American Music Awards
Though plenty of stars shined at the 2013 American Music Awards, the night belonged most of all to Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake. Both were tied for most awards won on the night -- three each -- until the "Red" star took home the most coveted of all --
A grateful Swift referenced her devoted following in all her acceptance speeches, as AMAs are awarded based on online voting. "The fact that you voted for my music means we're on the same page," she beamed, while accepting the grand prize to cap off the night. "I'm 23 and I have no idea what's going to happen with my life!"
Swift and her album "Red" also took home awards for Favorite Country Album, Favorite Female Country Artist, and Favorite Female Pop/Rock Artist.
Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, One Direction and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were the biggest winners at the 2013 American Music Awards on Sunday. Check out a full list of winners below.
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR PRESENTED BY KOHL'S
SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Florida Georgia Line Featuring Nelly, "Cruise"
FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – POP/ROCK
FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – POP/ROCK
FAVORITE BAND, DUO OR GROUP – POP/ROCK
FAVORITE ALBUM – POP/ROCK
One Direction, "Take Me Home"
FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – COUNTRY
FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – COUNTRY
FAVORITE BAND, DUO or GROUP - COUNTRY
FAVORITE ALBUM - COUNTRY
Taylor Swift, "Red"
FAVORITE ARTIST – RAP/HIP-HOP
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
FAVORITE ALBUM – RAP/HIP-HOP
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "The Heist"
FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – SOUL/R&B
FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – SOUL/R&B
FAVORITE ALBUM – SOUL/R&B
Justin Timberlake, "The 20/20 Experience"
FAVORITE ARTIST - ALTERNATIVE ROCK
FAVORITE ARTIST - LATIN
FAVORITE ARTIST - ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC (EDM)
FAVORITE ARTIST - ADULT CONTEMPORARY
FAVORITE ARTIST - CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATIONAL
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One Direction Celebrates Upcoming 'Midnight Memories' Release in L.A. With Performance, Q&A
Friday afternoon (Nov. 22), One Direction celebrated the release of "Midnight Memories" with a show at L.A.’s new iHeartRadio venue.
Shortly after 2 p.m., the British-Irish pop stars appeared in front of a sea of screaming female fans and a handful of their parental chaperones. The band treated the audience to a Q&A session moderated by Ryan Seacrest and fielded questions from a few lucky fans. They also performed several tracks off their forthcoming release including “Best Song Ever,” “Story of My Life” and the title track, in addition to hits like “What Makes You Beautiful.”
Seacrest walked the audience through the band’s origin, reminiscing with the guys about their early days of auditioning for "X Factor," meeting Simon Cowell and uniting as One Direction. They also touched on the writing process behind this album and how, unlike their previous two releases, this album was pieced together on the go.
According to Niall Horan, the process was “a bit more fun” than the traditional studio route. “We had a time schedule that we had to meet and that helped drive it a little bit,” Horan said, adding that the band had to get creative when working on music on the road, often writing in hotel rooms and putting mattresses and seat cushions against the wall to soundproof while recording.
In terms of their collaborative style, Louis Tomlinson explained that in lieu of writing as a five piece, the group often splits up as well. “We often break off in pairs and that’s kind of the way that we do it. It often gets a bit crowded if everyone’s in the same room,” he said.
The band also touched on the meaning behind several of their new tunes, admitting that “Story of My Life” is one of the more personal tunes they’ve released. The video, which features One Direction’s family members, was a special memory for the guys. “Obviously it’s going to be fun for us to watch that back in a few years and say, ‘That’s my brother…'” Horan said. He added that his family was a bit nervous to get behind the camera but enjoyed a first hand look at what the boys do for a living.
Liam Payne told Seacrest that the title track to the album was the most significant part of this project. “This was the first song we wrote on the new album and it set us on course of what writing the rest of this album was going to be. It set the tone,” he explained.
Harry Styles added that an odd part of songwriting is that fans will try to guess the meaning behind a song, and it won’t always be what they think, alluding to hidden meanings behind some of the tracks. “Sometimes I think when you’re writing, it’s hard to not write about personal experiences,” he said. “I think a lot of the time it might song like a love song but it might not be about that. It might be about your family or your dog."
The fan portion of the interview took a much different turn, with fans asking who in the band uses the most hair products, if they’d rather be in One Direction or be the most popular football player in England, and whether or not Zayn Malik has locked in the best men for his wedding -- to which he replied, “No. I decided it’s going to have to be a bit unconventional. I’m going to have to have like five or six best men.”
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Justin Bieber, G-Dragon Record New Song
One of K-pop's brightest stars has linked up with on of the world's biggest pop singers. G-Dragon, the leader of popular boy band BIGBANG, and Justin Bieber have recorded a track together.
At a press conference before the 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards (likened as the Korean equivalent to the Grammys), G-Dragon revealed the project. "To be honest, we're already finished with the recording," Mnet America quoted the rapper/singer when asked about a Bieber collabo. "I think the song will come out sometime next year."
G-Dragon added: "But more than it being a really big project, I think it'll be an album where artists with the same heart decided to have fun. It was less burdensome than a big album, so I’ll be able to show a better song to the fans. If you have anticipation for it, I'll reply with an album that will meet those expectations."
There was no indication where the song will be released or what type of release treatment is planned.
Both known as bad boys in their respective music scenes, the duo hung out when the "PYD" singer was in South Korea for a stop on his "Believe" tour, according to Instagram photos from G-Dragon and manager to Bieber and PSY, Scooter Braun. (Of note: G-Dragon and PSY are on the same label in Korea.) Biebs brought out GD as a special guest performer at the concert, where the singer delivered his No. 3-peaking K-Pop Hot 100 hit "Crayon."
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Lady Gaga's 'ARTPOP' Debuts Atop Dance/Electronic Albums
As she blasts in atop the Billboard 200, Lady Gaga captures her fifth No. 1 on Dance/Electronic Albums with “ARTPOP,” tying Daft Punk for the second-most No. 1s in the chart’s 12-year history. Only club DJ Louie DeVito, with seven, has scored more.
With 258,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, “ARTPOP” arrives with the second-best single-week sales sum for a dance/electronic album this year. It trails only Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” (339,000, June 8, reflecting its first-full sales week).
In advance of her Thanksgiving night team-up with the Muppets, Gaga also overtakes Dance/Electronic Songs, where she charts five “ARTPOP” tracks. Former No. 1 “Applause” (2-2) claims Digital and Streaming Gainer honors (3.3 million U.S. streams, up 25%, according to Nielsen BDS), while four tracks make their way onto the list: “Venus” (No. 13), “Aura” (a re-entry at No. 14), “Donatella” (No. 21) and “Swine” (No. 23).
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Ed Sheeran & Macklemore Stroll Down ‘Sesame Street’
"Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?" For Ed Sheeran and Macklemore, a couple Hot 100 hits and good publicists did the trick.
For its upcoming 45th season, which will premiere in September 2014, the iconic children's show enlisted the beloved UK singer-songwriter and the breakout Seattle rapper to bring a dash of pop-culture coolness to its set. Billboard was granted exclusive access to the fun, as Sheeran and Macklemore performed "Sesame"-approved songs alongside the world-famous Muppet cast.
Macklemore and Sheeran join a long and lauded list of musicians that have visited "Sesame Street" since the award-wining show hit the airwaves in 1969. Stars ranging from Johnny Cash and Paul Simon to Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson have given legendary performances alongside Jim Henson's Muppets over the years. In recent seasons, the show has hosted an array of contemporary pop giants like Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Feist, and Norah Jones, among many others.
"I think it's every rapper's dream to make it on Sesame Street," says Macklemore, who was reinvented as a character named "Mucklemore" that helped Oscar and his fellow grouches recycle their garbage to a parody of his smash hit "Thrift Shop."
Ed Sheeran, on the other hand, enlisted the show's music department to come up with an original song for him to sing with the Muppet gang. "Ed Sheeran's music is so melodic and lyrical, it just seemed to fit him," says music director Bill Sherman. "He loved the song, and got to hang out with the Muppets, which was really cool."
Sheeran's kid-empowerment jingle about life at home and at school is built on the concept of executive functioning, a key part of the new season's curriculum, which deals with self-control and organization skills. "This is a wonderful song than can help bridge this transition," says executive producer Carol-Lynn Parente.
Along with its contemporary, kid-centric curriculum, "Sesame Street" has stayed relevant all these years by giving parents a reason to watch and talk about the show, which is much of the reason it enlists stars like Sheeran and Macklemore.
But that doesn't mean the kids can't bob their heads along to the "Thrift Shop" beat, too. "These days, children's' love of pop music is relevant," Sherman says. "Kids are hearing this music all the time and I think their ears are as sophisticated as the parents."
"Sesame Street" seasons are filmed a year ahead of schedule, so the Macklemore and Sheeran episodes won't air until late 2014. Until then, Janelle Monaé, who was recently named Billboard's rising star of 2013, will also pay a visit to "Sesame Street" to film for its upcoming season in the near future.
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