Having the last name Star bodes well for a music career. Let’s see, there’s Ryan, Mazzie and Ringo to name a few. In time, you may see the name Sheila Star on that list of illustrious musicians. The San Francisco-based singer-songwriter is already active in Bay Area songwriting circles, penning lustrous piano pop that’s seductive and punchy. “Keeps Me Alive” starts with a somber piano intro before the beat snaps in and transforms the track into a sexy, soaring pop ballad. Star’s breathy vocals bring a feline quality to her songs. In “Addiction” she coos “Every day and every night, yeah it gets me high,” adding some headiness to the song’s squelching groove. “Bad Dream” is pure piano swagger where Star struts around in her bad girl persona: “The devil himself he took the good out of me.” We think there’s plenty of good to be found, especially if you like your good to break bad sometimes.
“I get high with a little help from my friends,” Ringo Starr sang on the Beatles‘ 1967 classic. These days, so do many of music’s top stars. Two’s company, and so is three and sometimes four. The more the merrier, the higher and higher they get.
On the charts, that is.
In the Top 40 of Billboard’s Hot 100 for the week ending December 10, seventeen songs were collaborations between separate recording entities. Four of them featured Drake, and three apiece featured Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, who both appeared on tracks with Drake and with each other. But will.i.am featuring Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger—and debuting at No. 36 with “T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever),” which the threesome performed on the November 20 American Music Awards—was probably the one that nobody saw coming.
Old-school Rolling Stones fans must be cringing at the idea of Jagger going anywhere near Lopez and will.i.am so soon after Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera went to No. 1 by invoking his hallowed name on “Moves Like Jagger.” But for a sixty-something legend like him, hit records—even if in name only, a la Duck Sauce‘s GRAMMY-nominated “Barbra Streisand—are a near-impossible dream unless they’re in tandem with other, often younger, stars.
How do you get him to go away? Pay for the pizza.
It’s cruel and inhumane jokes like these that surely led the following musicians to come out from behind the kit and take center stage. Please note that it was difficult and pointless to rank these artists against each other, so they are listed in no particular order.
10. Steven Tyler
Let’s not talk about what Aerosmith has become, and focus on the good times, when they made great records and rocked faces off with regularity, all while totally zonked on drugs. You know, the good times. Anyway, Tyler was and, okay, kind of still is a great frontman, but he got his start on the drums, pre-Aerosmith. While singing and songwriting were clearly his calling, he still bangs it up from time to time.
If you take a look back at the past fifty years, each musical decade boasts at least one drummer that all music fans— from the teenyboppers to the indie kids—can name right off the bat. The ’60s had Charlie Watts and Ringo Starr (if you call that drumming, zing!), the ’70s had John Bonham and Keith Moon , the ’80s had Neil Peart and Tommy Lee, the ’90s had Lars Ulrich and Dave Grohl, and the ’00s have Travis Barker. From playing pop punk to most recently hip hop, Travis Barker is somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades.
Barker is now partners with Guitar Center and OurStage, offering one talented artist the big break their musical career has been waiting for, and it’s not too late for YOU to submit your best track. Guitar Center’s “Your Next Record with Travis Barker” Competition is accepting artist submissions until April 30, 2011, so if you think you have what it takes, enter your best original track for a chance to win BIG. One Grand Prize Winner will win a trip to Los Angeles to record a three-song EP with Barker at Red Bull Studios. Barker will lay down the drum track on one single for the EP, which will be distributed worldwide by TuneCore. The winning artist will also score a $10,000 shopping spree at Guitar Center!
Fans can also get in on the action simply by lending their musical expertise to the mix, and helping the best artists get the most exposure. By judging in the competition by May 15th, you could take home an OCDP snare drum autographed by Barker himself! Sound like a sweet deal? Head to the “Your Next Record with Travis Barker” Competition Channel to take part in the judging now!