Archive for Rule 5

Alsou

Alsou Ralifovna Abramova, thirty-two today, is a Russian singer who is mostly, though not entirely, unknown in the States. This wallpaper with her image dates to about 2004:

Alsou wallpaperized

She made the cover of the Russian edition of InStyle in 2010:

Alsou on the cover of InStyle

Born in Tatarstan, she and her family moved to Siberia when she was a year old. She showed musical promise early, and released her first album in 1999. “Winter Dream” was the first of three singles.

The next year, she turned up at Eurovision with an English-language song called “Solo”:

“Solo” won second place for Russia.

Perhaps her most elusive recording is a duet with Jon Bon Jovi on a 2003 remake of “Livin’ On A Prayer”, which was released to Russian radio with the This Left Feels Right album; for some reason, the Russian CD release contained the same version we got in the States, with Olivia d’Abo instead of Aisou.

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Perhaps a tad less well

Welsh singer Duffy, born on this date in 1984, burst onto the scene in 2008 with two dynamite singles, the forceful “Mercy” and the pensive “Warwick Avenue”; the Rockferry album won her a Grammy in 2009 for Best Pop Vocal Album. She also, I am informed, puts on a heck of a live show:

Duffy in concert

Then this happened:

Cover of Endlessly by Duffy

Perhaps the blame lay with the one and only single released from the album, which seemed to go over well but which charted low in Europe and not at all in the States:

That was October ’10. The following February, her new management announced that there would be no further singles from Endlessly, and that Duffy would be taking a two-year break from the music biz. I haven’t heard from her since.

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Your very best Bai

What always gets me about Bai Ling is that she’s a perfectly serious actress with a perfectly zany side. She’d been acting in Chinese films since the middle Eighties, but made a fearsome debut before US audiences in 1994 in The Crow, in which she played the half-sister and occasional lover of gang boss Top Dollar. She followed this with the female lead in Red Corner, opposite Richard Gere, a role that annoyed the Chinese government to the extent that they actually revoked her citizenship. (She has since become an American citizen.) She says that her scenes in Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith were cut because she’d done a pictorial for Playboy; George Lucas says no, the cut happened before the pictorial was announced.

Much of her online fame, though, is due to Wacky Costumery. Witness this shot from a waiting area in LAX, earlier this year:

Bai Ling at Los Angeles International Airport

This is perhaps less wacky, but since when does a Big International Star (sort of) drive a Volkswagen?

Bai Ling buys a Beetle convertible

She’s also a hoot on Twitter (@RealBaiLing), where she posts news and bits of philosophy and lots and lots of selfies, some in Wacky Costumery, a few in apparently nothing at all. For an example of the latter, look below the jump:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Lost count

Monica Lewis was thirty when she did this number for an indifferent MGM musical in 1952. There are three things you ought to know about her:

  • For a couple of years she was married to record producer Bob Thiele, who at the time was running the Signature Records label.
  • She was the voice of the animated Chiquita Banana, who warned you not to put bananas in the fridge. (I never have.)
  • She did advertising for Burlington, a major hosiery manufacturer, and justifiably so.

Monica Lewis shows some gam

And you may not need to know this: Monica Lewis, who died Friday at her home in Woodland Hills, California, was my oldest Twitter follower. She was 93.

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Away from the news cycle

Fox News Channel has a series called Outnumbered, in which some poor male shlub is parked on the middle of a very long sofa and bombarded with questions by four News Babes with legs to die for. I submit that this has some entertainment value even with the sound off, which I have long contended is the only way to watch cable news channels anyway.

One of the Outnumbered regulars is Jedediah Bila, and while she’s, um, highly presentable on that show — I know this because someone tweets a picture from the show every day it airs — I’m getting to where I prefer her offstage work, a lot of which she sends up through her Instagram account. A few samples:

Jedediah Bila reads

Jedediah Bila at the gym

Jedediah Bila takes it easy

She also is willing to engage on Twitter, unlike some sorta-celebrity types.

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Hola, Susana

Susana Giménez is to Argentina what Oprah Winfrey is to the States: a major celebrity with her own TV show and a fanbase that seemingly hangs on her every word. She didn’t start out that way, of course:

Susana Gimenez on an RCA record sleeve, mid-1970s

This fiercely generic collection of South American hits, circa early 1970s, simply demanded a pretty girl on the cover, and Giménez was working her way up as a model in those days. I know of one track that has survived: “Balada para un gordo” (“Song for a fat man”) by Juan and Juan. Then again, “Gotas de Lluvia caen sobre mi Cabeza” you know under, um, another title. (Thanks to LPCover Lover.)

The television show, first called Hola Susana, started in 1987; Giménez was 43 then and had been acting, mostly in minor roles, for nearly twenty years. The series continues today as Susana Giménez or simply SG.

Susana Gimenez, 2011

Susana Gimenez, 2014

I couldn’t tell you when she quit being a brunette, but it had to be a long time ago. The earlier of these two shots was taken in 2011. And yes, she does tweet:

Apparently the show was giving away this bag.

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Wedged in

Striding through Japan’s Haneda Airport, it’s Amal Alamuddin Clooney in a knit dress by Missoni that InStyle.com described, aptly enough, as “breezy.” My attention is guaranteed:

Amal Clooney at Haneda Airport in Japan

I adore the color scheme. But what they wanted to show you, apparently, was the shoe, so let’s get a closer look:

Espadrille wedge by Valentino

A tricky shoe indeed. If you’re watching from the side, it might look like a jacked-up (four and a half inches) T-strap, but the shoe — “Rockee” by Valentino — obviously lacks the center strap that defines the T. InStyle.com says that it “simultaneously elevated and grounded her look.” There’s also a black version, with the same neutral-colored platform. Either way, it’s $845 at Nordstrom.com.

You may notice, in the full-length shot, the Ordinary Folks trying their best to get a picture of Mrs. Clooney as she walks away from them.

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We can dig it

There exists a strong possibility that you’ve done an impression of Telma Hopkins at least once.

Okay, you’re shaking your head. How does a background singer best known for being part of Tony Orlando and Dawn, later turned actress, fit into your repertoire? Repeat after me: “Shut yo’ mouth.” If this in any way sounds like you’re replying to Isaac Hayes intoning “You say this cat Shaft is a bad muthah,” you’ve just done an impression of Telma Hopkins, whose voice is out front on that line in Hayes’ original Theme from Shaft.

Before working with Hayes, Hopkins was based in Detroit, where she sang for Berry Gordy at Motown and for crosstown rival Eddie Wingate. After Orlando hit with “Candida” with two studio singers, management figured out that he’d need a touring group, and hired Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson.

This little orange number comes from the days of Half & Half, a successful (for UPN, anyway) comedy that didn’t get picked up when The CW was created:

Telma Hopkins at the 15th Annual Night of 100 Stars

And this is just a classic reaction shot:

Telma Hopkins on TV Land

And Telma’s still busy, with continuing gigs on Are We There Yet? (TBS), Lab Rats (Disney XD), and Partners (FX). In the latter, she plays Martin Lawrence’s mom. In real life, they’re 16 years apart. (Lawrence turned 50 this spring.)

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Beautifully thawed

There are three and a half things I greatly admire about singer Idina Menzel: she’s an old-school belter in the classic style; she’s very easy on the eyes without looking like Queen Elsa of Arendelle, her major behind-the-scenes role; and she has an impish sense of humor.

First, some belting:

The best song from Wicked? We report; you decide.

On the purely superficial appearance front:

Idina Menzel in Billboard

Idina Menzel takes a breather

Then there was that moment at the 86th Academy Awards. (She sang “Let It Go” from Frozen, which won the Oscar for Best Original Song.) This was the night when John Travolta utterly bollixed up her name, introducing her as “Adele Dazeem.” Menzel, unruffled, had the Playbill for her then-current Broadway run in If/Then reprinted:

“Nert,” in case you’re wondering, is an anagram of Rent, and you can see what she did with Frozen.

And in the 87th Academy Awards show, Travolta and Menzel got to announce the Best Original Song: Menzel introduced Travolta as “Glom Gazingo.” This is the very definition of “Well played.”

The only downside: she and Taye Diggs, whom she met during Rent, divorced in 2014 after ten years and one child. Upside: she starts her World Tour today, her 44th birthday.

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Forever foxy

Forty years ago:

Pam Grier on the cover of New York magazine

Then the queen of so-called “blaxploitation” films like Coffy and Foxy Brown, Pam Grier left an indelible stamp on the industry; Quentin Tarantino argued that she might have been the first female action star in cinema, and she proved that she still had the stuff in his Jackie Brown in 1997. She’s kept busy ever since, perhaps most notably with six seasons of Showtime’s The L Word. Here we see her in a panel discussion from 2014:

Pam Grier talks acting

Still got that smile, yes indeed.

Oh, and she’s in Grand Theft Auto V: she’s the DJ from The Lowdown 91.1. Today she turns sixty-six.

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Out to pasture

Maggie Gyllenhaal wore this Dolce & Gabbana gown to the 2014 Tonys:

Maggie Gyllenhaal at the 2014 Tonys in Dolce & Gabbana

Perhaps not the most flattering look for her. Let’s try something a little less formal:

Maggie Gyllenhaal in a 2014 photoshoot

Now this is the point at which things get weird:

Maggie Gyllenhaal, an Oscar nominee getting Emmy buzz for her work on the Sundance miniseries The Honourable Woman, revealed that she was recently turned down for a role in a movie because she was too old to play the love interest for a 55-year-old man.

No kidding.

“There are things that are really disappointing about being an actress in Hollywood that surprise me all the time,” she said during an interview for an upcoming issue of The Wrap Magazine. “I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made me feel angry, and then it made me laugh.”

As a man who was 55 seven years ago, I think this is ridiculous.

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No place for a face

Lindsay Ellingson, thirty and tall, meets the general definition, as once specified by David Letterman, of “leggy supermodel.” But this sentence from her Wikipedia page, describing her work for Victoria’s Secret, somewhat messes with my head:

In 2011, she became one of the brand’s signature Angels, as well as the face of its perfume line VS Attractions and its new bra, Gorgeous.

I really, really don’t want to imagine someone being the face of a bra. Really.

The actual introduction, however, seems kind of prosaic:

Lindsay Ellingson introduces the Gorgeous bra for Victoria's Secret

Um, okay. (By the way, her eyes are up there.)

Last week at Cannes, by comparison, she was downright futuristic in Ulyana Sergeenko:

Lindsay Ellingson at Cannes 2015

Says Heather of the Fug Girls:

I like the liquid-look fabric. This whole outfit looks to me like a special-effect — like when Robert Patrick in Terminator 2 would be in the middle of morphing from metal into human. In that vein, I like the middle of the dress and am waiting for the rest of it to catch up.

And then it doesn’t happen:

Lindsay Ellingson at Cannes

Heather again:

Naturally, I hate the back. She looks like a very expensive circus performer.

Normal guys will be delighted to hear that Lindsay married a normal guy last year, quite uncharacteristic of leggy supermodels.

(Photos: Gorgeous bra, Adam Bielawski; Cannes, Getty Images.)

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Expectation whirls me round

After exposure to Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida in my youth — we read it in class, because apparently nobody had produced a version of the actual play for what seemed like several decades — I decided that however terrible Cressida’s behavior might have seemed, she had one of the great names, a name which might have been passed on to my daughter had I not mentioned that Toyota made a fancy sedan by that name.

Now comes Cressida Bonas, twenty-six, who has a smallish career going as an actress and model, and who once had a brief period as tabloid fodder until she and Prince Harry broke up last spring. I was largely unaware of her existence until the Fug Girls showed her in this dress:

Cressida Bonas on the Dior Cruise

Of course, when she’s not on a boat, she might be in a car:

Cressida Bonas takes a ride

Post-Harry, she’s landed a gig with UK luxo brand Mulberry, which yielded up this curious advertisement:

Probably just as well we’re not overrun with modern-day versions of Troilus.

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Clair and sunny

So I’m rolling down the message board, and here comes one of the regular contributors with something I wasn’t expecting these days:

Phylicia Rashad with her 1989 People's Choice Award

I waited for my eyeballs to slide back into my head, and then tried to match up this picture with an event. Easy enough: the People’s Choice Awards for 1989, which reminded me that Phylicia Rashād at forty-one was pretty darn unforgettable.

Add a couple of decades, and The Actress Formerly Known As Clair Huxtable still stays on your mind:

Phylicia Rashad in jewelry by David Harris Designs

She’s just finished filming Creed, the seventh Rocky movie, in which she plays Apollo Creed’s widow Mary Anne. In this one, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone, of course) takes Creed’s grandson Adonis Johnson Creed (Michael B. Jackson) under his well-worn wing.

Note: Working title for this was “Hi, Phylicia,” which I dumped after contemplating the ramifications thereof.

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Pike that tsukahara

Nadia Comăneci is not as old as this Cadillac:

Nadia Comaneci on a 1958 Cadillac

Three years younger, in fact. But both gymnast and car enjoy Classic status today. Of course, what you remember of Nadia was this:

Nadia Comaneci victorious in 1976

The Summer Olympics, Montréal 1976; Nadia Comăneci was not yet 15. Seven times during her routines she scored a perfect 10, bringing the number of perfect 10s in the history of the modern games to, um, seven.

In 1989, while Romania was gearing up for revolution, she defected, settling in Montréal. Two years later, she met up once again with American gymnast Bart Conner, whom she’d first encountered at the Americas Cup in New York before her Olympic victory. He suggested, ever so slightly, that she might be happier in some place like Oklahoma. (Conner, you should know, graduated from the University of Oklahoma in Norman.) And he was very persuasive: in 1996, they were wed in Bucharest, and came back to settle, yes, in Oklahoma. The Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy is running strong in Norman; in June 2006, their first child, Dylan Paul Conner, was born. And Nadia really has that Mom look to her:

Nadia Comaneci settles in

Oh, a tsukahara is a half (sometimes a quarter) turn off the springboard onto the vault table, followed by a push backwards. Nadia, in the early days, would shift from there into a piked somersault.

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No longer standing by

Kellie Pickler’s 2012 album 100 Proof leads off with a rhetorical question: “Where’s Tammy Wynette” when you need her? She’s in Nashville’s Woodlawn Memorial Park, in a space which has sometimes been labeled “Tammy Wynette” and sometimes “Virginia W. Richardson,” her last married name. (She was born Virginia Wynette Pugh on this day in 1942.) But she never seems far away, even in the face of such anomalies as Lyle Lovett’s version of “Stand By Your Man” that played over the credits of The Crying Game. (Lovett is still singing it to this day.)

Tammy Wynette on stage

Actually, I missed “Stand” when it came out, having cemented my loyalty to Top 40; but when the Top 40 station played the heck out of the follow-up, “Singing My Song,” I went back and dug into her catalog. Of course, I could have just waited for this CD:

Tammy Wynette: The Definitive Collection

The last track on that CD is the hardest one to explain: “Justified and Ancient,” with The KLF, released in 1991.

Never made the country chart, but it checked in at #11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart, higher even than “Stand By Your Man,” which made #19 pop. (“Stand” was, of course, Number One country, her fourth in a row.)

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Some like it warmish

It has probably never snowed in Chennai, a city in south India located on the thermal equator: the record low temperature is somewhere in the 50s Fahrenheit. (Don’t ask about the highs.) If you don’t remember Chennai, you might remember it as Madras, a name officially changed in 1996. Despite that, Trisha Krishnan was named Miss Madras in 1999, and wound up in Telugu and Tamil films.

Trisha reads a movie magazine

Trisha pays attention

She’ll be thirty-two on Monday. Earlier this year, she was engaged to Chennai-based producer Varun Manian, but apparently they’ve broken up:

It is known that, soon after Trisha rejecting a film under Varun’s production house, Radiance Media, reports were rife that she is staying away from her husband-to-be. Some reports also carried that Trisha was not seen wearing the engagement ring. Adding fuel to that, Trisha has given a miss to the most important marriage in Varun Manian’s family, last week. But what is Trisha doing staying away from Varun’s sister’s marriage? Is she busy shooting?

We do know she’s been busy. She’ll appear in six films scheduled for 2015 release, including Lion, due out next week:

This has “zany” written all over it.

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L’Wren as she was

This unassuming clockface, shot by David Bailey for the British hosiery brand Pretty Polly, was essentially the beginning of L’Wren Scott’s career as a major model:

L'Wren Scott, about half past six

Perhaps not the most obvious debut for a rangy Utah girl raised in a devout Mormon household. Or maybe it was inevitable: at twelve she was already six feet tall — she had three inches yet to grow — and as a teenager, she made most of her own clothes. Fashion was a logical destination, and she launched her first collection, based on the classic Little Black Dress, in 2006. Sarah Jessica Parker was one of her clients:

L'Wren Scott with Sarah Jessica Parker

SJP is, yes, about a foot shorter.

After two brief failed marriages, she took up with 5’10” Mick Jagger about 2001; they were together, or at least appeared to be together, for the rest of her life.

L'Wren Scott in a pensive mode

That life ended, by her own hand, in March 2014, just short of her 50th birthday. (She’d have turned 51 today.) What happened? All we have is speculation, and it goes something like this:

A quick gloss is that L’Wren Scott fell off some impossibly tall ladder to self-acceptance. The longer version is that she was caught in a perfect storm of perimenopause, lack of children, infidelities, abandonment issues, the fickle factory owners of Italy. Unremitting frustration over who owned what. Her birthday. Her sinuses. King Tut’s curse.

The Web site of her design house remains, each of her recent collections represented by a woman wearing a dress therefrom — but the woman herself is not to be seen. It’s hard to imagine L’Wren Scott wasn’t saying something in those representations.

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Reese is the word

Yesterday, I described a young woman in a dream as resembling “a vertically compressed Reese Witherspoon,” which, when you think about it, is rather difficult to pull off, inasmuch as Reese Witherspoon doesn’t have a whole heck of a lot of vertical to compress: she has occasionally claimed to be five-foot-two, but several sources credit her with an inch less than that. Of course, Hollywood trafficks in reality only when it has to. And I remain something of a fan, ever since her film debut in The Man in the Moon, way back in ’91 when Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon was just barely fifteen. (Which means, dear God, that she’s pushing forty.)

Reese Witherspoon in Bottega Veneta

Reese Witherspoon at the Pirch Store in Glendale

You may note that in neither of these pictures does she look especially “vertically challenged.” She has, however, apparently gone Full Hollywood, stretching a bit in a Bottega Veneta bodysuit, then turning up at one of those stores that’s so exclusive no one ever actually goes there. (Just kidding.) And once, after too many glasses of wine, she attempted to play the “Do you know who I am?” card with a Georgia trooper. She was, however, properly contrite afterwards: Suthun girls — Reese was born in New Orleans — don’t do this sort of thing, even after they’ve gone Full Hollywood.

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All Googly and everything

More often than not, the woman featured in one of my Rule 5 posts will have been selected because her birthday is imminent or just past. Indian actress Kriti Kharbanda would have been a perfectly reasonable March choice under those criteria, until all of a sudden she wasn’t:

Sandalwood actress Kriti Kharbanda, whose birthday is listed as March 4 on Wikipedia, revealed that her birthday was yesterday. “Well my parents told me I was born on the 29th of October! I think I’ll stick to that:) Wikipedia came into my life much later. No faith,” tweeted Kriti.

Her Wikipedia page has since been updated.

Kriti Kharbanda

Kriti Kharbanda

Her earliest film appearances were not particularly successful, though she did make something of a breakout in Googly, a 2013 romantic comedy with action-flick overtones in which she was featured with Yash. The trailer gives you some hint of what it’s like, maybe:

If you had been wondering about that reference to “Sandalwood,” it’s a Hollywood-like place in the South Indian state of Karnataka, where films in the Kannada language are produced. Kriti Kharbanda is apparently working on five such films this year — plus one in Telugu.

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For those who think Jung

Girls' Generation

This was SNSD, circa 2012. SNSD — So Nyeo Shi Dae, “Girls’ Generation” — is a K-pop group assembled over the last eight years. The first member, sixth in line, in the dress the color of dried ketchup, is Jessica Jung, who had signed her first contract with S. M. Entertainment in 2000 when she was eleven; S. M. named her as the first member of SNSD in 2007. And seven years later, Jung was the first member of SNSD to be sacked, apparently for having too many outside interests conflicting with group activities, starting with her appearance in a Korean production of the musical Legally Blonde. (How blonde is she? Not very, I suspect.)

Jessica Jung not brushing her hair

I have no idea what that black box is for, unless it’s to obscure a brand name that didn’t pony up for promotional money.

Jessica Jung looking vaguely domestic

There were also a number of non-SNSD singles, including this song from the TV series Dating Agency: Cyrano, which ran for 16 episodes in 2013:

Incidentally, Jessica Jung was born in San Francisco, and didn’t actually relocate to South Korea until 2000, when she and younger sister Krystal, then on a family vacation, were offered tryouts by the S. M. conglomerate. Krystal, now 20, is a member of singing group f(x), which was the first K-pop act to appear at SXSW.

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Less bratty

Wait a minute. This can’t be Da Brat, can it?

Da Brat in VIBE, 2011

I mean, Da Brat has always looked more like this:

Da Brat in VIBE, 2011

Then again, the rapper occasionally known as Shawntae Harris sported orange jumpsuits for much of this century. First incident:

In 2001, Harris pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless conduct after she had beaten a woman with a gun during a dispute over VIP seating in an Atlanta nightclub in 2000. The victim in that incident received six stitches for a head wound. Harris ended up serving a year’s probation, performed 80 hours of community service, and paid a $1,000 fine.

Second, and fiercer, incident:

On October 31, 2007, Harris was involved in the altercation that ended in assault at a Halloween party at Studio 72 nightclub in Atlanta. Harris initially argued with a hostess, and when the hostess walked away to talk to her manager, Harris attacked her from behind, striking her in the face with a rum bottle. Harris entered a guilty plea to aggravated assault charges. She was sentenced to three years in prison, seven years of probation, and 200 hours of community service. In May 2010, she was temporarily released from prison as part of a work-release program, after serving 21 months.

Her formal release came in 2011, about the time of the Vibe photo; she later faced a civil trial by the victim of the assault.

“Is It Chu?” came out on 2013; the second part of it occasionally seems to resemble Suzanne Vega’s innocuous “Tom’s Diner.” (You might not want to play this on your work machine.)

Da Brat turns forty-one today.

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S-ness

The May InStyle arrived last night, and when I finished my expected Reese Witherspoon-induced palpitations, I plunged further into the book, and found a brief fashion layout featuring a woman identified as SZA. These pix aren’t from that photoshoot, but they ring true:

SZA in orange

SZA headshot

First question answered: not related to Wu-Tang’s RZA, but she derives the name from the Supreme Alphabet. She’s twenty-four. She has freckles. And she’s had three EP-length releases: See.SZA.Run, S, and Z, though Z’s ten tracks run 41 minutes, decidedly long for an EP. (Up next: A.) “Julia” is a track from Z, which came out last year; “Tender” is a fragment from an as-yet-unreleased work that starts about 3:41.

To the iTunes Store I go.

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Iveta

Czech singer Iveta Bartošová was born on 8 April 1966, and I think we’ll begin with the song (from 1998) this time:

Three times she won the Zlatý slavík — “Golden Nightingale” — music poll, though arguably it was more for her stage presence than for her musical chops:

I would say that to a large extent, Iveta was so successful because she was an extraordinarily beautiful ordinary girl who could sing. It doesn’t mean that she had some serious flaws as a musician; but I would say, she was no genius, either. People like me still loved her songs (which was arguably due to the composers) and the way she performed them (it’s about her).

And she did photograph well, regardless of her age:

Iveta Bartosova in her younger days

Iveta Bartosova circa 2002

About the turn of the century, Bartošová somehow became fair game for the tabloids, which are as annoying in Central Europe as they are here. Coping with them became increasingly difficult for her, though apparently it didn’t affect her performance:

Around 2010, she had a concert at the (main) Republic Square here in Pilsen. I came there and saw an Iveta that was incredibly full of energy and was making fun of the younger boys, dancers etc. on the stage, who were not. Her singing was still OK. What I saw was completely incompatible with the image of a zombie that has been served by the tabloid press virtually on a daily basis (I wasn’t searching for these articles but I was still drowning in them). She was in a much better shape than a typical successful teenage and post-teenage singer who surpasses 40 years of age.

Still she despaired, and in April 2014 she threw herself under a train on the outskirts of Prague. Said her husband: “Blame it on the media hyenas.” Which I shall.

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Toeing the line

There exists something called wikiFeet, billed as “The collaborative celebrity feet website.” It may surprise you to hear that I don’t actually hang around there, and on those few occasions when I do get there, it’s because Bing or Google sent me to get the full-sized version of a shot I was considering for Rule 5.

What do actual celebrities think of this? At least one is willing to try to get their attention:

Carly Simon sans shoes

This, I submit, takes a certain amount of guts if you’re three months away from your 70th birthday.

That said, Simon is highly regarded at wikiFeet: 59 photos and a 4.5-star rating. That picture isn’t there yet. But this one, from the Seventies, is:

Carly Simon sans husband

Lest we lose focus, the submitter almost, but not quite, cropped out then-hubby James Taylor.

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The many moods of Cindy

I think I’d be frowning too if I had to endure this:

Cindy Crawford gasses up

In other news, Cindy Crawford drives a Bentley. (And premium is $4.399 a gallon in Malibu.)

Let’s try a happier location:

Cindy Crawford on the red carpet at the Golden Globes

I bet she didn’t drive herself to the Globes, either.

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Fünfundfünfzig

I probably don’t need to remind you of the Eighties classic “99 Luftballons” by Nena, which at the time was the name of a band headed by Gabriele Susanne Kerner, though she’d been using the nickname “Nena” since her teens. In the States, Epic released a single with the 1983 German version on one side and an English-language version on the other; the English lyrics are not a translation, but an interpretation, of the German original, which may or may not have had something to do with this cover.

After 1987, the band split up, and Nena reclaimed her name. Although she makes no chart noise on this side of the pond, she’s still making hits at home. Here’s a shot from a 2010 concert in Potsdam:

Nena in concert in Potsdam 2010

From her 2009 album Made in Germany, this is the lead single, “Wir sind wahr” (“We are true”):

As you may have figured, she’s 55 today.

(Photo source.)

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No Coke

Today we, or at least I, celebrate the birth of Turkish model-turned-actress Aysun Kayacı, who is 34 today. Of late, she’s been a presenter on the NTV television network out of Istanbul, and she does have that not-entirely-scrubbed TV-hostess look:

Aysun Kayacı photo

Aysun Kayacı photo

Why “No Coke”? Because of this Pepsi commercial from 2007:

Try that with your diet soda.

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Further illumination

The artist formerly known as Valerie Anne Poxleitner — she’s been simply “Lights” since she turned eighteen, about a decade ago — has been creeping into my playlists since I stumbled across “Second Go” a few years back.

Lights in a magazine photoshoot

Her 2014 album Little Machines won the Juno for Pop Album of the Year. This was the lead single:

And this is what she wore to pick up that Juno:

Lights at the 2015 Juno Awards

While “Up We Go” didn’t chart in the States, Little Machines did make it to #34 in Billboard, the best showing to date of any of her three albums.

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Sherawat’s news

With Mallika Sherawat, there’s always something going on besides the fact that, well, she looks like Mallika Sherawat:

Mallika Sherawat promo picture

Worthy wallpaper, yes. But she’s embroiled in yet another scandal:

In rare consonance, lawmakers in Rajasthan have come together across party lines to demand a ban on a Bollywood film called Dirty Politics. Its poster features actress Mallika Sherawat, in very few clothes, sitting in front of the Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha or assembly building.

On the poster, Ms Sherawat strikes a bold pose atop an ambassador car with a red beacon, much like government vehicles used by politicians and bureaucrats.

The lawmakers say the poster attacks the dignity of the House. Raising the issue in the assembly today, Congress leader Rameshwar Dudi said, “The picture of the Vidhan Sabha behind Mallika Sherawat is wrong and in bad taste.”

The offending image:

Dirty Politics poster featuring Mallika Sherawat

The Patna High Court had, in fact, banned the film, though the ban was lifted the next day:

Patna High Court had banned the release of Dirty Politics due to some objectionable scenes in the film. As a government lawyer reported, the court heard a petition that sough a ban on the release of the film. The petitioner had informed the court that the film shows Mallika Sherawat draped in the national flag of India, hence disrespecting the flag. Following this, a division bench at the court then ordered the authorities to stop the release of the movie until the objectionable were removed from it. The court had issued a notice to Central Board of Film Certification on this matter.

Which image was, of course, adapted for the poster. Nonetheless, the film was released Friday with Certificate A, for adults only, including a song titled “Ghaghara,” the video of which looks like this:

No word yet on a Stateside release.

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