Britney Spears

Interview: Derrick Barry on Kenzo, Britney Spears and RuPaul's Drag Race

Derek meets Derrick! I spoke with the world-famous drag queen & Britney Spears impersonator.

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We talked Kenzo Paris, Ru Girls and Derrick's favorite Britney Spears song. Unfortunately, though, I forgot to gush over how much I love his bop of a single, "Boom Boom (feat. Chris Cox)."


Derek: So I see that you’re already rocking Britney’s Kenzo look.

Derrick Barry: Yes!

Derek: How quickly after [the campaign launched] did you get everything?

Derrick: I actually lucked out, because we were on tour overseas for UK and Europe. We went to Paris - we already had it planned. So when the whole campaign came out, I went and bought the sweatshirt - well you know the pictures - the sweatshirt, the hat, bra, shorts. I think I got one more thing, but I can't remember. Five things within a week of her campaign coming out. So, I was like that’s it, there is a time and a reason that everything happens. That was the fastest I had something recreated, because I was able to go into Kenzo and buy it.

Derek: Yeah, that's so cool.

Derrick: It was very exciting. It was my first time in Paris, just the energy was right and things like that happen and come along every once in a while, you know?

 iPhone photo

iPhone photo

Derek: Obviously you were very well known before Drag Race. What was it like to going to into the RuPaul universe?

 iPhone photo

iPhone photo

Derrick: Well, I was lucky, because I worked with so many of the girls already. Many times we would get booked for the same parties, and I would be the one girl that wasn’t on Drag Race. But I was fortunate because America’s Got Talent was in 2008, and Drag Race aired in '09 - and I wasn’t able to do RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 1. I was filming AGT. So I was really lucky that it all happened at the same time. I kinda got lumped into, not being a Drag Race girl, but being a part of the family already. Knowing a lot of the girls and being friends with some of them since I started in 2003. Now it is such an honor to be a part of the franchise. It’s so much bigger. I’ve been to more countries than ever before because of Drag Race; it just puts you in a market that you weren't necessarily able to break into before.

Derek: What is your favorite Britney song?

 iPhone photo

iPhone photo

Derrick: Ooh! "Toxic," I don't even have to think about it! Second places are... I really like “Work Bitch” and “Till the World Ends,” but there’s nothing like "Toxic" with the falsettos. I just love the screams in it. It was next-level production when it came out, and I still think today that song could come out and kill it on the charts again, because it was so ahead of its time musically. I think it’s timeless.

Derek: I think that is why it has so many memes going on right now.

Derrick: Yeah! it’s just so good, I mean, it’s her best song. It’s going to be 15 years old this November, I think, or something like that. So, a long time. Yeah. Still my fave!

Derek: 15 years of In the Zone!

Derrick: Always In the Zone! You gotta always "get in the zone."

Derek: Well, thank you so much.

Derrick: Of course! I love that you wore Britney. That is awesome.


Special thank you to RuPaul's DragCon and World of Wonder for giving us the opportunity to cover their Los Angeles 2018 convention. Buy tickets to RuPaul's DragCon NYC 2018 here.


What's YOUR favorite Britney Spears song? Hit me baby, one more time: @DerekPlease on all social platforms. 

RuPaul's DragCon LA 2018: Chad Michaels, Derrick Barry and Hot Chocolate Spilled Tea at "Seeing Stars" Panel

The juicy panel was presented by Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and moderated by Patrick Crowley, founder of Billboard Pride.

This article is a part of Derek's ongoing series on RuPaul's DragCon LA 2018.

 Photo: DerekPlease.com

Photo: DerekPlease.com

A sizable crowd of RuPaul's DragCon attendees arrived at the "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Presents: Seeing Stars: Cher & Madonna & Britney & Tina... Oh My!" panel Sunday morning. Every audience member had a free gift on their chair; a glossy Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again-branded selfie light to clip on the front of a smartphone. 

 Photo: DerekPlease.com

Photo: DerekPlease.com

Moderator Patrick Crowley, founder and editor of Billboard Pride began by introducing the panelists; Chad Michaels (RuPaul's Drag Race Season 4 contestant & All Stars winner), Derrick Barry (Season 8 and America's Got Talent contestant) and Larry Edwards as Hot Chocolate (star of Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas). Coco Montrese (Season 4 & All Stars 2 contestant) was originally scheduled to appear, but could not make it.  

The fun moderator and talented trio immediately played the crowd a new Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again trailer featuring - gay gasp - extra Cher clips! Let’s just say there’s a reason Cher was asked back to film more scenes for the summer sequel. Not much was said about the trailer after it was played, but it primed the audience and set the tone for the rest of an exciting panel session.

"Seeing Stars" was themed around the three panelists' experiences being world-famous professional celebrity impersonators. The lineup was ideal, as each panelist is the most well-known impersonator of their corresponding diva: Chad Michaels is officially recognized as the best Cher by Cher herself; Derrick Barry is Hollywood's go-to Britney Spears; and Hot Chocolate was thanked by Tina Turner herself for his respectful, fabulous portrayal of her. 

Lauded by his Michaels and Barry as the hardest worker in their community, Hot Chocolate admitted she had just performed in Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas the night before. The show was mentioned several times throughout the panel, as all three queens have appeared in one of its incarnations. 

 Photo: DerekPlease.com

Photo: DerekPlease.com

The trio was asked to choose a favorite era of their diva's career. Chad Michaels said his favorite Cher eras have been any time she's blonde, like during the album campaigns for Believe, Living Proof and the recent Closer to the Truth. He explained he feels a certain joy portraying blonde Cher, likely because Cher admitted she had always wanted to be a blonde. However, as the public mostly knows Cher for her black hair, he admitted he isn't always able to rock a blonde lacefront. Hot Chocolate chose Tina Turner's 1993 What's Love Got to Do With It era, specifically calling out moments like her cover of "Disco Inferno." Derrick Barry labeled the maturation between the Britney and In the Zone albums as his favorite Spears era.

 Photo: DerekPlease.com

Photo: DerekPlease.com

Michaels revealed the trinity of best impersonation looks he can pull off is Cher, Celine Dion, and Marilyn Manson, since they all share a similar facial structure. Barry relieved that he became Britney Spears one Halloween, after a friend noted their similar facial structure. Michaels later helped a 20-year-old Barry crack into the drag scene, getting him gigs and connections. 

A fan asked what career path the panelists would've chosen had they not become drag queens. Chad Michaels said he would have chosen a polar opposite profession; something completely outside himself and his own appearance, as he spends 9 hours a week in the mirror. Michaels mentioned his passion for gardening and landscaping as a possible career in another life. 

 Photo: DerekPlease.com

Photo: DerekPlease.com

Larry Edwards AKA Hot Chocolate revealed that he also serves as VIP director of Piranha Nightclub in Las Vegas, setting the atmosphere for events there. Edwards explained if he weren't a drag queen, he would produce events full-time. It's something he'd like to devote more time to going forward. Derrick Barry humorously suggested the company’s name be “Proud Larry Entertainment," in reference to the iconic Tina Turner song.

The panelists were asked what the biggest misconception about celebrity impersonation is. Chad opined that people wrongfully deem impersonators as “not cool,” including some of his Drag Race sisters that look down on them. Michaels said impersonators are often told they “don’t have their own character,” but that he is "always Chad on stage," even when performing Cher songs. On that subject, Derrick Barry called out fellow Season 8 contestant Naomi Smalls. Barry called Smalls “the Raven impersonator,” and said Smalls discredited him on Drag Race

The trio agreed that impersonators are the most down to Earth group of drag performers. Barry explained that when they take off their drag, they are not as focused on being celebrities in their daily male lives as other queens tend to be. Barry pressed the fact that steady audiences pay Las Vegas Strip-pricing to see Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas, but you can see drag queens "death drop" for free in any gay bar. Michaels complimented Barry for being well-spoken on this matter. 

 Photo: DerekPlease.com

Photo: DerekPlease.com

Derrick Barry and Hot Chocolate touched on being in Katy Perry's “Waking Up in Vegas” music video, which was directed by Joseph Kahn. Barry dished on later being cast by Kahn for Eminem's music video "We Made You." Barry had a preconceived notion of how Eminem could act, and was even concerned about safety; once on set, he was blown away by the rapper's respect and generosity. Never judge a book by its cover. 

Super fans of Hot Chocolate were in the front row rocking matching Tina Turner-styled wigs. Hot Chocolate revealed that if he were to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race, she would portray Patti Labelle in "Snatch Game" as to not be pigeonholed as Tina Turner. The crowd cheered a few times at the thought of Hot Chocolate being on Drag Race, and he seemed to be into the concept. The moderator asked if he had auditioned yet, and Hot Chocolate confessed he has not. Barry said Hot Chocolate wouldn’t need to audition, as World of Wonder would cast him on the spot.

 Photo: DerekPlease.com

Photo: DerekPlease.com

Later, Chad Michaels and Hot Chocolate reminisced about performing at one of Elton John’s birthday parties. The party had a guest list featuring gay icons like Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous) and the late Carrie Fisher (Star Wars). Chad revealed he told Carrie Fisher, "when I was growing up, I wanted to be Princess Leia," and Fisher replied, "that’s funny, because growing up I wanted to be Cher.” It was a memorable exchange Chad said he holds dear to his heart.

There were other touching moments, too. Chad Michaels frequently reflected upon lessons from his drag mother Hunter, who passed away years ago. Michaels' friends who also knew Hunter were sitting in the front row of "Seeing Stars."

Moderator Patrick Crowley gave mention to the meme of a confused Derrick Barry discussing the Stonewall riots during a Billboard drag roundtable discussion. Crowley works at Billboard, and revealed he has just shot a "jush"-filled new roundtable starring Drag Race favorites.

After Patrick Crowley concluded the panel, the queens were generous enough to take photos with attendees who asked, and Hot Chocolate gave away free tickets to Divas. My husband and I were able to thank Hot Chocolate for sharing his talent with the world, and told him we have seen him in Vegas four times. Hot Chocolate couldn't have been more lovely about it; it was one of those face-to-face exchanges that makes RuPaul's DragCon such a special opportunity.


Special thank you to RuPaul's DragCon and World of Wonder for giving us the opportunity to cover this year's Los Angeles event. Buy tickets to RuPaul's DragCon NYC 2018 here.


What was your favorite revelation from this panel? Tell us: @DerekPlease across social media. 

Full Gallery & Tea: Britney Spears' New KENZO Campaign

Her "Secret Project" has finally been officially announced and fully revealed. 

Plus, an exclusive VOGUE Magazine interview features Britney's candid thoughts on her past and current fashion sense. 

 ALL PHOTOS: Peter Lindbergh for KENZO Paris

ALL PHOTOS: Peter Lindbergh for KENZO Paris

Britney Spears has always been a fashion icon - to Millennials. Even when Baby Boomer media ridiculed her fashion "mistakes," her fans celebrated them as instantly iconic milestones. Now everyone is on board, thanks to her new campaign with Paris fashion house Kenzo, shot by renowned photographer Peter Lindbergh

Remember that "Secret Project" I theorized about a while back? Turns out it was this fashion campaign. 

Even Vogue Magazine wanted more tea, and landed an exclusive interview with the Princess of Pop "Just Yesterday." In it, Britney describes her fashion sense throughout her life, pop career, and experience with motherhood. 

You can read the whole interview here, but these are my favorite revelations:

1. Ms. Spears thinks '80s fashion was "ugly." But is she wrong?

2. Vogue, of course, has the perfect one-sentence encapsulation of "Momney" style: 

The days of schoolgirl miniskirts and red vinyl catsuits are far behind her, and she tends to gravitate toward more practical, bohemian-inspired clothing, mostly in a palette of soft ivory and white.
— Brooke Bobb for Vogue Magazine

3. Her sons' untamed fashion sense is inspiring her to make daring choices again. 

4. Even Vogue Magazine appreciates her popular Instagram runway videos. 

5. She mostly wears nightgowns at home - but we been knew. How very "The Intimate Britney Spears" of her.

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Special thanks to @BraveNewMatt on Twitter for rounding up all the official campaign images.

You can shop Britney Spears' KENZO campaign looks here.


Chat with me on social media: @DerekPlease on all platforms

and don't forget to use #KENZOLovesBritney to promote her campaign!

Vinyl: Britney Spears "...Baby One More Time" Inside Urban Outfitters Stores

"They want more? Well I'll give them more" - Britney Spears

 Friend of the blog  @KevinMichaelT  submitted this photo.

Friend of the blog @KevinMichaelT submitted this photo.

Being the generous Princess of Pop that she is, Britney Spears is bringing "...Baby" back! Late last summer, pre-orders for the prized Limited Edition vinyl release of her iconic debut album "...Baby One More Time" sold out twice. 

The demand was unprecedented and Urban Outfitters mostly remained silent despite thousands of fans begging for more. Traditional media outlets even covered the frenzy. 

November 1, 2017, I was one of the first customers to receive the LP, having ordered with rush shipping. Fans such as myself experienced a lot of heat for being one of the lucky few to secure a copy at face value.

That was understandable, as it came to light that literally hundreds - if not thousands - of the 2500 were purchased by eBay scalpers. A single listing on eBay currently states over 100 copies have been sold for $99+. Crazy!

A "Sold Out" placeholder page for the album sat on Urban Outfitters website for months until just recently disappearing. 

Today, friend of the blog @KevinMichaelT found three copies under the "S" tab in a Toronto location. The photo above depicts the "Glory"-ous scene. When he said "you should have seen me run for it," I could literally see it in my head, because... same. He bought all three, and is shipping one to another fan - what a sweetheart!

Personally, I see this as Urban Outfitters leveling tilting the odds of getting a copy in favor of the fans. Another online listing (though possible) would definitely attract scalpers, but an in-store sale is lower profile and more likely to get into real collectors' hands. 

Our local Urban Outfitters does not have the coveted LP in stock yet, so this expanded release is likely still in its rollout stage. Stay tuned on Twitter for updates! 

Follow @DerekPlease on Twitter

UPDATE #1 - 3/7/2018 7pm CT - @LuisKrayenhagen confirms to DerekPlease that Urban Outfitters in Seattle, WA has also had the vinyl in stock recently. 

Britney Spears Will Take a Bite Out of the Big Apple This Summer

LiveNation has confirmed the New York City rumors that have been surrounding Britney Spears for several months. The company is her official live show promoter. 

 Image: LiveNation

Image: LiveNation

Some said we were crazy, but we really didn't care - that's our prerogative. For the fans and press such as myself who read the signs that Britney Spears would hit up NYC this year, this is juicy validation. 

It may not turn out to be the New York City residency fans and the press speculated, but there's at least one NYC show coming this summer. It's Sunday, July 22, 2018 at 8pm.


She Gave Us A Sii-iii-iign... 

 Image: Instagram

Image: Instagram

The first and biggest clue came in form of the November 10, 2017 "secret project" teaser photo posted across Britney's social media. The cute pic features Britney in overalls giving photographer/documentary filmmaker Peter Lindbergh a kiss on the cheek.

Fans still do not know what was being filmed or photographed by Mr. Lindbergh, but the main theory has been an ad campaign for a residency or a world tour. 

 Screenshot: Instagram.com

Screenshot: Instagram.com

Due to the city-like set, and her apple emoji usage, many fans theorized Brit was planning a residency in New York City. She has fueled the speculation by using those apple emojis in the captions of her social media posts in the months since.

The sign in the background features Japanese writing that translates to "Piece of Me," which points to the show itself remaining largely the same as "Britney: Piece of Me" in Las Vegas.


Will There Be More Dates?

In Denmark, yes. In New York City? If we want more, Team B might give us more. Tours usually add second dates in big cities when the first date sells out fast. 

 Image: Twitter

Image: Twitter

Matt Stopera lives in NYC and works in the entertainment industry there. His thoughts make a lot of sense - Britney could easily sell out a run of shows at a venue the size of Radio City Music Hall.

 Image: Smukfest 

Image: Smukfest 

With a confirmed Smukfest Festival date coming this August, it's safe to say there are plans to take the show on the road beyond NYC.

Today there have been many rumors varying in believability, from big shows in Dublin to residency-sized venues in Pennsylvania. 

Over the past few months there have been many rumors about the UK, including people talking about the 02 in London. 


@DerekPlease breaks pop news first. Follow on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat!

What are your thoughts? Tweet me!

This story is developing... continue checking this post for updates!