of you'

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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

Badfinger's Joey Molland talks 'Baby Blue' and the 'Breaking Bad' finale

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. on NFL lawsuit: It's 'a massive waste of time' -- VIDEO

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

See James Blunt as an astronaut in his new 'Satellites' lyric video -- EXCLUSIVE

We thought the Gravity trailer alone would dissuade any dreamers from pursuing a career as an astronaut, but James Blunt still wants to take one giant step for mankind.

In a new clip for his “Satellites,” which you can watch exclusively here, the British singer-songwriter dons a space helmet as his croons the previously unreleased track from his upcoming album Moon Landing. Sensing a theme?

Thankfully, all goes well for our hero in the clip. Maybe Sandra Bullock is just really bad at outer space? Or maybe Blunt is really good! Take a look at the video below and decide for yourself:

READ FULL STORY

Billy Ray Cyrus on Miley's 'Wrecking Ball' video: 'It wouldn't have mattered if Miley would have worn a nun's habit'

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Opinions about Miley Cyrus’ hammer-licking “Wrecking Ball” video are like tongues—everybody has one.

But some, like Miley’s famous father Billy Ray, are more relevant than others. He had the opportunity to make a definitive statement about parenting and teen sexuality when he commented on his daughter’s video yesterday; instead, he sort of side-stepped the issue.

Talking to Entertainment Tonight, Billy Ray said he thought everybody was missing the point. “The song’s a smash,” the elder Cyrus said. “It wouldn’t have mattered if Miley would have worn jeans and a flannel shirt, a tux, or a nun’s habit—her performance vocally on the tune reflects her roots and sheer God-given talent.”

“I’m a song man,” he added. “A musician singer-songwriter who loves all styles of music. I come from the old school where it starts with an artist and a song, colliding if you will, in a moment where the song, the singer, the producer, the band, and the listener become one.”

Yesterday, Miley herself told New York radio personality Elvis Duran, “If people can take their minds off the obvious and go into their imagination and see what the video really means, it is so vulnerable.”

It all continues the build for Cyrus’ new album Bangerz, which arrives on October 4.

Violent Femmes talk reunion, Central Park show

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When the organizers of Coachella reached out to the Violent Femmes to play this summer’s event, it had been six years since the much beloved indie-rock trio had performed a show, in part because of intra-band tensions.

“It was an offer that came to us through our booking agent,” singer-guitarist Gordon Gano tells EW. “I think he said in a communication, ‘I know there’s no chance in hell but I’ve got to let you know that there’s this going on.’ But we thought, ‘Yeah, alright, let’s see if we can get together and do this.'”

READ FULL STORY

Kanye West makes surprise appearance on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' -- PHOTO

Looking at the photo above, you’re probably thinking the same thing we are: How has this not already happened?! But it’s true. Kanye West made his very first appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight, performing his song “Bound 2″ off his latest album Yeezus. 
READ FULL STORY

See Carrie Underwood's 'Sunday Night Football' theme -- VIDEO

NBC unveiled Carrie Underwood’s version of the Sunday Night Football theme tonight, marking the end of Faith Hill’s reign as the NFL’s musical queen.

Hill began singing “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night” (a reworking of Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You”) in 2007 and has appeared at the top of the broadcast for the past six years. Hill stepped down from the gig in April, and in May it was announced that Underwood would take over the high-profile opening number, which, interestingly, didn’t always belong to country gals — it was originally sung by Pink in 2006.

Underwood’s version features a whole lot of high notes and almost as many Verizon logos, but, remarkably fewer shots of her legs (which some have called the best gams in the biz) than Hill’s. Check it out below — along with the older versions for comparison:
READ FULL STORY

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