King Princess Is A Channel-Surfing ‘Cheap Queen’ In Her Quirky New Video

There’s good news and bad news about King Princess‘s new video for the downbeat anthem “Cheap Queen.” The good: it’s total surreal fun, recalling the retro-style visuals for her breakout hit “1950” and the fabulously cheesy “Pussy Is God.” The bad: she doesn’t actually “make a grown man cry” on screen, despite what her lyrics suggest. But what the vid lacks in adult male tears, it makes up for with charming quirkiness.

The fun begins with a new interlude, “Useless Phrases,” which King Princess sings to a sandwich while floating through the clouds. Turns out, that scene is part of a goofy TV show she’s watching, and she unenthusiastically flips through more channels while sprawling out on an oversized sofa. The 20-year-old plays several different characters that pop up on the cartoonish TV, each more animated than the last. Her channel-surfing antics end with a beauty queen contest where she’s, of course, crowned the “Cheap Queen” while dryly asserting, “I’m getting too cocky since everyone wants me.” Damn right.

“Cheap Queen” is the lead single from King Princess’s upcoming debut album, which follows her 2018 EP, Make My Bed. She hasn’t announced a title or release date yet, but here’s hoping KP has more music planned for the rest of 2019. She’s right, after all: everyone wants her.

Dallas Austin Wrote Some Of Your Faves’ Biggest Hits — Now He’s Getting His Hall Of Fame Due

By Jewel Wicker

Dallas Austin was once “catfished” — before the phrase had even been coined — by women pretending to be Salt-N-Pepa. The musician and songwriter behind dozens of pop and R&B hits, including Top 10 smashes by TLC, Pink, and more, says he regularly spent hours on the phone with the imposters. He even traveled to New Jersey to meet the person he believed to be Spinderella at a skating rink to no avail. Eventually, he met the real rappers at a basketball game and realized he’d been played. The posers, Austin says, had also been speaking with Jermaine Dupri and helped instigate a beef that was brewing between the two Atlanta creatives. At the time, Austin was producing for the Michael Bivins-discovered group Another Bad Creation and Dupri was masterminding rival Atlanta kid group Kris Kross. It’d take the two men years to reconcile.

The two have certainly come a long way since then. Thursday night (June 13), Dupri will help induct Austin into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, recognizing him for the bevy of hits he’s helped write. Austin said he told the Hall of Fame he wanted Dupri, who entered the hall in 2018, to do the honors immediately once he learned he’d be inducted. “I met him at the car wash in North Clayton [when I was] 17, and me and him [have] been friends back and forth since then,” he says, noting the two are also working on starting a company together.

Austin says being inducted is the “biggest honor I could have” — and it’s certainly well deserved. The Georgia-bred songwriter and producer was the man behind many of the timeless ladies’ anthems of the ’90s and early 2000s. From TLC’s “Creep” to Monica’s “Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)” and Pink’s “Don’t Let Me Get Me,” Austin helped these outspoken young women create the songs that would come to define their lasting legacies. “I would take mostly girl perceptions, look at it from a guy’s standpoint, and write a song. I feel like I got more depth out of women’s songs,” Austin says. Long before Lil Yachty helped write City Girls’s “Act Up,” the women’s anthem of summer 2019, Austin penned Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops),” a song about getting revenge on a cheating ex by spending all of his money.

If you ask Austin about the secret behind his songwriting success, he’ll react with a carefree response that would imply they were somehow easy. Writing for artists is all about getting to know them and understanding how to take one’s own experiences and filter them through another person’s perspective, he’ll say. But capturing the spirit of all the artists Austin has penned for isn’t as effortless as he’s made it look.

Since executive producing Boyz II Men‘s 1991 debut album, including the single “Motownphilly,” Austin has written and produced for JC Chasez, Madonna, Carly Rae Jepsen, and more. TLC’s “Creep” found Austin producing and writing a quintessential R&B song of the ’90s, featuring a jazzy trumpet sample woven throughout a hip-hop beat and controversial lyrics about cheating on a preoccupied boyfriend.

Less than a decade later, he’d trade that sensual R&B sound for the gritty pop stylings of Pink on “Don’t Let Me Get Me,” a song backed by an electric guitar instead of a trumpet. Austin said he wrote the song after arguing with his on-again-off-again girlfriend at the time, TLC’s Chilli, before a session with Pink. “I got back into the studio and I’m just like, ‘I’m a hazard to myself,'” he says. The songwriter says many of the songs her wrote for the singer’s 2001 album Missundaztood were inspired by his own tumultuous relationship, although he’d tweak the lyrics to make them uniquely Pink.

This is how Gwen Stefani‘s synth-pop hit “Cool” was created, too. Austin, says he remembers listening to No Doubt’s “Simple Kind of Life” and wondering how Stefani and bandmate-slash-ex-boyfriend Tony Kanal were able to work together and make such personal songs about their relationship. Inspired by this, he started writing “Cool.” He considered finishing the song with TLC, but says he was miserable in the session. “The last thing I [wanted] to do is sit in a studio with [Chilli] and record this song with her talking about we’re cool,” he says. He wrote “Damaged” for the group instead and held on to “Cool” until he met Stefani a few years later. After explaining how she’d inspired the lyrics and playing it for her, the two finished the song together.

Of course, not all of Austin’s hit songs were inspired by his relationship with Chilli. Years after Austin helped the kids of Another Bad Creation find success with “Iesha” in the early ’90s, he signed Monica, an 11-year-old who sported “Greenbriar [Mall] rings, sweatsuit, and gold glasses” to his record label, Rowdy — a venture Austin hopes to relaunch this year — and executive produced her debut album, Miss Thang. Even as a kid, Monica had experienced a few hardships. So on the project, instead of toning down her attitude, Austin tapped into it. He says he remembers thinking “if Brandy’s attitude is ‘I Wanna Be Down,’ Monica’s attitude is going to be ‘get down.'” He wrote the album’s lead single, “Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)” and eventually co-produced the hit collaboration “The Boy Is Mine” with Brandy. By the time Monica was ready to record her second album, Austin and Dupri had reconciled their previous differences. Dupri produced and co-wrote the hit single “The First Night” for the project.

Now, decades after they first met, Austin and Dupri are hoping to work together on a regular basis. The two are both continuing to grow Atlanta as an entertainment hub, with Austin working in the newly formed Georgia Entertainment Caucus to create a bridge between the music business and government. One of their goals is to ensure the state’s music-tax incentives are effective and to create an entertainment district in the city. The Dallas Austin Foundation, formed by Austin in 2003, also provides him an outlet to teach local kids about the business aspects of the music industry. In doing this, he hopes to help the next wave of creatives avoid the business problems he and his friends went through early in their careers.

Later this year, he’ll also launch a new company, JDA, alongside Dupri. Austin says he hopes the Atlanta-based business firm will eventually encompass music, film and TV production, a management agency, and more. “We want JDA to be the Dreamworks of Atlanta by the time we’re done,” Austin says. “[It will] wrap up our story nicely.”

Lover It Is! Taylor Swift Unveils The Release Date And Cover Art For Her New Album

Finally, we have answers! During an intimate Instagram Live session on Thursday (June 13), Taylor Swift spilled all the details surrounding her upcoming seventh album, which is titled — drumroll please — Lover.

“Another thing that you were absolutely correct about was the album title. The album is called Lover,” Swift spilled, after praising her fans’ dedication to hunting the easter eggs she planted in her “ME!” video.

As you might recall, the word “Lover” appeared prominently on that video — in fact, it was so prominent, that fans thought there was no way it would be hidden in such plain sight. Looks like Tay got the last laugh on that one.

Swift further revealed that Lover will arrive on August 23 (because 8+2+3=13, her fave number) and will comprise 18 tracks, including the Brendon Urie-assisted “ME!” Another new single called “You Need to Calm Down” will arrive tonight (yes, tonight!) at midnight, and will be followed by a music video premiering on June 17 on Good Morning America.

Among Swift’s other revelations: there will be four deluxe editions of the album, and she’s collaborated with designer Stella McCartney for a collection inspired by the new music. Got all that? Good.

Check out Lover‘s dreamy, pastel-colored artwork above, and start those countdowns — August 23 will be here before you know it, and you do NOT need to calm down about it.

Charli XCX And Lizzo Celebrate ‘Otherwordly’ Love In Their Striking New Video

Look alive, Charli’s Angels! Charli XCX is keeping fans fed and happy on this fine Thursday (June 13) with a deluge of exciting news. First, she revealed the cover and star-studded tracklist for her eponymous third album, which arrives on September 13. Then, she announced a slew of tour dates to follow. And now, the benevolent pop star has delivered the video for “Blame It On Your Love,” her recently released collaboration with Lizzo.

The video — which was filmed in New York and directed by Bradley & Pablo — celebrates love in its many wild forms. That’s illustrated by some fascinating body modifications (there are a lot elvish ears on display) and a proclamation from Charli herself that “modern love, to me, is limitless.” A press release for the vid elaborates on that concept: “It embraces the imperfection and otherworldly, an undeniable tribute to a love with no boundaries.”

Plus, there’s a sparkly, sizzling cameo from the always-fabulous Lizzo, so what’s not to love?!

Charli marks the pop star’s first album in five years, and features 15 songs and 14 features from the likes of HAIM, Troye Sivan, Big Freedia, and Sky Ferreira. Speaking about the project on Instagram, she wrote, “This album is my most personal, which is why I decided to call it by my name. I’ve put as many of my emotions, my thoughts, my feelings and my experiences with relationships into these 15 songs and I am so proud of them.” See the full tracklist and cover art here.

Machine Gun Kelly Debuts His Head Tattoo In New Video With Yungblud And Travis Barker

Machine Gun Kelly‘s new album is coming, and he has the head tattoo to prove it.

After flaunting his new “Hotel Diablo” ink on Twitter earlier this week, the rapper has given fans a closer look in the video for “I Think I’m OKAY,” which arrived on Thursday (June 13). The angsty collaboration features British rocker Yungblud and blink-182’s Travis Barker, who join MGK for a hyped-up concert in an alleyway. The vid opens on MGK strumming a guitar in bed, then warps into a collage-like showcase of tattoos, bloody knees, and aggressive facial expressions. While Barker pounds away on the drums, MGK and the always-entertaining Yungblud passionately scream the song’s thesis: “I think that something’s fucking wrong with me!”

Check out the Andrew Sandler-directed vid below, and keep your eyes peeled for a cameo from Noah Cyrus, who shows up for some fire extinguisher antics.

“I Think I’m OKAY” is the latest single from Machine Gun Kelly’s fourth album, Hotel Diablo, which arrives July 5. Last week, the Cleveland MC revealed how his new music is inspired by the late Chester Bennington, as well as Mac Miller. Speaking about the latter artist, MGK said, “When I looked at Mac, I just saw a talented young man. I didn’t hate on the thing that he did. I was so impressed all the time, by his musicality, by his mental, by him as a friend. And that’s the ultimate goal for me, is to walk around and have that respect and to not have all this extra stuff follow me.”

Selena Gomez Is ‘Actually Done’ With Her First Album In Four Years

By Lauren Rearick

Prepare your playlists accordingly, because Selena Gomez officially confirmed that she’s completed work on her next studio album. That’s right, soon we can all finally quit listening to “Hands To Myself” on repeat.

Selena confirmed the exciting news on Tuesday night (June 11) during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Although she didn’t divulge an exact release date, she did share where she’s at in the recording process, telling Jimmy, “I’m actually done. I have to do a few finishing things with it, but I’m just relieved. It took me four years now to even feel at a good place with this album.”

The as-yet-untitled release will mark Selena’s first new album since 2015’s Revival. Over the past few years, the performer took some time out of the spotlight, and had announced a social media hiatus this past September. At the time, she said it was her intention to “step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember — negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings.”

Prior to the hiatus, Selena underwent a kidney transplant, a procedure she needed due to complications from Lupus. After taking some time off for recovery, Selena returned to the stage with her post-surgery debut at the American Music Awards in October 2017.

Fans may have to wait just a bit longer to get their hands on the album, but the star of the new Netflix film The Dead Don’t Die confirmed that those who enjoyed her previous work will likely find something to love on the new album. “I think there’s always going to be a sense of strong pop in my music, but I definitely explored more with electric guitar, a lot of more soulful tracks underneath things, acoustic guitar,” she said. “It all kind of hits different places that I feel like is my lane for music.”

As for what type of music Selena prefers creating, she told Jimmy she likes working on ballads as opposed to pop music. “I love everything that I get to do and be a part of, but specifically something that connects with people on an emotional level is my favorite,” she said. Sounds like we better get the tissues ready.

Nicki Minaj Shuns Optimus Prime For His Mortal Enemy In Surprise Announcement

Megatron is the leader of the Decepticons from the media franchise, TransformersYou’ve probably seen him in the movies where Shia LaBeouf and Mark Wahlberg get chased around by robots that are trucks and Teslas one minute and then humanoid vehicular death machines the next. Megatron’s typically the big bad because the Decepticons are the villains and the good guys are the Autobots. He’s a despicable, self-centered villain. Nicki Minaj took to Instagram today to invoke his name and announce that something, named Megatron, is coming on June 21.

Nicki’s been on something of a Twitter hiatus, or, at least, using it more sparingly than before. Yesterday (June 12), she tweeted “MEGATRON” in all caps and changed her profile picture to the King Decepticon’s name. Okay, she could have just been watching the movies and developed a crush on the bad guy. The robot is tall, steel, and handsome, of course. But then, in true Nicki fashion, she took to Instagram to unveil more about it, announcing that something with the same name will be here on June 21. In a subsequent post, she tagged #QueenRadio, which leads us to surmise that there’s going to be a new episode to coincide with the release of whatever “Megatron” is.

Nicki’s fourth studio album, Queen, came out last August. Since then, she’s been pretty much everywhere, releasing freestyles of songs by Meek Mill and Blueface, as well as appearing on ‘Dumb Blonde‘ by Avril Lavigne. Whatever ‘Megatron’ is, it’s going to make her 2019 even bigger, badder, and possibly more evil. We just hope she doesn’t transform into a maniacal, fifteen-foot-tall robot.

Katy Perry’s ‘Never Really Over’ Video: Director Philippa Price On Turning Heartbreak Into Therapy

Katy Perry‘s viability as a song-of-the-summer stalwart? You bet it’s “Never Really Over.”

The pop veteran returned two weeks ago with a propulsive single that tells a sticky love story in the simplest terms: “Thought it was done, but I guess it’s never really over.” As Zedd’s production tick-tocks along, she belts an explosion of a chorus, then tries to sort out her feelings with a tongue-twisting confession that proves healing is easier said than done. That’s illustrated in the therapy-themed music video, in which Perry attempts a clean slate at a utopian retreat where hearts are gardened like flowers and meadows double as dance floors.

“I wanted to take it in a very different direction than everyone else would be expecting of her,” director Philippa Price told MTV News. “I thought, how can I show what you go through in heartbreak in a very visual way?”

Price has helmed videos for artists like St. Vincent and BANKS, and is also a key creative collaborator for Rihanna’s SAVAGExFENTY lingerie line. She says she “always wanted to work with Katy,” and “Never Really Over” presented an opportunity for the director to bring her signature surrealist style to her most mainstream project yet.

“Even though it’s a super pop song, it’s about something that I think everyone can relate to: that feeling post-breakup when you think you’re over someone and then you see them or you hear their name and you crumble again,” Price said of the video’s concept. “I wanted to create this world that is its own world, but [also] a fantasy everyone could see themselves going to.”

They shot the video in just two days at the sprawling King Gillette Ranch in Malibu, California, which was the retirement home of the razor kingpin himself. There was, Price says, a cult that lived there in the ’70s, which made it an apt backdrop for “Never Really Over” — in it, Perry explores new-age treatments to cure her broken heart that aren’t entirely un-cult-like. Below, Price breaks down some of the video’s key elements and most memorable scenes, including that cryptic final shot.

  • Katy made her love permanent

    Early on in the vid, we see a tattoo on the inside of Perry’s hand: one-half of a heart with the word “you” in the middle. The other half is inked on the singer’s fictional ex, who we see first in a brief flashback, and then in the video’s last scene (more on that later).

    “[Perry] really wanted this boyfriend disconnection moment to happen, but I was like, we can’t, because no one’s going to know it’s your boyfriend unless we’ve shown this narrative of him being your boyfriend,” Price explained. Their solution? “My ex-boyfriend and I have these broken heart tattoos on our hands that we used for the video so that you could recognize that it was her ex.” The only difference is that Price and her ex’s tattoos have the words “fuck” and “you,” but “that wasn’t right for the video,” she laughed.

    (Bonus fun fact: On the night of the video’s premiere, KP did get a real tattoo inspired by the one in the video!)

  • That weird silver tube was a Home Depot find fashioned into a “reconnection” tool

    In a couple blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shots, we see two people whose heads are concealed by a flexible aluminum duct connecting them. Price explained, “That comes from one of my favorite places for inspiration called The Home Depot. Originally, I was just going to have it on their arms connecting them, and then I put it on their heads and it looked really awesome.”

    She continued, “I created all of these apparatuses and styling pieces where it connected to people, and they were doing different aerobics-y exercises and repetitive movements, as if these were camp activities where you’re just learning to connect, or you’re learning to re-connect, as you go through this heartbreak reform.”

  • Katy drank her new heart right up

    Another one of those “camp activities” that Perry takes part in is the nurturing and gardening of her heart. Price explained, “The camp is a program, and there’s all these daily activities, but what is the long-term goal that you reach? I thought that you regrow your heart, and you water your heart with your tears.

    “There’s this place in France where they grow pears on trees and they put the glass bottles over the pears while they’re tiny so that the pears grow inside the bottles,” the director continued. “Then they ferment the pear and it turns into this alcohol with this giant pear in the middle. I was like, we could maybe do something like that with a heart, and at the end, you drink your new heart at this kind of ayahuasca ceremony.”

  • Those acupuncture needles were 100 percent real

    Yes, those are real needles piercing Perry’s skin. “That was actually Katy’s idea the night before we shot,” Price revealed. “She was getting acupuncture and she sent me a video at, like, 3 a.m. with needles in her face, being like, ‘What if we do this for the video?'”

    To “make them pretty,” Price and her team stuck tiny rhinestones on the end of the needles, and Perry’s real acupuncturist came to the set and even suggested doing another scene with “cupping,” a type of therapy that involves placing cups (in this case, heart-shaped ones) on the skin to create suction and facilitate blood flow. “I don’t think anyone has ever done cupping or acupuncture in a video,” Price laughed. “Everyone was leaving, the crew was wrapped, and it was one of those magical add-on, last-minute shots that kind of made the video.”

  • They kept things quirky and improv-friendly

    “A lot” of Perry’s movements were improvised, and were conceived out of conversations Price had with the singer about conveying her feelings through gesture and movement, “rather than a literal narrative, which she usually has in her videos.” That approach resulted in some of the vid’s most memorable moments, like Perry squishing her mouth against a glass door and sliding down; it was a scene that capitalized on her “weirdness and quirkiness,” Price said.

    “We did all of these things where I was like, you know, when you’re a little kid and you’re so excited that all your muscles tense? OK, let’s do a performance like that,” the director explained. “She got really into it, and that slide down the window was improvised as we were doing it. I definitely wanted this to have a more emotional tone, but keep this funny, quirky humor throughout.”

  • Gender-fluid fashion is everywhere

    Fashion and style are crucial elements of much of Price’s work, and “Never Really Over” was no exception. Though they used fashion from the ’70s as loose inspiration, she wanted the aesthetic to be “not at all like the ’70s you would expect.” She clarified, “I wanted this world to really exist in its own reality. We came up with a color palette, and there were themes throughout — hearts was one, and being connected to someone else is another.”

    They also aimed for “complete gender fluidity” with the style; you see women wearing pants, men wearing dresses, and everything in between. “We wanted it to feel culty — like some element of uniformity — but also [have] everyone be their own individual,” Price said.

  • The visual speaks to Katy’s own personal growth

    The ascendant single is presumably the first taste of Perry’s upcoming fifth album, and while she hasn’t fully unpacked the song’s inspiration, Price suggested that it’s a more personal offering from the pop star.

    “I can’t speak to the meaning behind the song for her, but I do know that this video was quite personal,” she said. “I think she loved the concept behind the video because she seems to be really be working on healing, and she definitely put a lot of personal experience into this world, like with the acupuncture. I think that she really got into it because there’s a lot of things that she’s working on personally that she was able to channel into this world.”

  • About that ending…

    In the final scene, Perry walks away from the camp, her bag in hand and her heart presumably mended. But when she spots her ex in a van driving toward the camp — we know it’s him because of the aforementioned tattoo — it seems all that therapy may have been for nothing.

    “She’s leaving the camp, she’s free, she’s completed the final ceremony, and we’ve had this amazing moment in the field where it feels like she’s healed of her heartbreak,” Price said of her interpretation of the shot. “She sees her ex is one of the passengers in the van, so she runs to him but we don’t know what happens. It’s basically the message of, ‘it’s never really over!'”

Miley Cyrus Is Ashley O From Black Mirror In ‘On A Roll’ Video

Miley Cyrus is Ashley O in the new video for “On A Roll,” a song from Netflix’s Black MirrorCyrus stars in the pop-music-obsessed episode that covers the blur between creativity and technology. The video avoids the heavy questions and gives us what Ashley O does best: make timeless pop records and look damn good while doing it, too. Who else could take Nine Inch Nails‘ “Head Like A Hole” and rework the lyrics so friendly and vivaciously?

Cyrus’ Ashley O is a heightened version of everything that makes Cyrus so enthralling to the world. In the video, Ashley’s smile is beautiful and her dancing so excited. With a group of women following her every move, Ashley’s pink hair flies in front of her face as she performs a number of routines to the lively number. The screen cracks at the end, indicating at plot developments in her Black Mirror episode that you’ll have to see to understand. But as you watch Cyrus as Ashley O, think about how much of your creativity do you really own. Then watch Cyrus’ episode and speculate about the fate of Ashley O. You’ll be surprised, no matter which way you swing.

Last month, Cyrus released an EP, She Is ComingEarlier this week, she apologized for critical comments made in 2017 about hip-hop, calling her words “insensitive.”

Watch Miley Cyrus as Ashley O perform magic up above.

Charli XCX Announces New Album Charli Featuring HAIM, Troye Sivan, And More

Charli XCX has been steadily releasing new music all year — like her Diplo-assisted Spice Girls remix and dreamy BTS collab — and she’s about to unleash a lot more. That’s right, Angels — after revealing this week that she’s finished her long-awaited third album — and that it’s “so good” that she actually cried while listening to it — the pop star officially announced the new LP on Thursday (June 12).

The efficiently titled Charli drops September 13 and features a murderer’s row of pop collaborators. Troye Sivan appears not once but twice, on the previously released nostalgia banger “1999” and on a new track called “2099,” which the two previewed during their Go West Fest festival last week. Charli’s collaboration with Lizzo, “Blame It On Your Love,” is also accounted for.

The rest of the tracklist comprises 15 songs, including solo efforts like the brilliantly titled opener “Next Level Charli,” plus additional features from Christine and the Queens, HAIM, Brooke Candy, CupcakKe, Big Freedia, Sky Ferreira, Kim Petras, Clairo, Yaeji and Pabblo Vittar. The album is executive produced by Charli herself, alongside A.G. Cook.

Atlantic Records

As for that striking cover art, seen above, a press release states that Charli teamed up with AR makeup artist Ines Alpha to design artwork “with a goal of dismantling classic beauty ideals.”

In conjunction with her Charli announcement, the pop star also unveiled the dates for her upcoming Charli LIVE headlining tour, which launches on September 20. Check out the full list of North American dates here, and get excited — exactly three months to go until Charli saves pop!

Charli tracklist:

1. Next Level Charli

2. Gone feat. Christine and the Queens

3. Cross You Out feat. Sky Ferreira

4. 1999 feat. Troye Sivan

5. Click feat. Kim Petras and Tommy Cash

6. Warm feat. HAIM

7. Thoughts

8. Blame It On Your Love feat. Lizzo

9. White Mercedes

10. Silver Cross

11. I Don’t Wanna Know

12. Official

13. Shake It feat. Big Freedia, CupcakKe, Brooke Candy and Pabllo Vittar

14. February 2017 feat. Clairo and Yaeji

15. 2099 feat. Troye Sivan