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#TBT: Top Five Alter Egos on Stage

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What do David Bowie, Beyonce, and Garth Brooks have in common? They all stepped out of themselves to put on a new face and performance for the stage! While many performers have pulled similar stunts, here are our top five alter egos. Hold on to your butts, it's gonna be a weird ride.

5) Chris Gaines

Garth Brooks on Tour Now

Photo courtesy of tasteofcountry.com

The late 1990s were an odd time. We were in the throes of a bull market, Britney Spears was a fresh-faced ingénue with all of her hair intact (and in pigtails), and country-pop was all the rage. We weren’t even at war with anyone. It was in this cultural climate of excess and sunny emotions that we were first introduced to the remarkable artiste Chris Gaines. 

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Music Monday: Nicki Minaj, Crazy Like a Fox

Nicki Minaj

Our offices have been buzzing since the announcement of Nicki Minaj’s "Pinkprint Tour" and the show’s US dates. But aside from her knack for hook-driven hits, what really has our gums flapping is the “Anaconda” singer’s antics off stage. We’ve essentially come to realize our office is split into two camps: those who think Nicki Minaj is crazy, and those who do not.

Minaj: A Study in Bananas

1) Picks fights on Twitter with everyone’s favorite purveyors of pancakes:

 

2) May have threatened Mariah Carey with Physical Violence

Back on the twelfth incarnation of American Idol, whereupon Minaj was a judge alongside Carey on the popular reality show, rumors surfaced of troubles at the judges table. Allegedly, the two divas had words more than once. And with this clip, we can see that Ms. Minaj just does not want to share the spotlight, mic time, or pretty much anything else.

My point is, you can’t out-crazy Our Lady of Butterflies and Unicorns, so you’d have to actually be crazier than Carey to even try. I actually kind of feel bad for Keith Urban in this clip, and my feelings on Keith Urban are rarely sympathetic.

3) Once Got So “Method” She Practically Brained a Fellow Student with a Rotary Phone During Drama Class

It looks as though Ms. MInaj has been chasing stardom a while, and before she made it big in hip hop, she didn't back down from an acting challenge. She sure knows how to ... emote.

Minaj: Only Crazy Successful

I honestly don’t think Minaj is crazy at all. In fact, she strikes me as exceptionally bright and an intensely successful product of her own design – a well-honed publicity machine that delivers on every promise that our culture of consumption demands from our celebrities: controversy, catchy hits, and enough sexuality to keep us watching. (Yes, like that banana scene in the Anaconda video.) What’s more is that Minaj seems to be entirely self-aware; she’s not just in on the joke, she’s the one telling it, and challenging many preconceptions in the process.

Nicki Minaj, nee Onika Tanya Maraj, crashed onto the hip hop scene in 2007 after being signed to Dirty Money Entertainment on a short contract. Lauded for her incredible flow and intensely visual lyrics, Minaj was named Female Artist of the Year at the 2008 Underground Music Awards, and produced three critically acclaimed mix tapes with Dirty Money Records before getting noticed rapper by Lil Wayne, who brought her aboard his own production company, Young Money Entertainment in 2009.

Capitalizing on her incredible talent and voluptuous figure – itself the subject of much speculation – as well as her penchant for fashion with bite, Minaj launched her debut album with Young Money in 2010. Pink Friday, which showcases Minaj’s killer flow and knack for metaphor, debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. Minaj herself was the first woman included on MTV’s Annual Hottest MC List that year and was the first solo female artist to have 7 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 concurrently.

Of course, her commercial and critical success has been occasionally overshadowed by her public persona. Whether it’s being accused to threatening Mariah Carey with violence on the set of American Idol or throwing shade at Lil’ Kim, Nicki Minaj is no stranger to controversy. She’s quick to snap back at foolishness – such as IHOP’s recent and ill-fated attempt to cultivate #brandengagement (something we social media marketers are constantly harassing otherwise well-meaning individuals with) by changing the lyrics of Rae Sremmurd’s “No Type” to accommodate for some flapjack-related puns.She will give your lazy attempt to say something relevant no quarter, dearest International House of Pancakes! (Seriously, though, no shade from this lady, that is legitimately how I make my living, too.)

What is remarkable about Minaj, and what makes many folks uncomfortable, is that she’s wholly committed to her goals. Sure, we’ve all seen that video from Onika’s time in high school wherein the young drama student/method actor lobs a telephone at a fellow student, but who hasn’t? My point is, Minaj is not now nor has she ever been out of bounds of nuts. She’s a driven businesswoman, a talented performer, and a commercial goldmine. When our society lampoons women who refuse to cow to our culture’s expectations as “crazy,” “bitchy,” or otherwise, we undermine their success. You can call Minaj crazy if you’d like, but I’m pretty sure she’s laughing all the way to the bank.

Get your tickets for "The Pinkprint Tour" now.

 

What People Are Talking About

Will Ferrell is Little Debbie

Source: YouTube.com. Please note: video may not be suitable for work.

Get Hard, the much anticipated comedy film starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart is set to come out on Friday, and in preparation for the film’s release, Ferrell is making his round of public appearances. However, it is fair to say Ferrell isn’t taking the most orthodox approach to promote the film. The week before last he played for 10 different MLB teams in the Cactus League, which also served as a fundraiser for Cancer for College and Stand Up to Cancer. Then, last week he headed to New York where he appeared on the The Late Show With David Letterman dressed as a leprechaun in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

While the leprechaun outfit was understandable, his next television appearance was random and downright creepy. On Wednesday, he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon dressed as Little Debbie; complete with a blue plaid dress, curly wig, and straw hat. He insisted he was the new spokesperson for the company that’s known for snacks, such as Cosmic Brownies, Swiss Cake Rolls, and Zebra Cakes. This stunt would lead you to think McKee Foods, the owner of Little Debbie has some sort of partnership with Ferrell. Well they don't. It turns out McKee Foods was surprised to find out about their new spokesperson, however, they did welcome the free publicity with open arms.

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The Best Basketball Music Themes

Tomorrow marks the beginning of another NCAA Basketball Tournament, and we are definitely amped up for the coming games. The beginning of the tournament also got us thinking about some of the most popular basketball-related themes. Where basketball is concerned, there really are only a few big ones, but they're all memorable and instantly recognizable.

"I Believe I Can Fly"

Source: YouTube.com

There are a lot of songs that are created and then later appropriated for movies. "I Believe I Can Fly" by R. Kelly was not one of those songs. Written for the 1996 live action/Looney Tunes mash-up "Space Jam," the song help propel the movie into the box-office stratosphere. It also earned a life of its own outside the movie, and in addition won two Grammy Awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best Rhythm & Blues Song.

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#TBT: American Idol

Source: YouTube.com

Think back to 2002 and the few years following; what show did you watch religiously on Tuesday and Wednesday nights? Most likely your answer is American Idol. Now in its 14th season, American Idol is struggling to maintain its once enviable ratings. As a result, winners in recent years haven't been gaining the same level of stardom as some of their counterparts in the previous decade. However, in the earlier years of the show, winning the contest did not guarantee a life of Grammy Awards and stardom. On more than one occasion, finalists who didn’t come in first saw more success than the finalists who did.

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