Tag Archives: beyoncé

Celebrity Families: The Carters

International superstar Beyoncé has caused quite a stir by adopting her husband Shawn’s name for her forthcoming “The Mrs Carter Show” tour. We asked her about the reasoning behind it.


“It’s a powerful name. It’s a name of power,” Beyoncé tells me as we sit over cocktails and a plate of scotch eggs in a pop-up artisan cafe on the deck of a Dover-Calais P&O ferry that’s moored in uptown Beverly Hills. “For a good few years while Jay [Shawn’s “rap name” is Jay-Z] was growing up, his mum [TV’s Lynda Carter] was Wonder Woman every week on tv and his dad [Jimmy] was president of the USA. And that’s exactly the sort of drive and ambition my solo career encapsulates.”

It must have been quite a childhood, I say. “Hell yes!” spurts Beyoncé, waving at the waiter for prawns. “He used to get teased something awful at school. ‘Show us your magic bracelets!’ ‘Negotiate a peace with Cuba!’ All that sort of thing.” She sighs wistfully.

Just then we’re joined by Beyoncé’s aunt Helena [Bonham Carter, best known for her role as Don Johnson’s love interest in Miami Vice] – they briefly brush each others’ hair in greeting before settling down to tell me more. “When I had my kids they were always over at Lynda’s wanting to play with Jay-Z,” confides Helena in an outrageous Cockney accent. “My eldest Dwayne [Carter, best known today as musician Lil Wayne] has quite the rivalry with Jay these days but they were so friendly once. They used to do raps together over Sunday lunch!” Did they have beef, I ask. “No, chicken usually,” says Helena.

Beyoncé’s thoughts turn to the lost members of the Carter clan, as a regretful breeze ripples across her perfect skin. “Jay hardly sees anything of his uncle Chris these days,” she moues. “He went a bit wild with his conspiracy theories about twenty years ago, it was all ‘the truth is out there’ and ‘trust no-one’ and ‘aliens are in the jelly’ and that sort of thing. He and his kids the Backstreet-Carters have been shut off ever since. Poor Nick and poor little Aaron.”

“They wanted it that way,” spits Helena bitterly.

Still, happier times lie ahead, I venture, drawing Beyoncé’s attention back to her forthcoming tour and the reason for our interview. “Yes, and perhaps now you appreciate a little of the wonderful Carter legacy,” she says with a sweet, winning smile. “With all that rich history behind the name I’d be a fool not to adopt it for promotional purposes.” And the loss of the Knowles name? “My father Nick will be devastated. But with the money from the tour he’ll finally be able to do up his house.”

What happened at my big sister’s wedding

By Bert, aged 3.9

It has been a while since I wrote an update but now my teacher says I should do one because my big sister Beyoncé has had a baby.

Last summer I was a pageboy at her wedding and when she was getting ready I accidentally saw that she was wearing special knickers that came all the way up to her shoulders. Although it was not really an accident because Beyoncé was walking round in her special shoulderknickers for an hour before she put her dress on and she was singing loudly all the time so I think she wanted to be noticed. Anyway you would not have known then that she was going to have a baby.

Before the wedding we had to stop in an Arboretum because Beyoncé needed a poo and as her pageboy I had to hold up her dress to make sure she did not get any poo on it. While she was waiting for the poo to come out she was going on about her last boyfriend and how glad she was that they had split up. She shouted that she saw the real him when he showed his ass. I used to like her last boyfriend though and so I did not tell Beyoncé that she had got some poo on the back of her leg.

Beyoncé had to shut up for five minutes at the wedding while they did the vows but as soon as it was over she was on about her old boyfriend again and how jealous he must be of her now and how she is completely over him and how she used to have feelings for him but she definitely does not any more. I felt sorry for her new husband because he looked a bit left out. Beyoncé also said her old boyfriend was the best thing she never had, which does not make any sense at all when you think about it.

At the reception there was a good buffet and I tried Prawns for the first time and learned a dance called Doop. And that is probably the night that Beyoncé and her husband started making the baby. I do not know how long it takes to make one but it has been at least five months since then so I think it started at the wedding.

She has called her baby Blue which I think is a stupid name. I asked her if the baby was named after the band Blue from the Eurovision Song Contest but she said no that would be stupid, it is named after the song by Eiffel 65. I remember that she used to listen to that song a lot with her last boyfriend so it is lucky that she does not think about him any more.

Favourite albums of 2011

20. Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam

19. Lupe Fiasco – Lasers

18. Lady Gaga – Born This Way

17. Rihanna – Talk That Talk

16. Theophilus London – Timez Are Weird These Days

15. Drake – Take Care

14. Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi

13. Jamie Woon – Mirrorwriting

12. Lil B – I’m Gay (I’m Happy)

11. Selena Gomez & The Scene – When The Sun Goes Down

10. CocknBullKid – Adulthood

9. araabMUZIK – Electronic Dream

8. Cher Lloyd – Sticks + Stones

7. Riz MC – MICroscope

6. Beyoncé – 4

5. The Sound of Arrows – Voyage

4. Toddla T – Watch Me Dance

3. Britney Spears – Femme Fatale

Britney’s people have told her that every song on her album Femme Fatale is inspired by a different femme fatale from history, myth or fiction. Poor Britney just can’t work it out though! Can YOU match the lyrics from the album to the  foxy ladies in question? Answers below.

2. The Weeknd – House of Balloons

Poor Abel Tesfaye has just got the artwork for his epically miserable comedown album back from the designers, but it looks like they’ve strayed from his original vision! Can YOU spot the five subtle differences hidden in the new cover?

If you are having trouble spotting all five differences here are some hints!

  • I wonder who else was at those debauched parties he sings about?
  • There’s a subtle theme running through the album but we’ve “inflated” it
  • “Well doesn’t that put the cherry on top”
  • Track titles ‘MAY’ not ‘ALWAYS’ be correct!
  • A dog’s face

1. Katy B – On A Mission

Here are Katy’s missions explained track-by-track:


Attributes: Slowly unfolding; sweeping musical vista; quite long. Mission: 1986 film THE MISSION. (From the IMDB plot synopsis: “Initially, the Guarani warriors prepare to kill him, but after Gabriel plays an unforgettable solo on his oboe, they allow him to live”. And we’ve all had days like that.)


Attributes: Bold, purposeful, brill. Mission: KATY’S MISSION STATEMENT


Attributes: Elegant; structured; accomplished. Mission: MISSION REVIVAL ARCHITECTURE.


Attributes: Startling; Bleepy; Full of twists and turns that leave you feeling dislocated. Mission: Doctor Who‘s 1965 MISSION TO THE UNKNOWN episode with its imagination-gone-mad monsters and lack of regular cast.


Attributes: Propulsive; No nonsense; Designed to make you move. Mission: A SEARCH AND DESTROY MISSION.


Attributes: Dignified; Luxurious; Satisfying. Mission: The DIPLOMATIC MISSION where the Ferrero Rocher-stuffed Ambassador’s Receptions are held.


Attributes: Solid; A bit old-fashioned; Cheery. Mission: THE GLAD TIDINGS MISSION FROM 60s CORONATION STREET, over which Ena Sharples presided; a handy refuge in case of a gas leak on the Street.


Attributes: Bright; Bouncy; Pretty. Mission: MISSION BELL (the flower, stupid.)


Attributes: Passing the torch from one generation of singer to the next; Shiny; Confident. Mission: THE CONTINUING MISSION of Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Enterprise-D.


Attributes: Fun; In your face; Sassy with the fanfares. Mission: The original series of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE.


Attributes: Romantic; Irresistible; Destined to help Magnetic Man be warmly remembered even though most people shrugged at their album proper. Mission: A RESCUE MISSION.


Attributes: Charming; Laidback; Basking in the glow of all that’s come before. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Tied up with string: June

AN album:

There’s a big LOL to be had when you get to track 8 of Beyoncé’s latest album “4” and she suddenly declares “Bring the beat in!” This, after 27 minutes of ballads and mid-tempo strolls. What, NOW? Are you sure? You were doing so well!

And with all the bouncy bangers confined to the last few tracks, we’re left with an album that’s going out of its way to come across as stately and polished. Some find Beyoncé’s vocal (and physical) perfection cold and distancing, but I only feel the sort of cold distance I might about, say, a 40ft golden statue of Athena. Why worry that you’re never going to get close to it, when you can stand and enjoy the beauty?

It’s not as though there isn’t anything thats messily heartfelt either.  Listen to ‘I Miss You’, a squelchy slice of organic heartbreak that peters sadly away before the 3 minute mark, or ‘Love On Top’, with its multiple orgasm of concatenated key changes the likes of which we haven’t heard since Eternal hooked up with Bebe Winans.


So if Beyoncé sampled Diplo for her big album launch track, but Nicola Roberts actually got him to co-write and produce hers, that makes Nicola the bigger global superstar, with the most clout, right? RIGHT? The logic of pop has spoken.

Nas is back on form! Nas is sounding real again! That’s what they’re saying. Well fuck them, they’re silly. Nas has been on form right through his last few albums, and the idea of realness bores me. This is just a great, great track, that makes me do a funny little dance.

And this is also very much on the brilliance/funny little dance axis:


It is the dogs. The dogs who fight crime in this glorious video. I wish they were my friends.

Tied up with string: May

May? It’s a bit late to start banging on about May isn’t it? Yes, yes it is. But there you go. Here are a couple of the things I enjoyed most and would recommend from the last month, after which I’ll hopefully get back to writing some more fun stuff.

AN album:

I’ve been loving CocknBullKid’s Adulthood. It’s stuffed with delicious big tunes shot through with grim humour, and it’s criminal that it didn’t chart any higher. The video for One Eye Closed might well be my favourite video of last year and it’s a good indication of what to expect.


The Hotel on Channel 4 has been the best fly-on-the-wall series I’ve seen in a long time. Gently observing, never judging, and always sharply edited to bring out the maximum of humour from each situation. Sometimes the humour was mixed with tension, like in the amazing sequence that dwelled on the build-up to a fella’s surprise proposal to his girlfriend. Sometimes it was mixed with pathos: I’ll never forget the episode in which a loved-up couple gradually got more and more drunk and fractious to the point of her storming out of the room to leave him feebly waving a hairdryer at his piss-stained trousers.

At time of writing the whole series is available on YouTube :)


Beyoncé’s appearance at the Billboard Awards, doing Run The World, is one of those career-best moments that you can only gawp at. The stagecraft, matching super-hi-tech to good old fashioned hoofing, is dazzling, energetic and astoundingly precise. You’ll believe a woman can be in three places at once! Skip to 3:00 in if you want to get straight to the action.

If popstars… ran the world

Beyoncé’s the latest star to sing about global rule. And it’s been a popular topic down the years. How does her plan match up to the greats of the genre?

Wee Papa Girl Rappers – Wee Rule

WHAT’S THEIR MANIFESTOIn a brand new fashion, in a dance hall style, we rule! Wee Papa rule the world…

WHAT FORM OF GOVERNMENT IS IT The twin sisters rule the world as despots (“Don’t bother even moving, stay right in your seat“), cruelly disposing of anyone who challenges their rule (“Why do you try to run that?… We’re gonna take you from here to hell“) while enjoying the life of luxury that world domination affords (“Drive around in a taxi, every place that I go“). Although by their own admission they still use ball point pens. Personally I’d have at least a gel ink rollerball on the go if I were in charge.

BUT DO THE TRAINS RUN ON TIME I don’t think so. The girls are interested in the volume of the bass drum, not the global transportation network. At one point they refer to someone sleeping on a bench at the station — a poor indication of the state of their administration.

Nas (featuring Lauryn Hill) – If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)

WHAT’S HIS MANIFESTO It’s a good one. Nas is going to end black victimisation and do away with jealousy, and we’ll all be able to smoke weed in the streets. Sounds great!

WHAT FORM OF GOVERNMENT IS IT This came out just before Nas started depicting himself as a Pharaoh or as Christ , so I’m going to have to call theocracy, with Nas ruling as god-king and Lauryn as his lovely if somewhat snappish handmaiden.

BUT DO THE TRAINS RUN ON TIME Yes I think they probably do.

Missy Elliott – We Run This

WHAT’S HER MANIFESTOIf you a pimp let me see you party hard, hell yeah! Strippers take your clothes off, hell yeah! Y’all superstars, you don’t need no bodyguards!” Missy enforces a hedonistic rule based on drinking, fucking and partying. It is, in short, a utopia.

WHAT FORM OF GOVERNMENT IS IT Very much a benevolent dictator, Missy encourages individuality (“My style can’t be duplicated or recycled”), equality (“It don’t matter where you from it’s where you at”) and personal pride (“Represent your coast and act like you know”). All she demands in return is that each and every member of the population take the time to service her sexually (“We can do it all night – take a flashlight, you’ll see up my windpipe”).

BUT DO THE TRAINS RUN ON TIME You know how it would be, waiting on the platform with Missy. The train would pull in slowly, and there’d be freaky dancers grinding and jerking around all over the roof. Missy would swing around on a girder before turning into a sex robot or something, then the world would turn upside down or whatever to make it more fun for the dancers. You’d have a lovely morning and the music would be fantastic, but you’d never make it to that meeting in Letchworth.

Take That – Rule the World

WHAT’S THEIR MANIFESTO There’s nothing. Nothing! The skies are lit up with “stars so bright“, and souls are saved if lovers stay together. That’s it.

WHAT FORM OF GOVERNMENT IS IT I wouldn’t call it government at all. The Take That boys form their little oligarchy and then spend their time faffing around on starbeams with girls, leaving the rest of us mortals to just get on with it. They’re more like the idle, sex-crazed Gods of Olympus than anything else.


Beyoncé – Run The World (Girls)

WHAT’S HER MANIFESTOSome of them men think they freak this like we do – but no they don’t! Make your cheques come at they neck, disrespect us they won’t!” Beyoncé’s claiming the world for the girls who make their own money. Again!

WHAT FORM OF GOVERNMENT IS ITMy persuasion can build a nation!” But Beyoncé’s too much of a self-empowerment fan to be a tyrant. We’re left with a sort of glossy meritocratic matriarchy — “I’m repping for the girls who taking over the world, have me raise a glass for the college grads.”  NB: from the video teasers released so far, a college degree’s not quite enough on its own, you’re also going to need to be able to hold your own in skimpy shorts on a typical America’s Next Top Model shoot.

BUT DO THE TRAINS RUN ON TIMEAnyone rolling I’ll let you know what time it is“. I suspect the trains are as fiercely controlled, with as much attention to detail, as everything else in Beyoncé’s domain.