Presley’s rep told The Hollywood Reporter yesterday, “She is completely heartbroken, inconsolable and beyond devastated but trying to stay strong for her 11-year-old twins and her oldest daughter, Riley. She adored that boy. He was the love of her life.” But in a 2014 interview she did with Healthy Living Magazine, Presley said her protectiveness and love for her kids didn’t waver when they got older.
“I am very protective. I just smother them in love and I am also ferociously protective,” she said at the time. “When they get older sometimes I don’t think it ever ends. When they get past 18 I think their problems just get bigger to be honest (laughs); that’s always a struggle. We all are very, very close. The older ones absolutely adore the younger ones and they help me with them. We all kind of hold each other up; we are all each other’s best friends. I’m theirs but I am also their mother.”
Despite the struggle to stay in the same place as her kids, the sole daughter of Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley described her family as “just a normal family.” Presley posted the last family photo featuring Benjamin on Twitter over a year ago in June 2019 with the endearing caption, “Mama Lion with cubs.”
The 27-year-old is survived by his mother, his maternal grandmother Priscilla, his father and singer-songwriter Danny Keough (who divorced Presley in 1994), his 31-year-old sister and actress Riley Keough, and his 11-year-old twin sisters Finley and Harper Lockwood.
If there were a Mount Rushmore of electronic music, Daft Punk’s helmets would surely be blasted into the side of a mountain. But in fact, the robot icons have only have a single No. 1 song to their name.
In the spring of 2013, the anticipation around Daft Punk’s forthcoming LP was kinetic. It had been eight years since the duo’s last studio album, Human After All — a noisy, industrial electro banger that extended the game-changing aural aesthetic of their prior two LPs, 1997’s Homework and 2001’s Discovery.
It had also been seven years since Daft Punk’s seminal 2006 Coachella performance, which is still cited as one of the best shows in the 20-year history of the festival and is considered a gateway moment for the burgeoning rise of dance music in the United States.
So by 2013, dance fans were properly foaming at the mouth for the duo’s fourth studio LP, Random Access Memories. Given the robotic, sleek as chrome sound of Daft Punk’s prior output, however, no one really expected the album’s lead single to be a disco anthem.
But so it went with “Get Lucky.” Featuring vocals from Pharrell Williams and guitar work from Chic’s Nile Rodgers — a key disco pioneer in his own right — the song was a breezy, funky, pick-up line of a dance track. Williams delivered such haiku lyrical come-ons including “the present has no ribbon, your gift keeps on giving, what is this I’m feeling? If you wanna leave I’m with it,” while Rodgers played shuffling guitar over a relaxed drum pattern that altogether sounded more like the soundtrack to a on a sunset yacht cruise than an anthem for the dark clubs that much of Daft Punk’s prior output had inhabited.
Audiences in the electronic scene and well beyond devoured the song, which officially dropped on April 19, 2013. This was also the first day of the second weekend of Coachella 2013, with “Get Lucky” being teased during the first weekend of the fest via a trailer — featuring Daft Punk, Williams and Rodgers playing the song — that was broadcast on the mainstage jumbotrons just before the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ evening set.
“The video caused more excitement that many of the bands playing live across the festival’s six stages,” Billboard reported of the promo in 2013, “re-igniting rumors and raising hopes that the French duo might just make an in-the-flesh appearance on-stage before Coachella closes its gates on Sunday.”
In fact there was no such appearance by the duo at Coachella or anywhere else in advance of the song. (Though Stephen Colbert did recruit a gaggle of celebs including Jeff Bridges, Jimmy Fallon and Bryan Cranston to dance to “Get Lucky” with him after Daft Punk canceled an appearance on The Colbert Report.) But that didn’t stop the song from skyrocketing to center of mainstream consciousness and the top of the charts.
By July 13, 2013,”Get Lucky” was in the midst of spending 13 weeks at No. 1 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, with the run beginning June 1 and lasting through Aug. 24. (At the time, the chart itself was still relatively new to Billboard, debuting five months earlier in January of 2013.)
It was a slam dunk for a track that had been a year and a half in the making. Daft Punk first connected with Rodgers in the late ’90s at a listening party for Homework. When they duo were in New York working on Random Access Memories, they invited him to stop by to the studio, which was in fact the same space where Rodger’s iconic disco act Chic had recorded some of their early work.
Meanwhile, Pharrell met the robots in Paris after hearing that they were working on a project and jonesing to get involved. “If you just want me to play tambourine, I’ll do it,” Williams recalled telling the duo in a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone.
Daft Punk did minimal promo behind Random Access Memories and never toured the album, despite the massive interest. The most notable public performance of “Get Lucky” came at the 2014 Grammy Awards, where the song won for best pop duo/group performance and record of the year, and Random Access Memories picked up another trio of trophies for engineered album, non-classic, dance/electronic album and album of the year.
Playing with Williams, Rodgers and Stevie Wonder, Daft Punk appeared in white suits and helmets and jammed along on a mashup of their own of “Harder Better, Faster, Stronger,” Chic’s “Le Freak” and Wonder’s “Another Star.” Video of the performance might still give you goosebumps. Even Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney were up dancing.
Seven years later and “Get Lucky” remains Daft Punk’s only Hot Dance/Electronic Songs No. 1 or even top 10. If you were there to experience the swirl of excitement and cultural impact of the jam, consider yourself lucky.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama appears on Billboard’s charts for the first time with his debut album release, Inner World.
The album debuts at No. 1 on the New Age Albums chart (dated July 18) and No. 8 on World Albums with 2,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending July 9, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. About half of that sum is via album sales, as the set concurrently debuts at No. 98 on the all-genre Album Sales chart.
Inner World, which was released on the Dalai Lama’s 85th birthday, July 6, features his spoken-word mantras and teachings mixed with music. The music was recorded by New Zealand musicians Junelle and Abraham Kunin.
Dalai Lama is the title given by Tibetan people to the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. The religious name of the current, 14th Dalai Lama, whose vocals appear on the album, is Tenzin Gyatso, who has held the position since 1940.
Per the Associated Press, Junelle Kunin pitched the idea for the album to The Office of His Holiness years ago after trying, unsuccessfully, to find music that paired with his teachings as a form of stress relief. Her offer was initially turned down, until she pitched it again during a 2015 trip to India, when she met the Dalai Lama and handed a letter with her idea to one of his assistants. The Dalai Lama himself later accepted the offer.
The Dalai Lama’s vocals on Inner World are taken from recorded conversations he had with Kunin. He also recites the mantras of the seven Buddhas, which covers such topics as wisdom, courage, healing and children. After finishing the conversations, Junelle’s husband, Abraham, helped create the music and sounds heard on the album.
Notably, Grammy-nominated sitar player Anoushka Shankar, who is the daughter of legendary musician Ravi Shankar, is featured on one of the album’s tracks, “Ama La.”
Get ready for 2020’s next major female collab.
She also shared the colorful cover art for the single, featuring animated sketches of the hit-making duo, and two hands making a pinky promise.
“To Be Young” follows Anne-Marie’s recent single, “Love Me Land,” which dropped last week. See the announcement and cover art below.
Dressed in an orange bra and underwear set from Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty line, the “Motivation” singer posed up against a white screen and added cheeky peach emoji to her caption. “yes, I swear I still make music,” she joked.
Back in November 2019, Normani was named the first-ever brand ambassador for RiRi’s lingerie line. “She exudes confidence and power,” Rihanna said in a statement at the time as to why Normani was the “perfect choice” to rep for Savage X Fenty. “Everything she does is executed with passion and the belief she’s going to kill it. That’s why people gravitate towards her.”
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith came together for a Red Table Talk on Friday (July 10), but the table was turned when he interviewed his wife about recent relationship rumors with singer August Alsina.
She cleared the air and described her previous relationship with the 27-year-old artist as an “entanglement.” Billboard compiled a timeline that unwinds what happened between the three of them.
April 10, 2019 – Alsina denies his remix of Kehlani’s “Nunya” has lyrics about Pinkett Smith.
When the relationship rumors between the two sprung up last spring, he seemed to fuel the fire by dropping a remix of Kehlani’s “Nunya” track with Dom Kennedy from her 2019 EP While We Wait. The official video features his Animoji singing the lyrics while he’s texting someone named Koren, which is the actress’s middle name. He also drops a GIF of Jada in the conversation right when he croons, “You got me feeling like it was an act, you’re just an actress/ Putting on a show ‘cause you don’t want the world to know/ That you lost a man who loved you all along/ Baby, couldn’t we just let this go?”
In a since-deleted Instagram post, he denied the song had anything to do with the 48-year-old star. “So Here’s To Clarity, The Song is not about Jada. It’s simply JUST A SONG , & a free artistic expression of a made up narrative already put in place by its ORIGINAL format,” he wrote at the time. “Thankyou for all of your love around the music & more is to come but please know that Me & my BEST (@jadapinkettsmith )are good!!! & We will always be, 4Life! We’ve been talking eryday while all this has taken place. Now yal stop trippin’. lol ..U know We got BiG LoVe for the Goddess over on this side.”
June 30, 2020 – Alsina talks about his past relationship with Jada in an interview with Angela Yee.
While promoting his third album The Product III: State of Emergency, Alsina sat down with The Breakfast Club radio host Yee not to put the rumors to bed, but to bring them back up. He claimed the Smiths, whom he considers to be “like my family,” had an open marriage and the Bad Boys actor allegedly gave the singer permission to date Jada.
“I actually sat down with Will and had a conversation…. He gave me his blessing,” he told Yee in their hour-long conversation. “And I totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life, and I truly and really, really, deeply loved and have a ton of love for her. I devoted myself to it. I gave my full self to it. So much so that I can die right now, and be ok with knowing that I fully gave myself to somebody…. And some people never get that in this lifetime.”
July 10, 2020 – Pinkett Smith brings herself to the Table to talk about her past relationship with Alsina.
On the most recent episode of her Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk, the Girls Trip actress decided to purge the falsified media narrative about her rumored affair for the sake of healing on both sides. “About four years ago, [I] started a friendship with August. And we actually became really, really good friends. And it all started with him just needing some help,” the talk show host told Will, addressing the singer’s health at the time. Back in 2018, Alsina appeared on the Red Table Talk as a guest where he discussed suffering from an autoimmune disease that attacks his liver and his past addiction to Percocet.
When discussing her and Smith’s temporary separation from their marriage, she debunked the myth about Smith granting Alsina permission to have a relationship with her before calling what the two had by another name. “I got into an entanglement with August,” she declared. “I was in a lot of pain, and I was very broken. In the process of that relationship, I definitely realized that you can’t find happiness outside of yourself.”
July 10, 2020 – Alsina responds to Pinkett Smith’s claims about their past relationship.
Shortly after the Red Table Talk episode aired, the “No Love” singer decided to chime into the trending conversation. “Imagine not knowing how to mind the business that pay you. I catch all the subliminals. (Not just about today) & you can call me whatever you like, Mess is constantly inserting yourself in topics you have nun to do w/. Go play w/ ya MAMMY! Not me!” he wrote on Twitter. “If you have something to say, say it w/ ya CHEST kids. It’s always very perplexing cause I real deal be showing people genuine love. Whole time that envy eating ya lil heart. Anyway, NEXT!!”
July 11, 2020 – 50 Cent puts his two cents into the debacle by sliding into Smith’s DMs.
Leave it 50 Cent to get his own answers. The mega rapper and producer decided to check in with Smith personally after the Red Table Talk episode and posted a screenshot of their PG-13 Instagram direct message conversation where the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor ended up cussing him out. “Da– it’s like that, what i do ?” 50 Cent wrote for the caption, prompting Nelly, 2 Chainz and Lil’ Mo to pat him on the back for winning the “BEST COVO OF 2020 AWARD,” according to the “Hot in Herre” artist.
The “In Da Club” superstar later shared a meme of Smith from a popular, heartbreaking Fresh Prince of Bel-Air scene when Will breaks down in front of Uncle Phil about his absentee father, but someone dubbed his original speech to talk about Pinkett Smith and Alsina’s relationship. “Ain’t like I’mma be sitting up every night asking my wife, ‘When’s August coming over, you know? Who needs him?'” he said per the revised script, which captures Smith’s character now breaking down about his wife in real life having a relationship with the younger singer during their separation.
July 14, 2020 - Charlamagne tha God is Team Will Smith.
The Breakfast Club co-host made his opinion on the situation quite clear during the July 14 episode. “Jada Pinkett Smith was dead-ass wrong,” the co-host said of how the actress responded when Alsina reportedly approached her while he was struggling. “That young man came to her broken, in need of healing and her response is, ‘I wanted to feel good … I hadn’t felt good in a long time?’ So ya slept with him? Never mind how this young man is feeling, you just gotta get yours? That is the epitome of toxic behavior.”
Charlamagne also wasn’t impressed that Pinkett Smith offered advice on her show Red Table Talk, saying that the star “clearly hadn’t done the work on herself.”
July 17 – Alsina sticks by his “exact truth.”
The singer revisited his romance with the actress in an interview on Lil Wayne’s Young Money Radio. During their chat, Alsina told Weezy that he’ll always have feelings for Pinkett Smith: “I will always have love for her as a person. The experience really did help to transform me and really bring out the king in me.”
Alsina also stuck by his claim that Smith had given him permission to date the actor’s wife. “As two men, we had a conversation and that’s what it was,” he explained of the chat he had with the actor. “Everything that I’ve spoken on in my initial interview is and was, and still is, my exact truth.”
July 18, 2020 – Alsina offers his take in new song “Entanglements.”
The crooner took some shots at former flame Pinkett Smith in his new song with Rick Ross, including right in the title. (The actress had referred to her relationship with the singer as an “entanglement” during her Red Table Talk episode earlier in July.) The tune references the two’s relationship with lines such as “That ain’t my girl, but I got the key to the crib and to the car” and “You left your man just to f–k with me and break his heart.” Listen to the song here.