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American television personality
Heidi Pratt (née Montag; born September 15, 1986) is an American television personality, singer, fashion designer, and author. Born and raised in Crested Butte, Colorado, she befriended Lauren Conrad in 2005. In 2006, Montag came to prominence after being cast in the MTV reality television series The Hills, which chronicled the personal and professional lives of Conrad, Montag, and friends Audrina Patridge and Whitney Port. During its production, she briefly attended the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and was employed by event planning company Bolthouse Productions. As the series progressed, Montag began dating fellow cast member Spencer Pratt, which ultimately ended her friendship with Conrad. Their ensuing feud became the central focus of the series, and was carried through each subsequent season.
The couple, collectively nicknamed "Speidi", married in April 2009. Later that year, they made controversial appearances on the second season of the American version of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!. In January 2010, Montag released her debut studio album Superficial; it was critically panned and commercially unsuccessful, failing to earn back the money she spent making it. She also received widespread criticism after undergoing ten cosmetic surgery procedures in one day. In 2011, Montag was featured on the television series Famous Food, where she and several celebrities competed for a restaurant partnership. Two years later, she and Pratt competed as a single entity on the eleventh series of the British version of Celebrity Big Brother, and returned to the series with Pratt as an All-Star for Celebrity Big Brother 19.
Life and career
1986–2005: Early life
Montag was born September 15, 1986, in Crested Butte, Colorado, to parents Darlene and Bill Montag. After divorcing, her mother Darlene married Tim Egelhoff; they owned The Timberline restaurant for 21 years until its closing in 2010. Montag has an older sister Holly, also a reality television personality, and a younger brother Sky. Their father Bill later married Terri O'Hara; their step-brother Eric O'Hara died in 2008 after an accidental fall from an icy roof.
After graduating from high school, Montag moved to California and attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco for one semester. During freshman orientation, she befriended Lauren Conrad, who at the time was a primary cast member of the MTV reality television series Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. After both transferred to the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, California, Montag was subsequently featured in four episodes during the series' second season. However, after failing to find the school "challenging", she dropped out and received employment from Bolthouse Productions as an assistant. Within two years, she was promoted as an event planner.
2006–2010: The Hills and Superficial
After moving to Los Angeles in 2006, the Laguna Beach spin-off series The Hills was developed to chronicle the lives of then-housemates Conrad and Montag and friends Audrina Patridge and Whitney Port. That year, she began a short-lived relationship with Jordan Eubanks; she described its end as "the best decision of [her] life". By the second season, Montag and Conrad's friendship had deteriorated after the former began dating and later moved in with Spencer Pratt. During the third season, Conrad ended her friendship with Montag after she suspected that Pratt was responsible for rumors of a sex tape involving her and her former boyfriend Jason Wahler; the ensuing feud carried through each subsequent season.
In August, she entered the music industry and began recording her debut studio album. Later that month, the song "Body Language" was leaked on the internet, and featured an uncredited rap verse from Pratt. The following month, she confirmed to Us Weekly that she had undergone a breast augmentation and rhinoplasty five months prior. Montag's first promotional single and its accompanying music video "Higher" were released in February 2008.[unreliable source?] Later that month, she appeared on the cover of Maxim. Montag collaborated with Anchor Blue to launch her first clothing line "Heidiwood" in April. Her contract was not renewed the following year after the company decided against featuring celebrity endorsements in future advertising.
After several additional unauthorized leaks, Montag enlisted songwriter Cathy Dennis to continue work on her album. She released her first two extended plays Wherever I Am and Here She Is... in 2009. The former included the song "More Is More"; debuting at number 50 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart, it became her first and only song to chart in the country. Later that year, she and Pratt appeared on the second season of the American version of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in support of the "Feed the Children" foundation. They quit after Montag was hospitalized with a gastric ulcer and later created controversy after alleging that they were subject to torture during production. After leaving the series, Montag and Pratt became notorious for their antics and antagonistic roles, notably during an interview with Al Roker of Today, and were described as "everything that's wrong with America". In August, she performed her first official single, the finished version of "Body Language", at the Miss Universe 2009; her appearance was met with a negative critical response, who criticized its overall production. The following month, she appeared on the cover of Playboy. In November, Montag and Pratt released the book "How to Be Famous: Our Guide to Looking the Part, Playing the Press, and Becoming a Tabloid Fixture".
In January 2010, Montag revealed to People that she had undergone ten cosmetic surgery procedures in a single day two months prior, performed by Frank Ryan. Among the procedures were brow-lifts, ear-pinnings, a chin reduction, as well as a second rhinoplasty and second breast augmentation. She commented that she almost died from too much Demerol, reducing her heart rate to five beats per minute. Her debut studio album Superficial was digitally released later that month to an overwhelmingly negative critical response from critics. The self-funded record cost nearly million and sold approximately 1,000 copies in first-week downloads, failing to earn back the money spent making it. In May, she and Pratt made their final appearance on The Hills halfway through the sixth and final season.
2010–2018: Later career
After her exit from The Hills, Montag auditioned for the replacement of Megan Fox in the third installment of the Transformers series, but was ultimately not featured in the film. In June 2010, she and producer Steve Morales commenced work on her unreleased second studio album. The following month, Montag filed for divorce from Pratt, citing irreconcilable differences in the petition. However, they called it off in September after confessing that the action was intended to boost Montag's ailing career. In November, they renewed their vows in Carpinteria, California. In February 2011, Montag made her feature film debut as Kimberly in Just Go with It. Later that year, she appeared on the VH1 reality television series Famous Food, where she competed against other celebrities for a partnership stake in a restaurant in which they worked to open. In October, Montag began writing a memoir. The following year, she released her third extended play Dreams Come True.
In January 2013, Montag and Pratt as a single entity competed as housemates on the eleventh series of the British version of Celebrity Big Brother, where they notably developed a minor feud with singer and television personality Rylan Clark. They were named the runners-up, losing to Clark. On February 18, Channel 5 aired a one-off television special discussing Montag and Pratt's rise to prominence, titled Speidi: Scandal, Secrets & Surgery!. Later that year, they launched the Speidi Show, which was initially assumed to be a web series in which the couple used a different reality television format for each installment. However, the project was later revealed to be an example of networked improv narrative, where Montag and Pratt collaborated with Mark Marino and Rob Wittig to create a Twitter game in which players Live Tweet an imaginary show. In October 2013, Montag revealed that her original F-cup breast implants resulted in severe health issues, and underwent a breast reduction surgery to replace them with D-cup implants. In December 2013, Montag stated that she and Conrad have "talked a few times" since the series' conclusion, elaborating that "it's unfortunate things happened the way that it did, but we're both different people now, older and more mature." However, in 2015, Montag angrily excoriated Conrad when she appeared on Marriage Boot Camp, during a sequence where the contestants were asked to forgive someone who had hurt them in the past; Montag told a stand-in for Conrad that Conrad had "ruined my life with her lies", said that Conrad DID have a sex tape and had falsely blamed it on her, and that she "forgave" Conrad for being terrible and trying to ruin her life. Montag was universally lambasted for bringing up the sex tape lies anew, parroting the views of Pratt (who Conrad actually blamed for spreading the false rumors; Conrad felt Montag knew he was lying but took Pratt's side because she loved him) and trying to use Conrad's name to get publicity for herself. She and Pratt appeared in the television special After Shock: Heidi & Spencer, which premiered on December 9, 2013, on E!, during which they admitted that many of the situations they were involved with in the various reality series they starred on were in fact made up by the shows producers. Montag and Pratt later appeared on an episode of Celebrity Wife Swap in June 2014, for which they swapped with Olympic athlete Amanda Beard and her husband Sacha Brown. In October 2015, Montag and her husband made several media appearances that were largely devoted to two subjects: claiming that their image as terrible people stemming from The Hills was not factual and, somewhat divergently, their intense dislike of Lauren Conrad, which included Montag's husband admitting he spread rumors (which Montag said were true but have never been proven) that Conrad made a sex tape with a former boyfriend. Montag also claimed she had been paid to remain Conrad's friend during her time on the show, while also adding she had reconciled with her family to her husband's displeasure.
In 2017, Montag re-entered the Celebrity Big Brother with her husband. On day 18 the couple were eternally nominated by James Cosmo, which they did not have a good reaction to. They were saved in an 8-person eviction on day 22 however, they were evicted on day 25 against Kim Woodburn, Jessica Cunningham, Bianca Gascoigne and Jedward. Montag and Pratt were reunited with their rival, Rylan Clark-Neal, on Big Brother's Bit on the Side that night.
2019: The Hills: New Beginnings
At the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards, MTV announced a reboot of The Hills entitled The Hills: New Beginnings, slated to premiere in 2019. Montag was announced as part of the cast of the new series.
During the fourth season of The Hills, Montag and Pratt eloped to Mexico, where they married on November 20, 2008. A wedding ceremony was held on April 25, 2009, in Pasadena, California. Their son Gunner Stone was born on October 1, 2017.
- Wherever I Am (2009)
- Here She Is... (2009)
- Dreams Come True (2012)
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A common popular theme on the blog land is to put up a variety of favourite lists, such as ‘My ten favourite ??? songs’. This could be on a person (Mukesh, Naushad, Dev Anand etc) or a theme (birthday, holi, wedding etc.) or an object (train, rain, tonga etc.) Some creative bloggers have come up with very unusual lists, such as songs based on birds (koel, mor, papiha etc) and flowers (kamal, chameli, gulab etc). I was certain people would have done songs based on zulf (hair, or more accurately a woman’s tresses), which occurs so prominently in our songs. I have not come across any so far, which is quite surprising. So let me try to fill up this gap.
Whenever I think of zulf I am reminded of a silly verse popular in our college days:
Peechhe se unki zulfon mein pyar nazar aya
Saamne se dekha to sardar nazar aya
If I were to do a list of my favourite silly verses, this would be at the top. But if you think about it, this verse establishes two fundamental propositions – (i) that zulf refers to a woman’s tresses and rarely a man’s hair, and (ii) the association is sensuous/erotic. Therefore, the emotion or Rasa conveyed in film songs is generally Shringar (Love). This does not fully convey the tremendous potential of zulf to convey other emotions. In fact if you quickly survey our literary and cultural traditions you can find all the Navras (plus two later additions) associated with hair:
Lord Shiva arresting the fury of river Ganga hurtling down with mighty roar, and containing her in his hair to save the earth from destruction.
Offering hair to Tirupati Balaji.
The terror in the eyes of the widowed Padmini Kolhapuri when she is being taken to have her hair forcibly sheared off.
The Ritikaal poet Keshavdas (1555-1617) ruing his graying hair that moon-faced and doe-eyed beauties pass him by calling him Baba, and wishes such misfortune should not befall even his worst enemy.
केशव केसन अस करी जस अरिहूं न कराहिं
चन्द्रबदनि मृगलोचनी बाबा कहि कहि जाहिं
(Wikipedia describes it wrongly as करुणा, which is obviously because of the way we write some Sanskrit/Hindi words in Roman script with an extra ‘a’ in the end and pronounce it with long vowel, such as रागा for राग, रामा for राम. The weirdest I have heard recently was a classical dancer on Doordarshan talk show pronouncing अभिनय as अभिनाया).
Meena Kumari having her tresses done up elaborately while singing Piya aiso jiya mein samaye gayo re, with pathos writ large in Geeta Dutt’s voice conveying accurately the futile yearning of Meena Kumari for her husband Rahman who has strayed away too far to come back.
Kaikeyi with her dishevelled hair in Kopbhavan. It is interesting that only a Rani had this facility of Kopbhavan to convey clearly that she was furious, and not the Raja. This can be viewed in two entirely different ways – as a more enlightened environment which gave the women this facility denied to men, or a gender stereotyping of women that they have fickle moods and needed this kind of outlet. In this sense it could also be seen as a coping mechanism, and Kopbhavan can be described as Cope-bhavan.
Hindu ritual of males getting their head shaved off at the funeral of a family member.
Several and obvious.
Chanakya vowing not to tie his choti till he had annihilated Nand dynasty.
Draupadi drenching her tresses in Dushashan’s blood to avenge her insult.
वात्सल्य (Parental love)
The child Krishna whining before his mother when would his hair grow – मैया कबहूं बढ़ेगी चोटी (Surdas).
( You can see here an interesting article on Mohammad Rafi’s songs based on Navrasas)
Film songs have not harnessed all the above emotions, but if you include film scenes as well, I should think you would find all the above eleven Rasas around zulf. Nevertheless most of the zulf songs are of outstanding quality. As can be expected, Mohammad Rafi has the largest and best zulf songs to his credit.
Here is a list of my favourite ten zulf songs.
1. Zulfon ko hata lo chehre se by Rafi from Sawan Ki Ghata (1966), lyrics SH Bihai, music OP Nayyar
My clear top favourite. It has Rafi’s fullest vocal twists and conveys the exact mood of teasing. OP Nayyar’s music is superb.
2. Na jhatko zulf se pani by Rafi from Shehnai (1964), lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music Ravi
Another unparalleled song from Rafi. But entirely different style and mood. This time it is a soulful ghazal. And what sublime poetry by Rajendra Krishna and equally outstanding music by Ravi. Rajshree got drenched in rains and as she shakes off water drops from her tresses, Biswajeet pleads with her not to do so as it stirs his heart. Very elegantly erotic. One might easily have put this as number one zulf song.
3. Meri jaan na zulfein kholo by Mukesh from Awara Badal (1964), lyrics Jaan Nisar Akhtar, music Usha Khanna
Mukesh also had some excellent zulf songs. This is from a B-grade film picturised on Ajit. I have come across so many of my absolute favourite songs on Ajit (and other B-grade actors like Chandrashekhar) that I find A or B-grade distinction pointless when it comes to music. Usha Khanna herself, though not reckoned in the top league, gave some outstanding music. Now I am getting confused, I might equally easily have put it at number one.
4. O haseena zulfonwali by Rafi and Asha Bhosle from Teesri Manzil (1966), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music RD Burman
An iconic Rafi-Shammi Kapoor song and early career landmark for RD Burman. You also see full play of zulfs of a number of extra dancers.
5. Zulfon ki ghata lekar sawan ki pari ayee by Manna Dey and Asha Bhosle from Reshmi Roomal (1961), lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, music Bipin Babul
Manna Dey and Asha Bhosle sing this beautiful romantic duet for Manoj Kumar and Shakila.
6. Teri zulfon se judai to nahi maangi thi by Rafi from Jab pyar kisis se hota hai (1961), lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri, music Shankar Jaikishan
Here is Dev Anand pleading for Asha Parekh’s love, in a somewhat poignant style. Rafi in early 60s was at his peak of singing prowess, and SJ-Rafi combination was the dominant winning formula for many stars.
7. Zulfon ki sunaehri chhaon tale by Talat Mahmood from Zindagi Ya Toofan (1958), lyrics Nakhshab, music Nashad
There has to be surely a Talat zulf song. And this less heard song has all the Talat magic of sweet silky voice and beautiful rendering. Pradeep Kumar singing this song to Nutan on a harmonium might appear emotionless, but at times you have to enjoy a Pradeep Kumar song by closing your eyes and not looking at him.
8. Zulfon se bandhkar rakh lungi tujhe by Sudha Malhotra from Shekhchilli (1956), lyrics Pandit Indra, music Vinod
I erroneously thought zulf songs would only be in the voices of male singers. Here the lady declares her intention to keep the man tied to her with her zulf and not let him go. If you have grown your hair long, you might as well put it to some use.
9. Zulfein uljhi hain mere kangna se by Lata Mangeshkar from Burma Road (1962), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Chitragupta
Here is a unique zulf song in the voice of Lata Mangeshkar picturised on Kumkum pleading with her man to unravel her tresses which have got entangled in her kangnaa. I was quite taken aback to find that Lata Mangeshkar is singing this song in an overtly Asha Bhosle style.
10. Lat uljhi suljha ja re balam by Noorjehan from Sawal, music Rashid Atre
But the ultimate song on tangled tresses is this traditional composition sung by Noorjehan in the Pakistani film Sawal for the heroine Sabiha Khanum. In case you are wondering where is zulf in this, firstly lat is zulf, and secondly, the next line of the song is Chand se mukhde par nagin zulfein. In a beautiful detail, you just see Sabiha’s hand gestures of dance on the screen when the song goes main na lagaun haath re. The second video is of Noorjehan singing it live for Pakistan TV, and you can see that age has not withered her sense of emotion and feel of the song. In the traditional composition the reason for seeking balam to untangle the tresses was mehdi lagi mere haath re, but in Noorjehan’s version no reason is given, it is a brazen assertion main na lagaun hath re, therefore balam has to do the chore.
Noorjehan sings live Lat uljhi suljha ja re balam
11. Zulf ko teri ghataon ka payam aya hai by Mehdi Hassan in film Salgirah
After I have included Noorjehan, this blog would have been incomplete if I did not include Mehdi Hassan. He has also sung several zulf songs, this one is particularly appealing.