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 ‘YouTube Wednesday we are going to discuss an INCREDIBLE new band that you will all be completely addicted to. If you’ve never heard of Anthem Lights then you NEED to keep reading because this amazing bands and covers will instantly hook you from the first note. This band has the amazing ability to cover a wide variety of songs from different genres, and still make each cover sound unique, but also keeps the original vibe that originally made the song a hit. Anthem Lights is a Christian pop/rock band that currently has 379,301 subscribers and over 64 million total channel views on YouTube, and over 72,000 Twitter followers, so if you don’t want to miss out on the music industry’s next big thing then keep reading to learn all about this band’s awesome music. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is Anthem Lights’ cover of ‘This I Promise You’ by ‘NSYNC, which was uploaded on February 5th, 2013. I thought that this was an awesome cover to kick things off with because it allows each of the guys in the band to show off their amazing vocal skills. This cover is also a good example of this band’s phenomenal ability to take a song that we love, add the special Anthem Lights touch, and make the song feel like your listening to it for the first time. Next up we have Anthem Lights’ mash-up of the ‘2014 K-Love Fan Awards: Songs of the Year’ nominees, which was uploaded on March 11th, 2014 (you can check out below). This video is so incredible that you’re going to definitely replay it over and over. In this cover, Anthem lights takes multiple Contemporary Christian hits from the 2014 voting year, and combines all of the songs to create a memorable, entertaining video that fans will love (they have also released a 2015 edition so I would check that out too).
Now we’re going to talk about Anthem Lights cover of ‘Drops of Jupiter’ by Train, which was uploaded on March 11th, 2014. This can be a really difficult cover for an artist to pull off because it’s a very popular song, and is still a favorite among Train’s fan base. Once again Anthem Lights does an incredible job of making this song their own without changing what we originally loved about the song. Their vocals of this cover are so perfect that they instantly captivate you, and leave you mesmerized from beginning to end. The last video that we’re going to talk about is one of Anthem Lights’ original songs. It was extremely hard for me to pick just 3 covers to talk about (because all of their covers are amazing), so it was even more difficult to pick just 1 original song to write about I decided to pick a track off of their 2014 album ‘Escape’. Although I really loved all of the songs off of the album, I decided to go with the song ‘Top of the World’, because it’s a fun, energetic song that’s perfect to blast in the car. This song is a MUST HAVE on all of your playlists! The music video for this song was uploaded on YouTube on October 6th, 2014, and is just as fun and zany as the song itself (you can check out the video below). This video will definitely keep you entertained, and anxiously waiting to see what Anthem Lights releases next.
Keep up to date with everything Anthem Lights is doing:
iTunes: Anthem Lights
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to talk about an AMAZING Country music band that you just gotta check out. If you’ve never heard of High Valley then please keep reading! These guys will instantly hook you with their incredible vocals, and insanely catchy songs. If you’re already a fan of this band then you know just how awesome they are, if you haven’t heard of them then prepare to be amazed. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
High Valley is a Canadian Country music band that has already made a HUGE splash in the Country Music scene. Because of this, they have already opened up for music legends such as: Little Big Town, Alan Jackson, and Shania Twain. They have also worked with country music stars such as singer/songwriter/producer Paul Bradt (who has won numerous music awards both in the U.S. and Canada, and also co-wrote the song ‘For You’, which was performed by Johnny Cash and Dave Matthews for the soundtrack of the film ‘We Were Soldiers’). Most recently High Valley worked with songwriter/producer Seth Mosley (who won a Grammy Award in 2015, and has worked with Contemporary Christian music superstars such as: Michael W. Smith, Mercy Me, Hawk Nelson who we covered in a previous blog which you can check out here: http://celindareyesblog.com/2015/03/monday-memos-hawk-nelson-your-new-favorite-band-has-arrived/, Jeremy Camp, Newsboys, and many others), and co-wrote songs with Ben Stennis (who has worked with country music superstars such as: Jason Aldean, Chase Rice, Tim Hicks), Fred Wilhelm (who has worked with country music legends such as: Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town) and award-winning Canadian country music songwriter Deric Ruttan.
Ok, now that you know a little bit about the band, let’s get to the music! Now I really wish that I could talk about all of this music that High Valley has released because it’s AMAZING (if you want me to talk more about this band please leave a comment below), but I choose 3 songs that I feel will really get you excited about High Valley. The first song that we’re going to talk about is High Valley’s cover of Bucky Covington’s 2010 single ‘A Father’s Love (The Only Way He Knew How), which was included on the band’s 2010 self-titled album. I absolutely loved this cover because High Valley slowed the song down just a bit which made it feel fresh, but were also able to keep the vibe of the original version that fans have come to love. Through this cover, High Valley is really able to make you feel the emotion of the lyrics, and you find yourself getting completely lost in the story they tell. The next song that we’re going to talk about is High Valley’s ‘Rescue You’, the 1st single off of their 2014 album ‘Country Line’. This is such a fun, high energy song, that is perfect to sing along to in the car. The message of the song is really sweet, and before you know it you WILL be completely addicted to this song. Ok, the final song that we’re going to talk about today is the band’s latest single off ‘She’s With Me’ (which you can check out the official music video for below).Personally this is one of my favorite High Valley songs, because it’s a really high energy song, with infectious lyrics, and it’s the perfect mix of country with just a touch of indie pop. You will definitely have this song on repeat for a LONG time. After hearing ‘She’s With Me’, I’m really excited to see what this incredible band will do next.
Keep up with everything High Valley is doing:
YouTube: High Valley
ITunes: High Valley
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’, we’re going to talk about a PHENOMINAL singer/songwriter who you will completely fangirl (and fanboy) over from the moment you hear her. If you haven’t stumbled across one of Rebecca Shearing’s AMAZING covers then you have no idea how deprived your ears are. Not only can she sing and play the piano, but she also has the ability to perfectly tackle any genre of music and make it sound completely fresh and unique. So now let’s get to what y’all are waiting for, the music! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is Rebecca’s cover of ‘Happy’ by Leona Lewis, which was uploaded on January 30th, 2010 (you can check out the video below). I thought that this was an awesome video to kick things off with, because the song is not only technically challenging but should make you experience the feels when you listen to it. Rebecca does a really good job displaying her vocal skills in this cover, and it definitely makes you eager to see what she’ll tackle next. The next video that we’re going to discuss is Rebecca’s rendition of ‘Gangnam Style’ by PSY, which was uploaded on October 15th, 2012. When I saw this video, I was immediately intrigued, and honestly it was everything I thought it would be and so much more! Rebecca did an AMAZING job rearranging this song into a cool jazzy rendition that will give the song a really fun, fresh vibe. It’s a fun play on this viral hit, that will have you addicted to ‘Gangnam style all over again.
Next up, we have Rebecca’s cover of ‘Just Give Me a Reason’ by Pink feat. Nate Ruess, which was uploaded on March 25th, 2013. In this cover Rebecca really showed off her artistry, by fully engaging herself in the song, and bringing out the emotions that the lyrics of this song have. The fact that Rebecca was able to show that she’s an amazing storyteller in this video, only makes me more excited see what incredible original music she releases in the future. The final cover that we’re going to discuss is Rebecca’s cover of ‘Flashlight’ by Jessie J from the Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack, which was uploaded on June 12th, 2015 (and you can check out below). This was such a breathtakingly beautiful cover, and will make you become even more obsessed with Rebecca’s channel. This video really proves that Rebecca has continued to perfect her craft, and now is not only able to sing/play the piano EXTREMELY well, but is also a true artist that will captivate your from the first not to the last, and will leave you constantly wanting more. With all the growth we’ve already seen from her, I can’t wait to see where Rebecca’s career takes her next.
Keep up with Rebecca on the following sites:
YouTube: Rebecca Shearing
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’, we are going to recap the ‘2015 Billboard Music Awards’ (yay!!!). This year’s ‘Billboard Music Awards’ were hosted by rapper/actor Ludacris, and model Chrissy Teigen, and was definitely a show that we’ll be talking about for the rest of the year. One part of the show that we were all looking forward to was the premiere of Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’ music video. With a large cast of celebrities such as: model/actress Cara Delevingne, supermodel Cindy Crawford, and actresses Hailee Steinfeld, Selena Gomez, Lena Dunham, Zendaya, and many more. The music video was very action packed and had a very cool futuristic spy feel to it. This video was definitely unlike anything we have seen from Taylor, and really shows her evolution as an artist. Not only is Taylor an inspiration to all aspiring popstars out there, her impressive new video may also inspire any up and coming videographers that want to have their own success within the music industry. It can be tough to make waves in the music video scene, but one potential way to get ahead is by having the very best equipment in order to obtain the best shots possible. As a director, you could do this by investing in something like the Mavic Mini drone, as this could allow you to get shots that none of your competitors will be able to keep up with, and you may find yourself directing your own Taylor Swift video one day. Now let’s move on to the awards, and finally the performances (I’m only going to include a few of the awards & performances that were shown during the show, because if I included everything, I would have y’all here all day. If you want to see the full list of winners and performances, check out billboard.com). So are y’all ready? Ok, let’s go!
Top Duo or Group: One Direction
We all had to see this one coming because One Direction has been an unstoppable force ever since their first single dropped in the U.S. They have won tons of awards, broken numerous records, and were recently named the first band in U.S. Billboard history to have their first four debut albums debut at #1.
Top Billboard 200 Album: 1989 by Taylor Swift
Ok now we all know how well 1989 did this year, but honestly what else would you expect from Taylor Swift!?! With hit singles that stayed in our heads all year like Shake It Off, Blank Space, and Style, it’s no wonder that 1989 has ruled 2015 so far.
Top Male Artist: Sam Smith
Now if you’ve listened to the radio at all this year, you are very familiar with Sam Smith’s music. His debut album ‘In The Lonely Hour’ went platinum, and won Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2015 Grammy Awards. Needless to say he’s had an AMAZING year.
Top Female Artist: Taylor Swift
With the success of 1989, it’s obvious that Taylor Swift would have a great chance of winning this award so I honestly don’t think that anyone would be surprised here.
Top Hot 100 Song: ‘All About That Bass’ by Meghan Trainor
Now you know you’ve been singing along to this one ever since it first came out. The fact that ‘All About That Bass’ has gone platinum 6 times in the U.S. definitely proves that Meghan deserves this award. I honestly don’t see this song’s popularity dwindling, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Top Artist: Taylor Swift
Again it’s Taylor Swift, she seriously ruled the radio waves this year so none of us are even surprised here.
Nick Jonas ‘Jealous’:
So first of all we have to talk about is Nick Jonas’ performance of ‘Jealous’. This song was a really big hit for Nick this year, and the excitement of the crowd showed that this song is still a hit with fans. This performance had a lot of cool elements to it, such as awesome backboard graphics that really made this performance stand out. All in all this was a really cool performance that fans loved from beginning to end.
Mariah Carey ‘Vision of Love’ & ‘Infinity’:
Mariah Carey wowed us next with a performance that had everyone’s attention. She began her performance with her debut hit single ‘Vision of Love’, which is a song that we all still hold near and dear to our hearts. Next up we got to hear her new track ‘Infinity’. This performance definitely showed that Mariah is still able to impact is with her music, and will be an artist that we’ll keep coming back to for infinity.
Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth ‘See You Again’:
Ok now this is a song that we all have had on repeat for a while now and honestly you have to admit that you still cry whenever you hear it (Honestly how many times have you seen that music video featuring Paul Walker and just started to cry. #RIPPaulWalker). At the award show Wiz and Charlie were joined by YouTube star Lindsey Sterling who, as usual, blew us away with her amazing violin skills as. The vibe of the performance was very intimate and chilled which definitely made us all want to seriously cry. The emotionally charged lyrics were definitely front and center during this performance, due to Charlie and Wiz’s ability to deliver the song in a way that made us all feel the message of the song (seriously when Charlie started choking up during the song, I thought that I was going to lose it).
Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea ‘Pretty Girls’:
This was another performance that everyone was looking forward too, because we love Britney, and we love Iggy, so when you put them together it’s just perf! This performance had a very 80s feel to it, and was such a fun number to watch. It was so interesting to see these two collab because their musical styles are so different, so it’s exciting to see what they will each do next.
Tori Kelly ‘Nobody Love’:
The ‘Kia One To Watch Artist’ Tori Kelly was up next, and she really showed how talented she truly is. It was amazing to see her completely captivate the audience without any special staging or effects. It really made you feel like you were able to personally connect with Tori and fall even more in love with her music. This performance made me really excited to see what’s next for her.
Simple Minds ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me):
This was certainly one of the night’s most talked about performance, due to the fact that the cult classic movie ‘The Breakfast Club’ turned 30 this year. This performance had a very rock concert sort of vibe and the crowd was just completely hooked from beginning to end. It’s really fun to see so many different people rocking out to their favorite song, and the energy was definitely brought up A LOT during the this performance.
Imagine Dragons ‘Stand By Me’ (Ben E. King cover):
The last performance that we’re going to discuss is Imagine Dragon’s amazing performance of ‘Stand By Me’. This is a song that we all know and love, so it was so great to see that Imagine Dragons did their best to keep the original feel of the song intact, and molded their musical style to best fit the song. This was another tear jerking moment due to Ben E. King’s tragic passing recently, but I thought that this was a beautiful way for his incredible talent to be honored.
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).