Pop & Hiss
The L.A. Times music blog
Will Katy Perry's Super Bowl halftime show involve a fire-breathing shark?

The rumors are true: Katy Perry will perform at the Super Bowl halftime show, the NFL confirmed Sunday.

The Feb. 1 game will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and be aired on NBC. Sportscaster Bob Costas announced the selection of Perry on the air during Sunday’s Cowboys-Giants match-up. It’s a plum spot — in recent years, more than 100 million viewers have tuned in for the halftime show.

“My band is in the other room screaming at the TV (and each other) over this Cowboys-Giants game. Can’t wait for February 1st,” Perry tweeted, later adding, “I’ve already started testing out ideas!”

Perry’s second tweet was a nod to the Pepsi-branded promo video, viewable above, in which the multiplatinum pop star walks around a “halftime show testing facility” full of glittery and fantastical elements, including a unicorn, a time machine and a fire-breathing shark.

Perry rose to superstardom after her first hit, “I Kissed a Girl,” became an anthem of young desire in 2008....

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Fiesta Latina charts a pop future with Pitbull, Jesse y Joy and more

Two kinds of artists played the first iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina on Saturday at the Forum, largely representing the dual interests of young Latino pop crowds today.

On one hand, you had Pitbull, Prince Royce, Becky G and J Balvin. These acts are cosmopolitan, combining American hip-hop and R&B, European techno and the hip-swinging rhythms of the Spanish-speaking world into a sound that's universal and emblematic of Latino youth today.

On the other, there were La Original Banda El Limón, Alejandra Guzman and Roberto Tapia, each foundational acts in Latin popular and regional music that brought out the nostalgia in the Forum crowd -- kids who grew up with these acts’ albums playing over backyard parties, and their parents, who loved this music first.

There’s a growing demand for contemporary Latino music festivals in America. See Goldenvoice’s recent Supersonico fest with Cafe Tacvba, Calle 13 and a dozen other indie-inclined artists.

Fiesta Latina was a comprehensive, ambitious attempt...

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Beyonce throws a hotel dance party in her funny new '7/11' video

Now we know which cruciferous vegetable gives Beyonce her dance talent.

On Friday night, the R&B megastar quietly uploaded a delightfully low-budget and funny new video for her single "7/11." The song is one of a couple new tracks (also including "Ring Off") that will be featured on the re-release of her smash 2013 self-titled LP. 

In the video, Bey bops around a balcony wearing a sweat shirt that just reads "Kale," while the intentionally choppy edits and fish-eyed lens lend it a home-movie feel.   

Your home movies, however, don't spontaneously erupt in a half-dozen backup dancers taking to the bathroom for a human pyramid, and lend even the nerdiest choreography that sense of a susperstar letting her hair down for the day.

If one watches attentively (and come, on, it's Bey, who isn't),  she yells into her foot like it's a telephone and bursts out of a package Christmas-morning style - she's not taking this too seriously at all. There's a quick cameo of Blue Ivy in the bedroom as...

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American Music Awards: What time are they and what to watch for

What the American Music Awards may lack in prestige or irreverence compared to other ceremonies honoring music talent, it makes up for by showcasing one flashy performance after another.

Watch it all go down on Sunday at 8 p.m. PST on ABC. (The show will be tape-delayed for West Coast viewers; it will air at 8 p.m. EST/7p.m. CST in those time zones.)

This year’s lineup is packed with a who’s who of artists across a spectrum of genres. Garth Brooks, Mary J. Blige, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, One Direction, Lorde, Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea are just a few of the acts slated to perform.

Azalea, one of the year’s biggest breakouts, leads the pack of nominees with six nods including artist of the year, new artist and single of the year. John Legend, Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams follow with five nominations each, while Lorde earned four nominations. 

Ahead of Sunday’s show, airing live for most of the country from the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live, here’s a few things to watch for:


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Cher forced to cancel rest of Dressed to Kill tour

Cher has canceled the remainder of her tour.

The pop diva was supposed to start a second leg of her Dressed to Kill tour in September, but she was forced to postpone due to an "acute viral infection" that affected her kidney function.

Although Cher’s “progress has been consistent,” her doctors have advised her to continue to rest.

Nearly 30 dates were scrapped, including stops in New York, Ohio, Michigan and Texas.

“I am totally devastated. Nothing like this has ever happened to me,” she wrote on her website on Thursday. “I cannot apologize enough to all the fans who bought tickets. I’m so proud of this show. It is my best ever. I sincerely hope that we can come back again next year and finish what we started.”

In March the 68-year-old launched what was billed as her final tour, nearly a decade after the end of a previous farewell trek.

The elaborate show -- featuring all the gawdy costumes, dancers and flashy production elements expected of a Cher show  -- was sold out in nearly 50...

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Beyonce parties on '7/11,' gets personal with 'Ring Off'

The deluxe edition of Beyoncé’s surprise, self-titled album isn’t due for a few more days, but the two new tracks included on the four-disc set have leaked. Late Tuesday club banger “7/11” and the breezy reggae-tinged “Ring Off” surfaced online.

On “7/11,” produced by Bobby Johnson and Detail, she’s looking to pack dance floors. “Legs moving side to side, smack it in the air,” Bey rap-sings in a warbly double-time cadence reminiscent of her early days with Destiny’s Child.

While “7/11” is nonsensical fun for the club or treadmill, “Ring Off” digs into deeply personal terrain. 

Despite a year being dogged with rumors and reports that she and superstar husband Jay Z were on the outs after footage surfaced of sister Solange attacking the rapper in an elevator, the new tune, while aimed at moving on after a divorce, isn’t about Bey. It’s about her parents, and it's a celebratory ode for her mother.

Produced by Mike Caren, the track finds Bey detailing observing her mother’s pain over a...

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