From unpronounceable symbols to parentheses, Gaga’s ALL-CAPS album title joins the ranks of the all-time weirdest. By James Montgomery
<P>Over the weekend, <a href="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/lady_gaga/artist.jhtml">Lady Gaga</a> struck a blow against copy editors everywhere when she announced that the title of her new album, <a href="/news/articles/1691226/lady-gaga-new-album-artpop.jhtml"><i>ARTPOP,</i></a> must <i>always</i> be written in ALL CAPS, because "it's all in the details."</P><P>And while we're not trying to downplay said details, we'd be like to point out that Gaga isn't exactly the <i>first</i> artist to demand orthographical satisfaction. Shoot, she's not even the first to go ALL CAPS: Earlier this year, Linkin Park did the same thing with their <a href="/news/articles/1688422/linkin-park-living-things.jhtml"><i>LIVING THINGS</i></a> album, only they one-upped Gaga by also requesting that all <i>songs</i> on the album also be written in all caps, bravely eschewing the lowercase for reasons apparent only to them.</P><P>In fact, the history of popular music is packed with <a href="/news/articles/1579620/panic-at-disco-know-punctuation-better-than-they-think.jhtml">affronts to punctuation</a> — from early pioneers like the Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and James Brown's "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine" to more recent torchbearers like Panic! at the Disco and Godspeed You! Black Emperor — though rarely have artists had the audacity to extend that mistreatment to the album title itself.</P><P>Of course, there are those who have bravely dared to throw logic (and roughly 300 years of letter-case tradition) out the window when it came time to name their new albums. So in honor of Gaga's <i>ARTPOP</i> demands, here's a look back at some of the greatest — and by that, we mean most nonsensical — album titles in history.</P><P><b>Led Zeppelin's <i>IV</i></b>: At the peak of their powers — both artistically and, it would seem, <i>mystically</i> — Zeppelin decided they didn't need to title their fourth album. Instead, they printed four hand-drawn symbols (each representing a band member) on its inner sleeve. The move has subsequently enthralled generations of bong-glazed dorm inhabitants and only added to the album's mystique. In the 40 years since it was released, the record has come to be known as <i>IV,</i> <i>Runes,</i> <i>Zoso</i> (after Jimmy Page's symbol) and "the one with 'Stairway to Heaven' on it."</P><P><b>Prince's <i>Love Symbol</i> album</b>: Released in the lead-up to the Purple One's "symbol" phase — when he changed his stage name to an unpronounceable hieroglyph that incorporated the symbols for both male and female — it understandably infuriated his label, Warner Bros., which was precisely what Prince intended. (Note to labels: Do not release greatest-hits packages without Prince's approval.) After the album didn't sell (he blamed this on Warner), Prince would eventually begin appearing in public with the phrase "Slave" written on his face. Shocking, to be sure, but at least you could <i>pronounce</i> it.</P><P><b>Ministry's <i>Psalm 69</i></b>: Its actual title is a collection of Greek symbols (that translate to "head") and the number "69" in Greek numerals. Not only that, but Ministry named their 1992 album in honor of occultist Aleister Crowley's "The Book of Lies," which was first published as "Which is also Falsely Called BREAKS. The Wanderings or Falsifications of the One Thought of Frater Perduarbo, which Thought is itself Untrue. Liber CCCXXXIII [Book 333]." And <i>that</i> would have been a ridiculous name for an album.</P><P><b>Sigur Ros' <i>( )</i></b>: The Icelandic art-rockers really outdid themselves on their third album, and we're not just talking about the decision to sing all the songs in a made-up language called "Hopelandic." Technically, <i>( )</i> has no actual title. Rather, the brackets are meant to represent its two halves or give the listener the opportunity to determine the title themselves. Oh, and officially, all of the tracks on the album are untitled too. Your move, Gaga.</P><P><b>Coldplay's <i>X&Y</i></b>: Sure, it's got a traditional title. But ever the <i>artistes,</i> Coldplay decided to print the name of their 2005 album in the <a href="/news/articles/1503742/coldplays-album-cover-decoded.jhtml">Baudot code</a>, an early forerunner of the Morse code that relied on a series of 1's and 0's to convey messages. Needless to say, the logic behind the decision was about as difficult to crack as the code itself.</P><P><b>M.I.A. <i>/\/\ /\ Y /\</i></b>: Yes, we know that technically, M.I.A.'s 2010 album is called <a href="/news/articles/1638991/mias-new-album-called-y.jhtml"><i>Maya</i></a> (she named it after herself, following in the tradition of her first two albums, which were named in honor of her mother and father), but let the record state that when she officially unveiled the title, she did so in tricky typographical fashion. No wonder <a href="/news/articles/1643219/mias-new-album-turd-diplo-tweets.jhtml">Diplo hated it</a> so much.</P><P><b>Liars' <i>WIXIW</i></b>: It's pronounced "Wish You," FYI. And for a band like Liars, who have spent their career giving albums titles like <i>They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top</i> and <i>They Were Wrong, So We Drowned,</i> we'd like to think it's actually an improvement.</P><P><i>Sound off on the latest album title trend in the comments, and FEEL FREE TO DO IT IN ALL-CAPS!</i></P><P></p><div class="player-placeholder right" title="Lady Gaga Has The Title And Concept For Her Next Album" id="vid:717202" width="415" height="255"></div><p></P>
Yet another celebrity superstar to pop the big question, Harry Shum Jr. of “Glee” is officially engaged to girlfriend Shelby Rabara, according to his representative!
Reportedly getting engaged back in October 2013 while on vacation in Hawaii, a source close to the sweethearts said, “They have been together for years and are so great together.”
Just like her groom-to-be, Rabara is also a dancer with a small hand in acting, undergoing small roles in movies like “17 Again” and TV shows such as “Community” and “CSI.”
According to a source close to the pair, Harry and Shelby moved into an LA home last month, and The Real Estalker reported that Harry bought a 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home on January 15th. We wish them all the best!
R&B crooner let his vocals do the dancing with a simple, stripped-down performance. By Kelley L. Carter
<P>With two spotlights shining down on him, a sleeveless <MTVNLINK type="artist" id="1270">Usher</MTVNLINK> belted out the first notes of his summer hit, "Climax," at Sunday's <a href="http://www.bet.com/shows/bet-awards/2012.html" target="_blank">2012 BET Awards</a>.</P><P>The R&B crooner stood center stage, wearing all black, save for a pair of hot-colored shoes, and sang the ballad with the electro-beat from his seventh studio album, <i>Looking 4 Myself,</i> in front of a live band. Some wicked, black-and-white animation danced behind him on a large screen that backlit the auditorium.</P><P>This was the first time Usher has performed at the awards show since 2010, where he also sang another ballad, "There Goes My Baby," from his <i>Raymond v. Raymond</i> album.</P><P><object width='440' height='360' id='kickWidget_176704_509145' name='kickWidget_176704_509145' type='application/x-shockwave-flash' data='http://serve.a-widget.com/service/getWidgetSwf.kickAction'> <param name='movie' value='http://serve.a-widget.com/service/getWidgetSwf.kickAction'></param> <param name='FlashVars' value='preselectedPlaylistItem=guid_2243923589&affiliateSiteId=176704&widgetId=509145&width=440&height=360&noScale=1&playOnLoad=0&mediaURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bet.com%2Fvideo%2Fbetawards%2F2012%2Fperformances%2Fplaylist%2F_jcr_content%2Fleftcol%2Fvideoplaylist.mrss%3Fpt%3DEmbedFullPage%26type%3Dembedplaylist%26ordts%3Dy%3Ftype%3Dembedplaylist%26pt%3Dembedplaylist%26&revision=178&autoPlay=0' ></param> <param name='wmode' value='transparent' ></param><param name='allowFullScreen' value='true' ></param> <param name='allowScriptAccess' value='always' ></param></object></P><P>The Sunday night (July 1) performance came in the first half-hour of the show and was apropos, considering that Usher's latest studio album is topping <i>Billboard</i>'s charts for the second week in a row (and his fourth #1-debuting album in a row). The dance-friendly album was just released last month. "Climax" hit #17 on the singles chart, while second track "Scream" has peaked at #13.</P><P>For his BET Awards performance, the multiplatinum, multi-Grammy-winning R&B singer kept it fairly muted. Save for a few quick microphone movements, he let his vocals dance during the performance. Even his attire was muted compared to what we've seen Usher turn out at awards shows in years past; a lone, shiny timepiece decorated his wrist.</P><P>Usher concluded his performance with a quick wave of his hand to the fans down in front.</P><P><b>Stick with MTV News as we bring you all the scoop from the <a href="http://www.bet.com/shows/bet-awards/2012.html" target="_blank">2012 BET Awards</a>, including winners and must-see performances!</b></P>
On ‘Late Night with Seth Meyers,’ Kanye West gave a compelling, wide ranging interview on music, fashion, art, being a father and more, and delivered a showstopping performance of a seven-song medley of career spanning hits. Kanye West was the sole guest on the second night of the premiere week of ‘Late Night’ with its new host, Seth Meyers the former head writer and anchor of ‘Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. On what is obviously a closely watched make-or-break week, Meyers has scored a win with yet another A-list guest after Amy Poehler and Vice President Joe Biden on the inaugural edition of the show. While Kanye West may live in the minds of many for his numerous rants and eyebrow raising quotes and run-ins with paparazzi and, not least his high profile engagement to Kim Kardashian, the mother of his daughter, North West, viewers can always anticipating seeing and hearing a compelling discussion when he is given free reign on a television talk show. Much as he did with his appearance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ Kanye West took the opportunity to expound on his artistic vision as well as to dish on the expected topics. As for breaking into [...]