Music: Christian/Gospel

March 15, 2011

Francesca Battistelli, Hundred More Years

Francesca Battistelli, Hundred More Years Popular Christian singer/songwriter Francesca Battistelli recently followed up her hit album My Paper Heart with the new album Hundred More Years. My Paper Heart scored Battistelli four hit singles, as well as a slew of accolades. That's a tough act to follow, but so far reviews for Hundred More Years have been good; and with lead single "This Is the Stuff" doing well, it looks like Battistelli's on pace to equal her previous album's success. What makes Battistelli so appealing is her ability to blend elements of rock, gospel, contemporary Christian, and R&B into a sound all her own. She has a lot to offer, and fans should have a lot to look forward to from this talented artist for years to come. Maybe not a hundred years, but we hope she'll be making records for a good long time!

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March 10, 2011

Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Missy Elliott, More: Napster Playlists Featuring Women

As we continue our celebration of Women's History Month, we thought it would be nice to highlight some of the many Napster playlists focused on music made by women. These are from all different genres and styles, so have a look, click on whatever sounds good to you, and let's hear it from the ladies!

American Women American Women Popular roots music and country hits from some of the top female artists in America. Includes songs from June Carter Cash, Loretta Lynn, and Sheryl Crow.

Hot R&B Female Vocalists Hot R&B: Female Vocalists: Some of the hottest tracks and biggest hits from major stars, including songs from Keyshia Cole, Fantasia, Alicia Keys, and Beyoncé.

Essential Lite Female Vocalists Essential Lite: Female Vocalists: Great soft pop and ballads from many eras, featuring artists such as Peggy Lee, Blossom Dearie, and Roberta Flack.

Women of Comedy Women of Comedy: Hilarious bits from the funniest females in stand-up comedy, including Ellen Degeneres, Sarah Silverman, Sandra Bernhard, and Lisa Lampanelli.

Legendary Ladies of Country Legendary Ladies of Country: Unforgettable female stars of the '60s and '70s who paved the way for today's generations. Includes Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and Loretta Lynn.

Grrrl Power Grrrl Power: Celebrate the women of alternative rock with a slew of classic tracks from such mainstays as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Hole, PJ Harvey, and more.

Pioneering Women of the Blues Pioneering Women of the Blues: Though blues artists tend to be men, a surprising number of women have made a crucial impact, including Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, and Ida Cox.

Pop Divas The '80s Pop Divas: The '80s: A platinum setting of hits from some of the decade's most glittering solo female superstars, including Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Gibson, and more.

Female Jazz Vocalists of Today Female Jazz Vocalists of Today: Music from stellar comtemporary vocalists informed by both traditional and modern jazz. Features Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, and Diana Krall.

Composing Women Composing Women: Works from female composers working in what was once a male-dominated field. Includes Barbara Strozzi, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Meredith Monk.

Women of Contemporary Christian Music Women of Contemporary Christian Music: The most uplifting tracks from female artists leading the way in CCM, featuring Francesca Battistelli, Bethany Dillon, and Heather Hedley.

Ladies First Female MCs Ladies First: Female MCs: Get in touch with the first ladies of hip-hop. But don't expect them to go easy on you—these MCs, including Missy Elliott, Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah, are fierce.

Femmes Fatales Femmes Fatales: Devastatingly seductive sounds from the dark side of alternative music, including music by Björk, PJ Harvey, Portishead, Morcheeba, and more.

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March 07, 2011

NAACP Image Awards Music Recap

John Legend, NAACP The 42nd Annual NAACP Image Awards took place last Friday to honor, as always, outstanding people of color in film, television, music, and literature. In case you missed the show, here are the deets on the music portion of the show: Pre-teen prodigy/phenom Willow showed exactly why she's a "21st Century Girl" by taking home the Outstanding New Artist Award (beating the likes of B.o.B, Bruno Mars, Jason Derulo, and Nicki Minaj). Although that win may have left some scratching their heads, the following wins were entirely in line with expectations: Usher for Outstanding Male Artist, Mary J. Blige for Outstanding Female Artist, John Legend & The Roots for Outstanding Duo, Group, or Collaboration, Mavis Staples for Outstanding Gospel Album, Fantasia's "Bittersweet" for Outstanding Song, and John Legend & The Roots' Wake Up! for Outstanding Album. For years, the NAACP Image Awards have entertained us while recognizing outstanding talent, and this year did not disappoint.

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March 01, 2011

New Music Tuesday: Marsha Ambrosius, Foo Fighters, WOW #1s, Take Me Home Tonight Soundtrack

Most new music comes out on Tuesdays, and each week we cull through the mountain of new releases to bring you some of the best from different genres. Click below, or find them in Napster’s New Releases/Featured Music section.

Marsha Ambrosius, Late Nights & Early Mornings Marsha Ambrosius, Late Nights & Early Mornings (R&B): The former Floetry member releases her debut solo album after countless guest appearances on songs by everyone from Michael Jackson to David Banner. The new album features “Hope She Cheats on You (With a Basketball Player)” and current single “Far Away.”

 

Foo Fighters, Rope Foo Fighters, "Rope" (Rock): The new single from Dave Grohl and company is their first new music since two previously unreleased tracks appeared on their Greatest Hits set two years ago.  The Butch Vig-produced track is the first from the upcoming Foo album Wasting Light, scheduled for release on April 12.

 

Various Artists, WOW #1s Various Artists, WOW #1s (Christian/Gospel): This latest edition of the popular series compiles the latest and greatest in contemporary Christian music. Featured in this collection are hits including “God with Us” by MercyMe, “Praise You in This Storm” by Casting Crowns, and “How Great Is Our God” by Chris Tomlin.

 

Take Me Home Tonight soundtrack Various Artists, Take Me Home Tonight (Soundtracks, Pop): While the tagline for this upcoming retro-comedy is “Best. Night. Ever.”, lovers of ’80s music might very well call the music “Best. Soundtrack. Ever.” Features staples of the decade by artists like The Buggles, Duran Duran, Yaz, Kim Carnes, and Men Without Hats.

 

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February 25, 2011

Hillsong United, Aftermath

Hillsongunited, aftermath Popular Australian praise and worship band Hillsong United returns with their second studio album Aftermath.  Following the success of their first studio album All of the Above, and countless live albums, Aftermath debuted at #1 on the Christian charts and in the top 20 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart (a great feat for a Christian album).  Capitalizing on the positive reception of Aftermath, the band has just embarked on a nationwide tour (click here for details).
It is refreshing to see an act garner fame and recognition by spreading a positive message, and part of the band’s success is that they are able to maintain their Christian roots by performing a contemporary style of praise and worship mixed with mainstream rock. Check out the new album and become a believer.

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February 11, 2011

2011 Grammy Performances

2011 Grammy Performers While everyone tunes in to see the winners of the big four Grammy Awards (Best New Artist, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Record of the Year), what would "music's biggest night" be without the performances? This year, fans of a wide variety of music should be greatly satisfied. As we have previously discussed, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride, Yolanda Adams, and Florence Welch (Florence & The Machine) will kick off the show with an all-star tribute to Aretha Franklin. From there, it’s anybody’s guess as the likes of Arcade Fire, Eminem, Cee Lo Green, Lady Antebellum, Muse, Lady GaGa, Miranda Lambert, and Katy Perry are all set to grace the Grammy stage. In an attempt to create what have come to be known as "Grammy Moments," other artists will be teaming up for one-of-a-kind performances: Usher, his protégé Justin Bieber, and Jaden Smith are set to collaborate, while artists of the moment B.o.B, Bruno Mars, and Janelle Monae are also teaming up; Canadian rapper Drake and pop-star Rihanna will bring their live rendition of “What’s My Name” to the Grammy stage; and, in a way that only the Grammy’s can do, Bob Dylan, Mumford & Sons, and The Avett Brothers will perform together as well. If previous years' Grammys are any indication of what’s to come Feb. 13, be prepared for even more special "moments" than we've just run down here. We'll be livetweeting the broadcast, so follow us on Twitter starting at 5 pm for a little running commentary and links to songs.

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February 10, 2011

Aretha Franklin to Receive All-Star Tribute at the Grammys

Aretha Franklin Following last year’s rumors about her health, Aretha Franklin is starting off 2011 on a high note with some much-deserved positive attention. First, her new compilation album, The Great American Songbook, was released. It features her soulful vocals over music by some of America’s greatest composers in recordings made early in her career. And soon, in what promises to be one of the highlights of this year's Grammys, Franklin will receive an all-star tribute from Christina Aguilera (let's hope she remembers the words), Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride, Yolanda Adams, and Florence Welch (of Florence & The Machine). Rumor has it these divas will open the show by singing the hits that caused Franklin to become known as the "Queen of Soul." For our money, if anyone deserves a Grammy tribute, it's Franklin, who holds the record for most awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (she won the first eight ever given in the category). To see the action for yourself, be sure to tune into the Grammys this Sunday, Feb. 13, or check out our blog for all the major deets of the event.

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January 21, 2011

“Pop Praise” Joins Napster Radio Lineup

Pop Praise (Napster Radio) Starting today, Napster subscribers can enjoy a new entry in the Napster Radio lineup: "Pop Praise" takes listeners on a musical journey through inspirational songs from the biggest stars in the pop and R&B worlds, including Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Bo Bice, Kelly Clarkson, and many more. The station's positive message of peace and spiritual love, and the high-wattage star power of the artists featured combine to make for a truly exhilerating listening experience. Napster subscribers can check it out by signing in, going to the Radio Station tab (or clicking on the image at left), and selecting the “Pop Praise” station. Not yet a Napster subscriber and feeling left out? Click here to sign up and enjoy "Pop Praise" and everything else Napster has to offer.

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January 20, 2011

Artists to Watch 2011: forever Jones

forever Jones Musical family forever Jones started 2010 on a high note with the release of a new album, Get Ready, and finished it off on an even higher note with a #1 Gospel single, “He Wants It All.” They've been quite busy spreading their positive message to the masses, and it looks like 2011 is going to be just as busy, as they begin to promote their new release, He Wants It All EP.  Both releases are great! For gospel music lovers, this is truly a group you should be on the lookout for in 2011.

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January 12, 2011

Audra Mae, Warpaint, Ceci Bastida, Wess Morgan, More: “Discover—Best of 2010” (Napster Playlist)

Discover -- Best of 2010 (Napster Playlist) For all of the top hit tracks that flooded the airwaves, stadiums, and stereos in 2010, we assembled our "Napster Favorites: Top Hits of 2010" playlist (read about it here). But what about all of the lesser-known artists with just as much talent? And in genres outside of pop? Well, we thought these artists were just as deserving of a year-end wrap-up, so we put together our "Discover: Best of 2010" playlist. It covers a wide range of "unsung" heroes like Americana artists Audra Mae, Justin Townes Earle, and Dar Williams, as well as emerging underground alternative bands like Warpaint, Junip, and Black Mountain. Crossover world and Latin artists include Mala Rodriguez, Ceci Bastida, and Alex Cuba. You'll find stellar classical performaces of J.S. Bach and a groovy easy listening pick, Chopin style. Country highlights include Reckless Kelly and Mary Chapin Carpenter, while comedians Felipe Esparza and Joe DeRosa take jabs at your funnybone. And Christian music listeners can look to Marvin Sapp and Wess Morgan for lovely inspirational sounds. And there's much more, so dive on in and enjoy.

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