Every now and then, one of our endless singing competitions stumbles upon the offspring of a celebrity – and, it would seem, with mixed results.
On “American Idol” last season, Jim Carrey’s daughter Jane tried out during “Idol’s” San Diego auditions, only to be swiftly eliminated.
And now, on this season of “The X Factor,” we’re hearing from KISS rocker Gene Simmons‘ 19-year-old daughter, Sophie.
The hopeful singer appeared on the show Wednesday along with her parents, and explained to judges Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, Demi Lovato and Britney Spears that she’d kept them in the dark about her audition ambitions until the day before.
“They’re pretty upset with me,” Sophie said. “I just didn’t want any help.”
And with that she gave a humble rendition of Adele‘s “Make You Feel My Love,” a performance that left L.A. and Demi wanting more but seemed to impress Britney and Simon. (The typically biting judge praised Sophie, saying that he thought she has “a very, very interesting tone,” and that he liked that she “took on this song” and made it her own.)
Despite the mixed reviews, Sophie wasn’t sent packing.
“I grew up with music, but I didn’t want my dad’s help with it,” she told “The X Factor’s” cameras. “It’s a big shadow. I really just want to step out from being the daughter of the guy from KISS. I want to be my own person, and hopefully this is a way to show the world who I am.”
But does the world want to know this side of Sophie? What did you think of her performance?
Ke$ha does it. So does Britney Spears, Zooey Deschanel and Kim Kardashian.
And now a report shows two-thirds of women in a recent study do it, too: They’re all using vocal fry when they talk.
Vocal fry is a creaky, deep sound made when the human voice is at the lowest register. For Ke$ha and Britney, the creak of vocal fry can be heard at the end of the verse lines in their songs. For Zooey and Kim, it’s at the end of their sentences.
Long Island University researchers Lesley Wolk, Nassima Abdelli-Beruh and Diane Slavin researched the speech pattern and found that young American women are likely to use vocal fry at the end of their sentences too, especially when they’re in groups.
“I was hearing it in these normal lovely young people, who were just using it seemingly as a social way of communicating,” Wolk said. And the more she heard it, the more she wondered how prevalent the speech pattern is, which prompted the research.
What is perhaps most surprising is that vocal fry was considered a speech disorder just 10 years ago.
“This vocal fry is something you would normally hear in distorted voice,” said Wolk.
So does that mean we can blame Ke$ha, Britney and Kim for the emergence of vocal fry in the mass culture?
Wolk said there’s no research to know whether the celebrities brought it into the culture, or are simply reflecting their own social speech patterns. “But it is like a vocal fad,” Wolk continued.
“Almost like a way to sound in the ‘[in] crowd,’ and you’re cool.”
If anyone deserves a break, it’s Britney Spears.
The 29-year-old pop star has been touring the globe since June to promote her seventh studio album, Femme Fatale — and according to Spears, the grueling pace is finally starting to take its toll.
“Trying to get up and go work out in the morning [is hard]. I haven’t worked out in, like, two weeks,” she admits to The UK’s Stylist. “Sometimes it’s hard to be motivated. But once you get up and do it you feel like you’ve conquered the world.”
When Spears isn’t thinking about maintaining her figure, she indulges in her favorite food: “Chocolate. Definitely chocolate.”
“I love Scores, with the caramel in the middle, and every once in awhile if I’m really hungry then a Snickers bar is good,” Spears says. “And M&Ms are great, Hershey’s Whoppers are great, Raisinettes…Twixes are great, too. And the new Hershey’s Cookies & Cream.”
Not that Spears needs a sugar rush before she takes the stage. “I usually listen to a lot of hip-hop in my dressing room when I’m getting ready,” she tells Stylist. “And I like a lot of rock stuff like Aerosmith. That really gets me going and pumps me up. And then of course, there’s Jessie J and Adele.”
Despite her illustrious career, there’s still one more thing Spears wants to accomplish: “I would like to go skydiving!”