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The Pop Star Whose On-Set Requests Inspired Pop Up Video

Pop Up Video turns 20 years old this year. It's hard to believe that VH1 program that brought snarky music video commentary to our televisions is almost drinking age.

Oprah: Where Are They Now? had a chance to sit down with the show's co-creator Tad Low recently, and he shared a few amusing behind-the-scenes stories that shed light on the inspiration behind his program.

"We had a lot of fights with talent and artist relations people at VH1, whose whole job depended on being friends with Adam Duritz or Elton John, and suddenly, here we are telling stuff that is not in the, you know, approved press release," Tad says. "It caused a kerfuffle for sure. Our show came in, and we started taking potshots at the various artists, and then the artists would call up the not-so-good-looking talent and artist relations department and get mad at them.

So, what we were doing with our show was, in a sense," Tad continues, "sometimes threatening the sex life of a lot of VH1's executives by jeopardizing their relationships with the artists, which only made things even more difficult fors."

The show itself was inspired by a friend who worked for one of the world's biggest pop stars. "I'll tell you, when I first came up with the idea, which by the way came from a friend of mine who was... Well, I used to not say it was, but I'll say it now, she was Mariah Carey's stylist."

What his friend dished on Mariah, Tad couldn't believe what he was hearing. "You would watch these videos and they look so great, you know, and Mariah is smiling and roller-skating around, and my friend would come and tell me, 'You know, first of all, she only likes me to be shot from one side of her face; she made them drain the pool of water and refill it full of fresh water before she got in it; and that little girl, that cute girl rolling around on roller skaters, that was the second choice because the first 6-year-old girl was deemed to be too cute by Mariah. It's this kind of stuff and you're like 'What?' So, I'm like we gotta do something."

Ultimately, Tad says, the show served a higher purpose of sorts. "Ultimately, what I was trying to do with the idea was to empower everyday people to think of themselves more as the celebrities and the rock stars in their own life. Once you know that Mariah Carey spent 12 hours in makeup and that they stretched her body in post-production, well then maybe you're not going to feel so bad about yourself when you're comparing your everyday humdrum life with the glamorous life of Mariah Carey."
Published 08/07/2016
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