Posts Tagged ‘Nicki Minaj’

Best Songs of 2016

This week I’ve counted down my 20 favorites moves I saw this year and my 16 favorite albums of 2016.

You can find those here and both will open in a new window.

Movies:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/best-movies-of-2016/

Albums:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/best-albums-of-2016/

Before we begin this year’s countdown, I want to share my #1 songs from the past three years.  Last year, it was “Want To Want Me” by Jason Derulo.  In 2014, it was “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift and in 2013, Hailey Rowe’s “My Boyfriend Is Gay” was my favorite.

Now, it’s time for me to count down my 20 favorite songs of 2016.

2016-songs

My list started out with 43 and it was difficult narrowing them down.  Sorry, The Weeknd! “Starboy” came in at #21, so we’ll have a drink for you and feature it anyway!

#21  “STARBOY” — THE WEEKND FT. DAFT PUNK

20

“BLUE AIN’T YOUR COLOR” — KEITH URBAN

19

“FOUR YEARS OF CHANCES” — MARGO PRICE

#18

“ON MY WAY” — CARDIKNOX

#17

“ROSES” — THE CHAINSMOKERS FT. ROZES

#16

“THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FOR” — CALVIN HARRIS FT. RIHANNA

FLASHBACK BONUS!

Bonus

That was my #16 favorite song this year and this was my 16th favorite song from last year!

“YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE”  — DAVE AUDE FT. OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN & CHLOE LATTANZI

Now, back to my favorites of 2016!

#15 Movie

“IN THE NIGHT” — THE WEEKND

#14 Movie

“THINK OF ME” — CHRIS YOUNG & CASSADEE POPE

BONUS! BONUS! BONUS!

Bonus

If you’re not an established country artist, it takes forever for songs to move up the chart.  This amazing song was released in March 2015, but it’s still the 36th most played country song of 2016!!!  We’re talking 21 months.  Crazy!

It’s still one of my favorites and the video is very inclusive!

“STAY A LITTLE LONGER” — THE BROTHERS OSBORNE

#13

“LET ME LOVE YOU — DJ SNAKE FT. JUSTIN BIEBER

12

“WORK FROM HOME” — FIFTH HARMONY & TY DOLLA $IGN

This is one video where you could mute the sound and just watch, but then you’d miss out on an incredible song!

Bye Camila!  I know that Ally, Normani, Dinah, and Lauren will be just fine and I can’t wait for the new music!

#11 Movie

“SLUMBER PARTY” — BRITNEY SPEARS FT. TINASHE

10

“CRASH” — USHER

#9 MOVIE

“SOMEDAY” — MICHAEL BUBLE FT. MEGHAN TRAINOR

8

“DON’T LET ME DOWN” — THE CHAINSMOKERS FT. DAYA

#7 CD

“LOVE YOURSELF” — JUSTIN BIEBER

6

“SOMETHING IN THE WAY YOU MOVE” — ELLIE GOULDING

#5 CD

“PILLOWTALK” — ZAYN

FLASHBACK BONUS!

Before we get to this year’s #4, here was my #4 song from 2014.

“ANACONDA” — NICKI MINAJ

red-number-4

“ME TOO” — MEGHAN TRAINOR

green 3

“SIT STILL LOOK PRETTY” — DAYA

#2 MOVIE

 

“YOUTH” — TROYE SIVAN

This was a tough call because I love this song and it was a virtual tie for my favorite song of the year.

Another number 1

“FADED” — ALAN WALKER FT. ISELIN SOLHEIM

19-year-old Norwegian record producer and DJ Alan Walker was only 17 when he produced a version of this song called “Fade” without vocals.

The new version, “Faded”, featuring Norwegian singer Iselin Solheim hit #1 in 17 countries and reached the Top Ten in, at least, ten more countries (add another one if you count the Billboard Dance Club Songs in the U.S., where it went to #4.)

So, here it is — my favorite song of 2016.  “Faded” has been viewed almost 828 million times on YouTube!

Now, it’s time to share my least favorite songs of 2016.

Gag Me

#4 “Broccoli” (Big Baby D.R.A.M)

#3 “Black Beatles” (Rae Sremmurd)

#2  “For Free” (DJ Khaled & Drake)

Normally, I wouldn’t show the video for my least favorite song of the year.  But, it’s so bad and hideous and the video is just so… indescribable.  Here it is!

#1  “M.I.L.F. $” (Fergie)

I seriously can’t leave you on that note.  That would be cruel. 🙂

Bonus

I jumped on “Cake By The Ocean” by DNCE late last year.  It was my #6 song of 2015. Meanwhile, it really took off on Top 40 radio this year in the U.S.  It’s the 12th most played song of the year.

So, I’m featuring my #6 song of 2015 again.  To get us through these cold winter months, let’s just think of “Cake By The Ocean”.

By the way, the DNCE album is my 6th favorite album of 2016.

dnce

Anthony

 

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My 20 Favorite Songs of 2015

I miss hearing the late, great Casey Kasem counting down the biggest songs each week and, especially, his year-end countdowns.

I’ve always loved charts and the best and worst of the year lists.  So, now, I compile my own.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/my-favorite-movies-of-2015/

Yesterday, I shared my 20 favorite movies I saw in 2015.  That’s the link above if you missed it.  Tomorrow, I’ll post my favorite albums of the year.

But, today, it’s my 20 favorite songs of 2015 (actually, there are 30 because I’m sneaking the others in).

Before we start, my favorite song in 2014 was “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift.

And, in 2013, it was “My Boyfriend is Gay” by Hailey Rowe with a video featuring the gorgeous and funny Blake Peyrot.

Now, let’s begin.

2015 Songs

#20

“HEY MAMA”  — DAVID GUETTA, NICKI MINAJ, BEBE REXHA, & AFROJACK

19

“I DIDN’T JUST COME HERE TO DANCE”  — CARLY RAE JEPSEN

 

#18

“PRAY TO GOD” — CALVIN HARRIS & HAIM

#17

“KISS YOU IN THE MORNING” — MICHAEL RAY

16

“YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE” — DAVE AUDE FEATURING OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN & CHLOE LATTANZI

15

“HOLD MY HAND” — JESS GLYNNE

#14 Movie

“WORTH IT” — FIFTH HARMONY

13

“SOMEBODY” — NATALIE LA ROSE & JEREMIH

Bonus

Here are some of the songs that missed out on the Top 20, but are still some of my favorites of the year:  #30 Heartbeat Song (Kelly Clarkson); #29 “Honey I’m Good” (Andy Grammar); #28″Outside” (Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding); #27 “Lay It All On Me” (Rudimental & Ed Sheeran); and #26 “El Mismo Sol” (Alvaro Soler).

And, there’s a version of this song with Jennifer Lopez.  Here’s the teaser that came out in October.  I’m still waiting for the full video.  If it’s released, maybe it’ll make my countdown next year!

Back to the countdown!

12

“STYLE” — TAYLOR SWIFT

11

“LEVELS” — NICK JONAS

10

“GHOSTTOWN” — MADONNA

9

“CAN’T FEEL MY FACE” — THE WEEKND

#8 MOVIE

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN” — JUSTIN BIEBER

#7 CD

“GOING OUT LIKE THAT” — REBA

#6 CD

“CAKE BY THE OCEAN” — DNCE

Bonus

Here are more of the songs that missed out on the Top 20, but are still some of my favorites of the year:  #25 “Love Me Like You Do” (Ellie Goulding); #24 “Tempted” (Giorgio Moroder & Matthew Koma); #23 “Style (ASAP Science); #22 “Joan of Arc” (Madonna) and #21 “Beautiful Now” (Zedd & Jon Bellion).

Now, back to the countdown!

#5 MOVIE

“BURNITUP” — JANET JACKSON & MISSY ELLIOTT

4

“SHUT UP AND DANCE” — WALK THE MOON

#3 CD

“KING” — YEARS & YEARS

#2 CD

“WHERE ARE YOU NOW” — SKRILLEX, DIPLO, & JUSTIN BIEBER

Before we get to my favorite song of 2015, here is one of my favorite videos of the year and definitely has style!

“WTF (WHERE THEY FROM)” — MISSY ELLIOTT

And, now, my favorite song of 2015!

#1 MOVIE

“WANT TO WANT ME” — JASON DERULO

That’s it.  My list started with 78 songs from 2015 and I kept narrowing it down until I got it to 30.

In 2016, I’m excited to hear new music from Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Kylie Minogue.  I hope we also get a new album from Patty Loveless, Lionel Richie, and Erasure.  I’m sure we’ll find some new stars and re-discover past hit makers.

Gag Me

Now that you know my favorites of 2015, here are my six least favorite songs of the year.  And, I know some were insanely popular!  “Hula Hoop” and “Cheerleader” by Omi, “Downtown” and “Growing Up” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Uptown Funk” from Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars, and “Pretty Girls” by Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea.

By the way, I’d be perfectly okay in 2016 not hearing the names Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks!

Bonus

Here’s an artist I hope to see and hear much more from in 2016.  This song was on the long list and that’s not “Gibberish”!

Anthony

VMA Nominations Announced & My Favorites!

Drama!  Drama!  Drama!

The MTV VMAs nominations were announced Tuesday and Nicki Minaj went to Twitter to express her dissatisfaction about the picks for video of the year, even though she’s up for three other “Moonmen” awards.

Nicki Minaj

Her beef is with Taylor Swift, who Nicki didn’t mention by name.  But, it was so clear.

Taylor Swift

And, thankfully, T-Swizzle took the high road on Twitter.

Here’s a full list of the 2015 VMA nominees and my favorites (not necessarily what will win).

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Beyoncé – “7/11”
Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood”
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”

BEST MALE VIDEO
Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
The Weeknd – “Earned It”
Nick Jonas – “Chains”

BEST FEMALE VIDEO  (Yes, I want this category to end up in a tie!)
Beyoncé – “7/11”
Taylor Swift – “Blank Space”
Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”
Sia – “Elastic Heart”
Ellie Goulding – “Love Me Like You Do”

BEST POP VIDEO
Beyoncé – “7/11”
Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
Taylor Swift – “Blank Space”
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
Maroon 5 – “Sugar”

BEST ROCK VIDEO
Hozier – “Take Me To Church”
Fall Out Boy – “Uma Thurman”
Florence + the Machine – “Ship To Wreck”
Walk the Moon – “Shut Up and Dance”
Arctic Monkeys – “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”

BEST HIP HOP VIDEO
Fetty Wap – “Trap Queen”
Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth – “See You Again”
Big Sean ft. E-40 – “IDFWU”

ARTIST TO WATCH
Fetty Wap – “Trap Queen”
Vance Joy – “Riptide”
George Ezra – “Budapest”
James Bay – “Hold Back The River”
FKA Twigs – “Pendulum”

BEST COLLABORATION
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood”
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth – “See You Again”
Ariana Grande & The Weeknd – “Love Me Harder”
Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj – “Bang Bang”

VIDEO WITH A SOCIAL MESSAGE
Jennifer Hudson – “I Still Love You”
Colbie Caillat – “Try”
Big Sean ft. Kanye West and John Legend – “One Man Can Change the World”
Rihanna – “American Oxygen”
Wale – “The White Shoes”

BEST ART DIRECTION
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Charles Infante)
Snoop Dogg – “So Many Pros” (Jason Fijal)
Jack White – “Would You Fight For My Love” (Jeff Peterson)
The Chemical Brothers – “Go” (Michel Gondry)
Skrillex & Diplo – “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber (Brewer)

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Beyoncé – “7/11” (Beyoncé, Chris Grant, Additional choreography: Gabriel Valenciano)
OK Go – “I Won’t Let You Down” (OK Go, air:man and Mori Harano)
Chet Faker – “Gold” (Ryan Heffington)
Ed Sheeran – “Don’t” (Nappy Tabs)
Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Never Catch Me” (Keone and Mari Madrid)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Never Catch Me” (Larkin Sieple)
Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud” (Daniel Pearl)
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Christopher Probst)
FKA Twigs – “Two Weeks” (Justin Brown)
Alt-J – “Left Hand Free” (Mike Simpson)

BEST DIRECTION
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Joseph Kahn)
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk” (Bruno Mars and Cameron Duddy)
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright” (Colin Tilley & The Little Homies)
Hozier – “Take Me To Church” (Brendan Canty, Conal Thomson)
Childish Gambino – “Sober” (Hiro Murai)

BEST EDITING
Beyoncé – “7/11” (Beyoncé, Ed Burke, Jonathan Wing)
Ed Sheeran – “Don’t” (Jacquelyn London)
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Chancler Haynes at Cosmo Street)
A$AP Rocky – “L$D” (Dexter Navy)
Skrillex & Diplo – “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber (Brewer)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Ingenuity Studios)
FKA Twigs – “Two Weeks” (Gloria FX, Tomash Kuzmytskyi, and Max Chyzhevskyy)
Childish Gambino – “Telegraph Ave.” (Gloria FX)
Skrillex & Diplo – “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber (Brewer)
Tyler, The Creator – “F****** Young/Death Camp” (Gloria FX)

The show which will be hosted by Miley Cyrus airs Sunday, August 30th.

Anthony

Still A “Rebel Heart” and an “Unapologetic Bitch” 32 Years Later

It’s hard to believe that Madonna’s first album, “Madonna”, came out almost 32 years ago.

Madonna 1983 Album

Just this week, she released her 13th studio album, “Rebel Heart”.

Madonna Rebel Heart

At 56, she still has a lot to say and she still brings relevance to pop music even though most radio stations in the United States and England are blatantly ageist and won’t play her new music.  That’s the only reason that I mentioned her age.  It appears that if you’re a woman of a certain age, it doesn’t matter if the music is good or not, you have no place on today’s Top 40 radio.

This isn’t my opinion, this is fact.

BBC Radio1 in the United Kingdom wouldn’t add Madonna’s new single, “Living For Love”, the first release from “Rebel Heart”.  However, it was added to BBC Radio2 stations.  That’s the U.S. equivalent of not being hip enough for MTV, but okay for VH1 — when they were music video stations.

Madonna

Last year, BBC Radio1’s George Ergatoudis, who programs the station’s playlists, stated they were going for a younger audience, ages 15-30, “The vast majority of people who like Madonna, who like her music now, are over 30 and frankly, we’ve moved on from Madonna.”

So, is Rebel Heart” worthy of radio airplay in the U.K. or the U.S., two of most influential countries in the world of music?  The first single, the Diplo-produced, “Living For Love” is incredible and it became Madonna’s 44th number one song on the Billboard Dance Club chart.

There are several versions of the album available.  Here in the U.S., there’s the standard 14-song collection and a 19-song deluxe version, which I bought and I’m talking about today.

While I think that Madonna and Reba McEntire are two of the greatest entertainers in music and I’m huge fans of both, I’m not one of those people that think every song and every album they release is the best thing ever.

Madonna is putting that to the test this week and Reba’s first album in more than four years, “Love Somebody”, comes out on April 10th.

Reba Love Somebody

Rebel Heart

Back to “Rebel Heart” which is likely to debut at #1 in the U.K. becoming her 12th number one album.

In the U.S., it’s in a neck and neck race with the “Empire” television soundtrack to top the Billboard 200 chart.  If “Rebel Heart” does top the U.S. chart, it’ll be Madonna’s ninth number one album and her sixth consecutive chart topper dating back to “Music” in 2000.

Of the 19 songs on the deluxe album, eight are absolutely flawless (“Living For Love”, “Devil Pray”, “Ghosttown”, “Bitch I’m Madonna”, “Joan of Arc”, Holy Water”, “Inside Out”, and “Rebel Heart”).  Those all are A+ songs.

“Ghosttown” has already been picked as the second single from the album.

Religion still plays a big part in Madonna’s music and here’s a warning:  “Holy Water” really isn’t about what you’d think is.

It’s a song about sex and it’s very graphic with lyrics that would make me blush!  Oh, who am I kidding?  It’s my favorite song on the album, but listen at your own risk!

“Holy Water” sounds like a continuation of her 1993 “Erotica” album and it’s fun and very sexual.

And, Madonna gets points for smoothly working in her 1990 hit “Vogue” into “Holy Water”.

Seven more songs are great and would still rate an “A” or “A-” (“Unapologetic Bitch”, “Illuminati”, “Iconic”, “HeartBreakCity”, “Wash All Over Me”, “Veni Vidi Vici”, and “Messiah”.

That leaves four songs that are just okay.

Honestly, there’s nothing really wrong with “Hold Tight”, “Body Shop”, and Best Night” because I love Madonna’s voice on them.  However, for a woman who’s had more Top Ten songs on the Billboard Hot 100 than the Beatles, those three of the four weakest songs on “Rebel Heart”.

Madonna Boob

Obviously, Madge still loves sex and is not shy singing about it.  I love it that Madonna is still a very sexual woman and that she still wears what she wants and loves showing off all of her amazing assets (if you know what I mean).

The final song that I haven’t mentioned, “S.E.X.” is the opposite of the sexy she exudes on “Holy Water”.  It’s sounds very juvenile and unsexy.  Maybe it’ll take more listens before it arouses my musical curiosity!

I want to feature a few of songs that I deemed “A+” and “absolutely flawless” before I share my final grade and some parting thoughts about “Rebel Heart”.

In the fun category and with a little help from her friend, Nicki Minaj, “Bitch I’m Madonna” took me back to the zaniness of “I’m Going Bananas” from “I’m Breathless”, music from and inspired by the movie “Dick Tracy”.

The fun doesn’t stop there on “Devil Pray”, the second song on the album.  It sounds rooted in bluegrass and would compliment “Don’t Tell Me”, Madonna’s hit from the 2000 album “Music”.  “Devil Pray” will likely play prominently in the fall “Rebel Heart Tour”.

While Madonna is known for her ability to fill dance floors, she excels at ballads and that is so clear on “Joan of Arc”.  I could listen to that song all day!

If you buy the standard version instead of the deluxe version, you’ll miss out on the title track, which is one of the most autobiographical songs of Madonna’s career.

FINAL SNIPPETS ABOUT SOME OF THE SONGS

“Unapologetic Bitch” has a very reggae sound.

“Illuminati” name checks everyone from President Obama to Oprah Winfrey and from Justin Bieber to Lady Gaga.  Is it the new “Vogue”?

“Iconic” opens with boxing legend Mike Tyson and features a very weak rap by Chance The Rapper.

“Wash All Over Me” is a beautiful, subtle ballad.

“Veni Vidi Vici” features many Madonna song titles as lyrics and a poignant and time sensitive rap by Nas about rioting in Ferguson.  Too bad that Nas didn’t rap on “Ironic”, too!

Madonna Rebel Heart

Age should not be a factor when of the top-selling music artists of all time releases a new album.

“Rebel Heart” shows that Madonna is still relevant and that she still has her finger on the pulse of pop music.  After all, she is and will always be the “Queen of Pop”.

Sadly, radio groups saturate their playlists with artists that appeal to teenagers and young adults.

It would be nice if these people could experience the music of in icon that has changed with the times and refused to act her age.  After all, age is just a number and Madonna is a “Rebel Heart” and some things will never change.

To borrow a line from the best, she “ICONIC”.

“REBEL HEART” gets an…

A

After just the first few listens, I haven’t decided if “Rebel Heart” will be of my favorite Madonna albums of all time and replace “Like A Virgin” in the Top Five.

For right now (and in April 2012 when I first blogged this), Madonna’s self-titled debut is still my all-time favorite:

#5  “Like A Virgin” (1984)

#4  “MDNA” (2012)

#3  “True Blue”  (1986)

#2  “Confessions on a Dance Floor” (2005)

#1   “Madonna” (1983)

Anthony

My Top 20 Songs of 2014

It’s time to share the songs that I loved this year and to share one that I couldn’t stand!

There are no country songs on the list since country radio pretty much doesn’t play the artists I want to hear (except their oldies), so I don’t listen to country.

However, I really liked Maddie & Tae’s “Girl In A Country Song”, but I don’t know if it was for the cute video or the song, so here it is as an extra!

MADDIE & TAE — “GIRL IN A COUNTRY SONG”

20

HAILEY ROWE — “DON’T NEED YOUR APPROVAL”

19

CASH CASH (featuring BEBE REXHA) — “TAKE ME HOME”

18

ERASURE — “ELEVATION”

17

CASCADA  — “BLINK”

16

HOZIER — “TAKE ME TO CHURCH”

*The song is amazing, but the video is heart-breaking and poignant.  Why does this have to happen?*

15

RENEE FLEMING — “WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES”

14

WISIN (featuring JENNIFER LOPEZ & RICKY MARTIN) — “ADRENALINA”

13

THE CHAINSMOKERS — “#SELFIE”

12

MILKY CHANCE — “STOLEN DANCE”

11

KYLIE MINOGUE — “INTO THE BLUE”

10

DISCLOSURE (FEATURING SAM SMITH) — “LATCH”

9

ARIANA GRANDE & ZEDD — “BREAK FREE”

8

NICK JONAS — “JEALOUS”

7

MICHAEL JACKSON & JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE — “LOVE NEVER FELT SO GOOD”

6

TAYLOR SWIFT — “SHAKE IT OFF”

5

ENRIQUE IGLESIAS & PITBULL — “I’M A FREAK”

4

NICKI MINAJ — “ANACONDA”

3

ERASURE — “REASON”

2

MADONNA — “LIVING FOR LOVE”

Casey_Kasem

Since I’m counting down my favorite twenty songs of 2014, I want to take a moment to remember the man who got me interested in music charts and countdowns, Casey Kasem.

Kasem died this past summer at the age of 82 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease and dementia.

As Kasey told us each week on his “American Top 40” countdown, “keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars”.

Before we get to my favorite song this year, let’s take a look back to my favorite song of 2013.

HAILEY ROWE — “MY BOYFRIEND IS GAY”

Now, on with the countdown and my favorite song of 2014!

This is the second appearance from T-Swizzle from her “1989” album.

Another number 1

TAYLOR SWIFT — “BLANK SPACE”

Thank you for checking out my countdown.  Let me know what you liked or didn’t like.

Gag Me

Speaking of not liking, my least favorite song of 2014 was “Wiggle” by Jason DeRulo (which is sad because his first album in 2010 was one of my favorites of the year!

Jason+Derulo+JasonDeruloCoverTCC

There was another song that I didn’t really care too much about on the radio, but once I saw the over-the-top, crazy, dirty video, then I liked it more.  But, not enough to be one of my twenty favorite songs of 2014.  But, here it is as an extra.

This video is sick!

DJ SNAKE & LIL JON — “TURN DOWN FOR WHAT”

As I look forward to 2015, I sure hope that Reba’s new song, “Going Out Like That”, that hits country radio on January 6th makes the list and gives me a reason to listen to country music again.  Also, let’s get some new Patty Loveless music, too.

Reba 2011

Happy New Year!

Anthony

Imagine… It’s Easy If You Try

I always try to find a silver lining to every cloud and trust me, I had to look really hard today because there are a lot of dark clouds hovering over December 8th.

On this day back in either 1982 or 1984 (conflicting dates!), Onika Tanya Maraj was born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago.  We know her today as rapper Nicki Minaj and she’s a great performer.  I saw her in July 2011 when she opened for Britney Spears in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Nicki Minaj

That is the silver lining because on December 8, 1941,  America was entering World War II after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the day before.  This date in history is also marked by other depressing events:  Right-wing nut job Ann Coulter was born in 1961, a 1963 plane crash in Maryland killed 81 people, another plane crash in 1972 at Chicago’s Midway Airport left 45 dead, and the 1987 Alianza Lima Air Disaster in Peru left 43 dead.  There were several war deaths on this date and violent political attacks that left many dead.

And, as a 16-year-old in Mayfield, Kentucky, getting ready for bed after the local news, I remember the networks breaking into television programming on December 8, 1980, to announce that John Lennon, of the Beatles, had been shot and killed outside his apartment, The Dakota, in New York City, as he and his wife, Yoko Ono, were returning home.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono

40-year-old Lennon was enjoying a quieter life in New York City with his wife and their son, Sean, after dominating the international music scene in the 1960s, with the Beatles, and as a solo recording star in the 1970s.

John Lennon released his first single in 1969 without the Beatles even as the super group was still topping the charts with “Come Together” (1969), “Let It Be” (1970), and “The Long And Winding Road” (1970).

“Let It Be” is still my favorite Beatles’ song.

Peace

John Lennon left the Beatles in the fall of 1969, just as his first single, “Give Peace A Chance” with Ono was climbing the charts.  It would peak at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and become an anthem for anti-war demonstrations in the 1970s.

Lennon would have two more hits in America, “Cold Turkey” (#30), which documented the withdrawal symptoms he experienced from a heroin addiction, and “Instant Karma (We All Shine On)” (#3), before he released his first solo album, “John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band”.  Although the album went “gold” (shipments of 500,000) in the U.S., it spawned no hits.

Everything would change for John Lennon in the fall of 1971 with the release of the album, “Imagine” and the title track as the first single.

john-lennon-imagine

The album would hit #1 in the United States and move two million copies.  The single, “Imagine”, reached #3 here, but it topped the charts in Australia, Canada, Italy, and in England.  It’s by far the best John Lennon song.

From his first hit, “Give Peace A Chance” in 1969 to his #20 song in 1975, “Stand By Me”, John Lennon charted with nine Top 40 singles (four reached the Top Ten).  His only #1 hit during this period was “Whatever Gets You Through The Night” in 1974.  His other Top Ten hit in the 1970s was “#9 Dream” in 1975, and that one peaked at, you guessed it, #9, in the U.S.!

His remake of “Stand By Me” in 1975 would be the last single he released for five years so he could spend time with his newborn son, Sean.  Then, in the fall of 1980, he was ready to return to radio and music with the release of  the first single, “(Just Like) Starting Over”, from his upcoming album, “Double Fantasy”.

JohnLennon-albums-doublefantasy

The single, “(Just Like) Starting Over”, was released on October 24, 1980, and by early December, it had climbed to #3.  However, the “Double Fantasy” album wasn’t doing very well on the charts and was pretty much being panned by critics.  One even called it, “a self-obsessed disaster”.  Nevertheless, just as John Lennon was starting over in music, it would all come to an end.

John and Yoko had a 2 p.m. photo shoot on December 8, 1980, with Annie Leibovitz for a “Rolling Stone” article about Lennon’s return to music, which would produce this iconic photo.

John Yoko for Rolling Stone

After a radio interview, Lennon and Yoko left their apartment around 5:30 p.m. and he said hello to fans that had gathered outside.  John autographed his “Double Fantasy” album for one, Mark David Chapman.

Lennon Chapman

Upon returning home that night around 10:50, Chapman was still waiting.  As Yoko walked ahead of Lennon, Chapman calls out, “Mr. Lennon” and he dropped into a “combat stance” and fired five shots.  The first one missed the superstar, but the next four hit him — two in the left side of the back and two in the left shoulder.  John Lennon stumbled inside the Dakota exclaiming, “I’m shot.  I’m shot”.

He was pronounced dead on arrival at Roosevelt Hospital.  The cause of death was listed as “hypovolemic shock”.  Lennon had lost more than 80% of the blood in his body.

mark-david-chapman

After firing the five shots, the Dakota’s doorman, ex-CIA agent, Jose Sanjenis Perdomo, wrestled the gun from Chapman and he said, “Do you know what you’ve done?”  And, Chapman calmly replied, “Yes, I just shot John Lennon.”

Chapman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.  He’s still locked away and has been denied parole seven times.  His next chance for parole will come in 2014.

*This version of  “(Just Like) Starting Over” is NSFW*

Two weeks after John Lennon’s death, “(Just Like) Starting Over” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained there for five weeks.  The album, “Double Fantasy”, which had been released three weeks before the murder bolted to #1 and shipped more than three million copies.

In January 1981, the follow-up single, “Woman”, reached #2, and the album would produce one more hit, “Watching The Wheels”, (#10).

“Double Fantasy” won “Album of the Year” at the 1982 Grammy Awards and Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon accepted the award.

yoko-1982

John Lennon would have one more hit on the charts more than three years after his death.  The album, “Milk and Honey”, which was recorded in the last few months of his life produced the #5 Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Nobody Told Me”  in 1984.  It would become his third Top Ten American hit posthumously.

John Lennon NYC

On the day after John Lennon was murdered, Yoko Ono said, “There is no funeral for John…John loved and prayed for the human race.  Please pray the same for him.”

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Yoko, Sean, and Julian, I shed tears that fateful night back in 1980, as a teenager, and I’ll smile today as I remember the joy that your husband and father, John Lennon, brought to the world.  We can all “Imagine” what the world really should be like:   “Imagine all the people living life in peace/You, you may say/I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one/I hope some day you’ll join us/And the world will be as one.”

Peace! ☮

Anthony

P.S.  Without Yoko Ono, John Lennon might not have achieved his post-Beatles legacy that we know today and I want to pay tribute to that wonderful woman.

Last month, Ono told the “Advocate”, “I’m really saddened that fair treatment is not given to gays. Why can’t they get married, if they wanted to?”  When asked if would John have supported marriage equality, she said, “Definitely. John hated any injustice.”

Yoko Ono

What many of you don’t know is that she released her first dance single less than a month after John died.  “Walking On Thin Ice” would reach #13 on the Billboard Dance chart in 1981. She would have four more dance hits over the years.

However, in 2003, when the reissued, remixed “Walking On Thin Ice” hit #1 on the dance chart, it would be the start of Ono dominating the dance club charts.  She now has nine #1 Billboard Dance Hits.  Of those, from 2007-2011, seven of them were consecutive #1 hits!  What an amazing feat for an incredible woman who will turn 80-years-old in February 2013!  Happy birthday early Ono!

This was her last #1 hit, in 2011 and I’ll leave you with a quote:  “I think it’s better to dance than to march through life.  Love, Yoko”

oko Ono, thank you!

Anthony

They Said What??? Dolly Parton, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, & Sally Field

TONY PERKINS, HEAD OF THE FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL, AN ANTI-GAY ORGANIZATION

(tweeting his support of Uganda’s “Kill The Gays” bill):  “American liberals are upset that Ugandan Pres is leading his nation in repentance — afraid of a modern example of a nation prospered by God.”

DOCTOR MEHMET OZ FROM “THE DR. OZ SHOW”
(on “ex-gay” reparative therapy):  “I have not found enough published data supporting positive results with gay reparative therapy, and I have concerns about the potentially dangerous effects when the therapy fails, especially when minors are forced into treatments.

OSCAR WINNING ACTRESS SALLY FIELD

(who has a gay son):  “It’s important to have a parent speak about raising a magnificent, proud, intelligent, funny, lovable, sexy gay son.  And there are so many parents who are frightened of that and who don’t embrace their children as they struggle. Those children are struggling to embrace who they are, who nature — what nature intended them to be.”

RAPPER NICKI MINAJ

(responding to Steven Tyler of Aerosmith’s “racist” comments): “Steven Tyler said I would have sent Bob Dylan to a cornfield??? Steven, you haven’t seen me judge one single solitary contestant yet.  I understand you really wanted to keep your job but take that up with the producers. I haven’t done anything to you. That’s a racist comment. You assume that I wouldn’t have liked Bob Dylan??? why? black? rapper? what? go f–k yourself and worry about yourself babe.”
CONTROVERSIAL POP STAR CHRIS BROWN

(in a Twitter exchange with comedy writer Jenny Johnson before deleting his account):  “I look old as f–k! I’m only 23…”.  Johnson then replied with, “I know! Being a worthless piece of s–t can really age a person.”

COMEDY WRITER JENNY JOHNSON

(commenting on how Chris Brown fans are reacting to him deleting his Twitter account):  “It’s alarming how many death threats I’m receiving via @ replies.  I encourage everyone, including @Twitter to look through them. Not cool.”

TROUBLED ACTRESS LINDSAY LOHAN

(opening up about her relation with DJ Samantha Ronson):  “Two toxic people cannot be together. End of story. We’re friends now. That’s how it started so I think that’s how it was meant to be.  I was bold enough to say, ‘Yeah I like a girl. And?’ That put her in a situation where she was being attacked every day. That’s not fair. And what am I left with? Heartbreak. That was three years ago. It was my last serious relationship.”

SINGER & “THE VOICE” CO-HOST CHRISTINA AGUILERA

(on the support for LGBT fans):  “Even when I felt I couldn’t stand, they held me up and supported me. I think we can each related to each other and I am forever indebted.”

SINGER KELLY CLARKSON

(slamming the newspaper, the “UK Mirror”, for misquoting her):  “I have never had anorexia nor did I ever say ‘no one should be as famous as me.  I said in the interview, when asked about fame, that I have no desire to be as famous as Britney [Spears] or Madonna. I said that kind of fame was too much for any person and that I have experienced a portion of what they deal with and that I didn’t handle that well and I’m happy where I’m at in my career. Nice job Mirror.”
COUNTRY MUSIC ICON DOLLY PARTON

(on threats from the Ku Klux Klan for having “Gay Days” at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee):  “When it first started there were people giving us threats, I still get threats. But like I said, I’m in business. I just don’t feel like I have to explain myself. I love everybody.”

Dolly

MORE DOLLY

(on entering a drag queen look-a-like contest that she lost):  “They had a bunch of Chers and Dollys that year, so I just over-exaggerated — made my beauty mark bigger, the eyes bigger, the hair bigger, everything.  All these beautiful drag queens had worked for weeks and months getting their clothes. So I just got in the line and I just walked across, and they just thought I was some little short gay guy.. but I got the least applause.”

AND EVEN MORE DOLLY

(on gay rumors that have dogged her for years over her longtime friend, Judy Ogle):  “Like Gayle, her friend, Judy, my friend, they just think that you just can’t be that close to somebody. Judy and I have been best friends since we were like in the third and fourth grade… We still just have a great friendship and relationship and I love her as much as I love anybody in the whole world, but we’re not romantically involved.”

Anthony