LOS ANGELES Attention, pop stars: If “Weird Al” Yankovic shows up at your concert or has tracked down your email address, you’re likely his next parody conquest.
Such was the case for Pharrell and Iggy Azalea, whom Yankovic covers in his latest album, “Mandatory Fun.”
For his 14th studio effort, released last week, Yankovic had his heart set on Williams’ No. 1 smash, “Happy.”
“I somehow got Pharrell’s home email address – I won’t say how – and I emailed him and asked if I could do the parody,” said Yankovic, 54. “He couldn’t have been nicer and he said he was honored to have me do the parody.”
Yankovic’s efforts paid off: Billboard reported that “Mandatory Fun” will debut at No. 1 – his first – this week with more than 80,000 units sold. That’s almost double what his last album, “Alpocalypse,” sold in its debut week in 2011.
Q: You released eight music videos in eight days. Were you inspired by Beyoncé, who dropped 17 videos last year?
A: It irks me this much when people say, “Oh, you’re doing a Beyoncé” because, you know, three years ago, when my last album came out, I did a video for every single song on the album, released it all at once, and nobody was saying to Beyoncé, “Oh, you’re doing a little Weird Al there, are you?” So, you know, I’m sure I wasn’t the first one to do that, but I did it before Beyoncé.
Q: Unlike other parodies, you’ve never gone the mean-spirited route.
A: I’m a fan like everybody else. When I do my parodies it’s not meant to mock these people. It’s not meant to belittle them or make them look bad. It’s an homage. … I don’t think you need to be hurtful to be funny.
Q: Who’s next on your parody wish list?
A: Even if I knew, I couldn’t tell you. But after I’ve mastered an album and it’s done and in the can, I really shut my brain off. I don’t think about parodies for a while.
Q: What about Beyoncé? You have yet to cover her music.
A: She’s on the list. I’ll get there eventually because then they will say, “Oh, you did a Beyoncé.”
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