Yes, that’s the exact question I posed to Lil Rounds, the American Idol season 8 finalist who’s been closing her current tour set with a cover of Beyoncé’s iconic “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” Press play below to hear Lil answer (after she stops giggling, of course) and to find out about the perils of belting while dancing, the ease of singing without fear of Simon Cowell, and the joys of shoe-bedazzling. (In other news, you all know this means there will be an Anoop Desai Idolatry interview comin’ atcha in about 24 hours, yes? And also: Follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak! Fun!)
Tag: Beyoncé (51-60 of 80)
What we're gonna do is go back. Way back. Well, a month back, to a night I'll never forget. June 21, 2009. While many were finishing up their Father's Day festivities (oops!), I was at Madison Square Garden with my idol — the only woman who could ever tempt me to go straight — Beyoncé Knowles. Through the sometimes turbulent Destiny's Child years, occasionally questionable acting gigs (better believe I sat through The Fighting Temptations), and into her solo stardom, the voluptuous diva has been my ultimate icon. Can't say I wasn't a tad skeptical when we were introduced to Sasha Fierce. Well no, I take that back. The I Am side of her latest "concept" album bored me to tears while the Fierce side kept my faith alive and strong. Needless to say, I bow down to this woman. I watch the "Crazy In Love" video on repeat and crump with this woman. If she ever needed an unpaid servant to clean the house (call me!) I'd be there in a heartbeat.
It was the end of the show. After a brief interlude of "Single Ladies"-inspired YouTube impersonators, Mrs. Jay-Z returned to the stage to show 'em how a true diva does it. And then… the moment of truth. It was "Halo" time. I was standing five rows back on the center aisle. She jumped off the stage and I immediately ran to the barricade. I stuck out my hand and she accepted, embracing for a solid 15 seconds of heaven. Her initial expression of uncertainty was replaced by a look of "Okay, you're harmless," probably after noting my mesh T-shirt. Regardless, my life will never been the same. I've been touched by a diva. So there you have it, PopWatchers, my favorite concert memory. Your turn. What's your best concert memory? Go!
Apparently Larry King thinks Jay-Z is "a terrific performer." Who knew? This was only one of many fascinating things we learned last night when Beyonce went on Larry King Live to promote Obsessed. Gramps got her to share her thoughts on Rihanna (Beyonce said the younger singer is "doing a lot better," but asked that her privacy be respected), Michelle Obama ("She’s so chic"), and, er, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra’s version of "At Last" ("Believe it or not, I’ve never heard it"). King also asked her whether Beyonce or Sasha Fierce was the one singing "At Last" to the First Couple at the inaugural ball, betraying his utter failure to grasp the basics of the Beyonce/Sasha Fierce dichotomy. Come on, Larry, are you even trying to understand Beyonce’s role-playing concepts?! B handled his hard-hitting interviewing style with style and grace, though, and bravo to her for that.
Check out a short clip of Beyonce’s Larry King Live appearance below, or read the whole transcript at CNN.com. Did you tune in last night? How did you think Beyonce did?
Beyonce will guest-star in four new episodes of Nick Jr.’s Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! starting Monday, April 27, and we have an exclusive clip! She’s the blonde in the middle. Obviously. Awww, the usually unadorned Wubbzy got all blinged-out (blung?) to become the likely Jay-Z-inspired (just a hunch) "Wubb-Z." No one falls off a stage and into a heap of abandoned orchestra instruments better than Wubb-Z, y’all! Press play below.
As if 2009 hasn’t already been jam-packed for Beyonce Knowles, the singer-actress is currently preparing a year-long world tour with dates in Canada set to launch later this month. "I’ve been working on this tour for eight months," Beyonce told EW when we caught up with her on the set of a TV ad she was taping. "It’s crunch time! I’ve been rehearsing and trying to make sure I put my set list together. Right now I’m anxious and I can’t sleep — I’ll be wanting to be at rehearsal. That’s the only thing I can think about. But I can’t wait." While details are still being worked out, she has dates tentatively penciled in for the U.K., Ethiopia, Japan, Brazil, and more, plus a run through the U.S. this summer. She’ll be backed once more at each show by the all-female band from 2007′s The Beyonce Experience tour.
Beyonce has also finished two new music videos to keep fans happy while she’s crisscrossing the globe: "Broken-Hearted Girl," from the ballad-heavy I Am… half of her recent double album, and …Sasha Fierce‘s up-tempo "Ego." Beyonce co-directed the latter clip with her choreographer. "My goal for [the 'Ego' video] is simplicity," she says. "In ‘Single Ladies,’ I saw this old tape of Bob Fosse’s wife, and I used that as inspiration. I thought in this world, with all the technology and everything that’s going on, to strip everything down — great idea. So I kind of did the same thing, but glossy and black, for ‘Ego.’"
One thing that the video for "Ego" won’t share with "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" is a certain animatronic appendage. "I didn’t have the Sasha Fierce hand [in the video]," she laughs. "But I have it on the tour. It’s actually even more wild — I have to figure out how I’m going to perform with that hand!"
Possibly the last thing I expected to see at last night’s Antony and the Johnsons concert was a jamming Beyonce cover. Silly me: Midway through their sold-out set at New York City’s Town Hall, the indie stars burst into a fully Antonyfied version of "Crazy in Love," reborn as an exquisite chamber-group fugue. Apparently A and the J’s have been doing this on tour for a while now (check out a clip from another show earlier this week embedded below).
Everything else last night was pretty spectacular, too, with six backing players including strings and horns helping Antony recreate the swirling arrangements found on his records. And man, Antony’s voice sounds just as sublime in person. (The title track of The Crying Light, still my favorite album of the year so far, was a standout. So was "Aeon." I could go on and name every song they played here, so I’ll stop now.) But there was something special about the way Antony made "Crazy in Love" his own. If he can do Beyonce that well, you got the sense he could sing virtually any song and make it work, no matter how far removed from his usual mileu. Maybe that shouldn’t have been such a surprise after hearing Antony stretch out into elastic disco on last year’s Hercules and Love Affair album, but it was still an amazing moment. Anyone else feeling crazy in love with Antony’s Beyonce homage — and/or crossing their fingers he’ll take on "Single Ladies" or "Get Me Bodied" next? I know I am.
More on Antony and unlikely covers:
Gallery: The 20 Worst Cover Songs Ever (This is not one of them, at all!)
The Crying Light got an A– review
The band’s Another World EP made it onto our Must List
EW liked Antony and the Johnson’s previous album, I Am a Bird Now, in 2005
If you love a good celebrity catfight–and really, who among usdoesn’t?–then congratulations, friend! This is shaping up to be a very good week for you. First came the utterlylopsided Faye Dunaway/Hilary Duff tiff, which centered on that bizarro Bonnie & Clyde update and brought both of thoseladies back into the headlines after a long spell of irrelevance. Nowcomes word that 71-year-old soul legend Etta James has turned on noneother than Beyonce Knowles, who so memorably portrayed her in last year’s overlooked film Cadillac Records. I guess all of those platitudes that Etta showered on Beyonce when the movie came out were uttered through gritted teeth, ’cause at a Seattle concert last week, Etta complained about not being asked to sing her signature song, "At Last," during President Barack Obama’s first dance with his wife, Michelle. "You guys know your president, right?" she asked the crowd. "The one with the big ears?" (Rude, Etta!) "He ain’t my president. He might be yours…" she continued, before adding that "that woman he had singing for him…she’s gonna get her ass whipped. The great Beyonce…I can’t stand Beyonce."
WHOA. Look, it’s understandable that James feels slighted, but from a purely economic point of view, the sight of Beyonce–a woman who, rightly or wrongly, is treated as nothing less than a modern-day deity by plenty of her fans–singing to the nation’s first African-American president and his wife was sure as hell going to draw a lot more eyeballs to the TV set than a performance by Etta James. (Sorry to be ageist, but it’s the truth. Also, I’m not sure I’d recognize Etta James if you physically placed her in my living room.) But beyond that, I’m mystified by this outburst. I love when old ladies speak their minds, but this just seems classless and undignified, especially for a verified legend like Etta. As much as she may want to believe it, the President’s first dance–nay, the entire Inauguration–was not about her.
There’s a purported audio clip of the tirade right here. Take a listen, and then tell me if you think Etta was justified. And even if you think she is, do you think she handled her anger in the right way?
John Legend’s hand-held camera footage of the scene backstage at last weekend’s inaugural concert starts off strong enough, capturing a whole gaggle of megastars kidding around, then excitedly greeting the Obama and Biden families. But the video vaults to a whole other level just after the 6:45 mark, when the Obamas bump into Beyonce. Check out the exchange below. The sound is a little muffled, but the transcript goes something like this…
Michelle Obama: "Mr. President, you didn’t tell Beyonce about ‘Single Ladies’? Your rendition?"
Barack Obama: [chuckles] "Oh! I’m not like Justin. I didn’t put on the outfit. But I didn’t want my girls thinking that I couldn’t, you know…I got a lil’ something."
And then the President of the United States does the Sasha Fierce hand-twirl move from the "Single Ladies" video! (That’d be Step No. 6 in our definitive "Single Ladies" dance tutorial.) Un. Real. It’s over quickly, but President Obama’s little "if you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it" gesture certainly beats all the other "Single Ladies" YouTube tributes out there, wouldn’t you say? And how amazing is it that the leader of the free world clearly knows all about Justin Timberlake’s "Single Ladies" parody skit from Saturday Night Live?! This is sooooo much cooler than that time last year when Mitt Romney attempted to sing "Who Let the Dogs Out."
More on the pop-culture fan in chief:
Cover Story: Barack Obama, President Rock Star
EW Gallery: The Great Presidential Pop-Culture Debate ’08
Obama’s iPod: Analyzing the presidential playlist
‘DWTS’ recap: Barack and Michelle attempt the foxtrot
Freedom rings! (From the pores of Aretha Franklin’s enormous bow/hat)
The latest from San Francisco "pop bastardizer" Party Ben: The Andy Griffith Show’s theme song and Beyonce’s "Single Ladies," mashed up all buttergarlicky for your pleasure.
On last night’s Dancing With the Stars, former frontrunner couple Barack and Michelle took a bit of a dip in terms of performance level. But not a big enough dip, if you know what I mean!
After their tender but staid foxtrot, head judge DANCMSTR Len Goodman complimented Barack’s "core," which he recalled fondly from a paparazzi beach photo, but harped on his nearly nonexistent footwork. Bruno Tonioli praised the couple’s chemistry and called Michelle "a beautiful swan under the curse of an evil sorcerer, afraid to flutter its wings lest they get cilpped by ten thousand flashes of fancy!" Nobody knew what that meant. Carrie Ann Inaba merely stood up, pointed to her tears and wailed, alternating between two equally horrific pitches. Still, Barack and Michelle scored a respectable 21 out of 30 and should fully redeem themselves in next week’s freestyle.
In better news, Samantha Harris had her best episode yet. And to get Beyoncé to perform on Dancing With the Stars — what a coup!
Did you tune in for ABC’s Neighborhood Ball or any of last night’s other inauguration specials? Can you still not get enough Obama media dazzle, or have you about had it with the glitter?
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