Dua Lipa told Radio 1’s Greg James that her new single is about ‘ghosting’, so it makes sense that it is named after Hungarian-American escape artist Harry Houdini, who had a habit of disappearing when people least expected it.
Fans noticed that some of the promo artwork for the single showed her with a small key in her mouth – hinting at the (supposed) secret behind some of his daring stunts.
Adding another layer, the photo showed similarities to Kate Bush’s album The Dreaming, which also featured a song called Houdini.
They’re not the only ones to have featured the illusionist in their music – you might remember KSI’s 2020 song Houdini, which also didn’t reach the top spot.
But who was Houdini?
We asked Harry Nardi, a 24-year-old escapologist named after the artist.
“He was a magician, an escape artist and he did endurance stunts, so he did all kinds of magic too,” Harry told BBC Newsbeat.
According to Harry, Houdini, born in 1872, did some “crazy, crazy things” and inspired contemporary magicians like David Blaine and Dynamo.
“He did a lot of chain escapes and stuff like that. And in terms of endurance, I mean, you won’t catch me doing it but getting punched in the stomach repeatedly.”
Although Dua didn’t top the charts this week, Harry says Houdini is long overdue for some recognition in popular culture.
“He played such a big role in magic and magic is a growing industry.
“It’s good that he still gets the recognition he deserves because magic wouldn’t be what it is without him.”
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