Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'Weird Al' on His Weirdly Successful Week in Music

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'Weird Al' on His Weirdly Successful Week in Music

Article excerpt

LOS ANGELES * Attention pop stars: If "Weird Al" Yankovic shows up at your concert or has tracked down your personal email address, you're likely his next parody conquest.

Such was the case for artists like Pharrell and Iggy Azalea, who are covered by Yankovic in his latest album, "Mandatory Fun."

For his 14th studio effort, released July 15, Yankovic had his heart set on Williams' No. 1 smash "Happy." When he didn't hear back from Pharrell's camp, he decided to go straight to the source.

"I somehow got Pharrell's home email address I won't say how and I emailed him and asked if I could do the parody," recalled the 54-year-old comedian. "He couldn't have been nicer and he said he was honored to have me do the parody."

Sometimes a face-to-face plea was necessary. Yankovic flew to Denver and waited backstage at Azalea's concert to get permission to use her summer hit "Fancy."

"I talked to her as she was literally walking offstage. I introduced myself, 'Hi. I'm "Weird Al" Yankovic and I would love to do a parody of "Fancy,"'" he said. "The next morning I was in the studio recording."

Yankovic's efforts paid off: "Mandatory Fun," Yankovic's 14th studio disc, topped the Billboard 200 chart Wednesday with sales of 104,000 copies in the week that ended July 20, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

In a recent interview, Yankovic discussed the surprise success of his new album which also features covers of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and Lorde's "Royals" and the accompanying music video- turned-viral hits.

Q: Can you believe the album's initial success?

A: This has been an amazing week. I can't even tell you. I have been doing roughly the same thing for many, many years, and this is the best week of my life in terms of like the response from people. It's just insane and it's extremely gratifying. It's hard for me to wrap my head around (it).

Q: You released eight music videos in eight days. Were you inspired by Beyonce, who dropped 17 videos with her surprise album last year?

A: It irks me this much when people say, 'Oh you're doing a Beyonce' because, you know, three years ago, when my last album came out, I did a video for every single song on the album, released it all at once, and nobody was saying to Beyonce, "Oh you're doing a little 'Weird Al' there are you? …

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