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Music

Taylor Swift Breaks Up with Her Publicist

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Paging Page Six: pop ingenue and serial dater Taylor Swift ended her longest relationship today by parting ways with her publicist of nearly seven years.

According to a Billboard exclusive, the resignation of Erickson Public Relations founder Paula Erickson—who has served as Swift’s publicist since 2007—led to a decision to bring PR operations in-house via management company 13 Management.

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A Snapshot of the Early Days of Marketing Hip Hop to America

tanning of americaTonight, part two of  The Tanning of America airs, the Vh1 documentary that takes a look at the history of hip hop in America and the rise of African-American stars in television, film and music. The film is inspired by the book of the same name written by the founder and CEO of Translation, Steve Stoute. The four-part series looks back at shows like those created by Norman Lear in the 1970s, rap music in the New York City of the early 80s, and the impact all of that has had on both pop culture and politics of today.

We saw the first couple of parts at a screening last Thursday at the Paley Center in New York City. Compared with the humble beginnings depicted on screen, the event had a definite luster about it. Stoute, Nas, Rev. Al Sharpton and Gayle King were among those participating in a panel discussion. Mona Scott-Young (who’s also in the film) and Jerry Seinfeld were among those in the audience.

One thing the documentary makes clear is that the road from the Bronx to Vh1 was paved, in part, with marketing and PR opportunities.

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Drake ‘Disgusted’ at Rolling Stone, Which Dropped His Cover Shot for Philip Seymour Hoffman

Last Friday Rolling Stone told Drake and his media team that it would pull his planned cover for one featuring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. The corresponding interview/profile, posted today after a teaser, also included some negative comments Drake made about friend and collaborator Kanye West‘s most recent album—quotes he apparently meant to be off the record.

For some reason, however, the rapper didn’t get pissed about it until this morning.

This tweet followed two since-deleted messages:

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U2 to Unveil New Song During Super Bowl Spot, Offer Free Downloads to Benefit (RED)

a812d18636ceff861a80c8920a9dedc6Come Super Bowl Sunday, you may be buying many things–beer, chips, a box of ever-elusive Velveeta, or even David Beckham’s underwear–but U2 and AIDS charity (RED) are hoping you’ll also choose Sunday as the day to download the band’s new song, “Invisible” (for free!).

During a commercial break in the big game, the song will premiere in an edited version of its music video, after which, “Invisible” will be available for free download on iTunes for a 24-hour-period. Every time the song is downloaded during those 24 hours, Bank of America will make a $1 donation to (RED)–up to a total of $2 million. All the funds will go to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The promotion is the launch of a new partnership between the banking giant and (RED), which, since it was founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006 with the aim of engaging businesses in the fight against AIDS, has teamed up with big-name brands like Apple, Starbucks and The Gap to raise more than $240 million for the Global Fund. Read more

Beyoncé and the New Face of Music Promotion

Last night’s Grammy Awards left one thing more exposed than Beyoncé‘s backside: the fact that the pop music promo game has changed. Queen B makes the rules and everyone else follows along, basking in her shadow.

It’s not really all that simple, of course: plenty of successful acts move through the usual channels when it comes to marketing and earned media. But when one reaches the heights occupied by the top of the pops, rules no longer apply.

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Arby’s Uses Pharrell’s Wacky Hat To Get In On The Grammy Action

arbys pharrell tweetAs far we we’re concerned, Pharrell Williams can wear all of the hats. The man, easy on the eyes, also made “Happy,” “Get Lucky,” and “Blurred Lines.” And that was just last year.

But Pharrell is also well known for his fashion sense. Very cool, a little quirky, the hat he wore to the Grammys generated as much talk as anything else on the awards show, sparking comparisons to one that Canadian mounties wear, Smokey the Bear, and even getting it’s own Twitter feed.

pharrell hat

But some clever someone also noticed a resemblance between Pharrell’s hat and the Arby’s logo. Not wasting any time, Arby’s shot out the tweet above.

pharrells hat

It was just one of many brands that are mostly unrelated to the music industry that tried to capitalize on the Grammys Twitter action.

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Renee Fleming at the Super Bowl: a PR Win for Opera

Do you like opera? (And no, for the last time, Josh Groban does not count.)

For an industry hoping more people say “yes”, yesterday’s announcement that superstar soprano Renee Fleming will sing the National Anthem before Super Bowl XLVIII is a PR coup. We certainly get the appeal: The Guardian describes her as an ”unlikely…superstar” who “can seem positively down-to-earth” compared to the divas usually tasked with singing at the Big Game.

…and here she is doing a ditty by some dude named Wolfgang.

So how did the opera world score this win?

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More Nightclubs Banning Photos Now (Thanks, Instagram)

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It’s been almost a year since we posted on a new trend in upscale restaurants “cracking down” on Instagrammers, and now nightclubs seem to want in on the photo-free act as well.

It’s easy to see why certain famous fans of dancing and drinking wouldn’t want random people to capture unflattering images of them covered in their own sweat and tequila, but last week The New York Times told us that this movement is really all about “silencing the P.R. machinery that hums through New York’s top clubs.”

Huh. You don’t say.

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Finally, Something PETA Will Ignore. Maybe. Well, Who Knows?

MorrisseyIf Abraham Maslow had created a hierarchy of people respecting animals from pet owners to bat-ess-crazy people who treat animals with more respect than other people, then PETA would be granted its own step in there somewhere along with some of its heinous advertising.

Every group dangling on the fringe is going to have its radicals. You know the ones: Dumping a bucket of paint on a fur coat and running like Usain Bolt to escape the ass whoopin’ that’s sure to come. From churches to Capitol Hill, Hollywood to Broadway, the cereal crowd is everywhere (e.g., fruits, nuts and flakes).

However, PETA has a reputation for hosting family reunions with those kookaberries. No rational debate. No intelligent conversation. Just vitriol to the point of cussing out someone’s mama and kicking her walker out from under her after leaving a bruise on her varicose-veined shin.

And the Special K of them all would be Morrissey and his crazy behind. Wait until you hear this…

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James Blunt’s Twitter Comebacks Are Beautiful, It’s True

What, you haven’t seen The Poke‘s “30 Reasons Why James Blunt Won at Twitter in 2013” post yet?

Oh, you have. Well forgive us, but it’s Friday and we’re a little slow.

See, we had already kind of relegated this guy to the “Music our parents liked in 2006 that we hope to never hear again” category along with Nora Jones, but it seems he’s pretty good at making his trolls look like, well…

This revelation probably shouldn’t have surprised us as much as it did. Yes, he’s a silly pop star whose tunes never appealed to us in the slightest. But he’s also British.

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