‘Those shows can mess with you mentally’ Jess Glynne on The X Factor, singledom and album number two

‘Those shows can mess with you mentally’ Jess Glynne on The X Factor, singledom and album number two

One of the most successful female artists in British pop history is a down-to-earth north-London girl who likes drinking G&Ts from a can. Jess Glynne talks bisexuality, music and body image with Alix O’Neill

Does any singer have a better knack for an earworm than Jess Glynne? It’s taken just three years – and one album – for the 28-year-old to hit the number-one spot more times than any other female British solo artist, trumping even the mighty Adele.

Her voice, at once smoky and powerful, first ripped through the pop landscape in 2014 on Clean Bandit’s Rather Be, and now has a share in virtually every nightclub dance floor, upbeat car-journey playlist and video montage going (she became a victim of her own success this year when customers of the airline Jet2 complained about Hold My Hand being played on a loop – Glynne apologised, despite having no personal control over the company’s sound system).

Now she’s back with album number two, Always In Between, a triumphant medley of confessional, upbeat tracks, including the hotly tipped Thursday, co-written with Ed Sheeran.

When I call her she’s in the back of a car going to the airport, en route to China to perform at an awards ceremony. Glynne may be a global pop sensation, but she’s also a hard-working north-London girl with a throaty laugh and frank take on everything from body image to bisexuality (she wrote her first album after a painful break-up with a girlfriend). The lyric from her Ed Sheeran track, ‘I don’t wear make-up on Thursdays, I drink gin from a tin’, says it all.

Tell us about your new album. Was it tough to write given the huge success of I Cry When I Laugh?

‘It took a while. Initially, I felt I was ready to write again but went in prematurely. Then, towards the end of 2017, I was like, “Right, I’m ready”, and asked if we could get a bit of space in the middle of nowhere. So they found this house for me in Sussex. We went away for a week. It was one of the best weeks of my life. I was with people I knew and people I hadn’t met before, we became like a family. I walked out with a complete album.’

Do you put pressure on yourself to succeed? I heard you originally wrote 100 songs to find your sound…

‘I’m a big fat perfectionist and have real issues with control. When it comes to a song, the production, the video, the styling, I find it hard to hand things over [but] you have to trust people. I’m hard on myself and that’s not always a good thing, but I think it’s one of the reasons I’ve got to where I am.’

Is the title of your new album a comment on your sexuality?

‘It comes from the fact that my life has been in between for the last four years. I’ve been here, there and everywhere in work, my personal life and relationships – be it with a man or a woman. The reason I chose that title is because I’ve accepted that it’s OK to not be one way or the other. I wanted to say you’re not lost by being in the middle. The sexuality thing does come into it, but that’s not only what it’s about.

You’ve previously talked about being in toxic relationships and having your heart broken. Has that made you more cautious in love?

‘Yeah, I think it would for anyone. Love is tricky. I couldn’t live without it, but it’s not something I necessarily find easy. I’ve been in relationships for years and this is the first time I’ve been single for a little minute. It’s quite nice to have a moment to yourself. If something was to come along, I’m never going to turn it away if it feels right, but just now, I’m content.’

You talk about insecurities in the song Thursday. Have you reached self-acceptance?

‘I think, entering this world, your life is kind of ripped from you, and it takes a lot of getting used to. For me, there’s a pressure to look amazing and happy all of the time. There are times when you’re tired and you’re not in the best mood and have spots on your face.’

Do you think there’s a lot of pressure on female artists to be sexual?

‘I think girls feel the need to present themselves in a sexual way. But I also feel it’s nice to make yourself feel good. Girls are sexy human beings, so why not accentuate that? You can do it in a classy way, where you’re not overdoing it. But yes, there is definitely a pressure, which I don’t think is OK. 
If you don’t want to present yourself as a sex symbol, you shouldn’t have to.’

You turned down the chance to audition for The X Factor when you were 15. Do you think there’s still a place for shows like that given the new conversations around mental health?

‘Shows like The X Factor create opportunities that people wouldn’t necessarily have, but if you put yourself in front of an audience you risk getting slated. You have to be prepared for both. I would never have done anything like that because I don’t think I could deal with people judging me. I didn’t want music to be a competition. But yes, I think those shows can mess with you mentally. We’re recognising now that people need to speak about their anxieties. For much of my life, I didn’t do that because I thought I’d be looked down on.’

How do you feel about social media? Do you like to take a break every so often?

‘In 2017, 
I deleted Instagram for quite a while. It was really nice to just have a break from looking at other peoples’ lives and worrying about whether my life was good or not. I think it’s one of the most amazing things to be able to connect with your fans and show your work, but it can have a negative effect on the way you look at yourself. [It’s important to remember] the perfection you see on screen is not the truth.’

Jess Glynne’s second album, Always In Between, is out 12 October on Atlantic

Photographs by Stephanie Sian Smith, styling by Grace Wright

The post ‘Those shows can mess with you mentally’ Jess Glynne on The X Factor, singledom and album number two appeared first on Marie Claire.

Ariana Grande has broken her silence since Mac Miller’s tragic death

Ariana Grande has broken her silence since Mac Miller’s tragic death

‘I’m so sorry I couldn’t fix or take your pain away. I really wanted to.’

ariana grande mac miller split

It was announced this month that US rapper Mac Miller had died of a suspected drug overdose, found dead in his California home.

There was an outpouring of love following the 26-year-old’s tragic death, with Mac having famously struggled with substance abuse for years.

Celebrities and fans came out in their thousands to pay tribute to the rapper, with the brother of his former girlfriend of two years Ariana Grande, Frankie Grande, calling him ‘a good friend’ and crediting Miller for helping him with his own addiction.

Ariana chose to stay silent, instead posting a captionless black and white photo of Miller to her Instagram.

This week however, the God is a Woman singer broke her silence, releasing an emotional statement about her ex boyfriend, alongside a sweet throwback video of the him laughing.

‘I adored you from the day i met you when i was nineteen and i always will,’ she posted in a heartbreaking goodbye. ‘I can’t believe you aren’t here anymore. i really can’t wrap my head around it. we talked about this. so many times. i’m so mad, i’m so sad i don’t know what to do. you were my dearest friend. for so long. above anything else. i’m so sorry i couldn’t fix or take your pain away. i really wanted to.’

Ariana concluded her message: ‘the kindest, sweetest soul with demons he never deserved. i hope you’re okay now. rest.’

Our thoughts are with Mac Miller’s loved ones.

The post Ariana Grande has broken her silence since Mac Miller’s tragic death appeared first on Marie Claire.

‘Has it all been worth it?’ Deeyah Khan talks to musician M.I.A about family, roots and resilience

‘Has it all been worth it?’ Deeyah Khan talks to musician M.I.A about family, roots and resilience

With a new documentary out this month, musician M.I.A. chats to film-maker Deeyah Khan about art, controversy and the meaning of wokeness

‘It’s nice to talk to somebody who’s also complicated, and I have a feeling you are,’ says M.I.A. (otherwise known as Maya) to the film-maker Deeyah Khan. Complicated is one way to describe M.I.A.’s own journey from 
Sri Lankan refugee living on a London council estate to one of the most provocative and 
genre-busting artists of her generation. 
Khan, meanwhile, is the daughter of Afghan and Pakistani immigrants to Norway and 
a celebrated film-maker and human rights activist (her latest film, White Right: Meeting The Enemy just scored an Emmy nomination). But the two women share more than their multicultural backgrounds. While Khan started out as a musician before becoming a film-maker, M.I.A. wanted to be a documentary-maker, studying film at art school before music took over. In her new documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., we’re given a glimpse of this original ambition, as a vast archive of footage shot on her own handheld camera is unearthed and edited by director Stephen Loveridge into a fascinating fly-on-the-wall journey through her early life and rise to global stardom. ‘I believe I could talk to you for hours,’ says Khan at the beginning of their chat. Over an hour later, they’re still going…

Deeyah: I’m sure people have asked you the question, ‘Are you an artist who happens to reflect the times we’re living in or are you a political artist?’

M.I.A.: I like to be a walking question mark. It’s important for me never to be in a box because that box constantly changes, and it literally pulls the rug from under your feet when you least expect it. As soon as I was comfortable being a Tamil girl living in a village in Sri Lanka, I was thrust into a new situation [and] a different box. I was the underprivileged refugee with no money, and a single parent. People constantly try to find those labels, ‘Be like this, you’re this’. Even with this documentary, it could be, ‘Oh, you’re just the representative for refugees’, but people forget within that box there are so many types…

DK: It’s tiring to embody other people’s perceptions and limitations. What I admire is that you seem to have become comfortable in your own skin quite early on. For me, that’s one thing I struggled with.

M.I.A.: So many girls struggle with that.

DK: It was hard for me to find my own voice. You always had the need to express yourself – I did too, and believe everybody does; it’s just a matter of finding what that language is going to be. It seemed like it was present in you early on, but what I didn’t realise is that you wanted to be a film-maker initially.

M.I.A.: Yeah, I tried to be a film-maker, but now my friend Steve [Loveridge, who directed her documentary] has beaten me to it.

DK: It’s incredible footage in the documentary when you go back to Sri Lanka [in 2001]. Why did you end up filming yourself as much as you did, by the way? Was it just to document?

M.I.A.: When I got to Sri Lanka, because cameras were banned there, I felt like every person I had my camera near was being put in a life-threatening situation. So, I filmed myself to try to articulate what the documentary was becoming.

DK: Have there been any implications for your family who were included in the film?

M.I.A.: My cousin, who says in it, ‘Oh, you don’t really know the war experience’ is telling me that because he’d lived in a refugee camp for 13 years from when I left in 1985. He used to say when fruit fell off a tree, they had to race the animals to get to it first. I didn’t think life could be any worse than what he’d been through. He’d suffered so much that I wanted it on tape, because it was important to tell his story. And his sister was just so broken by it; there was a generation of girls growing up in the north who didn’t want to draw attention to themselves, they didn’t want dress up nice or put new clothes on…

DK: I think it’s hard for people to understand the necessity for so many girls and women to make themselves invisible. Just recently, we’ve seen a young woman in Iran arrested for posting little videos of herself dancing on Instagram. What we, and so many women, take for granted is for others an absolute act of rebellion. But speaking of danger in general, 
I know that your immediate family is in England. Has your activism caused any pain or difficulties for them?

M.I.A.: My dad was already part of [revolutionary group the Tamil Tigers], so my family were used to dealing with that.

DK: Do you self-censor as a result?

M.I.A.: Yeah. When I made the Born Free video [depicting a genocide of red-haired people that was banned from YouTube], a lot of my family distanced themselves from me.

DK: That’s my favourite video of yours, actually.

M.I.A.: They were like, you just don’t need to bring that kind of attention. But even in America, successful Tamil people were being targeted and put in jail on the advice of the Sri Lankan government. Whether you were silent or not, it just didn’t matter. Now I still feel targeted if I speak about Julian Assange or the Internet or Facebook.

DK: I’ve always been curious – obviously your past hasn’t been easy. You’re the first woman of your background to have landed where you are. Has the struggle and pushback you’ve had been worth it?

M.I.A.: It’s too early to say. I value everything equally. Sometimes, I don’t see the fights as something terrible, they’re almost a necessity. When they show up ignorance, that’s when you can work towards creating understanding.

DK: The word ‘understanding’ is probably at the core of all I try to do. My obsession is to see if we can [recognise] ourselves in others, to empathise with the people who the politicians are creating so much fear around.

M.I.A.: People talk about wokeness as post-2015. The new woke demographic feel life was perfect until Trump won. But for us, the difference between Trump winning or not is like just another pebble in the pond. It’s difficult to talk about how long the timeline is when so many people go, ‘But life was great before. What are you talking about?’

DK: In America, I find a disconnect from the rest of the planet, an unwillingness to accept something else might be going on other than Trump. You speak to [a lot of] Americans and ask them about their biggest enemy, which at this point feels like 1.8 billion Muslims. And yet all they know about them is stereotypes, whereas people in Muslim countries know so much about US culture. Do you feel your politics is often dismissed?

M.I.A.: Oh yeah.

DK: In the documentary, a Sri Lankan official says, ‘She should just stick to what she is good at, which is music.’ Does that often get thrown at you?

M.I.A.: Who are they to say I can’t? If you take away that voice, you give it to a politician who doesn’t come to the war zone, he sits in an office writing orders.

DK: And artists have always been at the front line, telling these stories and raising the alarm.

M.I.A.: In Sri Lanka, women were not scared to fight. They were totally fine cutting their hair short and picking up a gun, because they had no other choice.

DK: The more successful you get, do you feel a responsibility for raising your voice even more, or are there more considerations to take into account? Does the fact that you’re a mother have any impact on the activist in you?

M.I.A.: You need to evolve in different directions. If you have respect for life, you exist in a way that understands the fundamental, basic things about what connects us as human beings [it doesn’t matter] what religion or road you take.

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. is in cinemas from 21 September. View Deeyah Khan’s Emmy-nominated White Right: Meeting The Enemy and BAFTA-nominated documentary Jihad on Netflix

The post ‘Has it all been worth it?’ Deeyah Khan talks to musician M.I.A about family, roots and resilience appeared first on Marie Claire.

There’s a hidden message in one of Ariana Grande’s most meaningful songs

There’s a hidden message in one of Ariana Grande’s most meaningful songs

Putting it on repeat, immediately.

sweetener hidden message
Carl Timpone/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

Ariana Grande’s new album Sweetener is a real force to be reckoned with and has been racking up all the accolades: snagging the coveted top spot on Billboard’s chart and blasting through Spotify’s global record for biggest opening week by a female artist. Beyond the numbers and figures however, the powerful emotion and uplifting message of the album has really made its mark and there’s also some major bops on there. As some beady-eyed fans have also noticed, the pop star has also woven some secret messages into the tracks and a new one has us tearing up at the office.

If you’ve listened to her track Breathin’ before, prepare for a new fan theory to change everything you thought you knew about the song. The song’s first fifteen seconds open with a series of ethereal chimes and right before her vocals begin, you can just about make out a quiet voice mumbling something indecipherable.

Well, one savvy fan did some investigating and realised that if you reversed the intro – there was a pretty beautiful message hidden in it.

User @arianavxnti shared their findings on Twitter, saying, ‘If you reverse the intro of breathin’ you can hear grandpa grande saying “tonight is your special night, do something magical”’

@arianavxnti kindly did the fine-tuning for us and shared a reversed version of the track, which you can listen to above. While many fans have leapt to the conclusion that the voice is the star’s grandfather who sadly passed in 2014, Ariana cleared things up on Twitter after it was drawn to her attention.

She said, ‘that voice is a random sample who started this i-’

Ariana said the voice sounded ‘like space mountain not my grandfather’ and later revealed that her songwriter Ilya Salmanzadeh had shown her the sample. She tweeted, ‘i jus liked it ! ilya pulled it up n i was like that’s sick put that in there’

Even though Grande stans may be a little disappointed their theory didn’t come to fruition, it doesn’t change the fact that Breathin’ is still a fantastic song loaded with meaning for the singer. When a fan asked her what the song was about on Twitter, she responded with one word ‘anxiety’.

With that in mind, the lyrics of the song make total sense now. The chorus is basically one big long reminder to ‘keep on breathin’’ and she seems to describe an anxiety attack in detail in the lyrics, ‘Feel my blood runnin’, swear the sky’s fallin’ How do I know if this shit’s fabricated? Time goes by and I can’t control my mind Don’t know what else to try’.

Ariana has spoken openly about her battle with post traumatic stress disorder following the Manchester bombing attack and her anxiety, which heightened after the terrorist incident.

She told Vogue, ‘My anxiety has anxiety… I’ve always had anxiety. I’ve never really spoken about it because I thought everyone had it, but when I got home from tour it was the most severe I think it’s ever been.’

Just keep breathin’, Ariana. You know we’ll all wait for you to catch your breath.

The post There’s a hidden message in one of Ariana Grande’s most meaningful songs appeared first on Marie Claire.

This charity event at Ibiza Ushuaia will melt your heart

This charity event at Ibiza Ushuaia will melt your heart

We can all agree Ibiza Ushuaia know how to throw a great party right? Their legendary pool parties are not to be missed and this charity event is no different.

ushuaia ibiza beach club
Credit: guillegs.es

The Night League in association with Music Against Animal Cruelty otherwise known as M.A.A.C are coming together with Ibiza Ushuaia to present ‘Wild’ and we are very much here for it. According to M.A.A.C 90% of the Worlds Rhino population have been lost in the last 40 years and up to 30,000 elephants slaughtered for their ivory each year; its safe to say we have a global crisis on our hands.

So if you want to party the night away and support animal cruelty at the same time, er yes, then this event could be right up your street.

Ibiza Ushuaia


Thursday 13th September expect a line up of stellar DJ’s at Ibiza Ushuaia


DJ’s including South African’s finest, the man of the moment Black Coffee, Swedish DJ Adam Beyer and Art Department.

Johnny White of Art Department and co-founder of M.A.A.C explains that ‘This isn’t just techno against animal cruelty. This is music against it. This is a global force against treating animals like they have any less right to be here than we do.’ All DJ’s are contributing their time and performance for free and all profits will go directly towards wildlife conversation projects. So far, so good.

With the music industry uniting at Ibiza Ushuaia on this global cause lets hope its sends a message and we can all come together to support the cause and raise funds for such a worthwhile cause. Boom, we are in! Buy tickets here

The post This charity event at Ibiza Ushuaia will melt your heart appeared first on Marie Claire.

Here’s how Cher responded to this Hollywood director calling her ‘too old’

Here’s how Cher responded to this Hollywood director calling her ‘too old’

‘Alright, sit down, because I’m going to tell you a fabulous story’ 

Words by Katherine Benson

Style icon, Hollywood diva and queen of cheekbones, Cher recently entertained her audience at Atlantic City with her stories of battling sexism in Hollywood.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, during her sold-out concert at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, the legendary actress delighted fans with an outrageous anecdote involving Hollywood director George Miller and former co-star Jack Nicholson.

2/7/17 Las Vegas, NV 🌟

A post shared by Cher (@cher) on Feb 9, 2017 at 1:12am PST

Begining with sharing her insecurity about turning 40 – or in Hollywood terms, the age of retirement for female actresses – Cher described feeling nervous, but positive about this new decade of her life, ‘I went to sleep, dreaming these fabulous thoughts of being 40 and it was good, and I was going to get all these movies and I was just so happy’.

However, Cher went on to describe the moment she had feared with an insulting phone call she received from George Miller, who at the time was directing Witches of Eastwick.

#susansarandon #michellepfeiffer #cher #witchesofeastwick

A post shared by @ thefamousfaces on Jun 9, 2018 at 6:09pm PDT

Cher recounted the cruel comments from Miller, ‘I just wanted to call and tell you that I don’t want you in my movie and Jack Nicholson and I think you’re too old and you’re not sexy’. And it didn’t stop there, according to Cher, ‘He didn’t want to hang up. He just wanted to tell me everything: “I hate the way you walk, I hate the way you talk, I don’t like the colour of your hair, I don’t like your eyes.’”

Cher then joked that ‘tears started streaming down [her] old face’, but in true Cher style, she snapped back.

‘I was like, “O.K., look motherfucker . . . you didn’t find me under a rock. I was nominated for an Academy Award for Silkwood. And I got the Cannes Film Festival award for best actress for Mask, so goodbye!”’

Cher did end up staring in Witches of Eastwick, alongside Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer and amazingly became close friends with Nicholson.

And at 72 she is still the reigning dancing queen, stealing the spotlight in Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again.

What a woman.

The post Here’s how Cher responded to this Hollywood director calling her ‘too old’ appeared first on Marie Claire.

The trailer for the new M.I.A. documentary ‘Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.’ is here

The trailer for the new M.I.A. documentary ‘Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.’ is here

Take an exclusive look at the trailer below


From the moment we heard Galang from M.I.A.’s debut album Arular wayyy back in 2005, we knew that she was a force to be reckoned with.

Now, thanks to director Stephen Loveridge, we get to take an intimate look into M.I.A.’s extraordinary rise to fame and her role as an outspoken voice for multiculturalism and human rights in the upcoming documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.

From escaping civil war in Sri Lanka aged 11 to the certified Platinum success of Paper Planes, we see an intimate and eye-opening portrait of the artist also known as Maya Arulpragasam.

The film won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and its score is equally as impressive, thanks to the musical stylings of Paul Hicks and Dhani Harrison, son of the late, great George Harrison.

This is not one to be missed.

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. is in UK cinemas from 21 September

The post The trailer for the new M.I.A. documentary ‘Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.’ is here appeared first on Marie Claire.

Beyoncé dropped a surprise album over the weekend and the internet wasn’t ready

Beyoncé dropped a surprise album over the weekend and the internet wasn’t ready

‘Beyoncé has all six infinity stones.’

everything is love

Beyoncé officially takes the crown for nonsense of the century as the singer dropped a surprise album over the weekend. While performing in London, she thanked the crowd and then smacked the world with the news that she and Jay-Z had low-key been working on a joint album which, by the way, dropped that very day. And naturally, the internet went wild.

The new album Everything is Love was exclusively released on Tidal (of course) along with a jaw-dropping music video for her song APESH**T. Although there was much grumbling about it being a Tidal exclusive, people quickly began to realise that it was quietly being released on Spotify, YouTube and other platforms under the artist name The Carters. Feast your eyes on the video below which shut down the Louvre and used Mona Lisa as a casual backdrop. Let’s just think about that for a second.


The new album is said to be a celebration of both their fraught marriage (which was the subject of their previous records) and black identity. Twitter quickly reacted to the news and music in typical hilarious fashion.

Others couldn’t believe the incredible audacity of the couple to shut down the Lovure. THE LOUVRE.

Others quickly dove into the complex imagery of the music video.

Others also gave thanks that we wouldn’t be subjected to a contrived pop cover.

And then one user missed the boat completely.

Have we maybe been blasting the album unapologetically at work the whole day? Absolutely.

We’re still not over this. The Louvre.


The post Beyoncé dropped a surprise album over the weekend and the internet wasn’t ready appeared first on Marie Claire.

Alanis Morissette: ‘When someone says I’m angry, it’s a compliment’

Alanis Morissette: ‘When someone says I’m angry, it’s a compliment’

Her seminal album Jagged Little Pill was an anthem for a generation frustrated at being let down in relationships. Two decades on, the singer is back to remind us of its legacy

Alanis Morissette on stage in Germany

On a family holiday to LA in the summer of 1983, there was one ‘celebrity hotspot’ in particular that nine-year-old Alanis Morissette wanted to visit: the home of her idol, Olivia Newton-John. Tracking down the Grease star’s Malibu estate, Morissette marched up to the entrance, buzzed the intercom and announced, ‘Olivia? I don’t know if you can see me. But if you can, I’m going to be big like you someday.’ Such precocious behaviour may have bemused onlookers, but it was a prophecy Morissette would fulfil just 12 years later. The release of her album Jagged Little Pill in 1995 made her one of the biggest music stars overnight. It sold 30 million copies worldwide and earned her four Grammys. Now, as the album’s silver anniversary approaches, Morissette is reminding us why Jagged Little Pill remains, to quote one critic, a ‘cultural touchstone’. In May, a musical based around its songs (with a story devised by Juno’s Diablo Cody) debuted in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and next month the singer brings her latest world tour to London. She has, it’s fair to say, come a long way since being an opening act for Vanilla Ice.

Born Alanis Nadine Morissette on 1 June, 1974, in Ottawa, Canada, she was raised alongside her twin brother, Wade, and older brother, Chad, by her teacher parents, Georgia and Alan. It was aged six when she saw the performance by Lindsay and Jacqui Morgan, then one of Canada’s most popular folk duos, that her passion for performing was ignited. As a child actor, she appeared on Canadian children’s television and in musical theatre productions around Ottawa. By the time of her visit to Newton-John’s house, she was already writing and composing her own songs. One in particular, Fate Stay With Me, she sent to Lindsay Morgan, who described it as ‘something really special’. The song was about a break-up and emotionally intuitive beyond her years, prompting Morgan to ask her where she got her material. ‘Well, it’s not from experience,’ was Morissette’s deadpan response.

By the age of 14, she was winning talent shows in Canada and flew to LA to appear in a nationally televised one called Star Search. She had a manager, too, who arranged for her to make a video to send to record labels. Morissette’s image was very of the era: acid-wash denim outfits and her long hair worn big and bouffant. So when John Alexander, a talent scout for MCA Records Canada saw the video, he knew exactly how to market her. ‘[She] is the new Tiffany,’ he told Morissette’s management – according to Paul Cantin’s 1997 biography, Alanis Morissette: A Biography. Tiffany was at the time one of two US female, teenage pop stars dominating the global charts (her most famous hit was I Think We’re Alone Now). 
The other was Debbie Gibson. But 17-year-old Morissette was Canada’s answer to them both.

Her first single, released in 1991, was the catchy dance track, Too Hot, which led to her opening for Vanilla Ice on his To The Extreme tour. Her debut album, Alanis, was released that same year and sold 100,000 copies, with her follow-up, Now Is The Time, shifting half as many the following year. But deep down the star was dissatisfied. Neither album reflected the music she really wanted to make. She was also struggling with her body image. Two years before her first album came out, she’d sought therapy for anorexia and bulimia. She later blamed it on feeling ‘disassociated’ from normal life as she pursued a singing career. ‘It’s shown up in various forms like eating disorders and not having boundaries around having sex as a young person,’ she told Women’s Health in 2008.

She was unceremoniously dropped by MCA and moved to LA in 1993, where she met producer Glen Ballard, co-writer of Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror. The pair instantly clicked and set to work producing Jagged Little Pill. 
The album was released internationally by Madonna’s label, Maverick, on 13 June 1995 – 12 days after Morissette’s 21st birthday. Expected to be a modest hit, it surpassed all expectations. KROQ-FM in LA was the first radio station to play the lead single, You Oughta Know. ‘[It was] one of those rare instances when we put the record on that moment. It was seriously one of the biggest phone reactions I’ve ever seen in the history of the station,’ recalls Lisa Worden, its then-music director. You Oughta Know was the ultimate feminist, ‘fuck you’ break-up song and, amid much speculation, was later claimed to be about comedian Dave Coulier, who Morissette dated in 1992. Even though she was dominating the charts – Jagged Little Pill also spawned the hits Hand In My Pocket and Ironic – she struggled with her fame and the loneliness it created. Reaching out to other stars didn’t help. ‘I’d awkwardly phone different celebrities to see if we could be friends. And a lot of times I’d be met with “Why are you calling me?”’ she recalled.

After touring with Jagged Little Pill, Morissette had a break for a year and a half, spending time in Cuba and India. During this period, she wrote Thank U for her 1998 album Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. In the video, directed by acclaimed French photojournalist and director Stéphane Sednaoui, she is completely naked in various public places, save for some strategically placed locks of hair. When asked why she chose to be nude, Morissette spoke of her changing feelings towards her body. ‘Now, who I am inside determines how I feel about my body, instead of the other way around.’ Six years later at the 2004 Juno Awards, she again celebrated the freedom of nudity when she revealed a ‘nude’ bodysuit, complete with nipples and pubic hair, as a protest against US censorship after the Super Bowl ‘Nipplegate’ incident. She was also embracing a new freedom to be herself in her relationships. In 2004, after two years of dating actor Ryan Reynolds, the couple got engaged. ‘I really felt that I had met the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with,’ she said. But the wedding never materialised and in 2007 they split. Morissette, then 33, was devastated and channelled her sadness into her next album, Flavors Of Entanglement, released in 2008. ‘In the middle of my break-up, I went to London for 12 days, wrote 12 songs,’ she said. ‘It was like a little life raft for me.’ She also relied on therapy to get her through.


Ryan Reynolds And Alanis Morissette

Morissette got engaged to Ryan Reynolds in 2004

Aside from singing, the star loved to act, too, collaborating with cult US film director Kevin Smith, and playing a death-row inmate in off-Broadway play The Exonerated in 2006. Small but recurring roles in Nip/Tuck and Weeds followed, as well as a part in a film adaptation of Philip K Dick’s novel Radio Free Albemuth – a role that she said she felt ‘blessed to portray’. She also appeared as God alongside avenging angels Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in Kevin Smith’s Dogma in 1999, and played a bisexual who kissed Carrie Bradshaw in a 2000 episode of Sex And The City.


Alanis Morissette and her husband Mario Treadway

The singer and her husband, Mario Treadway

In recent years, Morissette’s music output has been sloth-like compared to some artists, with lengthy gaps between each album. Havoc And Bright Lights was released four years after Flavors Of Entanglement, in 2012, but it did bookend a brilliant period in her life during which she married and became a mother. In 2009, aged 35, the singer met freestyle rapper and DJ Souleye (real name Mario Treadway) and she gave birth to their son, Ever Imre, in 2010. But the experience was blighted by severe postnatal depression – something that also afflicted her when their daughter, Onyx Solace, was born in 2016. It was so severe that she was still suffering 14 months after Onyx’s birth, telling People magazine, ‘There are days I’m debilitated to the point where I can barely move.’

Two years on, though, Morissette says she’s through the worst and has been working on a new album to follow her tour. Fans shouldn’t expect it to be as unapologetic and vehement as her early work. She admits her son’s birth has softened her outlook on relationships. ‘I was able to finally have my maternal energy channelled into an appropriate relationship – versus having done it super-dysfunctionally with ex-boyfriends,’ she says. Yet the star has no regrets at being labelled ‘the angry singer’ throughout her career. ‘If there were to be any quality for which I become a poster child, I’ll take anger,’ she says. ‘Because as a woman, two of the main emotions that we are “not allowed” to feel are anger and sadness. [Yet] anger is such a powerful life force, and I think it can move worlds.’

The post Alanis Morissette: ‘When someone says I’m angry, it’s a compliment’ appeared first on Marie Claire.

Taylor Swift allegedly fired one of her backing dancers over misogynistic comments

Taylor Swift allegedly fired one of her backing dancers over misogynistic comments

And we couldn’t have predicted it…

backing dancer

Taylor Swift’s Reputation stadium tour is a big deal. In fact, StubHub have declared it the bestselling tour for a female artist in the UK in 2018, beating the likes of Katy Perry, Dua Lipa and the OG pop princess, Britney Spears. In the US, one date in Pasadena generated $9m dollars in ticket sales and Billboard predicted back in January that Taylor could sell $450m worth of tickets on the tour.

However, Taylor is clearly not letting the dollar signs compromise her morals, and has allegedly fired longtime backing dancer Kim ‘Toshi’ Davidson for posting misogynistic and sexist content on social media.

Toshi was notably absent as a backing dancer from Taylor’s Radio One’s Biggest Weekend performance over the Bank Holiday after the pair reportedly had a ‘bust-up’, and a source told the Daily Mail that ‘Taylor is livid and seriously disappointed with Toshi’s social media posts.’

The source continued: ‘She has considered him one of her closest friends on the road after recruiting him for her 1989 tour back in 2014, but she simply cannot endorse this behaviour and to do so would be setting a bad example to her fans.’

backing dancer

Taylor on stage at Radio One’s Biggest Weekend with some of her other backing dancers

Previously, it seems the pair were incredibly close, with Taylor donating $50,000 to Toshi’s young cousin, who was battling cancer in 2015. She wrote on the GoFundMe page at the time, ‘Baby Ayden, I’m lucky enough to perform with your uncle Toshi on tour. All of us are praying for you and your mama and sending so much love your way. Love, Taylor.’

We are 100% with Taylor on this one: this kind of misogynistic rhetoric is totally unacceptable.

The post Taylor Swift allegedly fired one of her backing dancers over misogynistic comments appeared first on Marie Claire.