How are you all holding up? Here in Washington State, the ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order has been extended through May 31st, with gradual ‘reopening’ plans to commence starting this week, in four phases, with each of the four phases having a minimum of three weeks in between. So depending on how/if the curve continues to flatten, and how successful each ‘phase’ is, looks like we’ll be back to ‘normal’ by the fall. Here’s hoping we don’t have an uptick once everyone is back to whatever ‘normal’ looks like at that time.
Meanwhile, it’s Monday, and Monday means music – let’s lose ourselves in some tunes for a bit, shall we? This week is a freebie week, so grab your favorite tune(s), and come dance with us, won’t you? Let’s get this party started!
Let’s start with a plea from this artist for global love, compassion and understanding.
I dare you to love / Even if you’re hurt and you can only see the worst / Even if you think it’s not enough / I dare you to love
The artist is daring the listener to put aside their emotional wounds and instead be a positive influence to all those around us. She was quoted as saying:
“It’s basically like, ‘I dare you to love instead of fear, instead of hate, instead of wonder about something, and actually just engage with people and engage with yourself again and remember that we’re all a human race. At the end of the day, we’re all the same human race.”
The artist had intended to release the single on March 24, 2020, and to film its debut live performance during her self-titled talk show the same day, but the coronavirus pandemic halted her plans. Instead, she dropped the track on April 16, 2020, accompanied by a special episode of her talk show.
“I thought, ‘Maybe people need this kind of message right now.'”
To illustrate the song’s message of global unity, she recorded five “multi-language duet versions” featuring singers from around the world, For the French version, the artist is joined by singer Zaz, while she teams up with Blas Canto for the Spanish “Te Reto A Amar.” Canadian-Moroccan singer Faouzia offers an Arabic interpretation; Maya Buskila sings a Hebrew rendition, and the German duo Galsperlenspiel recorded a German take.
The artist grew up singing opera in different languages, which gave her the idea for the multi-language single.
Here’s the inimitable Kelly Clarkson with “I Dare You”:
And as a special bonus, here she’s joined with singers worldwide:
Next up is a group that served as the special artist guest on the season two premiere of Songland, which aired April 13 on NBC.
During the episode, the country trio met with four aspiring songwriters who each pitched their song to the group to record. Newcomer Madeline Merlo wowed the trio with this lighthearted song.
Following the episode, the group released the winning song. A laidback tune about living in the moment, the island flavored track has two of the artists trading vocals about a night out in the country.
Don’t need doubles and bubbles to get in all kinds of trouble out in the country / Don’t need a crystal chandelier to have a real good time / We’re drinking beer on a champagne night
Here’s Lady Antebellum with “Champagne Night”:
Next up, this artist is using music to unite fans during these trying times. The actor, turned musician, dropped a new album while under quarantine amid the coronavirus outbreak. He was quoted as saying:
“I’ve always found music to be one of the few things that unite people in a pure way.”
“Common ground can be hard to find in today’s world, but music has remained a constant for me. To feel deeply, to dance fervently, and live together is more present now than ever.”
The song doesn’t have much written about it, but it’s clear it’s about his precious young daughter – and the video is awesome with clips of the two of them together.
Without further ado, here’s Jeremy Renner with “Best Part of Me”:
Last, but certainly not least, is a brand new song where this band is giving fans new music to enjoy during quarantine. This song is an anthem about making the best out of this time of self-isolation due to the coronavirus, that features Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Naughty By Nature, Boys II Men and Big Freedia.
The star-studded track came to be after an online chat with the groups fans. Donnie Wahlberg was quoted as saying:
“On the chat a fan said, ‘Are you doing new music?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know, maybe some. One of our producer friends is watching this and they’ll send us a song and who knows what could happen.’ Well, it happened. One of my producer friends [Deekay Music] was watching, he sent me a song immediately. I was literally upstairs at the kitchen table, I sat down, opened it up, and I called him on FaceTime and we wrote the song right there. I just started singing ideas, we wrote it.”
From there, the “groove hit” him and “words were sorta coming out on their own.” After he and Deekay Music finished the track, Donnie “sent it to the guys, they responded “great, and then we just started recruiting friends.”
Those friends lined up in droves to be involved with track, with some A-list celebs even opting to lend their dancing skills instead of their singing voices to its accompanying video.
“My brother, Mark [Wahlberg], who doesn’t like to be on musical things after Marky Mark days, [got involved]. I said, ‘Listen does your daughter wanna dance in our video? But you gotta stand there with her.’ He said, ‘Alright, fine, I’ll do it.'”
Nicole Scherzinger, Ken Jeong, Derek Hough, Carrie Underwood and Wahlberg’s wife, Jenny McCarthy, also filmed videos from their homes to be included in the music video.
“I got a text out of nowhere from Carrie Underwood and she’s, like, performing her heart out for this song she barely knows. She has her own kids, and her own family, and God knows what state her life is in, and everyone is really going above and beyond for this. There are moments where I don’t know if I want to ask, I don’t know if I want to impose on people, but I kind of just keep pushing through, and making the call, and sending the text and the way that they reacted, it just reaffirms love and gratitude because that is what the song is about.”
I love the video (and the song), but when it opens with Donnie Wahlberg, all I can think of is “Danny Reagan”. 😉 Though I’m particularly impressed with Donnie and Jenny’s kick dancing in the video – pretty rad!
Get ready for some fun and dancing, here’s New Kids On The Block with “House Party”:
That’s a wrap for this week – have a great Monday, I’ll see you on the dance floor, keeping that social distancing! Seriously though – hope you all are staying safe and healthy.
I have the supreme honor and privilege of being a co-host with the inimitable Xmas Dolly and our musical cohort, the awesome Cathy from Curious as a CAThy, Callie of JAmerican Spice, and Alana of Ramblin’ with AM!
Want to join in the fun? It’s easy – just find a tune that rocks your boat, post it and link up – don’t forget to grab Xmas Dolly…er, um, I mean her button…over at her place here. Check out Xmas Dolly’s sidebar for the random themes we sport each week – and you can always ask for a specific theme of music you like, too. Check out the other music lovahs and let’s jam!