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 ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to talk about an AMAZING vocalist who y’all are gonna be playing on repeat all year! If you haven’t heard of Ebony Day, then please read on and meet your fav new artist. Ebony Day is a 21 year old rising YouTube music star, who (as of February 7th, 2015) has 33,028,043 total views and 314,806 subscribers on YouTube. In 2013, she was also the first unsigned artist to be voted the MTV Artist of the Year (yeah, that’s incredibly impressive!). Ebony’s channel has a cool mix of songs from various different genres, so you’re almost guaranteed to find a cover that you love. So if y’all are ready, let’s dive into the blog post and talk more about Ebony’s covers and original music.
The first cover that we’re going to talk about, is Ebony’s rendition of ‘Whatcha Say’ by Jason Derulo, which was uploaded on December 14, 2009 (here’s the link to the video if you wanna check it out: Jason Derulo – whatcha say acoustic cover ebony day). I really like this cover because it’s a really cool, acoustic take on the original song (which is more of an upbeat song). This video is a really good introduction to Ebony’s music, because it really shows off her style as an artist. The next video that we’re going to talk about is Ebony’s version of ‘Good Life’ by One Republic, which was uploaded on October 19th, 2011 (check out the video here: Good Life – OneRepublic (Ebony Day cover) ). I like this cover because we get to see the fun side of Ebony. Most of her videos have a very chilled out acoustic vibe, so it’s fun to see a different side of Ebony in this one. Even though she does come off as a bit shy in the video, it’s fun to see an artist travel outside their comfort zone because it proves that they’re not afraid to grow as entertainers. The last cover that we’re going to talk about is Ebony’s take on ‘Rather Be’ by Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, which was uploaded on February 12th, 2014 (here’s a link to that video: Rather Be – Clean Bandit (Ebony Day & Shaun Reynolds Cover) ). This is one of my all time favorite Ebony covers, because this video perfectly shows just how far she has grown as an artist. In this video we are able to fully see that Ebony is an entertaining performer, who has an incredibly unique and captivating voice. In this video Ebony no longer looks shy performing in front of the camera, and truly looks like a seasoned performer. This cover definitely proves that Ebony only gets better with time, and I am really looking forward to what covers she releases next.
Ok, now that we’ve talked about Ebony’s cover videos; let’s talk about her original music. She released her debut EP ‘The Beginning’, on September 29th, 2013. The EP (which you should DEFINITELY pick up in iTunes after you finishing reading this blog post) is a 4 song album which has songs all about love and heartbreak. I picks two of my favorite songs to talk to y’all about (which was hard because I love all of the songs). The first song that we’re going to discuss is called ‘Good Thing Gone Wrong’ (here’s a live acoustic version of the song EBONY DAY – Good Thing Gone Wrong – The Beginning EP (Live Acoustic Sessions) , which was uploaded to Ebony’s channel on September 13th, 2013). This is a sassy song about a relationship gone wrong, that will definitely having you thinking that maybe it’s not so bad if you’re single this Valentine’s Day. I really love a good breakup song that you can cry too (I mean who doesn’t right?), but it’s also cool whenever artists can release a fun breakup song that doesn’t have to be depressing to be good. The last song that we’re going to talk about is Ebony’s song ‘Crazy Over You’ (here’s a live acoustic version of the song EBONY DAY – Crazy Over You – The Beginning EP (Live Acoustic Sessions) , which was uploaded to Ebony’s channel on September 6th, 2013). This is definitely my FAVORITE song on the EP, because it’s so different from anything that Ebony has previously released. This song breaks away from Ebony’s usual singer/songwriter meets pop vibe, and incorporates more of a Latin music feel (sorta like an early JLo kinda vibe, think of songs like ‘If You Had My Love’). This is such a fun song that’s about what it feels like to really be into somebody (so basically the way we all fangirl over every cute celebrity…you know you do). I loved that Ebony showed that she’s not afraid to take risks with her music, and that she can actually be awesome in a variety of genres. This EP definitely made me excited to see what Ebony releases next!
Keep up with everything Ebony is doing:
Twitter: Ebony Day (@ebonyday1) | Twitter
Instagram: Ebony Day (@ebonyday1)
Facebook: Ebony Day | Facebook
Hello people of the Internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss a young artist who is definitely on the rise. This talented young girl has already stolen our hearts with her infectious Pop/Rap songs, that have shattered records by becoming the youngest Covergirl spokesperson. Although 2014 was an AWESOME year for her, I predict that 2015 will only be bigger for her. Now if you haven’t already figured it out, I’m talking about singer/songwriter/rapper/dancer/actress/and all around cool girl Becky G (wow is there anything she can’t do!?! And she’s only 17…say it with me everyone…WOW!!!).
Becky broke into the mainstream music scene on June 12, 2012, when she was featured on pop singer/fellow YouTube sensation Cody Simpson’s single ‘ Wish U Were Here’. Becky’s career continued to heat up, with the release of her songs: ‘Turn the Music Up’, ‘Oath’ (which was technically released by Cher Lloyd, but Becky is featured and co-wrote the song), and ‘Problem’ featuring Will.i.am. Becky returned to what initially got her noticed by remixing ‘Die Young'( which was originally made popular by Ke$ha) the track also features Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa, and ‘Jenny from the Block’ (which was made popular by Jennifer Lopez, and renamed ‘Becky from the Block’). In 2013, Gomez released her EP ‘Play It Again‘, which features 4 new tracks. On April 23, 2014, she released her new song ‘Shower’, which is the first single off of her debut album. ‘Shower’ became one of Becky G’s biggest hits to date, and she performed it on numerous shows such as the 2014 Teen Choice Awards. Due to all of her success, Becky was asked to open on Katy Perry, Jason Derulo, and Demi Lovato’s upcoming tours.
With the ability to sing, rap, dance, and completely take control of a crowd in any venue, it is easy to predict that Becky will have a VERY long career. At a young age, Becky has been able to figure out how to build a fiercely loyal fan base, and is already a well-loved artist in both the English and Spanish music markets. Becky has also become a fashion and beauty icon for her fans, proving that she truly is a well-rounded entertainer. I am so excited to see where her career takes her, and I know that she will not only build a legacy as a phenomenal entertainer, but will also blaze a trail for young artists who follow her. Give it up for your queen Beasters!!!
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to recap the 2014 Teen Choice Awards, which aired Sunday night (Sunday August 10th, 2014). The show was full of exciting performances, lots of cool awards that were given to our favorite stars, and of course, two hilarious hosts who kept who made the party even more fun. So if you missed the show Sunday night, or you just want to experience the fun again, then please read on to see why this year’s show was the best one yet!!! Our two hosts for the evening were two of our favorite TV/Film stars, Tyler Posey (most well known for his role as Scott McCall in the TV version of the hit 1980s film ‘Teen Wolf’), and Sarah Hyland (who stars as Haley Dunphy on one of ABC’s most acclaimed sitcoms ‘Modern Family’). When it was announced that Tyler and Sarah were hosting, I got really excited for the show. I knew that they were going to do an awesome job, but after seeing them in action, I found that they definitely exceeded my expectations. After the show’s opening performance, Tyler and Sarah instantly showed off their comedic talents with a hilarious opening monologue where the discussed how to open the show. Tyler suggested that they sing a song (and then he started singing Demi Lovato’s hit song ‘Really Don’t Care’, and began to attempt to break dance). After a lot of debate, they decided to open the show by presenting the first award. There were numerous other funny moments, such as Tyler wearing a hula girl outfit, and Tyler reuniting with his ‘Maid in Manhattan’ costar Jennifer Lopez. I thought that Tyler and Sarah made a great duo, and were really able to play off each other’s strengths. They definitely gave an unbelievable performance that will not be forgotten. Ok, now let’s move on to the awards!!!
Choice Summer Song: Demi Lovato ‘Really Don’t Care’
This song has definitely been a huge hit and fan favorite for Demi this year. The track peaked at #4 on the ‘US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs’, and the official music video for the track currently has 25,506,438 views, so it’s easy to see that this song is a fan favorite.
Choice Movie Actor in a Drama: Ansel Elgort ‘The Fault in Our Stars’
Ok, we all knew that this one was coming because ‘The Fault in Our Star’ was arguably the most anticipated movie of 2014. Ansel certainly shined in this film, and proved that he is “on a roller coaster that only goes up my friend”…yes I couldn’t help it, I had to use that quote. ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ has quickly catapulted Ansel onto the A-list and with the impending release of ‘Insurgent’ (the sequel to the VERY popular and successful movie ‘Divergent’), Ansel’s star is only going to rise.
Choice TV Show Drama: ‘Pretty Little Liars’
Honestly any competition that ‘Pretty Little Liars’ is in they will win, because the show is popular, well written, full of talented actors/actresses, and able to captivate an audience week after week, season after season. If you have seen the show, then you know why it won, if you haven’t seen the show, then watch it and you will know why it won.
Choice Reality Show: Keeping Up With The Kardashians
After all of these seasons, The Kardashians’ are still able to entice viewers enough to watch the ever growing family’s every move. All of the members of the family have been able to use this show to launch themselves into the career of their choosing, and in doing so have set the standard for reality stars.
Choice Movie Actor in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Josh Hutcherson ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’
The Hunger Games has had such a large impact on pop culture, that it’s easy to see why the franchise would be nominated. Josh Hutcherson’s portrayal of one of the main male characters has definitely been a large reason as to why this franchise has done, and continues to do so well. Josh is also a fan favorite, who has grazed numerous teen magazines, and currently has 2.6 million Twitter followers…so needless to say he is a VERY big deal.
Choice Movie Actress in an Action: Shailene Woodley ‘Divergent’
Right now Shailene Woodley is one of Hollywood’s golden stars. Literally every project that this talented actress touches becomes a box office hit, so it’s easy to see why she won this award. Along with her incredible performance in ‘Divergent’, Shailene has also grazed numerous magazine covers, and causes fan mania everywhere she goes, 2014 has truly been her year, and with ‘Insurgent’ in its way there is no stopping Shailene.
Candie’s Choice Style Icon
Over the past few years, actress/singer/dancer Zendaya has certainly evolved within her sense of fashion, and has also proven that she is not afraid to take risks. He enviable sense of style has even landed her the role of spokes model for pop icon Madonna and her daughter Lourdes’ clothing line ‘Material Girl’. If the original Material Girl approves of her, who are we to disagree.
Choice TV Actress in a Drama: Lucy Hale
Three words for you…Pretty Little Liars. This show has seriously been gold for ABC Family ever since it first premiered, and there is no stopping this powerhouse drama. On the show, Lucy Hale has been able to develop her character of Aria into a complex young woman who we cry with, cheer for, and basically go on an emotional roller coaster for (yes it’s exhausting but we love it), it can be hard for many actresses to pull off a character such as Aria, however Lucy does so with ease.
Choice Movie Drama: The Fault in Our Stars
Ok, I think that when you hear the words “movie” and “drama” in the same sentence, you will forever think of ‘The Fault In Our Stars’. This film had audiences laughing, crying, and then crying even more. John Green was able to take the story of two young love struck teenagers with cancer, and turn it into a movie that inspired us to love a little deeper, value our friends a little more, and to never take anything (especially) life for granted. If this doesn’t scream ‘Choice Drama’ to you, then I don’t know what will.
Choice Female Web Star: Bethany Mota (you can learn all about Bethany by clicking on the blog post I wrote about her right here: YouTube Wednesday: Bethany Mota, the beauty guru who proved that positivity is always in style | celindareyesblog).
At just 18 years old, Bethany has taken the internet by storm and in doing so has set an incredibly high standard for what can be done with passion, talent, hard work, and a camera. Bethany has been able to forge her own career that has taken her from a teenager making videos in her bedroom, to a fashion/home decor designer, Red Carpet correspondent, upcoming guest host on the hit fashion reality competition ‘Project Runway’, and all around business mogul (not bad for a teenager who started making videos because she was being bullied by her middle school classmates).
Choice Male Web Star: Tyler Oakley
Much like Bethany Mota, Tyler Oakley has stated that he didn’t originally start his YouTube channel for fame, fortune, or recognition. Initially, Tyler began his YouTube channel in order to keep in touch with his friends after he went off to college. Tyler was able to expand these videos into a YouTube channel that contains various videos that cover fun and serious topics, fun TAGs with other famous YouTubers, and advice videos. Tyler has also expanded his brand into guest columnist spots on various popular websites, red carpet correspondent work, online apparel line, and advocate for organizations such as ‘The Trevor Project’ and ‘Kids Beating Cancer’.
Ultimate Choice Award: Selena Gomez
With a professional career spanning more than half a decade (over a decade if you count her ‘Barney & Friends’ years), Selena Gomez has demonstrated her strengths as an actress, singer/songwriter, and dancer. At just 15 years old, Selena began her career as the lead character of the highly successful Disney Channel show ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’, and this set off an avalanche of numerous other film projects that Selena would take part in over the next few years. At age 16, Selena released her debut album ‘Kiss & Tell’ with her band ‘Selena Gomez & The Scene’. The album was certified Gold, and produced the Platinum single ‘Naturally’. Selena has since continued her success within the music industry with the release of three more albums with her band ‘The Scene’, and 1 solo album under the name ‘Selena Gomez’. Selena has also collaborated with numerous brands such as: Borden’s, State Farm, Sears, etc., on various projects. She has also released her own clothing line called ‘Dream Out Loud’ through K-Mart. With such a long and detailed resume at the tender age of 22, it is easy to see that Selena is a bright star that succeeds at whatever she attempts.
Olay Fresh Effects Breakout Star: Odeya Rush
With appearances in various commercials, short films, the Disney film ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’, and hit TV shows such as: Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Odeya is truly Hollywood’s most well kept secret…until now. In 2013 it was announced that she was cast in the upcoming Sci-Fi thriller ‘The Giver’, and since then has been cast in ‘Mary, Mother of Christ’, and a Goosebumps’ film based off of the popular R.L. Stein books. I definitely thought that Odeya deserved this award, because it is obvious that she is a star on the rise, who we will all be talking about in 2015.
Choice Music Breakout Group: 5 Seconds of Summer
With their breakout hit ‘She Looks So Perfect’, 5 Seconds of Summer exploded on to the music scene this summer, and won the hearts of music fans worldwide. The band originally obtained fame and recognition by posting cover videos of popular songs on YouTube, and touring with popular bands such as Hot Chelle Rae (in 2012), and One Direction (in 2013). However the summer of 2013 was the start of a golden era for this band, due to the success of ‘She Looks So Perfect’, and their debut self-titled album. The band is currently (in 2014) on tour with One Direction, and are also nominated for an MTV EMA (Europe Music Awards), VMA (Video Music Awards), and the We Love Pop Awards. So yes, this is the band that everyone will be fangirling/fanboying over for a while!
Choice Female Artist: Ariana Grande
2014 has certainly been the year of Ariana, with multiple #1 hit songs, a highly successful TV show on Nickelodeon (even though the show did get cancelled this year, it still had great ratings when it was on), and a highly anticipated sophomore album , Ariana is showing no signs of slowing down. The young entertainer currently has 17.3 million very loyal followers (yeah that’s A LOT), and more or less the same numbers on all of her social media accounts, so needless to say the world loves Ariana Grande.
*There were a lot of other awards that were not given out during the show that I wanted to include, but then the blog would have been A LOT longer, so to see a complete list, please check out 2014 Teen Choice Awards – News.
Demi Lovato ‘Really Don’t Care’:
Demi kicked off the show with her rendition of her hit song ‘Really Don’t Care’. She was dressed in a black leather jacket, and fitted black pants and top. Demi gave a very energetic performance which included a stage full of fun backup dancers that helped kick the show off on a high energy, fun vibe. Cher Lloyd appeared midway through the track (she is a featured artist on the song), and added even more energy to the performance. The crowd really seemed to love every minute of the number, and this performance definitely proved why this song won Demi ‘Choice Summer Song’ this year.
If you’ve listened to the radio this summer, then you know this hit song by ‘Magic!’. Rude has gone Platinum innumerous countries, as well as topping the charts all over the world. The band’s performance gave off a very relaxed vibe that perfectly matched the feel of the song. They also dressed in very casual clothing. You could really tell just how popular this band has become, due to the fact that they didn’t have to do very much to get the crowd involved and singing along to every word.
Rixton ‘Wait On Me’ and ‘Me and My Broken Heart’:
Next up we had a performance by the YouTube cover band turned Pop/R&B hit makers Rixton (if you want to learn all about this AMAZING band, please click the link to read the blog post I wrote about them here: YouTube Wednesday: Rixton, the band you will be fangirling/fanboying about ALL YEAR!!! | celindareyesblog). Rixton performed their newest single (and title track of their upcoming album) ‘Wait On Me’. The band was able to get the crowd really excited for the new song, and definitely built anticipation for their upcoming album. They then really got the crowd excited when they dove into their hit single ‘Me and My Broken Heart’, which has been ALL OVER the radio this year.
Becky G ‘Shower’:
Although Becky G was a last minute replacement artist (after Rita Ora was not able to perform), she pulled off the number with ease. She went very 90’s retro with her look, by pairing a white crop top with high waisted jeans, gold high tops, and a long plaid kimono style shirt. She also had a backboard that showed different colored smiley faces with a gap between the two front teeth (which is a play off of the gap that Becky had between her two front teeth, that haters often make fun of online).Becky has had tremendous success with this new single, and is definitely on her way to becoming a HUGE name in Pop/Rap music. This performance of ‘Shower’ truly showed off the full range of Becky’s talents, by showcasing her singing, raping, and dancing skills. Through this performance, Becky was able to not only win over the affection of the crowd, but was able to show that she is already a very talented, hardworking performer that is able to adapt to nay situation that is thrown at her (and this is even more impressive when you consider the fact that she’s only 17 years old).
Jason Derulo ‘Wiggle’ and ‘Talk Dirty’:
Jason Derulo closed the show with an exceptionally well executed performance of his hit tracks ‘Wiggle’ and ‘Talk Dirty’. The number was action packed and full of energy that excited the crowd. Jason was accompanied with numerous backup dancers, and special effects such as a police car appearing on stage, and dancers dressed as police officers. I definitely thought that this was the perfect artist to close a show that was full of fun, nonstop action.
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.