Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog, we are going to discuss an AMAZING up and coming artist who has all of the tools to become a country music superstar. Dakota Bradley is Streamsound Record’s newest artist, and along with his incredible vocal and guitar skills, catchy songs, and natural charisma, Dakota has one more thing that will definitely help him in his career. What is this secret weapon? A mentorship with country music legend Tim McGraw. Yes, the same Tim McGraw who has won more awards, and has had more #1 hits than we can count. So read on to see why Dakota Bradley is soon going to become your newest musical obsession.
Dakota Bradley is a country music singer/songwriter/guitarist from St. Louis, Missouri. Dakota became an internet sensation when he and his friend CJ Holland posted their version of the Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s track ‘The Girl Is Mine’. This viral video led to an appearance on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ in 2010. Bradley built on this momentum in 2011 by co-writing ‘All Of My Tomorrows’, with Colt Ford (this was later released on Colt’s 2012 album, ‘Declaration of Independence’. Also in 2012, Bradley was signed to a recording and publishing deal with Streamsound Records (a label founded by Grammy-award winning producer Byron Gallimore and Jim Wilkes). Bradley’s debut single ‘Somethin’ Like Somethin’, was released on May 14th, 2013 and peaked at #53 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. ‘Somethin’ Like Somethin’ was originally intended for Tim McGraw’s latest album ‘Two Lanes of Freedom’, but was given to Dakota by Tim. In August of 2013, Bradley opened for Tim McGraw in Phoenix, Arizona during the ‘Two Lanes of Freedom Tour’. Dakota also released a special track, called ‘Wild Child’ on SiriusXM’s ‘The Highway’, in November of 2013. Dakota’s second single ‘Won’t Be Young Forever’ (which he co-wrote) was released in April of 2014. Dakota is currently working on his highly anticipated debut album, which is being produced by Byron Gallimore and Tim McGraw.
I couldn’t find the original upload of Dakota and CJ Holland’s rendition of Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s track ‘The Girl Is Mine’ CJ Holland and Dakota Bradley sing “The Girl is Mine”, however I did find a YouTube channel with the video uploaded (if this is the original video I apologize, I just wasn’t sure). I absolutely love this cover, because it is extremely good, which is a difficult task considering the fact that Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney are music legends, and extremely talented musicians/vocalists. The fact that Dakota and CJ were able to do so well on the track really impressed me. Dakota uploaded his first solo video on YouTube (on his official ‘Dakota Bradley’ channel) on August 25th, 2010. The video was his rendition of Taylor Swift’s hit track ‘Mine’ Dakota Bradley – “Mine” (Taylor Swift Cover) , off of her ‘Sparks Fly’ album. I really love this cover, because it shows off Dakota’s mastery of playing lead guitar and singing simultaneously live (which if you didn’t know, is VERY hard). This video will DEFINITELY amaze you, and shows that Dakota truly is the real deal. The last cover video that we are going to speak about in this section, is Dakota’s rendition of Rascal Flatts’ emotionally charged ballad ‘I Won’t Let Go’ Dakota Bradley – “I Won’t Let Go” (Rascal Flatts Cover) . This cover was uploaded on March 21st, 2011, and features Dakota’s super impressive piano skills (seriously he can sing, he can write, he play the guitar and piano, is there anything that this guy CAN’T do!?!). I really loved that this video showed that Dakota is able to tap into his emotions to deliver a song, and proves that his artistry is already very well developed.
Dakota uploaded a live version of his debut single ‘Somethin’ Like Somethin’ Dakota Bradley – “Somethin’ like Somethin'” – YouTube on his YouTube channel on February 19th, 2013. I thought that this song was an excellent debut track, because it’s upbeat, catchy, and the perfect song for summer. This song provided a very strong start for Dakota, and is definitely a song YOU should add to your music library (well finish reading the blog, and then hop over to iTunes and buy the song. Ok? Ok!). Tim McGraw (who the track was originally intended for), gave the following statement to ‘forthecountryrecord.com in 2013′, “Dakota is the real deal. He is a great young artist who defies the trends and lives for his music. His voice is unique and instantly recognizable, and his ability to convey pure emotion in his music draws the listener in from the very first word of every song. Working with him on this project has been a lot of fun. The single is a great summer song and I really think Country radio is going to dig it.” The next track that Dakota released entitled ‘Wild Child’ was uploaded onto iTunes on November 26th, 2013. This song is another upbeat track, that will have you dancing and singing along in the car. ‘Wild Child’ is about being young and falling in love with that “wild one”(you know, the person that your parents would have a heart attack over if they knew you were with them…yeah that one). I really love how much fun this song is to listen to, and can easily see it playing on the radio. Dakota’s latest single ‘Won’t Be Young Forever’, Dakota Bradley – “Won’t Be Young Forever” Official Audio (which was uploaded on his YouTube channel on April 16th, 2014) is another track that you should have in your music library. This is another perfect song for the summer, that will have you singing along on road trips with your friends, or putting on concerts in front of your mirror with your hairbrush (not that any of us do that…yeah…moving on). This track certainly shows how much Dakota has grown as a musician over the past few years, and further shows how great a business man he is, due to the fact that he know what types of tracks his fans want.
So needless to say, it’s easy to see that Dakota’s music is soon going to completely take over country music radio, and all music award shows. Also, the vast amount of natural talent that he has at such a young age, only further excites me in regard to what his future holds. Dakota is definitely an artist to watch out for, and I anticipate that he is going to have an AMAZING, long lasting career.
Keep up to date with everything Dakota Bradley is doing here:
YouTube: Dakota Bradley – YouTube
Facebook: Dakota Bradley | Facebook
Hello people of the internet!!! This past Sunday (April 13th, 2014) was the MTV Movie Awards, and as always A LOT of crazy stuff happened. The show was hosted by late night talk show host Conan O’Brien, and he certainly did not disappoint (but more on how he did later…don’t worry it’s worth the wait). Now anyone who has seen the MTV Movie Awards before knows that the award show has a history of crazy things happening, and this year the craziness was in full swing. Although the show was jam packed with fun moments, I picked my ‘Top 3 Unforgettable Moments’.
3) Grumpy Cat:
Yes, the internet phenomenon grumpy cat made her presence known at this year’s movie awards. As the host Conan joked, Grumpy Cat had an even better seat than 98 Degrees star (a popular boy band in the 90’s for anyone too young to know) Nick Lachey (what’s funniest about this joke, is that it was true)…however, in her normal grumpy fashion, Grumpy Cat was not impressed by her star treatment or this joke very funny at all (why so serious Grumpy Cat?!?).
2) Seth Rogen making out with his “mom”:
Yes you read that right, Seth Rogen made out with his mom (hopefully not his real mom because this would give a whole new meaning to the phrase “close relationship”. Now if you didn’t see the show, here is how it went down. Dave Franco, Zac Efron, and Seth Rogen all went on stage and announced that three lucky people had a golden ticket under their seat and because of this would have the opportunity to win a kiss from one of the three of them. First two beautiful young women came down for Dave Zac, and when it was Seth’s turn, he got a big surprise…his mother (or someone playing his mother…we still don’t know). Dave and Zac both kissed their winners, and Seth completely made out with his mother…so it was certainly a moment that will go down in MTV history (and an image that will scar us for the rest of time…anyways moving on).
1) Rita Ora and Zac Efron’s shirtless moment:
First please allow me to speak for everyone reading this when I say THANK YOU RITA ORA!!!!! (oh you know you were thinking it). Ok, here’s what happened! Zac Efron was accepting his award for Best Shirtless scene for the film ‘That Awkward Moment’. When Zac was in mid speech, Rita came up behind him and pulled the shirt he was wearing, so it would unbutton. Then, Zac took off his shirt and everyone screamed (definitely not an awkward moment)…and this is why Rita Ora is now everyone’s favorite human being ever. So as you can see, MTV definitely brought the funny, but this year I have to give an honorable mention to the most adorable Unforgettable moment ever…in the history of the world…ever…seriously this was the cutest thing ever! What is this moment you might ask, well I can sum it up in 3 words…puppies in costumes!!! Yes, during the pre-show we got to see a bunch of adorable puppies dressed up as super heroes and various other characters. In my opinion the puppies definitely stole the show. Why you ask? Because puppies are awesome…yes that is a real reason! So when you combine adorable puppies and put them in cute little costumes, well the result is just off the charts cuteness. (but I do want to put it out there that I don’t want this honorable mention to cause any friction between myself and grumpy cat…you’re cute too Grumpy Cat!!!
I mean look at this face
Ok, now let’s talk about how Conan O’Brien did hosting the MTV Movie Awards (yay!!!!). The show opened with Conan in a board room talking about how he wanted to break the record for most cameos in an opening sequence. The men in the board room said it could not be done, so Conan said that he would have 50 celebrities do cameos. Then, Conan went on several crazy adventure (and a trip to the nail salon with Taylor Swift), and got 49 celebrities to do cameos. He was very upset until someone informed him that he was the 50th celebrity! This was a really fun skit to watch, and I was impressed by how much work had to have gone into performing such a well put together opening skit (good job Conan! A + work!). After the skit finished, Conan came onto stage as rap music played. He then joked about Grumpy Cat, and showed vines of ‘American Hustle’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (honestly, summarizing these two films in individual 6 second videos was comedic gold). Conan then gave out two “awards” for ‘Best Product Placement” (a Pepsi machine in ‘The Hobbit’), and ‘Best Kiss Fight’ (where Will Arnett and Conan were performing some really cool matrix like ninja move while fighting by blowing kisses at each other…trust me it was A LOT funnier than it sounds). Lastly, Conan sang a song about how he wasn’t going to sing a song in the opening number. Conan was very serious that he wasn’t going to do a song in the opening number (I mean he even had a backup choir come in…everyone knows that means business!). All in all, I think that Conan did a really great job hosting, and proved just how hilarious and captivating he truly is.
Best Musical Moment:
Backstreet Boys, Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, and Craig Robinson ‘This is the End’
Ok let me just say that when I saw this scene I had a total fan girl moment (I mean my inner 6 year old was screaming uncontrollably…so needless to say I’m excited that they won). Any scene that has 3 hilarious comedians and THE BACKSTREET BOYS (ahhh!!!!) singing ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) definitely deserves the title of best musical moment.
Best Cameo Performance:
Rihanna ‘This is the End’
Now I didn’t see this movie, but I can only assume that Rihanna was amazing. I mean honestly she can sing, she’s a fashion icon, and she’s already proven that she’s an amazing actress due to her role in the movie ‘Battleship’. Honestly it seems like Rihanna is amazing at anything she is involved in, so I have no doubt that she was outstanding in this role as well (you go Rihanna Coco)
Best Breakout Performance:
Will Poultry ‘We are the Millers’
Honestly, anyone who can work well alongside veterans such as Emma Roberts and Jennifer Aniston (who has created some of the most memorial female comedic roles ever!) is a winner to me. Now you may know Will from his role of Eustace Scrubb in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’, as a guest on ‘JacksGap’ (which is the YouTube channel of popular YouTube Vloggers Jack and Finn Harries), or if you’re from the UK, the popular comedy show ‘School of Comedy’. Although Will has an impressive comedic resume (as well as several films that are in post-production), he is still relatively new to American audiences however, I think that his standout performance in ‘We are the Millers’ will certainly catapult him into the A-list of comedy.
Jared Leto ‘Dallas Buyers Club’
Ok, since Jared did win several awards this year for his role as Rayon (a transgender woman with AIDS) in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’, it was reasonable to believe that he would win this award. Jared’s portrayal of Rayon has been widely praised by critics and fans alike. With the award season that Jared has had thus far, I definitely do not believe that his winning momentum will stop anytime soon.
Best Comedic Performance:
Jonah Hill ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
Honestly, if you’re looking to cast an actor that can take on any comedic role, you don’t have to look much further than Jonah Hill. With memorable roles in film such as: ‘Moneyball’, ‘Superbad’, ’21 Jump Street’, ‘This is the End’, and many, many others, he has certainly became one of Hollywood’s favorite comedians. Jonah’s role in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ didn’t stray from this, and further cemented Jonah’s place in our hearts and DVD collections.
Mila Kunis ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’
Although Mila has shown before that she has a large and diverse acting range, her role in ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ certainly cemented this fact. I really love the transformation her character Theodora goes through as she changes from a kind, naïve witch, into the villainous Wicked Witch that we all know and love. To have the ability to translate such a beloved character on screen in a modern film takes real talent, and luckily that’s exactly what Mila has.
Zac Efron ‘That Awkward Moment’
I don’t think the reasoning behind this needs explaining, if you saw the show, look online, or ask about 99% of the people in the world, it’s pretty simple to see why Zac was given this award.
With a career that includes blockbuster such as: ‘Step Up’, ‘˜Dear John’, ‘The Vow’, ’21 Jump Street’, ‘Magic Mike’, ‘She’s the Man’, ‘Coach Carter’, etc. (basically he’s made several films every year since 2005…I know that’s A LOT of movies!), and a successful modeling career in which he worked for clients such as: Emporio Armani, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nautica, Dolce & Gabbana, American Eagle Outfitters, and more. With all of these credits to his name, we can all definitely see how Channing has made it to the top of the A List, with no signs of falling.
Emma Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Will Poultry ‘We are the Millers’
This kiss was definitely very funny, and added to the overall comedic vibe of the film. There was some stiff competition for this category but it’s hard to beat Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, and hilarious newcomer Will Poultry at anything (good job y’all…high five!!!).
Best Male Performance:
Josh Hutcherson ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’
I really couldn’t see how anyone else could possibly win this award. ‘The Hunger Games’ was definitely one of the biggest films of the year, so of course this would make Josh one of the biggest male stars of the year. With another two Hunger Games installments planned, I think that it’s safe to say that Josh should make room on his trophy case for a few more awards.
Best Female Performance:
Jennifer Lawrence ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’
I mean c’mon its Jennifer Lawrence; she has the midis touch in Hollywood right now. Also, she’s one of the main stars of ‘The Hunger Games’ so take everything I said about Josh and apply it here.
Tris (Shailene Woodley) ‘Divergent’
Now I think that the fact that ‘Divergent’ just came out in the theaters a few weeks ago speaks volumes about how beloved this character has already become. Personally I love Tris because she’s a strong female character, which is a nice change in Hollywood. I think that Tris’ uniqueness is one of the things that makes her so relatable, and thus gives the character a large fan base. I really hope that films continue this trend, because it has certainly caught on with the public.
Orlando Bloom ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’
This definitely shouldn’t have come as a surprise due to the fact that ‘The Hobbit’ is an action adventure movie, of course the fight scenes are going to be awesome. Personally I think that any film that has mystical creatures is automatically going to have the best fight scenes (it’s a scientific fact…really it is!).
This was probably my favorite award, just because I’m a sucker for entertainers who are honored for their long careers (don’t judge me…#sorrynotsorry). Now Mark Wahlberg has certainly had a PHENOMENAL film career, due to his involvement in movies such as: ‘Boggie Nights’, ‘Planet of the Apes’, ‘Ted’, ‘The Basketball Diaries’, ‘The Lovely Bones’, and so many others (I mean seriously look at this guy’s IMDB page and you’ll be amazed). Now although I know that this is the movie awards, I have to also point out that it would have been EPIC if MTV had played ‘Good Vibrations’ by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch (aka Mark Wahlberg’s hit rap song from the 90s here’s a link for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, or just want to hear it again: Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch – Good Vibrations).
Movie of the Year:
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
It’s THE HUNGER GAMES…enough said. But if you need further proof, the movie has made $864,565,663, is ranked as the tenth highest grossing film at the domestic box office, and is the highest grossing film at the domestic box office of 2013. So, needless to say, ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ was THE movie of 2013.
Twenty One Pilots:
Twenty One Pilots performed their newest single ’Car Radio’. The performance began with the band performing on stage with numerous people wearing white ski masks. About midway through the song the lead singer (Tyler Joseph) and the drummer (Josh Dun) also put on white ski masks, and the audience near the stage did too (that’s a lot of masks). I really liked how energetic and fun this performance was, also the addition of the white ski masks made it unique. Twenty One Pilots’’ performance definitely made me want to hear more from them.
Rihanna and Eminem:
I was really excited for this performance, because it was the first time Rihanna and Eminem were going to perform their smash hit ‘The Monster’ live, and let me just say that they DID NOT disappoint. As the track began, red smoke lit up the backscreen, as blue smoke filled the stage. Eminem came out in a very casual black pants, leather jacket, and white T-shirt combo, while Rihanna choose an equally casual outfit, by wearing a white top, skirt, and head wrap. I really loved not only the energy and excitement that Rihanna and Eminem brought to this performance, but also how well they perform together.
Zedd and Ellie Goulding:
DJ/Producer Zedd joined pop star Ellie Goulding on the piano, as she performed her song ‘Bleeding Heart’, from the ‘Divergent’ Soundtrack. I loved how the dark staging and single spotlight gave the performance a very sweet and tender feel, which perfectly complimented the vibe of the track.
Zedd, Matthew Koma, and Miriam Bryant :
The last performance of the night was Zedd once again, who was joined this time by singer/songwriters Matthew Koma, and Miriam Bryant. The trio performed their song ‘Find You’, which is also form the ‘Divergent’ Soundtrack. For this performance, Zedd quickly jumped off of the piano, and began to DJ. Throughout the performance, the backboard flashed some really cool multicolored designs, as well as Zedd’s logo. I really loved how high energy and exciting the performance was, it definitely showed just how talented Zedd, Matthew, and Miriam are, and left the show on the same crazy/fun level that it began on.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to recap Sunday night’s (Sunday April 6th, 2014) ACM Awards. The award show took place in Las Vegas, and honored some of country music’s brightest stars. The show was once again hosted by the hilarious and unpredictable Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan (both were nominated for various awards). With these two hosting, the show was definitely not short on laughs or surprises (and NO celebrity was safe with these two). There were also some amazing performances that stole the show and left the audience in amazement. We definitely have A LOT to cover so if y’all are ready…let’s go!!!
The show began on a hilarious note due to the comedic pairing of Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton. Luke began the show by making fun of the amount of money that was “wasted” on the “ruined” hairdos by the confetti that ‘The Band Perry’ released during their number (I’ll speak more about this in the ‘Performance’ section). They then went on to announce that the 50th ACM show will be held in Arlington, TX (yay Texas!!!) at the ‘AT&T Stadium” (which is home to the NFL team the Dallas Cowboys). Then Blake commented that “you don’t see many awards shows in Cowboys Stadium”, in which Luke responded “You don’t see any playoff games there either”. The two then poked fun at other celebrities such as Britney Spears, and Miley Cyrus. The two also attempted to replicate Ellen Degeneres’ famous Oscar ‘ selfie’ moment, but discovered that they were the “most famous people there”. These were just a few of the numerous jokes and antics that the two came up with. The two definitely left their audience laughing uncontrollably, and in doing so once again proved why they are the perfect award show hosts. The only disappointment that I felt about Blake and Luke’s hosting was that I have to wait A WHOLE YEAR to see them in action again. Honestly who can wait that long?!?
Vocal Event of the Year: ‘We Were Us’ by Miranda Lambert feat. Keith Urban
Although all of the nominees released amazing tracks that were more than deserving of this award, I can definitely see why this song won. Not only is the song incredibly catchy and fun, but the time of the song is very unique in relation to the theme. The tone of the track is happy, because the song is about how good a relationship used to be when the couple was together. When you combine a unique song with the equally unique vocals of Miranda and Keith, you certainly have ‘The Vocal Event of the Year’.
Video of the Year: ‘Highway Don’t Care’ by Tim McGraw feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban
Even though I didn’t pick this video, I can definitely see why it won. The plot of the video deals with the devastating effects that texting and driving can have. The story in the video is definitely one that most of us can relate to, and this makes the video much more powerful. The video leads the audience through an emotional roller coaster and makes you reflect on your own texting and driving habits. Because of the power and emotion that this video is able to convey, I can see why it won.
Vocal Duo of the Year: Florida Georgia Line
This was such a big year for Florida Georgia Line that I don’t see how any other group could have possibly had a shot at beating them out. From their breakout cross-over hit single ‘Cruise’, to their newest track ‘This is how we roll’ which features fellow country star Luke Bryan (the song was #2 on the ITunes Country Charts as of 4/8/2014). This power duo seemed to emerge out of thin air, and have since taken fans hearts’ and the airwaves by storm. Although this past year was HUGE for them, Florida Georgia Lone shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Single of the Year: ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ by Miranda Lambert
This song was all over the radio this year, so it was no surprise when it won ‘Single of the Year’. With about 1,521,000 copies sold as of November 2013, it seems that fans just can’t get enough of this song. This was a really big night for Miranda, but Kacey Musgraves (who co-wrote Mama’s Broken Heart with a few other writers)was also able to share in this honor.
Song of the Year: ‘I Drive your Truck’ by Lee Brice
Now although I didn’t pick this song, I can see why it won. The emotionally charged lyrics make the track very powerful, and this power resonates and stays with listeners. Also, the fact that this song was written about a real person ( the late Fort Drum soldier Jared C. MontiI who was a recipient of the Medal of Honor in 2009) makes the lyrics hit even harder. I personally love this song, and it was all over the radio this year, so this was definitely a HUGE step forward for Lee Brice in his career.
Male Vocalist of the Year: Jason Aldean
This was a VERY tough category, because all of the artists who were nominated had huge years in country music. Jason Aldean has had numerous hits this year with songs such as ‘Night Train’ and ‘When She Says Baby’. With his catchy songs and amazing vocals, Jason definitely proved that he deserves this high distinction.
Vocal Group of the Year: The Band Perry
Even though this wasn’t the group that I thought would take home this prize, they have had numerous popular songs this year. With fan favorites such as: ‘DONE.’ ‘Better Dig Two’, ‘Don’t Let Me Be Lonely’, and ‘Chainsaw’, it is easy to see why this group continues to dominate the country music scene. The group has been on a non-stop uphill ride ever since their 2010 hit ‘If I Die Young’, and this momentum makes no indication of stopping any time soon.
Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert
Even though there were a lot of very deserving artists for this category, this was “the year of Miranda Lambert”, so it only makes sense that she would win the award for best representing female country vocalists. With her huge sales, fiercely loyal fan base, and incredible songs and vocal ability, who else could’ve won this award!?!
Album of the Year: Kacey Musgraves. ‘Same Trailer, Different Park’
Kacey has certainly been a breakout star this year with her super popular tracks ‘Merry Go Round’, ‘Blowin’ Smoke’, and ‘Follow Your Arrow’. Her “classic country” vocal qualities and honest lyrics have carved her a permanent slot in country music that she will be occupying for A LONG time. Kacey also helped write Miranda Lambert’s hit ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’, which further got her name out to country music lovers everywhere, and also gained her more respect as a singer/songwriter.
Crystal Milestone Award: Merle Haggard
This wasn’t an award that was up for grabs, which is why I didn’t include it in my ‘2014 ACM Awards Predictions’ blog (which you can see here: Monday Memos: My 2014 ACM Nomination Predictions on celindareyes’ Blog – Buzznet ). This award was presented to Merle Haggard due to his long and phenomenal career in country music. He has had countless hits with tracks such as: ‘(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers (his 1st top ten hit), ‘I’m a Lonesome Fugitive’ (his 1st number 1 hit), ‘Okie From Muskogee’, ‘Mama Tried’, ‘If We Make it Through December’, ‘Today I Started Loving You Again’, ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star’, and numerous others. Merle Haggard has won 14 ACM (Academy of Country Music) Awards, 6 CMA (Country Music Association) Awards, and 3 Grammy Awards. He was inducted into ‘Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame’ in 1977, ‘The Country Music Hall of Fame’ in 1994, and was inducted into the ‘Kennedy Center Honor’ ( an award given to individuals who use the performing arts to affect American culture) in 2010. He was also one of the pioneers of the ‘Bakerfields Sound’ ( which is distinguished by the combination of traditional country steel guitar sound, and new vocal harmonies in which words are kept at a minimum). This sound continues to greatly influenced numerous modern artists such as Brad Paisley, the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and numerous others. So as you can see, Merle Haggard has not only had an extremely enviable career, but has also greatly changed the sound of country music.
Entertainer of the Year: George Strait
Although there were numerous deserving artists that could have won this award, the award had to go ‘King George’. With a chart topping 2013 album ‘Love is Everything’ (which reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums, and #2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 charts), George Strait used this final album to perfectly end his career. Even some of the other artists who were nominated for this award cheered when George Strait won, so this showed the vast amount of respect that he has within the country music community.
The Band Perry:
They performed their newest hit track ‘Chainsaw’, and brought a very cool rock element to their performance style. The band dressed in all black, which finished off their very cool country meets rock vibe. The back screen behind the stage displayed the lyrics of the song in big red letters, which brought a very unique element to the number. My favorite part of the performance was the confetti that flew into the audience about mid-way through the track. It brought a very fun vibe to the performance, and served as a great set-up for jokes from the show’s hosts. All in all, this performance was very energetic and cool, and definitely showed that The Band Perry has cultivated their performance style and have found their artistic identities.
Florida Georgia Line:
FGL performed their newest hit ‘Stay’, while the music video for the tune played in the background. At one point of the number fire and smoke began to go off in the background, which added an extra cool flair to the number. I really loved Florida Georgia Line’s vocals on this song, because their harmonies were very tight, and they proved that they have the talent and energy to put on a phenomenal live show. Later on, Florida Georgia Line performed their super hit ’This is How we Roll’ with the show’s co-host Luke Bryan. The performance was very interesting and intricate, with a very cool BMX show in the background (it was AMAZING!!!).
Brad Paisley performed his newest song ‘River Bank’. I thought it was really cool that he performed the song on a glass stage over a pool. Throughout the song, Brad kept the energy up, and played a very cool guitar solo midway through the song (which has become a staple in his songs). I really loved this performance, and found it to be a very cool addition to the lineup.
Blake Shelton & Gwen Sebastian:
Next, ACM co-host Blake Shelton, and singer/songwriter Gwen Sebastian (who also competed on the second season of ‘The Voice’, and was coached by Blake while she was on the show) performed the song ‘My Eyes’, off of Blake’s album ‘Based on a True Story’. The staging for the song was very cool, due to the stage’s darkness and the small lanterns that decorated the stage. The performance gave off a very stripped down acoustic vibe, due to the staging, and Blake accompanying the song on an acoustic guitar. After so many high energy performances, this was a very nice change of pace.
New Artist nominee Bret Eldridge performed a very shorten version of his track ‘Beat of the Music’, as the music video for the song played in the background. Despite the performance being very short, he still got the crowd excited, and certainly showed that he is one to watch in the upcoming year.
George Strait performed his new single ‘I got a car’ off of his final album ‘Love is Everything’. Before he began the performance, the person who announced him stated some facts about his career, such as the fact that he is the only artist to have a top 10 hit every year for 30 years. As he performed the song, different images of road signs and other images that have to do with driving appeared behind him on the back screen. I really loved how George Strait proved that even after all these years, he is a true showman, and is able to keep an audience completely captivated just with his voice. Later in the show, George Strait covered Merle Haggard’s song ‘I’m a Lonesome Fugitive’, as sketches of Merle Haggard were displayed on the back screen. It was really cool to see a legendary performer like George Strait honor another legendary performer and showing how important roots are in music.
Lee performed a shortened version of his hit song ‘I Drive Your Truck’ (which won ’Song of the Year’ later in the show). Even though this was a shorten version of the track, it was still very powerful due to Lee’s intense emotional connection to the song’s lyrics. I also really loved how dark and haunting the staging looked, it really added to the vibe of the performance. My favorite part of the performance was that you could really see how much passion he gave to his performance, especially when he began to cry while singing, (then I began to cry and it all got very emotional…but you don’t want to hear that…ok…moving on).
Eric Church was up next with his single ‘Give Me Back My Hometown’. I really loved how simple the performance was (the staging was very simple with only the music video playing in the background). I felt that this staging perfectly matched the “old country” feel of the song, and just gave the whole number a very cool effect.
Justin performed a shortened version of his hit song ‘Lettin’ the Night Roll’ (which helped him win the new Artist of the Year award at the ACMs). Even though the track was shorten, it certainly proved why Justin won the award this year.
Blake Shelton and Shakira:
Blake’s second performance of the night was with another artist associated with the voice, the one and only Shakira (who coaches on the show)! They sang the song ‘Medicine’, which is off of Shakira’s self-titled album. I really liked this performance due to the unique pop meets country feel that this song has (and Shakira even wore boots!). Towards the end of the song, Blake and Shakira walked down the catwalk part of the stage, and added a little bit of rock to the performance. This was definitely a fun performance to watch, and made me excited to see if the two will duet again sometime in the future.
Lady Antebellum performed an absolutely unforgettable number with the legendary rock star Stevie Nicks. They did a mashup of their song ‘Golden’ and Stevie Nicks’ song ‘Rhiannon’. It was so much fun to see the two amazing acts share the stage together. This was certainly one of the highlights of the show, and gave the audience a fun change in musical direction. Ever since Lady Antebellum and Stevie Nicks performed together on ‘CMT Crossroads’ earlier this year, I have loved seeing them together. I was really excited to see them perform at the ACM’s, and this leads me to think maybe they should record an album together…maybe…possibly…please! Ok, I will stop fangirling now.
Keith Urban performed his track ‘Even The Stars Fall 4 U’, off of his ‘Fuse’ album. Per usual Keith Urban fashion, the performance was full of energy and very entertaining. There was also a very cool mid song guitar solo (another Keith Urban staple). My favorite part of the performance was towards the end, when two of Keith’s band members went up to his mic and started singing with him, it gave the performance a very old school rock n’ roll feel.
Kip (another nominee for best new artist) performed a shortened version of his hit song ‘Something Bout a Truck’. Although this was a short performance, the crowd completely loved it, and Kip showed exactly why he was nominated.
Co-host Luke Bryan performed his newest single ‘Play it Again’, off of his hit ‘Crash my Party’ album. This performance definitely had my favorite staging of the night, due to the fact that the stage was made of giant records, and the back screen also had giant records on it as well (because the song is called play it again…get it…good!). The items on the back screen rotated between displaying the giant records, and showing a live feed of the audience dancing to the song. This was a really fun performance to watch, and definitely proved why Luke Bryan is one of the top male artists in country music.
Jason Aldean performed his newest hit single ‘When she calls me baby’. As always, Jason’s impressive vocals were front and center (which makes sense since he did win Male Vocalist of the Year). The staging was very simple, with blue lights shining all over the stage, and Jason dressed in all black (even his guitar was black!).
Miranda performed her newest single ‘Automatic’ off of her newest, yet to be released, album ‘Platinum’. I really love that this performance had Miranda old family pictures displayed on the back screen throughout the number. The song has a very ‘vintage country’ sound to it, so the performance really matched the theme of the track. I also loved that Miranda wore a very casual outfit ( a sparkly white tank top, sparkly white boots, and ripped jeans), because this really matched her carefree and down to earth attitude ( which is one of the many things that makes her awesome…I mean c’mon, you have to admit that she seems really cool and we all want her to be our BFF…yeah that what I thought). Later in the show Miranda covered Merle Haggard’s song ‘Tonight the Bottle let me Down’. As she sang, sketches of Merle Haggard rotated on the back screen. Miranda did a very good job performing covering this classic song, and proved that although her music has many modern country elements in it, she is still influenced by the pioneers that shaped country music.
Next up, Tim McGraw performed ‘Meanwhile Back at Mama’s’, where his wife Faith Hill made a special appearance. She was dressed in a beautiful strapless white dress, and he wore a tux with a black cowboy (very cowboy chic). My favorite part of the staging was the old 50s style golden mic that Tim McGraw used in the performance, I thought it was an interesting touch that made the performance unique.
Toby Keith performed his newest single ‘Shut Up and Hold On’ off of his ‘Drinks After Work’ album. The staging was really cool due to the multicolored stage lights and steel guitar influence in the sound.
Next, Hunter Hayes performed his latest tear jerking ballad ‘Invisible’. The performance began with Hunter singing behind a large screen as images of shadows appeared across the screen. Once the first chorus of the song began, the screen rose but the shadows continued to move across the screen. I really enjoyed this performance because how passionate and connected Hunter was to the song. The fans really seemed to love this number, proving that this was certainly one of the most special moments of the evening.
Darius Ruckner then performed his version of the song ‘Wagon Wheel’ with super group Lady Antebellum. The crowd seemed to really get into it, and the whole performance felt like an amazing sing-along. I really loved how much fun the performance was, and even though they have performed this song before they were able to bring a fresh feel to the track.
Next up was the AMAZING Rascal Flatts who performed their newest hit track ‘Rewind’, which is off of their latest album ‘Rewind’. Even though the lead singer Gary LeVox did not perform the song live (because he was sick and did not want to damage his vocal chords), I still felt that the group put on an excellent show. I was really impressed that they did not cancel their appearance last minute, and found a way to make an appearance for their fans despite the problems that they were faced with.
Sheryl Crow and Dierks Bentley:
Lastly, Sheryl Crow and Dierks Bentley performed Dierks song ‘I hold on’. I really loved how the two had such great stage chemistry, which made their performance a very sweet ending to an AMAZING show.
Hello people of the internet!!! Today, we will talk about the heart shaped elephant in the room…Valentine’s Day (cue suspenseful music). Maybe you’re single this Valentine’s Day and are bitter about it…or maybe you’re single and don’t care, either way this is the blog for you! So grab some popcorn, turn up those Taylor Swift songs, and chill out with the ‘Top ten reasons why it’s better if you DON’T have a Valentine this year!!!’
10) You can sit around in your PJs all day and watch romantic comedies/ Nicholas Sparks movies…who wouldn’t want Ryan Gosling or Channing Tatum as their honorary boyfriend?
9) You can make your mom or dad your Valentine and then casually suggest visiting your favorite store or mall (hello presents!!!)
8) Being single on Valentine’s Day is like the first day of a New Year, calories don’t count so you can eat whatever you want without repercussions (that is the rule right!?!)
7) You can get some of your BFFs together and talk about how much guys suck while you listen to Taylor Swift songs (sing it with me…”we. are never ever getting back together…”).
6) If you’re feeling more positive, you and your BFFs can have a dance party in your room while listening to your favorite boy band (or man and for our Backstreet Boys fans).
5) You can blog/vlog!!! (C’mon all the cool kids are doing it!)
4) You can walk around the mall in a onesie( oh you know you’ve ways wanted too…o.k, guess that’s just me then…awkward…)
3) You can use your detective skills and figure out who ‘A’ is on ‘Pretty Little liars’ (c’mon you know that this is seriously the biggest mystery of our time, just don’t watch the show in the dark…trust me on that one).
2) You can paint a bullseye with a picture of a jerky person in the middle. Yes throwing darts at the face of a person may seem a little aggressive, but painting is relaxing so it evens out right?
1) You can have a Harry Potter movie marathon…now if he can survive fighting a creepy faced guy for 8 movies, you can survive flying solo on the “day of love”.
· All photos and information used in this blog belong to guysvsgurlz.com, 123rf.com, hungryandmad.com, curquedelatelier.blogspot.com, idolator.com,teleread.com, powerfm.au.com, who-is-A-tumblr.com, theaprilblake.com, navikan.tumblr.com, scissorsandspice.com, naileditnz.com, Ryan Gosling, Channing Tatum, Taylor Swift, Big Machine Records, Simon Cowell, Liam Tomlison, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Nial Horan, Zayn Malik, Max Martin, Karl Johan Shellback, Syco Records, Nick Carter, AJ McLean, Brian Littrell, huffington.com, Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson, Jive Records, Nintendo, Satoshi Tajiri, Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell, Troian Bellisario, ABC Family, . Marlene King, Sara Shepard, Disney Channel, Dan Povenmire, J.K. Rowling, Heyday FIlms, 1492 Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, memegenberator.net, ebay.com, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.
Hello people of the internet! For this ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog, I am going to introduce you to a group that I have recently become obsessed with. I first heard of them, when they started following me on Twitter, so I decided to listen to their YouTube covers and original music. I have to say that my first impression of them was surprise…as to why I hadn’t ever heard of them before! Luckily, after reading this blog, I know that you’ll check them out and became as obsessed with them as I am ( you’re welcome). If you like country super groups such as Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry, then you’ll love Ashton Lane. They are a country group from Scotland, which consists of lead singer Ester O’Connor, her brother, and her husband. I wasn’t able to find too much more biographical information about them however; I will tell you what I think of their music, and their overall sound as a group. Shall we begin? Great, let’s go!
Upon clicking on Ashton Lane’s YouTube page, I decided to listen to their cover of Rascal Flatts hit song ‘Come Wake Me Up’ Come Wake Me Up Rascal Flatts- Rascal Flatts Come Wake Me Up ASHTON LANE COVER – YouTube, because honestly I thought that if they could do a good job on this cover, then I would have a good idea of their vocal talents. I used this song as a way to measure how good the group is, because Gary LeVox (the guy who usually sings the lead vocals in Rascal Flatts’ songs) is a phenomenal vocalist, so I thought that if Ester O’Connor could handle the same notes, then that would show us how good the band is. After I listened to their take on the hit track, I decided that this group is definitely the real deal. First of all, O’Connor has a beautiful voice. Not only is her voice technically correct, but she is also able to perfectly express the emotions within the songs she sings. The group’s harmonies were also very tight (which honestly can be a very difficult task to master), and shows how meticulous and serious the group is about their craft. The next cover song I listened too was the group’s cover of Katy Perry’s hit ‘Wide Awake’ Wide Awake- Katy Perry Wide Awake- Wide Awake Katy Perry (ASHTON LANE KITCHEN SESSIONS) – YouTube. Now I know that you’re probably wondering why I listened to this cover if Ashton Lane is a country group (just stay with me, I promise I’ll connect the importance of this cover back to the group’s primary genre), well the answer is simple…I wanted to see the group’s emotion depth. Now I know that I just raved about the group’s lead singer’s ability to capture emotion in her vocal delivery however, I wanted to see if she could really tap into the vulnerability that Katy Perry shows in the song. O’Connor definitely demonstrated that she is not afraid to completely commit to the emotional content of a track, which is a trait that is absolutely necessary in country music (see, I told you that I would connect this cover back to the group’s primary genre). The final cover video that I listened to was the group’s cover of Taylor Swift’s infectious track ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Taylor Swift, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – YouTube, (on a side not, I only looked at three cover videos, for the purpose of reviewing the group’s musical abilities…later on I listened to all of the group’s videos and my obsession with them only grew J). My reasoning for choosing this cover, is that I wanted to see if they could cover a fun song. At this point I knew that Ashton Lane could make me cry, and could make me look deep within myself for the answers to life’s problems however, I wanted to see if the group could make me want to dance…as excepted, they did not disappoint! The group’s execution of this sassy tune showed me that they can certainly handle producing a good quality mainstream country hit.
Now that I knew that Ashton Lane could put a cool spin on an already popular song, I was curious as to whether they could create original music that would have the same effect. Luckily, the group has a link on their videos which allows you to receive 7 free songs from their album ‘Magic in the Air’. Upon listening to three of these songs, I realized that there is no reason why this group is not already famous. Their original material is honestly very good, and I found myself humming along to the catchy tracks within a few rotations of the songs. The group has their full album available for purchase on ITunes, as well as another album entitled ‘Other Side’, and several singles. I would suggest purchasing all of the music that Ashton Lane has put out, because you will quickly become OBSESSED with them.
When I first decided to listen to Ashton Lane’s YouTube videos, I honestly had no idea what to expect. I hoped that I would find a good emerging country band that I could introduce to all of you, and that would be that. After listening to their music, I came to the conclusion that I had no idea what I had stumbled upon. I can say with a great deal of confidence that Ashton Lane will soon become a household name. I can definitely picture hearing their music on mainstream and country radio, as well as seeing them on every major award show…yea they are just that AMAZING! This group certainly showed me that they deserve to be in the fore front of everyone’s mind, and if a group can perform this amazingly with live vocals and two guitars, can you imagine what they can do with a full band and a lot of production behind them!? I personally cannot wait for Ashton Lane to become the next country super group. Trust me, the question is not a matter of IF the group will become a worldwide phenomenon, but rather WHEN this will happen. The group currently (as of December 17, 2013) has 45,659 Twitter followers, 10,487 likes on Facebook, and 7,225 subscribers on YouTube. My guess is they will become inescapable very soon, and you can say that you knew them when they were still music’s most well kept secret.
Here are some links so you can keep up with the group’s career J:
Facebook: Ashton Lane
YouTube: Ashton Lane – YouTube
*All photos and information used in this blog belong to Ashton Lane, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, countryschatter.com, eventim.co.uk, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.
Hello people of the internet, please allow me for a moment to paint a picture for you. A 16 year old girl receives news one summer from her doctor that she has mono, so she must begin bed rest. Now usually teenagers spend the summer time hanging out with friends, going on trips, swimming, etc.. So what can a 16 year old do during the summer for fun if she’s stuck at home? Well if you ask the girl behind the extremely popular YouTube channel ‘meghanrosette’, you start a career launching YouTube channel.
Meghan Rienks, (whose last name isn’t actually Rosette, the name was created because Meghan’s middle name is Rose) was born on August 4th, 1993 in a city near San Francisco, CA. Meghan has said that she was a “dramatic” child, and officially caught the acting bug after a 3rd grade production of ‘The Wiz’ (where Meghan played a munchkin…o.k. everyone say it with me…awwwww…I’m mean seriously a 3rd grader playing a munchkin, that is just too cute!). Meghan then began taking acting, voice, and dance classes in order to further explore her love of performing. She began experimenting with makeup in the middle school, and continued acting.. Once Meghan entered High School, she soon began performing in numerous school plays. However, Meghan’s most important high school activity would occur the summer before her senior year, when Meghan contracted mono from sharing a soda can with her friend. Although most people would hide in their room and cry over this, Meghan took the advice of her mother, and began a YouTube channel. So, on June 16th, 2010 the channel ‘meghanrosette’ was born, and Meghan’s life was forever changed (Here’s Meghan’s 1st video where she does a fashion haul with one of her friends: Haul with dancer4life34! – YouTube).
On the surface, Meghan’s channel seems like that of any other young guru however, once you watch just a few minutes of any of her 412 videos, you can see that this girl is anything but ordinary. Meghan is not openly knowledgeable about fashion trends, beauty secrets, and everyday life issues, but she also has a charisma and ease on camera that instantly draws you in. She is also extremely witty and goofy, which makes her very relatable, and only adds to her overall charm. I first discovered Meghan a few months ago when I saw her on an episode of the hit show IMO (which stands for In My Opinion), on the super popular AwesomnessTV YouTube channel. On IMO, Meghan is on a rotating panel, where the panelists discuss a wide variety such as; fashion trends, celebrities, relationship/friendship issues, etc. (basically it’s a teen/young adult version of ‘The View’). When I first saw Meghan on IMO, I instantly found her very interesting and funny, and wanted to learn more about her.
After I watched a few of her videos, I could see why she (as of December 10th, 2013) has 535,602 subscribers on her channel. Meghan is not only adored by her large fan base, but has also grabbed the attention of many important fashion and beauty publications. She has been featured in magazines such as Teen Vogue and Seventeen. Meghan has also interviewed celebrities and has done red carpet coverage for Seventeen magazine (here’s a video of Meghan interviewing Ashley Rickards, the star of MTV’s popular show ‘Awkward’: My First Time Tag with Ashley Rickards – YouTube). Along with working on her growing YouTube career, Meghan has also continued acting, and was recently on the hit AwesomnessTV show. She also stars on the YouTube show ‘The Goreys’, as Abigail Gorey (here’s a link to the first episode: Hello Dr. Jacobs – Episode 1 – YouTube). Because of all of these amazing accomplishments that she’s had in such a short time span, I would definitely recommend that EVERYONE keep an eye on Meghan, she will definitely be a huge star soon.
Another reason why I highly recommend Meghan’s channel, is because she is very open and honest with her fans. In her ‘Draw My Life’ video (here’s the link to that video:Draw My Life | MeghanRosette – YouTube), Meghan admitted to having insecurity issues in middle school due to her appearance, and also stated that her elementary school friends shunned her because they were popular and she was not. Meghan has also spoken about the bullying she received from her two best friends in college. She admits that she became anxious, OCD, and suffered a great depression because of what occurred between her and these friends. Although Meghan says that she is in a better mental state now, I think that it was very brave that she decided to reveal some of the struggles she has faced. Her story is truly inspiring, and proves that you can do whatever you set your mind too as long as you follow your dreams and ignore any haters. I think Taylor Swift said it best in her song ‘Ours’, when she states, “People throw rocks at things that shine…”. Due to her bubbly personality, natural charisma, and wit, I certainly see a bright future ahead for Meghan in vlogging and acting. Keep on shinning girl!