Imagine Dragons performs a live ad for Target during a Grammys commercial break on Feb. 8, 2015 in Las Vegas. This year, they pulled off the most-memorable commercial with the first-ever live Grammys ad an elaborate stunt aired in real-time. Instead of eight 30-second ads, Target opted to give music fans #MoreMusic with their allotted ad time.
Famed music director Jonas Akerlund, who directed the multi-million dollar performance on Vegas’ Fremont Street, said the magnitude and technicalities of the it became “very scary” because of the live component of the project.
Footage from the live stunt will be used to promote Imagine Dragons’ Feb. 17 release date of Smoke and Mirrors, the upcoming band’s sophomore album. The physical deluxe Target version of the album will feature four exclusive songs.
Ferras, whose “Hollywood’s Not America” was used as the exit song on American Idol in 2008, inked a deal as the the first musician on Katy Perry’s recently launched record label, Metamorphosis, in June 2014. Together, they have a duet on his self-titled EP called “Legends Never Die,” and if things swing in his favor, Ferras just might be one of Katy Perry’s guest performers when she headlines Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1.
Mickey Guyton, who grew up singing gospel in church, brings a refreshing look to the country music scene. Influenced by LeAnn Rimes, Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston, the fairly new Nashville singer-songwriter will make her debut at the Grand Ole Opry this month before releasing her first album sometime this year. Her lead-off single, “Better Than You Left Me,” is reminiscent of country powerhouse Carrie Underwood, and it’s primed to be a welcome radio gem in 2015. Fun fact: In 2011, Mickey sang Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” at the White House in 2011.
Taylor Swift isn’t the only scorned lover who can write and sing one hell of a post-relationship song. Enter Bebe Rexha, who just followed up her “I Can’t Stop Drinking About You” breakup anthem with the powerfully catchy “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy.” You may already know her as the voice on Cash Cash’s “Take Me Home” and the co-writer of Eminem and Rihanna’s “The Monster.”
This singer-songwriter, best known so far for writing the 2013 Grammy-nominated hit “Stay” for Rihanna and then performing it with her at the Grammys, will release his debut album (Time) on Jan. 20. Mikky Ekko’s vulnerable lyrics and yearning vocals get an assist from familiar hitmakers, including Benny Blanco and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, on Time. And it’s about time Mikky gives the world more of what they fell in love with many months ago with “Stay.”
Fifth Harmony’s long-awaited debut album, Reflections, will finally arrive this month, two years after the Simon Cowell-assembled quintet finished third on The X Factor. The release comes on the heels of the group claiming its first top 40 hit with the Meghan Trainor-penned “Sledgehammer.”
Remember this name and face because you’ll be hearing and seeing Mark Ronson’s name and dome (pictured on the right in the video, above) all year long. Already riding high on the commercial and critical success of “Uptown Funk” with Bruno Mars, the English producers’ upcoming Uptown Special album appears to be the project to reinvigorate his career, which really gained steam back in 2006 producing the brunt of late Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album and then in 2008 with his sophomore outing Version. Ronson’s new project features a much-anticipated collaboration with Stevie Wonder as well as the groovy “Daffodils” tune with the psychedelic Kevin Parker.
J. Cole’s latest project, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, claimed the distinction for the most first-week Spotify streams for an album in its debut week last year with 15.7 million streams. Released only in December, the nostalgic album, touching on his journey toward fame and the ridiculousness of rap rivalries, went on to become the top-selling rap album of the year, and it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. This is the album you should buy to hold you over until 2015’s slew of rap and hip-hop projects from Drake, Lil Wayne and Kanye West come out to dominate your playlists. Read more…