Tag Archives: Rihanna

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

My weekly playlist features five tracks I predict will be future hit singles in the UK.

Tracklisting:

  • Jax Jones ft. Demi Lovato & Stefflon Don – Introduction
  • DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – Wild Thoughts
  • Ofenbach – Be Mine
  • Calvin Harris ft. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean – Feels
  • John Gibbons – P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)

For more Future Hits, subscribe to my  Spotify playlist, updated weekly (when I remember) with the next big thing.


Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

My weekly playlist features five tracks I predict will be future hit singles in the UK.

Tracklisting:

  • Demi Lovato – Body Say
  • Rihanna – Sledgehammer
  • Cheat Codes & Dante Klein – Let Me Hold You (Turn Me On)
  • Beyoncé – Sorry
  • Bob Marley ft. LVNDSCAPE & Bolier – Is This Love

For more Future Hits, subscribe to my Spotify playlist, updated weekly with the next big thing.


Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

My weekly playlist features five tracks I predict will be future hit singles in the UK.

Tracklisting:

  • Little Mix ft. Sean Paul – Hair
  • will.i.am ft. Pia Mia – Boys & Girls
  • Disturbed – The Sound of Silence
  • Kanye West ft. Rihanna & Swizz Beatz – Famous
  • Kiiara – Gold

For more Future Hits, subscribe to my Spotify playlist, updated weekly with the next big thing.


Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

My weekly playlist features five tracks I predict will be future hit singles in the UK.

Tracklisting:

  • Rihanna – Kiss It Better
  • WSTRN – Come Down
  • Meghan Trainor – NO
  • Nick Jonas ft. Tove Lo – Close
  • Jason Derulo – If It Ain’t Love

For more Future Hits, subscribe to my Spotify playlist, updated weekly with the next big thing.


Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

This week’s playlist features five future hit singles by female solo artists.

Tracklisting:

  • Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea – Pretty Girls
  • Taylor Swift – Bad Blood
  • Rihanna – Bitch Better Have My Money
  • Florence + The Machine – Ship To Wreck
  • Ella Eyre – Together

Anatomy of a Hit is a new feature on This Must Be Pop, where my task is to analyse the highest new entry to the UK singles chart top 10 each week. This week it’s a song none of us had heard seven days ago…

#1 – Eminem ft. Rihanna – The Monster

The Monster has a double meaning – not only is this song about a monster (a demon that haunts Eminem and Rihanna) but it is a monster. There’s no better way to describe a song which reunites two huge name artists who previously collaborated on one of the biggest hits of the century so far, and which also happens to be the catchiest (thanks to fantastic songwriter Bebe Rexha) and most commercial track either of them has released in years. I’m not a fan of Eminem and I’m quite ambivalent towards Rihanna, but The Monster grabbed my attention in a way that very few new songs do. Because predicting hits is a big part of This Must Be Pop, I’m always speculating about what could be the next big phenomenon, but this was one of the rare cases where speculation was irrelevant: Anyone with ears and a brain should know this is going to be a monster hit.

For Eminem and Rihanna, The Monster is proof that lightning can strike twice, but for the UK charts I believe this is a first: the first song that has reached no.1 without having been heard online, live or on the radio at the beginning of the sales week. It was inevitable this would happen soon, as major artists are converting en masse to the “on air on sale” strategy, perhaps more fittingly described as “online on sale.” This strategy doesn’t work for up-and-coming or mid-level acts, who need to focus all their marketing on one week to manipulate a high chart position, but for the big names it’s dramatic, exciting and frankly logical. They reduce the risk of illegal downloads by catering to demand, and they allow for a second peak in the campaign with the video premiere a few weeks later.

Come back next Monday to read my thoughts on the highest new entry in the top 10. Will it be Storm Queen, Britney Spears, Little Mix or maybe another track no-one’s even heard yet? These days, you never can tell!


Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

This week’s Future Hits playlist features the next releases from five huge hit albums.

Tracklisting:

  • Taylor Swift ft. Ed Sheeran – Everything Has Changed
  • Calvin Harris – Thinking About You
  • The Script – Millionaires
  • Rihanna ft. David Guetta – Right Now
  • Bruno Mars – Treasure

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

This week’s playlist features five new singles by international artists that I think could be big hits in the UK.

Tracklisting:

  • Pink ft. Nate Ruess – Just Give Me A Reason
  • Paramore – Now
  • Rihanna – Pour It Up
  • Alicia Keys – Brand New Me
  • Drake – Started From The Bottom

As a pop fan there’s nothing more stressful than the moment tickets go on sale for your favourite artist’s new tour. But now thanks to secondary ticketing websites, such as eBay’s company StubHub, there’s no need to panic. If you miss out on front row seats when they go on sale, you will usually find some on StubHub. Or if you’re not fussed about where you sit and just want to experience the gig, you will often find tickets much cheaper than the original price as the date of the show approaches.

One of the big UK tours coming up this summer is Rihanna’s Diamonds World Tour. Rih-Rih will play nine UK dates (plus one in Ireland) in June and July with support from David Guetta. StubHub currently have over 4000 tickets on sale for the shows, including golden circle standing tickets, which means you could be just metres away from the Bajan superstar herself. And your photos will look amazing!

Unlike other sites, StubHub don’t charge a ridiculous booking fee. The only cost on top of the price you see on the site is delivery. If you’re on a tight budget, you can set up a price alert which means you’ll get an email if tickets become available for the price you’re willing to pay. Buying tickets from StubHub is also safer than buying from other fans directly, for example through Gumtree, as they offer a FanProtect scheme whereby the ticket buyer will receive replacement tickets or a refund if the tickets they receive turn out not to be genuine.

If you’re desperate for Rihanna tickets, or are just looking for a pop adventure this summer, StubHub is worth a look. You might just find yourself in the front row at Twickenham Stadium this June!


I wrote yesterday about the new US series of The Voice, but the talent show I’m enjoying the most right now is X Factor USA. The first live show took place last night and it was a total contrast to the current UK series as I was watching to decide who would be my favourite, rather than in the hope that there might be someone at all worth supporting. I’ve always preferred the American talent shows to the British ones, as they can do spectacular without irony, and the talent level is miles ahead. But what’s so great about X Factor USA this year is that the contestants aren’t just talented, but also ready-made commercially viable artists.

An interesting Simon Cowell quote from the biography I’ve been reading said “I’m learning something new – that you don’t win in America unless you deserve to win.” Simon’s success, and his proven ability to manipulate the public, had made him lazy and presumptious about the public’s tastes. As much as I enjoyed the first series of X Factor USA, it was clear even to me as a Brit that the production team had not bothered to research the tastes of Americans.

They featured British songs unknown to Americans, clumsily threw together an unconvincing country girlgroup, and picked a host who had no experience of presenting TV shows of that scale. Their biggest mistake of all was to introduce the show as if it was already a success before it had even begun. Viewers like to feel that they decided to enjoy a programme, not that it was forced upon them as the predetermined next big thing. Simon and his team were complacent and they got their comeuppance – they were pretty lucky to get another chance.

This year, they have repeated some mistakes of 2011. They have focussed too much on the younger contestants, meaning that the over 28s are dull and hopeless and there is little to interest older viewers or those with more conservative music tastes. There are also some new problems, for example the weird meta comments many of the contestants and judges make. At times they seem to be talking about the show more than actually being in it, particularly with CeCe Frey (above) and Sister C, who are already talking about coming across as unlikeable. Shouldn’t they wait to see how the public reacts to them first?

But overall, the changes made to the show seem to be working. The judging panel is much warmer than last year, although the in-fighting and petty criticisms of each other’s work are sadly still present. Britney Spears is of course fascinating to watch – at first as a potential trainwreck and now as a likeable and surprisingly articulate judge. The new presenters, Khloe Kardashian-Odom (she needs to pick one surname ASAP!) and Mario Lopez, did a great job last night. They were natural and fun, exactly the opposite of Steve Jones, who tried so hard last year it was uncomfortable viewing. I hadn’t seen much of either Khloe or Mario before, but I liked them straight away and found myself willing them to do well.

Although I love the groups and the teens (under 16), the category I was most excited about was Demi’s contestants, the young adults (age 16-24). They benefit from being the age of a typical pop star, and they could all be convincing as new major label launches for 2013 if they weren’t X Factor contestants. Their one problem is that the three girls are all undeniably similar to already existing pop stars, Ke$ha (CeCe), Rihanna (Paige Thomas) and Demi herself (Jennel Garcia) – ironically, Jennel is the only one superior to the artist she resembles.

The one truly unique, and hugely exciting, artist in the young adults category is Willie Jones (below), the 18-year-old black country singer. As a semi-country fan I love to see an interesting, more current take on the genre and in previous performances Willie delivered that with vocals and charisma that genuinely gave me goosebumps. However, they made a big mistake by giving him an upbeat song with a cheesy routine for the first live show. Hopefully he will survive to show what he can really do next week.

Others who stood out included Emblem 3 (the 2012 version of LFO, who somehow got Simon Cowell singing a Matisyahu song!), rappers Lyric 145 and girlband 1432 from the groups, and Carly Rose Sonenclar and Diamond White from the teens. I think the styling and staging needs to rapidly catch up with the talent level, as the teenage girls particularly looked awful (why were they dressed like 8-year-olds?) but this is definitely one of the most exciting talent contest series in a while. If they can’t produce a successful chart star this year then I think X Factor USA simply never will.