Hello people of the Internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to recap the 2015 ‘iHeart Radio Music Awards’! This award show was full of talented winners, unforgettable performances, and a host (Jamie Fox) that definitely kept the audience’s attention. So if y’all are ready, let’s jump into the recap (in order to not keep y’all here reading for an hour, I selected just a few performances to discuss).
Winners (I didn’t include some of the winners because then this post would be A LOT longer):
Best Lyrics: Blank Space by Taylor Swift
Honestly we all saw this one coming. With an infectious beat and catchy lyrics, Taylor has had us singing along to this song for months.
Hip Hop/R&B Song of The Year: Don’t Tell ‘Em by Jeremih feat. YG
This is an example of another song that has an inescapable beat, which is exactly what landed it at the top of the charts for weeks after its’ release.
Innovator Award: Justin Timberlake
Do we really need to explain this one! With each passing year, Justin Timberlake continues to prove to us that he can release tracks that have us singing and dancing along instantly. He is also able to release music that is either completely new, and/or takes what everyone else is doing in a way that we never would have thought possible. Honestly this is the guy who made suit and ties cool again…enough said (below is a video of Justin’s speech that I found on NBC’s YouTube channel)..
Best New Artist: Sam Smith
With hits like Stay With Me and I’m Not The Only One, we have all been jamming to Sam Smith this past year. You gotta love a guy that can constantly make us cry and still fall more in love with him every time we hear his songs.
Best Collaboration: Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, & Nicki Minaj
You heard this song EVERYWHERE last year, and we’re still all singing along. But, when you get three superstars like Jessie J, Ariana Grande, & Nicki Minaj together honestly you can expect no less. We will definitely be dancing to this one throughout 2015.
Best Dance Song: Summer by Calvin Harris
This was the song that made us all wish that summer was a year around thing. Calvin Harris always seems to find a way of releasing songs that we just have to put on repeat. This should definitely be on your upcoming 2015 summer playlist.
Song of The Year: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
Ok, again this was a song that we could not (and would not) stop playing because, well it’s just so awesome! This song has a fun beat, unforgettable lyrics, and even an awesome message about, well, shaking all the negative stuff off. Gotta love how Taylor knows exactly what we need to hear.
Artist of The Year: Taylor Swift
I think we covered why Taylor was so successful in 2014. Now the only question on our minds is how will she top it in 2015? We all know whatever she does, it will be awesome!
Performances (for this section I decided to pick 6 acts to talk to y’all about, because honestly if we try to talk about them all, we’ll be here all day):
Iggy Azalea & Jennifer Hudson:
Iggy Azalea & Jennifer Hudson performed their new song Trouble. The number was very elaborate, and began with Iggy and Jennifer emerging on to the stage, dressed like a prisoner (Iggy) & a cop (Jennifer). Iggy danced around the stage with her background dancers, until they eventually moved to another set that had pink prison phones, another set that looked like a public bathroom, and a final set that had a giant cage. It was a very fun performance, that was a great way to kick off the show.
Meghan Trainor performed her song Dear Future Husband later in the show, and really showed us just how captivating of a performer she is. This cool number began with Meghan on stage dressed in a black long pencil skirt, a coral blouse, and a white and black polka dot sailor hat. The nautical meets 1950s theme continued with Meghan’s large brass band (that played in the background throughout her performance), standing on a leveled band stands, which had neon wave decoration on the front of them. Her backup dancers finished off the fun theme with their black pants, suspenders, and straw hats. The performance was so much fun to watch from beginning to end, and proved just why Meghan’s natural star power has given her such a big year (below is a video of Meghan’s performance that I found on NBC’s YouTube channel).
Later on we had a breathtakingly beautiful performance from Best New Artist winner Sam Smith. Sam performed his song Lay Me Down. After all of the previous performances that got us up and dancing, this performance definitely slowed things down without losing our attention. The number had numerous candles all around the stage, and the lighting very dim, which added an intimate, acoustic feel to the performance. Of course Sam blew us away with his hauntingly beautiful voice, and once again proved that he is here to stay.
Country Song of The Year winner Jason Aldean performed his award winning song Burnin’ It Down. This was another really fun performance that definitely brought the energy back up, after Sam Smith’s performance. The staging included A LOT of fire pits, which added to the whole country meets rock vibe the song has (below is a video of Jason’s performance that I found on NBC’s YouTube channel).
Madonna & Taylor Swift:
Next up we had a very cool performance from Madonna & Taylor Swift, who performed Madonna’s song Ghosttown. The song began with Madonna singing the song accompanied by a guitarist, while the dim lighting on stage “hid” her guitarist’s identity. The guitarist was later revealed to be Taylor. This was a really interesting number, that was very different than anything else we saw on the show that night. Both artists did a fantastic job (which isn’t surprising), and this was definitely a performance everyone on the Internet will continue to talk about for a while.
Jamie Foxx & Chris Brown:
Of course we couldn’t end this recap without talking about the last number of the night (which was performed by the host of the show Jamie Foxx). The two performed Jamie’s new single ‘You Changed Me’, which began with Jamie performing the song on the piano with dim stage lighting, before the beat picked up, and the stage lit up. The song was very well choreographed, and showed off both artists’ performance skills. This high energy performance was the perfect way to end the night, and definitely got the audience excited for Jamie’s upcoming album, which drops later this year (below is a video of Jamie & Chris’ performance that I found on NBC’s YouTube channel).
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to talk about the 2015 Grammy Awards (btw we guessed half of the winners correctly this year, yay!). This year the award show was full of unique performances, surprises, and of course, awesome awards. It was truly a night dedicated to music, and all that it represented this past year. The show was once again hosted by rapper/actor LL Cool J, who stated at the top of the show that he wasn’t going to perform an opening monologue so that there would be more time for the music. I thought that it was a really memorable show, and will definitely have us all discussing it the rest of the year. If you missed the show, or just want to relive all the moments again, then please read on as we recap the 2015 Grammy Awards!
Here are the categories we guessed correctly this year:
*If you want to see the full list of Grammy Award winners then please go to GRAMMY.com | The Official Site of Music’s Biggest Night
Now there were a lot of awesome performances this year, but I decided to pick the top 10 must-see performances to discuss with y’all.
10) Eric Church: Eric performed his hit single ‘Give Me Back My Hometown’, which is a fun song that brings out the nostalgia in us all. As always, Eric captivated his audience and never lost their attention. The backdrop of the stage had scenes of a town in a Sepia effect, which just added an air of coolness to the number.
9) Ariana Grande: One number that was really interesting was Ariana Grande’s emotional performance of her song ‘Just a Little Bit of Your Heart’. The emotional ballad had a very intimate vibe that definitely captivated fans. The staging consisted of really dim lighting, purple stage lights, and really cool white smoke that appeared half way through the performance.
8) Pharrell Williams: Pharrell began his number with a spoken word performance of the beginning of his hit song ‘Happy’. The number then changed back to the original arrangement, and included dancers in bright colored clothing & choir robes. Towards the end of the number, the attention shifted over to the small stage in the center of the auditorium, where Hans Zimmermann was showing off his out of this world piano skills. Definitely a number we’d all be happy to see again.
7) Ed Sheeran feat. John Mayer & Questlove/Ed Sheeran & ELO: Ed performed a sweet rendition of his new single ‘Thinking Out Loud’, and was accompanied by John Mayer’s EPIC guitar playing, and Questlove (the drummer of the band The Roots, who are Jimmy Fallon’s house band) on the drums. This was such an awesome pairing that I know we all have our fingers crossed for these artists to collab again soon. After ‘Thinking Out Loud’, Ed switched over to another stage and performed ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ with British rock group, Electric Light Orchestra (aka ELO). This was another unexpected, yet really awesome collab that left us wondering who Ed will work with next (because obviously he can work with anyone and it will sound awesome).
6) Miranda Lambert: Miranda performed her song ‘Little Red Wagon’, and definitely showed that country music can rock. She was in full rock star mode, with a performance that included lots of cool smoke and explosion effects, an interesting red sun decoration in the background, and lots of flashing red lights that definitely raised the energy of the room to full blast.
5) Hosier & Anne Lennox: Hosier started the performance with their hit single ‘Take Me To Church’ & was later joined by Anne Lennox, who also performed her rendition of ‘I Put A Spell on You’ (which was originally by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins). This was another high energy performance that had the audience captivated throughout the number…what can we say, they put a spell on us!
4) Katy Perry: Katy performed a truly angelic rendition of her song ‘By The Grace of God’, complete with a beautiful white gown. The performance followed a PSA by President Barack Obama, and a speech by domestic abuse survivor Brooke Axtell (the PSA and speech were in support of a new program called #ItsOnUs, which is an initiative to end violence against women & girls). This was truly a strong way to deliver this powerful message.
3) Paul McCartney, Rihanna, & Kanye West: The legendary Beatle joined Pop star Rihanna, & Rap star Kanye West for a performance of the trio’s song ‘Four Five Seconds’. This was such an amazing number, that really brought out the true talent of all three artists, and showed the magic that can happen when artists of different genres come together to create something spectacular.
2) Sam Smith & Mary J. Blige: Sam & Mary J. Blige left the room completely speechless with their duet of Sam’s hit song ‘Stay With Me’. The two artists used their amazing vocal talents to deliver a breathtaking performance that was one of the highlights of the night. What made this performance extra cool was the old school soul flair that the artists added to the overall vibe of the show; it definitely left us hoping that they will work together again in the future.
1) Sia feat. Maddie Ziegler & Kristen Wiig: The top spot of the night has to go to Sia for her beautiful performance of her hit single Chandelier. The number took place in a destroyed, dirty room, and showed comedic actress Kristen Wiig & Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler performing the choreography from the song’s music video together. Although Sia & Kristen were INCREDIBLE, the star of the show was definitely Maddie. Seriously, she’s 12 years old and has already performed at the Grammys, how do you possibly top that!?! With such a HUGE start to 2015, I’m excited to see what this rising star does next.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss our predictions for who will win awards at the 2015 Grammy Awards! I choose 8 random categories (you can check out the rest of the nominees here: GRAMMY.com | The Official Site of Music’s Biggest Night) for us to look at, and added a few sentences why I think that these artists/songs will win. This is a really competitive year, so if y’all have any counter suggestions please let me know in the comments section below. Ready? Let’s go!
Record of the Year:
Fancy by Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX
You couldn’t escape this song in 2014, and we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Fancy received overall positive reviews upon its’ release, and was able to hold on to the #1 spot of the Billboard Hot 100 for 7 consecutive weeks.
Album of the year:
Beyoncé by Beyoncé Knowles
Ok, when an artist can release an album without any previous announcements or promotion, and the album debuts at #1…well that’s really awesome! The album sold so many copies within the first 3 days (828,773), that it has become the fastest selling album in the history of the iTunes Store…sounds like album of the year to me.
Best new artist:
This year Iggy became the fourth solo female rapper to ever top the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the first female & non-American rapper to be featured on XXL Magazine’s annual Top 10 Freshmen cover issue (an issue that names the top 10 up an coming rappers, that is credited for giving any rappers the exposure necessary to become instant stars) also, she joined the Beatles as the only acts to ever have their debut Hot 100 at #1 & #2 simultaneously, she also passed rapper Lil’ Kim as the female rapper with the longest-leading #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100. Yeah, she definitely seems to have the tile of artist of the year locked down.
Best pop duo/group performance:
Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj
This song (which features 3 really big stars) has gone triple platinum in the U.S., and had the 3rd largest sales debut for a song in 2014. Bang Bang also played non-stop on all mainstream radio stations ALL year in 2014, so it’s definitely a huge contender for this award.
Best country song:
I’m Not Gonna Miss You by Glen Campbell
This song appeared as the theme song for Glen Campbell’s 2014 documentary I’ll Be Me 9which received numerous positive reviews), and is the final studio recording ever released from the legendary singer/songwriter. With a career that spanned over 50 years, and included: countless awards in music & film, a 2012 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, hosting a variety show entitled The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and so much more than I can include in this post. Because of his extraordinary career, and the fact that this song is extremely awesome, I definitely think that he deserves this award.
Best country album:
Platinum by Miranda Lambert
With singles such as: Automatic & Something Bad, we couldn’t get Miranda out of our heads this year. This album also made Miranda the first artist in history to start her career with five consecutive #1 albums. Platinum has also received nearly unanimous positive reviews from numerous critics. In the past year Miranda has been on a serious roll, so I don’t expect this to end anytime soon.
Best country duo/group performance:
Gentle on My Mind by The Band Perry from the Glen Campbell I’ll Be Me Soundtrack EP
Now this song previously won 4 Grammy Awards when it was originally released in 1968 (which proves how awesome the song is), and has gotten A LOT of radio play since it was released late this year. It has to be hard to cover such an iconic song from an extremely legendary artist (and the fact that this song appeared on that legend’s last project adds a little bit more pressure), despite all this pressure, The Band Perry really proved that it can raise to the challenge.
Best rock song:
Ain’t it Fun by Paramore
Ok, you know that you were jammin out to this song all year! This was definitely a change of pace for this band; however it was a risk that really paid off for them. This song is also Paramore’s highest peaking song, made the album it appeared on (also entitled Paramore) this band’s first album to produce two Top 40 hits, and was certified Platinum in the U.S.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to countdown the 5 top Christmas songs of 2014. Last year when we did this list, it had different versions of classic Christmas songs from many different decades. This year I thought that we’d do something a little different and only talk about Christmas songs from this year. This list is a really fun mix of classic and new Christmas songs that I know you all will love! So get ready to ask Santa for some ITunes cards this year, because these completely addicting songs will be on your playlists well into June.
5) Sabrina Carpenter ‘Silver Nights’:
Once I heard this song I just had to add it to the list, because it has a very chill, romantic vibe that’s perfect for listening to by the fire with that special someone (or while stalking your favorite celebrities’ twitter wishing they were that special someone…don’t worry it’ll be our little secret). I also wanted to add this song; because Sabrina Carpenter is definitely someone I would watch in 2015. With an AMAZING debut on the music scene with her EP ‘Can’t Blame A Girl For Trying’ (which has a song written by the equally AMAZING Meghan Trainor), and a lead role on Disney Channel’s newest breakout hit ‘Girl Meets World’, it’s safe to say that Sabrina is well on her way to a long career…not bad for a 15 year old (doesn’t she make you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything in life…same here).
4) Idina Menzel ‘Holly Jolly Christmas’:
I was so excited to write about the song because I think that we can all agree that Idina Menzel is AMAZING! Whether you became a fan of hers through her work in various Broadway musicals, her role on the show ‘Glee’, or her latest hit leading role in Disney’s ‘Frozen’, you gotta admit that once you hear her voice you just can’t run away. I wish that I could just talk about her entire Christmas album, but then I would have y’all here until next Christmas. So instead I decided to talk to y’all about a song that we all know but I think gets pushed to the background a little. Whether you’ve heard this song on the radio or in a movie (gotta love those old animated Christmas movies), EVERYONE has heard ‘Holly Jolly Christmas’. I honestly love how upbeat and fun this song is, because it puts you in the Christmas spirit and makes everything you do feel fun. This is definitely a classic that you should put on repeat this Christmas season!
3) Meghan Trainor ‘I’ll Be Home’:
Now here is a singer/songwriter who has made her presence known this year. With her hits ‘All About That Bass’ & ‘Lips Are Moving’, Meghan just keeps amazing us. She brings that same talent to her original song ‘I’ll Be Home’, which is soon to become a Christmas Classic. This is another feel good song for all of you romantics out there! Perfect to listen to while you’re drinking hot cocoa or your favorite hot winter drink.
2) Ariana Grande ‘Santa Tell Me’:
We don’t even really need to discuss why Ariana HAS to be on this countdown. I mean she is honestly the biggest breakout star of 2014 (which we predicted and you can see the blog post for here: Monday Memos: Artist Spotlight Ariana Grande | celindareyesblog). After numerous consecutive hits, it only makes sense that the girl with the Midius touch releases a Christmas song that we LOVE! I like that this song is romantic (because honesty who doesn’t love a little Christmas romance, but it’s about asking Santa to not let this Christmas love go to waste (sorta like a prequel to ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham!). I like that the concept is different than your typical Christmas song, and it’s a fun one to sing-along too. You should definitely add it to your winter playlists!
1) Pentatonix ‘Carol of the Bells’:
I feel like I could write 10 pages about this INCREDIBLE group and it wouldn’t be enough, so I’m going to give y’all the short version. Honestly I think all A Capella groups are amazing because how awesome and talented do you have to be in order to make performing without any instrumental backing. It’s honestly mind-blowing so because of this, I felt we had to give them the #1 spot. I am also a huge fan of this song because it’s so beautiful, but it’s also equally difficult to perform, so I feel we have to give them a lot of credit for their flawless rendition.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to talk about last week’s 2014 CMAs (Country Music Awards). This year’s show was once again co hosted by country music superstars Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, and featured really cool musical performances. Once again, Carrie and Brad were able to use their combination of witty banter, musical talents, and comic timing to poke fun at some of this year’s most highly profiled current events. They also performed a very funny song about George Strait not being at the show this year, and then later when they “discover” that he is at the show, they make comments about why he hasn’t gone anywhere (which is a joke about the tour that George Strait just completed, which was called ‘The Cowboy Rides Away’). The hosts opening monologue was definitely a fun way to kick off such an exciting, high energy show. So now let’s move on to the awards and musical performances!
Single of the Year:
‘Automatic’ by Miranda Lambert
Now if you were listening to country radio this year, you definitely heard this song (this single even reached #3 on the Billboard US Country AirPlay chart). Of course no one should be surprised at this win, because Miranda co-wrote the song and we all know that right now Miranda Lambert truly has the Midas touch.
Song of The Year:
‘Follow Your Arrow’ by Kacey Musgraves
This is another song that you’ve definitely heard all year long. This song was certainly a big hit as the 3rd single off of Kacey’s debut big label album, and its success is definitely evidence that we haven’t heard the last of this rising star.
New Artist of The Year:
Brett Eldredge first made his impact on the country music scene in 2012 when his single ‘Don’t Ya’ (which was certified Platinum in the U.S.) was released to country music radio and reached #1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. This single was followed up with the similarity successful single ‘Beat of The Music’ (was certified Gold in the U.S.) in 2013. With such a strong show on his debut album, it’s not a surprise that Brett won this honor.
Vocal Duo of The Year:
Florida Georgia Line
Ok everyone who was surprised by this please raise your hands. Let me guess, there are no hands raised right? Yeah, if you’ve listened to the radio AT ALL this past year (country and pop radio), then you’ve heard of the country power duo Florida Georgia Line. These rising stars have also had cross-over remixes of two of their hit singles (Cruise & This Is How We Roll) with features from r&b/pop/rap stars Nelly and Jason Derulo. With their iron grip on both country and pop radio, I foresee 2015 to be an even BIGGER year for Florida Georgia line.
Album of The Year:
‘Platinum’ by Miranda Lambert
Midas strikes again! With her success from the singles ‘Automatic’ & ‘Somethin’ Bad’ (which features fellow superstar Carrie Underwood, and has been certified Gold, as well as peaking at #1 on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs), this was definitely a hard album to beat.
Vocal Group of The Year:
Little Big Town
With a new album which made its’ debut at #3 on the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums, and a lead single (entitled ‘Day Drinkin’), which peaked at #4 on the Billboard U.S. Country Airplay, this was certainly Little Big Town’s year to win this top honor.
Irving Waugh Award of Excellence:
With highly successful careers as the front man of the country rock band ‘Pure Prairie League’ and as a solo artist, Vince Gill is the definition of a country music icon. As a solo artist, Vince Gill has won every country music award (multiple times), has won 20 Grammy awards, was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (in 2005), and was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2012). Honestly I could sit here and list all of Vince Gill’s INCREDIBLE accomplishments but that would take pages and pages. To make a long story short, if you listen to any one of Vince Gill’s records, you will definitely see why he deserves this award.
Male Vocalist of The Year:
This year Blake has certainly used his voice to prove why he deserves this top honor. This year, Blake released his latest album ‘Bringing back the Sunshine’, which peaked at #1 on the Billboard U.S. 200 chart(which counts albums of all genres) & #1 on the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums chart. The album also produced a single that peaked at #3 on the U.S. Country chart.
Female Vocalist of The Year:
Midas is here y’all…Midas is here! I don’t think I need to tell y’all why Miranda deserves this award, but in case you forget…listen to her latest album ‘Platinum’, and you’ll remember why she is so awesome.
Entertainer of The Year:
Well now we’ve reached the final award, and although the competition was extremely fierce, it is clear why Luke Bryan walked away with this award. His 2013 album ‘Crash My Party’ was SUCH a huge album for the country music superstar that it peaked at #1 on both the Billboard U.S. 200 & Top Country Albums, as well as producing 3 consecutive #1 singles, and two more singles that peaked at #2 and #5 respectively. If these statistics don’t convince you that Luke Bryan IS the country music entertainer of the year, then take a listen to his album ‘Crash My Party’ and you’ll see how his ability to entertain translates through the album so effortlessly.
Kenny Chesney kicked off the show with his performance of his 1st single ‘American Kids’ off of his latest album ‘The Big Revival’. The number consisted of a very hippie/bohemian theme, complete with fun multicolored lights, and a multicolored bus in the background, complete with an American flag. Kenny’s dancers were also dressed to match the theme, and made the audience feel as if they were invited to an awesome party.
Miranda Lambert & Meghan Trainor:
Next up we had a fun performance by two of music’s sassiest performers Miranda Lambert & Meghan Trainor! They performed a fun and unique performance of Meghan’s hit ‘All About That Bass’. The backdrop of the stage flashed the word ‘Bass’ in different colors throughout the number, and Miranda and Meghan both let their sassiness fly and because of this ha the audience hanging on their every word.
Lady Antebellum stepped up next with their infectious hit single ‘Bartender’. The performance was even more fun to watch with the addition of white, blue, purple, and red lights that kept the “party vibe” of the show going. There were also A LOT of small lights that went all around the stage, that made the stage look as if it were surrounded by stars, and this added the perfect finishing touch to a great performance.
Florida Georgia Line:
Next up we had an AMAZING performance of Florida Georgia Line’s single ‘Dirt’. Usually Florida Georgia Line tends to move around a lot during big award show performances, so I thought that it was a really cool change of pace to see them both sitting down and accompanying themselves on guitar. This performance also showed that these talented guys are able to not only draw in an audience through their stage presence, but simply through their musical skills. The backboard of the stage had cool revolving images of houses, roads, and fences in yellow and orange colors that made the images look as if they would explode at any second.
Keith Urban was next with his performance of his hit single ‘Somewhere In My Car’. The staging was cool with strobe lights that flashed all over the stage, but as always; it was Keith’s voice and unnatural guitar skills that stole the show. It honestly would not be a Keith Urban show without an EPIC guitar solo and he certainly did not fail.
The Band Perry:
The Band Perry was up next, with their performance of ‘Gentle In My Mind’, in honor of the great Glen Campbell. I really loved that the staging for this song was very simple, so the attention of the performance was on the song itself. The Band Perry added their own twist to the hit by changing the arrangement slightly, which brought a fresh vibe to the classic tune.
Kacey Musgraves & Loretta Lynn:
One of country music’s newest rising star Kacey Musgraves, performed the hit ‘You’re Lookin at Country’ with the iconic Loretta Lynn (who made the song famous in 1971). The backdrop of the stage has a very classic country look with a barn that said ‘Grand Old Opry’ on it. This was a really awesome performance that brought together the worlds of classic and modern country into a performance that was one of the standout numbers of the night.
Jason Aldean rocked the stage next with a performance of his single ‘Burning It Down’. The performance had a very country meets rock vibe, complete with cool red and white lights, and lots of energy that just made you want to get up and dance.
Little Big Town & Ariana Grande:
Next we had another “mash of the genres”, when Little Big Town performed with special guest Ariana Grande. First Little Big Town came onstage to perform their latest hit ‘Daydrinkin’. This had to be my favorite performance of the night because of all of the cool visual aspects of the number. The board consisted of two levels of drummers with black suits that had red lights. You could really only see the red lights, so this made the drummers look EXTREMELY cool (I honestly can’t even express just how cool this looked)! Little Big Town had similar outfits on, which added such a cool futuristic feel to their performance that said it apart from the all of the other performances. As always their vocals were VERY on point and near perfect (which is HARD to do in a group). Once ‘Daydrinkin’ was over, the lights instantly switched from red to blue, and Ariana Grande came out to sing a snippet of her hit collaboration ‘Bang Bang’. Little Big Town joined her, and in doing so added a fun country meets r&b flair to the song that was very cool.
Tim McGraw was up next with his song ‘Shotgun Rider’, which brought the classic Tim McGraw vine that fans have grown to love. The staging was very simple with cool blue lights circling the stage, and the confidence and energy that are now a Tim McGraw staple.
Cole Swindell: Cole Swindell performed a snippet of his song ‘Chillin It’, before announcing the winners of the award for ‘Radio Stations of The Year’. Even though Cole only performed a snippet of his song, he was still able to command the stage and grab the crowd in such a way that makes me very excited to see what his future holds.
Dierks Bentley was up next with his party anthem single ‘Drunk on A Plane’. The backboard of the stage had a picture of a plane on a runway, and alternating names of “destination sites”. This performance definitely kept the show’s energy up, and made the show feel less like an award show, and more like an epic concert.
Co-host Brad Paisley performed next with his latest hit ‘Perfect Storm’. The number had an AWESOME Brad Paisley style guitar solo (which the crowd went wild for), and an energy and likability that showed why Brad’s career is steadily on the rise with no sign of slowing down.
Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe:
Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe were up next with their emotional duet ‘Lonely Tonight’, which had the crowd captivated from the first note, to the last. The staging for this number was very simple and stripped down, which perfectly brought out the intimate feel of the song, and really made you feel every word.
Co-host Carrie Underwood performed her latest hit ‘Something In The Water’. The backboard had REALLY cool blue lights that floated around and made it look like there was a giant waterfall behind Carrie, that later changed to multicolored lights. Later in the performance a choir of people walked on to accompany Carrie, and added a cool twist to the performance that matched the song perfectly. As always, Carrie’s show-stopping vocals took center stage during this number, and perform that she still has a HUGE presence in country music (BRAVO CARRIE UNDERWOOD!!!).
Next up we had the Entertainer of The Year himself, Mr. Luke Bryan. He performed his newest hit ‘Rollercoaster’, and had very simple staging. The backboard was grey with clouds and occasional thunder. Luke allowed his natural charisma to take center stage, and the crowd completely loved it (and they were even singing back to him at one part of the song).
Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town:
Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town took the stage once more to perform their duet ‘Smokin and Drinkin’ (off of Miranda’s latest album). The staging consisted of a lot of cool smoke and lights, which helped add a cool vibe to the performer that perfectly matched the chilled vibe of the song, Miranda & Little Big Town’s vocals went together perfectly, and made it clear that these two acts NEED to release more tracks together.
George Strait & Eric Church:
King George Strait returned to the CMA stage once more with his performance of his 2003 hit ‘Cowboys Like Us’. The backdrop had a lot of cool pictures of George Strait throughout his career, and added a very classic country feel to the performance. Eric Church added a little rock to George Strait’s classic country vibe, and brought another great example of what happens when modern and classic country merge.
Thomas Rhett performed a snippet of his hit song ‘Get Me Some of That’, while he announced the winners of the CMA ‘Personalities of The Year’ awards. Although his performer was short, Thomas certainly held his audience’s attention the entire time, and showed why he is a rising star to watch.
The Doobie Brothers, Jennifer Nettles, Hillary Scott, & Hunter Hayes:
The Doobie Brothers, Jennifer Nettles, Hillary Scott, & Hunter Hayes were up next with their performance of The Doobie Brothers hit ‘Listen To The Music’. The high energy performance was EXTREMELY fun to watch, and brought musicians from the whole spectrum of country music, to bring a fresh sound to this awesome song. The Doobie Brothers, Jennifer Nettles, and Hillary Scott killed their vocal performances, and Hunter Hayes had an AMAZING guitar solo that the crowd went crazy for. What I loved most about this performance was the fact that it felt less like a calculated award show performance, and more like a bunch of musicians jamming out.
The Doobie Brothers closed the show with their song ‘Takin it To The Streets’, (with some help from Jennifer Nettles, Hillary Scott, Hunter Hayes, & Brad Paisley). The number included an AWESOME keyboard solo, and had a very old school feel and energy that made the performance feel like an AMAZING concert.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to recap the 2014 Teen Choice Awards, which aired Sunday night (Sunday August 10th, 2014). The show was full of exciting performances, lots of cool awards that were given to our favorite stars, and of course, two hilarious hosts who kept who made the party even more fun. So if you missed the show Sunday night, or you just want to experience the fun again, then please read on to see why this year’s show was the best one yet!!! Our two hosts for the evening were two of our favorite TV/Film stars, Tyler Posey (most well known for his role as Scott McCall in the TV version of the hit 1980s film ‘Teen Wolf’), and Sarah Hyland (who stars as Haley Dunphy on one of ABC’s most acclaimed sitcoms ‘Modern Family’). When it was announced that Tyler and Sarah were hosting, I got really excited for the show. I knew that they were going to do an awesome job, but after seeing them in action, I found that they definitely exceeded my expectations. After the show’s opening performance, Tyler and Sarah instantly showed off their comedic talents with a hilarious opening monologue where the discussed how to open the show. Tyler suggested that they sing a song (and then he started singing Demi Lovato’s hit song ‘Really Don’t Care’, and began to attempt to break dance). After a lot of debate, they decided to open the show by presenting the first award. There were numerous other funny moments, such as Tyler wearing a hula girl outfit, and Tyler reuniting with his ‘Maid in Manhattan’ costar Jennifer Lopez. I thought that Tyler and Sarah made a great duo, and were really able to play off each other’s strengths. They definitely gave an unbelievable performance that will not be forgotten. Ok, now let’s move on to the awards!!!
Choice Summer Song: Demi Lovato ‘Really Don’t Care’
This song has definitely been a huge hit and fan favorite for Demi this year. The track peaked at #4 on the ‘US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs’, and the official music video for the track currently has 25,506,438 views, so it’s easy to see that this song is a fan favorite.
Choice Movie Actor in a Drama: Ansel Elgort ‘The Fault in Our Stars’
Ok, we all knew that this one was coming because ‘The Fault in Our Star’ was arguably the most anticipated movie of 2014. Ansel certainly shined in this film, and proved that he is “on a roller coaster that only goes up my friend”…yes I couldn’t help it, I had to use that quote. ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ has quickly catapulted Ansel onto the A-list and with the impending release of ‘Insurgent’ (the sequel to the VERY popular and successful movie ‘Divergent’), Ansel’s star is only going to rise.
Choice TV Show Drama: ‘Pretty Little Liars’
Honestly any competition that ‘Pretty Little Liars’ is in they will win, because the show is popular, well written, full of talented actors/actresses, and able to captivate an audience week after week, season after season. If you have seen the show, then you know why it won, if you haven’t seen the show, then watch it and you will know why it won.
Choice Reality Show: Keeping Up With The Kardashians
After all of these seasons, The Kardashians’ are still able to entice viewers enough to watch the ever growing family’s every move. All of the members of the family have been able to use this show to launch themselves into the career of their choosing, and in doing so have set the standard for reality stars.
Choice Movie Actor in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Josh Hutcherson ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’
The Hunger Games has had such a large impact on pop culture, that it’s easy to see why the franchise would be nominated. Josh Hutcherson’s portrayal of one of the main male characters has definitely been a large reason as to why this franchise has done, and continues to do so well. Josh is also a fan favorite, who has grazed numerous teen magazines, and currently has 2.6 million Twitter followers…so needless to say he is a VERY big deal.
Choice Movie Actress in an Action: Shailene Woodley ‘Divergent’
Right now Shailene Woodley is one of Hollywood’s golden stars. Literally every project that this talented actress touches becomes a box office hit, so it’s easy to see why she won this award. Along with her incredible performance in ‘Divergent’, Shailene has also grazed numerous magazine covers, and causes fan mania everywhere she goes, 2014 has truly been her year, and with ‘Insurgent’ in its way there is no stopping Shailene.
Candie’s Choice Style Icon
Over the past few years, actress/singer/dancer Zendaya has certainly evolved within her sense of fashion, and has also proven that she is not afraid to take risks. He enviable sense of style has even landed her the role of spokes model for pop icon Madonna and her daughter Lourdes’ clothing line ‘Material Girl’. If the original Material Girl approves of her, who are we to disagree.
Choice TV Actress in a Drama: Lucy Hale
Three words for you…Pretty Little Liars. This show has seriously been gold for ABC Family ever since it first premiered, and there is no stopping this powerhouse drama. On the show, Lucy Hale has been able to develop her character of Aria into a complex young woman who we cry with, cheer for, and basically go on an emotional roller coaster for (yes it’s exhausting but we love it), it can be hard for many actresses to pull off a character such as Aria, however Lucy does so with ease.
Choice Movie Drama: The Fault in Our Stars
Ok, I think that when you hear the words “movie” and “drama” in the same sentence, you will forever think of ‘The Fault In Our Stars’. This film had audiences laughing, crying, and then crying even more. John Green was able to take the story of two young love struck teenagers with cancer, and turn it into a movie that inspired us to love a little deeper, value our friends a little more, and to never take anything (especially) life for granted. If this doesn’t scream ‘Choice Drama’ to you, then I don’t know what will.
Choice Female Web Star: Bethany Mota (you can learn all about Bethany by clicking on the blog post I wrote about her right here: YouTube Wednesday: Bethany Mota, the beauty guru who proved that positivity is always in style | celindareyesblog).
At just 18 years old, Bethany has taken the internet by storm and in doing so has set an incredibly high standard for what can be done with passion, talent, hard work, and a camera. Bethany has been able to forge her own career that has taken her from a teenager making videos in her bedroom, to a fashion/home decor designer, Red Carpet correspondent, upcoming guest host on the hit fashion reality competition ‘Project Runway’, and all around business mogul (not bad for a teenager who started making videos because she was being bullied by her middle school classmates).
Choice Male Web Star: Tyler Oakley
Much like Bethany Mota, Tyler Oakley has stated that he didn’t originally start his YouTube channel for fame, fortune, or recognition. Initially, Tyler began his YouTube channel in order to keep in touch with his friends after he went off to college. Tyler was able to expand these videos into a YouTube channel that contains various videos that cover fun and serious topics, fun TAGs with other famous YouTubers, and advice videos. Tyler has also expanded his brand into guest columnist spots on various popular websites, red carpet correspondent work, online apparel line, and advocate for organizations such as ‘The Trevor Project’ and ‘Kids Beating Cancer’.
Ultimate Choice Award: Selena Gomez
With a professional career spanning more than half a decade (over a decade if you count her ‘Barney & Friends’ years), Selena Gomez has demonstrated her strengths as an actress, singer/songwriter, and dancer. At just 15 years old, Selena began her career as the lead character of the highly successful Disney Channel show ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’, and this set off an avalanche of numerous other film projects that Selena would take part in over the next few years. At age 16, Selena released her debut album ‘Kiss & Tell’ with her band ‘Selena Gomez & The Scene’. The album was certified Gold, and produced the Platinum single ‘Naturally’. Selena has since continued her success within the music industry with the release of three more albums with her band ‘The Scene’, and 1 solo album under the name ‘Selena Gomez’. Selena has also collaborated with numerous brands such as: Borden’s, State Farm, Sears, etc., on various projects. She has also released her own clothing line called ‘Dream Out Loud’ through K-Mart. With such a long and detailed resume at the tender age of 22, it is easy to see that Selena is a bright star that succeeds at whatever she attempts.
Olay Fresh Effects Breakout Star: Odeya Rush
With appearances in various commercials, short films, the Disney film ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’, and hit TV shows such as: Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Odeya is truly Hollywood’s most well kept secret…until now. In 2013 it was announced that she was cast in the upcoming Sci-Fi thriller ‘The Giver’, and since then has been cast in ‘Mary, Mother of Christ’, and a Goosebumps’ film based off of the popular R.L. Stein books. I definitely thought that Odeya deserved this award, because it is obvious that she is a star on the rise, who we will all be talking about in 2015.
Choice Music Breakout Group: 5 Seconds of Summer
With their breakout hit ‘She Looks So Perfect’, 5 Seconds of Summer exploded on to the music scene this summer, and won the hearts of music fans worldwide. The band originally obtained fame and recognition by posting cover videos of popular songs on YouTube, and touring with popular bands such as Hot Chelle Rae (in 2012), and One Direction (in 2013). However the summer of 2013 was the start of a golden era for this band, due to the success of ‘She Looks So Perfect’, and their debut self-titled album. The band is currently (in 2014) on tour with One Direction, and are also nominated for an MTV EMA (Europe Music Awards), VMA (Video Music Awards), and the We Love Pop Awards. So yes, this is the band that everyone will be fangirling/fanboying over for a while!
Choice Female Artist: Ariana Grande
2014 has certainly been the year of Ariana, with multiple #1 hit songs, a highly successful TV show on Nickelodeon (even though the show did get cancelled this year, it still had great ratings when it was on), and a highly anticipated sophomore album , Ariana is showing no signs of slowing down. The young entertainer currently has 17.3 million very loyal followers (yeah that’s A LOT), and more or less the same numbers on all of her social media accounts, so needless to say the world loves Ariana Grande.
*There were a lot of other awards that were not given out during the show that I wanted to include, but then the blog would have been A LOT longer, so to see a complete list, please check out 2014 Teen Choice Awards – News.
Demi Lovato ‘Really Don’t Care’:
Demi kicked off the show with her rendition of her hit song ‘Really Don’t Care’. She was dressed in a black leather jacket, and fitted black pants and top. Demi gave a very energetic performance which included a stage full of fun backup dancers that helped kick the show off on a high energy, fun vibe. Cher Lloyd appeared midway through the track (she is a featured artist on the song), and added even more energy to the performance. The crowd really seemed to love every minute of the number, and this performance definitely proved why this song won Demi ‘Choice Summer Song’ this year.
If you’ve listened to the radio this summer, then you know this hit song by ‘Magic!’. Rude has gone Platinum innumerous countries, as well as topping the charts all over the world. The band’s performance gave off a very relaxed vibe that perfectly matched the feel of the song. They also dressed in very casual clothing. You could really tell just how popular this band has become, due to the fact that they didn’t have to do very much to get the crowd involved and singing along to every word.
Rixton ‘Wait On Me’ and ‘Me and My Broken Heart’:
Next up we had a performance by the YouTube cover band turned Pop/R&B hit makers Rixton (if you want to learn all about this AMAZING band, please click the link to read the blog post I wrote about them here: YouTube Wednesday: Rixton, the band you will be fangirling/fanboying about ALL YEAR!!! | celindareyesblog). Rixton performed their newest single (and title track of their upcoming album) ‘Wait On Me’. The band was able to get the crowd really excited for the new song, and definitely built anticipation for their upcoming album. They then really got the crowd excited when they dove into their hit single ‘Me and My Broken Heart’, which has been ALL OVER the radio this year.
Becky G ‘Shower’:
Although Becky G was a last minute replacement artist (after Rita Ora was not able to perform), she pulled off the number with ease. She went very 90’s retro with her look, by pairing a white crop top with high waisted jeans, gold high tops, and a long plaid kimono style shirt. She also had a backboard that showed different colored smiley faces with a gap between the two front teeth (which is a play off of the gap that Becky had between her two front teeth, that haters often make fun of online).Becky has had tremendous success with this new single, and is definitely on her way to becoming a HUGE name in Pop/Rap music. This performance of ‘Shower’ truly showed off the full range of Becky’s talents, by showcasing her singing, raping, and dancing skills. Through this performance, Becky was able to not only win over the affection of the crowd, but was able to show that she is already a very talented, hardworking performer that is able to adapt to nay situation that is thrown at her (and this is even more impressive when you consider the fact that she’s only 17 years old).
Jason Derulo ‘Wiggle’ and ‘Talk Dirty’:
Jason Derulo closed the show with an exceptionally well executed performance of his hit tracks ‘Wiggle’ and ‘Talk Dirty’. The number was action packed and full of energy that excited the crowd. Jason was accompanied with numerous backup dancers, and special effects such as a police car appearing on stage, and dancers dressed as police officers. I definitely thought that this was the perfect artist to close a show that was full of fun, nonstop action.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to talk about two twin brothers that you will soon become COMPLETELY obsessed with. These guys can sing, play the guitar, write amazingly catchy songs, and will steal your hearts with their winning smiles and natural charisma. These astonishing musicians have gained a large, loyal fanbase, which includes: 26,862 YouTube subscribers, 410,200 ‘likes’ on Facebook, 171,100 followers on Twitter, and 41,000 followers on Instagram. People of the internet please allow me to introduce you to Caleb and Nathan Montgomery of ‘Alabama Capital’ (yay!!!).
Alabama Capital is a duo which consists of Caleb and Nathan Montgomery, twin brothers from Cincinnati, OH, who have quickly begun to make a name for themselves in the music industry. Caleb and Nathan began developing their musical skills at the tender age of 6, and quickly gained experience by performing anywhere they could, including family get-togethers, church gatherings and local music festivals. Due to their experiences being homeschooled as children, Caleb and Nathan were able to completely focus on their individual musical interests. Caleb gravitated towards the rhythm guitar, bass and piano and Nathan focused on mastering lead guitar licks and solos. Their hard work began to greatly pay off in the fall of 2011 when Grammy-nominated producer Shawn Campbell (one of the main people responsible for the discovery of pop sensation Cody Simpson, who was also found on YouTube) came across their YouTube videos. According to Alabama Capital’s Facebook page, Shawn Campbell has stated that he “was floored”, upon discovering the duo’s music, and that “Caleb and Nathan are in a class of their own. They are true artists and don’t need a lot of bells and whistles to create a great experience for music fans”. The upward momentum continued for Alabama Capital in June of 2012, when they were listed at #15 on Billboard’s ‘Next Big Sound 25’ chart. In October of 2012, Alabama Capital was featured and interviewed by J-14 Magazine (a popular teen magazine), as a part of their ‘Hot Band’ series (a series that features popular rising bands).
On March 19th, 2012 Alabama Capital uploaded their first cover video, which was a live version of One Direction’s first hit single ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ One Direction – “What Makes You Beautiful” (Alabama Capital cover) . The cover definitely showed off the duo’s immense talent as vocalists and guitarists. I loved that they were able to keep the upbeat, fun vibe that made the original song such a hit, but added their own unique flair that made the song sound as if it was actually their sing and not a cover. The next track that we are going to discuss is the duo’s rendition of Jesse McCartney’s hit song ‘Beautiful Soul’Alabama Capital – “Beautiful Soul” – Jesse McCartney (LIVE) , which was uploaded on July 9th, 2013 (you may now squeal! Ok, ok enough of that…ok one more minute to fangirl…ok let’s get serious). This cover just completely blew me away when I first listened to it (and it has been on repeat ever since). It really shows off the intense level in which this duo has mastered their craft (their guitar playing will leave you SPEECHLESS…absolutely speechless). It also allows for them to show off the R&B influence that sets them apart from other pop duos, and proves that there are no limitation regarding what Nathan and Caleb are able to do with their voices. Jesse McCartney is not an easy artist to cover, but this duo is able to make the track feel completely new again (which leads me to hope for a possible Alabama Capital and Jesse McCartney duet one day…it has to happen people, it just has to). The final cover video that we are going to discuss is their PHENOMINAL, SUPER AMAZING cover of Ariana Grande’s hit track ‘Problem’ Ariana Grande – Problem ft. Iggy Azalea cover by Alabama Capital – YouTube which was uploaded on June 12th, 2014, (even though I could honestly sit here and discuss all of their videos with y’all, I am completely serious, I am that addicted to their music). Ariana Grande is an artist that is VERY difficult to cover, so it is extremely hard to find really good covers of this song. However, Alabama Capital proves once again that no song or artist is too big or difficult for them. Nathan and Caleb keep the original R&B vibe of the track, but use their harmonies to keep the cover form sounding like a copy of Ariana’s version. Also, they put their guitar skills front and center, by adding a very cool (I mean I can’t even explain just how cool) guitar solo in the middle of the track (the part where Iggy Azalea, raps). If this video doesn’t prove just how gigantic Alabama Capital is going to become then I don’t know what will. If y’all check this cover out, I guarantee that you WILL completely fall in love with Alabama Capital’s music.
As if just having killer vocals and insanely unreal guitar skills were not enough, of course these guys have to further impress us by also showing their amazing songwriting abilities. Their first original track entitled ‘Self Made Millionaire’ Self Made Millionaire – Alabama Capital was uploaded on YouTube on March 6th, 2012. This beautiful love song conveys the story of loving someone fully and completely, to the extent that you feel like a millionaire even if you don’t have a cent. This song contains very beautiful lyrics, and is radio friendly. It certainly shows off the duo’s emotional depth, and is a track that is perfect for Valentine’s Day, a school dance, or just to listen to when you are completely in love and want to let everyone know it (even if your friends are tired of hearing it). They uploaded their next original song on March 20th, 2012. The track, entitled ‘Look At Her (Beautiful)’ “Look At Her” (“Beautiful”) – Alabama Capital – [UG Studios/Acoustic] is an extremely beautiful and heartfelt track that will keep you pressing the replay button. This track is about trying to make someone understand what makes them beautiful, even though they don’t believe it. I can definitely anticipate that this song will steal your heart (and time because you will constantly be playing it). After listening to both of these INCREDIBLE tracks, it is obvious that Caleb and Nathan know exactly how to write a song that their fans will fall in love with, and have molded their niche in the music industry.
So are you now completely addicted to their videos!?! You’re welcome! But seriously, I can definitely see big things on the horizon for this duo. They possess that rare talent of being able to instantly draw you in, and keep your full attention from the first note, to the last note. It’s really rare to find artists that are truly able to make you love every single song they perform, but Alabama Capital makes this task seem simple. SO if you’re not already a fan of this INCREDIBLE power duo (I find this very hard to believe), jump on the bandwagon NOW, and be prepared to spend hours and hours listening to their amazing YouTube covers and original music!
Keep up to date with Alabama Capital!!!:
Website: Alabama Capital
Facebook: Alabama Capital | Facebook
Instagram: alabamacapital on Instagram
Hey people of the internet!!! How is your Monday…I know everyone loves Monday!!! (you may now sarcastically laugh…ok that’s enough). On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to recap what happened at the first ever ‘I Heart Music Awards’…and A LOT happened so let’s get started! Now normally I talk about the host in a separate section, but this award show didn’t really have a single host and instead focused on using several different presenters. I think Pitbull served as the host (I’m not sure if that’s official or not) because he gave a very short monologue at the top of the show (after his performance). He mainly joked about the LA Clipper scandal (which is an NBA team for those of you who don’t know anything about sports…#NoShame). That was about it for the hosting duties…so let’s get the awards (yay!).
Hip-Hop/R&B Song of the Year:
‘Pour it Out’ by Rihanna:
This was definitely a tough category, but if we’re being completely honest, it’s hard for Rihanna to lose anything. Why you ask? Well first of all she’s Rihanna which means she’s awesome, and secondly this year she’s had hit after hit from her latest album ‘Unapologetic’ (which charted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart). So it’s easy to see why Rihanna deserved this award.
‘Timber’ by Pitbull feat. Ke$ha
‘Timber’ was performed at the top of the show (which I will speak about later…get excited!), and was certainly a crowd favorite. But, this is no surprise since it did chart at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart(as well as #1 on numerous other charts all over the world). Ke$ha also has a record of releasing numerous hit singles, so when you get two powerhouses together, you can’t expect anything else but collaboration gold.
‘Wrecking Ball’ by Miley Cyrus
Now if there is an artist who has had an intense year, it’s Miley. If you’ve ever listened to ‘Wrecking Ball’, then you know that the song is full of angst and sadness, and the perfect song to cry to while eating a tub of ice cream. I think that any song that can make you think this much definitely contains some AMAZING lyrics.
Best New Artist:
She’s 17, won two Grammys for her first single, which she co-wrote…yeah I would say that Lorde is the best new artist. She has also been able to make history in her home country of New Zealand by being the first solo act to get a debut single to chart #1 in the U.S. With all of this early success, I can only imagine what this young artist will achieve next.
Best Fan Army:
Rihanna (Rihanna’s Navy)
It’s no surprise that Rihanna won this award, because in order to have the success that she has had, you have to have a fiercely loyal fanbase. In her career thus far, Rihanna has been able to conquer music, movies, and has become a fashion icon for millions. ‘Rihanna’s Navy’ definitely came through on this one, and proved why they deserve this award.
With 3,803,044 VERY loyal instagram followers (and that’s just as of May 5, 2014), it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Austin took home this award. This talented young musician has been taking award shows (particularly fan voted award shows) by storm this year, and has proven that he is ready for a mainstream pop career. With the release of his debut album ‘The Secret’ expected to drop later this month, I definitely think that Austin needs to make sure he has plenty of room in his trophy case.
Young Influencer Award:
She’s stared in a hit all teen Broadway production, on two hit Nickelodeon TV shows, and has now made her mark on Pop/R&B music (even drawing comparisons to Mariah Carey…yeah that’s intense), so you would think that it would be no surprise that Ariana received this award. However, it’s not only her impossibly perfect talent that has influence her fans, but also the fact that Ariana has cultivated a very intense connection with them, and even admits to becoming friends with some her fans after meeting them on Twitter. With such a close connection to their idol, it’s no surprise that Ariana is a large influence on her fans.
Alternative Rock Song of the Year:
‘Demons’ by Imagine Dragons
Ever since this song dropped on October 22nd, 2013 it has controlled the airwaves, and has continued to launch alternative rock band Imagine Dragons into the spotlight. This band continues to prove that they can release hit after hit (they even won a Grammy last year for their song ‘Radioactive’), so it’s easy to see how ‘Demons’ had a great chance of becoming the mega hit it has become.
Song of the Year:
‘Stay’ by Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko
Do I really need to explain why this song won? If you own a radio then you know what a huge hit this has been for Rihanna and Mikky Ekko. This track has charted at #1 in numerous countries, and has been acclaimed by critics. Since this track followed up Rihanna’s very popular hit ‘Diamonds’, you know it had to be catchy, relatable, and still hold a bit of that edge that sets Rihanna apart from other radio artists. This song certainly delivers and also proves that Rihanna is more than capable of digging deep and delivering emotionally driven songs with truthfulness and passion.
Best Country Song:
Blake Shelton ‘Boys ‘Round Here’
Country superstar Blake Shelton has certainly had a huge hit with this track. It was a fun direction for Blake, but it also didn’t tray from the sound that has made his fans fall in love with him. The track reached #1 on the ‘U.S Billboard Country Airplay’, and was praised by critics for “taking a chance” with its’ sound.
EDM Song of the Year:
‘Wake Me Up’ by Avicii
If you didn’t know who this Swedish DJ/Producer was before, then you definitely knew who he was after the song was released on June 17th, 2013. This song not only launched Avicii, but also singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc (who co-wrote the track with Avicii). This song has definitely helped Avicii launch himself into the forefront of the rising EDM culture in mainstream music.
Until recently you may or not have known who this producer/singer/songwriter is but this year we all relieved a crash course in Pharrell 101. For nearly a decade, Pharrell has produced hits for artists such as: Gwen Stefani, Snoop Dogg, Nelly, Kanye West, Pitbull, Maroon 5, Fall Out Boy, Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, etc. Pharrell has been well known for years in the music industry, as an innovator due to his experimentation with different sounds, and his collaborations with artists from very diverse genres. Lately, Pharrell has taken his creativity to a new level, and is now also well known for his vocal ability and onstage showmanship (as well as his famous brown hat from the Grammys…you know which one). With such an established history and bright future, it is obvious that Pharrell will continue to make a lasting impression on the music industry.
Artist of the Year:
I think we’ve gone through all the reasons why Rihanna is the artist of the year. I mean with hit track after hit track, and the deep love of her fans, I don’t think that any other artist could have received this award.
Pitbull & G.R.L.:
Pitbull and American/British/Canadian girl group G.R.L. (which was formed by the ‘Pussycat Dolls’ mastermind Robin Antin), performed their new track ‘Wild Wild Love’. The members of G.R.L. wore cool black leather short shorts and some wore fun dresses. Pitbull wore a coral jacket with a peach shirt and white pants. The back screen displayed a brown sky, with small white clouds. The staging also included lots of flashing lights that got the crowd excited. As ‘Wild Wild Love’ ended, Pitbull began performing his hit track ‘Timber’. For this performance, dancers came out and added an energy boost to the already high energy performance. This was definitely a fun way to start the show.
Country superstar kept the energy high by performing his 200 hit ‘My Kinda Night’. Luke kept his outfit casual by wearing skinny jeans, a black t-shirt, and matching black baseball cap. His staging included lots if cool spotlights shooting out throughout the stage. Luke also brought his showmanship to the table by showing off fun dance moves, and interacting with the fans. He’s performance definitely made this our “kinda night”. Good job Luke!
Now if you own a radio and do not live under a rock, you know who Bastille is, and you’re guilty of car singing their hit ‘Pompeii’ one too many times( it’s ok we’ve all done it…and the song is definitely awesome enough to warrant that crazy look random strangers on the road give you as you’re driving). Bastille gave an amazing performance that included lots of cool flashing lights, and the lead singer assisting on the drums at different points of the song. The performance made an impression by being very memorable, and so intriguing that you couldn’t look away. I think that this performance proved that Bastille will become as famous as they want to be (yes it was THAT amazing!).
Ed Sheeran began his performance with an up tempo version of his 2012 (2011 in the U.K.) hit ‘The A Team’. The performance was shown via satellite from the ‘Hotel Cafe’ in Los Angeles, CA. He followed up this song with his newest hit ‘Sing’, which not only showed off his amazing vocal abilities, but also his guitar skills. It was a very fun performance to watch, and further cemented why Ed’s talent has been able to capture his fans’ hearts.
Ariana began her performance with her breakout hit ‘The Way’ (which you have DEFINITELY had hairbrush karaoke sessions too). Ariana came out wearing a black jazz with knee-high white go-go dancing style boots. She was accompanied by several male dancers who wore white shorts and black dress coats, enter background singers wore black dresses that matched Ariana dress except they wore black boots. The back screen had ‘Ariana’ written in large bright lights. As always, Ariana gave spectacular performance of ‘The Way’. She then changed into a sparkly black dress, her background singers wore black pants and white mid drifts, and her background dancers wore black shirts (some wore white shorts) and no shirts. After changing, Ariana sang her new hit song ‘Problem’, which of course she sang flawlessly, which warranted cheers from the crowd.
The most anticipated performance of the night was definitely the premiere of Michael Jackson’s debut single ‘Love Never Felt so Good’ off of his second posthumous (which means that it was released after his death) album ‘Xscape’. The track features Justin Timberlake, and was previously recorded by Johnny Mathis in 1984. The performance was really intricate, with numerous dancers who were dressed like Michael, and danced along with video of clips of Michael (which were shown on the back screens). Usher came out as the song began and danced along with the other dancers. It was really cool to see all of these talented dancers pay homage to Michael Jackson, and celebrate his work. The performance ended with a large poster falling over the screen, with the cover of Michael’s album on it. This was definitely the crowd favorite performance of the night.
Hip-Hop/Rap artist was up next with his track ‘California Love’. He wore a baseball cap, blue jeans, and a cool jacket. Before his performance he did a testimony about seeing a Dr. Dre and Tupac shoot a music video in his hometown of Compton, CA. His song gave off a very 80s meets Run DMC meets Will Smith vibe, and the performer was a lot of fun to watch.
30 Seconds to Mars:
30 Seconds to Mars performed their new song ‘City of Angels’ (I’ll give you one chance to guess which city the song is about…well go on take a guess…you know you know it). The performance included testimonies from celebrities and regular people trying to have a career in LA on the good and bad things about the city (these testimonies were also in the band’s music video for the song). The performance had a very haunting vibe about it, and ended with a superman impersonator saying, “Do I think I’ll make it in the industry? Only if I keep believing”.
Next Shakira performed her new song ‘Empire’. The staging was very elaborate and perfectly matched the vibe of the song. The back screen had images of leaves falling behind a black background that alternated between black, pink, and yellow. Then once the chorus hit, colored smoke was released. Shakiest certainly got really into her performance, which made the crowd go crazy for her. Shakira also brought a very rock and road vibe to her performance at one point, when he grabbed her mic stand, turned it upside down, and sang into it while holding the mic above her head. It was a very fun and unforgettable performance to watch.
Next up was Blake Shelton who performed his new track ‘Doing What She Likes’. The staging was very simple, with a back screen that changed colors from blue to yellow, with the image of a palm tree on the screen. Blake accompanied his band on the guitar, and definitely gave a fun performance that the audience just loved.
Arcade Fire performed their track ‘Normal Person’ (which was shown via video). Their performance included cool purple lights that lit up the stage, and the audience wearing cool foam fingers. This high energy performance was a lot of fun to watch, and continued the high energy trend that ruled the evening.
The last performance of the night was given by Pharrell Williams who did a medley of several of his hit tracks. He began his performance with his track ‘Come Get it Bae’ off of his album ‘GIRL’. The staging was definitely the most elaborate of the night, and included multiple stages, and numerous dancers who wore very futuristic ‘Jetsons’ style outfits. The next song that was performed was the 2013 hit ‘Blurred Lines’. While singing this song, Pharrell went into the area that the celebrities were sitting, and sang to them. The next song that was performed was another big hit from 2013 entitled ‘Get Lucky’. While this track played, the dancers went into a circle of mirrors and danced to the song. The finally song that was fine was ‘Happy’ (which was included in the ‘Despicable Me’ soundtrack, as well as ‘GIRL’). The dancers reemerge in letterman jackets, which have them a very 50s vibe, and was a nice finishing touch to an amazing number.
This award show also contained numerous testimonies from artists such as Iggy Azalea, Coldplay, John Legend, Lady Gaga, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Pete Wentz of Fallout Boy, Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Rita Ora, and many more. the artists spoke about their experiences in LA, their first times encountering the city, and the lessons that they’ve learned from their failures and triumphs in the music business.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ blog, we will be discussing an artist that has had an amazing year, and that I feel you need to keep an eye on her next year. Now who is this artist you ask? I’m glad you asked that! It’s the multitalented Ariana Grande (Cue the clapping!!!!!) 2013 was a very good year for Ariana, but she has worked for years to get to this point in her life, and she certainly deserves all the success she has had. So if for some strange reason you don’t know who Ariana Grande is, you will definitely know about her after you read this blog. Ready!? Well then let’s get started!
Ariana was born on June 26th, 1993 in Boca Raton, FL. She began performing in local theater production and at local sporting events at a young age, and even at this time, she had an amazing voice, as well as a comfort and ease in front of large crowds. Here’s a link to a video of a then 8 year old Ariana performing the national anthem at Chicago Blackhawks vs. Florida Panthers hockey game in Sunrise, FL Ariana Grande at 8 years old singing National Anthem – YouTube (Watch the video and you’ll be impressed…did you watch it? It was great right?) In 2008 Ariana began work on the Jason Robert Brown musical 13 (which was a show that had a 105 performance run on Broadway). She played the character of ‘Charlotte’, and sang 3 songs (which included: ‘It Can’t Be True’, ‘A Little More Homework’, and ‘Brand New You’) on the show’s album.
In March of 2010 Ariana made her debut as a main cast member on the new Nickelodeon show ‘Victorious’ (the show stared Nickelodeon alum Victoria Justice, and Ariana’s former ‘13’ costar Elizabeth Gillies was also a part of the cast). Ariana played the role of ‘Cat Valentine’ on the show until ‘Victorious ended in February of 2013. ‘Victorious’ creator Dan Schneider was so impressed by Ariana’s work and fan reception on ‘Victorious’, that he cast her in a spin-off show called ‘Sam & Cat’, which also included ‘iCarly’ (another highly successful Nickelodeon show) alum Jennette McCurdy (who plays Sam on the girls spin-off show). ‘Sam and Cat’ aired in June of 2013, and is a situational comedy, which has been a huge hit for the network thus far. In August of 2013, Ariana starred as ‘Amanda Benson’, in the Nickelodeon movie ‘Swindle’.
Although Ariana has had great success as an actress, she is also an accomplished singer. She released a single in December of 2011 called ‘Put Your Hearts Up’, which was a pop song about how doing small good deeds can cause big changes in the world (Here’s a link to a lyric video of the song Ariana Grande – Put Your Hearts Up (+ Lyrics) – YouTube, I highly suggest checking out his song, it’s very inspirational and well sung). Ariana has also released many amazing covers over the past few years, such as a rendition of Mariah Carey’s hit ‘Emotions’( Emotions – Ariana Grande (Mariah Carey cover) – YouTube), Leona Lewis’ track ‘Bleeding Love (’Bleeding Love – Ariana Grande – YouTube), and Alicia Key’s hit track ‘If I ain’t got you’ (‘If I Ain’t Got You’ Ariana Grande 🙂). On September 3rd, 2013, Ariana released her debut album ‘Yours Truly’ through Republic Records. ‘Yours Truly’ sold 138,000 copies in it, making Ariana the first female artist since January 2010 (when Ke$ha’s album ‘Animal’) to have a #1 debut album. The overall sound of this album was much more R&B than Ariana’s previous song ‘Put Your Hearts Up’, and has caused her to be compared to strong female vocalist, such as Mariah Carey. Ariana has performed on numerous shows such as ‘The Today Show’, ‘Dancing with the Stars’, and the ‘MTV Video Music Awards’ pre-show. Ariana performed her song ‘Tattooed Heart’ at the 2013 American Music Awards, and also won ‘New Artist of the Year’ at the award show (here’s a link so y’all can see how awesome she was: .Ariana Grande performing at AMAs – YouTube). Ariana also released
2013 has certainly been an extraordinary year for Ariana Grande, and I foresee 2014 being an even better year for her. It is rumored that Ariana will release another album in 2014, and her show ‘Sam & Cat’ is still one of Nickelodeon’s highest rated shows. Ariana Grande has defiantly proven in the last year that she is Hollywood’s newest “It” girl, and she certainly has the talent and fan base for a long and fruitful career.