Posts tagged "Spotlight"

Will Ariana Grande’s “Problem” Be 2014′s Song Of The Summer?

Slip on your shades, grab a glass of lemonade and check back each day over the next week and a half as we present you seven different Song Of The Summer contenders!

It’s that time of year again, pop fans, when every site devoted to pop culture will attempt to predict what the Song Of The Summer will be…before the summer season actually begins, naturally. Regarding last year, it’s safe to say that Robin Thicke‘s somewhat controversial sex jam “Blurred Lines” walked away with the title, while just two years ago it was Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe” that blew up the airwaves all through the warmest months of 2012.

So here’s the deal: We here at Idolator are presenting one Song Of The Summer contender a day, then capping the roll-out off with a poll where you can vote on the one from the bunch that’s your favorite — only this time, we’re highlighting seven songs rather than the usual five. And with that now out of the way, let’s get on with it!

We’re starting the whole SOS shebang off this time around with Ariana Grande‘s sax-filled “Problem,” a raucous pop jam which, thanks to Iggy Azalea‘s current chart-topper “Fancy,” has been stuck in the runner-up position on the Billboard Hot 100 for the past two weeks. Ariana can’t have too many hard feelings though, since, of course, Iggy also features on “Problem.” More »

Jennifer Lopez’s ‘On the 6′ Turns 15: Backtracking

Backtracking is our recurring look back at the pop music that shaped our lives. Our friends may come and go, but we’ll be spinning our favorite albums forever.

By 1999, Jennifer Lopez knew how it felt to face a crowd of thousands. But that crowd wasn’t hers – it belonged to Selena, the young Mexican-American star whose life was tragically cut short in 1995.

For the opening scene of the biopic Selena, released less than two years after the singer’s death, fans flooded Houston’s Astrodome to recreate the moment when Selena drew the largest crowd in the stadium’s history. And Lopez, Selena‘s star, was dedicated to her role – her most demanding yet. She smiled and waved like Selena. She nailed the choreography, too: every hip swing, step ball change and spin, with that glittery purple jumpsuit catching the light. But as this former musical theater kid and budding actress went through Selena’s motions, she realized that she wanted a singing career, too.

Jennifer’s 1999 debut On the 6 turned 15 on June 1, and the concept of the all-around entertainer is just as rare as it was back then. While actresses still try their hands in music, those records rarely hit the top of the charts. On The 6 was an exception, because of how Jennifer made that crossover effort seem both hard-earned and effortless. More »

It Takes A Village: 10 Pop Hits That Took At Least 6 Writers To Cobble Together, From “Drunk In Love” To “Timber”

Write On
Ahhh. Remember the good ol’ days when it only took one skilled tunesmith to write a hit single? Yeah — our minds don’t stretch back that far, either. In fact, if you have to travel in time, to “Somebody That I Used To Know” in 2012, to find the last single to top the Billboard Hot 100 with only one writer credited to it. (That would be Mr. Gotye himself, Wally de Backer.)

These days, it takes a small army to craft what we naive listeners would deem to be the simplest of songs. Remember Flo Rida‘s “Whistle”? You know — the chart-topping oral sex jam disguised as a radio-friendly, sing-song trifle for the whole family to purse their lips and blow to in the car? That one took no less than half-a-dozen writers to put together.

Below, we rounded up another 10 such pop smashes that required a team of musical geniuses — or at least Pitbull — to pen. Some may surprise you and even shatter the illusion of your favorite artists as unique jacks-of-all-trades, able to dash out catchy hits all by their lonesome.

Carry on to find out the wicked truth behind all the glitter, pop fanatics! More »

Cher Lloyd On Her “Sirens” Video, Those Pesky Leaks & New LP ‘Sorry I’m Late’: Idolator Interview

Cher Lloyd has come a long way since the release of Sticks + Stones in 2011. For starters, the 20-year-old dictated the musical direction of long-awaited sophomore set Sorry I’m Late (due May 27) — ditching the catchy (but forced) hip-hop/pop fusion of her debut LP in favor of a more personal and authentic sound.

And the ballsy change of pace paid immediate dividends. “Sirens” shows a whole new side of Cher. The lyrics are raw and vulnerable, and she delivers the best vocal of her career over subtle synths and strummed guitars courtesy of Swedish hitmakers Carl Falk and Rami Yacoub. As far as soaring mid-tempo ballads go, it’s really very hard to beat.

The fiery Brit dropped by the Idolator office yesterday (April 28) to discuss her surprising “Sirens” video and upcoming LP. She turned out to be a most welcome guest — cracking jokes and speaking her mind with no filter. Cher even spent some time replying to questions that fans submitted via Twitter. Find out exactly what’s on her mind after the jump. More »

Idolator Book Club: ‘Mad World’ (And Our ’80s Playlist) Offers Your Ultimate Flashback Friday

Two decades before YouTube altered the way we ingest music videos, a fledgling cable channel out of New York called MTV launched in late summer 1981, offering visuals from pop artists 24/7. The only programming problem was that most American acts weren’t yet up to speed on shooting videos to accompany their singles, and so MTV bosses turned to Europe — and in particular, England. (History lesson time!) And this window of opportunity allowed colorful acts with mind-blowing haircuts like Duran Duran, Tears For Fears, A Flock Of Seagulls, Thompson Twins, ABC and Depeche Mode to cross over into the stateside mainstream and sit on the charts alongside Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton and Bryan Adams — hence the terms “new wave” and “second British invasion.”

Writers and all-around ’80s pop enthusiasts Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein meticulously interviewed three dozen of the era’s key musical movers and shakers — including Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Adam Ant and Simon Le Bon — for their co-authored effort Mad World: An Oral History Of New Wave Artists And The Songs That Defined The 1980s, a 320-page virtual music bible for those who grew up in the Reagan era that was released last week.

We’ll let the book itself do the talking (trust us, it goes in depth — buy it here), but in celebration of its arrival, we’ve compiled a playlist of our favorite Mad World song selections below. Now, normally we’d do this kind of thing via Spotify, but, come on — it was the ’80s. How could we not include the music videos? More »

Sky Ferreira Reflects On Making Her Album, Talks Miley Cyrus, Nirvana & Instagram: Idolator Interview

Sky Ferreira Idolator interview 2014 I Blame Myself Nirvana Kate Bush Night Time My Time
Sky Chats
Last year, we here at Idolator were so blown away by the guitar-pop freshness of Sky Ferreira‘s debut LP Night Time, My Time  — and by the fact that it actually, finally was released — that we dubbed it the best album of 2013. (By the way, you should really enter our contest to win a signed copy of the CD!) So naturally we jumped at the opportunity to sit down with Sky when she breezed through New York earlier this week, after performing as the opener for her pal Miley Cyrus during the Bangerz Tour.

On stage at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center last Saturday, Ferreira, who’s been recovering from a 2013 vocal injury, sang “Sad Dream” and dedicated it to Cyrus following the recent death of the latter’s beloved dog Floyd. It marked the first time Sky had been able to perform the song in seven months.

Over the course of our conversation, she talked about the progress of her voice’s healing, plus she gave a few details on her upcoming video for “I Blame Myself” and discussed what it was like to put together her debut album. (We should mention that she’s also extremely excited about Kate Bush‘s upcoming series of comeback concerts in London.) More »

Kylie Minogue Discusses Pharrell, Sia And New Album ‘Kiss Me Once’: Idolator Interview

Read Her Lips
Pop Kylie. Indie Kylie. Sex Kylie. Goddess Kylie. Over the decades, the musical force that is Kylie Minogue has offered us one variation or another of her on-stage image while still maintaining enough of a “girl next door” likeability that we truly wish she would just move in down the block already. Listening to her upcoming 12th album Kiss Me Once (out March 18), however, conjures up a new persona for the Australian pop queen: Comforting Kylie.

Making the album wasn’t an easy road for the singer, by her own admission. And once countless tracks were done after a year of working with a multitude of collaborators, there came the arduous task of whittling them all down to one cohesive, Kylie-worthy set. Knowledge of that melts away, though, when listening to the record, as what ultimately shines through on Kiss Me Once is the radiant positivity, particularly with the optimistic lyrics that fill songs like lead single “Into The Blue,” the uplifting Ariel Rechtshaid composition “If Only” and the album’s title track, on which Minogue worked with the LP’s executive producer Sia Furler.

Kylie spent time cluing us in to what the process of piecing together her first studio album in four years was like, from switching her management over to Roc Nation to working with talents ranging from hit maker Pharrell Williams to French actor Clément Sibony. Head below for the full Idolator interview with Kylie Minogue. More »

Britney Spears’ ‘…Baby One More Time’ Turns 15: Backtracking

Backtracking is our recurring look back at the pop music that shaped our lives. Friends may come and go, but we’ll be spinning our favorite albums forever.

This is a story about a girl named Britney.

Picture it: the late ’90s. The (mostly male) bombast of hair metal and grunge has been ground to glitter under the Union Jack platform shoes of the Spice Girls and their pop-till-you-drop, zig-a-zig-ah zeitgeist. Yet even as those deities shuffle off to pop heaven’s great spice rack, male acts once again crowd the marketplace, namely the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC clawing it out for record sales, Total Request Live fan love and, of course, space at the makeup mirror.

Aside from the then-ubiquitous Miss Cleo, who would have guessed that the next lady pop savior would be a lil’ ole Louisiana country gal? But then, in came the gum-chomping bombshell Britney Jean Spears, gyrating into the Billboard Hot 100 penthouse in January 1999 with the catchiest pop song of the entire era. More »

Twerk To Win Tickets To Miley’s Bangerz Tour!

Twerk For Miley!
Miss Miley Cyrus got our hearts a-flutterin’ and our tongues a-waggin’ late last year with the announcement of her Bangerz Tour in 2014. And now, the concerts are coming in faster than a wrecking ball.

To celebrate the upcoming tour (which, if Miley’s award show antics are to be considered, is bound to be INSANE dot com slash LOL), we’re giving away a pair of tickets to the Bangerz Tour, good for any of the upcoming dates.

But to win? Well…you’ve got to twerk. That’s right! It’s a good ol’ fashioned twerk-off, y’all! More »

2013 In Review: The 10 Best Songs Of The Year, Chosen By Our Editors

Our Editors Make A Playlist Of The Best
2013 wasn’t a particularly good year for pop music — at least when it came to albums. Sure, Beyonce climbed off her golden throne to snatch wigs at the 11th hour but the game’s biggest divas generally misfired and there wasn’t a lot of new talent coming through to pick up the slack.

While turning out a cohesive collection of songs proved impossible for most, there were still enough spectacular singles and overlooked album tracks to make our iPods buzz merrily over the past 12 months. See what each Idolator editor chose as their personal top 10 songs of the year after the jump. More »