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Singer Bebe Rexha posted on Instagram and Twitter that she is being called “too old to be sexy”. In a rather, sexy, picture on her instagram that shows her in her bra and undies with a black and white filter, she goes on to share the story of a Male Exec saying she was too old to be posting sexy pictures. The post was rather long and direct and touched on her current age (almost 30) and how she is tired of women who get older being labeled as such. 

Fans naturally showed their support to the social media posts, popping in with positive comments and women empowerment dialogue. Clearly Bebe is trying to do the same with her recent comments. In one of the captions she wrote “Empower women to love their bodies instead of making girls and women feel less by their size”. Age truly is only a number, and it is how you feel that is most important. There is no doubt Rexha is feeling good about turning 30 and does not care what people think about her age in regards to her brand and image. 

She closed her post by saying. “TRUST ME, I’m a much better lover than I was 10 years ago.”

            The MTV video awards are coming soon and it seems that Ariana Grande might not be attending. Grande and Taylor Swift received the most nominations for this year’s MTV video awards, they both received 10.  Swift will not attend the show itself but will be performing at the event. In contrast, Grande’s tour schedule will make it hard for her to attend; she happens to have two shows lined up in Europe the days before and after the VMAs event in Newark, New Jersey.

The video of the year award will be an interesting battle to watch; Ariana Grande’s video “thank u, next” will compete against Taylor Swift’s video “You Need to Calm Down” for this coveted prize. Furthermore, this competition will be made more interesting by the fact that newly discovered fame will be competing against well-established talent; Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X, two recent breakthrough stars, were also nominated for the video of the year award. The award itself might be determined by what MTV prefers; will it be well established talent or brand-new musical stars?

Camila Cabello’s solo career is going pretty well since leaving Fifth Harmony almost 3 years ago. Her hit song “Senorita” with her ‘boyfriend’ Shawn Mendes has been, along with Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” the tune of summer 2019.  And she continues travel with the Mendes tour.

A year after Cabello left Fifth Harmony; the group went on hiatus to follow Camila to solo careers. They haven’t performed or recorded in almost two years. In a recent interview, when Cabella was asked why they’re not in contact said, “It’s not because there’s any animosity between us but rather the courses of our lives have drifted. But if I saw any of them at an awards show, I would say ‘hi’ and it would be totally cool. It feels like there’s been a reset just because of the amount of time that’s passed.” It would be interesting to hear if her former band members feel the same way. While Cabello even commented on her liking of former band member’s song “Love Lies” with Khalid, you have to wonder if she’s the only one of the former group that feels that everything “would be cool”

Lil Nas X is being sued $25 million over Carry On, a song he released before Old Time Road. A company called The Music Force claims to own the copyright of a song titled “Carry On” by Bobby Caldwell. The company also says that Lil Nas X’s song Carry On hijacked parts of this Caldwell song from the 1980s.

Lil Nas is signed with Sony Music. The Music Force is suing Sony Music along with Lil Nas. The Music Force wants $10 million in damages to “remedy the confusion in the marketplace” and $15 million in punitive damages. Sony Music certainly has the financial power to put up a good fight in court.

One of the biggest problems with social media is users posting unrealistic descriptions of their lives. People tend to post representations of the positive side of their lives rather than showing the negatives. This problem often leads to socially toxic interactions; it also has very negative psychological effects. When we get an unrealistically positive view of the lives of other people, it can be hard to feel good about ourselves and the lives we have. TikTok has provided ways to combat this problem, helping them to compete with the Facebook owned service Instagram.

TikTok, a video app launched in 2017, has certain features to counter this problem. Certain Instagram users called “influencers” heavily edit the photos they post in order to create unrealistically positive descriptions of their lives. Many social media users are getting sick of this tendency. In contrast, TikTok, a Chinese owned social media service, has a page that a user can follow that filters out unrealistic images and shows posts that reflect ordinary lives as they actually are. TikTok has a page called the “For You Page” which shows images of un-glorified middle-class life.

One TikTok user, who is often referred to as “the Queen of TikTok” in comments, has a very popular profile where she shares posts about her ordinary life which often show up on the “For You Page.” In her posts she often shows herself in her MacDonald’s employee uniform while on break. Her profile is known for being authentic and funny. Despite the alternatives to the status quo, TikTok still has “influencer” profiles which show dishonest life descriptions.

TikTok is big competition to Facebook. TikTok is multilingual and has a huge user base in India. It remains to be seen how far TikTok can take its challenge against Facebook’s dominance in the social media industry.

Progress toward LGBTQ rights move slowly and not necessarily in a straight line.  But Lil Naz X has moved the line forward on the back of his record-breaking, number 1 hit “Old Town Road.”  For all we know, this may be the height of his career and he chose this time to come out as gay.  He used his moment to make a statement.  Heroic. 

Though it is a heroic stance, he isn’t the first audience-winning gay recording artist – some out, some remained closeted. The list goes back to the 1950s, but in the modern era there are beloved stars like Elton John, Melissa Etheridge, Goerge Michael and Sam Smith who have had tremendous hits. The move forward by Lil Naz X is because he straddles country music and hip hop, two genres that have been resistant to LGBTQ concerns.  That his chart position remains strong says that the audience for those musical styles has reached a new level of acceptance. Reaching its 15th week at number one on Billboard’s chart, “Old Town Road” has already topped Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind 1997/Something About the Way You Look Tonight,” which held the position for 14 weeks, as the longest leading song by a gay artist.   If the song can hold the number one place for two more weeks it will beat the all time record of 16 weeks “jointly held by 1995’s “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men and 2017’s “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, featuring Justin Bieber.”  Whether it does or not, the social implications of Lil Naz X’s achievement have already been marked.  

More than ever before, we are seeing the inclusion of Latin music in mainstream entertainment. Once a niche, Latin sub-genres like reggaeton and flamenco are weaving themselves into the fabric of pop culture and succeeding. The artists who are leaving their mark by reaching a broad market and topping charts represent an untapped musical vein, one rich with its own melodies and sounds.

The crossover began when a few of these artists found a way blend in the influences of contemporary popular music in a way that didn’t drown out their Latin roots. With the current state of affairs, it’s easy to understand why this is an important time for Latinx artists and influencers to step into the spotlight and tell their stories. Fans all over the world are able to see past the language barrier and connect with the spirit of the music, bringing a mass of people from all different backgrounds together. One of these artists, Colombian singer J Balvin, has become a leader in this wave of pan-Latin music by marrying pop and reggaeton in an smooth, unapologetic style.  

José Álvaro Osorio Balvin, who goes by J Balvin, was born on May 7,1985 to a middle class family living in Medellín, Colombia. Growing up with an interest in American rock music, Balvin was deeply influenced by Nirvana and Metallica. He even went on to cover the Nirvana hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in live sets. Then he discovered reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee and was so inspired by the flows and style that at age 14 he decided to pursue his own career as a reggaeton artist.

When he turned 17, he moved to Oklahoma as part of an English exchange program where he was disappointed to find the experience was nothing like the American movies he had seen as a child. He decided to move back home to Medellín, where he studied international business at EAFIT University before fully committing to music. In his early performance years he was known as J Balvin “El Negocio”, or “The Business.” While rap battling and self-promoting in the clubs of urban Medellín he met DJ, David Rivera Mazo who became his business partner. The two quickly began collaborating on musical projects. By age 20 Balvin signed with EMI Columbia Records. That’s when he released the single that changed everything, a song entitled “Yo Te Lo Dije”. This single put him on the map and within a year he was signed to Capitol Latin. 

Already a star in the clubs of his hometown, he truly broke through in the United States with his Billboard topping song “6 AM” featuring Farruko. In February of 2014, the song debuted at number 43 on the Billboard charts and by that spring had reached number one. Since then, J Balvin has been a pillar in the Latin pop community, collaborating with several other up and coming Latinx artists.

Many credit the success of other reggaeton artists such as Nicky Jam and Farruko to J Balvin’s ability to popularize a new wave of reggaeton and spread it to the masses. Camilla Cabello also cites Balvin as one of her musical influences. The two have collaborated on the 2017 The Fate of the Furious soundtrack featuring “Hey Ma” with Pitbull. His most famous hit is a collaboration with Cardi B and Bad Bunny on the number one single “I Like It”, which was released in May, 2018. It reached number 7 on the Billboard charts and was named 2018’s Song of the Year by Apple Music. The music video for “I Like It” has over 900 million views on YouTube. 

Now J Balvin is known for his signature minimalist style and gentle delivery, greatly appealing to a wider audience by using pop melodies in his songs and singing over the beats. He stays true to his roots by partnering with Medellin-based writers and producers Alejandro “Sky” Ramirez and Carlo Alejandro “Mosty” Patiño on several of his tracks.  Way to walk the line.

Are Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello a professional couple or a couple-couple?  That’s the question that folks who see them together are asking.  Their professional hookup started back in 2015 when they combined for the hit “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” which they sang together at the LA Jingle Ball that year.  He was 16, she was 18 at the time.  They got together again in 2016 to host the iHeartradio MuchMusic Video Awards.

Now it’s 2019 and they have combined yet again for their smash hit “Senorita,” which is causing them to perform together as they did at both nights of his LA Staples Center concerts last week. 

That’s all professional, but the 4th of July pool party, the brunches with his family and the late night grub grabs around LA suggest there’s more, which is added to by the touchy, feely public intimacy they share at these sightings.  Though Shawn has denied a dating relationship, Camila’s Instagram says something different; in it she refers to Mendes as “amazing” and “unreal.” 

Spokespeople lay cover with obtuse statements to HollywoodLife like, “They aren’t putting any labels on what they are or are not right now because they have been friends for so long. They also can’t deny the attraction they have for each other and the genuine feelings of liking each other more than just friends. They both are eager to try something more. But are also scared to dive in because they don’t want to ruin their friendship and hurt each other’s feelings down the road if it doesn’t work out.”   Translation: They’re a couple-couple. 

Remember Ariana Grande’s emotional performance a few weeks back in Pittsburgh? Well, according to Grande, she is “still processing a lot” as she continues through her Sweetener Tour across the USA, which will eventually head to Europe. Breaking out in tears during her latest performance in St. Louis, she took to twitter afterwards saying “I feel everything very intensely, and I have committed to doing this tour during a time in my life when I’m still processing a lot. So sometimes I cry a lot”

Over the span of the last two years there has been a lot going on in the life of the pop-star. From the suicide bombing at her concert in Manchester back in May 2017, to the death of Mac Miller, to the end of her relationship with comedian Pete Davidson, there has been a tremendous amount of emotions for Grande to deal with, all the while releasing a new album and peforming it on tour.

Grande will head back to Manchester this August as a headliner for Manchester Pride, her first performance back in Manchester since the suicide bombing in 2017. We expect there to be much more tears and emotion from Grande over the next handful of performances as she continues to fight the internal struggles that have plagued her emotionally for quite some time now.