Sean Connery, The Original James Bond, Dead At 90

Sean Connery, the whiskey-voiced son of Scotland who brought James Bond to the screen for the first time and went on to lead a long and celebrated acting career, died on Saturday (October 31). He was 90.

The BBC reported that the actor passed peacefully in his sleep after being “unwell for some time,” according to his son, Jason Connery. “We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently,” he said. “A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor.”

Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Born Thomas Sean Connery on August 25, 1930, his challenging childhood in the slums of Edinburgh influenced much of his life, and he would later donate the $1 million he made from Diamonds Are Forever to the Scottish International Education Trust, which helps Scots from similarly impoverished backgrounds receive educations. His first film role was in the B-movie Action of the Tiger in 1957, followed by Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure and Disney’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People in 1959.

Connery embodied the character of James Bond — tall and suave, with a hidden temper. In 1962, he brought the novelist Ian Fleming’s iconic secret agent to life with Dr. No, becoming a best-selling star throughout Great Britain and the United States with From Russia With Love the following year, Goldfinger in 1964, and 1965’s Thunderball. He left the role after 1967’s You Only Live Twice, later to reprise it in 1971 with Diamonds Are Forever and, once more, in 1983’s Never Say Never Again.

“It took a whole generation along, and it’s turned out almost three decades,” Connery told MTV News in 1992 of the role that he portrayed across seven features. “And it had a certain kind of momentum because the timing was very important. It came out at a time when people were sort of fed up with the kind of kitchen sink, and that sort of drama, and they were very taken with the espionage and the exotic locations, and nice, tailored suits, and beautiful women, and swishing around, and being, you know, highly active — all the elements that were, I think, probably more escapism than anything.”

Daniel Craig, the actor who picked up the role of the resourceful man of espionage in 2006, remembered Connery as “one of the greats” in a statement to Entertainment Weekly“It is with such sadness that I heard of the passing of one of the true greats of cinema,” he said. “Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more. He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster. He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course.”

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Connery led a successful and diverse acting career beyond Bond, too, expanding to further commercial roles in the late 1980s. He earned a best-actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for his performance as a crime-solving monk in 1986’s The Name of a Rose, followed by an Academy Award for best-supporting actor in 1987’s The Untouchables. He was knighted on July 5, 2000, by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to the arts. His final part was Allan Quatermain in 2003’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. 

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “heartbroken” to learn of his passing. In a tribute shared on Twitter, she wrote, “Our nation today mourns one of her best loved sons.”

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How Deena Told The Jersey Shore Cast About Pregnancy Number Two

Deena shared that her heart was “filled with so much love and joy” because she is pregnant with her second child. And beginning on November 19, the Jersey Shore mama — who is already mom to soon-to-be-big-brother CJ with husband Chris — will be embarking on a family vacation with her lovable roomies. Party’s here, times two…again!

So how did Deena tell her roomies about Baby Buckner #2?

“Are you ready?” Deena asks in the brief clip above, while Laurens screams “Oh my God!” post-reveal.

Watch the video to see how she spilled the mini meatball-related news, and spend the holidays with the fam when Season 4 of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation begins on Thursday, November 19 at 8/7c!

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Jonas Brothers Are Wistful And Ready For Snow On ‘I Need You Christmas’

It’s not quite Halloween, but the Jonas Brothers are already all set up for Christmas.

On “I Need You Christmas,” a loungy and longing new cut from Kevin, Joe, and Nick, it’s all about the power of the holiday and how it can lift anyone out of the doldrums of loneliness. It’s also about missing childhood and realizing that at the end of a long, tiring year full of coldness and isolation, maybe the one thing that might help is to gather around the tree. How nice.

Nick sings the first half, evoking scenes of “angels on treetops and angels in the snow,” pining for them amid feeling lonely and blue. By the time Joe takes over halfway through this “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”-type ode, he’s singing of carolers and mistletoes, all the things you need to specifically mention in order for your melody to count as a Christmas jam. That nostalgia is at the center of the song’s message, as the band revealed on social media.

“For us this song stirs up memories of childhood snowball fights & finding the nearest hill to sled,” the group’s Twitter stated ahead of the drop. “It brings us back to spending time with family setting up the Christmas tree. Hopefully it can bring you guys the same feelings of warmth & happiness that creating it brought us.”

The memories are aplenty on social media — Kevin, Joe, and Nick in front of the Christmas tree clutching plush animals and posing in a sleigh, the bro quad (Frankie included!) as adults rocking their best steely faces in front of a glimmering tree, and the entire extended family gathering at a twinkly round dining table. A cooked goose for everyone!

“With having such a crazy year, we all really need something to look forward to,” the group’s Twitter read. “The Holidays is a time that brings us together and is something that brings us joy in the darkest of times.”

The JoBros are far from the first pop stars to begin mining the yuletide cheer well before the season actually begins. Carly Rae Jepsen’s latest, “It’s Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries,” perhaps the most realistic representation of a December family gathering ever committed to tape, is out today (October 30), too. Carrie Underwood’s Christmas album My Gift dropped three days after September’s autumnal equinox, while Dolly Parton released her latest earlier this month.

And it gets better: Today sees at least four new holiday collections dropping: JoJo’s December Baby; Meghan Trainor’s A Very Trainor Christmas; A Tori Kelly Christmas from, yep, Tori Kelly; and It’s Christmas All Over, from the Goo Goo Dolls. There’s also, of course, the inevitable return of Mariah Carey — along with mystery guests “AG” and “JH” — as teased by her Christmas tree emoji tweet earlier in October.

Until then, though, you’ve got “I Need You Christmas” to keep you warm. Check out the rosy-cheeked goodness above.

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Mark Kassen And Chris Evans Want To Make Every Important Issue A Starting Point

Last week, as part of MTV’s Vote For Your Life Stream digital event, Mark Kassen and his pal Chris Evans talked to young, first-time voters about what was driving them to the polls this year. The issues ranged from climate justice to health care and more — nuanced topics with discernibly different views on both sides of the American political spectrum. But how can you get an informed take on what those sides are in hopes of digesting the issue in totality? That’s where A Starting Point — the civic engagement platform co-founded by Kassen, Evans, and Joe Kiani earlier this year — comes in.

Kassen, an actor who also directed Evans in the 2011 film Puncture, notes that, as they got more buy-in from elected officials in Washington, D.C., the site quickly evolved into an information destination on, say, the tech giants of Google, Facebook, and Twitter testifying before the Senate this week and what that might mean going forward. That information came from those in the know: senators Ron Wyden, Marcia Cantwell, and Rick Scott, who all spoke to Kassen and Evans for A Starting Point on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Our objective is to say: This is a changing face of media… and there’s legislation, and you may or may not know it has an effect on how you receive information,” Kassen told MTV News.

It’s all part of A Starting Point’s core, which Kassen said involves having productive conversations with young people — facilitated in part by a partnership with the Close Up Foundation — as a key way of communicating back with elected officials. We’re mere days away from the 2020 presidential election, and amid a surge of student voting and massive early voter turnout, Kassen keeps A Starting Point’s focus in mind: “I hope that people will vote, first and foremost, and I hope people will treat each other with respect.”

Below, MTV News talks to Kassen about A Starting Point’s recent efforts, how Gen Z can benefit from understanding what’s happening in Washington, and the ongoing classroom impact of COVID-19.

MTV News: Can you tell me a little bit about what the idea was for this platform and where it came from? What was the starting point for A Starting Point?

Mark Kassen: Chris [Evans] originally wanted to have a place for good, basic information. We’ve been friends since we worked together over 10 years ago, and I just kept hounding him, like, this is a really cool idea. I looped in my friend Joe Kiani, who’d had more experience working with elected officials than I had. We started very simply, with what we used to call Section One, which are the starting points, which centers around basic questions that people might want to know around policy and finding things from a left and a right perspective. And every question that would go up would have three Democrats and three Republicans answering them.

When we started, we kind of had to beg people to join. We asked people to do these interviews, and there was no site to show them what we were doing. They just had to trust us, which seemed pretty obscure. So there was a little bit of knocking on doors and pleading. And then as those went well, we started to be able to fill them up, and people had more that they wanted to talk about. So we realized we can kind of make it not just about a well of information, but make it a larger source of connectivity between elected officials and their electorate. So then we came up with these other two sections, which were the Daily Points, which now are user-generated.

Then there are elected officials uploading their take on whatever they want to of the day. It’s usually tied to something that’s going on in the quote-unquote news or in society. And then there’s Counterpoints, which is our version of almost a structured debate. Some of them are a little more conversational, but it’s one Republican right now and one Democrat. Sometimes they talk about what they disagree on. Sometimes they talk about what they agree on or the disagreements they’ve solved to get there.

MTV News: Based on the conversations with senators like Ron Wyden, Maria Cantwell, and Rick Scott that you’ve had this week about information and news, is the idea that A Staring Point can now provide Gen Zers, who might not have ever read a local hometown newspaper in their lives, more information than they had before when it comes to understanding the larger media ecosystem and how it works now?

Kassen: The answer is sort of. We don’t have an objective, per se, in terms of saying, hey, there are newspapers out there that are dying. Our objective is to say: This is a changing face of media based on what they’re hearing, and there’s legislation, and you may or may not know it has an effect on how you receive information. The thing that I think is unique to [Gen Z] is the way they are experiencing information. They didn’t know life without social media.

So, how technology companies — now formed with media companies — use data and give us information is going to be governed by the legislation that is either continued, adjusted, or rewritten. And so for us, it was a great opportunity to say, “This is going on.” We’re not telling you to pay attention to it. It’s happening. We’re letting you know it’s happening, and using that as sort of an anchor to reach out and say, hey, we now have built a relationship with a lot of these elected officials, so we can reach out to them and say, hey, will you come talk to us directly about the thing that you’re going to do this week?

MTV News: Speaking of Gen Z, in your interactions with young folks, especially people who are going to be voting for the first time, what have you learned from them?

Kassen: How much smarter they are than we are and how much more informed a lot of them are. We have two partnerships, one that we’ve had since the beginning, which is with the Close Up Foundation, which we’re very proud of. They have been committed to civic engagement since literally before I was born, or maybe around the time that I was born, which makes me feel old, but they really are committed to bringing people to Washington and getting them to experience the mechanisms, meet their elected officials, and demystify, and educate. And then not only that, they’ve been bringing tools to classrooms to help guide teachers around conversations around issues that otherwise people might be hesitant to talk about. Our goal is to help people have conversations around these issues.

So working with Close Up first and foremost, they have brought kids from across the country to us. Chris and I have gotten to talk to them and find out what interests them and really use that kind of as a north star to go back to our elected officials. Then, you know, we have a second part that we’re just beginning with BridgeUSA, which is college students. So we’re beginning to have a back and forth where we’re listening to them and then asking them questions. But really now we will be listening to them on a myriad of issues starting with right after the election.

MTV News: This school year, how have those classroom tie-ins been going, given how many schools have had to shift to virtual learning due to COVID-19 safety concerns?

Kassen: We set out to make a digital set of easy-to-access tools to allow you to feel close to your governor wherever you were in the world and obviously to the country. That happens to be of use to educators now. We’ve had over 2,500 schools already sign up for when we release our version that will be called ASP Homeroom, through Close Up. So as I said, a large part of Close Up’s world is bringing kids to D.C. Obviously that’s not appropriate right now. So they’ve been shifting a lot in their focus toward finding different tools to help bring what they’re committed to classrooms and keep their programs going like that. And so we’re here to help support and grow that.

They really responded to the mechanism that we created, so we’re just taking our mechanism, curtailing it a little bit more toward their needs, and then using our technology and our mechanism with their guidance. It’s not suddenly us teaching them, per se; it’s them using our tools. There are a lot more people needing digital tools to learn. And you asked me something about being inspired: One of the things I’ve actually become hopeful about around watching this — cause I’m really in the middle of it, I’m like a cheap seat in the middle. I’m trying to help facilitate, but there are other people who are far more qualified.

A place like Close Up, and what we’re trying to do and empower them with some tools, actually gives you the ability to people to actually have a digital mechanism to create cross-economic and cross-cultural education. I know that’s something they’re really focused on. If you have digital tools that go between schools and districts, you actually have the ability for people to experience each other in a way that they wouldn’t digitally because they would never do that in person. So that’s been exciting to watch, watching people try to find ways to get closer together when people actually are more separate right now in your world.

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Cam’s The Otherside Synthesizes Sci-Fi, Harry Styles, And Backseat Quickies

By Ilana Kaplan

When it comes to the release of Cam’s sophomore studio album, nothing has really gone as planned. For one, it’s taken five years for the record to come to fruition — thanks to a label change right after her 2018 heartbreaking single “Diane” dropped. Then, there was the fact that the country-pop singer-songwriter wanted to spend her time tinkering to get the music right. When she got pregnant in 2019, the timing for the record’s release didn’t quite work out. Add in a pandemic, and well, the timeline was complicated further.

But Cam, 35, has found benefits to the way that her album rollout has happened. “I’ve had the extended maternity leave that I didn’t think I would ever get, so now I get extra time with the little one [daughter Lucy], which is amazing, and normally I’d be gone three days out of the week, at least,” Cam tells MTV News over Zoom from her home in Nashville. However, finally, today (October 30), her new LP The Otherside — which boasts songwriting collaborations with Harry Styles, Jack Antonoff, and the late Avicii, among others — sees the light of day. “At this point I’m like, let’s get it out. I want people to hear this,” she says.

Born Camaron Ochs, the “Classic” artist started her career as a songwriter, penning tracks for everyone from Miley Cyrus to Sam Smith. In 2010, she struck out on her own with the independent release of her LP Heartforward. After signing with Sony Nashville, Cam dropped her breakout debut, Untamed, in 2015. The next year, she earned herself a Grammy nod for Best Country Solo Performance for “Burning House,” her flip on the man-who-wronged-a-woman narrative. While her second record was supposed to come out in 2018, label issues prompted a move to RCA, where she is now set to share The Otherside.

In the time between records, Cam stayed busy, becoming a master storyteller and continuing to hone her craft. Most significantly, she’s strengthened her voice. “I think touring for five years internationally, you just use that muscle so much more. Now, I feel like my voice can do a lot more, which is so fun.” And she’s used that to her benefit: With The Otherside, Cam set out to make “a vocal record.” While she’s still exploring dark themes enveloped in storytelling as a way to heal, she ensured her vocals were front and center.

But Cam isn’t the kind of artist who makes an album full of one sound, so when it came to making The Otherside, she made a boundary-pushing collection of tracks, so as not to create the same types of songs over and over. What helped her do that? Thinking about movie soundtracks. They created a backdrop for several songs on the LP. “I loved movie soundtracks as a kid where you have scenes that deserve a suspenseful song, and you have scenes that need a dreamy song, so when I make an album, I try and make sure I hit all those points,” she says.

Her wistful single “Redwood Tree,” for instance, was inspired by the 2016 sci-fi movie Arrival. She was captivated by the idea “that you can’t be in two places at once and [that] you spending the limited time you have the way you want to spend it.” Furthermore, when it came to “Like a Movie,” Cam asked arranger and conductor David Campbell, who’s also worked with Carole King, Taylor Swift, and Beyoncé, to envision a 1950s or 1960s movie set with “fake clouds, a fake sunset, and the wind blowing in your hair” in mind. With “‘Till There’s Nothing Left,” a sultry, uptempo power ballad that meditates on the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of love, Cam found herself obsessed with the Drive soundtrack and unashamed to pay tribute to quickies in the backseat.

That song is an important one for Cam, who grew up believing sexuality was something that was private. “For a lot of time, one way that women were allowed to have power over men was through sexuality, [and] then it was also demonized as that wasn’t the correct way to do it,” Cam says. “There’s this power in it, but you’re not supposed to use that power.”

In making “Till There’s Nothing Left,” Cam debated being openly sexual on the track and the double standards women face about expressing their love of sex. But she thought back to her grandma who gave her the sex talk and said, “Sex is like a milkshake. Once you have it, you’re always going to want it.” And if her grandma could embrace that? She didn’t understand why she couldn’t: “I get to have [sexuality] be a part of me, and I get to express it however I want to express it.”

Essential to the making of The Otherside was the cohort of star-studded songwriters and producers she enlisted to help craft the record. Styles, for whom Cam was able to open at the Ryman in 2018, penned “Changes.” “I normally don’t take songs that are written by other people, I think because, for me, songwriting is such a personal process,” Cam says. “It feels like I’m cheating if I don’t do all the work myself.” But because she already had a connection through their show together — and because her producer Tyler writes and produces for him — she was OK with taking on the track. Styles’s whistle from the demo even made it onto the track: “I heard it and I was like, ‘Oh, I know what this means, this ache, you don’t want to outgrow places and people, but you kind of feel it happening. And I just recognized that.’”

Another striking name on Cam’s LP was the late dance icon Tim Bergling, a.k.a. Avicii, who co-wrote The Otherside’s title track. When Bergling went to Nashville to work on his albums, Cam joined him and songwriter Hillary Lindsey for a writing session. “I really wish I had his help at the very end there to get it to what he really wanted and what I wanted,” Cam says of working with Bergling. “But what a really cool legacy to have somebody that then pushes me to raise my bar that much higher, to try and meet something that I needed to make it fit into my record and also make him, his family and his fans proud too.”

Then, there was an assist from songwriter and producer Antonoff on “Classic.” Because Antonoff has worked with everyone from Taylor Swift to St. Vincent, the pairing was ideal — Cam has never wanted to fit into a box. “I’m just trying to get the production right for the song, not necessarily what’s important to make it prove that it’s country enough,” Cam says of their collaboration. “That seems more like a normal way to do things to me. I think Jack’s in that boat, too.”

“A lot of times, for creatives and writers, you’re trying to meet your own expectations, and it can be intense. It’s not always an enjoyable process, but it was a really enjoyable time sitting there with Jack because he’s just like, ‘What do you think about this? Strum, strum, strum, strum, and throwing out lyrics,’” she says.

While it might have taken longer than expected to arrive, Cam is proud of the journey that it took to make The Otherside. During that time, Cam found herself healing and sorting through the highs and lows of the last five years. What she hopes is that it will also be a balm for listeners, as well. “People need healing tools and connection right now, and that is why music has existed in every single culture since the beginning of culture, because it is a part of us, it is a necessary thing. It’s not just how many records sales you have.”

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Ariana Grande’s Positions Has A Song For Every Mood

By Ashley Oken

Ariana Grande’s highly anticipated sixth studio album, Positions, dropped today (October 30) and is full of the empowering and relatable bops we expect from the pop princess. An R&B-influenced follow-up to her February 2019 album Thank U, Next, Positions finds Grande confidently and happily singing of healing through new love. Second song “34+35,” for example, finds her candidly embracing her sexuality with her partner in a way she hadn’t in previous songs, while “Obvious” is a celebration of how newfound, unexpected love can be both freeing and comforting.

She first announced the new era of music via Twitter on October 14 by telling fans of an album release at the end of the month, and she teased the LP until release day by posting the tracklist, where collaborations with Doja Cat, The Weeknd, and Ty Dolla Sign could be spotted. Grande also dropped the fierce feminist video for “Positions,” featuring outfits inspired by Hillary Clinton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Jackie Kennedy, each of them standing as a reminder that women can be smart, powerful, and sexy. Now that it’s here, it’s clear that Positions is a personal album and that Ariana’s music is suited to soundtrack every moment of life.

If you’re wondering which track you should listen to based on your current mood, we broke it all down for you. You can thank us later.

  1. “Shut Up”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: like a boss

    Key lyric: “How you be using your time / You be so worried about mine”

    Writing this for her haters, Ariana shows us all how to gracefully tell our haters to quit it. This song can be played for anyone who speaks to you before your morning coffee.

  2. “34+35”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: amorous

    Key lyric: “Can you stay up all night / Fuck me ‘til the daylight”

    Her most sexually explicit song to date, Ariana makes no bones about wanting sex with her beau all the time over a frisky backbeat. This song is a great bedroom tune for that Netflix and chill time with your own partner — something she nods to by singing, “Watching movies, but we ain’t seeing a thing tonight.”

  3. “Motive” (ft. Doja Cat)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: thoughtful

    Key lyric: “Before I lead you on / Tell me what’s your motive”

    In this ‘90s-inspired collaboration, Grande wonders whether she’s moving too fast with someone while Doja Cat wonders what this new love’s motivations are, confidently asserting that she needs a “real bona fide” and asking whether they “want a trophy or want to sport me, baby.” This song will have you checking out that virtual date twice more, reminding you to think before rushing a new relationship.

  4. “Just Like Magic”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: confident

    Key lyric: “I get everything I want ‘cause I attract it”

    Grande manifests positivity and self confidence in this sweet song, which will fill you with confidence before nerve-wracking big life events.

  5. “Off the Table” (ft. The Weeknd)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: heartbroken

    Key lyric: “Never thought you’d be so hard to replace”

    With a “Love Me Harder” reference from The Weekend and the reliability of Grande’s crooning about going through a breakup that she’s had to heal from, all the right notes are hit here. This song speaks to feeling like you’ll never find love again after losing it.

  6. “Six Thirty”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: unsure

    Key lyric: “When I’m old and stuck, will you still have a crush?”

    Over an ethereal beat complete with string flourishes, Grande wants her partner to stay by her side because she may “lose it” later on. This song reminds all of us that we deserve love regardless of our flaws.

  7. “Safety Net” (ft. Ty Dolla Sign)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: unprepared

    Key lyric: “I came to peace with my past / Now you got me off track”

    This collaboration finds Grande tripping over her new love and reminds us that love can be unexpected and healing. To that end, Ty Dolla Sign delivers a potent recipe for reconciliation: “Wе hit that jewelry store and wе gon’ ball out / Sometimes we have some fallouts / Put some ice on you, girl, let it thaw out.”

  8. “My Hair”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: generous

    Key lyric: “Usually don’t let people touch it, but tonight you get a pass”

    Singing about letting her man touch her very famous hair, Grande relaxes the rules around her beau. This slinky, nocturnal, and slightly jazzy song reinforces the need for others to ask permission to touch any part — and the exhilaration that comes with giving consent.

  9. “Nasty”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: spicy

    Key lyric: “Boy, you know the vibes / Take what’s on your mind, make it real life”

    Sounding like a nastier version of “The Way,” Grande doesn’t shy away from wanting to get freaky with her partner. Complete with some ghostly whistle notes up front, this song reminds you that your relationship can be spicy, even in quarantine.

  10. “West Side”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: irresistible

    Key lyric: “I’m gonna be your new favorite”

    Grande sings of being all her love could want and giving him things to look forward to: “Tell ‘em you closing the door, I’m the only for sure” and “Let me keep it real. Just let me be in your life like that.” This song reminds us that there are always things to look forward to in life.

  11. “Love Language”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: loved

    Key lyric: “Been a minute since I had something so sweet”

    In this more mature version of “Honeymoon Avenue,” Grande sings of feeling loved physically and emotionally. As this peppy and retro song recognizes real love, Ari lets us all in on how to speak directly to her heart.

  12. “Positions”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: empowered

    Key lyric: “Cooking in the kitchen and I’m in the bedroom / I’m in the Olympics, way I’m runnin’ through hoops”

    Grande has never been shy about her feminism, and this song (and its accompanying video, where she spends plenty of time in the Oval Office) is an ode to women occupying any position powerfully. Fierce and strong, this song reminds us that women can shatter expectations and handle any role with grace.

  13. “Obvious”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: blissfully in love

    Key lyric: “Never thought I’d believe in love again”

    A reminder of how priceless love is, this happy track is definitely a song that can be played at weddings. Grande shows that unexpected love can feel scary, but it can prove to be just what we needed.

  14. “POV”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: vulnerable

    Key lyric: “I wanna love me / The way you love me”

    In the stunning closer, Grande sings of wanting to see herself as her partner does. Singing, “All my baggage fading safely,” Grande shows us that she’s healing, growing, and trying to love herself along the way.

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Ariana Grande’s Fluttering Strings, Julien Baker’s Misplaced Faith, And More Songs We Love

Halloween is kind of a bummer this year. Costume parties? Canceled. Trick-or-treating? Canceled. Even It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on television has been effectively canceled. But if there’s one thing we can count on, even in 2020, it’s resident spooky-season pop queen Kim Petras. The aptly titled “Party Till I Die” was quietly added to her Halloween EP Turn Off the Light, further building on her reputation as the pop’s finest purveyor of bloodthirsty bops, ghostly glitches, and hellishly fabulous lyrics. She’s serving us death on the dance floor, sex in a coffin, and partying in a graveyard all-in-one. Thank goodness, because we’ve never needed it more. —Carson Mlnarik

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‘I Don’t Have To Keep Hiding This’: Teen Mom 2’s Leah Is Talking About Her Struggles With Addiction

Leah confessed in a preview of Teen Mom 2 that she “was addicted to pain medication” — and during this week’s episode, the mother of three elaborated on her painful past and why she was ready to be open about her experience.

“I’ve been working really hard writing a book about my life,” Leah said about her memoir Hope, Grace & Faith. “Even though so much of my past has played out on TV, there’s a lot that I haven’t dealt with publicly.”

She revealed that this was about hiding her addiction, and five years ago (the time of her struggle), she was afraid of “what the repercussions would be.”

“I was scared that I would have this big ‘addict’ on my forehead and everyone perceiving every little thing that I did was because I was an addict,” she stated. “I was afraid of the way that I would be looked at. I was afraid Corey would still be able to use it against me in court. It’s nothing that I should be ashamed of, so I want others to own their stories.”

Speaking of the twins’ dad, Leah claims that Corey didn’t provide the support that she needed, but it “played a big part” in her relationship with Jeremy.

“When I told Jeremy what was in my book, he was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I cannot believe you are putting literally everything in this book,'” Leah stated in a diary cam. “While I was battling with addiction, I was still married to Jeremy, and I understand that it was even hard for him. Then he went and talked about me behind my back to everyone else about me being an addict and not even to me. I love Jeremy, but damn. I think he sees it differently now.”

Leah also admitted that when she was in the hospital for Addie’s birth, she was on morphine for five days — and was already addicted to the medication.

“Now I am okay with talking about this,” she bravely said. “I don’t have to keep hiding this sh*t.”

If you or a friend is struggling with addiction, head to for ways to get help. And be sure to keep watching Leah’s remarkable Teen Mom 2 journey every Tuesday at 8/7c.

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Jordan Kristine Seamón Found Herself — And Italy — In We Are Who We Are

By Alex Gonzalez

At 17, Jordan Kristine Seamón has already built an impressive résumé. You may know her as Caitlin Poythress on HBO’s coming-of-age series We Are Who We Are, but beyond acting, Seamón has many talents. That includes her chameleonic ability to adapt to new surroundings, as with her chosen city of Atlanta, where she moved six years ago after growing up in Philadelphia.

“There are no sidewalks in my development,” Seamón tells MTV News, “and I have a dog now, so when I have to walk my dog, I have to walk in the middle of the street. I miss sidewalks and I miss the hustle and bustle that you hear every night. I need noise to go to sleep. It’s very quiet here, and I miss noise.”

Although she has grown to love Atlanta’s green, hilly parks and active art scene, Seamón finds herself missing Philly whenever she’s out walking her corgi puppy, Nova. Still, both cities are far from the Northern Italian vistas where director Luca Guadagnino — who also helmed Call Me By Your Name — shot Who Are Who We Are, a series following a group of teenagers living on an American military base abroad. Prior to landing the role of Caitlin, a 14-year-old daughter of a conservative soldier grappling with a newfound queer identity, Seamón had never traveled outside of the United States. Over the course of a six-month production, Seamón became well-acquainted with the local culture.

“It was very new,” Seamón says, “and I enjoyed learning the Italian language and just in general, being in Padova, where we stayed, and Chioggia and Bagnoli di Sopra, where we shot most of the series.”

To get there, Seamón’s mother, Felicia, whom she affectionately calls her “momager,” first found a posting for the role of Caitlin on a casting site and encouraged her to audition for the role. She’d known since age 6 that she wanted to be an entertainer; originally, she wanted to be a singer. By 10, she had joined local theater troupes, where directors told her she “wasn’t that bad,” so she decided to explore both.

Yannis Drakoulidis/HBO

As a child, she starred in local productions of plays like Lord, Why Did You Make Me Black?, Marching to Freedomland, and Next Actor Please. (No, they’re not on Vimeo — at least she hopes.) Her debut EP, an experimental mashup of hip-hop and bedroom pop called Untitled, was released in 2018 under the moniker J.K., her first and middle initials. A full, pop-oriented album called Identity Crisis followed this year, just before the September 14 premiere of We Are Who We Are. Her songs explored love, heartache, and mental health through upbeat R&B and were mostly written while filming the series in Italy. “I’m growing up and I’m still trying to figure out who I am and who I wanna be and where I fit in the world,” Seamón says.

After submitting self-audition tapes from home, she flew to California to meet with Guadagnino and co-star Jack Dylan Grazer, who determined she fit perfectly with them and the rest of the series cast, including Kid Cudi and Chloë Sevigny. She learned that she’d landed the extraordinary role while in an extremely ordinary location. “I got a call about a week later while I was driving through McDonald’s, and they told me that I got the role. And I screamed at the girl taking my order.”

She brought that enthusiasm to her onscreen portrayal of Caitlin, a teen who explores her gender identity throughout the season’s arc. She adopts a male alter-ego named Harper when she goes to a coffee shop and meets a young lady. Seamón, who herself is bisexual and gender-fluid, says her experience with her identity was similar in the ways she explored it — she rocks short hair, like Caitlin, and expresses herself through androgynous fashion — though she recognizes how fortunate she was to have grown up with understanding family and friends.

“I think Caitlin is having the exact same thing, with trying to figure out gender identity,” Seamón says. “But because Caitlin’s on a military base, the only access she really has is the internet and [Grazer’s character] Fraser.”

Yannis Drakoulidis/HBO

In one particularly shocking scene in the season’s fifth episode, Caitlin expresses curiosity about anatomy different from her own. When Fraser is peeing, she asks if she can hold his penis as he stands in front of the toilet.

“When I read the script,” Seamón says. “I looked at my mom and was like, ‘I don’t know, I think we might have to cut that scene out. I don’t know how they plan on shooting that, because I refuse.’ But then once Luca expressed, ‘Oh no, you’re not actually gonna have to do anything, it’s just the top half,’ I was like, ‘Oh, OK, no problem. I can do that.’ It was just funny to me, because I didn’t understand, but after actually shooting the scene and learning the meaning behind it — Caitlin trying to see what it’s like to have [a penis] — it’s just curiosity. Every kid has that moment where you’re just curious.”

The following scene, Caitlin sticks hair shavings onto her face, as a means to create the appearance of having facial hair. She quickly realizes she won’t be happy unless she shaves her entire head. In a tender moment evocative of their burgeoning friendship, Fraser begins cutting off the lower half of Caitlin’s hair, then proceeds to remove the rest. Seamón says that the lower half was made up of extensions, but everything else was her actual hair.

“I really just wanted to scream,” Seamón says. “You can see Jack is staying in character, as if Fraser just told Caitlin to quiet down, because I am actually screaming. I forgot that we were filming a TV show for a hot minute, but then once you see the cameras, you remember. But it was very thrilling and very exciting.”

Yannis Drakoulidis/HBO

Seamón’s parents have been supportive of how she expresses herself — after filming this scene, Seamón says her mom shaved her head in solidarity — as well as her creative endeavors throughout her life. In 2018, she and her father published a coloring book called Daddy’s Big Secret: Jordan Learns the Truth. In the series, however, Cailtin’s dad, Richard (played by Kid Cudi), was chagrined when he first saw a bald Caitlin. He yells at her and forbids her from hanging out with Fraser.

Seamón assures us that Cudi couldn’t be more unlike his conservative, Trump-supporting character.“It was difficult whenever we had scenes where we had to be kind of mad at each other or just not super happy,” Seamón says, “because we have so much fun together. He is the best TV dad ever.”

Though Seamón grew up listening to Cudi’s music, she did not know what he looked like until production began on We Are Who We Are.“When I first met him, I didn’t know he was Kid Cudi,” Seamón says. “He introduced himself as Scott, so I was like, ‘Oh, nice to meet you Scott, cool.’ But once I found out he was Kid Cudi, I was like ‘Oh my god, I loved that guy in middle school.’ That was my music. Like, it was all I listened to.”

In We Are Who We Are’s sixth episode, Fraser imagines him and Caitlin re-enacting Blood Orange’s “Time Will Tell” video by singing and replicating its choreography clad in white before a grand piano. Seamón says that despite the challenging work she and Grazer put in to perfect the dance in over “two or three days” and film it in over 10 takes, this was one of her favorite scenes to film.

“I don’t say I’m a dancer,” Seamón says, “I think I can dance, I can hold the beat in a rhythm, but I don’t classify myself as a dancer. I don’t classify myself as an actor, really. But that’s another story for another time.”

Seamón currently lives with her parents in Atlanta, and they have already binged the entire series, though they also watch it together every Monday night on HBO. Although her parents are fans of the show, Seamón still feels awkward watching some scenes with them.“Some parts I just turn away,” Seamón says. “Even though we’re all super, super comfortable with one another and we’re all mature, I’m still like, ‘OK, I don’t wanna watch myself kiss someone else.’ It feels weird. I cringe.”

The series wraps on November 2, and though there’s no word on future episodes, Seamón is on board to return. As the show’s first season takes place in 2016, Seamón hopes for a time jump in a hypothetical second season. “I feel like we’ve all grown a lot since the show,” Seamón says, “so I would like to see what the characters are doing in a couple years’ time.”

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‘There’s A Lot To Be Said’: Kailyn Reveals The Truth About Her Teen Mom 2 Pregnancy

Kailyn confessed that she was dealing with “a lot of things privately” at the onset of tonight’s Teen Mom 2 episode. She painfully said she had let “toxic” people stay in her life for too long and that she “lost herself” in the process. And during the show’s final moments, Kail revealed her “private issue” had now become public.

“Chris’ aunt decided to post a photo of my ultrasound on social media, which obviously went viral,” Kail said as footage of the reports claiming she was expecting her fourth child were shown. “I haven’t really said anything publicly about it.”

Then she confirmed her life-changing news: “I’m pregnant.” She continued that she had not spoken with him and that he has “been in and out of jail.”

“I know that people have a ton of questions, and they’re wondering how I could have gone back to someone like that. And I think there’s a lot to be said that I haven’t really talked about,” she explained, while tearing up. “And a relationship where domestic violence is there and where, um, it’s just really toxic. So I’m still trying to figure that stuff out.”

Kail concluded that Chris won’t be “included in anything.”

“Going into this one knowing that he won’t be there at all is really scary,” Kail said.

Watch Kailyn’s fourth pregnancy progress every Teen Mom 2 Tuesday at 8/7c.

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