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    When Bernstein Conducted Stravinsky, Modern Music Came Alive

    A box set of recordings pairs Stravinsky, 50 years after his death, with the conductor who championed his works.On April 6, 1971, a balmy spring day in New Haven, Conn., I arrived at the main building of the Yale School of Music a little late for a piano lesson. But I stopped at the front door. Someone had tacked up a small white note card: “Igor Stravinsky died today.”Those four words staggered me. Stravinsky had been central to the entire span of 20th-century music thus far. His “Rite of Spring,” from 1913, had been part of the creation of modernism — what seemed like ancient history. Yet in an analysis class that very semester in 1971, we were studying the score of what was still quite a new piece — his extraordinary “Requiem Canticles,” from 1966 — trying to understand the ways he had adapted 12-tone technique to his own ends. He seemed almost to embody the entirety of modern music and its various styles. What would happen now that he was gone?I’d been a Stravinsky fan since my early teens, when I listened over and over to the recording he conducted of his “Firebird.” The closest I came to him in person was in the spring of 1966. I had just graduated from high school and was attending all the programs of a Stravinsky festival presented by the New York Philharmonic. The final concert ended with the composer leading a performance of his “Symphony of Psalms.” I can’t tell you how many musicians I’ve met since then who have envied me for being there that day.Stravinsky was in the audience for the first program, which was conducted by Leonard Bernstein and ended with “The Rite of Spring.” Even today, that piece still has the power to shock. Back then, when it was not as familiar, the music seemed truly mind-blowing, especially in Bernstein’s mysterious and volcanic, yet somehow cohesive and eerily beautiful performance.During the ovation, Stravinsky, who was seated at the front of the first tier, stood up, smiled and gestured his thanks to Bernstein and the orchestra musicians. During intermission he had remained in his seat, and ushers kept students like me away. But I got close enough to wave at him eagerly; I think he saw me.Stravinsky and Bernstein were linked in my mind: the world’s greatest living composer and his greatest (and certainly most famous) champion. That reputation has lingered: To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Stravinsky’s death, Sony has released a box set pairing these two artists.Yet Bernstein’s Stravinsky discography is actually frustratingly small; the Sony set contains only six discs. Even in the concert hall, Bernstein did not conduct the range of Stravinsky works he might have — unlike the comprehensive approach he took to, for example, the symphonies of Mahler.Bernstein recording Stravinsky’s “Oedipus Rex” with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall in 1972.Sony Music EntertainmentStravinsky was central to much of the span of the 20th century and its music.Sam Falk/The New York TimesBernstein was one of Stravinsky’s greatest (and certainly most famous) conductor champions.Sam Falk/The New York TimesStarting in the 1950s, when Stravinsky was still a challenging composer for most audiences, Bernstein led accounts of pieces that clearly compelled him, especially the “The Rite of Spring” and “The Firebird,” as well as seminal works from Stravinsky’s Neo-Classical period, like Symphony in Three Movements, the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, Symphony of Psalms and more.The “Rite,” Bernstein’s signature piece, kept turning up, even on one of his Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts, in 1958, which opened with Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, followed by the Stravinsky. Bernstein must have thought that you might as well start students early on the “Rite” and show them what “classical” music could really sound like. Can you imagine that being presented as an educational program today?A couple of the recordings in the Sony set are classics, including two accounts of the “Rite”: Bernstein’s original 1958 version with the Philharmonic, and his reconsidered, still molten, yet more weighty and heaving account from 1972 with the London Symphony Orchestra.The revelation, for me, is a disc that pairs two lesser-known recordings: “Symphony of Psalms,” from 1972, with the London Symphony Orchestra and the English Bach Festival Chorus, and the opera-oratorio “Oedipus Rex,” recorded later that year with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, some excellent singers (including the tenor René Kollo as Oedipus and the mezzo-soprano Tatiana Troyanos as Jocasta) and the Harvard Glee Club. That “Oedipus” was recorded at Symphony Hall in Boston, in conjunction with the Norton Lectures that Bernstein delivered at Harvard in 1973.In the sixth and final of those lectures, “The Poetry of Earth,” Bernstein discusses the intentional stylistic incongruities in Stravinsky’s Neo-Classical works, singling out “Symphony of Psalms,” scored unusually for four-part chorus and an orchestra with just lower strings (no violins or violas), woodwinds (except for clarinets), brass and percussion, including two pianos. The chorus sings Latin versions of three psalm texts; the music looks back to the heritage of sacred vocal works, yet through an austere contemporary prism. The first movement, a setting of verses from Psalm 38 (“Hear my prayer, O Lord”), is a “prayer with teeth in it, a prayer made of steel,” Bernstein said in his lecture. “It violates our expectations, shatters us with its irony.”Bernstein brings those qualities to life in his recording, right from what he called the “brusque, startling, pistol-shot of a chord” that opens the movement, immediately followed by “some kind of Bachian finger exercises.” The tempo is daringly reined in. The instrumental textures are dark and weighty, yet remain dry and lucid. The choristers sound solemn and stoic on the surface, but a pleading, almost desperate edge to their singing comes through.The whole performance evolves in this manner, with Bernstein focusing on Stravinsky’s tart, hard-edge harmonies, even in the gravely beautiful slow second movement. Stravinsky’s counterintuitive choral setting of the word “alleluia,” which opens the third movement with chords that sound yearning and almost hopeless, comes across with affecting poignancy. At first I thought Bernstein might have gone too far with his approach — that the performance overall comes close to plodding. Not so. It’s now my favorite version.Bernstein, recording “Oedipus Rex,” maintained a grave tone throughout the score.Sony Music EntertainmentBernstein made the “Oedipus Rex” recording essentially so that he could use it to demonstrate some points in that final Norton lecture about stylistic misalliances. He argued that in composing this take on ancient Greek tragedy — which uses a Latin translation of Jean Cocteau’s French version — Stravinsky somehow found resonances with Verdi, specifically “Aida.” That might seem incongruous, Bernstein said. But what matters, he went on to explain, was that somewhere deep in Stravinsky’s consciousness “the basic metaphor contained in ‘Aida’ registered, stuck, and connected with the corresponding deep metaphor in ‘Oedipus Rex.’”The “Oedipus” score begins with a four-note motif, thickly harmonized by chorus and orchestra, in which the people of Thebes implore Oedipus to save the city from a deadly plague. Bernstein, in his lecture, convincingly links that motif to a pleading phrase sung by Aida, beseeching the princess Amneris, her captor and rival in love, to have pity on her.Bernstein’s performance of this opening blast is emphatic and anguished, and significantly slower than in Stravinsky’s own recording. Bernstein maintains that grave tone throughout the score, making the most of the passages with winding Verdian lyricism; juicing every crunchy chord; and, when called for, letting the chorus and orchestra flail away with clipped rhythmic intensity.The Sony box also offers bracingly crisp performances of the chamber work “L’Histoire du Soldat” and the Octet for Wind Instruments, which Bernstein recorded with players from the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1947. I also love the accounts of the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, with Seymour Lipkin as the piano soloist, and “Petrushka” (the 1947 version) with the New York Philharmonic. (As a bonus, there is also a recording of Bernstein discussing Stravinsky and his “Petrushka” ballet.)As it turned out, my last direct encounter with Bernstein also involved the “Rite.” In the summer of 1987 at Tanglewood, three years before his death, he spent a week rehearsing a large orchestra of college-age players for a performance of the piece. Though the rehearsals were closed to the public, I was then a freelance critic at The Boston Globe and was permitted to watch. At times I even sat onstage, behind the players, so I could see Bernstein as he faced them.Bernstein in rehearsal at Tanglewood in the summer of 1987.Heinz H. Weissenstein/Whitestone Photo, via BSO ArchivesThese gifted young artists could barely believe that the most celebrated classical musician in the world was teaching them — and this, of all pieces. Though he was infamous for being overly emotional, a gusher of enthusiasm, Bernstein in rehearsal was precise, exacting and impressively specific with his descriptions of the music. In one restless passage for the bassoons, Bernstein found the playing too jittery and playful.“It’s not a fanfare,” he said. “Ever heard a Russian choir singing in elongated notes?”That was the deep, resonant sound and character that he wanted. And the players got it. During the “Spring Rounds” section, he said that the music had to be “an assortment of groans and wails and troll sounds.” His words elicited collective nods, and the orchestra’s playing came alive. It was ominous and wild, without a trace of caricature. More

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    Perrie Edwards Unhappy to Dress Up as Guy for Little Mix's New Music Video

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    Edwards recalls crying because she thought she looked stupid wearing a man’s clothes for her girl group’s music video which came out recently to support new single ‘Confetti’.

    May 6, 2021

    AceShowbiz –
    Little Mix star Perrie Edwards was far from happy when she discovered she’d have to dress and behave like a guy for the group’s new “Confetti” video.

    The pop star admits she’s too much of a “girly-girl” to play a man and felt way out of her comfort zone.

    “I actually think I cried,” Perrie told the BBC’s Nick Grimshaw. “I was like, ‘I can’t be a boy, I’m not very good at it!’ It was really hard because like, Jade was living her best life. She was like, ‘I wear baggy stuff anyway, I love being like, slouched…’ ”

    Bandmate Jade Thirlwall agreed, explaining she had a blast, “It was probably the most fun we’ve ever had on a video shoot. We obviously are the male versions of ourselves…”

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    “It was something that we’ve wanted to do for such a long time. It took about six, seven hours getting prosthetics done for it, so we really went all in… We really delivered.”

    But Perrie thought she looked “stupid” as a guy.

    “I think that’s why it was good, ‘cos we just went against the stereotype and lived our best lives,” she added. “It was fun but the prosthetics, jeez. When they peeled them off at the end of the day, it was like taking off your bra. It was the best feeling in the world.”

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    A Rare Peek Inside a Semi-Secret ‘Secret Garden’

    The 2018 workshop for a possible revival of the lush musical was never meant to be seen by the public, but will now stream as a benefit this weekend.When Marsha Norman suggested to the producer Jerry Goehring the idea of streaming the 2018 workshop of a stalled Broadway revival of “The Secret Garden” as a benefit, he thought it was a great idea.He just didn’t know if it would be possible.“I was like, ‘Honestly, I don’t know that it’s ever been done before,’” said Goehring, a member of the team angling to bring back to Broadway the sumptuous musical that has never been revived there since the Tony Award-winning 1991 production that starred Mandy Patinkin.Securing the rights to stream a musical — much less a workshop, footage that was never intended to see the light of day and showcases actors in their rawest form — can be complicated.But it helped that Norman, the musical’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book writer, was already on board — as was the new director, Warren Carlyle (“After Midnight”), and all 21 actors, among them Sierra Boggess (Lily), Clifton Duncan (Archibald Craven) and Drew Gehling (Neville Craven).“They were all asking ‘Please, what can we do to help?’” Goehring said this week.Getting buy-in from every member involved and compensating the actors were the stipulations for Actors’ Equity Association, the labor union, to grant permission for the project, which will benefit The Dramatists Guild Foundation and The Actors Fund.“They said they rarely get requests for archival recordings,” said Goehring, who teamed with the producers Michael F. Mitri and Carl Moellenberg to develop the project. “But, if, at the end of the day, 100 percent of their members involved in the show agree, we could do it.”The two-hour workshop, which includes a full run-through of the show sans costumes or sets, will premiere on Broadway on Demand on Thursday, May 6 at 8 p.m. and remain available through May 9. It is dedicated to Rebecca Luker, the musical’s original Lily, who died in December at age 59 less than a year after announcing she had A.L.S.“It’s wonderful and terrifying at the same time,” said Carlyle, who directed and choreographed the workshop. “It’s in its rawest form, with all my terrible ideas and some good ones. It’s really like pulling back the curtain.”Goehring said the workshop showcases the production at its “very beginning” stages — and was never intended to be seen by any kind of audience, much less the public.“We didn’t plan on inviting anyone,” he said, noting that the authors had initially just wanted a chance to take their first look at the entire show — artistically. “But it turned out so special that everyone agreed we should invite our friends in the industry, including Broadway theater owners, to get their opinion.”Mandy Patinkin, left, and Daisy Eagan in the original Broadway production, for which Eagan, at just 11,  earned a Tony Award.Bob Marshak, via the Everett CollectionThe musical, based on the 1911 children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, tells the story of an orphaned English girl whose personality blossoms as she and a sickly cousin restored a neglected garden. The original Broadway production earned three Tonys, with a cast that included Luker, Patinkin, a pre-Hedwig John Cameron Mitchell and 11-year-old Daisy Eagan, who won for her performance as the heroine Mary Lennox.The revival, Carlyle said, is a “complete reimagining.” It will feature pared-back sets, more intimate orchestrations and different scenic design. But all of Lucy Simon’s songs are intact, he reassured fans of the original, just shifted around — not that anyone would dare cut “Lily’s Eyes.”“We joke that we lost a lot of big bushes,” he said. “Lots of big scene transitions from back in the early ’90s have been eliminated, so it really flows much better.”It’s clear, Carlyle said, that the workshop is a rough draft: The garden is imaginary; the dress code more T-shirts than waistcoats. Pieces of tape on the bare floor mark the edge of the stage, as well as where the wings would be. There are only a few props.“There are no frills,” he said. “Which allows me, as a director, to make sure we’re getting the story right.”To help people keep track of scene changes, the team inserted digital renderings by the production designer Jason Sherwood (“Rent: Live”) as transitions. But ultimately, Carlyle said, the material speaks for itself.From left: Drew Gehling, Sierra Boggess (near back wall) and Clifton Duncan in three of the musical’s key roles.via The Secret Garden workshop“The book Marsha has written and Lucy’s music are so strong that you can be in an empty room with talented artists and have it move you just as much as if it were on a Broadway stage,” he said.There are reasons the show has never been revived on Broadway: Critics said the lavish set and elaborate costumes left the actors fighting to be in focus, and the book was overstuffed with secondary characters.“Whether ‘The Secret Garden’ is a compelling dramatic adaptation of its source or merely a beautiful, stately shrine to it is certain to be a subject of intense audience debate,” The New York Times theater critic Frank Rich wrote in his review of the original. “I, for one, often had trouble locating the show’s pulse.”Broadway is still a target for the future, Goehring said, though the pandemic has thrown the timeline in flux.“We are not seeking new investment right now,” he said. “Our only goal is to raise money for the nonprofits.”The 2018 workshop was the latest in a string of high-profile iterations of the musical that also included a 2016 concert at Lincoln Center featuring Ben Platt, Ramin Karimloo and Boggess. David Armstrong directed a production at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle and Washington D.C.’s Shakespeare Theater Company in 2016-17.No cast has yet been set or theater secured, but Goehring hopes the orchestrations will begin taking shape in the fall.“As soon as we can all get back in a room again, we’ll keep working on it,” he said.“Our ultimate goal is to make this as good as we can,” he added. “However long that takes.”Inside The Secret Garden: Workshop and Livestream ExperienceMay 6-9; livestream.broadwayondemand.com More

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    Billie Eilish, Post Malone And A$AP Rocky to Make Merry Governors Ball 2021

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    Also set to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the festival are Megan Thee Stallion, J Balvin, DaBaby, Ellie Goulding, Young Thug, 21 Savage and Phoebe Bridgers among many others.

    May 5, 2021

    AceShowbiz –
    Billie Eilish, Post Malone and A$AP Rocky are heading to New York to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Governors Ball festival.

    Organizers had originally planned to mark the milestone last June (2020) with headliners Stevie Nicks, Missy Elliott and Tame Impala, but the three-day concert had to be scrapped when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

    Now officials have unveiled an all-new line-up to take center stage for their rescheduled gigs, which were recently postponed from this summer to the “more realistic” autumn.

    Also set to perform from September 24 to 26 are Megan Thee Stallion, J Balvin, DaBaby, new mum Ellie Goulding, Leon Bridges, Young Thug, 21 Savage, Portugal. The Man, Phoebe Bridgers, Jamie XX, Carly Rae Jepsen, Burna Boy, Bleachers and Future Islands among many others.

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    About the event, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement, “Building a recovery for all of us means reconnecting with the iconic events that make New York City the greatest travel destination in the world.”

    “As more New Yorkers become vaccinated by the day, we’re proud to support arts and culture and welcome back Governors Ball and their fantastic lineup, including New York City’s own Princess Nokia, A$AP Rocky, and King Princess, among others,” he added.

    The shows will take place at the Citi Field complex in Queens.

    The inclusion of Billie to the Ball’s line-up came shortly after she was announced to be one of 2021 Met Gala’s co-chairs. On Monday, May 3, Vogue revealed that the “Bad Guy” hitmaker will take on the role alongside actor Timothee Chalamet, tennis star Naomi Osaka and poet Amanda Gorman.

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    Jerry Ferrara’s Wife Feels ‘Completely Calm’ Giving Birth to Baby No. 2 at Home Without Midwife

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    Jesy Nelson Feels Huge Wave of Relief After Little Mix Exit, Thanks Liam Payne for Reaching Out

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    The former Little Mix member gets candid about her decision to leave the girl group, claiming she felt ‘enormous pressure’ for being constantly compared to her bandmates.

    May 5, 2021

    AceShowbiz –
    Former Little Mix star Jesy Nelson has discovered she has an ally in Liam Payne should her life after band fame prove difficult.

    The 29-year-old singer, who is now embarking on a solo career, reveals the One Direction star was one of the first people to reach out to her after she announced she was leaving the girl group at the end of 2020.

    “A few band members have reached out to me,” she said. “Liam Payne from One Direction was one of them. He actually sent me a really nice message, just basically saying, if I ever wanted to talk, he’s always here, which was really lovely.”

    Nelson quit the girl group to focus on a series of personal mental health issues and, in a new interview with Cosmopolitan, she opens up a little more about her decision, recalling her breaking point came on the set of the band’s music video for its 2020 single, “Sweet Melody”.

    “On the day of the Sweet Melody video I had a panic attack on set, because I didn’t look how I wanted to look and I found it so hard to just be happy and enjoy myself. I was sobbing in the dressing room,” she shared.

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    “Someone really close to me said, ‘This has got to stop. You can’t keep doing this to yourself. You’re going to end up where you were before.’ ”

    “For me, that was the pinnacle point. I was like, ‘I need to start taking care of myself now because this isn’t healthy.’ It wasn’t nice for the other three to be around someone who didn’t want to be there. So I took a break.”

    And when she finally decided to walk away from Little Mix for good, Nelson recalls feeling a huge wave of relief.

    “It was a mix of emotions,” she explained. “I was sad, but at the same time, mentally, I felt free and like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders because for me, I felt an enormous amount of pressure being in a girl group.”

    “The hardest part about being in a girl group for me, was constantly being compared to three other girls and not feeling as though I was good enough.”

    Nelson was recently spotted in the recording studio working on new solo material and reports suggest a handful of top labels are fighting to land her as an artist.

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    Pink 'Humbled' to Receive Icon Award at 2021 Billboard Music Awards

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    The ‘What About Love’ hitmaker has been officially announced as a special honoree at the upcoming Billboard Music Awards which is going to be hosted by Nick Jonas.

    May 5, 2021

    AceShowbiz –
    Pop star Pink is “humbled” after learning she will be feted with the Icon Award at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards.

    The “Just Give Me a Reason” hitmaker will also perform at the Los Angeles ceremony on 23 May (21), when she will become the 10th recipient of the top honour, which “recognises outstanding artists who have achieved excellence on the Billboard charts and have made an indelible mark on music itself,” according to event organisers.

    Sharing her joy at the news, Pink says, “As a little girl, I always dreamed about being a singer and sharing my love of music with the world. Years later, to receive the Billboard Music Awards Icon Award is hard to fathom.”

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    “I feel so honoured to join the ranks of music idols like Cher, Garth Brooks, Janet Jackson and Stevie Wonder. It’s a true ‘pinch me’ moment and I feel humbled and blessed.”

    Previous superstars to receive the accolade also include Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, and Celine Dion.

    The event will take place less than a week before her new tour documentary, “Pink: All I Know So Far”, debuts on the Amazon streaming service on 29 May. The film chronicles her 2019 “Beautiful Trauma” trek, and is directed by “The Greatest Showman” ‘s Michael Gracey.

    The upcoming Billboard Music Awards will be hosted by Nick Jonas. The Weeknd who was snubbed at this year’s Grammys leads the nominees with a total of sixteen mentions, thanks to his hit studio album “After Hours”.

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    Elizabeth Olsen to Play Real-Life Axe Murderer on New Series ‘Love and Death’

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    Billie Eilish in British Vogue: What the Cover Means

    The pop star known for defying gender stereotypes got a glamour makeover with a corset. Not everyone is happy about it.Billie Eilish wants you to know she is in charge, brash and self-assured enough to scrap the raffish image that helped garner her a world of fans in favor of something a little more … adult.She vamps this month on the cover of British Vogue, a portrait of artfully crafted provocation. The singer once identified by her shock of green hair has gone blonde and full bombshell, swapping her trademark sweats for a style more domme than deb: pink Gucci corset and skirt over Agent Provocateur skivvies, accessorized with latex gloves and leggings.The choice was her own, Edward Enninful, the magazine’s editor in chief, wrote in the June issue. “What if, she wondered, she wanted to show more of her body for the first time in a fashion story?” Mr. Enninful recalled. “What if she wanted to play with corsetry and revel in the aesthetic of the mid-20th century pin-ups she’s always loved? It was time, she said, for something new.”To that end Ms. Eilish embraced the shopworn trimmings of female allure, offering the camera, without apparent irony, a nod to the sirens of golden age Hollywood and some of more recent vintage: Taylor Swift, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion among them. And she is owning her look. An icon of body positivity who once cloaked her curves under neon tone track suits and hoodies, she appears to be done with all that. “My thing is that I can do whatever I want,” she told the journalist Laura Snapes, going on to disarm would-be haters with a pre-emptive strike.Craig McDean“Suddenly you’re a hypocrite if you want to show your skin, and you’re easy and you’re a slut,” Ms. Eilish said in the interview. “Let’s turn it around and be empowered in that. Showing your body and showing your skin — or not — should not take any respect away from you.”Indeed. “Her pushback has been her agency in this,” said Lucie Greene, a trend forecaster and brand consultant. “After all, like many of her Gen Z peers, Eilish has a sophisticated understanding of visual language and representation. She’s built a following for confidently subverting beauty codes. And she’s applying the same confidence to this.”Still, some may well question her agency, asking if, at 19, Ms. Eilish has the sense or sagacity to weather the possible fallout. Consider Tavi Gevinson, the fashion blogger turned writer and actress once known for her bulky layers and granny glasses. Writing in The Cut recently, Ms. Gevinson described doing a photo shoot at 18. Prompted to pose on her bed, she dressed in a skimpy romper, “pouting,” she recalled, “with heavily lined eyes and straightened blonde hair.” Sure, she was eager to sass up her image. And, she wrote, “if anyone who was there told me the whole setup was my idea, I would believe them.”Ms. Eilish seems similarly inclined to present her metamorphosis as a shrewdly brazen, self-determined update. Some fans are cheering. “She looks just as awesome now as she did in oversized clothing,” Karin Ann Trabelssie, a 19-year-old student from Jelina, in Slovakia, said via text. Like Ms. Eilish, she once evaded scrutiny, hiding a frame she described as curvy under baggy shirts and trousers. Exultant at her idol’s new image, she wrote, “I very rarely see anyone with a similar body type to me do something like this. It’s empowering.”Others feel betrayed. “Before: unique, different, a class of her own,” Stewin @jetztissesraus posted, on Twitter. “After: mainstream, exchangeable, slick and polished. Why?”That question was bound to arise. In an earlier phase of her career, Ms. Eilish could claim the distinction of being a one-off. A stylist, she insisted, had no place in her life. “I could easily just be like, you know what, you’re going to pick out my clothes, someone else will come up with my video treatments, someone else will direct them and I won’t have anything to do with them,” she said in a profile in The New York Times. “But I’m not that kind of person and I’m not that kind of artist.”Yet for Vogue, she placed her trust and vaunted image entirely in a team, one that, as it happens, was led by Dena Giannini, the magazine’s style director, with input from top rung designers including Alessandro Michele of Gucci. Her transformation would seem to suggest that Ms. Eilish is content these days to abandon her formerly maverick stance in favor of a fetish-tinctured bombshell look that seemed hackneyed when Madonna was a girl. If her reinvention poses a risk, it is that of becoming just another cliché. More

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    Lucinda Williams Hopes to Make Live Concert Return in the Summer After Secret 2020 Stroke

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    The ‘Can’t Let Go’ singer reveals that she spent a week in intensive care and a month of therapy at a Nashville hospital after struggling to maintain her balance in the bathroom of her home.

    May 4, 2021

    AceShowbiz –
    Americana singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams is eyeing a summer return to the stage after suffering a secret stroke last year (2020).

    The “Can’t Let Go” star reveals she was hospitalized on November 17 after struggling to maintain her balance in the bathroom of her home in Nashville, Tennessee, and admitted to Vanderbilt Medical Center, where she spent a week in intensive care, before undergoing a month of therapy as an in-patient.

    Luckily, Williams didn’t suffer any speech problems or any lasting brain damage, and is expected to make a full recovery, and she has been working on regaining her strength ever since she was discharged just before Christmas.

    “What happens is your brain gets all… the wires get all crossed and you have to retrain your brain basically, to tell your arm to do whatever it is you’re trying to do,” Williams told Rolling Stone. “So that’s the biggest challenge.”

    Addressing the team of medical aides and therapists who make regular visits to her home, she said, “It feels like we’re in somebody else’s house. I do, like, walking, with the cane and they watch me and see how well I’m doing. And then I have to do hand and arm exercises. It’s really about regaining my strength and mobility, and range of motion. That’s what they work with me on.”

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    Williams and her husband, Tom Overby, have only recently started to tell close friends about the health scare, but the musician was hesitant about making an online announcement because she didn’t want to turn it into a big deal.

    “I thought about going to Facebook, but I didn’t want to make it a big, alarming thing,” she shared. “Because you know how Facebook is – everybody’s like, ‘We’re praying for you and everything,’ you know? I didn’t want people to overreact. I kind of felt like going off the grid a little bit.”

    Williams had to cancel a planned performance at the weekend’s (May 1 and 2) Mile 0 Festival in Key West, Florida due to her ongoing recovery, but she is hoping to be fit enough to make her live concert return this summer.

    “I feel good and positive about playing again. We’ve got some shows scheduled with Jason Isbell for late July and we’re planning on doing those,” she declared. “I don’t know if I’ll stand up and sing or I’ll sit down like an old blues person. But we’ll figure it out.”

    She added, “The main thing is I can still sing. I’m singing my a** off, so that hasn’t been affected. Can’t keep me down for too long.”

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    Kylie Jenner ‘Very Close and Affectionate’ With Travis Scott During His Birthday Party in Miami More