TIME Music

Beyonce Dances Around in Her Underwear in New Music Video ’7/11′

I'm spinning, I'm spinning, I'm spinning

Beyonce’s new music video was released, unannounced, on Friday, and has predictably already garnered more than 2.6 million views in less than a day.

Called “7/11,” the video features the singer in grainy video dancing in her underwear in what appear to be hotel rooms, evoking a kind of homemade quality. Several other women wearing underwear make an appearance, too, and it looks like the grooviest slumber party you’ve never been invited to.

“7/11” and another new track called “Ring Off” are both featured on the boxed-set reissue of “Beyonce” which will be released on Monday.

TIME Music

Country Artist Ty Herndon Comes Out as Gay

Country and Christian music singer Ty Herndon arrives at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, February 13, 2011. Danny Moloshok —Reuters

“I’m an out, proud, and happy gay man”

Nashville country singer Ty Herndon said in a new interview that he is gay.

“During an Anthony Robbins seminar, I realized I had an incredible story that could possibly help someone’s son or daughter or grandchild’s life not be as difficult as mine has been,” Herndon told People magazine. “Maybe they wouldn’t have to go through as much pain and suffering. It’s time to tell my truth.”

The 52-year old singer first began coming out to close family members at age 20 but has kept his sexuality under wraps in his country music career.

Read more at People

TIME Music

Iggy Azalea Confirms Collaboration With Britney Spears Is in the Works

No word yet on when the new music will be released

While promoting her sleepwear line back in September, Britney Spears was asked who she’d most like to collaborate with. Her first answer: “Katy Perry.” And her second: “Iggy.” No word on whether Spears’ and Perry’s relationship will expand beyond trading compliments on one another’s full-body denim wear, but Iggy Azalea confirmed on Twitter yesterday that she and Spears have something cooking together.

A fan tweeted at the rapper, asking whether she would ever work with Spears. Azalea responded, short and sweet:

Beyond “amazing,” Azalea declined to provide further details on the project. It’s not yet clear whether the collaboration will appear on Spears’ next album — which she says is coming along “very slowly” and will likely be “very artsy-fartsy” — or Azalea’s, which may also be a way off, considering that The New Classic just came out this past April (with a re-release due out next week).

Though Azalea’s earlier work has drawn comparisons to Spears — her song “Nothing Like Me” actually sounds a lot like “Womanizer” — she’s much more squarely in the field of rap these days. And a rap-pop duet sounds more interesting than a Britney versus Britney clone duet.

TIME Music

Pick Your Dream Date in the New One Direction Video ‘Night Changes’

The boys are ready to serenade you

The guys from One Direction are ready to woo you with a magical dream date, and just like a personality quiz, you get to choose your own adventure.

Will it be a romantic Italian dinner complete with spaghetti and red wine with Zayn? A drive in the country with the roof down with Louis? A night in with board games and an open fire with Niall? Ice skating with Harry? A carnival with the other one?

But as the band asks, “Does it ever drive you crazy just how fast the night changes?” What starts out as a dream date can disintegrate—fast.

The song comes from One Direction’s fourth studio album, Four, out this week.

TIME Music

Beyoncé’s New Song ‘Ring Off’ Isn’t About Her Marriage After All

Beyonce Knowles, Tina Knowles
From left, U.S designer Tina Knowles and U.S singer Beyonce Knowles, launch their collection House of Dereon, featuring both the Autum-Winter and Summer 2011 collections, in London, during London Fashion week, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Jonathan Short) Jonathan Short—ASSOCIATED PRESS

The singer tells Tina Knowles to put her "love on top"

When it was announced, the title of Beyonce’s new song “Ring Off” was widely interpreted as a potential explanation of the ongoing rumors around her marriage to Jay Z. What the singer has produced instead is a moving tribute to her mother, Tina.

“Ring Off” is one of two new songs on the re-release of Beyoncé (both are streaming at Spin). That album’s middle-of-the-night release last year was almost as surprising as its complex, adult themes, dealing with themes of marriage and motherhood. Beyoncé was about, well, Beyoncé, within the context of her relationship. “Ring Off” expands the focus, addressing “Mama” in the first verse and telling her “I understand your many sleepless nights / When you sit and you think about Father / Or how you tried to be the perfect wife.”

Tina and Mathew Knowles, Beyoncé’s parents, separated in 2009 and are now divorced; Beyoncé has since severed professional ties with her father, who’s gone on to make provocative statements about his daughter’s personal life. But “Ring Off” isn’t about intra-family strife, despite the fact its very title references ending a marriage. It’s a celebration of Tina Knowles’s newfound independence, telling her to put her “love on top,” a witty reversal of Beyoncé’s own song of the same title. The song “Love on Top,” a fan favorite, is a celebration of prioritizing marital love; Beyoncé telling her mother “it’s your time to put your love on top” is an encouragement to put herself and her own happiness first.

Beyoncé’s first album, Dangerously in Love, concludes with “Daddy,” a saccharine tribute to Matthew Knowles that includes the lyric “I want my unborn son to be like my daddy / I want my husband to be like my daddy.” It’s a sign of the singer’s evolution in the eleven years since “Daddy” that she now ends the Beyoncé era with a tribute to her mother: “Always know that you’ve got a daughter / That’s so, so proud you took the high road,” she sings in “Ring Off.” What her father is or is not like doesn’t enter the equation, here; what’s most important is a woman’s own happiness and independence. It’s the musical equivalent of the message sent by the most memorable photo from Solange Knowles’s recent wedding, in which rows of staunch-looking woman stare down the camera. In the Knowles family, now, gender equality is paramount.

“7/11,” Beyoncé’s other new song, is less apt for analysis: It’s a ready-made club hit whose clear influences from Southern rap are more interesting than the lyrics. But with “Ring Off,” Beyoncé’s made a big step forward. Her album was about how fulfilling, if frustrating, it is to be in a long-term monogamous relationship. That album now features an examination of the circumstances under which it’s better to be alone, and an amplification of the album’s theme. The fulfillments of marriage, and of single life, both stem from putting herself first.

TIME Music

Country Singers Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman Both Come Out

The stars took to media -- traditional and social -- to reveal their sexual orientation

Not one, but two country music singers publicly revealed they were gay on Thursday, marking a significant event in the country music world.

First Ty Herndon, the 52-year-old singer of hit singles in the ’90s such as “I Want My Goodbye Back” and “Loved Too Much”, told People, “I’m an out, proud and happy gay man.” Herndon also said that he’d been out to family and friends for some time and that his ex-wives — he’s been married twice before — knew of his sexuality.

Following Herndon’s announcement, 26-year-old Billy Gilman, whose song “One Voice” was released when he was only 11 years-old, felt emboldened to make his own announcement, this time on YouTube.

In the video, Gilman reveals that he’s in a relationship and that he wanted to come out on his own terms, after he and his partner were photographed by a reporter.

The news marks a momentous occasion for the country music industry, which both artists suggested had an intolerant outlook. In his video, Gilman reveals, “It’s difficult for me to make this video, not because I’m ashamed of being a gay male artist, or a gay artist or a gay person, but it’s pretty silly to know that I’m ashamed of doing this knowing that I’m in a genre and an industry that’s ashamed of me for being me.”

 

TIME Music

Arcade Fire’s Will Butler Is Releasing a Solo Album

The multi-intrumentalist and Oscar-nominated composer will be releasing his first solo album in March, 2015

Will Butler is putting out a solo album.

The longtime member of Montreal band, Arcade Fire, is preparing to go it alone on a new album due out March 10, 2015. The album, called Policy, will be released through Merge Records, which put out Arcade Fire’s most recent album, 2013′s Reflektor. News of Butler’s upcoming record — along with an album cover — was shared on social media via an Aracade Fire news account:

Butler joined Arcade Fire just a few years after his older brother, lead vocalist Win Butler, founded the group in 2001. Will, who not only composes music but also plays synthesizer, bass, guitar and percussion, was also nominated for an Academy Award earlier this year for Best Original Score for the movie Her.

[Pitchfork]

TIME Music

Beyoncé Raps and Celebrates Mom on Two New Tracks

"On The Run Tour: Beyonce And Jay-Z" - Houston
Beyonce performs during the "On The Run Tour: Beyonce And Jay-Z" at Minute Maid Park on July 18, 2014 in Houston, Texas. Larry Busacca—WireImage/Getty Images

Streams for the two bangers are already online

Both the new singles from the upcoming deluxe release of Beyoncé’s self-titled album have already hit the web.

In “7/11,” an auto-tuned Bey lays down a commanding, mantra-like rap over a warped beat, while “Ring Off” delivers a completely different vibe. An ode to her mother, “Ring Off” is also an emotional recap of Mama Knowles’ recent divorce: “You used to dress and fix your hair/ Then you’d smile through your tears/ In the mirror you would stare and say a prayer.”

For those who can’t wait for the platinum edition of Beyoncé’s latest album, the two bangers can be streamed here.

TIME Music

Iggy Azalea and Ellie Goulding Pay Haters No Mind on ‘Heavy Crown’

Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea Todd Williamson—Invision/AP

The Aussie rapper and the "Burn" singer join forces

Iggy Azalea knows exactly what you think about her, so as she kicks off her 2014 victory lap — marked by next week’s The New Classic reissue, Reclassified — she’s making sure to gloat. The Australian rapper dedicates new song “Heavy Crown” to “everyone who said I’d never make it.” She lets a hook from “Burn” siren Ellie Goulding warn listeners that the emcee is sticking to her guns, no matter how polarizing: “You can’t always please the crowd / but I’m still not bowing down… bitch, I got it now.”

“Heavy Crown” won’t change the minds of anyone who’s already written off the rapper, but Iggy’s double-time rap over the militaristic march seems more at ease than the occasionally clunky verses on early singles. (See her hate-it-or-love-it verse on “Work.”) Iggy critics have docked points for the way her rapping style can sound forced and over-studied, but “Heavy Crown” suggests she’s discovering how to not to be so stiff. In the year that saw “Fancy” stay No. 1 for seven weeks, she’s certainly earned the right to kick back and relax.

TIME TIME for Thanks

Hozier: What I’m Thankful For

Andrew Hozier-Byrne, TIME for Thanks
Andrew Hozier-Byrne of Hozier. Steven Dewall—Redferns/Getty Images

Thanksgiving is not a tradition celebrated in Europe, though I think the idea of reminding oneself of what we have to be thankful for is very worthwhile. It’s so easy to take the day-by-day for granted, and in turn the weeks and months.

This year I’m thankful for so much, it’s been an incredible year for me professionally. This time last year I never would have believed I’d be where I am now, or the opportunities that have come my way. I’m still getting my head around it.

I’m thankful for the hard work put in by everyone around me, the label team, the band, the live crew, my management and everyone behind the scenes. It’s one thing to work towards your own dream, but to have others working and supporting you on that road is something very special, to have people believing in your work. I lucked out with the people around me. I feel incredibly fortunate in that regard.

I’m thankful for the new people I’ve met in the last year, and the people I’ve worked with. I continue to be encouraged and inspired by the enthusiasm and drive of other people, it pushes me to do better.

I’m thankful for the fans who keep me in the job and making me feel so welcome overseas. Their encouragement and support can really make the difference on the tougher days. Sometimes the idea that somebody else might believe in you can be enough to tie you over until the day you yourself do.

I’m thankful for my close friends and family who I don’t get to see as much as I’d like but I know are there. I’m thankful that if all this goes wrong, I’ve a family at home who would welcome me with open arms. Their support and friendship keeps me grounded and I’m thankful for the time coming up at Christmas where I can spend time with everyone again.

Andrew Hozier-Byrne, known as Hozier, is a musician.

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