Country

What Were The 25 Best Albums Of 2014?

December 22nd, 2014 11:00am EST
25 Best Albums Of 2014
Another year, another group of albums ranging from awesome to nothing short of horrid – blah! Although sales overall for 2014 have been at times as dreadful as a four-letter word, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t some awesome, truly dynamic albums to be found. The motto of 2014 definitely would have to be, “don’t judge an album by its sales.” Some truly terrific albums grace this list of the best albums of 2014.

1) Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour

On his debut album In The Lonely Hour, Sam Smith shared with the world that a star was born – one transcendent of genre and otherwise. ...
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J. Cole Debuts Big On Billboard 200

December 18th, 2014 10:21am EST
J. Cole Forest Hills Drive
For J. Cole, the number one spot is a familiar one. For the third time in his career, J. Cole sits atop the Billboard 200. This time, he earns the largest sales of his career as 2014 Forest Hills Drive sold a robust 354,000 copies. Translated to the Billboard 200’s new formula of ‘units’, J. Cole’s latest impacted 375,000. Even more remarkable about J. Cole’s numbers is the lack of a single to drive album sales – “Apparently” was issued upon the album’s release as a single. Initially, the album was forecasted to sell more than 300,000 copies.

So with the debut of J. Cole, Taylor Swif...
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Shania Twain Speaks Out On Family Violence (Watch)

December 16th, 2014 10:47am EST
Shania Twain
Singer Shania Twain has released a PSA on Family Violence.

Twain has partnered with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to bring public awareness to a very real problem.

“Sometimes home is where the hurt is, ” Twain stated on the Police Department's YouTube channel. “It’s really confusing to be hurt by someone you love. Whether it’s physical, sexual or emotional, abuse is abuse.”

The video has the country singer speaking about the issue, while pictures displaying family abuse pop up on the screen.

“You may not want to talk about it, but family violence shouldn’t be kept a secret,” she str...
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Courtney Rau Talks Music And Her Latest Single, 'Looks 2 Good 2B Bad'

December 16th, 2014 5:22am EST
Courtney Rau Talks Music And Her Latest Single, 'Looks 2 Good 2B
Singer Courtney Rau describes her sound, ranging from pop to country to dance, as "somewhere between Avril Lavigne and Taylor Swift." At the young age of 16, her eclectic style has proven to be successful as three of her singles ("Shake," "In That Moment" and "Looks 2 Good 2B Bad") found success on the Billboard charts. I recently spoke with Rau about music and her latest single, "Looks 2 Good 2B Bad."

How did you get your start in music?

I've been singing ever since I could remember. I used to sing into my Barbie karaoke machine (laughs) when I was like three or four and I actually took ...
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J. Cole Leads Albums to Check Out: This Week In Music

December 10th, 2014 8:00am EST
J. Cole performs at Made In America concert in Philadelphia Phil
Who has dominated the fall (musically)? Taylor Swift has dominated the fall. While her dominance continues onward towards Christmas, the week of December 9 does have some notable new efforts dropping. The biggest album to watch is one few know little about – J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Can Cole put some pressure on Taylor Swift? It’s possible as he put some pressure on Kanye West in 2013. Cole does indeed lead albums to check out this week, which also includes Carrie Underwood’s greatest hits compilation.

1) J. Cole, 2014 Forest Hills Drive (Columbia)

J. Cole gives rap fans ...
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'The Coast Is Clear' For Country Music Artist Danny Griego

December 9th, 2014 3:58pm EST
Danny Griego
Danny Griego got his unexpected start in music after he was struck by lightning. Literally. In order to rehab his right arm and hand, both paralyzed after the strike, he learned how to play guitar and the rest is history. The Arizona bred, Texas based singer/songwriter has worked with country legends like Hank Cochran, Red Lane and Max D. Barnes and cracked Billboard's Top 10 "Hot Sales" chart twice in 2014 with his single, "The Coast Is Clear," penned by Red Lane and Scotty Emerick. I had the opportunity to chat with Griego to learn more about his background and influences that led to his ...
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57th Grammy Awards Nominations: Reactions, Snubs and Surprises

December 8th, 2014 2:13pm EST
Reactions To The 57th Annual Grammy Awards Nominations
Think of the Grammys as a musician’s Super Bowl – it’s kind of a big deal. On Friday, December 5, the 57th Annual Grammy Awards nominees were revealed to the world. After much speculation, here’s some thoughts on some of the bigger nominations. These aren’t predictions – just thoughts on deservingness, snubs, and surprises.

Record of the Year:

“Fancy,” Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX

“Chandelier,” Sia

“Stay With Me,” Sam Smith

“Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift

“All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor

Ultimately, the nominations for record of the year are solid. Snubbed is Pharrell Wi...
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2014's Biggest Breakthrough Musicians

December 7th, 2014 11:00am EST
Biggest Breakthrough Musicians Of 2014
Some succeed and some don’t. It’s a very simplistic statement, but a true one that’s applicable to any number of things. In the case of musicians in 2014, whether it’s fair or not, some crashed and burned, while others excelled. Excelling doesn’t mean that the respective musician sold a lot of albums (few did), but it does mean these artists established their brand, making a name for themselves. Here are the biggest breakthrough musicians of 2014.

1) Iggy Azalea

Don’t we all wish we could’ve had as “Fancy” a year as Iggy? Nicki Minaj can throw all the shade she wants, but one fem...
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One Direction Score Fourth Number One Album With ‘Four’

November 27th, 2014 9:03am EST
One Direction Score Fourth Number One Album With ‘Four’: This We
'Tis the season where album sales are elevated and the music industry breathes a sigh of relief – until the deadness of January that is. While there have been few victory laps (besides Taylor Swift’s 1989), the numbers are stronger than earlier in 2014. That said, reliable chart-topper One Direction scored a fourth number one album with Four. Although 1D got it done, there is a ‘but’ to the scenario.

Four landed at a familiar spot for 1D, but did so in somewhat underwhelming fashion. Sure the 387,000 copies the British-Irish boy band moved is exceptional, but falls below both prognostic...
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Do The AMAs Foreshadow Potential Grammy Nominees?

November 26th, 2014 12:20pm EST
Do The American Music Awards Foreshadow Potential Grammy Nominee
The AMAs are truly a popularity contest. The music fans select winners, which is a stark difference from the more prestigious Grammys. Often a gripe of music fans and critics alike are the sometimes odd, ‘out of touch’ choices by the Recording Academy. One that comes to mind is how Macklemore & Ryan Lewis cleaned up the rap categories, yet arguably the more transcendent artist, Kendrick Lamar, when home empty handed.

That said it could be argued both the AMAs and the Grammys have tremendous pros and bothersome cons. Even given the contrasts between both music awards show, the AMAs do...
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