One of my favorite stories we've published this year involved a Pitbull and a Dad.
Mr. Worldwide, to be specific, and the father of Times staff writer Divya Kumar. Divya took her 55-year-old professor pops to see Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias at Amalie Arena in June. She knew her dad liked some of Mr. Bull's upbeat tracks, including, as he described it, "I know u want me, nanna nananana."
It was refreshing in these fraught times that can feel so boxed — millennial, baby boomer, red state, blue state — to see folks bonding at an unexpected place. This fall, take an evening to relate to someone at a show. Pop music/culture critic Jay Cridlin has a solid list of upcoming concerts, set to ultimate come together track We Are the World. (Click here for an explanation.)
Pop culture can be a great starting point for common ground, but you need an information base to get going. Offered humbly, A Beginner's Guide to Talking About Tampa Bay's Fall Music Scene Around the Water Cooler.
Sheeran is behind some of the most popular melodic pop, including relentless hit Shape of You. He still tends to be a divisive figure in pop culture, with his collection of rainbow-colored tats and general perky guy brand. He recently appeared on Game of Thrones. Our Chelsea Tatham reviewed it as such: "It was really weird and I hope it doesn't happen again."
Jay says in the rap game, Lamar is in the running to be the GOAT, or greatest of all time. We haven't seen him in Tampa since he toured with Kanye West in 2013. These days, though, it's not enough to simply do a show, and he's been bringing merch popup shops to stops on his tour. For now, it doesn't appear Tampa is on the list, but we have to believe anything can happen.
No one is more surprised at the success of Luis Fonsi's Despacito than Luis Fonsi. "At no time was I trying to write a crossover record," the Puerto Rican crooner told Rolling Stone of his monster hit with Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber. You're going to need this statistic to sound even the slightest bit informed: Despacito is currently the most-streamed song ever. Ever!
Mumford and Sons
Here's a fun fact to wow everyone at the office: Mumford and Sons has never played in Tampa. For fans, this long-awaited show is a huge bucket list get. Fun gossipy bit: Leader of the band Marcus Mumford is married to actor Carey Mulligan. (Remember her from The Great Gatsby?)
If you're not familiar with Lady Gaga, I have six dozen pie charts prepared, each with a different costume change. But for today's purposes, let's go full circle back to Ed Sheeran. They have something to do with each other? In a recent kerfuffle, Gaga's fans apparently bullied Sheeran online, allegedly causing him to quit Twitter. (He says he's just lying low.) Gaga, not into the bullying, said this: "I LOVE ED @edsheeran deserves all our love and respect like all humans do." There you have it. Peace, love and Gaga.