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).
Hey people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog post, we are going to talk about rising YouTube music superstar Mackenzie Johnson. Mackenzie is a 21 year old singer/songwriter from Philadelphia, PA that you will become OBSESSED with. She is not only a talented vocalist and guitarist, but also has the unique ability to make you fall in love with her music instantly. I have honestly spent the last few days listening to all of her covers and original music on repeat, and am so excited to share her channel with y’all. So please read on to discover your new favorite artist!
The first cover that we’re going to talk about is Mackenzie’s rendition of Skyscraper by Demi Lovato, which was uploaded on August 14th, 2011 (here’s the link Skyscraper – Demi Lovato Cover). I really love that this was one of Mackenzie’s first covers, because it really showed off her talent, showmanship, and level of artistry. Through this cover we got to learn that Mackenzie has an INCREDIBLE voice and can sing live while accompanying herself on the guitar. It’s hard enough to sing as well as Mackenzie does, and then when you add in the fact that she has to divide her mind between her voice and the guitar, it’s just becomes crazy that one person can be so talented. Another thing that I find important for musicians, who post covers on YouTube, is that they need to be able to find the right balance between not copying the original artist 100%, and maintaining what fans love about the original version of the song. Mackenzie is able to make her covers unique, and her natural ability to keep your attention throughout the song, proves that she has the ability to be a competitive artist in the music industry. The next cover that we’re going to talk about is Mackenzie’s cover of TLC’s hit song No Scrubs (here’s the link: No Scrubs – TLC Cover), which was uploaded on November 22nd, 2013. I really loved that she did a cover of this song, because it was a fun change from some of the other covers that she had uploaded at that point. I think that this cover really shows another layer of Mackenzie’s artistry, and proves that she can sing just about anything. I also loved that we got to really see her skills as a rapper in a song that is not easy for one person to cover. If you think about it, TLC was made up of 3 incredibly talented women who each used their individual skills to make magic, so it’s really awesome to see 1 person take on all 3 parts and do really well. I just fell completely in love with this cover. The final cover that we’re going to discuss is Mackenzie’s rendition of Fallin’ by Alicia Keys (here’s the link: Fallin’ – Alicia Keys Cover), which was uploaded on January 12th, 2015. This has to be one of my favorite covers that Mackenzie has done (which is saying a lot because I am ADDICTED to her channel). I really love that we’re able to truly see the just how well Mackenzie is able to control her pitch and still slay those big notes that have made this song a fan favorite. This is a very unforgiving song that not everyone can cover, so I was seriously impressed when I heard this cover. This was the first video that I saw on Mackenzie’s channel, and it instantly drew me in and made me want to hear more from her. I promise that once you heard this cover, you will not be able to turn away.
The first original song that Mackenzie uploaded on YouTube was entitled The Way We Love, and was uploaded on October 24th, 2011. Mackenzie says in the beginning of the video that this song is about a cute relationship that her friend was in. I love this song because it’s so sweet and has a very classic Taylor Swift vibe to it. This song honestly makes you feel like you’re in a Nicholas Sparks movie, and is just so amazing you will find yourself listening to it every day. I thought that this was a very good choice as Mackenzie’s debut original song in YouTube. It is also the perfect song for right now since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. The other Mackenzie original that we’re going to talk about is her song What I Want, which was uploaded on December 1st, 2014. This song has a really cool Jason Mraz meets Ed Sheeran feel to it that would definitely be a radio favorite. I also love that this song tells a really awesome story about a person who has been torn down by others so much that the person has always felt like they shouldn’t follow their dreams, but is now realizing that life is too short for fear. This is definitely a song that I think we can all relate to.
Keep up with everything Mackenzie is doing:
YouTube: Mackenzie Johnson
Instagram: Mackenzie Johnson (@mackenziemusic)