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Kelly Clarkson - Wrapped in Red

 

album picks

Album Review: McBusted
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Album Review: Cheryl - Only Human
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Album Review: Gareth Fernandez- Gareth Fernandez
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SBA 2014
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katy perry dark horse most viewed music videos of 2014

At more than 716 million views, Katy Perry’s Dark Horse music video is 2014’s reigning champion of YouTube’s popularity contest. One may think the Internet has long forgotten the over-the-top offering since its inception on Feb 20. But one can be wrong or agree to disagree.

A quick scan of the top 10 trending music videos will reinforce our head-scratching. Don’t ask me why or how Enrique Iglesias found a place in this ludicrous list.   

1. Katy Perry – Dark Horse
2. Enrique Iglesias – Bailando
3. Shakira – Can’t Remember to Forget You
4. Shakira – La La La (Brazil 2014)
5. Jason Derulo – Wiggle
6. Iggy Azalea – Fancy
7. Sia – Chandelier
8. Taylor Swift – Shake it Off
9. Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass
10. Nicki Minaj – Anaconda

Here are three pieces of work that should have gotten more views than Dark Horse.

 

Beyonce, Grown Woman

We really thought this powerhouse soon-to-be mother of two hit the nail on the head with this one. Manipulating the footage recorded from her salad days, it got young Yonce to lip sync to the track, fooling countless viewers (almost including this writer) into believing this cinematic sorcery. To pull that off in the most organic manner must have required unparalleled technical expertise. If only the video had been released earlier to catch all the curious eyes… that’s one thing the RNB goddess failed to anticipate when she decided to drop her entire album online, granting consumers exclusive access to the music videos at the same time.

 

Jimmy Fallon feat. Will.i.am, Ew!

What could go wrong when you doll two grown men up in a couple of perky pigtails, shimmering orthodontics and garishly girlish garb? For one, we viewers could suffer a cardiac arrest and die of laughter. But I suppose people weren’t game enough to take the Tonight Show host and the progressive rapper too seriously as professional comic/musical artistes. Are Mir.i.am and Sara (with no H because H’s are ew) less entertaining than some tunic-wearing Egyptians?

 

Sia, Chandelier

The stark contrast of an animated pint-sized performer in a stripped-down, moth-eaten house conjures a formidable visual – one that profoundly stirs the innards and leaves its victims breathless. Dominating the Chandelier music video is 12-year-old contemporary dancer Maddie Ziegler – one of the Dance Moms’ prodigies. A child of reality television, she spazzed her way onto a larger stage (one that takes the shape of an ordinary abode) in this video, which now circulates the entire planet where WiFi exists. While the electropop music video has found a place in the top 10 trending videos of the year, it’s somehow still not enough to earn top prize. Well, art is subjective.

 

Oh, who are we kidding?

No African queen, captain of hysterical talk shows, or wunderkind can beat Katy’s otherworldly Cleopatra alter-ego. It’s got human-feline hybrids, a glorious golden throne, the Great Sphinx of Giza with glowing eyes and talking lips, floating hieroglyphics, a dancing Pomeranian, towering pyramids with neon pink tips, the works.

Then again, if we hadn’t granted the bubblegum pop princess this accolade, she might’ve zapped us into oblivion with her electrifying dark magic.

Photo credit: YouTube/Katy Perry Vevo

Lady Gaga recently opened up about her dark past during her visit to The Howard Stern Show. The ARTPOP singer disclosed that a record producer once took advantage of her when she was just 19.

“I wrote a song called Swine. The song is about rape. The song is about demoralization. The song is about rage and fury and passion, and I had a lot of pain that I wanted to release,” said Gaga, referring to the ARTPOP track.

“I went through some horrific things that I'm able to laugh [at] now, because I've gone through a lot of mental and physical therapy and emotional therapy to heal over the years. My music's been wonderful for me. But, you know, I was a shell of my former self at one point. I was not myself. To be fair, I was about 19. I went to Catholic school and then all this crazy stuff happened, and I was going, Oh, is this just the way adults are? I was very naïve,” the 28-year-old singer recalled.

It got to a point where Gaga “wasn't even willing to admit that anything had even happened”. She said: “It hit me so hard. I was so traumatized by it that I was like, 'Just keep going.' Because I just had to get out of there”. It took a few years of growing and maturing before Gaga was able to overcome her denial of what took place and seek help. But why the initial hesitation?

“I don't want to be defined by it. I'll be damned if somebody's gonna say that every creatively intelligent thing that I ever did is all boiled down to one dickhead who did that to me,” explained Gaga. “I'm going to take responsibility for all my pain looking beautiful. All the things that I've made out of my strife, I did that.”

Although Gaga declined to name the man who raped her, she was repulsed that her attacker claimed they dated. “You were 20 years older than me. I was a kid. How is that a date?” she asked.“I saw him one time in a store and I was paralyzed by fear. It wasn't until I was a little bit older that I went, Wow, that was really messed up.”

Fast forward 9 years later, Gaga is in a much happier place and she credits her Cheek to Cheek collaborator, Tony Bennett. “Can you imagine after all that time and after that how I was feeling, then having Tony Bennett be so loving? He's not just a father or a grandfather or an uncle—he's a friend. He's a brother. He's everything. He wants nothing from me but my talent and my friendship,” Gaga told Stern.

The songstress continued: “That's all I wanted all along was just somebody to say, 'Wow, you've got a great voice and I'll do anything to help you make it. I think we all should be each other's Tony Bennets.”

Photo credit: Lady Gaga

Wait what?! Isn’t Jennifer Lawrence an actress? True, the 24-year-old Oscar-winning actress may not enjoy singing (she compared her singing chops to a ‘tone-deaf Amy Winehouse’), but thanks to her recording of The Hanging Tree, she’s basically a pop star now.

Taken from the third instalment in the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay Part 1, J-Law’s character, Katniss Everdeen, performs The Hanging Tree – a song she learned from her late father that ultimately became the rebellion’s battle cry.

The lyrics tells of a dead man calling out to his lover to come join him in death. A life of torture is simply not worth living. Katniss understands that being tortured by the Capitol is a fate much worse than death itself. Super dark stuff here eh?

J-Law (or Katniss) starts the song as an a cappella performance before she is later joined by a choir and orchestra ensemble. The Hanging Tree was written by The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins together with The Lumineers' Jeremiah Fraites and Wesley Schultz.

Since its debut, The Hanging Tree has peaked at No. 2 on the iTunes songs chart, No. 12 spot on ARIA Australian Top 50 Singles Chart and the No. 14 spot on the Official U.K. Singles Chart.

Not bad for the actress who “cried on the set’ the day she had to sing. “I was shaking. I was like, 'I want my mom.' I've never listened to it. When that scene comes on, I plug my ears.The idea of singing in front of people is my biggest fear in the entire world,” said Lawrence.

Judging from the success and attention the song has already garnered, clearly the fans disagree. Looking back, I bet those tears were worth it. This was hands down one of the highlights of an otherwise mediocre movie.

Wesley Schultz described Lawrence’s performance as “super raw and vulnerable”. “When you know that you might slip and there’s an element of danger, that’s always a lot more interesting. But she obviously has the chops. You can hear it – she’s fine,” said Schultz.

 

The phrase “two is better than one” rings truest when it comes to musical duets and collaborations, those, in particular, that involves powerhouses and industry toppers. Here are a few that should’ve already joined forces a million years ago:

 

1. One Direction X 5 Seconds of Summer

They’ve already toured the world together. The next natural step should be a collaboration, right? According to 5SOS bassist Calum Hood in an interview with Bop, they’re “two completely different bands” thus a group duet may not work. Well, if they tried meshing their styles together, who knows? It might be magic. Plus, they’d be doing the prepubescents a huge service.

 

2. Eminem X Iggy Azalea X Macklemore

White rappers unite! Okay, that might have come off as a tad racist. But just imagine the possibilities. The legendary Slim Shady, the Australian stereotype-smasher, and the indie Same Love artiste… sky’s the limit.  

 

3. Taylor Swift X Lorde

Is there even a need to explain? Aside from the fact that they’re besties who once coordinated their outfits, their musical styles (although slightly dissimilar) might blend into a whole new concoction of ear candy – especially with Swift shifting into more alternative territories.

 

So, what say you on these dream collabs? Which artistes would you want to see collaborate?

 

Photo credit: Twitter, Taylor Swift/Instagram, Gossip We Love

If Nick Jonas Was A Teacher…

By Angela Nov 07, 2014

He’s showed us his jealous side. He’s showed off his bulging guns. And now, he’s giving us a lesson.

Former curly-haired child Nick Jonas has been releasing a string of irresistible tracks lately and his latest single, Teacher, is no exception.

The disco-meets-RNB grooves are proving to be too seductive to handle, and judging by his previous singles, his upcoming self-titled effort should be one to get excited for!

While we daydream about the sweet treats awaiting us on Nick’s album, we can’t help but wonder what lessons the musical hunk would teach if he became a teacher…

 

#1. The Acquirement of Bombshells

He may not be a George Clooney or Brad Pitt, but the boy sure knows how to score hot chicks… real hot chicks. I’m talking about the most beautiful woman in the country, Olivia Culpo (pictured below), 2012’s Miss USA.

 

#2. Self-scratching: The Head, Neck and More

There is a right and a wrong way of relieving an itch yourself, especially when it concerns the regions above the shoulders. But clearly, Nick has got it down pat, and scratching oneself has never been sexier.  

 

#3. Family Business Management

Despite the eventual split of The Jonas Brothers, the band did have a good run, bringing millions of Disney-loving teens to their knees. The secret? Knowing how to turn your brothers into colleagues and managing a band like a business.

 

Check out Teacher below!

 

Photo credit: Nick Jonas/Instagram, Dominic Chan/WENN