Now a Swiftie: How I Went From Not Liking Taylor Swift to Becoming a Fan

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Taylor Swift greeting her fans before she goes on the white carpet at the Billboard Music Awards 2011 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the very first picture I took of Taylor.

I’ll admit it, when Taylor Swift first came on the music scene back in 2006, I did not care for her.  I honestly thought she was s bit annoying.  My annoyance increased when Taylor performed with music legend, Stevie Nicks at the 2010 Grammys and botched up “Rhiannon.”  It wasn’t until I moved to Las Vegas in April 2011 that my opinion of Taylor started to change.  On May 22, 2011, I went to the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip to see the white (red) carpet arrivals for the 2011 Billboard Music Awards.  That day I saw more celebrities in one day in Las Vegas than I had ever seen in my thirty-three years living near the east coast.  One of the celebrities that took the time to greet the fans was Taylor Swift.  The one thing I noticed about Taylor during this first time seeing her in person was that she was very gracious and generous with her fans.  Taylor stayed signing autographs and  taking pictures with her fans for good amount time.

The next time I would see Taylor was at MGM Grand again on April 2, 2012 for the Academy of Country Music Awards.  This time I took some amazing pictures of her.

Taking these pictures of Taylor Swift was an amazing experience and to this day remain to be some of my favorite celebrity pictures that I have taken.  The biggest reason for this is that I captured Taylor interacting with her fans and not posing for the press.  At one point, I used one of these pictures to make a project for my Tumblr photo blog, Celebrities’ Innermost  Thoughts.

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I posted this on April 11, 2012 here and the next day, it was reblogged on what I think was Taylor’s Tumblr page.

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I started taking notice of her music when “I Knew You Were Trouble” was released because I liked the video for the song.

Released on her birthday in 2012, this video has almost 200 million views.

When “Shake It Off” was released two months ago, I was hooked on the song instantly.

Taylor also has a great sense of humor as demonstrated when she was on BBC’s The Graham Norton Show with John Cleese last week.

Music Videos You Should See 2/21/12

Welcome to another edition of Music Videos You Should See.  In this article, it is all about electronic music.  Let’s go ahead and dive in.

First up, we Avicii “Levels”.  This song was sampled in Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling”.  The concept for the video is a dancing virus that first infects a typical office worker and he passes it along to some orderlies and a nurse.  Very zombie style.

The next video is from LMFAO, the band that brought us “Party Rock Anthem”.  This time around their anthem is “Sexy and I Know It”.  This video has numerous celebs making cameos: Ron Jeremy, Simon Rex, and Wilmer Valderrama (Fez on That 70s Show).  This song has been used on Glee and several commericals including the M & M’s Super Bowl commercial.

Finally we have the electronic music performance from the Grammys this year.  Packed into seven minutes is David Guetta, Skrillex, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Foo Fighters and deadmau5.

Thoughts About the 54th Grammy Awards

Before I go into my thoughts about last night’s Grammys, I wanted to make a major criticism to CBS and the Grammy Association itself.  Those of us who are music and pop culture bloggers on the west coast had to wait three hours behind the east coast to see the telecast of the Grammys.  It made it very difficult to tweet or blog about who was performing or who won what when the east coast knew three hours before we did.  It’s not like it couldn’t be shown at the same time as the east coast.  I have seen it done with other award shows.  Now that I got that complaint off my chest on to the show itself:

Continue reading “Thoughts About the 54th Grammy Awards”

Spectacular Grammy Performances From Years Past

To commemorate the Grammys this evening, here’s a look at some of the best performances from previous years’ Grammys.  The videos are in no particular order.

I thought it would be appropriate to start out with Whitney Houston performing at the 28th Annual Grammy Awards in 1986.  She is performing her hit song, “Saving All My Love For You”.  Say what you will about Whitney’s death but she was a class when it came to singing.

In 1996, new artist Alanis Morrisette performed her hit, “You Oughta Know”, on the Grammy stage.  Alanis won four awards that night.

 Ricky Martin took the world by storm in 1999 when he performed on the Grammys.  It was a night that would change Ricky’s life forever.  In his memoir, Me,  Ricky writes: “I was blown away by their intensity- it was like receiving a blessing from an audience that I respect immensely.  And it was another moment I will remeber for the rest of my life.”

Arcade Fire’s performance of “Month of May” at last year’s Grammys was spectacular because they have bikers riding around on stage with cameras on their bikes.  The video from the bikes and the strobe lights captured the chaos of the song.

Mumford and Sons also performed on last year’s Grammys.  The band performed the second single off their debut album, Sigh No More, “The Cave”.

Grammy Performances Scheduled for Awards Show on Sunday

Just announced this morning at 7:45 am PST, the Beach Boys will reunite on the Grammy stage and perform with pop/rock groups Foster the People and Maroon 5.  This will be the first time that the Beach Boys have performed live together in over twenty years.  Also scheduled to perform is The Civil Wars, Diana Krall, Joe Walsh, Nicki Minaj, and more.

One of the most anticipated performances is British band Coldplay and R & B superstar Rihanna, who will perform “Princess of China” from Coldplay’s new album Mylo Xyloto.

R.I.P. Amy Winehouse

This morning at 3:54 in London, England, Grammy winning singer Amy Winehouse was found in her apartment.  Winehouse was only 27 and joins an already long list of my musicians who’s life was cut short at the young age of 27.  Winehouse had dealt with a drug and alcohol addiction for years and while the details of her death have not been made public yet, it is assumed she lost the battle with her addictions and her demons.  Weeks earlier, Amy Winehouse had performed her final concert in Kalmegdan, Belgrade.  It was reported that she left rehab early to go on tour and at her final concert, Winehouse was disoriented and forgot the words to her song “Valerie”. 

Rest in peace, Amy Winehouse September 14, 1983-July 23, 2011

iHeartRadio Music Festival Coming to Las Vegas, September 23 and 24

Yesterday morning, it was announced online and on the local television stations here in Las Vegas that iHeartRadio was bringing their first ever music festival to Las Vegas at the MGM Grand.  This festival promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience with many of the top performers in the music industry.  Already the line-up for the two-day festival is looking like a who’s who in music with Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood and many more.   The full lineup so far is here with more being announced throughout the summer.

I am really excited about this because this is as big as the Billboard Music Awards or Grammys.  I emailed the person in charge of press passes in the hope that I will be able to cover this event.  I will keep all of you updated on this.

Music of My Favorite Decade The 1990s Part 2: Legendary Singers

Continuing with the theme established in the previous article with the similar name, the 1990s also brought singers that managed to achieve great staying power.  The first of these artists is Ricky Martin.  From the time Ricky Martin was a teenager, he has been in the public eye.    In 1984 a thirteen year-old Ricky joined the Latin boy band, Menudo and became a young Latino heart throb.  In 1990, Martin started his solo career in singing and even 1994, starring on the ABC soap, General Hospital, but it wasn’t until 1999 that Ricky Martin would become widely known in the United States when he performed at the Grammys that year.

Ricky Martin’s first English single,  “Living la Vida Loca” sent him soaring into stardom.

Recently, Ricky came out as gay to the world and not long after that he released a memoir about his life on and off stage and what led him to reveal that he was gay.  Martin also released his latest album Musica + Alma +Sexo with the first single off the new album being “The Best Thing About Me Is You”, a duet with singer/ songwriter Joss Stone.  The video for this single features many same-sex couples.

Another legendary singer to debut during the 90s is Britney Spears.  Like Ricky Martin, Britney started young in the entertainment industry on the New Mickey Mouse Club on the Disney Channel.

Britney hit the music scene in 1999 when the title track of her album, …Baby One More Time, debuted and sold 500, 000 copies in one day

 Britney’s rise to stardom was not without its shares of ups and downs though.  From her marriage and divorce to the father of her children, Kevin Federline,  to her bouts with hospitalization, Britney suffered many troubling issues but despite those moments in her life, Britney endured.  Earlier this year, she released her seventh studio album, Femme Fatale, and the first single, “Hold It Against Me” debuted at number one.

Britney Spears has become a big influence in pop culture.  So much so, that the Fox television show, Glee, did an episode tribute to her with Spears herself making a cameo appearance.

Like Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake got his start on the New Mickey Mouse Club.

Justin’s introduction into the music industry was as part of the boy band ‘N SYNC.  The group became widely popular with the teen set when their first single off their self-titled debut album, “I Want You Back”, premiered. 

It was apparent early on that Justin was a star but Justin’s stock rose when he went off to start his solo career.  In Feburary 2004, Timberlake came under fire for his role in the now infamous Janet Jackson “Wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl halftime show.

Justin publicly apologized for his role in that incident and was back in the good graces of the American public.  In September 2006, Justin Timberlake released his second album, FutureSex/ LoveSounds, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.  The first single off the new album, “Sexyback” was an instant hit.

The style of FutureSex/ LoveSounds was different from his debut solo album due to Justin’s creative control and production partnership with producer/rapper Timbaland.  The duo of Timberlake and Timbaland was a winning combination that led to other artists like Duran Duran and Madonna using the duo’s talent to create hit songs.  Timberlake has also solidified himself as a talented actor starring in films such as Alpha Dog, The Social Network, and this summer’s Bad Teacher.