Hello people of the Internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to recap the 2015 ‘iHeart Radio Music Awards’! This award show was full of talented winners, unforgettable performances, and a host (Jamie Fox) that definitely kept the audience’s attention. So if y’all are ready, let’s jump into the recap (in order to not keep y’all here reading for an hour, I selected just a few performances to discuss).
Winners (I didn’t include some of the winners because then this post would be A LOT longer):
Best Lyrics: Blank Space by Taylor Swift
Honestly we all saw this one coming. With an infectious beat and catchy lyrics, Taylor has had us singing along to this song for months.
Hip Hop/R&B Song of The Year: Don’t Tell ‘Em by Jeremih feat. YG
This is an example of another song that has an inescapable beat, which is exactly what landed it at the top of the charts for weeks after its’ release.
Innovator Award: Justin Timberlake
Do we really need to explain this one! With each passing year, Justin Timberlake continues to prove to us that he can release tracks that have us singing and dancing along instantly. He is also able to release music that is either completely new, and/or takes what everyone else is doing in a way that we never would have thought possible. Honestly this is the guy who made suit and ties cool again…enough said (below is a video of Justin’s speech that I found on NBC’s YouTube channel)..
Best New Artist: Sam Smith
With hits like Stay With Me and I’m Not The Only One, we have all been jamming to Sam Smith this past year. You gotta love a guy that can constantly make us cry and still fall more in love with him every time we hear his songs.
Best Collaboration: Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, & Nicki Minaj
You heard this song EVERYWHERE last year, and we’re still all singing along. But, when you get three superstars like Jessie J, Ariana Grande, & Nicki Minaj together honestly you can expect no less. We will definitely be dancing to this one throughout 2015.
Best Dance Song: Summer by Calvin Harris
This was the song that made us all wish that summer was a year around thing. Calvin Harris always seems to find a way of releasing songs that we just have to put on repeat. This should definitely be on your upcoming 2015 summer playlist.
Song of The Year: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
Ok, again this was a song that we could not (and would not) stop playing because, well it’s just so awesome! This song has a fun beat, unforgettable lyrics, and even an awesome message about, well, shaking all the negative stuff off. Gotta love how Taylor knows exactly what we need to hear.
Artist of The Year: Taylor Swift
I think we covered why Taylor was so successful in 2014. Now the only question on our minds is how will she top it in 2015? We all know whatever she does, it will be awesome!
Performances (for this section I decided to pick 6 acts to talk to y’all about, because honestly if we try to talk about them all, we’ll be here all day):
Iggy Azalea & Jennifer Hudson:
Iggy Azalea & Jennifer Hudson performed their new song Trouble. The number was very elaborate, and began with Iggy and Jennifer emerging on to the stage, dressed like a prisoner (Iggy) & a cop (Jennifer). Iggy danced around the stage with her background dancers, until they eventually moved to another set that had pink prison phones, another set that looked like a public bathroom, and a final set that had a giant cage. It was a very fun performance, that was a great way to kick off the show.
Meghan Trainor performed her song Dear Future Husband later in the show, and really showed us just how captivating of a performer she is. This cool number began with Meghan on stage dressed in a black long pencil skirt, a coral blouse, and a white and black polka dot sailor hat. The nautical meets 1950s theme continued with Meghan’s large brass band (that played in the background throughout her performance), standing on a leveled band stands, which had neon wave decoration on the front of them. Her backup dancers finished off the fun theme with their black pants, suspenders, and straw hats. The performance was so much fun to watch from beginning to end, and proved just why Meghan’s natural star power has given her such a big year (below is a video of Meghan’s performance that I found on NBC’s YouTube channel).
Later on we had a breathtakingly beautiful performance from Best New Artist winner Sam Smith. Sam performed his song Lay Me Down. After all of the previous performances that got us up and dancing, this performance definitely slowed things down without losing our attention. The number had numerous candles all around the stage, and the lighting very dim, which added an intimate, acoustic feel to the performance. Of course Sam blew us away with his hauntingly beautiful voice, and once again proved that he is here to stay.
Country Song of The Year winner Jason Aldean performed his award winning song Burnin’ It Down. This was another really fun performance that definitely brought the energy back up, after Sam Smith’s performance. The staging included A LOT of fire pits, which added to the whole country meets rock vibe the song has (below is a video of Jason’s performance that I found on NBC’s YouTube channel).
Madonna & Taylor Swift:
Next up we had a very cool performance from Madonna & Taylor Swift, who performed Madonna’s song Ghosttown. The song began with Madonna singing the song accompanied by a guitarist, while the dim lighting on stage “hid” her guitarist’s identity. The guitarist was later revealed to be Taylor. This was a really interesting number, that was very different than anything else we saw on the show that night. Both artists did a fantastic job (which isn’t surprising), and this was definitely a performance everyone on the Internet will continue to talk about for a while.
Jamie Foxx & Chris Brown:
Of course we couldn’t end this recap without talking about the last number of the night (which was performed by the host of the show Jamie Foxx). The two performed Jamie’s new single ‘You Changed Me’, which began with Jamie performing the song on the piano with dim stage lighting, before the beat picked up, and the stage lit up. The song was very well choreographed, and showed off both artists’ performance skills. This high energy performance was the perfect way to end the night, and definitely got the audience excited for Jamie’s upcoming album, which drops later this year (below is a video of Jamie & Chris’ performance that I found on NBC’s YouTube channel).
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss our predictions for who will win awards at the 2015 Grammy Awards! I choose 8 random categories (you can check out the rest of the nominees here: GRAMMY.com | The Official Site of Music’s Biggest Night) for us to look at, and added a few sentences why I think that these artists/songs will win. This is a really competitive year, so if y’all have any counter suggestions please let me know in the comments section below. Ready? Let’s go!
Record of the Year:
Fancy by Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX
You couldn’t escape this song in 2014, and we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Fancy received overall positive reviews upon its’ release, and was able to hold on to the #1 spot of the Billboard Hot 100 for 7 consecutive weeks.
Album of the year:
Beyoncé by Beyoncé Knowles
Ok, when an artist can release an album without any previous announcements or promotion, and the album debuts at #1…well that’s really awesome! The album sold so many copies within the first 3 days (828,773), that it has become the fastest selling album in the history of the iTunes Store…sounds like album of the year to me.
Best new artist:
This year Iggy became the fourth solo female rapper to ever top the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the first female & non-American rapper to be featured on XXL Magazine’s annual Top 10 Freshmen cover issue (an issue that names the top 10 up an coming rappers, that is credited for giving any rappers the exposure necessary to become instant stars) also, she joined the Beatles as the only acts to ever have their debut Hot 100 at #1 & #2 simultaneously, she also passed rapper Lil’ Kim as the female rapper with the longest-leading #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100. Yeah, she definitely seems to have the tile of artist of the year locked down.
Best pop duo/group performance:
Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj
This song (which features 3 really big stars) has gone triple platinum in the U.S., and had the 3rd largest sales debut for a song in 2014. Bang Bang also played non-stop on all mainstream radio stations ALL year in 2014, so it’s definitely a huge contender for this award.
Best country song:
I’m Not Gonna Miss You by Glen Campbell
This song appeared as the theme song for Glen Campbell’s 2014 documentary I’ll Be Me 9which received numerous positive reviews), and is the final studio recording ever released from the legendary singer/songwriter. With a career that spanned over 50 years, and included: countless awards in music & film, a 2012 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, hosting a variety show entitled The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and so much more than I can include in this post. Because of his extraordinary career, and the fact that this song is extremely awesome, I definitely think that he deserves this award.
Best country album:
Platinum by Miranda Lambert
With singles such as: Automatic & Something Bad, we couldn’t get Miranda out of our heads this year. This album also made Miranda the first artist in history to start her career with five consecutive #1 albums. Platinum has also received nearly unanimous positive reviews from numerous critics. In the past year Miranda has been on a serious roll, so I don’t expect this to end anytime soon.
Best country duo/group performance:
Gentle on My Mind by The Band Perry from the Glen Campbell I’ll Be Me Soundtrack EP
Now this song previously won 4 Grammy Awards when it was originally released in 1968 (which proves how awesome the song is), and has gotten A LOT of radio play since it was released late this year. It has to be hard to cover such an iconic song from an extremely legendary artist (and the fact that this song appeared on that legend’s last project adds a little bit more pressure), despite all this pressure, The Band Perry really proved that it can raise to the challenge.
Best rock song:
Ain’t it Fun by Paramore
Ok, you know that you were jammin out to this song all year! This was definitely a change of pace for this band; however it was a risk that really paid off for them. This song is also Paramore’s highest peaking song, made the album it appeared on (also entitled Paramore) this band’s first album to produce two Top 40 hits, and was certified Platinum in the U.S.
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!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss all of the memorable moments from last night’s 2014 VMAs. The show was jam packed with breathtaking performances, awards presented to amazing acts, and other memorable and tear-jerking moments. So if y’all are ready, let’s not waste any more time and dive right in!
VMA Pre-Show & Memorable Moments:
The VMA pre-show was full of so much fun, it felt like a show within itself. The show was co-hosted by ‘Pretty Little Liars’ star/Country music singer/songwriter Lucy Hale, and MTV correspondents Sway & Christina Garibaldi. The trio interviewed a lot of amazing stars during the pre-show, and even got to speak to ‘Teen Wolf’ star Dylan O’Brien, regarding his highly anticipated film ‘The Maze Runner’. Pop singer/songwriter/rapper Becky G and beauty/fashion/lifestyle YouTube guru Ingrid Nilsen (aka Missglamorazzi, you can find a blog post about her here: YouTube Wednesday: Missglamorazzi…the beauty/fashion/health guru who likes her glamour with a side of fun! | celindareyesblog) served as the Covergirl ‘InstaGLAM’ correspondents for the pre-show, and helped us keep track of some of the fun fashions of the night. A moment during the pre-show that definitely had our heads spinning with nostalgia, was when Katy Perry and rapper Riff Raff wore all denim outfits inspired by Britney Spears’ and Justin Timberlake’s famous 2001 American Music Awards outfits (even though Britney and Justin are no longer one of Pop music’s most beloved couples). Another moment that I want to mention right now (even though it happened during the actual show) was Miley Cyrus’ ‘Video of the Year’ win, where she allowed a homeless young man named Jesse accept the award on behalf of all of the homeless young people in the LA area. Jesse also told the audience where they could go and learn more about the issue of homeless and runaway youths. There was also a short tribute to the late actor Robin Williams during the actual VMA show, which displayed a picture of the actor while a beautiful song played in the background. Last but surely not least, let’s talk about the pre-show performances!
The girl group/former ‘X-Factor’ contestants went on to win the ‘Artist to Watch’ award later in the show, but before that, they gave a crowd pleasing rendition of their latest hit single ‘BO$$’. The girls wore different combinations of dressy skirts, pants, and tops, and were aided in their performance by dancers who wore all white outfits. Some of their dancers also carried red trumpets, which added an overall cool vibe to the performance. With the deafening sound of Fifth Harmony’s fans (aka Harmonizers), it was no surprise that the group took home their first VMA award last night.
The singer/songwriter behind the infectious song ‘Boom Clap’ (which was featured on both the film and the trailer for one of the summer’s most anticipated films ‘The Fault in Our Stars’), took the stage after Fifth Harmony, and definitely had the aid of the energetic crowd on her side. Charli wore a light colored dress with a feathered coat, and in the middle of her performance left the first stage, walked on a runway that went through the crowd, and walked onto a smaller second stage. As Charli walked, her steps coordinated with the beating of her drummers, which gave off a very cool effect that just hyped up the crowd even more. At the end of her performance, Charli presented a random fan with a ticket to the VMAs, and the crowd went even wilder.
Winners (these were awards that were presented during the actual award show or during the pre-show, for a full list of the winners please go here 2014 Video Music Awards Winners And Results | VMAs | MTV):
Best Lyric Video: ‘Don’t Stop’ by 5 Seconds of Summer
With the success of their 2014 summer smash ‘She Looks So Perfect’, and follow up hits such as ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘Amnesia’, it is obvious that this band was definitely a contender for both of the awards that they were nominated for last night. Although they didn’t win the ‘Artist to Watch’ award, the fact that the band did win ‘Best Lyric’ video, proved just how dedicated 5 Seconds of Summer’s fans are. Also, the ‘Don’t Stop’ video was definitely very interesting and intricate, (I mean the entire video was a giant comic book, how cool is that!?!).
Best Female Video: ‘Dark Horse’ by Katy Perry feat. Juicy J
Ever since this song was released as Katy Perry’s 3rd single off of her latest album ‘Prism’, the song has become an instant hit for Katy. The song has peaked within the top 10 in A LOT of countries, and has gone double, triple, and even sextuple (which means 6 times) platinum. The video also currently has 545,027,017 views, and it’s only been up for 6 months, so that’s REALLY impressive.
Best Male Video: ‘Sing’ by Ed Sheeran
Ok, let’s just take a moment to discuss ‘Sing’. After Ed stole our hearts with his emotional tracks ‘A Team’ and ‘Lego House’ we taught we knew what Ed was about, but then he surprised us with this song off of his latest album ‘X’. ‘Sing’ is a really fun, upbeat pop/jazzy/hip-hop song that definitely showed a new side to the singer/songwriter. With Pharrell Williams (who has had an enviable career that has spanned since the early 90s), serving as a producer and backup vocalist on this song, it was a guaranteed smash from the start. Now as if the song alone wasn’t enough, Ed added the extra touch of him in puppet form…seriously who can dislike a puppet!?! So needless to say, Ed certainly had a great shot at taking home this particular award.
Best Pop Video: ‘Problem’ by Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea
Now it was enviable that Ariana wasn’t going to walk away last night empty handed. She has arguably become the fastest rising young star in the music industry this year, and it seems that she is only on her way up. With hits such as: ‘The Way’ (which was actually released in 2013), ‘Break Free’, her newest soon to be hit single ‘Bang Bang’, and of course ‘Problem’ (which arguably is one of the biggest hits of the summer of 2014), it is easy to see that Ariana was going to be a tough act to beat. The video is also very cool, and uses a meticulously put together 70’s vibe that gives it an interesting flair. I have to say that this was definitely a standout video this year, so it definitely deserved this award.
Best Hip-Hop Video: ‘Hold On, (We’re Going Home)’ by Drake feat. Majid Jordan
With big names such as: Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, and others, Drake was definitely in for a fight for this award. However, there is no denying that Drake has become a HUGE name in Hip-Hop over the past few years, and the success of ‘Hold On’ has definitely aided him in this. The song has also gone Gold and Platinum in numerous countries (double Platinum in the U.S.). Honestly if you wanted a definition of “cool” then this would be the perfect example, because this video just screams cool. The simplicity of the video is what I really like about it, and this definitely makes this video unique.
Best Rock Video: ‘Royals’ by Lorde
It still amazes me just how much of a whirlwind career Lorde has already had. At just 17 this young star has a resume that many seasoned musicians would envy. Her debut single ‘Royals’ definitely made a powerful and lasting impact for the singer/songwriter, and has already been certified platinum (many, many times over) in numerous countries. I found that the music video for ‘Royals’ was exceptional, because the concept is very simple, which perfectly matches the vibe and lyrical content of the song. I think that the fact that the video is not overly flashy only adds to the song’s power.
Artist to Watch: Fifth Harmony ‘Miss Movin On’
Ever since music mogul Simon Cowell put this INCREDIBLE girl group together Fifth Harmony has acculturated a fiercely loyal fan base. Although they did not win their season of the ‘X Factor’, the girl group was signed to Syco Records, and has had great success with all of their projects. In fact, their song ‘Miss Movin On’ has been charted in numerous countries, and has made the group arguably one of the most successful acts to come off of the ‘X Factor’ franchise. I personally love their video for the song, because it’s fun, and full of sassy attitude, which perfectly matches the tone of the song.
Video of the Year: ‘Wrecking Ball’ by Miley Cyrus
Needless to say, this song was a hit for Miley, but the video is what really seemed to capture people’s attention. Before dropping her latest album ‘Bangerz’, Miley was best known for her hit Disney Channel show ‘Hannah Montana’. Miley’s lead single ‘We Can’t Stop’ quickly showed that she was headed in a new direction with her music and her sophomore hit ‘Wrecking Ball’ left no doubt that Miley had left Hannah behind for good. The greatest evidence of this change was definitely ’Wrecking Ball’ video, which had Miley showing her vulnerable side by swinging on a wrecking ball naked, crying in some frames of the videos, and destroying her setting in other frames. The video certainly left an intense and lasting impact that definitely warrants the title of ‘Video of the Year’.
Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award: Beyoncé
I mean what can really be said about Beyoncé’s career? With a resume that spans nearly 2 decades, Beyoncé has certainly made a lasting impact on Pop music. She first won the hearts of fans as a part of the highly successful girl group ‘Destiny’s Child’(which have left the legacy of being one of the world best selling girl groups of all time), and then went on to form a very fruitful solo career. In her entire career, Beyoncé has managed to win 479 awards, which include: 17 Grammys, 18 Billboard Music Awards, 18 MTV VMA Awards, and numerous others. Needless to say, it’s a good time to be Beyoncé right now!
The powerhouse vocalist that has been dominating 2014 thus far definitely showed everyone last night that she is a powerful, long lasting presence, with her unforgettable performance of her latest single ‘Break Free’ (which features EDM superstar DJ Zedd). Ariana’s performance had a futuristic/outer space setting, where she came out of a spaceship, in a frilly pink dress and boots, and dances with her dancers (who also had space themed outfits.
Hip-Hop rapper/singer/songwriter Nicki Minaj was up next, with a crowd pleasing performance of her latest hit ‘Anaconda’. Nicki wore a green one piece suit, and had a lot of cool acrobatic dancers performing tricks above the stage. Nicki and her dancers then kept up the VMA tradition that was set by Miley Cyrus last year, and participated in a lot of twerking. This definitely got the audience very hyped up, and the energy continued to rise.
Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and Jessie J:
Next up, singer/songwriter Jessie J came on stage and began singing one of Ariana’s newest tracks ‘Bang Bang’ (which features Jessie and Nicki). Ariana and Nicki finally remerged, and began performing their parts of the song. Even though Nicki had a slight wardrobe malfunction during the performance, she still handled it like a pro. The audience certainly loved the world premiere of the song, and it is obvious that this will likely be another song that all three artists will receive a lot of acclaim for.
The next performance was given by Taylor Swift, who performed her newest (and first purely pop hit) ‘Shake It Off’. Taylor wore a cool sparkly two piece (a matching skirt and top), that resembled a very modern flapper look. She also had backup singers that wore black colored dresses of the same style, and male dancers in tuxedos. Taylor also had a funny moment in her performance, in which she “refused” to jump of a large sign that read 1989 (the name of her next album), and climbed to the bottom of the sign in order to finish the number.
Sam Smith was the next performer, and he definitely proved just how hard he can pull at our heartstrings (which is one of the many reasons why we love him). He wore all black, and had a very simple setting, with just one pianist, and a single spotlight on both him and the pianist. This performance definitely played up the song’s deep emotional content, and instantly captivated the audience from beginning to end.
Usher performed his newest song ‘She Came To Give It To You’ (which featured Nicki Minaj) next. The performance started with Usher dressed in white dancing for a few seconds. The stage then lit up, and Usher’s entire band materialized (also dressed in white). Usher continued his performance with a golden mic and stand, which gave the whole performance a very cool vibe. During the performance Nicki Minaj came out onto the stage (also dressed in white), came out and danced with Usher and later twerked with one of his guitar players.
5 Seconds of Summer:
The next performance of the night was ‘Best Lyric Video’ winners 5 Seconds of Summer. The band played their newest hit song ‘Amnesia’, and it was easy to see that the crowd absolutely adored them. The band wore very casual outfits (jeans and t-shirts), and definitely brought back an old 90s grunge vibe to their performance.
Next up was multiple VMA nominee Iggy Azalea, who performed her latest hit track ‘Black Widow’ with singer/songwriter Rita Ora. Both entertainers were dressed in dresses that contained web like patterns, and the stage contained multiple ballerinas that were dressed in black and red tutus, with black mesh like fabric around their faces and bodies. The whole performance definitely had a haunted effect that made it very intriguing to watch.
Next up was rock band Maroon 5 (which is fronted by lead singer/’The Voice’ coach Adam Levine. The band performed their newest single ‘Maps’, and proved that they still have super devoted fans that go crazy merely at the sight of the band. The stage contained a giant capitalized ‘M’ (which has become the band’s signature logo), and the band dressed very casual (Adam wore a Los Angeles Lakers jersey and black jeans). The band brought a lot of energy to their performance, and also played their hit song ‘One More Night’ after the next award was presented.
The last performance of the night (and arguably the most anticipated), was Beyoncé’s performance before she accepted her ‘Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award’. Beyoncé’s performance definitely felt more like a mini-concert, and had her fans going wild. She had multiple costumes, and had her dancers do everything from hip-hop dancing, pole dancing, twerking, and various other complex routines. There was also an excellent use of various types of lighting, which added to how meticulously thought out the performance was. Beyoncé also had several moments in which she was alone on stage singing, and in these moments proved just how impactful of an entertainer she is, and why her fans love her. It would honestly take A LOT of pages to explain every single aspect of the performance, so to sum it up, the performance was certainly a once in a lifetime VMA moment that viewers will definitely not forget. Perhaps the tenderest moment of the performance was the last number, in which Beyoncé sang as photos of her daughter Blue Ivy, and her husband Jay-Z played on the back screen. When the performance was done, Jay-Z and Blue Ivy presented Beyoncé with her award, and her fans got to see ‘Beyoncé the wife and mother’, instead of just ‘Beyoncé the entertainer’. It was a truly beautiful moment.
As you can see, one of music’s biggest nights was filled with equally big moments. From Katy Perry’s throwback tribute to one of music’s most beloved couples (we miss you Britney and Justin), to Ariana, Jessie J, and Nicki Minaj’s jaw dropping opening performance, to Robin Williams emotional tribute, and Miley’s reminder that we all need to be grateful for the small things we are blessed to have, this night definitely had us on an emotional roller coaster. However, all social media sites definitely stopped when Beyoncé took the stage, and proved just why she is beloved by so many and has had such a long lasting and fruitful career. All I have to say is that I am soooo ready for the 2015 VMAs, if they are anything like the 2014 VMAs, then watch out!
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog we are going to discuss a band that is on the verge of becoming a huge force in the country music scene. I recently discovered this band on twitter after they followed me (thank you twitter!!!). Fronted by the incredibly unique vocalist Morgan Leigh Boberg, ‘The Morgan Leigh Band’ has already performed all over the United States , and in doing so have obtained a fiercely loyal fanbase. One of the band’s greatest strengths is certainly Morgan’s outstanding vocals, which contain the perfect blend of country and pop tones. Because of this perfect blend of tones from both genres of music, ‘The Morgan Leigh Band’ will certainly become a huge radio friendly band, and I anticipate them breaking out into the mainstream country music scene very soon. Right now is the time in which great bands with phenomenal lead singers are taking over the airwaves both in country and pop music. However, what makes certain bands rise above the rest is their ability to appeal to both genres. So if you’ve never heard of this amazing band then please read on, because you will certainly hear A LOT from them in the years to come.
Morgan Leigh has quite an impressive catalog of cover and original songs that she has uploaded onto her YouTube account. When I listened to Morgan’s covers, I was very impressed by them because these covers serve as a small gauge of just what she is capable of as an entertainer. Morgan’s first video on her channel is a cover of Colbie Callait’s hit track ‘I Never Told You’ Morgan Leigh “I Never Told You” . I really enjoyed this cover because Morgan was really able to tap into the emotion behind the lyrics of the song, and convey these emotions through her performance. Although this song is technically considered a Pop song, it does contained many country undertones and Morgan further brings out these undertones though her performance. I really loved how she was able to add her own flair to the song, while also keeping the aspects of the songs that fans love. Another cover that I really loved, was Morgan’s rendition of ‘Many the Miles’ by Sara Bareilles Many the Miles-Sara Bareilles(Cover by Morgan Leigh) – YouTube. I really loved that this track allowed Morgan to show an R&B element to her voice, while still giving her license to keep her country roots intact. In this performance, Morgan was also able to have fun with the notes within the song, truly allowing her personality to shine through. Although Colbie Callait and Sara Bareilles are very difficult vocalists to compete with, I found that Morgan did a very good job not only covering these songs, but also adding her own unique artistry to these tracks.
Not only has Morgan Leigh covered numerous amazing songs, but she has also released several original songs that further prove that this artist and her band are ready to find a permanent spot on your favorite playlists. One of Morgan’s original songs (which was uploaded on YouTube on June 23rd, 2011),is entitled ‘Runaway Love’ “Runaway Love” Live original by Morgan Leigh, and tells the story of a young girl in search of love. This young girl never felt truly loved by her parents, so she sought love in a relationship. Unfortunately, the relationship did not end the way the girl anticipated, and as a result, her search for love continued. This song is not only emotionally charged, but it also has a very old country soulful tone, which is often a difficult style for many vocalists to pull off. Morgan’s performance of this song is so honest that it causes the listener to feel every word, and share the pain that the girl in the song feels. Another one of Morgan’s songs, which is entitled ‘Foolish’ “Foolish” by The Morgan Leigh Band (original) , is definitely one of my favorite songs that she has uploaded on YouTube. The song is about a girl in a relationship with an unfaithful guy. She tries to leave him, but when she tries to do so he tells her that he loves her to try to keep her in the relationship. This hot and cold type of relationship is a common theme in numerous songs, because it is a problem that many people can relate too. ‘Foolish’ was co-written by Morgan and as such, certainly shows she has cracked the secret of successful songwriting, which is writing music that is universally relatable. I really love the new country meets old country feel that this song has, I can definitely see this song on the radio. After listening to Morgan’s original songs, I am very excited to see how she will grow as a writer. As Morgan continues to grow within her artistry, her songs will only become better, and more infectious.
Now that you know how amazing Morgan’s music is, please allow me to tell you more about her. Morgan Leigh Boberg (the mastermind behind ‘The Morgan Leigh Band’) is a singer/songwriter from Southern California. She has performed and excelled in numerous singing competitions such as: IPOP, Texaco Country Showdown (in Arizona), Artist to Watch of 2013, etc. Morgan is also well known for her participation in the 12th Season of the acclaimed show ‘American Idol’. During her run on ‘American Idol’, Morgan had to pass several preliminary auditions, in order to audition in front of the final panel of esteemed judges, which included: Grammy Award winner/superstar Mariah Carey, multiple award winner/country star Keith Urban, hip-hop/pop star Nicki Minaj, and bassist/record producer/TV personality Randy Jackson. Morgan was able to make it to Hollywood Week, but was eliminated at the end of Hollywood Week, when the contestants were trimmed to the Top 40 contestants. After American Idol, Morgan and her band continued to perform, and soon built up the dedicated fan base they have now. In fact, the band’s fans are so supportive, that they helped ‘The Morgan Leigh Band’ win a contest that offered up and coming bands the opportunity to open for legendary rock star Pat Benatar (the vocalist behind hits such as ‘Hit me with your best shot’), and Loverboy (a successful Canadian rock band that was largely successful in the 80s). The band released their debut EP ‘Sugar’ in 2011 with the assistance of Grammy nominated writer Jamie O’Neal and well known producer Rodney Good. The band is currently in production of their new full studio album (which was funded through a Kickstarter account by fans).
As you can see, this is certainly a band to keep an eye on (or two…trust me they’re worth it). With an exceptionally unique vocalist, a greatly devoted fanbase, and the ears of Nashville industry professionals, I see no reason as to why ‘The Morgan Leigh Band’ will not become a worldwide phenomenon. So if you haven’t discovered the many reasons as to why this band is so awesome, you definitely need to check out their YouTube videos. Also keep an eye out for the band’s future projects, trust me they are going places fast…don’t get left behind.
Keep in touch with ‘The Morgan Leigh Band’:
Facebook: Morgan Leigh
Website: The Morgan Leigh Band