Today's pop-culture roundup includes a couple of superstars, an untimely death, RFK, Lollapalooza, our mystery music video and much more.
QUITE THE COLLABORATION: Of Beyonce and Nicki Minaj, per Rolling Stone, “Beyoncé dropped a new surprise on her website late on Saturday night, posting a remix to her track "Flawless" featuring an intense new verse from Nicki Minaj. Early on in the track, Beyoncé makes a telling declaration: "We escalate, up in this bitch like elevators/ Of course sometimes shit goes down when there's a billion dollars on an elevator," she spits out, referring to the infamous, rumor-generating fight between her sister Solange and Jay Z after the Met Gala in May.
“Minaj makes her entrance a little more than two minutes into the track, boasting "Winning is my motherf---ing protocol/ Because I score before I ever throw the ball." She manages to rhyme protocol with propofol, tying it into the line "Like MJ’s doctor, they’re killing me." The track also works in a horn sample from Outkast's "Spottieottiedopaliscious." The "Flawless" remix marks the first collaboration between Beyoncé and Minaj, who has long professed her admiration for the singer.” http://rol.st/1shHNvt
MEANWHILE: Ouch!, per The Wrap, “A man was arrested at the Beyoncé-Jay Z concert at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night for biting off the tip of a man's finger in a fight that began after he allegedly groped the man's girlfriend. Roberto Alcaraz-Garnica, 25, of San Diego was arrested for sexual battery and mayhem after the scuffle.” http://bit.ly/1qUa7qv
OBIT: Just the facts, per the Los Angeles Times, “Michael Johns, an Australian-born former "American Idol" finalist, has died, a Fox spokeswoman confirmed to the Los Angeles Times. He was 35. Johns, whose Facebook page indicated he lived in Los Angeles, leaves behind his wife, Stacey Vuduris. The cause of death was not available.”
“. . . Johns starred in the seventh season of "American Idol" in 2008 and placed eighth after being sent home shortly after choosing to perform Aerosmith's "Dream On." His exit was widely viewed as surprising. Johns continued his music career after "American Idol" and was working on a new song in early July, according to messages on his Twitter feed.” http://lat.ms/1tND9rQ
I AM NOT A CROOK: Or something like that, per the New York Times, “The strange little documentary “Nixon by Nixon: In His Own Words” (Monday on HBO) is engrossing despite itself. Timed to the 40th anniversary next Saturday of Richard M. Nixon’s resignation, it samples Nixon’s secret White House tapes to sketch the familiar portrait of the president as a closeted monster: paranoid, vicious, racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, with a casual disregard for anything besides his own standing.” http://nyti.ms/1lsw0p8
HAPPY KICKOFF: Of the National Football League, per The Hollywood Reporter, “Pharrell Williams is bringing "Happy" to the NFL. The platinum-selling musician will perform outside of CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Sept. 4 before the Seattle Seahawks play the Green Bay Packers as the NFL kicks off its 95th season. Pop artist Ariana Grande will sing the national anthem. It will air on NBC and the NFL Network.” http://bit.ly/1zNxylK
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Of a record-breaking debut, per Variety, “ “Guardians of the Galaxy” touched down with a dazzling $94 million this weekend, proving that Marvel is the new gold standard for movie brands.
“That set a new record for an August domestic debut, easily trumping the $69.3 million bow of 2007’s “The Bourne Ultimatum,” and scoring the third biggest stateside opening of the year. Overseas, the film netted an impressive $66.4 million in 42 territories, including Russia, Brazil, Mexico and the United Kingdom. It has brought in $160.4 million worldwide and still has many major markets left to open such as China, Australia, France and Spain.” http://bit.ly/1xTYTzT
WEDDING BELLS: At Hyannis Port, per The Insider, “America's most famous political family has a new in-law. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and actress Cheryl Hines were married at the Kennedy compound in Massachusetts on Saturday. The nuptials took place at Ethel Kennedy's home in Hyannis Port on Cape Cod.” http://yhoo.it/1okmHqY
LOLLAPALOOZA: All you can eat, per USA TODAY, “The 300,000 folks who flooded Chicago’s Grant Park for Lollapalooza had more than 130 artists to choose from over three days, with eight stages scattered across the park's mile-plus stretch. While the big headline draws came by way of Eminem (Friday) and Outkast (Saturday), the dance and DJ side of things pumped all weekend long, with sets from Cut Copy and Calvin Harris (Saturday) and Skrillex (Sunday).” http://usat.ly/1p4PHbh
THE ROYALS: And World War I, per the Daily Mail, “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge represented the Queen in Belgium today at the first of several events commemorating the outbreak of the First World War.
“Speaking at a ceremony attended by world leaders in Liege, Prince William paid tribute to the Belgians who had died resisting the Germans' advance across the continent, saying: 'Among the very first victims were the people of Belgium, whose resistance was as gallant as their suffering was great.' Prince William, who wore the gold and silver Jubilee medals given to him by the Queen, said Britain owed a great debt of gratitude to Belgium for its fortitude and resistance during the 1914-1918 war which left around 17 million soldiers and civilians dead.” http://dailym.ai/1smQ81O
SELENA GOMEZ: Hate when this happens, per X17, “Don't worry, it was just a fender bender! On Sunday Selena Gomez got all dolled up for lunch in Studio City with several gal pals, and after that the group headed to 711. When the ladies were leaving the parking lot, Selena backed her black BMW SUV into a smaller silver SUV, but no one was hurt and it looks like the damage is pretty minor.” http://bit.ly/1v1PWZr
AND FINALLY: Today’s mystery music video. http://bit.ly/1xXGEd6
--Skip Wood firstname.lastname@example.org