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MTV Video Music Awards 2013 Winner Predictions   Leave a comment

The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards is just right around the corner, and this one is shaping up to be a good one for MTV’s biggest night. Now celebrating it’s 30th year of the awards ceremonies, appearances and performances by the likes of Katy Perry, One Direction, Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars, and Robin Thicke to name a few. Also, aside from leading up the nominations this year, Justin Timberlake is this year’s recipient of the Video Vanguard award, and a rumored N*SYNC reunion performance is in the books this year. I know you’re excited for Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick. Anyway, here are my predictions on the major categories on who will end up with moonmen on Sunday’s ceremony:


* Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, “Thrift Shop”
* Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
* Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble”
* Robin Thicke, TI, Pharell, “Blurred Lines”
* Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”

WHO WILL WIN: Between the Video Vanguard award, the rumored N*SYNC performance, and his huge comeback this year, MTV is setting this up to be JT’s big night, and it won’t be complete if he doesn’t end up with the highest honor for that night. Plus, he still hasn’t won here yet, and it’s a great video to represent him here.
RUNNER UP: Taylor Swift. This is still a fan-voted format and Taylor is campaigning the hell for a win this year. Besides, the last six winners here are solo female popstars and Swift fits that bill.
MY CHOICE:  JT. Probably the one that stands out the most, thought that’s not saying a lot.


* Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pool (Drank)”
* Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
* Ed Sheeran, “Lego House”
* Robin Thicke, TI, Pharell, “Blurred Lines”
* Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”

WHO WILL WIN: JT easily. It will be one of those sweep wins for his big night. This win will also put him on a tie with Eminem as the most rewarded act in the history of this category with three wins apiece.
Robin Thicke. Turning out to be the song of the year by far, they can easily throw him a bone here.
Ed Sheeran. Let’s throw him a vote come on guys. 🙂



* Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”
* Demi Lovato, “Heart Attack”
* Pink (featuring Nate Ruess), “Just Give Me A Reason”
* Rihanna (featuring Mikky Ecko), “Stay”
* Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble”

WHO WILL WIN: Taylor Swift. It will probably be an easy win for Taylor as she’s sure to end up with a moonman on Sunday. The only scenario I see that lets her lose here is if she wins Video of the Year inside.
Miley Cyrus. This song is peaking at the right time, and her legion of fans will propel this to a win.
Rihanna. Probably the best video in this bunch. Simple and effective.


* Iggy Azalea, “Work”
* Austin Mahone “What About Love”
* Twenty One Pilots, “Holding Onto You”
* The Weeknd, “Wicked Games”
* Zedd (featuring Foxes), “Clarity”

WHO WILL WIN: Austin Mahone. Catering the left over conservative Bieber fanbase and opening for Taylor Swift can propel him to a win here.
Zedd. Clarity is the biggest hit in this group and he can benefit from that.
Maybe Zedd. But where’s Macklemore and Ryan Lewis here? This would have been an easy win for them.


* Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”
* fun., “Carry On”
* Selana Gomez, “Come and Get It”
* Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
* Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”

WHO WILL WIN: Miley Cyrus. I think she has better chance here than in Female since her fans are the most active among this bunch unless…
this is still part of the Timberlake sweep so he can easily take this one too.
fun I guess. I’m not a fan of most of the videos here.


* 30 Seconds to Mars, “Up in the Air”
* Fall Out Boy, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark”
* Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive”
* Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait”
* Vampire Weekend, “Diane Young”

WHO WILL WIN: No idea, but the combo of recent rise to popdom and being the most recent here, I’m thinking Imagine Dragons.
Jared Leto is on the show as a presenter, so that’s one assured nominee who’ll show up so maybe 30 Seconds to Mars?
Vampire Weekend probably since they’re the ones I like the most in this group.


* A$AP Rocky, “Fuckin’ Problems”
* J.Cole, “Power Trip”
* Drake, “Started From the Bottom”
* Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pools”
* Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, “Can’t Hold Us”

WHO WILL WIN: As a result of their good breakout year and as the other most nominated act (aside from Justin that is), this is Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to lose.
Probably Drake since he’s still 0 in terms of VMA wins.
Can’t Hold Us is one of my favorite jams this year.


* Calvin Harris/Ellie Goulding, “I Need Your Love”
* Pink/Nate Ruess, “Just Give Me A Reason”
* Pitbull/Christina Aguilera, “Feel This Moment”
* Robin Thicke/Pharell/TI, “Blurred Lines”
* Justin Timberlake/Jay Z, “Suit and Tie”

WHO WILL WIN: With the VMAs being held in Jay Z’s place this year, there’s no better way to give back to Jay than by giving him the moonman adding up to JT’s domination on Sunday, so I say Suit and Tie wins.
Blurred Lines since it’s the biggest hit in this line up.
I’d probably throw Pink and Nate a bone here and give them my vote.


* Beyonce, “I Was Here”
* Kelly Clarkson, “People Like Us”
* Macklemore and Ryan Lewis/Mary Lambert, “Same Love”
* Miguel, “Candles in the Sun”
* Snoop Lion, “No Guns Allowed”

WHO WILL WIN: An easy win for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Plus, it talks about a hot topic that’s really rampant right now.
Beyonce just to make this more ridiculous as she wins for a live video. Oh and remember we’re in Brooklyn.
Same Love is the best song here and the only one deserving of a win.

blurred lines


* Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”
* Daft Punk, “Get Lucky”
* Selena Gomez, “Come and Get It”
* Calvin Harris/Ellie Goulding, “I Need Your Love”
* One Direction, “Best Song Ever”
* Robin Thicke/Pharell/TI, “Blurred Lines”

Maybe Miley comes closest to Blurred Lines here. Though she’s far and away a distant runner up.
Daft Punk and VMA only happens once in a blue moon, so why not grab the chance to vote for it?

There you have it! Are you excited for the 30th VMAs? Don’t forget to watch the show on Sunday!

You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

12 Best Live Musical Moments of 2012   Leave a comment

Hi everybody! It’s back to work day today. Luckily for me, I’m not required to go back to work yet (I still have my work from home card on me. Hahaha). January is a busy month for me as an awards prognosticator, as we’ll have the American award giving bodies steamroll one after the other. On January 10, nominations will finally be unveiled. So expect my last update for the nominations and the final predictions in the coming days.

As for now, forgive my late posts, but I’ll post the remaining 2012 year-end lists that I had. I still have three lists remaining (this one included), so just for effort’s sake, I’ll still be doing a write up of each. For this one, we’ll be focusing on the different musical moments that were created the past year. A live performance can make or break an artist. Think of Ashlee Simpson in Saturday Night Live or Lana Del Rey, who was once poised to be the next big thing… until we saw her SNL number. Then we have the likes of Lady Gaga who tops each performance she have bringing her artistry with each live performance that she does.

With that said, here are 12 musical moments that we’d sure remember from 2012:

You can click the name of the performance and it will bring you to the YouTube clip of it. 


12: Pink, (“Try”) – American Music Awards 2012

Pink has already solidified herself as one of the best live acts among her contemporaries. Who can ever forget her Grammy performance of Glitter in the Air in 2009? That definitely is one of the best performances to ever grace the Grammy stage. This year, she did the whole acrobatic thing once again, but with a different approach; Pink, barefooted and with patches of paint all over her body, with a partner were just doing random catching and splitting and lifting in an interpretative dance-like number of her new single, Try. And to top things off, her vocals was spot on during the whole number. Amazing, really.

alicia keys
11: Alicia Keys, (“Brandy New Me/No One”) – 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy Concert

New York native  Alicia Keys was one of the hundreds of singers who volunteered to be a part of the Hurricane Sandy concert last December 12. Belting out a crossover of the songs Brandy New Me and No One, it was such a delight to hear her just like how she used to slay them all off. And don’t you just love how she invited the whole audience to raise their phones during the No One part? Plus, her intro about how she was raised and how she’ll forever love New York is just the icing on top of this sweet cake.
10: Rihanna, (“Diamonds”) – Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2012

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is probably the meanest event of every year, as it makes all women worldwide feel bad about themselves. But if there’s one good thing that it has given us this year, it’s Rihanna’s performance of Diamonds.  Clad in a Adam Selman creation with Chanel vintage pearl sungless from Depuis to boot, Riri is every inch a model herself as she belts out one of the catchiest songs of 2012.

esperanza spalding

09: Esperanza Spalding, (“What a Wonderful World”) – 84th Academy Awards

Grammy Best New Artist Esperanza Spalding led the In Memoriam segment at last year’s Academy Awards with her rendition of What A Wonderful World. Together with the Southern California Children, this jazzy yet really touching performance as Esperanza served as background voice while pictures of the departed from Sidney Lumet to Elizabeth Taylor were flashing is one of the best highlights of the year.


08: PSY and MC Hammer, (“Gangnam Style”) – American Music Awards 2012

Definitely the biggest song worldwide this 2012, Gangnam Style by Korean singer PSY has been literally everywhere the past few months. From CNN to the Europe Music Awards, it was also the most overperformed song of the year. What makes this number a stand out among all the endless versions of this is that it has MC Hammer in it. It can be credited as a number of one hit wonders, but I’m sure everyone was up their feet during this closing number at the American Music Awards.

christina aguilera

07: Christina Aguilera, (“At Last”) – Etta James Funeral

It was January of 2012 when we  lost one of the many music legends the past year. Etta James, more known as the singer of classics such as At Last and I’d Rather Be Blind, passed away due to a hepatitis C. Of course, there’s no one more fitting to perform her instant classic than one of the best vocals of the younger generation and a self proclaimed fan of the late Etta James herself, Christina Aguilera. Christina belted out At Last in true Etta fashion, and leaking spray tan issues aside, this performance got a standing ovation even before it ended.

jessica sanchez jennifer holliday

06: Jessica Sanchez and Jennifer Holliday, (“And I am Telling You I’m Not Going”) – American Idol Season 11 Finale

Despite the fact that Jessica Sanchez wasn’t crowned the Idol title during its eleventh season, this goosebumps performance of her and one of her most vocal fans, Tony winner and Broadway legend Jennifer Holliday, of the iconic diva song And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going sent shivers all over the world. It was one thing to do a number of it, but it’s another to diva-off with the original singer herself. Now if only they invited Jennifer Hudson as well, all roofs would have been blown after that performance.

The Voice

05: Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, CeeLo Green, and Christina Aguilera, (“Hallelujah”) – The Voice Finale Performance Night

The aftermath of the Connecticut shootings left the whole world in shock, but more so, in tears. Thus, it was expected that all shows would pay tribute to the countless lives that we lost there. Probably the best tribute that I’ve seen was the two minute version of Hallelujah by the four The Voice coaches. Together with the rest of the finalists (both eliminated and not), hosts Carson Daly and Christina Millian, each of them holds a name tag with the names of the victims of the shooting. Then we’d hear Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, CeeLo Green, and Christina Aguilera belt out this Leonard Cohen classic. It was simple, heartfelt, and I bet there’s not a dry eye in the room that night.


04: Adele, (“Rolling in the Deep”) – Grammy Awards 2012

Yes, we’ve all heard that she was under operation because of too much smoking during the last year of 2011. But like a true pro, you know that we’d still hear that voice back. And there’s no better way than to showcase it to the world with a performance of her Grammy winning song Rolling in the Deep at the Grammy Awards itself. Not only was she the Queen of Grammys that night (winning a perfect six trophies out of six nominations), but this performance received a long standing ovation with everyone from Rihanna to Sir Paul McCartney cheering for her.

Spice Girls

03: Spice Girls, (“Wanna Be/Spice Up Your Life”) – 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony

90s kids, represent!!!! London did a really good job hosting the Olympics this year with their showstopping opening and closing ceremonies. What takes the cake though is the reunion performance of the Spice Girls doing a medley of Wanna Be and Spice Up Your Life on top of cars as they go around the huge stadium. It might take a long time before we see this again, so I guess we’d have to cherish this performance as if it’s the last.

Jennifer Hudson

02: Jennifer Hudson, (“I Will Always Love You”) – Grammy Awards 2012

A day before the actual Grammy Awards ceremony, the whole world was stunned when news broke out that The Voice herself Whitney Houston passed away. That’s probably the most difficult thing to hear on a day before music’s biggest night. So with no time left to do a tribute, it was just a simple number. But Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson made sure that it will be a tribute that will never be forgotten. Just Whitney’s picture, a mic stand, and her soaring vocals in one of the most popular songs ever, Whitney definitely was smiling up from the heavens after this performance.

Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show

01: Madonna (with LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, MIA, and Ceelo Green), (“Vogue, Music, Party Rock Anthem, Sexy and I Know It, Gimme All Your Luvin, Like a Prayer”) – Superbowl 2012 Halftime Show

And let’s all bow down to The Queen. Proving that she is still a force to be reckoned with, Queen of Pop Madonna showed all these artists how it’s actually done when she performed at the halftime of the Superbowl this February. With matching visual floors and coming from a throne, there’s no entertainer more fitting to do this year’s job than Madonna. Singing a medley of her most prominent hits from Vogue to Music to Like a Prayer, and inviting friends like LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, MIA, and CeeLo Green, this fourteen minute performance is nothing but a showstopper, all provided to you by Madonna herself.

What were your favorite performances from the list? Did you think I missed something? Pipe them in below at the Comments section.

And as always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

55th Grammy Awards Nominations Predictions   Leave a comment

Later tonight, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Inc. (NARAS) will be announcing the nominees for the top honor in music. In its 55th year now, the Grammy Awards have always been regarded as the biggest achievement one can receive for music performers. While it was an easy sweep for Adele last year, here are my current predictions for this year’s awards:

album of the year

The Black Keys, “El Camino”
Fun, “Some Nights”
Mumford & Sons, “Babel”
Frank Ocean, “Channel Orange”
Pink, “The Truth About Love”

NEXT: Florence + the Machine, “Ceremonials”; Drake, “Take Care”; Lionel Richie, “Tuskegee”; Miranda Lambert, “Four the Record”

record of the year

Adele, “Set Fire to the Rain (Live)”
The Black Keys, “Lonely Boy”
fun featuring Janelle Monae, “We Are Young”
Gotye featuring Kimbra, “Somebody that I Used to Know”
Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait”

NEXT: Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”; Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”; Florence + the Machine, “Shake It Out”; Frank Ocean, “Thinking Bout You”

song of the year

Florence + the Machine, “Shake it Out”
fun featuring Janelle Monae, “We Are Young”
Miranda Lambert, “Over You”
Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait”
Frank Ocean, “Thinkin Bout You”

NEXT: The Black Keys, “Lonely Boy”; Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Getting Back Together”; Bruce Springsteen, “We Take Care of Our Own”; Katy Perry, “Wide Awake”

best new artist

Frank Ocean
One Direction
Emeil Sandé

NEXT: Carly Rae Jepsen, Ellie Goulding, Lana del Rey, Ed Sheeran

pop performance

Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
Adele, “Set Fire To The Rain (Live)”
Jason Mraz, “I Won’t Give Up”
Katy Perry, “Wide Awake”
Pink, “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)”

NEXT: Bruno Mars, “It Will Rain”; Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”; Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”, Philip Phillips, “Home”

pop group

Florence + The Machine, “Shake It Out”
fun. featuring. Janelle Monae, “We Are Young”
Gotye featuring Kimbra, “Somebody That I Used To Know”
Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa, “Payphone”
One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful”

NEXT: Train, “Drive By”; Coldplay featuring Rihanna, “Princess of China”; No Doubt, “Settle Down”; Lionel Richie featuring Shania Twain, “Endless Love”

pop album

Justin Bieber, “Believe”
fun, “Some Nights”
Maroon 5, “Overexposed”
One Direction, “Up All Night”
Pink, “The Truth About Love”

NEXT: Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger”; Florence + the Machine, “Ceremonials”; Rihanna, “Talk That Talk”; John Mayer, “Born and Raised”

dance recording

Avicii, “Levels”
Deadmau5 featuring Gerard Way, “Professional Griefers”
Calvin Harris featuring Ne-Yo, “Let’s Go”
Midnight City, “M83”
Skrillex featuring Sirah, “Bangarag”

NEXT: Martin Solvieg, “The Night Out”; Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin, “Don’t You Worry Child”; The Chemical Brothers, “Superflash”

dance electronica album

Deadmau5, “Album Title Goes Here”
Justice, “Audio Video Disco”
M83, “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming”
Skrillex, “Bangarang”
Martin Solveig, “Smash”

NEXT: Pet Shop Boys, “Elysium”; Dev, “The Night the Sun Came Up”; Purity Ring, “Shrines”

rock performance

The Black Keys, “Lonely Boy”
Coldplay. “Charlie Brown”
Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait”
Bruce Springsteen, “We Take Care of Our Own”
Jack White, “Freedom at 21”

NEXT: Muse, “Madness”; Dave Matthews Band, “Mercy”; Green Day, “Oh Love”; Imagine Dragons, “It’s Time”

rock song

The Black Keys, “Lonely Boy”
Coldplay. “Charlie Brown”
Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait”
Muse, “Madness”
Bruce Springsteen, “We Take Care of Our Own”

NEXT: Jack White, “Freedom at 21”; Of Monsters and Men, “Little Talks”

rock album

The Black Eyes, “El Camino”
Coldplay, “Mylo Xyloto”
Dave Matthews Band, “Away from the World”
Bruce Springsteen, “Wrecking Ball”
Jack White, “Blunderbuss”

NEXT: Green Day, “Uno”; Muse, “The 2nd Law”; Neil Young & Crazy Horse, “Americana”

alternative album

Fiona Apple, “The Idler Wheel”
Bjork, “Biophilia”
Gotye, “Making Mirrors”
Passion Pit, “Gossamer”
The Shins, “Port Of Morrow”

NEXT: The xx, “Coexist”; Silversun Pickups, “Neck Of The Woods”

americana album

Alabama Shakes, “Boys & Girls”
Bob Dylan, “Tempest”
The Lumineers, “The Lumineers”
Mumford & Sons, “Babel”
Bonnie Raitt, “Slipstream”

rnb performance
Estelle, “Thank You”
Faith Evans, “Tears of Joy”
Miguel, “Adorn”
Frank Ocean, “Thinkin Bout You”
Usher, “Climax”

NEXT: Beyonce, “Love on Top”; Elle Varner, “Refill”; Melanie Fiona, “Wrong Side of a Love Song”; Mary J Blige, “Don’t Mind”

rnb traditional performance

Anita Baker, “Lately”
Anthony Hamilton, “Pray for Me”
Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, “Celebrate”
R. Kelly, “Feeling Single”
Emeli Sandé, “My Kind of Love”

NEXT: Tyrese,”Stay”; Tamia, “Beautiful Surprise”; Faith Evans, “Tears of Joy”

rnb song

Beyonce, “Love on Top”
John Legend featuring Ludacris, “Tonight”
Miguel, “Adorn”
Frank Ocean, “Thinkin Bout You”
Usher, “Climax”

NEXT: Anthony Hamilton, “Woo”; Estelle, “Thank You”

rnb album

Mary J. Blige, “My Life II – The Journey Continues”
Estelle, “All of Me”
Anthony Hamilton, “Back to Love”
R. Kelly, “Write Me Back”
Tyrese, “Open Invitation”

NEXT: Melanie Fiona, “The MF Life”

urban contemporary album

Chris Brown, “Fortune”
Miguel, “Kaleidoscope Dreams”
Frank Ocean, “Channel Orange”
Emeli Sandé, “Our Version of Events”
Usher, “Looking for Myself”

NEXT: Elle Varner, “Perfectly Imperfect”; Trey Songz, “Chapter 5”

rap performance

Drake featuring Lil’ Wayne, “The Motto”
Nicki Minaj featuring 2 Chainz, “Beez In The Trap”
Nas, “Daughters”
Kanye West & Jay-Z. “Niggas in Paris (Live)”
Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz “Mercy”

NEXT: Wiz Khalifa, “Work Hard, Play Hard”; Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pools (Drank)”

rap sung collaboration

Drake featuring The Weekend, “Crew Love”
Jay-Z, Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean, “No Church In The Wild”
Alicia Keys featuring Nicki Minaj, “Girl on Fire”
John Legend featuring Ludacris, “Tonight (Best You Ever Had)”
Snoop Dogg featuring Wiz Khalifa & Bruno Mars, “Young, Wild, & Free”

NEXT: J. Cole featuring Missy Elliott, “Nobody’s Perfect”; Rihanna featuring Jay-Z, “Talk That Talk”

rap song

Drake featuring Lil’ Wayne, “The Motto”
J. Cole featuring Missy Elliott, “Nobody’s Perfect”
Nas, “Daughters”
Kanye West & Jay-Z. “Niggas in Paris (Live)”
Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz “Mercy”

rap album

2 Chainz, “Based on a T.R.U. Story”
Drake, “Take Care”
G.O.O.D Music, “Cruel Summer”
Nas, “Life is Good”
Wale, “Ambition”

country solo

Dierks Bentley, “Home”
Miranda Lambert, “Over You”
Blake Shelton, “Over”
Taylor Swift, “Ours”
Carrie Underwood, “Blown Away”

country group

Eli Young Band, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”
Little Big Town, “Pontoon”
Gloriana, “(kissed You) Good Night”
Lionel Richie featuring Willie Nelson, “Easy”
Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars, “Safe & Sound”

country song

Dierks Bentley, “Home”
Eric Church, “Springsteen”
Miranda Lambert, “Over You”
Little Big Town, “Pontoon”
Taylor Swift, “Ours”

country album

Dierks Bentley, “Home”
Vince Gill, “Guitar Slinger”
Miranda Lambert, “Four The Record”
Little Big Town, “Tornado”
Carrie Underwood, “Blown Away”