Discover: Trevor Brooks

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It’s not often that I have a friend to feature, but today I do…

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…and his name is Trevor Brooks!

I met Trevor at the beginning of the year when I sat next to him in a music business class at Belmont University! We were grading each other’s papers and studying for tests! So here we both are, post-graduation!

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Trevor is a budding country artist who plays out very often and has good contacts in the music industry. He’s a personal friend of mine and I just had the pleasure of seeing him play for the first time on Tuesday night at Belcourt Taps!

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Songwriter rounds are wonderful & he was featured with 3 other songwriters!

Trevor sang a great selection of songs for the crowd and I really enjoyed his songwriting! It was awesome to hear him play his music and it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for quite a while! 🙂

So naturally, Trevor was kind enough to answer questions for us:

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1) When did you first find yourself interested in music?

“I’ve always had a huge interest in music. Growing up, all my momma listened to was country music and the occasional 80’s pop or rock artists. Whether it be wearing out my favorite CD’s growing up or trying to mimic the artists’ voices, I’ve always been extremely attracted to singing.”

microphone-3Singing is a lovely form of self expression!

2) How long have you been pursuing a career in music?

“I’ve been pursing a career as an artist for a little over 2 years. So I’m still very new at it. I started out doing a lot of covers and trying to write my own music….like most people. I really dove into the artist aspect of this career about a year ago when I started to really figure myself out.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 12.53.58 PMReach for the stars!

3) What is your hometown?
“Waxahachie, Texas”

waxahachie_txClosest major city = Dallas

4) Were you ever in any bands?

“Nope.”

I8kq0uJI love simple answers! HAHA

5) What do you wish to accomplish with your music?

“I want the lyrics and music I write to completely overwhelm people with whatever sort of emotion I’m trying to covey by them. If I write a sad song, I want people to cry. If the song is happy, I want to look at their face while I sing and see the joy on their face. I just want to move people all over the world.”

live-performance2I love that reason! 🙂

6) How would you describe your sound?

“I will always trace my sound back to country music. Not necessarily the current radio country, but more of what I grew up listening to with a bit of a modern feel. A lot of people here in Nashville tell me I’ve got a bit of a soulful sound as well. I think that part of my ‘sound’ comes from the lyrics I write.”

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#ModernCountry

Currently, Trevor spends his time writing and cowriting with some of Nashville’s incredible writers! He told me: “I’ve met some amazingly talented people here and am honored to have created some beautiful music with them. Overall, I am building my repertoire, networking, performing and having fun in this beautiful city of Nashville.”

Trevor plays in writer’s rounds 2-3 times a month at Belcourt Taps and Music City Tippler – among others!

To keep up with Trevor, like his Facebook page (facebook.com/trevorbrooksartist) and follow him on Twitter: @JTrevorBrooks!

Congratulations Trevor on finding yourself as an artist & I can’t wait to hear more!

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Discover: Astrid’s Tea Party

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I’m enjoying getting many more music submissions and just recently…

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…I was sent a new single by a band called “Astrid’s Tea Party”

Despite having a very interesting band name, I was really digging their sound! They hail from Brighton in the UK and they have just launched their first single: “What’s In It For Me?” on SoundCloud. The single will be available for purchase & download this coming Monday, December 1st!

Check out the new single here: soundcloud.com/astridsteaparty/whats-in-it-for-me

Electro-dance rock is their style of choice when it comes to music and their front woman Astrid is officially described as “a mix of Roisin Murphy with an underlying Charli XCX pop-punk attitude”.

Without further ado, let’s get to our interview:

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#AstridsTeaParty

1) When did you first find yourselves interested in music?

Astrid: “I will let the band answer for themselves but for me, I actually can’t remember a time I wasn’t interested in music. My earliest memories are being put to sleep in the car (I was a difficult child you would be surprised to hear) listening to Dylan’s “Hard Rain”…which probably accounts for my warped mentality, being soothed to sleep listening to a lullaby of a post nuclear war apocalypse probably explains everything.”

Ollie: “The moment my heart started beating out a rhythm.”

Remi: “I don’t see the root of my interest in music, I just love passion and within music, people are so passionate about it and that’s just amazing to be around.”

Cam: “My parents had a compilation album called ‘The Greatest Rap Record Of All Time’, (or something like that), as well as Outkast’s ‘Love Haters’ album. I just loved listening to those two albums on repeat in the car when I was about 9 or 10, fell in love with D’Angelo, De La Soul and Dream Warriors. The music was just so cool, I didn’t really understand the lyrics, but I didn’t really care back then, they were just great songs.”

hiphopbabyMusic is such a wonderful tradition!

2) How did you all meet?

Ollie: “Astrid and I met through a mutual friend when she first moved down south. Remi had a great rep as a sub dub bass man so we recruited him with the promise of riches and distant lands and Cam, well our sound needed a multi-instrumentalist to add the complexity we required so we drew up a short list of one and it was him. The rest is history, or it will be.”

BandSounds like a match made in Heaven! Just like No Doubt!

3) How did the band “Astrid’s Tea Party” form?

Astrid: “We had all been in lots of bands and different situations and we formed around the idea of wanting to do something different, so came up with this idea of “punk dance” and it just developed from there.”

DragonCon-2014-DaftPunk-Dance-Party-2_00012Punk dance is such a great idea for a genre!

4) Where is your hometown?

Astrid: “I’m from ‘Livershire’. Born in Liverpool, raised in the depth of the Shropshire hills, neighbours with Led Zep’s Robert Plant. I used to see him buying turnips in the farmers market on a Saturday morning. Rock. And. Roll. And when I’m not in Brighton, Prague is the nearest thing to a hometown for me.”

Ollie: “Born in Brighton, I grew up on a little island in the Channel. To be honest, for me home is wherever there’s good rum and good people.”

Remi: “Northwood Hills, not a lot happening there. Some nice people…”

Cam: “A little place called Tatsfield in Surrey. I haven’t been back there in years. But I remember it fairly well as it was a really nice looking place. I think it was really nice to grow up in the countryside, I love city life now, but the countryside is great for the imagination when you’re that age.”

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Robert Plant is one of the most talented men in the world! Love that guy! 😀

5) What do you wish to accomplish with your music?

Astrid: “Well for us, the thing we’ve all got in common and the reason we do this is to play live. That’s what drives us on. We’ll be coming soon to a town near you; the punk influenced dance sound of ATP… all welcome to the party.”

google-holiday-party-gif-1386680501Astrid’s Tea Party = ATP

6) How would you describe your sound?

Astrid: “It’s hard to do this without sounding totally pretentious…You know like, ‘we are a melange of intense electro melodies, driving rhythms and visceral lyrics blah blah blah,’ which is gut wrenching. The best compliment we’ve ever had is someone said we sounded like the future, which is fantastic if people think that. Others say we are hard to categorize. We think of ourselves as punk inspired electro-dance/rock.”

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I love futuristic music! I can’t lie 😀

Currently, ATP is working on an EP that is due out in 2015! This band has a very interesting sound and I’m excited to hear more music from them!

For more information, like their Facebook page (facebook.com/astridsteaparty) and send them a tweet: @astridsteaparty!

Congratulations Astrid’s Tea Party on your new single & I can’t wait to hear your EP!

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Violin virtuoso Kyung Wha Chung overcomes 10 year injury!

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The most interesting story that I can find to bring to you today…

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…stars a female violinist who overcame a 10 year injury!

Classical music is a genre of music that I revere and enjoy listening to! It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, symphonies, orchestras, or solo instrumentalists. I love it all!

I’m just learning today that Korean violin virtuoso Kyung Wha Chung has had a debilitating injury in which she spent 10 years not being able to play her beloved instrument: the violin!

According to Google, the definition of virtuoso is:

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#Virtuoso

So considering she was a genius at playing the violin, I’m so sad that she had an injury that made it impossible for her to play the violin for an entire decade! It’s very unfair, but the lesson of Kyung’s story is to never give up.

Her injury was the inability to use her left index finger and she’s been plagued with that injury since 2005! Kyung commented on her injury in an interview with The Telegraph saying: “During a rehearsal my finger just collapsed and I couldn’t play anymore.”

It put an indefinite end to her career as a touring musician as she couldn’t form notes on the strings of her violin any longer 😦

At 66 years old, Kyung is going to play her first London recital in 10 years in December at the Royal Festival Hall!

RFH_Organ_Nick_Rochowski01#RoyalFestivalHall

So how did she do it?! The secret to her recovery is an incredibly, arduous process of therapy along with intense practice in her head! That’s right! She has been playing music on the violin in her head since she couldn’t play the instrument with her hands!

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Oh, how I love the violin!

Regarding her recovery, Kyung has said: “For instance, after coming out of five years of not playing, and then to do the six unaccompanied Bach (sonatas and partitas), after not having played…I worked it out all in my head…with every possibility of bowing and so on.”

Kyung describer herself now as ‘freer’ and ‘lighter’. This injury has giving her time to grow as a person and as an artist which I think is an absolutely beautiful thing!

Stories like this touch my heart and it just goes to show how important music really is to people’s lives and how alive it can be in our hearts 🙂

Congratulations Kyung and I can’t wait for the world to see you play again!

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Thanksgiving: Music I’m thankful for!

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Happy Thanksgiving to one and to all! And in honor of today…

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I wanted to tell you music I’m thankful for in 2014!

Let’s make a list, shall we?

1. Tove Lo – Queen of the Clouds

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#QueenOfTheClouds

I cannot say how much I have adored having this new artist come into my very musical world! Tove Lo is amazing, y’all! She hails from Sweden, she put out her debut album “Queen of the Clouds” on September 30th, and she’s a musical genius! What’s not to love?!

Tove Lo, I’m thankful for you!

2. Calvin Harris – Motion

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#Motion

Not only is he the best DJ in the world, he’s also a ridiculously amazing songwriter, and has one of my favorite singing voices too! Calvin does is all! “Motion” was just released on November 4th and I think it’s a wonderful collection of new songs! My favorites would have to be “Outside” featuring Ellie Goulding, “Blame” featuring John Newman, “Summer”, “Slow Acid”, “Under Control” featuring Hurts, and “Ecstasy” featuring Hurts.

Calvin Harris, I’m thankful for you!

3. Iggy Azalea – The New Classic

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#TheNewClassic

2014 has been Iggy Azalea’s year! A 24 year old female rapper from the not so glamorous parts of Australia! It’s a Cinderella story…from rags to riches…from nothing to something. Iggy has been on my radar and I’m pretty sure I’ve listened to The New Classic 100 times through already! I’m so impressed by her strong efforts to make it big in music as well as her hard hitting rhymes. She’s bold and she’s here to stay! Move over, Nicki Minaj. Two female rappers can own “the spot” in 2014! 😀

Iggy Azalea, I’m thankful for you!

4. Lily Allen – Sheezus

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#Sheezus

It’s no secret on my blog that I looooove Lily Allen like she were my best friend! HAHA I think Lily is such an incredible artist because she’s unafraid to say anything which makes her controversial and like a good book, she’s hard to put down. Her music is fun, not to be taken too seriously, and very, very catchy! “Sheezus” is her nod to Kanye West’s album “Yeezus” and an ongoing joke that she made the album’s name to get people’s attention…which it did! “Sheezus” was released on May 5th and I’ve heard it 100 times through as well HAHA It ranks right up there with Iggy Azalea’s “The New Classic” for me as my top played albums of the year and really…my top most enjoyed albums of the year.

Check out Lily’s Sheezus track by track commentary here:

I love commentaries!!!

Lily Allen, I’m thankful for you!

5. Robin Thicke – Paula

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#Paula

I’m gonna get flack for this I know, but this guy needs someone to throw this guy a bone! Robin Thicke became a laughing stock in music in 2014 because everyone thought he was being desperate as ever when he tried to get his wife (actress Paula Patton) back. I’ll admit he was “begging” and because he received so much backlash for making an album called “Paula” that he dedicated to his wife that he was trying to win back. “Paula” was released on July 29th but I never gave it a listen until a couple weeks ago! I have to say that the album is an incredible collection of old school sounding, motown love songs. I love “Paula”. There! I said it!! And I especially love the song “Whatever I Want”. Robin may not have gotten the girl back, but he puts his heart out on his sleeve and that’s why I still respect him!

Listen to this song for me please!!! 😀

#WhateverIWant

Robin Thicke, I’m thankful for you!

Thank you 2014 for great music and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Idina Menzel announces 2015 world tour!

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You know who I’d really like to see in concert again?

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Idina Menzel!

I’m serious, y’all! 🙂 When I saw her back in July 2008 in Florida, she was strong-willed, charismatic, down to earth, charming, and had one heck of a voice!

A lot has changed since then for the singer from Broadway famed productions of “Rent” and “Wicked”. Idina is most known for singing “Let It Go” for the Disney animated film “Frozen” as well as being the voice of the character Elsa from the movie!

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I know everyone is sick to death of that song and it’s understandable because it got so overplayed by radio, cover songs on YouTube, and in the living rooms of every parent in the world. However, that song did so much for Idina and brought more attention to her as an artist which I loved!

I must recommend that you pick up a copy of her new Christmas album:

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She has an incredible repertoire of songs from Broadway, but Idina’s 2008 solo album “I Stand” was a real game changer for me! It’s a myriad of elegant songs and if I had to pick a favorite…it’s gotta be “Where Do I Begin”.

Take a listen to that gorgeous ballad here:

#WhereDoIBegin

Idina’s 39-date summer tour will commence on July 7th in Richmond, VA and will end on October 3rd in LA at the famous Hollywood Bowl!

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And don’t worry if you’re not in “The States”, Idina is taking her tour international after she completes the US leg of her tour!!!

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See the full list of 2015 US Tour Dates here:

7/7/15: Richmond, VA (Altria Theater)
7/8/15: Baltimore, MD (The Hippodrome Theatre)
7/10/15: Atlantic City, NJ (Borgata Resort Casino & Spa)
7/11/15: Uncasville, CT (Mohegan Sun Arena)
7/12/15: Holmdel, NJ (PNC Bank Arts Center)
7/14/15: Bethlehem, PA (Sands Bethlehem Events Center)
7/16/15: Philadelphia, PA (Mann Center for the Performing Arts)
7/17/15: Wantagh, NY (Nikon At Jones Beach Theater)
7/18/15: Washington, DC (Jiffy Lube Live)
7/22/15: Raleigh, NC (Red Hat Amphitheater)
7/24/15: Atlanta, GA (Delta Classic Chastain Park Amphitheater)
7/25/15: Orlando, FL (Dr Phillips Performing Arts Center)
7/26/15: Boca Raton, FL (Mizner Park Amphitheater)
7/28/15: Clearwater, FL (Ruth Eckerd Hall)
7/30/15: New Orleans, LA (Saenger Theatre)
7/31/15: Houston, TX (Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion)
8/1/15: Austin, TX (Bass Concert Hall)
8/5/15: Seattle, WA (Paramount Theatre)
8/7/15: Concord, CA (Concord Pavilion)
8/8/15: San Diego, CA (Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre)
8//9/15: Phoenix, AZ (Comerica Theatre)
8/11/15: Morrison, CO (Red Rocks Amphitheatre)
8/12/15: Kansas City, MO (Starlight Theatre)
8/13/15: Minneapolis, MN (Northrop Auditorium)
8/15/15: Nashville, TN (TBA)
8/16/15: Chicago, IL (Jay Pritzker Pavilion)
8/18/15: Cincinnati, OH (PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center)
8/19/15: Columbus, OH (Palace Theatre)
8/21/15: Cuyahoga Falls, OH (Blossom Music Center)
8/22/15: Detroit, MI (Fox Theatre)
8/23/15: Indianapolis, IN (Murat Theatre at Old National Centre)
8/25/15: Pittsburgh, PA (Benedum Center)
8/26/15: Norfolk, VA (Chrysler Hall)
8/28/15: Boston, MA (Blue Hills Bank Pavilion)
8/29/15: Lenox, MA (Tanglewood)
8/30/15: Canandaigua, NY (CMAC)
9/1/15: Montreal, Canada (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place Des Arts)
9/2/15: Toronto, Canada (Sony Centre for the Performing Arts)
10/3/15: Los Angeles, CA (Hollywood Bowl)

As you may have noticed, she IS coming to Nashville but the venue has yet to be announced!! Hmmmm! Perhaps there is a venue bidding war over who gets Idina to play a show! 😀

I can’t wait to see Idina next year & I hope you’re excited too!

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Rick Ross lost 100 lbs!

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It’s not often that you see someone lose one third of their body weight…

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…but that’s exactly what the amazing rapper Rick Ross did!

Rick has been known for being overweight, but now he’s put the pedal to the medal and shed some serious LBs!!!

Rick was pushing 300 lbs just 3 years ago when he had two seizures in one day which wound him up in a hospital bed. Health wasn’t a concern for him and he used his big boned look to make himself stand out in the Hip Hop community.

Fast forward to today and Rick has shed nearly 100 lbs in the last 7 months!!!

Take a look at him now:

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#WOW

I have to congratulate him first of all because some people will go their whole lives without losing 15 lbs…let alone 100!

Rick is 37 years old and he shed the pounds by eating healthier foods and committing himself to a high-intensity workout plan! So I’d like to go on record and say that “diet and exercise” is the tried and true way to lose it and to keep it off!

Diet-Plus-ExerciseDiet + Exercise

“The Boss” himself still spends long hours in the recording studio making new music including his 7th studio album “Hood Billionaire” that was just released on yesterday (Monday 11/24)!!!

rick-ross-hood-billionaire#HoodBillionaire

For the curious minds like me that want to know…here are some diet tips from Rick in an interview he had with The Associated Press:

1. He stopped drinking soda, unless it’s diet soda.

2. It’s a lot better to eat heavier meals earlier in the day.

3. You should drink water throughout the day.

4. Treat yourself when you work hard.

5. Go to CrossFit! or what he calls “RossFit”

6. Have your buddies work out with you. (Rick brings along DJ Khaled)

7. Drink less alcohol. (If a rapper can do it, so can you)

As far as the diet goes, Rick stopped eating certain foods such as bread, white rice, and fish fillets, although he hasn’t eliminated his favorite food: lemon pepper wings. And speaking of wings, the rapper owns 9 “Wingstop” franchises throughout the US and he stops by at least twice a week when he’s in town!!

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#WingStop

To sum it all up for us, he said: “I’m not under no stress of what I’m eating. There are no restrictions. I’m not trying to make a particular weight. I’m just working out and doing what’s best for Rozay.”

The man has so many nicknames and now he has so much to be thankful for! I think anyone who makes an effort to lose weight is a champion…without a doubt! He conquered it and he’s so focused on making health a priority.

Your very own Music Row Girl is on her own weightloss journey right now as well and has lost 15 lbs in a little over 2 months. When I’m thinking about what I used to weigh and how I used to feel just 2 months and 8 days ago…it’s a huge difference! I’m going strong into month 3 and I’ll have you know…I’m a vegetarian now 🙂

Congratulations to Rick on your phenomenal weightloss & for inspiring us to keep going!

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Top 5 American Music Awards moments of 2014!

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Last night was quite a dazzling night in the world of music…

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…as the American Music Awards happened LIVE from LA!

I was watching (of course!) and I need to tell you all what I think the Top 5 moments of the 2014 AMAs were! In random order, the Top 5 moments are:

1. Taylor Swift’s performance of “Blank Space”!

It was hard to ignore how the show began! An elegant Taylor Swift was suspended from the air while she was seated at a formal dining room table across from a handsome gentleman. It was a snapshot of her latest music video that has taken the world by storm! Once the table and chairs landed safely on the stage, Taylor hit the ground running and went on to give an electrifying performance of “Blank Space”. It was complete with men in gray makeup signifying past lovers, a secret lover at the end who opened the door that Taylor knocked on, and my favorite: Taylor holding a burning rose in one hand and a burning rose petal in the other! I don’t know if I could hold fire that close to me without flinching…but then again, I’m not Taylor Swift! HAHA

Please check out that epic performance here:

#BlankSpace

2. Iggy Azalea’s eloquent acceptance speeches!

Everyone knows I’m an “Azalean” AKA a hardcore fan of Iggy Azalea, so naturally I was entirely thrilled that she won 2 huge AMAs last night! She cleaned Hip Hop’s clock by winning Best Rap/Hip-Hop Album for “The New Classic” and an award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist! She had the last laugh on the recent feud with Eminem by saying that it was incredible to win Best Album when she was up against Drake AND Eminem! She was classy (The New Classic pun intended!) and that’s all she needed to do to stuff it in Slim Shady’s face! HAHA Also, she said the first award she received was “the first award I’ve ever won in my entire life”. She talked about how Hip Hop inspired her to get through her life and get to better times. T.I. was by her side for both award wins as he is her mentor! 🙂

Check out Iggy’s acceptance speech here:

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3. Lorde performed the heck out of her Hunger Games song!

I don’t mind that some people think she’s awkward, weird, or creepy. She’s so unique and she was having a blast on the AMAs stage last night! Lorde performed her song for the latest installment of the Hunger Games (Mockingjay): “Yellow Flicker Beat”. The performance was phenomenal in my opinion and her bestie Taylor Swift was cheering her on while singing her heart out in the front row! It doesn’t get much better than that! 😀

#YellowFlickerBeat

4. Ariana Grande’s acoustic performances!

I’m a huge Ariana Grande fan and it’s very amazing to hear some of her greatest hits (“Problem” and “Break Free”) performed acoustically! They were broken down and absolutely enchanting! I couldn’t believe my ears and I’m looking forward to seeing Miss Grande in concert very soon…whenever that may be!!

Listen to Ariana’s acoustic performances + “Love Me Harder” with The Weeknd:

AMAZIIIIING!

5. Nicki Minaj & Skylar Grey perform together!

Nicki Minaj was probably most noted last night for wearing a very conservative outfit, but besides the full-coverage evening gown, she gave a wonderful performance with one of my favorite songwriters: Skylar Grey! The song was Nicki’s new single “Bed Of Lies” from her upcoming album “The Pink Print”, whose release date has been postponed til December 15th!

Check out their epic, piano performance here:

#BedOfLies

Thanks for checking out the Top 5 & here’s to the 2015 AMAs!!!

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