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Celine Dion's New Album Was All About Choice!

Posted on November 06, 2013



Celine Dion's much anticipated Album "Loved Me Back to Life," is her first English-language album in six years! Co-writing, producing and singing on the Album are Ne-Yo and Sia. Celine did her duet "Overjoyed" with Stevie Wonder via the magic of digital technology.

Celine has had so much success and has loyal fans from all around the globe, but she reckons the best thing is her freedom to decide what to do: "I don't have to do anything I don't want to do," says the French-Canadian "I'm in the greatest place. I'm 45 and in the middle of my life. I'm cruising. All the decisions I'm making are coming from a grounded place."

One of those recent choices was to return to the studio to record her first English-language album in six years. Celine's voice and range is the best and she gives it her all, especially in the first six songs. "For 30 years, I've had the same recipe, which puts a lot of reverb on my voice," Dion says. "But for this album, I wanted to break from that. There are no effects on my voice. It's very pure. Very direct. I have nothing to lose, I'm not looking for career attention, for more success, more money. I'm just singing songs I chose because I love them." 

The five-time Grammy and World Music Awards winner has sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, played to 3 million people over five years at Caesars Palace's Colosseum in Las Vegas and took James Cameron's movie Titanic to box-office heights. 

Celine begins her Vegas residency with a series of performances at the Colosseum from Dec. 30 through March 19.



"Counting Stars" debuted on the US Hot 100 in July at No. 32, dropping as far down as No. 80, but its now in the Top 10 still selling at No.8 this week. The Single after 3 months went to the top of the UK charts for 2 whole weeks and is moving up the World's best-selling singles chart at No.5 this week becoming the biggest global hit of the band's career.  


It's "both a blessing and a curse," OneRepublic frontman/songwriter Ryan Tedder says. "It means our album cycle's probably not going to be over until 2015. We don't have the magic wand that pop stars have to put out a song and know it will be No. 1 in 90 days or less, then they can move onto the next one."


But One Republic are used to a slow and steady climb to the top of the charts. Timbaland's remix of "Apologize" catapulted the band to instant fame in 2007 and went on to sell  5.7 million copies in the US alone. "Good Life," from 2009's "Waking Up," had a particularly long shelf life. It peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 nearly two years after its initial release, based on a resurgence of synch activity from a six-month Walt Disney World ad campaign and various film trailers ("Eat Pray Love," "One Day") and TV placements ("Gossip Girl," "90210," "Cougar Town"). "Good Life" sold 3.3 million copies.


A week after One Republic's June 18 performance of "Counting Stars" on "The Voice," featuring Tedder and Usher protege Michelle Chamuel, sales soared 723% to 112,000 copies, and the track surged 59-11 on Hot Digital Songs. Tedder has returned to "The Voice" this season as a mentor for coach Adam Levine's team.


Ron Laffitte, OneRepublic's manager at Laffitte Management, says its the band's consistent TV and film placements that helped "Native" find its audience. "I always say, 'You just need one person working on your behalf to make something happen,'" Laffitte says, but OneRepublic has the benefit of two strong supporters. Laffitte works with Interscope's Tony Seyler and Sony/ATV's Wendy Crowley to approve synch opportunities in TV, film and commercials. "It's not often that you get to have two separate companies working and willing to come together on a particular artist. But this is a band that fosters a lot of good will. They make great music and are also good people, and the TV, film and even commercial communities have been very generous with them."


In fact, "Native's" lead single "Feel Again," released in August 2012, was created specifically for an ad campaign, the Ad Council's Save the Children public-service campaign, valued at $10 million in unpaid TV airtime from participating TV networks. The song was created in partnership with ad agency BBDO and pitched by then-Frontline chairman Irving Azoff, who was approached by American Express chief marketing officer John Hayes about the most appropriate songwriter who could score the campaign. Tedder was so inspired by the cause for children's health care, he based the song on actual heartbeats from children he met in Malawi and Guatemala. "The original idea was not to have OneRepublic perform the song," Laffitte recalls, "but Ryan just fell in love with the charity and what it represented, so he came to me and said, 'Not only do I like the song, I want OneRepublic to be the ones who deliver the song.'"


Additional synchs soon followed, including a pair of licenses for "Feel Again" and "If I Lose Myself" for the NHL's 2013 spring campaign; a March Artist of the Month campaign on ESPN (featuring album tracks "Light It Up," "Life in Color" and "I Lived"); an Opening Week campaign for Major League Baseball that aired on the MLB Network the week of April 1; and Apple's use of "Life in Color" to launch its new line of neon-hued iPhone 5C devices.Tedder says synchs help weave songs into the fabric of everyday life, and refers to the industry maxim, "You could be sitting on the greatest song in the world, but the hardest thing to do is let the world know it actually exists. "Synchs have played a crucial role for OneRepublic," he continues, "just as they have for a lot of other bands. The Lumineers -- where would 'Ho Hey' be without Bing? The song's a hit. Or Imagine Dragons and "It's Time" or "Radioactive." Ask anyone in the band how much longer it would have taken had the world not heard that song in five different commercials. It becomes part of the background music to your everyday life."


Laffitte says all of the commercial licenses have come to form a "significant" part of the band's publishing revenue, "and I would imagine Interscope's P&L has benefited a great deal as well." But he also believes the exposure played a major role in helping the band sell tickets to its biggest North American tour yet. (Colorado's Red Rocks at 9,500 and New York's Pier 26 at 5,000 were among the sellouts.) "If you can sell those kind of tickets without a current hit single, that means you've done a nice job in building a career. And to some extent, that includes the commercials," he says.


The tour has also helped the group connect the dots for fans who might not have realized songs like "Secrets," "Stop and Stare" and "All the Right Moves" were from the same band. "When you put a concert spot on the radio and somebody buys a ticket, all that messaging does begin to come together," Laffitte says. 


The group just took off to Asia for a few dates in Singapore, China and the Philippines, before hitting Australia and New Zealand in November. Early 2014 brings touring in Russia and Europe, before a return engagement stateside in May and June. Suddenly, Tedder's prediction for "Native's" promotional plan isn't looking so far off. "Depending on the demand, we'll do another run in the fall of 2014, winter 2015," Laffitte added "Plus, "Counting Stars" has only begun its climb at radio, as digital sales have been far outpacing its progress at top 40 formats. It rises 40-31 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart and 9-4 on Hot Digital Songs. "It's one of those songs that will be on the radio for a long time," Laffitte says. "I wouldn't be surprised if the song is on the radio all the way into March, which means we'll get our next single a little bit later. There's at least another couple singles left on there."

M.I.A.'s fourth album, Matangi, is out...

Posted on November 06, 2013

It's been three years since M.I.A.'s last album, but the singer-rapper has kept the pop world talking about her. Since appearing in Madonna's Super Bowl halftime, she has continued to wrap her words and actions in the language of protest, taking after her father, a one-time revolutionary in her home country of Sri Lanka, where Tamils, the ethnic minority to which her family belongs, clashed with the government for decades.

Matangi, the title of M.I.A's Album derives from her birth name, Mathangi Arulpragasam. But just three years ago, she didn't know what her name meant or who Matangi the goddess was or what the concept was about. 

"When I came to England, people had a hard time pronouncing it at school. So my auntie told me to call myself Maya, after her Yugoslavian skiing instructor."

What M.I.A. didn't know about her real name until recently is that she shares it with a Hindu goddess of Music and it's one with whom she's grown to feel a particular kinship. "She was really interesting because she lived in the slums; she lived with the untouchables and represented them. So it was really cool to find a goddess that was not on a pedestal. The untouchables were basically the lowest caste in India and weren't even weren't allowed to go inside the temples to pray. The Brahmans were the highest class and they controlled knowledge, spirituality, the temples. They were sort of considered the sacred, clean people. And the untouchables were the people that cleaned the streets, hunted, did things that were considered unclean.

Matangi's dad was called Matanga, and he was the first person to gain enlightenment as an untouchable, without being reincarnated as a Brahman. So he was given the gift of the goddess of music who then had this part-time job of representing the untouchables, because her father was one. M.I.A's father, whom she named her first album after, was a Tamil revolutionary in Sri Lanka, a separatist in a very violent place. M.I.A. was raised by her mom, but she has stories about soldiers shooting at her school. 

M.I.A. and her mom eventually got out of Sri Lanka and landed as refugees in England, living in the British equivalent of what we would call a public housing project in this country. She then made her way to St. Martin's, a very prestigious art school in London. 

Getting back to M.I.A.'s new Album, her music is known for being eclectic and there is one song that feels like it has a real mix of influences: "AtTENTion." The song is written with all the words that have word 'tent' in them to describe the refugee philosophy — people who live in tents, the modern-day untouchables.



Eminem and Rihanna have beaten One Direction to their 4th UK No.1! One Directions "Story of my Life" dropped behind after leading the race most of the week.

"The Monster" took over the British boy band's single mid-week and it has never looked back.

Despite having a 48 hour disadvantage on the other new singles this week, "The Monster" rose to the UK top spot, reported The Official Chart Company.

In achieving this feat, Rihanna has made chart history thanks to the Eminem track, and has joined a very lucrative class of people. "The Monster" is both artists 8th No.1 UK single and the Barbados born signer now joins The Beatles and Elvis Presley as one of just three acts to top the UK singles chart seven times over seven years.

'The Monster' is Em's first UK No1 since 2006's "Smack That" featuring Akon. The track is from his latest studio set "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" which will be released tomorrow.

The pair's last UK hit was "Love The Way You Lie" from 2010 which reached No.2. It has since become one of the UK's most successful selling singles ever, with more than 1.15 million copies sold.

New Zealand born Lorde was last week's No.1 with "Royals" but has now slipped to second position. Coming in 3rd place is Fat Boy Slim's "Eat Sleep Rave Repeat", the DJ's first top ten in 12 years. No.4 is the predicted No.1 for this week, which is One Direction's "Story of my Life". American rock group OneRepublic, round off the top 5 with their former No.1 "Counting Stars".



Katy Perry's "Roar" is top of the World's best-selling Singles chart for the 10th week and joins Robin Thicke who was up till this week the only artist to stay at N°1 for ten whole  weeks in 2013 with his global hit  "Blurred Lines" featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams. 

New Zealand Phenomenon Lorde is close behind at No.2 due to her sales in America, Canada, UK and Italy where "Royals" tops the charts. Avicii's 'Wake Me Up!' slips to No.3  even though it is still the overall No°1 single in Europe. Miley Cyrus stays at No.4 with "Wrecking Ball" and OneRepublic rise from No.6 to 5 with "Counting Stars". Lady GaGa feat. R.Kelly's "Do What You Want'" is this week's highest gainer opening at No.6 in this week's best-seling singles chart and at No.1 on the Itunes chart in nearly every major market.

Drake remains at No.7 with his smash hit "Hold On We're going Home" feat. Majid Jordan. No move for Lady Gaga's dance hit "Applause" which stays at No.8.  Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis enters this week's Top 10  with "The Fox" climbing from No.14 to No.9 and closing this week's Top 10 is Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams.

New entry at No.15 for Justin Bieber with "Hold Tight". J-pop duo Kinki Kids debut their 33rd single "Mada Namida Ni Naranai Kanashimi" at No.1 in Japan and at No.16 in the World Chart. Kinki Kids hold the Guinness World Record for having the most consecutive No.1 singles! All of their 33 Singles released have gone to No.1 in Japan!

Taylor Swift debuts at No.21 with her new single "Sweeter Than Fiction". Other new entries include J-Pop Act Nana Mizuki & T.M. Revolution with "Kakumei Dualism" at No.22, Tyga feat. Justin Bieber's "Wait For A MInute" at No.29, James Arthur's "You're Nobody 'Till Somebody Loves You" at No.30, Korean Act K. Will's "You Don't Know Love" at No. 35, Japanese Popstar Kana Nishino's "Sayonara" at No. 37, K-Pop's Park Ji Yoon feat. San E at No.38 with "Mr Lee" and Katy Perry's new Single "Unconditionally" which debuts at No.39!

Bruno Mars closes this weeks Top 40 with his world hit "Treasure" after 23 week's on the World chart.

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