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Found 11 results

  1. Skinny Legend

    The 5 Best Albums of 2018

    If 2018's list of the best songs of the year shows us anything, it's that the ability to define pop music in the 21st century is becoming increasingly more difficult. Gone are the days when record label executives and radio DJ's defined the sound of the summer in highly organised meetings; nowadays, listeners are willing and able to seek out their own finds, creating intimate emotional bonds with their favourite discoveries that last long after their songs end. Our list of 2018's greatest albums reinforces that idea, bouncing between rock, hip-hop, R&B and dance effortlessly. What's somewhat more inexplicable is the list's focus on comebacks from female artists who haven't had hits in years. In 2018, each of these women managed to reinvent themselves for a generation that's impossible to pin down, and prove that life doesn't end for a singer once they leave the Forbes Hottest 30 Under 30 list or vanish from the cover of US Weekly. It just goes to show that while there's more choice and diversity than ever in pop music, a familiar face is sometimes all an audience wants to see in their Spotify library. Enjoy our picks for 2018's best albums down below, and for a walk down memory lane don't forget to check out our lists from 2017, 2016 and 2015! Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper - A Star Is Born A Star Is Born was the cinematic event of 2018, and with it's Academy Award hype and meme-worthy publicity stunting it's also been the unexpected project that made one-time sensation Lady Gaga cool again. The film's soundtrack had a lot to do with that, hitting the refresh button on Gaga's career while making a would-be star out of Bradley Cooper: for as difficult as it is to believe, there was still some uncultured people who were unaware of Gaga's talent, and who needed her singing over some rock instrumentals to believe it. Let's leave that in 2018, shall we? The soundtrack's success is ironic given the fact that it's probably Gaga's least impressive project overall thanks to a collection of factors. Even when you take out the dialogue tracks, the album is an impressive nineteen tracks long, but sadly it feels as though around half of the songs were just thrown onto the album as gifts for her fans who had waited so long rather than for the impeccable quality we've come to expect from Gaga. 'Heal Me', 'Before I Cry' and 'Music To My Eyes' have some of the worst lyricism we've heard all year, while the electronic duo of 'Hair Body Face' and 'Why Did You Do That' - while bops in a semi-ironic fashion - only make sense in the context of the film and seem incredibly awkward on the country-tinged album. Despite that, there's enough truly great songs on here for an EP of classics, particularly Cooper's touching 'Maybe It's Time', the rock duets 'Shallow', 'Diggin' My Grave' and 'I Don't Know What Love Is' and the holy trinity of Gaga power ballads 'Always Remember Us This Way', 'Is That Alright' and 'I'll Never Love Again'. It may not entirely work on it's own, but in tandem with it's accompanying film the A Star Is Born soundtrack hits all the marks you'd want it to. Nicki Minaj - Queen Nicki Minaj had a false start - or three - in 2017 with her trio of singles 'Changed It', 'No Frauds' and 'Regret In Your Tears', but in 2018 she proved that she was ready for her official comeback. Queen plays out exactly like Nicki's three past albums have - with a section for hard-hitting hip-hop rhymes like 'Barbie Dreams' and 'Good Form', a section for potential crossover hits like 'Bed' with Ariana Grande and 'Thought I Knew You' with The Weeknd, a section for vulnerable slow-jams with 'Ganja Burn' and 'Run & Hide', and a whole lot of random filler thrown in for good measure. And even if her schizophrenic style of putting together albums may be losing it's charm, that's not to say that there aren't any masterpieces to be found among the rubble. Both 'Chun-Li' and 'Good Form' have a frenetic energy pulsing through their beats that's physically hard not to dance to, while the Labrinth and Eminem assisted 'Majesty' and 'LLC' are both aided by the kind of rapping we wish Nicki could bring us all the time. Like all of Minaj's albums, Queen has it's ups and downs, but that doesn't stop it from highlighting her unique talents. All she needs to do now is learn to direct those talents into a cohesive project for once. Christina Aguilera - Liberation Following the commercial failure of Bionic and the generic blandness of Lotus, Christina Aguilera fans would be forgiven for thinking that the 90s queen would never release another great album again. Thankfully, she managed to prove them wrong with this year's Liberation, which successfully propelled XTincta into the mainstream even while not quite matching the brilliance of some of her past reinventions. He may have had his ups and downs in recent years, but Kanye West has to at least be given some credit for his production roles in the album's two best songs: the fiesty, kinetic lead single 'Accelerate' and the album's true opener 'Maria'. A further shoutout has to go to Demi Lovato who lends her vocals to second single 'Fall In Line'; although XTina seems perfectly capable of holding her own on classic power ballad 'Twice'. The rest of the album seems to be built around these four pillars, with high-octane danceable tracks blending with softcore R&B and retro flashbacks in a fashion that's distinctively XTina. This is the album's biggest drawback: it's four standouts are outweighed by some very interchangeable filler, when it could really use one or more two surefire hits (why is no one calling Bonnie McKee nowadays?). Even so, Liberation makes for a great listen for any XTina fan and a promising return to form for her career. Rita Ora - Phoenix Rita Ora's second album Phoenix may have been a long time in the making, but she's never been one to disappoint. Following the release of her impressive debut ORA back in 2012, Rita embarked on a Homeric odyssey for her second album, with the project undergoing at least three different variations before it's ultimate release. One version was recorded with 'I Will Never Let You Down' as the lead single under the guidance of her boyfriend Calvin Harris, but scrapped when they broke up; another was recorded with 'Poison' as the lead single, but scrapped when she left Roc Nation; and the third was recorded throughout one month in 2017 and released in November to little hype. The songs themselves reflect that odyssey, transversing Rita's current EDM bops like the song of 2016 'Anywhere' and the annoyingly catchy 'Let You Love Me', as well as collaborations with the late Avicii on 'Lonely Together', Liam Payne on Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack cut 'For You' and Rudimental on surefire hit 'Summer Love'. Like her first album, Phoenix also has a few outliers: lead single 'Your Song' is a little more poppy, controversial track 'Girls' is pure bubblegum and 'First Time High' was a misstep that should have been kept on someone's external hard drive. But even with these outliers, Phoenix has enough excellent tracks to appeal to any pop music lover, backed up by Ora's commendable vocals and winning personality. Ora has all the elements of a superstar: all she needs is for the world outside of Europe to realise it. Mariah Carey - Caution It's safe to say that Caution was one of the world's least hyped albums in 2018. Following her disastrous New Year's Eve performance back in 2016, an ill-advised reality show and the false start that was 'I Don't', even Mariah's most diehard fans were wary to see what she had up her sleeve for her fifteenth studio album. Luckily, Mariah seemed quick to snap to her senses and managed to release an album that made the world fall in love with her again. From start to finish, Caution manages to simultaneously encapsulate the 90s image of Mariah that is well known and well loved, while still sounding fresh and current. Take our first taste of the album 'GTFO', which by all accounts should have been a tryhard mess that wouldn't be astray on Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse. But don't let the title fool you; 'GTFO' is a down-tempo, moody heartbreak song, which is only slightly offset by it's alternatively angsty or comedic chorus. 'GTFO' wasn't a hit for Mariah, but it did reach meme status, which is a step up for her in 2018; and we wouldn't be surprised if future hit 'A No No' managed to to the same. Even if she doesn't quite achieve that, Mariah has still gifted her fans with a handful of her famed heartbreak ballads to enjoy: from stirring lead single 'With You' to the intensely vulnerable 'Portrait'. Caution may not have been a smash album, but if nothing else it did what might have once been considered impossible: it changed the public's perception of one of the most misunderstood singers in music history, and set her up for future wins. Let's hope it doesn't take another four years for Mariah to bask in them. What was your favourite album of 2018? Let us know in the comments down below!
  2. Skinny Legend

    The 18 Best Songs of 2018

    Every year around this time, the #PopHatesFlops community comes together to celebrate the year in pop music and to compile our annual list of our favourite songs of the year. While previous years lists have been microcosms of the genres that populated them - last year focused heavily on country-pop, while 2016 was big on slinky synthpop and 2015 was loving the tropical pop trend - this year's list is remarkable for it's lack of trendiness, showing that in 2018 there's no longer any such thing as an era in pop music. It's a testament to how fractured the industry is in the age of streaming apps and the dwindling importance of radio that our members have chosen such wide ranging songs as piano ballads, acoustic guitar work and 90s-styled R&B, and that all of them sound current and fresh. For the first time ever, we've included a Spotify playlist of this year's entries so you can listen along to the songs while you read our thoughts. Whether you're out partying it up at your local New Year's celebrations or spending a quiet day nursing your hangover at home, we hope that this list will bring you joy as you celebrate the coming of another year. And once again, we have to say a big thank you to the amazing members who make not only this list, but also this forum possible. We love you all and we wish you only the best in 2019! 18. Clean Bandit - Baby (Feat. Marina & Luis Fonsi) Submitted By: @Skinny Legend Little had been heard of the artist previously known as Marina and the Diamonds since 2015's experimental Froot album, which is why it was all the more surprising that she decided to make her long-awaited comeback with dance-pop sensations Clean Bandit and generic Hispanic stereotype Luis Fonsi. 'Baby' is just as generic as it's composers would imply, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the best-produced and straight up fun songs of the year. Marina handles the change from squeaky sex kitten in the verse to acoustic guitar balladeer in the pre-chorus to triumphant Selena impersonator in the chorus with style, and even the typically irritating Fonsi manages to impress with his brand of Latin flair. Hopefully 'Baby' is a sign that Marina's ready to give up her pretentions of making alternative music in favour of a more laidback, carefree style. 17. Avril Lavigne - Head Above Water Submitted By: @kallumlavigne Avril Lavigne's powerful comeback after a long hiatus 'Head Above Water' - apart from the obvious green screen and body double in the video - is stunning. The song itself is quiet: a powerful, slow ballad that finds redemption towards it's last chorus, and it's a very different sound from the in your face guitar-based pop-punk tunes she's known for. But the piano delivers well, the instrumental is a euphoric experience and Avril's semi-soft vocals take the crown this year for me. Also, its low, but it's on Billboard's list of the best songs of 2018. 16. Kim Petras - Tell Me It's a Nightmare Submitted By: @Turn Ya Head Kim Petras, perhaps the most promising upcoming singer from the past three years, has released numerous buzz singles between 2017 and 2018; but in my opinion, her best work so far is one of the tracks from her Halloween-themed EP Turn Off The Light, Vol. 1. 'Tell Me It's a Nightmare' is a dark dance-oriented track which follows a remarkable instrumental song on the EP, creating an ethereal flow that some albums seem to lack these days. The ambiguous, yet intriguing lyrics, manage to convey a sense of horror and desperation that slightly contrasts with the rest of the EP. "Tell me it's a nightmare/And you ain't going nowhere/Try to save ya, warn ya, keep you alive/Try to stop ya, but you paid the price", sings Petras in a pleading manner. Who is she trying to save? What is she trying to save them from? Only her and the person who this song is dedicated to will ever know. Maybe she's trying to save them from herself. Maybe she's trying to save them from a potentially abusive relationship. The mystery allows the listener to apply the lyrics to their own personal life and therefore makes them relatable to almost anyone. The high-pitched vocals showcase Petras's singing ability and charisma. The production allows her crystal clear voice to shine and complement the haunting bass that's so prominent in the instrumental. The song ends with a haunting segment, in which she repeatedly sings non-lexical vocals in a catchy tune. What else could a pop fan ask from a song? Good lyrics, stellar production, a carefully engineered instrumental and outstanding vocals. 'Tell Me It's a Nightmare' might not be a mainstream hit or a chart topper, but it surely is a masterpiece. 15. Kacey Musgraves - Happy & Sad Submitted By: @nanapop99 I used to hate country music and I probably still do, but the good sis Kacey really did that with her latest album Golden Hour. In my opinion the album deserves to win Album of the Year at the Grammy's, but that's another subject. Anyways, country music is a genre I don't really listen to but these past few years we've seen pop divas like Gaga, Miley, Kesha and Kylie bringing their yeehaw out of nowhere, so you could say that I've gotten used to that type of music. I first heard of Kacey in a meme comparing Carly Rae Jepsen's E•MO•TION to Golden Hour and I was really wondering what was so special about that country girl. A few months after that, I heard a snippet of 'High Horse' and it was a bop at first listen so I decided to download the album while preparing for my trip to Vietnam and South Korea. I listened to the first half of the album on the plane and it really was so good! I was shook and my wig definitely flew to Texas or Tennessee or whatever yeehaw place you can think of. But the track that really stood out for me was 'Happy & Sad'. I don't think that there's anything special sonically about the track but the vibe, the lyrics, and the E•MO•TION of it that meant I couldn't stop my tears from falling while listening to the track for the first time. Unfortunately, my moment had to be cut short because the plane was about to land and I had to pretend that I was crying because of the loud noises. I was lowkey a mess back in July because I've just graduated high school and I didn't really know where I'd end up in September, study-wise. And while I was happy to travel with my family, I was kinda sad at the same time within my personal life so you could say that I was "lost.mp3". But this song and the album in general were like a warm hug for me. Golden Hour is the soundtrack to my summer 2018 and 'Happy & Sad' is definitely my song of the year! Who knew I had to become a space cowboy in order to survive this year? 14. Little Mix - Wasabi Submitted By: @Ari 2018 saw the release of LM5 from legendary iconic girl group Little Mix. After the massive success of their previous album Glory Days, they had big boots to fill but they did not disappoint! Many songs on this album are very different to their previous sound which has received some mixed reactions, but one song we can all hopefully agree on is the iconic bop that is 'Wasabi'. Penned by none other than legendary group member and LGBTQ icon Jade Thirlwall, as well as written and produced by the iconic MNEK, 'Wasabi' is the hoe anthem that we all need in our lives. From the catchy lyrics to the boppy beat and bass to even the harmonising "oh oh"'s, Little Mix show us that they will never be limited to one sound as a girl group and that each album they give us will be unique and fresh and work with all four members no matter the style of song. And that is why 'Wasabi' is one of the best songs of 2018. 13. Mariah Carey - GTFO Submitted By: @Skinny Legend Mariah Carey was never entirely gone from the music scene, with releases like the festive 'The Star' and the messy 'I Don't' holding fans over since her last album, 2014's Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse. Even so, our first offering from this year's Caution plays out just like a comeback single should, harking back to the classics that made gave Mariah her 18 #1's while propelling her unique form of balladry into the modern age. Don't let the title fool you; 'GTFO' is a down-tempo, moody heartbreak song, which is only slightly offset by it's angsty and comedic chorus of "How 'bout you get the fuck out?". While 'GTFO' was far from a hit, it did reach meme status pretty quickly and it's sound is probably the closest thing to a smash song that Mariah could get to in 2018. Fingers crossed that the next release from Caution will do a little better. 12. Ariana Grande - No Tears Left To Cry Submitted By: @Fetish My favorite song of this year has to be the gorgeous introduction to Ariana Grande's fourth album Sweetener. 'No Tears Left To Cry' almost instantly became a hit due to its beautiful production and even dreamier music video. The track defied expectations for Ariana, as she took inspiration from the Manchester tragedy to curate both a meaningful hard-hitting track and a seemingly lighthearted dance track. The upbeat nature of the production secures the song as a beautiful track filled with the celebration of all things, as Ariana twists the idea of no longer being able to cry into a transition towards happiness. With a catchy instrumental and even catchier lyrics by Max Martin, the song has easily established itself as one of the best songs of 2018 in my books. 11. Tinashe - Ooh La La Submitted By: @Glamleska Tinashe Jorgensen Kachingwe is the slept on R&B up-and-comer that's been championed as an unbeatable contender for seven years running, and this year she takes the stage with my favourite song 'Ooh La La'. Though this year has been considered a difficult one for Tinashe – from being dropped by RCA to going home earlier than deserved on Dancing With The Stars to the unjustly scrapped EP project NASHE – she still delivered one of my favorite R&B tracks of this decade. Track number five, 'Ooh La La', off her sophomore album Joyride has remained at the top of my rotation since its release. Though the album was heavily criticized, I found this track to be an incredible standout. I didn’t mind the album either, with the exception of there being way too many features. Between the nostalgic squeaking sound effect reminiscent of Trillville’s 'Some Cut', the heavy pulsating 808s, and her smooth harmonies over the chorus, 'Ooh La La' was everything I needed from an R&B track in 2018. It’s a shame it wasn’t released as a single over some other questionable choices - *cough* 'Me So Bad' - but I digress. Here’s to 2019 and another year of hoping my Aquarian sister finds some success independently! STOP SLEEPING ON TINASHE 2K19. #BuyJoyrideOniTunes 10. Lady Gaga - I'll Never Love Again Submitted By: @Skinny Legend Although she's best known for her dance/pop tracks, Lady Gaga has always been an incredible balladeer, as she's shown countless times in fan favourite songs like 'Brown Eyes', 'Speechlees' and 'Angel Down'. But while she's explored rooting tooting rock ballads and unsettling acoustic work, Gaga had never lent her vocals to a straight up power ballad before the release of this year's A Star Is Born soundtrack. 'I'll Never Love Again' is the final track on that album, although it appears as the penultimate song on the tracklisting as well with a slightly different ending, and after the high energy rock and roll attitude of the soundtrack and the movie it's the perfect song to listen to as the audience reflects back on the events of the story. Although the lyrics can be slightly over-sentimental and cheesy, the beautiful orchestral work can't be faulted and Gaga's voice sounds the best it ever has, even without any hint of Autotune or post-production work. Put simply, 'I'll Never Love Again' is a masterpiece on par with Whitney's 'I Will Always Love You', Mariah's 'Without You' and Celine's 'All By Myself', and the only shame about the song is that the charts didn't revere it as such. 9. Cher - The Winner Takes It All Submitted By: @Ruthless Love Yes, the song itself is not from 2018, however Cher's rendition is and it is magically perfect. Following her role in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, the legendary Cher announced she'd be releasing an album full of ABBA covers, and the result was Dancing Queen. The album itself is flawlessly perfect from beginning to end, and the standout song for me is the second-to-last, 'The Winner Takes it All'. Originally released by ABBA in 1980 from their Super Trouper album, the song is magical in its lyrical content, and under the direction of Cher and music producer Mark Taylor, it's truly uplifting and easy-listening at its best. It's still ABBA, but with a special twist of Cher-riffic talent and gold. This song is not-to-be-missed. 8. Hailee Steinfeld & BloodPop® - Capital Letters Submitted By: @Cypher There were a lot of songs this year that were good in glimpses, but one that stood out is 'Capital Letters' by Hailee Steinfeld and BloodPop®. Coming down from his production on the Justin Bieber collaboration 'Friends', BloodPop® was able to capture the cinematics and emotions of a new romance. With Ellie Goulding thrown into the mix as a co-writer, the song comes together with some of the highest highs of 2018. 'Capital Letters' is a feel-good song about falling into the whirlwind that comes with any new relationship. After what seemed to be a melodramatic 2017 full of anticipation, this song kicked off 2018 with new goals, bright rays of light, and hope for a better tomorrow. Though the single did not become a smash hit in any region, it thrives as an underrated piece of pop perfection with a timeless sound. 7. Au/Ra - Emoji Submitted By: @Cock Destroyer 'Emoji' is underrated and one of my most played songs this year. I thought 'Panic Room' would be Au/Ra's best song but then she released this masterpiece. I love the production, the melodies, everything. It's quite different from today's pop but still a pop song. I feel like if t.A.t.U released a song today, it would sound like this. 6. Demi Lovato - Sober Submitted By: @Whoknowsmehere I have listened to a lot of my favorite songs from 2018 (and there are a quite a few of them) over the last couple of days to determine my fave; but this one particular song just kept coming back to me over and over. The fact that this song hit so close to home for me is my primary reason for choosing it. That, and I actually enjoyed listening to it very much over and over again. I have probably listened to it at least a hundred times since it came out. I will not get into a long drawn out explanation, other than to say I know what exactly Demi is talking about in this song. I know this song did not get a lot of air time. Nor much, if any, acclaim. But for me that is not what makes a great song. The message is what did it for me. 5. Rina Sawayama - Cherry Submitted By: @Skinny Legend Rina Sawayama might still be a relative unknown in the pop music scene, but in the burgeoning realm of underground queer pop artists which includes Charli XCX and Kim Petras she's a frontrunner of the genre. Like these two artists she's fully capable of self-referential and ironic hyper-pop bops, as she proved last year with 'Cyber Stockholm Syndrome'; but with 'Cherry', the Japanese-English Sawayama proves that she has more up her sleeve than just that. 'Cherry' is not only a slice of alternative pop heaven in it's production, but a vulnerable admission of sexual curiosity that's rarely heard in pop music. "Down the subway, you looked my way/With your girl gaze, with your girl gaze/That was the day everything changed/Couldn't stay the same" introduces the song, and for the most part it's the perfect introduction of Sawayama herself - soft yet strong, insecure yet confident, and enigmatic yet honest. If Rina has more "cherries" like this on the way, then we get the feeling the sky's the limit for how far she'll go. 4. Mark Ronson - Nothing Breaks Like a Heart (Feat. Miley Cyrus) Submitted By: @Tweener After taking a social media hiatus, the legendary Miley Cyrus teamed up with the amazing producer Mark Ronson (known mostly for his work with Lady Gaga) and created the song of the millennium! Miley did what other girls wished to do and what they should've done a long time ago. The song and the powerful music video convey a very important message of contemporary society mindlessly following the news about the Kardashians, and other celebrities not paying enough attention to real problems like police brutality, racism, kids running around with guns, greed in stores, and clerks' hypocrisy. The video is comprised of many LGBTQ references as well, which doesn't come as a surprise considering Miley is an LGBTQ icon who, unlike many other pop girls nowadays, fight for our rights not for publicity but because she truly believes in our cause. This is a new gay anthem which charts high all around the world. It's undeniably one of the best songs of 2018 if not of all time. 3. Robyn - Honey Submitted By: @BlackoutZone Crowned the second best song of 2018 by Pitchfork for a reason, the title track of Robyn's recent album is a joyful journey of the senses. After two years of teasing, expectations for the track reached high heavens yet Robyn effortlessly exceeded them all and delivered the masterpiece we all wished for. The song itself is so juicy and so flourishing as it builds that you can almost taste it. The sound becomes the flavour of golden honey waves that your mind surfs on while listening. Though Mariah and Katy B already showed us how seductive honey can be, it's never been done with such delicacy, and Robyn totally elevated the concept of it being a pure sexual pleasure. 2. Kim Petras - Heart To Break Submitted By: @Skinny Legend Kim Petras first hit my radar with her insanely catchy ode to consumerism 'I Don't Want It At All', but it was with 'Heart To Break' that she truly claimed her position as one to watch. 'Heart To Break' went on to become my most listened song of 2018, but it's more than just an earworm. In describing the fairytale of a girl who gives her heart away even while knowing it will soon be broken, Petras ascends to the level of lyrical mastery shown by artists such as Robyn and Utada Hikaru, both of whom pen bittersweet pop songs with danceable beats made even more brilliant by their heartbreaking lyrics. 'Heart To Break' is impressive on it's own, but when you consider it in the context of Kim's strong voice, brilliant lyricism and unique image it makes you question why she isn't already #1 on every chart. 1. Christina Aguilera - Accelerate (Feat. Ty Dolla $ign & 2 Chainz) Submitted By: @liberation Six years after the not so well received album Lotus, Christina Aguilera released 'Accelerate', the first taste of her sixth album (or eighth if you count Mi Reflejo and My Kind of Christmas). When it was revealed that the song was produced by Kanye West and featured Ty Dolla $ign and 2 Chainz, everyone knew that Urbantina was making her comeback, but I guess that we were all very surprised after our first listen, because the song is so...weird? The intro is very strange with hypnotic Ty vocals and heavy drums, and when Xtina starts with her verses there's a lot of ad libs by him. The song is pretty much a duet between two of them until the beat changes drastically and 2 Chainz joins with an iconic bridge. When the song ended I was shocked because it was the messiest thing I've ever heard, but that's the reason why I loved it. I'm pretty sure that the reason why XTina is my favorite artist is because she's not afraid of taking risks. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. When it comes to 'Accelerate', I think it's the best song off Liberation and also her best song in a very long time, so I guess it worked for me. The video is very simple and sometimes it even looks a bit low budget, but I don't mind; I think it's sexy and fits the song very well, and it shows that she still owns her sexuality and doesn't give two fucks about what people think of her. At the end of the day, 'Accelerate' is a 10/10 song that is not predictable at all and I believe that it will age very well, and that’s why it is my song of the year. What songs did we forget about in our hunt for 2018's best track? Let us know in the comments down below!
  3. “I don’t know her.” It was the throwaway sentence - delivered with seeming sincerity, a simpering smile and an innocent nod of the head that was either sarcastic or supportive depending on interpretation - that went on to become one of the Internet’s first real memes. Mariah Carey’s simple proclamation, in response to an interviewer's question about Jennifer Lopez, is one of the finest textbook definitions of shade that anyone could ever ask for. And yet, behind those four words is a world of pain, heartbreak and jealousy that most people know nothing about. It’s a world that reads like something straight out of a telenovela, populated by characters like a long-suffering wife, a controlling patriarch, and a young ingenue who tears them apart. This is the real story behind the infamous Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez feud. Our story starts with an 18 year old Mariah Carey, who with her classically trained operatic voice and long tousled curls had big dreams of being a superstar. In 1988, Carey found her way into a record label executive's gala, where she handed her Ben Margulies-produced demo tape over to the head of Sony Records Tommy Mottola. Carey and Margulies would later go on to have a meeting with Mottola, who, believing that Margulies was Carey’s boyfriend, made it his mission to push him out of the picture as he signed her to a $350 000 recording deal for ten albums. Mottola quickly took a large hand in Carey’s career, to the extent that it was said that the two were barely ever seen without each other. Later in life, Mottola would admit that he was “obsessive” when it came to Carey, but with the caveat that “that was the reason for her success”. Rumours of a romance began to fly about the 39 year old married man and his 18 year old muse, and it wasn’t long before they were proven to be true; Mottola proposed Carey in 1992, two years after her first album release and only shortly after the dissolution of his nineteen year marriage. Carey and Mottola at their $500 000 wedding ceremony in 2003 Sadly, the marriage was not to be a happy one. Carey suffered from non-stop reports of favouritism, with more than one reporter suggesting that she had married Mottola only for his connections. Even more troubling was the fact that Carey, who had never been in a serious relationship prior to Mottola, was facing emotional abuse almost daily by her husband that left her "miserable, crying, and alone" and dreaming that someone would "kidnap" her. Carey would later recount that she was forced to remain "sequestered" from the outside world by Mottola, and that she had to "get permission to leave" the house. “He didn't even know why I always had my bag with me,” she would say years later. “But in my mind I thought, 'If something jumps off...I'm ready.'” Although Carey finally managed to escape her marriage to Mottola in 1997, that wouldn’t be the end of their relationship. After all, Mottola was head of Sony Records, and still wielded great power over her career. After some conflict over the direction Carey's career would take, Butterfly was released in late 1997, introducing the sexy image and breathy vocals that would become her signature in later years. But by the time Rainbow - the last album Carey would record for Sony - was released in 1999, her relationship with the label had completely deteriorated. The label wanted a big pop song to be released as the third single to heat up the lukewarm radio play for the album, but fittingly Mariah wanted 'Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)' - a ballad about finding your inner strength based on her seperation from Mottola - to be released instead. She told her fans about the dispute and instructed they request the song on radio to force Sony into an official release, which they eventually did only half heartedly and with a limited promotional budget. Carey would soon sign a record-breaking $100 million contract with EMI, but money couldn’t buy her happiness. By 2001, Carey had begun work on a semi-autobiographical film called Glitter, and the film and it’s accompanying soundtrack had created a workload that she couldn’t sustain. After breaking up with her boyfriend of three years Luis Miguel, Carey began posting disturbing voice messages on her official website announcing that she would quit music. An erratic appearance on Total Request Live in which Carey handed out ice cream and performed a striptease for Carson Daly did nothing to help her public image. And meanwhile, Mottola back at Sony was doing everything he could to destroy her. Mottola had first discovered Jennifer Lopez in 1997, when she was fresh off the heels of her star turn in Selena and sending Spanish-language demos to various record labels. By this point, Mottola had recently separated from Carey, and it seemed his self-proclaimed “obsession” with her had been transferred to Lopez. Mottola sent J. Lo to the top of the charts with On the 6 and the international smash hit 'Waiting for Tonight', but he wasn’t done yet. Lopez’s sophomore album J. Lo was released in 2001, and it featured a song entitled ‘I’m Real’. The song sampled Yellow Magic Orchestra’s ‘Firecracker’ - a song which strangely hadn’t been requested for sample at all up until three weeks before it's recording, when Mariah Carey had requested to use it for her song ‘Loverboy’. This was a deliberate ploy by Tommy Mottola to sabotage Carey’s ‘Loverboy’ release, which was already scheduled to be the first single from the Glitter soundtrack and an instrumental part of the film itself. Unable to reshoot the scenes containing 'Loverboy', Mariah scrambled to find a new sample to base it on, settling on Cameo’s ‘Candy’. However, she would go on to release a single remix of 'Loverboy' with Da Brat which utilised ‘Firecracker’ in the melody, with Da Brat rapping, “Hate on me much as you want to/You can't do what the fuck I do/Bitches be emulating me daily.” This wasn’t the only way in which Mottola undercut Mariah’s Glitter campaign. Mariah had recorded a track called ‘If We’ for the project with Ja Rule, which was his first foray into R&B. Irv Gotti would later recall that shortly after the record was finished, he was contacted by Mottola “obscenely early” in the morning and instructed to make a collaboration for Jennifer and Ja Rule "in the same style" of 'If We'. “He calls me because he found out that me and [Ja] Rule cut a record with Mariah Carey,” Gotti would later say. “And at the time he hated Mariah Carey. So he was pumping Jennifer Lopez to compete.” Mottola even loaned Gotti the company jet to ensure that Ja Rule, who was on tour at the time, would be able to film scenes for the music video for this collaboration. Gotti worked with Ashanti and Ja Rule to craft ‘I’m Real (Murder Remix)’, which was released shortly after to huge success and which sounded more than a little similar to ‘If We’. While J. Lo topped charts, Mariah began a downward spiral which started with the lukewarm reception to ‘Loverboy’ and only continued when the Glitter soundtrack was released on September 11th, 2001 (yes, that September 11). Matters only got worse when her father, who she had had little contact with since childhood, died of cancer, and she was bought out of her contract with EMI for $50 million. Despite this, Carey didn’t speak about the situation between her, Mottola and Lopez publicly until some time later. Speaking to MTV about the ‘Firecracker’ fiasco in 2002, Carey stated “Let's just say they did me a favor. And they know who they are. And thank you, sweetie. And your friend who did it with you!" The infamous “I don’t know her” remark wasn’t uttered until an interview on the shoot of 'Bringin' on the Heartbreak' in 2003, when Carey had clearly moved from sadness onto pettiness; and since then it’s been reiterated many times in many different ways. Which leaves us wondering: will this story ever have a happy ending for Carey and Lopez? Carey’s annoyance towards her manipulative ex-husband’s new plaything was understandable at the time, but this many years on it seems obvious that Lopez was only a pawn in Mottola’s game, and that he was the only one to blame for her career downfall. Lopez, who for her part has alternated between supportive and shady when asked about Mariah, is still on top years later, and we’re sure that Mariah could use some girl power to help her image recover from that New Year’s Eve fiasco. Here’s hoping that in the age of #MeToo and #TimesUp, the two will someday put this feud to rest and come out with an anti-Mottola duet of their own. ‘I Never Knew Him’, perhaps?
  4. Skinny Legend

    Mariah Carey Opens Up About Bipolar Disorder

    Mariah Carey has become well known in recent years for her glamorous styling, lavish lifestyle and "diva"-like behaviour. But according to the singer, there's another side to her which barely anyone has seen - up until now. In a twist that seems both unexpected and explains a lot, Carey has confirmed a decades long struggle with bipolar disorder in an interview with People Magazine. She was first diagnosed with the disorder in 2001, when she went to rehab following a well-publicised public meltdown. However, she lived in denial for a number of years before deciding to seek help recently. "I didn't want to believe it," she says of her early diagnosis. "Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me.” Instead, Carey self-diagnosed with a sleep disorder. "For a long time I thought I had a severe sleep disorder," she stated. "But it wasn’t normal insomnia and I wasn’t lying awake counting sheep. I was working and working and working … I was irritable and in constant fear of letting people down. It turns out that I was experiencing a form of mania. Eventually I would just hit a wall. I guess my depressive episodes were characterized by having very low energy. I would feel so lonely and sad — even guilty that I wasn’t doing what I needed to be doing for my career.” However, following "the hardest couple of years" that she's been through in her life, which involved a breakup with fiancee James Packer, a management shake up, a low-rated reality show and an undoubtedly stressful Vegas residency, Carey finally sought treatment. "It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love — writing songs and making music." Carey's treatment involves not only therapy but also prescription medication. "I’m actually taking medication that seems to be pretty good. It’s not making me feel too tired or sluggish or anything like that. Finding the proper balance is what is most important," she stated to the magazine. According to WebMD, bipolar II (the specific form of the disorder Carey has been diagnosed with) is less severe than bipolar I, but it is still marked by the same "ups" and "downs" seen throughout the disorder. During their "ups", biipolar II patients suffer from a less intense version of mania known as "hypomania", while also suffering from bouts of depression. Carey has said that she chose to open up about the disorder to help others in the same situation. "I’m just in a really good place right now, where I’m comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II disorder. I’m hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone. It can be incredibly isolating. It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me."
  5. Skinny Legend

    The 15 Biggest Songs of 10 Years Ago

    In some ways, 2008 was pretty similiar to 2018. A shock candidate had just entered the White House, bypassing Hillary Clinton who people thought was a sure thing. The worldwide economy was still at breaking point, there were still tensions in the Middle East, and global warming was still hugely under-recognised. Betty White was still popular, and O.J. Simpson was still headed straight for priosn. But in other ways, 2008 was a completely different time from the one we're now living in. Politically, things were much more liberal - we had Barrack Obama in office instead of Donald Trump - and musically, we were still exploring the genres of folk and rock concurrent with the R&B revival taking place. Trap wasn't even a thing, and Cardi B was swinging on a pole somewhere without a dollar to her name. In this list, we'll be looking at fifteen of the biggest songs of ten years ago. Some of them are probably still played at whatever New Year's Eve countdown you listen to, but others will definitely be forgotten gems. Check them out below and let us know what you think in the comments! 15. Natasha Bedingfield - Pocketful of Sunshine I'd always assumed that 'Pocketful of Sunshine' only became a hit in 2010 after it was memorably featured in Easy A; but it turns out the song actually first found it's success back in 2008, when it charted at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. As Easy A's Olive remarks, 'Pocketful of Sunshine' really is the "worst song ever", but like most of the singer-songwriter style songs released in 2008 it's also incredibly catchy. Prepare for this to be stuck in your head for the next week. 14. Jazon Mraz - I'm Yours Speaking of annoying singer-songwriter songs, let's take a look back at the breakthrough single from one hit wonder Jason Mraz. Along with Colbie Caillat's 'Bubbly', 'I'm Yours' led the charge for summery, acoustic pop songs to offset the overproduced dance pop on the radio, and it found huge success among the "middle aged women who post Minion memes" crowd. Even though it only hit #6 on the Hot 100, it stayed on the charts for an insane 76 weeks, becoming the longest charting song at the time; and it now holds the honour of being the tenth best-selling digital song of all time in the US. It's easy to understand why, but that doesn't make the song any better. 13. Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown - No Air Remember when people still admitted to listening to Chris Brown songs instead of playing them in their wireless headphones in dark alleys and dead-end streets? 2008 was definitely Brown's year, and he found success not only as a solo artist with 'Kiss Kiss', 'With You' and 'Forever' (all of which have to be strong contenders for the most annoying song ever - this is becoming a trend, 2008), but also with his duet with American Idol alum Jordin Sparks. The song is bang on trend for the year, featuring the same R&B beat which had blown up in 2007 and the icy synths that Timbaland had been pushing for the past few seasons. 12. Mariah Carey - Touch My Body It might be unfair to refer to Mariah Carey as the female Chris Brown, but it's obvious her star has fallen quite a bit in the decade since she released 'Touch My Body'. Back then, MiMi was praised for her frank take on sexuality and her funny self-parodies - such as in the video above, where she seduces her Wi-Fi installation man - but now it seems that she's criticised for trying too hard to be sexy and taking herself way too seriously. Mariah could definitely learn something from the success she back in 2008. 11. T.I. - Whatever You Like 'Whatever You Like' is actually the name of two T.I. songs - one Nicole Scherzinger attempt he featured on which was a huge flop, and one solo effort which blew up internationally and effectively launched his career. 'Whatever You Like' was the song of the summer back in 2008, and went on to be the sixteenth most successful song of the decade. It's stood up relatively well over the years, although we have to say that our personal favourite version of the song is Anya Marina's chilled out cover. 10. P!nk - So What Although R&B and hip-hop was huge back in 2008, the power-pop vibe mastered by stars like Kelly Clarkson and Hilary Duff was still grasping on to it's last moments in the sun. Case in point: 'So What', which was the first single from P!nk's Funhouse album, and which marked a huge return to the US charts for the singer after she failed to sell in the country during her I'm Not Dead era. It's sad given that 'So What' is actually incredibly trashy and a shameless cash grab compared to that previous album, with some of the laziest songwriting including lines like, "So what/I'm still a rockstar/I've got my rock moves/And I don't need you tonight". That said, the song is still a P!nk and Max Martin collaboration, which means that it's as super catchy and feelgood as you'd expect from the team that brought you 'U + Ur Hand'. 9. Flo Rida - Low (Feat. T-Pain) There was a time back in 2008 when you couldn't turn on any radio station, visit any shopping mall, or tune into any episode of whatever trashy MTV reality show you were trying to watch without having to endure yet another spin of Flo Rida's 'Low'. Rida has vanished into obscurity in the last few years, but up until then he had a penchant for writing incredibly catchy songs, and 'Low' is no exception. Bolstered by a placement in Step Up 2: The Streets (yes, it was that long ago), 'Low' was such a huge hit when it was released that it went on to become the highest selling single of the 2000s decade. If only someone could explain what "apple bottom jeans" actually are. 8. Rihanna - Disturbia Rihanna was telling us she was a "good girl gone bad" from the time 'Umbrella' was first released, but it wasn't until 'Disturbia' dropped that we actually believed her. 'Disturbia' follows in the footsteps of 'Thriller' in presenting an image of mental anguish, paranoia and anxiety which is nevertheless surprisingly fun to dance to - and in a weird coincidence, it was even penned by future ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, who clearly had is own issues with mental anguish. With one of the catchiest executions of "bum bum be dum" ever created, 'Disturbia' also happens to have one of the best music videos Rih's ever released, featuring tarantulas, wolves and S&M eyepatches. It's a total classic that still makes our Halloween playlists to this day. 7. Madonna - 4 Minutes (Feat. Justin Timberlake) Madonna is one of the few artists who's probably had a hit no matter how many decades back you go, but back in 2008 it had been a while since she'd released a true chart topper. Everything changed with '4 Minutes', a Justin Timberlake and Timbaland collaboration which launched her back into the public's consciousness. Featuring a call and response chorus and some vague lyrics about the apocalypse perfect for the increased talk of global warming, the song was the perfect way to bring Madge into the future. We just wish she'd been able to be as successful with any of her singles since then. 6. Sara Bareilles - Love Song Following in the trend of Bedingfield and Mraz is Sara Bareilles's 'Love Song', a laidback folky bop which made the perfect easy listening for 2008. The story behind the song is that Bareilles was becoming frustrated with her label's refusal to release her music, so she wrote an archetypal "love song" dedicated to her executives in a passive aggressive attempt to impress them. Regardless of the feud, it seems that both parties won in the end because 'Love Song' ended up spending 19 weeks in the top ten and becoming one of the biggest hits of 2008. 5. Timbaland - Apologize (Feat. OneRepublic) 'Apologize' was actually first released as the first single from OneRepublic's debut album Dreaming Out Loud, but when it failed to make waves the band hit up Timbaland for a remix (and an impressive name check) to blow up the radio. The only real thing Timbo added was a much-parodied line of "eh eh, eh eh" background vocals, but that didn't stop the public from eating the new version of the song up - it stayed in the top ten for twenty five weeks which made it the longest song to hang in there so long since 1999. 4. Alicia Keys - No One Alicia Keys' 'No One' is probably the quintessential song of 2008, combining the Timbaland style of R&B, the OneRepublic style of acoustic rock and the Jordin Sparks brand of irritation into one fusion of a track. The fact that everyone in the world thought they could hit the high notes that Alicia masters just made matters worse. Nevertheless, 'No One' became the most listened-to song on US radio in 2008 with over three billion listeners, while also becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time. 3. Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl It's weird to think that just ten years ago nobody knew who Katy Perry was, and that the world's first introduction to the heretofore Christian pop star was a song all about flirting with bisexuality (something we're sure she'd be too "woke" to do now). 'I Kissed A Girl' has to be one of the most manipulative, disingenuous and trashy songs ever written, but thanks to the stylings of super producer Dr. Luke (there's another sentence that just wouldn't be written in 2018) it managed to become a hit anyway, topping the charts for seven weeks in a row. If nothing else, it launched the career of Perry (who, after all, brought us 'Teenage Dream') and it added to the conversation surrounding LGBTQ rights, so it can't be all bad. 2. Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love If you've ever had a break up, you'll be all too intimately familiar with this song and the precise playthrough during which your tub of ice cream begins to run out. 'Bleeding Love' is the quintessential heartbreak song - heartfelt and wrenching, and with a climactic note which no one can actually hit during karaoke but which everyone tries to. There's clearly a lot of sad people in the world, too, because the song hit #1 in 35 countries. Sadly, it's a success Leona has never quite been able to match - while the follow up 'Better In Time' was moderately well received, every single since has been a flop, at least outside of her home country of the UK. 1. Coldplay - Viva La Vida Before Coldplay was being unnecessarily bashed for their Super Bowl Half Time Show performance in 2016, they actually enjoyed a successful career which largely climaxed with the release of 2007's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. The titular single from the album was 'Viva La Vida', a rousing, grandiose statement of glorious intent for the rest of the album which never fails to put a smile on people's faces or a tear in their eye. With references to love, death and war, 'Viva La Vida' really has it all, and it succeeded not just as a onetime popular single but as an enduring testament to the band's legacy. What was your favourite song of 2008? Let us know in the comments! And for a trip down memory lane, check out the ten biggest hits of 2007 here.
  6. When it comes to pop music, most of us have set ideas of what we want to hear. Pop music in 2017 is constantly changing, and that necessitates a song which will either hit right in the middle of whatever trend is whirlwinding through the genre at any given moment, or one that will set the zeitgeist for what we can expect for the next few months in terms of production. Pop music is designed to give the illusion of edginess and freshness, even while it not-so-secretly borrows all of it's creativity from genres long-established. When it comes to Christmas songs, however, the rules are different. The festive season is really the one time of year when people are happy to embrace "cheese" in all it's glory - and we ain't talking about gouda. Our favourite Christmas songs are rife with references to tradition, family, an incredibly pure definition of love and overused holiday symbolism. The production, too, generally plays much safer, often choosing to throw back to retro Motown sounds, with brass sections, choirs and sleigh bells all coming out to play. Pop may play the role of the leather jacket in music's wardrobe all year round, evoking a stylish and rebellious spirit; but Christmas is that one cosy sweater you've had for years that always brings back memories of sitting by the fire and drinking hot cocoa. In this list, we'll be compiling the ten best "hot cocoa" Christmas songs which have yet to slide into the monotony of carol status. Whether you're sitting alone watching Love, Actually on Christmas day or trying to get your boss tipsy at the work Christmas party, just one listen of these songs is bound to get you in the festive spirit and ready for the big day. Check out our choices below! 10. Sia - Candy Cane Lane Sia may not be the immediate choice for a Christmas album, but the more you think about it the more well-suited she seems to spreading holiday goodness. Sia in 2017 seems to churn out pop hits like butter, often to the expense of meaningful lyrics or unique production; but that kind of breezy, generic pop tune is exactly what's needed at Christmastime, where people are loathe to think about anything more serious than what kind of wreath they should get. 'Candy Cane Lane' is the most vapid, silly and childish song on the whole album - but we can't even be mad when the chorus is this catchy and fun. 9. Gwen Stefani - Under The Christmas Lights Thanks to some pretty poor promotion (we still don't have a music video for the lead single which was released in September), and a bad choice of single in the form of the Blake Shelton assisted 'You Make It Feel Like Christmas', Gwen Stefani's Christmas album has pretty much flown under the radar this year. And while I can't say I'm sad about that fact (the album is overall pretty meh), it does mean that a lot of people are missing out on 'Under The Christmas Lights', which is, as the kids would say, "a bop". Evoking the doo-wop tones of The Ronettes, Stefani puts in her purest performance in years as she sings an ode to holiday love. You can almost forget for a minute that she's singing about Shelton. 8. Leona Lewis - One More Sleep Leona Lewis left her longtime record label Syco last year over differences of opinion in where her career should go; but if 'One More Sleep' is any indication, Lewis should definitely have stuck around if only to keep belting out Christmas hits. Not only was the track Lewis's most successful in years, charting in the UK every holiday season since it's been released; but it's also one of the most well constructed Christmas song ever, thanks to a smart little "12 Days of Christmas" countdown during the chorus. Lewis's voice is perfectly suited to this kind of song, and we can see why Simon Cowell wanted her to go Motown so badly. 7. Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby 'Santa Baby' has become a go to for any female singer releasing a Christmas album (Madonna, Kylie Minogue and The Pussycat Dolls have all contributed versions), but few can match the seductive elegance of Eartha Kitt's original version. Kitt's black sexuality was pretty radical back in it's day, but looking at it now her version is much more seductive than it is slutty, and her quiet, deliberate intonation makes the song a surprisingly easy listen considering that the whole thing is about Kitt asking her sugar daddy for a car. Moreover, it's just nice to have a Christmas song which isn't directed towards young kids and which isn't afraid to land someone on the naughty list. 6. Mariah Carey - Oh Santa! It's definitely not the best known of Mariah's Christmas output, but 'Oh Santa!' is pretty much everything you'd ever want in a Christmas song. Released on her second album, the aptly titled Merry Christmas II You, the song was clearly meant to mimic the success of 'All I Want For Christmas Is You'; and even though it didn't quite get there, the chorus is just as catchy as that iconic track's ever was. If you haven't heard of it yet, think of the song as the festive version of 'Hey Ya' - it has the same call and response pre-chorus, as well as some doo-wopy background vocals and of course a gorgeous whistle tone straight from 80s Mariah. Just prepare to have it in your head a week later. 5. Kylie Minogue - Every Day's Like Christmas Most of our favourite Christmas songs evoke the 60s "Wall of Sound" production made famous by Phil Spector in the 60s; but for a more modern, quasi-90s attempt, look no further than Kylie Minogue's 'Every Day's Like Christmas'. A cool electro-pop ballad, the song is more "ice queen" than "roaring fire", but it's tender enough to pull some heartstrings regardless. The song was originally worked on by the powerhouse of Coldplay's Chris Martin and Stargate; but for a more 80s take on the song, check out the Stock Aitken Waterman remix, which marks the first time Kylie has worked with the production trio in 25 years. 4. Judy Garland - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Many have covered 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas', the song first written for Judy Garland's character in the charming Meet Me In St. Louis. But none can quite match the emotional strains that Garland manages to pull off in her performance of the song, which comes at a vital point in the film as her character tries to sooth her sister after news that the whole family will be moving towns in the new year. In the world of boppy, poppy Christmas music which aims to improve people's moods over the festive period, 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' still stands out as a song for those of us who are lonely on the big day, whether because of heartbreak, death or distance - and no one knows more about that than Garland. 3. Kelly Clarkson - Underneath The Tree I'm ready to call it: Kelly Clarkson's 'Underneath The Tree' is the most underrated Christmas song ever. The lead single from her Christmas album Wrapped in Red (which, incidentally, is probably the most underrated Christmas album ever), the song was at one point predicted to become just as legendary as a certain Mariah Carey classic; but it languished around the bottom of the charts before dropping out, never to be heard of again. It's a shame, because producer Jesse Shatkin nailed the Wall of Sound vibe, and Clarkson herself nailed those girl group vocals. Moreover, we have to give major kudos to any song which brings the much-missed saxophone solo back to pop music. 2. Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) We've brought up the Wall of Sound numerous times during this article, but at the risk of sounding repetitive, I'll bring it up just once more - this time in reference to Darlene Love's 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)', which is one of the original songs to utilise it and one of the best. 'Christmas' is ostensibly about a forelorn lover wishing for their partner to come home, but Love sings it with such passion that it's hard to feel anything but joyful listening to it. Love's version is still one of the best, but for a more modern take on the classic check out Mariah Carey's R&B-infused take or Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester's surprisingly good rock-tinged version. 1. Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You And here we are at the #1 spot! Is anyone really surprised? Given how overplayed and well-loved it is, Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' is basically a running joke at this point - but in our opinion, the hype around the song is well deserved. From the iconic opening strains of the music box to Mariah's shameless rhyme about reindeers "clicking" to that final, glorious whistle note, the song is chock full of legendary moments that are bound to bring a smile to even the Grinch's face. It's one of the few Christmas songs that can truly be listened to year round, as well as the only one which I never get sick of hearing in every department store ever. Let's just try and forget that the Justin Bieber remix ever existed, okay? What iconic Christmas songs are we missing from our list? Let us know in the comments down below!
  7. Tweener

    Mariah and J. Lo Cover Paper Magazine

    The legendary Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez cover Paper Magazine's Special Las Vegas Edition this month. Las Vegas is known for hiring A-list artists to do residencies in particular hotels. If one decides to go to Las Vegas, they can pick from such artists as Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Celine Dion and more. Except for Mariah and JLo, there are also covers with Ricky Martin and Backstreet Boys (but who really cares about them ). Read Mariah's article below: And here's J. Lo's article: Check out these amazing photoshoots the divas did for the magazine! Mariah: Jennifer: Even though I love them both, I have to admit that J. Lo's photoshoot is much better. It could be an album photoshoot because this is truly amazing! What do you think?
  8. Skinny Legend

    Mariah Carey Slammed As "Abusive" By Co-Star

    Mariah Carey is no stranger to acting, but it seems that she has yet to learn the basic principles of on-set behaviour. For if news from her recent co-stars on comedy film The House is anything to go by, Carey's on-set diva behaviour inconvenienced the crew and "ruined" her cameo, which has been cut from the final edit of the film. The tea was first spilt by Rob Huebel, who alluded to on-set issues with Carey in an interview with Entertainment Weekly Radio. "We did some re-shoots with a pop star named Mariah Carey," he said at the time. "It did not go well. Fucking what is going on with her? It was bananas." Next came lead Will Ferrell, who expressed in a Seth Myers interview that Carey had made very specific demands. "There were suggestions that weren't executed. She was on our set and, um, things happened. Things happened and didn't happen," he hinted. "Let's just put it this way: At about midnight, I got a knock on my trailer and said, 'You can just go home. We're not going to get to you.'" Elaborating on Ferrell's clues, fellow co-star Cedric Yarbrough then took to Facebook to rant about Carey's diva demands in a since-deleted status update. Yarbrough's main gripes with Mariah seem to be her tardiness (which to be fair can be explained away when you're a multi-million dollar earning recording artist) and her refusal to film scenes that matched those of her previously filmed stunt double. While Yarbrough did spill a lot of tea, he also admitted that he'd excluded the "worst part" of Carey's behaviour, saying that he didn't want to "tell" on her and that he'd only tell people he deemed worthy. While we've long been a fan of Mariah's diva antics, there does come a point where even her flamboyance can go too far. This drama is just the latest in a long line of bad publicity for Carey, whose New Years Eve performance made headlines for the worst possible reasons, and at this point we can't see things getting better anytime soon. It's a shame, but this will almost definitely affect Mariah's ability to work. What do you think of Carey's latest scandal? Is she still the loveably over-the-top diva she always was, or has she really crossed the line this time around? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
  9. From that Christmas forward, and for every one after, God claimed one thing to be true: the holidays would not begin until Mariah Carey sang 'All I Want For Christmas Is You'. - (Corinthians, 16:2) It wasn't her all time best performance of the classic - she was clearly struggling to hit some of the higher notes, even with a prominent backing track which she harmonised with during her infamous falsetto moment in the final chorus - but Mariah Carey's performance still achieved it's yearly goal of bringing Christmas cheer to the masses when she performed it on the VH1 special Divas: An Unsilent Night recently. Divas Holiday: Unsilent Night After opening the show Mariah was happy to share the spotlight, and let some other girls do the dirty work of entertaining the crowd for her. Professional flops JoJo, Bebe Rexha and Serayah realised that they couldn't book a solo gig and so instead teamed up to perform a Motown-inspired cover of Darlene Love's 1993 'All Alone on Christmas', made famous internationally by the classic holiday film Love Actually. JoJo breezed through the track in a low-cut gown while Bebe and Serayah let their nerves get the best of them and struggled to sing their solos, only just managing to turn out for the harmonies. Divas Holiday: Unsilent Night Fresh off her star turn in JoJo's newest single 'FAB.', Remy Ma turned out for a brief but fun performance of Run-DMC's 'Christmas in Hollis'... Divas Holiday: Unsilent Night While elsewhere, Grammy-award winner Patti Labelle made a grand entrance in orange singing her festive hit 'When You've Been Blessed'. Divas Holiday: Unsilent Night And for a grand finale, a gothic-styled Chaka Khan performed her timeless hits 'Ain't Nobody' and 'Natural Woman', before bringing out a selection of the other ladies - Labelle, JoJo, Rexha, Taylor and more - to back up Labelle during a soulful chorus of 'I'm Every Woman'. Divas Holiday: Unsilent Night Sadly, Mariah had a pair of sparkly red Louboutins that needed polishing and was unable to make time for her godmother Labelle's spot. Which was your favourite Divas performance of the night? Did Mariah steal the show with her impressive direction, or did Patti upstage her with those incredible vocals? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
  10. Mariah's bitchy black-haired alter ego is back! For those of you who don't know about Bianca, see her twisted history with Mariah here. And in other Mariah news...
  11. The Christmas season is upon us, which means that everytime you venture out in the cold to your local mall, workplace or church you'll be blasted with the hollow sounds of sanctimonious carols and tinny holiday tunes that have been covered by as many popstars as Taylor Swift in an average calendar year. If you're looking to escape the sounds of carolers at your door, look no further: PHF has the answer for you! We asked our most-loved members (and @trayertrash) for their absolute favourite holiday anthems, compiled them into a list, and checked it twice. Then we put a brand new bow on it and regifted it to you as an early Christmas gift! Browse through our offerings and make sure you let us know your own favourite Christmas song in the comments below. @Baby V Alex: Britney Spears - My Only Wish (This Year) @Countess: Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You @Cypher: Cascada - Last Christmas @High Princess: Lady Gaga - White Christmas @infidelity: Hilary Duff - What Christmas Should Be @Matilda Mantis: Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett - Winter Wonderland @roger: Meg & Dia - Joey Had A Smoke @trayertrash: Adam Sandler - The Chanukah Song

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Since our start as a blog called #PopHatesFags in 2012, PHF has consistently provided you with the latest pop culture news and hottest new releases. Join us as we analyse everything pop culture, build new friendships, and discuss the latest news and tracks exclusive to #PopHatesFlops!

Member of the Month:

Congratulations to coolaideonfire, our Member of the Month for the month of March! coolaideonfire is one of our longest running active members and has been with us for over five years, making almost 400 posts since they joined us in January of 2014. We've loved every second of having them around and we look forward to another five years together!

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