This past Sunday, the Recording Academy dished out their golden gramophones to some of the biggest names in the music biz at the 54th annual Grammy Awards. The Grammys are always a great celebration of music and Sunday was no exception. The Beach Boys had a reunion performance, Adele sang for the first time live on stage after undergoing vocal surgery, and Jennifer Hudson delivered a beautiful and heartfelt performance of “I Will Always Love You” by the late and great Whitney Houston. It was Adele who won the night though, sweeping the awards in the three biggest categories: Best Song, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year. You can find a complete list of all the winners here.
What artists are on your playlist? What albums do you love and which albums were a disappointment? To be entered to win one of our giveaway prizes this week, simply write a review for an album of any musician. Reviews must be submitted by 6pm EST on February 20th, 2012.
To keep the musical spirit alive for a little longer, we thought we’d take this opportunity to showcase some of our favorite up-and-coming artists and even some artists that we feel are the music biz’s best kept secrets. After all, who doesn’t love to discover great new music.
The Band Perry: This country music trio of siblings hailing from Ridgeland, Mississippi was unheard of until their single “If I Die Young” from their self-titled album hit the airwaves. The song went to #1 on the US Country charts and peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. The band was nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammys.
Bon Iver: This American folk band from Wisconsin was founded in 2007 and hadn’t received any recognition until this year. Their first single, “Skinny Love”, wasn’t even released in the US. It wasn’t until their second album, Bon Iver, was released in 2011 that the band started getting some attention. Their song “Holocene” was nominated for Song of the Year and Record of the Year, and the band won for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album.
The Civil Wars: This duo, comprised of Joy Williams and John Paul White, met at a songwriting workshop in Nashville in 2008. After recording a four-song EP album, they finally released their first full-length album, Barton Hollow, in 2011, which peaked at #12 on the Billboard 200. Their first single, “Barton Hollow”, had a modicum of success, and their most recent song, “Safe and Sound”, a duet with Taylor Swift, will be featured in the upcoming movie adaptation of The Hunger Games. They won the award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the Grammys and even performed live on stage.
Best-Kept-Secrets of the Music Biz:
Missy Higgins: Missy Higgins is a singer-songwriter from Melbourne, Australia, which may be the reason you might not have heard of her. Higgins has an uncanny ability to express strong, heartfelt emotions in the lyrics of her songs. Her two studio albums, The Sound of White and On a Clear Night, both reached #1 on the ARIA charts. Her song “Where I Stood” has been featured on such shows as Grey’s Anatomy, One Tree Hill, and So You Think You Can Dance. Her third studio album is scheduled for release sometime in 2012.
Brandi Carlile: Hailing from Ravensdale, Washington, Carlile is a folk rock singer-songwriter, a lot of genres for one person but Carlile pulls it off well. She has released three studio albums with the fourth expected for release in 2012. Her only big hit in the US came with the 2007 song "The Story" from the album of the same name. It was used twice in the show Grey's Anatomy. Once on the season 3 recap episode "Every Moment Counts" and again in the season 7 musical episode "Song Beneath the Song" where it was covered by actress Sara Ramirez. Two more of her songs have been featured on Grey's Anatomy, "What Can I Say?" and "Tragedy".
Maria Mena: A pop singer from Norway, Mena has been on the music scene since 2002. She has released six studio albums, with only four of those being released in the US. Her first album released in the US, White Turns Blue, peaked at #102 on the Billboard 200 and also featured her only big hit in the US, "You're the Only One", which peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100. She has had two songs featured on the show So You Think You Can Dance, "What's Another Day?" and "Sorry".
Justin Nozuka: Nozuka is a singer-songwriter from New York, NY. He has released two studio albums, the first, Holly, in 2007. The album features many songs that deal with mature themes. For example, the song "Criminal" tells the story of a drunken man who faces the consequences of throwing a glass bottle into the street "where children play with bare feet", and suffers from overwhelming guilt. The album also featured his only hit in the US, "After Tonight".
With all of this music in the air, we here at SheSpeaks HQ thought we'd introduce a Spotify playlist jam-packed with love songs from these Grammy Award winning artists and up-and-comers. We'd like to invite you to subscribe to this Spotify playlist. If you don't have a Spotify account but would like to join in on the fun, the app is simple and free to download.