Christina Aguilera's Songwriter On Lady Gaga Comparisons: 'That's Crap'

When Christina Aguilera dropped her latest single “Not Myself Tonight” last week, the Polow Da Don-produced dance workout written by songwriter Ester Dean was quickly dissected by the blogosphere. After all, Aguilera stands as one of the most impactful pop stars of the last decade.

But not even her much-lauded vocal pipes and nearly 50 million albums sold could tame the piano-playing “Poker Face”-singing elephant in the room: Is Christina Biting Lady Gaga? In 2008, after pop culture blogger and Lady Gaga booster Perez Hilton called out the “Dirrty” vocalist for ripping off his girl’s style, Aguilera bristled at the comparisons, stating, “I’m not quite sure who this person is, to be honest. I don't know if it is a man or a woman."

Needless to say, Aguilera and the rest of the world is now aware of Gaga's existence. See: her six straight No. 1 singles on the Billboard Pop Charts and 8 million copies sold of her 2008 debut The Fame.

Pop/R&B hit maker Claude Kelly (Kelly Clarkson's “My Life Would Suck Without You,” Britney Spears' “Circus,” R. Kelly's “Echo”) isn’t buying the comparisons. The busy songsmith, who wrote four tracks for Aguilera’s upcoming Bionic project and has penned songs for Gaga mentor Akon, insists Christina deserves more respect.

“That’s crap to me…it’s really bullshit,” Kelly tells VIBE. “Christina Aguilera has been around for over 10 years now. As far as pop goes, she is the defining voice of today’s music. She can do things with her voice that I haven’t heard anybody else do. She’s constantly reinventing herself. As fans, as soon as an album is done and an artist disappears for a while, we tend to write them off as over or no longer relevant.”

Kelly continues: “In the time that she has been gone, Gaga, who I know pretty well, has had an unbelievable run. Christina has an album that’s going to slap people in the face. The music still has her signature, big note vocals and emotions, but the sound is definitely more aggressive, more futuristic than the last album.”

When pressed about how Aguilera intends on proving the naysayers wrong, Kelly points to his work on Bionic.

“I wrote this crazy ass song with Tricky Stewart called 'Glam,'" he says. “It’s a hard club song that’s about high fashion. It’s really for the ladies about getting dressed and looking your best, working it in the club and getting glam and sexy before you go out. Christina wants to talk about getting sexy and independent, but being strong at the same time. It will surprise people. I’m calling it a modern day ‘Vogue.’ I wouldn’t say it unless I believed it.” —Keith Murphy

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Kobe Bryant's Basketball Hall Of Fame Induction Scheduled For 2021

After being pushed back several months, Kobe Bryant’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction will take place next year, the NBA announced on Saturday (Nov. 28). Bryant is scheduled to be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in May 2021.

Additional inductees include NBA ballers Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, and WNBA great Tamika Catchings. Hall of Fame weekend, which was originally scheduled to take place in August, was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event is now scheduled for May 13-15, 2021.

NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich also made the 2021 Hall of Fame class, as did Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, and Bentley University women’s coach Barbara Stevens.

With a combined 48 All-Star Game selections, and nearly a dozen NBA championships between them, Bryant, Duncan, and Garnett lead the 2021 Hall of Fame class. Eddie Sutton, Former Oklahoma State, Kentucky, who died in May, joins Bryant as a posthumous inductee.

Bryant died in a plane crash this past January. The NBA legend passed away with his 13-year-old daughter, Giana Bryant, and seven others.

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Chadwick Boseman Celebrated On What Would've Been His 44th Birthday

The internet was flooded with tributes to Chadwick Boseman on Sunday (Nov. 29) for what would have been the beloved actor’s 44th birthday.

Michael B. Jordan posted a black-and-white photo of him embracing his Black Panther star co-star at last year’s Screen Actor’s Guild Awards. “Continue watching over us King,” wrote Jordan. “Happy Birthday. Miss you.”

Fellow Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o shared a photo of her and Bsoeman captioned, “Deeply loved, sorely missed.”

In honor of Boseman, Marvel added a touching tribute to the Black Panther intro on Disney+.

Long live the King. #WakandaForever pic.twitter.com/FHiJDVQ3NS

— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) November 29, 2020

Boseman died from colon cancer in August after quietly battling the disease for four years. The South Carolina native’s death came as a shock to many as he only informed a small circle of friends and family of his cancer diagnosis. Boseman’s final film, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, debuts on Netflix next month.

See birthday dedications from Jordan, Davis, Nyong’o and more below.

 

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Remembering you today, @chadwickboseman. Happy Birthday King pic.twitter.com/wwmNpSerXw

— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) November 29, 2020

Thinking of your passion, love, and your light today, @chadwickboseman. Happy Birthday. Wishing we could time travel back to this moment. pic.twitter.com/df94mUaS6b

— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) November 29, 2020

Happy Birthday to Chadwick Boseman, rest in paradise❤️ pic.twitter.com/5LVyPeT5w8

— . (@MEENAVOGUEE) November 29, 2020

You will always be our king. Remember Chadwick Boseman on what would have been his birthday today. pic.twitter.com/j1MLTQqow2

— Marvel UK & Ireland (@MarvelUK) November 29, 2020

“(Chadwick Boseman) was in his way a historian — of other people’s magnetism and volition. Excellence and leadership spoke to and sparked him. They had to. No one approximates this much greatness without a considerable reserve of greatness himself.” - Wesley Morris, NY Times pic.twitter.com/R60GSPZEjh

— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) November 29, 2020

Remembering the inimitable and magnetic Chadwick Boseman on his birthday. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/KdHPnJu1CY

— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) November 29, 2020

Chadwick Boseman would have been 44 years old today. He meant so much to so many people.

Rest In Peace and Happy Birthday. pic.twitter.com/UtXhH0PI08

— Karine Jean-Pierre (@K_JeanPierre) November 29, 2020

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Jeremih’s Mother Opens Up About His Battle With COVID-19

Three weeks into his battle with COVID-19, Jeremih has been removed from the ICU and transferred to a regular room at the Chicago medical center where he is receiving treatment. The 33-year-singer was at his mother, Gwenda Starling’s, home when he started feeling ill earlier in the month.

Within a couple of hours, he couldn't walk properly and decided to go to the hospital, where he has been since Nov. 5. “A couple hours later he was calling me saying, ‘Mom, I need to go to the hospital. All of a sudden he couldn’t walk,” Sterling told ABC Chicago. “He was barely walking. He was holding his stomach.”

Thankfully, Jeremih’s condition got worse from there. He was in critical condition and placed on a ventilator. Starling described the experience as a “tremendous nightmare.”

“The whole family was just so saddened and just shocked, first of all. After we gout out of that whole shock thing, it was like ‘OK, we’ve got to pray.’”

Jeremih’s condition has slowly improved over the last several days. His mother noted that she knew he was healing when he started asking her for real food. “I got so teary-eyed, but I get so joyful at the same time because he’s pulling through,” she said.

The family hopes that he will be home by Thanksgiving. “It may be a bit much to ask God, but I figure we’ve been asking for everything else.”

Watch the full interview below.

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