When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong: Pop Princess Edition
Dave Chapelle teaches us that the art of "keeping it real" may sometimes go awry. According to urbandictionary.com, this occurs when "in the act of keeping it real, the outcome is unexpected and usually has a negative effect on the individual who decided to keep it real." Pop princesses are not immune from this phenomena.
1. Britney Spears, "I Heart Parasites": We could write an entire encyclopedia set-worth of B.Spears train-wreckery. From her head-shaving, to her car-crashing, to her Kevin-Federlining, she is a well of cringe-worthy blogging material.
We're probably most grossed-out by that infamous 2004 photo taken of Britney exiting a public gas station restroom barefoot. Why do folks in the South find going shoeless in public an acceptable practice? We shuddered seeing festival-goers walking around in the grass or mud barefoot at Summerfest.
Perhaps we're just germophobes, but Rocks Off took a course on Immunology in college. Are you aware of the kinds of creepy-crawlies that could be sharing your lunch with you tomorrow because you decided to kick your shoes off? Meet the hookworm.
Cute, aren't they? These guys typically enter the human body through bare feet and live in their host's small intestine, sucking blood from the intestinal wall and often causing an iron deficiency. Then again, on second thought, what's a few more parasites added to the ecosystem of infectious fauna and flora that is Britney Spears?
2. Vanessa Hudgens, "Raisins Exposed": In 2007, Disney Channel and High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens made even our high-school strumpets blush. Hudgens, who was only 17 and not yet a household Disney name, took nude photos of herself and sent them as an email attachment to Nickelodeon's Josh and Drake star Drake Bell so that he'd go out on a date with her.
And then in 2009, more nude photos, possibly taken when she was even younger than 17, surfaced. Wow, Vanessa. Now Rocks Off isn't exactly Mother Theresa, but back in our day, if we wanted to kick it with some dude, we'd just ask. Novel concept, eh? Girls in our high-school days of yore didn't go around sending email attachments with images of their exposed goodies for the whole World Wide Web to see. Call us old fashioned.
3. Fergie, "One Old-Ass Princess": Is there such thing as a 35-year old princess? We didn't think so. But that's not what Fergie, who's more Joan Rivers than Lindsay Lohan in our estimation, would have us believe. Her incontinence at a 2005 San Diego show ain't fooling us, though. Peeing yourself is when keeping it really old just got really real.
Fergie chalked the urine stains up to "being buzzed" and not having time to use the restroom prior to the show. "I had a few drinks before going onstage," she said. "But I didn't think to go to the bathroom. We were jumping around and my bladder just started... you know." Whoa there, Golden Girl. TMI.
Her reps subsequently released statements saying that the pee stain was merely sweat. We ask: who the hell sweats primarily in the crotchal region? We know we don't, even after an hour on the elliptical.
What we loved most about the whole scenario was that Fergie just kept on dancing in spite of the unexpected showers of gold. We almost wish we'd been there to strategically place slip-hazard orange cones onstage for her backup dancers.
4. Avril Lavigne, "A Little Too Complicated": In the early '00s, we were all subjected to that awful pop-punk wave of faux tears that wreaked havoc on heavily-lined eyes. It was a wave that Avril Lavigne rode the hell out of, touting an "Anti-Britney" image and proclaiming that she was was a rocker, not a pop princess (you assholes). Being the music journalists we are, we find it difficult to classify singles like "Sk8ter Boi" or "Girlfriend" as anything apart from, well, pop. But hey, we won't split hairs.
At the 2003 Grammy Award nominations, David Bowie made life a little more "complicated" for Avril. She apparently forgot to brush up on her Hooked on Phonics and Rock Star 101 lessons prior to the ceremony because she pronounced the legendary rocker's last name as if it rhymed with "Howie" that day.
When an Associated Press reporter informed her afterward that she did a bang-up job on Bowie's name, Lavigne said: "Oops! I knew that was going to happen. I knew I was going to pronounce someone's name wrong." Oops indeed. Nevermind the fact that she had no idea who the Ramones were until her bandmate bought her one of their albums.
5. Miley Cyrus, "Tween Hubris Monster": Miley Cyrus was the very first of Disney's child star moguls. With wildly successful television, film, music and consumer product deals, she was set to earn $1 billion by the end of 2007, prompting Parade magazine to crown her as the nation's wealthiest teenage celebrity. We'd bet a kidney that Miley's not exactly the type to be told "no" often.
At the 2009 Grammy Awards, Miley's people attempted to arrange a backstage meeting with Radiohead, a band Miley is "obsessed with," surprisingly enough. Radiohead's reps then told Miley's manager that the band "doesn't really do that."
Miley reportedly was so upset by being snubbed by a band she "would cry over," that she said retorted: "Stinkin' Radiohead! I'm going to ruin them!" Please, Miley! Mercy! Do find it in your heart to spare the most important band of our generation of your ruinous wrath!
Miley ensuingly skipped out on their epic performance of "15 Step" with the USC Marching Band. Radiohead later released a statement in response: "When Miley grows up, she'll learn not to have such a sense of entitlement." BURN.
6. Ashlee Simpson, "Jigging Away The Embarrassment": In what was about to become the most ridiculed video clip of 2004, Ashley Simpson pulled a Milli Vanilli, followed by an awkward jig at a Saturday Night Live performance. At the close of the show, she explained: "I'm so sorry. My band started playing the wrong song, and I didn't know what to do, so I did a jig."
But a few days later, she phoned into MTV's Total Request Live - kids, ask your elder siblings - to elaborate that she had been suffering from acid reflux and had been advised to use the assistance of a vocal guide track. At least Milli Vanilli got a Grammy out of their lip-synching ordeal... well, until it was later revoked.
Probably even more humiliating was Ashlee's 2005 off-key Orange Bowl performance, at which she got booed by 72,000 viewers. Following the performance, a petition demanding that Ashlee stop making music became among the most popular on Petition.com. Ouch. Talk about second-hand embarrassment.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.