HE’S one of the nicest blokes in music business – with a legion of fans male and female alongside a horde of industry pals.
So I was surprised to see Olly Murs hammered online this week by smug Mercury prize nominee Self Esteem, who took exception to the lyrics of his new single I Hate You When You’re Drunk.
The ridiculous backlash was even enough to have a knock-on effect to his promotional plans, as the release of his forthcoming album Marry Me comes on Friday.
Olly came into Bizarre and played me the album a while back, so I was particularly taken aback by the shrill cries of “misogyny” as others piled in — including DJ Shaun Keaveny — because the track never mentions gender at all.
Lyrics include: “Oh, you got them drunken eyes, should we call it a night? ’Cause you’ve been tellin’ stories four-five times. Yeah, I’ve heard it before and my ears are bleeding.”
As one insider tells me: “It’s basically gender neutral, like most pop songs.
“It can be applied to men and women, of any sexuality, it’s a pretty common theme that lots of people will have experienced in their lives and it’s harmless stuff. It’s a shame another artist has chosen to attack Olly without even discussing it with him.
“It’s a pretty unfair attack on someone else’s artistic freedom.”
And it certainly isn’t autobiographical, with Olly’s fiancée Amelia Tank among those responding in his defence by adding: “Many thanks for your concern here, however, I can confirm that I in fact love my non controlling fiance even more when he sings and this latest single is actually one of my favourites from the album. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it bbz.”
Olly’s follow-up single is called Dancing On Cars — so he should brace himself for a backlash from motoring enthusiasts everywhere in defence of innocent autos.
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Here’s hoping those vehicles gave their consent to be danced on first . . .
All that glitters
The Levitating singer looked incredible in this skin-tight red and silver bodysuit while performing in Tirana’s Skanderbeg Square on Monday, in celebration of Albania’s 110th anniversary of independence.
Although she has spent the year pinballing across the globe for shows, she has also been hard at work in the studio.
I’ve learned she has had sessions with Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, who she spent time with earlier this month.
That is a dream come true for Dua, who said in 2018: “I would love to make an album with Kevin Parker, from Tame Impala. I just think what [Tame Impala] do is really cool.”
And it sounds like it won’t be too long until the world gets to hear what she’s been working on.
Walking off stage on Monday she added: “I’ll see you soon, very soon.”
I hope so.
Ye gets the boot
The rapper is usually happy to court controversy but he took a stand against the fashion brand following its shocking campaign featuring images of children with teddies in bondage outfits.
Fresh from announcing his plans to run for US President in 2024, he was out and about in Los Angeles in this jacket made from an American flag – and the boots with the YE24 symbol for his presidential campaign stuck over them.
If he felt that strongly, he could have just worn some different shoes.
Then again, aything to give himself some more promotion . . .
Rita’s health bank balance
RITA ORA single-handedly held up the hospitality industry with her late night boozy antics for a decade.
But for her 32nd birthday the I Will Never Let You Down singer opted to curb her party loving ways.
I can reveal the newly health-conscious singer hosted an intimate dinner at her freshly renovated North London home before going to a gig by Fontaines D.C. with her sister.
Rita, who has become far more focused on her health and fitness, kicked off her week-long celebrations this month by jetting on a luxury trip to the French Alps and hiring a ridiculously expensive chalet with a view of Mont Blanc.
The 16,000sq ft pad cost a staggering £22,000 a night and comes with a gym, pool, and full spa with massage room and it is set in acres of picturesque land.
My insider said: “The trip was nothing short of stunning. Her stay cost about £160,000 in total.
“A lot of Rita’s friends are used to her celebrity lifestyle but they were all saying they had never known luxury like it.
“Her husband Taika Waititi wasn’t able to make it for the whole week but he flew out for a couple of days.
“2022 has been a dream for Rita, both personally and professionally. She is the most content she has been in a long time.”
Glad to hear it.
Sir Cliff diss for Stormzy
I told yesterday how Stormzy’s album This Is What I Mean was 3,000 copies ahead of Christmas With Cliff in the race to the top on Friday.
But I’ve heard that gap is closing rapidly, with Stormzy selling 1,700 copies and Cliff 3,200 in the 24 hours since the battle emerged.
Mistletoe And Wine singer Sir Cliff said of the battle on TV’s This Morning yesterday: “When I was told I had had a top five album in eight consecutive decades, in fact my feet have not touched the ground since, because you can’t plan that.
“Next year is my 65th (in showbiz) and here I am in the charts with the most popular artist of the decade and I’m able to still compete.
So I’m just really happy about it. I don’t know Stormzy at all.
I was going to say, ‘May the best man win’, but I am not saying it in case he does win.”
Grimmy wasn’t barking
NICK GRAMSHAW came face to face with a wild dog during a trek in Africa for Sport Relief – but his mates thought he was barking.
“(Frankie) was like, ‘I don’t think you did’, and I was like, ‘I swear an Alsatian just came to the tent’.
“She was like, ‘You’re tripping. It’s the heatstroke’. And then there was a bloody coyote.”
Grimmy was forced to pull out of the 100-mile trek across Namibia for Red Nose Day’s Sport Relief in 2020 after suffering from extreme heat exhaustion.
I’d stick to putting your cash in charity tins in the future, Nick.
In love BillIe kicks ass
The couple went public last month and she has insisted they are in love, while batting criticism of their 11-year age gap.
Billie, 20, said: “I just am really inspired by this person, and, you know, he’s inspired by me. It’s really cool, and I’m really excited and I’m really happy about it.
“Say what you need to say, but, like, I am in control right now. I did this. I managed to get my life to a point where I not only was known by a person that I thought was the hottest f***ing f***er alive, but pulled his ass!”
In an interview with Vanity Fair mag, she also revealed she has overhauled her lifestyle.
She explained: “I’ve had a very big transformation this year with my fitness lifestyle. It’s been a really insane process, and I feel better about myself than I ever have. I just look completely different than, like, ever before, kind of, which makes me feel proud. I worked really hard on it, and I just wanna get really f***ing buff.”
The Happier Than Ever singer went on to say she has been back in the studio with brother and songwriting partner Finneas.
She added: “We just started the process of making an album, which is really exciting.”
It sounds as though she has a new lease of life after learning to trust her intuition, too.
Billie explained: “The most important thing to me now is being in touch with myself and how I am actually really feeling and listening to my gut—trusting my gut.
“For the first time ever next year, I would like to maybe skydive, maybe do, like, a big bungee jump off a cliff or something. I really enjoy fear.”