Rihanna was once the world's preeminent pop star. And yes, I use past tense. Despite having her hit "Work" firmly ensconced at number one for the past two months, a stat that ties her with the Beatles as second only to Mariah Carey for most weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Rihanna has recently transcended pop stardom.
There has been a lot of praise across social media for Prince since the news of his death. Even as I write this, I can't quite come to terms with that phrase. As he would say, "something in the water does not compute."
Today I'm making a pledge to myself and my fellow global citizen. I will try to educate myself before I express myself. I will try to learn before I teach. I will try to listen before I shout. I will do my best to help find solutions. When I disagree, I will do so with respect and grace. I will try to be a better man. I will rise up. Will you?
This is a model that Toronto's exports have seemed to follow for years -- when one artist breaks, so do the communities that have birthed them. While not entirely unique to Toronto, it's certainly a trend that has planted roots there and helped grow Canada's music scene immensely, one [Broken Social] scene at a time.
No one can say for certain how many concert works by Canadian composers have been heard at the White House. We do know the University of Toronto's Matthew Emery was surprised in December to learn -- after the fact -- that he had written one of them.
When one thinks of Jamaica, two things immediately come to mind and it's not Bob Marley and Usain Bolt this time around. Rather, it's dancehall music and homophobia -- two things which are one and the same.
So it was quite shocking when Jamaicans and residents from other Caribbean islands learned that the son of Mr. Ninja Man, a popular dancehall artist, was gay.
They were using their talents and resources to pursue their passions. We often celebrate young people (think Bill Gates for instance) for doing this in other businesses and personal pursuits, but it takes on a very different tone when young black men from stigmatized areas take an unconventional path and invest their energies into it.
In an age where the majority of pop artists are scared to have an opinion, scared to look foolish, scared to act in a way that will draw attention to themselves, or away from their music, Susan Boyle feels like a beacon of authenticity.
One of the contenders in this category is Hamilton, Ontario's own band The City Harmonic. The band is composed of four worshipers from four small churches who began by singing hymns and spiritual songs. Since then, The City Harmonic is no stranger to success, having won its first Juno in 2013.
From the moment Beyoncé walked off the Super Bowl stage, halftime show sticking out of her back pocket after broadcasting black power imagery and black pride lyrics to an audience of 112 million people, the backlash began. From boycotts to criticism from senators and pundits alike, the goal here is to intimidate the pop star into silence because she holds power. But here's the thing; celebrity activists matter. Being an artist does not mean that you cannot speak out about injustice, but critics push that agenda because having a following for your art does mean that people might actually listen when you do.
The late Glenn Gould was a Canadian national treasure. One of the great pianists of the 20th century, his rare intellect, astonishing technique and unmatched...
The Canada connection -- Christopher Plummer, who played the proud Austrian naval hero Captain Georg von Trapp -- was born in Toronto and raised in Senneville, Quebec, on the western tip of the Island of Montreal. Plummer is the great-grandson of John Abbott, who was Canada's third prime minister, and the Abbott family raised the young Plummer after his parents divorced.
By casting someone who looks so unlike Simone, but has whiter, more favoured features erases her in her own movie. That just doesn't make sense. It's not as though Saldana can't make her best efforts as an actress to try to try and put herself if Simone's dark skin and embody her character, but why is she needed to do that when there are so many other actresses who have lived this life themselves.
The tone of their promotional clip Adventure of a Lifetime shows us in a very bad light and could even lead to undoing all the good work that has been put in place over the last few decades. I can tell you, it's got everyone going bananas in the office.
I've been wanting to make a video with some of my queer family for a long time and 'Desire' felt like the right time to do it. Every Y&Y video has some similar elements that run through it: magical worlds, symbolism, pretty lights and this time I wanted sex added into that mixture.
With Valentine's Day just around the corner I have a confession to make -- I love Calgary. I love the city that I got to grow up in and that I get to live in each and every day. A few weeks ago Calgary loved me back and I wanted to take a few minutes to send out the biggest of thank yous to everyone who helped me feel so wonderful.