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A Note of Admiration: Britney Spears

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Many people can’t understand what strength, inspiration and encouragement can come from idolizing superficial pop stars…. Namely, Britney Spears. But I’ve grown up with her as a role model most of my life. And no, I am not a dancer or a singer, but she’s been one of the only figures in my life I’ve had to comfort my uncertainties and empower me when I’ve had to find the answers on my own. It’s hard to explain unless you, too, relate to what I’m about to say…

You’ve never seen Britney Spears on a talk-circuit shouting “you’re beautiful and worth it” like many other public figures in history seem to campaign for their “inspiring” image. No, that’s too on-the-nose for Britney and myself. I was in elementary and middle school and learning about life — I can’t say I didn’t have friends, but I CAN say I was bullied worse than most kids at my school. Then after growing up, being bullied in school was traded for a few abusive relationships… Now, you still might be lost as to where Britney’s lack of “Firework” and “Born This Way” anthems played a part in the empowerment of her fans and myself..

So I will break it down as concise and quickly as possible.

Staying Positive

Britney Spears’ worldwide success came nearly overnight. And after all the awards won and all the records she was breaking — it was always EQUALLY followed with critics mocking her, calling her talentless and begging for her career to end. The time was grossly notorious for making Britney the butt of every joke. Being bullied as a kid feels exactly the same… Like walking into a room with a huge confident smile then immediately being greeted with laughs and paper wads thrown at you… And sometimes… It wasn’t just a “feeling” (thank you ELA class – sixth grade).  Seeing Britney avoid most of the criticisms and ignoring the countless and unwarranted insults by continuing to stay true to the art and the things that made her happy was exactly what I needed to witness at the time.

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No one can make a scene like Britney Spears.

landscape-1449074995-hbz-britney-spears-indexWe forget that most of our problems, worries, and pain are temporary. Someone telling us that “it gets better” for every time we’ve hurt becomes synonymous eventually. We’ve heard it all before… There’s no actual working response-advice for every problem. What worked for me is having Britney’s albums to come home to, her smile in her pictures, and her music videos endlessly rotating on MTV. I’ve come home and cried about my day alone in my room before playing some of Britney’s music. After a few songs or music videos, there’s no doubt that the investment she occupies in your senses — the sparkly dresses, beauty and spontaneous dance routines — can overtake any bad day. To add to my last point, Britney never took the stage to lay all of her problems on it. She used the stage as a place to separate art from reality. Her performances gave the audience an altered sense of reality. A much more pleasant and sexy one.

Resilience

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There’s no picture I’m more proud of than the smile she dons here on the December 2008 issue of Rolling Stone. “Britney Returns”

There’s not a story in pop music of someone as triumphant as Britney Spears. The breakdown, pain and abuse Britney was subjected to between 2005-2008 bares no reason to revisit other than the fact that she OVERCAME THEM ALL. There’s going to come a time in your life that you feel that every single thing has fallen apart and there’s no way to correct the mistakes you’ve made. And Britney is a testament to that: Although it may feel like it can’t get any lower, it will. But you have to persevere. And no one, NO ONE, has shown their resilience to do so like Britney has. If that can’t prove to you that the worse is yet to come.. But it will also pass… Then maybe this note isn’t for you.  

And maybe this is the part where I’m realizing this note is for me. 

I’ve been in a three-year slump of bad decisions; bad luck; bad relationships; bad habits; and countless people and situations that have made me feel like the best is all behind me. It’s not. And reminding myself what adversities Britney Spears has overcome to live a successful and fulfilling life solidifies why Britney Spears has always been an unknowing support system my entire life. And as I sit here, nearing an opporunity and chance to change my lifestyle and career for the better, I can proudly say that it is Britney Spears empowering me to do so.

So if you didn’t quite understand how someone can look up to someone so “superficial” and “shallow” like Britney Spears before this letter, hopefully you can now.

A note to you. A note to me. A note to Britney.

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Dating Apps See MAJOR Surge in #Hosting users after Britney Spears Asks, “Do You You Wanna Come Over?”

Get yourself an intimate #GloryListeningParty planned tonight!!

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“Nobody should be alone if they don’t have to be!”

Okay, so the data and statistics might not be officially public or certain, but there’s no doubt that after listening to Britney Spears’ new album GLORY  dating app users are more inclined for the company of a sexy someone “coming over!” The album’s sensual vibe and one of its many standouts, “Do You Wanna Come Over“, will have even Grindr’s most modest users updating their headlines to #HostingTonight!

Britney Spears’ newest album is available TONIGHT and its her best yet! Check out my glorious review here. Download the album here — and stream it when it becomes available on streaming services tonight at 12:00AM EST. And if you’re feeling racy enough, don’t be shy, get yourself on Tinder or Grindr and ask, “DO YOU WANNA COME OVER?!” 

 

Buy ‘GLORY’ on iTunes HERE!

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ALBUM REVIEW: Britney Spears – ‘Glory’

GLORY is IN THE ZONE and BLACKOUT’s sophisticated and refined older sister.

…or immaculate child. You pick.

 

You guys, when I tell you that Britney Spears’ new album induced goosebumps from start to finish, I am not lying. This album is no joke. 

When the album starts Britney is literally introducing your ears to an acoustic equivalent of HEAVEN with “Invitation“! The production is the most angelic and inspiring sound Britney has possibly ever done. “Here’s my invitation, baby // hope it sets us free // to know each other better.” She’s inviting us in to get to know her better!? HAVE WE ENTERED INTO THE PERSONAL SPACE THAT ‘BRITNEY JEAN‘ MISSED THE MARK ON? The answer is, “YES!”

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Circus‘ was great; ‘Femme Fatale‘ was great; ‘Britney Jean‘ was great…. But there was always something missing in those albums. They were dance-pop perfection and formulaic collections of straight-forward pop songs and the occasional ballad. But no matter how perfect those pop anthems felt to the body, they never reached the heart. (Not always a bad thing because we get songs like “Till the World Ends” from that! It’s an anthem!) But until you listen to ‘Glory’ you will discover that every song on the album has a magic and heart that was missing in her three prior albums — as if she was almost phoning-in on songs that were chosen for her before. Britney takes her power back and is definitely the driving force on this album. And this feels as if she’s singing directly and intimately into your ear. If that even makes any sense!? Her voice is undistorted and extremely clear throughout this album. These vocals are so pure and powerful.. And not in a Christina or Demi kind of way. It’s in a very confident and assertive manner. There’s not a single doubt that Britney took her time with each and every song on this album with pretense to connect to it more than any of her other albums. You can’t get much more personal than that!

 

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If you loved Selena Gomez’s ‘Revival’… ‘Glory’ is that album on steroids + soaking in Cristal champagne + covered in diamonds and multiplied to the Nth degree… 

After “Invitation” the album makes its seductive way through “Make Me…” and “Private Show” that have been previewed since July. Then we delve back into the album’s magic again when the fourth track “Man On The Moon” begins. “I can’t compete with the stars in the sky // I’m invisible.” — The song is euphoric! A majority of the instruments and elements on this album are organic which gives its listener the most full-bodied experience from it. “Just Luv Me” is easily the album’s centerpiece. “I’m gonna keep it really simple – real simple // Just luv me.” — A lyric all fans of Britney Spears should take into consideration. All deep-criticisms, dissections and expectations from Britney should be put aside so that we can continue to appreciate and love her brilliance in current presentations.giphy

The album expands with a cohesive sound and style that is fine-tuned better than any of her albums. The songs presented individually (i.e. her 4 previewed tracks) sound like they are from different planets. However, the mastering of this album is so well that every song feels like a single continuation. The tempo is personal (mid) throughout but still graduates into a full-on dance club beats within its tracks… And when it does — IT’S PHENOMENAL! “Love Me Down” and “What You Need” will put a clap in you so quick you’ll have no choice but sing along. The Deluxe version of the album has standouts “Change your Mind (No Seas Cortes)” and “Liar” but it bats completely out of the park with “If I’m Dancing“! This track is absolutely B-A-N-A-N-A-S! “Coupure Électrique” closes the album with mysteriously budding bass features and completely French lyrics. Coupure électrique translates into “blackout” by the way. Could this album be anymore iconic?! No!

This is possibly Britney Spears’ best album ever! The VOCALS, PRODUCTION, LYRICS AND ALL-TOGETHER BALANCE as a complete album make it one of her finest pieces of work.

 

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Pre-Order ‘Glory’ right now on iTunes! The album will be available everywhere August 26th! Buy a copy for every person in your life that you wish to bless with the GLORY of Britney Spears! And make sure you tune into her appearance on Carpool Karaoke with James Cordon this Thursday and her PERFORMANCE at the 2016 MTV Music Video Awards this Sunday!

Let me know what you think of my review and your own thoughts of the album on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Collaborative Playlist: Vol 2. “High-Intensity Cardio Motivation”

This month’s theme was:

INTENSE songs to work out to

I enjoyed collaborating last month on a playlist so much, I decided to make it a monthly project! This month I asked for help creating a playlist for the gym and running tracks. I got a lot of throwbacks and some great dance tracks. The playlist came together perfectly. I got so many responses! I field tested the playlist this morning and approved it myself! So all the songs are cardio-approved. The playlist ends with Enya‘s “Only Time” — I added that for the final cardio resting period… The suggestion was more playful than serious, but I wanted to make sure I incorporate all the suggestions you guys gave!

Check out the playlist below and FOLLOW it on Spotify!

 

Make sure to participate next month in my next playlist collaboration!

Follow my personal spotify account HERE to see the latest playlists from The Pop Pyro! And follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

3 Things Britney Spears will do at the Billboard Music Awards to steal the show!

No one does a memorable awards show performance quite like BRITNEY SPEARS!

 

In just three short days, the 2016 Billboard Music Awards will air on ABC at 8PM EST. The lineup of pop diva performances is simply unheard of this decade. P!nk, Demi Lovato, Rihanna and Fifth Harmony are just a FEW of the esteemed performers (full list here) that are sure to bring relief to the drought of high-energy and extravagant pop performances that the industry has been missing. And if the return of multifaceted female pop performers to the Billboard Awards stage isn’t enough to make you drool, Britney Spears and Celine Dion will be given top honors and subsequent performances!

Celine Dion has persevered from a very difficult year already and will give a very powerful performance of the classic Queen song, “The Show Must Go On.” But it is Britney Spears who will plant the flag onstage and reclaim her rightful place on the awards show stage while setting the bar high and for what it means to be an all-encompassing-fierce-pop-diva-superstar-electrifying-smash-force to be reckoned with! OMG! [catches breath]

How do I know this? Well it’s simple and I’ll provide a quick 3-point list that will tell you what exactly Britney will do this Sunday to make the biggest impact and buzz-worthy moments at the show.

 

Here are the 3 things Britney Spears will do:

1.) SHOW UP

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Britney’s effortless talent at being the center of attention.

Britney Spears‘ presence is literally so powerful, magnetic and captivating (don’t forget; also a ratings phenomenon) that she’s a shoe-in for being the most talked about entertainer of the night by default.

2.) OPEN THE SHOW

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Britney will have prime real estate as the show’s opening number. Although the show confidently boasts no shortage of star powered performances, it’s highly doubtful any of them will top the magic that Britney possesses. tumblr_nqo0ixYsDn1u50xuco2_500

3.) MOP THE FLOOR WITH HER TALENT

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When the first beat hits during her performance it will be the moment every B-Army fan, and naysayer alike, will choke on the mediocre laurels they’ve been resting on and be blessed with the unrequited talent they’ve been too blind to ask for. Britney’s dance moves are in tip-top shape and she has the music catalog to back it up. So the T-Mobile arena on Sunday night is going to wish it had a bigger stage after she’s done with it!

The basic moral of this story: Britney Spears is going to slay the fuck out of viewers on Sunday night! 

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Now, its your civil duty as a fan of pop divas to express your love and commentary of the performances during the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night! Attend my online viewing party via Facebook to share your live reactions and opinions of the show with myself and other fans! Join below!

JOIN THE POP PYRO’S BBMA VIEWING PARTY HERE!

And make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

DEBUT: Follower Collaboration Playlist! Vol. 1

The first ever playlist collaboration has been made! The theme/question was:

“THE LAST SONG YOU LISTENED TO.”

Yesterday I had a #QuestionOfTheDay that asked follwers of The Pop Pyro on Facebook to leave a comment of the last song by a female pop artist they listened to. I then compiled all of the responses and made a Spotify playlist so that everyone can see what each other are currently listening to! It boasts over 2.5 hours of music for your enjoyment! And naturally, it includes a large block of Britney Spears tracks. But it also includes a ton of dance hits and some delightful throwbacks! This turned out to be a great playlist to refer to when you can’t decide on what to listen to. It has everything! 

Check out and FOLLOW the playlist below!

Make sure to participate next month in my next playlist collaboration!

Follow my personal spotify account HERE to see the latest playlists from The Pop Pyro! And follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

RANK EVERY BRITNEY SPEARS SONG EVER!

Discover your DEFINITIVE ranking of every Britney Spears song from favorite to least favorite.

“What’s your favorite Britney Spears song?”

The hardest decision for any Britney Spears fan to make is finally answered with a thorough algorithm! This “Britney Spears Song Sorter” was made by an incredibly thoughtful Britney stan on Tumblr! This page will ask you which song you like more from two songs (official Britney album tracks).

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Screenshot preview of the “Britney Spears Song Sorter”

 

This is NOT a song sorter for the casual fan. This sorter also tests your familiarity with every official Britney Spears song. If you’re prepared to finally discover your FAVORITE BRITNEY SPEARS SONG EVER, head on over to the Tumblr page:

CLICK HERE TO GO TO

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THE BRITNEY SONG SORTER

When you are done you will be given an entire list of every Britney Spears song sorted from your personal favorite to your least favorite.

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Sample Results from The Britney Song Sorter

Have fun B-Army!

Screenshot your results and post them back to me here on on any social network! Follow The Pop Pyro on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

 

Comparing Britney Spears To Her Younger Self Is Holding You Back

“Britney Spears can’t dance like she used to.”

…It starts there. It’s bad enough when a naysayer says her talent is gone. But it’s just as bad watching fans constantly waiting for Britney Spears to “dance like she used to” so they can have strong evidence to proudly argue, “SHE’S BACK!”

Truth is: Britney Spears has been “back” since 2008 when she released her album ‘Circus’ less than a year after her wildly publicized breakdown.

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She’s really never been gone. But it seems like the anticipation and whispers proceeding each of her post-‘In The Zone’ albums have been whether or not she still has “it.” Every album since has been referred to as a “comeback” and that should end now; starting with the Britney-Army. Fans are holding themselves back from enjoying Britney’s new music and performances by having apprehensions and irrational performance standards towards her. If you’re waiting for Britney to released another “Toxic” or “Slave 4 U” then you are always going to be let down and disappointed because that is just never going happen. These expectations are not allowing us to receive innovative and envelope-pushing music that have made her music so successful in the past. When fans steamroll the direction for an artist by challenging them to give them exactly what they want, it usually fails. Much like Britney’s “Work Bitch,” both the song and video were the magnum opus of her most-recognized style but it failed to have the huge success that was expected by fans; I call this the “Work Bitch Conundrum:

“Work Bitch” was Britney’s response to every fan’s request that she show the haters that she’s still “got it.” She does, of course, and fans went crazy the days that the song and video were released. They were like, “OH MY GAHHHH, BRITNEY IS BACK YOU BITCHESSSS! LOOK AT HER!” So why wasn’t it successful? That is because the public didn’t care. They still saw Britney in another failed attempt to outdo her earlier (untouchable) work. In turn, this just made fans fall back into hoping that the next album she will do it even better to prove everyone that they’re still wrong. Thus irrationally raising expectations, once again, and causing yet another unneeded “comeback” situation. Which will still not happen. (Most pop-veterans of her caliber are all met with the same challenge eventually)

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Britney Spears is nearly 10 years older than when she had her breakdown and over 12 years older than her “Toxic” days. She is not going to look the same (so stop posting side-by-side pictures of her face/body) and she also has new stories to tell and emotions to express to her fans.

When I say that comparing her to her younger years is holding you back; I am saying that when she is killing it at her Las Vegas show, “Britney: Piece of Me,” it is because that’s who she is right now. And that has no regard to what she’s accomplished in the past or what she will in the future.

Fans have been so accustomed to their expectations from Britney that they have lost the excitement of enjoying new songs and performances with new ears– just as we all did when Britney shocked us in 2001 with a new urban sound in “Slave 4 U.” That song separated her from her bubblegum pop style she had before.

So when #B9 is released, let’s all just allow Britney Spears to live past her 2007 breakdown (have to get this in one last time: Stop posting shearsney and umbrella-ney) and early performances that are always brought up to overshadow (with unnecessary photo comparisons and before/afters) the hard work she’s been putting in for her new show and album. We love you, Britney.

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Britney will ALWAYS kill it!
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And STOP using this quote. It seems quite insensitive to the subject matter that any of your daily troubles or “Monday blues” can relate to someone’s highly publicized and chronicled emotional breakdown.

Follow The Pop Pyro on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And buy tickets for Britney Spears’ Las Vegas residency show, “Britney: Piece of Mehere.

Diva of the Year: Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez is the current reigning “Queen of Showbiz” and it is about time someone said it.

Jennifer Lopez from her Complex Magazine Photoshoot for its March issue.
Before the “Swifties” and “B-Army” grab their torches and pitchforks, I have plenty of reasons and receipts. And I hope that you all read this and give me a chance to prove that 2015 was THE year to praise the one and only, J. Lo. (And don’t worry #Barmy, Britney’s got a competitive itinerary for 2016)

No other pop superstar was as versatile and hard-working as Jennifer Lopez in 2015.

I’m trying to commend more than just the music with “Diva of the Year” by really congratulating someone who had an EPIC YEAR. But possibly the most important message I would like to accomplish is to prove to you, the reader, that Jennifer Lopez is grossly underrated and unappreciated by pop fans.
There’s been a glass-ceiling for J.Lo since the mid 2000’s. She’s just never seemed to break that threshold that would pair her with the likes of Madonna, Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. She definitely has the hits, chart performance, sales and talent to sit her beside the pop legends. But she is just never quite mentioned as often in that way even though she’s proven herself time and time again.
Is it possible that she’s just involved in too many different aspects of entertainment? And since she’s doing extremely well at them all, it’s hard to box her in to one single role? Well, it’s curious to think that maybe if she wasn’t all of these things (Producer, A-list actor, respected fashion icon, etc.) that maybe she’d be identified solely as a POP SUPERSTAR.

Jennifer Lopez took her first steps of 2015 ONSTAGE in Las Vegas during a NYE show.
Nonetheless, if you hold Jennifer Lopez beside any other pop titan…. She can arguably be considered as successful and talented, if not MORE. And where she lacks she makes up for in many other ways the others can’t. (Example: She single-handedly opened the doors for every other modern pop star’s perfume and clothing lines)
Alas, in my perspective, Jennifer Lopez’s year had so many moments to make a little boy of pop music, like myself, blush with gratitude. She juggled an unthinkable amount of jobs in 2015 and will be calling Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino her home this year when she begins her Las Vegas residency, “Jennifer Lopez: All I Have.” I mentioned that I had receipts to prove she had the best year. And I won’t be stingy with them any longer. Here’s a rundown of some of her highlights this year…..

She starred in and produced the hit movie “The Boy Next Door” and followed it with THREE other acting projects in 2015:

Jennifer Lopez’s acting lineup for 2015
Jennifer Lopez is not one to skimp on promotion and she spent a lot of time in 2015 doing press for three films (“The Boy Next Door,” “Home” and “Lila & Eve”) as well as begin filming her lead role in the primetime police drama (Shades of Blue). For most actresses, that is a full-plate of work. But for Jennifer, it almost seemed as if it is a side job. And just to toot her acting horn a minute, she SLAYED her sex scene with Ryan Guzman in “The Boy Next Door.”

With promotion comes MAGAZINE COVERS. And Jenny from the block had ICONIC covers this year:

My favorite magazine covers that Jennifer Lopez graced in 2015.
When Jennifer Lopez’s cover for Complex was unveiled, it dropped the jaws of every person that graced their eyes upon it. The cover is one of the best of 2015. So as far as magazine covers go, Jennifer tops the list here as well. My other favorite spreads by her are for: Latina Magazine and papermag.

Jennifer Lopez is a Red Carpet LEGEND. Period.

Only a few of Jennifer Lopez’s winning red carpet looks of 2015.
When Jennifer Lopez arrived at the Golden Globe Awards this past year, it was no questions that she was the best-dressed of the night; She was the best-dressed OF THE YEAR! She attended her 45th birthday party in a extremely sexy cutout dress that had everyone’s tongues wagging while sending the worldwide web into a frenzy. Ignore the last dress (bottom right) from the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, she looked so good there that it felt fresh in my mind and I completely forgot it was over a year old.

Through all of her hard work this year, she still had time to fit in TWO music videos:

Jennifer Lopez released two music videos this year.
Don’t forget that we are talking about a POP SUPERSTAR’s year. Jennifer Lopez did not forget to feed those that are hungry for more iconic music videos from her. She released and amazing music video for the song “Feel The Light” from the original soundtrack to her movie “Home.” Next, she was featured in Prince Royce’s hit music video for “Back It Up.” Where she found the time? No one will know. But we will always be grateful.

American Idol:

Jennifer Lopez judged and performed three times this year on American Idol.
American Idol is a pretty demanding gig. And it also ends with two months of live shows. Jennifer Lopez was heavily promoting two movies (“The Boy Next Door” and “Home”) during “Idol” and even performed three times on the show. And I will get into the performances more in a second. But we can’t forget that the industry’s hardest working woman never missed a show!

In the name of the almighty POP DIVAS, Jennifer Lopez performed at over TEN separate events this year!

Just a few shots of Jennifer Lopez performing in 2015.
The most important thing that Jennifer Lopez did for pop music this year is: PERFORM. And she performed EVERYWHERE. Whether it was on “Idol,” a talk show or an awards ceremony, she took the opportunity to showcase her talent on a live stage. There were three performances that really stand out for me.
  1. “Feel The Light” Performed on American Idol She didn’t even dance for this one! Jennifer wore a white gown with images and clips from her movie displayed on it. It was captivating! Watch it: Click Here
  2. Selena Quintanilla Tribute MedleyPerformed at the Billboard Latin Music Awards 20 years after the death of Selena, Jennifer Lopez finally took the stage to perform a proper tribute medley in honor of the icon that she portrayed in the role that launched her to superstardom. Even thought Jennifer had an extremely busy schedule this year, the hard work and effort for this tribute was apparent. Watch it: Click Here
  3. 2015 Hits Dance MedleyPerformed at the American Music Awards There really was no other way for Jennifer Lopez to end her huge year. She HOSTED the American Music Awards in November and not only killed her 11 outfit changes, she MURDERED the stage with a 8-minute performance! I’ve had to have proven my point by now that she’s an unstoppable talent. Watch it: Click Here

Can you find a woman (or man!?) in pop music that had a year half as eventful as Jennifer Lopez’s this year?

Good luck. And if you did, I highly doubt they are as legendary as J.Lo. She’s nearing her 20th anniversary in the pop music industry and has no signs of slowing down. Jennifer Lopez is one of the most well-rounded talents that entertainment is currently offering and for that, she is my pick for the “Diva of the Year” 2015.
The Pop Pyro’s pick for “Diva of the Year” 2015.

Music Video of the Year: “Sparks”

When fans demand that a music video get its proper treatment, that must mean something.

I ran this by a few friends before posting and their unanimous reactions were, “Is this an April Fool’s joke?”
It’s not, and I’m completely serious, but hear me out… To me, a music video’s first job is to create the visual counterpart to a song. With that said, just like a musical playlist or album, I want my music VIDEOS to easily blend in succession of each other. Have you ever made a playlist of music videos and when a 6-minute video plays it completely breaks the mood and you’ve had to get up and fast forward the video three minutes to reach the performance segment of the videos. Yeah, I’m not entirely excited to live like that, okay? What I love about Hilary Duff’s “Sparks” video is that you can play it in between “Toxic” and “Womanizer” and all three videos smoothly play together.

Cover photo for Hilary Duff’s single “Sparks”
My favorite thing about “Sparks” is that it is a visually appetizing video from start to finish. This video is a complete sugar-induced stomach ache of candy colors and visual geometrics. Hilary Duff looks the best she’s ever looked in a music video. Her video is completely pointless leaving out any need to follow a “story” or some kind of difficult imagery to take away from the song itself. It’s the direct companion piece for the music that adds the visual (delightfully over-) stimulation to the greatness that is “Sparks.”

One of the amazing, and simple, monochromatic retro shots from Hilary Duff’s music video for “Sparks”
Another fascinating thing about this video, and probably the first thought my friends had when they asked if this was a joke, is that this video was actually immediately panned by everyone. Fans complained and expressed their hatred of its original cut that included scenes of Hilary Duff going on Tinder dates. I hated it too. So fans DEMANDED the Tinder scenes be removed to reveal the full-potential and perfection that lied behind those terrible pedestrian clips of her at the bowling alley. To me, if her performance shots were just as bland as the tinder clips, the video would never had fans rallying for the tinder-less version. It has to take a lot of humility in admitting that the fans, for once, have a song’s best interest at heart. Removing the Tinder clips to reveal a truly passively/effortlessly-overstimulating (can that be a thing?) music video proves that they really don’t need all the overly ambitious “distractions” that weighs them down. Thank you for listening to the fans, Hilary Duff!!!

Close-up shot of Hilary Duff in her music video for “Sparks”
Just like any other huge Hilary Duff fan, I loved her beachy and chill singles (“Chasing the Sun” and “All About You”) from 2014 that had her singing scaled-back tunes. But Hilary is a bonafide pop superstar, and veteran at this point. Fans have confidence that she can produce pop-perfect singles. Fast forward to this year and she reemerges with an exciting dance pop song, “Sparks.” The song is amazing! And when she posted a wig-snatching and colorful 10-second clip of the (tinder-less) video on her Facebook leading up to its premiere, fans (and myself) were expecting greatness when the song premiered. We’ve gotta follow our first-gut feeling and for “Sparks” (even though it was clouded with criticism upon release) it was that this video is absolutely amazing, stunning and fun in all aspects. The video is GREAT; Perfect in my opinion.
For it being fantastically aimless and ambitiously colorful and sparkly, I picked Hilary Duff’s “Sparks” as The Pop Pyro’s “Music Video of the Year.”

The Pop Pyro’s pick for “Music Video of the Year”

Other Top-Picked Music Videos This Year:

Four more of The Pop Pyro’s picks for videos of the year.

In No Order:

  • Demi Lovato’s “Cool For the Summer” This is Demi’s best video, period. Probably the only contender to replace “Sparks” as my favorite video this year.
  • Ariana Grande’s “Focus” She really worked that high-kick and lavender hair. When she released this video it was one of the more exciting nights this year.
  • MARINA AND THE DIAMONDS“Froot” This song is unique in itself and the noir-style it’s filmed in created a fantasy for me that I really appreciated while watching. And can we all just applaud all of her glamour-shots?
  • Madonna’s“Ghosttown” This is probably the best cinematic-style music video out this year. It helps that this song is one of the most underrated songs of the year. Madonna’s video is exceptional.