“The people united will never be defeated” is a phrase usually reserved for protests and rallies but, today, it’s also the best way to sum up M.A.C. cosmetic’s big announcement. No, not the mysterious Nicki Minaj project. The other one.
Two years and 26,000 signatures on a petition later, the makeup brand finally announced they’re creating a collection to honor the late singer Aaliyah. In a brief email statement, they didn’t mince words, saying: “You made it happen!”
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Damn right we did. The project began with a Change.org petition backed by Aaliyah’s brother and estate and grew into a huge Instagram account almost 18,000 followers strong that imagined what the products would look like. The announcement also couldn’t come at a better time, as tomorrow marks the 16th anniversary of the R&B singer’s death.
You can find just about anything on Etsy these days, but why would you want to spend all day looking through the weirdest and most shambolic corners of the site when you can just have people on the Internet show you all the best stuff? ReadyToStare, an Etsy store from Chicago-based jewelry designer Alysse Dalessandro, has been making the rounds online thanks to her signature item: stud earrings with an image of R. Kelly crying decoupaged on to them. The things is though, while R. Kelly is an artist certainly worth preserving in accessories and an icon, especially in the artist’s hometown of Chicago, why the crying? Certainly, there is a better image of Kells in happier times that would be more effective as a set of earrings. Also, people will probably wear them ironically and totally ruin the magic, but hey, what can you do?
But while the Kells earrings will probably get all the attention in Dalessandro’s store, she has also created stud-earring decoupage tributes to late R&B legend Aaliyah and also-legendary trio TLC. The TLC set, which features all three members in their prime and Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes wearing her trademark eye makeup, are particularly awesome. Dalessandro should really consider matching cufflinks, for the most awesome matching wedding parties/graduates/prom groups ever. Your wallet’s telling you no, but your body, your body’s telling you yes.
In case you haven’t heard by now, it sounds like Drake is going to serve as the executive producer of Aaliyah’s forthcoming posthumous album. Using previously unreleased Baby Girl vocals, Drizzy has quite the task ahead of him. He needs to do everything he can to honor the legacy of Aaliyah and create an album that’s worthy of being placed next to the stuff she put out before her untimely death in 2001.
But, that’s not all. He also needs to do it while many of Aaliyah’s biggest fans criticize the fact that Timbaland and Missy Elliott aren’t the executive producers on the project. After all, they were largely responsible for much of her success, so why weren’t they picked to produce her posthumous album? That’s what they’re both wondering—and what we’re sure many of you are wondering, too.
● Drake told the UK’s Tim Westwood that he has "some great Aaliyah news coming soon,” precipitating rumors that he might be involved with that whispered-about posthumous Aaliyah album. [RapFix]
● The Hunger Games has sparked archery fever in New York City, where the Education Department has green-lighted a new P.E. program that will let kids try their best to be like Katniss. [NYP]
● Taylor Swift notched a second consecutive Entertainer of the Year award at yesterday’s Academy of Country Music Awards, an event to which she went solo as her date was not well enough to make it. Later in the evening, she met Michelle Obama at the Kids’ Choice Awards on Saturday. Not such a bad weekend! [HuffPost]
● Carrie Brownstein, formerly of Sleater-Kinney and currently of Wild Flag and Portlandia, has added a memoir about her life in music to her already long list of projects for the next year. [RS]
● Please, as cute as they may be, no more dying chicks for Easter. [NYT]
● Word has it that, whereas before it was for money, Kris Humphries is now refusing to sign divorce papers until Kim Kardashian admits that the whole marriage was a scam. [PageSix]
● Activist Naomi Wolf is calling bluff on Katy Perry’s Semper Fi-happy video for "Part of Me." Calling the video a "glorification of violence" and "propaganda for the Marines," Wolf wrote in a Facebook post that, “I really want to find out if she was paid by them for making it… it is truly shameful." [NYDN]
● This comes hardly as a shock, but word has it that Snooki has gone and gotten engaged to her baby dady, Jionni. [People]
● Odd Future’s Frank Ocean and the Roc’s new girl, Rita Ora, have been tapped to open for Coldplay on the band’s stadium tour through Europe this summer. [Rap-Up]
● Kim Kardashian let wedding guests know in a thank you note that she has donated twice the value of what she received in gifts to the Dream Foundation. Who says good things can’t come of 72-day weddings? [Us]
● At last, a Hunger Games-inspired fitness plan for all those hoping to be strong like a Career or swift like Katniss. [VF]
● Charlie Sheen is back to work, this time using his mad man rep to shill teeny-tiny but oh-so-expensive Fiats. [Time]
● Is there a posthumous Aaliyah album on the way? [Prefix]
● "I find it really funny how a company can lose one of their actress’ from the pressures of an EATING DISORDER and yet still make joke about that very disease," Demi Lovato tweeted, calling out her former employers, Disney, for a joke made on the show Shake it Up about how “I could just eat you up, well if I ate." Disney has since pulled the problematic episodes, saying that "It’s NEVER our intention to make light of eating disorders!" Rather, they prefer to quietly harbor them in their young actresses like Lovato. [NYDN]
● One of Lady Gaga’s former assistants is sueing the Queen Monster, claiming that she is owed $380,000 in overtime pay and hinting that Gaga was, as you might expect, an impossibly needy boss. [TMZ]
● Dido is just now letting it be known that she — apparently very quietly! — gave birth to a baby boy named Stanley last summer. [NME]
● Donald Trump has officially changed his voter registration from Republican to unaffiliated, keeping open the option to run as an Independent in case the wrong Republican wins the nomination and he’s needed to save the country. [MSNBC]
● Word has it that Jay-Z’s restaurant, the 40/40 Club, has "renovations and technological upgrades" in the works. To a new year! [Page Six]
The week in entertainment has been a tailspin. Besides unexpected earthquakes and the threat of Hurricane Irene hovering over the east coast, Steve Jobs resigned, Jim Carrey recorded creepy messages for Emma Stone, DMX got arrested for the zillionth time, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IVleaked, Game’s R.E.D. album finallydebuted, and Kim Kardashian’s sex tape is more in demand that ever. What I would give to rewind a decade, when catching the premiere of Aaliyah’s latest video was all that mattered.
Aaliyah passed away 10 years ago today, August 25, 2001, in a tragic plane crash in the Bahamas. Silly as it might sound, many of us can recall where we were the moment the news came through. Besides the loss of her immense talent, the most difficult thing to digest was that Aaliyah was only 22 years old when she died, with so much left to accomplish. Today we took a stroll down memory lane by reviewing her video catalog, and are left with one important question: Who do we have to bribe to get these videos redone in hi-definition?