Here Are The 2014 VMA Nominees! And, of course, Beyonce leads the pack.

Check out the list of nominees for this year's MTV Video Music Awards! (Photo: courtesy of college-of-music.com)

Check out the list of nominees for this year’s MTV Video Music Awards! (Photo: courtesy of college-of-music.com)

A lot of questions will be answered in August at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. How many Moonmen will Beyoncé win? Who will be the next superstar to get all butthurt? Will Jay Z and Solange square off for another elevator kickboxing match afterwards? We’ll find out on August 24 at 9 p.m. (EST) as the ceremony airs live from The Forum in Inglewood, California.

In the meantime, we get to take a look at the list of nominees more than a month ahead of time. Beyoncé leads the way (not unexpectedly) with a whopping eight nominations, including video of the year for her collaboration with husband Jay Z, “Drunk In Love.” Close behind her are Eminem and Iggy Azalea with seven nods each.

Pharrell Williams is also sitting pretty with multiple nominations for his phenomenally popular song “Happy.” He’ll have some stiff competition in the video of the year category, however, going up against juggernauts such as Miley Cyrus (“Wrecking Ball“), Iggy Azalea (“Fancy“), Sia (“Chandelier“), and the aforementioned Beyoncé (“Drunk In Love”).

Pharrell is also up for the best male video award, going head-to-head not only with the likes of Eminem and John Legend, but also with… himself! Both “Happy” and “Sing,” his video collaboration with Ed Sheeran, are nominated in the category so it’s entirely possible that Williams could both win and lose at the same time. Something tells me he wouldn’t be too crushed, though.

Click this link to see the full list of this year’s VMA nominees, including the categories only the nominees themselves care about. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and share your picks for this year’s big winners!

Taylor Swift Sounds Off: “Music Is Art, and Art Should Be Paid For.”

Taylor Swift writes an op-ed revealing her take on the music industry (Photo: courtesy of searchednews.com)

Taylor Swift writes an op-ed revealing her take on the music industry (Photo: courtesy of searchednews.com)

It’s not exactly rare for famous people to let their opinions be known. From full-blown interviews to short quips on their Facebook or Twitter accounts, Hollywood and music industry superstars don’t typically hide their feelings on politics or anything else they feel passionate about. It is, however, rare for one of the pop-culture elite to actually write an entire op-ed for a nationwide newspaper.

Well, that’s exactly what Taylor Swift has done. The beautiful and talented singer/songwriter has written an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which she gives her optimistic two cents about the future of the music industry.

“In recent years, you’ve probably read the articles about major recording artists who have decided to practically give their music away, for this promotion or that exclusive deal,” she wrote. “My hope for the future, not just in the music industry, but in every young girl I meet…is that they all realize their worth and ask for it.”

While many artists are scathing in their remarks when it comes to revealing their personal opinions about their own industries, Swift remains typically upbeat, refusing to tarnish her famously sunny disposition. “Music is art, and art is important and rare,” she wrote. “Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.”

While celebrity has always been a popularity contest (that’s kinda how you get to become a celebrity in the first place), Taylor took some time to address the rising trend of social media-based popularity within the entertainment industry. “A friend of mine, who is an actress, told me that when the casting for her recent movie came down to two actresses, the casting director chose the actress with more Twitter followers,” she said. “I see this becoming a trend in the music industry.”

This is more than just a valid point. In a society where people can now become famous for simply being famous, sheer talent and ability are no longer enough to either grant or prolong success. Social media has changed everything and it appears that there is no going back.

To see what else Taylor had to say, click on this link to read the full Wall Street Journal article.

Melancholy Monday: Good times and good friends

The Damn Yankees rang in the decade that defined my youth (Photo: courtesy of metrotimes.com)

The Damn Yankees rang in the decade that defined my youth (Photo: courtesy of metrotimes.com)

I hope you all had a great time this Independence Day! I know I did. Maybe a bit too good, actually. I paid for all the food I ate and, uh… beverages I drank the next morning. Not feeling so great, I decided to stay home Saturday and just rest. Sitting in my favorite chair and thinking about the previous night’s festivities, I couldn’t help but feel a little melancholy about other good times I’d had and the music which defined them.

For example, back in the early ’80s I remember tagging along with my older cousin, her boyfriend, and their friends. We’d go to the arcade (those long forgotten places where kids used to go to play video games before there was such a thing as Xbox), the water park, or the movies, and no matter where we went the entire trip there would be filled with music from her favorite band, The Police.

When I got a little older and was able to talk my parents into letting me hangout with friends without my cousin around, I remember that no matter where we were, be it the mall, the arcade, or at a friend’s house watching MTV (believe it or not, they actually used to play music on that channel), you couldn’t seem to go more than an hour without hearing either something from Madonna, Duran Duran, or this classic from a-ha with the most impossible high-note of the decade…

Then, only a few years later, came a song that, for me, defined a decade; my decade. Puberty, girls, parties, and high school; the 90’s had arrived! In the late 80s, hair bands such as Poison, Motley Crue, and Def Leppard dominated the music scene, and though it wouldn’t be long before a couple Seattle-based bands would take music in a completely different (and awesome!) direction, 1990 produced one more iconic power ballad. A song that also just happened to be playing in the background at a party during my first, um… meaningful “romantic encounter.” Thank you, Damn Yankees!

Though the rest of my teenage years would still be full of good times and great friends, there was also angst, confusion, and even anger. Nothing new, of course, but it was new to me and the 90s gave my generation the perfect opportunity to express those feelings of disenfranchisement through music… and combat boots. Enter, “grunge,” and one of my favorite bands of all time, Nirvana! High school dances became flannel-clad moshpits and we never had a better time being pissed off.

So what songs and music genres define your younger days? Which artists and tunes bring back memories of old friends and good times? Let us know in the comments. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook and download the free Sing-N-Share app for your smartphone or tablet if you haven’t already! It’s a free, easy way to relive those music-filled good old days.

Psy And Snoop Get Drunk And Krunk, But Is It Too Much?

Psy teams with Snoop Dogg in crazy new video that leaves some fans shaking their heads (Photo: nydailynews.com)

Psy teams with Snoop Dogg in crazy new video that leaves some fans shaking their heads (Photo: nydailynews.com)

Two years ago a relatively unknown Korean rapper by the name of “Psy” became a world-wide pop-culture phenom and spawned an inescapable international dance craze with the release of his hit song “Gangnam Style.” The song and its comical companion video, which just recently surpassed the 2 billion (that’s right… billion!) viewer mark on YouTube, launched Psy into superstar status almost overnight. And now he’s at it again with his newest internet sensation, “Hangover.”

This time, however, Psy teams up with the legendary (and infamous) Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion) to takes his image in a drastically new direction, that of an overindulgent, alcohol-fueled partygoer enjoying the “perks” of stardom. Or as Lindsay Lohan calls it, “an average Tuesday.” 😉

Published just three days ago (June 8), the video has already garnered more than 38 million views on Psy’s official YouTube channel and is generating a plethora of mixed responses ranging from praise to outright disgust. Then there are those who fall somewhere in the middle. As one commenter put it, “This song is 50% s–t, and 50% amazing!” Lmao. Way to be 100% noncommittal.

Love him or hate him, Psy is back and it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere anytime soon. Will “Hangover” come anywhere near to the success of “Gangnam Style?” Only time will tell, but my guess is no, if for no other reason than the fact that for all of it’s ridiculousness, there just isn’t anything special about it. Sure, it’s fun and has star power, but I don’t see anything setting it apart from all the other dance songs/videos out there. Just my opinion.

Plus, it’s hard to beat that iconic “horse” dance…

Billie Jean… On Beer Bottles? You’ve never heard MJ like this!

The Bottle Boys covering "Under The Sea" (Photo: courtesy of YouTube)

The Bottle Boys covering “Under The Sea” (Photo: courtesy of YouTube)

Despite his untimely death, Michael Jackson sure has been in the news a lot lately. From the release of his second posthumous album, Xscape, to an amazing, if controversial “live” holographic performance at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, MJ’s ghost is seemingly everywhere. Now, five guys who call themselves “The Bottle Boys” have channeled his spirit with a collection of… beer bottles?

A viral video of the group performing the late superstar’s classic “Billie Jean” on perfectly “tuned” beer bottles has hit YouTube and is quickly becoming a sensation. I think it’s a safe bet to say you’ve never heard Michael Jackson quite like this before.

This is far from the Denmark based quintet’s first performance as they have covered everything from Christmas songs to Lady Gaga. They also appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2013, thrilling the crowd, but receiving less than a warm welcome from perpetual party-pooper Simon Cowell.

OK, so they may never win a Grammy, but that’s not always the goal, is it? These guys are having fun and entertaining people both live and on YouTube. “Billie Jean” is their most recent cover and it has received almost half a million views in eight days. Simon might not be a fan, but then fun is usually best recognized by those who don’t have a stick up their bum.

“Like A Prayer” Gets 40’s Flare: Postmodern Jukebox’s take on Madonna

Postmodern Jukebox takes pop music into alternate realities (photo: huffingtonpost.com)

Postmodern Jukebox takes pop music into alternate realities (photo: huffingtonpost.com)

I’m a huge fan of alternate reality tales. Some of my favorite movies, books, and TV episodes of all time are those based on time travel and “what if” scenarios. It should be no wonder, then, that I find myself infatuated with Postmodern Jukebox, and not just because of the ravishingly beautiful Robyn Adele Anderson.

This unique and extremely talented band specializes in giving us “An Alternate History of Pop Music,” and they pull it off with style and pizazz. While they usually center their performances around the most popular songs of the day, this time around they add their distinctive flavor to Madonna‘s 1989 hit “Like A Prayer.” Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 1940’s!

Give your favorite songs your own personal flare with Sing-N-Share, available for all Android and Apple smart devices.

The Gold Standard: Budding star Madison Gold lays down new tracks at SoKnox Studios

Madison Gold loving life (photo: mollymoiraphotography.com)

Madison Gold loving life (photo: mollymoiraphotography.com)

You just know true talent when you hear it and Madison Gold has it in abundance.

The Redondo Beach, CA native visited our SoKnox Studios yesterday (5/13) and laid down two brand new tracks for a yet-to-be-determined new release. Her upcoming self-titled debut album is due to drop on June 28.

With her angelic voice (no need for Auto-tune here!), carefree spirit, and undeniable beauty, Madison is in possession of that elusive “it factor” so sought after in the music industry. We are thrilled to play even just a tiny part in the young career of this up-and-coming star.

We here at Karaoke Cloud wish you the greatest success, Madison! We have no doubt that you have what it takes to take the music world by storm!

You can follow Madison on her Facebook page to keep abreast of all her appearances, performances, and new releases.