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BookTrib Best of 2017: 15 Books Fit for a Prince: Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of Prince’s Iconic First VMA Performance

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‘Earlier, I had been talking stuff in a violent room’—- okay, it wasn’t a ‘violent room,’ more like a violet one. Purple. THE color that belongs to only one artist and no one will own it the way he has for more than 35 years. In this purple space, I was contemplating and discussing what the VMAs mean to me this year, 16 months after Prince’s passing. Like many, I still roam these musical streets in a constant state of WTH!?, but I am coping by listening to what he left us, watching his films and videos and fervently reading things I hadn’t read since I was 12, new books, hard to find out-of-print books and even a few advance…

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VMA Week: Photographer Afshin Shahidi Gives BookTrib a ‘Private View’ of Icons Prince, Beyonce in an Exclusive Interview

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  One of my favorite pictures of Prince is the cover photo of Afshin Shahidi’s forthcoming book, Prince: A Private View. One of the reasons I am so enamored of this picture is due to the striking contrast of black and white in Prince’s clothing against the simplistic set— what appears to be a plain hallway. What is even more endearing to me as a 30+ year fan is that Prince, who was of a smaller stature, even in the most ordinary of spaces was ginormous. He was a larger than life figure in life and in his passing his absence has left a chasm that no artist now or in the future will be able to fill.  Through his…

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2009 VMA Run-in with Kanye West Did Not Damage Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation,’ Says Fan Fav Biography

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The most unforgettable and bizarre year in VMA history was 2009. Michael Jackson was dead, Lady Gaga was gross, Brittany Spear’s made a comeback and Hip-Hop ruled. However, the one thing that is forever etched in the annals of VMA history was the moment Kanye West jumped on stage and interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Video of the Year. Swift seemed genuinely shocked, as were most people in the audience and at home.  This single incident could have ended of both careers, but it had just the opposite effect. As a result of this awkward situation, both artists were catapulted into into super stardom. Kanye proved he was bad-ass and Taylor Swift became the darling of America and a…

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It’s VMA Week at BookTrib with Awesome Reads, Articles and Giveaways!

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On August 27, 2017, MTV will air its 34th Annual Video Music Awards or what we of the MTV generation affectionately refer to as the “VMAs.”  This year’s show will be hosted by Katy Perry and will feature performances by Miley Cyrus, Fifth Harmony and Kendrick Lamar, who is this year’s most nominated artist for his video, “Humble.” Host Katy Perry and artist/producer The Weeknd are tied for second place behind Lamar, each with five VMA nominations to their credit. This year’s VMAs are just as monumental as ever, marking two firsts in the show’s history. First, MTV has eliminated all gendered categories in favor of combining the best male and best female categories into one Artist of the Year category…

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MTV Suspect’s iO Tillett Wright Answers One Question about ‘Darling Days’

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The crap we go through while establishing our identity (shakes head back and forth). We often face ridicule for being different or criticized for being too much like Joe Shmoe walking down Park Avenue. You can’t win. Oftentimes people assimilate to the status quo or to what society labels as “normal.” Yeah, these people might lead fulfilling lives but do they change the trajectory of history? No, because never has an average person with average ideas and average goals ever changed the world. Nonconformists move society forward, or at least lead it down a different path. Activist, actor, writer, poet and MTV host iO Tillett Wright is one of those nonconformists. Wright’s debut memoir, Darling Days (Ecco Press, September 27, 2016) chronicles his…

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Wild for Ampersands: 9 Fab Books Sporting the Stylish Symbol in the Title

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If I had to pick a favorite grammatical symbol, it would definitely be an ampersand. It’s all curves and swooping lines, and it’s just as fun to write as it is to say. Look at this little guy and tell me you’re not in love: & When an ampersand is added to a book title, it instantly lends a certain panache to any novel. The title suddenly flows, making those books using the word ‘and’ seem needlessly long. While it’s not quite as common to see ampersands in titles as of late, a few authors are still holding onto the trend (bless their hearts!). Plus, there are always the classics to refer back to again and again. Here are nine awesome books that…

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EXCLUSIVE! Awkward’s Jillian Rose Reed and Nikki DeLoach Dish on Season 5

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It’s the fifth and final season of Awkward and everyone is feeling a little uneasy. After having a front-row seat for four seasons, where being entertained each week revolved around the trials and tribulations of high school student Jenna Hamilton’s (Ashley Rickards) not-so-perfect life, MTV is saying good-bye to the teen drama. I know: What are they thinking!? But chin up, Awkward fans, high school isn’t meant to last forever and the show’s stars Jillian Rose Reed (Tamara Kaplan) and Nikki DeLoach (Lacey Hamilton) have a few things to say, not only about the end of an era, but what’s in store for all of those dedicated Awkward fans. “I’m really hoping it’s not the end,” winks Jillian Rose Reed. “Who knows, anything can…

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Jonesin’ For a Fix: Awkward Teen Drama Edition

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It’s not always easy to nail a teen show. Sometimes they’re too cheesy, or too boring. Too full of drama, or too many over-the-top issues. For every Dawson’s Creek, there’s a 90210 remake — don’t even get me started — just waiting in the wings. After years of entrusting all my teen needs to The WB, Read: The CW, lately I’ve been turning to cable networks for my high school fix. Specifically, MTV and ABC Family. MTV teen shows are funny, subversive and totally willing to go there. Just look at Awkward, coming back for its fifth and final season on August 31. From the first season, where unpopular Jenna starts a secret relationship with the school hottie and deals with…

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Screw you, Spoilers! The 100’s Shawna Benson on Dodging Bullets

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You know what sucks? Spoilers! In the ever-growing digital age it’s hard to get away from them. They’re on your phone, they’re on your computer, they’re even blurted out by co-workers in the cubicle next to you. So What’s a Spoiler? Shawna Benson, staff writer on the CW’s post-apocalyptic series The 100 says that “a spoiler is an information leak about a story in any medium that appears before the large mass of humanity is able to actually read or watch said media.” For example, last season on The 100 the (extremely passionate) fandom went ballistic after a clip featuring an unexpected lip lock between Clarke [Eliza Taylor] and Lexa [Alycia Debnam-Carey] was “leaked,” but according to an article E!…

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