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  1. Our baby's an artist! 🙌🏾 Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-51105156 Britney Spears lands first art exhibition 5 hours ago US pop star Britney Spears will have her artwork displayed at a gallery in France from this Saturday. Her debut exhibition, Sometimes You Just Gotta Play!!!!!!, will take up residence at the Galerie Sympa in the town of Figeac in south-west France. The title is taken from an Instagram post made by the singer several years ago, which showed her painting outside. The exhibition will mark the 21st birthday of her big-selling debut album ... Baby One More Time. According to the gallery, the 38-year-old's first public art show will run "till the world ends," - a reference to her 2011 track of the same name. Her flower painting, which was used to promote the show, was donated to a Las Vegas charity auction in 2017, helping the victims of the Root 91 Harvest music festival shooting. A year ago, the performer scrapped her Las Vegas residency and announced she was taking an "indefinite" break from music, to focus on her father Jamie's recovery from a life-threatening illness. Her dad served as her conservator for 11 years - meaning he was in charge of Spears' finances because of her ill-health - after Spears was placed in psychiatric care back in 2008. Last year, he was legally relieved of his duties for "personal health reasons". The singer reassured fans over her own wellbeing, following internet speculation that she was being held at a mental health facility against her will. This sparked the #FreeBritney campaign; a hashtag which appears again, ironically, in the promo for the new art show. In an Instagram video in April, she rejected the theories, saying "all is well" and that she would "be back very soon". "My family has been going through a lot of stress and anxiety recently, so I just needed time to deal," she added. Spears is not the first musician to channel her creativity into physical artwork. The Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood is well known for moving seamlessly from guitar licks to licks of paint. The 72-year-old rocker placed his paintings on display once again at a pop-up gallery in London just before Christmas. A few years earlier, the former art student described his painting Sad Guitar - which featured in his book Ronnie Wood: Artist - to BBC Radio 4's Today programme as a combination of his two greatest loves, music and art. "It's very influenced by the guitars of Georges Braque and Picasso. Those artists lay heavy with me as influences," he said. From The Rolling Stones to The Stone Roses - fellow guitar wizard John Squire's latest exhibition, Disinformation, featured at Damien Hirst's Newport Street Gallery, also in the capital, last year. The large-scale oil paintings were based on photographs taken by the artist or found online and then put through a Snapchat filter that the 1995 Turner Prize winner had told Squire about. The 57-year-old, who was responsible for the Manchester band's signature Jackson Pollock-inspired paint splash artwork, told The Guardian: "I don't think I'm a very good guitar player - or painter." We'll agree to disagree on that one, John. Last but not least, without blowing his own trumpet, it's fair to say seminal US jazz musician Miles Davis produced some pretty impressive artwork too, late on in his career. Davis, famed for trailblazing records like Bitches Brew, only began painting in his mid-50s during a break from touring, but soon threw himself fully into it. "It's like therapy for me, and keeps my mind occupied with something positive when I'm not playing music," he wrote in his self-titled autobiography in 1989. His influences ranged from Picasso to Basquiat, via African tribal artwork. Miles Davis's art hobby soon turned into a serious passion. After his death in 1991, at the age of 65, Davis's estate took his paintings on the road, and in 2013, Miles Davis: The Collected Artwork was published. Look out for the best of Britney's artwork in book form in time for Christmas 2020 (maybe, baby).
  2. Yeah, I am a big advocate of not "punching down." I'm pretty liberal when it comes to humor, but there's not much joy in poking fun at people dealing with mental issues, poverty, drug abuse, etc. It's like it's too easy, any of us could do that. That's not what makes a good comedian (or ally) imo. But poking fun at people like Jeff Bezos or Trump - fuck those guys, have at it. Let them cry about it in their ivory towers.
  3. Source: https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/craig-ferguson-worried-hed-be-fired-for-refusing-make-fun-of-britney-spears-014613710.html I remember that clip from this episode. He was one of the few people to take that stand, and good on him for it. The media was particularly cruel to girls like Miss Spears (a la Lindsay Lohan, the Hilton sisters, the Duff girls, etc.). Craig Ferguson worried he’d be fired for refusing to make fun of Britney Spears: ‘I thought it was my Jerry Maguire moment’ Lyndsey Parker Editor-in-Chief, Music Yahoo Music December 22, 2019 During his nine-year stint on CBS’s The Late Late Show, comedian Craig Ferguson, like most late-night talk show hosts, frequently poked fun at tabloid celebrities during his opening monologues. But there was one time when he decided he didn’t want to cross that line, so he took a stand, and he took a risk — even though he knew he might lose his job. “I was convinced at the time that I was going to get fired for it. I thought it was my ‘Jerry Maguire moment,’” he confesses now. It was Feb. 19, 2007, the Monday of Presidents’ Day weekend. Three days earlier, troubled pop star Britney Spears (who earlier that month had entered Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Centre rehab facility in Antigua, only to check herself out after just one day) had made explosive national news by shaving her head at a hair salon in Tarzana, Calif. It was an especially cruel media era — TMZ had launched two years prior, and nasty gossip bloggers like Perez Hilton were racking up millions of pageviews reporting on Spears’s doomed K.Fed marriage, various supposed fashion/parenting/hygiene fails, and increasingly erratic behavior. And the media was especially unempathetic to Spears that weekend. But Ferguson refused to pile on. Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment/SiriusXM Volume while promoting his new docuseries, Hobo Fabulous, Ferguson recalls, “I went in to work Monday morning, and everybody had the [Britney] jokes written up. And I was like, ‘No. I'm not doing it.’ And I didn't. I was genuinely upset, and I went with my gut. … It just struck me as the right thing to do in the moment.” Ferguson insists that he “didn't have an agenda” and “wasn't setting forth a manifesto” that night. But he explains that, as a recovering alcoholic who’d experienced his own lost weekends and rock-bottom moments, the news of Spears’s meltdown hit close to home for him. “When I saw what happened to her that weekend, that happened to coincide with my own 15 years sobriety [anniversary] — that same weekend,” he says. “And I thought, ‘I don't know what I want to do on the show, but I'm f***ing sure I don't want to do this.’” Instead, Ferguson went onstage and — amid the audience’s nervous and sometimes downright inappropriate laughter — he spoke from the heart. “Tonight, no Britney Spears jokes,” he announced. And for the next 12 minutes, he instead shared stories of his own addiction and recovery while also expressing concern for Spears, who was 25 years old at the time. “The thing is, you can embarrass somebody to death,” he explained that night, addressing the dangers of the media’s tendency to ridicule unstable, at-risk celebrities. “I'm starting to feel uncomfortable about making fun of these people. Funny comedy should have a certain amount of joy in it. It should be about us attacking the powerful people, attacking the politicians and the Trumps and the blowhards. …We shouldn't be attacking the vulnerable people. … What [Spears is] going through reminds me of what I was doing. It's an anniversary; you start to think about it. It reminds me of where I was 15 years ago, when I was living like that. Now, I'm not saying Britney Spears as an alcoholic; I don't know if she's an alcoholic or not. But she clearly needs help.” Spears thankfully rebounded from her difficult 2007, although she still struggles with being in the public eye and just last week posted a plea on Instagram for online trolls to stop saying “the meanest things.” As for Ferguson, he obviously did not get fired for his candor, and he went on to host The Late Late Show for another seven years. And while he says he “never heard directly from Miss Spears” after his speech, he stresses, “That was not necessary. I wasn't looking for that.” However, he does have a feeling that she heard what he said, and that she may have thanked him in her own subtle way. “I did want to use one of her songs [“Oops!...I Did It Again”] in a standup special, and when I requested it, everyone was saying there's no way that song was going to clear,” he says with a chuckle. “I asked if I could use it in a standup special, and I got it for nothing. That's a very expensive song to use. So I'm extremely grateful that she let me do that.” The above interview is taken from Craig Ferguson’s appearance on the SiriusXM show “Volume West.” Audio of this conversation is available on demand via the SiriusXM app.
  4. And the ads! I don’t know if it’s just for me, but I get bombarded by ads in Exhale even when I’m just trying to read an article I get 4 or 5 pop ups, not to mention the ads sprinkled all throughout the piece.
  5. I agree. There’s barely any new posts week to week so I expect the whole thing to fall apart now.
  6. Weird ... I'll delete the copy-paste in the post and just leave the link, for anyone who's on mobile!
  7. Sooo y'all gonna update us on what this means, if anything, for the few of us stranglers left? SOURCE: https://www.wonderwall.com/celebrity/jamie-spears-gets-injunction-against-free-britney-blogger-3021877.article JAMIE SPEARS GETS AN INJUNCTION AGAINST 'FREE BRITNEY' BLOGGER By Wonderwall.com Editors 11:31am PST, Dec 21, 2019 The fansite AbsoluteBritney.com, known for its conspiracy theory-esque posts and comments about Britney Spears' long-running conservatorship, hasn't posted a new update since September. That may be because the singer's father, Jamie Spears, got an injunction against the blog's creator, Anthony Elia, prohibiting him from posting defamatory remarks about the aims of those managing the conservatorship, including Jamie, who stepped down temporarily but is set to take over as lead conservator again in January. TMZ reports a judge has ordered Elia to cease and desist making statements that imply the conservatorship is "harming" the 38-year-old singer, as he did earlier this year when he suggested Britney's team was manipulating her Instagram to make it appear as if the conservatorship is necessary, the implication being that it's not. Those posts fueled and were fueled by the "Free Britney" movement, with scores of the singer's Instagram followers urging Britney to assert her freedom and independence, as she did in a post in September. At one point, Elia called the conservators' treatment of the singer a "human rights violation," according to TMZ. The website also reports Jamie was especially incensed by the fact Elia said he was basing his claims about the conservators' motives on a "gut feeling." Larry Stein, an attorney for Jamie, successfully argued the remarks were defamatory, citing the death threats those involved with the conservatorship have received as a result of the blog. Britney asked the court this past spring to free her from the constraints of the conservatorship. She's been on a musical hiatus of sorts since last January, when she announced she needed personal time to process her father's failing health. She later sought help at an inpatient treatment program. She was rumored to have told the judge handling her conservatorship case that her father forced her to go to the treatment center, although TMZ has cited laws that seem to show that would be illegal. The conservatorship, meanwhile, has been in place since 2008. According to a new report from L.A. Magazine, Britney shells out more than $1 million a year in legal fees to the conservatorship "and other fees." Among those costs is $15,000 a month that goes to an attorney Britney was not allowed to choose.
  8. I know, they’re all in their feelings from getting called out lol. He’s right tho - they’re two faced. And if her posts bother them so much, I don’t understand why they keep coming back.
  9. People are so fucking mean. I hope she doesn’t stop sharing, I like these videos. They’re fun and lighthearted!
  10. I saw a Gaga fan on Twitter say that Billie just didn't understand the meat dress thing and it appears no one does b/c Gaga keeps having to explain it. It's like, if literally no one gets it, then it most likely wasn't a good idea! That meat dress was stupid.
  11. Saw the photos trending on Twitter, I'm surprised this hasn't been shared here yet. Source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/terrycarter/billie-eilish-tribute-to-britney-spears-jingle-ball Billie Eilish Just Paid Tribute To Britney Spears During A Performance And I Need A Collab, Like, Yesterday So you probably saw Billie Eilish trending this week for not knowing who Van Halen is. Kevin Winter / Getty Images But this post isn't about that. This post is about Billie Eilish paying tribute to the legend, the icon, and the pop diva that is Britney Spears. Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images On Friday, the "xanny" singer performed at iHeartRadio's annual Jingle Ball, but it was her outfit that had everyone's attention. Rich Fury / Getty Images As you can see, Billie wore a t-shirt and shorts with Britney's face all over it. Kevin Winter / Getty Images The back of Billie's t-shirt also had Britney's name on it, for emphasis. 399 people are talking about this The sleeves of her t-shirt also featured images of the "Circus" singer and spelled out her name, so it's safe to say Billie might just be a stan. Rich Fury / Getty Images I mean, this is stan culture, am I right? In case you're wondering, the admiration is definitely mutual. Back in June, Britney shared this epic Instagram video of herself dancing to Billie's No. 1 single, "Bad Guy": instagram.com She even recreated her "I'm a Slave 4 U" choreography from the 2001 MTV VMAs. That's love. OFC, Billie fangirled over the moment, writing "omg" in the comments: instagram.com So when are we getting a collab ladies? I need it, like yesterday. Hallmark P.S., this proves Billie DOES know her musical legends. I'm just saying 🤷🏾‍♂️.
  12. Ugh, I saw this pop up recently, too, but on a different site. I've been wondering myself why bring it up now. I'm not a fan of either of Britney's parents, but considering she and Jamie are at odds over Britney's career and treatment, the timing is interesting as hell.
  13. Source: https://amp.theguardian.com/music/2019/oct/25/were-not-made-to-be-famous-max-martin-the-powerhouse-of-pure-pop Not exclusively about Britney, but he makes some interesting comments nonetheless. Also, it’s a long read. Britney Spears is a genius’: Max Martin, the powerhouse of pure pop The man behind two decades of hits for Britney, Ariana, Taylor and more is ‘thankful’ singers still put themselves out there. Now, 30 of his songs are getting a second life from Shakespeare Show caption Michael Cragg Fri 25 Oct 2019 01.00 EDT Even in a completely empty theatre, Max Martin manages to disappear, choosing to perch himself on the back row, almost completely hidden in shadow. If you didn’t know whom you were looking for, you would assume the long-haired, 48-year-old Swede, dressed in a black T-shirt, was taking a break from shifting props for that night’s performance of the new jukebox musical & Juliet. It seems inconceivable that someone so unassuming could have dominated pop music for more than 20 years, but the statistics speak for themselves. Martin has co-written and co-produced 73 US Top 10 singles for the likes of Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry and Britney Spears. Twenty-two went to No 1, with 12 also topping the UK charts. Collectively, these have sold more than 150m copies globally, earning Martin an Oscar nomination, five Grammys and the 2016 Polar Music prize (previously won by Bob Dylan and Patti Smith). Martin’s 22 US No 1s make him the third-most successful songwriter in US chart history, behind only Paul McCartney (32) and John Lennon (26). He is the man who introduced the imperishable, if occasionally linguistically questionable, choruses “Hit me baby one more time”, “I kissed a girl and I liked it” and “Backstreet’s back, all right!” to karaoke booths everywhere, with songs that were at once dramatic, melancholic and never less than relentlessly catchy. The hugely ambitious & Juliet – a modern re-telling of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet in which Juliet decides not to kill herself , but to head to Paris in order to live a little – is woven expertly around 30 of these hits, originally written for artists ranging from Celine Dion to ‘NSync, the Weeknd to Pink. Martin hardly ever gives interviews. “I’m not a shy person,” he clarifies as we sit in one of Manchester Opera House’s tiny bars, his accent a mix of Swedish and the Los Angeles drawl of his adopted home. “I just like to stay in the background as much as possible.” Ever since he earned his first US Top 10 hit in 1997 by co-writing and co-producing fellow Swede Robyn’s Do You Know (What It Takes), Martin has been a self-confessed “studio nerd tucked away in a basement somewhere”. One rock star due to get the Max treatment assumed the quiet man he had met was an engineer and asked him when Martin was due to arrive. We are joined by the writer of & Juliet’s book, David West Read, who, much to Martin’s delight, has shown up in a vintage Britney T-shirt. “You’re about to find out I love talking,” Martin continues, popping a snus (a moist tobacco bag, popular in Sweden) under his top lip. “We’ve been putting a lot of work into & Juliet and it’s a new field for me, so I don’t mind talking about this.” Martin had been toying with the idea of a jukebox musical for years, inspired by Abba’s global behemoth, Mamma Mia! If a feminist retelling of a Shakespeare soundtracked by Spears sounds like the work of someone who has just had a bump to the head, well, that is because it is. “I had hit my head on a kitchen cabinet and couldn’t look at screens or light for a while,” West Read says (he was concussed). “So I made a playlist of Max’s catalogue and realised that so many of the songs are about young love … of course Romeo & Juliet came to mind.” As well as getting involved in the auditions and workshops, Martin also recorded the cast album. “I couldn’t be like: ‘Oh, just do it,’” he says. “A lot of the songs were written with the artists and co-writers, and so I feel responsible for all these people that have been involved throughout my career.” It also represented something that has perhaps been missing from his, as he calls it, “day job”: risk. If you have done it all, your songs turning Swift, Perry and Grande into superstars, where do you go next? “There was so much for me to learn here,” he smiles. “It’s easy to go on autopilot. If I’m feeling uncomfortable then that’s probably where I should be, rather than in a place where I’m like: ‘I totally got this.’” The foundations for Martin’s empire were laid during an apprenticeship with Denniz PoP, whose 90s productions for Ace of Base had become international hits. Martin (born Karl Martin Sandberg in Stockholm) had played the French horn at school; when he met PoP (born Dag Krister Volle) he was the frontman of It’s Alive, a Kiss-inspired glam rock band. Discerning that Sandberg had an ear for pop music, PoP – a fan of pseudonyms – rechristened him Max Martin and employed him as a songwriter and producer at his Stockholm powerhouse, Cheiron studios. Cheiron’s records would fuse R&B grooves with happy/sad Abba-esque melodies. The former glam rocker Martin brought an edge of bombast and some weapons-grade melodies, soon employed on records for the Backstreet Boys and the British boyband Five. PoP died of cancer in August 1998, two months before the release of what may be Martin’s most famous creation. ... Baby One More Time, which he wrote singlehandedly, got to No 1 in just about every country it was released. But it almost came to nothing. The demo, Martin remembers, sat lying around for “maybe six months, a year” and attempts were made to pitch it to “really established artists”. Eventually the Backstreet Boys’ label, Jive, offered it to their new signing, Spears. “When I heard her singing, I just knew instantly,” he says. “The way she recorded that song, she added another dimension.” Among the artists who turned it down were TLC, assuming that the line “Hit me baby one more time” advocated domestic violence. Martin and his fellow Swedes at Cheiron had meant it simply as slang for “call me”. Other Martin lyrics of the era also presented problems for West Read when he was weaving them into & Juliet. “It’s really kind of confusing,” he says of the Backstreet Boys’ I Want it That Way, a song that seems to undermine itself at every turn. “You know that’s a thing, right?” Martin beams proudly. “Like: ‘What does it mean?’ There were forums of people discussing it.” While the grammatical error that appears in Ariana Grande’s 2014 EDM stomper Break Free (“Now that I’ve become who I really are”) may have been placed there on purpose – including a “juicy line” that sticks in the listener’s memory is a very Max Martin move – the Backstreet Boys song is a clearer example of Martin’s obsession with words serving the melody, a concept he calls “melodic math”. “Growing up, I listened to songs by Abba, Elton John, the Beatles, and I had no idea what they meant, so to me phonetics have always been important,” he explains. “I felt something hearing this music, and it meant something to me. If you can have a great lyric that also phonetically sounds amazing, then you’re golden. But it’s also kind of cool if you write a song and people are emotionally moved without understanding what’s being said. That, to me, is as powerful.” He favours simplicity, repetition and instant familiarity over unnecessary complexity, but balks at the idea that his songwriting is governed by strict rules. “It’s about having tools for when you’re stuck,” he says, leaning in as if divulging a secret. “If you have a verse that’s super-busy, and you want to take it to the next part, you might want something that has a little more space, so [the listener] can take in the information and not get lost.” You can hear this technique on Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, for example. “That’s a mathematical way of thinking, it’s not about doing it by feel,” he concedes. “But if it’s flowing, you don’t need any of that stuff.” He thinks for a moment. “Also, if there was a hard rule then all of my songs would be huge and, trust me, they’re not.” I’ve seen it many many times, what fame does. We’re not made to be that famous, it’s not normal Martin’s early hit rate largely depended on Spears. A handful of their collaborations forms the backbone of & Juliet, tracing a narrative arc that runs from ... Baby One More Time’s “my loneliness is killing me” to Stronger’s assertive declaration of the opposite (“My loneliness ain’t killing me no more”). Did you allow yourself a little high five in the studio when you linked those two songs? “Er … maybe,” he laughs, self-effacing as ever. He is keen, too, to give the artists he has worked with credit, even when, as he puts it delicately, “someone isn’t a songwriter per se”. Britney Spears, for instance. “She’s a genius,” he says, popping a fresh snus. “So much had happened to her in that [early period] and she had to grow up quickly. We had conversations with her about what she wanted to do and what she wanted to say.” Nonetheless, the world of pop songwriting and production is still dominated by men, easily characterised as ruthless svengalis. “I don’t want to think I’m one of them,” Martin says carefully. “We try and do our best to make [the studio environment] diverse, welcoming and inclusive. Let’s try and inform and be role models as much as possible in our world and hopefully it will spread.” Would he like to see more female producers? “Women aren’t encouraged in the right way,” he says. “We’re still programmed to think: ‘The boys take care of the computers’ and that has to change, and it is changing. Even if you come from a very dark place of,” – he slips into a convincing American accent – “‘I want to make a lot of money.’ It’s a stupid decision. We’re missing out on 50% of the talent.” A lot of Martin’s biggest hits have been with female artists: not just Spears, Swift and Perry but also British stars such as Adele, Ellie Goulding and Jessie J. He has seen at close proximity what can happen when unimaginable fame takes hold, not least Spears’s distressing, and hugely publicised, breakdown in 2007. “I think we all should be grateful [to the artists],” he says, growing animated for the first time. “It’s easy for us to say that they become these rich, spoilt divas – and I’m not talking about Britney specifically, just in general – but we forget that these artists go out into the world and work and tour and become super-famous for our enjoyment. And then we watch their lives fall apart in front of our eyes for doing something amazing.” He sighs. “I’m so thankful that someone actually still wants that job. I’ve seen it many many times, what fame does. And it goes back to why I don’t do interviews. Especially now with social media: our lives are on display all the time and when you’re famous it’s on a whole other level. We’re not made to be that famous, it’s not normal. It’s not in our DNA.” His more recent work with the likes of Normani and Grande have seen him embrace the fact that pop’s pendulum has swung away from pop and towards R&B and hip-hop, a shift that – when it happened in the early 00s with the rise of Pharrell Williams’s songwriting and production outfit the Neptunes – briefly knocked Martin off course. Does he have similar concerns this time? “I’ve come to a point where I try not to think about the perception of the work,” he says. “The first time it happened, when the boyband era crashed in front of my eyes, I was freaking out a bit, but I’ve never really been worried.” That LA breeziness returns. “I’m not [making music] because I want to be successful; I would be doing this anyway. Also, popular culture is supposed to move.” Making records, he says, is “about staying inspired, but also sticking to your guns of what you love doing”. Suddenly, the musical’s in-house band starts up next door, a sign that Martin is free to stop doing something he is still learning to love. As we get up to leave, we are joined by a PR who needs to speak to Martin about that evening’s opening press night. One-sided discussions are had about red carpets, photographers and local press, with Martin looking increasingly nervous. “I can still arrive via the side door right?” he says, edging back into the shadows.
  14. Ordered! Can’t believe they’re still available, though I wouldn’t have cared as much if I didn’t get this one the first round as it’s not one of my faves. But my fave fave is coming up next. 😈
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