meta-scriptCardi B & Megan Thee Stallion Give Electric “WAP” Performance | 2021 GRAMMY Awards Show | GRAMMY.com
Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion Give Electric “WAP” Performance | 2021 GRAMMY Awards Show

Megan Thee Stallion

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Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion Give Electric “WAP” Performance | 2021 GRAMMY Awards Show

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s GRAMMYs performance brought the heat to the 63rd GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Mar 15, 2021 - 07:05 am

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s performances at the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards showed why women are running the rap world.

First up was Megan Thee Stallion who made her live debut at this year’s stage. Her set captured the glitz and allure of Old Hollywood as she channeled her inner Las Vegas showgirl. She began her set with Good News single “Body” that was accented by the rapper’s signature booty shaking.

Next up was her GRAMMY-winning “Savage” single. While Beyoncé didn’t appear to sing her part on the remix, Megan more than held her own as she nailed choreography and flirted with the camera. Suited male dancers, a brief sample of D4L’s 2006 single “Betcha Can’t Do It Like Me” and tap-dancing women elevated the musical-inspired performance. “‘Savage’ is my confident anthem,” she said of the hit in an interview prior to the showing. “I’m describing myself and how other people should feel.”

Then, the stage transitioned from the roaring ‘20s to the future as Cardi B proceeded to take over. Resembling a badass fembot in a metallic pink suit, the Bronx star dominated in front of avant-garde visuals as she rapped her latest “Up” single. She was soon joined by Megan as they wowed viewers with a vibrant rendition of “WAP”.

With a larger-than-life stripper heel taking center stage, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion showcased their most provocative dance moves for their first televised performance of the hit. It was undeniably one of the night’s most unforgettable moments.

Earlier tonight, Megan Thee Stallion took home the award for Best New Artist, making her the first female rapper to win since Lauryn Hill in 1999. She also won Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance for her “Savage” remix collaboration with Beyoncé, who joined her onstage as she delivered a heartwarming speech that honored her idol and fellow Houston star.

With the “Savage” remix trophy and Best R&B Performance win for “Black Parade”, Beyoncé is now the most decorated female artist with an all-time record of 87 GRAMMY Award wins.

2021 GRAMMYs Awards Show: Complete Winners & Nominees List

 
9 Essential K-Pop/Western Collabs: From BTS And Megan Thee Stallion, To IVE And Saweetie
Megan Thee Stallion (Center) and (from L to R:) J-Hope, Jin, Jungkook, V, RM, Suga, and Jimin of BTS attend the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 03, 2022.

Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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9 Essential K-Pop/Western Collabs: From BTS And Megan Thee Stallion, To IVE And Saweetie

From Jungkook and Usher's tribute to their shared musical idol, to BLACKPINK and Selena Gomez' sugary sweet collab, K-pop and Western artists of all genres are joining forces to create killer hits.

GRAMMYs/Feb 27, 2024 - 02:12 pm

It’s impossible to ignore the growing global popularity of K-pop. Although Korean pop has been around for decades, the genre's meteoric worldwide success over the past 10 years is reminiscent of Beatlemania and the early 2000s American boy band craze. With a steady increase year-over-year in album sales and K-pop groups touring the U.S. and Europe, interest in K-pop shows no signs of slowing down.

Initially launched in South Korea as a music subgenre with Western pop, R&B and hip-hop influences in the '90s, the K-pop industry is valued at around $10 billion.

Given the worldwide appetite for K-pop, several Western musicians are keen to partner with K-pop acts crossing over into more international markets, often with songs sung partially or entirely in English. While K-pop artists do not need Western artists to be successful — BTS sold out London’s Wembley stadium in under 90 minutes back in 2019, and BLACKPINK made Coachella history twice with performances in 2019 and 2023 — K-pop's massive fanbase and multi-genre influence make it an ideal collaboration for everyone from rappers and singers to electronic DJs.

But don’t take our word for it. Here are nine of the most iconic K-Pop/Western collaborations (not in any order; they are all great songs!).

Usher and Jungkook - "Standing Next to You (Usher Remix)" (2024)

The maknae (the youngest member of the group) of global K-pop superstars BTS and the King of R&B are both having banner years: Jungkook released his debut solo album, and Usher just performed at the Super Bowl

The Bangtan Boys have cited Usher as a significant influence (even singing a callback to his 2001 hit "U Got It Bad" in their No. 1 song, "Butter"), so BTS fans were delighted when the Jungkook tapped Usher for a remix of "Standing Next to You." The song marks the fourth single from his Billboard 200 chart-topping debut album, Golden

Both singers count Michael Jackson as a major influence. In their collaboration video, Usher and Jungkook pay tribute to the King of Pop as they slide, pop, and lock across the slick floor of an abandoned warehouse. 

John Legend and Wendy of Red Velvet - "Written in the Stars" (2018)

R&B singer/pianist John Legend was the perfect choice for an R&B ballad with Wendy, the main vocalist of K-pop quintet Red Velvet. The final song on the five-track SM Station x 0, a digital music project, "Written in the Stars," is a beautiful, mid-tempo love song. A bit of a departure from K-pop’s typical upbeat sound, Wendy and Legend are in perfect harmony over a warm yet melancholic rhythm.

As Red Velvet’s main vocalist, Wendy was the ideal voice for this collaboration. Additionally, she split her childhood between Canada and the U.S., and has been comfortable singing in English since Red Velvet debuted in 2014. This wasn't her first collab with a Western artist: In 2017, she released an English-language version of the pop ballad "Vente Pa’Ca" with Ricky Martin

BLACKPINK and Selena Gomez - "Ice Cream" (2020)

A powerhouse debut single, BLACKPINK collaborated with pop royalty Selena Gomez on the massive 2020 hit "Ice Cream."

An electropop-bubblegum fusion filled with dairy double entendres, "Ice Cream" was an enormous success for both Gomez and the BLACKPINK girls. The track peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has racked up nearly 900 million YouTube views to date. 

Written by a consortium of hitmakers, including Ariana Grande and BLACKPINK’s longtime songwriter and producer Teddy Park (a former K-pop idol himself), "Ice Cream" shows that YG Entertainment’s golden foursome and Gomez were the correct partnership for this track. The pop-trap bop marked the first time a K-pop girl group broke the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and immediately solidified BLACKPINK as global superstars. 

Snoop Dogg and Monsta X - "How We Do" (2022)

West Coast rap godfather Snoop Dogg has quietly become one of the go-to Western acts for K-pop collabs, working with Psy, BTS, Girls’ Generation and 2NE1. K-pop is the Dogg Father's "guilty pleasure," and he performed at the Mnet Asian Music Awards with Dr. Dre in 2011. Without Snoop's love of K-pop, the world might not have gotten this fun and energetic collaboration with Snoop and Monsta X, a five-member boy group under Starship Entertainment.

The song appears in The Spongebob Movie: Sponge On The Run in a dance segment where Snoop, decked out in a pink and purple Western suit, is accompanied by zombie dancers. Though we do not see the members of Monsta X, their harmonious crooning is the perfect accent to Snoop Dogg’s trademark casual West Coast flow.

BTS and Steven Aoki - "MIC Drop (Steve Aoki remix)" (2017)

No K-pop list is complete with a nod to the magnificent seven, and "MIC Drop" is one of their catchiest Western collabs to date. 

"Mic Drop" is quintessential BTS: a nod to hip-hop with a heavy bass line and fun choreography. While the original version of "MIC Drop" is excellent, the remix with EDM superstar DJ Steve Aoki and rapper Desiigner cracked the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 — the first of many hits for the Bulletproof Boy Scouts. 

Released at a time when BTS were just starting their ascent to chart-topping Western dominance, the track's boastful lyrics and tension-building electro-trap production offered an excellent introduction to the group that would soon become international superstars. 

JYJ, Kanye West and Malik Yusef - "Ayyy Girl" (2010)

A truly deep K-pop cut, you’d be hard-pressed to find many people who know that Kanye West collaborated with a first-generation K-pop group over 13 years ago. Released as the lead single on JYJ’s English-language album The Beginning, West’s signature bravado and wordplay are on full display over a track that sounds like the Neptunes produced it.

The song garnered attention in the U.S., but after a string of bad luck (including a severely delayed U.S. visa process and issues with their management company, SM Entertainment), JYJ could not capitalize on their American success. The group continued to see success in Korea and Japan in the early 2010s but never made a splash in the Western market again.

IVE and Saweetie - "All Night" (2024)

A reimagining of Icona Pop’s 2013 song of the same name, "All Night," sees fourth-generation K-pop girl group IVE partner with rap’s resident glamor girl Saweetie for a funky, electronic-infused pop song that’s perfect for dancing from dusk till dawn. 

"All Night" is the first English song for the Starship Entertainment-backed group. Interestingly, none of the members of IVE have individual lines in the song, choosing instead to sing the lyrics in a six-part harmony. This choice is exciting but fun, giving listeners the feeling that they are more than welcome to sing along. 

The girl group embarked on their first 24-date world tour in January 2024, with stops in the U.S., Asia, Europe and South America. Given their quest for global dominance, there’s a good chance "All Night" won’t be IVE's last English-language release.

BTS and Megan Thee Stallion - "Butter (Remix)" (2021)

BTS’ "Butter" had already spent three weeks atop the Billboard charts and was declared the "song of the summer" when the group’s label announced Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion as the guest star for the song’s remix in late August 2021. The GRAMMY-nominated septet is no stranger to collaborating with Western musicians, having worked with Halsey, Jason Derulo, and Coldplay

Though only slightly altered from the original (Megan’s verse was added in place of the song’s second original verse, along with several ad-libs), the remix was praised by both fans and critics alike, catapulting the song’s return back to the No. 1. Although the collaborators did not release a new music video featuring the group and the self-proclaimed "Hot Girl Coach," three members of BTS’ "dance line" (members J-Hope, Jungkook and Jimin) released a specially choreographed dance video. Additionally, Megan was a surprise guest during BTS’ record-breaking Permission to Dance LA concert in November of the same year.

LE SSERAFIM and Niles Rodgers - "Unforgiven" (2023)

GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Nile Rodgers' first foray into K-pop was a partnership with LE SSERAFIM, a fourth-gen girl group from the same parent company behind BTS. "Unforgiven" was released earlier this year as the lead single from the group’s debut album of the same name. 

A darker take on the familiar K-pop formula with A Western feel and look (the young quintuplet dons cowboy hats, boots and bolo ties in the song’s accompanying music video), "Unforgiven" is about rebellion and being a fierce, strong and independent risk taker. That riskiness drew Rodgers' ear. 

"It seems like a lot of the K-pop that I'm hearing lately, the…chord changes are a lot more interesting than what's been happening [in other music fields] over the last few years," he told GRAMMY.com in 2023. "I come from a jazz background, so to hear chord changes like that is really cool. They’re not afraid, which is great to me."

15 K-Pop Songs That Took 2023 By Storm: From Seventeen’s "Super (손오공)" to NewJeans' "Super Shy"

Inside The Recording Academy And Clive Davis' 2024 Pre-GRAMMY Gala: New Artists, Lasting Legends and Iconic Performances
(L-R) Sabrina Carpenter, Ice Spice, Lana Del Rey and Jack Antonoff attend the 2024 Pre-GRAMMY Gala, presented by the Recording Academy and Clive Davis.

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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Inside The Recording Academy And Clive Davis' 2024 Pre-GRAMMY Gala: New Artists, Lasting Legends and Iconic Performances

Ahead of the 2024 GRAMMYs, stars including Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Megan Thee Stallion, Chloe x Halle, and more flocked to the annual Pre-GRAMMY Gala co-presented by the Recording Academy.

GRAMMYs/Feb 6, 2024 - 10:20 pm

Who better than Tom Hanks to say it best?

"Clive Davis has provided us with the soundtrack of our lives, our emotions and our inspirations," the legendary actor said of the night's premiement host; the legendary music executive, passionate advocate for the power of song and noted discoverer of artists. 

"Music is the food [of the soul], give us excess of it," said Hanks in his passionate opening soliloquy packed with approbation. "And tonight is a night of excess."

It's the stuff of legend, a topic of lore and an evening that regularly rockets itself in the pages of music history. For nearly 50 years, the annual Pre-GRAMMY Gala, presented by the Recording Academy and Clive Davis, has been a star-making opportunity for the music industry to celebrate their past monumental year, highlighting both veteran acts and tomorrow's superstars. For the 2024 Pre-GRAMMY Galasponsored by Hilton, IBM and Mastercard and held on a rainy night at its regular home at the equally iconic Beverly Hilton Hotel the night before the 2024 GRAMMYs, its usual slot on the calendar — the grand master of music's party continued to provide a beacon of light for jaw-dropping performances and starry shoulder-rubbing. 

But before the party is the cocktail hour; a curious affair where music past and present collides. In one corner finds Producer Of The Year nominee Dan Nigro, the pop whisperer behind acclaimed acts ranging from Chappell Roan, Conan Gray and the multiple-Grammy nominated Olivia Rodrigo. A couple people away was Frankie Valli, last year's Pre-GRAMMY Gala opener who is currently in the midst of what he bills as a farewell tour. Looking around the room, the star power is abundant: Dianne Warren, the aforementioned Hanks with wife Rita Wilson, MusiCares' 2024 Person Of The Year Jon Bon Jovi, longtime Gala guest Nancy Pelosi alongside husband Paul. 

Just beyond the cocktail hour lies the red carpet, which boasts a head-snapping array of personalities. Megan Thee Stallion strutted in flaunting a gold-colored dress, while last year's Best New Artist winner Samara Joy sauntered in an equally dazzling gown. The list of guests includes an eclectic array of who's who in music: pop star Ellie Goulding, the dance-pop-country artist and producer Diplo, country-pop icon Shania Twain, recent Black Music Collective honorees Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz, the producer David Foster with wife Katherine McPhee, eventual three-time GRAMMY winners Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, and Phoebe Bridgers (the trio otherwise known as Boygenius), and the following night's GRAMMY opener Dua Lipa, among countless others.

As the esteemed guests (which also included Kenneth "Babyface" EdmundsJanelle Monáe, Troye Sivan, Motown founder Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, the members of Earth, Wind and Fire and Charli XCX) settled into their seats in a ballroom with a stage outfitted with the bash's signature twinkle lights sparkling on the stage, a countdown on the monitors appeared. 3, 2, 1…

"We're going to play a game of word association," said Hanks, who was bestowed the honor of introducing Davis and to mark the occasion, he managed to recite a massive list of artists Davis had a hand or hands in making superstars, from Janis Joplin to Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, right up to Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys. "The only reason why Mozart, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky weren't mentioned is because they all died before Clive Davis had a chance to introduce them," he joked.

"I've gotta tell you, the emotions run high," said Davis. "I look out among you and I see so many familiar faces. The whole thing began as long ago as 1976 and I really have to pinch myself that it's going so, so strong. I'm happy to say that music is alive and well."

Tennis great Serena Williams introduced the night's opening act, Green Day. "In 2022, Clive Davis and I were honored together when we were inducted into the National Portrait Gallery," she recalled. "I said to him, 'You've got to remember to invite me to your gala. I'm so thrilled to be back here to introduce my favorite band. To know me is to know my love for them."

The punk gods are currently making a comeback with their 14th studio album, Saviors, and celebrating the 30th anniversary of their breakout album Dookie and 20th anniversary of their massively successful LP American Idiot. The group honored both anniversaries with a song from each, "American Idiot" and "Basket Case."

In years past, the night's performers ranged a wide gamut; but to prove Davis's point and regenerative effects of the industry, this year a large portion of the roster of surprise performers were plucked from the 2024's crop of Best New Artist nominees. There was the singer-songwriter Noah Kahan, who busted out a rousing rendition of his own breakout "Stick Season," while Ice Spice hit the stage to deliver her 2023 solo hit, "Deli." 

Rising country star Jelly Roll was also bequeathed a coveted slot, proclaiming his excitement by saying he had "only read about the party in books and magazines." With that, he delivered rousing versions of his candid single "Need a Favor" backed by a choir, as well as his equally affecting "Save Me," on which he brought out duet partner and eventual GRAMMY winner Lainey Wilson.

In fact, it was Wilson who provided one of the most surprising moments of the night when she appeared to perform a special version of Barbie's "I'm Just Ken" accompanied by songwriter Andrew Watt on piano and Mark Ronson on guitar. Of course, Davis was the architect of the moment, an idea he said came to him last week; Ronson suggested Wilson after the song's original performer, the actor Ryan Gosling, was unavailable. 

"To look astound and to see some of the greatest musicians and record-makers, it's really an honor to be here," Ronson said. "This is a song we wrote for the movie Barbie about the beauty of being the runner-up sometimes, which is a lesson I know very well," he said to laughter. "It's pretty cool to be second sometimes."

2024 GRAMMYs: Explore More & Meet The Nominees

Fresh off his starring role on Broadway's Sweeney Todd, Josh Groban delivered a subtle tribute to the legend behind the Broadway musical by performing "Children Will Listen," before paying tribute to Davis himself with a gospel-tinged performance of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," which Davis had a hand in releasing. Joining him was another Best New Artist nominee, The War and Treaty frontman Michael Trotter Jr., and the pair's joint vocal power brought the audience to its feet. 

Musical whiplash ensued with additional performances courtesy Maluma and Isley Brothers, the latter of which performed their instantly-recognizable "Shout" as a tribute to Chairman and CEO of SONY Music Publishing Jon Platt, the evening's Icon honoree. An award which in years past has gone to heavyweights including David Geffen, Mo Ostin, Ahmet Ertgun and Jerry Moss to name a few, Platt was touched by the honor and delivered a 40-minute speech chock full of stories and reflections. Not even a beeping fire alarm, which at one point blared and flashed through his speech, tripped up Platt.

"It's funny because Harvey called me and I thought he needed help with something," said Platt, recalling the moment the Recording Academy's CEO Harvey Mason jr. informed him of the honor. "But he said I was selected as this year's industry icon and I was like, 'Wow, man.'" 

Noting he needed convincing to accept the honor ("I'm [just] seeing so many other people doing great things," he relented), Platt's contributions to music, from his work with everyone from Isley Brothers to Beyonce to Jay-Z, and even Oliva Rodrigo, makes him both a genre and decade-spanning force. 

"You'll see a consistent thing with me is that I'm a music nerd-fanboy," Platt said, noting how a kind word from the composer Gerald Busby made this evening a full circle moment for him. "[One day in 1998] I saw him and we were making small talk and he said, 'Someone was asking me who I see in the industry today that can achieve the things that I can achieve. I told them that Big Jon's gonna run the whole thing one day.' For someone to share the belief they have in you is incredibly powerful. From that day, I changed the course of my focus. Everything had a purpose after that."

Another one of the artists Platt fostered performed in his honor as well: Public Enemy. "We're here for you and here for all of our heroes and hero-ettes," Chuck D declared before the group dove into an energetic medley of "Can't Truss It," "Bring the Noise" and "Fight the Power." 

It wouldn't be a Clive Davis bash without one final surprise. As 1 a.m. neared, Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick hit the stage, with the former belting out a passionate version of "(The Way We Were) Memories" and the duo joining together for Warwick's endearing staple, "That's What Friends are For" alongside Andra Day. 

But from the electrified crowd, guest Stevie Wonder just couldn't help himself, getting up on stage to assist on harmonica. "This has been such a wonderful blessing to meet all of these people in my life; to meet Dionne, to meet Gladys," Wonder said, cueing up an unrehearsed and on-the-fly version of "What the World Needs Now Is Love" with the entire group. 

"I know this is what we need in the world," he continued. "There are many people that for so many years have been dividing people, not understanding the purpose that God has given us to come together."

It was a moving way to wrap up the night — and a fitting one at that, bringing together stars young and old to offer an inspiring message, and remind just how powerful music can be.

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Get In Loser, We’re Watching The 'Mean Girls' Musical Movie: How The Cult Classic Was Reshaped For Modern Musical Relevance
Renée Rapp and Megan Thee Stallion attend the global premiere of 'Mean Girls' in New York City.

Photo: John Nacion / Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

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Get In Loser, We’re Watching The 'Mean Girls' Musical Movie: How The Cult Classic Was Reshaped For Modern Musical Relevance

Tina Fey’s 'Mean Girls' is back pinker than ever — but there’s plenty of teenage angst to go around. Ahead of the musical movie's Jan. 12 release, revisit 20 years of 'Mean Girls' and learn how its latest iteration came to life.

GRAMMYs/Jan 11, 2024 - 02:20 pm

It’s not my fault you’re, like, in love with Mean Girls or something. Twenty years after its wildly popular debut, Tina Fey’s brain child — based on Rosalind Wiseman’s self-help book Queen Bees and Wannabees — remains a beloved staple of pop culture. So much so that the movie is getting a musical reboot.

In the 2004 teen comedy, Lindsay Lohan plays the new girl at school, a naïve 16-year-old transfer student Cady Heron who has yet to experience the ups and downs of the high school hierarchy. Miraculously, she lands herself a spot with "the Plastics," the popular but cruel clique helmed by Regina George (Rachel McAdams), and the group quickly kickstarts Cady’s journey of self-discovery.

The 2024 Mean Girls Musical Movie stars singer-actor Reneé Rapp as Regina George and Australian actress Angourie Rice (Spider-Man, "Black Mirror" and "Mare of Easttown") as Cady. The 12-song soundtrack is led by "Not My Fault," a midtempo dance pop bop performed by Rapp and Megan Thee Stallion; its title, of course, is inspired around an iconic line from Regina George ("It's not my fault you're, like, in love with me or something").

Regina's message is updated for 2024. Rapp, who is openly bisexual, encourages her listeners to "Kiss a blonde, kiss a friend! Can a gay girl get an amen?" on the track. Knowing its place in pop culture, Mean Girls metamorphoses as a sign of the times, and a queer Regina George is just what 2024 needed (and hoped for).

Keeping in mind its $17 million budget, it’s easy to point to Mean Girls’ $129 million box office gross as a quantifiable measure of the movie’s achievements. Or its sweep at the 2004 Teen Choice Awards. Or the 2005 MTV Movie Awards. But the film earned so much more than these material accolades — from style to memes to music videos, Mean Girls became a cultural touchstone with life long beyond the early aughts.

The movie inspired countless memes, GIFs and merch, and it’s quoted by everyone from your average fan to Mariah Carey to Wet Leg to even the White House. Fans declared Oct. 3 as "Mean Girls Day" in reference to one of Cady’s lines. The iconic music video for Ariana Grande’s No. 1 hit "thank u, next" was Mean Girls themed and starred original cast members. And Wednesdays are for wearing pink, of course.

Mean Girls also helped establish 2000s "It Girl" starpower: Lindsay Lohan became a household name; Amanda Seyfried, a future Oscar nominee, made her film debut; and McAdams starred opposite Ryan Gosling in The Notebook later that same year. Even Fey, who was already a popular "SNL" regular, found herself climbing to a new level of fame.

Internet culture helped Mean Girls find a second life — and music importantly helped it find a third. The 2004 film’s comedic timelessness earned a musical stage adaptation of the same name, which debuted in Washington D.C. in 2017 and ran on Broadway from April 2018 to March 2020.

A film adaptation of the musical (also of the same name) is hitting theaters on Jan. 12, in which Rapp reprises her Broadway role of Regina George. (Rapp played the blonde queen bee as a 2019-2020 replacement for Taylor Louderman.)

"As Regina, Reneé has this quality that Regina has to have, which is you're scared of her, but you also really want her to like you," Fey, who returned to write the Mean Girls (2024) screenplay, told Screen Rant. "You want her to notice you. You want her to approve of you. You want her to shine her light on you."

In addition to Rapp as the Plastics’ reigning leader, the Mean Girls musical has quite the roster. The film stars Christopher Briney  as her love interest Aaron Samuels, Bebe Wood as Plastics’ member Gretchen Wieners, and Busy Phillips as Regina's mom (a character originally portrayed by Amy Poheler).

Fey knew that a brilliant cast was only one step toward making the 2024 musical film a success. Alongside directors Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr., Fey was tasked with crafting something modern and innovative that still maintained the magic of the original.

"I think the key goals for this version were for it to be fun, fresh, and surprising," Fey told Screen Rant. "Most people who will see this movie have seen the original; a fair chunk of them have seen the musical, but how can we delight and surprise them? What can we give them that they didn't expect while still bringing them these characters that they have affection for?"

Perfect surprises can take a long time to craft. The stage musical took years to put together, for instance; the creative process began in 2013, and it debuted on stage four years later. But it was all worth the wait — the show was refreshing and nuanced, constructed carefully for its eager and often young audiences.

"I really love that we’re bringing young people out, especially young women," Broadway performer Louderman told Cosmopolitan. "I want [young people women] to feel more empowered to say how they feel and to deal with their emotions in a very straightforward and respectful manner."

For the sake of time and tonality, not all 14 songs from the original Broadway musical made the cut in the 2024 film adaptation. Each song was reworked by lyricist Jeff Richmond and composer Neil Benjamin. Taking the essence of the 2004 film, Richmond and Benjamin’s lyrics transformed Mean Girls into a new theatrical form. From Regina’s hair-raising anthem "World Burn" to ex-Plastic Janis Ian’s cathartic "I’d Rather Be Me," music breathed new life into the movie’s classic genius.

From the screen to the stage to, well, the screen again, Mean Girls has stood the test of time for good reason. Beyond its enduring cultural relevance and musical revitalization, its classic comedy makes it stand out — whether a laugh is conveyed through a perfectly delivered line on screen, or a witty lyric belted out on stage.

"It makes you laugh rather than depicting [adolescence] as solely being a drag," director Mark Waters said of the original Mean Girls to Cosmopolitan. "It also makes you realize you’re going to survive, make it out of this phase and be a better person for it."

Waters’ comment sheds light on a critical, though often painful lesson from Mean Girls: accepting change. Though it was predominantly written for female adolescents in mind as a target audience, the film smartly speaks to more than female politics: it encapsulates the human experience. Nearly everyone knows what it’s like wanting to desperately fit in, what it’s like to want to skip your awkward teenage years full of crushes and acne and jealousy. When an originally homeschooled Cady finds herself in high school for the first time, she learns to adapt — and most importantly, learns how to stay true to herself.

"It seems to be a rite of passage for high school girls to see the movie," Waters continued. "Beyond all the gags, there's something that's really authentic and timeless about how much of a struggle it is to be that age."

While some may superficially disregard Mean Girls as a silly chick flick or throwaway teen comedy, its modern revamps through music speak to the film's timelessness. Beyond being a stellar candidate for reinvention over a generation, Mean Girls meets audiences where they're at.  

"​​It has this little net that catches girls as they pass through preteen and high school age," Fey told the New York Times. "Girls will come up to me and say it helped them get through a terrible year."

Whether it’s 2004 or 2024, Mean Girls is one of those films that’s comfortable knowing exactly what it is. It’s okay with being silly, and it still has more than enough heart. Like its protagonist Cady, Mean Girls isn’t supposed to be perfect; it’s just meant to be relatable. And that’s what makes it so fetch.

Reneé Rapp On Debut Album 'Snow Angel,' Her Musical Community & Being Honest "To A Fault"

GRAMMY.com’s 50th Anniversary Of Hip-Hop Coverage: A Recap
A tribute to the 50th anniversary of hip-hop at the 2023 GRAMMYs

Photo: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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GRAMMY.com’s 50th Anniversary Of Hip-Hop Coverage: A Recap

The Recording Academy’s celebration of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary included televised events and captivating interviews. Check out the wide range of articles and features produced by GRAMMY.com commemorating this musical milestone.

GRAMMYs/Dec 28, 2023 - 02:51 pm

When we look back at the Recording Academy’s 2023, the 50th anniversary of hip-hop will loom exceptionally large.

The ongoing celebration permeated every facet of the world’s leading society of music professionals this year, from the 65th Annual Awards Ceremony in February to the special airing of "A GRAMMY Salute To Hip-Hop" in December — a dense, thrillingly kaleidoscopic televised tribute to the breadth of this genre.

One major accompaniment to this was coverage of the genre’s legacy via GRAMMY.com, the editorial site run by the Recording Academy. If you haven’t been keeping up, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a highlight reel of the work GRAMMY.com published in honor of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.

We Profiled Rising Stars

From Lola Brooke to Tkay Maidza, GRAMMY.com engaged in comprehensive in-depth interviews with artists who are at the forefront of shaping the future of hip-hop, and held a roundtable discussion about exactly what the next 50 years might look like. 

We Published Conversations With Legends

DJ Kool Herc and Questlove, who have played unquestionable roles in hip-hop’s continuing evolution, spoke to GRAMMY.com about their profound and abiding connections to the idiom.

The Contributions Of Women Were Highlighted

Without the inspired vision of countless women, hip-hop would not be what it is today. The "Ladies First" segment, which kicked off "A GRAMMY Salute To Hip-Hop" featuring Queen Latifah, Monie Love, and MC Lyte, among other lady greats with Spinderella as DJ, was an ode to this. 

In acknowledgment of female trailblazers in a world dominated by men, GRAMMY.com wrote about teen girl pioneers, women behind the scenes, a revealing Netflix doc, and women artists pushing the genre forward in 2023, from Ice Spice to Lil Simz.

We Revisted Hip-Hop’s Biggest Releases

From Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) to Jay-Z’s The Black Album to Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy, GRAMMY.com dove deep into the core hip-hop canon. We also broke down the genre’s development decade by decade through the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s, and 20s, with a focus on classic albums from each era.

Listen To GRAMMY.com's 50th Anniversary Of Hip-Hop Playlist: 50 Songs That Show The Genre's Evolution

We Criss-Crossed The Country

GRAMMY.com’s series of regional guides — from the Bay Area and SoCal, to Texas and the Dirty South, to D.C. and NYC highlight hip-hop’s diversity of culture and sound.

We Went International

Although hip-hop is a quintessentially American phenomenon, its impact, appeal, and influence has spread worldwide. The international appetite for hip-hop was showcased in coverage of Latinx and Argentinian rappers to know, as well as five international hip-hop scenes to know: France, Nigeria, Brazil, South Africa, and England.

We Explored Hip-Hop’s Larger Impact

Hip-hop is more than a sound. It’s a culture that permeates almost every sector of life. Showcasing this effervescence, GRAMMY.com ran pieces about the evolution of hip-hop’s influence on educational curriculum worldwide, as well as its biggest fashion and style moments.

We Covered On Stage Celebrations

"A GRAMMY Salute To 50 Years Of Hip-Hop," the two-hour special that aired in December on CBS and is available on demand on Paramount+ represented a culmination of the Recording Academy’s 50th year anniversary celebration.

Revisit the 2023 GRAMMYs’ hip-hop revue, and check out a recap of "A GRAMMY Salute" with photos, a rundown of all the performers and songs and coverage of the Black Music Collective’s Recording Academy honors in February.

It Didn’t Stop There…

Notable coverage also included the evolution of the mixtape, 11 Hip-Hop Subgenres to Know and 10 Binge-worthy Hip-Hop Podcasts, as well as a breakdown of Jay-Z’s Songbook and Snoop Dogg’s discography.

For everything GRAMMY.com and all things hip-hop — including our rap-focused run in the GRAMMY Rewind series — visit here.

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