Posts Tagged ‘RIP’


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

RIP, Disco Queen. Your music put a fire in our groins and a smile in our hearts.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

You can create an image.

You can sign a recording contract.

You can sell a million albums.

But talent as real, raw, and authentic as this, cannot be duplicated.

Johnny Cash is the truth. I say is, because to me, he’s still very much alive — one of those brilliant musicians that make you feel like they somehow understand your pain when they sing, their presence entering the room with the press of a button.

(The fact that he’s a certified bad ass is just an added bonus.)

Rest in peace, buddy.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I’ve held back on covering the death of Whitney Houston — mainly because I knew within seconds of getting that first text message that she had passed, that we would be saturated with news clips and reels (both true and false), and I wasn’t sure I felt like adding to the media mess.

But upon seeing this emotionally heartfelt video by Wendy Williams, I knew that I had to post. Wendy has always struck me as a fun-loving, drag-queen-like personality (over the top and anything but serious), but in this clip when she spills her soul for the world to see, somewhere in the midst of the storm this death has caused, you see nothing but a genuine, down-to-earth woman emerge with compassion pouring like the mascara on her cheeks. Her words are so beautiful and real it actually made me cry.

And to everyone leaving comments regarding Whitney’s death…

What is it about celebrities dying that makes you people turn into such assholes? They are people, too. Incredibly talented people and not any of the awful things you choose to call them. Yes, Whitney had problems with drugs and alcohol. She was a f*cking human being. Just like the rest of us. With feelings, pain, and imperfections. It’s really inhumane and disgusting to see some of you turn someone’s death into a joke. It makes me sick to my stomach actually. Get some manners! Better yet, get a heart.

Watch Wendy’s emotional segment below.

RIP, Whitney…

Your music touched our lives in deeply personal and profound ways.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

This past Saturday was stained with a horrible residue. The temperature in New York City was over one hundred degrees and everything seemed a bit too sticky for comfort. Yet what stuck the most was not produced by the sun, it came forth digitally through a Facebook post, one that hurt to read: AMY WINEHOUSE DIED?

Thinking of recent death hoaxes, I quickly searched Google to find an answer. I found nothing. But then, minutes later, a confirmation popped onto the computer screen by CNN, and I felt a laser of grief pass through my veins. How tragic, I thought. How incredibly tragic. I had recalled how just the night before, I was walking across the Brooklyn Bridge talking about her style and music with my friend Sheilah. It felt eerie, as if somehow light years away, our frequencies as human beings might have crossed.

I began to break and tears soon bubbled over my eyes. Having dealt with addictive behavior in my own life and addiction in the roots of my family, I felt Amy’s pain. In an attempt to remember the artist who brought us the beauty of Back to Black, I, like millions of other fans, took to YouTube to find clips, interviews, and to re-watch her previous music videos.

While searching, I stumbled upon one of her last performances and my heart shattered. Her eyes were that of a lost, hurt child, and suddenly an overwhelming feeling came over me — I wanted to give her a hug, a big fuzzy teddy bear hug and look her into the eyes and tell her that she is worthy of love and that everything would be alright.

Once upon a time, Janis Joplin proclaimed that she made love to 25,000 people at her live concerts, but went home alone. That statement to me represents the type of yearning for love and acceptance that is felt by addicts, that deep but unmet need for connection that pushes the drive for fame and the aching pain of addiction, which could be the reason why it’s common among the famous, why the two often feed off each other. The reason why it fed and ultimately starved Amy.

I want to end this piece by saying that no one will ever be able to replace Amy Winehouse in this life. She was a one-of-a-kind performer and artist. You can’t fake that kind of raw talent and you certainly can’t manufacture REAL music.

And to all of you making light of this situation, I ask that you have respect. Addiction is not a light switch you can just turn on and off. Celebrities have hearts and souls like the rest of us. Please show some compassion, because I can guarantee that there’s someone in your life who has fought or is fighting with addiction issues right now who could use it.

To anyone reading this who might be struggling, my heart is with you.

An early interview + performance of a much happier time below.



By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Children are abused, murdered, and sold for sexual desires every day. Often, it goes on because no one takes the plunge to make a stand. Take this verdict as a reminder to never remain silent if there is any doubt or suspicion of abuse. Whether we acknowledge it, it’s happening, and sometimes right in front of our eyes. To every child who is being or has been abused, I hold you in my prayers.

To Caylee, this one’s for you.



By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

“If you saw a rose growing out of concrete even if it had messed up petals and was a little to the side, you would marvel at just seeing a rose growing through concrete. So why is it when you see some ghetto kid that grows out of the dirtiest circumstances, and he can talk and sit across from you and make you smile, make you cry, make you laugh, all you can talk about is my dirty rose, my dirty stem, and how I’m leaning crooked to the side? You can’t even see that I came out of that shit.”

–Tupac Shakur


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

“I am not gay, although I wish I were, just to piss off homophobes.”
–Kurt Cobain, RIP
[02/20/1967 – 04/08/1994]


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Fifteen years ago today, one of the brightest stars ever to tapdance its way into Hollywood flickered out. Gene Kelly is a performer who will forever live on in his energetic dance moves and unforgettable charm he sealed onto the screen. His debonair looks and boy-next-door smile made him increasingly popular through the 40’s and 50’s, and his unmatchable talent made him a wonder to watch. Some of you may only know him as Donny from Singin’ in the Rain. Some of you may not know him at all. And that is a crying shame. There are so many choreographers, singers, musicians, and ‘triple threats’ that helped build the film and music industry into what they are today, yet our generation doesn’t give them a second glance.

It’s time to break out the old dancing shoes and slap on some classic suspension of disbelief, to give these boys and girls the credit they deserve!

I doubt I would have known of Gene Kelly’s rhythmic talents if it hadn’t been for my parents. They grew me up on musicals, and Gene Kelly was a natural prime number in that equation. Perhaps such a cultured childhood is what has inspired me to carry such an eclectic repertoire of music on my iPod.

I don’t want to live in a world that doesn’t know how to appreciate what it had. We can’t let unmistakable singing and dancing talent fade away while we melt our brains with Lady Gaga.

Check out the comedic, toe tapping, leg shaking talent he has beside Donald O’Connor, another everlasting star to have faded into the cosmos.

Moses supposes ( singing in the rain )
Uploaded by anabelasugarlee. – Watch more music videos, in HD!


By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

[Photo by Michael Caulfield/]

A new track from Eminem has leaked online entitled Difficult — a song inspired by the tragic death of Em’s friend, fellow D12 member, Proof, killed back in 2006. The lyrics show what a problematic time he must have had writing this track, where it tells a grim story of the emotional journey about their relationship, and Em’s recovery — “And as for all of me and D12/ we feel like f-ck rap/ it feels like our General just f-cking died in our lap”. While tragic and personal, music is what feelings sound like and it’s good to see Em set those feelings free.

Not too sure if this will end up a single or if it’s just brilliant leakage, either way, I’m not plugging up the drip.

[Related Post: Good For You, Eminem]


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

On December 26, 2002, the world lost an incredible artist — photographer Herb Ritts. As a way to somehow show my respect and heartfelt appreciation for his work and life, I thought I would create a post honoring the beauty he created in the world.

Ritts died of complications from pneumonia at the age of 50. According to his publicist, Herb was HIV-positive at the time, but the pneumonia that led to his death was not associated with his status.

The first video Ritts ever directed was Madonna’s Cherish in 1989. He went on to direct and to win MTV Video Awards for his work on music videos by Janet Jackson and Chris Isaak. Ritts also directed the music video for Michael Jackson’s In the Closet (which featured supermodel Naomi Campbell) among a slew of others which were all stamped with a visual fingerprint all his own.

In my opinion, Wicked Game remains the most gorgeous video of all time.

During the height of his success, the times of equality were still highly repressed. The fact that Ritts was an openly gay man who created such cultural iconic pieces of film that touched the masses (no matter what race, gender, class or sexual orientation) speaks volumes to the truth that art, much like life, should be a canvas that doesn’t discriminate.

Celebrate Ritts’ life with three of my favorite pieces from his collection below.

Visit the Herb Ritts Foundation to learn more.

Janet Jackson – Love Will Never Do Without You
Uploaded by jpdc11. – Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Sending love.

Bryce took to The Rocket Summer’s Facebook fan page and sent the following message to fans: “My grandfather suddenly passed away this morning… He was a Godly, loving man who enriched people’s lives and will be greatly missed. I was blessed to be off tour and with him when he went to be with the Lord. Take a moment to tell the people in your family that you love them today…”

Our condolences go out to Bryce and his family during this difficult time.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Just two weeks after his 35th birthday, Rich Cronin, the lead singer/songwriter of LFO fame passed away yesterday. Cronin suffered a stroke after a long battle with leukemia.

I had the pleasure of seeing Cronin and the boys of LFO last year in an intimate concert here in Manhattan and even when Cronin appeared to be frail, his spirit and love for all of us fans surrounding him never seemed to dissipate. It was apparent that the light for what he loved to do would never go out.

Cronin (who was born/raised on the outskirts of Boston) formed the Lyte Funky Ones AKA LFO in the late ’90s with best friends Brad Fischetti and Devin Lima. Their self-titled debut became a smash and the instantly catchy Summer Girls was an overnight sensation, selling millions of copies and landing the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Single Sales chart.

LFO never once proclaimed to be deep, nor were they trying to be but what many do not realize is that Cronin was a gifted songwriter, one that helped pave the way for LFO’s burst of mainstream success.

My favorite part of Summer Girls:

You come from Georgia where the peaches grow
They drink lemonade and speak real slow
You love hip hop and rock n roll
Dad took off when you were 4 years old
There was a good man named Paul Revere
I feel much better baby when you’re near
You love fun dip and Cherry Coke
I like the way you laugh when I tell a joke

Do you have a favorite line?

He will be missed!


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

“Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behaviour. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as some day, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.”
-J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Brokeback Elmo.
Sesame Darko.
The Day After Big Bird.

[Photo: New York Post]

Can you believe that Sesame Street has been around for 40 seasons?! Well, 39. But for their upcoming 40th season, the show has recruited several awesome guests–Jake Gyllenhaal being one on a roster of many that includes Hugh Jackman, Michelle Obama, Adam Sandler, and Cameron Diaz (among others).

Screw grown-up TV, Sesame Street is where it’s at!

Check out a vintage clip of the classic show with the legendary Johnny Cash, below.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Yo Kanye, it’s called karma.

The Kanye West / Lady GaGa FAME KILLS Tour is officially dead. <--Go ahead West, eat a piece of the humble pie. It won't hurt you, my friend.

When I first heard that it was official that West & GaGa were planning a tour together (of course with the word FAME in the title, since that’s all they both seem to be obsessed with), I immediately thought it was a bad idea. At the core, Kanye West & Lady GaGa have two very distinct fan bases. I respect and admire the idea of trying to do something different but in the world of mainstream music, the idea of different isn’t generally well received. These are commercial artists acting as if their contributions to music is on an artistic level with that of someone like Bjork. I have mad respect for artists who are passionate about what they do and this is one thing that I actually admire about West & GaGa, but at the end of the day, what is just as important is a personality behind the passion that isn’t warped, drenched in ego, or douchetastic. And as we all know, Kanye has had a hard time of proving to the world that he’s a “good guy” (as Lady GaGa referred to him recently, claiming he felt horrible about his rude plea for attention when he shit on Taylor Swift’s VMA moment).

According to Rolling Stone, speculation of poor sales may be the reason for the tour’s cancellation.

I think Kanye is an incredible lyricist (that is undeniable) but perhaps this will be a lesson to the rapper–don’t kill someone else’s ego just to blow up your own, because what goes around, comes back around. And in this case, FAME (when it goes to your head) DEFINITELY KILLS.