"Fame totally messes you up. I don't blame my mother for my problems, but I would never want to be famous or raise a child of my own around the cult of celebrity. It ruins lives."
—Chloe Lattanzi, daughter of singer and actress Olivia-Newton John [usatoday.com, 11/18/13]
"I think it's pretty vulnerable and straightforward, but it's also pretty aggressive at the same time—I'm topless, but it's not, like, topless in that way. And I'm not saying I'm exploiting myself, but if that's the way people look at it, I'd rather do it myself than someone else exploit me. Because either way, what I do, I'm going to get exploited. That's what the job is, not having privacy."
—21-year-old indie singer/songwriter Sky Ferreira, regarding the uncensored breast nudity on the original cover of her debut album Night Time, My Time [Rolling Stone, 12/5/13]
"My name is Ella, that's who I am at school, hanging out with friends, while I'm doing homework. But when I'm up on stage, Lorde is a character. My friends actually find that really difficult to digest, separating me from the theatrical character they see on stage; but they're getting used to it. When I was trying to come up with a stage name, I thought 'Lord' was super rad, but really masculine—ever since I was a little kid, I have been really into royals and aristocracy. So to make Lord more feminine, I just put an 'e' on the end! Some people think it's religious, but it's not."
—17-year-old New Zealand singer Ella Yelich-O'Connor, better known as Lorde, whose hit song "Royals" has logged nine weeks at No. 1. She's the youngest artist to top the charts since Tiffany accomplished that feat back in 1987 with her remake of Tommy James and the Shondells' hit "I Think We're Alone Now." [interviewmagazine.com; billboard.com, 10/2/13]
We can add Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe to the growing list of celebrities speaking out against public participation in social media. "There's certain things you can do to make it a lot easier on yourself," the 24-year-old told Sky News. "I don't have Twitter and I don't have Facebook, and I think that makes things a lot easier because if you go on Twitter and tell everybody what you're doing moment to moment and then claim you want a private life, then no one is going to take that request seriously." [news.sky.com, 11/21/13]
"I don't give a f‑‑‑ [about my critics]. Not 'I don't give a f‑‑‑' to just be reckless and do whatever, but 'I don't give a f‑‑‑ what they say.' … I know who I am and what I'm doing in my life and what I've accomplished and continue to accomplish as a performer, as a writer, as an artist, as a person, as a human being. I'm happy with the man I'm becoming."
—19-year-old Justin Bieber, who's recently faced so much negative publicity related to his tabloid-baiting indiscretions that he's reportedly asking anyone who comes to his private parties to sign a contract saying they'll forfeit $3 million if they say a word about what happens there. And Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, says of his teen charge, "When Justin was younger, it was, 'Keep him out of trouble, stop him from falling down, protect him as much as you can from anything that can hurt him.' … When I try to do that now, he's resentful, he pushes away and rebels. What I've come to learn is: Be there, give the best advice you can, but he has to be allowed to make his own decisions—and his own mistakes." Regarding his father-like relationship with the young singer, 32-year-old Braun says, "I'm usually up pretty much all night until I know Justin is in. At night is when trouble can come." [hollywoodreporter.com, 11/20/13; nydailynews.com, 11/18/13]
Scientists have known for some time now that screens of all kinds—television, computer, tablet, smartphone—can impact the quality of our sleep. And new research by Canadian scientists published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychiatry further defines the ways screen time competes with sleep time, especially among teenagers. Researchers at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia found that losing even one hour of sleep because of screen engagement negatively influences performance at school. Says psychologist Jennifer Vriend, lead author of the study, "One of the biggest culprits for inadequate and disturbed sleep is technology. Many teenagers sleep with their phones and they are awakened regularly by it ringing or vibrating throughout the night when they get a text, email or Facebook message." She added, "Having televisions and games consoles in the bedroom is also a problem. It sets up the brain to see the room as an entertainment zone rather than a quiet, sleepy environment. So when a teenager is playing a violent video game regularly in his bedroom, his brain starts to associate it as a place where he should be on edge and ready for danger; the brain becomes wired to not want to sleep in that environment." [redorbit.com, 11/15/13; washingtonpost.com, 11/18/13 stats, c&e]
YouTube has become the most popular Internet site for teens, according to the research experts at The Futures Company—booting perennial favorite Facebook out of the top spot. According to a recent poll in which respondents could pick five favorite Internet sites, YouTube was tops, making the grade with fully half of teens. Facebook was second, with 45.2% listing the site as one of their favorites. Amazon (27.8%), Google (25%) and Twitter (19.5%) rounded out the Top 5. The study confirms Facebook's own research that suggests teens are becoming less enamored with the site. [mashable.com, 11/5/13 stats]
According to the United States Department of Commerce, computer and device purchases in 2013 rose to $57.2 billion, up from $49 billion last year. So what's under your tree this Christmas? [usatoday.com, 11/20/13 stats]
"With a string of brilliant animated musicals in the late '80s and '90s—The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King—the House of Mouse reigned, with hit after hit of family-friendly cartoons that dominated the box office, dazzled critics, and warmed cold hearts with signature Disney magic and catchy tunes. The Magic Kingdom was overthrown in the new millennium, with Pixar delivering its own brand of reliably wholesome and reliably brilliant films—Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, Wall-E—while Disney struggled to adapt its magic to a new tech-savvy age. Not anymore. Frozen … is the best Disney film since The Lion King, and a powerful reminder of how astonishing the company's magic can really be. This is also, as it happens, the third consecutive year that Disney's big animated release is better than Pixar's. The knee-jerk reaction to such a thing would be to call Disney the new Pixar. But the more accurate coronation is that Disney is the new Disney."
—Daily Beast movie reviewer Kevin Fallon [thedailybeast.com, 11/25/13]
The Parents Television Council has released its 2013 list of naughty and nice companies, based on what kind of entertainment each one likes to place advertising in. The group's "Family-Friendly" companies this year include Chevrolet, Chase Bank, Dunkin' Donuts, Domino's Pizza, Wendy's, Arby's, Red Lobster, Cracker Barrel, Ocean Spray, Motts Apple, Folgers Coffee, Coca-Cola, Walmart, Sears, Famous Footwear, H&M, Charmin, Bounty, Crest, Colgate, Pantene, Estee Lauder and Sprint. Companies that "Need Encouragement," as the PTC puts it, are Honda, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, McDonald's, Subway, Taco Bell, TGI Friday's, Red Robin, Welch's, Lipton Tea, Nespresso, Diet Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, JCPenney, Kohl's, Macy's, Target, Old Navy, Gap, Burlington Coat Factory, Quilted Northern, Brawny, Aquafresh, Listerine, Maybelline, L'Oreal, AT&T and Verizon. [parentstv.org, 11/27/13]
Lady Gaga joined Kermit, Miss Piggy & Co. for ABC's special Lady Gaga & The Muppets' Holiday Spectacular on Thanksgiving night, a seemingly odd mash-up that prompted the writers at entertainment site inquisitr.com to quip, "It's a bold move for the Muppets, bringing Lady Gaga on board. It seems likely to inspire as much controversy as Katy Perry's bouncing breasts did on Sesame Street a few years ago." That's not good news, but at least we can be thankful that Gaga's flesh-baring outfits and racy song choices (including these explicit lyrics from "MANiCURE": "Touch me in the dark/Put your hands all over my body parts") didn't stir up much viewership. The special attracted 3.6 million—a sharp drop off from the 5.3 million who watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, which immediately preceded it. [inquisitr.com, 11/27/13; hollywoodreporter.com, 11/29/13; insidetv.ew.com, 11/29/13]