After M.I.A’s performance at the Super Bowl this weekend and her apparent “finger malfunction” where she flipped off the audience during Madonna’s half-time show, many are wondering, who is heck is M.I.A?
Aside from being one of the baddest b-tches with one of the most unique sounds in music, she’s indie enough for the Coachella crowd, but you could also hear her 2007 hit “Paper Planes” on Kiss FM. Here’s 5 things you didn’t know about M.I.A.
1) She’s British: M.I.A was born in London to parents of Sri Lankan Tamil descent but started her career in West London as an “artist.” You know the type – she painted, she directed, she designed clothes etc. It wasn’t until 2004 that she became known for her music with her break out single, “Galang” and “Sunshowers”
2) She was nominated for an Academy Award: She wrote and performed the song “O..Saya” for the Oscar flick, “Slumdog Millionaire” and was nominated for best original song.
3) Jay-Z samples her: Jay-Z and TI’s collaboration track, “Swagga Like Us” was inspired by the lyrics, “no one on the corner has swagga like us” in M.I.A’s hit single, “Paper Planes.” This was kind of the moment when M.I.A hit mainstream success, still most people that know her are hipsters and college kids with DJ gigs.
4) She turned down People magazine: People wanted to name her one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 2008, but she turned them down! However, she did make Vogue’s 10 Best Dressed of 2008 that same year and was okay with that honor.
5) She was actually M.I.A: Since her best selling single of 2007 “Paper Planes” she literally went M.I.A, like actually missing. She performed at Bonnaroo that year and said, “This is my last show.” I guess Madonna coaxed her out of hiding and got her back on the stage.
BONUS: Her new single, “Bad Girls” is out now and it is awesome. The video is like the Moroccan version of “The Fast and The Furious.” Check it out.