…It starts there. It’s bad enough when a naysayer says her talent is gone. But it’s just as bad watching fans constantly waiting for Britney Spears to “dance like she used to” so they can have strong evidence to proudly argue, “SHE’S BACK!”
Truth is: Britney Spears has been “back” since 2008 when she released her album ‘Circus’ less than a year after her wildly publicized breakdown.
She’s really never been gone. But it seems like the anticipation and whispers proceeding each of her post-‘In The Zone’ albums have been whether or not she still has “it.” Every album since has been referred to as a “comeback” and that should end now; starting with the Britney-Army. Fans are holding themselves back from enjoying Britney’s new music and performances by having apprehensions and irrational performance standards towards her. If you’re waiting for Britney to released another “Toxic” or “Slave 4 U” then you are always going to be let down and disappointed because that is just never going happen. These expectations are not allowing us to receive innovative and envelope-pushing music that have made her music so successful in the past. When fans steamroll the direction for an artist by challenging them to give them exactly what they want, it usually fails. Much like Britney’s “Work Bitch,” both the song and video were the magnum opus of her most-recognized style but it failed to have the huge success that was expected by fans; I call this the “Work Bitch Conundrum:”
“Work Bitch” was Britney’s response to every fan’s request that she show the haters that she’s still “got it.” She does, of course, and fans went crazy the days that the song and video were released. They were like, “OH MY GAHHHH, BRITNEY IS BACK YOU BITCHESSSS! LOOK AT HER!” So why wasn’t it successful? That is because the public didn’t care. They still saw Britney in another failed attempt to outdo her earlier (untouchable) work. In turn, this just made fans fall back into hoping that the next album she will do it even better to prove everyone that they’re still wrong. Thus irrationally raising expectations, once again, and causing yet another unneeded “comeback” situation. Which will still not happen. (Most pop-veterans of her caliber are all met with the same challenge eventually)
Britney Spears is nearly 10 years older than when she had her breakdown and over 12 years older than her “Toxic” days. She is not going to look the same (so stop posting side-by-side pictures of her face/body) and she also has new stories to tell and emotions to express to her fans.
When I say that comparing her to her younger years is holding you back; I am saying that when she is killing it at her Las Vegas show, “Britney: Piece of Me,” it is because that’s who she is right now. And that has no regard to what she’s accomplished in the past or what she will in the future.
Fans have been so accustomed to their expectations from Britney that they have lost the excitement of enjoying new songs and performances with new ears– just as we all did when Britney shocked us in 2001 with a new urban sound in “Slave 4 U.” That song separated her from her bubblegum pop style she had before.
So when #B9 is released, let’s all just allow Britney Spears to live past her 2007 breakdown (have to get this in one last time: Stop posting shearsney and umbrella-ney) and early performances that are always brought up to overshadow (with unnecessary photo comparisons and before/afters) the hard work she’s been putting in for her new show and album. We love you, Britney.
Follow The Pop Pyro on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And buy tickets for Britney Spears’ Las Vegas residency show, “Britney: Piece of Me” here.
Jennifer Lopez is the current reigning “Queen of Showbiz” and it is about time someone said it.
Before the “Swifties” and “B-Army” grab their torches and pitchforks, I have plenty of reasons and receipts. And I hope that you all read this and give me a chance to prove that 2015 was THE year to praise the one and only, J. Lo. (And don’t worry #Barmy, Britney’s got a competitive itinerary for 2016)
No other pop superstar was as versatile and hard-working as Jennifer Lopez in 2015.
I’m trying to commend more than just the music with “Diva of the Year” by really congratulating someone who had an EPIC YEAR. But possibly the most important message I would like to accomplish is to prove to you, the reader, that Jennifer Lopez is grossly underrated and unappreciated by pop fans.
There’s been a glass-ceiling for J.Lo since the mid 2000’s. She’s just never seemed to break that threshold that would pair her with the likes of Madonna, Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. She definitely has the hits, chart performance, sales and talent to sit her beside the pop legends. But she is just never quite mentioned as often in that way even though she’s proven herself time and time again.
Is it possible that she’s just involved in too many different aspects of entertainment? And since she’s doing extremely well at them all, it’s hard to box her in to one single role? Well, it’s curious to think that maybe if she wasn’t all of these things (Producer, A-list actor, respected fashion icon, etc.) that maybe she’d be identified solely as a POP SUPERSTAR.
Nonetheless, if you hold Jennifer Lopez beside any other pop titan…. She can arguably be considered as successful and talented, if not MORE. And where she lacks she makes up for in many other ways the others can’t. (Example: She single-handedly opened the doors for every other modern pop star’s perfume and clothing lines)
Alas, in my perspective, Jennifer Lopez’s year had so many moments to make a little boy of pop music, like myself, blush with gratitude. She juggled an unthinkable amount of jobs in 2015 and will be calling Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino her home this year when she begins her Las Vegas residency, “Jennifer Lopez: All I Have.” I mentioned that I had receipts to prove she had the best year. And I won’t be stingy with them any longer. Here’s a rundown of some of her highlights this year…..
She starred in and produced the hit movie “The Boy Next Door” and followed it with THREE other acting projects in 2015:
Jennifer Lopez is not one to skimp on promotion and she spent a lot of time in 2015 doing press for three films (“The Boy Next Door,” “Home” and “Lila & Eve”) as well as begin filming her lead role in the primetime police drama (“Shades of Blue”). For most actresses, that is a full-plate of work. But for Jennifer, it almost seemed as if it is a side job. And just to toot her acting horn a minute, she SLAYED her sex scene with Ryan Guzman in “The Boy Next Door.”
With promotion comes MAGAZINE COVERS. And Jenny from the block had ICONIC covers this year:
When Jennifer Lopez’s cover for Complex was unveiled, it dropped the jaws of every person that graced their eyes upon it. The cover is one of the best of 2015. So as far as magazine covers go, Jennifer tops the list here as well. My other favorite spreads by her are for: Latina Magazine and papermag.
Jennifer Lopez is a Red Carpet LEGEND. Period.
When Jennifer Lopez arrived at the Golden Globe Awards this past year, it was no questions that she was the best-dressed of the night; She was the best-dressed OF THE YEAR! She attended her 45th birthday party in a extremely sexy cutout dress that had everyone’s tongues wagging while sending the worldwide web into a frenzy. Ignore the last dress (bottom right) from the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, she looked so good there that it felt fresh in my mind and I completely forgot it was over a year old.
Through all of her hard work this year, she still had time to fit in TWO music videos:
Don’t forget that we are talking about a POP SUPERSTAR’s year. Jennifer Lopez did not forget to feed those that are hungry for more iconic music videos from her. She released and amazing music video for the song “Feel The Light” from the original soundtrack to her movie “Home.” Next, she was featured in Prince Royce’s hit music video for “Back It Up.” Where she found the time? No one will know. But we will always be grateful.
American Idol is a pretty demanding gig. And it also ends with two months of live shows. Jennifer Lopez was heavily promoting two movies (“The Boy Next Door” and “Home”) during “Idol” and even performed three times on the show. And I will get into the performances more in a second. But we can’t forget that the industry’s hardest working woman never missed a show!
In the name of the almighty POP DIVAS, Jennifer Lopez performed at over TEN separate events this year!
The most important thing that Jennifer Lopez did for pop music this year is: PERFORM. And she performed EVERYWHERE. Whether it was on “Idol,” a talk show or an awards ceremony, she took the opportunity to showcase her talent on a live stage. There were three performances that really stand out for me.
“Feel The Light” – Performed on American Idol She didn’t even dance for this one! Jennifer wore a white gown with images and clips from her movie displayed on it. It was captivating! Watch it:Click Here
Selena Quintanilla Tribute Medley – Performed at the Billboard Latin Music Awards 20 years after the death of Selena, Jennifer Lopez finally took the stage to perform a proper tribute medley in honor of the icon that she portrayed in the role that launched her to superstardom. Even thought Jennifer had an extremely busy schedule this year, the hard work and effort for this tribute was apparent. Watch it: Click Here
2015 Hits Dance Medley – Performed at the American Music Awards There really was no other way for Jennifer Lopez to end her huge year. She HOSTED the American Music Awards in November and not only killed her 11 outfit changes, she MURDERED the stage with a 8-minute performance! I’ve had to have proven my point by now that she’s an unstoppable talent. Watch it: Click Here
Can you find a woman (or man!?) in pop music that had a year half as eventful as Jennifer Lopez’s this year?
Good luck. And if you did, I highly doubt they are as legendary as J.Lo. She’s nearing her 20th anniversary in the pop music industry and has no signs of slowing down. Jennifer Lopez is one of the most well-rounded talents that entertainment is currently offering and for that, she is my pick for the “Diva of the Year” 2015.
When fans demand that a music video get its proper treatment, that must mean something.
I ran this by a few friends before posting and their unanimous reactions were, “Is this an April Fool’s joke?”
It’s not, and I’m completely serious, but hear me out… To me, a music video’s first job is to create the visual counterpart to a song. With that said, just like a musical playlist or album, I want my music VIDEOS to easily blend in succession of each other. Have you ever made a playlist of music videos and when a 6-minute video plays it completely breaks the mood and you’ve had to get up and fast forward the video three minutes to reach the performance segment of the videos. Yeah, I’m not entirely excited to live like that, okay? What I love about Hilary Duff’s“Sparks” video is that you can play it in between “Toxic” and “Womanizer” and all three videos smoothly play together.
My favorite thing about “Sparks” is that it is a visually appetizing video from start to finish. This video is a complete sugar-induced stomach ache of candy colors and visual geometrics. Hilary Duff looks the best she’s ever looked in a music video. Her video is completely pointless leaving out any need to follow a “story” or some kind of difficult imagery to take away from the song itself. It’s the direct companion piece for the music that adds the visual (delightfully over-) stimulation to the greatness that is “Sparks.”
Another fascinating thing about this video, and probably the first thought my friends had when they asked if this was a joke, is that this video was actually immediately panned by everyone. Fans complained and expressed their hatred of its original cut that included scenes of Hilary Duff going on Tinder dates. I hated it too. So fans DEMANDED the Tinder scenes be removed to reveal the full-potential and perfection that lied behind those terrible pedestrian clips of her at the bowling alley. To me, if her performance shots were just as bland as the tinder clips, the video would never had fans rallying for the tinder-less version. It has to take a lot of humility in admitting that the fans, for once, have a song’s best interest at heart. Removing the Tinder clips to reveal a truly passively/effortlessly-overstimulating (can that be a thing?) music video proves that they really don’t need all the overly ambitious “distractions” that weighs them down. Thank you for listening to the fans, Hilary Duff!!!
Just like any other huge Hilary Duff fan, I loved her beachy and chill singles (“Chasing the Sun” and “All About You”) from 2014 that had her singing scaled-back tunes. But Hilary is a bonafide pop superstar, and veteran at this point. Fans have confidence that she can produce pop-perfect singles. Fast forward to this year and she reemerges with an exciting dance pop song, “Sparks.” The song is amazing! And when she posted a wig-snatching and colorful 10-second clip of the (tinder-less) video on her Facebook leading up to its premiere, fans (and myself) were expecting greatness when the song premiered. We’ve gotta follow our first-gut feeling and for “Sparks” (even though it was clouded with criticism upon release) it was that this video is absolutely amazing, stunning and fun in all aspects. The video is GREAT; Perfect in my opinion.
For it being fantastically aimless and ambitiously colorful and sparkly, I picked Hilary Duff’s “Sparks” as The Pop Pyro’s “Music Video of the Year.”
Other Top-Picked Music Videos This Year:
In No Order:
Demi Lovato’s – “Cool For the Summer” This is Demi’s best video, period. Probably the only contender to replace “Sparks” as my favorite video this year.
Ariana Grande’s – “Focus” She really worked that high-kick and lavender hair. When she released this video it was one of the more exciting nights this year.
MARINA AND THE DIAMONDS’ – “Froot” This song is unique in itself and the noir-style it’s filmed in created a fantasy for me that I really appreciated while watching. And can we all just applaud all of her glamour-shots?
Madonna’s – “Ghosttown” This is probably the best cinematic-style music video out this year. It helps that this song is one of the most underrated songs of the year. Madonna’s video is exceptional.
Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Katy Perry were all in-talks to take the stage this year at the 49th Super Bowl. Katy Perry landed the gig and did not disappoint.
The headliner for the 49th Super Bowl halftime show was announced at the end of the American Music Awards in 2014 and although it wasn’t a complete surprise at the time, Katy Perry dazzled the commercial spot with glitter, charm and ridiculousness. Basically everything I want in my life. Needless to say, I was extremely excited for the show. Katy Perry could have easily let me down during the show but ended up giving me one of my favorite pop shows of… ALL TIME.
There was almost an unfair advantage for Katy Perry because out of all the performers considered for the show, she has arguably the most anthemic catalog of hits under her belt, perfect for a sports event. So I was just waiting to see if she could deliver with a memorable performance considering she doesn’t have many iconic performances. This bitch came out on a giant shiny mechanical lion! Her energy was great and really got me excited for the rest of the performance. I’ve got to admit that her standing stiff on top of a lion afraid to move out of order or risk falling to her death ran a little long. But when she made it to the stage it took off and did not skip a beat.
When she reached the stage she was met by an army (literally an army of chess pieces) of dancers to sing “Dark Horse.” The entire stage and projection flooring surrounding it lit up and created this amazing 3-D illusion, immediately creating a larger than life environment for the show. She amazingly hammered through her hits like, “Teenage Dream,” “California Girls” and “Firework.” But you all basically have seen this performance so I don’t really need to walk you through how amazing the rest of the show was. If you need to refresh your memory watch the performance HERE.
What was particularly impressive and affective about this performance was how perfectly it celebrated Katy Perry; her career; and her music. Most performances focus on one song’s promotion or just a quick career medley. But this performance encompassed everything we love about Katy and magnified it by twenty! It truly felt less like a performance and more like a celebratory EVENT. It changed the way I looked at Katy Perry and was EXTREMELY entertaining. And to be completely honest, the entire time I was thinking how perfectly and necessary that it would be for Britney Spears to have this similar moment. So yes, Katy Perry’s Halftime show ignited my urgency and passion to spend most of my time in 2015 campaigning #BritneySuperBowl50.
My Change.org Petition for Britney Spears to perform at the 50th Super Bowl Halftime show has over 4,100 signatures and was featured and supported by many Britney Spears fan sites as well as NewNowNext.com and Buzzfeed.com.
Katy Perry’s performance and celebration during her Halftime performance solidified an appreciation I have for her as well as inspiring my fiery passion to demand that Britney Spears is given the same respect (and more) immediately in the music industry. For these reasons I picked the 49th Super Bowl Halftime Show as the “Pop Event of the Year.”
There are many reasons why this collaboration was the greatest this year:
Is a decent song
Has a decent video
Had a GREAT performance
Sparked a Twitter meltdown for Iggy Azalea
It was a messy spectacle for the first half of 2015. “Pretty Girls” had been rumored since late 2014 keeping the entire #BArmy on their toes leading up to it’s April release this year. The single was basically just a tiny link of promotion between Britney’s “Britney Jean” era and #B9 having little ambition but to simply promote her highly-successful residency in Las Vegas.
The song had mixed reviews and the video was okay for the most part but the most outstanding gift from this collaboration was their performance at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards. To keep it short, BRITNEY SPEARS KILLED IT. Their performance (obviously pre-taped) sent fans into a frenzy on social media applauding Britney from her outfit to her energetic choreography. It was definitely her most critically acclaimed performance this decade.
The song was a mild success and did GREAT for Britney’s morale. However, it was a career low for Iggy Azalea when she and Britney had a passive aggressive twitter exchange. It was great to see the friendship between Britney and Iggy blossom over the past year from this collaboration. But when Iggy went on an extended Twitter rant, blaming lack of promotion (Britney) for it’s tepid chart and sales performance, Britney fired back with a single shady tweet putting an end to their friendship and the #PrettyGirls era.
This was a big and welcomed surprise for Britney fans because Britney Spears rarely speaks up about her personal life let alone toss out a jab at one of her most recent collaborators. For that day of twitter excitement and the great deal of pride her Billboard Awards’ performance gave myself and her fans, I picked “Pretty Girls” as “The Pop Pyro’s Collaboration of the Year.”
I’m really excited to share my top picks from the material our POP DIVAS have given us this year in music!
Throughout these remaining days in 2015 I will be releasing TWO categories a day. On New Year’s Eve I will have the album/song of the year plus crown the “Diva of the Year.”
Over the past six months I’ve been building this page, I can now see where the page is and where it’s going. I’ve realized that I want to celebrate all the women in pop music that aren’t afraid to keep pop music interesting and colorful. You know, for us kids that were raised in the early 00’s era. It was a battle zone of pop divas trying to outdo one another by amazing videos and performances. I’m talking about the Britneys, Christinas and P!nks; even the Katys and Gagas… a time where pop music was about being beautiful, irreverent and THE FULL PACKAGE. So my picks this year and the content on this page will forever reflect that.
If you’re a fan of the “Britney”-types; the girls that aren’t afraid to sell a little sex appeal and have a dance break in the middle of a ballad, Then The Pop Pyro is the place for you.
The Pop Pyro is:
The Pop Pyro was created and is run by myself. If we haven’t been introduced yet, I’m Jeremy Miles. I invite anyone from this page to follow my posts on my personal account as well. I’m a huge fan of Britney Spears and all of her peers. I get a little critical of some of her pop rivals, but in the end, I support all of the women in pop music that are similar to her.
And with nearly 4,500 likes here on Facebook, I think this is also an appropriate time to thank you guys AGAIN about how grateful I am of your comments, likes, shares and compliments on my posts and original content. The page has had videos with over 130 thousand views and reaches of over 2.5 million timelines! (Same with memes that have gone viral.)
Before I start releasing the “of the year” categories tomorrow, Spotify has a great review of your personal listening habits and I’d like to share mine with you. And so I can get to know you guys better, put your results in the comment section or copy the text below and change the answers to fit as best as you can.
THANK YOU SO MUCH AGAIN. I CAN’T WAIT TO CONTINUE THE PAGE IN 2016.