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We love the 2000s: EW staffers pick the decade's best pop culture moments

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Not too long ago, we were all living in the New Millennium, less affectionately known as the age of Y2K. Or if you want to be technical about it, it was the first decade of the 21st century. And during those 10 years, pop culture thrived. Not only did Nipplegate change the way we looked at Super Bowl halftime shows, but things like Laguna Beach made us rethink “reality,” Heath Ledger’s performance in The Dark Knight redefined the term “Oscar-worthy,” and Glee revived the television musical.

So with VH1’s I Love the 2000s wrapping up tonight, we thought we’d join in and round up our staff picks for our favorite pop culture moments of the 2000s. Because, hey, we loved those years too: READ FULL STORY

A young Pitbull raps about safe sex -- VIDEO

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Ever wonder what Pitbull was like before he became Mr. Worldwide? Wonder no more. Feast your eyes and ears on 18-year-old Armando Christian Pérez as he raps about safe sex at a high school performance. Dale!

In the video, posted back in December but woefully undiscovered, Miami native “Chris” announces that he will perform “AIDS Plays” and “Love to Live,” though we only get to hear the former. A far cry from his sexy hits “I Know You Want Me” and “Hotel Room Service,” “AIDS Plays” acts as more of a PSA for safe sex. He’s trying to send a message. We dig it.

While spitting rhymes, young Pitbull even manages to get in a few pop culture digs: 1) “Unlike Clinton, HIV is impeachless,” and 2) “It’s a lethal weapon without Gibson or D. Glover.” His ultimate message: “AIDS plays an everyday part of our life. It could be your mother, your brother, even your wife. Every move you do, choose safe sex. Bless yourself with a pack of latex.”

You heard the man. READ FULL STORY

'The Book of Mormon' gets animated in the style of 'South Park' -- VIDEO

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What would a Book of Mormon movie look like? Perhaps a little something like this fan’s version, if the blockbuster Broadway musical was animated in the same vein as South Park — and why shouldn’t it be, since Mormon was co-penned by the cartoon’s creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker?

Simon Chong paid tribute to South Park’s particular animation style with his own nod to The Book of Mormon, using the opening number “Hello!” from the original Broadway cast recording to imagine what the singing elders might look like in that quiet Colorado mountain town.

Although the video bears no affiliation to either show (stage or screen), it’s strikingly well-crafted and surprisingly faithful to South Park’s signature aesthetic. It feels just as natural as any of the songs from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, and even seems to fit with the musical scheme of the season 7 episode “All About Mormons.” Watch Chong’s excellent crossover after the jump: READ FULL STORY

In the wake of Casey Kasem's death, celebrities pay tribute on Twitter

Celebrities are mourning the death of radio legend Casey Kasem, who died of complications from dementia on Sunday at the age of 82. The DJ served as host of the radio countdown show American Top 40, introducing new artists to legions of music fans for nearly four decades. He was also beloved as the voice of Shaggy on Scooby Doo.

Here are just some of the tributes Kasem’s famous fans have posted to Twitter since his passing:

PopWatch Planner: 'Game of Thrones,' 'Louie,' finales, 'Jersey Boys' premiere, and more

For Game of Thrones fans, today is arguably the most important day of 2014, because it marks yet another season finale, and furthermore, it will probably determine Tyrion’s fate. So to those of you who are obsessed with the show, I wish you good luck. But for the rest of you who are looking past tonight’s finale, there’s an entire week’s worth of possibilities that await you.

Here’s what your pop culture calendar looks like this week: READ FULL STORY

Idina Menzel makes chart history (again) with 'If/Then' debut

Idina Menzel sure knows how to pick ‘em.

The wickedly talented star of Frozen just made Billboard history — again. The original Broadway cast recording of If/Then debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard charts, the highest debut for a Broadway cast recording since 1996 when a little show called Rent did the same thing.

Did we mention that Menzel starred in both? READ FULL STORY

Lena Dunham performs interpretive dance while Sia sings on 'Late Night'

Today in “sentences that once seemed impossible”: Lena Dunham performed an interpretive dance to Sia’s latest hit, “Chandelier,” on Late Night with Seth Meyers Tuesday night.

As fans of Sia — a singer who’s also written songs for Beyonce and Katy Perry, among others — are aware, the musician doesn’t like appearing on camera. “Chandelier” is the first single off her upcoming solo album 1000 Forms Of Fear, Sia’s first since 2010’s We Are Born.

Inspired by the song’s official video, the Late Night performance finds Dunham (wearing a blond wig not unlike the one Hannah Horvath wore last season on Girls) dancing around a bedroom set, smashing things and rocking out. You know, as one does. Important note: For this entire performance, Sia is also lying facedown on a bed.

Check it out below: READ FULL STORY

Comic Ian Edwards launches Team Coco Records with debut album '100% Half-Assed'

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Tuesday marks the release of Ian Edwards‘ new comedy album 100% Half-Assed. It not only marks the first album for Edwards, a stand-up veteran, but it is also the first release on Team Coco Records, the new comedy label launched by Conan O’Brien. It’s the latest in a long line of collaborations between Edwards (who also wrote for 2 Broke Girls last season) and O’Brien. “I think I’m the only stand-up who has been on Conan’s show every time,” says Edwards, who made his debut on the old Late Night show back in 2007. “I did it when he was in New York, and then I did it when he had The Tonight Show, and I’ve done it on TBS. Conan always just wants you to be yourself. So why not go with the people who allow you to represent myself the way I really am?”    READ FULL STORY

Sir Mix-a-Lot performs 'Baby Got Back' with the Seattle Symphony

If you were under the impression that “I like big butts and I cannot lie” is the sort of lyric that can’t be rapped at a classy event, well, get ready to be proven wrong.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Seattle Symphony’s Sonic Evolution: The series commissions new orchestral work that’s inspired by music icons from the city. And for London-based composer, DJ, and producer Gabriel Prokofiev, that meant remixing Sir Mix-a-Lot’s 90’s hit “Baby Got Back” during an appearance at Benaroya Hall.

When Sir Mix-A-Lot took the stage, he made sure to put chivalry first and invite all the ladies up to join him: “So what I wanna do now is something you really should not do. But since tonight is orchestral-movements-from-the-hood night, I’m going to leave some of this open if a couple of ladies would like to get up on the stage. I don’t touch.” He finished with, “We will not bite unless you want us to.” READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Planner: '22 Jump Street' in theaters, 'Veep' finale, Jack White's new album, and more

If you thought June would be your time to take a little pop culture break and maybe binge a few shows you’d never gotten to start, we’ve got some bad news: There’s no time for that. Between finales of some of HBO’s strongest shows — Veep and Game of Thrones — award shows, new books, albums, and movies, there’s very little time for you to play catch-up. So maybe save that for next week? Although, we make no promises that you’ll have time.

Check out your pop culture calendar for this week: READ FULL STORY

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