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15 Songs That Changed Country Music

In: Donovan, Music
15-songs-that-changed-country-music

Some of you might be surprised to know I love my country music. Especially hits from yesteryear. Who doesn’t love an old school Dolly Parton number, right?

After Dancing With The Stars, ABC aired a special hosted by Robin Roberts leading up to the network’s telecast of the Country Music Awards. Countdown to the CMA Awards: 15 Songs That Changed Country Music spanned decades, highlighting some beloved classics and a couple of relatively modern smashes. Surprisingly, Taylor Swift made the cut, alongside Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, Garth Brooks and Martina McBride. You might be surprised to learn which song took the top spot.

During the countdown, several of today’s biggest country acts honored the country music legends who have shaped their careers by covering their hits. Lady Antebellum performed the Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers mega-hit, “Islands in the Stream.” Hunter Hayes performed Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” Kacey Musgraves performed Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” and Martina McBride sang the Tammy Wynette classic “Stand By Your Man.” Check them all out below, along with the Top 15 Songs That Changed Country Music.

check out the Top 15 after the jump

taylor-swift-1989-tour

If you solely rely on Spotify to get your Taylor Swift fix, you’re out of luck. The 24-year-old singer abruptly removed her entire catalog off the streaming service. No official reason has been given by Swift’s camp as to why, but it’s no secret she’s not a fan of companies like Spotify.

In July she wrote, “music should not be free” and lumps streaming in with piracy as a cause for the decline in paid album sales. “Music is art, and art is important and rare,” she wrote. “Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.” Will others follow suit now that Swift has made this huge move. Spotify responded by posting a note on their website addressing Taylor’s decision.

“We love Taylor Swift, and our more than 40 million users love her even more – nearly 16 million of them have played her songs in the last 30 days, and she’s on over 19 million playlists.

We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone. We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community.

PS – Taylor, we were both young when we first saw you, but now there’s more than 40 million of us who want you to stay, stay, stay. It’s a love story, baby, just say, Yes.” – Spotify Blog Post

In addition to the note, the streaming service created a couple of playlists. One playfully stringed songs from other artists to read, “Hey Taylor, We Wanted to Play Your Amazing Love Songs And They’re Not Here Right Now.” How’s that for a little playlist poetry.

check out the tour promo vid and tour dates after the jump

Taylor Swift Premieres New Track For Target Commercial

In: Donovan, Music
taylor-swift-target-commercial

For Swifties who want more of their beloved idol, they’ll have to head to Target stores on October 27 to purchase the deluxe edition of 1989. The super-sized offering includes three additional songs and three songwriting voice memos that won’t be available on digital download or other stores. One of those tracks, “Never Go Out of Style,” premiered, naturally, in a new Target commercial.

Normally, we’re used to Taylor Swift bashing her exes on her tracks. Is this catchy new pop track a favorable ode to Harry Styles? T-Swizzle praises an unnamed guy for his impeccable style and slick hair. Sounds an awful lot like the One Direction singer at face value, doesn’t it? Perhaps, once all the lyrics are released, all will be revealed. In the meantime, check out the kinda adorable ad below.

listen to new track after the jump

taylor-swift-welcome-to-new-york

It’s not exactly “Empire State Of Mind,” but it’s another love letter to the Big Apple. Should Jay Z and Alicia Keys be worried “Welcome To New York” might replace their composition as the city’s unofficial anthem?

Taylor Swift teased her second iTunes Countdown Single early Monday morning with the full version being available October 21. Like everything these days, with exception to Beyonce’s surprise album, the track has leaked ahead of its official release date.

Welcome To New York” keeps in line with Swift’s new pop sound. Co-written by OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, Taylor sings about packing up and moving to New York to make her dreams come true. Like they say, if you can make there, you can make it anywhere. And she’s definitely made it.

“The first song on 1989 is a song called ‘Welcome to New York’ and I wanted to start the album with this song because New York has been an important landscape and location for the story of my life in the last couple of years,” Taylor says about her new song to Good Morning America

“You know, I dreamt about moving to New York. I obsessed over moving to New York and then I did it. The inspiration that I found in that city is kind of hard to describe and hard to compare to any other force of inspiration I’ve ever experienced in my life. It’s like an electric city and I approached moving there with such wide-eyed optimism and sort of saw it as a place of endless potential and possibilities. You can kind of hear that reflected in this music and in this first song especially. This is a song I did with Ryan Tedder called ‘Welcome to New York.’”

Listen below to T-Swizzle sing about the city’s vibrancy and all the things it has to offer.

listen to preview after the jump

Taylor Swift Debuts ‘Out Of The Woods’ In Full

In: Donovan, Music
taylor-swift-out-of-the-woods

Taylor Swift’s first full pop album titled 1989 is only two weeks away. The first iTunes Countdown Single has been released in full after Swift teased it on Good Morning America on Monday.

Out Of The Woods” is an 80’s-influenced pop mid-tempo track produced and co-written by f.u.n.’s Jack Antonoff. Within just a few minutes of its release, the 24-year-old’s latest offering has already hit the top of the iTunes chart.

Even though Taylor previously claimed her new album would be unlike her previous LPs and not about romance and heartbreak, it appears she was serving a side of BS. “Out of the Woods” is about a troubled relationship, and not just any, but about her brief fling with One Direction’s Harry Styles. Give it a listen below.

“This song is about the fragility and kind of breakable nature of some relationships. This was a relationship where I was kind of, living day to day, wondering where it was going, if it was going to go anywhere, if it was going to end the next day,” Taylor says about the song. “It was a relationship where you, kind of, never feel like you’re standing on solid ground.”

listen to the track after the jump

Taylor Swift Teases New Song ‘Out Of The Woods’

In: Donovan, Music
taylor-swift-into-the-woods-preview

Firstly, belated congratulations to Taylor Swift for being named Billboard Magazine’s Woman of the Year for 2014. She becomes the first person to nab the title twice. Personally, the “Shake It Off” singer wouldn’t have been my choice but that’s just my two cents.

“As one of the most influential artists of her generation, Taylor Swift has seen incredible success on the Billboard charts,” said Janice Min, co-president and chief creative officer of Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group, which consists of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. “Over the course of her career, she’s charted 60 entries on the Billboard Hot 100 — the most of any female artist since her debut in 2006. We are tremendously excited to be honoring her as the 2014 Billboard Woman of the Year for the second time.”

Swift shared a teaser of her next single off 1989 with Good Morning America earlier today. “Out Of The Woods,” Taylor admitted, addresses a troubled relationship. Rolling Stone reports it’s about her ex Harry Styles.

I wouldn’t be surprised, since that’s certainly Swift’s modus operandi. She co-wrote it with f.u.n. member and Lena Dunham’s boyfriend, Jack Antonoff. Give the 80s electronic-inspired track below. The full version comes out tomorrow.

listen after the jump

taylor-swift-people-cover

40 years ago, People tapped Mia Farrow to grace its very first issue. With Farrow’s film, The Great Gatsby, co-starring Robert Redford and Sam Waterston on the way, it was only natural Farrow pose as Daisy Buchanan on the cover. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the publication enlisted Taylor Swift to echo Farrow’s iconic Great Gatsby look which includes chomping on a string of pearls.

Check out the original cover below and weigh in if Swift does Farrow proud. I’ve also added a couple of quotes from the accompanying interview.

On Being Single

“I made the decision to spend time on my own and figure out who I am. When you take the other person out of the scenario and you’re walking through life on your own, you end up figuring out what you actually like without anyone else’s input. I’m not too worried about whether I meet someone. I’m going to be happy either way.”

check out the original issue after the jump

Man Crush: Lockhart Brownlie

In: Donovan, Totally GAY!
lockhart-brownlie

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a Man Crush feature. Apologies for that. What prompted me to resurrect my man candy series? It’s actually two-fold.

Firstly, it’s because I checked out Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour last night. I’m not a hardcore KatyCat by any means, but I have to give credit where credit is due. The “Roar” singer slayed it. She put on a better show than I expected, charming the raucous crowd quite nicely. To boot, she was accompanied by several sexy male backup dancers. Lockhart Brownlie being one of them.

This Aussie dancer might just give Britney Spears’ Willie Gomez a run for his money as my favorite backup dancer. Dude is fiiiiiiiiiine and captivated us whenever he was in the vicinity. Dat azz is just mesmerizing ;)

Another reason why I chose to put the spotlight on the 24-year-old has to do with that rumored Taylor Swift-Katy Perry feud. Earlier this week, Swift cryptically talked about a fellow female singer who tried to sabotage her Red Tour, inspiring Swift to write “Bad Blood.”

In an interview from last year, Lockhart pretty much confirms the “Shake It Off” singer’s claims that some of her dancers jumped ship to join Perry’s tour. Be sure to read Brownlie’s interview with the Examiner for more details. In the meantime, check out several photos of Lockhart (love that name) below, showing off that chiseled body of his.

more pics after the jump

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