Celebrities

When Strangers Mourn

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

Facebook elevates the loss public figure into a global events for widespread mourning. When David Bowie and Alan Rickman died the week of January 10, we posted our favorite video clips of Bowie singing and Rickman acting. On our Facebook walls, we wrote mini-essays about their impacts on our lives. We ...

The Reinvention of Justin Bieber

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Justin Bieber is back. The onetime scourge of western civilization has reestablished his musical relevance with his first-ever Number One single ("What Do You Mean?") on the Billboard Hot 100 and an album, Purpose, that was Number One on the Billboard charts until Adele's 25 juggernaut steamrolled the universe. On November ...

#Kanye2020: Brilliant Branding, Bro

Friday, September 11th, 2015

The Kanye West brand is like a Ferrari careening down a highway. Sometimes you want to watch the spectacle. Other times you want to get out of the way. And then there are times when you wish you were in the front seat. Kanye's recent presidential election announcement makes me ...

“Amy” and the Unsolved Mystery of Amy Winehouse

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Amy, the new documentary about Amy Winehouse, is an unsolved mystery and an all-too-familiar one. You know the story: a mercurial artist dies before her time, leaving behind grieving fans and an unfinished body of work. The movie leaves us pondering why she self-destructed and provides no easy answers. Over the ...

Three Lessons I Have Learned from Jim Morrison

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

Thirty four years ago today, I visited Jim Morrison's grave at Père Lachaise Cemetery to honor his memory on the tenth anniversary of his death. The moment sealed my lifetime interest in the Doors and especially Jim Morrison. But aside from providing the soundtrack to my life and fascinating me ...

Selling Elvis in the Age of Instagram

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Image source: Vegas.com Elvis never left the building after all. Seventeen years after his death, Elvis Presley remains one of the most lucrative names in show business. According to Forbes, he is the second wealthiest deceased celebrity, earning $55 million in 2013 through merchandising, licensing of his image, and his Graceland ...

Don’t Take No for an Answer: Career Advice from Norman Reedus of “The Walking Dead”

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

If you want to get the job you really want, you can't take no for an answer. Just ask Norman Reedus, who plays the popular character of Daryl Dixon in the AMC hit television series, The Walking Dead. As Reedus shared in a recent Wall Street Journal Live interview, the role ...

Visual Storytelling in Today’s “All Access” Era

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Access. It's the most valuable currency of celebrity journalism. Photojournalists Bob Gruen and Ken Regan built celebrated careers by getting access to coveted rock stars such as Madonna, whom Ken Regan photographed as she was about to become a star. Regan, who passed away in 2012, was welcomed into the ...

Lady Gaga Gives Her Fans a Visual Hashtag with “Applause”

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

With the release of her new single, "Applause," Lady Gaga has served a visual feast to the news media. On August 12 she conspicuously wore Kabuki-inspired face paint while making the rounds in Los Angeles to promote the first single off her forthcoming album ARTPOP. Publications ranging from Buzzfeed to The ...

Jay-Z Writes New Rules for Music Millionaires

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Jay-Z says he's writing new rules. But for whom? The multi-millionaire rapper created a firestorm of PR by launching an innovative deal with Samsung to distribute 1 million copies of his new Magna Carta Holy Grail album through a special app exclusively on Samsung phones before the album went on sale ...