Hey people of the internet!!! How is your Monday…I know everyone loves Monday!!! (you may now sarcastically laugh…ok that’s enough). On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to recap what happened at the first ever ‘I Heart Music Awards’…and A LOT happened so let’s get started! Now normally I talk about the host in a separate section, but this award show didn’t really have a single host and instead focused on using several different presenters. I think Pitbull served as the host (I’m not sure if that’s official or not) because he gave a very short monologue at the top of the show (after his performance). He mainly joked about the LA Clipper scandal (which is an NBA team for those of you who don’t know anything about sports…#NoShame). That was about it for the hosting duties…so let’s get the awards (yay!).
Hip-Hop/R&B Song of the Year:
‘Pour it Out’ by Rihanna:
This was definitely a tough category, but if we’re being completely honest, it’s hard for Rihanna to lose anything. Why you ask? Well first of all she’s Rihanna which means she’s awesome, and secondly this year she’s had hit after hit from her latest album ‘Unapologetic’ (which charted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart). So it’s easy to see why Rihanna deserved this award.
‘Timber’ by Pitbull feat. Ke$ha
‘Timber’ was performed at the top of the show (which I will speak about later…get excited!), and was certainly a crowd favorite. But, this is no surprise since it did chart at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart(as well as #1 on numerous other charts all over the world). Ke$ha also has a record of releasing numerous hit singles, so when you get two powerhouses together, you can’t expect anything else but collaboration gold.
‘Wrecking Ball’ by Miley Cyrus
Now if there is an artist who has had an intense year, it’s Miley. If you’ve ever listened to ‘Wrecking Ball’, then you know that the song is full of angst and sadness, and the perfect song to cry to while eating a tub of ice cream. I think that any song that can make you think this much definitely contains some AMAZING lyrics.
Best New Artist:
She’s 17, won two Grammys for her first single, which she co-wrote…yeah I would say that Lorde is the best new artist. She has also been able to make history in her home country of New Zealand by being the first solo act to get a debut single to chart #1 in the U.S. With all of this early success, I can only imagine what this young artist will achieve next.
Best Fan Army:
Rihanna (Rihanna’s Navy)
It’s no surprise that Rihanna won this award, because in order to have the success that she has had, you have to have a fiercely loyal fanbase. In her career thus far, Rihanna has been able to conquer music, movies, and has become a fashion icon for millions. ‘Rihanna’s Navy’ definitely came through on this one, and proved why they deserve this award.
With 3,803,044 VERY loyal instagram followers (and that’s just as of May 5, 2014), it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Austin took home this award. This talented young musician has been taking award shows (particularly fan voted award shows) by storm this year, and has proven that he is ready for a mainstream pop career. With the release of his debut album ‘The Secret’ expected to drop later this month, I definitely think that Austin needs to make sure he has plenty of room in his trophy case.
Young Influencer Award:
She’s stared in a hit all teen Broadway production, on two hit Nickelodeon TV shows, and has now made her mark on Pop/R&B music (even drawing comparisons to Mariah Carey…yeah that’s intense), so you would think that it would be no surprise that Ariana received this award. However, it’s not only her impossibly perfect talent that has influence her fans, but also the fact that Ariana has cultivated a very intense connection with them, and even admits to becoming friends with some her fans after meeting them on Twitter. With such a close connection to their idol, it’s no surprise that Ariana is a large influence on her fans.
Alternative Rock Song of the Year:
‘Demons’ by Imagine Dragons
Ever since this song dropped on October 22nd, 2013 it has controlled the airwaves, and has continued to launch alternative rock band Imagine Dragons into the spotlight. This band continues to prove that they can release hit after hit (they even won a Grammy last year for their song ‘Radioactive’), so it’s easy to see how ‘Demons’ had a great chance of becoming the mega hit it has become.
Song of the Year:
‘Stay’ by Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko
Do I really need to explain why this song won? If you own a radio then you know what a huge hit this has been for Rihanna and Mikky Ekko. This track has charted at #1 in numerous countries, and has been acclaimed by critics. Since this track followed up Rihanna’s very popular hit ‘Diamonds’, you know it had to be catchy, relatable, and still hold a bit of that edge that sets Rihanna apart from other radio artists. This song certainly delivers and also proves that Rihanna is more than capable of digging deep and delivering emotionally driven songs with truthfulness and passion.
Best Country Song:
Blake Shelton ‘Boys ‘Round Here’
Country superstar Blake Shelton has certainly had a huge hit with this track. It was a fun direction for Blake, but it also didn’t tray from the sound that has made his fans fall in love with him. The track reached #1 on the ‘U.S Billboard Country Airplay’, and was praised by critics for “taking a chance” with its’ sound.
EDM Song of the Year:
‘Wake Me Up’ by Avicii
If you didn’t know who this Swedish DJ/Producer was before, then you definitely knew who he was after the song was released on June 17th, 2013. This song not only launched Avicii, but also singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc (who co-wrote the track with Avicii). This song has definitely helped Avicii launch himself into the forefront of the rising EDM culture in mainstream music.
Until recently you may or not have known who this producer/singer/songwriter is but this year we all relieved a crash course in Pharrell 101. For nearly a decade, Pharrell has produced hits for artists such as: Gwen Stefani, Snoop Dogg, Nelly, Kanye West, Pitbull, Maroon 5, Fall Out Boy, Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, etc. Pharrell has been well known for years in the music industry, as an innovator due to his experimentation with different sounds, and his collaborations with artists from very diverse genres. Lately, Pharrell has taken his creativity to a new level, and is now also well known for his vocal ability and onstage showmanship (as well as his famous brown hat from the Grammys…you know which one). With such an established history and bright future, it is obvious that Pharrell will continue to make a lasting impression on the music industry.
Artist of the Year:
I think we’ve gone through all the reasons why Rihanna is the artist of the year. I mean with hit track after hit track, and the deep love of her fans, I don’t think that any other artist could have received this award.
Pitbull & G.R.L.:
Pitbull and American/British/Canadian girl group G.R.L. (which was formed by the ‘Pussycat Dolls’ mastermind Robin Antin), performed their new track ‘Wild Wild Love’. The members of G.R.L. wore cool black leather short shorts and some wore fun dresses. Pitbull wore a coral jacket with a peach shirt and white pants. The back screen displayed a brown sky, with small white clouds. The staging also included lots of flashing lights that got the crowd excited. As ‘Wild Wild Love’ ended, Pitbull began performing his hit track ‘Timber’. For this performance, dancers came out and added an energy boost to the already high energy performance. This was definitely a fun way to start the show.
Country superstar kept the energy high by performing his 200 hit ‘My Kinda Night’. Luke kept his outfit casual by wearing skinny jeans, a black t-shirt, and matching black baseball cap. His staging included lots if cool spotlights shooting out throughout the stage. Luke also brought his showmanship to the table by showing off fun dance moves, and interacting with the fans. He’s performance definitely made this our “kinda night”. Good job Luke!
Now if you own a radio and do not live under a rock, you know who Bastille is, and you’re guilty of car singing their hit ‘Pompeii’ one too many times( it’s ok we’ve all done it…and the song is definitely awesome enough to warrant that crazy look random strangers on the road give you as you’re driving). Bastille gave an amazing performance that included lots of cool flashing lights, and the lead singer assisting on the drums at different points of the song. The performance made an impression by being very memorable, and so intriguing that you couldn’t look away. I think that this performance proved that Bastille will become as famous as they want to be (yes it was THAT amazing!).
Ed Sheeran began his performance with an up tempo version of his 2012 (2011 in the U.K.) hit ‘The A Team’. The performance was shown via satellite from the ‘Hotel Cafe’ in Los Angeles, CA. He followed up this song with his newest hit ‘Sing’, which not only showed off his amazing vocal abilities, but also his guitar skills. It was a very fun performance to watch, and further cemented why Ed’s talent has been able to capture his fans’ hearts.
Ariana began her performance with her breakout hit ‘The Way’ (which you have DEFINITELY had hairbrush karaoke sessions too). Ariana came out wearing a black jazz with knee-high white go-go dancing style boots. She was accompanied by several male dancers who wore white shorts and black dress coats, enter background singers wore black dresses that matched Ariana dress except they wore black boots. The back screen had ‘Ariana’ written in large bright lights. As always, Ariana gave spectacular performance of ‘The Way’. She then changed into a sparkly black dress, her background singers wore black pants and white mid drifts, and her background dancers wore black shirts (some wore white shorts) and no shirts. After changing, Ariana sang her new hit song ‘Problem’, which of course she sang flawlessly, which warranted cheers from the crowd.
The most anticipated performance of the night was definitely the premiere of Michael Jackson’s debut single ‘Love Never Felt so Good’ off of his second posthumous (which means that it was released after his death) album ‘Xscape’. The track features Justin Timberlake, and was previously recorded by Johnny Mathis in 1984. The performance was really intricate, with numerous dancers who were dressed like Michael, and danced along with video of clips of Michael (which were shown on the back screens). Usher came out as the song began and danced along with the other dancers. It was really cool to see all of these talented dancers pay homage to Michael Jackson, and celebrate his work. The performance ended with a large poster falling over the screen, with the cover of Michael’s album on it. This was definitely the crowd favorite performance of the night.
Hip-Hop/Rap artist was up next with his track ‘California Love’. He wore a baseball cap, blue jeans, and a cool jacket. Before his performance he did a testimony about seeing a Dr. Dre and Tupac shoot a music video in his hometown of Compton, CA. His song gave off a very 80s meets Run DMC meets Will Smith vibe, and the performer was a lot of fun to watch.
30 Seconds to Mars:
30 Seconds to Mars performed their new song ‘City of Angels’ (I’ll give you one chance to guess which city the song is about…well go on take a guess…you know you know it). The performance included testimonies from celebrities and regular people trying to have a career in LA on the good and bad things about the city (these testimonies were also in the band’s music video for the song). The performance had a very haunting vibe about it, and ended with a superman impersonator saying, “Do I think I’ll make it in the industry? Only if I keep believing”.
Next Shakira performed her new song ‘Empire’. The staging was very elaborate and perfectly matched the vibe of the song. The back screen had images of leaves falling behind a black background that alternated between black, pink, and yellow. Then once the chorus hit, colored smoke was released. Shakiest certainly got really into her performance, which made the crowd go crazy for her. Shakira also brought a very rock and road vibe to her performance at one point, when he grabbed her mic stand, turned it upside down, and sang into it while holding the mic above her head. It was a very fun and unforgettable performance to watch.
Next up was Blake Shelton who performed his new track ‘Doing What She Likes’. The staging was very simple, with a back screen that changed colors from blue to yellow, with the image of a palm tree on the screen. Blake accompanied his band on the guitar, and definitely gave a fun performance that the audience just loved.
Arcade Fire performed their track ‘Normal Person’ (which was shown via video). Their performance included cool purple lights that lit up the stage, and the audience wearing cool foam fingers. This high energy performance was a lot of fun to watch, and continued the high energy trend that ruled the evening.
The last performance of the night was given by Pharrell Williams who did a medley of several of his hit tracks. He began his performance with his track ‘Come Get it Bae’ off of his album ‘GIRL’. The staging was definitely the most elaborate of the night, and included multiple stages, and numerous dancers who wore very futuristic ‘Jetsons’ style outfits. The next song that was performed was the 2013 hit ‘Blurred Lines’. While singing this song, Pharrell went into the area that the celebrities were sitting, and sang to them. The next song that was performed was another big hit from 2013 entitled ‘Get Lucky’. While this track played, the dancers went into a circle of mirrors and danced to the song. The finally song that was fine was ‘Happy’ (which was included in the ‘Despicable Me’ soundtrack, as well as ‘GIRL’). The dancers reemerge in letterman jackets, which have them a very 50s vibe, and was a nice finishing touch to an amazing number.
This award show also contained numerous testimonies from artists such as Iggy Azalea, Coldplay, John Legend, Lady Gaga, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Pete Wentz of Fallout Boy, Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Rita Ora, and many more. the artists spoke about their experiences in LA, their first times encountering the city, and the lessons that they’ve learned from their failures and triumphs in the music business.
Hello people of the internet!!! 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!!! I want to start off by saying that I think that ALL of the nominees are awesome in their own ways, and my picks are based off of my opinion, and should not be taken as a jab to other nominees. Also, there are A LOT of categories that are eligible for Grammys, so I just choose a few to cover in this blog. If you guys have a different opinion about any of the categories in this blog, or if a category you love is not mentioned, please comment in the comments section below. OK, now shall we begin? Great! Here we go!
Record of the Year: ‘Locked out of Heaven’-Bruno Mars
Late 2012-2013 was certainly a HUGE year for Bruno Mars. His album ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’, produced numerous hits for Bruno, and this lead track off of the album definitely began the momentum needed to make Bruno an unstoppable force on the charts. I predict that ‘Locked out of Heaven’ will win this category, because the track dominated the charts, was covered by just about every YouTuber imaginable, as well as on the popular FOX show ‘Glee’. The song shows off Bruno’s unbelievable vocal and writing ability, and is a song that I believe will continue to be a radio favorite for years to come.
Album of the Year: ‘Red’- Taylor Swift
The golden girl strikes again! Ever since the release of her infectious 2006 hit ‘Our Song’ (which at 16 years old made her the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a song that reached #1 on the Country chart), Taylor has had an iron grip on the music industry and our hearts. Due to her ability to perfectly capture every human emotion into an insanely catchy song, Taylor has already won 7 Grammys, and I predict that she will continue this trend at this year’s show (C’mon you know you agree…don’t be mean).
– Song of the Year: ‘Roar’- Katy Perry
Now if you owned a radio this year, then you know this song. Although Katy has had numerous hits, her 2010 album ‘Teenage Dream’ set her off on a ride of unstoppable hits. The lead single off of her next album ‘Prism’ continued this trend, with her hit ‘Roar’, which is the definition of the perfect “I don’t care what anyone says about me, I’m awesome, and now I’m going to let you know by rolling down all my windows and singing this song really loud” song…I mean everyone does that right?…Oh it’s just me? O…K..moving on! Anyway, Roar had such an iron grip on radio this year that I can’t believe any other song could win this award…let them hear you roar Katy!
Best New Artist: Kacey Musgraves
This was such a hard category for me, because there were so many amazing nominees this year. I kept going back and forth between whether Kacey Musgraves or Ed Sheeran would win this award, however I finally decided on Kacey. Although Ed had a phenomenal year, I think Kacey will take the award. If you’re next question is ‘Why?’, well I’ll tell you. Kacey had hit after hit this year, due to her ability to produce catchy tracks about ordinary people living with everyday problems. I truly appreciate how honest and blunt Kacey is, as well as how her voice doesn’t have any genre boundaries, making her likable to a wide range of music fans. Kacey also proved that she can write hits for other artists, due to her work on Miranda Lambert’s hit song ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’. Although I think that Ed could definitely win this award (and honestly I would be happy with either of them winning), I think that Kacey will take home the Grammy.
Best Pop Solo Performance: ‘Mirrors’- Justin Timberlake
Again, this is such a difficult category full of deserving artist however, I can’t see anyone other than the one and only Justin Timberlake winning this award. Whenever Justin is nominated for an award, I just naturally assume he’s going to win, because the man has the Midas touch when it comes to music. ‘Mirrors’ was just one of those songs that you couldn’t escape this year, and honestly no one wanted to! The track definitely shows Justin’s amazing vocals, and once again proves that he has cemented his place in music history.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: ‘Suit & Tie’- Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z
‘Mirrors’ showed Justin’s ability to fully connect to the emotional aspects of a track however, ‘Suit & Tie’ contains elements which show why fans continue to swoon over the superstar. Although Justin’s vocals on this track are incredibly impressive, the song’s greatest strengths lie in its cool tone. Just add in hit maker Jay-z to the track, stir, and you have a recipe for Grammy gold. Although this is a tough category, these two have proven time and time again that when they team up, the result is pop perfection.
Best Pop Vocal Album: ‘The 20/20 Experience- The Complete Experience’- Justin Timberlake
This album was so amazing I need a moment to process my thought…OK I’m ready, wait…ok I’m really ready now let’s continue. I’m the kind of person who loves buying full albums, however I’m often afraid to do this, because there are always a few tracks that I skip. When I saw this album, I bought it right away, and I still haven’t grown tired of it. All of these reasons make me believe that ‘The 20/20 Experience’ WAS the album of the year.
Best Dance Recording: ‘Clarity’- Zedd Feat. Foxes
Zedd’s song ‘Clarity’ is another one that I can listen to constantly and never get tired of it. Admittedly this song is what got me interested in EDM (Electronic Dance Music), so thank you Zedd. Although there are so many amazing nominees this year, I definitely believe that Zedd will walk away with the Grammy (fingers crossed!). Zedd’s tracks are fun, infectious, and written in such a way that they are radio friendly, as well as malleable club tracks. I believe that Zedd’s ability to produce such great songs stems from his background as a classically trained pianist, and a former rock drummer. His understanding of the structure of musical theory has allowed him the expertise to carve his own path in music, and makes his future free of boundaries.
Best Rock Performance: ‘Radioactive’ –Imagine Dragons
This has defiantly been a good year to be Imagine Dragons. They have not only ruled rock radio, but have also found a home within the rotation of mainstream pop stations. Imagine Dragons don’t just produce songs, they produce experiences. The band is able to take the listener into a different world within the span of a few minutes, which has caused them to resonate in the souls of a wide variety of music lovers. I don’t think any other rock group had this big of an impact this year, so because of this, Imagine Dragons certainly deserves the Grammy this year.
Best Country Solo Performance: ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’- Miranda Lambert
Miranda has been able to charm audiences for years, due to the cantor in her songs. Her tough as nails attitude has also given her tracks a slight rock influence, making her tracks the perfect road trip music. The insanely catchy song ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ has certainly been a great addition to Miranda’s already impressive repertoire. This song’s greatest attribute (besides Miranda’s awesome vocals) is the honest way in which she delivers the song (which is made even more impressive, due to the fact that Miranda didn’t write this song, Best New Artist nominee Kacey Musgraves did (see I told you Kacey was awesome). Because of all of these reasons, I think that Miranda will definitely win this category.
Best Country Duo/Group Performance: ‘Highway Don’t Care’- Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
This emotional song has taken country radio by the horns, ever since its release. Honestly this shouldn’t come as a surprise, due to the star power on the track. Tim and Taylor use this track as a vehicle in which to showcase their amazing vocals, and Keith blows listeners away with his amazing guitar skills ( I mean have you heard this guy’s guitar solo on this track, it’s absolutely breathtaking). Although the completion for this category is stiff, I don’t see how these three superstars could lose (and if they do win, maybe they will record more music together…so actually everyone wins!).
Best Country Song: ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’- Miranda Lambert
Grammy’s why are you doing this to me this year? I mean seriously, all of these categories have such amazing performers, I wish we could just give them all Grammys. But since we can’t, I see Miranda Lambert taking home this award. Like I mentioned earlier, this track is just pure country gold. From the lyrical content, to the delivery of the song, this track doesn’t miss a beat, and showcases Miranda as the super star she is.
Best Country Album: ‘Red’- Taylor Swift
Honestly, you just can’t beat Taylor. She has a way in telling a story through music in such a way, that the listener becomes entranced in the album, and before you know it your sad because the album is through (that’s why we must all be thankful for the replay button). ‘Red’ is another album that I can listen to from beginning to end multiple times, without becoming bored,. One of the things I’ve always loved about Taylor (besides her ability to steal my diary and write hit songs about it…by the way Taylor I’m going to need that back please), is her ability to write tracks that have no genre limitations. I like it when an artist is so in touch with their craft that they can reach people who normally wouldn’t be into their music. You go Taylor; Glenn Coco has nothing on you.