Happy Hour Pop Culture hosts share what makes them happy. : NPR

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Still by Kyle Edward Ball Skinarink


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Happy Hour pop culture hosts share what makes them happy.  : NPR

Still by Kyle Edward Ball Skinarink


This week we peeked into the Sundance Film Festival, watched another “screenlife” horror movie, and followed our favorite pop culture icons.

Here’s what NPR’s pop culture happy hour team was watching — and what you should watch this weekend.

Unholy by Sam Smith and Kim Petras


It’s a song I should have defended three months ago, because it topped the Billboard charts then. I was very slow to understand, partly because it’s from an artist who has always irked me: Sam Smith. Sam Smith came up with a series of really boring songs, had a huge hit with a song called “Stay With Me” that bored me insanely, and won an Oscar for a James Bond movie that also bored me insanely. So imagine my surprise when I listen to the radio and hear an absolute blast called “Unholy”.

Sam Smith, like many people, has evolved as a pop star in interesting ways. The song is a collaboration between Sam Smith and German pop singer Kim Petras. He eventually achieved some huge milestones as he topped the Billboard charts. Sam Smith is openly non-binary. Kim Petras is openly trans. They were the first openly non-binary and openly trans solo artist to reach number one on the Billboard charts. And what I like about this song is that it’s just kind of rules. It’s weird and surprising. The video is just one giant queer fantasy, and it was so nice to see a singer who I personally categorized as someone who was just a boring contemporary pop singer and watch this artist evolve into something that just couldn’t be further from that could be, while still having that big, bouncy, booming voice that made them a major pop star in the first place.

Not all news on the site reflects the site’s point of view, but we automatically transmit and translate this news through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.

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