The Sweet bassist Steve Priest has died aged 72, his former bandmate has said. The group's guitarist Andy Scott announced the news on Facebook. He wrote: "I am in pieces right now. Steve Priest has passed away. "His wife Maureen and
Sharon Osbourne has said she does not believe overweight women who say they are "really happy in their bodies”.Speaking on her show The Talk on Tuesday (12 May), Osbourne said: “When these women say that they are really happy in their bodies, I don’t believe them. My body was really, really big. But I wasn’t happy. Sure on the surface, but at night in bed alone I was very unhappy.”
Elon Musk and his girlfriend Grimes have announced the birth of their baby boy.On Tuesday, the billionaire Tesla CEO replied to one of his Twitter followers to reveal that Grimes was in labour.
Selena Gomez is suing the makers of a mobile phone game for allegedly using her image without permission.On Tuesday, the “Lose You To Love Me” singer filed a lawsuit against the collection of the tech companies behind Clothes Forever – Styling Game, accusing them of profiting from using her likeness and name.
Pharrell Williams' Happy tops a list of the most played songs of the decade. The US singer's track was released in 2013 and spent four non-consecutive weeks at the top of the UK charts. The list, compiled by music licensing company
Madonna has called coronavirus “the great equaliser” in a sombre nude video taken while she’s in the bath.The pop icon is seen sitting in a milky bathtub filled with rose petals in the video, while she remarks that the pandemic doesn’t care if you are rich or poor.
Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks are reuniting as Genesis for their first tour in 13 years. The progressive rock band, known for songs including I Can't Dance and That's All, will tour the UK and Ireland this November and
Kanye West‘s six-year-old daughter North West performed on stage during a Yeezy show at Paris Fashion Week.The rapper, who was in the French capital to host his Sunday Service, announced the show as a surprise.
Fellow celebrities and fans have expressed their support after Welsh singer Duffy revealed she was drugged, raped and held captive in an ordeal that took place at some point in the past 10 years.“Of course I survived. The recovery took time. There’s no light way to say it,” she wrote. “But I can tell you in the last decade, the thousands and thousands of days I committed to wanting to feel the sunshine in my heart again, the sun does now shine.”
Primal Scream producer and DJ Andrew Weatherall has been remembered as a "cosmic traveller" after his death at the age of 56. The musician, who produced Screamadelica, died in hospital after suffering a pulmonary embolism. A statement
Billie Eilish will sing the theme song for the forthcoming James Bond film, No Time To Die. She is the youngest artist in history to write and record a soundtrack for a 007 film. The US singer-songwriter, 18, was confirmed by Bond producers
James Blunt has said the abuse he suffers for being posh is "entirely justified". The chart-topping singer, 45, attended the £41,775-a-year Harrow School and his father, Colonel Charles Blount, is a former cavalry officer. Blunt, who
Lady Gaga has discussed the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) she suffered after being “raped repeatedly” at the age of 19.The singer talked at length about her mental health in an interview with Oprah Winfrey as part of the presenter’s 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus tour.
On 1 September 1949, Carol Reed’s celebrated thriller The Third Man was released. It was an immediate hit and in the ensuing seven decades, The Third Man’s popularity has remained constant, with frequent appearances on TV and in the cinema, as well as a beautiful restoration in 2015.The film has also featured regularly in lists of the greatest films of all time, and many critics treasure it. It’s been 20 years now since the BFI placed The Third Man at the top of their own list of greatest British films, so perhaps it’s time for a reappraisal of the finest examples of British cinema.
Dame Barbara Windsor has thrown her support behind an open letter calling on new PM Boris Johnson to review the “devastating” state of dementia care.Speaking as a new ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society, she said: “My heart goes out to the many, many people who are really struggling to get the care they so desperately need.”Her husband, Scott Mitchell, added: “Seeing the true state of our social care system has shown me how people, who aren't as fortunate to be in the same position as myself and Barbara financially, are facing a constant battle to get what they need. I want to do everything I can to help them.”Dame Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014, but her diagnosis was only made public last year.He said: “I want the public to know because they are naturally very drawn to Barbara and she loves talking to them. Rather than me living in fear she might get confused or upset, they’ll know that if her behaviour seems strange, it’s due to Alzheimer's and accept it for what it is.”
Once upon a time, in the early Nineties, little girls were taught to be sugar and spice and all things nice. “Be quiet and polite,” they were told. “Acquiesce, and don’t take up too much space.” The magazines they were bought explained their value and importance would be related to their relationships, especially with boyfriends, and how pretty they looked. The pop charts were dominated by men, and the protagonists of TV shows and books were mainly boys. There was no Buffy, no Xena: Warrior Princess, even Powerpuff Girls weren’t a thing yet. Deep down, little girls knew boys were better and cleverer, and therefore allowed to do more stuff. Then, along came a girl group of five women, called the Spice Girls, who were quickly top of the pops and everywhere. Each one was different – Baby, Scary, Ginger, Posh and Sporty – but they all spoke their minds, and sang about what they wanted, what they really, really wanted.The Spice Girls might have been manufactured by record label suits behind the scenes, but their energy, music and chemistry took on a life of its own. Soon, they were the biggest band in the world, travelling in private jets from country to country, with multiple suitcases to fit their Buffalo platforms. It only lasted a few years before one – Ginger – left, but during that time, they lit a cultural wildfire with their central message of “Girl Power”.In their heyday, writer and punk poet Kathy Acker interviewed the Spice Girls for The Guardian. “They both are and represent a voice that has too long been repressed,” she wrote. “The voices – not really the voice – of young women and, just as important, of women not from the educated classes.” And that was the thing about the Spice Girls: each one of the five had their own character and vibe, unlike previous girl groups whose members could be interchangeable – which is why it doesn’t really matter that Posh Spice won’t be joining the reunion, despite Mel B’s hopeful quip Victoria will join the Wembley date. It’s her choice and it’s in the Spice Girls mentality to respect that and let her get on with her life.It’s strange, more than 20 years on, and with their UK reunion tour underway, to think back to the time the Spice Girls came out, and see, actually, how little has changed. The clothes and hairstyles and footwear and colours look dated but, in terms of women and confidence, the simple, basic message of saying what you want, doing what you want, and having the guts and spirit to be loud – or quiet, if that’s your thing – is more relevant than ever. The problem has not been solved.The phenomenon of the Spice Girls, and how it practically affected the lives of the group’s fans, is hard to measure. But we know music and pop culture in both pre-adolescence and the teen years can provide an important symbolic backdrop and framework to try out identities, express beliefs and perceptions, and try out different values and preferences.I was 11 when debut single “Wannabe” was released. At that point, I wasn’t exactly au fait with second or third-wave feminism and I’d not read Germaine Greer, Naomi Wolf or Simone De Beauvoir. I wasn’t aware of the academic criticism about the Spice Girls repackaging capitalist power, or corrupting feminism with consumerism, or concerns about raunch culture. All I saw was something unusual and atypical: five women, in charge, having the time of their lives. Really, it came down to a feeling: the spirit, the clothes, the forthright footsteps down the stairs and Mel B’s gleeful cackle, the chaotic ebullience, the adrenaline, the thrill.Before the Spice Girls gatecrashed the Britpop party, conforming to gender stereotypes for pre-teens in the Nineties who hadn’t heard of Riot grrrl or ladette culture meant being a ‘good girl’, which translated as being polite, nurturing, caring and pretty. The Spice Girls resisted feminine stereotypes. They were the older sisters who showed you how to be brave and bold, how to construct your own identity, how you could say what you wanted and wear what you wanted and that was more than fine. You could be girly, if you wanted to, and wear short skirts and bunches. Or you could be a tomboy and eschew heels. The lyrics were active rather than passive: taking, grabbing, laying it down – all the things little girls were taught never to do. “Stop right now, thank you very much”. “Who do you think you are?” “I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want”.In interviews, they expounded their concept of Girl Power with a passion and intelligence often perceived as brash, gobby or “outspoken” – the revealing words we use to describe women who talk with confidence. “When you go and see a careers officer,” said Mel C in 1997, “and you sit down and say, ‘I want to be a spaceman’, instead of responding ‘Go study astrophysics’, they go, ‘Yeah, but what do you really want to do?’ That is so wrong. I think there should be a class in – what do you call it? – self-motivation. Self-motivation classes, self-esteem classes.”Compared with the male-led Britpop of Oasis, Blur, Pulp and Suede, the Spice Girls felt truly radical. For myself, and I’m sure many others, the idea was planted for the first time that, even though we were girls, we didn’t have to be supporting characters.Millions of people who bought the records 20 years ago are now in their late 20s and early 30s. What does Girl Power mean to us now? Do phenomena last after the fact? Does the message still have any power? While I won’t be desperately queueing for tickets, watching the videos and remembering the feeling of hearing and seeing the Spice Girls for first time has a power in itself, for me. It reminds me of a time I felt I could be what I wanted to be, with, in some strange way, “Say You’ll Be There” giving me permission to speak up and occupy a space. Two decades on, I could still do with remembering that sometimes.In 1997, Acker ended her Spice Girls profile thus: “It is up to feminism to grow, to take on what the Spice Girls, and women like them, are saying, and to do what feminism has always done in England, to keep on transforming society as society is best transformed, with lightness and in joy.”It is transforming, but it is happening too slowly. At a time when girls as young as seven believe their appearance is more important than character, or that brilliance is a male trait, an injection of Girl Power is more necessary than ever.