It is a good year for pop musicians in this year's 71st Golden Globe Award nominations announced this morning. With Coldplay, Taylor Swift, and Justin Timberlake receiving nods, three of the world's top pop musicians of the moment are in the running. They will face off against legendary rock band U2, who may seem a sentimental favorite for their song "Ordinary Love" from the Nelson Mandela biopic Long Walk To Freedom, and Broadway star Idina Menzel. Pop stars have historically done quite well in the Best Original Song category at the Golden Globes. Performers of the last three winners have been Adele, Madonna, and Cher. This year's Golden Globe Awards are handed out January 12, 2014. The full list of nominees is below.
Best Original Song Golden Globe Nominees
- Coldplay - "Atlas" from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
- Idina Menzel - "Let It Go" from Frozen
- Taylor Swift - "Sweeter Than Fiction" from One Chance
- Justin Timberlake - "Please Mr. Kennedy" from Inside Llewyn Davis
- U2 - "Ordinary Love" from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Rihanna is now tied for third place on the all time leader list for the most #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. "The Monster," her collaboration with Eminem, is the young star's 13th appearance at #1. That ties her with Michael Jackson and leaves only Mariah Carey with 18 number one hits and the Beatles with 20 holding the lead. "The Monster" is also Rihanna's twelfth trip to the top of the overall radio airplay chart. That puts her one ahead of Mariah Carey's 11 #1s to be the leader in the 23 years of the radio songs chart's existence.
Eminem also makes chart history with "The Monster." It is his fifth trip to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. That ties him with Ludacris and Diddy for the most ever by a rapper. Eminem is the only one of the three whose five chart toppers came as lead artist on the recording. "The Monster" has truly turned into a monster hit for Eminem and Rihanna. Check out more details on hit music in this week's coverage of the US pop music charts.
Single cover courtesy Aftermath
Regardless of your personal opinions of the controversies surrounding Miley Cyrus, she has been a memorable part of 2013. An exclamation point was added to her efforts by MTV today when they announced she is the network's choice for Artist Of the Year. In addition to her #1 hit album Bangerz and multi-platinum hit singles "We Can't Stop" and "Wrecking Ball," her appearances dominated the news about both the MTV Video Music Awards and the MTV Europe Music Awards. Miley Cyrus' music video for "Wrecking Ball" was the most watched of the year on the site VEVO. Today Time added more gravity to Miley Cyrus' place in the culture of 2013 by naming her as one of 10 finalists for the annual Time Person Of the Year selection. She is the only entertainer on the list among such other public figures as President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Below is MTV's list of the top 10 artists of the year.
MTV's Top Artists Of the Year
- Miley Cyrus
- Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
- Justin Timberlake
- Kanye West
- One Direction
- Katy Perry
- Bruno Mars
- Lady Gaga
Photo by Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images
If it's any consolation to Lady Gaga, she now has company when reflecting on disappointing album sales this fall by a major pop star. Britney Spears looks like she will have the first studio album of her career to not reach the top 2 on the album chart. Selling just over 100,000 copies in its first week, it looks like Britney Jean will open at #3 on the chart or below. For now it is also looking like Britney Jean could be the first Britney spears studio album to fail to produce a top 10 pop hit since 2001's Britney.
Today Britney Spears debuted her music video for the current single "Perfume." It was directed by Joseph Khan who put together the landmark music videos for "Toxic" and "Womanizer." Unfortunately, "Perfume" feels very underwhelming compared with those previous efforts. The new clip is cinematic in style and requires a bit more acting from the star, but the clip fails to generate powerful emotion. Director Joseph Khan has indicated that he believes his "director's cut" version of the music video is much more affecting and powerfully spotlights Britney Spears' acting chops in a way the official release does not. A petition has been launched to encourage RCA to release that version of the video, but for now the "Perfume" clip remains another piece of the disappointing puzzle that is the Britney Jean album. Watch "Perfume" below.
- Watch "Perfume"
Video still courtesy RCA
Glee star Lea Michele has kicked off her pop career with a solid debut single. The song "Cannonball" was co-written by Sia and Benny Blanco and produced by Stargate. Lea Michele's vocals are powerful and make the song well worth hearing. She clearly has a strong fan base demonstrated by the song instantly climbing into the top 10 on the iTunes sales chart. "Cannonball" will be included on Lea Michele's debut album Louder which is set to hit stores March 4, 2014. She will perform the song live on TV for the first time Thursday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show December 12, 2013. Louder includes the song "Empty Handed" co-written by Christina Perri. Lea Michele is currently starring in the fifth season of Glee with rumors that a spinoff show could be built around her character Rachel Berry. Check out "Cannonball" below.
- Listen to "Cannonball"
Single cover courtesy Columbia
Tessanne Chin's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" Performance On The Voice Is Another Memorable Moment For the Show
Last night The Voice had another moment that might be remembered long after this year's competition. Following clear indications that she was experiencing some personal difficulties, Tessanne Chin, one of five remaining contestants this season, delivered a powerful and flawless performance of Simon and Garfunkel's classic "Bridge Over Troubled Water." The final held note in particular brought the house down and likely brought tears to many viewers. Consequently, today Tessanne Chin's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" held the #1 spot on the iTunes sales chart for much of the day. Tonight we will find out if she is one of the three contestants who survive a double elimination to head into next week's finals.
"Bridge Over Troubled Water" was originally released in 1970 as the title song from Simon and Garfunkel's fifth and final studio album together. Art Garfunkel's performance of the vocals is considered to be one of the most powerful pop music performances of all time. The song spent six weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 making it one of the biggest hit singles of the 1970s. Check out Tessanne Chin's version below.
- Watch Tessanne Chin sing "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
Video still courtesy NBC
Kudos to Justin Bieber for closing his Music Mondays series of 10 songs on a high note. The final installment released today is "Confident." In terms of subject matter there is nothing particularly new as he sings the praises of a woman, but the production here is just quirky enough to make the song more interesting. It also features a rap from critically acclaimed 20 year old hip hop artist Chance the Rapper. "Confident" could stand up well as a radio single. As many other tracks in the series have done, the song instantly topped the iTunes digital sales chart.
Justin Bieber has announced that all of the Music Mondays singles will be available in a temporary album collection titled Journals that will include five additional songs. This album will only be available on iTunes and only from December 16, 2013 through January 2, 2014 as a collection. Individual songs will remain available for purchase after January 2. Justin Bieber's concert film Believe is set to open on Christmas Day.
- Listen to "Confident"
- Justin Bieber's Music Mondays song by song
Single cover courtesy Island
Last year Los Angeles based trio Haim were the first American artists to emerge victorious in the BBC's prestigious Sound Of poll since rapper 50 Cent won the first poll in 2003. The BBC has announced the 15 artists on the long list of finalists for the Sound Of 2014 and three promising American artists are included. 20 year old Chicago hip hop artist Chance the Rapper (at right) says he is on a, "mission to disrupt the hierarchy of hip hop." He served as an intern for Barack Obama's presidential campaign before turning to music full time. This year's Mercury Prize winner James Blake included Chance the Rapper on a remix of the song "Life Round Here." 25 year old BANKS is a Los Angeles based R&B singer. She first began experimenting with music at age 15 to combat depression. She lists Fiona Apple and Lauryn Hill as major influences on her work. Finally, 30 year old Los Angeles based Kelela is the daughter of Ehiopian immigrants. She is known for performing smooth R&B vocals on recordings with unconventional production.
These three have plenty of stiff competition. Two performers, Sam Smith and Ella Eyre, have already been featured on #1 hit singles in the UK. The winner will join elite company. Among past winners of the poll are Adele, Ellie Goulding, and Jessie J. Check out the work of the American nominees below.
- Watch James Blake featuring Chance the Rapper - "Life Round Here"
- Watch Banks - "Warm Water"
- Listen to Kingdom - "Bank Head" featuring Kelela
Image courtesy Chance the Rapper
And then there were three... This weekend X Factor UK narrowed the field to the final three contestants for next weekend's season finale. Those remaining are the betting odds favorite 36 year old prison officer Sam Bailey and a pair of 17 year olds, Luke Friend who has frequently battled to remain when ending up near the bottom of votes and Nicholas McDonald who has also been a favorite since early in the competition. If Sam Bailey goes on to victory, she will be the first winner from the "Over 25s" category since the show's first season in 2004. In four of the last six seasons, the winner has come from the "Boys" category which this year is represented by both Luke Friend and Nicholas McDonald. ITV has revealed that the "coronation single" from this year's winner will benefit two charities, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and Together For Short Lives, that provide support to children. According to betting odds, the X Factor winner is the favorite to have this year's Christmas #1 pop single. ITV has also announced the songs the final three will perform in their quest for victory. They are listed below.
- Lady Gaga - "Edge Of Glory"
- Jennifer Rush - "The Power Of Love"
- fun - "We Are Young"
- One Direction - "What Makes You Beautiful"
- Robbie Williams - "Candy"
- Sarah McLachlan - "Angel"
- Watch Sam Bailey sing "Candle In the Wind"
- Watch Luke Friend sing "Something About the Way You Look Tonight"
- Watch Nicholas McDonald sing "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me"
Photo courtesy ITV
As we near Christmas, the new music release schedule slows down. As a result, Lily Allen heads back to the top of the pop singles chart with her comeback single "Somewhere Only We Know." Christmas music also begins invading the chart. Read more in this week's coverage of the UK pop music charts.
Single cover courtesy Warner Bros.