TIME Music

Get Ready to Whistle Along to Hilary Duff’s New Single

"Sparks" is a bubbly slice of Swedish dance-pop

Hilary Duff recently told TIME that her new single was coming soon, and she’s promptly delivered.

The star of TV Land’s upcoming series Younger gave a lengthy preview of her single “Sparks,” which arrives in full April 7. And you don’t need to download a random app to hear it. (Looking at you, Rihanna.) The track is a collaboration with “Habits (Stay High)” singer-songwriter Tove Lo. It’s one of four songs Duff recorded in Sweden that shift her sound from the folk-pop of her past to something more appropriate for the clubs.

“The album has taken on a lot of different lives, which I guess is to be expected when you’ve taken such big break,” she said of her first album in eight years. “It is a little bit of electro-pop, a lot of it is just straight-forward pop and some of it has gotten pretty dance-y, which is cool.”

Read next: Hilary Duff talks Younger, Lying About Her Age and the Status of Her Album

TIME Music

One Direction Fans Will Survive Without Zayn Malik

Zayn Malik
Dave J Hogan—Getty Images Zayn Malik of One Direction performs at on May 24, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

If Spice Girls fans can get through Ginger Spice qutting the group, Directioners can get through this

Zayn Malik announced he was leaving One Direction today, which has sent plenty of tweens and teens into a state of mourning. But as someone as who survived that dark day in 1998 when Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell announced that what she really really really wanted was to get the hell out of her girl group, I’m here with a message for the youth of the world: not only are you going to survive this grim chapter in pop music history, but there are also many, many reasons to carry on.

Here are a few things to consider that may help soften the blow of his departure:

He’ll probably be back one day. The departure of a bandmate or the dissolution of an entire group really just sets the stage for an inevitable reunion tour. After quitting the group at the height of their fame, Ginger Spice was back on board for the Spice Girls’ 2007 reunion tour. Kevin Richardson quit the Backstreet Boys in 2006 (with a statement not unlike Malik’s) only to rejoin the group a few years later after admitting he missed it. So it’s safe to say One Direction will probably have Malik back whenever he decides he wants to stay up all night and jump around again. That may not happen until the after the rest of the bandmates have gone their separate directions, for better or for worse: Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake aren’t against getting their bands back together when the time is right, but if Beyoncé’s solo career ever starts going south, you know she’s calling up Kelly and Michelle faster than she can spell out the word “nasty” in the “Naughty Girl” pre-chorus.

The music will be fine. Judging by the band’s statement about Malik’s departure, it’s going to be business as usual for One Direction, who assured fans that they’ll carry on as a foursome and still release the album they’re currently working on later this year. In other words, his absence won’t be too palpable unless you’re a die-hard Zayniac. That wasn’t the case with the Spice Girls, who took a few years to regroup before releasing their final album, Forever. Produced largely by Destiny’s Child beatmaker Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins instead of the team responsible for their first two albums, the album’s sleeker, more contemporary sound lost some of the spirit that made the band so much fun to begin with. The record wasn’t a complete misstep, however, thanks to songs like the appropriately titled “Goodbye” and the slinky R&B workout “Holler,” so there’s bound to be a silver lining in whatever the boys cook up in the studio.

Just look at Nick Jonas. Geri Halliwell’s solo career was largely forgettable, though her cover of “It’s Raining Men” and its accompanying music video are quite something. The odds for boyband members members breaking out on their own are just as perilous — for every Timberlake, there is a J.C. Chasez. But if Nick Jonas can graduate from being a squeaky-clean, purity ring-wearing JoBro to getting remixed by Tinashe, almost-opening for Iggy Azalea and scoring some unlikely musical legitimacy with “Jealous,” Malik’s prospects aren’t doomed. Or, given Malik’s love of R&B, what about Carly Rae Jepsen, who’s getting out of the shadow of “Call Me Maybe” and gaining some cool cred by recording with former Solange collaborator Dev Hynes? The thing is, Malik may not want to try at all — he did say he’s quitting the band so he can be “a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.”

You’ll always have his smiling face — sort of. When Ginger Spice quit, the only thing I had to console me was a VHS tape of their 1997 Istanbul concert. Today in the era of social media, the access fans (and haters) have to their pop idols is greater than ever — and that’s not always a good thing, as Daniel D’Addario writes for TIME. But there’s an upside to Internet fandom that can help heartbroken Directioners cope with today’s news: He’ll still croon to you fro the back of your Etsy One Direction iPhone case. Or your Etsy One Direction earrings. Or on your Etsy One Direction shoes. Every possible muscle twitch in his face has probably been immortalized in GIF form. He’s the subject of more than 12,000 works of fanfiction. Malik’s desire for privacy isn’t coming out of nowhere — he, like his bandmates, have already given their fans so much. The advantage of being a One Direction fan in 2015, then, is that it’s easier than ever to pretend he never left.

TIME Music

Beastie Boys Cleared in Copyright Lawsuit

The 29th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Ron Galella—WireImage/Getty Images Adam Horovitz, Mike Diamond and Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, Feb. 24, 1987.

The lawsuit was filed in 2012 and concerns sample usage

Another high-profile music copyright lawsuit has come to an end.

A New York judge has thrown out a lawsuit from TufAmerica accusing the Beastie Boys of sampling 1980s funk trio Trouble Funk without authorization on 1989’s Paul’s Boutique, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The judge ruled that TufAmerica, which has sued artists such as Jay Z and LL Cool J over sample usage before, didn’t have the exclusive rights to the two samples in question. After Trouble Funk’s deal with Island Records was terminated, TufAmerica agreed in 1999 to administer copyrights for only two of Trouble Funk’s members; an agreement with the third member was reached in 2012, but the judge ruled that those documents don’t justify TufAmerica’s copyright claim.

“Putting aside the issue of whether the 2012 Agreement and 1999 Agreements can be read together, the 2012 Agreement conveys nothing more than the bare right to sue,” the judge wrote.


TIME Music

Zayn Malik Leaves One Direction

Zayn Malik quits One Direction.
Ian Wes—PA Wire/Press Association Images Zayn Malik quits One Direction

He's going in another direction

Zayn Malik, one-fifth of the massively popular boy band One Direction, has left the group.

One Direction announced his departure on Facebook not long after Malik departed from their world tour because of “stress.”

“I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight,” Malik said in the statement. “I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.”

The band says it will continue to record as a foursome and release a fifth album this year.

The band’s full statement, from their Facebook:

After five incredible years Zayn Malik has decided to leave One Direction. Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis will continue as a four-piece and look forward to the forthcoming concerts of their world tour and recording their fifth album, due to be released later this year.

Zayn says: “My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I’d like to apologise to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.”

One Direction say: “We’re really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future. The past five years have been beyond amazing, we’ve gone through so much together, so we will always be friends. The four of us will now continue. We’re looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour.”

Simon Cowell says: “I would like to say thank you to Zayn for everything he has done for One Direction. Since I first met Zayn in 2010, I have grown very, very fond – and immensely proud – of him. I have seen him grow in confidence and I am truly sorry to see him leave. As for One Direction, fans can rest assured that Niall, Liam, Harry and Louis are hugely excited about the future of the band.”

Read next: Why Zayn Malik Has the Makings of a Great Solo Star

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Health Care

Obama on the Affordable Care Act’s Fifth Anniversary: ‘It’s Working’

White House Student Film Festival
Martin H. Simon—Pool/Corbis President Barack Obama hosts the second-annual White House Student Film Festival in the East Room of the White House, in Washington on March 20, 2015.

He challenged Republican critics who are campaigning on repealing the law.

President Obama had a simple message on the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act: It’s working.

Speaking in the Executive Office Building next to the White House, Obama argued that his signature health care law was “working better than many of us — including me — anticipated” at increasing health insurance rates and improving the quality of care.

“The bottom line is this for the American people: this law is saving money for families and for businesses,” he said. “This law is also saving lives, lives that touch all of us. It’s working despite countless attempts to repeal, undermine, defund and defame this law.”

In particular, Obama highlighted a government report that showed that fewer mistakes in hospitals saved the lives of 50,000 people between 2011 and 2013, which the White House partly attributed to initiatives to reduce accidental overdoses, bedsores and patient falls.

The remarks came just two days after Texas Sen. Ted Cruz promised to repeal “every word of Obamacare” in a speech launching his presidential campaign, the first Republican to join the 2016 race.

Obama took the opportunity to take a few shots at Republican critics of the law, joking that “death panels, doom, [and] a serious alternative from Republicans in Congress” have all failed to materialize and challenging candidates campaigning for repeal to explain how “kicking millions of families off their insurance” will strengthen the country.

“Making sure that the Affordable Care Act works as intended to not only deliver access to care but to improve the quality of care and the cost of care, thats something that requires us all to work together,” he said.

TIME viral

Someone Spent 4 Years Creating This Anime-Style Tribute to a Star Wars Video Game

The short film is an homage to 1994's Star Wars: TIE Fighter

The Star Wars universe keeps growing, but one fan with a lot of time on his hands has been fixated by one of its lesser-known properties: the 1994 computer game Star Wars: TIE Fighter.

“What if there was an Empire-focussed short Star Wars animation, drawn with the crazy detail and shading of classic ’80s anime that’s all but vanished from Japan nowadays?” asked Paul “OtaKing” Johnson on his YouTube channel.

Well, Johnson spent his weekends for the past four years making that hypothetical a reality, and the resulting seven-minute, incredibly detailed short film has absolutely delighted the geekiest corners of the Internet.

TIME College Basketball

This Map Shows Which Sweet 16 Teams Are Generating Buzz Around the Country

The most talked-about teams on Facebook
Facebook The most talked-about teams on Facebook.

Kentucky has coast-to-coast support

While you’ve been keeping close tabs on your office March Madness pool, Facebook has combed through more than 32 million posts, likes and comments about the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament to find out which Sweet Sixteen teams have captured the conversation (or your trash-talking) between March 15-23.

Much of the chatter is regional—it’s no surprise, for example, that Wichita State has every county in Kansas talking and typing—but Facebook’s color-coded visualization shows the extent of coast-to-coast support for Kentucky, which is currently favored to win.

Read More: Now That Your Bracket’s Busted, Here’s Who to Cheer for in the Sweet 16

TIME Television

Hilary Duff Talks Younger, Lying About Her Age and the Status of Her Album

16th Annual Warner Bros. And InStyle Post-Golden Globe Party - Arrivals
Jon Kopaloff—FilmMagic/Getty Images Hilary Duff stars in Younger on TV Land.

The actress talks to TIME about her new TV Land show and album

In Younger, the new TV Land series from Sex and the City creator Darren Star (premiering March 31), Hilary Duff plays Kelsey Peters, a hotshot book editor who befriends a 40-year-old coworker (Sutton Foster) pretending to be 20-something in order to re-enter the workforce.

TIME caught up with the actress and singer to talk about the show’s risqué plot lines, living in Brooklyn and working with Tove Lo on her new album.

TIME: TV Land is known for airing classic shows and catering to older audiences. How does Younger challenge ideas about what a typical TV Land viewer looks like?

Hilary Duff: I don’t want to say anything bad about TV Land because I’ve had such a wonderful experience shooting that season with them, but I do agree with you. I really feel like in this day and age, it’s not the network that makes the show, it’s the show that makes the network. I remember when no one would have watched AMC, and that was just a few years ago. It wasn’t until all these amazing shows came out that people started to tune in. It’s hard to target who will be watching our show because I really think it will be quite broad. Younger is edgy. It’s dealing with a lot of women’s issues in humorous ways.

How edgy are we talking?

When I read the episode about my character’s DivaCup getting stuck, that was like, “Wow, okay, we’re really going to go there.” That was exciting. We get drunk a lot. We take Molly.

That must have been a wild day on set.

It’s exhausting to act drunk or high all day! It’s a lot of work, but it is fun. And it was nice because we filmed it toward the end of the season, so we were all just being wild.

So you built your wrap party right into the show.

Oh, our wrap party was pretty wild. People were pulling all-nighters.

I laughed at the part where your character and her friends call each other skanks and hos as terms of endearment. Is that how you all talk to each other on set?

It depends on the day and how much coffee we’ve all had or how late we’re working that night, but we can get pretty rowdy! We really got along so great. We’re all very different, but I think we love and respect each other and learn from each other too.

What feedback do you give the writers and producers as an actual 20-something?

A lot of our writers are in their 20s, so they know what’s up. I’m trying to think if I gave any feedback. I think I’m the one who will act ghetto more of the time or do funny voices. Sometimes I’m reading the script and I’m like, what? People do that? I am in my 20s, but I have a lot of responsibility in my life.

Is there a fantasy element to your character? “This is what my 20s could have been like if I hadn’t gotten into showbiz.”

That’s part of why it was exciting for me to take this role. I do feel like she’s just totally normal and relatable, but she’s driven, she’s smart and she’s got it together. And then she can also be a total disaster. That’s pretty much how women roll right now in their 20s and early 30s. They want the best of both worlds, and they’re willing to deal with the hangovers or the pain of going out and partying the night before.

Your character is an editor at a publishing house. What 9-5 job would you have if you weren’t acting?

That’s tough for me. I really love interior design, so maybe something like that, but I can’t really imagine that being a 9-5 job. I love to cook. So maybe I could be some kind of sous chef somewhere. I don’t know!

Have you ever lied about your age?

Of course! All the time. I used to lie about to my age to get into clubs and stuff.


Yeah, but I think they would all know how old I was anyway. I was pretty well-known by the time I was trying to get into clubs, and they would just let me in anyway.

Right. It must be hard to lie when everyone can Google your birthday.

I know! It wasn’t hard for me to get in. I knew most of the people — I’m not trying to sound like a brat or anything! I had an older sister too, so she learned the ropes for me and then I got to just sneak in. Super naughty! Naughty, naughty. A fake ID would never work for me because they’d be like, “We know who you are.” I think I had my sister’s old ID.

Did it work?

I can’t even remember having to use it. Who knows.

You lived in Brooklyn while filming this show. Did you learn anything from the 20-somethings there?

I felt so old living there, to be honest. I lived in Park Slope, which I love, and that’s not where too many of the cool kids live — it’s a very normal family neighborhood. But we shot in Williamsburg, and some of the outfits were so wild. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I was like, “This must take so much effort!” There’s such good people-watching. People are really nice and normal, but they’re living how they want. I respect that, but it makes me feel old for sure.

So you haven’t stocked your kitchen with mason jars and started making your own pickles.

I am so into that. I’ve been doing that in L.A. for quite some time.

Wait, making pickles?

Yes, I’ve made pickles, I’ve made preserved lemons. We drink our water out of mason jars.

Is that the most stereotypical Brooklyn thing about you?

I guess so! I did learn there was this grocery store down the street, a co-op. You get amazing produce and food — it’s like a specialty market — at a discounted price, but only if you take a shift there once a week. We tried to shop at the co-op but then we realized we couldn’t because we didn’t have a job there! It’s a commitment. But also the people that are working there are terrible. They don’t know where anything is. They don’t want to bag your groceries because they’re all moms that live in the neighborhood and want to shop at the grocery store but they don’t want to be working there!

You’ve said that Younger could become a guilty pleasure for guys. What is your pitch for the men of America?

I’ve never figured it out totally, but when I was on Gossip Girl so many guys were like, “I love when my girlfriend puts it on because I love that show but I don’t want to tell anyone.” I don’t know what it is about that show, but I think this is going to be the same way. When I watch the show, I could see how they could be drawn to it.

Younger creator Darren Star said he was really excited to give you a more adult role. Did your association with Lizzie McGuire make it difficult to get those roles before?

In the beginning I definitely dealt with a lot of that. Even now with certain movie roles, I’ll go and get amazing feedback and won’t always get the role. There’s definitely a stereotype because of my past, starting so young and people growing up with me. But I think the show felt like a step in the right direction. I never really let it make decisions for me. I never wanted to sign onto a show that I didn’t feel was a good fit for me. This show came at a good time and got me really excited where other hadn’t.

Darren has created some pretty iconic television. Were you a big Sex and the City fan?

Huge fan. Huge 90210 fan. Huge Melrose Place fan. He is really so brilliant. He writes great stuff for women. And I’m working with fantastic women that I learn from every day. I get surprised by their choices when we’re filming a scene, so I just feel like I’m in good company. I’m happy to take on a role that is more where I am in my life.

So, the mother of all personality questions: Which Sex and the City character are you?

I think I’d have to be a Carrie. I guess it’s the same reason I’d want to be Baby Spice.

Speaking of music, are you still working on an album, or have you put that on pause?

I’m almost finished recording. I’m going in for a session today that might be my last session. My record is pretty much done, and I’m just waiting. It’s tough. I put some music out last year, and right when I put my single out, we started filming the show. So it was a little bad timing because I really didn’t get a chance to properly promote my single after being out of the music game for seven years. But it was good. I feel like I got a little taste of it again and it got me excited. I’m definitely going to have a single soon. It’s just a balancing act of trying to have two careers that take up a lot of my time. And also being a mom — the most important one for me.

You’ve been in the studio with Swedish pop artist Tove Lo. Have you moved on to electro-pop after returning last year with a folkier sound?

The album has taken on a lot of different lives, which I guess is to be expected when you’ve taken such big break. It is a little bit of electro-pop, a lot of it is just straight-forward pop and some of it has gotten pretty dance-y, which is cool. Some songs still have a little bit of a folky side.

Good — I was all about “All About You.”

Thank you! Yeah, I really wanted that to be my first single just because I wrote it and it was a really personal song. It’ll still be on the record, but I’m excited for what’s to come to. I went to Sweden last month and knocked out about four songs and really created a cool vibe for the record.

Well, Sweden is the best place to make a pop record.

I know! We can’t catch them right now. They’re on fire.

Read next: Hilary Duff’s Comeback Gets Cooking With ‘All About You’

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME celebrities

Watch Kevin Hart Recreate His Failed SNL Audition

His Avery Johnson impression didn't go over so well

Aspiring comedians with Saturday Night Live dreams, heed the advice of Kevin Hart: don’t impersonate somebody nobody really knows. That’s what the Get Hard and The Wedding Ringer star told Conan O’Brien about his failed audition, where he tried to impress head SNL honcho Lorne Michaels with an impression of athlete-turned-NBA-commentator Avery Johnson.

“He didn’t say he didn’t know who that was, but I could definitely tell he didn’t know,” Hart says of Michaels’ reaction. “I know you can’t believe it because of my success now, but if you had seen this tape, you would understand why I didn’t get it.”

TIME Vatican

Read Pope Francis’ Message to the French Alps Crash Victims’ Families

Pope Francis speaks during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, March 25, 2015.
Andrew Medichini—AP Pope Francis speaks during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, March 25, 2015.

The Pope "prays for peace" for those killed on the Germanwings flight

Pope Francis wants to give “strength and consolation” to the families of the victims of Tuesday’s deadly Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps.

“He expresses his deep sympathy for all those touched by this tragedy, as well as for the rescue workers working in difficult conditions,” reads a Tuesday telegram from Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. A memorial mass for all the victims was also held on Tuesday.

A hundred and fifty people “including many children,” the telegram notes, appear to have been killed when a Germanwings A320 Airbus crashed in a snowy region of the French Alps. More than a dozen passengers were German school children returning from an exchange-program trip in Spain.

The full statement, via Vatican Radio, reads:

“Having learned of the tragic plane crash in the region of Digne, which caused many casualties, including many children, His Holiness Pope Francis joins in the grief of the families, expressing his closeness to them in sorrow. He prays for peace for the deceased, entrusting them to the mercy of God that He might welcome them into His dwelling place of peace and light. He expresses his deep sympathy for all those touched by this tragedy, as well as for the rescue workers working in difficult conditions. The Holy Father asks the Lord to give strength and consolation to all, and, as a comfort, he invokes upon them the abundance of divine Blessings.”

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