2011’s Top 40 Chart Acts

Today it’s easy for us to remain deeply engrained in the personal niche of an MP3 player, or our customized stations on Pandora. So the next time you’re riding in your car, give your ear buds a rest and switch on the radio to check out some of the current Top 40 chart acts. Here are some of the artists that are currently at the top of the charts.

 

Katy Perry - Photographed by David LaChapelle

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Katy Perry, E.T.

Lately it seems that, to quote Ms. Perry herself, everyone has been “on board the Katy Perry train.” She has consistently been pumping out catchy chart topping hits for many months now, and E.T., which features Kanye West, is her latest release from her album Teenage Dream.

 

 

 

 

Black Eyed Peas

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The Black Eyed Peas, Just Can’t Get Enough

Lake many of The Black Eyed Peas’ latest hits, Just Can’t Get Enough starts with a melodic vocal hook from Fergie, then evolves into a electronic dance track that is ready to be pumped through dance clubs. It’s a formula that works for them and they’ve stuck with it.

 

 

 

 

Adele

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Adele, Rolling In the Deep

Rolling in the Deep, which is Adele’s first single off of her second album, is quickly becoming one of the best-loved songs of 2011. Adele is one of the most powerful and authoritative female voices in music today, and her single’s mix of pop and blues is appealing to a wide range of audiences.

 

 

 

 

Lupe Fiasco

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Lupe Fiasco, The Show Goes On

The first single from Fiasco’s third album Lasers, The Show Goes On is a likable interpolation of Modest Mouse’s popular motivational single Float On.

 

 

 

 

The Script

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The Script, For the First Time

The Script has created sort of a musical cheeseburger with their single For the First Time: A melodic “oohing” chorus is the meat patty, and it’s topped with a cheesy theme about ill-fated lovers, a slightly bitter mustard lyric about trying to make a relationship work in the middle of messy economic circumstances, and some large chunks of piano pickles on top. It’s a combo that listeners are finding quite delicious.

 

 

 

 

Jessie J

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Jessie J featuring B.o.B., Price Tag

Although Jessie J is only 22 years old, she has already come a long way from singing songs into the webcam on her laptop and posting them on the internet. She’s penned songs for Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera, and now found success with her single Price Tag, a super upbeat ditty that’s much less aggressive than her last single, Do It Like a Dude.

 

 

 

 

Blake Shelton

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Blake Shelton, Honey Bee

At a time when celebrity’s marital disputes are constantly making headlines, it is no wonder that Shelton’s single has hit a homerun with listeners. The Oklahoma crooner’s song with lyrics such as “you be my sunny day, I’ll be your shade tree” is super sweet.

 

 

 

 

Edward Maya

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Edward Maya, Stereo Love

The video for Edward Maya’s electronic anthem has already received over 100 million views on Youtube. The Romanian producer and performer has struck a chord with his latest dance hit, and somehow even managed to make the accordion sound really cool.

 

Who is Jessie J?

Winning the BBC Sound Of…. yearly award can place a lot of expectation on artist but past winners have managed to do okay. Corrine Bailey Rae, Mika, Adele, Little Boots and Ellie Goulding may have various levels of success to their name but each carved out a following and interest of their own.

It is probably no surprise then that the winner of the BBC Sound of 2011 contest, Jessie J, is already riding high at number 2 in the charts with her track ‘Do It Like A Dude’.

To be a pop star today requires a mix of memorable melodies and a personality that is slightly off the wall. It would be unfair to blame all this on Lady Gaga, after all, the best pop stars have always contained an element of kookiness but Gaga has certainly raised the bar on strange behaviour and styling.

What is Jessie J's Muse?

She is not Gaga but she may not be all there

Jessie J is not going to be the British Lady Gaga but she does appear to have a style that will divide critics instantly. Perhaps more importantly, it will grab her attention and followers in no time at all.

The sound of ‘Do It Like A Dude’ could come from anywhere, all computerised vocals and scratchy beats but there is something that remains quintessentially British about it all. This should ensure that Jessie J becomes a star in her home land before she attempts to take over the world.

Does she have the X Factor?

In a funny sense, Jessie J strikes you as the artist that Cher Lloyd would like to be when, and if, she grows up.  The young rapper’s performance on the X Factor every week seemed to create bigger diversions and disagreements between family friends than any other performer but all the while, there was a more fully formed version of Cheryl Tweedy’s prodigy waiting in the wings.

With tour dates in Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol at the end of January and more pencilled in after the release of debut album, ‘Who You Are’, there is no doubt that Jessie J is a face and name you will become accustomed to seeing this year. Transferring the sound of the studio to the live arena is a major test for any artist and this will be where Jessie J needs to perform in order to live up to the potential and hype surrounding her.

Jessie J has to live up to the hype

Early live performances have suggested she is capable of fronting a stage and involving the crowd but now that expectations and the spotlight are on her, will Jessie

J be able to take the step up that will surely come from playing in front of bigger audiences.

Who is Jessie J?

Who is Jessie J?

On initial impressions, Jessie J is a spiky and aggressive artist, which should make for interesting interviews and sound bites. With too many pop acts becoming bland non-entities, there is a big gap for an artist that can speak their mind but deliver pop-tastic tunes and fascinating live shows with it. Time will tell if Jessie J is that girl but the early sings are that 2011 could indeed be her year.

Has Katy B got her Lights Switch On about the US?

This is one Brit artist who is not jetting off to LA anytime soon…Dubstep star Kay B is not interested in launching her music career in the US – just yet. The 21 year old – who enjoyed big success with singles, Katy’s On A Mission and, Lights On, featuring Ms Dynamite- feels that there is no need to travel across the Atlantic, as there are plenty of talented artists in the UK to work with.

Katy B

Katy B

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The Peckham-born singer added: “Don’t get me wrong, I love American music. A lot of music I listen to is American.

“There are so many talented artists out there but I think at the moment there is a lot of UK talent, so there’s not really much point in me getting on a plane and going all the way to LA, when I could get on a bus or maybe get on my bike.”

Katy B is currently working on her debut album, On the Mission, (which is 95 cent completed) will be released on 28 March 2011. The album promises a mixture of D&B, grime, funky house which is, in her words, bringing the underground to the overground!

Many may think that Katy B is mad not to take up the US opportunity, but this girl is well wise beyond her years and so many UK artists can learn a thing or two from her. She the type of girl who likes to ‘keep it real’ – so there’s no chance of her stumbling out of Chinawhite’s or dating some daft footballer!

Having being offered major record deals in 2009, Katy B – whose real name is Kathleen Katie Brien – musical life really kicked off in 2010. She released her first single, Katy On A Mission with Rinse label (owned by pirate-turn-official radio station Rinse FM). In the same year, Katy B graduated in Popular Music at Goldsmith University of London.

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Katy On A Mission was released in August 2010 and immediately reached number 5 on the UK Singles Chart and number 1 on the UK Indie Chart. Her second single, Lights On, was released in December 2010 and stormed in at number 4 on the UK Singles Chart.

Not bad for a South-Londoner. There are so many artists, such as Leona Lewis and Alexander Burke, say they’ll never let stardom go to their heads…give them a couple years! With Katy B you know that she is a mature lady who is true to her word.

Bad Spelling in Pop is Nothing New

Kesha may be an artist that splits opinion but she is currently sitting on top of the UK charts with her single ‘We R Who We R’, her first number one single. Kesha went top four with her debut release ‘Tik Tok’ but her four releases after that all failed to break into the top 10. This highest charting release for her indicates she is growing in popularity and that the publicity machine behind her may finally be kicking into life. As pop songs go it isn’t too bad but you just know people up and down the land will be despairing at the text speak nature of the song title.

Kesha

Kesha

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Kesha should not be a role model

A lot of people get genuinely annoyed with text speak and are very vocal in their criticism of this form of communication. This is fair enough if you are a teacher and kids are attempting to pass it off in class but in popular culture and youngsters conversing amongst themselves, is it really such a problem? Kesha is not the sort of girl that most parents approve of anyway so it is not as if they are going to uphold her as a role-model for their children but this latest move will only enrage parents and adults further.

Kesha

Kesha

Which is all a bit silly because this argument or complaint is nothing new!

You may think Slade were a band that were only rolled out at Christmas to sing their biggest hit but in the 1970s, there was a spell when Slade were massive. Not just quite big but absolutely massive and their spelling managed to enrage and anger people back then too! A quick look through Slade’s back catalogue shows that they were serial mis-spellers.

Slade were massive but bad spellers

Slade had the following run of singles between 1971 and 1973, with each release featuring at least one improper use of the English language: ‘Cuz I Luv You’, ‘Look Wot You Dun’, Take Me Bak ‘Ome’, ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’, Gudbuy T’ Jane’, ‘Cum on Feel The Noize’ and ‘Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me’.

By the end of this run, you could tell Slade were deliberately having a laugh with their spelling but it didn’t seem to stop the criticism with people panicking that children would grow up being unable to spell because of the band’s actions! Noddy, Jimmy and the rest of the boys did have a considerable reach of popularity and influence at the time but even kids knew that they were not an act to turn to for help with English homework.

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Slade like Kesha offered uplifting pop music which was very much of its time and in a way, it is better that parents don’t get it. Each generation deserves to have its own pop act that they like by themselves. There is a definite blurring of the genres with acts like Michael Buble providing a pop sound but being marketed across the age groups so when an act comes along to annoy the grown-ups, it makes sense that they should be embraced!

Robyn is a Major Funky Electro Pop Star

When it comes to funky electro pop, everyone has their own take on the sound but pop fans recognise the work that Swedish pop star Robyn has made to the world of music. For well over a decade, Robyn was criminally overlooked in the UK charts and by music lovers everywhere but in the last year or two, the artist has been getting the praise and acclaim that has been long overdue.

Robyn

The singer confounded music critics by releasing three separate mini-albums in 2010, all of which formed the ‘Body Talk’ trilogy. Given the changing nature of music availability and the rise of downloads, packaging music in this way makes perfect sense and has made Robyn a bit more accessible. It can sometimes be easy to overlook an album because it has a large number of tracks on it but by providing output in more manageable numbers, Robyn has created a greater interest in her latest material.

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Robyn has worked with some big names

All of which has created a further interest in her back catalogue and Robyn is in greater demand than she has ever been before. Many people first became aware of Robyn through her collaboration with other artists, which indicates she is a vocalist in demand. Basement Jaxx, Britney Spears and Snoop Doggy Dogg are just some of the acts that have benefited from the distinctive vocal styles of the Scandinavian singer.

Robyn

Emerging from a pop background, Robyn’s musical style took on a funkier and electro edge in 2005 with the ‘Robyn’ album. This contained the worldwide smash hit ‘With Every Heartbeat’ and this track remains the bets known song of the song. Although downbeat in tone, the pulsating bass and memorable video brought the singer to the attention of a whole new audience and her musical output since has followed this style.

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Robyn has had a major influence on current artists

It is easy to draw a line from the ‘Robyn’ album to the many female pop singers operating in the UK today. Acts like Little Boots, Ellie Goulding and La Roux have taken great influence from Robyn and no doubt there will be many more artists that release songs and albums in this style. It is not as if Robyn can take the claim for this genre or its popularity but her worldwide success has opened the door for other artists to make music in this manner. Record labels are always keen to have their own version of a popular artist and the number of imitators that have followed Robyn is a compliment to her success.

Even after the trio of releases in 2010, there is talk that Robyn is set to release a new album at some point in 2011, which will no doubt place the singer back on the touring and promotional treadmill. Robyn has developed a strong reputation for live performances in recent years and is a staple act of the European festival circuit. With the singer being in high demand, do not be surprised to see her name appearing on the line-up of a great number of festivals this summer.

A Cut above the Rest – Adele

Today’s music charts are populated with so much disposable pop music. Amongst the cheesiness, there are a few gems to be admired. Adele is one of them.

The first recipient of Brit-Awards Critic Choice began to flourish when she attracted the attention of XL Recordings, who were impressed with her three-song demo on MySpace and offered her a recording contract (the contract later became a joint-venture between XL and Columbia Records).

Adele

The rest was history. The release of the first album 19 (January 2008) brought success beyond belief for the 22 year old Londoner: within the first week of release, the single Chasing Pavements peaked at number two in the UK single charts which has been nominated for two Grammy Awards: Record of the Year and Song of the Year. However Chasing Pavements won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The album 19 went straight to number one in the UK album chart.

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Across the pond, the American audience was a harder nut to crack, as the album was positioned at 56 on Billboard 200 and remained there for many weeks .Eventually, Adele won them over when she performed Chasing Pavements on Saturday Night Live. The following day, 19 rose to 46 and then to 11 a week later. After winning two awards, the album peaked at 10.

19 was (well still is) the perfect introduction to Adele’s first-class bluesy voice which is evidently needed in the pop industry today. This album has led her to become a respected artist of her generation.

Adele now releases her second and much anticipated album, 21 this week (24 January 2011).  Already the album received raving reviews from reputable figures in the music industry. It came to no surprise that 21 is yet another prime example of Adele’s signature style -- the deep bluesy voice that, no doubt, tug the heartstrings. The success of this album is definitely on the cards as it stormed in at no.1 on the German iTunes album chart.

It gets even better as 21 is expected to storm the UK album charts, selling way over 100,000 copies since its release. According to the Official Charts Company, the album is outselling the rest of the top ten albums combined.

Rolling in The Deep, the first in-your-face song from the album sees a different side to Adele as she pushes her vocals to the limit. Written by producer Paul Epworth and Adele, the single was release ten days before the album. Since the release, Rolling in The Deep already received roaring reviews and praises from actress Lindsey Lohan.

Overall, 21 is a pure and honest album, produced to the highest quality. Many of the so-called pop artists need to take a leaf out of her book. Adele sings with such maturity – you forget that she’s only 22. With that level of talent, this artist deserves to be taken very seriously.

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Bieber’s Plans for Boutique Fall at the First Hurdle

Poor Justin Bieber. His plans for world domination didn’t come to fruition. The 16-year-old wanted to open his own boutique in LA selling- wait for it – Justin Bieber memorabilia, so every impressionable teenage girls around the world can have a piece of him. He even called on his celebs friends Kardashians for help to push things forward. However the Justin-themed shop crash at the first hurdle.

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber - Too Much Too Young?

Bieber’s publicist, Jennifer Gordon, told the Los Angeles Times newspaper: “I was working with them last year with the possibility of this happening. Towards the end of November, everything had fallen through. It’s not happening.”

It’s not all bad news for the Canadian pop singer, as he has his own nail vanish range, One Less Lonely Girl, which is doing ‘amazing well’, selling out in department stores across America. There’s more – besides joining forces with rapper Dr Dre, to design ‘JustBeats’ headphones, Bieber has a book out called, Sitting Pretty, which somehow found its way on the NY Times Bestsellers list. We have the screaming teenage girls to thank for this.

While thousands would beg (or even pay) him to stay in high school, Justin literally burst on the music scene, giving his female peers worldwide the ‘Bieber Fever’ with his first single, One Time in 2009. The song was certified Platinum in the US and Canada, and Gold in Australia and New Zealand. Since then, Bieber continues the spread the fever with array of hits including, Baby, One Less Lonely Girl, Love Me, Favourite Girl. With such runaway success, Bieber’s mentor, Usher must shed a tear when he sees his little puppet at work.

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

But is it too much too soon for this teenage ‘heart-throb’? He maybe doing swimmingly well selling mechanise to girls in his age group (thinking he has all the answers to what a woman want). At a click of a finger (or just like his boutique) it could all disappear, leaving little Justin on crap heap, a forgotten child star.

It happens all the time, particularly in America. A talented child becomes a big star and the world is at his or her feet. When the hype fades, that child is dropped at a great height. Just look at the life of the late actors Corey Haim and Gary Coleman.

Let’s hope, for Justin’s sake, that the rug is not pulled abruptly underneath his feet. After all, he’s just a boy caught the circus called the music industry.

Eminem – Rapper of the Decade?

Eminem

Eminem, Slim Shady or Marshal Mathers, whatever his alter egos may be, has for the past decade not only been the best rapper of this decade, he has blown out any competition that has even tried to come close to him. You  need to know he did all this and there’s one other thing too. He’s white.

Eminem started out as a loud mouth, obnoxious and celebrity bashing rapper and turned into not only an outstanding rapper, but he was named rapper of the decade. Now, when he first came out with his CD Marshall Mathers LP in 2000 it became the fastest sold rap CD sold ever. The music industry had many different ideas for this man, taking him from fame to superstar status. He was able to take all his family and emotional problems and turn them lyrically to some of the best lyrics in this decade. Each and every CD he has come out with since the Marshall Mathers LP has been nothing but sheer genius and being able to compete in an industry that was dominantly filled of only black males, shows his ability to overcome adversity with his own unique style. He was called out numerous times that the only reason he had any success was because he was white. Over the years he has shown that it wasn’t a matter of race but a matter of talent and dedication.

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He has called out more celebrities and other artists than any other rapper, with an I don’t give a S#*t attitude which turned out to be exactly what the people wanted. By people it means mostly middle class white kids who wanted to rebel against their parents. But with that giving him the start he needed, he quickly gained the respect of the industry and made his name a household name in America. He not only has come out with great CD’s he has shown his ability to freestyle and destroys the competition and he has also done a little acting of his own as well. On top of all that he came out with his own record label along with Dr. Dre and signed big hits like 50 Cent and G-Unit. This is where he has seen his success sky rocket even higher than before. There is no doubt that this man is the greatest rapper of the decade and hopefully continues on his road of success.

Lil Wayne is Beginning to Become Just Another T-Pain

Lil Wayne is the most overrated rapper of all time. You should not be scared to say this because anyone can take auto-tune and call themselves the best rapper alive in every song. It takes a true poet and lyricist to be truly regarded as an overall all time rapper.

Many college students as of right now would disagree on this topic, that Lil Wayne is way overrated for the music he puts out. His lyrics and sampling of other artist’s beats shows his true limits as a real artist as of now. You cannot just pronounce yourself the greatest rapper alive in every song and have that be the reason you’re so popular. The main reason for his success has been through his first few albums, which were full of great tracks and what you could say was a rapper on his way to greatness. Than somewhere along that road Lil Wayne decided in his brain he didn’t need to be creative anymore and with the use of auto-tune helped launch a million and a half mixtapes full of repetitive lyrics with non of his own beats.

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For him to try and compare to someone like Tupac or Biggie who shaped Hip-Hop, is an insult to the industry. The ability he had when he first started out on the scene with Birdman was amazing. He was able to turn average tracks into number ones with his lyrics and unique voice. After The Carter was released, it all went to his head and he became a clown in many eyes. He used the popularity of marijuana to draw in the adult teen audience into his albums and records. It’s irritating that he had so much he had achieved with his originality, to throw it all away with a bunch of untalented mixtapes. If Tupac were alive today he would be running his mouth all over Lil Wayne on how he needs to clean up his act. Lil Wayne is a good rapper gone a little astray in his career. In his next few years he should take his new style and get rid of it, while trying to revert back to his old self.