The Best American Divas of All Time

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 6.08.06 PMTo celebrate the 4th of July, we are presenting a patriotic, one-of-kind special that salutes the game-changing ladies of American pop. Hosted by Ciara, who’s new self-titled album drops on July 9th, 33 Greatest All American Divas is a countdown of the greatest divas from past and present.

What does it take to be one of the best American Divas? Take a look at five of the top ladies and see what makes them stand out as true divas and American icons.

Aretha Franklin
Aside from the massive hits spanning over three decades, 20 Grammy awards, and being the first female artist to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1981- there is that distinctive and timeless voice that puts Aretha at the top of the list. With classics such as “Respect” and “Chain of Fools” loved by the young and old alike, the “Queen of Soul” is unquestionably the Queen American Diva.

barbra-streisand-7Barbara Streisand
Barbara Streisand isn’t just a pop diva. “Babs” is a singer, songwriter, author, actress, writer, film producer and director – and she happens to be great at doing it all. Streisand holds the record for the most top-ten albums of any female recording artist – a total of 32 since 1963. She has won two Academy Awards, eight Grammy Awards, five Emmy Awards including one Daytime Emmy, a Special Tony Award, an American Film Institute award, a Kennedy Center Honors award, a Peabody Award, and is one of the few entertainers (less than 20) who have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award – dubbed the EGOT.

Madonna
It takes a real diva to dance in public wearing a coned bra and yet still be admired as one of the top businesswoman in the music industry – and Madonna pulls it off with chutzpah. Guinness Book of World Records considers Madonna the most successful female artist of all time – but we don’t need a book to tell us that. Madonna needs no explanation for being one of the greatest All American Divas. She is a true American icon like no other in pop music.

Mariah Carey
Let’s work out some numbers here. Mariah has more #1 pop hits in the US than anyone but the Beatles. Her voice can cover an unbelievable five octaves. She has won five Grammy awards and, after a few years in the early 2000s where her career faltered, she came back with “We Belong Together,” which went on to spend 14 weeks at #1 making it one of the biggest pop singles of all time. Not bad Mariah… not bad at all.

Whitney+Houston+Whitney+HQ+2Whitney Houston
The late great Whitney Houston was a true force of nature- with a flawless voice and staggering beauty that made her a sensation all over the globe. Her career saw six studio albums, three movie soundtracks, one holiday album and a greatest hits collection- all of which have sold over 200 million records worldwide. She is also in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most awarded female act of all time. This was a diva that sadly departed too soon.

 

 

 

 

Rock The Bells Festival Announce Artists Additions to Lineup

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 1.09.01 AMThe Rock The Bells festival announced a dozen additions to it’s 2013 lineup this week, including Riff Raff, Action Bronson, and Deltron 3030. Those acts join hip-hop stars like Wu-Tang Clan, J. Cole, and Kid Cudi. And to top it off: they are promising hologram performances from Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Eazy-E.

Other additions include notable EDM artists Pretty Lights, Chase & Status and Mimosa.

Guerilla Union CEO and founder Chang Weisberg said of the new additions and EDM add ons, “It’s also important to acknowledge the gap being bridged between hip hop and EDM. They’re no longer two solitary genres and we’re starting to see major overlap between both styles, especially in areas like LA, NYC, and DMV. Rock The Bells tenth year marks the perfect time to celebrate that influence with acts like Girl Talk, Pretty Lights, Chase & Status and Mimosa. Hip-hop is not one dimensional, it’s actually more diverse than it’s ever been, and I’m glad that we’re able to showcase and celebrate the many different sub-styles of the genre.”

In unprecedented hip-hop history, more than twenty artists on this year’s bill are releasing new albums this year including Curren$y, Danny Brown, Deltron 3030, Dom Kennedy, Earl Sweatshirt, Hopsin, Juicy J, Schoolboy Q, and many more.

The festival lands in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C and New York starting in September. Click here for dates and ticket info.

Hear the lineup on Slacker’s Hip Hop station.

 

 

Jerry Bergonzi: By Any Other Name – New On Slacker Modern Jazz

Jerry+Bergonzi+JerryBergonziThere are only a handful of musicians who can simultaneously navigate through the obstacle course of chord changes on John Coltrane’s Giant Steps with finesse while totally reworking the song’s melodic content, essentially making it a fresh, new composition. That is exactly what saxophone master Jerry Bergonzi has done with PG 2013 (Giant Steps) and several other standards on his new album, appropriately titled By Any Other Name.

Bergonzi, who recorded nine albums with Dave Brubeck from ’73 – ’81, is widely appreciated as both a fluid improviser with a muscular tone and a top educator. On this offering, Jerry and his forward-looking quartet use the chord changes of Bye Bye Blackbird, Joy Spring, and Star Eyes as lift off points for their own spontaneous compositions.

There is nothing simple about the music Bergonzi and his colleagues pursue. Phil Grenadier’s trumpet solos match Bergonzi’s tenor work for intensity and complexity and the quartet breathes as one.

Check out Jerry Bergonzi on Slacker Modern Jazz as he lays down stunning original work based on his knowledge of what’s come before!

 

New Slacker EQ – The Official “Song of the Summer”

play-1It is Thursday and that means some new EQ charts for you to dig into. Check them out here. 

This weeks theme is clearly leading us into what is bound to be a big summer for music. So what’s the official “Song of the Summer” for 2013? Slacker’s EQ charts provide some early clues, as Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” remains the most engaging song for the fourth week in a row. You’ve also got Robin Thicke, who continues to show growth–which is insane, considering how much airplay “Blurred Lines” has been getting in the past few weeks. That track’s engagement scores continue to rise, rivaled in growth only by Calvin Harris’ “I Need Your Love.” We suggest you keep your eyes on that one.

Speaking of songs to keep your eyes on, check out “Hey Girl” by Billy Currington. It crashed our overall Top 40 this week, with big airplay rolling in from no less that eight Slacker stations. Billy is just the latest country artist to show impressive levels of early engagement, looking to eventually follow in the footsteps of Top 10 stalwarts Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Blake Shelton and Randy Houser.

The official “Song of the Summer”…it’s lurking within the Slacker EQ charts somewhere. Dive in here and see what you can find.

Make sure to also check out our Slacker EQ Top 40 station, updated every week based on our EQ scores. Not sure what the EQ score is? Read more here or check out our nifty infographic here.

 

 

Celebrate LGBT Pride With Music on Slacker

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 1.18.18 PMJune is officially Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) and the month has been ripe with milestone news, special events, and a massive amount of support for the LFBT community.

Celebrate LGBT Pride with a Slacker Radio station that’s as diverse as the gay community itself. On LGBT Pride, we’ve got anthems from “I Will Survive” to “Born This Way,” historical supporters like Judy Garland and Kylie Minogue, plus out and proud artists from Adam Lambert to Elton John, R.E.M to Frank Ocean.

And of course we’ve got all the hot dance tracks to soundtrack your Pride celebrations. As Pride month is ramping up to its climax this upcoming weekend, Slacker’s LGBT Pride will help you cultivate your party playlist and get pumped for a good time.  You can find Pride celebrations in your area happening this month and beyond  right here.

 

 

New Music First: Kaskade, M.I.A and Cady Groves

We’ve got some upbeat new releases that are sure to help welcome in the summer. Take a look at these fresh new tracks:

Cady-Groves-472x472In 2011, Cady Groves released a single called “This Little Girl”, which featured the lyric “This little girl is capable of murder, if you hurt her.” Clearly, she’s not your average 23-year-old pop starlet. Now she is back with a new single from the “Smurfs 2″ soundtrack, and the Slacker curators think this will be her first big hit. You can listen to “Forget You” on Slacker’s New Pop First.

M.I.A. has released “Bring The Noize,” the follow-up to her 2012 Grammy-nominated single “Bad Girls.”  Both tracks will be featured on the upcoming “Matangi” album, which itself is the subject of some very public drama between M.I.A. and her label. This track is much more aggressive and chaotic than “Bad Girls” and we love it. You can hear it now on Slacker’s Electronic Hits.

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 12.20.49 AMTaking a step back from several EDM trends, fan and industry favorite Kaskade has done something he has never done before on his new single “Atmosphere” –  Kaskade himself provides the vocals. Something that he does quite well. The single boasts all of Kaskade’s trademark qualities like delicate piano work, a memorable vocal track, and a swift uplifting progressive house drop. His new album of the same name will drop this September. In the meantime you can listen to “Atmosphere” on Slacker’s New Dance First. 

 

 

Artist of the Week: Prince

princeThe Purple One turned 55 this month, and he is celebrating by preparing to release a new album with his latest backing band, Minneapolis’ 3rdEyeGirl. On recording the new album, he said “I don’t have time for old people…I want to work with young people.” It’s a fitting approach, as his music is timeless and he continues to reinvent himself as an artist. That and he seems to lack the ability to age.

Our new Artist of the Week is as effervescent and energetic as ever. Along with the new album he just kicked off his North American tour and is lending his talent in a rare collaboration for Janelle Monáe’s new album. If you get a chance to, make sure to see Prince live on the tour – it will definitely be an experience of a lifetime.

On this week’s Artist of the Week station you’ll hear the best of Prince, his collaborations with artists like Sheila E, The Time, and Vanity 6, the artists that influenced him like James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, and Sly Stone, and the artists that followed in his musical legacy like D’Angelo, Pharrell Williams, and Jaime Lidell.

Click here to listen to Price’s Artist of the Week station.

 

In Memoriam: James Gandolfini 1961 – 2013

tony_soprano_sopranos-472x472James Gandolfini has died at the age of 51 while on vacation in Italy. The news comes as a terrible shock to the community who are collectively in mourning for the universally loved artist.

“It is with immense sorrow that we report our client, James Gandolfini, passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy,” managers Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders said in a joint statement. “Our hearts are shattered and we will miss him deeply. He and his family were part of our family for many years and we are all grieving.”

As the lead character Tony Soprano on HBO’s “The Sopranos” he played one of the most iconic roles in the history of television. Today, Slacker is paying tribute to this supremely talented character actor the best way we know how—through music.

The Sopranos received considerable attention for its creative use of music during critical scenes and especially during the closing credits. If you are one of the millions of die-hard Sopranos fans, there are certain songs that you will forever associate with pivotal scenes, episode, and moments in Tony Soprano’s life.

The Sound of the Sopranos features all of the music that was so prominently featured on the show—Slacker’s way of paying tribute to James Gandolfini’s legacy and work. Listen here with us as we mourn the loss of such an amazing talent and respected actor.

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