Adam Levine Smells Like Mean Spirit

Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine recently got a very public reminder that sending your personal musings out into cyberspace sometimes comes back to bite you in the arse—like a digital boomerang of regret.

Last week, the musician and coach on NBC’s talent show The Voice announced that he will be launching new fragrances next year for men and women, called “222″ (his lucky number and the name of his fashion line and record label).

This would be all well and good if Mr. Levine hadn’t taken to Twitter a year ago to express his disdain for star scents:

Of course, this passing sentiment might have remained hidden among his countless other thoughts and feelings and dreams—if it weren’t for Christina Aguilera. (If I had a nickel for every time a sentence ended with those exact words…)

Yes, Levine’s fellow coach on The Voice—and a celeb with her own line of fragrances—took to her Twitter feed following the 222 announcement to call out her colleague on his hypocrisy and link to his March 2011 tweet:

Levine soon responded to Aguilera’s comments—which he called “funny and silly and friendly”—with another admission that he does, in fact, “hate the idea of a celebrity fragrance, absolutely, 100 percent.” But, he counters, “I want to do a thing that’s never done properly.”

I think Elizabeth Taylor just rolled over in her grave.

In the end, I don’t think Mr. Levine’s little slip-up will really do much damage. If anything, it’s given his fragrance a great deal of publicity already—and it won’t even be launched for another year. Plus, I think the folks who would actually buy 222 care more about looking at (and, I guess, smelling like) Adam Levine than about giving any real thought to what he says. After all, part of his persona is wrapped up in being a d-bag, so this whole episode is really just par for the course.

In the words of Levine himself: “’You wouldn’t be a complete band without a slightly cocky frontman, would you?’”

Just for the Taste of It: Remembering Whitney Houston

I miss Whitney.

Like so many fellow children of the 1980s, I raced to YouTube after learning of Whitney Houston’s passing on Saturday to relive the moments from her glory days. That soaring voice. That giant hair. The colors. The clothes. The pop.

The fun.

I miss when Whitney was on top of the world—a powerhouse with raw talent untarnished by years of drug abuse and erratic public behavior.

I miss the Whitney that came before Being Bobby Brown and “crack is whack.”

You know those chills you get when you watch someone perform in their element—when you know they are exactly where they’re supposed to be? Call it destiny, if you like. Fate. The aligning of the planets. A divine plan.

Whatever it was, Whitney had it. So it’s no surprise that Diet Coke tapped the songstress to promote its brand back in 1986. The soft drink, which debuted in 1982, was still relatively young, as was Whitney’s superstar career. Her unparalleled vocals and fresh—and safe—image were a perfect match for Coca-Cola’s hit product. Here was a woman with confidence, beauty, and fame singing about and drinking a beverage that would help her keep her celebrity figure (No sugar! Less than one calorie!)—but that didn’t even matter, because she was drinking it just for the TASTE of it! It was that cool! Just like her.

Whitney appeared in a few Diet Coke ads over the next few years, as well as spots for AT&T and Sanyo, but she hadn’t appeared in endorsements in well over a decade. While there are certainly any number of reasons for this absence, it’s unlikely her increasingly troubled persona would have been considered anything but a liability to brands. (Given her public struggles with drugs, a Whitney Houston “Coke” endorsement in her later years would have been inappropriate, to say the least.)

And so, as we reflect on the untimely passing of another entertainment icon, I choose to remember the Whitney of Diet Coke. The Whitney of MTV’s up-and-coming years. The Whitney with a giant bow in her hair, gleefully asking a funhouse full of questionable dancers, “How will I know?” (Love can be deceiving, Whitney.)

Thanks for the memories, Ms. Houston. Rest in peace.