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How Taylor Swift became Gracie Abrams’ secret weapon with new duet: ‘Us’ song review

Taylor Swift is like winning the lottery in music right about now.We all saw what happened to Sabrina Carpenter’s career after she opened for Swift on her epic Eras Tour last year. I mean, she blew all the way up — and now she’s got the song of the summer with “Espresso.”Now it’s Gracie Abrams’ turn to have a hot girl summer after also opening for Swift last year.

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Billie Eilish packs a punch, again, on ‘Hit Me Hard and Soft’: review
Billie Eilish dropped her groundbreaking, Grammy-winning debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” — there was a seismic shift in pop.At just 17, she emerged as a goth-pop princess whose spooky, synthy sound was eerily prescient of the doom to come when the pandemic shut the world.And the Billie effect was felt with everyone from Olivia Rodrigo to SZA to, yes, even Taylor Swift. While Eilish broke out of the “Bad Guy” groove of her biggest hit on her second album, 2021’s “Happier Than Ever,” there was still no stopping her power.And even when she made the most anti-blockbuster ballad for last summer’s “Barbie” smash, “What Was I Made For?” went on to win both the Song of the Year Grammy and the Best Original Song Oscar — even though the single didn’t even crack the Top 10.Now 22, Eilish is hot off of accomplishing that rare Grammy-Oscar double as she releases her third LP, “Hit Me Hard and Soft” — and she continues to go against the mainstream.In fact, she chose not to release any singles leading up to the album, wanting the collection to be consumed as a “family of songs.”Forget the fact that listening to an album from start to finish in the streaming era is a pretty radical concept.And when the LP gets off to the sleepiest of starts with the dreamy “Skinny” — where Eilish displays her new thing for strings, courtesy of the Attacca Quartet — you might think you accidentally shuffled it to the end.Just like Prince rebeled against the “Purple Rain” mania with “Around the World in a Day” and Radiohead tried to shake off the “OK Computer” masses with “Kid A,” Eilish has refused to play to the basic crowd to meet any sort of commercial expectation.And yet, it still works for her.
Sunday night live: Dua Lipa gets Times Square levitating after hosting ‘SNL’
Dua Lipa had all that Mermaid Barbie training.The Grammy-winning songstress — who had a tail of a cameo in last summer’s “Barbie” blockbuster —needed all of her water-nymph powers as she presided over a rain-soaked Times Square on Sunday night in a surprise pop-up performance that still had fans braving the elements to dance the night away.It completed the Dua Lipa NYC takeover this weekend to launch her third album, “Radical Optimism,” which included her serving as host and musical guest on “Saturday Night Live.”And certainly, some “Radical Optimism” was needed to brighten up a cold, soggy Cinco de Mayo that felt more like Cinco de Marzo.Even the diva’s dad, Dukagjin Lipa, knew it — the former Kosovan crooner handed out $2 bills for good luck to guests as he was entering the VIP area.“New York!” the British-Albanian singer exclaimed as she took the stage inside of a trailer parked at the corner of 43rd Street and Seventh Avenue.Flipping her burgundy-tinted tresses like the former model she is — while safely covered from any hair-busting bursts from the skies — she launched into “Training Season” like a well-conditioned pro as her mammoth likeness took over the Nasdaq and Amex jumbotrons.Welcome to Dua Square.It was certainly a feat to get the crowd — which stretched all the way to 47th Street — levitating to any degree.“Thank you for braving the rain and the cold,” Lipa, 28, said.And for her next trick, Lipa performed “Houdini” — the first single from “Radical Optimism” — which possesses the same kind of dance-pop magic she has been crafting since her 2017 breakout hit “New Rules.”Then Lipa shifted into midtempo mode for the “Radical Optimism” closer “Happy for You,” which seems determined to prove that she can do more
‘Taylor Tots’ moms can’t shake off Taylor Swift’s dirty lyrics, mature themes on ‘TTPD’: ‘Definitely got some darkness’
The Tortured Poets Department” — which has seven explicit songs that all come with warning labels.The controversy over whether or not “Taylor Tots,” a nickname given to young fans of the 34-year-old superstar, should be listening to it sparked a debate on the Facebook group Taylor Swift’s Vault, which has over 480,000 members.“I feel bad for all the Taylor Tots because most parents are not going to deem this album appropriate,” member Crystal Barkley wrote in a post on Friday, the day the album was released.Barkley’s post garnered 1,500 likes and over 1,000 comments — and a bunch of moms said they are shielding their little ones from its curse words and mature themes, such as sex, harm, violence and death.“This album is definitely NOT suitable for kids,” agreed Tana Hancock.“It’s called ‘tortured poets’ who thought this would be a kid-oriented album?” added Stephanie DeVaughn.Some parents said they are not concerned as much about the swearing in her new music, but its dark content.“I’m OK with the curse words, but there’s a lot of self-harm, violence, and death talk I’m not feeling comfy with at this second,” Casey McDonald Smith wrote.“I’m going to sleep on it and give it a few more listens before I decide how I’m going to approach it with my 9 year old.”Kilee Herlin agreed, saying she is unsure if it’s suitable for youngsters’ ears.“I have been debating this myself. Not because of swears, but just because of the deep, mature feelings.
Taylor Swift-inspired pet names surge ahead of ‘Tortured Poets Department’ release
Taylor Swift fans are known to give their fur babies monikers inspired by the pop star — and there was a recent spike in this Swiftie tradition ahead of the release of her double album “The Tortured Poets Department” on Friday.Besides the name Taylor itself, her song and album titles like Karma, Red and Midnight made the Top 10 list, as well as Travis and Kelce, in honor of her Super Bowl-winning boyfriend, according to user data compiled by pet insurance marketplace Pawlicy Advisor.“I had searched Taylor-themed girl names and wasn’t getting anything I just loved, then it hit me — ‘Poet’ would be perfect,” said Bridget Colbert, who picked up her Mini Australian Labradoodle on April 10.The mom of four daughters said their family’s new addition will help them get over not being able to attend the songstress’ current concert tour.“Being able to afford that many attending the Eras Tour isn’t an option, the next best thing was a sweet pup,” Colbert, 40, who lives in Elizabeth City, NC, told The Post.Heather Argrave got a new kitten on April 14 and named her “Willow,” after the lead single from Swift’s 2020 album “Evermore.”The Prairieville, LA resident works as a nurse in the emergency department of a veterinary teaching hospital, and the short hair Calico was brought in because of the kindness of a stranger.“We receive what’s called ‘Good Samaritan’ animals. These are strays that people take the time to stop and pick up and bring to us for medical care,” said Argrave, 39.“Willow came in covered in fleas and she was tied in a grocery bag and dumped.
Stevie Nicks writes moving poem about heartbreak for Taylor Swift’s ‘Tortured Poets Department’: ‘For T and me’
“The Tortured Poets Department.”The Fleetwood Mac alum, 75, penned a moving poem about heartbreak that serves as a prologue on the 14-time Grammy winner’s 11th studio album, which dropped on Friday and was unveiled as a double album in a 2 a.m. surprise announcement to fans.“He was in love with her / Or at least she thought so / She was broken hearted / Maybe he was too / Neither of them knew,” Nicks writes, in part.“She was way too hot to handle / He was way too high to try… He really can’t answer her / He’s afraid of her / He’s hiding from her / And he knows that he’s hurting her / She tells the truth / She writes about it / She’s an informer / He’s an ex-lover.”“There’s nothing there for her / She’s already gone / There’s nothing that can stop her,” the “Edge of Seventeen” hitmaker continues.“She was just flying / through the clouds / When he saw her / She was just making her way / to the stars / When he lost her…”Swift’s admiration for the “Dreams” singer has long been known since the pair took the stage together at the Grammys in 2010.The duo performed Swift’s “You Belong with Me” and Nicks’ hit track “Rhiannon,” after which Swift gushed over the “fairytale” experience.Nicks, for her part, praised Swift’s “determination” and “childlike nature” at the time, adding that “this girl writes the songs that make the whole world sing, like Neil Diamond or Elton John.”“Taylor reminds me of myself in her determination and her childlike nature.
Jennifer Lopez hints at retiring from music: ‘This might be my last album ever’
“This Is Me… Now.”But apparently, a better title for J.Lo’s first studio LP in 10 years — since 2014’s “A.K.A.” — might have been “This Is It.”“The truth is I don’t even know if I’ll ever make another album after this,” Lopez, 54, told “Entertainment Tonight” as she explained the different album covers that they did especially for the JLovers — as her faithful fans are known.“It’s such the kind of quintessential kind of Jennifer Lopez J.Lo project, and I really feel very fulfilled, so they really will be collector’s items at a certain point.”After hinting at her possible retirement from the recording studio, Lopez quipped, “Don’t tell Benny [Medina, her longtime manager] that that’s what I’m thinking — this might be my last album ever.”Lopez’s ninth studio album, “This Is Me… Now,” is a sequel to 2002’s “This Is Me… Then,” her third studio LP, which featured the hits “Jenny from the Block” and “All I Have.”Lopez’s now-husband, Ben Affleck, was infamously featured in the “Jenny from the Block” video, and the singer dedicated “Dear Ben” to him.Similarly, “This Is Me… Now,” led by the first single, “Can’t Get Enough,” will reflect their relationship today — two years after they finally got married after calling off their first engagement in 2004.“Our relationship crumbled under the weight of the pressure,” Lopez told Variety.“We lost a sense of ourselves, and we needed to separate because we didn’t know how to survive it.
Rock on, Dolly! Parton gifts us with new music on her 78th birthday
Dolly Parton to give us gifts on her birthday?And if hearing the country queen rock out to “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” “Heart of Glass” and “Let It Be” — with help from Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Debbie Harry and freaking Paul McCartney, respectively — on her “Rockstar” album released last November wasn’t enough, well, here’s more Dolly for your headbanging pleasure.“It’s my Birthday so I’m going to give you a present!” Parton announced on Instagram.“I’m releasing four never released songs for my birthday, to go with the Rockstar album, and a few others that you may have heard before that were not on the album.“I hope you enjoy them, and I hope you all have a happy birthday for me! LOL”And of course, the ever-gracious goddess signed it off with, “Thanks for everything, Dolly,” along with a rhinestone heart.The four previously unreleased tracks include Parton’s covers of the 1983 Eurythmics hit “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” the 1974 Billy Joel gem “The Entertainer” and the 1970 Simon & Garfunkel classic “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”There’s also “Stay Out of My Bedroom,” a new version of the song that Parton previously released for the soundtrack of her 1984 film “Rhinestone” co-starring Sylvester Stallone.And in her ever-charitable spirit, Parton has also blessed us with five tracks that were only previously available on special (read: pricey) editions of “Rockstar,” which came on the heels of her 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction.
Federal court revives lawsuit against Nirvana over 1991 ‘Nevermind’ naked baby album cover
man who appeared naked as a 4-month-old on the cover of Nirvana’s 1991 album “Nevermind.”Spencer Elden’s lawsuit against the grunge rock group alleges that he has suffered “permanent harm” as the band and others profited from the image of him underwater in a swimming pool, appearing to grab for a dollar bill on a fish hook.The suit says the image violated federal laws on child sexual abuse material, although no criminal charges were ever sought.A federal judge in California threw out the lawsuit last year but allowed Elden to file a revised version, which the judge later dismissed on grounds that it was outside the 10-year statute of limitations of one of the laws used as a cause of action.Thursday’s decision by a three-judge panel of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in California reversed that ruling and sent the case back to the lower court.The appellate panel found that each republication of an image “may constitute a new personal injury” with a new deadline and cited the image’s appearance on a 30th-anniversary reissue of “Nevermind” in 2021.“The question whether the ‘Nevermind’ album cover meets the definition of child pornography is not at issue in this appeal,” the court wrote, according to the New York Times.In an email to The Associated Press, Nirvana attorney Bert Deixler called the ruling a “procedural setback.”“We will defend this meritless case with vigor and expect to prevail,” he wrote.The Associated Press does not typically name people who say they have been victims of sexual abuse unless they come forward publicly, as Elden has.