Everybody's heard of the British Invasion, the period in the mid-1960s when a bunch of artists and bands, led by The Beatles, crossed the Atlantic Ocean to perform in front of audiences in America for the first time. That two year span of time brought us now-household names like The Rolling Stones, The Yardbrids, The Kinks, The Who, Small Faces, and many more. The period had a large influence on popular music and culture in the United States, and British artists have been a major part of the American music scene ever since.
Is the same thing that happened in the 1960s now happening with artists from Australia and New Zealand? Are we seeing an Australasian Invasion? I believe so.
Iggy Azalea, Gotye, Lorde, Cody Simpson, and 5 Seconds of Summer Lead the Way
Even though the argument is that an Australasian Invasion is happening now, that doesn't mean that the region hasn't contributed acts in the past. In fact, Australia has brought us many of them. Acts popular in the U.S. but hailing from Oz include Olivia Newton-John, AC/DC, INXS, Tommy Emmanuel, and more recently Flight of the Conchords. The difference is that these earlier acts were relatively few and far between. For example, Newton-John and AC/DC found international success in the mid-70s, INXS in the early '80s, Tommy Emmanuel in the late '80s (as a solo artist), and Flight in the Conchords in 2009.
In contrast, the acts that seem to make up the vanguard of the Australasian Invasion — Cody Simpson, Gotye, Lorde, Iggy Azalea, and 5 Seconds of Summer — have all found an international fan base at around the same time: 2013. Gotye won a Grammy for Making Mirrors last year, while Simpson and Lorde released popular albums Surfers Paradise and Pure Heroine not long afterward. The trend has continued into 2014 with successful albums from Azalea and 5 Seconds of Summer, The New Classic and 5 Seconds of Summer, respectively. On the live side of things, all of these artists have either had successful North American tours in 2013 or 2014 or seem set do so next year, as in the case of 5 Seconds of Summer. All of that in two years, which is the same time frame of the British Invasion.
By now, you've probably heard of Sam Smith. He's been on everyone's mind lately, especially with the release of his cover of Whitney Houston's song "How Will I Know" — released late last week — which already has more than 2 million views.
The 22-year-old British singer is currently touring in intimate venues across the U.S., like the House of Blues and the Hammerstein Ballroom.
Check out Sam Smith's cover above, and let us know what you think!
If you follow the FIFA World Cup, you may already know that every four years, the organization commissions an official anthem to represent the event. These multilingual songs are then used as warm-ups to the event, in addition to serving as a little momento from the big day.
But sometimes the songs become popular hits — and we're not even aware of their connection to fútbol. Here are four of the most popular, starting with...
#1 - Pitbull featuring Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte, We Are One (Ole Ola)
When it comes to lyric videos, there's some debate as to when they first originated. Some argue the first lyric video comes from Bob Dylan. The video for his song, "Subterranean Homesick Blues," was released in 1965, and it featured Dylan standing with cue cards bearing certain words in the song — "trench coat"; "kid"; "alley way."
At the Billboard awards show over the weekend, Michael Jackson performed as a hologram. That is a sentence we now say and it is true. Jackson's hologram sang along to a newly-released song, "Slave to the Rhythm," the latest off his posthumous album Xscape. The spectacle was all anyone could talk about that night, the next day, and probably for a while to come.
So maybe holograms are ushering in a new form of live entertainment?