After nearly 40 years of parodying celebrities, the accordion-playing nerd has become a legend in his own right.
.. Yankovic was more than a good boy. He skipped second grade, got straight A’s and was Lynwood High’s valedictorian. As an only child, he was loved and sheltered.
.. He was so polite and respectful it almost hid his subversive genius. Yankovic’s parodies poked holes in the bubble of pop pretension. Take his treatment of the Michael Jackson hit “Beat It.”
.. Yankovic’s 1992 spoof of Nirvana would be another creative triumph.
To get permission, Yankovic called Kurt Cobain on the set of “Saturday Night Live,” where Nirvana was set to perform.
.. As his friend Miranda has reminded him, he doesn’t have to get permission from artists. Parody is protected by the First Amendment. But Yankovic has built his reputation on respecting artists’ wishes.
“I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings,” Yankovic says. “I don’t want to be embroiled in any nastiness. That’s not how I live my life. I like everybody to be in on the joke and be happy for my success. I take pains not to burn bridges.”
.. He also doesn’t need a label. Consider how he promoted “Mandatory Fun.” Record companies no longer provide video budgets. So Yankovic partnered with other outlets, including Funny or Die, College Humor and Nerdist. He launched his album by releasing eight videos in eight days.
.. took control of Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch in 2008.
.. Mr. Barrack helped out Annie Leibovitz, a photographer famous for her work with musicians and movie stars, a few years ago by buying out her millions of dollars of debt. He then helped her raise the money back by promoting exhibits of her work and sales of limited-edition prints.
.. The Weinstein Co. deal appears to be a variant of the Barrack playbook of providing much-needed capital to companies or people in exchange for greater control over their holdings.
.. Financier Steven Mnuchin, now the Treasury secretary, was a Hollywood player who co-financed movies through his RatPac-Dune Entertainment LLC venture.
.. Mr. Mnuchin’s executive-producer credit has appeared on recent movies like “The Accountant” and “Wonder Woman.”
.. President Donald Trump... Mr. Barrack was a major fundraiser for Mr. Trump and served as chairman of the president’s inauguration committee... Mr. Barrack founded Colony Capital in 1991 to buy defaulted real-estate loans during the savings-and-loan crisis. He built his fortune over the years by acquiring property in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East.
Thanks to Madonna’s restlessness, female pop stars are expected to reinvent themselves every few years, but there’s no guarantee that listeners will accept the changes. For Ms. Perry, the stakes couldn’t be higher: She believes she is now revealing her true self. The old Katy Perry is gone.
.. She has a well-known strategy for frustrating the paparazzi (wearing the same Adidas track suit when she leaves home to make the photographs less sellable)
.. For all of Ms. Perry’s talk about feminism and unity, it felt like a conventional catfight.
.. you have to understand her relationship to her biggest album, “Teenage Dream.” It had five No. 1 hits, tying a record Michael Jackson set with “Bad,” and solidified her image as a charmingly goofy sexpot who sings about love, partying and inner strength.
.. Part of the pressure stemmed from maintaining her hypersexual image, which Ms. Perry takes responsibility for helping create. “I used to be scared of intimacy, I used to use my sexualization as attention, I used to oversexualize myself because that was the only way I knew how,”
.. later explained why she holds queer women in high esteem: “I admire that they’re doing it for themselves. They are not doing it for the male gaze.”) It’s easy to read her drastic haircut and new stylistic choices — her live stream finale outfit covered her in neck-to-toe sequins — as a reaction to having worn whipped-cream bras in the past.
.. Ms. Perry credits her shift in perspective on her sexuality — she calls it “a full sexual liberation” — to resolving issues with her father. “The reality is that I was retriggered on the election,” she said. “I was retriggered by a big male that didn’t see women as equal. And that had been, unfortunately, a common theme in my upbringing.”
.. the Katy Perry I spent several days with: gregarious, intense, bold, endearing and full of contradictions.
.. she proclaimed herself devoted to dialogue but spoke in a near uninterrupted monologue.
.. The old Katy Perry wasn’t a construct, she explained, and she isn’t dead. “I didn’t kill her, because I love her, and she is exactly what I had to do then,”