Latest posts by George Kihara (see all)
- #BestoftheWeb: Jessica Chastain, Kathleen Kennedy and Jennifer Lawrence - January 8, 2016
- #BestoftheWeb: Rachel Platten, Tori Kelly and Taylor Swift - January 1, 2016
- Philanthropy #BestoftheWeb: Melinda Gates, Rihanna and Dr. Priscilla Chan - December 4, 2015
Women and music make the world go around. Powerhouse performances, sincerely written lyrics, we just can’t get enough of the talented female musicians rising up in the industry today. For the past 10 years, ‘Billboard’ has honored the most prominent ‘Women in Music’.* Lady Gaga received the 2015 ‘Woman of the Year’ award and Fifth Harmony took the title of ‘Group of the Year.’ Tori Kelly’s big win for ‘Breakthrough’ artist got us thinking about what she and other recent breakout artists have coming up in 2016:
- Rachel Platten Details New Album ‘Wildfire’ – Entertainment Weekly
“After a decade of trying to find my path in music I started to believe it would never happen for me,” Rachel Platten wrote in a press release. From this vulnerability came ‘Fight Song’, Rachel’s autobiographic anthem released in late 2014. ‘Fight Song’ originally caught traction on TV shows and commercials, following a similar path of a few of her earlier recorded songs (yet, on a larger scale). It was picked up by ‘Good Morning America’ for a daily inspirational segment. It also became a rallying theme song for the ‘American Cancer Society,’ soundtracked a PSA for ‘Girl Scouts USA’ and appeared on ‘The Biggest Loser.’ As a growing number of fans purchased and streamed the song for their personal use, ‘Fight Song’ became 2015’s song of summer and Rachel emerged as a new breakout artist. Taylor Swift’s invitation to perform ‘Fight Song’ with her on stage – during the Philadelphia leg of ‘The 1989 World Tour’ on June 13, 2015 – further catapulted Rachel to success. Rachel’s breakout song, ‘Fight Song,’ reached double platinum sales in the US, after selling over 2 million copies.
‘Wildfire’ is Rachel Platten’s third album via Columbia Records (January 1, 2016), following ‘Trust In Me’ (2003) and ‘Be Here’ (2011). Her headline tour throughout North America kicks off in Dallas (February 26, 2016) and ends in Los Angeles (April 5, 2016).
Of course, ‘Fight Song’ is on Rachel’s new ‘Wildfire’ album. Rachel’s no one-hit wonder! Her album’s second single is equally inspiring and fantastic. Check out her music video for ‘Stand By You’:
- Tori Kelly Named New ‘American Express UNSTAGED: Artist In Residence’ – Billboard
“This is a huge honor for me. I’m so inspired to be in a room with such powerful women. I’m super honored looking back on this year, it’s definitely been the craziest of my life,” said Tori Kelly as she accepted the award for ‘Breakthrough’ artist at ‘Billboard Women in Music’ (December 11, 2015). For Tori, the prestigious award was the perfect bookend to an amazing breakout year, which included a ‘Grammy’ nomination for ‘Best New Artist’ and three ‘Billboard’ charting singles.
2016 holds incredible opportunity for Tori Kelly. She was recently, exclusively named the ‘American Express UNSTAGED: Artist In Residence.’ This will avail her to a multitude of resources and opportunity. Combined with Tori’s voice and talent, anticipate nothing less than pure magic.
Here’s Tori’s beautiful music video for ‘Hollow’ – the third single released from her debut album ‘Unbreakable Smile’:
- Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ Tour: See All of Her Special Guests! – Billboard
“In music, there’s such a thing as a breakout moment for a brand new artist, where they come out of nowhere and all of a sudden everybody is singing their song.” This was the consummate introduction Taylor Swift gave Rachel Platten, just before the two of them belted out the most enthusiastic rendition of ‘Fight Song’ on the Philadelphia stop of Taylor’s ‘The 1989 World Tour.’ Among a multitude others, Taylor also invited musical newcomers Kelsea Ballerini (September 25, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee) and Allesia Cara (Oct. 31, 2015 in Tampa, Florida) to make a guest appearance on her tour.
Taylor Swift premiered ‘The 1989 World Tour LIVE’ concert film on ‘Apple Music’ on December 20, 2015. In addition to the incredible music, it’s so exciting to see Taylor’s grand plan for the visual and technical aspects of her show come to life! Here’s a sneak peek of ‘The 1989 World Tour LIVE’:
- Meet Elle King, Rock’s New Renegade – Entertainment Weekly
Elle King’s signature sound is fresh, fierce and full of attitude! “Despite releasing [‘Ex’s & Oh’s’] in 2014, King has become a sleeper star [throughout 2015] and the track earned two Grammy nominations for ‘Best Rock Song’ and ‘Best Rock Performance.’ In November, the platinum-certified tune finally cracked the top 10 of ‘Billboard’s Hot 100,’ where she’s bringing a bad-girl,’50s-style rock & roll flair to a field dominated by Drake, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift.” Step aside pop and hip hop, this rocker has come on the scene to mess things up a bit. The likelihood that Elle King will bring home one or more ‘Grammy’ awards on February 15, 2016 is very high!
Elle King closed out ‘VH1 Big In 2015 with Entertainment Weekly’ with a performance of ‘Ex’s & Oh’s’ (December 7, 2015). You’re not going to want to miss Elle’s best live performance of her hit song, to date:
*For the first time, after 10 years, the ‘Billboard Women in Music’ award show was televised (December 18, 2015 on ‘Lifetime’ network). Show your support for women and music by catching the next two airings of this annual award show in 2016 and 2017 (approximately mid-December), as the ‘Lifetime’ contract was reportedly signed for a total of three years.