Kesha Talks New Song ‘Stronger’ and Gushes That ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Is the ‘Equivalent of Xanax’

Welcome to this week’s “Just for Variety.”

Attention Cardi B! Kesha may be sliding into your DMs. The “Praying” singer-songwriter tells me she’d love to have the “WAP” hitmaker on her podcast “Kesha and the Creepies.” “I just love listening to her, and she makes me feel calm,” she says. “She’s like a walking rainbow for me.” No surprise, Kesha would like to make music with Cardi: “I’ll have to send her a direct message when I get home.” Kesha recently dropped the video for “Stronger,” her single with Sam Feldt. “I was a little bit paralyzed, to be honest, with just the state of affairs for a good while. It made me really nervous and scared,” she says. “And I just felt like, your music is not important right now. You just need to survive. Then after the election, I felt a little bit of a sense of ease, and I started getting more creative.” She currently has about 1,300 voice notes on her phone that were recorded during moments of inspiration.

Kesha actually started writing “Stronger” five years ago after tearing her ACL during a show in Dubai. She underwent surgery to treat the injury. “I had to relearn to walk,” she remembers. “It was a very humbling experience but I also felt really defeated. I wrote the song for myself, like you’re going to get through this. It’s going to make you stronger in the end.”

She’s also gotten through the pandemic with TV bingeing: “When I’m feeling like I need like the equivalent of Xanax, I watch ‘Vanderpump Rules.’”

Or she makes a trip to the ocean. “I highly recommend if you can sneak off to the beach occasionally because you can keep your distance and it feels really safe,” Kesha says. “It’s been a saving grace for me.”

Marc Patrick/BFA.com

What’s that massive red shipping crate doing on Rodeo Drive? It’s the Louis Vuitton Temporary Residency pop-up for the fashion house’s 2021 spring/summer men’s collection, designed by men’s artistic director Virgil Abloh. I checked it out this weekend: The windowless 1,600-square-foot structure features a black-and-white-checkered floor, red and yellow walls and houses 119 pieces from the very colorful collection, which includes recycled designs from 2020. Scan the QR codes and you activate Zoomies, animated characters that Abloh debuted during Paris Fashion Week, on your phone. It’s all very “Alice in Wonderland.” It’s open to the public and available for private appointments through the end of the month. Beverly Hills is the last stop of the pop-up’s world tour, which included Miami, Shanghai, Paris and Tokyo.

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Jeremy Pope is in NYC finishing his work on “Pose.” He joins the series in its third season as the love interest of Mj Rodriguez’s Blanca. Pope is also prepping to play Sammy Davis Jr. in the Janet Mock-directed film about the singer’s interracial romance with Kim Novak. “I’m digging in deep, listening to Sammy at the gym, in the shower,” he says. In the meantime, Pope has launched Everything’s Local, a foundation that raises money for various nonprofits. Its first initiative is a $85 T-shirt, designed by artist Jessica Rose, that features a portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King and benefits the “I Have a Dream” Foundation in L.A. He plans on releasing a new shirt by a different designer every other month. “While it’s shirts now, we’re looking at sock drives or things that people need as we enter into the summertime and back to school,” Pope says. “We’re looking for innovative ways to plug in. The sky’s the limit.”  Everything’s Local “has been kind of like a passion project that’s been living in my head for the last year,” Pope says. “With the time off from being able to work, I saw so many of my artist friends trying to ply into the community, trying to figure out how we can help, especially during the Black Lives Matter movement. It felt like we were all banding together to try and figure out what we could do to make an impact, and could we affect change?” For more info, go to imwearinglocal.com.

Happy birthday, “Fame”! The film inspired by NYC’s LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts turns 40 this year. To mark the occasion, Alumni & Friends of LaGuardia High School and the LaGuardia Parents Association are hosting a 30-minute virtual benefit for the school tomorrow, Feb. 11, on YouTube. The event will feature current students, cast members of the film and TV series of the same name and alumni (including Awkwafina, Laura Dean, Isaac Mizrahi and Chaz Bono) performing “Fame,” “I Sing the Body Electric,” “Never Alone” and “Out There on My Own” from the soundtrack.

“It’s a Sin,” Russell T. Davies’ series about a group of gay friends in the early days of the AIDS epidemic in London, is having a major impact in the U.K. Following its premiere on Channel 4, HIV organization Terrence Higgins Trust announced that 8,200 HIV tests were ordered on Feb. 1, compared with its previous daily record of 2,800. “It’s incredibly humbling, moving, to see a real-time response,” series star Olly Alexander tells me. “It’s shown that there’s a real need for this conversation and for people to discuss their status and their sexual health and mental health.” Here’s hoping “It’s a Sin” can do the same in the U.S. when it premieres on HBO Max on Feb. 18.

Need your car washed? In celebration of the season finale of “The Lady and the Dale,” HBO Max is hosting a Twentieth Century Motor Car Wash at Magnolia Car Wash and Detail Center in Burbank. Free washes and show swag available Feb. 13 -14, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

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