25 Years of Jennifer Lopez: A timeline of the high-highs and the J-Los

25 Years of Jennifer Lopez: A timeline of the high-highs and the J-Los

From 'In Living Color' to 'Jenny From The Block' to 'The Boy Next Door'

Jennifer Lopez is a hustler. Nearly 25 years ago, the former Fly Girl stepped on stage for "In Living Color" and since then her career path has taken her through a flow of entertainment highlights and low lights.

She's been a dancer, singer and songwriter; a comedy, rom-com, horror, voice and drama actress; she's appeared on the small screen and big, and on the biggest stages in the world, and at some of the most prestigious festivals. She's sung in Spanish and English, for an array of pop musics with some of the biggest producers and other vocalists on the planet. She's led shows like "American Idol" and run TV from behind-the-scenes as an executive.

But those many forays haven't been met with 100% pure success. Lopez' career and personal life -- which has, at many times, been closely tied to her work -- has taken some hits.

This week, fans will see horror film "The Boy Next Door" and decide for themselves if it's a high or a low for J-Lo. As for the near-future and the two-and-a-half decades before, we've made a timeline for how the nabe's been for Jenny From The Block.

Read Full Post
Common on how the Ferguson protests inspired a Golden Globes winner
Credit: AP Photo

Common on how the Ferguson protests inspired a Golden Globes winner

John Legend and the rapper took the crown for "Glory": Watch the music video

On the morning he heard his song "Glory" with John Legend had nabbed a Golden Globes nomination, Common told HitFix it was like waking to a wave of positive energy.

"I feel more grateful than ever that I'm a part of 'Selma.' My purpose and John's purpose is to write music to inspire people. We strive to do that. It's in my heart and my soul."

Gospel-lined "Glory" runs over the credits of "Selma," the Ava DuVernay-directed film which also features the Grammy-nominated rapper in actor mode.

And just this past Sunday, the tune won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

It was the only honor that the Martin Luther King-focused film earned this weekend, as it was one of the very few awards to be handed to filmmakers and stars of color (Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu accepted the award for Best Screenplay for "Birdman" and Latina American Gina Rodriguez earned Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy TV Show besides).

As Common and Legend stood at the podium to accept their award, Common reflected on even larger disparities and margins of race in America.

"I realize I am the hopeful black woman who was denied her right to vote. I am the caring white supporter killed on the front lines of freedom. I am the unarmed black kid who maybe needed a hand but instead was given a bullet. I am the two fallen police officers murdered in the line of duty. 'Selma' has awakened my humanity," Common continued. "We look to the future, and we want to create a better world. Now is our time to change the world. 'Selma' is now."

I think a lot of viewers during Golden Globes and other awards shows want to be inspired, to feel in-the-moment with their favorite actors, filmmakers and creators. "Message songs" aren't always the most popular pick of the Globes, but tracks like Bruce Springsteen's "Philadelphia" or ground-breaking black artists like Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder have worked -- and worked hard -- to earn their way into awards fan fabric.

As Common described it to me, the creation of "Glory" in itself required the same hard work and intention, "a blessing of creation toward something that can be impactful."

"It had to be meaningful, a goal to it, a spirit, an intention to create. That's what John Legend brings out in me. It's the power to deliver what you want, beyond what you knew you wanted."

Below is an abridged version of our Golden Globes chat. "Selma" hit theaters on Friday (Jan. 9).

HitFix: "Glory" managed to work in some lyrics about Ferguson and other thoughts surrounding the protests in New York and elsewhere. What was the whole timing behind planning and recording this song?

Common: Me and John began planning all this when Michael Brown (of Ferguson, Mo.) was killed. We began to work on the song in October. So I was aware. I have so much respect for people across America for people to stand up for justice. It came through the writing.

I was thinking how we were working on this movie, and people working to help change the situation, that's what's going on in Ferguson, New York and Chicago. Unfortunately, lives have been lost for no reason, and it has awakened people across the world. The fight is still waging. The war is about creating love and we're doing it in a non-violent way.

Do you feel like hip-hop artists have a responsibility to weigh in on protests and activism?

Hip-hop has played a big role in social consciousness across the world. It affected me as a child and teenager growing up, it helped shape me. But I don't think that a young artist -- unless hey feel it in their hearts -- should have to speak up if they're not feeling it. You really may not have enough information that can benefit the people. You gotta say what you mean, and mean what you say, and be active with it. I hold my self even more accountable. I always rap about change I wanna see coming. I want to be present and active in that change, and organizations that are creating that change.

What I'm saying is we all have a purpose, something we're passionate about, not everybody's voice is supposed to be used for social consciousness. Some artists don't rap about it, but they're active in other ways. Follow your purpose and your path.

Do you consider "Glory" to be a protest song?

I would consider glory an inspirational song, motivational and a sort of protest. It's about justice and love. I always pictured when i heard the piano, that this is not gonna be a rap song. It's hip-hop, but I thought about it like it could be spinning at a rally or a church, or a speech.

"Fight the Power," that's protest music from 25 years ago. Maybe "Black Skinhead" by Kanye [West] has that type of protest to it, he's standing up, he's black and in America. That protest-to-strengthen, that's Kendrick Lamar shouting "I love myself" [in the song "i"].

You're up for some Grammys this year, do you feel like there are any lingering issues in the rap categories?

The Grammys still have the most respected credabilty. It's as high an honor as it can be when it comes to music, to honor and respect the best quality in hip-hop. I think they want to do that,  the [voters] I know. I know they want to honor and respect true hip-hop, and my expectation is  they really do make the effort.

The Grammys are not just about commercial success. They're for purity and truth -- I believed they really are seeking that out. Look at this last year's nominees, they had Kanye, Kendrick, Drake, Macklemore... they're trying.

Read Full Post
Watch this previously unreleased video of Nas with Beastie Boys: 'Too Many Rappers'

Watch this previously unreleased video of Nas with Beastie Boys: 'Too Many Rappers'

Y'all crab rappers.

Why are your brains on the floor? Because your head exploded. Your head exploded because here is a music video with Nas and all the Beastie Boys together.

"Too Many Rappers" came off of "The Hot Sauce Committee, Part 2," from 2011. Had video editor Neal Usatin not posted it to his personal website, we would have not know the Roman Coppola-directed video even existed.

The video is among one of the last times Adam "MCA" Yauch appeared onscreen before he died in 2012. The surviving Beasties members Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Adrock” Horovitz have been pretty quiet since then.


Read Full Post
That new Kelly Clarkson song you wanted is here
Credit: RCA

That new Kelly Clarkson song you wanted is here

'Heartbeat Song' is the offical first single off of new album 'Piece By Piece'

Kelly Clarkson's showing her latest "Pieces" to the world with new single "Heartbeat Song."

The Original American Idol (TM) keeps things pretty tame and light on this radio-ready track, which was produced by frequent collaborator Greg Kurstin. Melodically and sonically, it's a pretty firm mix of Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle" and Demi Lovato's "Heart Attack."

Seriously. Try singing "It just takes some time, little girl..."

"Heartbeat Song" is the first single off of Clarkson's sixth studio album of originals, "Piece By Piece." The RCA press release was a little cryptic on details, but we're thinking early Spring; it is the follow-up to her last "Stronger."

As previously reported here, HitFix favorite composer Joe Trapanese's orchestral arrangements should be showing up all over the place on "Piece By Piece."

Read Full Post
Questions and answers: The 2015 Coachella lineup

Questions and answers: The 2015 Coachella lineup

On Steely Dan, AC/DC, Drake and more

The lineup for the two-weekend 2015 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival is out: earning top billing is AC/DC on Friday, Jack White on Saturday and Drake on Sunday.

Tame Impala, Interpol, Steely Dan, Alesso, Alabama Shakes, Ride (reunion!), Nero; The Weeknd, Axwell ^ Ingrosso, alt-J, Belle & Sebastian, Ratatat, Hozier; Florence + The Machine, Kaskade, Ryan Adams, David Guetta and St. Vincent are also toplining the fest.

Look at the entire 2015 Coachella lineup -- by day, even! -- here.

The Indio, Calif.-hosted event runs April 10-12 and 17-19 in 2015.

Wait, who were the headliners in years previous?

Outkast (Fri), Muse (Sat) and Arcade Fire (Sun) in 2014. Stone Roses and Blur, Phoenix and Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2013. The Black Keys, Radiohead and Snoop Dogg/Dr. Dre in 2012. Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire, and Kanye West and the Strokes in 2011. Jay Z, Muse and Gorillaz in 2010.

So am I right in thinking AC/DC as headliners are kind of old?

Acts like Paul McCartney (2009) and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and Prince (2008) have also headlined. So it's not the first time. But, yes, they're old and it's kind of a weird move. 


I agree, it is really weird, particularly since AEG/Goldenvoice (the organizers behind Coachella) don't have financial ties to AC/DC's success. But my guess is this: while Coachella has earned a reputation for sparking reunions and revivals, this may mark a year for a departing act. AC/DC was rumored to be calling it quits this past year. "Rock or Bust," their latest album, was the first to not feature founding member Malcolm Young, who has been suffering demential. Drummer Phil Rudd was arrested for a litany of really screwed up charges and his future with the band remains unknown. Angus Young swore up and down that the band would charge forward but... retirement may be on the horizon. Again.

Steely Dan's playing, too, so it's a classic rock year?

Two makes a trend! Steely Dan, agreed again, is a super weird troupe to toss into the mix. (I would have thought Fleetwood Mac was in it to win it, frankly.)

But they're Dad Rock. They're not exactly a college-aged-girls-with-laurel-crowns-in-their-hair act.

First, there are plenty of women who love The Dan, Straw Man. Cough.

And second, the fact that Steely Dan is practically an anti-Coachella act is a pretty brilliant move on organizers' part. As with all recent years, Coachella sells out before the lineup is even announced. Organizers aren't selling they lineup, they're selling the experience. Steely Dan's concerts can admittedly hot and cold, with some pretty insane in-song and between-song banter on Donald Fagen's part. You're not gonna see the band "collaborate" -- like a Beck superjam, or Mary J. Blige stopping in for a guest verse -- because SD treats their concert experience like their in-studio experience: working only with the greatest performers and studio hands possible.

So maybe "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" or "Reelin' In The Years" are the only "hits" some of the Coachella kids will have "heard" from the jazz-rockes. But there's a guarantee of a sonic and performance-oriented experience that no DJ behind a deck can offer. Can you imagine the backup singers they'll bring for "Kid Charlemagne?" Or the sneering Walter Becker has planned for "Black Friday?" Steely Dan thinks this booking is as hilarious as you do.

Speaking of dude-rock, am I right in thinking there's not a lot of women-led acts on the marquee?

St. Vincent, Alabama Shakes and St. Vincent are the only artists to get second-line billing. Azaelia Banks, Lykke Li, Immaculate Noise favorite FKA Twigs and Marina and the Diamonds are the only ladies to get third line.

This is typical. It doesn't make it right. Again, the fest sells out before a lineup is even announced. There should be a band called Steely Denise.

Who are all those single-word names I don't recognize?

They're DJs. I'll see you in that tent.

Wasn't Jack White everywhere last year?

Yes, which is why this is another question-mark booking. The former White Stripe headlined at NUMEROUS festivals in 2014 -- including Bonnaroo, Governor's Ball, Osheaga and Forecastle -- which makes Coachella feel a little bit like sloppy seconds. For a festival that gets first-of-the-year fresh dibs for a weekend in April, it's strange that the "Lazaretto" victory lap would get a second (third?) wind in Indio.

White is a clever mastermind of the live band recipe. He's produced quite a few other artists' records lately. I'd look out for this one as "surprise guest" central.

I thought that was Drake's title.

Which makes me wonder if Drake is willing to give Coachella as much effort as he does his own OVO Festival. What his addition means is that this spring may be high time for the kick off to his next, and very-much-anticipated new album "Views from the 6." He's probably not holding on to that set until October('s Very Own).

The Weeknd is playing Coachella weekend too, so look for their party van.

What are the other notable reunions or farewells are happening?

Ride and Drive Like Jehu reformed for this meeting. Raekwon and Ghostface Killah are stepping away from all the Wu-Tang drama and negativity together. Gesaffelstein (French techno dreamboat) says Coachella will be his last live show ever.

Where else have I heard his name?

He produced two tracks for a little-known artist named Kanye West on his last album "Yeezus."

Did we mention Drake and The Weeknd are gonna be there?

Is there old-school EDM in the mix?

Boy is there ever. This is one of the best years in that regard: Doc Martin, Danny Tenaglia, Marques Wyatt, Guy Gerber, Erol Alkan, Annie Mac and Pete Tong, the amazing Carl Craig and Dubfire and Loco Dice will all be on hand.

What's the No. 1 act I shouldn't miss?

DJ Snake. You'll hear it from the middle of the country.

Read Full Post
Shia LaBeouf heard Sia was into weird, so now we're here: 'Elastic Heart' music video

Shia LaBeouf heard Sia was into weird, so now we're here: 'Elastic Heart' music video

Maddie Ziegler from the 'Chandelier' music video is back

Shia LaBeouf's choreography lessons for his nude-and-dancing appearance in Sigur Ros' "Fjögur Píanó" music video has helped him to double down: the actor/director co-stars in yet another dancing-oriented video, this time for Sia's "Elastic Heart."

Sia's pint-sized stand-in Maddie Ziegler -- who stole and crushed hearts in the "Chandelier" music vid -- offers another outstanding performance. Let's compare "Elastic Heart" to "Chandelier":

Shia may have saved up all that crying he did in "Fury" in a little jar and reintroduced it here, but as a combo, I'm moved.

And now let's compare "Elastic Heart" to "Fjögur Píanó":

I have bruises and I don't even know how I got them.

And while we're on the subject of dirty dancing: compare the filth and fight of "Elastic Heart" to Pink's incredible "

I'm exhausted now, aren't you?

"Elastic Heart" is off of Sia's 2014 effort "1000 Forms of Fear."

Read Full Post
21 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2015 We're Actually Excited About

21 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2015 We're Actually Excited About

... and many more. Read up on Kanye, Faith No More, Madonna and... maybe Adele?

Thousands up on thousands of albums came out in 2014, and just as many are due for 2015. There are some we just don't know much about yet -- like those from big names including Rihanna, Kanye West and Adele.

Acts like Faith No More, Giorgio Moroder and Sleater-Kinney have reformed or come out of retirement and dutifully outlined their plans. More mysterious artists like Frank Ocean, Radiohead and Bjork have only given snippets or hints of their activities.

Check out what may be in store for Kanye West, Belle & Sebastian, Drake, Modest Mouse, Kendrick Lamar, Gwen Stefani, Beach House, Miguel and others in the new year. Whose album are you most excited for this year?

Read Full Post
New Kanye West song 'Only One' isn't one you want, but one you're getting

New Kanye West song 'Only One' isn't one you want, but one you're getting

Ballad is a collaboration with Paul McCartney

kanye-west" class="autolink">Kanye West kicked off 2015 with the release of a new song, "Only One. And if you thought the start to the Kanye West hype machine would bow with a balled, you'd be the only one.

But that's what you're getting, Yeezy fans. West collaborated with Paul McCartney for this sentimental and sometimes meandering little journey, and you can hear the former Beatle's influence poking out and laying it on thick throughout. West is singing and not rapping at the least here, which is definitely opposite the mode he was in for 2013's "Yeezus."

While I am not particularly keen on West returning to the auto(tune) zone like he spent much of "808s & Heartbreak" in, he always has had a way with lyrics when it comes to his family and matters of the heart. One could write a book on how the Chicago-bred producer and rap star has spun his mother on the page (during her life and definitely after her death); here, the song is sung from mom Donda's perspective in heaven, as an ode to Ye's first daughter North.

Zombie Mom/Kanye West as medium may not be a homerun, but "Only One" is oddly endearing, in its seeming improvisations, the timing of the thing, the undercooked nature of its combination with Macca. After all, it's Kanye: he'd rather die than simply give fans what they expect.

What do you think of the song?

Read Full Post
10 Weirdest Music Videos Of 2014

10 Weirdest Music Videos Of 2014

From Mastodon and Die Antwoord, to 'Turn Down for What' and the 'Chick Chick' song

Not all music videos are created equal. Some are way weirder than others.

It is an impossible task to find every strange music video that arrived out of the corners of the internet in 2014. Certainly, some from overseas could take the cake of any psychedelic manifestations made here in the U.S.A. Lady Gaga's weird or Kylie Minogue's weird may not hold a candle to the strange trip your cousin's funk-rock band whipped up in their basement with a green screen and a fly swatter. 

But here's at least 10 of some of the weirdest clips to fly across our bow this year. Some are, like, why? Others are, like, how? Some are, like, "Why does my brain not have an 'erase' function?"

Read Full Post
Katie Hasty's Top 50 Albums of 2014

Katie Hasty's Top 50 Albums of 2014

FKA Twigs, Sylvan Esso, Sturgill Simpson, Aphex Twin and more

This isn't even a representation of what I listened to the most.

Top 10 and Top Albums list at year-end can be a popularity contest. They can be just another way to celebrate singles artists. It could be about enjoying the brand just as much as the album itself. Top 10s can be a metaphor for feelings.

Objectively, you can't say there's such thing as a definitive way to go-about making a year-end list. It can waver year to year: last year, I'd say my choices felt like they were all about color and boldness. This year, for me, it felt like it was all about discord.

FKA Twigs is not for everybody, but  "LP1" simply was one of the most put-together, challenging sets that moved me this year. I can't listen to the damned thing just any time. That wasn't how I marked it. Young Fathers basically made an album that was all my favorite depressing things all in one joyful place. Perfect Pussy's "Say Yes to Love" sounds like it was recorded in a tile bathroom with a holy purpose among seething band members. What a beautiful thing. I can't get anything done when I listen to Aphex "Syro." And so on.

I look forward to the "What, you don't have [XYZ Artist] on your list? God is dead and your life is sham!" comments every year. Tell me what you loved in 2014.

1. FKA twigs, "LP1"
2. Young Fathers, "Dead"
3. Aphex Twin, "Syro" Warp
4. Perfect Pussy, "Say Yes To Love"
5. Run The Jewels, "RTJ2"
6. Sylvan Esso, "Sylvan Esso"
7. Sturgill Simpson, "Metamodern Sounds In Country Music"
8. Flying Lotus, "You're Dead"
9. Godflesh, "A World Lit Only By Fire"
10. My Brightest Diamond, "This Is My Hand"
11. D'Angelo, "Black Messiah"
12. Statik Selektah, "What Goes Around"
13. YOB, "Clearing the Path to Ascend"
14. Tinashe, "Aquarius"
15. Parquet Courts, "Sunbathing Animal"
16. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, "Piñata"
17. Jessie Ware, "Tough Love"
18. Luluc, "Passerby"
19. Frankie Cosmos, "Zentropy"
20. Clark, "Clark"
21. Moodymann, "Moodymann"
22. Kelis, "Food"
23. Swans, "To Be Kind"
24. East India Youth, "Total Strife Forever"
25. MØ, "No Mythologies to Follow"
26. Caribou, "Our Love"
27. Beyonce, "Beyonce"
28. The Phantom Band, "Strange Friend"
29. Schoolboy Q, "Oxymoron"
30. Shellac, "Dude Incredible"
31. Miranda Lambert, "Platinum"
32. St. Vincent, "St. Vincent"
33. Vince Staples, "Hell Can Wait"
34. Asgeir, "In the Silence"
35. Future, "Honest"
36. The War on Drugs, "Lost in the Dream"
37. Hozier, "Hozier"
38. Hurray for the Riff Raff, "Small Town Heroes"
39. Charli XCX, "Sucker"
40. J. Cole, "2014 Forest Hills Drive"
41. Angel Olsen, "Burn Your Fire For No Witness"
42. Ex Hex, "Rips"
43. Pharrell, "G I R L"
44. Eyehategod, "Eyehategod"
45. Mr. Gnome, "The Heart of a Dark Star"
46. Perfume Genius, "Too Bright"
47. Steve Dawson, "Rattlesnake Cage"
48. Ought, "More Than Any Other Day"
49. Beck, "Morning Phase"
50. Prince, "Art Official Age"

Read Full Post