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Harry Styles, one-fifth of the band One Direction, was spotted gambling in Australia. The pop band is down there for tour around Australia and New Zealand and have recently lost some money. When the bands manager expressed to them that they shouldn’t splurge their cash, Styles was caught playing roulette in the VIP area oh The Pearl Room in Perth, Australia.

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Coming hot on the heels of the televised Brit Awards comes the somewhat more ‘musical’ NME Awards. Britain’s NME – New Musical Express – celebrated turning 60 last year as one of our favourite music mags.

if you want an idea of how different NME is to the Brits, just look at the award it gave One Direction – Worst Band.

You get the picture.

It even gave Harry Styles Villain of the Year, although he wasn’t there to collect.

Unsurprisingly. Mind you, neither was Barack Obama, awarded Hero of the Year.

Florence + The Machine managed to pick up Best Solo Artist, somewhat bizarrely, and Best Dancefloor Anthem for Sweet Nothing with Calvin Harris. Her acceptance speech was delightful. She is no more clear than anyone if she is a solo artist or part of a band. Does it matter? Great voice and gorgeous songs.

Other winners included The Macabees – their award for Best Album for third album ‘Given To The Wild’ had to be accepted via iPhone after they were stranded at an airport..

Best British Band went to Biffy Clyro and frontman Simon Neil said he was proud to win as there are “so many great British guitar bands, always have been and always will be. We’re fucking bulletproof.” Palma Violets won Best New Band, while Blur picked up Best Reissue for last year’s ’21’ boxset.

Best International Band went to The Killers. In another change to what we saw at the Brits, The Rolling Stones won Best Live Band and Best Music Film. The Child Of Lov, made a rare and brief public appearance to accept the Philip Hall Radar Award.

The Cribs received the Teenage Cancer Trust Outstanding Contribution To Music and, Johnny Marr picked up the prestigious award for Godlike Genius.

Other winners included Foals’ Inhaler (Best Track), R U Mine by Arctic Monkeys (Best Video), Fresh Meat (Best TV Show), Reading and Leeds (Best Festival), Festival No 6 (Best Small Festival), Crossfire Hurricane (Best Music Film), @babyhaim (Best Twitter), The Story of the Streets by Mike Skinner (Best Book), Olympics Opening Ceremony (Music Moment Of The Year), Muse (Best Fan Community), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Best Film), Matt Bellamy (Hottest Man) and Amy Lee (Hottest Woman).


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It’s right that the Brit awards should be presented by someone so truly, madly British as
actor James Corden. If you’ve never caught the incredibly funny Gavin and Stacey, you really should take a look. He co-wrote it and stole the show. Genius. He really is one of our favourite sons and after last year’s embarrassing moment when Brit producers used him to cut short Adele in mid-speech, he did a great job of keeping sanity among some crazy awards and live performances.

There was something slightly bizarre, then to have Taylor Swift presenting the first award, celebrating the best British female solo artist, especially when it came to be won by Emeli Sandé, consolidating the first of her three nominations into a win. Extraordinarily talented and – let me be honest here – WAY more engaging than Miss Swift, we’re proud of the Emeli we’ve met and come to love in the last 12 months. Sad that it didn’t go to Amy Winehouse, but there ain’t enough awards in the world to recognize that talent.

Best British Group went, not surprisingly, to the totally, totally brilliant Mumford and Sons and then British Breakthrough Act – voted for by BBC Radio 1 listeners – to the humble Ben Howard. Last year’s Best British Male (I think they just meant musically, but who knows?) was presented by last year’s winner, Ed Sheeran then went to … Ben Howard. Who was still surprisingly humble.

Critic’s Choice went for the first time to a man. Tom O’Dell would have been my choice, if they’d asked me. So that’s all right then. A prodigious talent.

We love Lana Del Rey, who walked off with International Breakthrough Artist in 2012, so it’s fitting that she won International Female Award 2013, even though she now lives in the UK, so technically she counts as one of us.

The nominees for British Live Act included The Rolling Stones but was stolen from them by Coldplay, while the Best British Single was a really tough call, although nominations were based on the biggest sales success in 2012. Although Adele couldn’t make it to the event, her ‘Skyfall’ scooped the award and no doubt her rehearsal for the Oscars gave her a valid excuse for absence. Sadly, the award for Best International Group also went to an absentee – The Black Keys.

International Male award went to Frank Ocean. Nice choice from the Brits and another popular winner was Special Recognition for War Child UK. Check out their work if you can.

There really was no competition for British Album of the Year. Had to be Emeli Sandé’s ‘Our Version Of Events’. Maybe, albeit grudgingly, the Global Success Award was similarly deservedly won by One Direction. Can’t argue that they’re popular. Still confident that the night went to Emeli Sandé for closing the whole thing.

Other live performances at the O2 were kicked off by Muse, followed by the awesome Robbie Williams. Fatherhood has definitely not dimmed his talent. Justin Timberlake did it the way only he can on stage and even One Direction weren’t awful – especially as their single is raising funds for Comic Relief this year – and then there was Taylor Swift. Thankfully, Ben Howard wowed and Mumford & Sons split the audience – love them or hate them, they all proved a pretty healthy state of British music right now.

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The show that brought you Leona Lewis and One Direction is back!  With new judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato joining veteran judges Simon Cowell and L. A. Reid, the X-Factor Season 2 Premiere definitely brought laughs, drama, and most importantly, talent.  The judges have already begun to exhibit great chemistry from Simon and Demi’s awkward yet cute father-daughter relationship (“Demi, stay away from those One Direction boys!”) and Britney and Demi’s girly backstage banter (“Omg, those shoes are so hot.”).  And L. A. Reid?  He just looks suave and cool in his suit and gets along with everyone.

Enough about the judges, let’s talk about the studs and duds of the night.  Starting the show off with a bang in Austin was 21 year old mom, Paige Thomas.  With the beauty of Meagan Good and the style of Rihanna, Paige had the whole audience vibing with her.  Simon even claimed she was “one of is favorite auditions.”

Following the stellar performance was Kaci Newton, a stuck-up mean girl who continuously bashed the rest of the competition.  Karma heard her snipes and came to the rescue.  After a painful performance and Simon calling her “annoying,” she was asked to leave.

Next up was a trio who fulfilled all our skater dude stereotypes.  But after performing their original song, “Sunset Boulevard,”  they charmed the audience and Demi, who was definitely crushing.

After the California boys was Don Phillip who sang a duet with Britney Spears ten years ago.  Britney instantly recognized, and he was so touched and began to  cry.  However, after a weak performance, both he and Britney were shook up.

Not to be overlooked, was eighteen year old, Janelle Garcia.  Don’t let her cuteness fool you.  As soon as she began singing Grace Potters and the Nocturnals, she was fierce from start to finish.  She’s a rock star for sure.

Finally, closing the show was Jillian, who looked up to Demi because she too had been bullied.  Even through her tears, her rapsy voice prevailed and her extremely had the judges in tears.  Yes, even Simon!

Wednesday’s premiere was entertaining with judges banter and full of talent, but hopefully Thursday’s auditions bring more interesting twists.

 

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One Direction’s Niall Horan took to Tumblr a day or so ago to state that he wishes the group had more male fans. Even though One Direction loves seeing their female fans go bananas at every concert, the boys stated it would be great to see more guys in the crowds at their shows.

Though I am not teenager anymore, I feel I am an expert on this subject because I survived the biggest boy band era to ever hit the United States during the late ninetees. How many of you remember NSync, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, and O-Town? That’s a forgone era, and the only remnants that remain are Justin Timberlake, Carson Daly and Eminem. With that being said here are the Top 5 Reasons Teenage Boys Don’t Like Boy Bands.

1. They are jealous because every teenage girl wants to date or marry one of the band members.

2. Seriously, it has never been cool to listen to boy bands around another guy. How do you explain to your friends that “What Make You Beautiful” is your favorite song.

3. Boy Band’s don’t have any tattoos. Clean cut and mild mannered may work well with the prom queen and her parents, but teenage boys look up to Rock Stars not the “boys next door.”

4. Most teenage boys think that boy bands are lame and lack the talent of seasoned veterans who have made it through puberty.

5. 90% to 100% of all songs written for boy bands are female focused. If you want to attracts more male fans, you have to write about more stuff that teenage boys like than just girls.

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I have never known too many males to go GaGa over boy bands, but One Direction’s Niall Horan stated the guys definitely would like to see more male fans at their shows.

On One Direction’s Tumblr page, Niall Horan states “”It’s 90% girls, but we want to expand our fanbase. We want all people to like us.”

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There’s interesting stuff heading across the Atlantic from the UK. The diversity of the British music scene seems to be striking a chord with the American public, and we over here love it!

Whether you’re a fan of pre-punk Bowie, a devotee of manufactured pop or a lover of really, really cool singer-songwriters, we’ve got the very best for you in 2012.

June sees the rerelease of David Bowie’s seminal 1972 album ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And ‘The Spiders From Mars’. For the purists among us, it’s coming out on both CD and vinyl.

At the same time, we’re sending you One Direction. Frankly, you can keep them – pretty boys who can sing a bit and seem to love life. You gave us The Monkees in 1966 and I think we do a bit better out of this exchange. No-one can doubt that the marketing team behind One Direction has learned the dark arts at the Bieber school of social networking and really know their stuff, but I can’t bring myself to like their music. Even I can’t deny that being the first British group to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart definitely makes them a force to be reckoned with.

What we are letting you share, but definitely only on loan, is the fabulousness that is Emeli Sandé. One of the most inventive women on the British music scene (and we’ve got a few others we might let you listen to if you promise not to steal them), Sandé creates songs that get right into your soul. ‘Next to Me’ got to number 2 in the UK singles chart, but smashed into number 1 spot in her homeland of Scotland and also in Ireland.

‘Our Version of Events’ went straight into the album chart at number one in February and it’s already gone platinum. Listen to it. You have to. US release date is 5 June and it’ll light up your summer.
Sandé is touring the US and Canada with Coldplay in July and this is one support act you will definitely not want to sit out in the bar for.

So, does all this constitute a new music invasion?
In the 1960s, the Beatles infested the US charts, totalling 21 number ones – in 1965, 12 singles by UK artists made it to number one in the states and in 1968 ‘Hey Jude’ stayed there for nine weeks. No-one has come close to breaking that record yet, but my money is on Sandé rather than One Direction.

Oh yes, and in the 1970s and 80s we gave you the Bee Gees (let’s not argue about whether they count as Australian, we love them and call them ours), Elton John and George Michael. You loved them. Well, you are definitely not keeping George Michael – we revelled in the fun of Wham, the intensity of his solo albums (‘Faith’ will always be in my top ten) and forgave him his ludicrous drugs and driving offences. Just take a look at the love we showed when he was taken ill last year: there was a palpable sigh of relief when he returned to health just in time for Christmas.

The 1980s were a great period in British pop music. 1985 saw 13 UK singles in the US charts. Then who knows what went wrong as the new millennium hit and you just didn’t like our music. Actually, there was a lot that we didn’t like either.

But now, there’s definitely a hint of something new for us to share. If it’s not Adele (who’s already had three number ones in the US) or One Direction, it could be re-releases from 40 years ago.
It definitely could be something from the voice of Emile Sandé. If not, maybe from her pen – her songs have been hits for Cher Lloyd, Susan Boyle, Leona Lewis, Alesha Dixon, Cheryl Cole and Tinie Tempah and no doubt more singers will be keen to commission her talents. This woman is a prodigious talent and more than just a beautiful woman with a haunting, stunning voice.

Maybe an American singing a Sandé song. Maybe that’s the way this invasion will go. Exciting times ahead and we’re hoping for a long hot summer with some great British tracks pounding out of your speakers and headphones.

Like it or not, these young artists are coming, and are very much prepped  to join the ranks of high-flying U.S  pop acts.  The products  of “X Factor ” and the “Glee” generation, these “90 babies,” are  coming and there is not much in the way to stop the next wave of ‘British Invasion.’

Cher Lloyd

Cher Lloyd rose to fame on the X Factor UK in 2010 as she stood out from all the other contestants in the finals. What made the then 17-year-old notable were her particular swagger and her displayed originality. The girl may not have had the most angelic singing voice, although that didn’t matter as her rapping and tantalising twists on average pop songs gave her the edge that got her noticed.

The ‘Swagger Jagger’ singer has been blessed to record with none other than pop mogul LA Reid, who liking what he saw quickly snapped her up for his ‘Epic’ record label.

Speaking of her attempt at US success Cher exclaimed, “I’m not going to walk before I can run. It’s quite a big thing to try to achieve, but you never know what’s going to happen.”

Future for Cher: LA Reid has previously praised the singer by predicting huge success in the US.

Cher is set release her debut album, “Sticks + Stones” on April 10th in the US. The album features artists such as fellow X Factor star Astro, Mike Posner and the mighty Busta Rhymes.

Cher will also be joining the likes of Timbaland, Ed Sheeran and The Ting Tings at The SXSW ‘One night in Austin’ event on March 17th

 

With Your Love- Cher Lloyd, featuring Mike Posner

 

 The Wanted

Having beaten Take That’s accomplishment for the highest scoring single for a boy band in the US the future already looks bright for these lads.

Following a welcome feature on the tv show Glee the group have climbed to number five with their infectious track, ‘Glad You Came’.

The British- Irish band was privileged to record their debut album with Guy Chambers, Taio Cruz and Steve Mac adding an instant sparkling to the launch of their careers.

Put together in 2009, The Wanted have had major success in the UK and are now the first boy band to hit the top 10 on the US airplay chart since the Backstreet Boys.

Delighted with their achievement singer Jay McGuiness exclaimed, “The British are smashing it at the minute in the US, and it’s great to feel like we’re helping steer that.”

The group who have just finished their US tour have also have performed on both the Ellen Show and Chelsea Wanted receiving a great response.

Future for The Wanted: A performance on the Jay Leno show is expected on March 20th which should gain the band some amazing exposure.

The Wanted release a self titled US album on April 24th.

Glad You Came- The Wanted

 

One Direction

Having just topped the US  iTunes charts with debut album ‘Up All Night’ British-Irish boy band One Direction are causing something of a stir in the US.

The band recently performed a mini gig in New York’s Rockefeller Plaza which gathered a record-breaking crowd of 15,000. It seems mass One Direction fever has hit US shores with the quintet constantly surrounded by a foray of security.

One Direction, made up of Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson was formed on the X Factor UK in 2010.

The group have enjoyed good success in the UK and their debut album, ‘Up All Night’ has reached top 10 in numerous European countries, topping the charts in Sweden and Italy.

Future for One Direction: Apparently they may be in talks with Nickelodeon to have their own show.

The group is also set to perform at The Kids’ Choice Awards on March 31st, Saturday Night Live on April 7th and is to make an appearance in iCarly cast as themselves; all of which should give them massive exposure.

What Makes You Beautiful- One Direction