‘I’m going to give him a run for his money,’ Bieber prot
Above the Buzz breaks down the teen star’s leap from tween-hood to maturity with ‘Boyfriend,’ a la Justin Timberlake.
By Jocelyn Vena
In 2002, Justin Timberlake blew everyone’s minds when he dropped Justified, his star-making solo album. It propelled him from tween-dream poster boy to legitimate pop star.
Exactly 10 years later, there’s another young singer who is looking to make the same leap. When Justin Bieber dropped “Boyfriend” earlier this week, he laid down the gauntlet and declared his pop-star manhood.
His transition is one that Timberlake faced a decade ago as he looked to carve a new path for himself in a post-’NSYNC world. With grinding, ear-busting production from the Neptunes and Timbaland, the onetime boy-bander created an album that sounded unlike anything his fans had heard before. Sure, he had teased it on ‘NSYNC’s last album, Celebrity, but this album was different — it was all Timberlake. It was sexy and definitely much edgier lyrically, with him singing about girls and sex in a more-mature way.
At the time, he faced the incredibly difficult pop conundrum of having to grow up right before an audience. That’s the challenge Bieber now faces. At 18, he can’t stray too far from his My World days, but in order to grow as an artist and a person, he also can’t make “Baby” over and over again.
And, honestly, who would want him to? Edgy and sexy feel like the innate next step for the teen star, with Usher as his mentor — a dude who made a name for himself singing songs about the things he does in the bedroom and flaunting his abs all over town. Although, it’s interesting to note that Bieber chose to follow in Timberlake’s footsteps. A little history lesson: Timberlake once was in a bidding war to sign Bieber on as his prot
‘People are starting to identify this culture of people by their clothing … and that’s simply not fair,’ Bun B says on ‘RapFix Live.’
By Rob Markman, with additional reporting by Sway Calloway
In the aftermath of the tragic shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, the outraged public has latched on to a few symbolic items. When he was shot, young Trayvon was wearing a hooded sweatshirt on his way home from a store where he bought iced tea and a bag of Skittles. It was the hoodie that gunman George Zimmerman told police made the 17-year-old appear suspicious and in support of Martin, demonstrators have donned hoodies as a show of solidarity.
Others have even gone as far to suggest that the hood that Martin was wearing in some ways contributed to his death. During a televised Fox News broadcast, veteran journalist Geraldo Rivera argued that parents should not allow their black and Latino children to wear hoodies. “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was,” he reasoned.
“The hoodie is something that we see all over America and all over the world,” Bun B said in response on Wednesday’s episode of “RapFix Live.” “People are starting to identify this culture of people by their clothing and starting to attribute certain things by the way they dress and that’s simply not fair.”
Illinois congressman Bobby Rush was removed from the House floor after he protested Martin’s murder by wearing a hood over his head. “Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum,” he said.
Rather than focus on the article of clothing that Trayvon was wearing when he was gunned down, Mississippi rapper and producer David Banner looked at what he feels is the deeper issue. “America is showing young black men: If you don’t make us comfortable around you, we will kill you,” he told MTV News on March 29. “As much as people don’t want to admit it, that’s what this is about.”
Banner urged Martin supporters to not focus on the clothes Martin was wearing, but rather the issue at large. Hoodie or not, he said black men are often the target, citing the 2009 police shooting of Oscar Grant and the 1991 LAPD beating of Rodney King as examples.
Instead, Banner urges demonstrators to focus their energy to change legislation that ensures that young black men like Martin are protected from corrupt police and overzealous authority figures. “If we don’t find what that is after this is no longer a trending topic, then we just lost another child again,” he said.
‘I think people are going to be really surprised,’ Bieber tells MTV News on the set of the ‘unique’ video.
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Kelly Marino
While much of Justin Bieber‘s “Boyfriend” video remains top-secret, MTV News scored a visit to the set Thursday night, and the teen superstar offered up some insight into what Beliebers will see when the clip drops.
“The concept of this video, I mean it’s not like a steady concept,” he explained on the Cali-based set in between shots. “It’s not like ‘Justin follows this girl to this spot.’ No, it’s a bunch of amazing scenes: Like a fire scene, we have an ice scene.”
He continued that the video will also include some of his very fine dancing skills. “It’s kind of like bouncing back and forth,” he said. “And then there’s scenes of me and just a bunch of girl dancers, and just some great shots, great artistic shots, great shots of me smiling. It’s fun.”
Bieber and Tilley have worked together several times in the past, including on the VMA-nominated “U Smile,” as well as “Never Let You Go,” “Fa La La” (with Boyz II Men) and Chris Brown’s very cinematic “Next 2 U,” which features Bieber.
“The video’s really good. Colin has done a great job,” he said. “The lighting has been amazing and everything’s been so unique and I haven’t seen anything like it. So, I think people are going to be really surprised.”
“Boyfriend” is the lead single off Believe, expected to drop later this year. The song was co-produced and co-written by Mike Posner and Mason Levy. The album will also feature some production from Timbaland, Diplo and will.i.am.
What are you hoping to see on the “Boyfriend” video? Leave your comment below.
Katy Perry and One Direction’s performances, Will Smith’s hosting skills and more have us pumped for Saturday night.
By Kara Warner
This year’s Kids’ Choice Awards are going to be as action-packed as ever, with Will Smith as host, two killer performers lined up and a slew of celebrities expected to be in attendance.
Here are the five things we’re looking forward to during the live show at 8 p.m. Saturday:
Katy Perry’s Performance
Perry is not only one of this year’s top nominees, but the “Teenage Dream” singer will also take the stage at USC’s Galen Center to present and perform. So what song will she sing? What will she wear? Will her hair still be blue? One of Perry’s biggest hits, “Firework,” is up for Favorite Song. She is also nominated for Favorite Female Singer and Favorite Voice in an Animated Movie for her role in “The Smurfs.”
A Host With Big Willie Style
Nickelodeon hit the jackpot of high-profile celeb hosts in landing Will Smith for their master of ceremonies this year. Although he’s one of the biggest stars around, it’s been awhile since we’ve seen the former Fresh Prince. We’ve seen a lot of his son Jaden and daughter Willow, who are becoming big stars in their own right, but we are psyched to see what Smith has planned as host. Will he be joined onstage by his kids? Will he incorporate a few of his famous friends into the act, like Tom Cruise? Will we get a sneak peek at new footage from the upcoming “Men in Black III”? We’ll have to wait and see.
One Direction Break Hearts Stateside
The cute and charming lads of “it” boy band One Direction will no doubt bring the house down with whatever they perform on the show. A word of advice to the lucky folks attending the show: Think about bringing earplugs to protect yourself from the enthusiastic, high-pitched screams that will take over the Galen Center the instant the British pop group takes the stage. And they’re not taking the opportunity lightly. “Kids’ Choice is the biggest night on Nickelodeon,” Niall Horan told MTV News about the magnitude of their appearance on the show. “All the big stars are going to be there, and when we found out it was just us and Katy Perry performing, we were like, ‘Geez, this is a big deal.’ ”
An Appearance By a First Lady
Talk about upping the style and class factor! The fact that the very well-respected FLOTUS will be on hand to present Taylor Swift with an award is a really big deal. Michelle Obama will honor Swift with the Big Help Award, in recognition of her philanthropic efforts, including work with U.S. tornado and flood survivors. Obama herself was the recipient of the award in 2010, in recognition of her Let’s Move! Campaign, which champions healthier lifestyles for kids. And, as if that weren’t enough to establish her Nick cred, earlier this year, Obama also appeared on a special episode of “iCarly” to promote her Joining Forces initiative to support military families.
Who Will Get Slimed?
On to the most intriguing and entertaining part of the annual awards show: Who will get slimed? Despite the sticky, icky and total-mess factor that is involved with being covered from head to toe in the network’s trademark green slime, it is considered an honor to get hit with the goo, which is said to be a mixture of green Jell-O, shampoo, oatmeal and flour. The illustrious list of previously slimed celebs includes: Katy Perry, Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Justin Timberlake, the Jonas Brothers, Jackson Rathbone and Russell Brand. So who’s going down this year? Traditionally, the host is a prime target toward the end of the show, so we can probably count on seeing Smith covered in green, but who else? Maybe Perry or one of the presenters — Chris Rock, Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield, Zac Efron, Victoria Justice, Big Time Rush or Cee Lo Green.
Don’t miss the Kids’ Choice Awards on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon.
Riding high off its $150 million debut, experts predict that ‘Hunger Games’ isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.
By Fallon Prinzivalli
MTV News reported earlier this week that “The Hunger Games” opening-weekend sales surprised box-office experts, and we can see why. They originally projected a $70 million debut for the dystopian film. What actually happened was a $150 million weekend that propelled the film to the third-highest opening weekend ever.
That sparks the question: How will the movie fare its second weekend?
The film’s debut dominated the sales of the one movie everyone was comparing it to: “Twilight.” The vampire franchise’s initial film brought in $69 million its first weekend and quickly declined from there. Will “The Hunger Games” suffer the same fate? Phil Contrino from BoxOffice.com doesn’t think so.
” ‘Hunger Games’ is holding up very well. It’s quite clear by now that it’s not going to suffer from a sharp decline the way that ‘Twilight’ did,” he said. “The reason for that is the fact that adults are into it and they don’t always rush out opening weekend.” BoxOffice.com is predicting $72 million this weekend — $2 million above predictions for its debut. Contrino continued, ” ‘The Hunger Games’ definitely has a shot at hitting $400 million domestically. It’s a great accomplishment for the first film of a franchise to hit that mark.”
Gitesh Pandya from Box Office Guru agrees. “Overall, ‘Hunger Games’ looks on track to finish its U.S. run with $350 to $400 million, which would be higher than the first ‘Twilight’ and ‘Harry Potter’ films.” He commented that the movie ended its first full week with about $190 million, which is a new record for a non-sequel. “I expect it to easily hold onto the box-office crown this weekend with sales in the neighborhood of $70 million.”
While “Wrath of the Titans” and “Mirror, Mirror” aren’t slated to surpass “Hunger Games” this weekend, Contrino thinks next weekend will be more of a race. “It’ll be interesting to see whether or not ‘Titanic 3D’ or ‘American Reunion’ will take it down. It’s going to be close.”
Pandya disagrees, “The April lineup is not too strong, so ‘Hunger Games’ may just remain #1 for three or four weeks total.” The rest of the year, however, gives them some competition. “It may not end the year as 2012′s top-grossing film as both ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and ‘The Avengers’ has the potential to become bigger blockbusters that play to broader audiences.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Hunger Games.”
For young Hollywood news, fashion and “Twilight” updates around the clock, visit HollywoodCrush.MTV.com.
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