Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to recap the 2015 CMA awards. The show was full of funny moments, awesome awards, and most of all, great music. Once again Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood did a great job as the show’s hosts, and left us all laughing during their opening monologue. In the monologue they recapped some of the hottest pop culture stories from this year including: Donald Trump, man hair buns, the Ashley Madison scandal, the divorces of Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, as well as Kermit and Miss Piggy, and a shout out to country music legend Little Jimmy Dickens who passed away earlier this year. The night was definitely filled with unforgettable moments that made this year’s show the best one yet. Now let’s move on to the awards and then the music. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
This song was insanely popular this year, so it’s easy to predict that it would take home this win. This song really shows the progression of Little Big Town as a band and will leave us all exited to see what they do next.
We’ve already covered how amazing this song is so let’s keep going. Ok? Ok.
If you had never heard of Chris Stapleton before the CMAs, then you DEFINTELY know who he is now. Once we got to see Chris perform at the show (which we’ll talk about later), it was easy to see that he definitely deserves this award (if you didn’t see his performance, you HAVE to check it out below, this video only shows one of the songs, but it’s AMAZING!).
If you listened to country music radio this year, then you heard Florida Georgia Line A LOT. The duo has had impressive numbers ever since they first hit the music scene, and that momentum has not stopped. Although this was a tough category, FGL proves time and time again that they deserve this honor.
This was another really tough category, but ‘Traveller’ peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 list, and at #2 on the U.S. Billboard Country chart. With all of the extra exposure that Chris got during the CMAs, we can only expect that his next album will do even better.
With such an amazing year and an impressive winning streak at the CMAs this year, it’s easy to see how Little Big Town won this award.
For years now Miranda Lambert has been an unstoppable force in the music world, and this year was no exception. This year Miranda released 2 singles from her 2014 album ‘Platinum’ called: ‘Little Red Wagon’ (which has sold 432,000 downloads in the US) and ‘Smokin’; and Drinkin’ (which features the night’s big winner Little Big Town).
Between his performance at the show, and big win as New Artist of the Year, I don’t think we even need to explain this win.
For the past few years Luke Bryan has been another unstoppable force in country music, and is definitely someone you’ve heard all year long. This year Luke released his newest album ‘Kill the Lights’ (and the 2 singles from ‘Kill the Lights’), which peaked at #1 and #2 on numerous Billboard charts in numerous countries.
Performances: (this was a REALLY tough category because I honestly wanted to write about all of the amazing performances, but I narrowed the list down to 5 so I hope y’all enjoy it):
Because of all of the buzz that this song has gotten in 2015, this was a very highly anticipated performance that definitely lived up to the hype. The performance featured all of the members of the group on stage with soft lighting that went from blue, to gold, to red, etc. The song was amazing and definitely showed off the group’s beautiful vocal skills.
This recap just wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t talk about the amazing performance from one of the night’s hosts Carrie Underwood. The performance was very cool and really raised the energy of the show. Not only did we get to see Carrie’s phenomenal vocal abilities, but we also saw her awesome guitar skills.
We couldn’t finish the recap without discussing one of the night’s most talked about performances. The overall number was very cool and had an interesting pop/soul meets country vibe that made it the most uniquely awesome number of the night. It was cool to see Justin Timberlake at the show because he definitely kept the energy of the night up, and we also got to see what a great showman Chris Stapleton is, so it was a certainly a can’t miss performance.
This was a really fun number that really showed off Brad Paisley’s charisma and natural stage presence. The number included the mascots from numerous colleges, which really hyped up the crowd and made the number truly unforgettable. This performance really showed that not only is Brad an amazing host, but is also an all around phenomenal entertainer.
This was another highly anticipated performance that had the internet buzzing all night. Miranda looked awesome with her new pink hair and matching pink guitar, the number was very energetic and proved that Miranda is an entertainer that we can trust to never disappoint us.
This has to win the award for most anticipated performance of the night. Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn each performed 2 of their big hits, which left the crowd in awe from beginning to end (you can check out a performance of one of these songs below). It’s not often that we get to see two iconic acts perform together, so this number really made this year’s CMAs unforgettable. This was the last performance of the night, and really left the show on a high energy note that was the perfect way to end such an amazing celebration of country music.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss an AMAZING band that you will have on repeat all year. If you haven’t heard of the awesome pop punk/Christian rock band Hawk Nelson (which is hard to believe considering their music has charted at #1 on VH1’s ‘Top 20 Countdown’, and they have been nominated for numerous of the music industry’s top awards), then be prepared to become addicted to their music. What’s really cool about this band’s sound is that it has a wide variety of influences, so whether you like pop, punk, or rock, you will find songs that you love! Their new album ‘Diamonds’ dropped today (March 17th), so y’all should all definitely pick up a copy (I promise you won’t be disappointed). So, if you’re not already a Hawk Nelson fan, please read on and prepare to become obsessed.
The first song we’re going to discuss is the band’s song Shaken, (which is off of their 2009 album ‘Live Life Loud’, you can check out the official music video for the song below). This is a really powerful song that will instantly grab your attention and won’t let go until the last note. I love that the lyrics have a really powerful message about a person being “shaken” by something and because of this, wanting to find out how they can make a difference. The music video for this song is also extremely powerful, and will definitely make you wonder what you could do to make a positive difference in the world. The next song that we’re going to talk about is Hawk Nelson’s single ‘Words’ (which is off of their 2013 album Made). I thought that this was a good song for us to talk about next because so many problems that we have in our day-to-day lives is caused by words. As this song explains, words have the power to lift us up, or tear us down. I think that this song is the perfect anthem for all of the bullying that so many people face daily at work, school, home, and even over the internet.
Now we’re going to discuss two of the new songs off of Hawk Nelson’s latest album Diamonds. The first song that we’re going to talk about is the band’s single ‘Drops In The Ocean’ (you can check out the official music video below). This is a really sweet song about someone loving & forgiving you unconditionally. The lyrics in this song really leaves a powerful impact. Whether you think of God, a family member, a friend, or someone else when you hear this song, I definitely think it’s one that we can all relate to. The final song that we’re going to discuss is the title song of the album, ‘Diamonds’. Now even though I LOVE so many of Hawk Nelson’s songs, I have to say that this one is my one of my top favorites. This is the perfect song to kick off your spring/summer playlists with! It is an energetic, uplifting song about God helping you take the negative things in your life, and turning them into positive things. With all of the pressure that we face in our day to day lives, it’s nice sometimes to hear that everything will be ok, and this song will definitely leave you feeling that way. Judging by these two songs, I definitely think that this album is a must have for anyone who loves AMAZING music!
Keep up with everything Hawk Nelson is doing:
Twitter: Hawk Nelson (@hawknelson) | Twitter
YouTube: Hawk Nelson – YouTube
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
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.