Tag Archives: Nicki Minaj

‘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.