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Tag Archives: UK

“Somebody That I Used to Know” is the Most Unlikely Pop Hit Ever

11 Mar

If you asked for an unlikely pop hit, I would probably suggest something slow, acoustic, with weird instruments, and not from an American artist. Yet, “Somebody That I Used to Know” appears to have broken all the rules and propelled Australian-Belgian singer Gotye to international stardom.

Gotye enjoyed a devoted following in Australia, but had not achieved any substantial international acclaim for his acoustic, thoughtful songs. Then, inspiration struck him in the middle of the night in his parents’ barn. He quickly penned the lyrics and laid down the track “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

After finding a female vocalist to enhance the story, the 21-year-old New Zealander Kimbra in this case, Gotye released the song as a single from his upcoming album, Making Mirrors. It took off.

At present, the song has topped the charts in fifteen countries around the world. It sits atop the American iTunes charts and lies at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Australia has been very kind to the song. It has been at #1 for 8 weeks there (2nd best all-time) and has been certified as 8X platinum. That’s nothing on Poland, though. In the Northern European country, “Somebody That I Used to Love” has been at #1 for an all-time high of 18 weeks. It’s the all-time most popular song there.

Gotye’s ballad has also topped the charts in Austria, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Ireland among other places.

It’s also been a hit song on social media. The music video has more than 106 million views on YouTube and a cover version by Walk Off the Earth has more than 66 million views.

There’s also an incredibly popular a capella version of the song by Pentatonix.

Must be good to be Gotye these days.

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Stacey Irvine Only Eats Chicken Nuggets for 15 Years, Nearly Dies

26 Jan

Chicken Nuggets

How does any parent let this happen? 17-year-old Stacey Irvine collapsed last week after struggling to breathe and was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Doctors found her body lacked nearly all essential vitamins and minerals before injecting her with high doses of various nutrients.

The young girl says she has never tasted fresh fruits or vegetables, and has been hooked on chicken nuggets since her mother let her try one at the age of 2. The UK teenager says she will occasionally vary her diet— with a slice of toast or a bag of potato chips.

In addition to serious vitamin deficiencies, doctors diagnosed Irvine with anaemia and swollen veins in her tongue. “McDonald’s chicken nuggets are my favourite,” she told several UK tabloids. “I share 20 with my boyfriend with chips. But I also like KFC and supermarket brands. My main meal is always chicken nuggets every day.”

Her mother said she once tried starving Stacey in an effort to get her to eat healthy food, but the technique didn’t work.

Probably not the press McDonald’s wants. The fast food giant had a disastrous social media campaign earlier this week.

Horrible Racist Incidents on English Public Transit

12 Dec

What the heck is going on the British public transport system these days? Three disturbing incidents have appeared on YouTube in the past week alone.

1) Racist Woman Ejected From Bus: Very little context for what set this woman off, but she’s pissed, racist and takes a swing at the guy. She picked the wrong person to mess with. Can’t blame him for reacting as he did.

2) ScotRail’s Big Man: A young man boards the train without having paid for his ticket. He fights the elderly ticket collector for a while before a “big man” steps in and resolves the situation.

3) Emma West’s Crazy Racist Rant on English Bus: This is the oldest incident of the bunch, but perhaps the most shocking. A woman, with her young child in tow, begins spouting horrific racist vile at the busload of people. She was subsequently arrested for her tirade. Emma West, 34, will spend time in jail out of concern for her safety.

Viral Video Star Sophia Grace Brownlee Sings With Nicki Minaj

13 Oct

You are a heartless person if this video did not melt your heart the first time you saw it. Little Sophia Grace Brownlee and her cousin Rosie Grace McClelland made this amazing cover version of Nicki Minaj‘s hit “Super Bass.” The clip has been seen more than 8 million times on YouTube.

Well, the Ellen DeGeneres Show flew them in from England and offered them the chance to perform again. Then, Ellen surprised them by bringing Nicki Minaj out and the girls met their favorite celebrity. Again, this is an amazing clip.

Is the song appropriate for an eight-year-old to sing? That’s another question.

Incredible Video and Pictures From London Riots

10 Aug

For the fourth day in a row, a series of violent nighttime riots swept across the United Kingdom last evening. The disturbances turned deadly as three young men in Birmingham were murdered. Haroon Jahan, 21, Abdul Nasir, 31, and Shazad Ali, 30 were protecting their neighborhood from the rioters when a car ran them over. Another man who was assaulted by protesters in Enfield also died last evening, bringing the total deaths in the riots to 5.

Many point to the death of 29-year-old father Mark Duggan as the spark to the riots. According to limited information from the police, Duggan was a passenger in a taxi that was stopped. At some point during the stop, shots rang out and Duggan was fatally wounded. Information about his background remains uncertain, with some people alleging Duggan was tied to a violent gang.

At what should have been a peaceful memorial service to Duggan, violence suddenly erupted and has not stopped since. The Atlantic Wire has an excellent roundup of the various theories about the causes of the riots.

Sky News reporter Mark Stone was on the front line of the riots and actually tried to interview some of the looters who were savaging Clapham Junction.

Look at this unbelievable image as a fire tears through a building in Tottenham.

Fire in Tottenham

One of the most uncomfortable and shocking exchanges occurred on the BBC. Writer and intellectual Darcus Howe was interviewed live on television by presenter Fiona Armstrong. The exchange quickly turned to deeper racial issues in English society. Armstrong at one point asks, “You are not a stranger to riots yourself I understand, are you? You have taken part in them yourself.” Howe responds, “Stop accusing me of being a rioter and have some respect for an old West Indian Negro, because you wanted for me to get abusive. You just sound idiotic – have some respect.” The BBC has since apologized for the interview.

Here is an incredible picture of a woman jumping from a burning building into the arms of rescuers below.

Watch here as rioters attack police officers in Woolwich.

Ben Schoefield tweeted some amazing photographs of the violence in Liverpool, including this amazing picture of his car on fire.

Back to Mark Stone for a short video showing the violence as looters smash windows and try to rip televisions off the walls of some stores.

A horrifying image of a double-deck bus on fire during one of the first nights of the riots.

Finally, there is this moving speech from a West Indian woman in Hackney. She urges the rioters to stop, pointing out that they are destroying the businesses and property of their hard-working neighbors. The speech has explicatives and is NSFW.