Thursday, April 21, 2016

10 Best Prince Songs

Prince was renowned as a musical innovator, and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range. Trying to pick 10 of the best Prince songs was no easy feat. Did your favorite make the list?

10. "Controversy"

The song addresses speculation about Prince at the time such as his sexuality, gender, religion, and racial background, and how he could not understand the curiosity surrounding him.

9. "Little Red Corvette"

Released as a single from the album '1999' in 1983, the song was his biggest hit at the time, and his first to reach the top 10 in the U.S. It was also his first single to perform better on the pop chart than the R&B chart, due to the pop/rock format of the song!

8. "1999"

"1999" is the title track from his 1982 album of the same name. The song is one of Prince's best-known, and a defining moment in his rise to superstar status!

7. "Diamonds and Pearls"

"Diamonds and Pealrs" is an upbeat ballad, given a rock edge with guitar and heavy drumming. The song also features the vocals of NPG member Rosie Gaines. The ballad is an expression of love and not lust, as is the theme on some of the other singles from the 1991 album. The infamous pearls in the music video come from Connie Parente, a Los Angeles jewelry collector and designer.

6. "Purple Rain"

The song is a combination of rock, pop, gospel, and orchestral music. It reached No. 2 in the U.S. for two weeks. "Purple Rain" is widely considered one of Prince's signature songs!

5. "Cream"

"Cream" is a song by Prince and The New Generation from the 1991 album 'Diamonds and Pearls'. Prince says that he wrote the song while standing in front of a mirror!

4. "Let's Go Crazy"

"Let's Go Crazy" was the opening track on both the album and the film 'Purple Rain'. "Let's Go Crazy" is one of Prince's most popular songs, and is almost always a staple for concert performances, often segueing into other hits.

3. "Raspberry Beret"

"Raspberry Beret" is a song by Prince and The Revolution. It was the first US (and second UK) single from their 1985 album, 'Around the World in a Day'. The sound of the song was different from any previous Prince tracks, incorporating Middle Eastern finger cymbals, string instruments and even a harmonica on the extended version.

2. "Kiss"

"Kiss" started as a short acoustic demo, about a minute in length, consisting of a single 12-bar blues verse. Prince gave the song to the funk band Mazarati for their debut album. When Mazarati delivered the finished song to Prince, he was amazed at their work and decided to take back the song for himself. He replaced their lead vocal, added the guitar break in the chorus and edited the song to its present form.

1. "When Doves Cry"

Prince's longest running No. 1 hit "When Doves Cry" the lead single from his 1984 album 'Purple Rain'. It was a worldwide hit, and his first American number one single, topping the charts for five weeks. According to Billboard magazine, it was the top-selling single of the year.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The 10 Best Merle Haggard Songs

Merle Haggard was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, fiddler, and instrumentalist. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band The Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the twang of the Fender Telecaster and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound, new vocal harmony styles in which words are minimal, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville sound recordings of the same era.

Merle was a country music pioneer and a legendary performer. Between the 1960s and the 1980s, he had 38 number one hits on the US country charts. During the 1970s, Haggard became aligned with the growing outlaw country movement, and he continued to release successful albums through the 1990s and into the 2000s.

He received many honors and awards for his music, including a Kennedy Center Honor in 2010, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, a BMI Icon Award the same year, and induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1977. 

Below is a list of the 10 best songs from Merle Haggard. Did your favorite make the list?

10. "Mama Tried"

9. "What Am I Gonna Do (With the Rest of My Life)?"

8. "Swinging Doors"

7. "Silver Wings"

6. "If We Make It Through December"

5. "Kern River"

4. "Sing Me Back Home"

3. "Today I Started Loving You Again"

2. "Footlights"

1. "The Bottle Let Me Down"

Monday, April 4, 2016

2016 ACM Award Winners

It was a great night for country music at the 51st annual ACM Awards, hosted by Country music stars Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan, as the hit makers of the industry gathered to celebrate the best in the business.

The Academy of Country Music Awards was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday night, with performances by Dolly Parton and Katy Perry, Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, and Keith Urban.

"Burnin' it Down" singer Jason Aldean may have taken home the top prize for "Entertainer of the Year," but "Tennessee Whiskey" singer Chris Stapleton was the night's big winner, taking home four awards in total, including "Male Vocalist of the Year."

Check out a full list of the 2016 ACM Award winners below:

Entertainer of the Year
Jason Aldean

Male Vocalist of the YearChris Stapleton

Female Vocalist of the Year - Miranda Lambert

Vocal Duo of the YearFlorida Georgia Line

Vocal Group of the Year - Little Big Town

Album of the Year - Chris Stapleton – Traveller

Song of the Year – Chris Stapleton – “Nobody To Blame” – Chris Stapleton, Barry Bales, Ronnie Bowman

Songwriter of the Year - Ross Copperman

New Male Vocalist of the Year - Chris Stapleton

New Female Vocalist of the Year – Kelsea Ballerini

New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year – Old Dominion

Video of the YearEric Church – “Mr. Misunderstood”

Single Record of the Year - Thomas Rhett – “Die a Happy Man”

Vocal Event of the Year – Miranda Lambert – “Smokin’ and Drinkin’ (ft. Little Big Town)”