'Weird Al' Yankovic still trying to wrap head around No. 1 album

Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:29pm EDT
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By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The past week for "Weird Al" Yankovic has been a little weird by the standards of the curly-haired, accordion-playing, oddball master of pop music parody.

The 54-year-old singer of such songs as "Eat It," a culinary spoof on Michael Jackson's 1983 hit "Beat It" and "Amish Paradise," the send-up of rapper Coolio's 1995 sensation "Gangsta's Paradise," scored his first No. 1 album on the U.S. Billboard chart with "Mandatory Fun", following a week-long rollout of music videos. [id:nL2N0PY28A]

"It's still hard for me to wrap my head around that," Yankovic said in an interview. "It means a lot to me."

Seemingly eclipsed at his own game by the rise of parody and fan-generated music videos online over the past decade and shut out from MTV when the network largely gave up music videos for original programming, Yankovic has survived by tapping into social media.

"I realized that the Internet was pretty much where my bread was buttered," said the three-time Grammy winner, whose three-decade career has been due largely in part to the success of his humorous music videos.

"I wanted to do something that would appeal to the online community and things on the Internet go viral quick," he added.

Yankovic released eight new songs each day beginning on July 14 with "Tacky," a celebrity-filled video of Pharrell's international hit "Happy," which itself has spawned countless fan videos.

"There was always the danger people would get tired of it, by the third day I was wondering if people would be going, 'Oh no, more Al,'" said Yankovic of the eight videos that have so far racked up more than 40 million views.   Continued...

Weird Al Yankovic arrives at the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 12, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/Files