The Top 13 Pop Songs of 2013…So Far

The anthems, the dance floor smashes, the songs that make the bedroom shake – we’ve got the top 13 (being that it’s 2013) pop songs of the year so far. We are only halfway through the year and the list was already almost too difficult to narrow down.  Here we go….

robinthickeRobin Thicke featuring Pharrell & T.I. “Blurred Lines”
The official (said by me) song of the 2013 summer because not only does this song make you want to take your clothes off but you want to dance your bootie off! Mr. Thicke and his buddies get into some serious sexy and dirty business…hey hey hey.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Can’t Hold Us” / “Same Love”
Coming from my hometown of Sea-Town, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have taken this world by a (no pun intended) Seattle storm with songs that frankly, mean something. It’s really hard to pick a best song from their forceful album “The Heist”. But these two songs in particular have made tremendous impact on not only the industry itself but with civil rights. Taking a stand with their beliefs make their force unstoppable.

calvin harris 2Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch “Sweet Nothing” 
Not only has 2013 been the year for DJ/Producers but this has been Calvin Harris’ year for sure. “Sweet Nothing” pairs Calvin with the ubër talented lead singer of Florence And The Machine with a build up of all build ups that cries of unfulfilled love.

Bruno Mars “Locked Out Of Heaven”
If I was a Grammy voter “Unorthodox Jukebox” would be my bet for best Pop album of the year. “Locked Out Of Heaven” screams with the super catchy, sing-a-long, get up out of your seat that stacks up with the best.

Zedd featuring Foxes “Clarity”
If you’re into EDM (Electronic Dance Music) then you know Zedd by his producing and DJing skills. But did know that he’s remixed songs for superstars Black Eyed Peas and Lady GaGa? He’s got skills to pay the bills. Anton Zaslavski aka Zedd created one of the hottest songs on the dance floors this year in full fist-pump style.

Drake “Started From The Bottom”
With his “whole team here”, Drake drops his story of the hard-work, determination and grind that took him from the Toronto streets to half a million for a show.

daft punkDaft Punk featuring Pharrell & Nile Rodgers “Get Lucky”
Who doesn’t love disco mixed with a little Pharrell and a funky Nile Rodgers baseline? I do, I do!!! We waited over 10 years for their futuristic sounds, space masks and man did they deliver with this one. The jury may still be out on the “Random Access Memory” album but this song was an instant classic.

Justin Timberlake “Mirrors”
As all child stars do, they grow up! We’ve seen Justin grow from teen boy band member to the biggest Pop superstar in the world. “Mirrors” follows Justin’s real life in finding his true love or his better half aka Jessica Biel. One of the best love songs of the year for sure!

Baauer “Harlem Shake”
In the social media world that we live in nothing can compare to the user created videos that made this song an internet smash.

swedish house mafiaSwedish House Mafia “Don’t You Worry Child”
Any rave kid or EDM head would have been jumping up and down with glow sticks in hand at the super DJ groups “One Last Tour”. An anthem of child hood days, heartbreak and the memories that are everlasting in life. Even though Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso are no longer together this song will go down in Swedish house history.

P!nk Featuring Nate Ruess “Just Give Me A Reason”
I can’t remember the last great pop duet? Can you? With such strong voices and harmonies from both of the singers this song was written by Pink from her broken relationship with now husband Carey Hart. The song is true and is such a great reminder of why P!nk is and has been a force to be reckoned with.

Chainz “F*ckin’ Problems”
One of the best pop songs of the year you say? How can you not turn up this jam and not act like you have the same problem as all rappers on this song. I’d like to have problems like that. JK!

Icona Pop “I Love It”
Okay okay I don’t have to say a whole lot here because it’s pretty obvious right? When you hear this song, you turn it way up and just want to crash a car into a bridge right?!?

Check out all these songs on Today’s Hits on Slacker and let tell me what song is your favorite of 2013…so far?

Court Yard Hounds Return With ‘Amelita’

Screen Shot 2013-07-20 at 4.04.15 AMThe future of the Dixie Chicks isn’t looking so bright, but Court Yard Hounds is certainly filling the void. The duo, comprised of Chicks co-founders Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, released its sophomore album, Amelita, this week. The collection not only shows a happier side of the Texas sisters, but also solidifies them as a band, and not just a side project.

While the Hounds’ 2010 self-titled debut was largely inspired by Robison’s divorce from country crooner Charlie Robison, Amelita is the product of more diverse songwriting inspiration. “I’ve been freed of all of those time-heals-everything kind of things,” says Robison. “Now, I’ve opened up to other ideas and ways of looking at life and the world. [Amelita is] not only a more hopeful album, but it’s more fun.”

The Texas-bred siblings wrote or co-wrote most songs on the new album and describe it as country meets adult alternative, meets adult contemporary. While their more organic sound is certainly a departure from the Dixie Chicks, an old memory from the superstar trio’s heyday is what inspired the title track, which is about underage prostitution.

“We were shooting the video [for the Chicks’ “Long Time Gone”] across from basically what was a brothel,” Maguire explains to CultureMap Austin. “Women were standing out in the doorways, and we were so naïve and we were going, ‘Why do all these women have their doors open?’”

Maguire, who takes over lead vocals from her little sister on two of the album’s 11 tracks, insists the Hounds’ sophomore disc reflects a stronger backbone. Starting over again after a multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-sweeping run as the Dixie Chicks was somewhat daunting, as they had to prove themselves again. But in the three years between Hounds albums, their musical confidence has skyrocketed.

“We’ve approached it differently because we felt like okay, we are a band,” says the fiddle player. “We aren’t just two ex-Dixie Chicks anymore, we’re a band and we like our sound and we’re going to continue to do this and hopefully get better at it, and share something new this time around.”

As for the Chicks, neither Maguire nor Robison will come right out and say they’re done, but they do warn to not hold your breath for new Dixie Chicks music anytime soon. Lead singer Natalie Maines released her own solo project, Mother, earlier this year and is busy touring in support of the project. And the Court Yard Hounds are quite content concentrating on their own venture – a musical refreshment after being with the Chicks since 1989.

Listen for Court Yard Hounds on our Americana station here. 

Luke Bryan ‘Tailgates’ in Nashville

When it comes to his whirlwind success, Luke Bryan insists it takes a village. The country music superstar was celebrated at a party Wednesday (July 10) in Nashville, where Slacker joined about 200 music industry colleagues in raising a glass to the double platinum sales status of Bryan’s Tailgates and Tanlines album. Photo by Alan PoiznerThe humble singer used his time in the spotlight to thank everyone from his road crew and co-writers to the head of Universal Music Group Nashville, Mike Dungan (pictured left with Bryan), whom he called a “whiskey drinkin’, partyin’, runnin’ the biggest label in the world kind of guy.”

Tailgates and Tanlines was the eighth biggest-selling album of any genre in 2012 and spawned three No. 1 hits. It was nominated for Album of the Year at both the Country Music Association Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards. Yet selling two million copies of the project is a feat Bryan admits he can’t really grasp.

“I remember when we were celebrating one million. I never imagined getting to two million,” he said from the stage. “It takes so many people to make this happen. Thanks to everyone who helped me do what I’ve always dreamed of. So many people in this room have watched me go from somebody who was so ignorant and naïve to somebody that’s … well, maybe not naïve but there’s still a lot of ignorance. [laughs]”

And a lot of days away from home. Bryan is currently on his sold-out Dirt Road Diaries tour and credits wife Caroline with holding down the fort in Nashville, chasing after their two sons, Bo (5) and Tate (2).

“I want to thank my wife for letting me be on the road and shake my butt,” laughed the “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)” singer. “Caroline busts her butt with the boys and is the perfect wife to let me have this career. We were down in Grayton Beach (Florida) last night, and we had the boys on the bus … Tate was sleeping in the bottom bunk and woke up about what, three times?”

“About 30 times,” Caroline corrected him from the audience.

“Thirty? Well, I was up for two of them,” the singer joked in response, then continuing his little family story with something that might make his youngest child blush in a few years. Bryan was excited to report that Tate “poo pooed on the potty” for the first time last week – another feat to which he credits the tireless parenting of his better half.

Bryan will have very little downtime between his current tour and promotion of his next album. Crash My Party is set to hit stores Aug. 13, and we’re betting it will be another two million-seller. Its title track, which you can hear on our New Country First station, is already No. 4 on the Slacker EQ chart.

New Stations on Slacker Honor the Legends and Divas

We have some new stations on Slacker that truly pay homage to some of the nations greatest. Check them out!

LegendsofMotownThe Legends of Motown

Motown defined an era and dazzled the world with a steady stream of superstars from Marvin Gaye to the Supremes to “Little” Stevie Wonder to the Temptations. Slacker has assembled all of these legends on one station, filled to the brim with beloved hits and classic deep cuts. THIS is Motown like you’ve never heard it before.

 

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 6.08.06 PM33 Greatest All American Divas

Last week, to celebrate the 4th of July, we presented a patriotic, one-of-kind special that salutes the game-changing ladies of American pop, which we highlighted with a feature on five of the greatest here. Now you can dive a little deeper and see just what Slacker listeners think it takes to be one of the Greatest All American Divas. 

Our host Ciara, who’s new self-titled album drops on July 9th, countdowns the greatest–from Mariah to Aretha to Whitney right here. 

New Music From Country’s Biggest Stars

Justin-Moore1-472x472September is shaping up to be a big month, with two of country’s biggest stars releasing highly anticipated new albums. Chris Young’s “A.M.” and Justin Moore’s  “Off the Beaten Path” will both be released on the 17th.

You can hear both of their new singles–Young’s “Aw Naw” and Moore’s “Point at You” on Slacker’s New Country First here. 

Shania Twain will also release new music as took a break from her residency at Caesars Palace to announce her first new album since 2002’s ‘Up!”

She posted this to her Facebook page: “I will spend a lot of the summer working out what to put on my next album…A break from the stage gets me back to writing the songs.” You can hear the hits that helped her sell 75 million albums and win 5 Grammys on Slacker’s ‘90s Country while we anticipate what is bound to be an amazing new album.

New on Slacker – The Weather Channel

WEATHER-CHANNEL4-472x472Slacker already brings you news from ABC, sports from ESPN, and now we’ve added The Weather Channel!

Listen here and stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of weather, as The Weather Channel on Slacker gives you the latest weather information, targeted to your region.

The reports are updated daily, so make this station part of your day, every day.

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.

 

 

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