Posts Tagged ‘Carrie Underwood’

Reba’s Obstacles To Another #1 Country Song

It’s no secret that I love Reba McEntire.  I own every album she’s ever released, I’ve seen her in concert thirteen times, and I even got to meet her back in 2005.

Reba Anthony 2005

However, much to my chagrin, she’ll likely never have another #1 song on the Billboard Country charts (unless she duets with a chart-dominating, younger star)!

Reba

Reba’s place in country music history is cemented as iconic.  She’s the “Queen of Country Music” and she’s a member of the “Country Music Hall of Fame”.

Reba has more Top Ten hits than any other woman in country music and she’s tied with Dolly Parton for the most #1 songs on the Billboard Country charts by a woman at 25.

Dolly+Parton+Reba+McEntire

So, why did the lead single from her latest #1 album, “Love Somebody”, “Going Out Like That” only peak at #23 on the Billboard Country chart (and #28 on the Country Airplay chart) and why did it take six months to rise and fall at country radio?

Reba Love Somebody

And, why is Reba’s latest single, “Until They Don’t Love You”, only being played at 60-something country stations?  It’s just now cracking the Top 50 country radio airplay list at #48.

Reba Until They Don't Love You

Here are my thoughts and I know this might not set well with some Reba fans.  But, being one myself, I’m being objective.

At this point in her career, Reba may not be concerned about #1 hits at country radio.  As an avid chart watcher and huge Reba fan, the fault might be mine — I care, but Reba may not.

While Reba released her first album in 1977, it wasn’t until she switched labels to MCA that she had her first gold album with 500,000 copies shipped (“My Kind of Country”, 1984).

Her first platinum album (one million copies shipped), “Whoever’s In New England” came out in 1986, and her first multi-platinum album was “Greatest Hits”, which dropped in early 1987 and has sold more than three million copies.

Reba Albums

Reba’s biggest selling album, “Greatest Hits, Volume 2”, has moved more than five million copies and that one came out in 1993.

Since then, her album sales have been dropping.

REBA_ATWIA_COVER_500

Her 2010 release, “All The Women I Am”, has not even been certified gold and it featured her last #1 song at country radio, “Turn On The Radio”.

As I mentioned earlier, Reba may not be concerned with how high her singles go on the chart.  She may not lose sleep over how many album she sells because she knows that her concerts are huge draws and they always will be.  Concerts are where artists make their money.

Reba 2011

Reba is not alone.  It’s the same for pop music.  Madonna has dominated pop music for as long as Reba has country music and her tours are some of the biggest money makers and she sells out every show.Madonna MDNA

However, Madonna’s hit singles at Top 40 radio are as infrequent as Reba is at country radio lately.

When Reba followed up the chart topper “Turn On The Radio” with her remake of the Beyonce song, “If I Were A Boy”, that song stalled at #22 and the two other singles released from the album peaked at #40 and #44.

Shortly thereafter I questioned a friend in the radio industry about the cool reception for the final three singles from “All The Women I Am”.  He said he wasn’t surprised “after having ‘If I Were a Boy’ shoved down our throats.”

After that album’s release, Reba devoted more time to her family, her Reba brand at Dillard’s department stores, acting one season on ABC’s “Malibu Country” and touring.

Now that she has a residency in Las Vegas with Brooks & Dunn and she’s touring again supporting the new album, “Love Somebody”, why aren’t the first two singles burning up the charts?

Reba Love Somebody

In one of my first blogs, I brought up the topic of ageism and sexism in the entertainment world.  You can read that blog here:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/todays-country-radio-wheres-reba/

While that is still blatant, I think the real problem for Reba now is her association with the Nash Icon record label, which is focused on the “biggest country artists of the last two decades, who are still recording and touring but not getting enough exposure today”.

If that wasn’t limiting enough, it’s affiliated with Cumulus Media, the third largest radio group in the business.  And, that is reflecting in the number of stations that played “Going Out Like That” and the new song.

Reba Until They Don't Love You

As of yesterday, “Until They Don’t Love You” is being played on 67 of 262 stations that report to Mediabase.  Of those, many are Cumulus stations.

This is purely speculation, but I feel that other radio groups, such as Clear Channel (#1) and Infinity (#2) don’t want to get into the business of promoting singles that another radio group, Cumulus, is making money off of.

Another example to prove this point is Ronnie Dunn, who is on the Nash Icon label.  His new single, “Ain’t No Trucks In Texas” is faltering at country radio.

When I saw Reba live in early August, she performed both singles from the “Love Somebody” album and they sound great.

I hope that I’m wrong about Reba never topping the country singles charts again without the support of say someone like Luke Bryan or Carrie Underwood.

Country radio, prove me wrong!

Show me that you still love Reba and that there’s room on your playlist for new songs in heavy rotation and not just the occasional classics.

Anthony

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They Said What??? Morrissey, Liza Minnelli, & Kimberly Williams-Paisley

ACTRESS KIMBERLY WILLIAMS-PAISLEY

(on rumors that her country music star husband Brad Paisley is having an affair with fellow country music star Carrie Underwood):  “Are you serious? Wow! I hope it helps our careers! That’s all I can say.”

THE SMITHS’ LEAD SINGER MORRISSEY

“Please ignore the abysmal example set by President Obama who, in the name of Thanksgiving, supports torture as 45 million birds are horrifically abused; dragged through electrified stun baths, and then have their throats slit. And President Obama laughs. Haha, so funny.”

MORE MORRISSEY

“As Ingrid Newkirk from PETA points out, turkey ‘meat’ is one of “our nation’s top killers”, causing heart-attacks and strokes in humans due to saturated animal fats and cholesterol. And President Obama laughs.”

AND, EVEN MORE MORRISSEY

“Further, the meat industry is responsible for 51% of human-caused greenhouse-gas emission, therefore the embarrassingly stupid White House ‘turkey pardon’ is open support for a viciously cruel and environmentally irresponsible industry. And President Obama laughs.”

DR. MARK WALCOTT

(head of performing arts at Newham College in London, England and a part-time psychotherapist):  “You can find people that are gay… and they’re using their sexuality to stream through the way they teach the students, to boy children especially in boy schools.  And those boys are becoming gay not because they have a gay gene but because they have gay teachers who are indoctrinating them with their gay mentality.”

MORE WALCOTT

(after comparing the gay community to the Ku Klux Klan):  “Gay people’s objectives [are] not just to have lots of gay sex, but also to increase the gay community. Gayism or any sexual preference is subliminally taught and auto-suggestive.”

ONE MORE FROM WALCOTT

“I’ll give the name of someone I’d never have run a school: Elton John. His gayism is so liberal… I don’t like him. His sexuality, his gayism is over-burdensome.”

EMMY, GRAMMY, OSCAR, & TONY AWARD WINNER LIZA MINNELLI

“Whenever I see Lady Gaga in a new outfit I wonder how she finds the time! Her closet must be huge! I’ve been listening to her new CD and absolutely loving it. She’s a true artist and we’ll be hearing from her for a long long time.”

POP ICON LADY GAGA

(in a tweet):  “LIZA MINNELLI loves ARTPOP.  My life is finally complete! I thought of you the whole way through SNL Liza i love you!”

Anthony

They Said What??? Carrie Underwood, Uncle Poodle, & Anderson Cooper

“GIRLS” GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER LENA DUNHAM

“I am not engaged. I don’t want to get married until all gay people can get married.”

fun. GUITARIST JACK ANTONOFF

(and boyfriend of “Girls” Leah Dunham):  “Being straight and standing up for gay rights is a statement that says “this is everyone’s issue.” We are not all free unless we are all free. Just because I was born into the elite class of straight Americans who have maximum rights does not mean that I won’t fight as if it were me being denied human rights.”

MORE ANTONOFF

“People identify with other people for different reasons, and I personally am really comfortable around lesbians because, in some ways, we view women the same way.  I’ve never really identified with the way a typical alpha-male views women. It’s always an awkward forum for me to hang out with another guy and talk about girls, because I can’t really find a way to fit in.”

UNCLE POODLE” (LEE THOMPSON), HONEY BOO BOO’S UNCLE

(revealing that he is HIV-positive):  “I was adamant about getting my HIV status checked on a regular basis.  I knew it had been my boyfriend who infected me. I later learned he had been HIV positive and was not taking medication and had not bothered to tell me about it. I was advised that I should press charges and, hesitantly, I did. It was the right thing to do.”

ACTOR DAVE FRANCO, BROTHER OF JAMES FRANCO

“I know a huge audience is going to think that I am gay.  I’m just trying to blur the lines, I guess. I’m not consciously trying to do that, but it’s not something I think about. Like with my friends who are gay, it’s not like that’s the first thing I associate with them. They’re just another friend, and they just happen to like guys.”

OUT ACTOR RUPERT EVERETT

“The structure of Hollywood, the whole of Hollywood…I’m also talking about theater. The theater owning community is another fairly right-wing organization. Since Reaganism, it becomes possibly worse for an actor to come out. The mainstream actor has had to become straighter and straighter.”

COUNTRY MUSIC STAR CARRIE UNDERWOOD

“I’m in favor of acceptance.  And I am a Christian person, and I do love the Lord, and I feel no matter who you are, what you believe, how you live your life, it’s not my place to judge.  I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love.”

CNN ANCHOR ANDERSON COOPER

“Some of my best friends now are girls who allegedly dated me at 13 and 14, and who I didn’t really know we were dating, but they thought we were dating, and I was sort of, you know, hoping to meet their brothers….. Some of my best friends now are girls who allegedly dated me at 13 and 14, and who I didn’t really know we were dating, but they thought we were dating, and I was sort of, you know, hoping to meet their brothers.”

Random Thoughts 2012 Recap, Part Two

Here’s another round of the random blogs that I posted this summer that covered multiple topics.  To read each random blog, I’ve made it easy so you only have to click on the highlighted title inside the blog.  Have a great Saturday.

June 21, 2012

You Know What I’m Thinking?

In this blog, I talked about classic rock and kitchen renovation, causes of death in the United States, the summer drought and being ready for fall and winter, Olivia Newton-John, my future pick hit from Chris Wallace, and chocolate wine.

July 10, 2012

I’m Thinking About These Things Today (And You May Agree or Disagree)

In this blog,  just ten days before the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting spree, I said “guns don’t kill, people do”.  I know that guns caused the actual deaths, but there was a person behind them.  Sadly, when I wrote this segment of the blog, I referenced the Tucson, Arizona shooting and I had no idea of what would happen later in the month.  And, now we have the fresh, sad memories of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.  You might find the reading interesting and I welcome your feedback.

I also referenced work and seniority, which is another ill-fated topic since I’m no longer there.

There were also random thoughts about Hank Williams Jr. calling President Obama “Hitler”, food, the remake of “Steel Magnolias”, Carrie Underwood, and the music of Laura Pausini.

August 7, 2012

My Wandering Mind — Here’s What I’m Thinking About

The heavy topic on my mind here was about returning soldiers and the demons they face, which leads to more suicides.  I also touched on human rights.  On a lighter note, I had random thoughts about “Dexter”, fall, food, “Zero Dark Thirty”, “Artpop”, Lady Gaga, “The Paperboy”, “Lebanon”, and the music of Demi Lovato.

August 26, 2012

Oh No, He’s Thinking About Random Things

Topics here:  nuclear power plants, healthy eating and cheesecake, bigotry, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, fall, Thomas Roberts’ upcoming marriage, hot new music from Zedd and Madonna, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “Argo”.

One more coming tomorrow.

Anthony

[Our] Country Needs More “Faith”

Let’s play word association.  If I say “stuffing”, you probably start thinking of Thanksgiving leftovers and not the scarecrow on “The Wizard of Oz”.  If I say “hope”, maybe the future of the world comes to mind.  And, if  I say “faith”, many of you think of Christmas and religion.  I, too, have hope and faith that there will be more peace and love on Earth, but since I don’t live in a fantasy world, I know it won’t replace hate.

When I hear “faith”, I think of the holidays and mankind, but also of Faith Hill.

Anthony & Faith Hill

I’ve been a huge fan since her first single, “Wild One”, was released in the fall of 1993.  That song, and many others that have followed, shot to the top of the country music charts.

I was fortunate enough to meet her at the Hodag Country Festival in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, in the summer of 1996.

While working at WJFW, we profiled all of the singers performing.  But, I did a separate story and bonded with Faith over the challenges her father faced with literacy.  Three years later, in 1999, Faith’s tour supported a national children’s book drive, The Faith Hill Family Literacy Project, which collected more than 35,000 books.

Before the interview, the only thing her people told us that was off-limits was any personal questions about her relationship with Tim McGraw.  While it was no secret, the two grew very close on the “Spontaneous Combustion Tour” that spring.  Both broke off previous engagements and by the fall of 1996, they were married.  They’re still together and are the parents of three girls.

The couple will be opening a new show, “Soul2Soul”, this winter in Las Vegas at the Venetian.

Tim Faith Las Vegas

After selling more than 40 million albums worldwide, scoring an amazing 37 country hits, with 22 of them reaching the Top Ten, and nine topping the country charts, we haven’t heard much of Faith until recently.

She performed “Come Home” at the “CMA Awards” in November 2011.  The song was to be the first single from her upcoming album, but it didn’t catch fire.  As much as I love Faith, I didn’t care for it and neither did country radio.  It stalled at #26.

However, she is currently at #29 on the country airplay chart and at #39 on the Billboard Country chart with “American Heart” and I really hope radio embraces it.  She sounds great and looks absolutely fantastic in the video.

Sadly, I think Faith will have a hard time selling her new music and the new album, expected in early 2013, to country radio because of the same thing that Reba, Dolly, Loretta, Martina McBride, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, Trisha Yearwood, and so many other women face.  Age.

While Faith is only 45 years old, the hottest stars at radio now are Taylor Swift (she turns 23 in December), Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert (both 29 years old), and Kelly Clarkson, who is 30.

And, those younger ladies are the hit makers.  Taylor Swift has charted 28 country hits and 40 pop hits.  Of her country hits, 14 have hit the Top Three and seven have hit #1.  Miranda Lambert has scored 14 Top 40 country hits since 2004 with seven reaching the Top Ten, and 3 topping the charts.  And, pop star Kelly Clarkson is finding a home on country radio since reaching #2 with Reba on “Because of You” in 2007 and #1 with Jason Aldean in 2011 with “Don’t You Wanna Stay”.

However, the hottest female on country radio is Carrie Underwood.  Despite her “American Idol” song, “Inside Your Heaven” stalling at #52 in 2005, once she released her first real country song, “Jesus, Take The Wheel”, all 16 of her songs sent to country radio have peaked at #1 or #2!  Of those sixteen country hits, 12 have topped the charts.

I really hate bringing up Faith, Reba, or even in the pop world, Madonna’s age, because I think it’s irrelevant.  However, it’s a reality.  Programmers had rather play young women on the radio.  On the pop charts, the same thing happens, too.  While her music is fun and catchy, it’s only taken Rihanna six short years to tie Madonna and the Supremes in fourth place with the most number one hits (12) on the Billboard Hot 100.

I’m going to have “faith” that the new Faith album will be hot in 2013 and you’ll hear her all over country radio where she was for much of the 1990s and the 2000s.

Faith’s first album, “Take Me As I Am” was released in October 1993.

Take Me As I Am

The first two singles, “Wild One” and “Piece of My Heart ” both topped the country charts.  The third single, “But I Will” was a misfire at radio only peaking at #35.  The fourth and final single from that debut album, the title track, went all the way to #2.

The “Take Me As I Am” album is my second favorite of Faith’s six studio albums (not counting 2008’s Christmas album, “Joy To The World”), but it is a very close race.  My favorite is the follow-up to that debut album, “It Matters To Me”.  (This is my autographed CD cover from when I met Faith!)

It Matters To Me Autograph

That album came out in August 1995 and produced five Top Ten hits:  “Let’s Go To Vegas” (#5), “It Matters To Me” (#1), “Someone Else’s Dream” (#3), “You Can’t Lose Me” (#6), and “I Can’t Do That Anymore” (#8).

Faith would have her next chart topper in the summer of 1997.  “It’s Your Love”, a duet with husband Tim McGraw from his “Everywhere” album, reached the top of the chart in only five weeks and dominated all of country music for six weeks.

In the spring of 1998, Faith released her third album simply titled “Faith”.  Unlike her first two albums that were straight up “country”, this album was aimed toward a crossover crowd.

The lead off single, “This Kiss”, not only topped the country charts, but it reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.  The country and pop success of that first single also helped “Faith” become her biggest selling album to date with U.S. certifications of more than 6 million albums shipped.

Faith would also have four other country hits from the album:  “Just To Hear You Say That You Love Me”, another duet with McGraw (#3), “Let Me Let Go” (#1), “Love Ain’t Like That” (#12), and “The Secret of Life”.

But, Faith’s star was still blazing bright and would shine even greater in the fall of 1999 when her fourth album, “Breathe” came out.

faith-hill breathe

The title track was the lead single and it hit #1 on the country charts and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.  The follow-up, “The Way You Love Me” would also top the country chart and it made it into the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100.

The video to “The Way You Love Me” was a pure sugary confection and it’s still one of my favorite Faith videos.

The album “Breathe” would ship more than 8 million copies and produce two more Top Ten country hits, a duet with McGraw, “Let’s Make Love” (#6) and “If My Heart Had Wings” (#3).  That was followed by the “Pearl Harbor” soundtrack hit, “There You’ll Be”, which hit #11 on the country chart.

With more than 14 million albums shipped of her last two albums, Faith released another pop album, “Cry”, in 2002.

Faith Hill Cry

While the album debuted at #1 on both the pop and country charts and sold more than four million copies worldwide, radio was not very receptive.

“Cry”, the first single only reached #12 country and #33 pop.  But, it did reach #1 on the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart.   Two more singles would chart at country radio, but they would only reach #26 and #28.  The song, “One”, would also reach the top ten on the AC chart.

Faith did win two Grammy awards for “Cry”, “Best Country Album” and “Best Female Country Vocal Performance”.

I loved the “Cry” album, but I’ll admit that eleven of the songs on the album are almost perfect, but the album drags a bit toward the end with filler material.  Sadly, this was a precursor of things to come.

In August 2005, Faith veered back to country music with the release of “Fireflies”.  It debuted at #1 on both the pop and country charts and would go on to sell 3.8 million copies worldwide.

Faith Hill  Fireflies

The first single, “Mississippi Girl” would top the country chart and three more songs from the album would reach the Top Ten.

I feel almost bad for saying this, but this is by far the least enjoyable Faith Hill album.  I loved the first three songs from the album and a few others, but most of them are sub-par for a woman of Faith’s caliber.

A greatest hits album would come in 2007 with two more modest hits that only reached #32 and #28 on the country charts.  “Red Umbrella”, the second new release from “The Hits” album should have been a bigger smash at country radio.

Faith’s first Christmas album, “Joy To The World”, was released in the fall of 2008 and it is absolutely amazing.  I love every song on the album and if I had to choose a song that was my least favorite, it would be “A Baby Changes Everything”.  However, it would top the AC charts for three weeks.  I highly recommend this one!

Faith_Hill-Joy_to_The_World

I would love to see Tim and Faith in Las Vegas when I’m there in January 2013 to see Lady Gaga, but it’s going to take a stroke of luck on eBay like when we won the Elton John tickets in October.

Faith Hill American Heart

Check out “American Heart”, it’s Faith better than she’s been in years!

Anthony

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

Seriously?   While I love the candy and scariness of Halloween and the aromas of turkey and desserts baking at Thanksgiving, nothing compares to the music, the movies, and the decorations with the biggest holiday of the year.  Christmas is my favorite, so it’s not too early to think that.

Some people get upset when they see Christmas decorations and displays in the stores before Halloween (or fall, for that matter), but if you wouldn’t call me a “redneck woman” (or man), I’d leave “my Christmas lights on, on my front porch all year-long”.

I believe that Christmas music is the best stress release there is and it doesn’t leave you with a hangover!

This is a picture of  “Santa’s Helper Martini”: 5 ounces vanilla vodka, 2 ounces white creme de menthe, and a half ounce of peppermint schnapps!  I will be making these this Christmas (or before)!

Even if I’m not stressed, I usually start listening to holiday music at the end of  September.  However, this year, it’ll have to wait until mid-October because I know I’ll be listening to pretty much Madonna all the time leading up to the October 13th Las Vegas concert.  (It’s hard to believe that the Material Girl hasn’t recorded a full length Christmas album in her 30-year career, although she did a version of “Santa Baby” for a charity Christmas album.)

This Christmas will be different for us since Miss ABBA will only be with us in our hearts and in our memories and we’re going on a Caribbean on the days leading up to Christmas Eve.

But, it’s not too early to think about decorating the house and deciding what new Christmas music I want to listen to after my season openers, “Merry Christmas To You” (1987) and “The Secret of Giving:  A Christmas Collection” (1999) by Reba.  Those two are always first.

While there will be new holiday offerings this season from Rod Stewart, Cee Lo Green, Chicago, Scotty McCreery, Christina Perri, the Oak Ridge Boys, Kenny Rogers, and The Beach Boys just to name a few, only three selections are making my Christmas shopping list and I’ve checked it twice.

The first to arrive is “Now That’s What I Call Today’s Christmas” (September 25) featuring Lady Gaga, Carly Rae Jepsen, One Republic, Coldplay, Demi Lovato, Carrie Underwood, and many others.  Yes, even Justin Bieber!

I’m really surprised that last year’s television special, “A Very Gaga Holiday”, is not available.  I know you can download the music, but I’m a traditionalist.  I like the physical copies since I don’t download. 🙂

When it was announced this summer that country singer and “The Voice” judge Blake Shelton was releasing his first Christmas album this fall, I didn’t have much interest.  He’s a good singer and I have a couple of his earlier albums.  But, I didn’t add it to my Amazon wishlist.

However, once I found out that Reba is a duet partner on a song called, “Oklahoma Christmas”, I was sold.

In addition to Reba, Blake’s wife Miranda Lambert makes an appearance, as does Kelly Clarkson and Michael Buble.  Most of the songs on “Cheers It’s Christmas” (October 2) are traditional holiday classics.

And, my final purchase of the season will be “On This Winter’s Night” by Lady Antebellum, which is released on October 22, 2012.

While this will be the trio’s first full length Christmas album, it’s not their first Christmas disc.  Two years ago, they released the six-song EP, “A Merry Little Christmas”, which was a  Target-exclusive.  That one ended up being my seventh favorite album of 2010!

The six songs on “A Merry Little Christmas” will also be on the new release.  “On This Winter’s Night” will feature a total of 12 songs.

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas!

If it’s too early for you and you’re saying “Bah, humbug” to me, go back to preparing your Halloween costume and eating your Halloween candy that you bought early and have a great day.  I’ll remember to say “Merry Christmas” to you in December. 🙂

Anthony