Assessment 2

After just completing assignment 1 I then decided to start assignment 2 and gather research and investigation into the chosen song I would like to use for my speaker design. After handing in our assessment 1 we then went over key points we are to complete over the holidays if we choose to do so. This image below is of the key points we were shown in class.

IMG_5637

Break Prep for Week 1

I began by reading through the brief and highliting key words and concepts that are important to both the outcome of my speaker and the requirements for this paper.

img_6204img_6205img_6206

Based on the information I was provided both at the end of the last presentation and the brief I was able to create this todo list with the hope of identifying a song which I could base the concept of my MP3 player on. My goal for the holidays is to have the todo tasks which were presented at the end of our presentation for Assessment 1. The image below is of my broad initial plan for what I need to get completed during this semester break;

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Once I got the foundations complete for what I need to have completed prior to second half of this semester I then make a more specific todo list which consisted of all the little things I need to have completed ignorer for me to be able to meet this goal I’ve set.

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As my first goal is to “select a piece of music you’ll base the conceptual MP3 player design on” I started this by brainstorming a range of artists I enjoy listening to, I also considered some songs which aren’t as popular such as yodelling, and weird Russian song- chum drum bedrum as I wanted to explore a broad range of song ideas and choose one which others in the class wouldn’t have chosen. This is the brainstorm I completed.

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Once I had brainstormed these ideas I then decided to research each band individually and explore what visual impact these have. I want to choose one song which has a lot of meaning, background and symbolism.

Opshop

I began by researching the history of the band opshop which is on my list;

Opshop is a New Zealand rock band who formed in 2002. Their first album, You Are Here was released in 2004. Second album Second Hand Planet was released in 2007 and received Triple Platinum certification. It produced the successful single, One Day. Third album Until The End Of Time debuted at number one on the New Zealand Album Charts in 2010.

History[edit]

Opshop was formed by Invercargill born, Christchurch raised, singer/songwriter Jason Kerrison. He based himself in Auckland, writing music while at a residency in a backpacker’s bar.

Growing tired of the solo shows, he invited guitarist and former school friend, Tim Skedden to join him and share the acoustic vibe that the club and its punters had come to enjoy. The following year, Kerrison met up with another old Christchurch school mate – long time drummer Bobby Kennedy – and invited him to join the new band. The band’s name was GST (Goldfish Shopping Trolley), though it was soon changed to Opshop. Guitarist Matt Treacy (another Cantabrian living in Auckland) was next to join. The band then recruited a friend of Jason’s he had met while studying ethnomusicology at Auckland University. English-born Ian Munro became Opshop’s bass player.

During the winter of 2003, Opshop were the winners of Project NZM, a competition on ZM radio station aimed at helping small bands make it big. Project NZM saw the song Saturated being given the song airplay on the ZM network.

A demo recording of their work found its way into the hands of friends Adrien de Croy and Tracy Magan of the newly founded label Siren Records, whose acts included Goldenhorse, who liked the band’s music. Siren offered Opshop an opportunity to record some of their material at York Street Studios in a ‘live’ demo session. The following night, Opshop played their first ever performance alongside Che-Fu and Ted Clarke at the then Leftfield Bar on the Viaduct in Auckland. In the weeks that followed, Siren approached Opshop with a deal that would provide both opportunity and artistic independence, alongside the distribution capabilities of major label Capitol/EMI.

Opshop finished their debut album You Are Here in 2004. Their first single “Nothing Can Wait” was recorded by Malcolm Welsford at York St Studios. Their fourth single “No Ordinary Thing” got to number 22 in the New Zealand charts; it was also included on the Now That’s What I Call Music Volume 16.

The band went through major line-up changes: guitarist Tim Skedden had to leave the band due to family commitments and bass player Ian Munro decided to head back home to his native Britain. Munro was eventually replaced by Bobby Kennedy’s former band mate Clinton Harris (Clint and Bobby had first teamed up as part of Rock Quest winning band Outer Control, whose lead singer was Pearl Runga, sister of Bic Runga. The two later joined group Gorilla Biscuit with Jason Kerrison on vocals.)

Jason Kerrison auditioned for television series Rock Star Supernova but was not selected for the finals. At the auditions, Tommy Lee, told him how much he loved band Snow Patrol, which inspired Jason when making 2007 album Second Hand Planet (as Kerrison said during an interview with The Rock radio station). In September 2007, Opshop supported Snow Patrol for the band’s two New Zealand shows.

With the album’s first single “Maybe”, Opshop became the first New Zealand band to go to the #1 position on iTunes New Zealand, beating out Mika, Avril Lavigne, Beyoncé, Shakira, Justin Timberlake and Snow Patrol.

While on tour with Luke Thompson in New Zealand in 2008, the band came up with a song for each place they visited on the day of the concert. In Auckland, they forgot the words to it and made it up on the spot.

In April 2010 Opshop were voted New Zealand’s favourite band by readers of EDC magazine. Single “Pins and Needles” was released on 17 April 2010, with third album Until The End Of Time following in August 2010.

In December 2013 Kerrison told newspaper The Dominion-Post that Opshop were taking a break for “at least a year, maybe two, maybe longer than that”. Offshoot band The Babysitters Circus released their debut album the same month.

In 2011 Kerrison was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, for services to music.[1]

members
Status Member Instrument
Current members Jason Kerrison vocals
Rhythm Guitar
Bobby Kennedy drums
Matt Treacy Lead Guitar
Clint Harris Bass Guitar
Former members Tim Skedden guitars
Ian Munro bass

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Title Details Peak chart
positions
Certifications
NZ[2]
2004 You Are Here
  • Released: May 2004
  • Special Edition released: 17 May 2005
  • Label: Siren Records
  • Catalogue: 5775732
17
  • NZ: Platinum
2007 Second Hand Planet
  • Released: 16 April 2007
  • Label: Siren Records
  • Catalogue: 17476644
1
  • NZ: Platinum x3
2010 Until the End of Time
  • Released: 31 August 2012
  • Label: OpshopMusic/Rhythmethod
  • Catalogue: OP250210002
1
“—” denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Featured appearances[edit]

The group have appeared on a few compilations since 2002. The following is a list of these albums that have featured tracks by the Opshop.

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
NZ[2]
2003 “Nothing Can Wait” You Are Here
“Secrets”
2004 “Saturated” 39
“No Ordinary Thing” 22
“Levitate”
2005 “Being”
2006 “Oxygen” You Are Here – Special Edition
2007 “Maybe” 3
  • NZ: Gold
Second Hand Planet
“Waiting Now”
One Day 4
  • NZ: Platinum
2008 “Big Energy in Little Spaces”
2010 Pins and Needles 20 Until the End of Time
“Madness and Other Allergies” 29
2011 “Love Will Always Win” 11
2012 “Never Leave Me Again” 21 Non-album single

“- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opshop

TOPLYRICS

  • Saturated“- http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/o/opshop/

This is the list of songs opshop sing and from this I selected my favourite songs which I thought would have the best visual meaning, impact and symbolism. These are the three songs I like the best from this band;

  1. One Day
  2.  No Ordinary thing
  3. Maybe

I then went onto exploring the lyrics for each song;

One Day

“Absence make her heart grow fonder
While I’m conquering the last frontier
Lately I’ve found myself wonderin’ out loud
Wonderin’ what I was doin’ here

[Chorus:]
One day you’ll understand how much you have me
One day you’ll realise we have it easy
I can’t offer you the future – I don’t know it myself
All I can offer you is me
I’m all I can offer you right now

Patience make her heart grow stronger
Reassure her she’s where I want to be
Never was the grass ever greener
I’m about ready as I’ll ever be

And one day you’ll understand how much you have me
One day you’ll realise we have it easy
If an expression of love is what you need to believe
All I can offer you is me
I’m all I can offer you right now

[Music]

I’m all I am
All I am, yeah

One day you’ll understand how much you have me
One day you’ll realise we have it easy
I can’t offer you the future – I don’t know it myself
All I can offer you is me

One day you’ll understand how much you have me
One day you’ll realise we have it easy
If an expression of love is what you need to believe
All I can offer you is me
I’m all I can offer you right now

[Pause]

Absence make her heart grow fonder
While I’m conquering the last frontier”- http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/o/opshop/one_day.html

I also explored the music video to see if this had an impacts;

After reading through these lyrics I find it hard to relate this to a visual meaning as it hasn’t really got much symbolism. I don’t think this song would link well to what I am trying to achieve.

No Ordinary Thing

My second favourite song from this band is no ordinary thing which I will research and explore the song lyrics and music video as I did for ‘one day’;

“Was this to show you
I would not fail you
Was that the reason you were lookin’ back

So I’m trustin’ in existence
I’m thrustin’ on momentum
I don’t wanna see these threads of love collide
Not ever again

No, not ever again
No’

I know it’s not working
Knowledge will capture comfort one day
Our worlds will be worth more than living once in this lifetime

We could liberate today
We could alleviate tomorrow
But no one can reach the light switch
No one can reach the light switch, they say

No, that’s what they say
No’

[Chorus:]
My love’
This is no ordinary thing, my love
My love, my love’
This is no ordinary thing
No, it’s just no ordinary thing

I’m naked, I’m naked in this afterlife
I was fallin’, I was fallin’ from the greatest highs
If everything, if everything should come to pass
Tell me when are you comin’ home to stay
When are you comin’ home to stay

Again to stay
Again’

‘Cause my love’
This is no ordinary thing, my love
My love, my love’
This is no ordinary thing, no
No ordinary thing

We were compromised
By our own hearts
Jealous seas couldn’t keep us apart
I wanted to touch you
But we stop when we start
I wanted to hold you, hold you
But here we are

Here we are’

[Instrumental]

This is no ordinary thing, my love
No ordinary thing, my love
No ordinary thing, my love
No ordinary thing, my love
My love’
My love’
This is no ordinary thing, my love
My love, my love’
This is no ordinary thing
No, this was no ordinary thing”- http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/o/opshop/no_ordinary_thing.html

When exploring the music video I couldn’t find it on youtube so I just watched and listened to this video and “focus on the sound waves, lyrics and artist” rather to the symbolism visual side.

 

I think that No Ordinary Thing is a really good song but transforming this song into a MP3 player may be hard. Although I would focus on the words “No Ordinary Thing” if I was to make a speaker out of this.

Maybe

The third song I like form Opshop and wanted to explore is ‘Maybe’ which I looked into the lyrics and music video;

“So what’s this big secret you can’t tell me
I don’t wanna piece of this

Haven’t we all had enough
Enough for one day
I don’t wanna argue with you
You’ve got me shiverin’ in my spine

[Chorus:]
If everything turned out as we had said
We wouldn’t have to sit through any of this
Maybe I would be a better fit in my own skin

I’m not gonna try to divide or ignore you
And the pieces of the puzzle that never seem to fit

I’m not playin’ hangman with you
I’ve run out of letters, let alone words
You’ve got me shiverin’ in my spine

If everything turned out as we had said
We wouldn’t have to sit here talkin’ like this
Maybe I would be a better fit in my own skin
Maybe

If everything turned out as we had planned
We wouldn’t have to go through any of this
Maybe it’ll be more simple than you could ever think

So stay right where you are
We’re snoozin’ through an alarm
Make no sudden movements
Just tell me where we are
‘Cause here I am
There you are
Snoozin’ through an alarm
Snoozin’ through an alarm

If everything turned out as we had said
We wouldn’t have to go through any of this
Maybe

Maybe’ (oh’)
Maybe’ (oh’)
Maybe’ (oh’)
Oh’

Maybe’ (oh’)
Maybe’ (oh’)
Maybe’ (oh’)
Oh’

Maybe’ (oh’)
Maybe’ (oh’)
Maybe’ (oh’)
Oh'”- http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/o/opshop/maybe.html

Likewise with the other two songs from opshop I explored I found that this song would be to hard for me to develop into a speaker. I am wanting a song which I can use lyrics, sound waves and visual impacts which can be created by symbolism and I don’t think these songs would be hard when it comes to transforming that into a speaker.

I then moved onto my next band as being Nickleback;

Nickleback;

I began researching their history and any other useful information I could use when developing this speaker;

“This article is about the Canadian rock band. For the American football position, see Nickelback (American football).

Nickelback
Nickelback in Brisbane November 2012 Here And Now Tour.jpg

Nickelback performing in Brisbane in November 2012 during the Here and Now Tour. From left to right: Ryan PeakeDaniel AdairChad Kroeger and Mike Kroeger
Background information
Origin HannaAlberta, Canada
Genres
Years active 1995–present
Labels
Website nickelback.com
Members
Past members
  • Brandon Kroeger
  • Mitch Guindon
  • Ryan Vikedal

Nickelback is a Canadian rock band formed in 1995 in Hanna, Alberta, Canada. The band is composed of guitarist and lead vocalist Chad Kroeger, guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist Ryan Peake, bassist Mike Kroeger, and drummer Daniel Adair. The band went through a few drummer changes between 1995 and 2005, achieving its current form when Adair replaced drummer Ryan Vikedal.

Nickelback is one of the most commercially successful Canadian groups, having sold more than 50 million albums worldwide[1] and ranking as the eleventh best-selling music act, and the second best-selling foreign act in the U.S. of the 2000s, behind The Beatles.[2][3] Billboard ranks them the most successful rock group of the decade; their song “How You Remind Me” was listed as the best-selling rock song of the decade and the fourth best-selling of the decade. They were listed number seven on the Billboard top artist of the decade, with four albums listed on the Billboard top albums of the decade.[4]

The band signed with Roadrunner Records in 1999 and re-released their once-independent album The State.[5] The band achieved commercial success with the release of their 2000 album The State and then they achieved mainstream success with the release of their 2001 album Silver Side Up.[6] Following the release of Silver Side Up the band released their biggest and most known hit today, “How You Remind Me” which peaked number 1 on the American and Canadian charts at the same time.[7] Then, the band’s fourth album The Long Road (2003) spawned 5 singles and continued the band’s mainstream success with their hit single “Someday” which peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 at the Canadian Singles Chart.[8] Afterwards, the band put out their biggest album to date, All The Right Reasons (2005) which produced 3 top 10 singles and 5 top 20 singles, on the Billboard Hot 100 example of songs like “Photograph“, “Far Away“, and “Rockstar“.[7] The band’s album Dark Horse (2008) was a success which produced eight singles, one of which peaked on the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and two of which peaked on the top 20 on the BillboardHot 100. In 2011, the band released their seventh album Here and Now which again topped the charts.[9] Their eighth studio album No Fixed Address was released on 17 November 2014.[10]

The band is based in Vancouver, Canada. The band’s original domestic signing was with EMI Canada. They subsequently obtained an American deal with global distribution via Roadrunner Records. For the release of their seventh album, the band parted from EMI Canada and signed a new Canadian domestic distribution deal with Universal Music Canada.[11]

History

Curb and The State (1995–2000)

The band was formed in the early 1990s as a cover band called the “Village Idiots” by Chad Kroeger, Ryan Peake, Mike Kroeger, and Brandon Kroeger. The band later changed its name to Nickelback, which originated from the nickel in change that band member Mike Kroeger gave customers at his job at Starbucks; he would frequently say, “Here’s your nickel back.”[12][13] The band performed covers of songs from Led Zeppelin and MetallicaChad Kroeger then asked his step-father to give him $4,000 so that the band could record their first demo, a seven-track EP of original material, called Hesher (1996).[14][13] In the same year, they also recorded their first full-length album, Curb. “Fly” was included on both Hesher and Curb and was the first single produced by Nickelback. In 1997, Brandon Kroeger left the band and the band searched for a new drummer.[citation needed] Later that year Mitch Guindon joined the band, but he decided to leave in 1998 because he started working in a car company.[citation needed] In Summer 1998, Ryan Vikedal joined the band.

Roadrunner A&R Ron Burman told HitQuarters that one of his West Coast scouts sent him the self-released album and, suitably impressed, he travelled to Vancouver to see them perform live. Although an unknown property in the industry at the time, the venue was packed out. In Burman’s words: “I immediately got the chills! I thought their song ‘Leader of Men’ was a smash hit.”[15]Off the stage he was impressed by their industry and initiative in managing their career. Despite this, it still took Burman three months for him to convince his label bosses to approve the signing, a decision that would mark Roadrunner’s first move into mainstream rock.[15] Nickelback signed a record deal with EMI and Roadrunner Records in 1999.

The State, was released by Nickelback in 2000 by Roadrunner Records and EMI CanadaThe State, was released in Europe in 2001. It spawned 4 singles: “Old Enough”, “Worthy to Say”, “Leader of Men” and “Breathe“, the last two being Top 10 rock hits. The album was the band’s first album to be certified gold status and it later went into platinum status in 2008, after the success of their later albums.[16] The album entered the Billboard 200 at number 130 and peaked at number 3 in the Billboard Top Heatseekers albums chart and peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Top Independent albums chart.[17]

Silver Side Up and The Long Road (2001–04)

Around 2001 Chad Kroeger started “studying every piece, everything sonically, everything lyrically, everything musically, chord structure. I would dissect every single song that I would hear on the radio or every song that had ever done well on a chart and I would say, ‘Why did this do well?'” Kroeger said that Nickelback’s single “How You Remind Me” sold so well because it was about romantic relationships, a universal subject, and contained memorable hooks.[18]

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Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me” from Silver Side Up

Problems playing this file? See media help

To record their third album Silver Side Up, Nickelback collaborated with producer Rick Parashar. The album was written before the release The State and was recorded at the same studio.[19] The disc was released on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The album peaked number 2 on the Billboard200 with over 177,000 copies sold in its first week and peaked number 1 at the Canadian albums chart making the band’s first album to do so.[20] The single “How You Remind Me” was a number one single on the Mainstream and Modern rock charts, as well as the pop chart.[citation needed] It also peaked at number two on Adult Top 40 and became the Billboard Hot 100 number one single of the year for 2002. The next single was “Too Bad“, which also reached number one on the Mainstream Rock Chart.[citation needed] The final single from the album was “Never Again“, which also one hit on Mainstream Rock.[citation needed]

In 2002, Chad Kroeger collaborated with Josey Scott on the Spider-Man theme song, “Hero“. This recording also featured Tyler Connolly, Mike Kroeger, Matt Cameron, and Jeremy Taggart. In 2002, Nickelback released their first DVD Live at Home.

In 2003, Nickelback released The Long Road. The album was certified 3x Platinum by the RIAA in March 2005 and it had sold 3,591,000 copies as of April 2011.[21] It has sold over 5 million copies worldwide and in 2003 only the album sold 2 million copies worldwide.[22] It debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200. This was their first album produced by Joey Moi, a former classmate of the band’s.[23]

It was ranked No. 157 on Billboard’200 Albums of the Decade.[24] It spawned five singles. The lead single was “Someday” .[25]The band also released “Feelin’ Way Too Damn Good” as a single, which peaked at number 3 on the Mainstream Rock Charts. “Figured You Out” was also released as a single and topped the Mainstream Rock Charts for 13 consecutive weeks.

All the Right Reasons (2005–07)

In 2005, the band confirmed that their drummer Ryan Vikedal had left the band.[26] In November 2005, the band asked that Vikedal and his production company Ladekiv Music, Inc. give all financial interest in future royalties for the songs featuring Vikedal as drummer and return any public performance royalties earned since January 2005. Chad Kroeger sued him from collecting royalties from the band’s well known hits like “How You Remind Me“.[27] 3 Doors Down‘s drummer Daniel Adair joined the band. “We are totally thrilled to have Daniel in the band,” Chad said. “The creativity that went on with him in the studio was really inspiring. He’s a totally amazing player.”[28] Nickelback’s fifth studio album, All the Right Reasons (2005), peaked number 1 on the Billboard 200 with 323,350 copies in its first week in the United States, as well as producing five U.S. Hot 100 top 20 singles: “Photograph“, “Savin’ Me“, “Far Away“, “If Everyone Cared” and “Rockstar“. Three of these became U.S. Hot 100 top 10 singles.[29] Also, the album peaked number 1 at the Canadian albums chart. The album sold more than 12 million singles and over 9 million ringtones. The album also made the band the first band in Nielsen BDS history to have 5 singles on the CHRcharts. In 2006, the band played at Sturgis, South Dakota to over 35,000 people at the Sturgis Bike Rally. The performance was filmed with 15 high-definition cameras. They released the DVD and Blu-ray for it on 2009 several years after the performance.[30]

Also, the band spent much time of 2006 and 2007 touring across the globe. The band opened for Bon Jovi on the European leg of the tour.[31] The album’s tour was very successful and the band sold over 2 million tickets over the album’s tour.[32]

Chad Kroeger was arrested in the Surrey, British Columbia in June and charged with drunken driving. His attorney entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf at a court hearing in August. In November 2006, the band won an American Music Award for best pop/rock album, surprising the band itself. “We just kinda showed up because we were supposed to give one of these away tonight,” Chad Kroeger said after receiving the award. Chad Kroeger added he had thought the Red Hot Chili Peppers would win the award.[33]

It included appearances by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, who played a guitar solo on the song “Follow You Home” and sang backing vocals on “Rock Star”—and a posthumously sampled appearance by Chad Kroeger’s friend Dimebag Darrell from Pantera, culled from guitar outtakes. The band also used more acoustic sound on some songs. “Savin’ Me,” for instance, included strings and piano as well as guitars. “We were a little scared of using piano,” Chad Kroeger said in a biography on the band’s website.[18] “We just didn’t think it was very rock and roll.” But once they heard the result, he added, they liked it. All the Right Reasons had sold over 7 million copies in the US to June 19, 2010.[34] Aside from all the success of All the Right Reasons, lead singer Kroeger began his own label named 604 Records in 2005 and holds the position of executive producer.[35] The group was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2007.[36]

Dark Horse (2008–10)

After taking much of 2007 off, the band started recording a new album in earnest. In July 2008, the band signed with Live Nationfor three touring and album cycles, with an option for a fourth.[37]

On September 4, 2008, Roadrunner Records announced that the first single from the upcoming album would be “If Today Was Your Last Day“, released on September 30, 2008. However, the song was replaced by “Gotta Be Somebody“.[38] The new album, produced by Mutt Lange and titled Dark Horse, was released on November 18, 2008.[39] “Something in Your Mouth” was released as the second single to rock radio only on December 15, where it reached number one. “If Today Was Your Last Day” was later released as the third single. Four more singles were released, “I’d Come for You“, “Burn It to the Ground” and “Never Gonna Be Alone” released in September and “Shakin’ Hands” as the seventh single on November 16.[40] Its eighth single, “This Afternoon“, was released on March 23, 2010. Dark Horse was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on December 9, 2008, only three weeks after its North American release.[citation needed]

On November 26, 2008, the band announced the tour for the support of the album. Livenation produced the tour and the band kicked off in Nashville, Tennessee, with Seether, and Saving Abel as their opening acts.[41] The band then announced that they were about to tour in the UK with Black Stone Cherry as their opening act.[42] The band then announced the second leg of the tour of North America with the opening acts being HinderPapa Roach, and once again, Saving Abel.[42] The band then went on tour around Australia and New Zealand with Sick Puppies as their supporting act.[42] For the second leg of the Europe tour, the band played with their opening act Daughtry.[43] The third leg of the North America tour kicked of with Breaking BenjaminSick Puppies and Shinedown opening up for the band.[44] The band concluded their tour with the fourth leg in North America which included Buckcherry and Three Days Grace.[45] The tour was very successful and the band sold over 1.6 million tickets with 146 shows.[46]

The album also remained in the top 20 on the Billboard 200 for weeks after its release.[47][48] The album was certified two times platinum in April 2009, and had by April 2010 sold over 3 million copies in the U.S.[48] However, critical reception of the album has been mostly mixed to negative.[49] In 2009, the band won three Juno Awards for Juno Fan Choice Award, group of the year, and album of the year; the band performed their single “Something In Your Mouth” at the ceremony.[50] In 2010, Billboard year end charts listed Dark Horse as the top-selling rock and metal album of the year.[51] The band was also listed at the top selling hard rock artist.[52] On January 29, 2010 they released a Tap-Tap rhythm game for on the App Store, contrary to the band’s prior comments against other music related video games such as Guitar Hero.[53] On February 28, 2010, Nickelback gave a performance at the beginning of the concert portion of the 2010 Winter Olympics closing ceremony, performing “Burn It to the Ground”. On October 2010 Nickelback finished their Dark Horse Tour.[54]

Here and Now (2011–13)

Chad Kroeger said in an interview with Billboard.com in September 2010 that songwriting for the next Nickelback album was planned to commence as early as February 2011 with “about four tunes” already in mind.[55] Adair mentioned that the band wanted to go back to the musical style of All The Right Reasons, which he described as “more organic.”[56]

Nickelback announced their new album, Here and Now, on September 8, 2011, along with its two lead singles, “Bottoms Up” and “When We Stand Together“. Kroeger said “We’re four people who love making music, the way we like to make it. We entered the studio this year with a vision, and it all came together. We’re extremely happy with the results, and can’t wait to share them with our fans.” The album was released on November 21, 2011, with the band calling it “Nickelblack Monday”, a play on Nickelback and Black Monday.[57] Two singles were released to radio stations on September 26, and September 27 for purchase on iTunes.[58]

Here and Now peaked at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 226,714 copies in its first week of release, with Christmas by Michael Bublé taking number one by a margin of only 419 copies.[59]

As part of promotion for the album, Nickelback was booked to perform at the halftime shows for both an NFL Thanksgiving Day game at Ford Field in Detroit on November 24, and the 99th Grey Cup in the band’s hometown of Vancouver on November 27.[60] However, the announcement that Nickelback would perform at halftime in Detroit was met with heavy opposition by fans—who believed that a Canadian band should not be playing a halftime show for an American football game relating to an American holiday, and that Detroit’s musical heritage would be damaged by an association with the band. An online petition proposing that Nickelback be removed from the festivities at the game received over 55,000 signatures from fans.[61] Nickelback responded to this on a video on Funny or Die as a joke.[62] Despite the objections, the band performed “When We Stand Together” during the halftime show. USA Today reporter noted however that the Detroit Lions‘ 7-point deficit going into halftime had received a more negative response than the performance.[63] On November 13, 2011 Nickelback performed on the WWE Tribute to The Troops. Also, Nickelback donated $50,000 to BC Children’s Hospital.[64] Also, as a promotion the band played to Jimmy Kimmel upon the album’s release.[65] The band is nominated for 4 Juno Awards in 2012, and scheduled to perform at the ceremony.[66]

Nickelback announced their Here and Now Tour on January 11, 2012, they are going to tour with SeetherBush and My Darkest Days.[35] The band released a music video for their fourth single off of the album Lullaby.[67]

The band officially announced the compilation album The Best of Nickelback Volume 1 through social media on October 3, 2013.[68] Frontman Chad Kroeger had previously stated in an interview that the greatest hits album was to feature songs from previous albums along with new songs[69] but the unveiled track listing ultimately contained only previously released material.[70]

No Fixed Address (2014–present)

According to an interview with Chad Kroeger on CFOX-FM, the band planned to release their eighth studio album before the end of 2014. The lead rock single was also announced, “Revolution”, was released in August 2014. The track was described as a ‘departure’ for Nickelback and a political song.[by whom?] Frequent collaborator Chris Lord-Alge returned to mix some of the tracks on the album. It was also announced the band had signed to Republic Records.[71] The lead single from the album is titled “Edge Of A Revolution“, and is scheduled to be sent for adds on Rock radio and be released to iTunes on August 18.[72][73][74] The lead pop single, and second overall, was announced to be “What Are You Waiting For?“, and was released in September.[citation needed] “What Are You Waiting For?” was released as a single on digital retailers on September 9, 2014.[75] On August 22, 2014, Nickelback announced the album’s title to be No Fixed Address, and released it on November 17, 2014.[76][77]

Musical style

Nickelback has been described as various genres, including post-grunge,[78][79][80][81][82] hard rock,[83][84][78] pop rock,[85][86][87]alternative rock,[82][88] heavy metal,[78][89] alternative metal[90][82][91] and nu metal.[92][93] Their earlier sound has been classified as grunge.[94]

Reception

Review aggregator Metacritic reports that five of Nickelback’s six most recent studio albums since becoming a mainstream act, The Long RoadAll the Right ReasonsDark HorseHere and Now, and No Fixed Address, have scores of 62, 41, 49, 51, and 54, respectively, out of 100.[95]

AllMusic reviewer Liana Jones complimented the band after their commercial breakthrough, Silver Side Up; “what gives the group an upper hand over its peers is intensity and raw passion… Nickelback ups the ante by offering realistic storytelling that listeners can relate to.”[96] Following their 2008 album, Dark HorseChartAttack credited the band’s success to knowing their target audience: “Chad Kroeger is a genius because he knows exactly what people want and precisely how far he can go. He turned out an extremely racy album that’s loaded with songs about gettin’ drunk and doin’ it all without breaking any taboos, and with enough love and moral authority to grease its passage into the mainstream. Rejoice, North America. This is your world.”[97]Billboard gave praise to the band: “The bulletproof Nickelback provides affordable fun that promises good returns in hard times.”[98] Various fellow musicians like Chris Martin of Coldplay[99] as well as R&B singers Timbaland[100] and Keyshia Cole[101]support the band.

Nickelback have been criticized due to their over-use of themes involving strippers, sex, prostitutes, drugs, and alcohol consumption,[102] and for the derivative, repetitive and formulaic nature of their music.[103][104][105] In November 2011, users of the music-oriented dating site Tastebuds.fm voted Nickelback as the number one musical turnoff, edging out Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.[106] In May 2013, the readers of Rolling Stone magazine named Nickelback the second worst band of the 1990s, behind only Creed.[107]

Band members

Current members

  • Chad Kroeger – lead vocals, lead guitar (1995–present)
  • Ryan Peake – rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (1995–present)
  • Mike Kroeger – bass guitar, backing vocals (1995–present)
  • Daniel Adair – drums, backing vocals (2005–present)
Former members

  • Brandon Kroeger – drums (1995–1997)
  • Mitch Guindon – drums (1997–1998)
  • Ryan Vikedal – drums (1998–2005)

Timeline

“- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickelback

I then researched their main songs;

I then researched the song lyrics of this song and analysed the music video in the hope of getting the most out of the song;

This time, this place misused, mistakes
Too long, too late, who was I to make you wait
Just one chance, just one breath
Just in case there’s just one left
‘Cause you know, you know, you know

That I love you
I’ve loved you all along
And I miss you
Been far away for far too long
I keep dreaming you’ll be with me
And you’ll never go
Stop breathing if I don’t see you anymore

On my knees, I’ll ask last chance for one last dance
‘Cause with you, I’d withstand
All of hell to hold your hand
I’d give it all I’d give for us
Give anything, but I won’t give up
‘Cause you know, you know, you know

That I love you
I’ve loved you all along
And I miss you
Been far away for far too long
I keep dreaming you’ll be with me
And you’ll never go
Stop breathing if I don’t see you anymore

So far away, so far away
Been far away for far too long
So far away, so far away
Been far away for far too long
But you know, you know, you know

I wanted, I wanted you to stay
‘Cause I needed, I need to hear you say
That I love you, I’ve loved you all along
And I forgive you, for being away for far too long
So keep breathing, ’cause I’m not leaving you anymore
Believe it, hold on to me and
Never let me go, keep breathing
Keep breathing, ’cause I’m not leaving you anymore
Believe it, hold on to me and
Never let me go, keep breathing
Hold on to me and never let me go
Keep breathing
Hold on to me and never let me go

“- http://www.metrolyrics.com/far-away-lyrics-nickelback.html

 

I then went onto watching the music video for this song and I think the use of lights and sound waves could work well with this song, also colour would work well.

This Is How You Remind Me

I investigated the lyrics and music video for this song also.

“Never made it as a wise man

I couldn’t cut it as
A poor man stealing
Tired of living like a blind man
I’m sick of sight without
A sense of feeling
And this is how you remind me

This is how you remind me
Of what I really am
This is how you remind me
Of what I really am

It’s not like you to say sorry
I was waiting on a different story
This time I’m mistaken
For handing you
A heart worth breaking
And I’ve been wrong
I’ve been down
Into the bottom of every bottle
These five words in my head
Scream
Are we having fun yet

Yet, yet, yet, no no
Yet, yet, yet, no no

It’s not like you didn’t know that
I said I love you and
I swear I still do
And it must have been so bad
‘Cause living with him must have
Damn near killed you

And this is how you remind me
Of what I really am
This is how you remind me
Of what I really am

It’s not like you to say sorry
I was waiting on a different story
This time I’m mistaken
For handing you
A heart worth breaking
And I’ve been wrong
I’ve been down
Into the bottom of every bottle
These five words in my head
Scream
Are we having fun yet

Yet, yet, yet, no no
Yet, yet, yet, no no
Yet, yet, yet, no no
Yet, yet, yet, no no

Never made it as a wise man
I couldn’t cut it as
A poor man stealing
And this is how you remind me
This is how you remind me

This is how you remind me
Of what I really am
This is how you remind me
Of what I really am

It’s not like you to say sorry
I was waiting on a different story
This time I’m mistaken
For handing you
A heart worth breaking
And I’ve been wrong
I’ve been down
Into the bottom of every bottle
These five words in my head
Scream
Are we having fun yet

Yet, yet
Are we having fun yet
Yet, yet
Are we having fun yet
Yet, yet
Are we having fun yet
Yet, yet, no, no

“- http://www.metrolyrics.com/how-you-remind-me-lyrics-nickelback.html

Having watched the last music video and comparing it to this one I think that Far away would be more suitable when turning into a speaker in comparison to this one. I think that the visual materials are most suitable due to the use of lights and visual impacts with colours.

If Everyone Cared;

This is my favourite song from this band which is why I am researching it further to see if it would be suitable for what I am trying to achieve with the MP3 player.

“From underneath the trees, we watch the sky
Confusing stars for satellites
I never dreamed that you’d be mine
But here we are, we’re here tonight

Singing Amen, I’m alive (I’m alive)
Singing Amen, I’m alive

If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
Then we’d see the day when nobody died
And I’m singing

Amen I, Amen I, Amen I, I’m alive
Amen I, Amen I, Amen I, I’m alive

And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We’ll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along

Singing Amen, I, I’m alive (I’m alive)
Singing Amen, I, I’m alive

If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
Then we’d see the day when nobody died
If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
Then we’d see the day when nobody died

And as we lie beneath the stars
We realize how small we are
If they could love like you and me
Imagine what the world could be

If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
Then we’d see the day when nobody died
If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
Then we’d see the day when nobody died

Then we’d see the day, we’d see the day
When nobody died
Then we’d see the day, we’d see the day
When nobody died
Then we’d see the day when nobody died”- https://play.google.com/music/preview/Tanus6ur5yvwsoai2fvudm4ugbq?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics&u=0#

I find this song inspirational and the music video incredible. I think that when relating this to a speaker it could turn out amazing if I focused on these words and the lyrics within this song. Love this song.

I then moved onto the next band, my all-time favourite, The script.

The Script;

This is the background research I completed for the script;

The Script is an Irish pop rock band formed in 2001 in DublinIreland.[1][4] The band comprises lead vocalist/keyboardist Danny O’Donoghue, lead guitarist and vocalist Mark Sheehan and drummer Glen Power. Based in London after signing to Sony Label Group imprint Phonogenic, the band released its eponymous debut album, The Script, in August 2008, featuring the hit songs “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” and “Breakeven (Falling to Pieces)“. The album peaked at number one in Ireland and the UK.[5] Their next three albums, Science & Faith (2010), #3 (2012) and No Sound Without Silence (2014), all topped the album charts in Ireland and the UK, while Science & Faith reached number three in the US.[5][6] Hit singles from the albums include “For the First Time“, “Nothing“, “Hall of Fame” and “Superheroes“.

The Script’s music has been featured in popular television programmes such as 90210Ghost WhispererThe HillsWaterloo RoadEastEndersMade in Chelseaand The Vampire Diaries. Frontman Danny O’Donoghue was also a coach on The Voice UK for seasons 1 and 2, before leaving the show in order to focus more on the band.[7][8] The band has won three Meteor Ireland Music Awards, two World Music Awards and have received two Brit Award nominations.

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Danny O’Donoghue and Mark Sheehan have been best friends since they were 12 growing up in Dublin.[9][10] They were formerly part of a boy band called Mytown, formed in 1996. Striking up a songwriting and production partnership, they were invited to Canada to collaborate with some of their heroes, including Dallas AustinMontell Jordan and Teddy Riley.[11] They were in the US for a few years and got a record deal until the company split and dropped them.

They stayed in Los Angeles and worked there as producers, writing and producing songs for performers including Britney SpearsBoyz II Men and TLC,[10] but later moved back to Dublin, where they recruited drummer Glen Power for their new band the Script. Power learned to play drums when he was just eight and he had been playing sessions from the age of 15, using the money to work on a solo project in his home, but that went on hold when his collaboration with Sheehan and O’Donoghue produced three songs in one week.[original research?] The band signed to Phonogenic in 2005, and released an EP on Last.FM. The band’s influences include Snow PatrolU2Coldplaythe Policethe NeptunesTimbaland, and Van Morrison.[11]

2008–10: The Script[edit]

The Script’s eponymous debut album was released on 8 August 2008.[12] The album debuted at the number one spot on the UK’s album charts.[13]

The Script performed “We Cry” for the first time on BalconyTV in Dublin on 13 September 2007.[14] The band claimed that BalconyTV was the “first TV they ever did” and credited Michael Hunter as the “push we needed to propel us” when they won Best Band at the DanishTV Music Video Awards 2009 in the Pepper Club Dublin on 20 June 2008. At the awards the band said the award was their “first ever”.[15] The Script released their debut single “We Cry” on 25 April 2008. “We Cry” received “Single of the Day” on RTÉ 2FMToday FM and by Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 1, where many radio presenters heavily supported the band.[16] The single peaked at number 15 on the UK Singles Chart,[17] giving the band their first top 20 single. The track also performed well on the Irish Singles Chart, peaking at number 9 and giving the band their first top ten single in their home country.[17] The Script also performed “We Cry” on one of the CW’s TV series, 90210.

Their second single, “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved“, was released on 15 September 2008.[18] The single reached number 2 in Ireland, Denmark, and the UK.[19] The band released their debut album, The Script, on 11 August 2008. Following the success of “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved”, the album entered the UK Albums Chart at number one with sales of 20,240 copies where it stayed for 11 weeks. The album spent three weeks in the top ten and was the 18th best selling album in the UK of 2008. The album also entered the Irish Albums Chart at number one, holding the top spot for five weeks.[20] It had, as of January 2009,[needs update] spent 2 weeks in the top 10. The Irish office of Sony BMG music presented the group with their first multi-platinum disc for over 600,000 sales of their debut album.[21]

The band’s third single, “Breakeven“, was released in Ireland and UK on 21 November 2008 and 29 December 2008 respectively. The single was an instant success on the Irish Singles Chart. After entering the chart at number 40, it spent one week before entering the top ten at number 10, giving the Script their third top ten single in Ireland. The single spent four weeks on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 21. The band’s fourth single “Talk You Down” was released in March 2009.[22]

On 9 November the Script received an award at the World Music Awards for ‘Best Selling Irish Act’ of 2008 and on 19 February 2010, they won ‘Best Live Performance’ at the Meteor Ireland Music Awards. The band has confirmed that they plan to write a track for Leona Lewis‘s second album.[23] The Script supported Take That at their concert at Park on 13 June 2009. The band played at the Cheerio’s Childline concert on the opening night of Dublin’s 02. They played among big stars including Enrique Iglesias and Anastacia.[citation needed]

The band supported U2 on their third concert at Croke Park, which took place on 27 July 2009.[24] The band’s next single was “Before the Worst“, which was released on 15 June 2009.[25] On 17, 18 and 21 July 2009, the Script opened for Paul McCartneyat the historic first concerts at New York’s Citi Field.[26]

The band’s bonus track and B-side “Live Like We’re Dying” was re-recorded by American Idol 2009 winner Kris Allen as the first single off his self-titled album. Allen’s version of “Live Like We’re Dying” was digitally released for download on 21 September 2009.[27]

On 2 December 2009 the band’s single “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” was featured as a remix on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show during the Enchanted Forest segment.[28]

On 16 April 2010, their first U.S. single “Breakeven” was certified Platinum by the RIAA (the Recording Industry Association of America), selling over one million copies in the U.S. and has since peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 2010. The band performed a headline tour in the United States that kicked off in San Diego on 11 October 2010 at the House of Blues and ended on 7 November 2010 at the House of Blues in Boston, Massachusetts.[26] On 21 May 2010, they appeared live on NBC‘s Today Show as part of the show’s outdoor Toyota Concert Series.

2010–12: Science & Faith[edit]

The first single from Science & Faith, “For the First Time“, was released in the UK on 20 August 2010 and the album followed on 13 September 2010. In the United States, “For the First Time” was released on iTunes on 8 November 2010, with “Science & Faith” was released on 18 January 2011.[29] The song was first released in the United States on AOL Music on 29 September 2010.[30] The group invited UK media into the recording session and discussed their process of creating the album.[31] “For the First Time” entered the UK charts at No. 5, moved up to No. 4 the following week and entered the Irish charts at No. 1. The music video features Bono‘s daughter Eve Hewson. Science & Faith entered the Irish Album Chart and the UK album chart at No. 1.[32]

On 24 September, tickets for the Script’s three nights at the O2 Dublin, two nights at the Odyssey, Belfast and two at the INEC, Killarney went on sale and sold out in less than 40 minutes, with over 60,000 tickets sold. On 1 October at 9:00am tickets for the Script arena tour in March 2011 went on sale. The tickets for all 12 arenas around the UK sold out in five days. They also announced that they would play a “Homecoming” concert at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. This is part of the Science & Faith Tourand will be their biggest headline show to date.

The Script also took part in Children in Need 2010 and BRMB’s live 2010 with acts such as the SaturdaysMark Ronson and Mcfly. They were nominated for Best International Act at the 2011 Brit Awards and performed at: Pinkpop festivalV festivalOxegenIsle of Wight FestivalT in the park, Thetford Forest Show, iTunes FestivalSkanderborg FestivalSudoeste FestivalTennents ViTal. They also played to the biggest indoor crowd of 18,300 people at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa on 24 June 2011. They later went on to play their official biggest crowd on 2 July 2011 in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, and performed to a sold-out crowd of 50,000 people. the Coronas and Tinie Tempah were support acts on the night.[citation needed]

2012–13: #3[edit]

The band’s third album was titled #3. It was released in the UK on 10 September 2012 and in the United States on 9 October 2012.[33] “Hall of Fame” was the lead single, which debuted on radio on 23 July 2012. It was recorded in Los Angeles, Studio 3, and released on iTunes on 21 August 2012. The single features will.i.am, whom Danny works alongside on The Voice UK. The song became their most successful to date, being certified 5x Platinum in Australia, Platinum in Italy, 2x Platinum in New Zealand, 6x Platinum in Norway, 2x Platinum in Sweden and 2x Platinum in the US. The song also peaked at number 1 in the UK, Scotland, Ireland, Europe and Austria, and charted in over 30 countries. It is their highest charting single to date worldwide.

Other singles include “Six Degrees of Separation” and “If You Could See Me Now”, a tribute to O’Donoghue’s father and Sheehan’s parents.[34] On 16 September 2012, the Script achieved their first UK number one for a period of two weeks with their single “Hall of Fame” in its second week after being released.[35]

On 5 October 2012, the Script kicked off the Major League Baseball Postseason by playing a free concert at the MLB Fan Cavein New York City.[36] The Script was nominated for Best International band at the 2013 BRIT Awards.[37] On 5 September 2012, the Script embarked on a headlining concert tour to promote the album, known as the #3 World Tour.[citation needed] The tour spanned over 11 months and included shows in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia, ending in August 2013. The band also went on tour with OneRepublic for their Native Summer Tour to promote the album, during the summer of 2014.

The Script recorded a song for Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie called Hail, Rain or Sunshine.[38]

2014-15: No Sound Without Silence[edit]

The band’s fourth studio album was titled No Sound Without Silence and the lead single from the album, “Superheroes”, was released on 31 July 2014. The album has been described by O’Donoghue as a prequel to their debut album, with many of the songs being recorded on the road, after playing to sold out arenas. On the recording process, Danny O’Donoghue stated, “We’d come off stage and start recording straight away in a studio bus. Everything’s massive, everything’s larger than life on stage so when we hit the studio we wanted it to have that same impact.” The album was released on 15 September 2014.[39][40]

Band members[edit]

  • Danny O’Donoghue – lead vocals, piano, keyboards, guitar
  • Mark Sheehan – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Glen Power – drums, percussion, backing vocals

Supporting members

Discography[edit]

Main article: The Script discography
Studio albums

Films[edit]

  • Homecoming: Live at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin [43]

Tours[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2008 World Music Awards Best Selling Irish Act Won
2009 Meteor Ireland Music Awards Best Irish Band Won
Best Album – The Script Won
Best Irish Pop Act Nominated
2010 Best Live Performance Won
2011 Brit Awards Best International Group Nominated
2013 Brit Awards Best International Group Nominated
2014 Meteor Choice Music Song of the Year Won
  • In 2009, the Script won an EBBA Award. Every year the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA) recognise the success of ten emerging artists or groups who reached audiences outside their own countries with their first internationally released album in the past year.
  • In 2011, the Script was nominated for Teen Choice Awards Choice Music:Group
  • In 2014, the Script won the Meteor Choice Music Prize Song of the Year”- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Script 

I then focused on the songs they produce

Army of Angels

I then chose my favourite songs from the script, which was tricky.

  1.  Millionaires
  2. Superheroes
  3. Hall of Fame

 

 

Millionaires

I researched the song lyrics and music video of each song.

“The Kicking ass says it’s time to close
We’re leaning on each other try’na beat the cold
Carry you’re shoes and I give you my coat
Walking these streets like their paved gold
There anyone excuse’s not to go
Neither one of us want to take that taxi home

Singing our hearts out standing on chairs
Spending our time like we are millionaires
Laughing our heads of, the two of us there
Spending our time like we are millionaires
Millionaires
Ooohoh ooohoh
Lost my heart and I hope to die
Seeing that sunlight hit your eyes
Been up all nigh but you still look amazing to me
Yeah,
Half the time of the night you only dream about
If a god came down he could take me now
Cause in my mind, yeah we will always be

Singing our hearts out standing on chairs
Spending our time like we are millionaires
Laughing our heads of, the two of us there
Spending our time like we are millionaires
Millionaires
Ooohoh ooohoh

Check out us at six in the morning
If time was money, yeah we’d be worth a fortune
I swear you may think you’re rich
You could have a million euro but you cant buy this
Look at us since six in the morning
If time was money, yeah we’d be worth a fortune
I swear you may think you’re rich
You could have a million euro but you cant buy this
Bridge.
And the band was on, playing our song
We messed up the lyrics as we sang along
But we didn’t care,
Cause it felt like we where the only ones there
My feet where sore, my bones where raw
They’re turning off the lights, when we where shouting more
Shouting more,

Singing our hearts out standing on chairs
Spending our time like we are millionaires
Laughing our heads of, the two of us there
Spending our time like we are millionaires
Millionaires
Ooohoh ooohoh

Look at us since six in the morning
If time was money, yeah we’d be worth a fortune
I swear you may think you’re rich
You could have a million euro but you cant buy this

Walking these streets like their paved gold
There anyone excuse’s not to go
Neither one of us want to take that taxi home”- http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?lyrics=29696

The sound waves, lyrics and artist for this song would be the main focus if I was to use this for my MP3 player speaker as I think that the lyrics have deeper meaning then what are being said which I would be able to expand on and manipulate into a speaker. I would use the sound waves for the lights too. I think this song would work well, however I would struggle for the visual symbolism as it is a reality based music video.

Superheroes

My second favourite song from the Script is Superheroes. I will also explore the lyrics and music video to expand my understanding of this song.

“All the life she has seen
All the meaner side of me
They took away the prophet’s dream
For a profit on the street

Now she’s stronger than you know
A heart of steel starts to grow

All his life he’s been told
He’ll be nothing when he’s old
All the kicks and all the blows
He won’t ever let it show

‘Cause he’s stronger than you know
A heart of steel starts to grow

When you’ve been fighting for it all your life
You’ve been struggling to make things right
That’s how a superhero learns to fly
Every day, every hour, turn the pain into power

When you’ve fighting for it all your life
You’ve been working every day and night
That’s how a superhero learns to fly
Every day, every hour, turn the pain into power

Oh-oh, oh, oh
Oh-oh, oh, oh

All the hurt, all the lies
All the tears that they cry
When the moment is just right
You see fire in their eyes

‘Cause he’s stronger than you know
A heart of steel starts to grow

When you’ve been fighting for it all your life
You’ve been struggling to make things right
That’s how a superhero learns to fly
Every day, every hour, turn the pain into power

When you’ve fighting for it all your life
You’ve been working every day and night
That’s how a superhero learns to fly
Every day, every hour, turn the pain into power (power, power, power, power, power)

(Power, power, power, power)
Every day, every hour turn the pain into power
(Power, power, power, power)

(Power, power, power, power)
Every day, every hour turn the pain into power

She’s got lions in her heart
A fire in her soul he’s a got a beast
In his belly that’s so hard to control
‘Cause they’ve taken too much hits, taking blow by blow
Now light a match, stand back, watch them explode

She’s got lions in her heart
A fire in her soul he’s a got a beast
In his belly that’s so hard to control
‘Cause they’ve taken too much hits, taking blow by blow
Now light a match, stand back, watch them explode

When you’ve been fighting for it all your life
You’ve been struggling to make things right
That’s a how a superhero learns to fly
Every day, every hour, turn the pain into power

When you’ve fighting for it all your life
You’ve been working every day and night
That’s a how a superhero learns to fly
Every day, every hour, turn the pain into power (power, power, power, power, power)

Oh, yes (power, power, power, power)
Every day, every hour, turn the pain into power
(Power, power, power, power) Ooh, yeah
Whoa (power, power, power, power)
Every day, every hour, turn the pain into power

When you’ve been fighting for it all your life
You’ve been struggling to make things right
That’s how a superhero learns to fly”- http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?lyrics=33914

I then went onto watching the music video;

I think that this music video, likewise with Nicklebacks- If everyone Cared holds great meaning and is very inspirational. Visually, likewise with Millionaires I think struggle to find symbolism. However if I chose this song I would use it as physical superheroes potentially.

Hall of Fame;

Possibly one of the most known songs from the script is Hall of Fame, also one of my favourites, which is why I am exploring this song too.

“Yeah, you could be the greatest
You can be the best
You can be the king kong banging on your chest

You could beat the world
You could beat the war
You could talk to god, go banging on his door

You can throw your hands up
You can beat the croc
You can move a mountain
You can break rocks
You can be a master
Don’t wait for luck
Dedicate yourself and you can find yourself

Standing in the hall of fame
And the world’s gonna know your name
’cause you burn with the brightest flame
And the world’s gonna know your name
And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame

You could go the distance
You could run the mile
You could walk straight through hell with a smile

You could be the hero
You could get the gold
Breaking all the records that thought, never could be broke

Do it for your people
Do it for your pride
How you ever gonna know if you never even try?

Do it for your country
Do it for you name
’cause there’s gonna be a day

When your, standing in the hall of fame
And the world’s gonna know your name
’cause you burn with the brightest flame
And the world’s gonna know your name
And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame

Be a champion, be a champion, be a champion, be a champion

On the walls of the hall of fame

Be students, be teachers
Be politicians, be preachers

Be believers, be leaders
Be astronauts be champions
Be true seekers

Be students, be teachers
Be politicians, be preachers

Be believers, be leaders
Be astronauts, be champions

Standing in the hall of fame
And the world’s gonna know your name
’cause you burn with the brightest flame
And the world’s gonna know your name
And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame

(you can be a champion) you could be the greatest, you can be the best
(you can be a champion)you can be the king kong banging on your chest
You could beat the world (you can be a champion)
You could beat the war (you can be a champion)
You could talk to god, go banging on his door (you can be a champion)

You can throw your hands up (you can be a champion)
You can beat the croc (you can be a champion)
You can move a mountain (you can be a champion)
You can break rocks (you can be a champion)

You can be a master (you can be a champion)
Don’t wait for luck (you can be a champion)
Dedicate yourself and you can find yourself (you can be a champion)
Standing in the hall of fame”-http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?lyrics=26840

I investigated and recorded the music video and song lyrics for Hall of Fame. I think that the script is a really good band to consider in terms of the lights and visual impact their music has. I think this would work really well with the LED lights which will ne within my MP3 player speakers. I think that this song particularly would work really well, especially with the vibrations of the sound waves which is something I could really play on when developing the design for this speaker. I will continue exploring but I think this song would work well.

The Fray;

Referring back to my brainstorm the next band I will explore is The Fray. This is the initial exploration I underwent;

The Fray is an American rock band from Denver, Colorado. Formed in 2002 by schoolmates Isaac Slade and Joe King, they achieved success with the release of their debut album, How to Save a Life in 2005, which was certified double platinum by the RIAA and platinum in AustraliaCanadaNew Zealand and the UK. The Fray achieved national success with their first single, “Over My Head (Cable Car)“, which became a top ten hit in the United States. The release of their second single, “How to Save a Life“, brought the band worldwide fame. The song charted in the top three of the Billboard Hot 100 and was a top 5 single in AustraliaCanadaIrelandItalySpainSweden, and the United Kingdom.

The group’s self-titled, second album, released in 2009, debuted at number-one on the Billboard charts[4] and was certified gold in the United States, Australia and Canada. It was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album in 2010.[5] While both the albums were commercially successful, critical reception was mixed. The Fray was ranked No. 84 on Billboards “Artists of the Decade” list.[6] Their third album Scars & Stories, released in 2012, achieved moderate commercial success; debuting and peaking at number four on the Billboard 200. The album again received mixed reviews from critics. The band’s fourth and latest album, Helios, was released in February 2014.

The Fray’s use of the piano as the lead instrument in their music has led critics to compare the band with English piano-driven bands such as Coldplay and Keane.[7][8][9] However, the band lists its influences as the WallflowersCounting CrowsBetter Than Ezra and U2.[10]

History[edit]

Formation and early years (2002–2004)[edit]

The band members’ lives were largely formed in Denver churches where they helped lead worship, and in the Christian school three of them attended. Slade, 24, and guitarist Joe King, 25, were several years ahead of drummer Ben Wysocki, 21, at Faith Christian Academy. Wysocki and guitarist David Welsh, 27, played in the same worship band. In the spring of 2002, former schoolmates Isaac Slade and Joe King reconnected and began regular two-man jam sessions that led to writing songs. Isaac and Joe later added Mike Ayars on guitar, Zach Johnson on drums, and Slade’s younger brother Caleb on bass, though Caleb was later asked to leave. Caleb’s departure from the band caused a rift in his relationship with Isaac and this rift later became the inspiration for the song “Over My Head (Cable Car)“, which is about the brothers’ wanting relationship.[11] Following this Johnson left the band as well to attend an art school in New York.

Ben Wysocki, a former bandmate of Isaac Slade, joined as drummer and later, Dave Welsh, who was another former band mate of Slade and Wysocki, was added as lead guitarist to the band. The newly formed band was named the Fray. The band members decided on a name after asking people to put band names on a piece of paper from which they picked randomly. The members of the band first claimed that they found the name suitable because they frequently quarreled about the composition of the lyrics in their songs, but they have since stated they are usually on good terms while composing music and acknowledges contributions from all of its members.[12] The band has had no permanent bassist since Caleb, instead employing touring bassists on a temporary basis. The current bassist is Jeremy McCoy, who has been with the band since 2009.

The band released its first record, Movement EP in 2002. The next year, the band released Reason EP produced by How To Save A Life co-producer Aaron Johnson, which garnered the band local fame and acclaim.[13][14] Westword, an alternative newsweekly, gave Reason EP a positive review, stating “The music is epic, no doubt, but it’s played on a wholly human scale”.[15] Despite these reviews, the band struggled to launch a single; Denver radio station KTCL rejected eight of their songs before the band decided to submit a demo of “Cable Car”. The song found airplay on a KTCL radio show highlighting local bands, and the radio station received a large number of requests for it soon thereafter.[16] The band changed the name of the song to “Over My Head (Cable Car)”, and as the song’s airplay increased alongside their local following, the band was voted “Best New Band” by Westword in 2004.[14] Epic Records A&R man Daniel Davis discovered the band through the article in Westword[13][17] and soon after, Epic Records officially signed the band on December 17, 2004.

How to Save a Life (2005–07)[edit]

The band’s debut album How to Save a Life was released on September 13, 2005; its style is between traditional rock and alternative rock.[18] “Over My Head (Cable Car)” was released as the first single from the album, and it soon became a top 40 hit on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in late 2005, peaking at No. 37.[19] The single gained airplay nationally, entering the BillboardHot 100 chart on the issue marked February 25, 2006. Fourteen weeks later, it reached its peak position at No. 8 on the Hot 100 chart.[20] On the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart, the single reached the No. 2 position.[21] Internationally, the song was a Top 25 hit in AustraliaCanada, Denmark, IrelandNew Zealand and the UK. The song was the fifth-most downloaded single of 2006.[22]

While “Over My Head (Cable Car)” was rising on the charts, the song “How to Save a Life” was first featured during a second season episode (“Superstition”, aired March 19, 2006) of Grey’s Anatomy, and then on a fifth season episode (“My Lunch“, aired April 25, 2006) of Scrubs.[23] Despite not having been originally released as a single, “How to Save a Life” entered the Hot 100 chart on the issue marked April 15, 2006. The song was released as the band’s second single. On August 18, 2006, ABCannounced that the song would be used for the main advertising promotion for the season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy.[24]

The Fray performing at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in 2007

Only weeks after this promotion started, the song became the Fray’s second Top 40 hit in the United States. The song peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100 chart, surpassing the peak position of “Over My Head (Cable Car)”.[25] It tied for the seventh longest charting single of all time on the Hot 100 chart, with Santana‘s “Smooth“, at 58 consecutive weeks.[14] The song also topped the Adult Top 40 chart for 15 consecutive weeks.[26]“How to Save a Life” was a major hit internationally, topping the singles chart in Ireland, Spain and Canada. The song also charted in the top five in AustraliaItaly and Swedenand was the band’s first hit in the United Kingdom, peaking at No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart.[27]

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Over My Head (Cable Car)” from How to Save a Life

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Look After You” was released as the third single from the album. It peaked at No. 59 on the Hot 100 chart and was the band’s first single to miss the Top 40.[25] The song was written by the lead singer of the Fray Isaac Slade. It is about his then girlfriend and future wife. How to Save a Life peaked at No. 15 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, and charted in the top ten in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK and was certified the best-selling digital album of all time, breaking the record held previously by Coldplay‘s X&Y.[28][29]

While the album met with commercial success, critical reception from mainstream critics was mixed; Allmusic gave the album a modest review, but stated that the Fray “lacked originality” and the album itself lacked any “inspiration and excitement”.[30] Stylus Magazine gave the album a negative review, stating, “The Fray, as a rule, are moribund, emotionally strained, and uninvolving.”[31] Rolling Stone and Blender echoed many of these statements while giving the album three stars out of five.[32][33]However, the album garnered acclaim from Christian music magazines; Jesus Freak Hideout gave the album a glowing review, stating “How to Save Life is nearly perfect” and gave the album a 4.5/5 star rating.[34] HM Magazine, another American magazine devoted to Christian music also gave the album a positive review, rating it 4/5 stars.[35]

To promote the album, the Fray began a worldwide tour and released a live album, Live at the Electric Factory: Bootleg No. 1, on July 18, 2006. The concert was recorded on May 21, 2006, at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On September 19, they re-released How to Save a Life as a CD/DVD set including a documentary on the making of the album.[36] On September 4, 2007, the band released another live album, Acoustic in Nashville: Bootleg No. 2, which was recorded in late 2006. The album could only be purchased with the original CD from Target but was made available on the iTunes Music Store on November 13, 2007. On October 16, 2007, the band re-released their 2003 EP, Reason.[14] The band also released a live cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono‘s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” as a 2006 Christmas single (it debuted and peaked on the Hot 100 chart at No. 50 on the strength of a large number of digital downloads)[36] and worked with Reverb, a non-profit environmentalorganization, for their 2007 summer tour.[37]

The Fray and Christmas EP (2008–2010)[edit]

The band finished recording their self-titled second album at the end of July 2008 for a February 3, 2009, release.[38] The album was produced by Aaron Johnson and Mike Flynn, the same production duo from the band’s debut album, and recorded by Warren Huart.[39] A documentary, Fair Fight, directed by Rod Blackhurst[40][41] was included with the first 300,000 copies of the second album.[42][43] The lead single from the album, “You Found Me” debuted online on December 9, 2009, on VH1.com,[44]and debuted at No. 28 on the Hot 100 chart, the band’s highest debut on the chart to date. The song peaked at No. 7 on the chart, (making it the band’s second highest charting single)[45] and topped the Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks chart[46] as well as the Australian Singles Chart, becoming the band’s first song to reach number-one in Australia.[47] It is also the band’s third song to sell 2 million digital downloads in the United States, after “Over My Head (Cable Car)” and “How to Save a Life”.[48]Following the success of “You Found Me”, the album, released on February 3, 2009, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 179,000 copies in its first week of release. The music video was directed by fellow Denverite Josh Forbes. It was filmed in Chicago and was an homage to the Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire[4]

On February 3, 2009, the Fray released their self-titled second effort to the Christian market. The band opted to release their second album in both markets. In a video for the song “You Found Me” that includes some behind-the-scenes footage, lead vocalist Isaac Slade says that this album is what they would have done the first time if they had the time, and where they want to go for the rest of their career. On February 13, 2009, the Fray wrote a song called “Be the One”. The song was written in the space of 24 hours when Q asked the band to write a love song for the occasion of Valentine’s Day.[49][50] The demo version of the song was released on the band’s official website on November 11, 2009.[51] The band also covered Kanye West‘s song “Heartless[52] which charted at No. 79 on the Billboard Hot 100, while a video for the cover was released worldwide on iTuneson August 11, 2009. Both songs were included in the deluxe edition of the band’s second album. “Heartless” was also included on the band’s third live album, The Fray: Live from SoHo,[53] which was released on April 7, 2009. On November 10, 2009, the band released the deluxe edition of The Fray which contained a second disc of never-before-released songs, including “Heartless”.[54]

Never Say Never” was released as the second single from the album. The song was a modest hit in the US; it peaked at No. 32 on the Hot 100 chart and at No. 10 on the Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks chart while internationally it failed to match the success of “You Found Me”. The third single from the album, “Syndicate“, released on January 12, 2010,[55] peaked at No. 16 on the Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks and at No. 40 on the Pop Songs chart, becoming the band’s second single to miss the Hot 100 chart and the lowest charting single from the album.[56]

Again, critical reception to the album was mixed. Rolling Stone termed the album as “nothing new”[57] while Entertainment Weekly stated, “The Fray is all blah, all the time: more minor-key melodies and more dreary tempos.”[58] Allmusic, whilst giving the album a modestly positive review, echoed many of these statements, commenting that “the songcraft remains virtually unchanged” and termed the album as “How to Save a Life – Part 2.”[59] However, AbsolutePunk criticized the negative reviews, stating, “For what it’s worth, the Denver quintet has released a charming, appealing record that would be far more praiseworthy if it didn’t sound so much like its predecessor… it may be an album a lot like its predecessor, but that isn’t exactly a bad thing.”[60]At Metacritic, a review aggregate website, the album holds a rating of 56/100 based on 9 professional reviews, meaning “mixed or average reviews”.[61]

The Fray collaborated with Timbaland on his album, Shock Value II, which was released on December 8, 2009. The band was featured on the song “Undertow”, which, despite not being released as a single, entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 100, the week ending November 28, 2009. On December 22, 2009, the band released an EP, Christmas as a free download from the band’s official website. The EP contained five acoustic covers of popular Christmas carols and was recorded by Warren Huart in Nashville at Blackbird Studios.[62]

In an interview with Westword in June 2010, guitarist Dave Welsh announced that the band was working on an EP containing covers of songs by artists such as Annie LennoxBilly JoelBruce Springsteen and Bob Marley but did not give a specific release date.[63]

Scars and Stories (2011–12)[edit]

The Fray’s third album Scars and Stories, was produced by Brendan O’Brien (best known for his work with Bruce SpringsteenPearl Jam and Rage Against the Machine) and was recorded in Blackbird studio, located in NashvilleTennessee. During an interview with Colorado Daily, Slade explained why the band had recruited O’Brien as their producer; “Sonically, we wanted to make this record sound as close as possible to the live shows”, citing Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen as influences for the sound of the record that they were trying to capture.

As for the lyrical aspect of the album, Slade said that the lyrics capture a more aggressive tone than their previous records.[64][65]Guitarist Joe King recorded on the album.

Mixing for the third record began on June 21, 2011. On July 14, 2011, Slade confirmed that the mixing and recording for the third album had been completed via Twitter “Finished our third record about half an hour ago.”.[66] When asked about possible release dates for the album, Slade mentioned his hope that the album will be out by October 2011, or at least in time for Thanksgiving.[65]However the date was pushed backed to early 2012.

On September 13, during a live performance at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, the band announced that the new album is titled Scars and Stories, and performed the first single from the new album titled “Heartbeat“.[67] They also performed a song called “Run For Your Life” which was going to appear on the third record.

The band also contributed a cover of “Take Your Time” to the tribute album Listen to Me: Buddy Holly, released September 6, 2011, as well as a cover of “Mahna Mahna” for the album Muppets: The Green Album.

The band announced in an interview on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown that the second single from the album would be the fourth track, “Run for Your Life.” The video for the song was released on March 13, 2012.

The third single from the album is the closing track, “Be Still.” This song featured in Criminal Minds, Season 7, Episode 20, The Company, as the song when Cindy, Derek Morgan’s cousin, was finally reunited with her family at the end of the episode.

Helios (2013–present)[edit]

Main article: Helios (album)

After Scars and Stories, Slade promised a fourth album by the end of 2013.[68]

On June 4, 2013, the Fray announced that they had begun recording their fourth album.[69] The first single from the album, “Love Don’t Die“, was released to radio on October 15, 2013, and to iTunes on October 21, 2013.[citation needed] It was accompanied by a lyrics video, also released on October 21, 2013, and an official music video, filmed on November 13, 2013, at Cowboy Palace Saloon in Chatsworth, California, and released on December 6, 2013.[citation needed] The album, titled Helios, had been scheduled to be released on January 14, 2014, but has been pushed back to February 25, 2014. Instead, another song, titled “Hurricane”, was made available on January 14, 2014.

Musical style and songwriting[edit]

How to Save a Life consisted of a mix of mid-tempo piano-driven pop rock tracks and power ballads.[70][71] The band’s second album spread the spectrum of the music: the pop rock songs were faster and more energetic, while the ballads were softer than the ballads on the first album.[72]

Slade’s vocals feature falsetto and a strong American accent. On the second album, his vocals were more aggressive, most notably on the tracks “We Build Then We Break” and “Say When”.[73]

The lyrics on both albums revolve around life’s problems and issues. Common themes include happiness, sadness, death, the problem of evilrelationships, and war. The honest and emotional nature of the lyrics[74][75] has also had critics labeling the Fray as emo, comparing them to mainstream emo acts like Jimmy Eat World.[30] The Fray’s initial songs contained lyrics with strong religious messages. However, by the time they began work on their debut album, the band decided against being an entirely religious outfit because they believe that God has called them away from the “Christian music genre and into a secular market.”[76]

Band members[edit]

Current members
  • Isaac Slade – lead vocals, piano (2002–present)
  • Joe King – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2002–present)
  • Dave Welsh – lead guitar (2003–present)
  • Ben Wysocki – drums, percussion (2003–present)
Current touring musicians
  • Jason Hardin – bass guitar (2014–present)
Former members
  • Zach Johnson – drums (2002–2003)
  • Caleb Slade – bass guitar (2002)
  • Mike Ayars – lead guitar (2002–2003)
  • Dan Battenhouse – bass guitar (2002–2004)
  • Jimmy Stofer – bass guitar (2005–2006)
Former touring musicians
Timeline

Discography[edit]

Main article: The Fray discography
Studio albums

Awards and nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2007 Over My Head (Cable Car) Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Nominated
How to Save a Life Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Nominated
2010 The Fray Best Pop Vocal Album Nominated
Never Say Never Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Nominated

Billboard Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2006 How to Save a Life Digital Album of the Year Won
“The Fray” Digital Album Artist of the Year Won
Digital Songs Artist of the Year Won
New Artist of the Year Nominated

Planeta Awards[edit]

The Planeta Awards is an annual Peruvian awards ceremony established by Radio Planeta. The Fray has received one award from two nominations.

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2007 The Fray New Rock Artist of the Year Won
How to Save a Life Ballad of the Year Nominated

Teen Choice Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2007 “The Fray” Choice Music: Breakout Group Nominated
2009 You Found Me Choice Music: Rock Track Nominated

Premios 40 Principales[edit]

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2007 How to Save a Life Best International Song Nominated

APRA Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2010 “You Found Me” International Work of the Year Won

“- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fray

1961

These are the lists of the songs by the Fray. My favourite songs which I will refine include

  1. How to save a life
  2. You found me

I will further investigate these two songs;

How to Save A Life;

“Step one, you say we need to talk
He walks, you say sit down, it’s just a talk
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left, and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
You begin to wonder why you came

[Chorus]
Where did I go wrong?
I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Let him know that you know best
Cause after all, you do know best
Try to slip past his defense
Without granting innocence
Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you’ve told him all along
And pray to God he hears you
And I pray to God he hears you

[Chorus]

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you’ve followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he’ll say he’s just not the same
And you’ll begin to wonder why you came

[Chorus: x2]

How to save a life
How to save a life

[Chorus: x2]

How to save a life
How to save a life”- http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?lyrics=7136

After exploring both the lyrics and music video I am able to say that the music video includes lots of lights which would work well for my speaker, however I think that the lyrics may be hard to transform into a MP3 player.

You Found Me;

“I found God
On the corner of First and Amistad
Where the west
Was all but won
All alone
Smoking his last cigarette
I said, “Where you been?”
He said, “Ask anything”

Where were you
When everything was falling apart?
All my days
Were spent by the telephone
That never rang
And all I needed was a call
That never came
To the corner of First and Amistad

[Chorus]
Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lyin’ on the floor
Surrounded, surrounded
Why’d you have to wait?
Where were you? Where were you?
Just a little late
You found me, you found me

In the end
Everyone ends up alone
Losing her
The only one who’s ever known
Who I am
Who I’m not, who I wanna be
No way to know
How long she will be next to me

[Chorus]

Early morning
The city breaks
I’ve been callin’
For years and years and years and years
And you never left me no messages
Ya never send me no letters
You got some kinda nerve
Taking all my world

Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lyin’ on the floor
Where were you? Where were you?

Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lyin’ on the floor
Surrounded, surrounded
Why’d you have to wait?
Where were you? Where were you?
Just a little late
You found me, you found me
Why’d you have to wait?
To find me, to find me”- http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?lyrics=13808

I think that this song and the lyrics have deeper meaning, however the visual impact such as the symbolism would be hard for me to transform.

3 Doors Down;

My next band is 3 Doors Down this is the initial research and investigation I did for this band;

3 Doors Down is an American rock band from Escatawpa, Mississippi that formed in 1996. The band originally consisted of Brad Arnold (vocals/drums), Todd Harrell (bass guitar) and Matt Roberts (guitar). They were soon joined by guitarist Chris Henderson, and later by drummer Richard Liles, who played for the band during their tour supporting their first album. Daniel Adair played drums on tour from 2002–2005. This configuration played nearly 1,000 shows across the world following the release of their hugely successful Away from the Sun album. In 2005, when Adair was hired full-time by Nickelback, Greg Upchurch (Puddle of Mudd) joined to play drums full-time. In 2012, original guitarist Matt Roberts departed due to health issues. Chet Roberts, who was formerly Chris Henderson’s guitar tech, became Roberts’ successor. In 2013, Harrell was fired from the band after being charged with vehicular homicide. Bassist Justin Biltonen replaced him.[4]

The band rose to international fame with their first single, “Kryptonite“, which charted in the top three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The band then signed onto Republic Records and released their debut album, The Better Life, in 2000. The album was the 11th-best-selling album of the year and was certified 6x platinum in the United States. Their second album, Away from the Sun, (2002) continued the band’s success; it debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 chart, went multi-platinum in the United States like its predecessor, and spawned the hits “When I’m Gone” and “Here Without You“. The band followed it up by extensive touring for two years before releasing their third album, Seventeen Days, in 2005. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified platinum within its first month of release. Their fourth, self-titled album, 3 Doors Down (2008), also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The band’s fifth studio album, Time of My Life (2011) debuted at No. 3 at the charts.

The band has shared the stage with artists such as DaughtryPop EvilRed Sun RisingBlack Stone Cherry,[5] MegadethStaindNickelbackThree Days GraceOleander_(band)Alter BridgeBreaking BenjaminSeetherShinedownHinderMentorsZZ Top, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Since the start of their career, 3 Doors Down have sold over 20 million albums worldwide.

History[edit]

Formative years: 1996–1998[edit]

The band originally consisted of Brad Arnold (vocals/drums), Todd Harrell (bass) and Matt Roberts (guitar). The band began to tour outside Escatawpa, and it was during a trip to Foley, Alabama that they came up with their official name. When the three men were walking through the town, they saw a building where some letters had fallen off its sign, and it read “Doors Down”. Since at the time they consisted of three people, they added the “3” to create “3 Doors Down”. The cover of their 2011 album Time of My Life hints at the original number of band members (3) and current band members (5); the clock on the album cover reads 3:05.

A couple of years after performing together, Todd Harrell asked guitarist Chris Henderson to join the band. They recorded a demo CD of their original songs at Lincoln Recording in Pascagoula, Mississippi. When the band gave the CD to local radio station WCPR-FM they started playing the EP version of “Kryptonite“, and it became the No. 1 requested song on the station for over 15 weeks.[6] The station’s program director sent the song to manager Phin Daly who in turn showed it to Bill McGathy, his employer at In De Goot Entertainment. They decided to fly the band into New York to perform a showcase at the CBGB music club. Daly told HitQuarters: “Once they got on stage and started playing it was apparent the magic was in the music. So we moved to sign them.”[6] 3 Doors Down’s success on the radio also led to Republic Records signing the band.

Mainstream success: 1999–2004[edit]

3 Doors Down’s first studio album, The Better Life, was released on February 8, 2000 and went on to become the 11th best-selling album of the year, selling over 3 million copies. It has since been certified 6x platinum, thanks in large part to the international hit singles, “Kryptonite”, “Loser“, and “Duck and Run“. A fourth single, “Be Like That” was re-recorded for the 2001 film American Pie 2, with alternate lyrics for the first 3 lines. This version is known as “The American Pie 2 Edit”. Whilst recording the album, Brad Arnold recorded both the vocal and drum parts. However, the band hired drummer Richard Liles for the tour in support of The Better Life so that Arnold could perform at the front of the stage. Liles left in late 2001.

The band’s second studio album, Away from the Sun, was released on November 12, 2002. The album has sold 4 million copies worldwide, including well over 3 million in the U.S. alone.[7][8] Session drummer Josh Freese was hired to record drums for the album. Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson produced and performed on three tracks for the record, “Dangerous Game”, “Dead Love”, and “Wasted Me”, but only “Dangerous Game” would appear on the finished product. The band hired Canadian Daniel Adair to play drums for the Away From the Sun tour. He would go on to record the drums for the band’s next studio release, and was with the band aboard the USS George Washington (CVN-73) to film the music video “When I’m Gone“.

In 2003, 3 Doors Down released a live EP entitled Another 700 Miles consisting of recordings from a live performance by the band in Chicago, Illinois. Another 700 Miles has since been certified Gold in the United States. Besides featuring some of 3 Doors Down’s hit singles from their previous two albums, the EP also contains a version of the popular Lynyrd Skynyrd song “That Smell“.

In 2003, the band began hosting the annual “3 Doors Down and Friends” benefit concert, through the band’s own charity The Better Life Foundation. In 2006, this event was held at the Mobile Convention Center, with proceeds benefiting Hurricane Katrinasurvivors. As residents of Escatawpa, the members of the band saw the effects of Katrina’s devastation.[9]

Continued success: 2005–2010[edit]

3 Doors Down performing in 2008.

The band’s third studio album, 2005’s Seventeen Days, has been certified platinum. Of the singles from it, “Let Me Go” and “Behind Those Eyes” charted with the most success. “Live for Today”, “Landing in London” (on which Bob Seger sang the second verse and provided back-up vocals), and “Here by Me” were also released as singles. During the Seventeen Days tour, the band appeared alongside southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, as well as headlined many shows of their own.

Later in 2005, the band released a live DVD entitled Away from the Sun: Live from Houston, Texas. The DVD was produced and directed by Academy Award nominated Alex Gibney and Doug Biro. It features songs from both The Better Life and Away from the Sun, and even some early sketches of “It’s Not Me” and “Father’s Son”, which were both eventually released on Seventeen Days.

Greg Upchurch, formerly of Puddle of Mudd, replaced Daniel Adair in 2005, when Adair left to accept the position as drummer and contributing member of Nickelback.[10]

3 Doors Down released their self-titled fourth album on May 20, 2008. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 154,000 copies in its first week. It is the band’s second consecutive No. 1 album on the chart after Seventeen Days, as well their fourth album to reach the Top Ten.[11] The album contains the hit singles “It’s Not My Time“, “Train“, “Let Me Be Myself” and “Citizen/Soldier“, a song written as a tribute to the National Guard. In 2009, 3 Doors Down, along with The Soul Children of Chicago, released the song “In the Presence of the Lord” on the compilation album Oh Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration.[12]

The band recorded in 2009 a Christmas song called “Where My Christmas Lives“, which was the first Christmas song Brad Arnold had ever written.[13] It was digitally released along with seven acoustic songs on December 8. Six of these acoustic tracks were from the previous self-titled album, and one was an acoustic version of “Where my Christmas Lives”.

Line-up changes: 2011–2013[edit]

Todd Harrell, Brad Arnold and Matt Roberts performing in 2011.

3 Doors Down released their fifth studio album, Time of My Life on July 19, 2011. The band had earlier released “When You’re Young” as the first single from the album on January 10, 2011. The single reached a position of 81 on the US Billboard Hot 100. A second single from the album, “Every Time You Go” was released to digital outlets on May 23, 2011.[14][15] The band embarked on a tour in July 2011 across USA, Europe, and the United Kingdom, in support of the album.[16] The album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with 59,800 copies sold in its first week. Beginning in May 2012, the band embarked on a six-week-long ‘Gang of Outlaws Tour’ with headliners ZZ Top and opener Gretchen Wilson.[17] On May 23, 2012, Matt Roberts announced he is departing the band to focus on his health.[18] The “Gang of Outlaws” tour remained intact and the band toured across the United States with ZZ Top and Gretchen Wilson. On May 23, guitarist Chris Henderson announced on Twitter that his old guitar tech Chet Roberts would be taking over from Matt Roberts on lead guitar.

After the “Gang of Outlaws” tour finished, the band said in an interview that they were entering the studio to record 3 or 4 new songs to put on their very first Greatest Hits album, which was released on November 19, 2012.[19] During the tail end of the Gang of Outlaws tour, they debuted a new song “One Light” which was included on the band’s The Greatest Hits. Guitarist Chris Henderson announced on Twitter they would be back in the studio a few weeks after tour had ended. In late 2012 the band appeared at several smaller shows including Huntington, NY.[20] The band performed at Download Festival 2013 at the Zippo Encore Stage on the Friday of the three-day festival. From the tailend of 2012 through to March 2013, 3 Doors Down went on a joint headlining tour with US rock band Daughtry to promote Daughtry’s 3rd studio album release. The cover of “In the Air Tonight” was captured and uploaded to Daughtry’s official YouTube channel. The band also played the Dubai Jazz Festival in February 2013.

On April 20, 2013, bassist Todd Harrell was charged with vehicular homicide for his actions the night before in Nashville, Tennessee. He was reportedly driving on I-40 at a high speed while under the influence of prescription medication when he caused an accident that killed 47-year-old Paul Howard Shoulders, Jr. The judge in the trial granted the request by Harrell’s lawyers to have Harrell placed on house arrest while awaiting trial. The judge granted the defense request, but harshly criticized the musician’s doctor in the courtroom, accusing the physician of prescribing Harrell far too many pain pills. The judge stated that Harrell “got 360 Oxycodone and 60 Oxycontin pills from his doctor in less than 30 days, which is well outside the amount that is usually prescribed in the due course of medical treatment.” Harrell was also charged with bringing a controlled substance into a correctional detention facility, after it was discovered during the book in process at Nashville’s Metro Jail that Harrell had a plastic bag hidden in his sock that contained eight Xanax pills, twenty four Oxycodone pills, and four Oxymorphone pills. Harrell’s court and trial dates have been repeatedly postponed by Harrell’s attorneys for various reasons. Harrell’s original court dates of May 28 and 29, 2014 for the vehicular homicide charge were postponed and the court date for his previous DUI from 2012 was postponed since Harrell had voluntarily gone into rehab at an undisclosed location and remained there on the date set for the charge to go to court. In May 2014 the trial was moved to July 23, 2014. The trial was again postponed by the judge at the request of Harrell’s attorneys, pending a status hearing in September 2014. A status hearing took place on September 19, 2014 for Harrell’s vehicular homicide charge, in which the judge agreed to postpone the trial again and allow Harrell to remain on house arrest pending his trial. As of January 2015, no trial date for the vehicular homicide charge has yet been set due to the multiple postponement requests by Harrell’s attorneys, reportedly due to the fact that Harrell has been in rehab for treatment for addictions to alcohol and prescription pain medication. Afterward, 3 Doors Down announced that the four scheduled shows in the U.S. for April and May had been cancelled out of respect for Shoulders and his family and that the band would return to touring on May 31 in Moscow, Russia. The European tour with Prime Circle and the summer tour dates with Daughtry, which had been announced the day after the incident in Nashville, remained intact. On May 24, a week before the start on the European tour, Justin Biltonen was announced as the band’s new bassist. The tour, starting in Moscow, began on May 31, 2013. On July 20, 2013, they played live at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve.

Us and the Night and death of Matt Roberts: 2014–present[edit]

In January, Chris Henderson reported to the Phoenix New Times that their new album would be released sometime in 2014.[4]From the tail end of 2013 into 2014, the band embarked on an acoustic tour entitled “Songs from the Basement” and toured around the United States. In February 2014, Todd Harrell was arrested in Mississippi once again for a DUI. This resulted in a statement from the band being issued confirming that Harrell will not return to the band, and would continue with Justin Biltonen as his permanent replacement. In June, Chris Henderson announced that the new album would be titled Us and The Night.[21] It was originally set to be released between September and November 2015.[citation needed] In January 2016, the album’s release date was revealed to be March 11, 2016. The album is titled Us and the Night.[22] It was also announced that some of the new tracks on the album will be played live at the Loudwire festival.[citation needed]

Former guitarist Matt Roberts died on August 20, 2016 at the age of 38 from a suspected prescription drug overdose.[23]

Other appearances[edit]

On February 9, 2010, the band released a song called “Shine“, through digital media such as iTunes, which was used as a promotion for the 2010 Winter Olympics and is available through digital outlets.[24] Billboard listed 3 Doors Down as the No. 30 band in the decade from 2000-2010.[25]

On January 30, 2011 3 Doors Down played during the 1st period intermission of the 2011 NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, North Carolina. They played two songs: “When You’re Young” followed by “Kryptonite”. The band also held a free concert as part of the weekend festivities on January 28, 2011 in downtown Raleigh.

On June 28–29, 2014 3 Doors Down played both days at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. They played all of their greatest hits, and only two new songs. This was at the Americafest celebration.[26]

The Better Life Foundation[edit]

The Better Life Foundation

3 Doors Down started The Better Life Foundation (TBLF) in 2003, with a goal in mind to give as many children as possible a better life. Since its inception TBLF has supported numerous charities nationwide including the Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, and the Habitat for Humanity,[27] as well as providing aid and assistance to the Gulf Coast region of Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina.

When the Mississippi town of Waveland took an especially hard hit from Hurricane Katrina, the charity was able to purchase three police cars and a fire truck to help with rescue efforts. Also, in connection with Wal-Mart, they were able to supply the town with three semi-trucks full of rescue supplies. There was also extensive support from TBLF in providing funding for rebuilding efforts in the town.

3 Doors Down and The Better Life Foundation host a yearly show to raise money for the charity. Beginning in 2010, the show is performed at Horseshoe Hotel and Casino, in Tunica, Mississippi. Prior to 2010, the show was performed at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. In addition to a concert from 3 Doors Down and friends, there is also an auction, which includes numerous items from musical friends, sports icons, and other various supporters of the band and the charity. There is an average of sixty items auctioned off yearly, and proceeds are given to TBLF.

Past performers at the show include Lynyrd SkynyrdShinedownAlter BridgeStaindHinderSwitchfootTracy LawrenceSara Evans, and others. Past auction items include a Paul Stanley guitar played on the KISS Farewell Tour, a total of four Roger Bourget motorcycles, access to the Dale Jr. racing suite, NASCAR artwork by Brad Daley, numerous signed guitars and sports memorabilia.[28]

Band members[edit]

Current members
  • Brad Arnold — lead vocals (1996–present)drums (1996–2000)
  • Chris Henderson — rhythm guitar (1998–present)
  • Greg Upchurch — drums, percussion (2005–present)
  • Chet Roberts — lead guitar, backing vocals (2012–present)
  • Justin Biltonen — bass (2013–present)
Former members
  • Todd Harrell — bass (1996–2013)
  • Matt Roberts — lead guitar, backing vocals (1996–2012; died 2016)
  • Richard Liles — drums (2000–2002)
  • Daniel Adair — drums, percussion, backing vocals (2002–2005)
Session musicians
  • Josh Freese — drums on Away From the Sun
  • Rick Hopkins — keyboards on Away From the Sun
Timeline

Discography[edit]

Studio albums

I then individually considered each song they have;

After considering each of their songs I was able to refine the list to my favourite and one I think would have the most potential as a speaker;

  1. Here without you

Here Without You;

I think this song would have the most potential with meaning. This is the research I completed on this song;

“A hundred days have made me older
Since the last time that I saw your pretty face.
A thousand lies have made me colder
And I don’t think I can look at this the same.
All the miles that separate
Disappear now when I’m dreamin’ of your face.

I’m here without you baby
But you’re still on my lonely mind.
I think about you baby and I dream about you all the time.
I’m here without you baby
But you’re still with me in my dreams
And tonight girl, it’s only you and me.

The miles just keep rollin’
As the people leave their way to say hello
I’ve heard this life is overrated
But I hope that it gets better as we go.

I’m here without you baby
But you’re still on my lonely mind.
I think about you baby and I dream about you all the time.
I’m here without you baby
But you’re still with me in my dreams
And tonight, it’s only you and me.

Everything I know, and anywhere I go,
It gets hard but it won’t take away my love.
And when the last one falls, when its all said and done.
It gets hard but it won’t take away my love.

I’m here without you baby
But you’re still on my lonely mind.
I think about you baby and I dream about you all the time.
I’m here without you baby
But you’re still with me in my dreams
And tonight, it’s only you and me.”- http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?lyrics=3008

Reflecting on this band and this chosen song I think that it doesn’t have enough symbolism behind it for my speaker, as I really want to find a song with lots of visual impact to make my speaker visually appealing.

Katy Perry;

“Katy Hudson” redirects here. For Perry’s 2001 album, see Katy Hudson (album).
Not to be confused with Katie Perry.
Katy Perry
Katy Perry in performance, with her left arm raised

Perry performing at the 2016 Democratic National Convention
Born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson
October 25, 1984 (age 31)
Santa Barbara, California, United States
Other names
  • Katy Hudson
  • Katheryn Perry
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
  • philanthropist
  • businesswoman
Net worth $125 million (2016 estimate)
Spouse(s) Russell Brand (m. 2010; div. 2012)
Relatives Frank Perry (uncle)
Website katyperry.com
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active 2001–present
Labels
Associated acts The Matrix

Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer and songwriter. After singing in church during her childhood, she pursued a career in gospel music as a teenager. Perry signed with Red Hill Records and released her debut studio album Katy Hudson under her birth name in 2001, which was commercially unsuccessful. She moved to Los Angeles the following year to venture into secular music after Red Hill ceased operations and she subsequently began working with producers Glen BallardDr. Luke, and Max Martin. After adopting the stage name Katy Perry and being dropped by The Island Def Jam Music Group and Columbia Records, she signed a recording contract with Capitol Records in April 2007.

Perry rose to fame in 2008 with the release of the singles “I Kissed a Girl” – which sparked controversy for its homosexual themes – and “Hot n Cold” from her second album, a pop rock record titled One of the Boys. Her third album, Teenage Dream (2010), ventured into disco, and contained the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping singles “California Gurls“, “Teenage Dream“, “Firework“, “E.T.“, and “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” as well as the number-three single “The One That Got Away“. The album became the first by a female artist to produce five number-one songs in the U.S., and the second overall after Michael Jackson‘s album Bad. In March 2012, she re-issued the album as Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, which produced the songs “Part of Me” and “Wide Awake“. Her fourth album, Prism, was released in 2013, and is influenced by pop and dance. She became the first artist with multiple videos to reach one billion views on Vevo with the videos for its songs “Roar” and “Dark Horse“.

Perry has received many awards, including four Guinness World Records, and been included in the Forbes list of “Top-Earning Women In Music” (2011–15). Her estimated net worth as of 2016 is $125 million. She is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold 100 million records globally throughout her career. In film, she released an autobiographical documentary titled Katy Perry: Part of Me in 2012, and voiced Smurfette in the 2011 film The Smurfs and its sequel in 2013.

Life and career

1984–98: Early life

Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson was born in Santa Barbara, California, to Pentecostal pastors Mary Christine (née Perry) and Maurice Keith Hudson.[1][2] Her parents are born again Christians, each having turned to God after a “wild youth”.[3] Perry has English, German, Irish, and Portuguese ancestry.[4] Through her mother, she is a niece of film director Frank Perry.[5] She has a younger brother named David, who is a singer,[6] and an older sister, Angela.[7] From ages 3 to 11, Perry often moved across the country as her parents set up churches before settling again in Santa Barbara. Growing up, she attended religious schools and camps, including Paradise Valley Christian School in Arizona and Santa Barbara Christian School in California during her elementary years.[2][8] Her family struggled financially,[9] sometimes using food stamps and eating from the food bank intended to feed the congregation at her parents’ church.[10]

Growing up, Perry and her siblings were not allowed to eat Lucky Charms as the term “luck” reminded their mother of Lucifer, and had to call deviled eggs “angeled eggs”.[11] Perry primarily listened to gospel music,[12] as secular music was generally discouraged in the family’s home. She discovered popular music through CDs she sneaked from her friends.[13] While not strictly identifying as religious, Perry has stated, “I pray all the time – for self-control, for humility.”[14] Following her sister Angela, Perry began singing by practicing with her sister’s cassette tapes. She performed the tracks in front of their parents, who suggested she take vocal lessons. She began training at age 9,[15] and was incorporated into her parents’ ministry,[3] singing in church from ages 9 to 17.[16] At 13, Perry was given her first guitar for her birthday,[3][17] and publicly performed songs she wrote.[9] She tried to “be a bit like the typical Californian girl” while growing up, and started rollerskating, skateboarding, and surfing as a teenager. David described her as a tomboy during her adolescence.[18] She took dancing lessons and learned how to swingLindy Hop, and jitterbug.[19]

1999–2006: Career beginnings

During her freshman year of high school,[20] Perry completed her General Educational Development (GED) requirements at age 15, and left Dos Pueblos High School to pursue a musical career. She briefly studied Italian opera at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. Her singing caught the attention of rock artists Steve Thomas and Jennifer Knapp from Nashville, Tennessee, who brought her there to improve her writing skills.[21][22] In Nashville, she started recording demos and learned how to write songs and play guitar.[12] After signing with Red Hill Records, Perry recorded her debut album, a gospel record titled Katy Hudson. She released the album on March 6, 2001,[23] and went on tour that year as part of Phil Joel‘s Strangely Normal Tour.[24]Katy Hudson received positive reviews from critics, though was commercially unsuccessful and sold an estimated 200 copies before the label ceased operations in December.[25][26] Transitioning from gospel music to secular music, Perry started writing songs with producer Glen Ballard,[27] and moved to Los Angeles at age 17.[28] In 2003, she briefly performed as Katheryn Perry to avoid confusion with actress Kate Hudson. She later adopted the stage name Katy Perry, using her mother’s maiden name.[29]

In 2004, Perry signed to Ballard’s label, Java, which was then affiliated with The Island Def Jam Music Group. She began work on a solo record, but the record was shelved after Java was dropped.[30] Ballard then introduced Perry to Tim Devine, an A&Rexecutive at Columbia Records, and she was signed as a solo artist. Over the course of the next two years, Perry wrote and recorded material for her Columbia debut, and worked with songwriters including Desmond ChildGreg WellsButch Walker, Scott Cutler/Anne Previn, The MatrixKara DioGuardi, and Max Martin and Dr. Luke.[31][32] In addition, after Devine suggested they become a “real group”, she recorded with the Matrix.[33] Perry was dropped from Columbia in 2006 as her record neared completion. After she was dropped from Columbia, Perry worked at an independent A&R company called Taxi Music.[34]

Perry had minor success prior to her breakthrough. One of the songs she had recorded for her album with Ballard, “Simple”, was featured on the soundtrack to the 2005 film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.[35] She provided backing vocals on Mick Jagger‘s song “Old Habits Die Hard“,[36] which was included on the soundtrack to the 2004 film Alfie.[37] In September 2004, Blender named Perry “The Next Big Thing”.[35] She recorded background vocals on P.O.D.‘s single “Goodbye for Now” and was featured at the end of its music video in 2006. That year, Perry also appeared in the music video for “Learn to Fly” by Carbon Leaf, and played the love interest of her then-boyfriend, Gym Class Heroes lead singer Travie McCoy, in the band’s music video for “Cupid’s Chokehold“.[38]

2007–09: Breakthrough with One of the Boys

Katy Perry performing on the Warped Tour 2008

Perry was part of the 2008 Warped Tour lineup

After Columbia dropped Perry, Angelica Cob-Baehler, then a publicity executive at the label, brought Perry’s demos to Virgin Records chairman Jason Flom. Flom was convinced that she could be a breakthrough star and she was signed to Capitol Records in April 2007. The label arranged for her to work with Dr. Luke in order to add an “undeniable smash” to her existing material.[39][40] Perry and Dr. Luke co-wrote the songs “I Kissed a Girl” and “Hot n Cold” for her second album One of the Boys. A campaign was started with the November 2007 release of the video to “Ur So Gay“, aimed at introducing her to the music market.[41] A digital EP led by “Ur So Gay” was later released to create interest.[3][42] Madonna helped publicize the song by praising the track on the JohnJay & Rich radio show in April 2008,[43] stating it was her “favorite song”.[44]In March 2008, Perry made a cameo appearance as a club singer in the Wildfire episode “Life’s Too Short”,[45] and appeared as herself during a photo shoot in June on The Young and the Restless for the show’s magazine Restless Style.[46]

Perry released her first single with Capitol, “I Kissed a Girl”, on April 28, 2008,[47] as the lead single from One of the Boys. The first station to pick up the song was WRVW in Nashville, who were inundated with enthusiastic calls the first three days they played it.[42] The track reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.[48] One of the Boys, released on June 17, garnered mixed critical reviews and reached number nine on the U.S. Billboard 200.[49][50] The album went on to sell 7 million copies worldwide.[51] “Hot n Cold” was released in September[52] and became the album’s second successful single, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100,[53]while topping charts in Germany,[54] Canada,[55] the Netherlands,[56] and Austria.[57] Later singles “Thinking of You” and “Waking Up in Vegas” were released in 2009[58][59] and reached the top 30 of the Hot 100.[53] The Matrix’s self-titled debut album, which Perry had recorded with the band in 2004, was released onto iTunes on January 27, 2009, as a result of her solo success.[37][60]

After finishing the Warped Tour 2008,[61] Perry hosted the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards in November 2008, where she won the award for Best New Act.[62] She embarked on her first headlining world tour, the Hello Katy Tour, from January to November 2009 to support One of the Boys.[63] On August 4, 2009, she performed as opening act for one date of the band No Doubt‘s Summer Tour 2009.[64] Perry also hosted the 2009 MTV Europe Music Awards in November 2009, becoming the first person to host two consecutive ceremonies.[65] On July 22, 2009, Perry recorded a live album titled MTV Unplugged, which featured acoustic performances of five tracks from One of the Boys, as well as two new songs, “Brick by Brick” and “Hackensack”.[66] It was released on November 17, 2009.[67] Perry also appeared on two singles with other artists; she was featured on a remix of Colorado-based band 3OH!3‘s song “Starstrukk” in September 2009,[68] and on a duet with Timbaland entitled “If We Ever Meet Again“, from his album Shock Value II, in January 2010.[69][70] The Guinness World Records recognized her in its 2010 edition as the “Best Start on the U.S. Digital Chart by a Female Artist”, for digital single sales of over two million copies.[71]

“I Kissed a Girl” created controversy among both religious groups and LGBT groups. The former criticized its homosexual themes while the latter accused her of using bi-curiosity to sell records. In response to speculation that her parents opposed her music and career, Perry told MTV that they had no problems with her success.[72] After her relationship with McCoy ended in December 2008,[73] Perry met her future husband Russell Brand in the summer of 2009 while filming a cameo appearance for his film Get Him to the Greek. Her scene, in which the two kiss, does not appear in the film.[74] She began dating Brand after meeting him again that September at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.[75] The couple became engaged on December 31, 2009, while vacationing in Rajasthan, India.[76]

2010–12: Teenage Dream and marriage

After serving as a guest judge on American Idol,[77] Perry released “California Gurls” featuring rapper Snoop Dogg on May 7, 2010.[78] The song was the lead single from her third studio album, Teenage Dream, and reached number one on the BillboardHot 100 in June.[79][80] She also served as a guest judge on The X Factor UK later that month[81] before releasing the album’s second single, “Teenage Dream“, in July.[82] “Teenage Dream” reached number one on Billboard in September.[83] Released on August 24, 2010,[84] the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.[85] It received mixed reviews from music critics,[86]and has since sold 6 million copies globally.[87] In October, “Firework” was released as the album’s third single.[88] It became the album’s third consecutive number one on the Hot 100 on December 8, 2010.[89]

A remixed version of “E.T.” featuring rapper Kanye West was released as the fourth single from Teenage Dream on February 16, 2011.[90] It topped the Hot 100 chart for five non-consecutive weeks, making Teenage Dream the ninth album in history to produce four number one singles on the Hot 100.[91] “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” followed as the fifth single in June,[92] and Perry became the first female artist to achieve five number-one Hot 100 songs from one album when the single topped that chart on August 17, and the second artist after Michael Jackson with his album Bad.[93] For this record, she received an honorary American Music Award in November 2011[94] and a 2013 Guinness World Record.[95] On September 7, she set a new record by becoming the first artist to spend 69 consecutive weeks in the top ten of the Hot 100.[96] In October, “The One That Got Away” was released as the album’s sixth single.[97] The song peaked at number three on the Hot 100[98] and number two in Canada.[55]On February 13, 2012, Capitol released the lead single from Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, “Part of Me“, which debuted at number one on the Hot 100 and became Perry’s seventh single overall to top the chart.[53][99] Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection was released on March 23.[100] “Wide Awake” was released on May 22 as the re-release’s second single,[101] peaking at number two on the Hot 100[98] and number one in Canada[55] and New Zealand.[102] On January 5, she was named the sixth best-selling digital artist in the United States, with sales of 37.6 million units according to Nielsen SoundScan.[103] That month, she became the first artist to have four songs sell over 5 million digital units.[104]

Katy Perry performing during the California Dreams Tour

Perry’s California Dreams Tour grossed $59.5 million

Perry embarked on her second tour, the California Dreams Tour, in support of Teenage Dream[63] from February 2011 to January 2012.[105] The tour grossed $59.5 million globally[106]and won her the award for Best Live Act at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards.[107] On September 23, 2011, she performed on the opening day of the 2011 Rock in Rio festival along with Elton JohnClaudia Leitte, and Rihanna.[108] In September 2010, Perry was scheduled to appear on the 41st-season premiere of Sesame Street. After her scene was uploaded to YouTube, viewers criticized Perry’s exposed cleavage. Four days before the scheduled airing, Sesame Workshop announced that the segment would not air on television, but would still be available to watch online.[109] Perry subsequently mocked the controversy on Saturday Night Live, where she was a musical guest and wore an Elmo-themed shirt showing large amounts of cleavage during one skit.[110]

In December 2010, Perry played Moe Szyslak‘s girlfriend in the live-action segment from a Christmas episode of The Simpsons titled “The Fight Before Christmas“.[111][112] In February 2011, she made a guest appearance on the How I Met Your Mother episode “Oh Honey“, playing a woman known as Honey.[113] The role won her the People’s Choice Award for Favorite TV Guest Star in January 2012.[114] She made her film debut in the 3D family motion picture The Smurfs as Smurfette on July 29, 2011. The film was a financial success worldwide,[115] while critics gave mostly negative reviews.[116] She hosted Saturday Night Live on December 10, 2011, with Robyn as the episode’s musical guest. Perry’s work on the episode received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised her performance in the episode’s digital short featuring her and Andy Samberg.[117] In March 2012, she guest starred as a prison security guard named Rikki on the Raising Hope episode “Single White Female Role Model”.[118] On July 5, 2012, Perry’s autobiographical documentary Katy Perry: Part of Me was released to theaters through Paramount Pictures.[119][120] The film received positive reviews[121] and grossed $32.7 million worldwide at the box office.[122]

Perry began to venture into business when she endorsed her first fragrance, Purr, in November 2010. Her second fragrance, Meow!, was released in December 2011. Both perfumes were released through Nordstrom department stores.[123][124] Electronic Arts recruited her to promote their new expansion pack for The Sims 3: Showtime,[125] before releasing a separate stuff packfeaturing Perry-inspired furniture, outfits, and hairstyles, titled The Sims 3: Katy Perry’s Sweet Treats, in June 2012.[126] The following month, she became the spokesperson and ambassador for Popchips and made an investment in the company.[127]Billboard dubbed her as their “Woman of the Year” for 2012.[128]

She married Russell Brand on October 23, 2010, in a traditional Hindu ceremony near the Ranthambhore tiger sanctuary in Rajasthan.[129] Brand announced on December 30, 2011, that they were divorcing after 14 months of marriage.[130] Perry later stated that conflicting career schedules and his desire to have children before she was ready led to the end of their marriage,[131]and that he never spoke to her again after sending a text message that he was divorcing her[132] while Brand asserted that he divorced her due to her commercial success and reluctance to engage in activism.[133] She was initially distraught over their divorce, and said that she contemplated suicide.[134][135] After the marriage ended in 2012,[136] Perry began a relationship with singer John Mayer that August.[137]

2013–15: Prism and Super Bowl XLIX halftime show

In November 2012, Perry began work on her fourth album, Prism. She told Billboard, “I know exactly the record I want to make next. I know the artwork, the coloring and the tone” and “I even know what type of tour I’m doing next. I’ll be very pleased if the vision I have in my head becomes a reality.”[138] Although she told L’Uomo Vogue in June 2012 that she planned to have “darker elements” in Prism following the end of her marriage,[139] Perry revealed to MTV during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards that she changed the album’s direction after periods of self-reflection. She commented “I felt very prismatic”, which inspired the album’s name.[140] “Roar” was released as the lead single from Prism on August 10, 2013.[141] It was promoted at the MTV Video Music Awards and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.[142][143] “Unconditionally” was released as the second single from Prism on October 16, 2013,[144] and peaked at number 14 in the United States.[145]

Katy Perry performing during The Prismatic World Tour

Perry performing during The Prismatic World Tour in July 2014

Prism was released on October 18, 2013, and has sold 4 million copies as of August 2015.[146] It received positive reviews from critics[147] and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.[148] Four days later, Perry performed the songs from the album at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles.[149] “Dark Horse” was released as the album’s third single on December 17, 2013, and became her ninth U.S. number-one single on January 29, 2014.[150][151] In 2014, “Birthday[152] and “This Is How We Do[153] followed as the album’s fourth and fifth singles, and reached the top 25 on the Hot 100.[53] Prior to ending her relationship with Mayer in February 2014,[154][155] she recorded and co-wrote a duet with him titled “Who You Love” for his album Paradise Valley. The song was released on August 12, 2013.[156] Perry’s third headlining tour, The Prismatic World Tour, began in May 2014[105] and concluded in October 2015.[146] It grossed $204.3 million worldwide[157] and won Perry the award for “Top Package” at the 2014 Billboard Touring Awards.[158] She also performed at the 2015 Rock in Rio festival on September 27, 2015.[159]

On November 23, 2014, the NFL announced that Perry would perform at the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show on February 1, 2015.[160] Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott served as special guests for the show.[161] Two days after the halftime show, the Guinness World Records announced that Perry’s performance garnered 118.5 million viewers in the United States, and became the most watched and highest rated show in Super Bowl history. The viewership was higher than the game itself, which was viewed by an audience of 114.4 million.[162]

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) ranked her fifth on the list of Top Global Recording Artists of 2013.[163] On June 26, 2014, she was declared the Top Certified Digital Artist Ever by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for certified sales of 72 million digital singles in the United States.[164][165] In May 2014, a portrait of Perry by painter Mark Ryden was featured in his exhibition “The Gay 90s”, and shown at the Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles. Along with several other artists, she also recorded a cover version of the song “Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)” on a limited-edition concept album to accompany the exhibition.[166] That month, a portrait of Perry by artist Will Cotton was included in the United States National Portrait Gallery.[167] On November 23, 2015, Perry starred in H&M‘s holiday advertising campaign, for which she wrote and recorded a song titled “Every Day Is a Holiday“.[168][169]

On June 17, 2014, Perry announced that she had founded her own record label under Capitol Records, titled Metamorphosis MusicFerras was the first artist to get signed to her label, and Perry served as an executive producer on his self-titled EP. She also recorded a duet with him on the EP, titled “Legends Never Die”.[170]

Outside of her music career, Perry reprised her role as Smurfette in The Smurfs 2, which was released in theaters on July 31, 2013.[171] Like its predecessor, The Smurfs 2 was a financial success[172] but was panned by critics.[173] In March 2014, she made a guest appearance playing herself in the episode “Blisteritos Presents Dad Academy Graduation Congraduritos Red Carpet Viewing Party” of the Kroll Show.[174] Killer Queen was released as her third fragrance in August 2013 through Coty, Inc.[175] In January 2014, she became a guest curator of Madonna’s Art for Freedom initiative.[176] In March 2015, she appeared in Brand: A Second Coming, a documentary following her ex-husband Russell Brand’s transition from comedy work to activism,[133] and released a concert film titled Katy Perry: The Prismatic World Tour through Epix, which took place during her tour of the same name.[120] Perry also made a cameo appearance in the music video for Madonna’s song “Bitch I’m Madonna” in June 2015.[177] The following month, she released another fragrance with Coty, entitled Mad Potion.[178] In September 2015, she appeared in the documentaries Katy Perry: Making of the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show, which followed Perry’s preparation for her Super Bowl performance,[179] and Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer, which followed the life and career of designer Jeremy Scott.[180] Perry released a mobile app titled Katy Perry Pop in December 2015 through Glu Mobile where her character helps players become famous musicians.[181] She described it as “the most fun, colorful world that helps guide your musical dreams”.[182] She later appeared as herself in the film Zoolander 2, which was released in February 2016.[183][184]

2016: Upcoming fifth studio album

In May 2016, Perry confirmed she was working on new music.[185] She recorded an anthem for NBC Sports‘s coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics titled “Rise“, which was released on July 14, 2016. Perry chose to release it as a standalone track rather than save it for an album “because now more than ever, there is a need for our world to unite”. NBC also felt its message spoke “directly to the spirit of the Olympics and its athletes” for its inspirational themes.[186] The song debuted at number one in Australia[187] and number eleven in the United States.[188] In August, Perry stated that she aspired to make material “that connects and relates and inspires”[189] and told Ryan Seacrest that she was “not rushing” her fifth album, adding “I’m just having a lot of fun, but experimenting and trying different producers, and different collaborators, and different styles”.[190]

Artistry

Influences

Alanis Morissette playing guitar
Freddie Mercury performing
Alanis Morissette (left) and Freddie Mercury (right) both significantly influenced Perry and her music

During the early stages of her career, Perry’s musical style gravitated towards gospel and she aspired to be as successful as Amy Grant.[191] At the age of 15, she heard Queen‘s “Killer Queen,” which inspired her to pursue a career in music.[192] She cites the band’s frontman, Freddie Mercury, as her biggest influence and expressed how the “combination of his sarcastic approach to writing lyrics and his ‘I don’t give a fuck’ attitude” inspired her music.[193] She paid homage to the band by naming her third fragrance Killer Queen.[175] Perry described The Beach Boys and their album Pet Sounds as having a considerable influence on her music: “Pet Sounds is one of my favorite records and it influenced pretty much all of my songwriting. All of the melody choices that I make are because of Pet Sounds.”[194] The singer also holds the Beatles‘ album The Beatles in high esteem, and described these two albums as “the only things I listened to for probably two years straight.”[195]

Perry cites Alanis Morissette and her 1995 album Jagged Little Pill as a significant musical inspiration, and opted to work with Morissette’s frequent collaborator Ballard as a result. Perry stated, “Jagged Little Pill was the most perfect female record ever made. There’s a song for anyone on that record; I relate to all those songs. They’re still so timeless.” Additionally, Perry borrows influence from Flaming Red by Patty Griffin and 10 Cent Wings by Jonatha Brooke.[196] Perry intends to become “more of a Joni Mitchell“, releasing folk and acoustic music.[197] Perry’s autobiographical documentary Katy Perry: Part of Me was largely influenced by Madonna: Truth or Dare. She admires Madonna’s ability to reinvent herself, saying “I want to evolve like Madonna”,[198] and has credited Madonna for inspiring her to make Prism “darker” than her previous material.[199]

Perry names Björk as an influence, particularly admiring her “willingness to always be taking chances”.[196] Other musicians who have influenced Perry include ABBAThe Cardigans,[200] Ace of Base,[201] Cyndi Lauper,[202] CeCe PenistonC+C Music FactoryBlack BoxCrystal WatersMariah Carey,[197] Pink,[203] and Gwen Stefani.[196] “Firework” was inspired by a passage in the book On the Road by Jack Kerouac in which the author compares people who are full of life to fireworks that shoot across the sky and make people watch in awe.[204] Her second concert tour, the California Dreams Tour, was reminiscent of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.[205] She also credits the 1996 movie The Craft for being the influence behind her song “Dark Horse”,[206] and Eckhart Tolle‘s book The Power of Now for influencing Prism.[134]

Musical style and themes

“When I am in between records, sometimes I doubt myself. I’ll be like ‘Did I just get lucky, or did I mass-manipulate the world into thinking that seven songs were worth a number-one position?’ And then I go back into the studio and I start writing, and the true essential oil of who I am comes bubbling back up and reminds me that it’s always been inside of me, that nobody can take this away no matter what comment anyone makes.”

—Perry on her confidence as a songwriter[207]

While Perry’s music incorporates poprock, and discoKaty Hudson contains gospel. Her subsequent releases, One of the Boys and Teenage Dream, involve themes of sex and love. One of the Boys is a pop rock record, while Teenage Dream features disco influences.[208][209] Perry’s fourth album, Prism, is significantly influenced by dance and pop music. Lyrically, the album addresses relationships, self-reflection, and everyday life.[210] Many of her songs, particularly on Teenage Dream, reflect on love between teenagers; W described the album’s sexual innuendos as “irresistible hook-laden melodies”.[28] Self-empowerment is a common theme in Perry’s music.[211]

Perry identifies herself as a “singer-songwriter masquerading as a pop star”[212] and maintains that honest songwriting is very important to her. She told Marie Claire: “I feel like my secret magic trick that separates me from a lot of my peers is the bravery to be vulnerable and truthful and honest. I think you become more relatable when you’re vulnerable.”[14] Kristen Wiig commented that “as easy, breezy, and infectious as Perry’s songs can be, beneath the surface lurks a sea of mixed emotions, jumbled motives, and contradictory impulses complicated enough to fill a Carole King record.”[195] According to Greg Kot of Chicago Tribune, “being taken seriously may be Perry’s greatest challenge yet.”[213] The New York Times labeled her “the most potent pop star of the day – her hits are relatable with just a hint of experimentation”.[214] Randall Roberts of Los Angeles Timescriticized her use of idioms and metaphors in her lyrics and for frequent “clichés”.[215] Throughout her career, Perry has co-written songs recorded by other artists, including Selena Gomez & the Scene,[216][217] Jessie James,[218] Kelly Clarkson,[219]Lesley Roy,[220] Britney Spears,[221] Iggy Azalea,[222] and Nicki Minaj.[223]

Voice

Perry has a contralto vocal range.[224][225] Her singing has received both praise and criticism. Betty Clarke of The Guardiancommented that her “powerful voice is hard-edged”[226] while Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone described Perry’s vocals on Teenage Dream as “processed staccato blips”.[209] Darren Harvey of musicOMH compared Perry’s vocals on One of the Boys to Alanis Morissette’s, both possessing a “perky voice shifting octaves mid-syllable”.[227] Alex Miller from NME felt that “Perry’s problem is often her voice” on One of the Boys, stating that “somewhere along the line someone convinced her she was like, well, a ballsy rock chick”.[228] Conversely, Bernadette McNulty from The Daily Telegraph praised her “rock chick voice” in a review of a concert promoting Prism.[229]

Public image

Perry performing in a dress decorated with peppermint swirls

Perry’s characteristic spinning peppermint swirl dress

Perry is considered a sex symbolGQ labelled her a “full-on male fantasy”,[9] while Elledescribed her body “as though sketched by a teenage boy”.[20] Vice described her as a “‘serious’ popstar/woman/sex symbol”.[230] She was placed at number one on the Maxim Hot 100 in 2010 as the “most beautiful woman in the world”, with editor Joe Levy describing her as a “triple – no quadruple – kind of hot”.[231] Men’s Health readers voted her the “sexiest woman of 2013”.[232] In November 2010, Perry told Harper’s Bazaar that she was proud of and satisfied with her figure.[233]

Perry’s fashion often incorporates humor, bright colors, and food-related themes[234] such as her trademark spinning peppermint swirl dress.[235] Vogue described her as “never exactly one to shy away from the outrageous or the extreme in any realm”,[236] while Glamour named her the “queen of quirk”.[237] In February 2009, Perry told Seventeen that her fashion style was “a bit of a concoction of different things” and stated she enjoyed humor in her clothing.[238] She has also described herself as having “multipersonality disorder” for fashion.[233] Perry lists Gwen Stefani, Shirley MansonChloë SevignyDaphne GuinnessNatalie Portman, and the fictional character Lolita as her style icons.[28][239]

On social media, Perry surpassed Justin Bieber as the most followed person on Twitter in November 2013.[240] She won the 2015 Guinness World Record for most Twitter followers,[241] and became the first person to gain 90 million followers on the site in July 2016.[242] Forbes writer Dorothy Pomerantz commended Perry on her social media usage, saying “Perry makes excellent use of Twitter, talking to her fans and sharing funny photos and videos in a way that makes them all feel like Perry is their best buddy.”[243] Keith Caulfield of Billboard stated that she is “the rare celebrity who seems to have enormous popularity but genuine ground-level interaction with her adoring KatyCats.”[244]

In 2011, Forbes ranked Perry third on their “Top-Earning Women In Music” list with earnings of $44 million[245] and fifth on their 2012 list with $45 million.[246] She subsequently ranked seventh on the 2013 Forbes list for “Top-Earning Women In Music” with $39 million earned,[247] and fifth on their 2014 list with $40 million.[248] With earnings of $135 million, Forbes also ranked Perry number one on their 2015 “Top-Earning Women In Music” list as well as the “World’s Highest-Paid Musicians” and declared her the highest earning female celebrity in 2015, placing her at number 3 on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list.[249] In June 2016, Forbesestimated her net worth was $125 million.[250]

Other ventures

Philanthropy

Perry posing for photographers at a UNICEF gala

Perry became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in December 2013

Perry has supported various charitable organizations and causes during her career. She has contributed to organizations aimed at improving the lives and welfare of children in particular. In April 2013, she joined UNICEF to assist children in Madagascar with education and nutrition.[251]On December 3, 2013, she was officially named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, “with a special focus on engaging young people in the agency’s work to improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children and adolescents.”[252] She arranged for a portion of the money generated from tickets to her Prismatic World Tour to go to UNICEF.[253] In September 2010, she helped build and design the Boys Hope/Girls Hope foundation shelter for youth in Baltimore, Maryland along with Raven-SymonéShaquille O’Neal, and the cast of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.[254]

She has also supported children’s education and well-being. In May 2014, Perry and a selection of other artists recorded a cover version of the song “Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)” for a concept album to accompany painter Mark Ryden’s art exhibition, titled “The Gay 90s”. All profits from sales of the album were donated to the charity Little Kids Rock, which supports musical education in underprivileged elementary schools.[166] In June 2014, she teamed up with Staples Inc. for a project entitled “Make Roar Happen” which donated $1 million to DonorsChoose, an organization that supports teachers and funds classroom resources in public schools.[255] In May 2016, she worked with UNICEF to improve child care quality in Vietnam, hoping to “break the cycle of poverty and drastically improve children’s health, education and well-being”.[256] The following month, UNICEF announced that Perry would receive the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award “for her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in support of the world’s most vulnerable children” at their annual Snowflake Ball in November.[257]

Perry has supported organizations aimed at aiding people suffering with diseases including cancer and HIV/AIDS. During the 2008 Warped Tour, she had a cast made of her breasts to raise money for the Keep A Breast Foundation.[258] She hosted and performed at the We Can Survive concert along with Bonnie McKeeKacey MusgravesSara BareillesEllie Goulding, and duo Tegan and Sara at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California, on October 23, 2013. The concert’s profits were donated to Young Survival Coalition, an organization aiding breast cancer in young women.[259] In June 2009, she designed an item of clothing for H&M‘s “Fashion Against AIDS” campaign, which raises money for HIV/AIDS awareness projects.[260]

The proceeds from Perry’s single “Part of Me” were donated to the charity MusiCares, which helps musicians in times of need.[261] During her California Dreams Tour, she raised over $175,000 for the Tickets-For-Charity fundraiser. The money was divided between three charities: the Children’s Health Fund (CHF), Generosity Water, and The Humane Society of the United States.[262] On her 27th birthday, Perry set up a donations page for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsAuckland,[263] and set up a similar page benefiting the David Lynch Foundation for her 28th birthday.[264] On March 29, 2014, she helped raise $2.4 million for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles along with other celebrities such as Ryan SeacrestPharrell WilliamsTim AllenLisa Edelstein, and Riley Keough.[265]

Politics

Hillary Clinton and Perry pose with hands connected at a fundraising concert

Perry (right) has performed at multiple rallies for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (left) during her campaign

Perry is a LGBT rights activist. She supported Stonewall during their “It gets better….. today” campaign to prevent homophobic bullying,[266] and dedicated the music video to her song “Firework” to the It Gets Better Project.[267] Perry told Do Something in November 2008 she was proud to be a gay activist, saying “I’ve always been a very open-minded person, but I definitely believe in equality.” She confirmed that she voted against Proposition 8, an amendment (ultimately ruled unconstitutional) that legally defined marriage as a union solely between a man and a woman in California.[268] In June 2012, Perry expressed her hopes for LGBT equality, commenting “hopefully, we will look back at this moment and think like we do now concerning [other] civil rights issues. We’ll just shake our heads in disbelief, saying, ‘Thank God we’ve evolved.’ That would be my prayer for the future.”[269] In December 2012, Perry was awarded the Trevor Hero Award by The Trevor Project for her work and activism on behalf of LGBT youth.[270]She identifies as a feminist,[271] and appeared in April 2013 in a video clip for the “Chime For Change” campaign that aims to spread female empowerment.[272] She has also said that America’s lack of free health care drove her “absolutely crazy”.[273] Following the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016, Perry and nearly 200 other artists and executives in music signed an open letter organized by Billboard addressed to United States Congressdemanding increased gun control in the United States.[274]

Through Twitter and by performing at his rallies, Perry supported President Barack Obama in his run for re-election and praised his support for same-sex marriage[275] and LGBT equality.[276] She performed at three rallies for Obama, in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Wisconsin, singing a rendition of “Let’s Stay Together” as well as a number of her songs. During her Las Vegas performance she wore a dress made to replicate a voting ballot, with Obama’s box filled in.[277] On Twitter, she encouraged her followers to vote for Obama.[278]

In August 2013, Perry voiced criticism of Tony Abbott, then-Leader of Conservative Liberal Party of Australia and candidate for Prime Minister of Australia, due to his opposition to gay marriage and told Abbott, “I love you as a human being but I can’t give you my vote.”[279]

In April 2014, she publicly supported Marianne Williamson in her campaign for California’s 33rd congressional district by attending a political press event.[280]

Perry has also early publicly endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president in 2016,[281][282] and contributed $2,700 to Clinton’s campaign.[283] She performed at a rally for Clinton in Iowa in October 2015,[284] and alongside Elton John at a fundraising concert for Clinton in New York City in March 2016.[285] Perry also spoke and performed at the 2016 Democratic National Convention to endorse Hillary Clinton. She encouraged people to vote, commenting that they will “be just as powerful as any NRA lobbyist” and “have as much say as any billionaire” during the election.[286]

Achievements

Throughout her career, Perry has won five American Music Awards,[287] fourteen People’s Choice Awards,[288] and four Guinness World Records.[71][95][162][241] In September 2012, Billboard dubbed her the “Woman of the Year”.[128] From May 2010 to September 2011, she spent a record-breaking total of 69 consecutive weeks in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100.[96][289]Teenage Dream became the first album by a female artist to produce five number-one Billboard Hot 100 singles, and the second album overall after Michael Jackson’s Bad.[93] She has accumulated a total of nine number-one singles on the Hot 100, her most recent being “Dark Horse”.[151] In June 2015, her music video for “Dark Horse” became the first video by a female artist to reach 1 billion views on Vevo.[290][291] The following month, her music video for “Roar” reached 1 billion views on Vevo, making her the first artist to have multiple videos with 1 billion views.[292]

Perry was declared the Top Global Female Recording Artist of 2013 by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).[163] According to Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the third best-selling digital singles artist in the United States, with certified sales of 83.5 million digital singles including on-demand streaming.[293] Her songs “Firework”, “E.T.”, “California Gurls”, “Hot n Cold”, “Roar”, and “Dark Horse” have each sold over 5 million digital copies.[294] Throughout her career, Perry has sold 100 million records globally,[295] and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time.[242]

Discography

Main article: Katy Perry discography

Filmography

Tours

See also

After reading through the history of this artist and the accomplishments she has been through I was able to narrow down my research and explore the songs she has produced;

After reading through the lyrics of each song I was able to determine the best songs wiht the most visual impact as this is what my other researched investigation were lacking. I have chosen Katy Perry as her music is a show, the visual identity behind the songs which are also in the music video really drive the song, which makes her different from the other artist and songs I have previously explored.

  1. roar
  2. firework
  3. California gurls

Roar;

Visually I think that this song is a lot different from Katy Perrys others. This is the investigation I completed;

“I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

You held me down, but I got up (hey!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, your hear that sound
Like thunder, gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready ’cause I had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter
Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar!

Now I’m floating like a butterfly
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
I went from zero, to my own hero

You held me down, but I got up (hey!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, your hear that sound
Like thunder, gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter
Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar!

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar!

Roar, roar, roar, roar, roar!

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter
Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar!

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar!”- http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?lyrics=30324

After exploring the lyrics and watching the music video I think that this artist is better then the others in terms of the visual and symbolism which I am requiring for my MP3 player speaker. I think that the ‘jungle’ theme works really well for what I am trying to achieve with the speaker and would be something I would focus on when designing it.

Firework;

I have chosen this song as I thought it would work really well with the LED lights.

“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind
Wanting to start again

Do you ever feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards
One blow from caving in

Do you ever feel already buried deep
Six feet under screams
But no one seems to hear a thing

Do you know that there’s still a chance for you
‘Cause there’s a spark in you

You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the fourth of July

‘Cause baby you’re a firework
Come and show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go “oh, oh, oh!”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby you’re a firework
Come and let your colors burst
Make ’em go “oh, oh, oh!”
You’re gonna leave ’em falling down down down

You don’t have to feel like a waste of space
You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe a reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it’s time, you’ll know

You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the fourth of July

‘Cause baby you’re a firework
Come and show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go “oh, oh, oh!”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby you’re a firework
Come and let your colors burst
Make ’em go “oh, oh, oh!”
You’re gonna leave ’em all in awe-awe-awe

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
And it’s always been inside of you you you
And now it’s time to let it through

‘Cause baby you’re a firework
Come and show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go “oh, oh, oh!”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby you’re a firework
Come and let your colors burst
Make ’em go “oh, oh, oh!”
You’re gonna leave ’em all in awe awe awe”- http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?lyrics=20506

This song would be perfect for my speaker with the LED lights. I would make the speaker be focused on the lights which would look really good and unique. I think that this song would be the best one so far, visually.

California Gurls

The third song from Katy perry which I thought would be worth exploring and considering is California girls due to the symbolism and visual impact which is on this song.

“Greetings loved ones
Let’s take a journey

I know a place
Where the grass is really greener
Warm, wet n’ wild
There must be something in the water
Sippin’ gin and juice
Laying underneath the palm trees
(undone)
The boys
Break their necks
Try’na to creep a little sneak peek
(at us)

You could travel the world
But nothing comes close
To the golden coast
Once you party with us
You’ll be falling in love
Ooh oh ooh oh oh ooh

California gurls
We’re unforgettable
Daisy dukes
Bikinis on top
Sun-kissed skin
So hot
We’ll melt your Popsicle
Ooh oh ooh
Ooh oh ooh

California gurls
We’re undeniable
Fine, fresh, fierce
We got it unlocked
West coast represent
Now put your hands up
Ooh oh ooh
Ooh oh ooh

Sex on the beach
We don’t mind sand in our stilettos
We freak
In my jeep
Snoop doggy-dog on the stereo oh oh

You could travel the world
But nothing comes close
To the golden coast
Once you party with us
You’ll be falling in love
Ooh oh ooh ooh oh ooh

California gurls
We’re unforgettable
Daisy dukes
Bikinis on top
Sun-kissed skin
So hot
We’ll melt your Popsicle
Ooh oh ooh
Ooh oh ooh

California gurls
We’re undeniable
Fine, fresh, fierce
We got it on lock
West coast represent
Now put your hands up
Ooh oh ooh
Ooh oh ooh

Toned tan
Fit and ready
Turn it up cause its gettin’ heavy
Wild, wild west coast
These are the gurls I love the most
I mean the ones
I mean like shes the one
Kiss her, touch her
Squeeze her buns
The gurls a freak
She drives a jeep
And live on the beach
I’m okay
I won’t play
I love the bay
Just like I love L.A.
Venice beach
And palm springs
Summer time is everything
Home boys
Bangin’ out
All that ass
Hanging out
Bikinis, tankinis, martinis
No weenies
Just a king
And a Queenie
Katy my lady
(yeah)
And looky here baby
(uh huh)
I’m all up on you
‘Cause you representing California (oh yeah)

California gurls
We’re unforgettable
Daisy dukes
Bikinis on top
Sun-kissed skin
So hot
We’ll melt your Popsicle
Ooh oh ooh
Ooh oh ooh

California gurls
We’re undeniable
Fine, fresh, fierce
We got it on lock
West coast represent (west coast, west coast)
Now put your hands up
Ooh oh ooh
Ooh oh ooh

(California, California)
California gurls man
(California)
(California girls)”- http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?lyrics=19566

Visually this song would be perfect. The symbolism and sound waves would be perfect. However the lyrics I think would be a little harder to expand on, so if I was to choose this song I would focus on the music video.

Taylor Swift;

I then explored the artist Taylor Swift. This is what I found;

Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter. Throughout her career, she has become one of the most popular female contemporary singers. She is known for narrative songs about her personal life, which has received much media attention.

Raised in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, Swift moved to Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 14 to pursue a career in country music. She signed with the independent label Big Machine Records and became the youngest artist ever signed by the Sony/ATV Music publishing house. The release of Swift’s self-titled debut album in 2006 marked the start of her career as a country music singer. The album’s third single, “Our Song“, made her the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a number-one song on the Hot Country Songs chart. Swift’s second album, Fearless, was released in 2008. Buoyed by the pop crossover success of the singles “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me“, Fearless became the best-selling album of 2009 in the United States. The album won four Grammy Awards, with Swift becoming the youngest Album of the Year winner.

Swift penned every track on her Speak Now (2010) album without any co-writers. It debuted at number-one in the United States and the single “Mean” won two Grammy Awards. Swift’s fourth album Red (2012) yielded the successful singles “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble“. With her fifth album, the pop-focused 1989 (2014), she became the first act to have three albums sell a million copies within one week in the United States. Its singles “Shake It Off“, “Blank Space” and “Bad Blood” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The album received three Grammy Awards, and Swift became the first woman and fifth person overall to win Album of the Year twice. The 2015 eponymous concert tour for the album became one of highest-grossing of all time.

As a songwriter, Swift has been awarded by the Nashville Songwriters Associationand the Songwriters Hall of Fame. She is also the recipient of ten Grammy Awards, five Guinness World Records, one Emmy Award, 23 Billboard Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, eight Academy of Country Music Awards, and one Brit Award. She is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 40 million albums—including 27.1 million in the U.S.—and 130 million single downloads. She has appeared in Time‘s 100 most influential people in the world (2010 and 2015), Forbes top-earning women in music (2011–15), Forbes 100 most powerful women (2015) and Forbes Celebrity 100(2016). She was the youngest woman to be included in the third of these and ranked first in the latter. In addition to her music career, Swift has appeared in the television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in 2009, the late-night show Saturday Night Live in 2009 and the film Valentine’s Day (2010).

Biography

1989–2003: Early life

Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989, in Reading, Pennsylvania, and grew up in the suburban Philadelphia area.[1] Her father, Scott Kingsley Swift, was a financial advisor, and her mother, Andrea Gardner (née Finlay) Swift, was a homemaker who worked previously as a mutual fund marketing executive.[2]:1 She has a younger brother named Austin.[3] Swift spent the early years of her life on a Christmas tree farm in Cumru Township, Pennsylvania.[4] She attended preschool and kindergarten at the Alvernia Montessori School, run by Franciscan nuns,[5] before moving to the Wyndcroft School.[6] The family then moved to a rented house in the suburban town of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania,[7] where she attended Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School.[8]

My parents took all the pressure off by saying, “We’re just moving because we love the area, so don’t worry.” They knew nothing about the industry and had no involvement in entertainment, but I was obsessed with it and so they did their research and read up about it to help me in every way they could. They’re amazing people.

—Swift on relocating to Nashville[9]

At the age of nine, Swift became interested in musical theater and performed in four Berks Youth Theatre Academy productions.[10] She also traveled regularly to New York City for vocal and acting lessons.[11] Swift later shifted her focus toward country music inspired by Shania Twain‘s songs, which made her “want to just run around the block four times and daydream about everything”.[12] She spent her weekends performing at local festivals and other events.[13][14] After watching a documentary about Faith Hill, Swift felt sure that she needed to go to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a music career.[15] At the age of eleven, she traveled with her mother to visit Nashville record labels and submitted a demo tape of Dolly Parton and Dixie Chicks karaoke covers.[16] However, she was rejected since “everyone in that town wanted to do what I wanted to do. So, I kept thinking to myself, I need to figure out a way to be different”.[17]

When Swift was about 12 years old, a computer repairman taught her how to play three chords on a guitar, leading to her first undertaking as a songwriter, “Lucky You”.[18] In 2003, Swift and her parents started working with New York-based music manager Dan Dymtrow. With his help, Swift modelled for Abercrombie & Fitch as part of their “Rising Stars” campaign, had an original song included on a Maybelline compilation CD, and attended meetings with major record labels.[19] After performing original songs at an RCA Records showcase, Swift was given an artist development deal and began making frequent trips to Nashville with her mother.[20][21]

To help Swift break into country music, her father transferred to the Nashville office of Merrill Lynch when she was 14, and the family relocated to a lakefront house in Hendersonville, Tennessee.[9][22][23] In Tennessee, Swift attended publich high school,[24]but after two years transferred to the Aaron Academy, which through homeschooling could accommodate her touring schedule, and she graduated a year early with excellent grades.[25]

2004–08: Career beginnings and Taylor Swift

In Nashville, Swift worked with experienced Music Row songwriters such as Troy VergesBrett BeaversBrett JamesMac McAnally, and The Warren Brothers.[26][27] She eventually formed a lasting working relationship with Liz Rose.[28] They began meeting for two-hour writing sessions every Tuesday afternoon after school.[29] Rose thought that the sessions were “some of the easiest I’ve ever done. Basically, I was just her editor. She’d write about what happened in school that day. She had such a clear vision of what she was trying to say. And she’d come in with the most incredible hooks”.[30] Swift was signed by the Sony/ATV Tree publishing house[31] but left RCA Records when she was 14.[14] She later recalled: “I genuinely felt that I was running out of time. I wanted to capture these years of my life on an album while they still represented what I was going through”.[32]

Taylor Swift, wearing a white dress and sunglasses, plays an acoustic guitar while standing at a microphone stand

Swift performing at Yahoo!headquarters in Sunnyvale, California in 2007

At an industry showcase at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe in 2005, Swift caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, a DreamWorks Records executive who was preparing to form his own independent record label, Big Machine Records. She became one of the first signings, and her father purchased a three percent stake in the fledgling company at an estimated cost of $120,000.[33][34] The singer began working on her eponymous debut album shortly after signing the record deal. Swift persuaded Big Machine to hire her demo producer Nathan Chapman, with whom she felt she had the right “chemistry”.[14]Swift wrote three of the album’s songs alone, and co-wrote the remaining eight with writers Rose, Robert Ellis Orrall, Brian Maher, and Angelo Petraglia.[35] Taylor Swift was released on October 24, 2006.[36] Jon Caramanica of The New York Times described it as “a small masterpiece of pop-minded country, both wide-eyed and cynical, held together by Ms. Swift’s firm, pleading voice”.[37] As of August 2016 the album has sold over 7.75 million copies worldwide.[38]

Big Machine Records was still in its infancy on the release of the lead single “Tim McGraw” in June 2006, and Swift and her mother helped “stuff the CD singles into envelopes to send to radio”.[39] She spent much of 2006 promoting Taylor Swift with a radio tour and television appearances.[40][41][42] Borchetta has said that his decision to sign a 16-year-old singer-songwriter caused disapproval among his record industry peers initially but that Swift tapped into a previously unknown market: teenage girls who listen to country music.[22] Following “Tim McGraw”, four additional singles were released throughout 2007 and 2008: “Teardrops on My Guitar“, “Our Song“, “Picture to Burn” and “Should’ve Said No“. All were highly successful on Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, with “Our Song” and “Should’ve Said No” both reaching number one. For the former, Swift became the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a number-one song on the chart.[43] “Teardrops on My Guitar” became a minor pop hit, reaching number thirteen on the Billboard Hot 100.[44] Swift also released a holiday album, Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, in October 2007 and the EP Beautiful Eyes in July 2008.[45][46] Swift promoted her debut album extensively as the opening act for other artists on their tours.[47]

Swift won a number of accolades for Taylor Swift. She was one of the recipients of the Nashville Songwriters Association‘s Songwriter/Artist of the Year in 2007, becoming the youngest person to be honored with the title.[48] She also won the Country Music Association‘s Horizon Award for Best New Artist,[49] the Academy of Country Music Awards‘ Top New Female Vocalist,[50]and the American Music Awards‘ Favorite Country Female Artist honor.[51] She was also nominated for Best New Artist at the 2008 Grammy Awards.[52] Later in July of that year, Swift was involved in a romance with Joe Jonas that ended three months later.[53][54]

2008–10: Fearless and acting

Swift’s second studio album, Fearless, was released on November 11, 2008.[36] The lead single, “Love Story“, was released in September 2008 and peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100.[55] Four more singles were released throughout 2008 and 2009: “White Horse“, “You Belong with Me“, “Fifteen“, and “Fearless“. “You Belong with Me” was the album’s highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number two.[56] The album debuted at number one on Billboard 200 and It was also the top-selling album of 2009 in the United States.[57] The album received promotion from Swift’s first concert tour, Fearless Tour,[58] which grossed over $63 million.[59] Taylor Swift: Journey to Fearless, a concert film, was aired on television and later released on DVD and Blu-ray.[60] Swift also performed as a supporting act for Keith Urban‘s Escape Together World Tour.[61]

Taylor Swift performing with a guitar in a yellow dress

Pictured in Los Angeles during the Fearless Tour in 2010

In 2009, the music video for “You Belong with Me” was named MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video.[62] Her acceptance speech was interrupted by rapper Kanye West.[63] The incident was the subject of controversy and frequent media attention, resulting in many Internet memes.[64] James Montgomery of MTV argued that the incident and subsequent media attention turned Swift into “a bona-fide mainstream celebrity”.[65]

Fearless won Swift many accolades. She garnered four Grammy Awards in 2010. Fearless was named Album of the Year and Best Country Album, while “White Horse” was named Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Swift was the youngest artist ever to win Album of the Year.[66] During the ceremony, Swift sang “You Belong with Me” and “Rhiannon” with Stevie Nicks. Her vocal performance received negative reviews and a media backlash.[65][67] Jon Caramanica of The New York Times found it “refreshing to see someone so gifted make the occasional flub” and described Swift as “the most important new pop star of the past few years”.[68] Swift became the youngest ever artist to be named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association.[69] Fearless also won the Association’s Album of the Year award.[70] Other awards won by Fearless included two American Music Awards: Artist of the Year and Favorite Country Album.[71] Billboard named her 2009’s Artist of the Year.[72]

Following Fearless, Swift was involved in a number of side-projects. She contributed backing vocals to Mayer’s “Half of My Heart“, a single featured on his fourth album, Battle Studies.[73] She co-wrote and recorded “Best Days of Your Life” with Kellie Pickler,[74] and co-wrote two songs for the Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack—”You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home” and “Crazier“.[75] Swift also provided vocals for Boys Like Girls‘ “Two Is Better Than One“.[76] She contributed two songs to the Valentine’s Day soundtrack,[77] including “Today Was a Fairytale“, which became her first number one on the Canadian Hot 100chart.[78]

Swift made her acting debut in a 2009 episode of CBS‘s CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, playing a rebellious teenager.[79] The New York Times noted that the character allowed Swift to be “a little bit naughty, and credibly so”.[80] Later that year, Swift both hosted and performed as the musical guest for an episode of Saturday Night Live.[81] Entertainment Weekly described her as “this season’s best Saturday Night Live host so far”, noting that she “was always up for the challenge, seemed to be having fun, and helped the rest of the cast nail the punchlines”. While filming Valentine’s Day in October 2009—Swift’s feature film acting debut—she began a romantic relationship with co-star Taylor Lautner; however, they broke up later that year.[82][83] The romantic comedy, released the following year, saw her play the ditzy girlfriend of a high school jock, a role in which Los Angeles Timesfound “serious comedic potential”.[84] In a particularly scathing review, the critic for Variety deemed her “entirely undirected”, arguing that “she needs to find a skilled director to tamp her down and channel her obviously abundant energy”.[85] Later in 2010, she briefly dated actor Jake Gyllenhaal.[86]

2010–14: Speak Now and Red

In August 2010, Swift released “Mine“, which entered the United States at number three, making Swift the second female artist in the history of the Hot 100 (after Mariah Carey) to debut multiple tracks—the other one was “Today Was a Fairytale” at number two—in the top five during a calendar year.[87] The song was the lead single from her third studio album, Speak Now, whose songs she wrote by herself.[88] Speak Now, released on October 25, 2010,[36] was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200, with opening week sales of one million copies, the 16th album to do so.[89] Later, it became the fastest-selling digital album by a female artist, with 278,000 downloads in a week. For this feat, Swift received a listing in the 2010 Guinness World Records; she earned another entry in the book after 10 of Speak Nows tracks debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female to achieve the feat.[90][91] Three of the album’s singles—”Mine”, “Back to December“, and “Mean“—peaked within the top ten in Canada.[77]

The song “Mean” won Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards.[92] She performed the song during the ceremony. Claire Suddath of Time felt she “delivered her comeback on-key and with a vengeance”,[93] while Jayme Deerwester of USA Today remarked that the criticism in 2010 seemed to have “made her a better songwriter and live performer”.[94] Swift won various other awards for Speak Now, selected as Songwriter/Artist of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association (2010 and 2011),[95][96] Woman of the Year by Billboard (2011),[97] and Entertainer of the Year by the Academy of Country Music (2011 and 2012),[98] and the Country Music Association in 2011.[99] At the American Music Awards of 2011, Swift won Artist of the Year and Favorite Country Album.[100]

Taylor Swift performing live

Swift performing during the Speak Now World Tour in 2012

Swift embarked on the Speak Now World Tour, which ran from February 2011 to March 2012, and grossed over $123 million.[101] In November 2011, Swift released her first live album, Speak Now World Tour: Live.[102] The following month, Swift contributed two original songs to The Hunger Games soundtrack album—”Safe & Sound“, co-written and recorded with The Civil Wars and T-Bone Burnett, and “Eyes Open”. The former was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media.[103] After providing vocals for B.o.B‘s “Both of Us” in May 2012,[104] Swift dated political heir Conor Kennedyfrom July to September 2012.[105] In August, Swift released “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together“—the lead single from her fourth studio album, Red. An international success, it became her first number-one in the US and New Zealand.[106][107] The song reached the top slot on an iTunes chart 50 minutes after its release, earning the “Fastest Selling Single in Digital History” listing in the Guinness World Records.[108] Swift released the album’s second single “Begin Again” in October. It reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100.[109] Other singles released from the album included: “I Knew You Were Trouble“, “22“, “Everything Has Changed“, “The Last Time“, and “Red“. “I Knew You Were Trouble” was a commercial success[110] peaking at number two in the United States.[109]

Red was released on October 22, 2012,[36] incorporating new genres, such as heartland rockdubstep and dance-pop. The album was a critical and commercial success,[12] and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 1.21 million copies. This marked the highest opening sales in a decade, and made Swift the first female to have two million-selling album openings, a record recognized by Guinness World Records.[111][112] Promoting the album, Swift embarked on The Red Tour, which ran from March 2013 to June 2014 and grossed over $150 million.[113] Red earned several accolades, including four nominations at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.[114] Its single “I Knew You Were Trouble” won Best Female Video at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.[115] Swift was named Best Female Country Artist at the 2012 American Music Awards and Artist of the Year at the 2013 ceremony.[116][117] Swift received the Nashville Songwriters Association’s Songwriter/Artist Award for the fifth and sixth consecutive years in 2012 and 2013, respectively.[118] Swift was also honored by the Association with a special Pinnacle Award for “unique” levels of success, becoming the second recipient after Garth Brooks.[119]

Swift co-wrote “Sweeter Than Fiction” with Jack Antonoff for the One Chance movie soundtrack, and received a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song nomination at the 71st Golden Globe Awards.[120] She provided guest vocals for a McGraw song titled “Highway Don’t Care“, featuring guitar work by Urban.[121] She performed an acoustic version of “Red” with Vince Gill and Alison Krauss at the 2013 CMA Awards.[122] Swift performed “As Tears Go By” with The Rolling Stones in Chicago as part of their 50 & Counting tour.[123] She also joined Florida Georgia Line on stage during their set at the 2013 Country Radio Seminar to sing “Cruise“.[124] Outside of music, Swift voiced Audrey, a tree lover, in the animated film The Lorax (2012),[125] made a cameo in the sitcom New Girl (2013),[126] and had a supporting role in the film adaptation of The Giver (2014).[127] She dated British singer Harry Styles from December 2012 to January 2013.[128]

2014–present: 1989

In March 2014, Swift relocated to New York City.[129] Around this time, she was working on her fifth studio album, 1989 with writers Antonoff, Martin, Shellback, Imogen HeapRyan Tedder and Ali Payami.[130] She promoted the album through various campaigns, including inviting fans to secret album-listening sessions, called the “1989 Secret Sessions”.[131] Credited as her “first documented, official pop album”, it marks a departure from her previous country albums.[132] The album was released on October 27, 2014 to positive reviews.[36][133]

Taylor Swift is performing onstage with a mic in her right hand

Swift’s 1989 World Tour grossed $250 million, becoming one of the highest grossing tours of all time

1989 sold 1.28 million copies in the US during the first week of release and debuted atop the Billboard 200—this made Swift the first act to have three albums sell more than one million copies in their opening release week, for which she earned a Guinness World Record.[134][135] As of February 2015, 1989 had sold over 8.6 million copies worldwide.[136]The album’s lead single, “Shake It Off”, was released in August 2014 and debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.[137] Subsequent singles included: “Blank Space” and “Bad Blood” (featuring Kendrick Lamar), which reached number one in the United States,[138] “Style[139] and “Wildest Dreams” which peaked in the top ten of the BillboardHot 100, and “Out of the Woods” and “New Romantics“.[140] The music video for “Blank Space” briefly became the fastest video to reach one billion views on Vevo.[141] “Blank Space” and the video for “Bad Blood” won four accolades at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, with the latter winning for Video of the Year and Best Collaboration.[142] Swift’s headlining tour, The 1989 World Tour, running from May to December 2015, grossed over $250 million, becoming one of the highest grossing tours of all time.[143]

Swift was named Billboards Woman Of Year in 2014, becoming the first artist to be awarded this title twice.[144] Also that year, she received the Dick Clark Award for Excellence at the American Music Awards.[145] At the 2015 Grammy Awards, “Shake It Off” was nominated for three awards including Record of the Year and Song of the Year[146] while, at the 2015 Brit Awards, Swift won the Brit Award for International Female Solo Artist.[147] The singer was one of eight artists to receive a 50th Anniversary Milestone Award at the 2015 Academy of Country Music Awards.[148] At the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, Swift won three awards for 1989—Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Music Video for “Bad Blood”. She became the first woman, and fifth person overall, to win the first of these twice.[149]

Prior to 1989s release, Swift stressed the importance of albums to artists and fans,[150] and in November 2014, she removed her entire catalog from Spotify, arguing that the streaming company’s ad-supported, free service undermined the premium service, which provides higher royalties for songwriters.[151] In June 2015, Swift criticized Apple Music in an open letter for not offering royalties to artists during the streaming service’s free three-month trial period and stated that she would pull 1989 from the catalog.[152] The following day, Apple announced that it would pay artists during the free trial period,[153] and Swift agreed to stream 1989 on the streaming service.[154] Swift’s intellectual property rights management and holding company, TAS Rights Management, filed for 73 trademarks related to the singer and the 1989 era memes.[155]

In 2015, Swift performed “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Shake It Off” with Paul McCartney at the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special after-party,[156] and joined Kenny Chesney to sing “Big Star” on the opening night of his Big Revival Tour in Nashville.[157] In March 2015, Swift started dating Scottish DJ and record producer Calvin Harris.[158] By June 2015, the duo were ranked as the highest-paid celebrity couple over the past year by Forbes with combined earnings of over $146 million.[159]In August, Swift addressed her mother’s cancer diagnosis, and encouraged others to get a medical checkup.[160] Before Swift and Harris announced the end of their relationship in June 2016,[161] the two co-wrote his song “This Is What You Came For“, for which she was initially credited under the pseudonym Nils Sjöberg.[162]

Artistry

Musical style

Swift’s music contains elements of pop, pop rock and country.[163] She self-identified as a country artist until the 2014 release of 1989, which she described as a “sonically cohesive pop album”.[164] Rolling Stone asserted that: “[Swift] might get played on the country station, but she’s one of the few genuine rock stars we’ve got these days”.[165] The New York Times noted that: “There isn’t much in Ms. Swift’s music to indicate country—a few banjo strums, a pair of cowboy boots worn onstage, a bedazzled guitar—but there’s something in her winsome, vulnerable delivery that’s unique to Nashville.”[166] The Guardian has said that Swift “cranks melodies out with the pitiless efficiency of a Scandinavian pop factory”.[167]

Swift’s vocals has been described by Sophie Schillaci from The Hollywood Reporter as “sweet, but soft”.[168] In studio recordings, the Los Angeles Times identifies Swift’s “defining” vocal gesture as “the line that slides down like a contented sigh or up like a raised eyebrow, giving her beloved girl-time hits their air of easy intimacy”.[169] Rolling Stone, in a Speak Now review, remarked: “Swift’s voice is unaffected enough to mask how masterful she has become as a singer; she lowers her voice for the payoff lines in the classic mode of a shy girl trying to talk tough.”[170] In another review of Speak NowThe Village Voice noted that her phrasing was previously “bland and muddled, but that’s changed. She can still sound strained and thin, and often strays into a pitch that drives some people crazy; but she’s learned how to make words sound like what they mean.”[171] Her live vocals were described as “fine”, but did not match her peers.[168] In 2009, they were also described as “flat, thin, and sometimes as wobbly as a newborn colt”.[172] However, Swift has received praise for refusing to correct her pitch with Auto-Tune.[173]

In an interview with The New Yorker, Swift characterized herself primarily as a songwriter: “I write songs, and my voice is just a way to get those lyrics across.”[22] Borchetta conceded in 2010 that Swift is “not the best technical singer”, but described her as the “best communicator that we’ve got”.[174] Swift’s vocal presence is something that concerns her and she has “put a lot of work” into improving it.[175] It was reported in 2010 that she continues to take vocal lessons.[176] She has said that she only feels nervous performing “if I’m not sure what the audience thinks of me, like at award shows”.[177]

Influences

One of Swift’s earliest musical memories is listening to her maternal grandmother, Marjorie Finlay, sing at church.[2]:1 As a child, Swift enjoyed Disney film soundtracks: “My parents noticed that, once I had run out of words, I would just make up my own”.[178]Swift has said she owes her confidence to her mother, who helped her prepare for class presentations as a child.[179] She also attributes her “fascination with writing and storytelling” to her mother.[180] Swift was drawn to the storytelling of country music,[181]and was introduced to the genre by “the great female country artists of the ’90s”— Shania Twain, Faith Hill, and the Dixie Chicks.[182][183] Twain, both as a songwriter and performer, was her biggest musical influence.[184] Hill was Swift’s childhood role model: “Everything she said, did, wore, I tried to copy it”.[185] She admired the Dixie Chicks’ defiant attitude and their ability to play their own instruments.[186] The band’s “Cowboy Take Me Away” was the first song Swift learned to play on the guitar.[187]Swift also explored the music of older country stars, including Patsy ClineLoretta Lynn,[13] Dolly Parton, and Tammy Wynette.[13][188] She believes Parton is “an amazing example to every female songwriter out there”.[189] She admires alt-countryartists such as Ryan Adams,[190] Patty Griffin,[191] and Lori McKenna.[192]

Shania Twain
Stevie Nicks
Shania Twain (left), Stevie Nicks (right) have influenced Swift

Swift has also been influenced by many artists outside the country genre. As a pre-teen, she enjoyed bubblegum pop acts including Hanson and Britney Spears; Swift has said she has “unwavering devotion” for Spears.[193][194] In her high school years, Swift listened to emo bands such as Dashboard Confessional,[195] Fall Out Boy,[196] and Jimmy Eat World.[197] She has also expressed her admiration for contemporary singers and songwriters, such as Michelle Branch,[197] Alanis Morissette,[198] Ashlee Simpson,[199] Fefe Dobson,[197] and Justin Timberlake.[200] She also admires the 1960s acts like The ShirellesDoris Troy, and The Beach Boys.[201]

Swift lists Paul McCartney, Bruce SpringsteenEmmylou HarrisKris Kristofferson and Carly Simon as her career role models: “They’ve taken chances, but they’ve also been the same artist for their entire careers”.[22][202] McCartney, both as a Beatle and a solo artist, makes Swift feel “as if I’ve been let into his heart and his mind”. “Any musician could only dream of a legacy like that”.[203] She admires Springsteen because he is “so musically relevant after such a long period of time”.[204] She aspires to be like Harris as she grows older: “It’s not about fame for her, it’s about music”.[205] Swift says of Kristofferson: “He shines in songwriting … He’s just one of those people who has been in this business for years but you can tell it hasn’t chewed him up and spat him out”.[206] She admires Simon’s “songwriting and honesty”. “She’s known as an emotional person but a strong person”.[207] Swift’s fifth album, the pop-focused 1989 was influenced by some of her favorite 1980s pop acts, including Annie LennoxPhil Collins and “Like a Prayer-era Madonna”.[208]

Songwriting

Swift uses her real-life experiences as an inspiration in her work.[209] Listening to music as a child, she felt confused when someone with a personal life issue did not address it in music.[210] In her songs, Swift often addresses the “anonymous crushes of her high school years” and celebrities.[211] In her music Swift frequently mentions ex-boyfriends derogatively,[212] an aspect of her songwriting downplayed by The Village Voice. “Being told What Songs Mean is like having a really pushy professor. And it imperils a true appreciation of Swift’s talent, which is not confessional, but dramatic.”[213] However, New York believes the media scrutiny over her decision to “mine her personal life for music […] is sexist, inasmuch as it’s not asked of her male peers”.[214]The singer herself has said that not all her songs are factual that they are sometimes based on observations.[215] Aside from her liner note clues, Swift tries not to talk about song subjects specifically “because these are real people. You try to give insight as to where you were coming from as a writer without completely throwing somebody under the bus”.[216]

“For a female to write about her feelings, and then be portrayed as some clingy, insane, desperate girlfriend in need of making you marry her and have kids with her, I think that’s taking something that potentially should be celebrated – a woman writing about her feelings in a confessional way – that’s taking it and turning it and twisting it into something that is frankly a little sexist.”

— Swift in response to criticism of her songwriting[217]

The Guardian has praised Swift for writing about teenage “with a kind of wistful, sepia-toned nostalgia” over the course of her first two albums.[167] New York magazine has remarked that many singer-songwriters have made great records as teens, but “none made great records so explicitly about their teens […] Her nearest antecedent might be sixties-era Brian Wilson, the one true adolescent auteur before she came along.”[218]Comparisons have also been drawn with Janis Ian.[219] Fairytale imagery featured on Swift’s second album, Fearless. She explored the disconnect “between fairy tales and the reality of love”.[220][221] Her later albums address more adult relationships.[202] In addition to romance and love, Swift’s songs have discussed parent-child relationships, friendships,[222][223] alienation, fame, and career ambitions.[180] Swift frequently includes “a tossed-off phrase to suggest large and serious things that won’t fit in the song, things that enhance or subvert the surface narrative”.[224]

Rolling Stone describes her as “a songwriting savant with an intuitive gift for verse-chorus-bridge architecture”.[225] According to The Village Voice, Swift uses third-verse point of view reversals frequently.[224] In terms of imagery, repetition is evident in Swift’s songwriting. In The Guardians words, “she spends so much time kissin’ in the rain that it seems a miracle she hasn’t developed trenchfoot“.[167] Slant Magazine adds, “to Swift’s credit, she explores new lyrical motifs over the course of [her fourth] album”.[226]While reviews of Swift’s work are “almost uniformly positive”, The New Yorker has said she is generally portrayed “more as a skilled technician than as a Dylanesque visionary”.[219]

Public image

Rolling Stone remarks upon her polite manners: “If this is Swift’s game face, it must be tattooed on because it never drops.”[227]The magazine also takes note of her “ease with glad-handing”,[33] and The Hollywood Reporter credits her as “the Best People Person since Bill Clinton“.[228] While presenting Swift an award for her humanitarian endeavors in 2012, Michelle Obama viewed her as a singer who “has rocketed to the top of the music industry but still keeps her feet on the ground, someone who has shattered every expectation of what a 22-year-old can accomplish”.[229] Swift considers Obama to be a role model.[230]

Taylor Swift stands in a Time press area, wearing a black, strapless dress and curled hair

Swift at the 2010 Time 100Gala, where she was honored

Swift is one of the most followed people on social media, and is known for her friendly interactions with her fans.[231][232] She has sent holiday gifts to fans by post and in person, dubbed “Swiftmas”.[233] She considers it her “responsibility” to be conscious of her influence on young fans,[234] and has said that her fans are “the longest and best relationship I have ever had”.[235] Swift’s personal life has been the subject of constant media attention.[236] In 2013, Abercrombie & Fitch marketed a slogan T-shirt with a “slut-shaming” Swift reference.[237] The New York Times asserted that her “dating history has begun to stir what feels like the beginning of a backlash” and questioned whether Swift was in the midst of a “quarter-life crisis”.[238]However, Swift has said that she is unwilling to discuss her personal life in public,[236]considering it “a career weakness”.[239]

The media considers Swift a sex symbol,[240] but unlike her contemporaries, she is modest in appearance and finds it easy to “keep [her] clothes on”.[15][241] Swift was named an Icon of American Style by Vogue in 2011.[242] In 2014 she topped People‘s annual best dressed list.[243]In 2015, she was named Woman of the Year at the Elle Style Awards,[244] and ranked first in Maxim‘s Hot 100 list.[245] Swift has also appeared in various power listings. She was included in Times annual list of the 100 most influential people in 2010 and 2015.[246][247]

From 2011–15, she appeared in the top three of Forbes Top-Earning Women In Music with earnings of $45 million, $57 million, $55 million, $64 million, and $80 million respectively.[248] In 2015, she became the youngest woman ever to be included on Forbes 100 most powerful women list, ranked at number 64.[249] In 2016, Swift topped Forbes annual list of the 100 highest-paid celebrities with $170 million—she also ranked among the top ten in 2011, 2013 and 2015.[250] As of June 2016, Swift’s net worth is estimated to be $250 million.[251]

Other ventures

Philanthropy

Swift’s philanthropic efforts have been recognized by the Do Something Awards and the Tennessee Disaster Services.[252][253]Others include The Big Help Award for her “dedication to helping others” and “inspiring others through action”,[254] and the Ripple of Hope Award because of her “dedication to advocacy at such a young age […] Taylor is just the kind of woman we want our daughters to be”.[255] In 2008, she donated $100,000 to the Red Cross to help the victims of the Iowa flood of 2008.[256] The singer has performed in charity reliefs like Sydney’s Sound Relief concert.[257] She also recorded a song for the Hope for Haiti Now album.[258] In response to the May 2010 Tennessee floods, Swift donated $500,000 during a telethon hosted by WSMV.[259]In 2011, Swift used the final dress rehearsal for the North American leg of her Speak Now tour as a benefit concert for victims of recent tornadoes in the United States, raising more than $750,000.[260] In 2012, Swift supported Architecture for Humanity‘s Restore the Shore MTV telethon in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.[261] In 2016, Swift donated $1 million to help people impacted by the 2016 Louisiana floods.[262]

Swift is a supporter of arts and donated $75,000 to Nashville’s Hendersonville High School in 2010 to help refurbish the school auditorium’s sound and lighting systems.[263] In 2012, she pledged $4 million to fund the building of a new education center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.[264] Also in 2012, Swift partnered with textbook rental company Cheggto donate $60,000 to the music departments of six US colleges.[265] Swift promotes children’s literacy. In 2009, she donated $250,000 to various schools around the country that she had either attended or had other associations with. The money was used to buy books, fund educational programs, and to help pay teacher’s salaries.[266] Her other endeavors to promote literacy include donating 6,000 Scholastic books to Reading Public Library, Pennsylvania,[267] 14,000 books to Nashville Public Library, Tennessee,[268] 2,000 Scholastic books to the Reading Hospital Child Health Center’s early literacy program,[269] and 25,000 books to New York City schools in 2015.[270]

The singer is involved with a number of charities which provide services to sick children. In 2011, as the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year, Swift donated $25,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Tennessee.[271] In 2012, Swift participated in the Stand Up to Cancer telethon, performing “Ronan“, a song she wrote in memory of a four-year-old boy who died of neuroblastoma. The song was made available for digital download with all proceeds donated to cancer-related charities.[272] In 2014, she donated $100,000 to the V Foundation for Cancer Research,[273] and $50,000 to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.[274] The singer made private visits to hospitals to meet with sick patients and to support them.[275] Swift has encouraged young people to volunteer in their local communities as part of Global Youth Service Day.[276] In 2007, she launched a campaign to protect children from online predators, in partnership with the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police.[277] In 2009, Swift recorded a Sound Matters public service announcement (PSA) to make listeners aware of the importance of listening “responsibly” to prevent hearing impairment.[278] Swift has donated items for auction to a large number of charities, including: the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the UNICEF Tap ProjectMusiCares, and Feeding America.[279]

Politics

During the 2008 presidential campaign, she promoted the Every Woman Counts campaign, aimed at engaging women in the political process, and was one of many country stars to record a PSA for the Vote (For Your) Country campaign.[280] She stated: “I don’t think it’s my job to try and influence people which way they should vote.”[13] Following President Obama’s inauguration, she told Rolling Stone that she supported the president: “I’ve never seen this country so happy about a political decision in my entire time of being alive. I’m so glad this was my first election.”[281]

In a 2012 interview, Swift remarked that in spite of keeping herself “as educated and informed as possible”, she does not discuss politics, fearing that it might influence other people.[282] Swift has spent time with the Kennedy family [283] and has spoken of her admiration for Ethel Kennedy.[206] Swift is also a feminist.[284] She has spoken out against LGBT discrimination. Following the 2008 murder of Larry King, she recorded a GLSEN PSA to combat hate crimes.[285] On the first anniversary of King’s death, Swift told Seventeen that her parents taught her “never to judge others based on whom they love, what color their skin is, or their religion”.[286] In 2011, the music video for Swift’s anti-bullying song “Mean” dealt in part with homophobia in high schools; the video was later nominated for an MTV VMA social activism award.[287][288] The New York Times believes she is part of “a new wave of young (and mostly straight) women who are providing the soundtrack for a generation of gay fans coming to terms with their identity in a time of turbulent and confusing cultural messages”.[287]

Product endorsements

While promoting her debut album, Swift appeared as the face of Verizon Wireless‘ Mobile Music campaign.[289] In the Fearlessera, she launched a l.e.i. sundress range at Wal-Mart,[290] and designed American Greetings cards and Jakks Pacificdolls.[291][292] She became a spokesperson for the National Hockey League‘s (NHL) Nashville Predators and Sony Cyber-shotdigital cameras.[293][294] She performed in a commercial for the Band Hero video game, with Rivers CuomoPete Wentz, and Travis Barker appearing as her backing band.[295][296] In the Speak Now era, she released a special edition of her album through Target.[297] Swift became a CoverGirl spokesmodel,[298] launched two Elizabeth Arden fragrances – Wonderstruck and Wonderstruck Enchanted.[299]

While promoting her fourth album Red, Swift offered exclusive album promotions through Target,[300] Papa John’s Pizza,[301] and Walgreens.[302] She became a spokesmodel for Diet Coke and Keds sneakers,[303] released her third Elizabeth Arden fragrance named Taylor by Taylor Swift,[304] and continued her partnerships with Sony Electronics and American Greetings.[305][306] Swift also partnered with a number of companies during the Red Tour; AirAsia[307] and Qantas[308] acted as the official airlines for the Australian and Asian legs, while Cornetto (ice cream) sponsored the Asian leg of the tour.[309] While promoting 1989, Swift had tie-ins with Subway, Keds, Target and Diet Coke.[310] In 2014, Swift released her fourth fragrance Incredible Things.[311]

Awards and achievements

Swift has received many awards and honors, including 10 Grammy Awards,[312] 19 American Music Awards,[313] 23 Billboard Music AwardsCountry Music Association Awards, 8 Academy of Country Music Awards,[314] one Brit Award,[147] and one Emmy.[315] As a songwriter, she has been honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association[48][316] and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.[317]

By the beginning of 2016, Swift had sold more than 40 million albums, 130 million single downloads and was one of the top five music artists with the highest worldwide digital sales.[136] Each of Swift’s studio albums had sold at least four million units in the U.S.: Taylor Swift (5.5 million), Fearless (7.0 million),[318] Speak Now (4.5 million), Red (4.1 million) and 1989 (5.7 million).[319]

Discography

Concert tours

Filmography

I then investigated the song list she has;

“- http://www.songfacts.com/artist-taylor_swift.php

I then chose the song which I think would have potential to be the song with visual impact.

  1. Red

Red;

I then explored the lyrics and music video of this song;

“Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street
Faster than the wind, passionate as sin ending so suddenly
Loving him is like trying to change your mind once you’re already flying through the free fall
Like the colors in autumn, so bright just before they lose it all

Losing him was blue like I’d never known
Missing him was dark grey all alone
Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met
But loving him was red
Loving him was red

Touching him was like realizing all you ever wanted was right there in front of you
Memorizing him was as easy as knowing all the words to your old favorite song
Fighting with him was like trying to solve a crossword and realizing there’s no right answer
Regretting him was like wishing you never found out that love could be that strong

Losing him was blue like I’d never known
Missing him was dark gray all alone
Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met
But loving him was red
Oh red
Burning red

Remembering him comes in flashbacks and echoes
Tell myself it’s time now, gotta let go
But moving on from him is impossible
When I still see it all in my head
Burning red
Burning it was red

Oh losing him was blue like I’d never known
Missing him was dark gray all alone
Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met
‘Cause loving him was red
Yeah, yeah red
We’re burning red

And that’s why he’s spinning ’round in my head
Comes back to me, burning red
Yeah, yeah
His love was like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street”- http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?lyrics=27423

 

After exploring the song lyrics in terms of the deeper meaning and the music video I think that the colors and visual impact of the music video would work well with the LED lights. I think the smoke and visual appearance would work well.

Coldplay;

I then went onto researching and exploring the band Coldplay- which were on my brainstorm list. I have chosen to investigate this band as from watching their music videos and concerts in the past I think their use of lights and colour work really well with the given brief.

Coldplay are a British rock band formed in 1996 by lead vocalist and pianist Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College London (UCL).[6]After they formed under the name Pectoralz, Guy Berryman joined the group as a bassist and they changed their name to Starfish.[7] Will Champion joined as a drummer and backing vocalist, completing the performing line-up. Creative Director Phil Harvey is often referred to as the official fifth member by the band.[8] The band renamed themselves “Coldplay” in 1998,[9] before recording and releasing three EPs: Safety in 1998, Brothers & Sisters as a single in 1999, and The Blue Room in the same year. The Blue Room was their first release on a major label, after signing to Parlophone.[10]

They achieved worldwide fame with the release of the single “Yellow” in 2000. This was followed by their debut album Parachutes released the same year, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. The band’s second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002), was released to critical acclaim and won multiple awards, including NME‘s Album of the Year. Their next release, X&Y, the best-selling album worldwide in 2005, was met with mostly positive reviews upon its release, though some critics felt that it was inferior to its predecessor. The band’s fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), was produced by Brian Eno and released again to largely positive reviews, earning several Grammy Awardnominations and wins at the 51st Grammy Awards.[11] On 24 October 2011, they released their fifth studio album, Mylo Xyloto, which received mixed to positive reviews, topped the charts in over 34 countries, and was the UK’s best-selling rock album of 2011.[12] On 16 May 2014, they released their sixth album, titled Ghost Stories, which also received mixed to positive reviews and topped the iTunes Storealbums charts in over 100 countries.[13] On 4 December 2015, the band released their seventh album, A Head Full of Dreams, which reached the top two in most major markets, but received generally mixed reviews.

The band has won 62 awards from 209 nominations throughout their career, including nine Brit Awards—winning Best British Group four times—five MTV Video Music Awards and seven Grammy Awards from 31 nominations. Coldplay have sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists.[14] In December 2009, Rolling Stone readers voted the group the fourth-best artist of the 2000s.[15] Coldplay have been an active supporter of various social and political causes, such as Oxfam‘s Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty International. The group have also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20Live 8Sound ReliefHope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake ReliefThe Secret Policeman’s BallSport Relief and the UK’s Teenage Cancer Trust.[16]

History

Formation and first years (1996–99)

Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland first met during their orientation week at University College London (UCL) in September 1996.[17] The pair spent the rest of the university year planning a band, ultimately forming a group called Pectoralz.[6] Guy Berryman, a classmate of Martin and Buckland, later joined the group. By 1997, the group, who had renamed themselves Starfish, performed gigs for local Camden promoters at small clubs.[7] Martin also had recruited his longtime school friend Phil Harvey, who was studying classics at the University of Oxford, to be the band’s manager.[18] Coldplay have since accepted Harvey as the fifth member of the group.[9] The band’s line-up was completed when Will Champion joined to take up percussion duties. Champion had grown up playing piano, guitar, bass, and tin whistle; he quickly learned the drums (despite having no previous experience).[6] The band finally settled on the name “Coldplay” which was suggested by Tim Crompton, a local student who had been using the name for his group.[9]

By 1997 Martin had met then Classics student Tim Rice-Oxley. During a weekend at Virginia Water in Surrey they asked each other to play their own songs on the piano. Martin, finding Rice-Oxley to be talented, asked him to be Coldplay’s keyboard player but Rice-Oxley refused as his own band, Keane, was already active. Days after, this event would shape the second line-up of Keane and keep Coldplay’s unaltered, thus leaving both bands as quartets.[19] In 1998, the band released 500 copies of the Safety EP.[20] Most of the discs were given to record companies and friends; only 50 copies remained for sale to the public. In December of that year, Coldplay signed to the independent label Fierce Panda.[20] Their first release was the three-track Brothers and Sisters EP, which they had quickly recorded over four days in February 1999.[20]

After completing their final examinations Coldplay signed a five-album contract with Parlophone in early 1999.[10] After making their first appearance at Glastonbury the band went into the studio to record a third EP, titled The Blue Room.[21] Five thousand copies were made available to the public in October[22] and the single “Bigger Stronger” received BBC Radio 1 airplay. The recording sessions for The Blue Room were tumultuous. Champion was briefly fired from the band, but Martin later pleaded with him to return after kicking him out, and because of his guilt, went on a drinking binge. Eventually, the band worked out their differences and put in place a new set of rules to keep the group intact. Inspired by bands like U2 and R.E.M., Coldplay decided that they would operate as a democracy. Additionally, the band determined they would fire anyone who used hard drugs.[23]

Parachutes (1999–2001)

Main articles: Parachutes (album) and Parachutes Tour
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“Yellow”, Coldplay’s first top 10 hit, went on to become one of their most well-known songs. It was the second single from Parachutes.

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The band initially planned to record their debut album in the space of two weeks. However, tours and other live performances caused the recording to spread out between September 1999 and April–May 2000.[24] The album was recorded at Rockfield Studios, Matrix Studios, and Wessex Sound Studios with producer Ken Nelson, although the majority of Parachutes’ tracks were recorded at Liverpool‘s Parr Street Studios (where they accessed three studio rooms). The mixing process on all songs for the album was done by American engineer Michael Brauer in New York.[25] During that period, they played on the Carling Tour, which showcased up-and-coming acts.[26]

After releasing three EPs without a hit song, Coldplay had their first Top 40 hit with the lead single from Parachutes, “Shiver“, which was released in March 2000 and peaked at number 35 position on the UK Singles Chart.[27] June 2000 was a pivotal moment in Coldplay’s history: the band embarked on their first headlining tour, including a showing at the Glastonbury Festival. The band also released the breakthrough single “Yellow“.[28] It was Coldplay’s first release to reach the top five, rising to number four on the UK Singles Chart.[28] “Yellow” and “Shiver” were initially released as EPs in the spring of 2000.[29] The former was later released as a single in United Kingdom on 26 June 2000. In the United States, the song was released as the lead single from the then-untitled debut album. In October 2000, the track was sent to US college and alternative radio outlets.[30]

Coldplay released their first studio album, Parachutes, on 10 July 2000 in the United Kingdom via their record label, Parlophone. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart.[31] It was released on 7 November 2000 by record label Nettwerk in North America.[32] The album has been made available on various formats since its initial release; both Parlophone and Nettwerk released it as a CD in 2000, and it was also released as a cassette by US label Capitol in 2001. In the following year, Parlophone issued the album as an LP.[33] Four singles were released from Parachutes, including “Shiver” and “Yellow”, and enjoyed popularity in the UK and US.[34] The third single was “Trouble“, which reached number 10 in the UK charts.[35] It was released more than a year later in the US, and, although it did not make the Billboard Hot 100, it reached number 28 in the Alternative Songs chart.[36] In December 2001, the band released a limited-edition CD, Mince Spies, featuring a remix of “Yellow” and the Christmas song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas“. It was pressed to 1,000 copies, and was issued only to fans and journalists.[37]

Parachutes was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in September 2000.[38] Having found success in Europe, the band set their sights on North America,[39] by releasing the album there in November 2000, and started the US Club Tour in February 2001.[40] At the 2001 Brit Awards in February, Coldplay earned awards for Best British Group, and Best British Album.[41]Although Parachutes was a slow-burning success in the United States, it eventually reached double-platinum status.[42] The album was critically well received and earned a Best Alternative Music Album honours at the 2002 Grammy Awards.[43] Chris Martin claimed, after the release of Parachutes, that the album’s success was intended to elevate the band’s status to the “biggest, best band in the world.”[44] After single-handedly managing the band until early 2001, Phil Harvey resigned from his role due to the stress of performing a role usually requiring a team of people. Harvey then took on the role of “creative director” and is often referred as the official fifth member by the band, while Dave Holmes took over as the band’s manager.

A Rush of Blood to the Head (2001–04)

Live performances during their 2002 tour were noted for their use of strobe lighting.

After the success of Parachutes, Coldplay returned to the studio in September 2001 to begin work on their second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, once again with Ken Nelson producing. Since the band had never stayed in London before, they had trouble focusing. They decided to relocate in Liverpool, where they recorded some of the songs on Parachutes. Once there, vocalist Chris Martin said that they became obsessed with recording. “In My Place” was the first song recorded for the album. The band released it as the album’s lead single because it was the track that made them want to record a second album, following a “strange period of not really knowing what we were doing” three months after the success of Parachutes. According to Martin “one thing kept us going: recording ‘In My Place’. Then other songs started coming.”[45]

The band wrote more than 20 songs for the album. Some of their new material, including “In My Place” and “Animals”, was played live while the band was still touring Parachutes.[37][46] The album’s title was revealed through a post on the band’s official website.[47] The album was released in August 2002 and spawned several popular singles, including “In My Place”, “Clocks“, and the ballad “The Scientist“. The latter was inspired by George Harrison‘s All Things Must Pass, which was released in 1970.[48]

Coldplay toured from June 2002 to September 2003 for the A Rush of Blood to the Head Tour. They visited five continents, including co-headlining festival dates at Glastonbury Festival,[22] V2003 and Rock Werchter. Many concerts showcased elaborate lighting and individualised screens reminiscent of U2’s Elevation Tour and Nine Inch Nails‘ Fragility Tour.[49] During the extended tour, Coldplay recorded a live DVD and CD, Live 2003, at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion.[50] At the 2003 Brit Awards held at Earls Court, London, Coldplay received awards for Best British Group, and Best British Album.[41] On 28 August 2003, Coldplay performed “The Scientist” at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and won three awards.[51]

In December 2003, readers of Rolling Stone chose Coldplay as the best artist and the best band of the year.[52] At that time the band covered The Pretenders‘ 1983 song “2000 Miles” (which was made available for download on their official website). “2000 Miles” was the top selling UK download that year, with proceeds from the sales donated to Future Forests and Stop Handgun Violence campaigns.[53] A Rush of Blood to the Head won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album at the 2003 Grammy Awards.[54] At the 2004 Grammy Awards, Coldplay earned Record of the Year for “Clocks”.[43]

X&Y (2004–06)

Main articles: X&Y and Twisted Logic Tour

Coldplay performing in Barcelona during their Twisted Logic Tour in 2005

Coldplay spent most of 2004 out of the spotlight, taking a break from touring and releasing a satire music video of a song from a fictional band titled The Nappies while recording their third album.[55] X&Y was released in June 2005 in UK and Europe.[56]This new, delayed release date had put the album back into the next fiscal year, actually causing EMI’s stock to drop.[57][58] It became the best-selling album of 2005 with worldwide sales of 8.3 million.[59] The lead single, “Speed of Sound“,[60] made its radio and online music store debut on 18 April and was released as a CD on 23 May 2005.[61]X&Y entered the album charts of 20 countries at the number one position[62] and was the third-fastest selling album in UK chart history.[63]

Two other singles were released that year: “Fix You” in September and “Talk” in December. Critical reaction to X&Y was mostly positive, though slightly less enthusiastic than that of its predecessor. The New York Times critic Jon Pareles described Coldplay as “the most insufferable band of the decade”,[64] whereas NME awarded the album 9/10 calling it “Confident, bold, ambitious, bunged with singles and impossible to contain, ‘X&Y’ doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it does reinforce Coldplay as the band of their time”.[65] Comparisons between Coldplay and U2 became increasingly common.[66][67] Chris Martin later revealed that the reviews that ranged from mixed to negative, note-worthy for their remarks on comparing them to U2, made him feel “liberated”.[68]

From June 2005 to July 2006, Coldplay went on their Twisted Logic Tour, which included festival dates like CoachellaIsle of Wight FestivalGlastonbury and the Austin City Limits Music Festival.[69] In July 2005, the band appeared at Live 8 in Hyde Park, where they played a rendition of The Verve‘s “Bitter Sweet Symphony” with Richard Ashcroft on vocals.[70] On 28 August, Coldplay performed “Speed of Sound” at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards in Miami.[71] In September, Coldplay recorded a new version of “How You See the World” with reworked lyrics for War Child‘s Help!: A Day in the Life charity album.[72] In February 2006, Coldplay earned Best Album and Best Single honours at the Brit Awards.[73] Two more singles were released during 2006, “The Hardest Part” and “What If“. The sixth and final single, “White Shadows” was released in Mexico during June 2007.[74]

Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2006–09)

In October 2006, Coldplay began work on their fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, with producer Brian Eno.[75] Taking a break from recording, the band toured Latin America in early 2007, performing in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.[76] After recording in churches and other venues in Latin America and Spain during their tour, the band said the album would likely reflect Hispanic influence.[77] The group spent the rest of the year recording with Eno.[78]

Performing live outside the BBC Television Centre during their Viva la Vida Tour in 2008

Martin described Viva la Vida as a new direction for Coldplay: a change from their past three albums, which they have referred to as a “trilogy”.[79] He said the album featured less falsetto as he allowed his voice’s lower register to take precedence.[79] Some songs, such as “Violet Hill“, contain distorted guitar riffs and bluesy undertones.[79]

“Violet Hill” was confirmed as the first single, with a radio release date of 29 April 2008.[80] After the first play, it was freely obtainable from Coldplay’s website from 12:15 pm (GMT +0) for one week (achieving two million downloads),[81] until it became commercially available to download on 6 May.[82][83] “Violet Hill” entered the UK Top 10, US Top 40 (entering the Top 10 in the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart) and charted well in the rest of the world.[84] The title track, “Viva la Vida“, was also released exclusively on iTunes. It became the band’s first number one on the Billboard Hot 100,[85] and their first UK number one, based on download sales alone.[86] This was also the first Number One in the UK Singles Chart to be based solely on download sales.

Logo used in Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends and Prospekt’s March.

Upon release, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends topped the album charts worldwide, and was the world’s best-selling album of 2008.[87] It hit number one on the UK album chart, despite having come on the market only three days previously. In that time, it sold 302,000 copies; the BBC called it “one of the fastest-selling records in UK history”.[88] By the end of June, it had set a new record for most-downloaded album ever.[89][90] In October 2008, Coldplay won two Q Awards for Best Album for Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends and Best Act in the World Today.[91] On 9 November, Coldplay were named the World’s Best Selling Act of 2008 at the World Music Awards in Monte Carlo.[92] They also picked up two other awards, World’s Best Selling Rock Act and Great Britain’s Best Selling Act.[93] The band followed up Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends with the Prospekt’s March EP, which was released on 21 November 2008. The EP features tracks from the Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friendssessions and,[94][95] as well as being available on its own, was issued as a bonus disc with later editions of Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends.[96] “Life in Technicolor II” was the only single released from the EP.

Coldplay performing in October 2008

Coldplay began their Viva la Vida Tour in June, with a free concert at Brixton Academy in London.[97] This was followed two days later by a 45-minute performance that was broadcast live from outside BBC Television Centre.[98] Released in late 2008, “Lost!” became the third single from the album, featuring a new version with Jay-Z. After performing the opening set on 14 March 2009 for Sound Relief at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Coldplay headlined a sold-out concert later that same night.[99] Sound Relief is a benefit concert for victims of the Victorian Bushfire Crisis and the Queensland Floods.[100] On 4 December 2008, Joe Satriani filed a copyright infringement suit against Coldplay in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Satriani’s suit asserted that the Coldplay song “Viva la Vida” includes “substantial original portions” of the Satriani song “If I Could Fly” from his 2004 album, Is There Love in Space?. The Coldplay song in question received two Grammy Awards for “Song of the Year.”[101] The band denied the allegation.[102][103] An unspecified settlement was ultimately reached between the parties.[104]

Coldplay were nominated for four awards at the 2009 Brit Awards: British Group, British Live Act, British Single (“Viva la Vida”) and British Album (Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends).[105] At the 51st Grammy Awards in the same year, Coldplay won three Grammy Awards in the categories for Song of Year for “Viva la Vida”, Best Rock Album for Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, and Best Vocal Pop Performance by a Duo or Group for “Viva la Vida”.[106][107] A live album entitled LeftRightLeftRightLeft was recorded at various shows during the tour. LeftRightLeftRightLeft, released on 15 May 2009, was to be given away at the remaining concerts of their Viva la Vida tour. It was also released as a free download from their website.[108]Following the Viva la Vida Tour, Coldplay announced another “Latin America Tour” to take place in February and March 2010, in which they were to visit Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia.[109] In October 2009, Coldplay won Song of the Year for “Viva la Vida” at The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Awards in London.[110] In December 2009, Rolling Stone readers voted the group the fourth best artist of the 2000s.[15]

Mylo Xyloto (2009–12)

Coldplay playing at MuchMusic in Toronto, September 2011

The band finished recording the new album in mid-2011. When Martin and Champion were interviewed by BBC Radio and asked about the album’s lyrical themes, Martin replied “It’s about love, addiction, OCD, escape and working for someone you don’t like.”[111] When asked whether or not their fifth album would be out by the summer, Martin and Champion said that there was plenty of work to be done before releasing it. They confirmed several festival appearances before its release date, including a headlining spot at the 2011 Glastonbury Festival,[112] T in the Park,[113] Austin City Limits Music Festival,[114] Rock in Rio,[115] and Lollapalooza festival.[116]

In an interview on 13 January 2011, Coldplay mentioned two new songs to be included on their upcoming fifth album, “Princess of China” and “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall“.[117] In a February interview, Parlophone president Miles Leonard told HitQuarters that the band were still in the studio working on the album and that he expected the final version would appear “towards the autumn of this year”.[118] On 31 May 2011, Coldplay announced that “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” was to be the first single for the fifth album. It was released on 3 June 2011. The band also presented five new songs at festivals during the summer of 2011, “Charlie Brown“, “Hurts Like Heaven“, “Us Against the World”, “Princess of China” and “Major Minus“.[119]

Coldplay performing in Atlanta, Georgia on 24 September 2011

On 12 August 2011, Coldplay announced via their official website that Mylo Xyloto was the new album title, and that it would be released on 24 October 2011.[120] On 12 September the band released “Paradise“, the second single from their upcoming album Mylo Xyloto. On 23 September 2011, tickets for Coldplay’s European tour officially went on sale. Demand proved to be very high with most venues selling out in seconds.[121]Mylo Xyloto was released on 24 October 2011, to mixed to positive reviews, and topped the charts in over 34 countries.[122][123][124]

Logo used for the release of Mylo Xyloto.

On 19 October 2011, Coldplay performed songs at Apple Inc.‘s private memorial event for Steve Jobs, including “Viva la Vida”, “Fix You”, “Yellow” and “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall”.[125] On 26 October their “Amex Unstaged” concert at the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas in Madrid, Spain, was streamed by YouTube as a live webcast directed by Anton Corbijn.[126] On 30 November 2011, Coldplay received three Grammy Award nominations for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards which took place on 12 February 2012 in Los Angeles, and the band performed with Rihanna at the ceremony.[127][128]On 12 January 2012, Coldplay were nominated for two Brit Awards.[129] On 21 February 2012, they were awarded the Brit Award for Best British Group for the third time.[130] The album was the best-selling rock album in the United Kingdom, selling 908,000 copies.[12] The album’s second single, “Paradise“, was also the best-selling rock single in the UK, selling 410,000 copies.[12] At the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards on 6 September, “Paradise” won the award for Best Rock Video.[131] Mylo Xyloto has sold over 8 million copies worldwide.[122]

Coldplay headlined the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012, where they performed alongside other artists including Rihanna and Jay-Z.[132] To tie in with their performance at the closing ceremony, the group gave permission for bands who were participating in the Bandstand Marathon the opportunity to perform their 2008 single “Viva la Vida” to celebrate the end of the games.[133]

The laser and light effects from the group’s Mylo Xyloto Tour

In October 2012, the music video for Coldplay’s song “Hurts Like Heaven” was released. The video was based on the story of Mylo Xyloto, a boy who grew up in tyranny ran by Major Minus. The fictional comics entitled Mylo Xyloto continued on the story portrayed in the music video when the series was released in early 2013. A concert documentary film Coldplay Live 2012 chronicles their tour in support of the Mylo Xyloto album. The film premiered theatrically for one night only, 13 November 2012, and was released on CD and home video on 19 November 2012.[134]

On 21 November, after a concert in Brisbane, Australia as part on the group’s Mylo Xyloto Tour, Coldplay hinted they were set to take a three-year break from touring.[135][136] Coldplay performed two shows with Jay-Z in the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, on 30 December and New Year’s Eve, and were set, which ended the Mylo Xyloto Tour. The Mylo Xyloto Tour was named the fourth-highest-grossing tour worldwide of 2012 with more than $171.3 million earned in ticket sales.[137]

Ghost Stories (2012–14)

Speaking to Australian radio station 2Day FM, Chris Martin revealed that the title for their next album: “is much easier to pronounce.”[136] Martin debunked speculation that they were taking a break from touring by saying, “This three-year break idea only came about because I said at a gig in Australia that we might not be back there for three years. That’s probably true, but that’s just how a world tour works. No chance are we taking a three-year break.”[138]

On 9 August 2013, Coldplay announced the release of their song, “Atlas“, which featured on the soundtrack for the film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.[139] Its release got pushed back to 6 September 2013 (everywhere but the UK) and 8 September (UK). In December 2013 it was announced that future Coldplay releases will be distributed by Atlantic Records in the US due to restructuring within Warner Music Group following the purchase of Parlophone Records from EMI.[140]

On 25 February 2014, the band unveiled “Midnight“, a track from their yet-to-be released album.[141] In early March 2014, it was announced that the band’s sixth album, Ghost Stories, would be released 19 May 2014.[142] Ghost Stories is a spiritually driven album that revolves around two major themes mentioned by Chris Martin. The album explores the idea of past actions, and the effects they can have on your future and one’s capacity for unconditional love.[143] The band took a different approach for their sixth studio album in contrast to their previous studio albums, with Martin inviting the band to contribute original songwriting material for the album, as opposed to building songs off his ideas as they had done during previous recording sessions.[144]

From April to July, Coldplay embarked on a six-date Ghost Stories Tour in support of the album, playing ‘intimate’ shows in six cities: the Beacon Theatre in New York City on 5 May, Royce Hall in Los Angeles on 19 May, Casino de Paris in Paris on 28 May, Tokyo Dome City Hall in Tokyo on 12 June, Enmore Theatre in Sydney on 19 June, and closed the tour at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 2 July 2014.[145] The album was made available for pre-order on iTunes, alongside a new single titled “Magic“.[146]Two more singles from the album, “A Sky Full of Stars” and “True Love“, have since been released. Ghost Stories received generally mixed to favourable reviews.[147] The album topped the charts in the UK, the US, and most major markets.[148][149] It received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album and “A Sky Full of Stars” was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.[150] In December 2014, Spotify named Coldplay the most-streamed band in the world for 2014, and third most-streamed artist behind Ed Sheeran and Eminem.[151]

A Head Full of Dreams (2014–present)

The band performing “Adventure of a Lifetime“, during their headline setlist at Glastonbury 2016. The performance was their fifth at the festival, and a record-setting fourth as headliners.

On 4 December 2014, Chris Martin announced in an interview with Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1 that Coldplay are in the middle of working on their seventh studio album, A Head Full of Dreams.[152][153] Martin stated it might be the band’s final album and compared it to Harry Potter; “It’s our seventh thing, and the way we look at it, it’s like the last Harry Potter book or something like that.”[154] He added that, unlike their promotion efforts for Ghost Stories, the band will tour for the seventh record.[154] In an interview with Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 2, Martin hinted at the style of the album by saying that the band was trying to make something colourful and uplifting, yet not bombast. He also stated that it will be something to “shuffle your feet” to.[155]

On 11 December 2014, the band unveiled a new song, “Miracles“, which was written and recorded for the World War II drama film Unbroken directed by Angelina Jolie.[156] At the 2015 Billboard Music Awards on 17 May, Ghost Stories was named Top Rock Album.[157] On 26 September, Coldplay performed at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park‘s Great Lawn in New York, an event organised by Chris Martin that advocates an end to extreme global poverty.[158]Coldplay, along with BeyoncéEd Sheeran and Pearl Jam, headlined the festival, which was broadcast on NBC in the US on 27 September and the BBC in the UK on 28 September.[158]

Speaking on Nick Grimshaw‘s Radio 1 Breakfast Show on the BBC on 6 November, Coldplay confirmed 4 December as the release date of A Head Full of Dreams, and a new song from the album, “Adventure of a Lifetime“, premiered on the show.[159]The album features guest appearances from Beyoncé, Gwyneth PaltrowNoel GallagherTove Lo and Barack Obama.[159] The album reached number one in the UK, and number two in the US, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and Italy.[160][161]

On 27 November 2015, Coldplay announced the first dates to their 2016 A Head Full of Dreams Tour. Latin American and European legs were listed, which included three dates at Wembley Stadium, London in June, with further dates, including their North American tour, to be added.[162] More dates, including the North America Tour, an extra Wembley concert, and an Oceania tour, were later added gradually. On 5 December, the band headlined the opening day of the 2015 Jingle Bell Ball at London’s O2 Arena.[163] On 7 February 2016 Coldplay headlined the Super Bowl 50 halftime show.[164][165] The band were joined by Beyoncéand Bruno Mars.[166] In April 2016, the band were named the sixth best selling artist worldwide in 2015.[167]

On 26 June 2016, Coldplay closed the final day of the Glastonbury Festival in England. Their performance included a duet with Barry Gibb, the last surviving member of the Bee Gees.[168] During the band’s second night at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey on 18 July, Coldplay were joined onstage by Michael J. Fox to recreate a Back to the Future scene. Martin sang “Earth Angel” before introducing Fox onstage to join the band in performing the Chuck Berry classic “Johnny B. Goode“.[169]

Musical style

Martin once proclaimed the band’s music as “limestone rock” in comparison to “hard rock”.[170] The band’s music has been called “meditative” and “blue romantic”; it “[reflects] on their emotions” and Martin “endlessly examine[s] his feelings”.[171]

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From the album A Rush of Blood to the Head, Martin wrote “The Scientist” after listening to George Harrison‘s “All Things Must Pass“.

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Appearing on X&Y, the music of “Fix You” is built around a church-style organ.

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Coldplay started out as one of many earnest post-Britpop bands.[172] In the late 1990s, the EPs released by the band had characteristics of dream pop, setting them apart from later studio albums. The tone of the band’s first studio album, Parachutes, was described as melodic pop with “distorted guitar riffs and swishing percussion” but also being “exquisitely dark and artistically abrasive”.[173] Such alternative rock style has been compared to bands like U2OasisRadiohead and Travis.[173][174] The band acknowledges the Scottish alternative rock band, Travis, as a major influence on their earlier material.[175]

In their second studio album A Rush of Blood to the Head, the band drew inspiration from artists like Echo & the Bunnymen,[176] Kate BushGeorge Harrison[48] and Muse.[177] The songs in it were considered to contain “lush melodies and a heartbreak” and that they had a “newfound confidence.”[178] The music on their third release X&Y has been considered to be “ruminations on Martin’s doubts, fears, hopes, and loves.”[171] It was particularly influenced by the artists Johnny Cash and Kraftwerk.[179]

In Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, the group’s style was moving towards art rock, being influenced by the bands BlurArcade Fire and My Bloody Valentine.[180] The band experimented with different instruments including orchestras, honky-tonk pianos and further so.[181][182] Mylo Xyloto carries the concept album format from the love and war-induced Viva la Vida and expands the spectrum to include electronic and acoustic elements. Lyrical influences were taken from graffiti and the German resistance group White Rose.[183]

Regarding the band’s wide international success, Parlophone’s president Miles Leonard has stated that one of their “secrets” is that they have never sounded like a parochial UK artist, saying: “Some bands are very proud to be British, but sometimes come across as being very ‘British’. Coldplay never aspire to that; on one hand they sound British but on the other they sound like a huge global artist.”[118] In 2011 Coldplay were hailed as ‘rock statesmen’.[184]

Activism and commercial endorsements

Make Trade Fair, abbreviated as MTF, shown on Chris Martin’s piano during a concert

Despite their worldwide popularity, the band has remained protective of how their music is used in the media, refusing its use for product endorsements. In the past, Coldplay turned down multi-million dollar contracts from GatoradeDiet Coke, and Gap, who wanted to use the songs “Yellow“, “Trouble“, and “Don’t Panic” respectively.[185]According to frontman, Chris Martin, “We wouldn’t be able to live with ourselves if we sold the songs’ meanings like that.”[185] The song “Viva la Vida” was featured in a commercial for the iTunes Store, advertising its exclusive availability of the single as a digital download on iTunes.[186] Additionally, Chris Martin appeared at an Apple Inc.Special Event on 1 September 2010, playing a number of songs, and also thanked Apple for their assistance in marketing “Viva la Vida”.[187] After the death of Steve Jobs, Coldplay performed four songs at Apple’s Campus in Cupertino, further thanking Jobs for the support he gave them.[188]

Coldplay supports Amnesty International and performed for them at The Secret Policeman’s Ball fundraiser in 2012.[189] Martin is regarded as one of the most visible celebrity advocates for fair trade, supporting Oxfam‘s ongoing Make Trade Faircampaign.[190] He has been on trips with Oxfam to assess conditions, has appeared in its advertising campaign, and is known for wearing a “Make Trade Fair” wristband during public appearances (including at Coldplay concerts).[191] The band were also filmed for Make Poverty History, clicking their fingers.[192]

During the early years, Coldplay became widely known in the media for giving 10 per cent of the band’s profits to charity,[193]which they continue to do.[194] Bassist Guy Berryman said, “You can make people aware of issues. It isn’t very much effort for us at all, but if it can help people, then we want to do it.”[189] The band also asks that any gifts intended for them are donated to charity, according to a response on the FAQ section of Coldplay’s website. Martin spoke out against the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US, UK and other forces during the Teenage Cancer Trust show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 24 March 2003, where he encouraged the sell-out crowd to “sing against war”.[195] He would later endorse the US Democratic presidential candidates John Kerry[196] and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 respectively.[197]

In June 2009, Coldplay began supporting Meat Free Monday, a food campaign started by Paul McCartney which attempts to help slow climate change by having at least one meat free day a week.[198] From 17 and 31 December 2009, Coldplay auctioned a quantity of significant band memorabilia, including their first guitars. Proceeds went to Kids Company, a charity which helps vulnerable children and young people in London.[199] A month later in January 2010, Coldplay performed a slightly modified version of “A Message”, entitled “A Message 2010”, at the Hope For Haiti Now telethon special, raising money for the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[200]

In 2011 Coldplay endorsed the song “Freedom for Palestine” by posting a link to the video. In less than a day 12,000 comments were made on that post. Some threatened to boycott the band, and a Facebook group was created that demanded an apology to Israel.[201] The link to the song was eventually removed from their Facebook wall.[202] According to Frank Barat of OneWorld, the link was not removed by Coldplay, but by Facebook after “thousands of people (and computer generated posts) reported it as abusive.”[203]

Album Artists (www.albumartists.co.uk) staged an exhibition of art from Mylo Xyloto at Proud Gallery in Camden to support the charity Kids Company in November—December 2012.[204] The exhibition raised over £610,000 for the children’s charity which supports disadvantaged children in London.[205] In November 2014, Martin joined the charity group Band Aid 30, performing alongside current British and Irish pop acts on the latest version of the track “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” to raise money for the 2014 Ebola crisis in Western Africa—this was the second time Martin has contributed to a Band Aid recording having performed in the 2004 version (Band Aid 20).[206]

In June 2016 the band supported Vote Remain in the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum. Following the Brexit result which saw 52% of the UK voting to leave the EU (despite the majority of younger people voting remain), Chris Martin stated: “This decision does not represent us or indeed most of our generation and the generation following us.”[207]

Band members

  • Chris Martin – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, piano, keyboards
  • Jonny Buckland – lead guitar, backing vocals, piano, keyboards, harmonica
  • Guy Berryman – bass guitar, backing vocals, piano, keyboards, harmonica, percussion, guitar
  • Will Champion – drums, percussion, drum machine, backing vocals, piano, keyboards, guitar

Discography

Studio albums

Concert tours

Awards and nominations

Coldplay have won numerous music awards throughout their history, including eight Brit Awards—winning Best British Group four times, five MTV Video Music Awards, three World Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, and seven Grammy Awardsout of 26 nominations. 2009 was their most successful year having received seven Grammy Award nominations at the 51st Grammy Awards, and won three.[208] Coldplay have sold over 80 million records worldwide.”- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coldplay

I then went onto researching their songs;

    

“- http://www.metrolyrics.com/coldplay-lyrics.html

I then went onto choosing the song which I think have the best visual impact. These are the ones I decided to further explore;

  1. Yellow
  2. Paradise
  3. Adventure of a lifetime

Yellow;

I began researching the lyrics of the song Yellow and watching the music video;

“Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And everything you do,
Yeah, they were all yellow.

I came along,
I wrote a song for you,
And all the things you do,
And it was called “Yellow”.

So then I took my turn,
Oh what a thing to have done,
And it was all yellow.

Your skin,
Oh yeah your skin and bones,
Turn into
Something beautiful,
Do you know,
You know I love you so,
You know I love you so.

I swam across,
I jumped across for you,
Oh what a thing to do.
‘Cause you were all yellow,

I drew a line,
I drew a line for you,
Oh what a thing to do,
And it was all yellow.

Your skin,
Oh yeah your skin and bones,
Turn into
Something beautiful,
Do you know,
For you I’d bleed myself dry,
For you I’d bleed myself dry.

It’s true,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine.

Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And all the things that you do.”- https://play.google.com/music/preview/Tts2wa7qolm45thek4yd6wh64za?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics&u=0#

I watched the music video and compared to the concerts I didn’t think it was as good as they are live, as the lights and visual impact of the band and songs were a lot better. So I then also watched their live performance on You Tube.

I found the lights, smoke and symbolism to be a lot more relevant to the song then the music video. If I was todo this song and use it as my song for my MP3 player I would make sure to focus it on the live performance rather then the music video, along with the lyrics of the song.

Paradise;

Paradise is the next song I investigated.

“When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach
So she ran away in her sleep

And dreamed of para-para-paradise
Para-para-paradise
Para-para-paradise
Every time she closed her eyes

Oooooo
Oooooo

When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach
And the bullets catch in her teeth

Life goes on, it gets so heavy
The wheel breaks the butterfly
Every tear a waterfall
In the night, the stormy night
She’d close her eyes
In the night, the stormy night
Away she’d fly

And dream of para-para-paradise
Para-para-paradise
Para-para-paradise
Oh

She dreamed of para-para-paradise
Para-para-paradise
Para-para-paradise
Oh

La la la-la la-la
La la la-la la-la
La la la-la la-la
La la la

Still lying underneath the stormy skies
She said, oh
I know the sun is set to rise

This could be para-para-paradise
Para-para-paradise
This could be para-para-paradise
Oh

This could be para-para-paradise
Para-para-paradise
This could be para-para-paradise
Oh

Oh-oh oooooo

This could be para-para-paradise
Could be para-para-paradise
Could be para-para-paradise
Oh”- https://play.google.com/music/preview/T73rbcs5bp5rnvzgmlluntouhyu?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics&u=0#

I think that the music video itself would have a interesting twist on the visual side of the speaker, while at the end of the music video it was at a concert environment where the lights and atmosphere would be the part I would focus on with the LED lights if I was to use this song.

Adventure of a lifetime;

The third song from Cold play is adventure of a lifetime, this is the research I underwent;

“Turn your magic on
Umi she’d say
Everything you want’s a dream away
And we are legends every day
That’s what she told me

Turn your magic on,
To me she’d say
Everything you want’s a dream away
Under this pressure, under this weight
We are diamonds

Now I feel my heart beating
I feel my heart underneath my skin
And I feel my heart beating
Oh, you make me feel
Like I’m alive again
Alive again
Oh, you make me feel
Like I’m alive again

Said I can’t go on,
Not in this way
I’m a dream that died by light of day
Gonna hold up half the sky and say
Only I own me

And I feel my heart beating
I feel my heart underneath my skin
Oh, I can feel my heart beating
‘Cause you make me feel
Like I’m alive again
Alive again
Oh, you make me feel
Like I’m alive again

Turn your magic on,
Umi she’d say
Everything you want’s a dream away
Under this pressure under this weight
We are diamonds taking shape
We are diamonds taking shape

If we’ve only got this life
This adventure, oh, then I
And if we’ve only got this life
You get me through

And if we’ve only got this life
In this adventure, oh, then I
Want to share it with you
With you
With you
Yeah I do
Woohoo
Woohoo
Woohoo” -https://play.google.com/music/preview/Tgu5bk5yikgomjis4566552fanu?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics&u=0#

I watched this music video and looked into the song lyrics, which I found it to be similar to Katy Perry Roar in terms of the approach I would use. Visually I think the look of the speaker design would work well too.

 

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