Lady Gaga And Ariana Grande Released Their Anticipated Collab And I Have Thoughts

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There’s nothing I enjoy more than pop queens coming together to release an unarguable bop. So a few weeks ago when Lady Gaga first revealed the song list for her sixth studio album, Chromatica, myself and millions of other pop loving fans screeched with joy as we realised that Gaga was collaborating in a song with none other than Ariana Grande.

Rain on Me artwork

The song, titled Rain on Me, was released yesterday, the 22nd May. Which, of course, was also the third anniversary of the tragic Manchester Arena bombing, as one of Ariana Grande’s concerts ended. This didn’t escape me, as I was inside Manchester Arena when the bombing occurred, and it is still something that I, and many others that were at Ariana’s concert that night, still deal with today. The anniversary is a strange and sad day, and it seemed particularly poignant this year as the UK is still in lockdown, and learning to cope with a new way of life. So, I was particularly eager to hear the song, and I knew this wasn’t something that Ariana Grande wouldn’t take lightly.

I played the song on Tidal yesterday as soon as I woke up, and was really relieved by what I heard. For Gaga, the song very much takes me back to her Just Dance days, enjoying pop music for what it is and her debut elaborate fashion and makeup that first introduced us to her. It was also really nice to see Lady Gaga just being Gaga.

She hasn’t hidden her struggle with a medical condition called Fibromyalgia, which causes chronic pain, over the last few years. She also spoke to Zane Lowe in a recent interview and said “… this song ‘Rain On Me,’ the lyrics that I wrote right here in this studio, ‘I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive. Rain on me.’ This is about an analog of tears being the rain. And you know what it’s also a metaphor for, is the amount of drinking that I was doing to numb myself. I’d rather be dry. I’d rather not be drinking, but I haven’t died yet. I’m still alive. Rain on me. Okay, I’m going to keep on drinking. This song has many layers”. It’s safe to say that Lady G has had her fair share of struggles that she’s been dealing with. So, it’s cathartic to see her doing what she does best and killing it.

Artwork for Rain on Me

As for Ariana, it felt a little bit more personal for me as I feel like I also share a little bit of my own trauma with her after the Manchester attack. Since then, Ariana has also had to deal with a number of personal upheavals, including the tragic passing of her late partner, Mac Miller. She’s been very open in her struggles with anxiety and her journey with mental health and healing since what happened in Manchester. So, to me, Rain on Me very much reminded me of Ari’s single No Tears Left to Cry, which was the first single she released after the attack and was notably upbeat and inspiring, rather than sad. Ariana has monumentally used music as healing tool for both herself and her fans. This was shown when she organised the One Love Manchester concert to raise money for victims and bring the people of Manchester together, through her whole Sweetener album, and then again on her following album, thank U, next.

Ariana wrote on her Instagram page of her collaboration with Lady Gaga; “…i met a woman who knew pain the way i did… who cried the same way i did, drank as much wine as i did, ate as much pasta as i did and who’s heart was bigger than her whole body. she immediately felt like a sister to me. she then held my hand and invited me into the beautiful world of chromatica and together, we got to express how beautiful and healing it feels to mothafuckinnnn cry ! I hope this makes you all feel as uplifted as it does for us both”.

Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga

Rain on Me includes lyrics such as “I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive”, and “I only asked you to show me a real good time, I never asked for the rainfall”. It’s a dance fuelled, pop music celebration of healing after tragedy and heartbreak. It invites Gaga and Grande fans to feel liberated in forgetting their troubles, even if it’s just for three minutes and two seconds, and just enjoy the music and have a good time in the face of adversity.

In terms of the music itself, it’s just what the world needs right now. Two of the planets biggest female stars teaming up for a girl power inspired, high energy, feel good tune. With an incredible music video and learnable dance moves that are also absolutely iconic. Who doesn’t need a little bit of that in their lives right now?

Lady Gaga’s sixth album, Chromatica, will be released on 29th May 2020.

10 Reasons Why Beyoncé Should Bring Her Next Tour To Newcastle

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It’s a strange time in the events industry at the moment, with shows not going ahead for the foreseeable future for obvious reasons.

Venues are closed and concerts, gigs and productions have had to cancel and postpone performances and tours. Huge stars are in no way exempt from this, and even big upcoming tours from artists such as Harry Styles, Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift have all been affected.

There were also likely a number of big tours that have needed to be postponed that weren’t even announced yet, and I have a sneaky suspicion that a large scale tour from the Queen Bey herself may have been one of them.

I’m a HUGE Beyoncé fan. I’ve seen her in concert 10 times, and was also lucky enough to see Destiny’s Child live back in 2002. I’ve spent a lot of money on travelling to other cities to see her shows and have even held her hand from a VIP pit (or the Beyhive Pit as her fans will know). I wouldn’t change it for the world as I’m always blown away by her shows and her stage presence, but it would be nice to see Beyoncé play in my hometown of Newcastle again.

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Beyoncé performing live (image from Beyoncé’s Facebook page)

In fact, here’s 10 reasons why Beyoncé should bring her next tour to Newcastle;

1. She Hasn’t Performed In Newcastle Since 2009

Yes, it’s true. The last time Bey graced Newcastle with her presence was all the way back in May 2009, when she performed at the Utilita Arena (then named the Metro Radio Arena). It was part of the UK leg of the I Am tour, which showcased her Sasha Fierce days and Single Ladies dance routine. Of course, Beyoncé did bring her last solo tour, The Formation World Tour, to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light in 2016. The show sold out and attracted crowds from all over the North East… but haway man.

2. Geordie Crowds Are One Of The Best In The Country –

It’s absolutely no secret that Geordie’s love a good gig, and we’re not quiet about it! I can’t count the number of concerts I’ve been to here where the performers have been in awe of the audience. The atmosphere that a crowd in Newcastle can bring is like no other. We’re a canny bunch, and an eclectic collection of people. When we get together for a show, the scenes are incredible. Even if there’s a bit of rain, it never puts a dampener on the crowds here, and certainly never stops us from putting on our trendiest outfit and donning our sharpest winged eyeliner. One things for sure, when Beyoncé hits the stage in her Freakum’ Dress, we’ll be right there looking like Diva’s.

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Beyoncé performing live (image from Beyoncé’s Facebook page)

3. Geordie Fans Are Loyal –

A Geordie fan is a fan for life. We love what we love and we’re dear to it. Beyoncé has a lot of devotee’s here in Newcastle, mainly because we’re people of good taste. There’s a big music and fashion scene in the North East too, and Beyoncé is undoubtably a big influence on both of those. As she’s been a big player in the music industry for over 20 years now, her music has also been a popular staple of radio, bars and nightclubs in the UK for a long time, which has created fans spanning various generations. Have you ever been in Mushroom Bar swigging a double vodka and coke when Run the World starts playing? It’s wild.

4. We’ve Got Different Venues To Choose From –

Ok so, granted, we do only have one arena in Newcastle and it is a liiiittle bit smaller than other arenas in the country. But, the arena is an iconic music venue in Newcastle and there’s a lot of love in that building with a good act on stage. Bey could even do more than one date there and they’d all be sellouts. We also have The Sage, which is renown for some of the best acoustics in Europe. The Sage would be perfect if she wanted to host a string of smaller, more intimate, shows in a beautifully artistic venue. However, Beyoncé’s last two tours, The Formation World Tour and On The Run 2 with Jay Z, were both stadium tours. So, how about St James Park? It has a capacity of over 50,000 – so just imagine the amazing show that Beyoncé could hold there.

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Beyoncé performing live with Jay Z (image from Beyoncé’s Facebook page)

5. Easy Travel –

Newcastle City Centre, and each of the three venues I’ve just listed, are very easy to travel to. Newcastle has a great system of metros and busses for local travel, as well as Central Station in the heart of the city and Newcastle Airport for anyone travelling further afield. There’s also an endless amount of taxi ranks in town for if your feet are sore after the show.

6. It Would Be One Of The Most Anticipated Events In The Region Of The Year –

Even if times were more normal at the minute, a Beyoncé concert in Newcastle would be one of the biggest events of the year. The excitement, the local media coverage, the Instagram pics, the mini busses full of lasses buzzing to dance away to Crazy in Love. It would be amazing. And if she was to announce a tour date in Newcastle after the lockdown, the anticipation would be amplified ten fold.

7. It Would Bring Tourism And An Economic Boost To The City –

Beyoncé’s talents are so vast that they include tourist and attractions management. Big concerts attract fans and gig goers from all over, and I should know as I have travelled to Glasgow, London, Manchester and Sydney, Australia, to see Beyoncé live. Gigs are a great excuse for a weekend away, a trip with friends or for die hard fans, like me, to show their dedication. This will bring money to the region from tourists staying in hotels and enjoying Newcastle’s shopping, food and bar scene. It goes without saying that, after the current lockdown, the city would greatly benefit from this sort of financial boost.

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Beyoncé performing live (image from Beyoncé’s Facebook page)

8. We’re A City Of Art and Culture –

In her spare time, when Beyoncé’s not selling out stadiums, having children or winning Grammy Awards, she paints. She’s also a known lover of poetry, photography and art galleries. Thankfully, Newcastle is full of wonderful art and cultural venues such as The Baltic, Laing Art Gallery and The Biscuit Factory. Beyoncé even filmed her music video for Ape Sh!t in the The Louvre Museum when she was in Paris, so, you never know?

9. Newcastle Has Some Of The Best Bars And Restaurants In The Country –

Newcastle has always been known as a party city, but over the last few years the toon has also flourished into a mecca for independent breweries, cocktail bars, coffee shops, café’s and restaurants. Not only are the bars and restaurants in Newcastle perfect for pre concert refreshments, but they’re also fit for a Queen… Bey.

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Beyoncé performing live (image from Beyoncé’s Facebook page)

10. The After Parties Would Be Amazing –

Imagine; you’ve spent the last two hours dancing, screaming and crying to Beyoncé. Actual Beyoncé. On stage in front of you. The Queen has finished her concert and you have been truly blessed to have been in the same room as her and thousands of others living it up. You’re a bit drunk. Drunk in Love, to be exact. And you’re in the toon, surrounded by some of the most banging bars and clubs in the UK. Or, some of the worst if you’d prefer those. You step onto a sticky dance floor in Florita’s with your mates around you and a daiquiri in your hand. You’re ready to dance All Night.

So there we have it, at least 10 reasons why Beyoncé should bring her next tour to Newcastle upon Tyne. Can you think of any others? Let me know!

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Beyoncé performing live (image from Beyoncé’s Facebook page)

Little Mix’s Rise to Pop Domination

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Little Mix are one of today’s best known all female pop groups. Their catchy bops and fun personalities have helped their music career to skyrocket, as well as becoming a household name.

Made up of Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall, both hailing from South Shields, as well as Leigh-Anne Pinnock from High Wycombe and Jesy Nelson from Romford. It’s rare that you turn on mainstream radio or music channels without hearing something from the girls, and their popularity only grows stronger.

They’re expected to release a new album soon, and have already released their lead single from it, titled ‘Break Up Song’. Fans, like me, are definitely excited for their new work!

After being in the spotlight for nearly 9 years now, the girls have created a great discography and some amazing moments in pop history. So, let’s take a look at how Little Mix came to be one of the biggest pop bands of our time;

2011

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The girls met while all taking part in The X Factor, but were put together as a group after auditioning as soloists, and went on to be mentored in the series by Tulisa Contostavlos.

The band were originally called Rhythmix, but changed the name to Little Mix as there was a charity called the same name.

The girls won The X Factor in December 2011 and became the first group to ever win the competition!

2012

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Little Mix attended the Brit Awards for the first time as a group. The girls said in an interview with Kiss FM that they were star struck by all the different celebrities there.

They also performed their cover of En Vogue’s single Don’t Let Go live on the National Television Awards that year.

The foursome released their debut album titled DNA a few months later. The album charted in the top 10 in 10 different countries!

The video for the albums lead single, Wings, has now had over 200 million views on YouTube.

2013

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Little Mix released the last single from their first album, How Ya Doin’, featuring hip hop legend Missy Elliott.

They followed this by releasing their second album, which was heavily anticipated by the pop music industry. Salute, featuring it’s lead single, Move, reached the top 10 in the UK, Australia and the US.

Smash Hits interviewed the band and Perrie confessed that they had only had 12 days in the studio to record all of the vocals for the full Salute album.

The girls also performed a medley of their songs for Children in Need Rocks and won their first official award after being nominated for the Ultimate Export award at the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Woman Awards.

2014

In 2014 Little Mix released a charity single, their cover of Word Up by Cameo, for Sport Relief. They also travelled to Liberia to raise awareness for malaria and visited communities there living in slums to highlight why Sport Relief’s fundraising efforts are so important.

They embarked on their second tour, The Salute Tour, across the UK and Ireland. Including a sold out show at London’s 02 Arena, which they have now performed at numerous times since.

It’s also the year that Jesy Nelson’s ‘Jamaican accent’ went viral on YouTube and the world fell in love with her for it – though she later confirmed that it wasn’t actually her Jamaican accent but the video had been edited to make it look like it was!

The girls also performed live at the Summertime Ball for Capital FM, where they have become popular regular performers each year.

2015

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Black Magic was released as the lead single for their third album. The single debuted at number 1 where it stayed for 3 weeks.

Their third album Get Weird was released later that year and featured their single Secret Love Song, which the band have often dedicated to their LGBTQ fan base.

The album has since been certified double platinum in the UK!

2016

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Little Mix received critical acclaim for their debut performance at The Brit Awards, singing their chart topping song Black Magic.

They also went on their third headline tour, doing over 60 dates in the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia.

After performing the lead single for their fourth album, Shout Out To My Ex, for the first time on The X Factor, the band announced their new album, named Glory Days. The lead single became their fourth UK number 1 in the charts.

Glory Days was also Little Mix’s first UK number 1 album!

2017

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The band won Best British Single at the Brit Awards for Shout Out To My Ex.

Little Mix then toured with Ariana Grande in the US as her support act for her Dangerous Woman Tour, before headlining their own Glory Days Tour in Europe.

Little Mix also performed at One Love Manchester, which raised money for the tragedy at Manchester Arena on 22nd May 2017.

The girls also collaborated with CNCO for their single Reggaetón Lento, which has arguably become one of their most popular songs for radio airplay.

2018

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The girls held a Summer Hits Tour across stadiums, including the North East’s own Gateshead Stadium.

The band released their fifth studio album, LM5, which included the single Woman Like Me, featuring acclaimed rapper Nicki Minaj. They performed the single with Nicki at the MTV European Music Video Awards.

They also released the video for their song Strip, which had a strong feminist undertone and featured women from many different backgrounds. Including Sharaya J, Dina Torkia and Nimco Ali.

2019

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After success with their 5th album, Little Mix performed at The Brit Awards for the third time, where they also won the award for British Artist Video of the Year.

The band controversially performed in Dubai with a pride flag behind them while singing Secret Love Song, despite the country having strict anti homosexuality laws. They received praise from the LGBTQ community for their support.

Jesy worked with the BBC on a documentary titled Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out, which focussed on her battle with self confidence and how being cyber bullied online has effected her. The documentary was widely praised by fans and the public.

Perrie was announced as a patron for the breast cancer charity CoppaFeel, and has used her platform to spread awareness of the importance of checking yourself regularly for breast cancer symptoms.

Leigh-Anne and Jade took part in an epic trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, raising thousands of pounds for Comic Relief.

Jade also expanded her entrepreneurial skills last year and purchased a cocktail bar in her home town of South Shields.

Little Mix released their single Bounce Back, which samples Soul || Souls hit Back to Life, as well as their very first Christmas single One I’ve Been Missing.

The girls topped off their busy year by releasing a special collection fashion line with online retailer Pretty Little Thing.

2020

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Little Mix have just released their brand new single Break Up Song, and their sixth album is hotly anticipated.

They have also announced that they will be filming their own talent competition in 2020, titled The Search.

The girls do have an upcoming summer tour released too, however dates may need to be postponed due to the ongoing situation. For more details, check our Little Mix’s tour information on Ticketmaster.

There’s certainly much more to come from Little Mix, and I can’t wait to listen to their new album!

The girls have done so well, and have proven time and time again that they’re not only band mates but actually good friends with down to earth personalities as well. Well, with two Geordie girls in the band what else would you expect?