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Posts Tagged ‘Rihanna’

CBS Obeys Twitter, Agrees to Drop Rihanna from Thursday Night Football

CBS made a wise move last week by announcing plans to suspend for one week (sound familiar?) a Thursday Night Football intro segment including a performance by Rihanna and a comedy segment featuring Don Cheadle.

Early this morning, the pop star let everyone know how she felt about the decision:

This development really had nothing to do with penalizing Rihanna or diminishing her star power, but CBS heard that tweet and responded.

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New York Magazine Interview Reveals Oprah’s Rebranding Secrets

This week New York Magazine published a revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey, reigning queen of reinvention. It specifically dealt with how she saved her OWN Network, which looked like a big bust as recently as mid-2012.

Oprah’s partnership with Arianna Huffington, which led to “HuffPost OWN”, wasn’t enough to immediately rescue the floundering ship, but OWN finally became profitable this summer as its ratings jumped more than 60%. Well-hyped interviews with Rihanna and Lance Armstrong helped, as did Tyler Perry‘s soap opera The Haves and the Have Nots, but many still wonder how she pulled it all off.

Here are some key revelations from the woman herself.

On dealing with “no”:

Oh, I hear that all the time.

 On the challenges of choosing the right people to manage OWN:

What didn’t feel right from the beginning was, “Who are we going to get to do this? Because I have a full-time job.”

When I first suggested [network presidents] Erik and Sheri, [the idea] was not welcomed with open arms…I’d never done cable, and they’d never done cable.

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Monte Carlo Marks a Major Milestone

“Gambling makes life more intense” — and it also made life a lot more prosperous for Monaco. The quote was from a docudrama about the petite principality and the building of a casino in Monte Carlo 150 years ago. The medieval town and surrounding area was impoverished before Prince Charles III of Monaco decided gambling was their best economic bet. The name Monte Carlo, or Mount Charles, reflects the elevated terrain and the proximity to Italy.

Monaco launched a year-long celebration for its monumental anniversary, with events at home and abroad. “Monte Carlo is the epitome of luxury. It’s known for style, sophistication and architecture, and many architects have left their footprints on Monte Carlo”, said Maguy Maccario Doyle, consul general and director of the Monaco Government Tourist Office. She spoke at a Wednesday event at the French Institute/Alliance Francaise (FIAF) in New York.

The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM) commissioned documentary photographer Gabriele Basilico to convey Monte Carlo in a series of black and white photographs. Those are on display at FIAF through August 23 alongside a wall of colorful Monaco postcards. “The exhibit shows an interesting approach to the principality and the neighborhoods”, noted FIAF’s director of visual arts, Antoine Guerrero.

As an international capital of “sport and spectacle”, Monaco has long attracted high-rollers. Its commemorative programs this year are especially alluring. Last month they turned Casino Square into a tennis court for an exhibition match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. In July they’re hosting a concert featuring rock stars like Rihanna and Elton John. An August exhibit at NYC’s Forbes Gallery will feature photos of celebrities who frequent Monte Carlo.

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Instagram to Madonna: Keep It PG-13

Madonna Instagram1991 called, and it wants its manufactured controversy back: This week Instagram, which is going strong despite all that earlier privacy policy nonsense, issued a “warning” to new member Madonna, who apparently violated community guidelines by posting “mature” content. If a flash of skin and a photo of an alcoholic beverage are the worst crimes she committed then we have to wonder about the wisdom of Instagram’s guidelines.

At least they’re consistent–Rihanna‘s profile appears to be unavailable after she posted some considerably racier, druggier pics.

Ah, who are we kidding? You’ve probably already read about Madge’s latest attempt to stay relevant. The last thing she did that impressed us was divorcing Guy Ritchie before he managed to single-handedly ruin the Sherlock Holmes franchise. Thanks a lot, jerk!

Postmortem: Rihanna’s Crazy Mess of a Tour

Rihanna 777 TourSince we feel like covering the indulgent lifestyles of pop stars today, we’d like to offer a postmortem assessment of Rihanna’s recent PR disaster disguised as a whirlwind international tour.

See, the very concept behind this extended promo event demanded the “stunt” label: The pop star planned to play seven countries in seven days, and she invited approximately 150 music journalists to join her on her Boeing 777 mega-jet (we don’t really get the “7” theme).

Anyway, chaos quickly descended upon the unfortunate entourage. These journalists relayed news of on-plane streaking, hunger, sleep deprivation, lack of bathroom access and general anxiety while receiving very little attention from an apparently disinterested Rihanna. The star’s heart just didn’t seem to be in it: She received boos from fans in Berlin after forgetting the lyrics to her own songs and denied all interview requests during the trip as some journalists began to wonder whether she was on the plane at all.

On first glance, this all looks to be something of a PR disaster. On second glance, it looks even worse.

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Billboard Charts Go Digital (Now With Even More Rihanna!)

Rihanna Billboard cover While we focused on superstorms and elections over the past month, a certain famous American business made a big change right under our noses.

Billboard magazine, long seen as the ultimate tastemaker in American pop music for its top singles list, decided to join the 21st century by revising its algorithm to include digital sales and online streaming services like Pandora and Spotify when determining which songs are most popular in a given week.

Sounds like progress, right?

Quite a few people in music don’t think so, because these changes give “stars with a pop-oriented sound and broad crossover appeal an advantage over other artists”. We have to agree: the fact that Psy’s “Gangnam Style” ruled the “rap” charts for more than a month while Taylor Swift continues to dominate the “Hot Country” category tells us that something in this new equation is a little off.

This excellent infographic demonstrates the fact that a mere six artists have all but dominated the Billboard charts over the past five years. According to most predictions, these new algorithms will result in more number one hits for Rihanna, Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and Flo Rida while making the climb to the top of the charts even steeper for independent artists and those who work in “niche” genres like country, rock and roll and, you know, pretty much everything but “pop.”

Billboard’s editorial director Bill Werde defended the changes on his tumblr page, but the whole story is ominous news for the vast majority of those who work in or care about the music business. Some have created petitions urging Billboard to abandon its new model, but based on the puny number of signatures collected so far we can’t see that working.

What do we think? Will these changes make it harder for music reps to promote their clients? How will the industry adjust?

(As a bit of a bonus, here’s Werde talking to Mediabistro’s Donya Blaze about the challenges of music journalism): Read more

K-Pop’s PR Push to Win the West

If you’re one of the 430 million people who watched PSY’s “Gangnam Style” on YouTube recently, you are probably both curious and confused by the international phenomenon known as K-Pop. You are not alone!

Luckily, John Seabrook of The New Yorker just published a fascinating article about the carefully choreographed process that fuels the fast-growing world of Korean pop music—and its top PR teams’ plans to win Western fans with their dizzying mix of contemporary production, eclectic stage shows and a shocking amount of plastic surgery.

South Korea’s top three entertainment PR firms have essentially come to run the K-Pop industry by adopting the British/American boy band business model…on steroids. And they’ve completely dominated the Asian music market by beating predecessor J-Pop at its own game and winning the Chinese public over with their bizarre videos and promo events.

Now music publisher and promoter SM Entertainment—whose Twitter profile reads “Follow us for 10 years, we’ll make you pretty and famous”—plans to take over the United States, one flashy tour at a time. Founder and former entertainer Lee Soo-man is often described as the creator and mastermind behind the K-Pop phenomenon who made good on his plans to recreate American pop for the Asian market, and he inspires conflicting emotions among fans.

The industry is hardly limited to music; K-Pop idols frequently star in ad campaigns, soap operas and feature films. There’s even a term, “hallyu”, for the incredible influx of South Korean culture that has blanketed the continent over the past decade, and the country’s government has aggressively promoted its distribution as a form of “soft power.”

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Had Enough Chris Brown? There’s An App for That

Confession: We’ve never listened to any of Chris Brown’s music, and we don’t really get what the big deal is about him. But we do know that he has a very strange PR strategy.

After receiving a whole lot of bad press over the past two or three years, Brown seems determined to do everything in his power to convince Americans that he is a very strange man. In the long tradition of celebrities embarrassing themselves in the name of publicity, he clearly believes that any attention is good attention, and his strategy is working: Americans may have a love/hate relationship with him, but they read about his exploits every week in the tabloid press.

His latest stunts are even more bizarre than usual—mere days after a sidewalk fight with Drake‘s entourage, he was spotted with a big new neck tattoo that very closely resembles photos of a bruised Rihanna after he beat her way back in 2009. It’s all a little baffling, and many readers who love their celebrity gossip are sick of hearing about the latest exploits of “Chris Breezy.”

Are you one of those readers? As promised, there’s an app for that.

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Is MTV Still Relevant?

Throughout its more than three-decade history, MTV has gone from showcasing the latest and greatest meetings of pop music and short film to being a platform in which the stars of reality TV find new ways to behave badly–again and again.

The question has been asked repeatedly over the past few years, but after a somewhat lackluster Video Music Awards and the cancellation of the network’s most valuable property, “Jersey Shore“, we have to repeat it: is MTV still relevant? And where does the brand go from here?

With all the talk of Snooki and “Teen Mom”, it’s easy to forget that last year’s VMAs, starring Alicia Keys and a pregnant Beyonce, earned the highest ratings in MTV history. Still, an awards show that only involves six actual awards is very different from the VMAs we knew as kids. And the fact that the biggest moment of last night’s ceremony was a hug exchanged between Rihanna and Chris Brown reveals something about its relevance.

In a telling interview with Forbes, MTV’s executive vice president of music and talent Amy Doyle emphasizes the network’s continued focus on, well, music.

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Whoa, There: Spanish Mag Depicts First Lady as a Slave

A Spanish magazine recently made one of the most baffling art choices in memory by running a cover that clearly depicts First Lady Michelle Obama in the guise of a bare-breasted French slave. That’s right–let it settle in. You think they were aiming for controversy? Just a little bit?

The entire internet has subsequently condemned Fuera de Serie (roughly translated as Off the Charts), whose editors seem to be following in the footsteps of the Dutch mag that earned quite a bit of (very negative) attention last year for calling Rihanna a couple of names that we won’t reprint here.

We’ve posted the full image below the “fold” for braver readers:

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