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Christina Aguilera (#110 of 13)

Christina Aguilera Gets Liberated in Kanye-Produced “Accelerate” Single & Video

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Christina Aguilera Gets Liberated in Kanye-Produced “Accelerate” Single & Video
Christina Aguilera Gets Liberated in Kanye-Produced “Accelerate” Single & Video

Christina Aguilera kicked off her recent media blitz for her upcoming album, Liberation, with a striking photo spread in the latest issue of Paper magazine. Stripped of her usual heavy makeup and bleached-bombshell waves, the naturally freckled pop singer was nearly unrecognizable. “Accelerate,” the lead single from the album, is similarly barebones. For a track audaciously titled “Accelerate,” it never really takes off, even when Aguilera begs, “Come on, babe, pick up your speed.” And that's by design.

Through the Years: Madonna’s "Like a Virgin" at 30

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Through the Years: Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” at 30
Through the Years: Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” at 30

Confession: I’ve never cared much for “Like a Virgin.” Madonna’s 1984 single may be the first, if not the, signature song of her career, but it’s a trifle—a novelty, really—with its plucky, noncommittal guitar licks, sub-“Billie Jean” bassline, and the singer’s helium squeak of a voice. That last, integral element in particular has always irked me, as, from “Express Yourself” to “Don’t Tell Me,” Madonna has proven she’s capable of some deep, soulful performances. Of course, the vocals on “Like a Virgin” were allegedly employed by design, sped up to render Madonna’s voice more childlike and “virginal.” (It’s a trick she’s lamentably reprised on some of her more recent recordings.) I’m in fairly good company, however, since both producer Nile Rodgers and Madonna herself aren’t particularly fond of “Like a Virgin” either, and she’s chosen to completely reinvent the song in masterful ways nearly every time she’s performed it. Madonna infamously unveiled “Like a Virgin” to the world 30 years ago this Sunday, at the inaugural MTV Video Music Awards. To commemorate this milestone, we’re taking a look back at three decades of a song Madonna has mercifully, perpetually made shiny and new by sheer force of will and ingenuity.

Single Review: Lady Gaga featuring Christina Aguilera, “Do What U Want”

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Single Review: Lady Gaga featuring Christina Aguilera, “Do What U Want”
Single Review: Lady Gaga featuring Christina Aguilera, “Do What U Want”

Following in the dance steps of Madonna’s secretprojectrevolution, Lady Gaga announced she was teaming up with BitTorrent and VICE Media to premiere the music video for “Do What U Want,” the second single from her latest album, Artpop, featuring R. Kelly. Gaga posted a message on Twitter, in which she appears to have coined the term “quelped,” suggesting that the media would be “shocked” by the video, directed by photographer and frequent Gaga collaborator Terry Richardson. But a month later, the clip has mysteriously failed to materialize.

Track Review: Lady Gaga featuring R. Kelly, “Do What U Want”

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Track Review: Lady Gaga featuring R. Kelly, “Do What U Want”
Track Review: Lady Gaga featuring R. Kelly, “Do What U Want”

Lady Gaga lashes out at her critics on “Do What U Want,” a newly released teaser single from her upcoming album Artpop. In case there was any confusion about who the song is directed at, Gaga posted a series of tweets yesterday repeating accusations that have been flung at the singer over the last few years: that she’s fat, that she’s a hermaphrodite, that she’s on drugs (“My recovery is a daily battle,” she proclaimed, saying she’s been an addict for 10 years), just to name a few. In response to claims that “Madonna hates Gaga,” she posted, sans apostrophes but full of defensiveness, “I dont need anybodys permission to be remembered. I will be. Whether they like it or not.” It probably would have been wise to let “Do What U Want” speak for itself, since Lady G’s social media diarrhea only served to highlight just how preoccupied she is with her own public image—or, at the very least, that she spends a little too much time Googling herself. The track, which features a verse from R. Kelly, is a measured electro banger that smartly doubles as a love song and finds Gaga doing her best impression of Christina Aguilera as she instructs detractors and/or a lover: “You can’t have my heart/And you won’t use my mind/But do what you want with my body.”

Artpop drops November 11th on Interscope.

15 Greatest MTV Video Music Awards Performances

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15 Greatest MTV Video Music Awards Performances
15 Greatest MTV Video Music Awards Performances

This Sunday marks the 30th annual MTV Video Music Awards. But this isn’t your father’s VMAs. After excising the words “Music Television” from its logo a few years back, and allowing viewers to vote for winners at its annual awards show, MTV has given its famous moonman award a temporary makeover (see above) to commemorate the ceremony’s move to Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center. But one thing that hasn’t changed about the VMAs is the opportunity for show-stopping and iconic performances. From Britney’s snake to Madonna dressed as Marie Antoinette, we took a look back and picked 15 of our favorites.