Beyonce fans are doing the 'apesh*t challenge' and it's absolutely hilarious. We are lolling. The internet has seen some pretty strange challenges over the past few years - from the cinnamon challenge all the way through to the extremities of people eating tide pods. Because apparently putting a hashtag on something and calling it a challenge can convince the internet to do just about anything. But the latest craze is safe, hilarious, and involves none other than Beyonce. After Bey and husband Jay-Z dropped joint album, Everything Is Love, totally unannounced last week on Tidal, they let us ordinary folk in on the action by dropping one of their music videos on YouTube. The video for 'Apeshit' saw the couple take over the Louvre museum in Paris, dancing in front of epic masterpieces including the Mona Lisa, and Great Sphinx of Tanis - because why wouldn't they? Cultural commentators got massively excited about this, saying the video would engage more people who enjoy popular culture in topics such as art history, but they never could have predicted what was coming. Drawing inspiration from a scene in the video, in which Queen Bey dances vigorously in a white dress in front of The Winged Victory of Samothrace, the internet decided to improvise and film themselves dancing around in a bed sheet before posting it on Twitter and naming it #Apeshitchallenge. (British Glamour)

Gwen Stefani Brings No Doubt and Solo Hits to Life at Energizing Las Vegas Debut. "I'm just a girl in Vegas!" exclaimed Gwen Stefani near the end of her Las Vegas debut on Wednesday (June 27), on a tear of classic No Doubt and solo hits of her own. Joining the ranks of Spears, Backstreet and Jennifer Lopez in settling in for residencies at Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, the Anaheim, Calif. pop star made her Sin City debut at Zappos Theater, marking the first of her 25-date Just a Girl spectacular with shows that run through March 2019. It was a relatively simple yet fully formed affair, with minor and forgivable kinks. Stefani spent the near two-hour runtime reviving songs from her past with a fresh twist, energy on tilt and focus lasered. Unlike her Vegas peers, bells and whistles were few, save for the bananas brandished by her fleet of backup dancers for opener "Hollaback Girl" and her giant cake throne for "Wind It Up." Instead, the 48-year-old let the songs do the work, with minimal stage banter and footwork, leaving the heavy lifting to her backup dancers. What separated Stefani from the pack, though, was the fact that she breathlessly sang live. Many Vegas performers opt out of actually keeping their mics on as they hit choreography, and it was a compelling choice. She sounded fresh, on-key and connected with her music, making for a show that felt less like an automation and aligning with her brand: a talented girl in the world, uncompromising, giving it her all with little artifice. The show began after her boyfriend Blake Shelton stepped in the sold-out house around 9:15pm, grinning and interacting with the crowd, with Stefani taking the stage five minutes later. As the curtains opened and horn fanfare erupted, she emerged with a trail of dancers behind her, clad in thigh-high glitter boots and a glitter cape over a glitter jacket. Sparkle was a theme throughout the night -- near the end, she came out in a chic farm-ready ensemble care of designer Jeremy Scott, who watched from the crowd as she shouted him and Shelton out. During the performance, Stefani kept it trim, doing an almost anti-Vegas change of costume, clocking out around five. (Cher, for example, has upwards of 14.) The smash singles were plenty -- "Bathwater, "Spiderwebs," "Hella Good," "Rich Girl," "Luxurious," "Cool," a cover of Rihanna's "Umbrella" -- and the presentation was smooth. Save, for except, a few moments where a backup dancer tried to secure a cape on her for "Don't Speak" to disappointment, or when another dancer tried to disconnect a corset from her frame. To her credit, she adlibbed wonderfully, bringing two girls and then their other sister on stage to help her out of the latter. "Someone get up here and take this shit off me right now, this little girl. I want you and you to come undress me right now, please," she said, pulling them into the spotlight. "See, this is basically our dress rehearsal, and that's why I said tonight was one of the most memorable of the entire tour. This is the very first time this has ever happened to me. Actually, I crapped my pants one time in the crotch." The more unguarded moments held notable weight. As one fan in the sea of standing room fans in the pit waved a rainbow flag, perhaps coincidentally coinciding with Pride month, Stefani brought up a lesbian couple on stage after spotting them in the crowd. "I want to talk to these weirdoes," she said, referencing the audience at large. She settled on the pair, noting the hats branded with messages they were wearing just before sliding into "Underneath It All." "So 'I'm her Gwen,' and 'I'm her Blake.' Congratulations, I know it feels good." In fact, she made a point to let the audience know that she could see them and encouraged them to give back. "So this is super exciting for me because sometimes, I say, I can see everybody! I can actually see everybody. So if you're misbehaving, not reacting, being lazy, I will get you, and I will embarrass you." There were several video vignettes as she changed costumes, reflecting on her upbringing and replete with home videos of her as a child. One felt particularly important to Stefani: In a camo jacket, she spoke to the camera about her love of fashion as magazine covers she's graced moved across the screen. "Fashion has always inspired me. I mean, culture has always inspired me," she said. "My mom made my clothes, and her mom her clothes and my great grandma made her clothes. It's just in me, it's my DNA. And I love anything old Hollywood, vintage. I love seeing images of my mom in the '60s and there's not a decade in fashion that doesn't draw my attention and there's not a culture that I'm not fascinated by. I just love the art fashion and how fashion is such an extension of your personality and mood." By the end, she was composed and happy, genuinely enjoying the moment, and above all, grateful for the opportunity. "Thank you guys so much for coming out tonight. This is insanity! I can't believe I'm in Vegas right now! Thank you for all the love we've experienced all the years, thank you for all the cheers, thank you for letting me share my life story with you." (Billboard)

Hitco Close to Hiring SONGS Business & Legal Affairs Head David Gold: Sources. Hitco, the new music outfit founded by former Epic Records chairman/CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid and industry veteran Charles Goldstuck, is close to making a key new hire, sources tell Billboard: David Gold, who served as head of business and legal affairs for SONGS Music Publishing since 2015. If the deal is finalized, Gold would join a staff of about 30 at Hitco, up from 25 this winter, including executive VP/general manager Kirdis Postelle. Hitco has about 15 acts on its roster including Big Boi, whom Reid had signed as part of OutKast to LaFace Records in the '90s. But the bulk are newer acts, sources say. SONGS announced in December it had sold its catalog to Kobalt Capital's fund, and its other top executives have already landed in high places: Ron Perry is now running Columbia Records; Carianne Marshall is in a newly created COO role at Warner/Chappell Music Publishing and SONGS founder Matt Pincus is working as a special advisor to Snapchat and executive in residence at investment bank LionTree, which had helped him sell SONGS. Neither Hitco nor Gold could immediately be reached for comment. (Billboard)

Judge Denies Prince's Heirs' Request to Reconsider Tidal Exclusive Streaming Deal. Carver County District Court Judge Kevin Eide on Tuesday denied a request from three of Prince's heirs to reconsider a decision approving a deal between the iconic artist's estate and Tidal. Attorneys for heirs Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson and John R. Nelson submitted the request last week that was heavily redacted to the public, but according to a response letter from the late musician's estate it requested reconsideration on a May 9 order approving a settlement agreement. The deal included exclusive streaming rights for a JAY-Z-curated album of unreleased Prince material on Tidal. With their letter, the heirs sought to get out of that deal, basing their argument around Norwegian news reports that Tidal inflated its streaming numbers -- allegations the company has denied. In the estate's response, attorney Lora M. Friedemann, on behalf of executor Comerica Bank and Trust, cited Minnesota general rule of practice that states "motions to reconsider are prohibited except by express permission of the court, which will be granted only upon a showing of compelling circumstances" and added such motions are only appropriate in very rare circumstances. The estate argued that motions for reconsideration should only be granted where there has been intervening legal developments or the earlier decision is "palpably wrong in some respect." Per Friedemann's response, Prince's heirs failed to raise any such issues in their request. "Unproven media reports do not constitute an 'intervening legal development,' or demonstrate that the Court's Order was 'palpably wrong in some respect,'" she wrote. "Moreover, the Nelsons fail to explain how unsubstantiated media reports about Tidal bear in any respect on the settlement, and they do not." Prince and Tidal signed an exclusive streaming deal for his catalog in 2015. Following his death from an accidental overdose in April 2016, most of his Warner releases returned to all major streaming services last year. The agreement between the Prince estate and Tidal last month resolved all legal matters between the parties. On Wednesday (June 27), Sony Music announced a new distribution deal with the Prince estate that covers 35 of the musician's previously released albums ranging from 1978-2015. The titles will be released via the Legacy Recordings imprint. (Billboard)

Injured Tom Morello Recruits Fan For Rage Against the Machine Guitar Duty. Among guitarists, Tom Morello is a force of nature. He's always been that guy, fighting the good fight and typically winning. So a major injury to his axe hand won't keep him down, right? The veteran muso sustained a fractured hand which required surgery and was told he'd have to sit out the current Prophets of Rage tour. Fat chance. When the supergroup touched down in Stockholm on Tuesday, Morello got right back to work. And when his arm "got a little tired," he called up a fan to take guitar duties. Addressing the crowd, the veteran artist said: "Last Thursday, I fractured my hand and broke it in two. And my doctor said, 'There's no way you guys are going to be able to go on tour. I said, 'There's crazy-ass motherf---ers in Sweden who need to see this shit." Local fan and guitarist Mike Svensson stepped in for Rage Against the Machine's"Bulls on Parade" and channeled Morello's trademark fury. Prophets of Rage later tweeted a gory photo of his hand mid-surgery and coupled it with a clip of Morello in action. "Nothing can stop the bionic man," the message reads. (Billboard)


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