Tag Archives: Mariah Carey

‘AMERICAN IDOL’ AND POP STAR FEUDS – WHO IS THE CATTIEST OF THEM ALL?

idol panelInteresting how reports that “American Idol” was considering a judge change mid-season — with replacements for both Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj — have surfaced just as the May 16 finale of “Idol” nears.  Let’s face it, the purported diva feud between the icon and the upstart is the most interesting thing about “Idol” this year.  It’s so interesting, former judge Steven Tyler publicly doubted its authenticity.  “Of course — are you kidding?!” he said, when asked if he thought the cat fight was more publicity ploy than organic venomous hostility.

Well, we see his point, but we’re thinking the organic venomous hostility is probably valid.  To recap:  Reports of friction between Mariah and Nicki date back to 2010, when the two were paired in their “Up Out My Face” music video and Minaj was said to have disrespected the superstar, whom she has dubbed “her $#@ing highness.” Exciting video of the two tangling over an “Idol” contestant went viral last fall.

When Nicki complained about Mariah and Randy Jackson making comments about pop musicians, Mariah snapped back with “I’m sorry, it’s just that that’s what I do, Nicki.  So when I’m making comments, I’m trying to help her, as opposed to just talk about her outfit.”

“Let me continue to speak,” Nicki said, to which Mariah responded, “Of course, you always do. Go ahead.”

The exchange got hotter, ending when Minaj tossed her seat behind her and cried “…Maybe I should just get off the $#@!ing panel!…” and Carey sniped back, “That was my move … I was gonna do that the next time she bagged on me.”  And Minaj stormed off the set in a cloud of explitives.

Carey later told Barbara Walters on “The View” that Minaj had made a comment that she’d have shot the $#@! if she’d had a gun.  She hired extra security.  Minaj pointed out on Twitter that no cameras or microphones caught her supposed gun comment — “say no to violence.”

So the idea was to bring back popular judge Jennifer Lopez?  When it comes to pop diva cat fights, J.Lo knows how to deal. Consider her on-again, off-again tiff with Madonna, which dates back to a 1998 Movieline interview.  Lopez soundly dissed Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Winona Ryder, and Salma Hayek.  She called herself a better actress than Madge:  “Do I think she’s a great actress? No. Acting is what I do.”

Madonna got back at Lopez at Donatella Versace’s millennial New Year’s Eve dinner party in Miami. Reportedly, Lopez was shunned by the Material Mom and her posse, which included gal pal Gwyneth Paltrow. Lopez arrived an hour and a half late at the South Beach mansion. As Versace got up to greet Lopez, Madonna purportedly announced, “Dinner’s over now.” Her entourage followed her as she left the room.

More recently, of course, Madonna’s been feuding with Lady Gaga, whom she has accused of excessive emulation, shall we say, calling Gaga’s “Born This Way” “reductive” of her own “Express Yourself” 80’s song.  She performed a mash-up of her and Gaga’s hits in Tel Aviv last year to make her point.  Then Elton John jumped into the mix, complaining on an Australian TV show about Madonna’s “horrible” treatment of Gaga — and adding that Madonna’s career is over and that she looks like a “fairground stripper.”

Now, there’s a guy who knows how to do a verbal slice.

Not that Elton hasn’t been sliced himself.  For instance, there’s his dog fight with fellow rockasaurus Rod Stewart.  Rod unloaded on several of his peers in Britain’s Radio Times magazine a few years back. He called Elton “Sharon” and said he should “lose some timber.”

Rod also complained that he’d been unfairly criticized for dating a younger woman, especially when nobody criticized Paul McCartney for marrying a woman half his age. The difference, he reportedly said, was that McCartney got a knighthood. “I don’t know why I haven’t got any honor. I do my bit for charity.”

He also complained that he’d been passed over for Grammys in favor of Sting. Said Rod, “The sun shines out his arse…Mr. Serious who helps the Indians.”

A few days later, Sting fired back, “I think he deserves [a Grammy], I really do. I’m thinking of sending him one of mine.”

Yep, Steven Tyler is right about the attention-grabbing value of pop stars sniping at each other.  He’s in the mix himself, after all.  Recall he criticized Minaj’s judging ability, saying “If it was Bob Dylan, Nicki Minaj would have had him sent to the cornfield! Whereas, if it was Bob Dylan with us, we would have brought the best of him out, as we did with Phillip Phillips.”

Of course, her answer was to accuse him of racism.  Huh?

She responded on Twitter: “That’s a racist comment. You assume that I wouldn’t have liked Bob Dylan??? why? black? rapper? what?”

Tyler then went on a Canadian talk show and apologized, and added that “I am the last thing on this planet as far as being a racist. I don’t know where she got that out of me saying I’m not sure how she would’ve judged Bob Dylan.”

No word on all this from Bob Dylan.  Yet.

 

Backstage Secrets, Dick Clark — Producer Larry Klein Looks Back at 40 Years of American Music Awards

Larry Klein and Christina Aguilera

The 40th Annual American Music Awards will mark the passing of its creator and godfather, Dick Clark, with a tribute to the TV Academy and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who died this past April.  However, “It’s not going to be a long, drawn-out thing,” promises producer Larry Klein. “It will be short and sweet.  That’s the way Dick would have wanted it.”

Klein would be the man to know.  He’s been working on the show since he got work as a production assistant on the very first AMAs. Even after Clark sold his company a decade ago, along with the American Music Awards show, Klein says no year would pass without his getting together with best buddy Dick and chatting about the event. 

This year’s show will feature performances by some 17 chart-toppers, including Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Ke$ha, Usher, No Doubt, Nicki Minaj, Pink, Carrie Underwood, Pitbull, Christina Aguilera and Linkin Park.  Bieber is up for three awards this year including Artist of the Year.  Bieber’s mentor, Usher, is also in the running with three nominations and the two will face off against each other in the category for Favorite Male Artist: Pop/Rock.  Rihanna  and Minaj lead the nominees with four nods apiece. Drake, Maroon 5 and One Direction have three nominations each.

Things have changed a lot, notes Klein, from the days when the likes of Helen Reddy and John Denver would “would come in and ask, ‘What should I sing?’  What does Dick want me to do?’  Now, I walk in and say, ‘I’m the producer.  Just tell me what you want,’” says Klein with a laugh. 

The special anniversary edition of the AMAs will bring us some highlights of their storied history, such as Prince’s Purple Reign prancing, Michael Jackson’s thrilling moves, and Axl Rose’s unprintable acceptance speech.  Not surprisingly, some of the moments Klein finds most memorable took place off camera.  There have been gargantuan backstage clashes, talent that had to be kept in dressing rooms that were far apart and all that sort of thing, he cheerfully acknowledges, refusing to name names.  And there’ve been heart-stopping near-misses and eleventh-hour changes.  Klein recalls that “a few years ago, the person who opened the show, at the five second mark was not on her mark – through no fault of her own.  She was supposed to be in a container, but there had been problems with it, and when the countdown started, I realized she was behind me.” 

That performer was Mariah Carey, and she did manage to whisk into the egg-shaped, spinning container at the very last second, and start the awards.  “Thank God she had the stage presence to keep her cool.  She could have freaked out,” Klein says. 

  Even though they’ll be glancing back, however, the 40th awards will be focused on today.  Klein says that every one of the 17 acts that will be performing will have its own environment.  “That’s one of the things that sets us apart.  Because of me wanting every artist to have their own atmosphere, their own look – nothing repeated — we have carts containing set pieces stretching out for six to eight blocks in downtown L.A. on show day.”  This year, he says, viewers will get to see some of the backstage action.

The hardest part must be squeezing in everything they want to do.  How does Klein manage?  “We just do it, “ he says.

Beck/Smith Hollywood Tacky Taste Awards 2008

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

With Thanksgiving almost upon us again, it’s time to dish those celebrity turkeys whose behavior you found hard to swallow this year — the 2008 Tacky Taste Awards, voted on by readers. Here are the Top 10 results:

1. Sarah Palin. The former VP candidate may not have won on Nov. 4, but she won here, proving a lightning rod for tacky votes — with correspondence both condemning and defending her. “I have a big problem with Sarah Palin’s $150,000 wardrobe. So much for being for the working class,” wrote AlleeC via email. Grace H. of Burbank, Calif., wrote, “I second the nomination for Sarah Palin’s wardrobe and everything else Sarah Palin — such as her look-at-me-I’m-pregnant-and-single teenage daughter.”

But on the other hand, after we indicated in our column that the Alaska governor was drawing Tacky votes, a storm of letters came in on her behalf. Such as: “I think you two should be listed as tacky. How many times do you have to be told that Gov. Sarah Palin did not pick out the clothing, it was the RNC. She couldn’t move without the news media and photographers being on her trail, and yet how many photos did we see showing her in the exclusive stores?” wrote Martha J. of Chattanooga, Tenn. “What about the cost of Joe Biden’s botox and hair transplants?” mused Blake123 from the Internet. And then there were those, like KrisL of San Bernardino, Calif., who were disgusted by the triviality of it all: “Forget the economy, Iraq, global warming and health care. Let’s talk about her clothes! Now, that’s tacky.”

2. Madonna and Guy Ritchie. The ugly Madonna/Guy Ritchie divorce and how public they have been about dissing each other got readers’ attention. “He said she was like cuddling up to a piece of gristle, and at a concert she said her song ‘Miles Away’ was dedicated to the emotionally retarded, which people believed she was talking about him. Maybe they’re each right, but why to they have to go out and tell the world? After all, they picked each other,” wrote F.F. of Raleigh, N.C. PandagirlDeb emailed, “Divorce really sucks for the kids, and all the sniping in public doesn’t help.” “Her affair with Alex Rodriguez adds another tacky chapter to her slutty, tacky life story,” said Tony from Phoenix, Ariz.

3. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Angelina Jolie’s comment to the New York Times alluding to the fact that she and Brad Pitt fell in love while making “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” rankled more than a few. “So now the truth pops out. Whatever happened to her holier-than-thou statements that her mom was cheated on, so she’d never break up a marriage?” asked reader Jon S.

 

from Bloomfield, N.J. Sean-D emailed, “Why do people always rush to attack Jolie as if she was the sole culprit in this story, with Pitt getting a free pass? It ain’t right.” And then there are those who are just tired of the couple in general. As G.H. of Burbank put it, “I’m sick of Brangelina having kids every time they turn around and reading about them every time they go to the toilet.” 

4. Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus. You didn’t forget her bare-in-bed Lolita-esque Vanity Fair pose. “Her daddy is to blame,” declared Ellen of Orlando, Fla. D.G. of Denver felt, “The whole thing with the two of them posing more like a couple than father and daughter was ewwwwwww, sleazy & tacky!! It’s sickening, the way he’s riding her coattails to refresh his career, at any cost.” “I used to really like her, but now I can’t stand her and her huge ego. Go Selena and Demi!” added SamanthaHC on the Internet.

5. Balthazar Getty and Sienna Miller. “What were they thinking, making out with her nearly nude on a beach with paparazzi around? Not only was he married, he’s got four kids. It doesn’t get any tackier,” claimed Ann S., over the Internet. “She acts like a slut and then sues paparazzi over the fact she is a tramp. Sad.” — Dale C., Las Vegas. “Wowza. She doesn’t seem to like wearing tops. She must get a lot of chest colds.” — A.I., Newark

6. Mariah Carey. “Reading about her demanding a private jet, a $15,000 a night penthouse suite and a Michelin-starred chef to appear on the World Music Awards made my blood boil. This kind of outrageous diva behavior was bad enough before, but now that so many people are suffering economically, losing their jobs, unable to pay for their kids’ needs, it’s completely disgusting.” — Nora B., St. Louis, Mo.

7. Lynn Spears. “To exploit your daughter’s personal life to sell your book is beyond tacky. And it’s supposed to be ‘inspirational’ on top of that.” — Bernice, Yonkers, N.Y.

8. Russell Brand, for making fun of the Jonas Brothers’ chastity promise rings on the Video Music Awards. “Even Paris Hilton thought he went too far.” — C.S., Denver

9. Lindsay Lohan. “She is so trashy and tacky, and this incident with her fighting and screaming obscenities at her girlfriend, Samantha Ronson, in a London nightclub is par for the course. Anger management rehab?” — Jay M., Northridge, Calif.

10. John Mayer. “Even though John Mayer and Jennifer Aniston got back together, I thought it was tacky how he kept talking to the press about their breakup. I can’t believe she took him back after that!” — E.F., via email.

And, that’s it for this year. Wishing you all a warm and peaceful holiday, and may all your turkeys be tasty ones!

With reports by Emily Feimster.

To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2008 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH

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