Archive for Rule 5

That one face in the crowd

I never get tired of Carly Rae Jepsen: she’s reinvented herself so many ways without ever jeopardizing her girl-next-door persona. In 2014, she did a three-month run on Broadway as Cinderella:

Carly Rae Jepsen at the ball

And I’m not sure I can explain this shot from her Twitter feed, taken in Taipei:

Carly Rae Jepsen goes for a ride

Still, I always come back to the voice. This is an early sample: “Bucket” was the third single from Tug of War, her 2008 album, four years before “Call Me Maybe.” Before bangs, even:

Reportedly, it was a damned cold day on the beach when this was shot.

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Mrs. T

This picture of Melania Trump caught my eye:

Melania Trump on being so much younger

“The age difference,” she says, “is not a problem for us: Donald wants more children from me.” Well, she’s only forty-six, so it could happen. Maybe.

Still, she doesn’t come across as a brood mare, if you know what I mean:

Melania Trump resplendent in orange

Melania Trump resplendent in blue

Before you ask: no, she never did finish her degree work at the University of Ljubljana, despite what you may have heard.

The guys at ShePolitico thought she was worthy of one of their legendary gawk sessions, complete with unidentifiable background music:

You’ll get no argument from the likes of me. She’s reported to wear a size 10½ shoe, which is definitely nothing to sneeze at.

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The ingenue

I was thumbing through July 23 births on Wikipedia, and encountered this:

Monica Lewinsky, American author and handbag designer

Um, yeah. Well played, Wiki. Let’s assume you already know all the other details of the life of Monica Lewinsky, M.Sc.

Monica Lewinsky smiles

This one I did not know: in 2005, she enrolled at the London School of Economics — abandoning her handbag line — and pursued a degree in social psychology. By December 2006 she’d earned a Master’s degree. Her thesis: “In Search of the Impartial Juror: An Exploration of the Third-Person Effect and Pre-Trial Publicity.”

Monica Lewinsky stands

After that, she dropped out of sight, resurfacing in 2014. The next year she gave this TED Talk:

Whatever role she may have to play in the 2016 election remains to be seen.

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Let us not speak of honor

Say hello — and then say goodbye — to Qandeel Baloch, twenty-six:

Qandeel Baloch

Qandeel Baloch

And in motion:

Now the bad news:

Qandeel Baloch, a Pakistani social media star, was strangled to death by her brother in Multan, Pakistan, on Friday. The fashion model garnered fame and notoriety with her unconventional and scandalous — by Pakistani standards — public persona, and she had recently caused a stir by posting selfies with a prominent Muslim cleric, Mufti Qawi, during Ramadan. Baloch, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, had a huge social media fanbase, with 40,000 Twitter followers and more than 700,000 on her official Facebook page.

She wrote on Facebook on the 14th:

As a women we must stand up for ourselves..As a women we must stand up for each other… As a women we must stand up for justice

I believe I am a modern day feminist. I believe in equality. I need not to choose what type of women should be. I don’t think there is any need to label ourselves just for sake of society. I am just a women with free thoughts free mindset and I LOVE THE WAY I AM. :)

#QandeelBaloch #I_Am_The_Best #Stubborn_For_My_Dreams #One_Women_Army #High_Targets #DestinationBollywood #Will_Do_Things_My_Own_Way #Just_Watch_Me

As for the perp:

On 15 July 2016, Baloch was asphyxiated by her brother Waseem while she was asleep in her parents’ house in Multan. Her death was reported by her father Azeem. It was first reported as a shooting, but an autopsy report confirmed that Baloch was murdered by asphyxiation while she was asleep, on the night of 15–16 July around 11:15p.m. to 11:30p.m.; by the time her body was found she had already been dead for fifteen to thirty-six hours. Marks on Baloch’s body revealed that her mouth and nose were pinned shut to asphyxiate her. Police called the murder an honor killing.

Real honorable of you there, Waseem.

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Lots of indemnity

Is this still from Double Indemnity — Fred MacMurray is the mark — the definitive picture of Barbara Stanwyck?

Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity

I mean, I’m pretty sure this isn’t, though it has its charms:

Barbara Stanwyck in color

And there’s one under the break about which I shall say little:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Scary in the morning

Carol Alt dares you to compare:

Now that takes guts.

Maybe she’ll brighten up after lunch:

Hey, why not?

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We want to see more

Bai Ling has been in Moscow of late, and she sent up an Instagram of an impromptu photo shoot, which ended like this:

Bai Ling takes the floor

But that’s the last frame of a short video. If you look at the whole thing, you’ll get the idea that someone asked her to display a bit more flesh, and it might have been someone who saw her here:

Bai Ling takes the stairs

Not that she’s ever balked at displaying more flesh, as you’ll see in a turn-of-the-century magazine shot below the jump:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Every little bit helps

Brenda Holloway hit the Top 40 three times for Motown, and each time there’s a story to tell.

First Brenda Holloway LP, Tamla 273

California composer Ed Cobb, once one of the Four Preps, wrote “Every Little Bit Hurts”; Brenda had cut it for the Del-Fi label in Los Angeles, circa 1962, and she’d record it once more for the new Motown West Coast office, manned by producers Hal Davis and Marc Gordon. It was a song she did not want to do: been there, done that. In April 1964, the new version of “Every Little Bit Hurts” was turned loose; it hit #13 in Billboard, getting her a slot on the next Motortown Revue.

After “I’ll Always Love You,” another Cobb tune (not the same “I’ll Always Love You” cut by the Spinners during their Motown years) failed to hit big, Mary Wells was packing up for 20th Century-Fox, and seeing Brenda as the Next Mary Wells, the company brought her to Detroit to replace Mary on a Smokey Robinson number. It’s the same backing track over which Mary sang; some orchestral sweetening was added for Brenda. “When I’m Gone” reached #25.

Brenda Holloway album art

Brenda’s last Top 40 entry was a song she wrote with her sister Patrice; Berry Gordy and producer Frank Wilson added a few bits and slapped their names on as co-writers. (Wilson, says Brenda, came up with the bridge.) “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” stalled at #39; a subsequent cover by Blood, Sweat & Tears reached #2, by which time Brenda had left Motown and sued Gordy over his alleged contribution to the song.

After a long time away from the microphone, she began to record again, and to make personal appearances. (One such appearance, I am told, was with BS&T.)

Brenda Holloway in 2011

She turned 70 this past week, and she’s still singing.

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Don’t leave Rome without her

Meet Virginia Raggi, newly elected Mayor of Rome:

Virginia Raggi

Judging from this interview, conducted three days before the election, she does stage presence well:

Movimento 5 Stelle, Raggi’s political party, which says it doesn’t particularly want to be called a “party” as such, is generally considered to be populist, anti-establishment, environmentalist, anti-globalist and Eurosceptic. Who would start a non-party like that? Beppe Grillo, comedian, activist, and, um, blogger.

Raggi will turn 38 next month. As a proper Italian woman, she’s working some pretty high heels:

Virginia Raggi in d'Orsay pumps

I note purely in passing that her campaign site was apparently set up to take donations from abroad.

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LaRue to you, too

The other day I did a piece on shoes that aren’t all there, illustrated with a picture of actress Eva LaRue from here down. It occurs to me that someone might want to see the outfit she was wearing with those shoes, so:

Eva LaRue at the second-season premiere of Ray Donovan

LaRue, forty-nine, first established herself on All My Children as Dr. Maria Santos Grey; she was nominated for two Emmys during her seven years on the show. Currently she’s working on Fuller House, a sequel to a show you may have seen before.

Eva LaRue at the L.A. Art Show 2013

Eva LaRue at the 2015 Golden Globes

She has one daughter, Kaya, whom we’ll meet here:

And Kaya has acted once: both she and Mom appeared in the video for Devon Gundry’s song “Armed” in 2008.

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Always a reason to Bai

Some celebrity types don’t make a point of showing themselves off, and therefore there aren’t that many semi-salacious photos of them for the weekly Rule 5 roundup. (If you’re not familiar with this particular Rule 5, not part of the Rules of the Internet compendium, here’s your introduction. Short version: clickbait with heels on.)

And at the other end of the spectrum, there’s Bai Ling, who will happily drop stuff like this into her Twitter feed on a regular basis:

Bai Ling Twitter pic from 13 June 2016

Bai Ling Twitter pic from 13 June 2016

Those two, in fact, came out within 24 hours of each other, this week.

Let’s have an oldie but goodie from, oh, five weeks ago:

Bai Ling Twitter pic from 7 May 2016

And as her 13,000 followers know, she’s a #true #hashtag #fiend.

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Moore than almost anyone else

By the numbers: Maya Moore is twenty-seven today, and wears number 23; after four years of utterly stunning numbers at Connecticut, during which time the UConn women won 90 games in a row, she was drafted Number One (of course) by the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx.

Maya Moore in uniform

Before you ask: she’s reported to be six feet tall.

Maya Moore out of uniform

And come to think of it, she’s produced rather a lot of amazing numbers:

Last night in a 110-78 win against the Atlanta Dream, she scored 19, with five rebounds and four steals.

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Not at all dizzy

We might know Lizzy Caplan best from her role as Virginia Johnson on the Showtime series Masters of Sex, which got her an Emmy award nomination in 2014. Given the nature of the series, she does a lot of work in her birthday suit, but her birthday isn’t until the 30th, so we’re not going to go screencapping through Season Two or anything like that.

Then again, she is kind of a quirky dresser:

Lizzy Caplan in absurdly high shoes

Lizzy Caplan sitting not quite in the dark

This week marked the premiere of Now You See Me 2, which somehow seems to be a cross between Ocean’s 11 and Ghostbusters. Or something. Anyway, Lizzy wasn’t in the first NYSM, three years ago.

Lizzy Caplan at the premiere of Now You See Me 2

What sort of role is she playing? I’m not entirely sure:

Explains the collar on the cape, anyway. Sort of.

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Meanwhile on Choctaw Ridge

“It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day…”

Everything you know about Bobbie Gentry starts with that one line, and of course you know the song:

That half-raspy belle-but-not-of-the-ball voice of hers became instantly recognizable, and it saw her through a few smaller hits on the way to oblivion.

Bobbie Gentry for Top of the Pops circa August 1968

Bobbie Gentry goes slightly wild

This is about the place where I’d insert a recent picture. But here’s the catch: there aren’t any recent pictures. Some time after her 1978 single “He Did Me Wrong (But He Did It Right)” failed to catch on, she withdrew from the public eye almost entirely.

Neely Tucker went looking for her:

Bobbie Gentry lives about a two-hour drive from the site of the Tallahatchie Bridge that made her so famous, in a gated community, in a very nice house that cost about $1.5 million. Her neighbors, some locals and some real estate agents know who she is, although it’s not clear which of her many possible names she goes by.

And no, we still don’t know what was being thrown off that bridge before Billie Joe consigned himself to those muddy waters. There was a film sort of based on the song, but there’s no reason to suspect it’s canon; it’s not even spelled right. Nor is the death of Billie Joe the worst thing that ever happened on the Tallahatchie; Emmett Till wound up there, and he was murdered.

(I am indebted to Roger Green for turning up that B&W picture, which apparently the BBC had in one of its libraries.)

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Shirley, she can be serious

I put nothing past singer/actress Shirley Manson, who once upon a time was a shop assistant at Miss Selfridge, but wound up assigned to the stockroom, lest she come into contact with actual customers. (This is almost exactly my attitude toward retail.) That voice, however, was meant to sing, and after about a decade of various English appearances, she wound up fronting a Madison, Wisconsin band called Garbage, which would put out four albums in ten years before going on hiatus. Their third album, beautifulgarbage, contained an extremely catchy song — “Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)” — with an extremely sketchy video in which the band is faceless and then some.

Shirley Manson green-screened out of the frame

Manson does not remember this video fondly.

Garbage reunited in 2012, and Manson did her part to promote their efforts:

Shirley Manson on a carpet that isn't red

Shirley Manson in a publicity pose

In the interim, she had recorded, but ultimately shelved, a solo album. The sixth Garbage album, Strange Little Birds, will be out in June, and this is the lead single:

Later this summer, Shirley Manson turns 50. I don’t believe it either.

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Edge of nineteen

Someone t’other day on Yahoo! was asking for one word — just one word — to describe Rebecca Black. I figured no one was going to buy the one word I thought of, which was “blossoming.”

Still:

I still have not seen Royal Crush, a Web series set on a cruise ship; she appears in Season Three. And I did not know that BrainyQuote had given her a page.

What’s more, apparently she’s struck a deal with Hollister Co. to provide her with some casual wear in return for letting herself be seen in it:

Very enterprising, she’s turned out to be.

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Looking for the goodies

Ciara’s 2015 single “Dance Like We’re Making Love” somehow managed to crawl only up to the very bottom of the Billboard Hot 100, and I’m not sure why; the song is catchy enough, and I can’t really fault the visuals here:

I mean, it’s not like she’s prudish and buttoned-down and such. From about that same time, a trip to the ESPYs:

Ciara at the 2015 ESPYs

Ciara is generally very good at working that slit-up-to-here style, as she demonstrated at the Grammys earlier this year:

Ciara at the 58th Grammy Awards

And to be fair, it’s not always the left leg on display:

Ciara at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards

Then again, you haven’t seen the front of this dress, which I have decided to put after the jump:

Ciara at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards

This is, of course, because I’m prudish and buttoned-down and such.

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Bendier than thou

Nina Burri took her first dance lessons in her native Switzerland at the age of six, and, as the phrase goes, she learned her lessons well. Growing into model-level looks didn’t at all hurt:

Nina Burri not exactly driving in 2006

That was 2006, when she was twenty-nine. The next year she began studying at a Chinese school of acrobatics, and came out able to do this:

Nina Burri sort of stretches out

Let’s combine these two skills, shall we?

Well, I’m certainly impressed.

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Zizi

Peter Sarstedt’s epic “Where Do You Go To My Lovely” opens with this line: “You talk like Marlene Dietrich / And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire.”

Which is high praise indeed. Zizi’s breakthrough ballet was Carmen, choreographed in 1949 by Roland Petit, who also danced the role of Don José, and to whom she was married five years later.

Zizi Jeanmaire in Carmen 1949

Although we will note for record that Zizi was still officially Renée Jeanmaire in those days.

Zizi Jeanmaire strikes a pose

Zizi Jeanmaire whirls

In addition to ballet, she would appear in films through the 1950s, and actually cut a few records in the Sixties, the biggest of which might have been “Mon truc en plumes” (“My Thing With Feathers,” 1961). In this twelve-minute clip from 1979, she sings two songs, neither of which are “Mon truc en plumes,” and dances up a storm:

Zizi retired in 1982; she was widowed in 2011 when Petit died. She lives in Geneva, and she just turned 92 last month.

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We are not delirious

Mexican actress Anahí Giovanna Puente de Velasco — you can just call her Anahí, everyone else does — occupies a rather uncommon spot near the intersection of Pop Culture and Politics: in her thirty-three years she’s been an actress, a member of a musical girl group, and a solo singer/songwriter, and last year she wed Manuel Velasco Coello, governor of the Mexican state of Chiapas.

One might expect from this CV that she’d have a certain visual appeal, and you’ll get no argument from me:

Anahí out in front

Anahí sitting in the back

A thousand kisses from Anahí and Pepsi

In 2009, Anahí came up with this poppy tune called “Mi Delirio,” which I think was her first entry into the Billboard US Latin chart, peaking at #29. Parts of the video are perhaps disturbing:

Then again, you don’t need Google to translate “Mi Delirio.”

Feliz cumpleaños, Anahí.

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Grand appearance

In fact, several grand: back in 1990, supermodel Linda Evangelista said of herself and her few peers, “We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day.” On this, her 51st birthday, it seems fit to look back a bit: two of these shots qualify as vintage, but the last comes from 2015, part of a campaign she did for Hudson’s Bay. (I continue to be gobsmacked by the fact that this is the Hudson’s Bay Company that showed up in my history texts, many years ago: the firm dates to 1670.)

Linda Evangelista in red, white and blue, sort of

And who better to embody the red, white and blue than a woman from St. Catharines, Ontario?

Linda Evangelista sports a bob

Linda Evangelista for Hudson's Bay

She retired from the runway in 1998, only to return in 2001. Maybe she needed a reason to wake up in the morning.

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Still pretty

As the phrase goes, you must remember this:

1990 Pretty Woman poster

You could have knocked me over with the proverbial feather when I found out that the actual poster for this big hit film was seriously doctored: that’s Julia Roberts’ head, all right, but everything from here down belongs to actress Shelly Michelle. (Never you mind about Richard Gere’s hair.) I didn’t understand this: it seemed to me, based on the evidence of the actual film, that Roberts had some perfectly nice gams.

A quarter-century and more later, this flashed back to me, with Julia on the cover of the June InStyle, and in a relatively leggy pose at that. As a subscriber, though, I knew I could count on this portrait being ruined by an address label. (The version you see here comes from the British press, probably the Daily Mail.)

Julia Roberts on InStyle June 2016

As counterpoint, two relatively recent red-carpet looks: the 2014 Emmy Awards, followed by the 2015 Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Julia Roberts at the 2014 Emmy Awards

Julia Roberts at the 2015 SAG Awards

Still, my favorite picture of Julia might be this page from a late-1990s fashion spread, complete with inscrutable caption:

Julia Roberts in a director's chair

I wonder what situation she was trying to escape at the time.

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Let there be toughness

Angela Bofill turns 62 today, and oh, if she were still singing!

Angela Bofill

Not many Latina singers were making inroads into the R&B market in the late 1970s. Angie, Bofill’s first album in 1978, did decently well; the lead track, “Under the Moon and Over the Sky,” somewhat overshadowed the official single release, “This Time I’ll Be Sweeter.” She enjoyed reasonable success, if never a monster breakout hit, despite continuing efforts to tweak her image in whatever direction might work.

Cover art for Too Tough by Angela Bofill

Her last single was “Heavenly Love” in 1993. She continued to perform until 2006, when a pair of strokes, eighteen months apart, left her partially paralyzed and unable to sing. However, she somehow remained a stage presence, doing a show called The Angela Bofill Experience, in which she speaks, somewhat haltingly, while others, including Melba Moore, sing her signature songs.

“I used to study opera. Used to teach voice. Used to have perfect pitch. Now, no pitch.”

I can imagine her smiling through that.

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It’s not rocket science

And, well, Dolly Singh is not actually a rocket scientist, though she did work at Elon Musk’s SpaceX for five years as Head of Talent Acquisition, which tells me that she’d know a rocket scientist if she saw one. So I take this quote seriously:

To me, when you’re surrounded by some of the smartest people on the planet, building some of the biggest and most badass machines on this world, the idea that my shoes are such crap became really obnoxiously unbearable.

Women, in case you hadn’t noticed, do have a tendency to take shoes seriously.

Dolly Singh explains it all

Dolly Singh poses on a wing

So Dolly Singh vowed to create some shoes that were not crap. After leaving SpaceX, she did a stint at Oculus VR, the virtual-reality outfit, since acquired by Facebook, before striking out on her own with Thesis Couture. From their current lookbook:

Our mission is to decouple beauty and pain, and show just how sexy smart can be.

Sleek, sophisticated curves on the outside, cutting edge technology on the inside.

A prototype, with the Thesis-designed underpinnings:

Prototype Thesis Couture shoe

“Our patented design,” says Thesis, “is engineered to redistribute load, minimize impact shock, and reduce fatigue.”

Which you have to figure would be the priorities for a woman who is going to wear heels No Matter What.

Dolly Singh not saving lives

The shoes aren’t on sale yet, and they’ll be pricey when they are. But such is the way of technological advance.

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Continue to think of Laura

Sometimes the celebs make it easy for you. Laura Vandervoort has been tweeting pictures from a photoshoot out in the desert:

I dunno. It seems to me that after three years as a werewolf on Bitten, she might want to appear some place where you probably don’t expect to see werewolves.

Then again, she looks Very Serious in those shots, so I counter with this Comic-Con item from last summer, in which she, um, doesn’t:

Laura Vandervoort at Comic-Com

And this is something she’s working on:

I’m creating a kids’ TV show. I wrote a book about four years ago, a children’s book. I would go to a lot of comic conventions and meet young girls who looked up to Supergirl and I realized at the time the action figures and that sort of thing were not the healthiest role models for girls. They were oversexualized and had unrealistic body types and these girls were like eight years old.

So I thought there’s nothing on television for that age group to really look up to and relate to [in terms of] someone their age with powers. So long story short, we’re in the development stage, it’s called Super Duper Delia, we’re excited, hopefully within the next year things will start moving along.

This could get interesting.

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Stam tall

Last time we checked in with Jessica Stam, she was showing us the inside of a Mercedes-Benz concept car, which probably isn’t a bad gig for a model, especially one who was discovered in a Tim Hortons.

That was four and a half years ago. Since then, she’s appeared, as models will, in many different guises, some of which are more plausible than others.

Jessica Stam in a dramatic pose

Jessica Stam in a not-so-dramatic pose

The latter of these comes from a 2015 gala in Saint-Tropez under the auspices of the Leonardo diCaprio Foundation. It’s, um, an interesting style.

From Vogue, a short film starring Stam, on behalf of the fashion house founded by Thierry Mugler:

Watch this video on The Scene.

Although she’s probably best known for taking a spill at the Chloé Fall 2006 show in Paris:

She later blamed the shoes, which she said were “ridiculously high,” but I have to admire her The Show Must Go On look.

Jessica Stam, thirty today, is five foot ten and a half, in case you were wondering about the title.

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No further explanation needed

In 2002, Melissa Joan Hart, then twenty-six, was asked if she might be up for a Clarissa Explains It All reunion. She might not: “Shirley Temple taught me one thing. And that was once you finish a career, you move on.” At the time, she’d not only finished Clarissa, but was just about to wrap up Sabrina the Teenage Witch as well; her most recent series, Melissa and Joey, ran for four seasons on ABC Family (now “Freeform”), finishing in 2015. She keeps busy, though: she has a husband and three kids, a fashion line (“King of Harts”), and a tremendous social-media following, to whom this revelation was doled out:

That was perhaps somewhat more risqué than usual for MJH, who showed up for the premiere this month of God’s Not Dead 2 in this:

Melissa Joan Hart at the opening of God's Not Dead 2, 2016

Which is not to say she’s keeping her not-so-wild side under wraps, exactly:

Melissa Joan Hart, much younger and redder

Today, the former Teenage Witch is 40.

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Motivation for all

One thing Ming-Na Wen does very well is get your attention, or at least mine:

This, um, motivated me to dig out some red-carpet shots for contrast, and boy, are they contrasty:

Ming-Na Wen at the premiere of Captain America: Civil Wars

I think she looks a bit younger in that shot, with that abbreviated hemline and Paris Berelc-ish pout, than she does in this one:

Ming-Na Wen at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards 2016

(Not that you asked, but she’s 52.)

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Your daily requirement of Eurodance

It’s Saturday night in 1994, and say hello to Whigfield:

Whigfield in red

“Saturday Night” went straight to Number One in the UK and did well generally on the Continent, though follow-ups were not so successful, and after five albums, the last one in 2012 titled W, she retired from the limelight.

Whigfield a little farther along

Sort of. Reclaiming the name given her when she was born in 1975, Sannie Charlotte Carlson, billing herself as Sannie, has come up with a new song:

Before you ask: Sannie is behind the bar.

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Meteoric rise

Canadian singer Lights, who won me over several years back with the crisply upbeat yet weepingly sad “Second Go,” continues to perplex and amaze. She circulated this photo earlier this week:

Thank you, Mom.

Lights finds a seat

Yesterday she unleashed upon us Midnight Machines, a new album containing acoustic versions of six songs from her previous album Little Machines plus two new tracks. The lead single is the revised version of “Meteorites,” and all of a sudden it’s haunting. A bit of photographic trickery merely makes it seem more so:

This is, incidentally, the third time she’s followed an album with an unplugged version. (How many albums has she done? Three, plus three acoustics.) Perplexing, perhaps; but also amazing.

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