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Congrats to Pregnant Heidi Klum, and all moms-to-be!

Exclusive: Pregnant Heidi Klum And Family Out In New York (No France, No Germany, No OZ/NZ)With baby #4 on the way, Heidi Klum likely has plenty of hard-earned parenting and pregnancy wisdom to pass on to her fellow model moms-to-be. Victoria’s Secret Angels Karolina Kurkova, Adriana Lima and Gisele Bundchen are all expecting their first babies! “It’s so funny! We must have been with each other for so long now that our cycles and egg dropping must have happened at the same time,” says the 36-year-old Project Runway host. “Adriana has asked me a few things about nannies and how the birth is. It’s hard to explain and you just have to kind of figure it out.” At 7 months pregnant, Heidi has been looking as stylish and beautiful as ever. Her secret? She avoids maternity wear all together! “My stylist Continue reading →

New ‘Sunny Side Up’ Tracks Live On Paolo’s MySpace

paolo_nutini_performingExperience the ‘Sunny Side Up’ MySpace album exclusive.  All Paolo fans excluding those in the US will be able to hear the whole album at www.myspace.com/paolonutinimusic later today. So make sure you keep checking back for your ‘Sunny Side Up’ full-length preview. US fans need to head on over to the VH1 website to listen in. In the meantime everyone can now hear the first 5 tracks from the new album over at Paolo’s main myspace www.myspace.com/paolonutini  So if you can’t wait head over there now and preview the first half of Paolo’s stunning second album. http://www.paolonutini.com

Paolo Giovanni Nutini (born 9th January 1987) is a singer-songwriter from Paisley, Scotland. His father is of italian descent and his mother Glaswegian, although his father’s family have been in Scotland for four generations. His influences include David Bowie, Damien Rice, Oasis, The Beatles, U2, Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac.

Nutini had no formal music training, and was expecting to follow his father into the family fish and chip shop business. He was first encouraged to sing by his music-loving grandfather and a teacher at his school who recognized his talent. He left school to work as a roadie and to sell t-shirts for Speedway and spent three years learning the music business, performing live, alone and with a band, and working as a studio hand at Glasgow’s Park Lane Studio.

His big chance came when he attended a concert for David Sneddon’s return to his home town of Paisley at the beginning of 2003. Sneddon was delayed, and as the winner of an impromptu pop quiz, Nutini was given the chance to perform a couple of songs on stage during the wait. The favorable reaction of the crowd impressed another member of the audience, who offered to become his manager.

A Daily Record journalist, John Dingwall, saw him performing at the Queen Margaret Union, and invited him to appear live on Radio Scotland. Still only 17, he moved to London, and performed regularly at the Bedford pub in Balham whilst still legally too young to drink alcohol himself. Other radio and live appearances followed, including two live acoustic spots on Radio London, The Hard Rock Cafe, and support slots for Amy Winehouse and KT Tunstall.

Taylor Swift and her mom worked together to make her room fun and cool

taylor-swift-and-momThe perfect room is all about location, says Taylor Swift, who has the only bedroom on the first floor of the Hendersonville, Tenn., home she shares with her parents, Andrea and Scott, and brother Austin, 15. “I do most of my writing in the middle of the night,” she says. “If my mom and dad heard me playing guitar at 2 a.m., they’d be like, ‘You’ve got to go to bed!’ But they can’t hear me.”   Swift’s bedroom perfectly reflects its 17-year-old inhabitant, who is both a country music superstar and a typical teen. On one wall hangs the commemorative award for her platinum-selling debut album Taylor Swift. Just inches away is a photo collage of her high school friends. Then there’s the portrait of her painted by a friend’s older brother and a beaded necklace (a gift from her very first boyfriend) draped over the lamp on her bedside table. “That’s one of my favorite things about my room,” she says. “There are so many mementos from my life before all this happened, and then there are things that remind me of where I am now.” Which, these days, is often on the road playing concert dates. “I’m home two or three days a month, so it’s valuable to me every time I get to spend time in my room,” says Swift. “I kind of took it for granted before, but now when I wake up here, it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is not a bus. This is awesome!’”

Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania. Growing up, she developed a love for country music, especially Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton. By the age of 10, she began performing around her hometown, at festivals, fairs and sang at karaoke contests. She started writing songs at the age of 12, and this was the same time she got her first guitar.

Big Break
Taylor’s family realized her talent and determination, and they made regular trips to Nashville. At the age of 14, she became the youngest songwriter signed to a publishing deal with Sony/ATV. This is when the family packed up and moved to Hendersonville, TN.
At a showcase at the Bluebird Cafe, Taylor caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, who was at the time planning to launch a new label. He signed her to his label, “Big Machine Records,” and a career was born.

Her self-titled debut was released in 2006. It debuted at No. 3, but 39 weeks later, it hit the top of the charts and has sold over 2.5 million copies, earning the young star a Platinum album.

2007 is Taylor Swift’s Year

Although her album came out in October 2006, it was 2007, that was really a career year for Taylor Swift. As mentioned above, her album reached the No. 1 spot on the charts, and did so well that her label decided to re-package it with some video content, a few more songs, and release it as a Deluxe Limited Edition. Fans could listen to several new songs, watch all the videos released up until that time, plus watch a movie edited by Taylor herself.

In April, Taylor won her first award, at the CMT Music Awards, for “Breakthrough Video,” for “Tim McGraw.” She was so ecstatic, that she promised to take the award with her out on the road with Brad Paisley later that year. And, she did.

At the ACM Awards that year, Taylor finally got to meet her idol, and the namesake of her first hit song, “Tim McGraw.” Not only did she meet him, but she actually sang “Tim McGraw” to him, as he and wife Faith Hill sat in the front row at the awards show. Fans will not forget when the song ended, she reached out her hand, and said, “Hi, I’m Taylor.” It was such a precious moment.

At the ACM Awards, Taylor collected the Best New Female Artist Award. In November at the CMA Awards, she took home the Horizon Award.

Before the end of the year, and her 18th birthday, she would reach another milestone, as her single “Our Song” became her first No. 1 song. Not only was it No. 1, but it remained in the position for six weeks, into 2008.

Taylor Moves Fearlessly In 2008
In 2008, Taylor continued touring (she was on the road with Rascal Flatts as well as headlining some shows), which she loves so much.

In November 2008, she released her sophomore release, titled Fearless. Like the first album, it contains songs she’s written and co-written. If it ain’t broke… Whatever she does, you can be sure it will be a success. This girl looks to Garth Brooks as inspiration for how to treat her fans, and you can’t get a better inspiration than that.

Lady Ga Ga: I was always an entertainer

ladygaga2When Lady GaGa was a little girl, she would sing along on her mini plastic tape recorder to Michael Jackson and Cyndi Lauper hits and get twirled in the air in daddy’s arms to the sounds of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. The precocious child would dance around the table at fancy Upper West Side restaurants using the breadsticks as a baton. And, she would innocently greet a new babysitter in nothing but her birthday suit.  It’s no wonder that little girl from a good Italian New York family, turned into the exhibitionist, multi-talented singer-songwriter with a flair for theatrics that she is today: Lady GaGa.

“I was always an entertainer.
I was a ham as a little girl and I’m a ham today,” says Lady GaGa, 22, who made a name for herself on the Lower East Side club scene with the infectious dance-pop party song “Beautiful Dirty Rich,” and wild, theatrical, and often tongue-in-cheek “shock art” performances where GaGa – who designs and makes many of her stage outfits — would strip down to her hand-crafted hot pants and bikini top, light cans of hairspray on fire, and strike a pose as a disco ball lowered from the ceiling to the orchestral sounds of A Clockwork Orange.  “I always loved rock and pop and theater. When I discovered Queen and David Bowie is when it really came together for me and I realized I could do all three,” says GaGa, who nicked her name from Queen’s song “Radio Gaga” and who cites rock star girlfriends, Peggy Bundy, and Donatella Versace as her fashion icons. “I look at those artists as icons in art. It’s not just about the music. It’s about the performance, the attitude, the look; it’s everything. And, that is where I live as an artist and that is what I want to accomplish.”  That goal might seem lofty, but consider the artist: GaGa is the girl who at age 4 learned piano by ear. By age 13, she had written her first piano ballad. At 14, she played open mike nights at clubs such as New York’s the Bitter End by night and was teased for her quirky, eccentric style by her Convent of the Sacred Heart School (the Manhattan private school Nicky and Paris Hilton attended) classmates by day. At age 17, she became was one of 20 kids in the world to get early admission to Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Signed by her 20th birthday and writing songs for other artists (such as the Pussycat Dolls, and has been asked to write for a series of Interscope artists) before her debut album was even released, Lady GaGa has earned the right to reach for the sky.

“My goal as an artist is to funnel a pop record to a world in a very interesting way,” says GaGa, who wrote all of her lyrics, all of her melodies, and played most of the synth work on her album, The Fame (Streamline/Interscope/KonLive). “I almost want to trick people into hanging with something that is really cool with a pop song. It’s almost like the spoonful of sugar and I’m the medicine.”  On The Fame, it’s as if GaGa took two parts dance-pop, one part electro-pop, and one part rock with a splash of disco and burlesque and generously poured it into the figurative martini glasses of the world in an effort to get everyone drunk with her Fame. “The Fame is about how anyone can feel famous,” she explains. “Pop culture is art. It doesn’t make you cool to hate pop culture, so I embraced it and you hear it all over The Fame. But, it’s a sharable fame. I want to invite you all to the party. I want people to feel a part of this lifestyle.”  The CD’s opener and first single, “Just Dance,” gets the dance floor rocking with it’s “fun, L.A., celebratory vibe.” As for the equally catchy, “Boys Boys Boys,” Gaga doesn’t mind wearing her influences on her sleeve. “I wanted to write the female version of Motley Crue’s ‘Girls Girls Girls,’ but with my own twist. I wanted to write a pop song that rockers would like.”

“Beautiful Dirty Rich” sums up her time of self-discovery, living in the Lower East Side and dabbling in drugs and the party scene. “That time, and that song, was just me trying to figure things out,” says GaGa. “Once I grabbed the reigns of my artistry, I fell in love with that more than I did with the party life.” On first listen, “Paparazzi” might come off as a love song to cameras, and in all honestly, GaGa jokes “on one level it IS about wooing the paparazzi and wanting fame. But, it’s not to be taken completely seriously. It’s about everyone’s obsession with that idea. But, it’s also about wanting a guy to love you and the struggle of whether you can have success or love or both.”

GaGa shows her passion for love songs on such softer tracks as the Queen-influenced “Brown Eyes” and the sweet kiss-off break-up song “Nothing I can Say (eh eh).” “‘Brown Eyes’ is the most vulnerable song on the album,” she explains. “‘Eh Eh’ is my simple pop song about finding someone new and breaking up with the old boyfriend.”

For the new tour for this album, fans will be treated to a more polished version of what they saw (and loved) at her critically acclaimed Lollapalooza show in August 2007 and Winter Music Conference performance in March 2008. “This new show is the couture version of my handmade downtown performance of the past few years. It’s more fine-tuned, but some of my favorite elements to my past shows – the disco balls, hot pants, sequin, and stilettos – will still be there. Just more fierce and more of a conceptual show with a vision for pop performance art.”  It’s been a while since a new pop artist has made her way in the music industry the old-fashioned/grass roots way by paying her dues with seedy club gigs and self-promotion. This is one rising pop star who hasn’t been plucked from a model casting call, born into a famous family, won a reality TV singing contest, or emerged from a teen cable TV sitcom. “I did this the way you are supposed to. I played every club in New York City and I bombed in every club and then killed it in every club and I found myself as an artist. I learned how to survive as an artist, get real, and how to fail and then figure out who I was as singer and performer. And, I worked hard.”

GaGa adds with a wink in her eye, “And, now, I’m just trying to change the world one sequin at a time.”

The Eurovision Song Contest is Europe’s favorite TV show.

eurovision-song-contestAlready for 53 years, the Eurovision Song Contest is Europe’s favorite TV show. After more than five decades featuring some 1,100 songs, the contest has become a modern classic, strongly embedded into Europe’s collective mind. Read on to find out how it all started over half a century ago…
After 53 years, the database with Eurovision Song Contest facts and figures, stories and anecdotes is huge! A true, die-hard fan knows how many points Luxembourg got in 1980 (56), who came last in 1972 (Malta, with 48 points) and how many times the Netherlands got 12 points in 1996 (once, from Austria). Because no one can expect you to become a living Eurovision Song Contest encyclopedia, Eurovision.tv takes you through the contest’s history in fast forward. It’s all you need to know before you dive into the rich history of the Eurovision Song Contest…

How it all begun
Did you know that not only stars like ABBA, Celine Dion, Cliff Richard and Julio Iglesias took part, but also dance act Riverdance thanks its fame to the Eurovision Song Contest? The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) was formed on 12th February 1950 by 23 broadcasting organisations from Europe and the Mediterranean at a conference in Devon, United Kingdom. It was on the 6th of June, 1954, that Montreux became the venue for the first transmission by the EBU’s Eurovision Network of the Narcissus Festival and its flower-bedecked procession floats. The first Eurovision viewers eagerly watched on four million television sets in homes, bars, and shop windows in Germany, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Ambitious project
In 1955, the EBU came up with the idea of an international song contest whereby countries, represeted by their respective public broadcasters, would participate in one television show, to be transmitted simultaneously in all represented nations. This was conceived during a meeting in Monaco in 1955 by Marcel Bezençon, a Frenchman working for the EBU. The competition was based upon the Italian Festival di Sanremo, held for the first time in 1951, and was also seen as a technological experiment in live television: In those days, it was a very ambitious project to join many countries together in a wide-area international network. Satellite television did not exist yet at that time, and the Eurovision Network comprised a terrestrial microwave network. Le Grand-Prix Eurovision de la Chanson Européenne was born!

The successes
Without interruption, the Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast every year since 1956, which makes it one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. In 2003, the first ever Junior Eurovision Song Contest took place, while the Eurovision Song Contest celebrated her 50th anniversity 2005. Viewers picked ABBA’s Waterloo as best ever Eurovision Song Contest song. In 2007, Europe could see the first ever Eurovision Dance Contest.

The 2008 running saw a record of 43 represented countries, as Azerbaijan and San Marino joined the family. The competition has been broadcast throughout Europe, but also in Australia, Canada, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand and the United States, even though these countries do not participate. In 2009, an Asian version of the Eurovision Song Contest is expected to be launched.

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