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Five Questions We Have For The GRAMMYs

The 54th Annual GRAMMY Award Nominees have been announced and, like every year, people don’t entirely agree with the choices. It’s only natural for fans to be upset that their favorite artist or song wasn’t nominated for a certain category. However, every year there a few head scratchers, not just in the nominations but also in the categories. Therefore, we compiled a list of five questions we have regarding this year’s GRAMMY Award nominations.

We're predicting Adele to take home the most hardware this year

1. What’s the difference between Record of the Year and Song of the Year?

When the nominees were first announced, we found ourselves wondering the age old question, what is the difference between these two categories? We found it very odd that out of the five songs nominated in each category, four of them were nominated for both awards. It seems rather strange that the one song will likely win two awards for basically the same thing. After some research, we discovered that the Record of the Year is awarded to the song’s performer and production team, while Song of the Year is awarded to song’s writer(s)/composer(s). While this does make some sense (not all artists write their own songs), we still think they should have nominated different songs for each category to at least give us some variety.

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Soundcheck: GRAMMY Showdown — Nicki vs. Kanye vs. Jay-Z

The 2012 GRAMMY nominations are in and it looks like another big year for hip hop, with the genre’s brightest stars earning the majority of nominations for the music industry’s biggest honor.

Leading the pack with seven nominations is Kanye West. His hit “All Of The Lights” earned nods for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Song of The Year while his joint album with Jay-Z, Watch The Throne, is up against his own My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy for Best Rap Album.  The duo is also nominated for Best Rap Performance for their song, “Otis”.

Bruno Mars and Adele are tied with Foo Fighters with six nominations each.  While it may seem a little dated by now, Mars’ debut missed last year’s cut-off.  His debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans is up for Album of The Year while his hit, “Grenade” is vying for Song Of The Year, Record of The Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance.  Lil Wayne isn’t far behind with five nominations including Best Rap Performance for  “Look At Me Now” with Busta Rhymes and Chris Brown. Like West, Weezy will battle himself in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration category where he’s nominated for “I’m On One” with Rick Ross, Drake, and DJ Khaled and “Motivation” his duet with Kelly Rowland.

Continue reading ‘Soundcheck: GRAMMY Showdown — Nicki vs. Kanye vs. Jay-Z’

Natalie Major Wins Incredible Opportunity To Meet With Bruce Tyler

Natalie Major is a young songwriter with a knack for whipping up an irresistible blend of pop /rock /soul musical magic. Originally from Chicago, this up-and-coming songstress now spends her time bouncing back and forth between California and NYC, chasing the elusive music biz dream. We’re happy to announce that Natalie is the Grand Prize Winner of October’s “Artist Access” Competition with her track “Heartbreaker”. Suffice to say, she’s well on her to way catching that dream.

October’s “Artist Access” Competition gave rock, pop, country and urban Premium Members an opportunity to go behind the velvet ropes and meet with music industry consultant Bruce Tyler. While Tyler’s resume includes being the former EVP of both Sony Music and Columbia Records, he currently lends his entrepreneurial expertise to some of the most influential companies and artists in music. Whether it’s working alongside major record labels, artist managers, music producers, radio giants, leading music Internet sites, TV and film production companies or some of the biggest artist in music today (John Mayer, John Legend, Aerosmith, Beyoncé and The Fray to name a few), Tyler is widely considered one of the music industry’s best resources.

Check out Natalie Major’s winning song and more in the playlist below.

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Napster Taylor Swift
Freddie Mercury
  • Not sure about the rest of you, but the end of Napster just makes us feel old.
  • Sorry Taylor, the GRAMMY Nazi says no GRAMMYs for you.
  • BRUCE! We are so pumped for next year’s SXSW now.
  • All the people expecting to see a documentary about the planet Mercury are going to be so disappointed.
  • Apparently, it isn’t a music festival without some Stone Roses.
  • We can totally see Madonna being that annoying neighbor who has loud sex at 3 in the morning.
  • If it doesn’t have hair explosions, it isn’t Gaga enough.
  • Beyoncé, you’re missing out on the best excuse to the absolute delight that is eating ice cream with hot chili sauce.

Sound And Vision: Britney Spears At 30 — Where Does She Go From Here?

It seems like just yesterday: She was invading the dreams of pedophiles and lusty teenage boys everywhere. But that was 1998, the year Britney Spears, then sixteen, broke with her No. 1 debut single, “…Baby One More Time,” and its accompanying video, in which the singer made an unforgettable first impression as Lolita-lite, a sexy school girl who was up for just about anything.

At the time, Britney seemed destined for the cut-out bin in two years flat. Her synthetic pop sound didn’t sound built for longevity. And didn’t the name Britney Spears, which was too close for comfort to that of ’80s hair metal heads Britny Fox, have one-hit wonder written all over it?

Boy, was I wrong! Thirteen years later, she’s still with us. Her albums may no longer be as huge as they were at the dawn of the century, but she’s still one of the leading ladies of pop. Super-stardom, however, isn’t everything. Even an act with a hit list that’s as thematically shallow as Britney’s must crave a little artistic growth. She’ll turn thirty on Dec. 2, but to me, she’s still seventeen—partly because I don’t want to admit that I’m getting so old, but mostly because Britney herself still doesn’t sound as if she’s a day over twenty.

Sure she’s lived a lot. There have been two marriages, two divorces (actually, one divorce, one annulment), two children and countless scandals. I interviewed Britney for Teen People right after the release of her second album, Oops!… I Did It Again, in 2000, back when she still hearted Justin Timberlake. She struck me as a sweet teenage girl with a maturity level that matched her age. I don’t know what she’s like today, but her music doesn’t make her sound much older.

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Soundcheck: Nicki M Wins Big At 2011 AMA’s

With performances from Will.i.am, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Brown, Pitbull and Drake among others, the 2011 American Music Awards provided an eclectic mix of music this year.Andthanks to thenineteen performances sprinkled throughout the show, fans were able to see some of musics brightest stars shine on the big stage.

Nicki Minaj was on top of the world last night after nabbing two of the biggest hip hop honors of the night. She scored Favorite Artist and Favorite Album for Pink Friday, beating out Jay-Z and Kanye Wests Watch The Throne and mentor Lil Waynes The Carter IV. She also delivered a killer show-opening performance of Superbass and Turn Me On alongside David Guetta, and some serious wardrobe that included speakers in her backside. In her acceptance speeches, a truly touched Minaj thanked her Young Money crew, Weezy, and Taylor Swift and wore an unusually classy, green gown, proving this girl really does clean up nice.

50 Cent was on deck to introduce Chris Brown, who he called the main event, noting youve never really seen this performer unless youve seen him live, before Brown and his bleached-blonde hair hit the stage for dance-heavy renditions of All Back and Say It With Me. Although Brown was nominated for two awards, he wasnt a winner, getting beat out by ex, Rihanna for Favorite Album and Usher for Favorite Male Artist.

Since RiRi was in Europe on her Loud tour, she accepted her award via satellite, as did Beyonc, who scored the award for Favorite Female Artist beating out Rihanna and ex-band mate, Kelly Rowland.

Another big winner for the night was Jennifer Lopez. Aside from two show-stopping performances (one with Pittbul and a Fiat, and one with Will.i.am), she also nabbed Favorite Latin Artist, breaking a five-year winning streak for Enrique Iglesias. When she first hit the stage in a jeweled, skin-colored bodysuit (Britney, anyone?) and danced in, around, and through, her perfectly placed Fiat, she proved to the world that shes still got the moves of a fly girl. Later, she gave an amped-up performance alongside Will.i.am, performing his new single, T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever) which also features rock icon, Mick Jagger.

Enrique Iglesias hit the stage later to perform his hit, I Like How It Feels backed by the Crenshaw High School choir, and was later joined by Ludacris, who spit his verse on Tonight (Im Loving You) in a preppy sweater look. British import Adele, racked up three awards including Favorite Artist, Favorite Album, and Favorite Female Artist for her groundbreaking project, 21.

Mary J. Blige hit the stage in an all-white suit to perform Mr. Wrong without Drake, who later took the stage to give his own performance of Headlines in front of a live band. After her performance, MJB gave a heartfelt tribute to fallen friend, Heavy D.

Missing from the audience this year were Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and a handful of other hip hop heavyweights. In their defense, with only two real hip hop categories, the AMAs are not a major destination for these guys, unless they have an album to promote.

Sound And Vision: Why I’m Seriously Considering Boycotting Music Award Shows

On November 9, Nashville celebrated itself (again!) with the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. For the fourth consecutive year, the event was hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, but the masters of ceremonies weren’t the only thing that gave me that old deja vu feeling. Hadn’t these accolades already been handed out just a few months ago?

Wait, those were the Country Music Television (CMT) Music Awards in June. And before that, there were the Academy of Country Music Awards. And, just in case that’s not enough Music City honors for you, there are the 2nd annual American Country Awards coming up on December 5.

Pop and R&B are just as self-congratulatory, offering the MTV Video Music Awards, the MTV Europe Music Awards, the Billboard Awards, the American Music Awards, the Teen Choice Awards, the BET Awards, the BET Hip Hop Awards, the NAACP Image Awards and the Soul Train Music Awards.

Then, of course, there are the GRAMMYs, which following so many other back-slapping fests, have been losing their lustre for years now—though that’s hardly the only reason. Winning one used to be the musical equivalent of snagging an Oscar, but now its just more clutter for the awards shelf.

In a few weeks (November 30, to be exact), the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences will announce the nominees for the 2012 GRAMMY Awards (to be held on February 12). Doesn’t it already feel like we’ve been there and done that over and over and over already this year? Am I the only one who doesn’t doubt that we’re in for another repeat of The Adele Show, with a very special appearance by Lady Gaga. Good as it is, like Christmas, I only need to sit through it once a year.

Continue reading ‘Sound And Vision: Why I’m Seriously Considering Boycotting Music Award Shows’

Odelia Vs. Beyoncé

Beyoncé is without a doubt a superstar. While news of her recent pregnancy (and controversy surrounding it) may have overshadowed her artistic achievements as of late, no one can deny that she has been one of the most talented and successful artists of the last decade, and she shows no signs of slowing down. Not only has she dominated the pop charts, but she has also been a great role model for young women. She has written songs about female empowerment and being independent, and she has also avoided run ins with the law and scandals that often plague other pop stars. So for this week’s edition of Vs. we’re putting the spotlight on another talented diva with a positive message, Odelia.

Beyoncé

OurStage's Odelia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growing up as the daughter of a Pentecostal minister, Odelia was exposed to music at a very early age. These childhood experiences in the church also influenced the positive message in her music; female empowerment and self improvement are recurring themes in her songs. Odelia and Beyoncé also share a similarity in their ability to meld elements of pop, R&B and soul seamlessly. They both can create up tempo songs and ballads with equal success. For example, take a listen to Odelia’s song “Hard To Say Sorry.” You might notice that the song shares some stylistic similarities to Beyoncé’s single “Best Thing I Never Had.” Both of these songs are ballads that are based around a piano melody. The piano parts in both songs are very catchy, but they sit far back enough to let the real focus of the song be the vocals. Odelia possesses a voice that is very similar to Beyoncé’s in its soulful quality impressive range.

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Sound And Vision: Beyoncé’s “Plagiarism” Controversies — Has She Been Caught Stealing, Or Is She Paying Homage (Again)?

Beyoncé is having a rough 2011. I don’t know how she felt about turning thirty on September 4, but if she’s as career-obsessed as I suspect she is, it was probably the least of her concerns. Yes, 2011 has not been without a few triumphs: She rocked the Glastonbury Festival in June, and she set a Twitter record for “most tweets per second recorded for a single event” (8,868) when she announced at the August 28 MTV Video Music Awards that she is expecting her first child with husband Jay-Z.

But by October, even that bright spot was mired in controversy when Beyoncé’s baby bump seemed to collapse as she sat down for a couch chat during an Australian TV appearance. A faked pregnancy? Stranger things have happened—like an underperforming Beyoncé album. Despite debuting at No. 1 with 310,000 copies sold its first week in June, Beyoncé’s fourth solo album, 4, has sold below expectations while failing to launch a major hit single.

But collapsing baby bumps and album sales might be small-time woes compared to the accusations of theft and copyright infringement that continue to dog the singer.

In the past, she’s been accused of contributing minimally to the creation of some of the songs for which she receives songwriting credit, and in 2005, she was sued (albeit unsuccessfully) for copyright infringement for her 2003 No. 1 hit “Baby Boy.” Then in 2006, Destiny’s Child‘s “Cater 2 U,” for which Beyoncé and her group mates were listed as co-writers, was at the center of another copyright infringement suit, which was settled out of court.

Continue reading ‘Sound And Vision: Beyoncé’s “Plagiarism” Controversies — Has She Been Caught Stealing, Or Is She Paying Homage (Again)?’

 


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