Grammy Creators Alliance

There was an initiative launched last night at the 57th annual Grammy Awards (click HERE for my review) to launch a new initiative, Grammy’s Creator Alliance.

The GRAMMY Creators Alliance is a program of The Recording Academy, a non-profit membership organization representing songwriters, performers and studio professionals.

This could not come at a more perfect time when I am researching just how much streaming, piracy, and paid subscriptions affect album sales. Oh the joy of grad school. I find the information that I am finding to be rather interesting. We live in an age where technology makes it so easy to access music whether its through streaming or music piracy. In this digital age it is much easier and cheaper for consumers to just download the song whether it be from YouTube or a blog. Unfortunately, this is not putting any money in the artists pockets.

From a consumer perspective it can go as far as to say that the artists have enough money as is, but think of it from an ethical standpoint. They put time in to make music that they hope their fans will enjoy and buy. It’s their livelihood and yes it does make them quite a nice salary, but there’s a team behind every project. Those team members have to be paid. Studio time isn’t free. I personally don’t see streaming as an issue because it gives consumers an option on whether to buy based off what they like. I also know that this age is disposable and listen to the same things over and over, radio is proof of that, and then that artist is tossed to the side.

Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy, stated:

At a recent congressional hearing, I made the case that any updates to the laws set how creators are paid-must strongly protect those who create the soundtrack to our lives

I do believe that artists should be paid fairly for their music that is just shuffled around from site to site. As noted it is their livelihood and fans show the upmost respect in supporting their favorite artists artistry by not pirating their music.

Here are the founding members:

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I’m interested in who else will join the initiative. Taylor Swift has spoken on this after pulling her music from Spotify. I expect her to stand along the other artists above in the near future. For more information, click HERE.

Grammy Moments

The 57th annual Grammy Awards airs tonight on CBS and it is set to be yet another star studded event. I’m excited for the performances and I decided to post some artists who have had quit the feat at musics grandest stage. Click HERE for my 2014 Grammy review and enjoy the slideshow below.

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Sir Georg Solti is the leader of the pack for male artists as he has 31 Grammy wins. Alison Krauss leads female artists with 27 wins.
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Quincy Jones is the most male nominated artist with 79 nominations and Beyoncè leads female artists with 53 nominations. Michael Jackson had the most nominations in one night as a male artist in 1984, 12 total. For female artists, Beyoncè ties with Lauryn Hill for 10 noms in one night.
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Michael Jackson has a record winning 8 Grammy wins in one night in 1984. Beyoncè and Adele lead the female artist wins for 6 in one night in 2010 and 2012 respectively.
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Frank Sinatra Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, David Foster, Phil Ramone, and Daniel Lanois have been able to win the most coveted Grammy, Album of the Year, 3 times.
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Aretha Franklin has an 8 year run of winning Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, 1968-1975. She won the award again 3 other times for a total of 11 wins in the category.
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Paul Simon, Carole King, Christopher Cross, Eric Clapton, the Dixie Chicks, and Adele have been able to sweep Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year in the same night.

Grammy Performers

It’s three weeks until the grandest stage of them all in the world of music. The 57th Annual Grammy Awards airs on February 8th. CLICK HERE for the list of nominees. Here’s who’s slated to perform:

  • PicMonkey CollagePharrell
  • Sam Smith
  • Madonna
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Ariana Grande
  • Usher
  • AC/DC
  • Erich Church
  • Miranda Lambert

I’m interested in seeing what Madonna will perform. Whether it be something new or a medley. Same with Pharrell, he could take the same route. Then again he’ll probably perform ‘Happy.’ Beyonce and Jay-Z opened the show last year and I can’t wait to see who opens up this year (insert that Madonna medley; wishful thinking). Sam Smith will probably perform ‘Stay With Me’, maybe ‘I’m Not The Only One.’ Usher hasn’t had much of  a buzz with any new music so I’m curious as to what he’ll perform.

Stay tuned for Grammy updates and as always I’ll be doing a review of the performances. CLICK HERE for my review of last years show.

MMF Celebrates Black History in Music, Feb. 28

On February 28, 1984 Michael Jackson swept the 26th Annual Grammy Awards with 8 wins of the success of his 1982 album, Thriller. He took home: Album of the Year, Record of the Year (‘Beat It’), Best Recording for Children (‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’), Best Pop Vocal Performance Male (‘Thriller’), Producer of the Year (along with Quincy Jones), Best R&B Vocal Performance Male (‘Billie Jean’), Best Rhythm and Blues Song; songwriter (‘Billie Jean’), and Best Rock Vocal Performance Male (‘Beat It’).

Here’s a compilation of his acceptance speech at the 26th Annual Grammy Awards.

Thriller was released on November 30, 1982. The album only featured 9 songs so for him to have won 8 Grammys for the album it’s like a Grammy per song! In addition to the 8 Grammy wins he won 8 AMAs, a special Merit Award, and 3 The video for ‘Thriller’ was more of a motion picture with their even being a special on the making of the video.

Jackson’s videos ‘Beat It’ and ‘Billie Jean’ are noted for breaking the color barrier on MTV. During the early 80s not many black artists were played except for a few. When ‘Beat It’ aired on MTV it was still not played on a high rotation. In fact, ‘Billie Jean,’ was not put into medium rotation (2-3 times a day) until it peaked on the Billboard Hot 100. Although those two songs set the tone for what what was to come with breaking the color barrier on the station the release of ‘Thriller’ was what really eliminated the barrier.

The album was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records on February 7, 1984 as the world’s best-selling album. On August 21, 2009 the album was certified platinum 29x by the RIAA having sold 29 million copies in the U.S. and over 20 million outside the U.S. The album is still iconic to this day averaging 130,000 in the U.S. yearly.

Below is a playlist of the album. ENJOY!

MMF Celebrates Black History in Music, Feb. 21

On February 21, 1990, Living Colour, became the first all African American band to win in the category for Best Hard Rock Performance for their song, ‘Cult of Personality’ at the 36th Annual Grammy Awards.

They also won the following year in the same category for their song, ‘Time’s Up.’

Living Colour is a NYC band made up of Vernon Reid, Corey Glover, Muzz Skillings, and Will Calhoun. Dough Wimbish would later replace Skillings. Their debut, Vivid was released in May of 1988 peaking at #6 on the Billboard 200. It’s second album, Times Up, was released in 1990 and peaked at #13 on the Billboard 200.

‘Cult of Personality’ is well known among WWE fans with wrestler CM Punk using their song for his intro since 2011. They also performed live for his Wrestlemania 29 entrance.

2014 Grammy Review

So the Grammys aired this past Sunday (1/26) and the show was very typical for me. There were some performances that stood out and some that were bland. In this review I’ll be highlighting all my favorite performances and to see all the winners of click here.

My favorite performance of the night was Imagine Dragons & Kendrick Lamar performing ‘M.A.D.D. City’ & the ‘Radioactive (Remix).’ I just can’t stop watching the performance. The energy from both Kendrick and Imagine Dragons as a whole. I love when artists feel the music and really get into it. I just want to download an unedited version of this entire performance. It was just ON POINT from start to finish. The Radioactive Remix is available on iTunes NOW!

Kendrick might not have won any Grammys last night, but this performance was a sure win in the books for another successful Hip-Hop/Rock merge. Some say he was robbed by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, but here’s what Macklemore had to say about the situation in a brief Hot 97 morning show interview (1/27):

It’s the blessing and the curse, a little bit more the curse. First and foremost, Kendrick is a friend of mine. He’s somebody that I love his music and, in my opinion, had the best Rap album of the year. And knowing how the Grammys usually go, I knew that there would be a great chance that we’d win that award and, in essence, rob Kendrick. That’s what happened tonight. It kind of sucks. I think we made a great album. I think that Kendrick made a better Rap album.

The winners of the Grammys are pretty much set in stone now, but Macklemore could not have said it any better. Although the ballot is filled out by many people in higher up positions that know music, they do not know every single artist nominated, nor all the music from that genre. With that it does boil down to popularity and who’s name was out there more along with who topped the charts. When you put those two factors together it goes to show why some artists may have gotten ‘robbed’ in the eyes of others. Overall, congrats to the winners!

Beyoncé opened up the show with, ‘Drunk In Love.’ Although I LOVE the song the performance overall was bland. Jay Z came out and it was the usual, he hugs her, touches her butt, same old same old. I wish she would’ve done something more upbeat off the album. It would’ve been dope if she did ‘Flawless.’ This performance for me was just basic. Nothing against the simplicity of performances, but on the level and pedestal that Beyonce is put on I was expecting more. Shout out to Taylor Swift’s ‘Diddy Bop’ all night long.

John Legend performed ‘All of Me’ as his wife stared on mesmerized by the performance. He did not so the entire song, but it was just enough. Classic R&B. His voice + his flawless piano playing = perfection! I am a huge John Legend fan and his ballads are always Grammy worthy.

Sara Bareilles teamed with Carol King for a medley of ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Brave.’ This comes down to being one of my favs because I love Sara Bareilles and her song ‘Brave’ is just AMAZING! Also Carol King is a legend in her own right. The medley was perfect. The two did not sing over the other making their voices complimentary of each other. It was a short performance, but it was a great to merge the past and the present.

Daft Punk teamed up with Nile Rogers, Pharrell, and Stevie Wonder for their performance. I loved how it was a recording studio theme. I see that as the mystery of whats to come out of the studio when performing a song with that of Daft Punk’s mystery personas. Pharrell got a lot of flack for his hat, but there’s no denying his talent. Stevie Wonder ended the set with his song ‘Another Star.’ What an amazing ear to segue between those two songs. My 2nd fav performance of the night.

Lastly I have to give props to the Queen of Physicality, Pink! She did her signature acrobatic set and her strength plus the ability to sing on key through all that does not go without mention. She performed ‘Try’ and the Grammy nominated song ‘Just Give Me a Reason’ with Nate Ruess. Absolutely loved the performance.