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!
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to discuss a very special YouTuber. It has been exactly 1 year since the tragic passing of 13 year old beauty guru Talia Castellano. I personally was a huge fan of Talia’s because she seemed to have a very kind spirit, and a beautiful soul. Despite the fact that she was suffering from a very painful disease, she still produced videos that made her viewers smile. Talia always promoted the powerful message of self-acceptance in her videos, and that is a message that is too often lost in modern society. We spend so much time, effort, and money attempting to achieve a standard of “perfection”, without even realizing what true beauty means. The fact that Talia was able to realize this at such a young age should serve as an inspiration to us all, (because let’s admit it, most people are EXTREMELY insecure at 13). So, please read on to learn all about this amazing young girl, and see what you can do to help her legacy live on.
Talia Joy Castellano was born on August 18th, 1999 in Goldenrod, FL. Talia’s infectious optimism, honesty, and fun-loving attitude quickly helped her become a YouTube celebrity in the beauty community. Along with her beauty videos, Talia was also well known for her vlogs about her battle with cancer. Talia was first diagnosed with cancer at the age of 7 years old, when she was x-rayed and showed unusual anatomical displacements in her chest. She was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (which is a cancer normally found in young children 10 and under, and infants. This type of cancer is divided into 3 levels of severity: low, intermediate, and high risk groups). Talia underwent various types of therapies and treatments, and was said to be cancer free numerous times, however relapsed each time during her 6 year battle. Talia was later diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (which is a disease that was previously known as pre-leukemia). She quickly began gaining a loyal fanbase on YouTube, and in September 2012 was a special guest on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ (this is only a portion of Talia’s guest spot on the show, Talia Gets an Amazing Surprise) and was announced as an honorary face for ‘CoverGirl’ cosmetics. Her ‘CoverGirl’ campaigns included the slogans “Makeup is my wig”, and “Just keep swimming”. She also collaborated with the Orlando, FL based organization ‘BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation’, and launched a fundraising campaign called ‘Bring Hope Home’ (which is a program that helps provide support to children battling cancer in the central Florida area and their families). Sadly, Talia passed away in Orlando, Florida, on July 16, 2013 at the ‘Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children’, after spending the last three months of her life hospitalized for palliative care (which is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses that focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness in order to improve quality of life for both the patient and their family). An announcement was made soon after Talia’s death at 11:22 a.m., on her ‘Angels For Talia’ Facebook page. Some had worried that a nursing home attorney may be needed to step in due to her death, but it was thankfully not the case with her passing, as sad as it still was. At the time of Talia’s death, her channel had more than 750,000 subscribers and 45 million total views. As of July 16, 2014 her channel has 1,358,924 subscribers, and 83,648,296 views.
Talia’s first video was uploaded on August 27th, 2011, and was entitled ‘Crazy Eyeliner’ (you can find the link here Crazy eyeliner). This was a really fun first video because it really showed off Talia’s fun personality, and creative nature. The video consisted of Talia using black eyeliner and eye shadow to create a “Halloween/Goth” look. It was actually a really cool look, because the design included a lot of really interesting curved lines, and some color and glitter here and there, which I thought was a much better option than putting on a mask. The next video that we are going to discuss is Talia’s 2011 Foundation Routine (Foundation Routine!!!! 2011 – YouTube), which was uploaded on November 19th, 2011. I really loved this foundation routine, because Talia used a lot of moisturizers, and tinted moisturizers, which made it the perfect summer foundation routine. Tinted moisturizers are great products to use during the summertime, because they provide coverage, but are also lightweight on your skin, so your pores won’t become clogged so easily (which is very easy to do during the summer because it’s hot and your sweating a lot more…it can just be a bad season skin wise). I thought that Talia’s foundation routine is great for a causal dinner or party because you are able to achieve a very natural look, that perfect for those days when you want to have the effects of a good makeup routine, without having to put in a lot of work to achieve the look. The final video that we are going to talk about in this blog post is Talia’s ‘Dramatic Fall Smokey Eye’ tutorial Dramatic Fall Smokey eye 🙂) which was uploaded on September 27th, 2012. I personally loved this tutorial because I am very unskilled at achieving a smokey eye (usually my attempts make me look like I lost a boxing match), so I admire anyone who can achieve this look, and I definitely took notes from this tutorial. This video really showed how skilled Talia was with makeup, and proved that she could have had a great future in the field. I really loved this look for a special occasion, or fancy party, and just felt that it looked very mature and elegant. I really wish that I could talk to y’all about every video on Talia’s channel, because they were all so good. I HIGHLY suggest you check out her other videos, because trust me, your makeup skills will improve A LOT.
Along with her beauty videos, Talia also uploaded vlogs, where she spoke about cancer, and gave advice to other kids in similar situations. One of Talia’s vlogs that I wanted to speak about was her ‘Coping With Cancer’ (Talia’s Life: Coping with Cancer!) vlog, which was uploaded on November 26th, 2011. In this blog, Talia spoke honestly about how she juggled school and her treatments, as well as how she became confident enough to go out in public without a wig. She stated that she had to miss school regularly because she received treatment in another state; however her teachers were very accommodating. I really loved that Talia mentioned that school was a #1 priority for her, because I’m sure it was not an easy thing to keep up with due to her disease. She also explained how she used to feel insecure when people starred at her, but after dealing with cancer for so many years, became more confident in herself, and was able to use makeup as a way to accentuate her natural beauty. I definitely thought that this video is an excellent resource for anyone with cancer to watch, due to how honest and detailed Talia is.The next vlog that we are going to discuss is Talia’s dance video to Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit song ‘Call Me Maybe’ Calll mmmeee …). I really enjoyed this video, because it really showed that Talia was a fun-loving, regular middle school girl, who seemed to really enjoy dancing around and acting silly. It was nice to get this small glimpse into her life, and actually feel as if you knew her. I really like it when YouTubers allow their fans to get to know them at a personal level, because it makes you feel as if they are your friends. On July 16, 2013, Talia’s older sister Mattia uploaded a video (Talia left her handprints and footprints on the world) explaining that Talia had passed away. She explained how she planned to one day create a makeup and clothing line for Talia. On December 11, 2013, the ‘YouTube Rewind’ YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say? (which is a big video that several popular YouTubers participate in to recap the past year’s events) of 2013 was dedicated to Talia.
As you can see, Talia made a HUGE impact during her time on this earth. She not only inspired fans worldwide, but was also a very accomplished and knowledgeable beauty guru. Although she was taken much too soon, her legacy has lived on in the hearts of her fans, who have taken it upon themselves to much too early, her fans have honored her by accomplishing goals that Talia put on her bucket list before she passed away. Her family has also been able to use Talia’s story as a vehicle to spread awareness of childhood cancer, and to raise funds to find cures, and help the families affected by the disease – far too many families are affected by this (be it through child cancer or even as an adult). It can cause families a lot of stress, countless evenings looking up things like individual critical illness insurance just in case something happens, and the horrible nights spent in the hospital when things get bad. But Talia was there to help, and she did so much, whether intentionally or not. I think that the best way that we can all keep Talia’s legacy alive, is to help raise awareness and to find a cure for the various forms of cancer, and by remembering what Talia taught the world about hope, positivity and true beauty, Talia truly proved that a smile is the best accessory of all.