You can take the girl out of country, but you can't take country out of the girl. Taylor Swift pivoted toward pop with her synth-laden 2014 album 1989 and audacious latest effort Reputation, out Friday. Yet the Nashville transplant hasn't entirely abandoned her country roots. In fact, Swift earned her 12th Country Music Association Award Wednesday, taking home song of the year for writing Little Big Town's Better Man. The four-piece group's Karen Fairchild accepted the award on behalf of Swift, the sole writer on the breakup ballad who was not in attendance at the ceremony. "Taylor, wherever you are, thank you for this beautiful song and for loving songs and loving Nashville," Fairchild said. Swift, who is performing on Saturday Night Live this weekend, posted her stunned reaction to the honor on social media, writing, "In NYC for SNL rehearsals. I LOVE YOU @littlebigtown and CMAs." Better Man marks the first song of the year CMA for Swift, who previously picked up the show's top trophies for entertainer of the year and album of the year (Fearless).
It's a good time to be a pop music fan. In a week that's seen new releases from Kelly Clarkson, Zayn Malik and more stars, Sam Smith has released "Too Good at Goodbyes," his first single since the 2015 release of his Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning "Writing's on the Wall," the theme song for the James Bond film Spectre. Written with Jimmy Napes and Stargate, "Too Good at Goodbyes" heralds the return of one of music's most celebrated artists. "This song is about a relationship I was in and it's basically about getting good at getting dumped," Smith, 25, says in a statement. "It's been a long while since I've put any music out and I feel that this first single sets the tone of what is to come."
Mariah Carey, M.I.A. and Mindy Kaling are among the stars to send prayers to the people of Sri Lanka after a series of co-ordinated explosions killed more than 200 on Easter Sunday (21Apr19). Officials estimate at least 207 people died in the bombings of four hotels and three churches, where holiday services were being held, in and around the capital of Colombo and in the city of Batticaloa, where 450 others were injured. The news prompted a string of celebrities to take to social media to express their shock and sadness at the headlines. "Sri Lanka, my heart is with you. I'm praying for everyone affected by this horrible tragedy. Stay strong," tweeted Mariah Carey, as rapper M.I.A., whose parents hail from the South Asian nation. Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds shared, "heartbroken for the people of Sri Lanka. there are no words that could possibly bring comfort or understanding at times like these - I can only offer my deepest sorrow and love along with the millions of others mourning today." Ciara tweeted, "Praying for you Sri Lanka. My heart is crushed," and Kelly Rowland took to Instagram to write, "On this Resurrection Sunday, I'd like to take the time to simply send love and prayers to Sri Lanka...! Today, please take the time and say a prayer for Sri Lanka! Praying for my brothers and sisters through Christ!" Meanwhile, actress Mindy Kaling, whose family is of Indian heritage, shared a link to a Washington Post article about the tragedy, and urged fans to "think about including these people in your prayers" on Easter Sunday. "I'm Hindu, but Easter is one of the most moving and beautiful holidays," she posted. "I do believe in the power of prayer, even from strangers half the world away." There were also tributes from world leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump and former leader Barack Obama, as well as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Katy Perry finally explains why she finally decided to address her feud with Taylor Swift during a May appearance on The Late Late Show. "Well, James Corden makes me and the whole world feel very safe. No one has asked me about my side of the story," she says, "and there are three sides of every story: one, two and the truth." Perry says she finally reached a breaking point with Swift, who has not spoken out since the interview. "Things irritate me. I wish that I could turn the other cheek every single time, but I'm also not a pushover, you know? Especially when someone tries to assassinate my character with little girls," she explains. "That's so messed up!" And even though Swift hired Perry's longtime collaborator Max Martin to co-write the diss track "Bad Blood," the "Bon Appétit " singer doesn't hold any grudges against the popular music producer. "I'm not supposed to tell him what he can and can't do. I'm very fair; I'm super-duper fair and I'm not one of those people who's like, 'You can't do that because I don't like that person,'" she tells sources. "You do you. Make your own choices...I'm not his mother."