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It's no secret that pop stars like to bare their bodies, whether it's on stage, on the red carpet, or in a music video. Big pop names like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Gotye left little to the imagination in their video hits, and we've also seen nudity (and controversy) pop up in videos from rock acts like the Flaming Lips and Sigur Ros. Check out our list of 20 not so sweet videos that aren't afraid to show some skin.
Lady Gaga, "Do What U Want" (2014)
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Lady Gaga released the "Artpop" track "Do What U Want" as a single in 2013, but strangely never shared an official music video for it. In June 2014 TMZ leaked a 30-second semi-NSFW video clip that may reveal why. The video features snippets of what is allegedly Gaga's "Do What U Want Video," featuring R. Kelly and photographer Terry Richardson. According to the report, the video was scrapped because Gaga's team feared the presence of her two co-stars would cause too much controversy amidst the video's sexual themes. Seems like that was a good move.
Miley Cyrus, "Wrecking Ball" (2013)
While belting out her “Bangerz” album’s pop ballad “Wrecking Ball,” Miley swings in naked (but strategically covered) on her own sphere of destruction — taking breaks to suggestively roll around in gravel and tongue down a sledgehammer.
Robin Thicke (Feat. Pharrell Williams and T.I.), "Blurred Lines" (2013)
"Let me liberate you," Robin Thicke requests of a gorgeous friend in this clip. She, as well as several of her cute friends, oblige. And so goes this boob-heavy video, featuring free, topless women with dapper (and clothed) guests Pharrell and T.I. prance after them. Watch the unedited version on Vevo here.
NSFW: Sigur Rós (w/ Shia LeBeouf), "Fjögur Píanó" (2012)
Shia LeBeouf literally bares it all in the avant-garde short film for Sigur Rós' "Fjögur Píanó," which is definitely NSFW. The clip chronicles the ups and downs of a very sad-looking LaBeouf and his graceful girlfriend -- or at least that's what it seems to be chronicling. The incredibly strange video is difficult to decipher, but it keeps viewers watching for an astounding nine minutes.
Katy Perry, "California Gurls" (2010)
Katy Perry strips down before slipping into her cotton candy cloud-covered bed in her video for "California Gurls," which takes place in the sweet land of "Candyfornia." Sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what Katy Perry and her gurls are made of.
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used To Know" (2011)
Gotye bared more than his soul in the video for his chart-topping single -- the Aussie singer shows off every inch of his body as he's painted with colorful shapes, standing still and crooning "now you're just somebody that I used to know." Featured songstress Kimbra goes just as buff as she's stripped of her geometric paint in the viral video.Blink-182, "What's My Age Again" (2000)
Pop-punk pranksters Blink-182 forget their gym shorts and take a leisurely, naked jog through the streets, encountering a memorable cast of characters along the way. The boys were actually wearing thongs during most the outdoor scenes, but they let the cameras capture it all in the studio shots.
Britney Spears, "Womanizer" (2008)
Britney got her sauna on during the filming of her 2008 comeback clip, which allowed her to show off her re-buffed bod. The song quickly became Brit Brit's first No. 1 hit in nine years. Coincidence?
NSFW: The Flaming Lips & Erykah Badu, "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (2012)
Erykah Badu and the Flaming Lips' extremely NSFW short for "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" made waves when it dropped -- much to the dismay of a very publicly-angry Badu -- in June. The footage switches between shots of the singer and her sister Nayrok Udab, fully naked in bathtubs, covering themselves in glitter and bodily fluids while Badu chants raw, haunting vocals. The video has since been removed by the Flaming Lips, but Lips frontman Wayne Coyne said that it might be remade, featuring Amanda Palmer.
Pink, "So What" (2008)
In this anthem for the scorned woman, the fiery singer tosses aside her dress on the red carpet as paparazzi bulbs flash, trying to capture the risque moment. Strategic black bars shows that Pink can still be classy, even when she's publicly parading in the buff.Alanis Morissette, "Thank You" (2002)
Alanis showed us everything we needed to know in this clip where she stands on street corners, takes public transportation and goes grocery shopping while naked as a jaybird. Luckily, her hair was long enough back then to avoid any FCC fines.
D'Angelo, "Untitled" (2000)
In the video that sold a million gym memberships, soul crooner D'Angelo begs to be your man as beads of sweat seductively roll down the most ridiculous abs ever seen on a human being. We're still trying to get in touch with his trainer.
Michael Jackson, "You Are Not Alone" (1995)
In a desperate attempt to prove their love was real, Michael Jackson and then-wife Lisa-Marie Presley reverted to naked cudling for the King of Pop's "You Are Not Alone" video. We miss Michael as much as you do, but admit it -- those scenes still give you the willies, don't they.
Lady Gaga, "Love Game" (2009)
A bedazzled Gaga appeared wearing nothing but strategically placed crystals and a little body paint in the video for her second chart-topping hit. Oooh la la, indeed. Robbie Williams, "Rock DJ" (2000)
British heartthrob Robbie Williams has trouble catching the ladies' eyes in a rollerdisco, so he strips off his clothes -- and eventually his skin -- to aid his cause. Some people will do anything for attention.
NSFW: The Flaming Lips, "Watching the Planets" (2009)
Long before the Lips were creating controversey with Erykah Badu (when she stripped down for the sixth video on this list), they were flaunting the human body in the name of music with "Watching the Planets." You wouldn't think that the king of all naked videos would belong to a band as quirky and, frankly, as unsexy as the Flaming Lips. But Wayne Coyne and co. came out with a clip that features so much flesh, we can barely bring ourselves to embed it.
Major Lazer, "Bubble Butt" (2013)
A trio of flat-backed party girls are visited by a big-booty monster that inflates their butts to balloon-sized proportions. Then they're taught how to twerk what they've just been blessed with in the club.
NSFW: The-Dream, "Pussy" (2013)
This clip, which is more like a trailer for a porno movie than a traditional music video, is a literal as they come. The-Dream is known for being a bit raunchy at times, but this clip takes it over the top with a woman really enjoying his music while in bed.
Text by M. Tye Comer, Hannah Gilman, Danielle Levy & Brennan Carley.
Neil Young is apparently making good on his plan to record an orchestral album.
The legendary Canadian artist has been at work in the studio cutting a new recording with the highly-rated German-born composer and arranger Chris Walden. The longplayer is said to have a working title of Storytone. And it may yet get a release before Christmas, if the rumors are to be believed.
Young hasn’t yet confirmed any details on what would be his 35th album, though eagle-eyed fans spotted the next best thing on Walden’s official website. On it, Walden’s “recent projects” section highlights the fact he’s written arrangements for an “upcoming Neil Young album.” According to reports, the comment originally mentioned the album's name Storytone along with a release date of Nov. 4, though this nugget has since been removed. Adding further fuel to the hot rumor is music contractor Gina Zimmitti, who let the world in on a secret when she posted photos of Walden and Young’s recent sessions.
“We don't feel cheesy calling this one a "precious moment" - George Doering, Chris Walden, and Neil Young (L to R). First day recording Chris Walden's fantastic arrangements for Neil Young, Zimmitti wrote in one post. The session was held at Sony Pictures Scoring Stage.Post by Gina Zimmitti Music Contracting.
“Check out Neil Young's converted 1959 LincVolt parked in the Sony lot yesterday for more days of recording with orchestra and Arranger Michael Bearden,” she writes in one update published on Friday.Post by Gina Zimmitti Music Contracting.
Young told Billboard he has a yearning to do something symphonic. "I'd like to make a record with a full-blown orchestra, live -- a mono recording with one mic," he told Billboard earlier this year. "I want to do something like that where we really record what happened, with one point of view and the musicians moved closer and farther away, the way it was done in the past. To me that's a challenge and it's a sound that's unbelievable, and you can't get it any other way. So I'm into doing that."
The veteran artist has been touring throughout 2014 -- both on his own and with Crazy Horse -- promoting his solo covers project A Letter Home, which was released April 19 via Third Man. Young’s latest stint in the studio comes soon after news broke that the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer had filed for divorce from Pegi Young, his wife of 36 years.
Ben Platt is not your average twentysomething — well, twenty-year-old. He hasn’t even added a "something" yet, and he already has a more robust resume than those many "somethings" his senior.
While his contemporaries are off at college, playing beer pong and pledging fraternities (or a cappella groups), Platt is juggling: he's playing lovable Star Wars-and-magic-obsessed Benji Applebaum in the upcoming Pitch Perfect 2, and once again headlining Book of Mormon on Broadway as Elder Cunningham.
And as if that weren’t enough to keep him busy, Platt wrote a one-man cabaret show, which he'll perform for a final time at 54 Below on Monday, Sept. 1. While the term "cabaret" conjures images of show queens singing torch songs around a piano, Platt admits he has stories and show-business fodder to share between his favorite tunes, like tales about his "big Jewish family" and putting on shows in his backyard growing up.
"I definitely kept in mind that I’m only 20 years old," Platt says of building the show, which is simply titled I’m Here and includes "Make You Feel My Love" (the Adele arrangement) and "The Man That Got Away," a Judy Garland number from A Star Is Born. "You can definitely expect some Pitch Perfect references and some magic, if you will," admits Platt, jokingly expressing dismay that 54 Below won’t allow live animals. "Everyone’s always like, can you really do magic? And I’m like, well if you would like to supply me with all of those things again I could do those tricks for you."
But the real question is, will he sing "Magic" by B.o.B., from his Pitch Perfect finale moment? "The song might make its way in there," he hints.
For Platt, the show is a personal milestone. "I finally made the permanent move to New York in January, which is something I’ve been waiting to do for a while, so it felt like a nice way to punctuate my arrival here," he says. Platt was supposed to move to New York two years ago to attend Columbia University, but deferred his enrollment when he got cast in Pitch Perfect. Although he's now registered in the school’s general studies program and plans to complete his degree, he has no problem with his Pitch Perfect times being his only true "college" experience, and he really loves the "awesome Star Wars stuff" in Benji’s dorm room.
"There’s a little bit more pressure because everyone knows what Pitch Perfect is," he said of filming the sequel. "It’s as if we’re revisiting out first experience, but it’s been blown up and it’s kind of under a microscope in a certain way."
One favorite moment from the sequel's set was filming a Fourth of July video with co-star and friend Skylar Astin, which director Elizabeth Banks posted to her Facebook page. "We just threw together an arrangement of 'America the Beautiful' and played around with some harmonies and sang together," Platt says, adding that Astin is "a mensch," who just saw him in Mormon, along with co-star Anna Camp.
Returning to Mormon felt weird because it juxtaposes the differences between the mediums. While the musical performances in Pitch Perfect are carefully choreographed and captured shot by shot, Platt has many memorable moments with his live audience at Mormon.
"My co-star Nic Rouleau once pulled a muscle in his leg in the middle of a show and had to call out mid-act two. So he finished his number, and the next time he appeared, [his standby] just came onstage and continued the show!" Platt explains. "They didn’t have time to announce it, so I knew that the audience would be so confused. … Nic is blonde, and his cover has black hair. So as soon as I came out with the new Elder Price, I just said, 'Oh, Elder Price it’s great to see you. I see you’ve dyed your hair.' And everybody just went nuts and clapped, and I felt very relieved that I wasn’t going to let this go by without saying anything about it. It was a fun audience bonding moment."
But it won’t be long before Platt is back onscreen, this time opposite Meryl Streep in the Jonathan Demme film Ricki and the Flash, penned by Diablo Cody. (Platt’s father is producer Marc Platt, who produced Wicked on Broadway and is also a producer on Ricki and the Flash.) Streep will play the lead singer of a rock band who is looking to reconnect with her estranged kids.
"Luckily I get to play a character that is obsessed with her and is a big fan of hers, because I don’t think I would be able to play anything besides that," Platt laughs of his character, a bartender at the band’s regular joint.
And yes, he will be 21 by the time he’s on that set.
- This article originally appeared in THR.com.
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