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).
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog post, we are going to discuss a new singer/songwriter who will definitely make a splash on the country music scene this year. Hannah Jane Lewis is an INCREDIBLE musician with the vocal ability and artistry to completely take the music industry (and your radio) by storm. In fact, in August of 2014, she was featured in an article by the Wall Street Journal, who compared her music to country music superstar Taylor Swift. She has also played gigs at the C2C Festival at the O2 Arena (in England) as an opening act for pop duo Jill and Kate. Hannah returned to the O2 Arena to play at The London Sundance Film Festival. She has also played an extended tour in association with the charity Life Skills Education, which is an organization which assists teens in learning how to deal with cyber bullying/online safety. Impressive resume so far! With several AMAZING covers and infectious original songs, you will certainly find yourself replaying Hannah’s songs for weeks. So…let’s jump into the blog post.
The first cover song that we’re going to discuss U.S. Hannah’s version of Blessed The Broken Road by Rascal Flatts (which was uploaded on July 8th, 2013 you can check out the video for this cover below). This is the first video on Hannah’s channel that I saw, and it instantly blew me away. I love that this cover shows how well she is able to control her vocals, while playing guitar (which is really hard because it involves thinking about way too many things at once). I also really enjoyed the fact that Hannah was able to show that she can emotionally connect with a song, which is an essential asset in music. This video really shows that she has the talent and heart to become a country music superstar. The next cover we’re going to talk about is Hannah’s rendition of Say You Love Me by Jessie Ware, which was uploaded on October 21st, 2014 (here’s a link to the cover: Say You Love Me – Jessie Ware (Hannah Jane Lewis Cover). Once again Hannah is able to showcase her ability to control her vocals, and we are truly able to see her capabilities as a vocalist. She also shows that she can cover a song in such a way that keeps the original vibe of the song, but also always Hannah to make it uniquely her own by adding he own style. I love that we are able to see Hannah perform a song that is in a genre other than country music (even though she KILLS it in that genre), because we’re able to see all of the layers of her artistry. Next let’s move on to Hannah’s original music!
The first original song that we’re going to talk about is Hannah’s song Seventeen Again, which is the lead single off of her debut self-titled EP (which was released on November 10th, 2013, you can check out the official music video below). This is an energetic song about looking back on life and wishing that you weren’t in such a hurry to grow up (preach girl!). This song also talks about living every moment of life to the fullest, and appreciating the beautiful things in our lives that we may take for granted. The next song we’ll going to talk about is Hannah’s song First Time Feeling, which is off of her EP Run With You, that was released on January 18th, 2015 (here’s the link to the music video Hannah Jane Lewis | First Time Feeling – Official Music Video). This is a fun song about first love, and how it can often stay with you even after it’s over. This is definitely the perfectly song to blast when your relationship ends but you don’t want to be sad (or everyone around you is tired of hearing sad songs on repeat). The majority of Hannah’s songs seem to be upbeat and fun, which is definitely a reason why you’ll want to check out both of her EPs. If you love country music that is fun, energetic, and has a lot of heart and soul in the lyrics, then you’ll definitely wanna to add these songs to your playlists.
YouTube: Hannah Jane Lewis
Twitter: Hannah Jane Lewis (@hannahjane001)
Instagram: Hannah Jane Lewis (@hannahjane001)
Facebook: Hannah Jane Lewis | Facebook
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!!! Today’s ‘Monday Memos’ is going to be a little different than the normal blogs that I usually post. As I’m sure many of you know I am a huge fan of Music. Even when I was a kid, I remember my parents playing me songs like the Balloon Song to keep me entertained. That’s not the sort of music I listen to now, but you get what I mean. Music has been a big part of my life even from a young age. Anyway, I literally spend all day with my headphones on, so I thought why not write a quick story, and insert music into it. Basically this is what I imagine a person’s day might be if we all had theme music automatically inserted into our days. It’s meant to be a funny blog post, so I hope y’all enjoy it. Ready? Let’s go!
You wake up in the morning and realize it’s time for school (boo!!!), then you remember that school means hanging out with friends, stalking…I mean talking/wishing you could talk to that special someone that has no idea you exists, oh and there’s that thing called homework or something that everyone keeps saying you should do but it can’t be that important right? So you get up and start singing in the shower, pick out an AWESOME outfit, do your hair and makeup, take a look in the mirror and think “I wish that I could be like the cool kids”. But what the other kids might think or say doesn’t matter because you’re just gonna shake it off. Ok, so now you’re off to school. Great now we’re at school, let the learning begin! (yay?) Ok so school has been ok so far, now it’s lunch time! Oh know there goes that guy you like, quick don’t look! Oh he saw you; well what are you waiting on? Wave! Not frantically like you’re insane…maybe he didn’t notice?!? Oh no, his mean girlfriend did. Great. Well just go sit down with your friends. Maybe they didn’t notice you. Wait, why wouldn’t they notice you? You’re awesome! Well that’s what everyone keeps saying. That girl is so mean to everyone, why is he even with her? Seriously sometimes you just want to scream,” You Belong With Me”!!!! She always makes fun of you because you’re shy and maybe even stutter a little bit. So what if you’re not the most popular or confident person ever. That’s ok right? Wait maybe people don’t like shy? Maybe you need to be louder and more noticeable. But who care what they think right. Right? Then you start thinking “Am I Wrong”? Do I really need to change? Oh no that cute guy is coming. Is he going to laugh at how you waved at him? Quick! Hide!!! Too late he’s here. Ok act casual, act cool, please stop it with that goofy smile. Ok he’s talking, so far so good. Ok, he just wanted to tell you hi because you didn’t see him wave back. Oh and now he’s leaving. Aww that was nice. It’s not fair for someone to be that nice and good looking. One of these days you know you’re just going to say “that’s what makes you beautiful”, then he’ll realize that you’re perfect together and you’re have that fairytale love story that everyone keeps saying is impossible. Yeah it will be perfect! And now the bell rings…ok back to reality. Yeah after all those classes school is over for today! Let’s go crazy, let’s get a tattoo…ok maybe not that crazy. Let’s go home and watch YouTube. Ok well that was 3 hours well spent. You know what time it is now? Netflix time!!! Gotta love Zac Efron and Channing Tatum. Ok time for bed. Makeup is off; pajamas are on, now time for some music and a few hours of looking on Twitter and Instagram. 5 hours well spent. You know what? Who cares what other people think? Yeah YOU ARE AWESOME! You don’t have to try so hard. Right? Right! Yeah, because you really don’t care! Ok, nice talk. Time to go to sleep. Goodnight!
As you can tell, it’s not a serious blog, and I also focused more on lyrics and title from songs that fit the story, instead of what the songs are actually talking about. Anyway with that in mind, I hope y’all enjoyed the story and if this is something that you like, maybe I can write a part 2 in the future!
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!!! The 56th annual Grammy Awards was hosted by multiple Grammy award winner LL Cool J. In his opening monologue, he spoke about the power of music, and allows us to be the person we really want to be. He used example such as Taylor Swift (who he said inspire a generation of girls to tell boys exactly what they’re doing wrong), and Bruno Mars (who was able to release his inner showman because of music). LL Cool J also spoke about how music connects the world and unites us all, he cited Keith Urban (who grew up in Australia),and Daft Punk (who formed their group in France) as examples.
The Winners!!!!!!!: (on a side note, I predicted that Zedd would win Best Dance Recording for ‘Clarity’ and Imagine Dragons would win Best Rock Performance for ‘Radioactive’ and they did win these Grammys ypou an check that blog post out here: 2014 Grammy Award Predictions, before the award show aired…good job guys! For a full list of winners, go to www.grammy.com)
Best New Artist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
2013 was definitely a HUGE year for this hip-hop power duo, and I anticipate 2014 to be no different. The duo’s independently recorded, produced, and released their album ‘The Heist’ in 2012, and the album became a huge, chart topping success without the promotion of a record label. The album has gone platinum and gold in 8 countries, and produced several hit singles, including ‘Thrift Shop’ and ‘Can’t Hold Us’. Personally I think that the fact that this album has done so well without the aid of a label, is a true testament to the insane talent that this duo posses. It seems like an extremely daunting task for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis to top ‘The Heist’, but I am fully confident that they will find a way.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk
If you listened to the radio at all this year, then you are very familiar with this song. This disco/funk inspired track features the vocals of Pharrell Williams, and was an insanely big hit for the French duo. The single went multi platinum and gold in 13 countries, and lead to numerous covers by many notable artists such as Fall Out Boy and Pentatonix.
Best Rock Song: ‘Cut Me Some Slack’ by Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic, & Pat Smear
With such rock star power such as: Paul McCartney (legendary entertainer, and of course a member of the Beatles), Dave Grohl (drummer of grunge band Nirvana, and founder/lead vocalist and guitarist of The Foo Fighters), Kris Novoselic (bassist and co-founder of Nirvana), and Pat Smear (live guitarist of Nirvana/guitarist of the Foo Fighters….do you think Dave, Krist, and Pat ever thought about playing together before recording this song?) how could this track not win?!? I think the accomplishments and resumes attached to these men speak volumes as to why the song did so well this year.
Best Pop Solo Performance: ‘Royals’ by Lorde
Ok where did this amazingly unique vocalist come from? I mean seriously, it seems like this 17 year old New Zealand native just appeared out of nowhere and completely changed pop music. There is no denying that ‘Royals’ has become increasingly more popular ever since its’ release last year. The fact that her first single released in the U.S went #1, is definitely a good indication that this is just the beginning to a long career for Lorde.
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: ‘Holy Grail’ by Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake
I don’t believe that this win really needs an explanation, because Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake’s resume’s speak volumes. Each of these entertainers are incredible by themselves, but when they combine their talents, the result is musical gold. At this point it is evident that they both know the power that their collaborations have, so they definitely use this knowledge for the common good (they get more hits, and we get great music!).
Producer of the Year (non-classical): Pharrell Williams
Pharrell has certainly been a force for more than a decade, due to his work as a producer on several hits such as ‘Tonight’s the Night’ by Blackstreet, ‘I’m a Slave for You; by Britney Spears, and ‘Hot in Herre’ by Nelly, just to name a few. Although Pharrell has been linked to so many amazing projects, he really made a splash in 2013 for his work on, ‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke and T.I., and of course ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk (which won 2 Grammys last night).
Best Pop Vocal Album: ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ by Bruno Mars
Although this was a tough category to compete in, I definitely think that Bruno Mars deserved this award. ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ was an amazing album which produced a lot of huge radio singles, so it was no surprise that the album won. Bruno’s music certainly has a very different vibe than a lot of the other artists that are currently on Pop radio, which is exactly why his music is so infectious and popular.
Best Country Album: ‘Same Trailer, Different Park’ by Kacey Musgraves
This was certainly one of the biggest surprises of the night, due to the tough competition that this category contained. Although Kacey is a new artist to many, she is already a seasoned performer and writer, so the fact that he album took home the top prize for country music is completely understandable. The fact that Kacey was able to make such a huge splash with her first wide-released studio album, proves that she is at the beginning of an amazing career.
Song of the Year: ‘Royals’ by Lorde
Lorde strikes again! Yes, the 17 year old was the star of the show at the Grammys, due to her multiple wins on her debut album. If she won multiple Grammys on her debut album, I can’t wait to see what her sophomore album will produce. Good job Lorde!!!
Record of the Year: ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk
You can’t keep a good robot down! Daft Punk proved that you don’t have to be seen or say anything(they didn’t say a word when accepting any of their awards) in order to be heard at the Grammys. The French duo certainly made a impact, and I think that everyone will be waiting in anticipation of what they will do in the years to come.
The Music Educator Award: Kent Knappenberger
This music teacher from Westfield Academy and Central School in Westfield, NY was the first person to ever win this award. The Grammys have a long history of supporting music education, so I am glad that they now have a student nominated award, which honors those who dedicate their lives to inspiring the next generation of musicians.
Album of the Year: ‘Random Access Memories’ by Daft Punk
Robots! Robots! Robots! Yes between Daft Punk, Kacey Musgraves, and Lorde, new acts ruled the Grammys. Who knew that Robots would control music’s biggest night!? I repeat…Robots! Robots! Robots! Daft Punk is now officially added to the long list of why we must thank the French. Good job everyone!
Beyoncé certainly gave the Grammys an interesting opening, with her performance off ‘Drunk in Love’ off of her new album. The performance began with Beyoncé on a chair, with an extremely cool light show. The thing about the performance that I found to be the most interesting, was the fact that Beyoncé was dancing on her chair, as the chair was constantly ROTATING! I just found this to be so cool, because it’s not a common prop characteristic. I liked that Beyoncé didn’t have any back-up dancers but was still able to control the stage, it truly shows the kind of entertainer she is. Later on in the song, jay-Z appeared and danced with his wife. Everyone seems really excited to see the power couple together on the Grammy stage, and they did seem very much in love during their performance. There was quite a bit of controversy surrounding Beyoncé’s performance, regarding whether or not it was too racy. Whatever your opinion of the performance was, it was definitely memorable.
Next up was the big winner of the night Lorde, who definitely proved that she meant it when she said “you can call me Queen B”(yes I quoted ‘Royals’, no I’m not sorry). Lorde performed her hit ‘Royals’ for the crowd, and gave the hit a fresh sound by performing a completely different arrangement of the song. She had a very simple staging and a low-key outfit (a white blouse and black pants), which certainly match the artists’ very low-key demeanor. She proved that her voice can capture the attention of a large crowd without all of the added effects and stage distractions. I thought that it was a very interesting performance.
Hunter Hayes used his performance slot to debut his new song ‘Invisible’, which has quickly become a new favorite song for me. Hunter stated in interviews a few days before the Grammys, that the new song was inspired by his personal encounters with bullies and haters. I really love the message behind this song, and think that it is a very important topic to discuss. I love when music has a message, and Hunter definitely delivers this with this track. Hunter began his performance by playing the song on the piano, and then later on grabbed the mike, and walked around the stage for the rest of the number. My favorite part of the whole performance was the passion in which Hunter had while he was singing. A few times during the song, he looked like he was going to cry and I personally love when artists cry or look like they want to cry, because I feel that this really shows how connected they are with their song. Hunter also had very cool inspirational quotes on the back screen from celebrities and influential individuals such as John Lennon, Lady Gaga, Johnny Depp, and Steve Jobs. I loved that this visual aid added to the overall vibe of the performance and showed that Hunter is evolving as a showman.
Chicago and Robin Thicke:
They performed a medley of the Chicago hits ‘Does Anybody really know what time it is?’, ‘Beginnings’, ‘Saturday in the park’, and then transitioned into Robin Thicke’s 2013 hit ‘Blurred Lines’. I am such a sucker for horns, and this performance had A LOT of amazing brass elements, so I loved it. I was also amazed that Chicago had such a great performance, and proved that they haven’t gotten rusty at all through the years. You go Chicago! Robin Thicke also proved that although he is loved for his looks, he also has the vocal talent to back up his fame.
Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr.
Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr.
Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr. (who’s from Austin, Texas originally…yay! Yeah I had to include that because I gotta support my fellow Texans), performed Keith’s newest hit ‘Cop Car’. In usual Keith Urban fashion, the performance was more about the music than having an elaborate stage. The two artists’ vocals simply blew me away, and I have I give Gary A LOT of credit, because he could keep up with Keith Urban on the guitar (which is not an easy task!). Towards the end of the song, Keith and Gary went head to head on guitar solos, and it was so epic! I’m seriously still recovering from how amazing their guitar skills are.
John Legend performed his hit song ‘All of Me’, which was made even more beautiful due to the fact that he looked at his wife during his entire performance (everybody say it with me “AWWWWW!”). John played the piano as he sang, and had a very simple staging that led to a very beautiful performance. The simplistic staging really went with the theme of the song, and left the audience in awe. John once again proved what a talented artist he is, and proved that his voice is all he needs to put on a spectacular performance.
Now can you imagine an award show without a performance form Taylor Swift? Go ahead I’ll give you a moment. Ok time’s up! See what I mean, no award show is complete without a Taylor performance. Anyway, Taylor performed her hit song ‘All Too Well’ from her newest album ‘Red’(which was also up for a few Grammys but didn’t win). Taylor accompanied herself on the piano throughout the song, and really gave a fun performance with lots hair flipping. I am such a huge fan of this song because it is beautifully written, and the lyrics take the audience on such a rollercoaster of emotions, and I thought that Taylor did such a great song expressing these emotions through her performance.
Ok the next performance was definitely one of my favorites of the night! P!nk began her set with her hit song ‘Try’ off of her newest album ‘The Truth about Love’. Now this song is already amazing enough on its own, but when you add the fact that P!nk sang the song while doing really difficult acrobatics on wires above the audience, the result is nothing short of spectacular! After P!nk was done amazing everyone with her awesome acrobatics, she landed on the stage, and finished the song while stage fighting with one of her dancers. This part of the show was also amazing, because the P!nk never missed a beat ( or note) while performing this really difficult stage choreography. After P!nk finished singing ‘Try’, the music transitioned directly into Nate Ruess’ part of ‘Just Give me a Reason’ ( the duet that he and P!nk sing on P!nk’s newest album). P!nk then joined him on the track, and completely killed her notes, the performance was simply amazing. All in all, Nate Ruess did great, but P!nk completely stole the show, and left us all with one question…who’s her personal trainer!?! I’m serious, she has to be in some seriously amazing shape in order to perform at the level she performs. Two thumbs up P!nk!!!
RIngo Starr performed his song ‘Photograph’ next, and of course brought the audience to their feet (what else would you expect from a Beatle!?). As RIngo sang, photos from the Beatles’’ prime flashed on the back screen, and brought a sense of awe, due to how long it’s been since The Beatles changed music forever. This was definitely a performance that everyone was in great anticipation for, and RIngo did not disappoint. The only thing that I wished he had done differently, is play the drums. C’mon RIngo, why couldn’t you have given us a little drum solo…please? But this aside, the performance was great and proved that RIngo is definitely ready to embark on his latest tour (which he will kick off on June 6th in Ontario).
Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar:
I found this to be a very interesting performance, and I really enjoyed it. It began with Imagine Dragons playing a few lines of their hit son ‘Radioactive’, and then Kendrick Lamar joined in and performed his hit rap song ‘m.A.A.D City’. After Kendrick performed the majority of his song, imagine Dragons finished ‘Radioactive’ as Kendrick joined them on the drums. He then rapped a few more lines of his song, and the number ended. I loved the artists’ fusion of the best elements of both songs, and it made for a very interesting rock/rap combo. The staging of the performance was also amazing, due to the use of red and blue lights, as well as strobe lights.
Kacey Musgraves :
I really loved this performance, because it showed off Kacey Musgraves’ quirky and fun personality. Kacey preformed her newest hit single ‘Follow Your Arrow’, and she had a very cool country western bar theme going on as her staging. The set was complete with fake cactuses lined with different colored lights, and honestly I found the whole setting to be a very interesting change. I also found the staging to be very influenced by Kacey’s Texas roots, which I found very cool. I definitely have a lot of respect for artists who can play an instrument as they sing, and Kacey did a great job singing and playing the guitar at the Grammys. I also loved how comfortable and confident Kacey looked on stage, it spoke volumes about how seasoned Kacey already is as an entertainer, and I see her giving even better performances in the future.
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr:
Well the rumors rang true, a mini-Beatles reunion happened! Yes, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr shared the Grammy stage together, and sang Paul McCartney’s newest song ‘Queenie Eye’. Paul played the song on a very 60s style, multicolored piano, which was very reminiscent of the Beatles era. Ringo also accompanied the song on the drums, and this arrangement was definitely a flashback for all Beatles fans. Just like I previously said with the Chicago performance, I love when older entertainers prove that time has not made them rusty, and that they can still perform just as well as the young current artists. I certainly hope that this is just the beginning of a long line of performances by the two former band mates!
Blake Shelton, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard:
Ok I found this performance to be so unique because it was a perfect complement to the rest of the program. The men performed ‘The Highwaymen’, ‘Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys’, and ‘Okie From Muskogee’. I really loved that when Chicago, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr performed, that the Grammys paid tribute to some of the legends that made rock music what it is today. On that same note (see what I did there…you may now laugh J), the performance by Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard paid tribute to these men who helped carve country music into what it is today. I also loved the addition of Blake Shelton to this performance, because he is not only one of the current faces of country music, but is also on the road to become a country music legend. It was truly a night of not only showcasing the current and next generation of stats, but also honoring those who paved the way.
Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, and Daft Punk:
This was certainly one performance that had everyone in the audience on their feet (everybody dance!). Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, and everybody’s favorite robots Daft Punk joined together to perform an outstanding rendition of Chic’s ‘Le Freak’, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Another Star’, Daft Punk’s ‘Harder, Faster, Stronger’, and Daft Punk and Pharrell’s hit ‘Get Lucky’. Stevie Wonder was phenomenal as always, Pharrell did an amazing job, and proved why Daft Punk is here to stay. This was certainly a fun number, good job Robots!
Carole King and Sara Bareilles:
I thought that this was such a beautiful performance by two amazing vocalists/pianists. Carol and Sara did a medley of Carol’s song ‘Beautiful’, and Sara’s song ‘Brave’. I thought that this performance had a very cool vibe, and made for an interesting number. I also thought that it was very sweet that Sara has said before that Carol was an inspiration for her growing up, and you could certainly see this in Sara’s face as she performed ( don’t you just love when celebrities fan-girl over other celebrities!?). I definitely hope to see them perform together again, on TV or even in concert. C’mon people in charge of Sara and Carol’s careers, let’s make this happen!
Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Queen Latifah, and Madonna:
This was definitely the performance that had everyone talking for numerous reasons. The performance began with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performing their hit single ‘Same Love’, with vocals from Mary Lambert (the women on the original track). Later during the song, Queen Latifah came out and married 33 couples (gay and straight). Queen Latifah and Macklemore have stated that some of their friends/family members are among those who got married on the Grammys. After the precession Madonna came out and sang a part of her hit song ‘Open You Heart’, and then finished singing ‘Same Love’ with Mary Lambert. It was certainly a very emotional part of the show, due to the fact that it had many celebrities in tears.
Miranda Lambert & Billie Joe Armstrong:
Miranda and Billie honored the late Phil Everly, by performing The Everly Brothers’ track ‘When will I be loved’. As they were performing, the back screen had photos of the Everly Brothers. After the performance, all of the entertainers that were lost this year were shown. I really loved the performance that Miranda and Billie gave, because it was so unexpected yet still amazing. I also loved how well their voices blended together, and I definitely think that they should record a duet (you know that you want this too!). What really surprised me is that Billie Joe seemed to have a bit of a twang in his voice as he sang, and I thought that this was a really interesting surprise that actually really suited him. Two thumbs up Miranda and Billie Joe.
Hello people of the internet!!! I want to start off by saying that I think that ALL of the nominees are awesome in their own ways, and my picks are based off of my opinion, and should not be taken as a jab to other nominees. Also, there are A LOT of categories that are eligible for Grammys, so I just choose a few to cover in this blog. If you guys have a different opinion about any of the categories in this blog, or if a category you love is not mentioned, please comment in the comments section below. OK, now shall we begin? Great! Here we go!
Record of the Year: ‘Locked out of Heaven’-Bruno Mars
Late 2012-2013 was certainly a HUGE year for Bruno Mars. His album ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’, produced numerous hits for Bruno, and this lead track off of the album definitely began the momentum needed to make Bruno an unstoppable force on the charts. I predict that ‘Locked out of Heaven’ will win this category, because the track dominated the charts, was covered by just about every YouTuber imaginable, as well as on the popular FOX show ‘Glee’. The song shows off Bruno’s unbelievable vocal and writing ability, and is a song that I believe will continue to be a radio favorite for years to come.
Album of the Year: ‘Red’- Taylor Swift
The golden girl strikes again! Ever since the release of her infectious 2006 hit ‘Our Song’ (which at 16 years old made her the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a song that reached #1 on the Country chart), Taylor has had an iron grip on the music industry and our hearts. Due to her ability to perfectly capture every human emotion into an insanely catchy song, Taylor has already won 7 Grammys, and I predict that she will continue this trend at this year’s show (C’mon you know you agree…don’t be mean).
– Song of the Year: ‘Roar’- Katy Perry
Now if you owned a radio this year, then you know this song. Although Katy has had numerous hits, her 2010 album ‘Teenage Dream’ set her off on a ride of unstoppable hits. The lead single off of her next album ‘Prism’ continued this trend, with her hit ‘Roar’, which is the definition of the perfect “I don’t care what anyone says about me, I’m awesome, and now I’m going to let you know by rolling down all my windows and singing this song really loud” song…I mean everyone does that right?…Oh it’s just me? O…K..moving on! Anyway, Roar had such an iron grip on radio this year that I can’t believe any other song could win this award…let them hear you roar Katy!
Best New Artist: Kacey Musgraves
This was such a hard category for me, because there were so many amazing nominees this year. I kept going back and forth between whether Kacey Musgraves or Ed Sheeran would win this award, however I finally decided on Kacey. Although Ed had a phenomenal year, I think Kacey will take the award. If you’re next question is ‘Why?’, well I’ll tell you. Kacey had hit after hit this year, due to her ability to produce catchy tracks about ordinary people living with everyday problems. I truly appreciate how honest and blunt Kacey is, as well as how her voice doesn’t have any genre boundaries, making her likable to a wide range of music fans. Kacey also proved that she can write hits for other artists, due to her work on Miranda Lambert’s hit song ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’. Although I think that Ed could definitely win this award (and honestly I would be happy with either of them winning), I think that Kacey will take home the Grammy.
Best Pop Solo Performance: ‘Mirrors’- Justin Timberlake
Again, this is such a difficult category full of deserving artist however, I can’t see anyone other than the one and only Justin Timberlake winning this award. Whenever Justin is nominated for an award, I just naturally assume he’s going to win, because the man has the Midas touch when it comes to music. ‘Mirrors’ was just one of those songs that you couldn’t escape this year, and honestly no one wanted to! The track definitely shows Justin’s amazing vocals, and once again proves that he has cemented his place in music history.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: ‘Suit & Tie’- Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z
‘Mirrors’ showed Justin’s ability to fully connect to the emotional aspects of a track however, ‘Suit & Tie’ contains elements which show why fans continue to swoon over the superstar. Although Justin’s vocals on this track are incredibly impressive, the song’s greatest strengths lie in its cool tone. Just add in hit maker Jay-z to the track, stir, and you have a recipe for Grammy gold. Although this is a tough category, these two have proven time and time again that when they team up, the result is pop perfection.
Best Pop Vocal Album: ‘The 20/20 Experience- The Complete Experience’- Justin Timberlake
This album was so amazing I need a moment to process my thought…OK I’m ready, wait…ok I’m really ready now let’s continue. I’m the kind of person who loves buying full albums, however I’m often afraid to do this, because there are always a few tracks that I skip. When I saw this album, I bought it right away, and I still haven’t grown tired of it. All of these reasons make me believe that ‘The 20/20 Experience’ WAS the album of the year.
Best Dance Recording: ‘Clarity’- Zedd Feat. Foxes
Zedd’s song ‘Clarity’ is another one that I can listen to constantly and never get tired of it. Admittedly this song is what got me interested in EDM (Electronic Dance Music), so thank you Zedd. Although there are so many amazing nominees this year, I definitely believe that Zedd will walk away with the Grammy (fingers crossed!). Zedd’s tracks are fun, infectious, and written in such a way that they are radio friendly, as well as malleable club tracks. I believe that Zedd’s ability to produce such great songs stems from his background as a classically trained pianist, and a former rock drummer. His understanding of the structure of musical theory has allowed him the expertise to carve his own path in music, and makes his future free of boundaries.
Best Rock Performance: ‘Radioactive’ –Imagine Dragons
This has defiantly been a good year to be Imagine Dragons. They have not only ruled rock radio, but have also found a home within the rotation of mainstream pop stations. Imagine Dragons don’t just produce songs, they produce experiences. The band is able to take the listener into a different world within the span of a few minutes, which has caused them to resonate in the souls of a wide variety of music lovers. I don’t think any other rock group had this big of an impact this year, so because of this, Imagine Dragons certainly deserves the Grammy this year.
Best Country Solo Performance: ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’- Miranda Lambert
Miranda has been able to charm audiences for years, due to the cantor in her songs. Her tough as nails attitude has also given her tracks a slight rock influence, making her tracks the perfect road trip music. The insanely catchy song ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ has certainly been a great addition to Miranda’s already impressive repertoire. This song’s greatest attribute (besides Miranda’s awesome vocals) is the honest way in which she delivers the song (which is made even more impressive, due to the fact that Miranda didn’t write this song, Best New Artist nominee Kacey Musgraves did (see I told you Kacey was awesome). Because of all of these reasons, I think that Miranda will definitely win this category.
Best Country Duo/Group Performance: ‘Highway Don’t Care’- Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
This emotional song has taken country radio by the horns, ever since its release. Honestly this shouldn’t come as a surprise, due to the star power on the track. Tim and Taylor use this track as a vehicle in which to showcase their amazing vocals, and Keith blows listeners away with his amazing guitar skills ( I mean have you heard this guy’s guitar solo on this track, it’s absolutely breathtaking). Although the completion for this category is stiff, I don’t see how these three superstars could lose (and if they do win, maybe they will record more music together…so actually everyone wins!).
Best Country Song: ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’- Miranda Lambert
Grammy’s why are you doing this to me this year? I mean seriously, all of these categories have such amazing performers, I wish we could just give them all Grammys. But since we can’t, I see Miranda Lambert taking home this award. Like I mentioned earlier, this track is just pure country gold. From the lyrical content, to the delivery of the song, this track doesn’t miss a beat, and showcases Miranda as the super star she is.
Best Country Album: ‘Red’- Taylor Swift
Honestly, you just can’t beat Taylor. She has a way in telling a story through music in such a way, that the listener becomes entranced in the album, and before you know it your sad because the album is through (that’s why we must all be thankful for the replay button). ‘Red’ is another album that I can listen to from beginning to end multiple times, without becoming bored,. One of the things I’ve always loved about Taylor (besides her ability to steal my diary and write hit songs about it…by the way Taylor I’m going to need that back please), is her ability to write tracks that have no genre limitations. I like it when an artist is so in touch with their craft that they can reach people who normally wouldn’t be into their music. You go Taylor; Glenn Coco has nothing on you.