FUR WILL FLY
Avril Lavigne's Hello Kitty is the latest music video to be labelled racist
Avril Lavigne's love for Hello Kitty is no secret.
Her Asian die-hard fans have been known to shower her with Hello Kitty-related gifts and she has referred to her "obsession" in numerous interviews.
So it was hardly a shocker when a song about the famous mouthless Japanese cat made it into the Canadian rock chick's latest self-titled album.
Sadly, it is so awful it will make your skin crawl.
But to all of cyberspace, the inane lyrics of Hello Kitty ("K-k-k-kawaii/Hello Kitty, Hello Kitty/Hello Kitty, you're so pretty) are not the worst of the track's problems.
Instead, critics zeroed in on its music video, which received backlash for over-the-top "Japan fetishisation". Critics were quick to show their claws and slam her for being "racist".
In the candy-coloured cutesy clip, which has since attracted over 9 million views on YouTube since its official release last Wednesday, the 29-year-old singer prances around in a cupcake tutu skirt, flanked by four expressionless robot-like Japanese female dancers and later excitedly greets the sight of sushi and sake.
It seems like her over-enthusiasm towards Japanese pop culture did not translate in the manner she had intended.
Lavigne later addressed her haters on Twitter, saying: "RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!! I love Japanese culture and I spend half of my time in Japan. I flew to Tokyo to shoot this video specifically for my Japanese fans, WITH my Japanese label, Japanese choreographers AND a Japanese director IN Japan."
Unfortunately, Lavigne is not the only female star who has been accused of racism when it comes to their music.SKY FERREIRA AND LILY ALLEN
Both Ferreira and Allen were accused of committing a similar crime when they used black dancers as props in their music videos.
For Ferreira, her clip for her newest hit, I Blame Myself, released earlier this month, saw her play a gang leader surrounded by a crew of four black male dancers.
It forced the 21-year-old US singer-model to take to Facebook to explain herself, saying: "No, I did not use black back-up dancers as props. I never have and never will look at any human being as a prop. That's disgusting.
"It's also an idea that has never crossed my mind, which is what I find questionable of the people telling me that I did so."
As for Allen, her music video for her single Hard Out Here, which was released last November, had several scenes where some female black dancers are seen gyrating.
Like Ferreira, the 28-year-old English singer also defended her work: "If anyone thinks for a second that I requested specific ethnicity for the video, they're wrong... If I could dance like the ladies can, it would have been my arse on your screens."
This 11-year-old US blonde quickly learnt what Chinese culture was really about after her cringe-worthy Chinese Food music video was roundly crucified last year.
Its lyrics - "I like the egg rolls and the wonton soup/This makes me feel so so good/Fortune cookies, tell my future/Chinese Chinese Food" - did not help her case.
Netizens wasted no time letting her know that noodles emanating rainbow sparkles, a rapping panda and kimono-wearing geishas were offensive, not to mention, inaccurate representations of the culture.
But an unrepentant Gold later said in her defence: "I don't really understand what that's all about. I mean, I'm not trying to criticise anyone, I just really love Chinese food!"
Remember Stefani and her posse of Harajuku Girls in the early 2000s?
These four Japanese and Japanese-American back-up dancers toured with her to promote her debut solo album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. (2004). They featured in her music videos and acted as her loyal entourage during appearances.
And yes, the No Doubt frontwoman even had a song called Harajuku Girls in that album.
As part of their contract, they were not to speak on or off stage and often appeared expressionless alongside Stefani.
The 44-year-old US singer and Nipponophile drew criticism for apparently stereotyping Asian women as "weak and submissive".
Stefani later spoke out after she was openly slammed by US comedian Margaret Cho, who called the whole act a "minstrel show".
"The truth is that I basically was saying how great that culture is. The Harajuku Girls is an art project. It's fun! I was surprised how racist everybody was about them. Everybody's making jokes about Japanese girls and the stereotypes. I had no idea (I'd be) walking into that."
The 29-year-old US pop star nailed the geisha look to a T during her colourful performance of Unconditionally at last year's American Music Awards, which also featured cherry blossoms, a Shinto shrine, taiko drummers and kimono-clad dancers on stage.
But to viewers, it was a classic example of culture misappropriation.
Perry defended herself in the February issue of GQ magazine: "All I was trying to do was give a very beautiful performance about a place that I have so much love for and find so much beauty in, and that was exactly where I was coming from, with no other thought besides it."
ARIANA GRANDE - PROBLEM (FEAT. IGGY AZALEA)
If there is any problem with this song, we don't hear it.
US singer-actress Grande has matured so much since her 2013 debut album Yours Truly, channelling some major newfound attitude in this new tune.
Maybe infamous potty-mouthed Australian rapper Azalea has taught her a thing or two about loosening up. Judging by the usually squeaky-clean Grande's uncharacteristically sexy single cover, it would not come as a surprise.
CHER LLOYD - BIND YOUR LOVE
Has Lloyd gone soft?
Gone are the English singer's trademark sass and cheekiness from her previous songs like Want U Back and Swagger Jagger - the new Lloyd is disconcertingly mild as she sings of unbreakable love.
Bind Your Love will feature on her upcoming album Sorry I'm Late.
JUSTIN BIEBER AND POO BEAR - HARD 2 FACE REALITY
The Canadian pop star has had a recent streak of releasing songs mirroring his personal life, so this is unlikely to be any different.
But if you want details, the answer is not in this mopey, cryptic track which has some wondering if it's about his on-off relationship with US singer-actress Selena Gomez.
Poor Biebs. Maybe a reality check is just getting too much for him. - Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman