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Grammy Watch: Will a One Direction Member Finally Earn a Nomination?
Over the course of their five albums and six Top 10 hits together, One Direction received exactly zero Grammy nominations. So can the 1D guys at long last snap their cold streak, now as solo artists?

Earlier this month, sleeping pop giant One Direction notched a rather remarkable chart achievement, despite being on hiatus for over a year: all five members of the mega-selling British group have now earned at least one solo top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Louis Tomlinson was the final member to join the club when “Back to You,” featuring Bebe Rexha and Digital Farm Animals, recently debuted at No. 40 on the chart. Liam Payne and Niall Horan each have current Top 20 hits with “Strip That Down” and “Slow Hands,” respectively, while Harry Styles and Zayn have each entered the Top 10 on their ownm with songs like “Sign of the Times” and “Pillowtalk.”

All five of the 1D lads are doing quite well for themselves, and all five have released new music since the start of 2017… and thus, would be eligible for the 2018 Grammy Awards. However, history’s working against the quintet of burgeoning stolo stars: Over the course of their five albums and six Hot 100 Top 10 hits together, One Direction received exactly zero Grammy nominations.

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On this day in music history: March 13, 1999 - “Believe” by Cher hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 4 weeks, also topping the Club Play chart for 4 weeks on December 12, 1998. Written by Brian Higgins, Stuart McLennen, Paul Barry, Steven Torch, Matthew Gray and Timothy Powell, it is the fourth solo chart topping single (fifth overall) for the pop music icon and Academy Award winning actress. After focusing on her film career for much of the 90’s, Cher turns her attention back music when she signs to the UK division of Warner Bros Records in 1998. Working with dance music producers including Junior Vasquez, Todd Terry, Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling, it will be the singer’s first dance oriented album in nearly twenty years since the release of her Casablanca albums “Take Me Home” and “Prisoner”. Rather than going for the retro-disco sounds of those works, the new material is cutting edge and in step with the current techno dance phenomenon dominating the club music scene. British songwriter and producers Taylor and Rawling (Gina G, Danni Minogue), presents Cher with the song “Believe”. She asks them to re-write the lyrics a number of times before agreeing to record the song. After recording Cher’s vocals, the producers hit upon the idea of processing some of the vocals with a Digitech Talker (aka “Autotune” processor). At first, they are nervous to play the track with the altered vocals, but once Cher hears what they’ve done, she immediately loves it. Warner Bros initially does not like the autotuned vocals and wants the effect removed, but the singer insists they remain as they are. “Believe” is an immediate smash in the UK, spending seven weeks at number one. Warner Bros in the US picks up the record for release on the back of its UK chart success. Entering the Hot 100 at #99 on December 20, 1998, it climbs to the top of the chart twelve weeks later. Cher makes history by having the longest time span between her first number one single (“I Got You Babe”) and “Believe”, which is thirty three years, seven months and three weeks. She also becomes the second oldest artist in Billboard chart history to top the Hot 100 (Louis Armstrong is the record holder at sixty two years, ten months and one week old at the time “Hello Dolly” is at number one), as she is fifty three years, nine months and three weeks old at the time “Believe” tops the chart. The single is also a massive worldwide hit, topping the charts in twenty three countries. “Believe”  wins Cher her first Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording in 2000, also receiving a nomination for Record Of The Year. “Believe” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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Charlie Johnson and Arthur Porter- Charleston is the Best Dance After All (1928 recording by Charlie Johnson’s Paradise Ten)

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Depeche Mode’s single ‘I Feel Loved | Dirt’ released on 30 July 2001was nominated for 2 Grammy Awards. One for Best Dance Recording and the Danny Tenaglia Remix for Best Remixed Recording. The Single was compared on the Bside with ‘Dirt’ [original Iggy Pop/The Stooges] 

Highest Chart Peakings; #1 UShotdance #4 Spain #5 Italy

The music video was directed by John Hillcoat and features Depeche Mode performing in a club.The setting makes for a hot, sweaty ambience. The club is stormed by policemen with dogs, apparently trying to close down the gig. The audience, however doesn’t seem to mind the intrusion and some girls play with the dogs.

Obscure Obsessions: My love for Mika

by Joe Thomas 

“Identity for me is something that has to be played with and explored, and not become complacent about or uninterested in.” This is my favorite quote by MIKA the British pop singer that has stretched his music across the globe.

I believe there are no “best singers” or “perfect artists” because music is an art form and art is about perception not this popular standard of classification of good or bad, so I’d never say MIKA is the best artist in the world, but to me he is my favorite.

The handsome young lad was born on the 18th of August, 1983 fairly close to my birthday of August 30th, just saying, maybe we’re soul mates.

However, as anyone would guess he wasn’t born MIKA, he was born Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr. The man has obvious creativity with his choice of stage name, and his creativity has no bounds exemplified in his music, but why MIKA?

Well it’s one of the Finnish forms of Michael, it’s also a very popular Japanese name meaning “new moon” but I think it’s simply because it sounds great and honestly sums up his style.

MIKA is big and he’s bright, he’s colorful and creative, he isn’t your common everyday artist, and he’s one that’s constantly changing.

His first hit in 2007 Grace Kelly, the first song on his first album, Life in Cartoon Motion, started a series of firsts for the artist.

His first tour featured the album’s hits like Lollipop, Billy Brown, and Big Girl (You are Beautiful).

This also led to his first Grammy nomination for Best Dance Record for his song Love Today also featured in Life in Cartoon Motion.

But in these series of events MIKA has grown, as any human being would, the only exception is that MIKA has allowed his music to grow with him.

It’s a popular practice in the music industry nowadays that when you make it big and hit the charts you have to stick with the style that got you there but MIKA is an artist you ignores that and lets the music do what it wishes and merely expresses his thoughts and feelings and even his growth through his lyrics.

His third album The Origin of Love best exemplifies that.

In a video interview with Televisionet he discusses this and expresses his real personal view on the album.

He says the album isn’t named the origin of love in his way of saying he’s found it, it’s named that because it’s based off of his journey to find it.

He also goes in depth to explain that this is the album that he got more personal with and even a tad bit more serious.

His first two albums were full of fun characters and bright colors, albums that could bring out the inner child in a person, but this is where the change comes into play.

In this interview he says that as a person he has changed and so has his music, he could’ve gone the stereotypical way and given his audience what they’ve already loved and already seen but in a new format, instead he felt the need to show his fans who he really was through his music.

It’s no secret that MIKA isn’t your typical man, he doesn’t do things like the rest of us and doesn’t follow the same path, making him different, and we all know that being different leads to rumors.

It was all across the media and message boards and fan blogs “What is MIKA’s sexuality?” “Who does MIKA like?”

Ultimately I don’t believe it matters, at all. I care only in the aspect that he is one of my favorite performers and artists and he inspires me, but that’s it.

Music isn’t about the creators sexuality or even who they are, when you’re listening to a song you’re first thoughts aren’t “I wonder if this singer likes dick?” You focus on the music or the lyrics or both, you let the song entice you and you choose what you like and/ or dislike about it, and MIKA seems to understand this.

For the first few years of his career MIKA avoided questions from reporters and public personalities regarding his sexuality and his personal life because ultimately it had nothing to do with why they asked to speak with him, they wanted to know about his music and his art so that’s what he discussed.

However in a particular interview with the Dutch magazine Gay and Night an interviewer asked MIKA how he defines his sexuality and his only response was “Call me whatever you want. Call me bisexual if you need a term for me.”

This doesn’t mean he is bisexual, all he ever said was that he doesn’t like labels but the magazine chose to jump on the opportunity to bend his words like the media tends to do and title their article “Mika Clears Things Up: Call Me Bisexual.”

This annoys me in the aspect that they publicly announced a person’s sexuality without any conformation to see if they were correct and MIKA even expressed that they weren’t in his more recent interview with Instinct.

Today he expresses that if you have to give him a label he is gay but ultimately he has no terms or conditions merely a requirement of love and attraction.

MIKA is an attractive inspirational music idol who represents what a human should strive to be, themselves.

What I love about MIKA, and what makes him my favorite artist is his inner urge to merely be who he is, 100%.

He’s not crazy Lady Gaga “unique” or Nicki Minaj pink, he’s just MIKA, ever-changing, always alluring, MIKA.

CONGRATS KENDRICK LAMAR ON LEADING THE 2016 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS. He’s nominated for…
Album of the Year
•Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly
Song of the Year
•Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”
Best Rap Album
•Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly
Best Rap Performance
•Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
•Kendrick Lamar feat. Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat, “These Walls”
Best Rap Song
•Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”
•Kanye West feat. Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom & Paul McCartney, “All Day” (as composer)
Best Music Video
•Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”
•Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar, “Bad Blood”
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
•Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar, “Bad Blood”
Best Dance Recording
•Flying Lotus feat. Kendrick Lamar, “Never Catch Me”

Kendrick Lamar's Grammy Nominations

Kendrick got nominated for 11 grammys this year, toping Taylor Swift who got 7. Kendrick is nominated for 

Album of the Year: To Pimp A Butterfly — Kendrick Lamar 

Song of the Year: “Alright” — Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar) 

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift Featuring Kendrick Lamar 

Best Dance Recording: “Never Catch Me” by Flying Lotus Featuring Kendrick Lamar 

Best Rap Album: To Pimp A Butterfly — Kendrick Lamar 

Best Music Video: “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar 

“Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift Featuring Kendrick Lamar 

Best Rap Performance: “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar 

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: These Walls- Kendrick Lamar Featuring Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat

  Best Rap Song: Alright- Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)

This Week’s Highlight: Clean Bandit

Who Are They?

If you don’t know Clean Bandit, you probably live under the rock. This electronic-classic Cambridge-based quartet has stolen the public attention, validated by winning 2015 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording, for their #1 hit “Rather Be” with Jess Glynne.

Members of the Group?

Jack Patterson - bass guitar, keyboard, vocals, piano

Luke Patterson - Drums (oh, he’s Jack’s little brother)

Grace Chatto - Cello & Vocals

Neil Milan Amin-Smith - Violin, Piano (and a gift from God!)

Where should I start?

Uhm, aside from the original version of “Rather Be”, you can also check out the live versions. My fave would be their performance at BRITs 2015 Nominations Launch. On several live shows, quite often the group feature vocalists Elisabeth Troy and Florence Rawlings to sing the songs.

What so cool about them?

Widely deemed the poshest band in music, they produce their own music, mixing electronic music with classical pieces by composers such as Mozart and Shostakovich. They sold more singles in 2014 than One Direction.

Go check their album, New Eyes for more singles.

Photo sources:

- the telegraph

- youtube

- Neil Milan’s instagram page (he’s seriously talented and handsome and witty and handsome… go stalk!)

PARAMORE, ED SHEERAN, BEYONCE AMONG GRAMMY NOMINEES

2015 Grammy nominations are finally up, and Paramore snagged a nomination for Best Rock Song with their single “Ain’t it Fun.” Ed Sheeran's got a nod for Best Pop Vocal Album. Beyoncé is stealing the show, though, with nominations for Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best Music Film, Best R&B Performance, and Best R&B Song. Bey now holds the record for most Grammy nominations, beating out Dolly Parton, but, let’s face it, no one’s surprised. Beyoncé is queen. Find a full list of nominees below. 

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