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Chance the Rapper wins best new artist Grammy, ignores playoff music

Chance the Rapper was declared best new artist at the 2017 Grammy Awards. He beat out Kelsea Ballerini, the Chainsmokers, Maren Morris and Anderson .Paak. His win marks the first time a black hip-hop artist has won the best new artist award since Lauryn Hill won back in 1999. Read more

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From the Taylor Swift Spotify page.

Taylor Swift is that rarest of pop phenomena: a superstar who managed to completely cross over from country to the mainstream.

Other singers performed similar moves – notably, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson both became enduring mainstream icons based on their ‘70s work – but Swift shed her country roots like they were a second skin; it was a necessary molting to reveal she was perhaps the sharpest, savviest populist singer/songwriter of her generation, one who could harness the Zeitgeist and turn it personal and, just as impressively, perform the reverse. These skills were evident on her earliest hits, especially the neo-tribute “Tim McGraw,” but her second album, 2008’s Fearless, showcased a songwriter discovering who she was and, in the process, finding a mass audience. Fearless wound up having considerable legs not only in the U.S., where it racked up six platinum singles on the strength of the Top Ten hits “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me,” but throughout the world, performing particularly well in the U.K., Canada, and Australia. Speak Now, delivered almost two years later in the autumn of 2010, consolidated that success and Swift moved into the stratosphere of superstardom, with her popularity only increasing on 2012’s Red and 2014’s 1989, a pair of records that found her moving assuredly from country into a pop realm where she already belonged.

This sense of confidence had been apparent in Taylor Swift since the beginning. The daughter of two bankers – her father, Scott Kingsley Swift, worked at Merrill Lynch; her mother Andrea spent time as a mutual fund marketing executive – Swift was born in Reading, Pennsylvania and raised in suburban Wyomissing. She began to show interest in music at the age of nine, and Shania Twainwound up as her biggest formative influence. Swift started to work regularly at local talent contests, eventually winning a chance to open for Charlie Daniels. Soon, she learned how to play guitar and began writing songs, signing a music management deal with Dan Dymtrow; her family relocated to Nashville with the intent of furthering her music career. She was just 14 years old but on the radar of the music industry, signing a development deal with RCA Records in 2004. Swift sharpened her skills with a variety of professional songwriters, forming the strongest connections with Liz Rose. Taylor’s original songs earned her a deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, but not long after that 2004 deal she parted ways with Dymtrow and RCA, all with the intent of launching her recording career now, not later.

Things started moving swiftly once Swift came to the attention of Scott Borchetta, a former DreamWorks Records exec about to launchBig Machine Records. Borchetta saw Swift perform at a songwriters showcase at the Bluebird Cafe and he signed her to Big Machine in 2005; shortly afterward, she started work on her debut with producer Nathan Chapman, who’d previously helmed demos for Taylor. Boasting original song credits on every one of the record’s 11 songs (she penned three on her own), Taylor Swift appeared in October 2006 to strong reviews and Swift made sure to work the album hard, appearing at every radio or television event offered and marshaling a burgeoning fan base through use of MySpace. “Tim McGraw,” the first song from the album, did well but “Teardrops on My Guitar” and “Our Song” did better on both the pop and country charts, where she racked up five consecutive Top Ten singles. Other successes followed in the wake of the debut – a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist (she lost to Amy Winehouse), stopgap EPs of Christmas songs – but Swift concentrated on delivering her sophomore set, Fearless.

Appearing in November 2008, Fearless was certified gold by the RIAA in its first week of release, and the record gained momentum throughout 2009, earning several platinum certifications as “Love Story,” “White Horse,” “You Belong with Me,” “Fifteen,” and “Fearless” all scaled the upper reaches of the country charts while “You Belong with Me” nearly topped Billboard’s Top 100. Along with the success came some headlines, first in the form of an infamous appearance at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards where her acceptance speech was interrupted by Kanye West, who burst on-stage to declare that Swift’s rival Beyoncé deserved the award more, but her romances also started gaining attention, notably a liaison with Twilight star Taylor Lautner, who appeared with the singer in the 2009 film Valentine’s Day.

Her flirtation with the silver screen proved brief, as she then poured herself into her third album, Speak Now. Released in October 2010, Speak Now was another massive first-week smash that refused to lose momentum. Hit singles like “Mine” and “Mean,” which won two Grammys, played a big factor in its success not just on the country charts but on pop radio as well. Following a 2011 live album called World Tour Live: Speak Now, Swift turned toward following a pop path on her fourth album, hiring such mainstream musicians as Dan Wilson, Butch Walker, and Britney Spears producer Max Martin. This mainstream pulse was evident on “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” the first single from Red. Upon its October 2012 release, Red shattered expectations by selling over a million copies in its first week, a notable achievement that was doubly impressive in an era of declining sales. Once again, Swift’s album had legs: it was certified platinum four times in the U.S. and its international sales outstripped those of Speak Now. She supported Red with an international tour in 2013 and more hits came, including “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “22.”

As Swift geared up for the release of her fifth album in 2014, she made it clear that 1989 was designed as her first “documented, official” pop album and that there would be no country marketing push for the record. “Shake It Off,” an ebullient dance-pop throwback, hit number one upon its August 2014 release. When 1989 appeared in late October 2014, it once again shot to number one and became her third straight to sell one million copies in its first week (a new record for any artist).

Swift gathered many awards during the subsequent year, including Billboard’s Woman of the Year, the Award for Excellence at the American Music Awards, and a special 50th Anniversary Milestone Award from the CMAs. Her 1989 World Tour crossed Asia, North America, and Europe during the last half of 2015, and she won three Grammy Awards at the 2016 ceremonies, including Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Music Video for “Bad Blood.” At the end of 2016, she released “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” a duet with ZAYN from the soundtrack for Fifty Shades Darker. The single reached the Top Five across the world. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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On this day in music history: June 1, 1985 - “Hunting High And Low”, the debut album by a-ha is released. Produced by John Ratcliff, Tony Mansfield and Alan Tarney, it is recorded Eel Pie Studios in Twickenham, London, UK, and Rendezvous Studios in London from June 1984 - March 1985. Formed in their native Oslo, Norway in 1982, a-ha take their name from song written by Pål Waaktaar early in band’s existence. They choose the name as a word that is easy for English speaking people to remember and pronounce, and has the same meaning in Norwegian and English. Realizing that their chances for success are limited in Norway, a-ha relocate to London in 1983. They begin recording demos, secure management, and within a year begin to attract record label interest. Signed to the US branch of Warner Bros Records in early 1984, the Norwegian pop trio begin work on their first album with a trio of producers, including their manager John Ratcliff, and UK pop/rock veterans Tony Mansfield (Naked Eyes, The B-52’s, Captain Sensible) and Alan Tarney (Cliff Richard, Leo Sayer). It spins off three hits in the US including the chart topping “Take On Me” (on October 19, 1985) and “The Sun Always Shines On TV” (#20 Pop, #6 Club Play). It sells over six million copies worldwide, also earning them a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. In 2010, a two CD remastered version of the album (by Bill Inglot, Dan Hersch and Dave Schultz) is issued including demo versions of several songs, previously unreleased tracks, 12" single remixes and the original 1984 version of “Take On Me”. “Hunting High And Low” peaks at number fifteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

17 years ago, Christina Aguilera released her self-titled debut studio album. One of the biggest debut albums ever.

Christina Aguilera earned Aguilera the Grammy Award for Best New Artist at the 2000 Grammy Awards. The release debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 253,000 copies. Christina Aguilera was certified octuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and has sold more than 9 million copies in the US. Globally, the project has sold over 17 million units.

Lost Stars (Jungkook, You) Part 1

Hey guys! I’m baaacck! :)) Did you miss me? Cause I missed you. :P Good to be back writing. And for my comeback scenario, I give you this! <3 Requested by sassy-rabbit :) I hope you like it dear~ This is after all your first request so I hope you’ll enjoy it :))

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You couldn’t understand why it was so difficult. Sitting by the windowsill of your hotel room, you looked down at the city you once called home; your guitar tucked in your arm, a pencil held loosely on your right hand as a whole bunch of crumpled papers lay cluttered on the floors. 

You sighed heavily before taking a sip of your coffee, thinking of your schedule which was packed with interviews, both for print and broadcast. Being an international artist who just came home, you were in demand and the press simply wanted to get the details of your life abroad, how you came to be Jane Lou, singer-songwriter who’s nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist. 

Or probably just to get the “good stuff”, you thought amusedly, knowing well that the press is only after the juicy details of your private life. 

Well they’re never going to find out, you thought. They’re never going to know if the life you once lived before remained tucked beneath layers after layers at the back of your consciousness; untouched. 

Some things are better hidden, others…. forgotten, you wrote down on the paper the moment the thought came, hoping it can be useful to the song you’re trying to write.

Emphasis on trying.

You haven’t written a single song in the past week and it drove you crazy. Songwriting was something that came naturally to you and though you got writer’s block at times, you never felt as hopeless as you were feeling right now. 

Probably just jet-lagged, you thought as you ripped another piece of paper, crumpled it and threw it across the room. 

Although in the back of your head, you knew you were only lying to yourself. You knew exactly what was wrong and as you looked out the window of your hotel room, seeing the familiar streets of Seoul, you found yourself going back… back when you thought everything was possible—perfect, even. 

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On this day in music history: May 2, 1981 - “Morning Train (Nine To Five)” by Sheena Easton hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, also topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 3 weeks on the same date. Written by Florrie Palmer, it is the biggest hit for the pop vocalist from Bellshill, Scotland. A graduate of the Scottish Royal Academy Of Music And Drama, Easton sings in band while still a student. One of her tutors at the academy encourages her to audition for the BBC TV program “The Big Time”, an early “reality TV show in which various unknown talents rises to stardom are documented. The producers of the show are so impressed with Easton that they secure her an audition for EMI Records who quickly sign her. Paired with producer Christopher Neil (Mike + The Mechanics, Marillion), Sheena’s first single "Modern Girl” is released prior to the airing of her series of episodes. It performs disappointingly at first, stalling at #56 on the UK singles chart. After the series begins airing, her second single “9 To 5” is released in May of 1980, and is an immediate smash, peaking at #3 on the UK singles chart. On the heels of that success, “Modern Girl” is reissued and this time peaks at #8. After those back to back successes, “9 To 5”  is picked up for US release by EMI-America Records in late January of 1981(amended to “Morning Train (Nine To Five)” to avoid confusion with the recent chart topper by Dolly Parton). Entering the Hot 100 at #74 on February 14, 1981, it climbs to the top of the chart eleven weeks later. The major chart success of “Morning Train (Nine To Five)” along with the follow up “Modern Girl” (#18 US Pop) and the James Bond theme song “For Your Eyes Only” (#4 US Pop, #8 UK), leads to Easton winning the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1982. “Morning Train (Nine To Five)” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: May 6, 1989 - “Real Love” by Jody Watley hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #2 on the Hot 100 on May 20, 1989. Written by Andre Cymone and Jody Watley, it is the second chart topping single for the singer, songwriter and model originally from Chicago, IL. Following the breakthrough success of Jody Watley’s self-titled solo debut album, which spins off five hit singles and wins her a Grammy Award for Best New Artist, the singer returns to the studio to begin work on the follow up in 1988. Once again working with co-producer Andre Cymone (Prince), the pair co-write eleven of the twelve songs that are included Watley’s second album. After playing the album for her label MCA Records, executives suggest that it needs “one more song”. Hearing an instrumental track written by Andre, Jody immediately comes up with the title “Real Love”, writing the lyrics and melody that complete the song. Issued as the first single from Jody Watley’s second album “Larger Than Life” in March of 1989, it is an immediate smash. The song is accompanied by a striking music video directed by David Fincher (“Se7en”, “Fight Club”, “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button”), mixing black and white and color footage of the singer performing and walking the modelling catwalk in a variety of high fashion couture. “Real Love” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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“MTV reports first appreance by the Jonas Brothers draws record crowd. Dropped by Columbia Records. The Jonas Brothers release debut album with Hollywood Records. Jonas Brothers album certified as double platinum. Jonas Brothers are in Grammy nomination for ‘Best New Artist’. Did the Jonas Brothers break up? Jonas Brothers album Lines Vines And Trying Times debuts at number 1 marking second number one release in two years. Kevin Jonas and Danielle Deleasa are engaged. Are the Jonas Brothers over? Jonas Brothers perform with Paul McCartney at the White House. Nick Jonas stars in Broadway’s How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Jonas Brothers take a break. Married To Jonas premiere attracts 1.8 million viewers… ARE THE JONAS BROTHERS OVER?”