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M.I.A. Breaks “Retirement” at Brooklyn Performance


Putting an end to recent rumors of her “retirement,” Sri Lankan-British pop star M.I.A. (born Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam) returned to the stage at Diesel’s xXx Party in Brooklyn, NY, on Saturday night. Truncated sets from Hot Chip (performing with R&B legend Chaka Khan), T.I., and Franz Ferdinand — who collaborated with T.I. on his smash single “Live Your Life” — only stoked the anticipatory embers of the crowd, which went positively wild when M.I.A. finally emerged to sing the hook to T.I.’s “Swagga Like Us.”

It was clear that M.I.A.’s appearance was the circus-themed event’s big draw, but her four-song set was decidedly not up to her usual rambunctious standards.

Why not?

Maybe it was her reluctance to dance as actively as she has in previous shows. Then again, she is five months pregnant with her first child!

But despite the obvious baby bump and its restrictions, an inspired set-closing rendition of Top 10 hit “Paper Planes” with N.E.R.D. highlighted the short performance, which saw lively contributions from her right-hand rapper, Cherry.

Welcome back M.I.A. — we know you’ll be back to your usual self in, you know, six months or so.

Check out pictures of M.I.A.’s performance on page 2.

Watch! M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” at Diesel’s xXx Party

M.I.A. / Photo by Nicole Franzen

M.I.A. / Photo by Nicole Franzen

M.I.A. / Photo by Nicole Franzen

M.I.A. / Photo by Nicole Franzen