Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’, we are going to recap the ‘2015 Billboard Music Awards’ (yay!!!). This year’s ‘Billboard Music Awards’ were hosted by rapper/actor Ludacris, and model Chrissy Teigen, and was definitely a show that we’ll be talking about for the rest of the year. One part of the show that we were all looking forward to was the premiere of Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’ music video. With a large cast of celebrities such as: model/actress Cara Delevingne, supermodel Cindy Crawford, and actresses Hailee Steinfeld, Selena Gomez, Lena Dunham, Zendaya, and many more. The music video was very action packed and had a very cool futuristic spy feel to it. This video was definitely unlike anything we have seen from Taylor, and really shows her evolution as an artist. Not only is Taylor an inspiration to all aspiring popstars out there, her impressive new video may also inspire any up and coming videographers that want to have their own success within the music industry. It can be tough to make waves in the music video scene, but one potential way to get ahead is by having the very best equipment in order to obtain the best shots possible. As a director, you could do this by investing in something like the Mavic Mini drone, as this could allow you to get shots that none of your competitors will be able to keep up with, and you may find yourself directing your own Taylor Swift video one day. Now let’s move on to the awards, and finally the performances (I’m only going to include a few of the awards & performances that were shown during the show, because if I included everything, I would have y’all here all day. If you want to see the full list of winners and performances, check out billboard.com). So are y’all ready? Ok, let’s go!
Top Duo or Group: One Direction
We all had to see this one coming because One Direction has been an unstoppable force ever since their first single dropped in the U.S. They have won tons of awards, broken numerous records, and were recently named the first band in U.S. Billboard history to have their first four debut albums debut at #1.
Top Billboard 200 Album: 1989 by Taylor Swift
Ok now we all know how well 1989 did this year, but honestly what else would you expect from Taylor Swift!?! With hit singles that stayed in our heads all year like Shake It Off, Blank Space, and Style, it’s no wonder that 1989 has ruled 2015 so far.
Top Male Artist: Sam Smith
Now if you’ve listened to the radio at all this year, you are very familiar with Sam Smith’s music. His debut album ‘In The Lonely Hour’ went platinum, and won Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2015 Grammy Awards. Needless to say he’s had an AMAZING year.
Top Female Artist: Taylor Swift
With the success of 1989, it’s obvious that Taylor Swift would have a great chance of winning this award so I honestly don’t think that anyone would be surprised here.
Top Hot 100 Song: ‘All About That Bass’ by Meghan Trainor
Now you know you’ve been singing along to this one ever since it first came out. The fact that ‘All About That Bass’ has gone platinum 6 times in the U.S. definitely proves that Meghan deserves this award. I honestly don’t see this song’s popularity dwindling, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Top Artist: Taylor Swift
Again it’s Taylor Swift, she seriously ruled the radio waves this year so none of us are even surprised here.
Nick Jonas ‘Jealous’:
So first of all we have to talk about is Nick Jonas’ performance of ‘Jealous’. This song was a really big hit for Nick this year, and the excitement of the crowd showed that this song is still a hit with fans. This performance had a lot of cool elements to it, such as awesome backboard graphics that really made this performance stand out. All in all this was a really cool performance that fans loved from beginning to end.
Mariah Carey ‘Vision of Love’ & ‘Infinity’:
Mariah Carey wowed us next with a performance that had everyone’s attention. She began her performance with her debut hit single ‘Vision of Love’, which is a song that we all still hold near and dear to our hearts. Next up we got to hear her new track ‘Infinity’. This performance definitely showed that Mariah is still able to impact is with her music, and will be an artist that we’ll keep coming back to for infinity.
Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth ‘See You Again’:
Ok now this is a song that we all have had on repeat for a while now and honestly you have to admit that you still cry whenever you hear it (Honestly how many times have you seen that music video featuring Paul Walker and just started to cry. #RIPPaulWalker). At the award show Wiz and Charlie were joined by YouTube star Lindsey Sterling who, as usual, blew us away with her amazing violin skills as. The vibe of the performance was very intimate and chilled which definitely made us all want to seriously cry. The emotionally charged lyrics were definitely front and center during this performance, due to Charlie and Wiz’s ability to deliver the song in a way that made us all feel the message of the song (seriously when Charlie started choking up during the song, I thought that I was going to lose it).
Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea ‘Pretty Girls’:
This was another performance that everyone was looking forward too, because we love Britney, and we love Iggy, so when you put them together it’s just perf! This performance had a very 80s feel to it, and was such a fun number to watch. It was so interesting to see these two collab because their musical styles are so different, so it’s exciting to see what they will each do next.
Tori Kelly ‘Nobody Love’:
The ‘Kia One To Watch Artist’ Tori Kelly was up next, and she really showed how talented she truly is. It was amazing to see her completely captivate the audience without any special staging or effects. It really made you feel like you were able to personally connect with Tori and fall even more in love with her music. This performance made me really excited to see what’s next for her.
Simple Minds ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me):
This was certainly one of the night’s most talked about performance, due to the fact that the cult classic movie ‘The Breakfast Club’ turned 30 this year. This performance had a very rock concert sort of vibe and the crowd was just completely hooked from beginning to end. It’s really fun to see so many different people rocking out to their favorite song, and the energy was definitely brought up A LOT during the this performance.
Imagine Dragons ‘Stand By Me’ (Ben E. King cover):
The last performance that we’re going to discuss is Imagine Dragon’s amazing performance of ‘Stand By Me’. This is a song that we all know and love, so it was so great to see that Imagine Dragons did their best to keep the original feel of the song intact, and molded their musical style to best fit the song. This was another tear jerking moment due to Ben E. King’s tragic passing recently, but I thought that this was a beautiful way for his incredible talent to be honored.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss all of the memorable moments from last night’s 2014 VMAs. The show was jam packed with breathtaking performances, awards presented to amazing acts, and other memorable and tear-jerking moments. So if y’all are ready, let’s not waste any more time and dive right in!
VMA Pre-Show & Memorable Moments:
The VMA pre-show was full of so much fun, it felt like a show within itself. The show was co-hosted by ‘Pretty Little Liars’ star/Country music singer/songwriter Lucy Hale, and MTV correspondents Sway & Christina Garibaldi. The trio interviewed a lot of amazing stars during the pre-show, and even got to speak to ‘Teen Wolf’ star Dylan O’Brien, regarding his highly anticipated film ‘The Maze Runner’. Pop singer/songwriter/rapper Becky G and beauty/fashion/lifestyle YouTube guru Ingrid Nilsen (aka Missglamorazzi, you can find a blog post about her here: YouTube Wednesday: Missglamorazzi…the beauty/fashion/health guru who likes her glamour with a side of fun! | celindareyesblog) served as the Covergirl ‘InstaGLAM’ correspondents for the pre-show, and helped us keep track of some of the fun fashions of the night. A moment during the pre-show that definitely had our heads spinning with nostalgia, was when Katy Perry and rapper Riff Raff wore all denim outfits inspired by Britney Spears’ and Justin Timberlake’s famous 2001 American Music Awards outfits (even though Britney and Justin are no longer one of Pop music’s most beloved couples). Another moment that I want to mention right now (even though it happened during the actual show) was Miley Cyrus’ ‘Video of the Year’ win, where she allowed a homeless young man named Jesse accept the award on behalf of all of the homeless young people in the LA area. Jesse also told the audience where they could go and learn more about the issue of homeless and runaway youths. There was also a short tribute to the late actor Robin Williams during the actual VMA show, which displayed a picture of the actor while a beautiful song played in the background. Last but surely not least, let’s talk about the pre-show performances!
The girl group/former ‘X-Factor’ contestants went on to win the ‘Artist to Watch’ award later in the show, but before that, they gave a crowd pleasing rendition of their latest hit single ‘BO$$’. The girls wore different combinations of dressy skirts, pants, and tops, and were aided in their performance by dancers who wore all white outfits. Some of their dancers also carried red trumpets, which added an overall cool vibe to the performance. With the deafening sound of Fifth Harmony’s fans (aka Harmonizers), it was no surprise that the group took home their first VMA award last night.
The singer/songwriter behind the infectious song ‘Boom Clap’ (which was featured on both the film and the trailer for one of the summer’s most anticipated films ‘The Fault in Our Stars’), took the stage after Fifth Harmony, and definitely had the aid of the energetic crowd on her side. Charli wore a light colored dress with a feathered coat, and in the middle of her performance left the first stage, walked on a runway that went through the crowd, and walked onto a smaller second stage. As Charli walked, her steps coordinated with the beating of her drummers, which gave off a very cool effect that just hyped up the crowd even more. At the end of her performance, Charli presented a random fan with a ticket to the VMAs, and the crowd went even wilder.
Winners (these were awards that were presented during the actual award show or during the pre-show, for a full list of the winners please go here 2014 Video Music Awards Winners And Results | VMAs | MTV):
Best Lyric Video: ‘Don’t Stop’ by 5 Seconds of Summer
With the success of their 2014 summer smash ‘She Looks So Perfect’, and follow up hits such as ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘Amnesia’, it is obvious that this band was definitely a contender for both of the awards that they were nominated for last night. Although they didn’t win the ‘Artist to Watch’ award, the fact that the band did win ‘Best Lyric’ video, proved just how dedicated 5 Seconds of Summer’s fans are. Also, the ‘Don’t Stop’ video was definitely very interesting and intricate, (I mean the entire video was a giant comic book, how cool is that!?!).
Best Female Video: ‘Dark Horse’ by Katy Perry feat. Juicy J
Ever since this song was released as Katy Perry’s 3rd single off of her latest album ‘Prism’, the song has become an instant hit for Katy. The song has peaked within the top 10 in A LOT of countries, and has gone double, triple, and even sextuple (which means 6 times) platinum. The video also currently has 545,027,017 views, and it’s only been up for 6 months, so that’s REALLY impressive.
Best Male Video: ‘Sing’ by Ed Sheeran
Ok, let’s just take a moment to discuss ‘Sing’. After Ed stole our hearts with his emotional tracks ‘A Team’ and ‘Lego House’ we taught we knew what Ed was about, but then he surprised us with this song off of his latest album ‘X’. ‘Sing’ is a really fun, upbeat pop/jazzy/hip-hop song that definitely showed a new side to the singer/songwriter. With Pharrell Williams (who has had an enviable career that has spanned since the early 90s), serving as a producer and backup vocalist on this song, it was a guaranteed smash from the start. Now as if the song alone wasn’t enough, Ed added the extra touch of him in puppet form…seriously who can dislike a puppet!?! So needless to say, Ed certainly had a great shot at taking home this particular award.
Best Pop Video: ‘Problem’ by Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea
Now it was enviable that Ariana wasn’t going to walk away last night empty handed. She has arguably become the fastest rising young star in the music industry this year, and it seems that she is only on her way up. With hits such as: ‘The Way’ (which was actually released in 2013), ‘Break Free’, her newest soon to be hit single ‘Bang Bang’, and of course ‘Problem’ (which arguably is one of the biggest hits of the summer of 2014), it is easy to see that Ariana was going to be a tough act to beat. The video is also very cool, and uses a meticulously put together 70’s vibe that gives it an interesting flair. I have to say that this was definitely a standout video this year, so it definitely deserved this award.
Best Hip-Hop Video: ‘Hold On, (We’re Going Home)’ by Drake feat. Majid Jordan
With big names such as: Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, and others, Drake was definitely in for a fight for this award. However, there is no denying that Drake has become a HUGE name in Hip-Hop over the past few years, and the success of ‘Hold On’ has definitely aided him in this. The song has also gone Gold and Platinum in numerous countries (double Platinum in the U.S.). Honestly if you wanted a definition of “cool” then this would be the perfect example, because this video just screams cool. The simplicity of the video is what I really like about it, and this definitely makes this video unique.
Best Rock Video: ‘Royals’ by Lorde
It still amazes me just how much of a whirlwind career Lorde has already had. At just 17 this young star has a resume that many seasoned musicians would envy. Her debut single ‘Royals’ definitely made a powerful and lasting impact for the singer/songwriter, and has already been certified platinum (many, many times over) in numerous countries. I found that the music video for ‘Royals’ was exceptional, because the concept is very simple, which perfectly matches the vibe and lyrical content of the song. I think that the fact that the video is not overly flashy only adds to the song’s power.
Artist to Watch: Fifth Harmony ‘Miss Movin On’
Ever since music mogul Simon Cowell put this INCREDIBLE girl group together Fifth Harmony has acculturated a fiercely loyal fan base. Although they did not win their season of the ‘X Factor’, the girl group was signed to Syco Records, and has had great success with all of their projects. In fact, their song ‘Miss Movin On’ has been charted in numerous countries, and has made the group arguably one of the most successful acts to come off of the ‘X Factor’ franchise. I personally love their video for the song, because it’s fun, and full of sassy attitude, which perfectly matches the tone of the song.
Video of the Year: ‘Wrecking Ball’ by Miley Cyrus
Needless to say, this song was a hit for Miley, but the video is what really seemed to capture people’s attention. Before dropping her latest album ‘Bangerz’, Miley was best known for her hit Disney Channel show ‘Hannah Montana’. Miley’s lead single ‘We Can’t Stop’ quickly showed that she was headed in a new direction with her music and her sophomore hit ‘Wrecking Ball’ left no doubt that Miley had left Hannah behind for good. The greatest evidence of this change was definitely ’Wrecking Ball’ video, which had Miley showing her vulnerable side by swinging on a wrecking ball naked, crying in some frames of the videos, and destroying her setting in other frames. The video certainly left an intense and lasting impact that definitely warrants the title of ‘Video of the Year’.
Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award: Beyoncé
I mean what can really be said about Beyoncé’s career? With a resume that spans nearly 2 decades, Beyoncé has certainly made a lasting impact on Pop music. She first won the hearts of fans as a part of the highly successful girl group ‘Destiny’s Child’(which have left the legacy of being one of the world best selling girl groups of all time), and then went on to form a very fruitful solo career. In her entire career, Beyoncé has managed to win 479 awards, which include: 17 Grammys, 18 Billboard Music Awards, 18 MTV VMA Awards, and numerous others. Needless to say, it’s a good time to be Beyoncé right now!
The powerhouse vocalist that has been dominating 2014 thus far definitely showed everyone last night that she is a powerful, long lasting presence, with her unforgettable performance of her latest single ‘Break Free’ (which features EDM superstar DJ Zedd). Ariana’s performance had a futuristic/outer space setting, where she came out of a spaceship, in a frilly pink dress and boots, and dances with her dancers (who also had space themed outfits.
Hip-Hop rapper/singer/songwriter Nicki Minaj was up next, with a crowd pleasing performance of her latest hit ‘Anaconda’. Nicki wore a green one piece suit, and had a lot of cool acrobatic dancers performing tricks above the stage. Nicki and her dancers then kept up the VMA tradition that was set by Miley Cyrus last year, and participated in a lot of twerking. This definitely got the audience very hyped up, and the energy continued to rise.
Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and Jessie J:
Next up, singer/songwriter Jessie J came on stage and began singing one of Ariana’s newest tracks ‘Bang Bang’ (which features Jessie and Nicki). Ariana and Nicki finally remerged, and began performing their parts of the song. Even though Nicki had a slight wardrobe malfunction during the performance, she still handled it like a pro. The audience certainly loved the world premiere of the song, and it is obvious that this will likely be another song that all three artists will receive a lot of acclaim for.
The next performance was given by Taylor Swift, who performed her newest (and first purely pop hit) ‘Shake It Off’. Taylor wore a cool sparkly two piece (a matching skirt and top), that resembled a very modern flapper look. She also had backup singers that wore black colored dresses of the same style, and male dancers in tuxedos. Taylor also had a funny moment in her performance, in which she “refused” to jump of a large sign that read 1989 (the name of her next album), and climbed to the bottom of the sign in order to finish the number.
Sam Smith was the next performer, and he definitely proved just how hard he can pull at our heartstrings (which is one of the many reasons why we love him). He wore all black, and had a very simple setting, with just one pianist, and a single spotlight on both him and the pianist. This performance definitely played up the song’s deep emotional content, and instantly captivated the audience from beginning to end.
Usher performed his newest song ‘She Came To Give It To You’ (which featured Nicki Minaj) next. The performance started with Usher dressed in white dancing for a few seconds. The stage then lit up, and Usher’s entire band materialized (also dressed in white). Usher continued his performance with a golden mic and stand, which gave the whole performance a very cool vibe. During the performance Nicki Minaj came out onto the stage (also dressed in white), came out and danced with Usher and later twerked with one of his guitar players.
5 Seconds of Summer:
The next performance of the night was ‘Best Lyric Video’ winners 5 Seconds of Summer. The band played their newest hit song ‘Amnesia’, and it was easy to see that the crowd absolutely adored them. The band wore very casual outfits (jeans and t-shirts), and definitely brought back an old 90s grunge vibe to their performance.
Next up was multiple VMA nominee Iggy Azalea, who performed her latest hit track ‘Black Widow’ with singer/songwriter Rita Ora. Both entertainers were dressed in dresses that contained web like patterns, and the stage contained multiple ballerinas that were dressed in black and red tutus, with black mesh like fabric around their faces and bodies. The whole performance definitely had a haunted effect that made it very intriguing to watch.
Next up was rock band Maroon 5 (which is fronted by lead singer/’The Voice’ coach Adam Levine. The band performed their newest single ‘Maps’, and proved that they still have super devoted fans that go crazy merely at the sight of the band. The stage contained a giant capitalized ‘M’ (which has become the band’s signature logo), and the band dressed very casual (Adam wore a Los Angeles Lakers jersey and black jeans). The band brought a lot of energy to their performance, and also played their hit song ‘One More Night’ after the next award was presented.
The last performance of the night (and arguably the most anticipated), was Beyoncé’s performance before she accepted her ‘Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award’. Beyoncé’s performance definitely felt more like a mini-concert, and had her fans going wild. She had multiple costumes, and had her dancers do everything from hip-hop dancing, pole dancing, twerking, and various other complex routines. There was also an excellent use of various types of lighting, which added to how meticulously thought out the performance was. Beyoncé also had several moments in which she was alone on stage singing, and in these moments proved just how impactful of an entertainer she is, and why her fans love her. It would honestly take A LOT of pages to explain every single aspect of the performance, so to sum it up, the performance was certainly a once in a lifetime VMA moment that viewers will definitely not forget. Perhaps the tenderest moment of the performance was the last number, in which Beyoncé sang as photos of her daughter Blue Ivy, and her husband Jay-Z played on the back screen. When the performance was done, Jay-Z and Blue Ivy presented Beyoncé with her award, and her fans got to see ‘Beyoncé the wife and mother’, instead of just ‘Beyoncé the entertainer’. It was a truly beautiful moment.
As you can see, one of music’s biggest nights was filled with equally big moments. From Katy Perry’s throwback tribute to one of music’s most beloved couples (we miss you Britney and Justin), to Ariana, Jessie J, and Nicki Minaj’s jaw dropping opening performance, to Robin Williams emotional tribute, and Miley’s reminder that we all need to be grateful for the small things we are blessed to have, this night definitely had us on an emotional roller coaster. However, all social media sites definitely stopped when Beyoncé took the stage, and proved just why she is beloved by so many and has had such a long lasting and fruitful career. All I have to say is that I am soooo ready for the 2015 VMAs, if they are anything like the 2014 VMAs, then watch out!