After a year of toiling sales and recognizing that they are pioneers in the magazine industry, not sheep, Playboy finally dropped its lame new rule of no frontal nudity recently, returning to its former glory of being the classy men’s magazine that you’re allegedly supposed to be 18 years old to purchase. At least they did it before its aging founder, Hugh Hefner, rides off to that Playboy Mansion in the sky.
They dropped the nudity in early 2016 in response to competition from magazines like Maxim which can be sold to a younger audience by not freeing the nipple and because the Internet has been filling the celebrity skin niche for a new generation, but apparently aside from closing, it made more sense to go back to the formula that works instead of continuing with a bastardized PG-rated version nobody really wanted to look at.
One of the pictorial staples in Playboy over the years has been the female musician. It’s usually not an up-and-comer, who still has stars in her eyes and thinks she’s going to make it on her talent. Instead, Playboy has given us the once on-top-of-the-world starlet who perhaps packed on a few pounds or whose fans grew up and grew out of love with their style of usually insipid pop music. Some who fall into this category that have shared their bodies with the world include Tiffany, Jody Watley, Debbie Gibson or Samantha Fox. You’ll also get women in other genres or connected to music in different ways like former MTV VJ “Downtown” Julie Brown, Groupie Pamela Des Barres or even Frank’s daughter, Nancy Sinatra.
Now that Playboy has got its act back together, we think that it should shell out some big bucks to attract some big names to get people buying the magazine again. When a singer can easily be hacked by computer geeks who are good at guessing passwords, it’s time for Playboy to pony up and get proper pictorials done so 4chan isn’t where we’re seeing our new celebrity skin for the first time. Now, for the love of God, before he’s dead…here are 15 singers who should pose for Hugh Hefner.
15. Britney Spears
That sound you hear is the clock ticking down on your career, Ms. Spears. You’ve got just so many more years, and you can count them on one hand, that a pictorial in Playboy, would be something that looks like a bold career move and not a desperate career move. You’re already doing the daily shows in Vegas thing. It doesn’t really go up from here. Get out of Vegas. Release a new album with songs that sound like you’re closer to 20 or 30 instead of 40 and show us a body that makes us think you’re still that age, too. Maybe you’ll squeeze another three or four years of mainstream relevance out of your career. Celine Dion is in Vegas. That makes sense. She has nothing more to offer. Think about it. Everything can change if you’ll just untie that bikini top and smile big for Mr. Hefner.
14. Mariah Carey
You were relevant for three days at the beginning of the 2017, but that was only because you looked like a deer in headlights when the lipsynching on Ryan Seacrest’s New Year’s Eve show went all bad. Is that how you want to be remembered? If we were in Mariah Carey’s inner circle, we’d place a call to Playboy and find out what kind of money and creative control they could offer if we could get her to drop her top for a pictorial because between that New Year’s Eve show, her divorce with Nick Cannon, reputation as a diva and reputation as a bit of a nutjob, we can’t see her selling a lot of music unless there is some massive diversion from everything else that’s gone on recently. A great diversion is always nudity as history has proven again and again and again.
13. Lady Gaga
She’s not ridiculously hot, but she’s ridiculously creative and if you gave her complete control, she could probably come up with something amazing to look at. As a brilliant artist and someone who appreciates nostalgia and history, we’re sure she likely has a soft spot somewhere for Playboy magazine, likely having seen it as an awkward girl thinking she’d never appear in its pages. We want her to go crazy with it. Make a political statement. Make an artistic statement. Both she and the magazine would get a ton of publicity, so if she has any particular cause or something specific she wants to say, there are probably few other ways she could create a bigger splash right now. It’s one of those things that everybody would say was ridiculous, like back when Madonna posed in the 1990s, but everybody still needed to see, anyway.
12. Miley Cyrus
Now, it’s not like if you wanted to see Miley Cyrus naked, you haven’t had the chance to at this point. There are just slightly fewer photos of Cyrus without clothes floating around the Internet than there are floating with clothes, but she seems like the kind of gal who wants to try everything once and aside from a quiet stint on The Voice last year, we haven’t heard much from Billy Ray’s kid recently. We get she may be trying to move on from her spastic “look at me” phase, but she could do something very classy and fun and with her openness about her pansexual tendencies, it would probably be a big seller for all genders and sexual orientations. Playboy should be trying to attract as many readers, or at least gawkers, as possible and Cyrus could help do that.
A lot of people might make the mistake of thinking Jewel only made one album because Pieces of You, released in 1995 was so huge, with the Top 10 hits “Who Will Save Your Soul”, “Foolish Games” and “You Were Meant For Me” but she had put out 11 other albums…they just haven’t come close to selling what Pieces of You did even if you add them all together. Jewel did reality shows, made a lot of appearances with her ex-husband rodeo guy Ty Murray for the six years they were married and still performs, but among the demo that would still buy Playboy, a big jump start for her career might be to take off her shirt and reintroduce herself to all of the 40-something readers of Playboy who had the hots for her back when they were 20-somethings in the mid-to-late 1990s.
OK, we get Adele is not the typical blonde-haired, blue-eyed, fake-breasted, tiny-waisted fembot that Playboy was full of in the 1990s and 2000s and that’s kind of the point. The Pamela Anderson/Jenny McCarthy/Cast of Girls Next Door archetype worked for a while but it was what eventually helped put Playboy on the ropes. If Playboy wants to be different than all of the other softcore nudie magazines on the stand, it should try something radical and we would suggest putting in a celebrity who is beautiful, but doesn’t have the traditional body type we associate with its magazine and Adele is perfect. Did you know she’s only one year older than Taylor Swift? Maybe it’s because she doesn’t sing about how every boy has done her wrong that she seems so much more mature. We think a mature photo shoot might be perfect for her.
9. Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani has always been there for the last 25 years, but has never been the most popular act, whether it is solo or with No Doubt. Now, she’s basically just a judge on The Voice, Blake Shelton’s girlfriend and makes the rounds on talk shows pretending that she’s never had plastic surgery. She acts like she’s a completely normal person, but you can tell she cares far too much about how she looks. We’d be shocked if she hadn’t been asked to pose for Playboy multiple times before, but now that she’s nearing 50 years old, we think if Hugh Hefner’s people pushed the idea that she could show people she still has the body of 28-year-old, it might play to her severe vanity. Toss in her Lady Gaga-lite level of style, give her some creative control and you may just have a match that would create a memorable pictorial.
8. Katy Perry
Katy Perry has been the single biggest tease in the history of recorded music dating back to…nope, she’s been the single biggest tease in the history of recorded music. We should have seen it coming though since her first single was called “I Kissed a Girl.” She carefully treads that line between being a real life manga blow-up doll men can fantasize about and superhero action figure little girls want to be like. She probably can’t pose for Playboy considering her sponsorship with cosmetic company Maybelline, but once she’s done being a shill and once all of the little girls have grown up and recognized her music is horrible, she’s going to be left with a lot of horrible wigs and pile of money. The thing is, a pile of money won’t give her the attention showing the breasts she’s already always teasing us with in the pages of a popular magazine would do. It would also add to that pile of money.
7. Dolly Parton
Yes, most of us reading this have grandmothers younger than Dolly Parton. According to Wikipedia, she’s 71, but we’re guessing that even Wikipedia is being nice about this one. Nonetheless, this is Dolly Parton. She has made her career for the last 80 or 90 years about having big hair and bigger tatas. It’s about dang time, before she hits 100 years old that she takes off one of those overly bedazzled sweaters and lets every person on Earth get a view of what has made her famous. It’s not a case of people buying the issue of Playboy that month to get turned on. It’s more a matter of buying it as a historic document. She and Hefner were probably there when they signed the Declaration of Independence. Having Dolly Parton pose would be major, major headlines and a ton of free publicity for everyone involved.
This is another case of wanting to see what the most famous men’s magazine and one of the most uninhibited singers could come up with if they worked together, not a matter of wanting to see Rihanna naked, because we all could make that happen before you got to the end of reading this sentence. Rihanna doesn’t get enough credit for her range of emotions in both her writing and performing and it would be interesting to see what direction she would take a pictorial, creatively. We’ve enjoyed her on Saturday Night Live when she’s allowed her funny side to come through. Instead of some gritty photo shoot showing she’s tough as nails, we’d hope she could let her silly side through. Of course, that’s just us. We’d take anything if it meant getting Rihanna into the pages of Playboy. Did you hear that, Rihanna? Did you hear that, Playboy? We’re not picky! Make this thing happen!
5. Avril Lavigne
We’re going to admit that we couldn’t stand Avril Lavigne’s music when it was popular and it just got worse with every new single she released, with Sk8r Boi probably being the apex of horribleness. But we’ll also admit she was at her hottest when she seemingly disappeared from the mainstream. She’s held onto a core base of fans as each of her last several albums has sold fewer copies, but if the now 32-year-old songstress wants to make a new splash, she could backtrack on the whole punk princess thing talking about how she would never use her sexuality as a sales tool…especially since by not using sexuality as a sales tool she inadvertently was back in the day. We don’t care how she justifies it to herself, we just want to see her in the pages of Playboy and if she releases too many more albums that don’t sell a lot of copies, she could end up off of the magazine’s list of most wanted musicians.
4. Lana Del Rey
Elizabeth Grant was a failed musician. Couldn’t sell a thing. So she invented a sultry California beach white trash character named Lana Del Rey and cashed in. But it feels like over the last two years, instead of being on an upward trajectory, Del Rey has plateaued and perhaps even started to fade. So Grant, whose music exec father basically bought her way into the industry, is going to have to turn the sex appeal up if she’s not going to have another Video Games or Summertime Sadness in the next few months. What better way than do some kind of retro 1970s looking nude pictorial for Playboy? Sure, it may not help her album sales, but it will keep her name out there and it seems like Grant is just as interested in keeping the Del Rey name out as she is turning out the same soundalike song again and again. Playboy is her answer.
3. Melanie Brown
If you would have told us 20 years ago that the Spice Girl we thought had the likelihood for the longest career in the United States, it wouldn’t haven’t been Melanie “Scary Spice” Brown, but alas, Mel B. has done enough to stay in the spotlight and kept herself looking pretty darn foxy in the process. The other Spices just haven’t held up as well and whether dating Eddie Murphy for a year or having to sit next to Heidi Klum on America’s Got Talent keeps you looking young, we’d argue that Brown looks better now than she did two decades ago when she was telling us what she really, really wanted. Odds are Hefner could convince Ginger Spice to do an accompanying pictorial for a few hundred dollars, so they could even promote a Spice Girls themed issue.
2. Demi Lovato
While there are a lot of young singers who we don’t think would ever consider appearing in Playboy magazine, we don’t think Demi Lovato is part of that group. Since dropping the teen starlet Disney Channel label and conquering her mental health demons, she’s seemed to be hellbent on making everyone realize she’s an adult with a sexual side and back in the day, the best way to do that wasn’t to get hacked, it was to go to Playboy. When a photo of her showing a lot of cleavage was released without her permission, she basically told everybody to chill out since she’d done a lot of obscured nude photo shoots. She’s just a couple of hands in the air away from making those handbras really mean something. If Hefner wants to connect to a young audience and get someone under 30, Lovato may be his second best bet.
1. Selena Gomez
With perhaps the exception of Taylor Swift, who would never pose and frankly, we have no interest in seeing since she looks like a cross between a horse and Jennifer Lawrence, there is no bigger name in the world of music Hugh Hefner could lure to the pages of Playboy than Selena Gomez. She’s dating The Weeknd, so we know she’s capable of making poor decisions and she allowed him to shoot a picture of her butt that they posted to Instagram, which tells us nudity isn’t a huge issue for her. She has the former child star thing going for her that the magazine has seemed to always favor and has done plenty of PG-13 rated “nude” shoots for other magazines. Everything points in the direction of a perfect match for the “new” old Playboy. Somebody get Hugh a cell phone. He’s got calls to make!