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58th Grammy Awards Nominations Predictions: October 2015   Leave a comment

The Grammys’ eligibility period has already ended last September 30, which means no Frank Ocean, Kanye, and Adele for this year. But as we wait for the nomination announcement this December (though by now, expect Taylor Swift to dominate), let’s take a look at the potential top contenders in the Big 4 General categories with names ranging from Ed Sheeran to Sam Hunt and soundtracks from Selma to Furious Seven.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

While we’re not sure yet if the Grammys will easily reward Taylor Swift with an AOTY win #2 for 1989, chances are, it’s a lock for a nomination in this category already. Being the critical and commercial darling of the past eligibility period, there’s no doubt that the biggest story in music for the past year is Taylor’s domination and she’ll cap it with an AOTY nomination. Then there’s the breakout star The Weeknd (I know he’s been in the industry for a few years already), but the past year has been his biggest break churning out hits one after the other, so expect Beauty Behind the Madness to be in the conversation as well. Foo Fighters came close in 2012 sweeping all their nominations except for AOTY (losing to another juggernaut, Adele’s 21), so Sonic Highways might be their redemption bid. Despite getting some buzz the past few years, alternative genre still hasn’t followed up 2010 winner The Suburbs a representative here. This year, Sound & Color from Alabama Shakes seems like their strongest bid. Mark Ronson can clearly sweep the Big 3 category too, especially if the Academy falls in love with him so much that a Uptown Special nod is still possible.

Then there’s also comebacking artist D’Angelo, whose album Black Messiah, his first in 14 years, was critically well received, and if there’s one thing the Grammys love, it’s none other than a good ole comeback. While her breakout year five years ago didn’t translate to much Grammys, it’s never too late for Florence + the Machine to nab a nod in the top category with their latest release How Big Blue, How Blue, How Beautiful. Then what is an AOTY lineup without a country representative? Kacey Musgraves’ Pageant Material fits the bill even if there’s a group of country acts that can easily replace it too. Another act who enjoyed a big year is Kendrick Lamar which makes me feel confident about his nomination for To Pimp A Butterfly. Lastly, since this is the Grammys we’re talking about (basically the same group who nominated two versions of “How Do I Live” against each other in the same year), then maybe we can see a Ryan Adams version of 1989 competing against Taylor Swift’s version. That would certainly provide more coverage to their group (and it’s not as if Adams isn’t deserving to be nominated).

Current predictions:
“1989” (Taylor Swift)
“Beauty Behind the Madness” (The Weeknd)
“Black Messiah” (D’Angelo)
“Sonic Highways” (Foo Fighters)
“To Pimp a Butterfly” (Kendrick Lamar)

RECORD OF THE YEAR

We’re certain a Taylor Swift is gonna figure in this race, so it depends on what her team will submit, but it seems like “Blank Space” is the logical choice — it’s a huge hit that was well received by the critics. This category loves the Hot 100 #1 finishers, so aside from Swift, expect one to two more contenders from top charting hits like “Uptown Funk” from Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, “See You Again” from Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, and The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” to figure in this race. Oh, and Justin Bieber’s sorta comeback can be rewarded as well with a nod for “Where Are U Now” (instead of his other hitWhat Do U Mean) simply because of the Skrillex and Diplo recognition.

The other collaboration that I see the Academy going for is the triumvirate of Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney with “FourFiveSeconds” especially with the name involved (and the love it received when they performed it at the Grammys earlier this year). Ed Sheeran is a General Field favorite figuring in the last three years with SOTY, BNA, and AOTY nominations respectively. He has yet to be nominated for Record of the Year, but “Thinking Out Loud” seems like a good bet to break in here. Two other crossover hits of the previous year were Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” and Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance“, so they’re certainly in the race too. For the random last spot, I’m leaning to Major Lazer’s “Lean On” as it was a huge hit as well as the FIFA World Cup theme song for 2017. Plus I won’t be surprised if an electronic song finally breaks it to the main categories.

Current predictions:
“Blank Space” (Taylor Swift)
“Can’t Feel My Face” (The Weeknd)
“Lean On” (Major Lazer)
“Thinking Out Loud” (Ed Sheeran)
“Uptown Funk” (Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars)

SONG OF THE YEAR

Song of the Year has a great correlation with Record of the Year so chances are, the same songs vying for that category can also figure out here such as Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space“, Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud“, and Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars collaboration “Uptown Funk.” There isn’t any assurance of which The Weeknd song will be submitted here, but anything between “Can’t Feel My Face”, “Earned It“, or my predicted “The Hills” can be nominated here. For now, let’s call it as The Weeknd spot. If the Academy considers Kendrick Lamar to be a big factor in this race, then we won’t be surprised if “Alright” finds its way into the top five.

Oscar winning classics have been a mainstay in this category too, so this bodes well for current winner “Glory” from John Legend and Common. Working for it is that it’s more than just an Oscar winning song, as it’s been a statement and a powerful one at that. Working against it is that lately, Grammy isn’t much open to Oscar winning tunes in the General Field just like Adele’s “Skyfall” or the gigantic hit “Let It Go” from last year. That said, there’s the other hit soundtrack in contention: “See You Againwhich is also one of the year’s biggest hits. From classics such as Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” to fluffs such as Katy Perry’s “Roar“, Song of the Year has also been the home of inspirational anthems. This year, Rachel Platten can be in the conversation for her uplifting “The Fight Song” even if the record was more low-key than those that got nominated here. As for that country representative, Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time” is viable but we expect “Girl Fight” from Little Big Town to be the bigger contender.

Current predictions:
“Blank Space” (Taylor Swift)
“Girl Crush” (Little Big Town)
“The Hills” (The Weeknd)
“See You Again” (Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth)
“Thinking Out Loud” (Ed Sheeran)

Image courtesy of: billboard.com

BEST NEW ARTIST

Always the trickiest to predict, with all the eligibility rules changing every now and then, to say that Best New Artist predictions is a daunting task can be considered as an understatement. With his great chart performance the past year, one can count Fetty Wap a contender this year, regardless of how we personally feel about him. This is the same group that nominated Iggy Azalea last year, so there are literally no excuses.  Sure girl groups are rare, but the chances of them getting nominated is rarer (Haim got in last year but we have to go back to 1998 when Dixie Chicks got in). Maybe Fifth Harmony can join the elusive list? The country contingent is really strong in this particular category. In the last nine years, we have Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band, The Band Perry, Hunter Hayes, Kacey Musgraves, and Brandy Clark. The name to be remembered this year is Sam Hunt. Leon Bridges meanwhile reminds me of that new artist whom the Academy really just roots for to happen. It also doesn’t hurt that his song “Coming Home” achieved some sort of a viral status. Swedish singer Tove Lo is also picking up traction, so don’t be surprised if you hear her name come nomination morning.

It’s also hard to go against the Academy’s liking for up and coming young female singer/songwriters especially in a year as wide as this one so expect Tori Kelly figuring in this race. English musician James Bay can also get in just like the other English James — Blake that is — in 2013. Then there’s also that new artist who gets in for that one huge hit they have, which bodes well for Walk the Moon‘s chances. However, it can also be a case of “A Thousand Miles” or “Call Me Maybe” picking up ROTY and/or SOTY nods but the artist is nowhere to found in the BNA category. Stitches is peaking at the right time, so it will help Shawn Mendes‘ chances even though he has to overcome the aversion of this category to young stars (well unless you’re as big as Justin Bieber circa 2010). Lastly, there’s always a reserved slot for that artist who has already been nominated earlier but surprisingly wasn’t eligible for this category because of the Academy’s weird rules. This caused Ed Sheeran’s nominated two years ago, and this year’s recipient is likely last year’s ROTY & SOTY nominee Meghan Trainor or Take Me to Church singer Hozier. 

Current predictions:
Leon Bridges
Fetty Wap
Sam Hunt
Tori Kelly
Meghan Trainor

Talk to me about it on Twitter: @nikowl

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MTV VMA Best Female Video Series: 2012   1 comment

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In order to acknowledge that next week will be Tit for Tat’s Emmy nomination coverage, we’d be doing this our weekly MTV Best Female Video Series earlier for this week. Since we’ve already tackled one from the 80s, 90s, and the 00s, it’s fitting that we’d go with the current decade, so I decided to go with the 2012 line up.

And there’s no better way to start it than Beyonce. Well technically it’s alphabetical order, but whatever. At this point in MTV VMA history, it’s clear that Beyonce will be nominated for simply farting, so this is pretty much expected. It’s her fourth consecutive nod in this category, and I have to say that it’s actually a deserving nomination. Not only is Love on Top one of the better songs from the underrated 4, but the video gives a perfect throwback with all the vintage group choreography and whatnot. This is far from the  usual provocative Beyonce dance steps, so that’s refreshing as well.

If Beyonce is on her 4th consecutive nod, well Katy is on her FIFTH(!) continuous nomination in this category. Still winless in this category, Katy dons the military get up to show the story of a woman moving on from a failed relationship and finding herself instead so she decided to join the military. Since this is a Katy video, of course everything has to be taken literally as if we’re toddlers, so she does everything in a step by step procedure. It’s a fun video, but I think she had better ones during the Teenage Dream era.

Then we have Nicki Minaj who gets her second nod here after 2011’s Super Bass. In Starships though, we go all the way to Hawaii to see a starship (talk about literally. Now beat that Katy!) dropping this creature which turned out to be Nicki Minaj as she brings the life in the people of that island and they go partying and dancing non stop while Nicki changes her glittery looks as she dances in the shore or in top of a volcano. Clearly, common sense isn’t required in this video.

Now as for her initial single from her Talk the Talk era, Rihanna surely knows how to stir controversy. She surely gets people rallying against her with the depiction of violence between lovers and some pertaining to drug use here, especially since it reflects so much of her personal experiences circa 2008, but that’s what actually made me love this video more. In here, Rihanna just wore her heart on her sleeve to go back to a private (yet not so private) moment in her life. But more than the video’s theme, I also appreciate the visual choices in here in the treatment and shots used.

And lastly, there’s Selena Gomez. If I remember correctly, this was a surprise nomination that year and few to none were predicting it to happen. That said, it’s clearly deserving of a nomination. I really love videos that are just playful and catchy and fun. Selena’s wig changes from the big hair to that one of drag looks matches the ridiculous over the top beat of the song. I feel like in here, Selena clearly acknowledges the stage in her life where she’s in between being a teen while also oozing up her sexiness to some extent.

No doubt about it, Rihanna has the best video in the line up and a worthy Video of the Year winner that year. That said, I’m all for spreading the wealth and I’m likely voting her in another year that I haven’t tackled yet. So I’ll spread the wealth and give it to another video which I think is a fun embodiment of the Best Female Video category. I’m going with Selena Gomez here, as it’s the video that made me hit the repeat-peat-peat-peat-peat. It’s really unfortunate that Nicki Minaj won this year, and definitely one of the weakest winners in this category’s history.

Personal pick: Selena Gomez, “Love You Like a Love Song
MTV VMA pick: Nicki Minaj, “Starships

Full Rankings:
01. Selena Gomez, “Love You Like a Love Song
02. Rihanna, “We Found Love
03. Beyonce, “Love on Top
04. Katy Perry, “Part of Me
05. Nicki Minaj, “Starships

Now it’s time to vote for your own pick in the poll below

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

2013 in GIFs   Leave a comment

So I decided to skip my annual movie, TV shows, red carpet looks, and songs lists for this year since I have no time to write them all. Instead, I’ll be posting my favorite moments of 2013 in GIF style. So yes, most of these would be from awards show ceremonies or basically any pop culture event of the year. Okay.

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Okay so let’s begin with five six time Oscar loser a.k.a Albert Nobbs herself Glenn Close. At the Golden Globes last January, Close probably thought that she’s also one of the cool kids when she decided to play drunk after Tina Fey’s signal. You probably have no idea how epic this moment was. I mean I can’t even choose my favorite part. Is it the closing of her eyes to give a more convincing portrayal? Is it when she changed her mind and started to look up the heavens instead to make it even more convincing? Is it her husband’s coy “WTF I think I actually married Alex Forrest” tepid laugh? I guess I have to go with none of the above and choose the closing shot of her looking sideways to see check if people find her stuff funny.

That same night, we’re treated to one of the best (and yes I mean the best) awards show presentations ever. When SNL alums Kristin Wyg and Will Pharrell (as Tina Fey would say it) presented the Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical/Comedy, I.WAS.DYING. As a refresher, here’s how they described the nominees that night:

(on Emily Blunt’s Salmon Fishing in Yemen): “When the salmon comes out.. and when the bad guy comes…. and the salmon was like.. and you’re in Yemen.
(on Judi Dench of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel): “That Judi Dench. Where did she come from? Unknown, she used to be a police officer, and this is her fist movie. And when all the marigold comes out.. and it’s on her hair. And on one scene, she looks at the town people and she’s like “YOUUU!!! YOUUU GET OUT OF HERE!!!”
(on Jennifer Lawrence of Silver Lings Playbook): “Ugh love Jennifer Lawrence. J.LAW. And then comes the silverrr!! I thought it was an animated film. And all the silver she has collected and they tried to get it away from her and she’s like “NOOO! THAT’S MY COOKBOOK!” and she’s like “YOUUU!!! YOUUU GET OUT OF HERE!!!”
(on Maggie Smith of Quartet): “And no one knows what a quartet is. IT IS AMBIGUOUS! And you think you know what it is, but then the guy comes and says “I think I know what a quartet is!” but he doesn’t”
(
on Meryl Streep of Hope Springs): “And Meriall Streep. And she’s the sassy sheriff! “I’m Hope Springs!” She comes in a horse and she’s like she looks at the town people and she’s says “YOUUU!!! YOUUU GET OUT OF HERE!!!”

UGH TYPING THAT WAS A HOOT. I’m laughing again. And everyone in the room was actually entertained. Everyone that is except that creature named Tommy Lee Jones.

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Ugh Gramps looked grumpy as hell during that presentation. Guess what TLJ, that was my exact look when you stole that Oscar from Ralph Fiennes and Leonardo di Caprio.

Then we have the Screen Actors Guild Awards where you’re allowed to waste a minute of your life listening to Giuliana Rancic say things like this:

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Girl is useless as their manicam. By the way let’s appreciate that the SAG was the only time this award season where Anne Hathaway opened her mouth and said something entertaining that does not involve
a.”a blunt object I will forevermore use as a weapon against self-doubt”,
b. thanking Victor Hugo
c. thinking her Oscar win will stop prostitution.
d. correcting the spelling of her name
It was when Anne presented with co-star Hugh Jackman and they played a banter of how they will describe Les Mis in 2013.

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Yes Anne, you crushed it. Speaking of crushed, don’t you love this BFF pic of Nicole Kidman and the lesser Nicole Kidman Naomi Watts at the SAGs? Go Nic, giving some Regina George fierceness.

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Prior to her history making releasing an album without anything stint, Beysus graced us all with her presence at the Superbowl. But it wasn’t even her who stole the show. Two words: poor Michelle.

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Go poor Michelle!! Put that one day off to good use and appear at the Superbowl.I’m living for her facial reaction. She suddenly got cocky when she realized she did not fall off the mosh pit. YESSS!!

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But then again, we’re quickly reminded why she never skyrocketed as a solo artist. I mean not literally a rocket but even Bey can do it.

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Anyway, let’s move on to the Grammys a.k.a the first televised exam to see if Taylor Swift knows this song…

taylor 1or this song…

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and this one as well…

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and did you know she knew this song too?

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Okay we get it Taylor. You know all the songs. But then again who wants to see her do it for a fifth  time when you can see Legend Kidman bopping to that Bob Marley tribute?

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It wasn’t as epic as her singing Teenage Dream  at the Grammys last year but she gets bonus points because Adele is wearing a red doily.

Then there’s also the BAFTA where the only two interesting things we saw were Dame Dench’s O face (and when I say O, I mean Oh my god!) as Javier Bardem falls asleep

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and David O. Russell’s reaction when Emmanuelle Riva wins Best Actress.

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I was secretly wishing Emmanuelle would say “I beat J.Law” at the podium but then I remembered she doesn’t speak in English. So maybe in French? Anyway, off to the Oscars.

Okay remember when I said a few posts above that Giuliana Rancic is as useless as the manicam? Well I take it back. The Manicam is more useful than Giuliana apparently. I’m pretty sure it made Catherine Zeta Jones upset when Ryan Seacrest denied her to do one. You can clearly see in her eyes she wants to parade her fingers on the manicam. Not good, Ryan!

nicole-kidmanSee even Mr. and Mrs. Keith Urban felt bad for La Zeta.

Aside from that, we saw Lil’ Quvenzhane Wallis proving she’s the man (with a proud Denzel Washington beaming from behind),

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a bored Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter

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and a tripping Best Actress winner. Whoever put that banana peel there for Anne Hathaway clearly didn’t work

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But the best moment happened when Emmanuelle Riva unintentionally takes revenge on David O. Russell upon learning his reaction to her BAFTA Best Actress win.

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Be thankful, David. At least Em didn’t squashed your face with a pillow. #justsaying

In April this year, Reese Witherspoon was arrested by the cops but she tried to get herself out of this…

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…which only means she ended up in prison with a mugshot. You should have called Elle Woods to save you, Reese.

Taylor Swift won eight Billboard Music Awards in May of this year. But surprisingly, not any of those can match the WIN level of her reactions here:

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Meanwhile, Miguel channels his inner Bjorn Barrefors and trains for the Olympics on air

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Ouch for that woman whose head was found in between Miguel’s legs.

And as everyone celebrates film over at the Cannes Film Festival, two tiny teeny things clearly doesn’t wanna be there. Julianne Moore’s little toes can’t wait enough to go home instead they’re trying to escape while she’s on the red carpet.

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Still on the subject of feet, it’s not cool to talk about North West anymore, so let’s just hope Kim K’s feet some speedy recovery for everything they’ve been through this year:

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tumblr_mo6lqdTBl81qanm80o1_400Yes Debra Messing don’t act too surprised, those are her feet.

Last August 10, two of the biggest popstars go head to head as Lady Gaga releases Applause and Katy Perry releases Roar on the same week. You know it was bound to get messy.

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And someone’s coming out on top:

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But come the VMAs, it wasn’t even the two of them who became the talk of the town. But before that we saw…

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Justin Timberlake joined by four other lessers perform,

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Taylor Swift asking her BFF to STFU,

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Willow Smith whipping her head back and forth as Jaden Smith tries another shot at “acting”,

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Lady Gaga opening the show,

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but Katy Perry closing it.. (Ouch Gags! Was that msg for you?)

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But it Miley who made the whole thing classic. Even getting a classic rxn from Rih

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September also was the end for Breaking Bad. And I think no amount of GIF will give it justice so I’ll just post a photo of Bryan and Aaron because uhm, duh, bitch.

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And when the Emmys came, Neil Patrick Harris bombed as host, but no other bombed better than what this guy did:

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Then cute Merritt Wever gives one of the best Emmy speeches ever when she said nothing but…

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while Julia Louis Dreyfus stays in character in her speech.

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Michael Douglas, meanwhile, uses Matt Damon as metaphor in his thank you speech

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And though he did not win, Kevin Spacey still scores one in my b0ok after doing this:

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And the delight of Oprah pushing people

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And last month, Miley Cyrus wins Round 2 of best performance at the American Music Awards when she performs with a huge cat behind her:

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As Ariana Grande shows us all how it’s really done just by standing up.

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Meanwhile, a certain legend named Christina Aguilera is slaying the red carpet fo’sho:

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And that’s how you make an exit!  Wait let me reiterate

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On the other hand, here’s how you make an entrance. An album entrance that is. As Beysus Christ showed us, just drop em ‘off and boom.

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Let’s pause this moment and recognize Queen B.

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Oh wait, did you know Britney released an album this year? I’m sure even she’s not aware, but I guess she’s raking it in Vegas no so go Brit and

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And as Oscar season comes, we’re treated to a whole lot of epic GIFs from contenders like this of J.Law pleading…

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or Sandra Bullock in Gravity a.k.a basically whatever you wanna do to your enemy

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But to close this off, a legendary performance to close the year happened between Gags and Legend X when they did a duet of Do What U Want on The Voice finale.

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Anybody who does not get the ABBA meets Whatever Happened to Baby Jane reference is deads to me. Plus, I’d kill to have my head on Legend’s bosoms. Anyway, cheers to a happy 2013 and let’s hope for crazier things this 2014.

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Happy New Year everyone!

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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:

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

* 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.

BEST MALE VIDEO

* 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.
RUNNER UP: 
Robin Thicke. Turning out to be the song of the year by far, they can easily throw him a bone here.
MY CHOICE:  
Ed Sheeran. Let’s throw him a vote come on guys. 🙂

 

BEST FEMALE VIDEO

* 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.
RUNNER UP: 
Miley Cyrus. This song is peaking at the right time, and her legion of fans will propel this to a win.
MY CHOICE:  
Rihanna. Probably the best video in this bunch. Simple and effective.

ARTIST TO WATCH

* 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.
RUNNER UP: 
Zedd. Clarity is the biggest hit in this group and he can benefit from that.
MY CHOICE:  
Maybe Zedd. But where’s Macklemore and Ryan Lewis here? This would have been an easy win for them.

BEST POP VIDEO

* 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…
RUNNER UP:
this is still part of the Timberlake sweep so he can easily take this one too.
MY CHOICE:  
fun I guess. I’m not a fan of most of the videos here.

BEST ROCK VIDEO

* 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.
RUNNER UP: 
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?
MY CHOICE:  
Vampire Weekend probably since they’re the ones I like the most in this group.

BEST HIPHOP VIDEO

* 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.
RUNNER UP: 
Probably Drake since he’s still 0 in terms of VMA wins.
MY CHOICE:  
Can’t Hold Us is one of my favorite jams this year.

BEST COLLABORATION VIDEO

* 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.
RUNNER UP: 
Blurred Lines since it’s the biggest hit in this line up.
MY CHOICE:  
I’d probably throw Pink and Nate a bone here and give them my vote.

BEST VIDEO WITH A SOCIAL MESSAGE

* 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.
RUNNER UP: 
Beyonce just to make this more ridiculous as she wins for a live video. Oh and remember we’re in Brooklyn.
MY CHOICE:  
Same Love is the best song here and the only one deserving of a win.

blurred lines

BEST SONG OF THE SUMMER

* 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”

WHO WILL WIN: Two words: BLURRED LINES.
RUNNER UP: 
Maybe Miley comes closest to Blurred Lines here. Though she’s far and away a distant runner up.
MY CHOICE:  
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

15 Messy but Entertaining Live Performances   Leave a comment

In this day of autotunes and recorded mash up music, it’s really hard to figure out what good music is.  One good indication can be the live performances of the artists. However, sometimes even the best in music can have a bad day or be ruined by technical difficulties during their performances. Now this one is a fun list that was inspired from an online forum. I came up with my own list of the mostly awkward, mostly messy but still entertaining (both in good and bad ways) that makes live performances still the best means to identify talent when you see one.

As always, click the name after the picture to lead you to the YouTube clip of the said performance.

15 christina aguilera

15. Christina Aguilera, “Medley“, 2008 American Music Awards

In 2008, Christina Aguilera was out to promote her greatest hist album entitled A Decade of Hits. So technically, it is ideal that she’ll perform some of her most prominent hits together with the lead single. So yeah, she did Keeps Gettin Better. However, as the performance keeps gettin longer, the audience keeps gettin bored. It literally just won’t stop. By the time Dirrty was being performed, the audience was already up on their feet to an applause, only to find out it’s not yet over. By the time the performance was actually over, most of the audience were too lazy to stand up anymore.

14 mariah carey

14. Mariah Carey, “Touch My Body“, Good Morning America

Good Morning America has been the primary venue for performers to promote their latest singles and albums. In this one, Mariah Carey performers her lead single off her then latest album Touch My Body. But as soon as the music played, the song kept on skipping to reveal a recorded back track version of the song. It kept on repeating the next few seconds, though you have to commend Mimi for handling it like a pro so she moaned some of her classic “Oooohhh ooohhhh” until the DJ figured out what to do with the situation. But it was quite a bummer that even before the song started, it was already revealed that it was just a back track.

13 lindsay lohan

13. Lindsay Lohan, “Rumors“, Good Morning America

On the eve of her album launch, Lindsay Lohan visited Good Morning America too in order to promote her new album. She sang her song Rumors in front of mothers and their little kids who are still probably holding on to the fact that the girl in front of them is still the same from the twins in The Parent Trap. But once the music started, Lindsay started to dance herself awkwardly like a baby prostitute (Ooh Mean Girls reference. Sorry can’t help it!) The worst part started in the 2:07 mark when she started to miss her lines only to reveal that she was lipsynching all along. The camera kept on panning to the audience where you see the mothers and daughters whose faces were painted with Gotcha!  The kid in 2:20 summed our expression all along.

12 lana del rey

12. Lana del Rey, “Video Games“, Saturday Night Live

Usually Saturday Night Live is what propels someone’s career to fully blast. Take the case of Adele whose Grammy victories in 2008 were credited to her huge exposure from her SNL performance during the middle of the Grammy voting that year. It seems another new artist was about to have the same fate… until the actual performance kicked in. Lana del Rey sang the song beautifully; however, she was standing like a dead log and her presence is that of watching paint dry. She then awkwardly turns and it gets less enthusiastic that it was just all kinds of awkward until the performance ended. General consensus was that it was not the sole reason why her career did not really went through as promise, but it gave the impression to casual listeners.

11 nicki minaj

11. Nicki Minaj, “Starships“, The Today Show

When performing Starships over at The Today Show, Nicki Minaj got so comfortably weird when she already missed the first line of the performance. Then she suddenly turned and made those weird faces as if she’s talking to a spirit in front of her. By 2:28, it seemed as if the spirit already possessed her as she shouts at the mic in a commanding voice then she showed you dance steps of what NOT to do in a Zumba class. Ah Nicki. How can one take thou seriously? LELZ.

10 cassie

10. Cassie, “Me and You“, BET

Cassie is one of those one-hit wonders that tried to establish a career in the midst of the one named R&B female artists that were in demand during that time like Ashanti and Ciara. As much as Me and You was a catchy song, she can’t even catch a break with this performance. If not the DJ, the back up singers are overpowering her vocals here. Much to her chagrin, it was also the perfect metaphor to her career. Everyone upstaged her that her career did not sky rocket at all.

09 beyonce

09. Beyonce, “Baby Boy“, MTV Europe Music Awards 2003

During the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards, Beyonce made a slight homage to the Queen of Pop Madonna by starting her performance with something similar to Material Girl. The performance will then cross over her Baby Boy performance. Everything is doing fine, and Sean Paul even appeared, but starting at 2:50, the prerecorded track started to skip and as much as Beyonce hoped it will soon be back so she danced for quite some time, even she gave up when the music kept on repeating to “Baby you;re so damn fine.. Oh!“. This led to an early exit by the pair with Sean Paul probably pissed as he tried to insert his rap thrice but to no avail, and he wasn’t able to perform at all except for his “Uhs.”

08 katy perry

08. Katy Perry, “Firework“, American Music Awards 2010

Firework is probably one of the most inspirational mainstream songs of the past few years. So it is just fitting that when Katy Perry performed it at the 2010 American Music Awards, she even had a children’s choir do it with her. Sad thing though was while Katy was coming down from below, Katy was struggling so hard not to reach the note, but any note AT ALL. You know it’s a bad performance when the kid choir who are supposed to guide you actually upstaged you. So the picture above is the one that depicts a woman of a real struggle.

07 jessica simpson

07. Jessica Simpson, “I Wanna Love You Forever“, Billboard Music Awards 2000

Back in the 2000s, before she was even seen as a reality star, Jessica Simpson was actually a vocalist, and a good one at that. Among the four female youngsters of their era, Jessica was categorized into the vocalist category together with Christina Aguilera. However, even vocalists have bad days as well. During her performance of the emotional I Wanna Love You Forever, Simpson pulled in all the emotions needed. With that said, her vocals struggled come the bridge part and it was like hearing a goat to be killed. It was so embarrassing that even Jessica knew it and she couldn’t contain her tears (of embarrassment) in the end. She’s lucky to have a supportive audience though that they still gave her a standing O despite that disaster of a performance.

06 ashlee simpson

06. Ashlee Simpson, “Lala“, Orange Bowl 2005

Speaking of Jessica, having messy live performances seem to be a hobby over at the Simpson household. This one is of her younger sister Ashlee. Performing in front of thousands of live viewers, Ashlee treated the fans of the Orange Bowl with her performance of her song Lala. It seems though that what the actual audience was hearing is what the whole of America is hearing as well. The moment she finished her performance, a resounding shouts of Boo was heard all over the place. Poor Ashlee. She was really rockin out to the song thinking she nailed this one.

05 rihanna and britney

05. Rihanna and Britney Spears, “S&M Remix“, Billboard Music Awards 2011

In the only live performance of this collaboration, vocal powerhouse  Rihanna and Britney Spears did a live duet of S&M Remix over at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards. The concept is probably yin-yang, battle of the better portrayal of a cheap slut or anything that’s opposite. Rihanna is in white while Britney is in black. They were both tied to chains in two adjacent poles. The funniest part of the performance (aside from Rihanna’s vocals, which was already a given) happened when Britney appeared hissing like a snake and then they started doing a pillow fight. It seems as if a) Britney was not informed, b) Britney was not interested c) Britney thought Rihanna was one of the dancers or d) all of the above. Rihanna was giving her best trying to create a fun pillow fight while Britney was really not into it at all. Spell awkwardddddddd.

04 just stand up

04. Just Stand Up Women, “Just Stand Up“, Just Stand Up Telethon

In their live performance, 12 different female singers of different genres all came up with a wonderful idea to help raise finds for cancer survival. In theory, this is the project that is to die for. Nearly each and every female singer must be a part of this. But then again, watching the live performance of the song makes all the other female singers happy that they’re not a part of this collaboration. First, you have Beyonce’s hair. Second, Miley Cyrus waiting for Beyonce to look for her as she keeps on making all the cute faces starting at 0:25. Third, Rihanna obviously pissed she had to share all her parts with Miley Cyrus yet Miley gets the longer lines. Fourth, Mariah standing like a dead log only to have her microphone turned off when it was her part already. Ugh. This was just weird on so many levels.

03 fergie

03. Fergie, “Barracuda“, Good Morning America

There’s probably something about Good Morning America that makes singers go cray cray when they perform here. Now, in 2008, Fergie performed the Heart original Barracuda in front of the live studio audience. The Fergie Cray Cray Show started at 1:11 with Fergie touching herself. Then starting at 1:46, Fergie became a little too flirty and clingy to the lead guitarist by hanging on his keychain. Poor guitarist don’t know what to do and left in the middle. But wait, the best is yet to come because come 2:18, she started gyrating her body in front of the young kids in the audience. From then, there’s nothing stopping her and she gave cartwheels and crawled and shouted all in one. Whether she wasn’t laid by Josh Duhamel prior to that, no one can tell.   Let’s just say we don’t think Fergie is a morning person.

02 britney spears

02. Britney Spears, “Gimme More“, MTV Video Music Awards 2007

It was supposed to be the performance that will have everybody raving. Well, it actually did… but for all the wrong reasons. Britney was probably at her lowest moment, and even she was not into it. Everything about it was really cringe worthy, and I felt that even she did not like to be there. She wasn’t dancing, she wasn’t even barely moving at all, and the whole audience from 50 Cent to Rihanna were also uncomfortable while watching. To give her credit though, Blackout was her best album to date.

01 ashlee simpson

01. Ashlee Simpson, “Pieces of Me“, Saturday Night Live

Well you have to at least give credit to the 14 prior performances above because they had the balls to finish it. But the same can’t be said in this iconic SNL moment when the wrong song was played when Ashlee Simpson was “ready” to sing Pieces of Me. While waiting for the right song to be played, Simpson candidly showed some awkward dance movies which she thought was cool and would erase the readers’ perception regarding the mishap. So sad because not only did it fail to recover her performance, it basically was also the start of the demise of her music career.

What was your favorite from the list? Are they all bordering on embarrassing? I’d shamelessly admit that i was entertained by all of them though.

As always, you can 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. 

pink

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.
rihanna
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.

psy

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.

adele

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

The 55th Grammy Awards Nominations: The Good, the Bad, and the Interesting   2 comments

2012 nominees

The nominees for the 55th Grammy Awards were just announced hours ago, and as always, it has elicited a lot of wild reactions from music lovers. After all, the Grammy is probably every musician’s dream and is still regarded as the highest recognition one can get as a recording artist. Like what I did last year, I will divide it into three parts:

THE GOOD

* The whole Album of the Year line up. Holy moly. With the current surge of female pop artist who had a big year which automatically translates to an AOTY nom the past years (Beyonce, Katy Perry, Rihanna), it’s very refreshing to see a line up of really good albums here. Yes, one can still nitpick here, but come on! It’s not as if we got Bieber or Maroon 5 here.

* The love for Frank Ocean. Screw the genre category for ignoring him. At least he got 3/4 general nods, and he’s even the frontrunner in Best New Artist. This man deserves all the praise for his album, so I’m glad decided not to skip him.

* Speaking of skip, yay for the Bieber snub. Glad the Grammys weren’t so desperate for ratings this year by snubbing him. I’d argue though that the One Direction deserved a BNA nod at least.

* Kelly Clarkson resurgence! Woot woot. Record and Song of the Year! Who said it was the end for Kelly? HA-HA-HA. In your face!

* Anything The Black Keys, Florence + the Machine, and Mumford and Sons related since it’s better than a lot of what we hear on the radio.

* ED EFFIN SHEERAN. Who saw it coming? Nobody! But is her deserving for a SOTY nod? Absofuckinglutely!

* The nominations of Safe and Sound and Abraham’s Daughter in Original Soundtrack. Even if The Hunger Games was snubbed as a whole, these two songs are worthy of mentions and nominations.

* Adele still rocking it with a Pop Vocal Solo nomination for Set Fire to the Rain. I love you Kelly Clarkson, but that is Adele’s ninth Grammy.

* Miguel’s nods for Adorn. Sure I don’t like him as much as Frank Ocean, but I like Adorn, and it’s one of the best R&B songs of the year.

* The Short Form Music video is probably the strongest since its inception. There’s  a lot of interesting videos there, and even mainstream video like that of Rihanna’s We Found Love is deserving of a nomination.

* Probably my favorite category of the year, Alternative Album is full of hidden gems in it. You have Bjork, Fiona Apple, Gotye, and (my latest addiction) M83! Admittedly, I haven’t heard Tom Waits’ Bad As Me yet, but it is in good company, so I’ll give it a listen sometime.

THE BAD

* Pink only received one nod. I thought for sure this year will finally give her the best Grammy out pour in her career, yet they took her for granted again. Oh well, she can take pride at her three Grammys home.

* Again, no One Direction? Hahaha. Sorry, but they’re real guilty pleasure. If you can give Bieber and Jonas Brothers Best New Artist nods, why not these guys? Though I guess Hunter Hayes getting in was their “One Direction” spot already. After all, hes young, and he’s country, so that’s hitting two birds with one stone.

* Nicki Minaj snub all throughout. This girl think she can settle away with free passes pretending as a rap artist? Bish please. You’re a pop artist now, and glad to know you received nada.

* Call Me Maybe for Song of the Year? Really? Those lyrics!?!? I get that it’s a big song yada yada, but that’s where the Record of the Year is for.

* Why was Miranda Lambert’s Over You snubbed all throughout? Over You is gaining momentum the past few weeks, it’s a good written song, and she’s already a Grammy winner. I guess I must be happy with her Country Album nomination.

* It sucks to have a Pop Vocal Performance then three of the five nominees were Carly Rae Jepsen, Rihanna, and Katy Perry. Vocals eh?

* I still don’t see the purpose behind the Urban Contemporary Album especially it only had three nominees, and Chris Brown isn’t even deserving. They should have retired it altogether. Though it’s an easy win for Frank Ocean.

* They really should not combine Vocals category in some genres. Take for instance Pop Vocal. It had five female nominees. Pop is a female centered genre, but we have lots of deserving male vocals this year like Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars, John Mayer, and Philip Phillips, and I guess a filler spot for Bieber. Same goes for the Rock’s hard on for male singers and Country’s preference of male vocalists unless your name is Carrie Underwood. Wrong move at all.

THE INTERESTING

* This is the first time in a long time where no female album is nominated for the top award. It’s also two decades ago when the Best New Artist line up had no solo female artist in it.

* Fun, Jay Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons, and The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach tied for the most nominated act with six nominations each.

* The following people are nominated for a Grammy this year: Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Ellen Degeneres, Janis Ian, Kathy Griffin, Jimmy Fallon, Margaret Cho, Bernadette Peters, Audra McDonald, Matthew Broderick, and Elizabeth Mitchell.

* Ever since its inception 53 years ago, this is the only time that record of the Year had six nominees in it.

In case you want to see the complete list of nominees, you can check them here.

All in all, there are more things I like about the nominations this year than I had the past few years. With that said, we still have to wait come February for the winners to be revealed. My first post-nom predictions for the General Field winners are Somebody That I Used to Know (Record of the Year), We Are Young (Song of the Year), Mumford & Son’s Babel (Album of the Year), and Frank Ocean as the Best New Artist.

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl