Hello people of the Internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’, we are going to talk about director/music producer Kurt Hugo Schneider! Kurt is one of the AMAZING YouTube producers that has worked with so many of our fav musicians (both YouTubers and mainstream musicians). I guarantee that you’re VERY familiar with Kurt already, but just in case you’re new to his awesomeness, Ready? Ok let’s go!
Kurt began his online career in 2008, when he and his friend Sam Tsui released a cover of ‘Can I Have This Dance’ from the movie ‘High School Musical 3’ (this is the first video that is on their YouTube channel as of 3/31/2015). In this video, Kurt accompanies Sam on the piano, and also added cool effects on the video that make it look like multiple copies of Sam are singing at the same time. Kurt continued to post videos with Sam, with other people, and also solo, before he posted a cover that would begin to change his channel. On July 24th, 2009 Kurt uploaded a new cover with Sam Tsui, which was an a cappella Michael Jackson Medley, which features Kurt beatboxing (I included the video below so y’all can check it out). This video got a lot of media attention for Kurt & Sam, and is still one of their most popular videos with over 33 million total views. In 2009 & 2010, Kurt’s channel started growing so much that he & Sam were featured on: The Bonnie Hunt Show, Oprah, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Since then Kurt’s channel has definitely not slowed down, & he has worked with INCREDIBLE artists such as: Jason Derulo, Victoria Justice, Max Schneider (who we have already talked about, click here to read about him: ‘YouTube Wednesday’: Max Schneider, Hollywood’s longest kept secret | celindareyesblog), Alyson Stoner, Keke Palmer, Hunter Hayes, Jason Mraz, and so many more. Now that we know how Kurt built such an awesome channel, let’s move on to some of the bigger projects he has released.
Now let’s talk about some of the other amazing projects Kurt has been a part of (and remember guys that I’m just giving you a quick little highlight reel because honestly we could be here for days talking about why Kurt is so awesome). Kurt (along with Max Schneider) co-wrote the song ‘Standing In China’, which is on pop singer Cody Simpson’s album ‘Paradise’ (which was released in 2012). Another really awesome collaboration that Kurt did was a ‘Holiday Medley’ with Victoria Justice & Max Schneider which was uploaded on December 14th, 2012. This cool mash-up of popular Christmas songs features multiple videos that were played on multiple Sprint phones, that give the illusion that the vocalists in the videos are jumping from one phone to another phone (sorta hard to explain, but check out the video below to check out the greatness! In 2013, Kurt teamed up with Coca-Cola to create music videos (along with some really talented vocalists) where Kurt covered ‘Feel So Close’ by Calvin Harris & ‘Little Talks’ by Of Monsters and Men (this is the only cover that feature an instrument because the other artist in the video is a cellist) for their ‘The Sounds of AHH’ campaign. In the covers, Kurt is shown making the track playing only Coca-Cola bottles, glasses and cans. Like I said, this is only a small sample of the cool videos you’ll find on Kurt’s channel, so definitely add him to your “must watch” list!
2nd YouTube Channel: Kurt
Website: Kurt Hugo Schneider
Facebook: Kurt Schneider | Facebook
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!!! Today’s ‘Monday Memos’ is going to be a little different than the normal blogs that I usually post. As I’m sure many of you know I am a huge fan of Music. Even when I was a kid, I remember my parents playing me songs like the Balloon Song to keep me entertained. That’s not the sort of music I listen to now, but you get what I mean. Music has been a big part of my life even from a young age. Anyway, I literally spend all day with my headphones on, so I thought why not write a quick story, and insert music into it. Basically this is what I imagine a person’s day might be if we all had theme music automatically inserted into our days. It’s meant to be a funny blog post, so I hope y’all enjoy it. Ready? Let’s go!
You wake up in the morning and realize it’s time for school (boo!!!), then you remember that school means hanging out with friends, stalking…I mean talking/wishing you could talk to that special someone that has no idea you exists, oh and there’s that thing called homework or something that everyone keeps saying you should do but it can’t be that important right? So you get up and start singing in the shower, pick out an AWESOME outfit, do your hair and makeup, take a look in the mirror and think “I wish that I could be like the cool kids”. But what the other kids might think or say doesn’t matter because you’re just gonna shake it off. Ok, so now you’re off to school. Great now we’re at school, let the learning begin! (yay?) Ok so school has been ok so far, now it’s lunch time! Oh know there goes that guy you like, quick don’t look! Oh he saw you; well what are you waiting on? Wave! Not frantically like you’re insane…maybe he didn’t notice?!? Oh no, his mean girlfriend did. Great. Well just go sit down with your friends. Maybe they didn’t notice you. Wait, why wouldn’t they notice you? You’re awesome! Well that’s what everyone keeps saying. That girl is so mean to everyone, why is he even with her? Seriously sometimes you just want to scream,” You Belong With Me”!!!! She always makes fun of you because you’re shy and maybe even stutter a little bit. So what if you’re not the most popular or confident person ever. That’s ok right? Wait maybe people don’t like shy? Maybe you need to be louder and more noticeable. But who care what they think right. Right? Then you start thinking “Am I Wrong”? Do I really need to change? Oh no that cute guy is coming. Is he going to laugh at how you waved at him? Quick! Hide!!! Too late he’s here. Ok act casual, act cool, please stop it with that goofy smile. Ok he’s talking, so far so good. Ok, he just wanted to tell you hi because you didn’t see him wave back. Oh and now he’s leaving. Aww that was nice. It’s not fair for someone to be that nice and good looking. One of these days you know you’re just going to say “that’s what makes you beautiful”, then he’ll realize that you’re perfect together and you’re have that fairytale love story that everyone keeps saying is impossible. Yeah it will be perfect! And now the bell rings…ok back to reality. Yeah after all those classes school is over for today! Let’s go crazy, let’s get a tattoo…ok maybe not that crazy. Let’s go home and watch YouTube. Ok well that was 3 hours well spent. You know what time it is now? Netflix time!!! Gotta love Zac Efron and Channing Tatum. Ok time for bed. Makeup is off; pajamas are on, now time for some music and a few hours of looking on Twitter and Instagram. 5 hours well spent. You know what? Who cares what other people think? Yeah YOU ARE AWESOME! You don’t have to try so hard. Right? Right! Yeah, because you really don’t care! Ok, nice talk. Time to go to sleep. Goodnight!
As you can tell, it’s not a serious blog, and I also focused more on lyrics and title from songs that fit the story, instead of what the songs are actually talking about. Anyway with that in mind, I hope y’all enjoyed the story and if this is something that you like, maybe I can write a part 2 in the future!
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog we are going to discuss a rising country music star that you will completely fall in love with (if you haven’t already). With a unique vocal tone that will win favor with fans of modern and classic country, SaraBeth is definitely an artist on the rise that you should all keep an eye on. So if you want to be one of the first to learn all about this upcoming star now (or if you already love her and just want to learn more) then please read on. I promise you will become completely obsessed with her music.
SaraBeth is a country music singer/songwriter who was born Dallas, TX. Her music videos have been played in the music TV channels ‘GAC’ & ‘ZUUS’, and became the only top independent trending artist on CMT.com. She has also had the opportunity of sharing the stage with big names in country music, such as: Craig Morgan, Brantley Gilbert, Lonestar, and X-Factor Season 2 winner Tate Stevens. She had also participated in both the 2013 and 2014 City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge alongside country music artists Florida Georgia Line, Brett Eldredge and more. She has also appeared on a multitude of television shows including: Good Day Dallas, D The Broadcast (Dallas), Fox 26 Morning News (Houston), Great Day SA (San Antonio), More at Midday (Nashville), Tennessee Mornings (Nashville) and nationally syndicated radio show, The Bobby Bones Show, She released her first single ‘Under the Mistletoe’ to ITunes on November 8th, 2012, which is a fun, Christmas themed song that we will discuss later in the blog post. She later made a powerful debut with the release of her debut LP, ‘Anything Is Possible’, which was released to iTunes on October 29th, 2013. This album certainly proved just how talented SaraBeth is as an entertainer, and each song on the album could easily become a hit on country music radio. She released her sophomore project (an EP entitled ‘Kickin and Screamin’) on September 17th, 2012. This EP not only continued to show off SaraBeth’s growth as an artist, but also proved that her artistry extending into songwriting (a very important skill for an entertainer to have). On August 5th, 2014 SaraBeth released her latest EP ‘Obsessive’ to ITunes. This EP has already received numerous positive reviews on iTunes due to the energetically spunky songs that can be found on it. This EP definitely shows that SaraBeth is more than ready to take the world by storm and take her rightful place among the elite in country music. According to SaraBeth’s website, success runs in her family. She has stated, “My younger brother was drafted to play pro baseball for the Cardinals, my dad recently wrote a book on motivation and inspires people all over the world, and my mom is the glue that holds us all together. With all these incredibly successful and driven role models in my life, I thought, how can I NOT go after this dream?”. Talk about a talented family!
SaraBeth uploaded her first cover video (a cover of ‘Downtown’ by Lady Antebellum Downtown (Lady Antebellum Cover) [Living Room Sessions] – SaraBeth – YouTube) on May 14th, 2013. I really loved this cover because it was a fun choice that really showed off SaraBeth’s vocal abilities. She is immediately able to capture your attention, and this video also proves that SaraBeth sounds just as good live, as she does recorded (which admittedly is not a talent that every artist possess). I thought that this cover was a great introduction to SaraBeth’s music, and definitely left me wanting hear more. The next cover that we are going to discuss is SaraBeth’s cover of the Carrie Underwood hit ‘Blown Away’ (Blown Away – Acoustic (Carrie Underwood cover) – SaraBeth – YouTube). First of all, I have to commend SaraBeth for covering this song, because it is a ridiculously difficult song to cover. The notes in the song are very difficult to hit, and there is an extreme amount of technique and emotional depth that must be mastered in order to perform this song correctly. SaraBeth does a phenomenal job with this cover, and the fact that she performs it live just further proves that she is an extremely talented vocalist. I promise that once you listen to this cover, you will absolutely fall in love with her voice. The final cover that we are going to discuss is SaraBeth’s ‘Covers Medley’ (Covers Medley – YouTube), which was uploaded to YouTube on February 26th, 2014. However, the actual performance was given on the opening night of the Lonestar tour in Scottsdale, AZ a little bit earlier in 2014. The medley consisted of a diverse list of country music hits, which included: ‘Done’ by The Band Perry, ‘I Want Crazy’ by Hunter Hayes, ‘Friday Night’ by Eric Paslay, and ‘Wagon Wheel’ originally released by the band Old Crow Medicine Show (but was rewritten from an unfinished song that was demoed by Bob Dylan but never officially released). The song was popularized again in 2013 by Darius Ruckner who included a version of this song (with backup vocals provided by country trio Lady Antebellum) on his 2013 album ‘True Believers’. I really enjoyed this cover because we got to see SaraBeth performing in a concert setting, and the crowd really seemed to get into her performance. The song choices were also really well thought out, because the songs are current hits that a lot of people recognize, and they showed off SaraBeth’s fun personality and natural charisma on stage. This video definitely further impressed me.
Now that we’ve discussed SaraBeth’s cover videos, let’s dive into her original music. The first single we are going to discuss is her video for her single ‘Under the Mistletoe’ (Under the Mistletoe (Official Video) – SaraBeth – YouTube). The song is a very fun, upbeat track that definitely puts me in the Christmas spirit. I really like that the song is Christmas themed, but it is also a fun song to listen to all year. The video is also really funny, because SaraBeth has various people dressed up in giant Gingerbread, Santa, and various other costumes. I don’t want to ruin the rest of the video for you, but it is certainly not your typical Christmas themed video (which is one of the elements that makes this video so amazing and fun to watch over and over again…trust me; you will watch it over and over again). The next video we are going to discuss, is SaraBeth’s official music video for her song ‘Kickin’ and Screamin’ (Kickin’ and Screamin’ (Official Video) – SaraBeth – YouTube). I really like the song because it is a very fun song that is perfect to listen to in the car or at a party. The lyrics are very catchy and easy to learn, and you will definitely have this song on repeat the second you hear it. I really enjoyed the music video for this song because it’s not your typical music video. The setting is different, and although the video does contain “trucks” (which we all know is standard in a lot of country music videos and songs), the trucks in the video are not the type that first come to mind. I don’t want to spoil the rest of the video, but I highly suggest that you all check out this video, because the hard work that was required to make it certainly shows. The final video that we are going to discuss, is SaraBeth’s official lyric video for her song ‘Those Memories’ (“Those Memories” – Official Lyric Video – YouTube). I chose this video, because by now we all know that SaraBeth is able to deliver a fun, high energy performance that will get you dancing, but I wanted you all to see that she is also able to tug at your heartstrings. I really loved ‘Those Memories’ because it was a very sweet song that really showed off SaraBeth’s ability to emotionally connect with a song (which is a VERY important skill for an artist to have). The video is very sweet, and has a slideshow of photos of SaraBeth as a baby, child, and teenager. I really love it when an artist is able to be vulnerable and honest with their fans, and this is exactly what SaraBeth does in this video.
See, I told you that you would become obsessed! With a career that would make a lot of musicians jealous, it is obvious that Nashville (the hub of all country music greatness) as certainly taken notice of this rising talent. With the large numbers of talented hopefuls that often travel in and out of the city, it is no small feat to garner the type of attention that SaraBeth has been able to achieve. It is obvious that she is just a few steps away from becoming the newest country music phenomenon to burst onto the scene.
Keep up to date with all the awesome things that SaraBeth is up to!!!
Facebook: SaraBeth | Facebook
Twitter: SaraBeth (SBSwags) on Twitter
Website: SaraBeth | Home
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss one of the most important nights in Country music…the CMT Awards! If you don’t live in America, you won’t have watched the CMT awards (unless you’ve learnt how to watch cmt online outside the usa!) I love watching the CMT awards and I look forward to them every year.This award show had it all, great artists, a hilarious host, fun performances, and lots of beards (I promise I’ll explain this later. Veteran host Kristen Bell was back again, only this time she hosted the show solo. If you missed the show, don’t worry I’ll catch you up. Are you ready? Are you sure? I’m just kidding, of course you are…ok let’s get started.
The 2014 CMT awards were hosted by award winning actress Kristen Bell (probably best known for her roles in ‘Veronica Mars’, ‘Frozen’, and as the voice of ‘Gossip Girl’ on, you guessed it, Gossip Girl. The opening sketch begins with Kristen on accounts depressed because she didn’t have a co-host to help host the show. She was then held by two former co-stars who introduced her to an app called Holla (which is supposed to be like Tinder only “more country”). She went on a number of “dates” with several men but was unlucky in finding a co-host. She was then given a pep talk by her former co-stars and decided to embrace the concept of girl power and host the show solo. When she went into the hallway to begin the show several country music stars gave her “advice”, which only made her more nervous. When she went to the elevator, she found Luke Bryan trying to break up the guys from Florida Georgia Line, who were fighting Solage/Jay-Z style. When the show began Kristen rose from under the stage and informed the audience that they wouldn’t have to worry about Luke Bryan falling off the stage tonight (the camera then panned to Luke who was wrapped in police caution tape). She then declared that the CMT awards would be ladies night and said that the power invested in her by CMT and her princess title in the movie ‘Frozen’ gave her the power to do so ( yup that made it official!). She then sang a song about male country artists having very tight jeans and belt buckles there were too large. After Alan Jackson was honored, later on the show, Kristen came out dressed exactly like Alan Jackson, beard and all (see told you there would be beards in this blog). She then poked fun at the Billboard Music Awards’ use of a Michael Jackson hologram by saying that she had a Jason Aldean hologram, but it was only comedian Tom Arnold. Later on in the show Kristen said that she forgot to make the VIP gift bags, so she “took” several objects from numerous artists such as Eric Church’s sunglasses, Luke Brian’s hat (which he knew nothing about) and The Band Perry’s trophy. As you can see Kristen did an excellent job hosting the CMT Awards, and had us laughing, singing, and constantly wondering what hilarious joke she would make next. I really hope that she hosts the show again next year because with Kristen Bell, you never know what is going to happen, but you know you’re going to love every minute of it. Now let’s get to the awards!
Group Video of the Year:
The Band Perry ‘Done’
Although the competition was extremely stiff, it makes sense that The Band Perry won this award, due to the critical acclaim that this song has received from critics and fans, and the amount of radio play it had last year. Ever since the group’s breakout hit ‘If I Die Young’, The Band Perry has made their presence known in country music.
Breakthrough Video of the Year:
Cassadee Pope ‘Wasting all these Tears’
Cassadee has certainly had an amazing 2 years, after winning the 3rd season of ‘The Voice’. Since then, she has had a top charting debut album, has perform with numerous amazing Country music artists, and has successfully transitioned into a well respected country/pop artist. Because of all of his hard work, it definitely doesn’t come as a surprise that Cassadee won at the CMT awards. My favorite part of her win was when Blake Shelton (Cassadee’s coach on ‘The Voice’), not only announced her win, but also “coached” her when he directed her to give her acceptance speech after she became too overwhelmed with emotion to speak.
With an amount of awards that must require another house to hold, and decades of hits, I can see why Alan Jackson is considered an artist with vast impact. I also loved all of the respect that the crowd gave Alan Jackson after he won the award; it was really heartfelt to see all of the admiration in the room. I also thought it was really sweet that Alan Jackson seemed like he wanted to cry when he received his award, it was nice to see how appreciative he was, despite the fact that he is a legend.
Male Video of the Year:
Blake Shelton ‘Doin’ What She Likes’
Again, this is a category that had some stiff competition, but it was no surprise that Blake came out on top. ‘The Voice’ coach and Country music superstar has definitely had a track record for winning awards with his chart topping hits lately, so it was obvious that his odds of winning this award were high. Congrats Mr. Shelton!
CMT Performance of the Year:
Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie ‘Oh No/All Night Long’
Ok, I think we ALL saw this coming. When you take Country star Luke Bryan, and R&B/Soul superstar Lionel Richie, and have them perform together, greatness happens. I was honestly very surprised when I first saw this performance because I found the combination to be an interesting choice, but once I saw the performance, I couldn’t believe that it took so long to get these two artists together. My only hope now is that they perform together again. Maybe they could form a Country/Pop/Soul power duo!?! Please!!!
Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan:
Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan ‘This is How We Roll’
Ever since this song first dropped, it has been ruling radio airwaves and is definitely a fan favorite (it peaked at #1 on the U.S. Country Hot Songs chart and #2 on the U.S. Country Airplay chart). Because of how infectious and catchy this track is, the appeal and longevity of the song is easy to understand.
Female Video of the Year:
Miranda Lambert ‘Automatic’
Yeah, just like we said earlier about Blake Shelton earlier, Miranda is also currently dominating award show season. With talent, fun tracks, and just a dash of a Rock n’ Roll influence in her songs, Miranda is definitely inspiring change in Country music, and fans are loving it.
Duo Video of the Year:
Florida Georgia Line ‘Round Here’
Ever since this amazing duo first released their album ‘Here’s to the Good Times’ (which peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200, and #1 on U.S. Top Country Albums charts), they have been ruling Country radio with their feel good, party music. Because of this, it is completely understandable as to why this duo has also ruled award season.
Video of the Year:
Carrie Underwood ‘See You Again’
Carrie has taken the music industry by storm ever since she won American Idol, and hasn’t slowed down since. She’s released hit after hit, so it was no surprise that fans loved ‘See You Again’ too. Carrie is also known for releasing great and often powerful music videos, and the ‘See You Again’ video is no exception. The video is beautifully shot, and definitely showcases the emotion found in the lyrics.
ZZ Top, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, and Jason Derulo:
The show began with Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill of ZZ Top kicking off the show, and then Florida Georgia line appeared and began performing ‘This is How We Roll’. Luke Bryan then came out joined in on the next portion of the song. The staging was really cool, and used multicolored lights and smoke to add extra flair to the performance. Before ‘This is How We Roll’ finished, Jason Derulo came out and everyone joined him in performing his latest single ‘Talk Dirty’. The backboard of the stage then displayed pictures of multicolored lips (which was awesome!), and Jason, Luke, and the guys from Florida Georgia Line all began dancing. Then, everyone on stage finished ‘This is How We Roll’, which was the PERFECT ending to this amazing opening number.
‘The Voice’ season 4 winner Danielle Bradbery made her CMT performance debut by performing a snippet of her latest single ‘Young in America’ on the ‘Nationwide’ stage (which is the stage where the new artists perform). The performance was short, but showed the same unique qualities that made fans fall in love with her on ‘The Voice’.
Lindsey Sterling presented an award at the show, but before she did, she demonstrated her AMAZING skills on the violin. As always, Lindsey did a PHENOMINAL job and made her playing (and dancing…while she was playing) seem effortless.
Hunter Hayes was up next, and performed a track entitled ‘Tattoo’ off of his sophomore album ‘Storyline’. The performance was really fun to watch, and the staging featured blue spotlights shooting out everywhere. The audience seemed to really love Hunter, and as always he wasn’t short on energy during his performance (he jumped around A LOT…and I mean a lot). He finished the performance with an amazing guitar solo that really had the audience excited.
Kacey Musgraves & Lee Ann Womack:
These two amazing Country music singers performed the song ‘Living on Love’, as a tribute to Country music legend Alan Jackson (who received the first ever ‘Impact Award’). During Kacey and Lee Ann’s performance, clips from Alan Jackson’s music videos were played on the stage’s back screen. It was a really touching performance, and I really loved how Alan Jackson looked as if he was going to cry during the performance, it was a very nice moment.
Next up was new artist Tyler Farr, who performed a snippet of his hit heartbreak theme song ‘Redneck Crazy’. If you listened to Country music radio at all this past year, then you have heard this song.
Country star and ‘American Idol’ coach Keith Urban was up next, and performed an acoustic version of his hit song ‘Cop Car’. He performed via video, from the ‘Bluebird Cafe’ (a historical cafe where numerous Country music stars have been discovered) in Nashville. The song was definitely a different sound for the star, because the performance did not include an amazing guitar solo (which has become Keith’s signature move). But hey, you gotta love an artist who keeps you on your toes.
Jake Owen then performed his new song ‘Beachin’ on the ‘Kia Outdoor Performance Stage’. The staging really brought the vibe of the song to life, and made the performance really fun to watch. The audience threw beach balls in the air, and the back screens on the stage showed images of beach balls (lots of beach balls in this performance). The vibe of the song was a really cool fusion of Country and Rap music, and the high energy in the track kept the audience dancing.
Eric Church & Lizzy Hale (from the band Halestorm):
Now this was a really interesting and unexpected duet. The two artists performed ‘That’s Damn Rock & Roll’ off of Eric’s newest album ‘The Outsiders’. Eric wore his signature dark sunglasses, and both he and Lizzy played the guitar. The performance had a very 70s/80s Rock n’ Roll feel to it, and drove the crowd crazy (in a good way don’t worry). It was cool to see such a different type of performance on the CMT awards, and really went with this year’s theme of introducing various different genres in the show.
New artist Thomas Rhett performed a snippet of his new track ‘Get Me Some of That’. This track (and Thomas’ other hit song ‘It Goes Like This’), have been all over Country radio over the past few years. His performance was very energetic, and he was very confident, so I can definitely see that he will have a lot of staying power as a Country artist.
John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, and Hunter Hayes:
Next up, Jennifer Nettles joined John Legend in a special duet rendition of his hit track ‘All of Me’, with Hunter Hayes on the guitar. This version definitely strayed from John Legend’s original version, and had a more bluegrass vibe to it. However, this change was not surprising due to the fact that Hunter was asked to produce the new version. I really loved how the revisions gave the track such a fresh feel, that it almost seemed like an entirely new song. I definitely hope that these three work together in the future.
Dierks Bentley performed his new track ‘Drunk on a Plane’. He came on stage playing a guitar, and had dancers who were dressed like flight attendants, and danced down the main aisle leading to the stage. They also danced around boxes off and on stage at different points of the performance. The staging was really simple (the back screen was red with yellow circles), but the dancers were a unique touch.
New artist Cole Swindell performed a snippet of his hit track ‘Chillin It’, which contains a cool fusion of Country and Rap influences. Cole kept the crowd engaged, seems confident in stage, and was just “chillin’ it” (sorry I had to make that joke).
Brantley Gilbert definitely had a physically demanding performance with his track ‘Bottoms Up’. Brantley continued the trend of being a little Rock n’ Roll into the CMTs, by rocking a camouflage muscle shirt, blue jeans, a cap, and having a drummer in his band who rocked a Mohawk. My favorite part of the performance was definitely Brantley’s back flip off of one of the small stages that the drum kit was set up on. After he did this really cool back flip, walked around in the crowd as he sang (which the audience absolutely LOVED). It was certainly a fun performance that made the fans at the show fall more and more in love with Brantley Gilbert.
Dan + Shay:
One of the newest duos to bust onto the Country music scene is Dan + Shay, who performs their incredibly infectious love song ’19 You + Me’. Although they were only able to perform a snippet of the track, both guys had very strong live vocals, and left the impression that they are a duo to watch this year.
Country music superstar Luke Bryan was up next, and performed his latest hit ‘Play it Again’. Luke tried something different with his performance, and entered from the back of the venue, and made his way through the crowd to the stage. Above where Luke entered, there was a sign that read ‘OMG Play it Again’ (this was sort of awesome…ok it was really awesome). As Luke traveled through the crowd, he touched the fans’ hands, which made them go completely crazy. Once Luke was onstage, he danced around (I think there was some minor twerking involved), and drove all of the people in the audience crazy (particularly the women). The performance definitely showed why Luke is currently one of the top guys in Country music…and this doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon.
Next up was the phenomenal trio Lady Antebellum. They performed their newest hit ‘Bartender’, at the ‘Kia Outdoor Performance Stage’. The staging was really cool, and had amazing green and white lazer lights that shot out at the audience. The laser lights definitely added a cool “concert” vibe to the performance, and helped hype up the audience during the performance.
Next up was a new artist who you definitely heard on Country music radio this year. David Nail performed a snippet of his track ‘Whatever She’s Got’, and although it was a short performance, he did a great job. His live voice sounded very similar to his voice on the studio recorded track, and he seemed to be very comfortable on stage.
Little Big Town:
Little Big Town performed their newest track ‘Day Drinking’. One thing that really brought attention to the group was the fact that the stage, the instruments, and all if Little Big Town, were dressed in the same shade of bright white. The back board of the stage had really cool grey and black patterns, and lots of white spotlights. At the end of the performance, multicolored streamers fell on the crowd (which they went absolutely nuts over).
Country superstar/’The Voice’ coach performed his fan favorite ‘Boys ‘Round Here’. The staging had the frame of the front of a house (which was a nod to the track’s music video. Blake did an extremely good job, and proved that his knowledge of music/performance is one of the reasons why he has had such success finding artists who transition into the mainstream music scene (one of his former contestants Danielle Bradbery performed, and another one his contestants, Cassadee Pope won an award). So needless to say, it was a good night for Blake.
Brett Eldredge was the last new artist to perform on the ‘Nationwide Stage’ (the new artist stage). He performed a snippet of his radio hit ‘Beat of the Music’. I thought that Brett did a really good job with his performance, because he was confident, looked liked he had fun, and definitely had the audience dancing to “the beat of the music”.
Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood:
Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood wrapped up the show with their performance of their new duet ‘Something Bad’. With this performance, the two country superstars proved why they are powerful forces in Country music. They wore very tight, black, short outfits, which added a Rock n’ Roll feel to the performance. There were lots of cool spotlights, and Carrie and Miranda danced around and got the audience really into their performance. They definitely proved that they are Country girls who can rock…and we all loved every minute of it.
Well as y’all can see, the CMT Awards was unpredictable, fun, and certainly showcased all of the bright stars of Country music. I loved how artists from numerous other genres of music also participated in the show, and demonstrated just how universal music really is. The show also had the perfect blend of featuring artists that we know and love, and introducing us to the stars of tomorrow. It will be hard to top this year’s show, but I have faith in you CMT.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog, I want to introduce you to a phenomenal up and coming pop singer named Tyler Layne. I recently discovered Tyler on Twitter (I really owe you on Twitter!), and he really impressed me. At such a young age, Tyler already has the artistry, musicianship, and natural talent of a professional much older than him. I am really excited to share this artist’s music with you all, and I know that you will quickly become as obsessed with him as I am. I will warn you now, that once you hear Tyler Layne’s voice, you will definitely spend the majority of your time listening to his covers and original music. Ok so are you guys ready to be introduced to your latest musical addiction!?! Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Tyler Lane!!!
Tyler Layne was born in Portsmouth, VA and discovered his love of entertaining at the ripe old age of 4, when he began singing in his church’s choir. By the age of 5, Tyler was a soloist in his choir, and his love of music continued to flourish. Only two years later at the age of 7, Tyler began to astonish crowds at local festivals and community events. At the age of 8, Tyler began professional training in piano, voice, and acting. This training made the already naturally gifted entertainer an even stronger performer, which became a huge asset for Tyler when he became the youngest member of the group RD7, after impressing judges related to Radio Disney. As a part of this group, Tyler was given the opportunity to tour with numerous famous musical acts such as: Raven Symone, The Cheetah Girls, The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, and American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. After Tyler’s time as a part of RD7 was completed, Tyler founded other groups called Seven5Seven and Brooke and Tyler. The experience and public recognition that Tyler gained by participating in these groups led him to feel confident enough to continue his career as a solo artist.
On January 18th, 2012 Tyler posted his first YouTube video, which was a cover of Rihanna’s hit track ‘We Found Love’. Tyler had no idea that posting this video would snowball into the opportunity to share his music on a much larger scale. Tyler has continued to post videos of himself singing hit songs from popular artists such as: Katy Perry, Adele, One Direction, Hunter Hayes, Imagine Dragons, Bruno Mars, etc. As if Tyler’s vocal ability was not impressive enough, he has also used his YouTube platform as an opportunity to demonstrate his phenomenal guitar, piano, and songwriting skills. Tyler released his first original song on YouTube, on January 28th, 2012 entitled ‘Dear Julia’. This track is a piano driven ballad, which was certainly an early indicator of Tyler’s advance skills as a writer, which is an increasingly more important commodity for artists to have. Tyler made a music video to accompany this single, and was able to show his acting talent through the video’s emotionally charged lyrical content. Tyler’s next original song was a fun, high energy track which featured pop-rock band Everlife. The video contained numerous photos of Tyler’s performances throughout the years, and really showed just how seasoned the young entertainer was at that point. Tyler has released 3 additional original songs, which are entitled ‘Over the World’, ‘Ms. Perfect’, and his latest single ‘Boom Boom’ (all of these songs are currently available on ITunes, so I would suggest you go pick them up…after you read this blog of course! And for all of you remix lovers out there, ‘Boom Boom’ has been remixed, and it is AMAZING!!!!).
Tyler’s latest two singles (‘Ms. Perfect’ and ‘Boom Boom’), showed an evolution for him as an artist, due to the videos’ production quality, and the videos’ storylines. In ‘Ms. Perfect’, Tyler demonstrates that he can not only sing and act, but can also control a stage, and dance (seriously how can one person be so talented!). Although I love Tyler’s other music videos and his live covers, I feel that the Ms. Perfect video showed the audience his fun personality, which only makes you fall even more in love with his talent. My favorite video is definitely the ‘Boom Boom’ video, just because the song is amazing, and the video itself makes you want to get up and dance (seriously, how do I get invited to a Tyler Layne house party!?!). I can definitely see this song become a huge radio hit, and an infectious summer time song, that will have us dancing for years to come.
Since Tyler posted his first video in early 2012, the young entertainer’s talent as a musician, vocalist, songwriter, actor, and all around amazing entertainer has taken center stage. You can see Tyler’s growth through his videos, and it seems that he has nowhere to go but up. In the past few months, Tyler has had many phenomenal accomplishments, which include becoming a partner with YouTube super channel VEVO (also home to artists such as One Direction, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, John Legend, and just about any popular artist imaginable. This is also where you can find Tyler’s music video for ‘Boom Boom’). Other accomplishments that Tyler has had are his sponsorships with Peace Tea, Sodiem Clothing, and Giannini Guitars. However, arguably Tyler’s largest accomplishment to date is signing with the record label ‘Blow Me A Bubble Records’. In this day and age, the competition to secure a record deal is cut throat, so for an artist to sign a deal is a HUGE accomplishment. Make sure you catch Tyler on ‘the Fanatics tour’, which began on January 11th, 2014, and continues through July 26th (I believe that Tyler will be performing on all of the tour dates, but make sure you check the website here (the FANatics tour | Showcasing up and coming talent) to see if he is performing in your city…there are also A Lot of other amazing acts on the tour, so I highly suggest that you check it out!).
As for Tyler’s future, I definitely see this shinning light only getting brighter with time. Although Tyler’s original music has been primary pop, I can definitely see him crossing over into music that has a more soul vibe to it. I think that Tyler’s natural vocal talent is very unique, and his determination and persistence to constantly become better at his crafts will certainly set him apart from current mainstream radio artists. I see big things on the horizon for Tyler, and definitely think he will soon become a household name and eventually a worldwide phenomenon. With an entertainer like Tyler, there are no limitations, and I am very excited to see what amazing project this modern day Renaissance man produces next.
Do you want to stay connected with Tyler? Here’s how:
YouTube: Tyler Layne – YouTube
YouTube VEVO: TylerLayneVEVO
Facebook: Tyler Layne Online
Hello people of the internet!!! The 56th annual Grammy Awards was hosted by multiple Grammy award winner LL Cool J. In his opening monologue, he spoke about the power of music, and allows us to be the person we really want to be. He used example such as Taylor Swift (who he said inspire a generation of girls to tell boys exactly what they’re doing wrong), and Bruno Mars (who was able to release his inner showman because of music). LL Cool J also spoke about how music connects the world and unites us all, he cited Keith Urban (who grew up in Australia),and Daft Punk (who formed their group in France) as examples.
The Winners!!!!!!!: (on a side note, I predicted that Zedd would win Best Dance Recording for ‘Clarity’ and Imagine Dragons would win Best Rock Performance for ‘Radioactive’ and they did win these Grammys ypou an check that blog post out here: 2014 Grammy Award Predictions, before the award show aired…good job guys! For a full list of winners, go to www.grammy.com)
Best New Artist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
2013 was definitely a HUGE year for this hip-hop power duo, and I anticipate 2014 to be no different. The duo’s independently recorded, produced, and released their album ‘The Heist’ in 2012, and the album became a huge, chart topping success without the promotion of a record label. The album has gone platinum and gold in 8 countries, and produced several hit singles, including ‘Thrift Shop’ and ‘Can’t Hold Us’. Personally I think that the fact that this album has done so well without the aid of a label, is a true testament to the insane talent that this duo posses. It seems like an extremely daunting task for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis to top ‘The Heist’, but I am fully confident that they will find a way.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk
If you listened to the radio at all this year, then you are very familiar with this song. This disco/funk inspired track features the vocals of Pharrell Williams, and was an insanely big hit for the French duo. The single went multi platinum and gold in 13 countries, and lead to numerous covers by many notable artists such as Fall Out Boy and Pentatonix.
Best Rock Song: ‘Cut Me Some Slack’ by Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic, & Pat Smear
With such rock star power such as: Paul McCartney (legendary entertainer, and of course a member of the Beatles), Dave Grohl (drummer of grunge band Nirvana, and founder/lead vocalist and guitarist of The Foo Fighters), Kris Novoselic (bassist and co-founder of Nirvana), and Pat Smear (live guitarist of Nirvana/guitarist of the Foo Fighters….do you think Dave, Krist, and Pat ever thought about playing together before recording this song?) how could this track not win?!? I think the accomplishments and resumes attached to these men speak volumes as to why the song did so well this year.
Best Pop Solo Performance: ‘Royals’ by Lorde
Ok where did this amazingly unique vocalist come from? I mean seriously, it seems like this 17 year old New Zealand native just appeared out of nowhere and completely changed pop music. There is no denying that ‘Royals’ has become increasingly more popular ever since its’ release last year. The fact that her first single released in the U.S went #1, is definitely a good indication that this is just the beginning to a long career for Lorde.
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: ‘Holy Grail’ by Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake
I don’t believe that this win really needs an explanation, because Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake’s resume’s speak volumes. Each of these entertainers are incredible by themselves, but when they combine their talents, the result is musical gold. At this point it is evident that they both know the power that their collaborations have, so they definitely use this knowledge for the common good (they get more hits, and we get great music!).
Producer of the Year (non-classical): Pharrell Williams
Pharrell has certainly been a force for more than a decade, due to his work as a producer on several hits such as ‘Tonight’s the Night’ by Blackstreet, ‘I’m a Slave for You; by Britney Spears, and ‘Hot in Herre’ by Nelly, just to name a few. Although Pharrell has been linked to so many amazing projects, he really made a splash in 2013 for his work on, ‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke and T.I., and of course ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk (which won 2 Grammys last night).
Best Pop Vocal Album: ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ by Bruno Mars
Although this was a tough category to compete in, I definitely think that Bruno Mars deserved this award. ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ was an amazing album which produced a lot of huge radio singles, so it was no surprise that the album won. Bruno’s music certainly has a very different vibe than a lot of the other artists that are currently on Pop radio, which is exactly why his music is so infectious and popular.
Best Country Album: ‘Same Trailer, Different Park’ by Kacey Musgraves
This was certainly one of the biggest surprises of the night, due to the tough competition that this category contained. Although Kacey is a new artist to many, she is already a seasoned performer and writer, so the fact that he album took home the top prize for country music is completely understandable. The fact that Kacey was able to make such a huge splash with her first wide-released studio album, proves that she is at the beginning of an amazing career.
Song of the Year: ‘Royals’ by Lorde
Lorde strikes again! Yes, the 17 year old was the star of the show at the Grammys, due to her multiple wins on her debut album. If she won multiple Grammys on her debut album, I can’t wait to see what her sophomore album will produce. Good job Lorde!!!
Record of the Year: ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk
You can’t keep a good robot down! Daft Punk proved that you don’t have to be seen or say anything(they didn’t say a word when accepting any of their awards) in order to be heard at the Grammys. The French duo certainly made a impact, and I think that everyone will be waiting in anticipation of what they will do in the years to come.
The Music Educator Award: Kent Knappenberger
This music teacher from Westfield Academy and Central School in Westfield, NY was the first person to ever win this award. The Grammys have a long history of supporting music education, so I am glad that they now have a student nominated award, which honors those who dedicate their lives to inspiring the next generation of musicians.
Album of the Year: ‘Random Access Memories’ by Daft Punk
Robots! Robots! Robots! Yes between Daft Punk, Kacey Musgraves, and Lorde, new acts ruled the Grammys. Who knew that Robots would control music’s biggest night!? I repeat…Robots! Robots! Robots! Daft Punk is now officially added to the long list of why we must thank the French. Good job everyone!
Beyoncé certainly gave the Grammys an interesting opening, with her performance off ‘Drunk in Love’ off of her new album. The performance began with Beyoncé on a chair, with an extremely cool light show. The thing about the performance that I found to be the most interesting, was the fact that Beyoncé was dancing on her chair, as the chair was constantly ROTATING! I just found this to be so cool, because it’s not a common prop characteristic. I liked that Beyoncé didn’t have any back-up dancers but was still able to control the stage, it truly shows the kind of entertainer she is. Later on in the song, jay-Z appeared and danced with his wife. Everyone seems really excited to see the power couple together on the Grammy stage, and they did seem very much in love during their performance. There was quite a bit of controversy surrounding Beyoncé’s performance, regarding whether or not it was too racy. Whatever your opinion of the performance was, it was definitely memorable.
Next up was the big winner of the night Lorde, who definitely proved that she meant it when she said “you can call me Queen B”(yes I quoted ‘Royals’, no I’m not sorry). Lorde performed her hit ‘Royals’ for the crowd, and gave the hit a fresh sound by performing a completely different arrangement of the song. She had a very simple staging and a low-key outfit (a white blouse and black pants), which certainly match the artists’ very low-key demeanor. She proved that her voice can capture the attention of a large crowd without all of the added effects and stage distractions. I thought that it was a very interesting performance.
Hunter Hayes used his performance slot to debut his new song ‘Invisible’, which has quickly become a new favorite song for me. Hunter stated in interviews a few days before the Grammys, that the new song was inspired by his personal encounters with bullies and haters. I really love the message behind this song, and think that it is a very important topic to discuss. I love when music has a message, and Hunter definitely delivers this with this track. Hunter began his performance by playing the song on the piano, and then later on grabbed the mike, and walked around the stage for the rest of the number. My favorite part of the whole performance was the passion in which Hunter had while he was singing. A few times during the song, he looked like he was going to cry and I personally love when artists cry or look like they want to cry, because I feel that this really shows how connected they are with their song. Hunter also had very cool inspirational quotes on the back screen from celebrities and influential individuals such as John Lennon, Lady Gaga, Johnny Depp, and Steve Jobs. I loved that this visual aid added to the overall vibe of the performance and showed that Hunter is evolving as a showman.
Chicago and Robin Thicke:
They performed a medley of the Chicago hits ‘Does Anybody really know what time it is?’, ‘Beginnings’, ‘Saturday in the park’, and then transitioned into Robin Thicke’s 2013 hit ‘Blurred Lines’. I am such a sucker for horns, and this performance had A LOT of amazing brass elements, so I loved it. I was also amazed that Chicago had such a great performance, and proved that they haven’t gotten rusty at all through the years. You go Chicago! Robin Thicke also proved that although he is loved for his looks, he also has the vocal talent to back up his fame.
Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr.
Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr.
Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr. (who’s from Austin, Texas originally…yay! Yeah I had to include that because I gotta support my fellow Texans), performed Keith’s newest hit ‘Cop Car’. In usual Keith Urban fashion, the performance was more about the music than having an elaborate stage. The two artists’ vocals simply blew me away, and I have I give Gary A LOT of credit, because he could keep up with Keith Urban on the guitar (which is not an easy task!). Towards the end of the song, Keith and Gary went head to head on guitar solos, and it was so epic! I’m seriously still recovering from how amazing their guitar skills are.
John Legend performed his hit song ‘All of Me’, which was made even more beautiful due to the fact that he looked at his wife during his entire performance (everybody say it with me “AWWWWW!”). John played the piano as he sang, and had a very simple staging that led to a very beautiful performance. The simplistic staging really went with the theme of the song, and left the audience in awe. John once again proved what a talented artist he is, and proved that his voice is all he needs to put on a spectacular performance.
Now can you imagine an award show without a performance form Taylor Swift? Go ahead I’ll give you a moment. Ok time’s up! See what I mean, no award show is complete without a Taylor performance. Anyway, Taylor performed her hit song ‘All Too Well’ from her newest album ‘Red’(which was also up for a few Grammys but didn’t win). Taylor accompanied herself on the piano throughout the song, and really gave a fun performance with lots hair flipping. I am such a huge fan of this song because it is beautifully written, and the lyrics take the audience on such a rollercoaster of emotions, and I thought that Taylor did such a great song expressing these emotions through her performance.
Ok the next performance was definitely one of my favorites of the night! P!nk began her set with her hit song ‘Try’ off of her newest album ‘The Truth about Love’. Now this song is already amazing enough on its own, but when you add the fact that P!nk sang the song while doing really difficult acrobatics on wires above the audience, the result is nothing short of spectacular! After P!nk was done amazing everyone with her awesome acrobatics, she landed on the stage, and finished the song while stage fighting with one of her dancers. This part of the show was also amazing, because the P!nk never missed a beat ( or note) while performing this really difficult stage choreography. After P!nk finished singing ‘Try’, the music transitioned directly into Nate Ruess’ part of ‘Just Give me a Reason’ ( the duet that he and P!nk sing on P!nk’s newest album). P!nk then joined him on the track, and completely killed her notes, the performance was simply amazing. All in all, Nate Ruess did great, but P!nk completely stole the show, and left us all with one question…who’s her personal trainer!?! I’m serious, she has to be in some seriously amazing shape in order to perform at the level she performs. Two thumbs up P!nk!!!
RIngo Starr performed his song ‘Photograph’ next, and of course brought the audience to their feet (what else would you expect from a Beatle!?). As RIngo sang, photos from the Beatles’’ prime flashed on the back screen, and brought a sense of awe, due to how long it’s been since The Beatles changed music forever. This was definitely a performance that everyone was in great anticipation for, and RIngo did not disappoint. The only thing that I wished he had done differently, is play the drums. C’mon RIngo, why couldn’t you have given us a little drum solo…please? But this aside, the performance was great and proved that RIngo is definitely ready to embark on his latest tour (which he will kick off on June 6th in Ontario).
Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar:
I found this to be a very interesting performance, and I really enjoyed it. It began with Imagine Dragons playing a few lines of their hit son ‘Radioactive’, and then Kendrick Lamar joined in and performed his hit rap song ‘m.A.A.D City’. After Kendrick performed the majority of his song, imagine Dragons finished ‘Radioactive’ as Kendrick joined them on the drums. He then rapped a few more lines of his song, and the number ended. I loved the artists’ fusion of the best elements of both songs, and it made for a very interesting rock/rap combo. The staging of the performance was also amazing, due to the use of red and blue lights, as well as strobe lights.
Kacey Musgraves :
I really loved this performance, because it showed off Kacey Musgraves’ quirky and fun personality. Kacey preformed her newest hit single ‘Follow Your Arrow’, and she had a very cool country western bar theme going on as her staging. The set was complete with fake cactuses lined with different colored lights, and honestly I found the whole setting to be a very interesting change. I also found the staging to be very influenced by Kacey’s Texas roots, which I found very cool. I definitely have a lot of respect for artists who can play an instrument as they sing, and Kacey did a great job singing and playing the guitar at the Grammys. I also loved how comfortable and confident Kacey looked on stage, it spoke volumes about how seasoned Kacey already is as an entertainer, and I see her giving even better performances in the future.
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr:
Well the rumors rang true, a mini-Beatles reunion happened! Yes, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr shared the Grammy stage together, and sang Paul McCartney’s newest song ‘Queenie Eye’. Paul played the song on a very 60s style, multicolored piano, which was very reminiscent of the Beatles era. Ringo also accompanied the song on the drums, and this arrangement was definitely a flashback for all Beatles fans. Just like I previously said with the Chicago performance, I love when older entertainers prove that time has not made them rusty, and that they can still perform just as well as the young current artists. I certainly hope that this is just the beginning of a long line of performances by the two former band mates!
Blake Shelton, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard:
Ok I found this performance to be so unique because it was a perfect complement to the rest of the program. The men performed ‘The Highwaymen’, ‘Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys’, and ‘Okie From Muskogee’. I really loved that when Chicago, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr performed, that the Grammys paid tribute to some of the legends that made rock music what it is today. On that same note (see what I did there…you may now laugh J), the performance by Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard paid tribute to these men who helped carve country music into what it is today. I also loved the addition of Blake Shelton to this performance, because he is not only one of the current faces of country music, but is also on the road to become a country music legend. It was truly a night of not only showcasing the current and next generation of stats, but also honoring those who paved the way.
Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, and Daft Punk:
This was certainly one performance that had everyone in the audience on their feet (everybody dance!). Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, and everybody’s favorite robots Daft Punk joined together to perform an outstanding rendition of Chic’s ‘Le Freak’, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Another Star’, Daft Punk’s ‘Harder, Faster, Stronger’, and Daft Punk and Pharrell’s hit ‘Get Lucky’. Stevie Wonder was phenomenal as always, Pharrell did an amazing job, and proved why Daft Punk is here to stay. This was certainly a fun number, good job Robots!
Carole King and Sara Bareilles:
I thought that this was such a beautiful performance by two amazing vocalists/pianists. Carol and Sara did a medley of Carol’s song ‘Beautiful’, and Sara’s song ‘Brave’. I thought that this performance had a very cool vibe, and made for an interesting number. I also thought that it was very sweet that Sara has said before that Carol was an inspiration for her growing up, and you could certainly see this in Sara’s face as she performed ( don’t you just love when celebrities fan-girl over other celebrities!?). I definitely hope to see them perform together again, on TV or even in concert. C’mon people in charge of Sara and Carol’s careers, let’s make this happen!
Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Queen Latifah, and Madonna:
This was definitely the performance that had everyone talking for numerous reasons. The performance began with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performing their hit single ‘Same Love’, with vocals from Mary Lambert (the women on the original track). Later during the song, Queen Latifah came out and married 33 couples (gay and straight). Queen Latifah and Macklemore have stated that some of their friends/family members are among those who got married on the Grammys. After the precession Madonna came out and sang a part of her hit song ‘Open You Heart’, and then finished singing ‘Same Love’ with Mary Lambert. It was certainly a very emotional part of the show, due to the fact that it had many celebrities in tears.
Miranda Lambert & Billie Joe Armstrong:
Miranda and Billie honored the late Phil Everly, by performing The Everly Brothers’ track ‘When will I be loved’. As they were performing, the back screen had photos of the Everly Brothers. After the performance, all of the entertainers that were lost this year were shown. I really loved the performance that Miranda and Billie gave, because it was so unexpected yet still amazing. I also loved how well their voices blended together, and I definitely think that they should record a duet (you know that you want this too!). What really surprised me is that Billie Joe seemed to have a bit of a twang in his voice as he sang, and I thought that this was a really interesting surprise that actually really suited him. Two thumbs up Miranda and Billie Joe.
Hello people of the internet!!! Ok, last Wednesday (November 6th) was the 47th annual CMA awards and A LOT of stuff happened. Ready? Ok, let’s get started!
Once again the talented and hilarious duo of Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley hosted the CMAs. The duo’s monologue included many funny moments including a rendition of ‘Why can’t we be friends’ which discussed celebrity feuds. The actual feud between Zac Brown of The Zac Brown Band and Luke Bryan was finally settled when the two singers hugged (awww!). As well as the feud among the Jonas Brothers, the feud between Sinead O’Connor and Miley Cyrus, as well as the feud between Jimmy Kimmel and Kanye West. The opening scene of the show also included a parody of ‘Blurred Lines’, where Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, and the cast of ‘Duck Dynasty’ imitated Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s performance at the 2013 VMAs. The final laugh of the night for the duo was a joke about the frustration that the American public has had with the Obamacare Health Plan, which was set to the tune of ‘Amarillo by Morning’ by George Strait. All in all the banter between Carrie and Brad was really great, and once again showed what a great and hilarious team they make.
This infectious song was all over country and mainstream radio this summer and was even remixed with the help of Hip Hop recording artist Nelly. Cross-over radio popularity and a killer remix on the first single of a new album?!…I can definitely see more success in this duo’s future.
This heartwarming song about a fallen Afghanistan solider and the father who mourns him is performed with such powerful emotion by Lee Brice that I can see why this song deserved the title of ‘song of the year’.
I think the success of cruise explains why this duo deserves the award.
Although Kacey experienced previous success with her single ‘Merry Go Round’, her career was never the same when ITunes featured ‘Blowin Smoke’ as the ‘free single of the week’. With her new single ‘Follow your Arrow’ blowing up the charts, and her work on Miranda Lambert’s song ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’, Kacey is definitely an artist to watch.
In my opinion this music video is not only a great PSA about the dangers of texting and driving, but a piece of art. When I first saw this video, I was captivated from beginning to end. I definitely believe that this was the music video of the year.
Really what can be said about the legendary Kenny Rogers?! With more than 120 hit singles, 130 million records sold worldwide, numerous Grammys/AMAs/ACMs/CMAs, and a career that began in 1958 and is still going strong, I think that his credentials speak for themselves.
From the party anthem ‘Boys Round Here’, to the emotional ballad ‘Mine Would be You’, Blake’s latest album has so much versatility and honesty that it is easy to see why this album was a favorite this year
Now I know that we all know who this artist is, I mean she somehow knows every detail of our lives and writes songs about it, so she’s everyone’s BFF right? Well her beautiful voice and incredible songwriting ability has helped her receive this prestigious award at the tender age of 23. Not bad Taylor!
With previous hits ‘Pontoon’ and ‘Tornado’, this is a group that couldn’t miss. Also, their harmonies, and pure vocal chops are always on point, which was evident by their performance of their new single ‘Sober’ on the very night they won this award.
With a long career of hits (most recently ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’, ‘We were Us’, and ‘All Kinds of Kinds’, Miranda is definitely the woman to beat, and she once again let all know on one of country music’s biggest nights.
Blake once again proves why he has had such great success finding incredible talent on the ‘Voice’; on Wednesday he showed that he is the man to beat by becoming the male “voice” of country music for this year.
Although many amazing artists were nominated for this award, “King” George proves that he still has it after all these years by topping country music with this coveted award.
There were so many amazing performances this year so let’s get started!
So all in all, the 47th annual CMA awards were full of hilarious moments and amazing musical numbers. The show definitely did not disappoint, and made me excited for next year.