She was named as one of the defining artists of the last decade and declared among the world’s most influential people in the eyes of both Time and Esquire magazines. But now M.I.A. is set to tackle a fresh creative challenge as she takes over the reins of London’s Meltdown Festival this year. Curating the Southbank Centre’s annual music extravaganza will be no daunting exercise for the London-born rapper, though. Perhaps more than any other musician over the last 15 years, M.I.A. – real name Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam – has been a true champion of the culture clash that Meltdown celebrates. And the 41-year-old says she is keen to put musical diversity at the heart of her festival, which takes over the Southbank in June. “For me this Meltdown will be about putting on a musical week that shows different types of music which have inspired each other to exist,” says Maya, who was unveiled as this year’s festival curator earlier … [Read more...] about M.I.A. brewing mixed musical ‘melting pot’ as she takes over this year’s Meltdown Festival
Get daily updates directly to your inbox + SubscribeThank you for subscribing! Could not subscribe, try again laterInvalid Email M.I.A. has been announced as the curator of the 24th Meltdown Festival held in the Southbank Centre . The rapper, producer, director and visual artist will hand pick performers to produce a mix of art, music and film from June 9 to June 18. The singer-songwriter who was born in Hounslow has garnered acclaim for her thought-provoking lyrics and visuals which delves into subjects including immigration. On what she will bring M.I.A. says: "For me this Meltdown will be about putting on a musical week that shows different types of music which have inspired each other to exist. "Genres that support other genres, redefining the concept of a melting pot. Respect the history, don’t live in it. "I plan to bring together music’s best forward thinkers who have contributed to all our lives. When music acts as inspiration, it’s boundary-less." … [Read more...] about M.I.A. announced as curator of 2017 Meltdown Festival
The British-Sri Lankan rapper and former One Direction star had teamed up for the track "Freedun" which appears on her most recent album AIM. AIM is an unapologetic comment on the refugee crisis and the political indifference to the struggle of those forced to find sanctuary in other countries but are met with hate and intolerance. "Freedun" continues this theme as she raps about her personal feelings towards refugees, which is offset by Zayn's romantically hopeful chorus. M.I.A. had previously discussed why there hadn't been a music video yet for the track, telling Vevo: "It's just really hard as he's in America and I can't get in, he's not getting out, and I'm not going to make a video about Skype conversations cut together." Having filmed some of the video on her own, M.I.A. told OK! Online that there was more to the story, that racial tensions between India and Pakistan was another reason why Zayn couldn't meet her. "I never finished 'Freedun.' But I shot for 4 days," M.I.A. … [Read more...] about Zayn in too much danger to shoot ‘Freedun’ music video in India with M.I.A.
Rapper M.I.A. says she is surprised to be alive after a childhood marked by civil war — and never thought she would be old enough to become a mother herself. The star, 40, whose real name is Mathangi Arulpragasam, was born in Hounslow but moved to Sri Lanka with her parents when she was six months old. When war broke out between the government and Tamil rebels her father, who was involved in the Tamil separatist movement, remained in Sri Lanka while Arulpragasam and the rest of the family fled to India. She later returned to London, where she grew up in Tooting, learned English and enrolled at Central Saint Martins college before her music career began to take off in 2003. The name M.I.A. is a play on Missing In Action and Maya, her assumed name. Arulpragasam told ES Magazine nothing scares her after her early experiences. “I feel like I should have died a long time ago,” she said. “I’m surprised I’m still alive, to be honest. I came from war. When … [Read more...] about M.I.A: ‘I came from war… I didn’t think I’d live past 25, let alone have a child’
I really like that M.I.A. single "Paper Planes." But I hear she supports terror. Is that true? Is she a terrorist?—Mela, Los Angeles Don't bother trying to catch MIA at the border. Haven't you seen the Pineapple Express trailer? She's got papers in her name! For the record, M.I.A., also known as Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, is a Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil who spent much of her childhood in England. Her father is credited as a cofounder of a militant pro-Tamil group EROS, which, in turn, was once linked to the Tamil Tigers. The Tigers have been labeled a terrorist group by many countries, including the United States. In a 2005 interview, M.I.A. was adamant that she doesn't support terror. ''I've heard lots of people say that I'm part of a terrorist group and I'm singing about that, and singing songs for them, but that's wack, I'd never do that," Arulpragasam told the Australian paper The Age. But that denial hasn't stopped other people—including fellow musicians—from … [Read more...] about M.I.A.: “Paper Planes” on a Tear, but Terror?
MIA's son may not have such a hard time of it after all. The British-born rapper of Sri Lankan descent, whose real name is Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, has not named her infant son Ickitt. "My baby is not called Ickitt, Pickit or Lickit thank you very much to all the Hollywood press. Hes a baby, he don't need press!" the new mom wrote Friday in an all-caps, punctuation-eschewing blog post on MySpace So Latina's website apparently had it wrong when it pegged the latest edition to the increasingly weird celebrity-baby name canon on the "Paper Planes" artist. But as for what M.I.A.'s child's name really is...that's for us to remain in the dark about for now. "I didnt release the baby name because I didnt think it was news!!!!" she continued. "But I will be back with something news worthy soon, till then go pick on Apple, Satchel and Moon Unit." Hear that, Gwyneth, Spike Lee and Zappa family? You just got burned. M.I.A. welcomed her first child (name TBA) with fiancé Benjamin … [Read more...] about M.I.A. Not Quirky Enough to Name Her Son Ickitt
MIA's baby-naming book might have been, well, M.I.A. the day her son was born. The British-born Sri Lankan rapper has, according to Latina, revealed the name of her three-week-old son, and it was definitely worth the wait: The "Paper Planes" singer has named her firstborn Ickitt. (Fingers crossed the 31-year-old and her indie rocker beau, The Exit frontman Benjamin Bronfman use the nickname "Kitt," not "Icky.") M.I.A., whose real name is Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, welcomed the tyke just days after performing at the Grammys. Little Ickitt now jumps to the head of the moniker-challenged star kid pack, joining the unforgettable Pilot Inspektor (papa Jason Lee), Audio Science (mama Shannyn Sossamon), Moxie Crimefighter (papa Penn Jillette), Kal-El Coppola (Superman-loving papa Nicolas Cage), and Bronx Mowgli (Disney-buff 'rents Pete and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz). … [Read more...] about Latest Boggling Celeb Baby Name: M.I.A.’s Ickitt
MIA capped her preggo Grammy show by popping out a boy. We can't wait to see how she'll top that come Oscar time. When last we saw the British-born Sri Lankan singer, she and her belly were gyrating onstage during Sunday's Grammy night performance of "Swagga Like Us" with Jay-Z, Kanye West, T.I. and Lil Wayne. Because it was her due date, producers had a golf cart at the ready should she go into labor. To hear her tell it, she almost needed it. In an all-caps, grammar-eschewing announcement on her MySpace blog today, M.I.A. recounted an eventful past few days. "I CAME HOME FROM THE GRAMMY'S STILL IN THE MOOD TO PARTY, I COUDA EASILY GONE OUT BUT I WENT HOME INSEAD, LUCKY I DID!! COZ MY EARLY STAGE LABOUR KICKED IN AROUND 2 AM "MY BABY WAS BORN WEDNESDAY, HE IS HEALTHY, FINE, BEAUTIFUL AND THE MOST AMZING THING EVER ON THIS PLANET, OF COURSE IM HIS MUM!!!" No word yet on the tyke's name or birth stats, but he's the first child for the 31-year-old singer and beau Benjamin Brewer, the … [Read more...] about M.I.A. an M.O.M.
Jordan Strauss/Wireimage UPDATE:[/caption] Kris Says: "A little extreme, don't you think? All that just to hide a bad zit?" ________ Calling all couture cops—it's YOU Write 'Em Up time! The Perp: Rapper MIA in a self-designed burqa, at the Scream Awards in Los Angeles The "Paper Planes" singer and wacky fashionista is known for making major fashion statements on the red carpet. She did it again this weekend, wearing traditional Islamic garb with high heels and bright eye makeup in L.A. No word yet from M.I.A. about the reasons behind her wardrobe choice, but we bet you have plenty to say. Write a clever caption below and we'll post our favorite here and on our Facebook page. PHOTOS: Fashion Police! … [Read more...] about Caption M.I.A.’s Controversial Burqa Couture
Bethesda, AMC, Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images, Universal Pictures Now that Lost is over and American Idol is done—what do I obsess about next? I just love your obsession lists.—Myra, Florida via the Answer B!tch inbox I made the mistake of flashing this question past my thousands of b!tchlettes, who responded immediately with Eclipse, coming out June 30, and the penultimate Harry Potter flick, which bows in November. One reader is also excited about "the latest from Dan Brown," which, apparently, hasn't been written yet, but, I'm sure, will have lots of codes and ancient pyramid-shaped gadgets. But if you're looking for something a bit more future-forward, I have your hot list right here: 1. Beloved TV characters running amok. True Blood, Mad Men—take your pick. According to our own E! team, True Blood is promising to be, among other fun things, the nakedest season of the vampire show ever. What does that mean? Naked vampires, fools! On Mad Men, meanwhile, Betty … [Read more...] about M.I.A. + Mad Men + Hot Pants = All-New Obsessions!
Kevin Mazur/WireImage She came, she performed, but did she conquer? Madonna took the big stage for the Super Bowl halftime show, along with a few friends (Nicki Minaj, MIA and CeeLo Green for example), to perform her new song as well as some old favorites. There was a lot of hype going into the performance, which Madonna called "a dream," so we're curious to know what you thought of the Material Girl's Super Bowl debut... MORE: Super Bowl XLVI: Kelly Clarkson Sings the National Anthem! How'd She Do? While Madonna performed her new single "Give Me All Your Luvin,'" featuring rappers Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., she made sure to play to some of her oldest fans: performing an array of her most popular tunes: "Vogue," "Like a Prayer" and "Music." But M.I.A.'s middle finger may have upstaged the whole thing: What was up with that? Dressed up as Cleopatra, Madonna opened with "Vogue" and made a memorable entrance thanks to Roman soldiers-turned-dancers carrying her to the stage. Next up was … [Read more...] about Super Bowl XLVI: Madonna’s Half-Time Show Has Nicki Minaj, LMFAO, M.I.A. & Cee Lo—How Was It?!
Twitter MIA likes to point the finger—anybody see her controversial performance at this year's Super Bowl? Unfortunately for her, frustrated by the apparent lack of news coverage about an issue close to her heart—the slaughter of Tamil civilians in her homeland of Sri Lanka during the country's brutal civil war—the popster decided to pick on the wrong guy, Anderson Cooper. The two got into a very tense Twitter exchange yesterday that prompted the CNN anchor to defend himself against M.I.A.'s allegations that he branded her a "terrorist." MORE: Is M.I.A. in Trouble for Super Bowl Flip? "@AndersonCooper called me a terrorist for speaking out, and expressed support for the SLgov when this was happening," tweeted the "Born Free" singer, disappointed that Anderson failed to report on the atrocities being committed by the government. She then pointed to Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, a U.K. documentary about the subject that she thought the Anderson Cooper 360° host … [Read more...] about Feud Alert! M.I.A. Blasts Anderson Cooper for Tamil “Terrorist” Label
Kevin Mazur/WireImage Madonna may have been the headliner, but she's not the one making headlines after her performance during the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show. Rapper MIA, who appears on the Queen of Pop's new single "Give Me All Your Luvin'" along with Nicki Minaj, shocked viewers when she gave the finger to the crowd during her segment. We're not sure which could be more problematic: Offering the gesture in front of millions of viewers, or the fact that she may have upstaged Madonna... MORE: Madonna Promises "No Wardrobe Malfunctions" During Super Bowl Halftime Show! So what was behind M.I.A. flipping the bird? We're not exactly sure, but it seems that NBC cameras tried to cut away quickly from the middle finger indiscretion from the rapper, even obscuring the whole show for a brief moment. NBC Sports released the following statement: "We apologize for the inappropriate gesture that aired during halftime. It was a spontaneous gesture that our delay system caught late." (NBC and … [Read more...] about Super Bowl XLVI: Controversy Alert! M.I.A. Gives the Finger During Madonna Performance
Kevin Mazur/WireImage Is M.I.A. in trouble for flipping the bird at the Super Bowl? Is she going to get sued or at least blacklisted?—Bird Flyer, via the inbox As of this second, MIA and her fabulous faux-Egyptian wardrobe remain intact. However, I can tell you this: Maya "Middle Finger" Arulpragasam may not escape from this incident unscathed ... OOPS: M.I.A. Flips America the Bird The Federal Communications Commission, which handles all things televised and obscene, likely won't have much of an impact on M.I.A. no matter what happens. A spokesman for the FCC would not comment to me on this matter. But if the regulating body ends up fielding angry complaints about Sunday's show, it would take action not against the musician, but rather NBC. (After Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl, the FCC levied a record $550,000 fine on CBS; the fine was thrown out on appeal.) Yes, the NFL and M.I.A. might get sued in their own right, say, by uptight … [Read more...] about Is M.I.A. in Trouble for Super Bowl Bird Flip?
MIA has come out flipping swinging. The British singer is hitting back hard at the NFL, which is seeking damages regarding her infamous one-finger salute during Madonna's Halftime Show at last year's Super Bowl XLVI. M.I.A. calls the brouhaha "completely ridiculous" and asserts that cheerleaders dancing in the production were actually more offensive. M.I.A. released a YouTube video accusing the league of "massive corporation d--k shaking" for demanding $1.5 million from her for flipping the bird, which the NFL claimed was in breach of her performance contract and dinged its purportedly wholesome reputation. NEWS: Oops! M.I.A. flips America the bird The "Born Free" musician argued that if people zoom out from the photo of her and her middle finger, they'll find at least 10 to 15 African-American cheerleaders under the age of 16 that the Material Girl recruited from a local Indianapolis high school who struck very sexually provocative poses. "So now [the NFL is] scapegoating me into … [Read more...] about M.I.A. Responds to NFL Lawsuit: Cheerleaders Are More Offensive Than My Middle Finger
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images She may be "Born Free," but MIA's spawn is staying put in Brooklyn—at least for the foreseeable future. The British-born singer-songwriter and Super Bowl bird flipper is lashing out on Twitter at her ex-partner, Seagram's heir Benjamin Bronfman, after a New York family court reportedly barred her from taking their 4-year-old son Ikhyd, from Brooklyn back to her native England. "Ben you can't take my son away from me…Just because you have money doesn't mean you have the right," M.I.A. tweeted Wednesday, one of several that have since been deleted. "THE BRONFMANS WANT TO TAKE MY CHILD AWAY FROM ME. WHAT KIND OF S--T IS THAT? THEY NEVER SEE HIM." She added: "Every child needs the MOTHER, I GREW UP WITHOUT A DAD." M.I.A. accuses Grammys of cribbing from her show The musician—whose family is Sri Lankan but moved to the U.K when she was 6 months old because of the civil war there—subsequently retweeted a number of remarks from fans … [Read more...] about M.I.A. Takes Custody Battle With Baby Daddy Benjamin Bronfman to Twitter
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Did the Grammys steal more than just viewers' rapt attention? M.I.A. certainly thinks so: The firecracker rapper is accusing the kudofest of ripping ideas and visual cues from her own show for its recent onstage tribute to Bob Marley. And she's going on the offensive. On Wednesday, the singer tweeted that she'll start "keeping a steal log" and ribbed the costs of mounting each production, writing, "MIA $500 : GRAMMYS $5000000." 2013 Grammy Awards: 5 biggest jaw-droppers She also included a link to her Tumblr page, where she posted side-by-side screenshots of her stage show and the Grammys' Marley tribute, which featured performances by Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Sting and the late reggae icon's sons, Damian Marley and Ziggy Marley. "My ideas came from my life," she wrote of her laser-centric stage set teeming with strong geometric shapes. "My set was based on Tamil Hindu temple. Not Bob Marley." She also exhorted her fans to check out her concerts to suss things … [Read more...] about M.I.A. Accuses Grammys of Cribbing From Her Show
So, Madonna, can you help a sista out or what? Rapper MIA (real name Mathangi Arulpragasam) continues to be in a legal battle with the NFL over her impromptu gesture of flipping the bird during the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show alongside Madonna during their performance of "Give Me All Your Luvin'." While initially seeking $1.5 million, claiming the act allegedly breached her performance contract and harmed the NFL's reputation, the National Football League is now demanding $16.6 million (!) from the English-Sri Lankan artist for her act performed nearly two years ago. That's when she turned to her pal Madge for some help. WATCH: Take a look at the famous flip from the Super Bowl! The celeb jokingly tweeted, "@madonna ummm ..... can i borrow 16 million ?" (Madonna hasn't responded and chances are she's not going to back her up.) Since the first filing back in September, the NFL has added an additional claim, seeking $15.1 million more in "restitution" for the short time she was on … [Read more...] about M.I.A. Pokes Fun at NFL Lawsuit by Asking Madonna for $16 Million on Twitter
Kim Kardashian loves glitz, glam and all things Hollywood, and in years past she's been a regular in the Oscar after-party scene. This Sunday, though, the 34-year-old Keeping Up With the Kardashians star was M.I.A. from the Academy Awards celebrations, and it didn't go unnoticed! Kanye West's wife confirmed to a fan on Twitter that she wasn't going to any 2015 Oscar parties. Reason being? "I have no one to watch North [West]," she wrote, "so we're watching together in our pj's! Next year for sure!" PHOTOS: Kim Kardashian and North West look like twins! Kim and Nori undoubtedly had a fun girls' night in! Mom timed her Sunday afternoon well, too, tweeting that she "finished my piano lesson in time to watch the Oscar's red carpet!!!" Wait, why is Kim taking piano lessons?! "I'm going to surprise Kanye by learning one of his songs!" she wrote, noting, "He's hardly on social media so he won't know I'm tweeting this lol" She told one fan that she "just started" learning how to play the … [Read more...] about Kim Kardashian Explains Why She Was M.I.A. at the 2015 Oscars After-Parties!
At long last, Fergie released her new song "M.I.L.F. $" Friday, hours after the track leaked online. It's the first single from her second solo album, due out later this year. Double Dutchess has been a decade in the making, and fans have been waiting patiently. Her debut solo album, The Dutchess, was released in 2006 and sold over 8 million copies worldwide. It featured the hits "London Bridge," "Fergalicious," "Glamorous," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Clumsy" and "Finally." "You got that, you got that, you got that milk money / I got that, I got that, I got that MILF money," Fergie, 41, sings in her latest effort. "I got that MILF money / I got that MILF money." Fergie hasn't been absent from the music scene since The Dutchess was released. She toured with the Black Eyed Peas in support of 2009's The E.N.D. and 2010's The Beginning, and she contributed new music to the Sex and the City and Great Gatsby soundtracks. In 2014, Fergie released what was meant to be her comeback single, "L.A. … [Read more...] about Fergie’s “M.I.L.F. $” Is Your New Summer Anthem