Taylor Swift may want to set her face to perpetual stun: the 22-year-old pop/country star just sold 1.2 million copies of her new album Red in its first week. It's a feat that hasn't been accomplished in 10 years, when Eminem moved 1.32 million copies of The Eminem Show back in 2002. "They just told me Red sold 1.2 million albums first week. How is this real life?! You are UNREAL. I love you so much. Thanks a million ;)," Swift tweeted in response to the news.
Among the various jaw-dropping statistics Billboard released about Swift's Red, which "sold two albums every second last week in the U.S." and "accounted for 19.3% of all albums sold in the U.S. last week," is that it holds that eighth-largest sales week for an album in SoundScan's history and is already the third biggest-selling album of 2012, behind Adele's record-breaking 21 (which has moved 4.1 million copies this year alone) and One Direction's Up All Night (1.3 million).
Still, there's one hurdle Swift wasn't able to get over. No, not finding the right boyfriend to settle down with, thus rendering the tabloid rumor mill and 90 percent of her songs ineffective. Rather, the chart-topper couldn't quite top the now-defunct boy band 'NSYNC. The pop quintet still holds the all-time record for debut week sales when their 2000 smash No Strings Attached moved 2.4 million copies.
While it's impossible for Swift to break that record now, that doesn't mean she can't have the same massive impact that 'NSYNC did post-No Strings Attached. Sure, she can't create a TRL-infused frenzy like they did (and, boy, don't you get the impression she and Carson Daly would have gotten along swimmingly?) but that doesn't mean she can't follow a similar model.
Here are five possible 'NSYNC-inspired paths Swift can take now that she, too, is a Billboard legend.
- Reinstate TRL to beat 'NSYNC's records on there. And Eminem's for that matter. If anyone can wield that power over MTV, it's Swift.
- Hit Broadway, baby. Both Joey Fatone and Lance Bass took on iconic roles in shows on the Great White Way, Rent and Hairspray, respectively. With teen-friendly Hollywood A-listers (Daniel Radcliffe) and pop stars (Nick Jonas) alike getting in on the act, it seems like a logical move for Swift and a way to prove to skeptics that she can put on a live show. She's just begging to be the lead in Annie, no?
- Randy Jackson would love to have her as a guest judge on America's Best Dance Crew, dawg. Just ask, JC Chasez. (Seriously, someone go check on JC Chasez.)
- Get a haircut to make yourself resemble a pineapple. Hey, it "worked" for Chris Kirkpatrick.
- Take over the pop culture industry as a whole. Open a restaurant, do a phenomenal job hosting Saturday Night Live and be asked to return repeatedly, give a brilliant supporting performance in an Oscar-winning drama (sorry, that means no more Valentine's Day), and splash your inevitable overblown nuptials all over the cover of People magazine. Of course, in turn, this means you will have to utterly ignore and reject the musical career and supporters that made you a superstar in the first place. Hey, it worked for Justin Timberlake.
Follow Aly Semigran on Twitter @AlySemigran
[Photo credits: WENN.com]
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Director Alexander Payne's (Election Sideways) new film opens over sprawling landscape shots of Hawaii's scenic suburbia accompanied by George Clooney's character Matt King summing up his current predicament: "Paradise can go fuck itself." The reaction unfortunately is reasonable.
We pick up with King an ancestor of Hawaiian royalty in the middle of deliberations over a plot of land handed down through his family over generations. With every uncle aunt and cosign whispering opinions into his ear King is suddenly presented with an even greater problem: taking care of his two daughters. A boating accident leaves his wife in a coma forcing Matt to take a true parenting role with his young socially-troubled daughter Scottie (Amara Miller) and his rebellious teen Alexandra (Shailene Woodley) who was previously shipped off to boarding school. Matt awkwardly hunts for the emotional glue necessary for the mismatched bunch to become "a family " but matters are made even more complicated when Alex reveals that her mother was cheating on him before the accident. Murphy's Law is in full effect.
With The Descendants Payne continues to explore and discover the inherent humor in life's melancholic situations unfolding Matt's quest for understanding like a road movie across Hawaii's many islands. Simultaneously preparing for the end of his wife's death and searching for the identity of her lover Matt crosses paths with a number of perfectly cast side characters who act as mirrors to his best and worst qualities: his father-in-law Scott (Robert Foster) who belittles Matt for never taking care of his daughter; Hugh (Beau Bridges) an opportunistic cousin who pressures Matt to sell the land; Alexandra's dunce of a boyfriend Sid (Nick Krause) who always has the wrong thing to say; and Julie (Judy Greer) the wife of the adulterer in question. Colorful yet real Matt experiences a definitive moment with each of them yet the picture never feels sporadic or episodic.
Clooney and Woodley help gel these sequences together as they observe experience and butt heads as equals. Clooney's own magnetism stands in the way of making Matt a fully dimensional character but he shines when playing off his quick-witted daughter. His reactions are heartbreaking—but it's the moments when he has to put himself out there that never quite ring true. But the script by Nat Faxon Jim Rash and Payne gives Clooney plenty of opportunities to work his magic visualizing his struggle as opposed to vomiting it out like so many of today's talky dramas.
The Descendants is a tender cinematic experience an introspective and heartwarming film unafraid to convey its story with pleasing simplicity. Clooney stands out with a solid performance but like many of Payne's films it's the eclectic ensemble and muted backdrop that give the movie its real texture. The paradise of Descendants isn't all its cracked up to be but for movie-goers it's bliss.
Hollywood star Alec Baldwin is begging fans to boycott a movie he made six years that has been reedited, renamed and is being released.
Baldwin directed, produced and acted in The Devil and Daniel Webster in 2001. Despite a cast including Anthony Hopkins and Dan Aykroyd, the movie was dismissed by studio bosses and was never released.
The film has been reedited and renamed as Shortcut to Happiness, and Baldwin's name has been removed from the directing credits--replaced by pseudonym Harry Kirkpatrick. It will be released in six cities in the U.S. on July 13.
And Baldwin is advising fans not to watch the film--describing it as unrecognizable.
A friend tells PageSix, "Alec doesn't recommend unrecognizable films to his fans. This is not an Alec Baldwin film. He's in the movie but he has nothing to do with it. His name was taken off as producer and director six years ago, but he couldn't get it taken off as an actor."
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